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Review of The Mountain Buggy Bagrider

My friend Rhiannon is the jetset family travel queen. Despite residing in Wellington, New Zealand, she regularly jets off longhaul to China and the UK to catch up with her family. All the while toting her 3-year-old, 2-year-old and baby, making flying with kids look effortless. Rhiannon has long been a contributor to Jetlag & Mayhem and when she asked if I wanted a Mountain Buggy bagrider review, I wasn’t really sure what she was on about.  Billed on their website as ‘a problem solver for families who are travelling and struggle having to take a buggy and carry on luggage’, I’ll let Rhiannon clue you in….

A bagrider? Hang on, what?

I have to admit, when I first saw the promotional pictures of the bagrider, I thought it must be an April Fool. Then I thought it just looked a bit cruel – strapping your child to your suitcase – surely that wasn’t right? But when I took a closer look, I discovered that 1) renowned New Zealand brand Mountain Buggy weren’t joking and 2) the harness was both humane and quite sturdy.

So how does it work?

The bagrider works firstly, as a normal carry on suitcase. However, when you convert it into a bagrider mode, a latch comes out and two more wheels appear so that any child is riding on four wheels and not just two.  This removes my fear that I would forget my kid is on the back and the whole thing would topple over. That won’t happen. You then add the child harness, which also cushions the top of the suitcase to make it more comfortable.

Did my children like it?

When I brought it home, it was a huge hit – another moving toy on which to play. However, in action for real in Sydney airport, my toddler was less sure about it, complaining that it was ‘wobbly’.  To be fair, it was a little wobbly and certainly wasn’t 100% easy to steer. But that said, given a child was riding on a suitcase, it wasn’t half bad either.

So, does it replace a buggy then?

We actually also travelled with a mountain buggy nano – which is their competitor to a yoyo and can certainly be folded to be stored in the overhead locker on the airplane.  Steering the nano and the various other functions of it (tilting backwards for example) are far superior.  However, as a short-term fix through an airport, there is definitely a place for the bag rider.  Particularly if you’re only concerned with taking one child off their feet. We were travelling with a 2 and 3-year-old so we wanted options for both of them, thus we had both choices. However if I was only worrying about one kid, I would probably check the buggy and use the bagrider for tired toddler moments.

Any other issues?

Well as it’s a hard mini suitcase it’s not half as easy to dip into as a regular backpack or handbag. You have to lie it down to open it up – I suppose in a similar way to a trunk too.  That also feels like a bit of a disadvantage as having easy access to lots and lots of things seems to be a useful tactic to ward off fodder travel drama.  Maybe that’s because I’m mad enough to travel with 3 kids under 4.

In conclusion

If you were planning to take a trolly suitcase anyway, and you have a toddler, it’s not a bad buy.  You’re certainly going to be a novelty at the airport which is perhaps reason enough!

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