The TFK Twinner Twist Duo – A Lengthy Review!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011 2 comments
I originally wrote a short review to become a long term pushchair tester for Pushchair Trader website, and I thought it might be useful to share it with you (in a slightly expanded form!). Trends For Kids (TFK) are a relatively new brand to the U.K. and I found it difficult to find information on them when I was looking into buying their side by side double pushchair - the Twinner Twist Duo. So, here you are, these are some of its key features and my initial opinion on it (will be sure to let you know how I get on with it when baby number two eventually makes an appearance and we put it to good use).



What is it?
This pushchair is a side-by-side double travel system suitable for off-road, sports and urban use. The basic pushchair comes with two good sized seat units attached to a lightweight frame and a shopping basket. The Twinner Twist Duo really comes into its own though when you consider its versatility. Extras available include soft and hard carrycots, car seat adapters, raincovers, UV sunshades, footmuffs and many more extras are available as options, the TFK catalogue for 2011 can be found here, the wide array of extras can be found at the back (you have to check out the mamaboard!). The best part is that the Twinner can be both a great a twin buggy with two car seat or two carrycots on at the same time, and a great sibling buggy - with any combination of these. I'm going to be using the pushchair for my 12month old and a newborn, so I have the car seat adapter and the hard carrycot to put on one side and the seat unit will stay on the other side.


What I like about it...

I personally bought this buggy because I found it more manoeuvrable and neater than many of its competitors. I also liked the compact fold for a buggy of this size; it's far smaller than the mountain buggy. I needed something that could go off-road but that I would also be able to use around town. The suspension, combined with the really chunky air tyres and the hand brake mean this is a great off-roader, but the swivel wheels and the short wheel base and width mean it’s easy to manoeuvre through shop aisles. The disc brakes work really well and you can easily amble down even steep hills with a heavy load with just one hand on the brake. The pushchair looks smart, with nice details such as the black wheels and reflective trim (which is really handy for winter nights). I LOVE all the pockets, especially the Velcro ones on either side of the frame which you can fill with your purse and phone and then just Velcro off if you need to go into a cafe where you can't take a pushchair for example. The basket is really spacious although it has a bar splitting it which makes it hard to get single large items in, but there’s still plenty of room either side. The seats are tall and deep, and bearing in mind the need to keep the buggy narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway are plenty wide enough. I also love the recline on this pushchair, its zipped which I thought would be fiddly but as TFK have attached little tags to all the zips they’re quite easy to catch hold of, but the best part is the recline is really flat and you can adjust each child’s footrest individually, even making an almost horizontal bed of about 1m length if you need to - great for proper naps!


What I don’t like about it...
 My main niggles with this buggy are the hoods which provide very little shade to the seat units, especially for a younger child who’s head doesn't reach very far up the seat. The seats are quite reclined even in their most upright position, which I was worried my little one wouldn't be keen on (especially after I have been using the TFK Joggster Twist as a single which sits much more upright. Initially the Twinner did feel a bit like a tank to push, but having tried some other similar pushchairs I realised that for its size it’s far superior, it will just take a bit of getting used to I think. It's a little annoying that the cable from the handbrake runs along the handle bar so you can feel it, but this is a minor thing. When using the car seat on one side it does tend to overhang the seat quite a lot, but I do prefer this to it overhanging the other side and making the buggy wider.



The extras:
I also purchased two footmuffs (we live in very chilly Scotland and footmuffs of some sort are a must) after incorrectly quoting me the price of the Twinner over the phone before we went to try it out the retailer offered me one for free so I thought what the hell, let’s get both (although she didn’t have one for me to see they weren’t extortionately priced for an ‘own brand’ footmuff so I didn’t think they could be too bad...boy oh boy was I surprised when I saw them! You can see what I thought of them here... but in short – they are amazing!). I also got the carrycot which I was very impressed with – the attention to detail is lovely, there are little side pockets, you can collapse it flat, the ventilated hood clicks satisfyingly up and down and it has a shade and fly net that cover the opening. It’s really lovely, and comes with a comfy mattress as standard. It’s easy to slide on and off once you get the idea, and you can keep the adapter bars in place when you fold the buggy which is handy.

The car seat adapters caused a little confusion... but only in a good way. I had a Cybex Aton car seat already, and was surprised to find that TFK list this as one of the car seats they have adapters for (only Mamas and Papas sell the Cybex in the UK so usually only M&P pushchairs cater for them). My retailer was having none of this though (even though I had investigated this thoroughly before hand!) but in the end a quick call to the UK distributor cleared it up. You can get adapters that fit both the Cybex Aton and Maxi Cosi Pebble/Cabriofix and also adapters for Romer and Recaro. There are also adapters for Graco and Peg Perego but I think these are US only. You have to remove the car seat adapter to fold the pushchair – I think hinging the sticky up bits of the car seat adapter itself might have been a good idea as it’s quite an unwieldy piece of metal to be honest.


I’m currently trying to buy the UV sunshades for next summer as I was disappointed by the hoods, the only other thing that initially annoyed me was that raincovers weren’t included, but then when I came to buy them I understood that the amount of different combinations of raincovers people might want make it much better to have the buggy cheaper and pay extra for exactly what you want. So for example I got: A carrycot raincover, a single seat raincover and a double seat raincover. One of the things I like about TFK’s raincovers is the size of the ‘pop hole’, you can get the child in a and out through it without having to take the raincover off and its really handy for our showery British weather as you can open it up and flop it back leaving lots of fresh air to circulate so you don’t end up with a greenhouse effect roasting your child!

 

To conclude...
I would definitely recommend you look into the TFK Twinner Twist Duo if you are after a side by side double pushchair that makes a great travel system and is suitable from birth. TFK as a brand have some amazing innovative products, and are beginning to make inroads into the UK market. I am so thankful I managed to see a Twinner in 'real-life' before I decided on my final purchase because I wasn't expecting to be impressed by it and I really was. I'm sure as I use the pushchair 'in anger' so to speak I will find out more and more things I like and dislike about it, but currently the TFK Twinner is my 'forever' pushchair and I just can't wait for new baby to turn up so I can take it for a proper spin!

P.S. I bought my TFK pushchair off my own bat and have never recieved anything from them and I don't work for TFK either (although I sometimes think I harp on about them enough that they must owe me something ;-) )


2 comments:

  • Pamela said...

    Hi, just wondered where you managed to see this before you bought it? I am looking for a double buggy side by side as I am expecting twins and have been giving this serious consideration but am struggling to find anywhere I can see it, I live in Inverness.

  • Fiona said...

    Hey Pamela, the only place in Scotland is Jan Stweart Prams in Glasgow or Falkirk (you can see all the places that have it here - http://www.mojodistribution.co.uk/where-to-buy/TFK-Trends+for+Kids/). I am passing through Inverness tomorrow though on my way to visit my mum over on the west coast near Gairloch. I could meet you tomorrow or maybe Sunday on our way back again in Inverness, or if you fancied a trip over to the West you could come and see mine if you like? I wont have the carrycot with me as Oscar is big enough for the seat now when we are travelling but you are welcome to give it a push about and have a play with it if you want. Drop me an email if you want - fiona @ mamas little baby loves . co . uk (without the spaces!).

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