Stroller brand review: Phil & Teds

Phil & Ted’s Sport stroller with unique second seat that you can use facing forward (as shown) or facing Mom.

Stroller brand review: Phil & Teds. Phil & Ted’s brand mojo is a tri-wheel stroller with inflated tires that can morph from a single stroller to a double with a toddler seat accessory. The company calls these “inline” strollers. The pitch is the ability to use the stroller from birth (with optional car seat adapter or bassinet) through toddlerhood and then as a double with a second child.

Founded in New Zealand, Phil & Teds exudes a Kiwi vibe: outdoorsy and unpretentious. FYI: Phil & Teds snapped up competitor and fellow New Zealand stroller line Mountain Buggy out of bankruptcy a few years ago and now runs that line as a separate brand.

The models. Phil & Teds flagship stroller is the Sport (pictured,

that includes the doubles kit on the back of the stroller), which features a large canopy, one-hand fold, adjustable handle and is car seat compatible. One new tweak: an upgraded auto stop function with both a lock and wrist strap, which is unique. Watch this video to see how it works:

The stroller has a large number of accessories, from storm/sun covers, to a travel bag, a Double Kit with rear facing capability (

) and more. You can also use the doubles kit (the extra toddler seat; pictured) and an infant car seat at the same time.

This second-child seat (included with some Sport strollers sold online; an extra accessory for others; for kids six months and up) can attach to the FRONT or BACK of the stroller. The rear seat configuration turns off some parents (safety hint: the child in the back seat has to be removed first to prevent tipping). And if you put a larger toddler in the back seat, the access to the stroller’s storage basket is limited.

Feedback on the Sport has been positive—parents tell us the stroller’s all-terrain 12” air-filled wheels are perfect for both the mall and hiking trails, plus the wide seat accommodates children for many years.

Stroller brand review: Phil & Teds

Phil & Ted’s Dot stroller with second seat

If the Sport looks too big for your tastes, Phil & Ted’s has a compact stroller—the Dot (

, 26 lbs.). The Dot and the Sport share the same basic features and accessories. Even though the Dot is more compact than the Sport (by a little over an inch in width), the seat size is the same. The Dot’s width is a slim 23″ and now includes an upgraded mesh seat insert. In the past year, the Dot got an upgraded mesh seat insert and taller front seat.

The Voyager (

) is an upgraded version of the the Sport that folds with the second seat attached. The seats can also be used as free standing bassinets. This stroller also has a reversible seat that converts to a lay flat bed, adjustable handle, adjustable footrest and foam tires.

Finally, Phil & Ted’s has decided to bring back the Dash (

), a once discontinued model. It’s been spiffed up with new fabrics and includes a full recline. It takes a second seat ( extra) and now folds with that second seat attached.

Our view. These strollers are perfect for the outdoors—the air-filled tires are great for hikes, gravel paths or rough sidewalks.

Readers give Phil & Teds an enthusiastic thumbs up for a smooth ride and second-seat functionality. The height adjustable handle also wins raves. We like the little touches such as the flip-flop friendly brake pedal and new, bigger canopy. Cons: a few parents complain of tire blowouts (requiring the purchase of extra tubes). This is the trade-off of air-filled tires: they are best for gravel trails or rough sidewalks, but require more care (filling up the tires with air, fixing flats, etc.).

And why no included cup holder? For 500 bucks, the least Phil & Teds could do is include a place to hold a water bottle.

Critics wish there was wheel suspension on the Sport for a smoother ride. And one trade-off of the inline design is the rather long distance from the front to back of this stroller, making it a tight fit in smaller elevators. Some of the complaints about Phil & Teds come from parents who tried to use their inline strollers for jogging—even when you lock the front wheel into place, these strollers make a poor choice for runners. The weight and bulk of loading a Phil & Teds with two kids also makes jogging or running difficult. We suggest a fixed wheel jogger like the BOB Ironman for running.

The sour note in the Phil & Teds line is the Smart Luxe stroller—we’ve seen quite a few online reports of poor quality with this model, with critics saying it broke after just a few months of use. Avoid this one.

In the stroller wars, Phi & Teds has been somewhat eclipsed in recent years by Baby Jogger and BOB—thanks to the former’s quick fold and the latter’s more affordable prices. A BOB Revolution Double runs about $100 less than a Phil & Ted’s Sport with second seat accessory, but is wider with its side-by-side seat configuration.

Bottom line: if you need to transport two kids and like the idea of an in-line, all-terrain stroller, then Phil & Teds is a good bet. Baby Bargains Resale Rank: Excellent. Rating: A- Stroller brand review: Phil & Teds