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A major thought throughout my pregnancy of my second son was whether or not to get rid of my very much loved Bugaboo Cameleon. My boys were going to be quite close together there is only nineteen months between them and we couldn't decide whether a buggy board would do the job or a double pushchair was the only option. My eldest son did walk quite a bit but on shopping trips he would often get in the pushchair for an afternoon snooze. It was eventually decided the double pushchair was a must. The question was which one as I wasn't keen on double pushchairs they looked really bulky and difficult to get round shops. We did have experience of the Phil and Ted Sport when we had previously looked after our friend's children but they seemed to be some major annoying points to it. We do have a big local pram shop that stocked quite a few double pushchairs so I have to admit spending a few afternoons there!
We eventually decided on The Phil and Ted Dash with doubles kit. After a lot of comparing (the shop stocked the sport, dash and vibe) we came to the conclusion the dash was an updated version of the sport and seemed to be a better finished product. We didn't choose the vibe as it looked bulky and more difficult to store as space is limited at our house. The Phil and Ted Dash can be used as a single pushchair or converted into a double with the optional doubles kit. I have to admit to not really seeing it as a single and nearly always as a double. This seems to be the case with most Phil and Ted's when you see them out and about. My fiancé and I often laugh when we are out shopping in town and see people with slightly older children (with one of them walking) instead of removing the second seat they use it as an extended shopping bag holder and we often find ourselves doing this too!
Now as I have mentioned the Dash can be used as a single pushchair. It is suitable from birth to about four years. It is a three wheeler pushchair which at times I can find a little annoying but the majority of the time works well. The main seat is padded with a dual tone waterproof fabric. It has a seat liner which is easy to remove and washable. This is there to give your child extra comfort. It is fitted with a five point safety harness. On the hood of the pushchair is a peek a boo flap so you can have a quick peek at your little one. We find ourselves using this to keep our youngest amused. There is a pulley system on the back of the seat which allows it too recline to give a nice sitting position for your child. On the inside of the chair is a zip either side which when has been unzipped allows the chair to lay flat for a newborn to lay in it. You can buy a cocoon which slides in and attaches to the seat laid flat via some toggles. We did buy this for our youngest son as we wanted him to be nice and snug. We also found it handy when he was asleep you could easily remove the cocoon and leave him asleep in it. The pulley system is one improvement on the Sport version as it instead has some rather annoying clips you undo to make it recline. On a recent trip out with my brother in law I came across the problem these cause. My nephew is two and half and had fallen asleep so he was reclined when he started to wake a little the brother in law struggled to push my nephew up and fasten the clips. To me it seemed like a lot of hard work compared to the pulley system on the Dash.
The handle on the Dash is the main place for everything. Phil and Ted claim 'it is an intelligent handle with everything at your finger tips'. The brake is two red buttons on either inside of the handle. Pushing both these buttons in at the same time allows the handle to move. Right down engages the brake, up one click gives you a normal handle height and up another click leaves the handle slightly higher. Although even when the handle is positioned at its highest it still isn't high enough for my six foot three fiancé! We have found the brake control on the handle useful and easier than it been a foot brake near the shopping basket which would cause problems with the second seat on the back. The only problem we have had with the brake control being there was when we originally looked at the pram the sales assistant in the shop had to refer to the manual to find out how it worked. It gave my fiancé and me a chuckle.
The folding of the dash is very simple with an easy trigger fold. There are two white clips to release and fold. Putting the pushchair back up is as easy as down. The pushchair folded up isn't the smallest but it does its best and we think is the best for a double pushchair. We have a Volvo V50 so is quite small for an estate but we find the dash fits in our boot with ease and enough room for the usually coats and extras we may need on a trip out plus the shopping bags on the way back! It does also fold down when the extra chair is positioned on top but it does of cause make it slightly bulky. If you are pushed for space all three wheels can be removed and the bumper bar too. I do find it quite heavy to lift in the car being quite small at five foot three but manage it with little trouble. The Bugaboo we had before was ultra light so I guess any pram after that was going to feel heavier.
I wouldn't have chosen this pushchair/pram if I had just being using it as a single for me it doesn't look cosy enough and I'm not the biggest fan of three wheelers. But I needed a double and with the second chair on top my newborn looked shielded from the elements and rather cosy underneath.
As a double I would highly recommend the Phil and Ted Dash. It isn't for twins but for small children with a small age gap. When you have a newborn the main seat is unzipped and lay flat and the second seat is positioned on top. It is basically a slide and click system that attaches the seat to the pushchair and is easy and quick to remove. It also comes with a five point safety harness and is cushioned. It doesn't have a sun hood on but can be bought extra. My eldest son was nineteen months to about just over two years when he sat in this and looked fairly comfortable. Once your baby is able to sit up aided the main seat goes up and the second seat is positioned on the back. We currently use our Dash like this as my eldest son mainly walks but does get tired from time to time and will hop into the back for a ride. He is three and a half now and is a little bit big to sit comfortably in the back seat but it rests his legs for a short time.
The doubles kit does cost you extra with the second seat you need to buy and the double rain cover. The second seat will cost you around £70 extra. As we bought ours at an independent pram shop with the double kit and extras we did get a discount. The doubles rain cover is a little tricky to get on the first few times you use it but it does give a little. Ours also came with a very handy single see through rectangle piece which can be attached when the main seat is flat for the newborn. It attaches at the back by some toggles and keeps the elements off your baby without having to put on the whole rain cover.
The downside to using the Dash as a double is the basket underneath has limited use. When the second seat is on the back your child's feet sit in the basket not giving you much room. You can buy some panniers (another extra) to attach to the side of the pushchair. But for us these seem to cause a bit of a problem they make the pushchair a bit wide to fit round the shop. The whole reason we bought the in-line Phil and Ted was because a lot of double pushchairs are a struggle to get round places. I can see the panniers would be useful if you're going on a long county walk and taking a pack lunch.
As I mentioned we decided to spend the extra pennies and get the Dash rather than the Sport version. For us the dash seems to be finished to a better standard than the Dash and gives your children that little bit more comfort. The extra chair looks better to me with the bar at the top being fully covered and it did feel more padded. It can be slightly reclined with a zip either side you undo. The straps look more secure and padded near the shoulder and crotch area. As well as the extra chair Phil and Ted have also changed the foot plate on the main chair it is plastic on the Dash rather than material on the Sport. This stops your child in the main chair pushing down on the front wheel. Another feature that has changed is the easy to use brake on the handle rather than the foot brake that can be a little difficult to use with the second chair. For my fiancé and I the Phil and Ted seemed to have rectified the niggles we had with the Sport with this Dash version.
The Dash is only available in two colours the black/charcoal and red but this didn't cause us any problems the colour was not an issue. There are many deals available if you are after the Dash with the doubles kit included. Kiddicare.com currently does it for £359 so it is worth looking around. The Phil and Ted dash does have many extras you can buy for it. I do find you have to be carefully to not go mad on extras with prams. We did buy the doubles chair, foot muff and cocoon for ours.
I would highly recommend the Phil and Ted Dash as a great double pushchair. It has certainly risen to our needs and has caused very few problems for us. I will be honest and admit I do still miss my Bugaboo but it was never practical with two children so close in age. Both my son's have seemed very comfortable in this pushchair and it has been well worth the money. When we are out and about and see other double pushchairs struggling to get round shops I am pleased I chose this three wheeler in-line pushchair.
I don't think I will ever be won over on three wheelers so I will adward this pushchair a high four stars.