Product Type: Phil & Teds prams, pushchairs and strollers
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An expensive way to break your back?
Phil & Teds Sport
Member Name: kiwiii85
Phil & Teds Sport
Advantages: Sturdy, secure, single or double mode
Disadvantages: Heavy, hard to bump up kerbs, terrible brakes
This review will mainly focus on the buggy as a single - read my other review on the doubles kit if you're interested in at as a double too.
When I fell pregnant with my second daughter we'd decided not to bother with a double buggy as my little girl would be turning 3 and had walked everywhere for the last year but we soon changed our mind when we realised it was going to be winter and it could mean some very cold waits at bus stops! The P&T was advertised as everything we would need - offroad capability, single width for buses, one handle so easy to push and have a hand free for something else, easily turned into a single, space for shopping and it still fits in the car boot. Did it live up to it though and was it really worth that expense?
~~ The P&T ~~
The buggy itself can be purchased as a single or with the doubles kit to turn it into a double. This was a definite advantage for us as we wouldn't be using it as a double for a long period of time so it saved purchasing another buggy (although I did still have my Jane Nurse Dakar as a spare). It has air filled tyres which are great for offroading and makes the buggy far easier to push than the standard plastic wheels you get (or in practice it should anyway!) It has the main seat at the front with a bumper bar and a little footrest with a sun canopy over the top. The 5 point harness was something we liked the idea of too as it holds your baby in properly with no chance of escape! The seat also reclines to a complete lie flat position so one seat is suitable from birth and you can purchase a carry cot and car seat that fits onto it so all in all it sounds pretty perfect.
~~ The Reality ~~
Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a complete buggyholic and I'm really picky about certain bits of buggies and why they don't do what they're supposed to but I'd only ever heard good things about the P&T so thought it was worth a shot. It's not a cheap buggy so really you need to trial it out first but when you're in the North of Scotland you find it increasingly hard to find a shop that stocks what you're looking for it's not always possible (maybe this is why I've bought and sold so many?). Anyway, we purchased our P&T second hand for £250 which included the buggy, doubles kit, cosy toes, double storm raincover and the carry cot. Very expensive for a second hand buggy but worth it? Hm.
The airfilled tyres were our first downfall with this one. I've owned other tyres of the same kind and we've never had problems with them, bar a puncture or two, but I didn't like the P&T tyres one little bit. The slightest bit of weight on the buggy seemed to make them sink and it would become almost impossible to push without putting effort into it. There was nothing wrong with the tyres either - pumped up and good as new. Every new mum knows that sometimes a baby needs soothed by a walk but not when it's going you knacker you out just by walking round a corner!
The weight of the buggy was a big problem too although we did know it would be heavier when we purchased it. Think about cars - you're told that you won't be pushing the little ford ka but would instead be pushing a ford focus, manageable right? This felt like we'd turned up to be told we were pushing a lorry, especially with the two kids inside. Steering was quite difficult given the weight and if you live somewhere with a lot of kerbs like me then expect your back to be a tad sore after pushing the buggy up them all.
The lie flat position so that it can be used from birth was the best part about the buggy, especially as you can buy the cocoon for it (see my other reviews) but even this has flaws. The seat lays very low down when the seat is fully reclined I had a tendency to knock my knees off of the back of the cocoon which isn't what you want with a newborn in it. Baby in harness mode isn't a problem though so it's just for that short time that you have the cocoon you may suffer similar issues. The recline on the seat was also rather tricky to master with several zips and clips to unhook and faff around with.
My last niggle? The brakes!! The brakes are a thin bar across the bottom of the buggy that you should be able to press down to stop and lift up to start. The theory is fine but in reality the brakes were incredibly stiff and I tended not to use them in the end as it was more trouble than it was worth.
~~ It wasn't all bad ~~
The width of the buggy for an offroader was great and we rarely had any problems getting through doors or even onto buses (single or double mode!) The sun canopy was also better than others as it was slightly bigger and kept a bit more sun out of the buggy than your average buggy would. This is a problem though if you have taller children as it tends to hit them on the top of the head and becomes unuseable.
The buggy is very sturdy and there is absolutely no chance of it tipping with one or two children in it so that extra weight comes in handy really. There's nothing worse than a buggy tipping with your children inside.
The basket at the bottom of the buggy is huge in single mode so shopaholics will love it! When our car was written off I managed to fit a weeks shopping underneath without having to carry any and that's for a family of 4 - I don't know any other buggy that has managed that!
The recline on the seat (after you get past all the hooks and zips and things) sat in good positions for an awake or sleeping baby/toddler so I never had any worries about mine falling asleep in it.
It also fitted into our focus without a problem with a surprisingly compact fold for an offroader.
~~ My final verdict ~~
The P&T just wasn't for us in the end with too many flaws and things we didn't get on with. I thought we'd love this one as much as our other off roaders but it isn't the case. The single buggy was alright but certainly not £250 worth and that's second hand. For everything we had, you're looking at £400+ new which is extortionate for a buggy with so many flaws.
P&T have since released the Explorer model that is supposed to address some of these problems so it may be worth looking into if you're really after a P&T.
Summary: An expensive buggy with far too many flaws.