We review the new updated 2013 version of the phil&teds Navigator which has burst onto the scene jam packed with updates ready to help you find your way through the jungle of life!
We already got our hands on the legacy phil&teds Navigator way back in August 2012 when it was very first released. We were wowed by its advances over previous phil&teds models and the introduction of the face to face seat which gave you parent facing flexibility. After putting it under close scrutiny we gave it a show stopping 4.5 stars out of 5. Now for 2013 phil&teds have released an updated version of the the phil&teds Navigator and I'm pleased to say when it comes to updates phil&teds have gone for quality over quantity.
If you read our original review of the phil&teds Navigator you'll find even more nitty gritty details of this nippy little in-line tandem pushchair, here we've focused on the new updates with just a quick whizz through the basics that have stayed the same.
What's in the box?
of the phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop is £449
Suitability: From Birth
Black, Midnight Blue, Cherry, Graphite.
New ‘special' colours set to be released: Tangerine, Silver, Golden Kiwi, Sky Blue
Phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop Chassis
I can't help but jump right in with the biggest and best update to the phil&teds Navigator here; the brake. Phil&teds have totally revolutionised and revamped the entire braking system on the Navigator and made it something extra special. The pushchair now features a very nifty and exceptionally well designed auto-stop braking system. Essentially, this clever little addition means if you let go of the handlebar the pushchair will automatically come to an immediate controlled stop.
Initially a bit sceptical of this potentially ‘gimmicky' idea, when I came to use it I immediately saw the benefits and it's so well designed I'm convinced you'll love it.
We've all heard stories of the stroller rolling off the station platform, or heard on the news of the wind blowing an unattended pushchair into a harbour, with the phil&teds Navigator V2 the pushchair will always be braked when you're not holding the handle in auto-stop mode. As soon as you let go, to grab a toddler, pluck a tin of beans from the supermarket shelf or to pick up a fallen coat on the school run, the pushchair will stop, just grab the handle again and off you go.
The design of the auto-brake system itself has been well thought out; it's easy to use, without much pressure you can easily hold the bar down, and the bar itself sinks into the carved out groove on the handle bar, so you don't even feel it when it's depressed, it's surprisingly un-noticeable. Further to this, the phil&teds Navigator's auto-lock function can easily be turned off if you want, a neat little latch can swivel round and grab hold of the bar and keep it pressed into the handle bar, and even better; to release this latch you just tug on the familiar phil&teds wrist strap that dangles down for safety, giving you an instant stop and even more peace of mind. The handlebar itself is fully adjustable, and the auto-stop works well in any of the positions; another major feat of engineering for phil&teds.
The other great advancement in the handlebar department is the rubber grip handle as opposed to the traditional highly vulnerable foam handle, so you no longer need to panic when folding it in the gravel car park - dragging the handlebar along the floor won't be an end of the world scenario for this handlebar.
The rest of the frame is as you'd expect from a phil&teds, sleek and chic with no faffy extras, everything serves a purpose and anything that doesn't – like a traditional footbrake – is out. The shopping basket is large in single mode, but of course with a second rear seat added, almost nonexistent. The smart 30cm air filled wheels feature the instantly recognisable white wall tyres, and the front swivel wheel can be locked into a fixed position for serious off-roading. The bumper bar is still not adjustable, and doesn't open or close easily, but there's plenty of room to pop your little one in behind it.
The raincover will be familiar, draped over the entire pushchair covering the main seat and the second seat when in the rear position, it's attached by some sturdy Velcro, it comes in a nifty little bag to keep it tidy and for you to attach to the pushchair when there's someone's feet filling the shopping basket.phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop Seat
Here we see another big update over the original version of the phil&teds Navigator; the main seat has been completely re-designed and re-jigged to make it more spacious, more comfortable and at long last - the recline is much more practical. In size terms, the seat back height has been significantly lengthened, giving you a whopping 50mm extra backrest height here on top of an already generously sized seat. The soft padded liner that sits within the seat itself has also been tweaked to stop it slipping and to provide better support to your child's head no matter how tall they are. The intelligent adjustment of the seat design has resulted in a deeper more comfortable seat for larger bottoms, although for wider shoulders you still might find space a little bit tight towards the top. Overall the main seat is now 38% larger and 28% taller than leading competitors... that's a lot of extra bang for your buck.
For the updated phil&teds Navigator a whole new combination of zips and sliding straps have been developed which together give you an easier to use, although slightly less flexible recline system. Clips have been included at the top of the seat so you can get a really good upright position for your big bold and nosey toddler, once undone the seat can recline to a semi-recumbent position, ideal for a quick nap. The pièce de résistance, now you also get two full length zips on either side on the frame which can be undone to drop the seat back right the way down into a completely flat and carrycot like position slung deep below the frame. The ‘foot' end of the carrycot (the seat base) closes off the bottom of the seat and creates a much more secure and snug environment for a newborn, far advanced over previous phil&teds models.
You still get that great harness adjustment system we found in the previous model, with a ‘tail free' design and a great range of size adjustment options to suit a huge range of tots.
As if all this wasn't enough, phil&teds haven't stopped there... they've only gone and given you a parent facing option using the second seat! With some clever jiggery pokery, you can now use your 2013 phil&teds Navigator with the second seat secured inside the fully reclined main seat facing towards you. This is a very exciting development; it really tips the scales when you're looking for a pushchair to see you through all your child pushing years, in the UK market parent facing option is turning from a luxury to a must have, and it's great to see phil&teds at least trying to accommodate and listen to their customers needs. It's not an ‘ideal' parent facing option, and it has a few quirks when you come to use it, and takes a bit of getting used to, but it is a massive improvement over previous versions where this just wasn't possible unless you purchased the face-to-face seat.
The phil&teds Navigator v2 is also available in a new range of colours, including a few ‘special' ones, to really spice it up a bit.
The main seat can take a maximum load of 20kgs, and the rear seat up to 15kg, giving you some serious scope to carry older toddlers around in here, combined with the smooth running wheels and nippy manoeuvrability this is definitely one to consider if you want to be using it for a while.
phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop Second Seat
The second seat has seen a little upgrade too, with a plusher non-slip liner, it also seems easier to add and remove from the main frame (although this does result in it feeling a little jiggly). The hood has been removed (it wasn't a fantastic addition anyway so it won't be too sadly missed), which gives you great access to the one handed recline mechanism. You now get a shade net which can be attached to the entire rear portion of the pushchair instead, it's a little on the claustrophobic side, and perhaps a bit of a pain to carry around with you, but you do get a much more practical result when you need it – keeping sun off a little ones face no matter what. You get the same fully adjustable harness and thick shaped liner as the main seat.
phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop Fold
No real change here, other than the fact your handle bar will last much better for much longer being covered in rubber rather than foam, and you need to release the brake by clipping the auto-stop handle onto the handle bar before you start.
With the second seat removed, you can slide a button and squeeze a handle under the front of the seat edge with one hand, whilst holding onto the frame near the handle bar, this causes the pushchair to fold in half with the front wheel and handlebar going down towards the ground and the front seat edge coming up. A little jiggling is required to swivel the front wheel to an angle suitable for the flattest fold, it's not tiny when folded but should fit in the boot of most family sized cars.
phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop Carrycots and Car Seats
The new 2013 phil&teds Navigator has seen a new update here too, it will now be able to take two group 0/0+ infant car seats. In single mode you can use the Snug carrycot in the upper position, and of course you still have the option of buying the face-to-face seat for your baby when they're still quite small.
phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop Conclusion
The advancements made in this model over the previous version are exceptional. phil&teds have really pushed the boat out with a whole host of really meaningful updates. The auto-stop is epic, not only is it a great idea, it's been designed really well and, most importantly, works exceptionally well. The seat is improved, the newborn options are improved, all the updates have worked really well for phil&teds here, I can find little to fault in this tandem, and it's going to be a serious contender for anyone looking for a practical sibling option that can grow with your family.
We give the phil&teds Navigator with Auto Stop
5 out of 5 stars.
Height to handle bar: 70 - 107cm (six rotational positions)Rear wheel diameter: 30cm
Front Wheel diameter: 30cm
Pushchair Width: 60cm
Main seat depth: 23cm
Main seat Width (front edge) 25cm
Main back rest height: 63cm
Main height to hood: 74cm
Second seat depth: 22cm
Second seat width (front edge) 27cm
Back seat back rest height: 48cm
Back seat total leg length (from back of seat to front of shopping basket): 42cm