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Phil & Teds Vibe Double Review

Review Overview

Phil & Teds Vibe Double Review
Expert Reviewer
143 Reviews
Reviewed On: 10 Sep 2014
Helen Taylor
Expert Reviewer
Helen's Verdict:

New Zealand brand phil&teds are known for being deliberately quirky with a strong focus on safety and innovation. As the creators of multi award winning products - including the original inline stroller, a travel cot lighter than a baby, and the 'auto-stop brake' - they are constantly on the lookout for ways to make parents' lives easier. The vibe is no exception and is packed full of features. 

Review Summary

Summary

There are so many positives to it they do outweigh the negatives. So, if you want a functional adaptable double pushchair with an amazing fold that is achievable one handed, you would struggle to improve on the vibe.  There is a fabulous four-wheeler called the verve, which is just as great but with an extra wheel. You need to go and check one out. What are you waiting for?

What’s good
  • Multiple seating configurations
  • Slim and easy to push
What’s not so good
  • Raincover extra
  • Main seat recline
  • Shopping basket not unusable in some configurations

Review Content

Phil & Teds Vibe Double Review
Chassis

Amazing versatility, good looks and super easy to push. There are 23 different seating arrangements, so the vibe will grow with your family. Start with a carrycot, and end with a Freerider, there are so many options. We put it to the test - so come and see how it did in our phil&teds vibe double review... 

It arrives in just two boxes. The larger box contains the single phil&teds vibe, while the smaller box contains the very versatile second seat.

Three 12" air filled tyres offer a nice smooth ride for you and your little ones. Little fingers are protected from getting trapped thanks to the guards on the rear wheels. This is a great improvement on previous models which provides additional peace of mind. The front wheel is lockable, too, so you can get across that field if you need to!

Pushing is a delight. The vibe is designed to feel lightweight when on the go, and it does. You'll be pleased to hear that kerbs won't cause you a headache with two children on board either as the phil&teds ‘kerb pop' technology means you are ready for everything the urban jungle can throw at you. 

PhilandTeds_Vibe_Double_Chassis

Braking is stress-free. Just press the red button, which you'll find in the centre of the handle (yes you heard that right) to apply the brake; the larger black button above it takes them off again. It's so great for flip-flop worshippers like me - you don't have to worry about ruining that pedicure.

Made from dense high quality foam, the handle shouldn't nick or dent like some do. And because it's adjustable to six different heights, you should be able to find a position to suit Mum, Dad and even the grandparents very easily. When you need to change the position, just push the black circular buttons on the inside of the handle in, and move the handle to the position you want. It will click into place.

You can also shop-til-you-drop with the shopping huge basket, which measures a whopping 50cm x 44cm x 31cm. With the rear seat in its lower position, access is restricted and the basket isn't as big. Your little ones' legs and feet take up the space. Having said that, it's still plenty large enough for a bit of shopping or a changing bag.

PhilandTeds_Vibe_Double_Kerb_Pop
Seats

When the vibe arrives it already has one seat attached, so you can start using it for one child straight away. However, one of the best features of the vibe is just how easy it is to change it from a single to a double and how many configuration options you then have. 

Reclining the huge main seat (61cm x 35cm x 28cm) is simple, but takes a while. There are four different recline positions you can use. They include a fully lie-flat position - the best way for a newborn to travel. I think I'd buy a phil&teds carrycot if I were using this for a newborn, as it provides a snug cocoon and makes getting them in and out much easier, as you can just lift the carrycot as necessary. It's a shame that the fabric panel from the rear of the seat is an extra that comes with the rain and sun cover, as there's quite a gap at the head area where the wind could blow through, which could be unpleasant in cold weather.

To recline the seat a little, undo the buckle behind the seat. For more recline you must loosen the straps which are at either side of the seat. Finally, there are two zips on the inside of the seat which when unzipped provide a full lay flat position. The end result is good but getting there is hard work.

Both seats have a plush contoured Lycra fabric, which feels nice and comfortable for your little one to travel on.

PhilandTeds_Vibe_Double_Single_Seat

There are 23 different travelling options to choose from with the vibe double kit. I'll tell you about the ones I think you are most likely to use or we could be here forever! All of the possible configurations are nicely outlined on the phil&ted website and there in the instruction manual, so you can try them out for yourself.

At 35cm wide, 20cm deep and 40cm high the second seat is a good size and is nice and lightweight so changing positions is easy. It's also not so big that storage would be a problem, as it folds nicely flat.

With a newborn in the main seat fully reclined, you can attach the second seat to the front of the frame (in the same holes that the bumper bar uses). Simply line up the clips on the arms of the seat with the holes in the frame and push it gently but firmly into position. You can then pop your older child on the seat on the front. To remove the seat simply push the two black clips on either side upwards and lift the seat off the frame.

PhilandTeds_Vibe_Double_with_kids

If you have two older children you can place the second seat behind the main seat. There are holes in the frame down near the shopping basket that the seat slots into. Push it into position in the same way as when you placed it on the front. There are plastic holders to keep it in place. To remove it, push the catches on the seat up and lift the seat. In this position, the rear seat has three recline positions and can be reclined by lifting the black clip which is on the upper back of the second seat. Push it into position before releasing. You'll lose some of the basket space with this mode and it isn't easily accessible, because your little one's feet use the basket space, but there is still some storage at the back of the basket.

BN_VIBE_Cobalt_parent_facing_seat_lifestyle_(2)_x500

A big benefit with the second seat is that you can use it to create a single parent-facing pushchair. With the main seat fully reclined, all you need to do is slot it into the two fabric loops hidden in the head area of the main seat. Then attach the strap on the back of the seat into the two small loops located where the pushchair breaks when it folds (usually used to hold the straps open).

It is quick to do, simple and clever. Both seats have an adjustable 5-point harness, which can be adjusted at both the shoulder and waist. It's easy to clip the child in as it is a standard buckle style clip. However, phil&teds have added an extra safety feature to the harness to prevent little escapees. To release your child you need to push .

in the two red buttons on the front, at the same time as pressing in the clips to opening the buckle. It isn't easy with a wiggling little one in your arms, but as long as you remember to leave them open when you've taken them out it's not a disaster.    

The vibe comes with a bumper bar (not gate opening), which is attached, easily into the holes on the frame by pushing it into position. This only works if the additional seat is being used in the basket area main seat, as it uses the same connectors on the frame.

A follow-the-sun hood on the main seat helps protect your little one from the sun or wind. The hood height can be altered by pushing the clips up and down the frame, too. It's a nice, quiet action and there is also a handy pop out mesh sun visor for extra protection. 

A sun mesh comes included with the additional seat. This adds UV and bug protection for your little one in the back. I would have preferred to see a double mesh, though, to protect both children.

Behind the additional seat are two handy covers to put the additional seat arms into.

You can attach one or two car seats to the chassis by buying adapters and, when your children get older and want to explore, you can buy a Freerider scooter that attaches to the frame - a very cool alternative to a pushchair board.

Fold

Impressively, when it's folded the phil&teds vibe is only 86cm x 65cm x 31cm - which is less than half the unfolded size. Remarkably, it's also self-standing, even with the doubles kit fitted.

When you want to fold the vibe, you must adjust the handle up as high as it will go. You then need to push the rear seat forwards as far as it will go. Just push down on the safety catch on the left of the seat, where it attaches to the frame. Then using the reclining clip push the seat forwards. It pushes up against the front seat and locks into position. Now, open the two plastic flaps on the frame which are located in the middle on both sides. Lift the metal safety catch (which is just above the left black flap). The pushchair is now unlocked. Now push the handle down to the floor, the front of the pushchair will fold inwards and essentially the pushchair has folded in half. The auto-lock will engage, and the pushchair will now stand freely. You can lock the flaps down again if you wish.

When you want to unfold the vibe, unclip the flaps on either side and release the auto-lock. Now grab hold of the handle and pull it upwards until the frame is fully open. You will then be able to close the flaps on both sides and pull the rear seat back into position or remove it to whatever position you like.

Conclusion

I really like the phil&teds vibe. The great quality, the stylish design and the many ways you can use it mean you are spoiled for choice. I can just picture my older children fighting for the rear seat!

Even with two children occupying the seats, the vibe is really easy to push - thanks to the hard work of the designers it feels really light. Everything is made for a well-balanced and easy ride from the shape of the chassis to the sling style.

My favourite feature is the braking system, as it is so simple and easy you really can't do it wrong.

When folded with the second seat located in the rear position, it's still as small as when it's a single, although there is an additional step to fold the rear seat into position for the fold. The fold can only be achieved when the seat is located at the back, so if you have it on the front and want to fold it, you will need to remove it or swap it to the back. However this is quick and easy to do. I also found that I was able to fold the pushchair with one hand. It just takes a few steps but it is do-able with a baby in your arms. Fantastic!

There are a few criticisms. I would like a viewing panel in the hood and I'm disappointed that both the raincover and rear seat fabric panel are not included in the price. The shopping basket is also compromised if you have the seat on the back, and is near impossible to access with a child in place - but there are accessories you can buy to add extra storage if you need it.

There are so many positives to it they do outweigh the negatives. So, if you want a functional adaptable double pushchair with an amazing fold that is achievable one handed, you would struggle to improve on the vibe.  There is a fabulous four-wheeler called the verve, which is just as great but with an extra wheel. You need to go and check one out. What are you waiting for?

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