Known for their sleek and snazzy designs, phil&teds really put fun into pushchairs. With over 18 years' research and development experience, and a long list of awards to their name, you can be sure of a comfortable ride for you and your child. The verve is the newest 4-wheel pushchair to join the phil&teds family, and it doesn't disappoint.
Priding themselves on being fun and quirky, with a reputation for reliability and practicality, phil&teds strive to not only meet, but to exceed safety standards in every country they sell their products, so that's one less worry for us parents. Sporting a stylish, funky design, luxury fabrics and the adaptability to match performance, the verve is set to be a crowd pleaser. Come and see how it got on it in our phil&teds verve review…What's in the Box:
• Phil&Teds verve chassis
• Sun hood
• Mud guards
• Bumper bar
The phil&teds verve is RRP £549, the double kit is RRP £129
• Weight: 13kg
• Folded Size (cm): 86 x 65 x 31
• Open Size (cm): 133 x 65 x 103
• Suitability: Birth - 5 years
• Single storm cover £20
• Double storm cover £25
• Single sun cover £25
• Double sun cover £30
• Carry cot £139
• Bottle holder £20
• Universal travel bag £79
Cherry red, Cobalt blue, Black
This review is for the phil&teds verve in single mode. Please see our phil&teds verve double review to see how the verve performs when configured for two children.
I am pleased to say that the phil&teds verve comes neatly snuggled into one box.
There is a little bit of assembly required, but you don't need any tools to put it all together, and I didn't need to look at the instructions once, which for me, is definitely a good thing.
Before you start, you first need to unfold the chassis. To do this you lift up the grooved black plastic flaps, there is one on either side of the frame. Now adjust the handle to make it a bit easier. To do this push in the two circular buttons on the inside of the handle, and push upward until the handle clicks in place. Now remove the safety catch, which is on the right hand side of the frame (if the harness is pointing towards the ceiling). Once done, lift up the handle, the front will start to push out. Once the frame is in aligned, just push the black clips on either side back down again.
Now if you look in the shopping basket you will find the mud guards and front wheels. To fit, line the mud guard up with the hole on the back axle, and place the wheel over it. Then push one of the two pins through until it clicks into place. Now just pop the two front wheels on - these simply push up into place. If you need to remove them you push the pin in and they pop off.
Finally, it's the hood. This has very clever clips on each side which simply hold on to the frame. Easy peasy! You're all done and ready to push.
The frame is brushed aluminium and looks great. We tested the beautiful cherry colour, and the striking colours against the chic silver frame look fab. Everything is very well made and feels strong and sturdy.
With air filled 12" tyres at the rear, and two 7" EVA front wheels with suspension on the front, you have excellent maneuverability. The front wheels are lockable for uneven terrain - it's just a question of lifting up the black clip on the front of each wheel. They're unlocked by pushing them back down again.
Pushing the verve is a dream, and the helpful 'kerb pop' design feature makes navigating around town a breeze.
Braking on the verve is a little different and is really simple. The brake is located in the centre of the handle, so no worries if you are wearing flip flops. You press the little red button to apply the brake, and press the larger black button just above it, to take it off again. Operating the brake is light and easy – anyone will be able to do it. All of the braking cables are cleverly hidden, so all you see is the gorgeous frame. The braking has been improved since earlier models too, as it used to be easy to accidentally put the brake on. That's not a problem anymore, as the button is recessed now. Despite trying I wasn't able to accidentally activate it.
There are six handle heights, so you can be sure to get the perfect pushing position for mum or dad. I'm quite short, so when I first put the verve together I was worried about the height, as it seems really tall, but the choice of handle positions meant that wasn't a problem. The handle itself is hard foam, which feels strong enough to deal with the perils of daily life without getting bumps, or nicks. As expected the verve also comes with a safety strap to put your hand through when walking to ensure the pushchair doesn't run away from you.
I was impressed at the size of the shopping basket, which is 50cm x 44cm x 31cm at its biggest point. So as you can imagine it is more than adequate to take to the supermarket, as it would easily take a couple of shopping bags or a really big changing bag. Access is easy as the back is open, making it simple to get things in and out. The floor of the basket is supported, too, which helps protect against rips - so you don't have to worry about harder items being in there.
The phil&teds verve seat dominates the design. It is huge! phil&teds have made a change on the 2014 model - the seat now has a taller back. It is a whopping 61cm. This makes the verve tall enough for an average five year old child. My three year old still had plenty of room, and he is pretty tall. The width is also a good 35cm with a depth of 28cm, so is more than adequate for a toddler and a cuddly toy.
Thick contoured Lycra fabric on the additional seat pad makes me very jealous of my children, as it feels lovely and I would like to sit on it myself. It's all wipeable, too, for any little spills.
Strapping baby in is simple and safe. The verve has an adjustable 5-point harness. It is easy to clip your child into the harness as it is a standard buckle style clasp. However, when you want to release your child, you need to push in the two red buttons on the front, before pushing the black strap buckles to open the clasp. The added security means it isn't possible to do this one handed, which can make it tricky in some situations. There are two helpful little fabric hooks on either side of the frame to pop the harness into to hold it open, though.
If you need to alter the height of the shoulder straps this is simple. You don't have to remove everything to rethread it, as a buckle separates the shoulder strap. Therefore you only need to adjust a small section before clipping it all back together again.
When it comes to the recline, the distance the seat will go back is excellent. There are four different seat heights, including a full lie-flat position – which, as we all know, is the best way for a newborn to travel. Though I would purchase a phil&teds carrycot if I were using this for a newborn for the ease of taking them in and out and so they had a more snug cocoon. Due to the increase in height of the seat you'll be able to keep a baby flat for longer, which is great news. The recline is more than adequate for a nice afternoon nap.
For me there is quite a downside to the seat. Once the seat is reclined, it is not very well shielded from the elements. There is some protection created by the side shields on the seat, however there is nothing at the back of the seat (at the head area) meaning wind can blow straight through the pushchair from front to back. It will be pretty draughty in there on a typical blustery UK day. The up side is that on hot days, the verve seat is very well ventilated. If you buy the rain cover (and you will need to!), then you receive a second cover that fills the gap behind the seat. It works well, but really should be included in the price or designed into the pushchair itself as you will need this extra panel more than you will need the raincover.
Reclining and putting the seat back up is fiddly. To drop the seat back a little, you need only undo the buckle at the back of the seat. To recline further, you loosen the straps at either side. To recline fully you must fully undo two zips on the inside of the seat. Putting the seat back up is then a mix of zips, straps and a buckle. Honestly, I think this will become quite an unwelcome hassle over time.
The phil&teds verve comes with a bumper bar which is attached easily into the holes on the frame and is released using the black clips on either side. Unfortunately, it isn't gate opening, but due to the space behind it getting a child in and out with it in place wasn't impossible.
A follow the sun canopy helps to protect your little one from sun or wind and is a really nice size. The hood height in relation to the seat can be altered by sliding the clips up and down the frame. This is great if you have a taller child, and was perfect for my three year old. There is also a handy pop out mesh sun visor for extra protection.
When you are on the go and need to alter the position of the hood, it's a nice quiet action meaning that it won't bother a sleeping baby - phew!
The verve fold is very compact. When folded it is only 86cm x 65cm x 31cm which is less than half the unfolded size. Impressively it is also self standing without trailing fabrics all over the floor.
When you want to fold the verve it is a good idea to rotate the handle to its highest position. Then clip open the two plastic flaps on each side of the frame. Now lift the metal safety catch (which is next to the left hand flap). The pushchair is now unlocked. Push the handle down to the floor, the front of the pushchair will fold inwards and essentially the pushchair has folded in half. Now the auto-lock will be on so it doesn't flap around. The pushchair will now stand freely. You can lock the flaps down again if you wish. Although I found them really handy for lifting the pushchair if you aren't using the bumper bar.
When you want to use the verve again, 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 in a straight line. You will then be able to close the flaps on both sides and the pushchair is raring to go again.
I don't know whether it's the quirky phil&teds attitude, the innovative design or the overall quality, but I can't help but love the phil&teds verve, even though it has one or two faults.
Quality and style prevail with phil&teds and you can not only see, but also feel the quality oozing out of the verve. The ride is smooth, the fabrics are luxurious and the added safety measures all make for a fantastic pushchair.
I was surprised by how compact the fold is as I didn't expect that, nor that it would be free standing. The verve would happily stand in a hallway or car boot until it's needed. If you did need to lay it down, though, it is nice and flat, making it much easier for putting your shopping in the car, too. The mud guards are a nice little addition as the large wheels are more than adequate for a country park or muddy football field.
The verve is though by no means perfect. The recline is fiddly, the seat lacks wind protection unless you are using the rear cover panel accessory and the buckle is awkward. I would also like a viewing panel in the hood and I'm disappointed that a raincover (and seat panel) aren't included in the price. These are features you will use frequently in the UK, so should really be included. Thing is, the verve has a party piece - it will turn into a double with the addition of the doubles kit! See our phil&teds Verve double review.
Overall, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. The verve is a good looking pushchair with some great features and has the ability to last the distance as it converts into a double. It's a shame a couple of key things let it down. That said, I really loved it and would be happy to push the verve around every day. So what are you waiting for? You really need to check one out!
We give the phil&teds Verve Single 4 out of 5 stars.
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