The Phil and Teds Explorer is a sleek, easy-to-use, 3-wheeler buggy that’s versatile enough to use from birth to 6 years. New and improved features edge the Explorer ahead of its rivals and make it a joy to use. It’s just a shame it’s so heavy.
Phil and Teds has become the darling of yummy mummies and outdoor lovers the world over. The New Zealand based company, which recently took over fellow Kiwi buggy brand Mountain Buggy, has a slightly wacky, down-with-the-people approach to manufacturing. What results is a range of brilliantly designed products that meet (almost all) the needs of parents.
The Explorer is the latest addition to the Phil and Teds range of inline buggies. This means it can be used as a single buggy or as a double buggy by adding one additional seat behind the other. This new Explorer will eventually replace the existing Phil and Teds Sport inline buggy.
Standard features are 5-point harness, large shopping basket, lockable swivel wheels, pneumatic tyres (that means air-filled), reclining seat and an adjustable handle. But it’s the improvements to features found on other Phil and Teds inline buggies that make the Explorer so impressive.
The Explorer can be used in range of ways: as a buggy for a toddler; with a peanut bassinet (sold separately for £122.95) for your newborn; for your newborn in lie-flat mode or with the additional cocoon (an extra £49.95); as a travel system (compatible with Phil and Teds bebe, bebe HS and Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix); as a double buggy for your newborn and toddler; as a double buggy with your baby in an attached car seat and toddler in the added seat; or as a double buggy for two toddlers. To see how it performs with two onboard, check out our full review of the Phil and Teds Explorer Inline Double.
Minnie, 18 months, looked comfortable in the contoured, vented seat and unlike in other double buggies, the seat was roomy, although she did use the bumper bar as a footrest.
The new one-handed seat- recline (an improvement on existing Phil and Teds systems) gives ‘infinite adjustability between upright and lie-flat positions’ and is easy to adjust with baby on board, making it handy for on-the-move naps.
Criticism of the sunhood on other inlines, particularly the Sport, has resulted in the addition of a flip-out sun visor – previous hoods were too short to be effective. The hood also features side pockets, which are handy for keys, phone and emergency rations.
And the brake has been transformed from a stiff wire-like rod to an on-off pedal.
Even the 5-point harness has been redesign to reduce faff time.
What appeals to me most about the Explorer is its robust nature, which results from good engineering and a steel frame. I like to go off-road and have ruined several pushchairs in the process but the Explorer coped with pretty much anything I threw at it, from camping fields to rocky tracks.
The one-hand fold system really does work and is simple to operate. And what’s more, if you buy this buggy (and you keep your brood at two), you are sorted for life. For a double buggy, you can’t ask for much more. The Explorer is solid and sturdy but slim enough to get through most doors. It cruises around town as well as off road and it feels aerodynamic.
In designing this buggy, Phil and Teds has clearly listened to its audience (a consumer online ‘ideas hothouse’ was used to inform the design) but there are still a few minor niggles. Getting the buggy up a kerb, when there’s just one child in the top seat, requires you to push down hard on the handle to lift the front wheel, which is a real effort.
The biggest drawback for me is the weight of the buggy. The one-hand fold is relatively easy to use, but the Explorer is heavy (12kg) making it hard to lift in and out of a car.
One further consideration is that the Explorer faces forward and can’t be used as a parent-facing buggy. If you’re buying it without an expanding family in mind, you might want to weigh up the pros and cons of having your baby face you.
Families who value innovative, versatile products with true longevity.
New improved features make the Explorer the must-have of the Phil and Teds 3-wheeler inline range. It’s a robust, versatile bit of kit that’s hard to rival both off road and around town. The only real downside it its weight, which may put you off if you spend a lot of time getting in and out of the car.
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