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Established in 1994 by father and son duo Phil and Ted, this New Zealand headquartered brand has become a leader on the international buggy scene, notching up a series of international awards.
Having recently welcomed our first child into the world – a little boy called Raphael – its company slogan ‘adapt and survive’ certainly resonated with my husband and I.
Just about surviving our first five weeks as parents, we decided to check out the new version of the Phil & Ted’s Dash – a three-wheel buggy, which can be adapted to fit a newborn or toddler or both baby and toddler.
It’s hailed as being super light (11.5kg as a single and 13.3kg with the double kit), easy to push and ideal for ‘urban adventures’ thanks to the aeromaxx puncture proof wheels.
Retailing at £499 (plus £129 extra if you want the double kit), the Dash is less expensive than other top of the range convertible offerings such as iCandy’s Peach system.
More single-to-double pushchairs:
Obviously it’ll be a while before we’ll need the baby and toddler function, so instead we took Raphael out around town, shopping, and to the park using the new Snug Carrycot for Dash (£139 extra).
What’s the difference between the old Phil&Ted’s Dash and the new Phil&Ted’s Dash buggy?
The original version was first launched back 2008, to a raft of rave reviews, a few of which we issued. Having always been a single-to-double pushchair, the Dash was the first Phil&Ted’s buggy that introduced a brake on the handlebar.
But this new version is now made from aluminium (the old one was made of steel) and two kilos lighter, 1cm shorter in length and a massive 10cm taller. In fact the handlebar extends all the way up to 131cm, making it ideal for taller parents.
At 5ft 7 I found the height okay, but would imagine someone shorter might find it too high. (On a side note, if you are on the petite side, it’s worth checking out the very compact MB Mini travel system, made by Phil&Ted’s sister company Mountain Buggy).
The new Dash has been sold on being Phil & Teds’ slimmest and most compact single-to-double buggy, how compact is it?
Considering it can be used as a double buggy, the Dash does feel compact, but if you are only going to be using it as a single buggy then it is on the larger side in terms of weight and height.
Although the Dash is slightly wider (64cm) than Phil & Ted’s popular Dot model (59cm), it is 200 grams lighter, and isn’t a struggle to lift.
What do you think of the fold system?
There are a few steps you need to take in order to fold the Dash and it isn’t initially as easy as some of the other buggies I’ve tried where you can literally just fold down at the click of a button.
That said, we quickly got used to it. Unfolding is much quicker and is done in a pull of the handle.
Is it compact when folded?
Considering it’s a tandem frame, the buggy is fairly compact for storing.
I like the fact that it’s free standing once it’s been folded so we can store it in the hallway and not worry about it toppling over.
How does it ride on different surfaces?
Since Raphael is still so tiny, our main outings usually involve dashing to the supermarket to buy nappies. Pushing the Dash along on a flat surface is a dream and I can say that it rides equally well around town as it does in the park.
Prior to acquiring the Dash I had been cursing our neighbourhood’s cobbled streets, but now I can cruise along any surface without Raphael having to brace himself for a bumpy ride.
Plus the aeromaxx wheels are excellent quality, making for a cushioned ride and and eliminating the risk of a flat tyre. While the 10 inch front wheel can be locked which is great when riding on bumpier terrains and the swivel position is really helpful around town.
Saying that, it becomes a bit of a struggle when hills are involved. Going up hills are much harder work, because of the weight. And my main gripe when pushing is that it can feel a bit like the Dash is going to run away when going down hills.
Luckily there’s a harness attached to the handle that you can keep around your wrist for extra peace of mind. So no runaway buggies here!
Can it handle kerbs?
It certainly can. I could tackle even the most daunting looking kerbs with ease while Raphael slept without so much as a stir!
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
It’s nice having Raphael facing us when we push him. He seems to love it in there – whether awake or asleep.
He has even taken a few naps in the carrycot at home despite me thinking it didn’t look particularly cosy. I guess he knows better!
Once built, the carrycot feels less sturdy than others I’ve tested. And although the blue marl material hood looks attractive, with the changeable Autumn weather I did feel concerned when it suddenly turned windy that Raphael wasn’t protected enough.
On the plus side the Dash hood features a handy pocket and headphone slot, while the roomy underneath basket can hold a whopping 10kg weight – a shopaholic’s dream.
Tell us about the brakes
The Dash features a hand operated flick-on parking brake. It’s great to be able to just look down and brake with one hand (there’s a handy red/green light system) rather than fiddling about with your feet between the rear wheels.
The brakes have an excellent response and are definitely a standout feature for me.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes, we had no problems getting it in to the boot of our Ford Focus.
Who would the product be most useful for?
Obviously the tandem feature makes it great for families with two children who are looking for something light and compact.
As a single buggy, I think it’s more suitable for toddlers than newborns just because I’m not completely sold on the carrycot.
Because it’s so light and easy to manoeuvre, yet still sturdy enough to adapt to different terrains, it seems to me best suited to people living in towns that still enjoy country life from time to time.
Is the Phil&Ted’s Dash value for money?
The Dash seems reasonably priced considering how sturdy it is – the aluminium frame is solid and looks like it would last a long time.
On the other hand, the carrycot fabric feels too lightweight for colder climes and some may not consider it the best quality.
What do you think of the style of the buggy?
I personally really love the chic colours that are available (red. black, grey marl and blue marl) and received a compliment from a passerby on how stylish Raphael looked in his buggy – the blue co-ordinated perfectly with his outfit!
There’s also a gorgeous range of coloured seat liners (available for £30 each in purple, pink and jade) which I’d love to try once we stop using the carrycot.
Was it easy to put the Dash together?
As sleep-deprived new parents, it’s safe to say my husband and I probably weren’t at our most efficient and it took us over an hour to get the Dash and carrycot assembled.
The instructions for the Dash frame were clear so it wasn’t this which took the time, but we found the diagrams explaining the carrycot assembly hard to follow and would have preferred having an explanatory text to guide us.
What’s in the box?
- aluminium frame
- 3 x 12″ aeromaxx puncture free wheels
- seat fabric with integrated back screen
- 5 point harness, with one touch release
- sun hood with deep zip pocket, headphone slot offering UPF 50+ protection
- bumper bar
- 10kg capacity parcel tray
Snug Carrycot includes:
- snug carrycot
- carrycot sunhood
- removable top cover
- aerated mattress
- under-mattress winter insert for extra protection in cooler climates
What extra accessories can you buy?
The main extra of interest is the Dash double kit (£129), which allows parents to adapt the buggy to carry either two toddlers or a newborn and a toddler.
There’s an array of other nifty accessories available at varying costs ranging from the buggy cup holder (£10) and the buggy food tray (£10) to the Dash Lazyted (£99) which converts the Dash double kit into a baby bouncer.
It’s worth noting that storm covers (pretty essential for residents of the British isles) aren’t included with either the Dash or the carrycot and will cost an extra £20 each.
One of the main attributes of the 2015 Dash is its flexibility. Firstly there’s the fact that it can be used for either one or two children without being too cumbersome.
Secondly, it seems to work just as well spinning around town as it does in the park, offering urban dwellers the chance to enjoy the great outdoors too.
The modern colour options put it at the top of the game in terms of style, and the ease at which it can be manoeuvred really is impressive.
Previously the Dash has been criticised for being heavy going uphill, and I would say that this latest version still feels hefty once it’s not on the flat.
Finally, as much as Raphael seems very happy in it, I feel that the Snug Carrycot would suit people living in warmer climes – it just seems too flimsy for confronting the cold and windy UK weather.