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The Dash, one of the latest models released by Phil & Teds, is a robust and flexible three-wheeler buggy that will get you out and about – although like a Dalek you might want to avoid stairs.
The Phil & Teds Dash buggy is designed to last for years, with a fully-reclining seat suitable from birth right through to a hefty 5-year old, plus the potential to be converted to an inline double buggy and take a second child if your family grows.
This adaptability does come at a price however, as for each stage you’ll need to add a new bit of kit, starting as a newborn baby with either the £51.95 “cocoon” carrycot that looks like a sports bag, or the more traditional £120 “peanut” bassinet.
You can use the Dash with an assortment of different car seats – provided you buy the appropriate adaptor. Phil & Teds also produce a myriad of accessories ranging from rain covers, sun shades, changing bags and lambskin liners to cup holders and saddle bags.
Launched earlier in 2009, the Dash is pitched between the ever-popular Phil & Teds Sport, and the aluminium styling of the Phil & Teds Vibe.
Some of the most helpful differences of the Dash compared to the Sport are the brake, which on the Dash is operated from the handlebar rather than fishing around with your foot between the wheels, and the simplified clips used to fasten the safety harness and recline the main seat. The removable seat pad also makes the Dash more comfy for your offspring.
You can choose between three different colour combinations, whether black and charcoal, red or a black graffiti-patterned version.
What we love
Once you get going, the Phil & Teds Dash glides along with hardly any effort. The large air-filled tyres give a smooth ride that copes easily with uneven surfaces and low kerbs, and the single handlebar allows you to manoeuvre it one-handed when necessary. The handlebar also switches easily between two different positions, to suit both tall and small parents.
The back axle helpfully curves upwards in the middle, so when you’re using it as a normal pushchair you can stride out without kicking the back of the buggy.
Meanwhile the swivelling front wheel means it will turn around in relatively small spaces.
For such a sizeable looking buggy, Phil & Teds Dash is still narrow enough to get through your front door, around shops and onto buses and trains. The luggage compartment underneath the seat is roomy and easy to access, and there’s a handy pocket on the back of the seat ideal for a few essentials like your purse, keys and a spare nappy.
When using it with my friend’s 4-month-old, Sophia, the cocoon carrycot was very cosy and super light at just 0.8kg, while the alternative 3kg peanut bassinet provided a more rigid and spacious bed.
My 2-year-old daughter Isabel was happy to climb into the main seat and play with all the straps, zips, poppers and padding, and she particularly liked sitting up and holding the bar across the front when we got outside.
Once you’ve got the knack of pressing the relevant buttons on the handlebar, applying the brake and getting the buggy to fold are pretty easy. Pop the wheels off, and the Dash collapses to a compact shape that won’t take up the whole of your car boot. You can also buy an “up and away” bag, to help protect the buggy if you’re going on a flight.
Choosing a Phil & Teds for your first child also means that you can hopefully avoid buying a whole new buggy if you have another baby.
What to look out for
The Phil & Teds Dash is a substantial bit of kit, weighing 10.5kg before you add any accessories, let alone a child. It may float along on a flat surface, but I really have to push down hard on the handlebar to get it onto the back wheels, which is vital when going up or down stairs, or on and off public transport.
The other substantial element is the price tag, which quickly mounts up once you start adding essential extras like a raincover and a pump for the tyres.
If you use the Phil & Teds Dash with the seat fully reclined for a newborn, with or without a cocoon or peanut carrycot, then it sticks out much closer to your legs. This makes the luggage compartment underneath more difficult to access and forces you to take smaller steps to avoid bumping into the back of the buggy.
The other drawback when using a Phil & Teds buggy from birth is that mums online report that their babies grew too big for the cocoon well before the advertised 6 months. Four-month-old Sophia was already finding it a bit of a squish, and a taller baby would have been out of it even sooner. The cocoon design is best described as cosy, which may be perfect for a winter baby but could be a bit too warm for a summer one.
The peanut carrycot is longer and more spacious, but you pay more than twice as much and again it’s unlikely to be big enough to last the promised 9 months.
Allow time and patience when getting the Phil & Teds Dash out of its box, as the instruction booklet leaves much to be desired. My husband and I took it in turns to flick back and forth between the grainy black and white pictures, written instructions and diagram with numbered parts.
Finally, beware of punctures given the air-filled tyres.
Who is the Phil & Teds Dash best for?
Forward-thinking parents who prefer to buy a single robust buggy that will adapt if a second child comes along.
The Dash is a welcome addition to the Phil & Teds range, tweaked to make it easier to use while maintaining the smooth ride and flexible, rugged design. As an investment to cope with a growing family it makes sense, but both the buggy itself and the price tag can be pretty hefty once you add all the extras.
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|Brand||Phil & Teds|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 5 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:105.5cm W:62cm L:116cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:76.2cm W:50.8cm L:22.8cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Phil & Teds bebe, Phil & Teds bebe HS, Phil & Teds bebe-v, Chicco Keyfit, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio, Graco Snugride, Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix, Maxi-Cosi Mico|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|