Founded by a father and son team in New Zealand in 1994 Phil & Ted’s has become a favourite pushchair brand among parents with a series of international awards under its belt.
With more than 70 different products in the range the brand is renowned for its practicality – particularly in the double buggy stakes – compared to the likes of the Bugaboo’s Donkey.
But with basic models starting from around £350 Phil & Ted’s prices aren’t as eye-watering as others manufacturers.
Its signature ‘double decker’ tandem design appeals to urbanites faced with negotiating public transport and narrow shop doorways, and the Dot is Phil & Ted’s slimmest yet!
The updated second version of the original Dot, at 59cm wide the slimline design makes it no wider than a standard stroller.
Sent to do battle with other svelte doubles on the market such as the O Baby Zoom, and iCandy Peach 3 Blossom, its biggest rival is probably the Duet – which, funnily enough comes from it’s sister company Mountain Buggy.
‘Adapt and survive’ is Phil & Ted’s motto, which is one way of putting it when you suddenly find yourself in need of a double buggy.
The double-decker style forward-facing Dot is designed to hold two children from birth to five-years-old, with the younger on the bottom and the older on the top.
What’s in the box?
- Seat unit
- Sun mesh
Any additional extras?
- Double kit – £109
- Snug baby carrycot – £139
- Double storm cover – £29
- Double sun cover – £29
- Freerider buggy board – £79
- Maxi Cosi car seat adaptors – £34.95
How is assembling the Dot?
It took me just half an hour to unpack and assemble our Dot, which came in a striking ‘chilli’ colour, aka stylish red and black.
It adapts from a single all terrain stroller to a double stroller for two and comes with straightforward picture instructions and shopping basket, double rain cover and snooze shade included for £508.
Optional extras include a car seat adaptor for a Maxi Cosi car seat (£34.95) – which I really think ought to be included as standard given the £508 price tag.
How is it when out and about?
Mounting curbs is easy to accomplish, and the 10” air-filled wheels really absorb the bumps.
The brake pedal is easy to lock and unlock, and the pushchair really isn’t going to go anywhere when locked, even when on a slope.
But although the front wheel offers both straight and swivel positions, I found the Dot really hard to manoeuvre when the front wheel was locked straight.
The swivel function is definitely needed when you’re loaded down with two little ones and several bags of shopping.
With that said, the adjustable handle is a clever design – with nine different positions it offers multiple height options and can also be folded down and out of the way, which is particularly handy for public transport.
Does it fold one-handed as Phil & Teds claim?
Yes and no.
Of course being in need of a double buggy means you’re often doing things one handed while holding a baby in the other, hence the Dot’s ‘one-handed’ folding feature.
A ‘pull and slide’ design allows the frame to be unlocked using just one hand, however I found a little bit of kicking at the front wheel with one foot is also required if you really want to collapse it with just one hand.
Is it compact when folded?
No, it’s not. According to Phil & Ted’s the frame’s dimensions of just 76 x 26 x 59 cms when folded mean the pushchair can ‘fit in the smallest of car boots’.
However it only fits into the back of our Peugeot 208 sideways, and with the parcel shelf taken out.
Tell us about the Dot seat units.
With a seat height of 65cms the Dot boasts one of the tallest seats on the market, although the main seat is rather snug for my three-year-old, and I would say there’s only limited growing room left. I’ll be surprised if she fits into it when she’s five.
Conversely, the seat for the baby travelling underneath is really wide and generous and with an adjustable seat suitable from birth the baby can travel lying down or more upright.
I love the fact the Dot can be easily adapted between either a single or double pushchair by simply removing the baby seat at the bottom, as you don’t necessarily have both children with you all the time.
Is it lightweight?
Yes, it is, with a sturdy frame and comfy, well-padded seats for two the Dot is surprisingly lightweight.
Even with both children on board it’s easier to push than both my Quinny Buzz and Quinny Zapp, which only takes one child.
What do you think of the accessories?
Given the durability of the frame and seats I was disappointed with the sun canopy for the main seat – it’s flimsy and doesn’t sit flush with the frame, which means there are gaps all around the back of the hood which allows cold air and wind in.
However, it does have a flip-out sun visor, which is a real bonus as we live on the sea front and often walk in bright sunshine.
I was even more disappointed with the ‘canopy’ for the baby seat – this has no frame at all and is simply a piece of material, which fits around the seat.
Given the engineering of the rest of the Dot I really think the canopies for both the main seat and the baby seat ought to be better quality.
The fact the baby seat canopy doesn’t fold forward or back due to the absence of a frame also seems a massive oversight to me.
What about the basket?
Given you’ve got two children on board you’d think there’d be little room for shopping bags, but there’s ample space for two full supermarket carrier bags in the basket below the baby seat. It’s worth bearing in mind though that if you’re taking the rain cover with you that will take up some space in the shopping basket.
Made For Mums verdict: There’s no doubt this pushchair has some great features, including its slimline design, excellent manoeuvrability and washable bumper bar. However the hood on the main seat doesn’t fit very well, leaving gaps in which the wind can blow through, and if your elder child is three or older the cost probably doesn’t justify the amount of time you will actually be able to use it for owing to the narrow main seat.
Although this is Phil & Ted’s latest Dot offering, it’s hard to see how it differs from earlier models and there’s definitely room for some of the features, such as the sun canopy, to be tweaked and made better.