Age suitability: Six months until 15kg (approx. 3 years), can be used with infant car seat (extra adaptors needed)
Type of buggy: compact pushchair
Fold: One-handed-ish, compact fold
Travel system compatible: Yes, with addition of adaptors
Total cost: £149
Phil and Teds is a well established brand that has made a name for itself with its out-n-about buggies – sturdy, user-friendly and well designed that can tackle numerous terrains. It is also popular for its tandem pushchairs that have been used by parents-of-two far and wide.
The Go therefore seems a bit of a departure for Phil and Teds. Available in Lemon, Apple and Cherry colours, it is clearly aimed at the ever popular compact stroller market, in which brands compete to release the cleverest fold and most compact footprint and dimensions, combined with the most comfort for little one. It’s a big challenge to deliver that perfect design.
The lucrative market was shaken up with the launch of the Babyzen Yoyo, which was the first lightweight buggy that promised compliance with cabin baggage dimensions. Not everyone can afford its £369 price tag, however. If you’re after a stroller to whip out on day-trips or the school run, or just want to make traveling (by train, bus, car or plane) just that bit easier, you might want to look for a cheaper option rather than spend £350 plus.
So the race is on to offer a user-friendly, and maybe equally eye-catching, alternative at a lower price. The Go clearly aims to do that. With an affordable RRP of £149, it is more akin to the Recaro Easylife (RRP of £189) or the Joie Pact (£150) in price.
However, having test-driven the Go, it has become clear where the lower price tag has meant a certain compromise…
My first impressions of the Go were positive. It looked sleek and as compact as hoped, with the matt metal chassis and the wheels looking sturdy. However, when I unpacked it, the materials didn’t feel quite as good quality as I’m used to. Some seemed a bit flimsy (on the bumper bar cover, for example, and the hood) or rough (the yellow seat pad). I was also pretty surprised by how badly the yellow padded liner fit the seat. It is very stiff and sticks out oddly, and I was tempted to use the buggy without.
How does the Go compare to other compact buggies you’ve used?
The Go is very similar in some ways to a number of compact buggies I have tried, including the Yoyo, the UPPAbaby Minu and Baby Jogger City Tour. All of them seem to have very shallow seats and quite a recline in the ‘upright’ position. So I invariably end up strapping in my little one in just around the waist, as she likes to sit upright.
I must say, from the buggies I have tried, the Go seems the most uncertain on its wheels. Tiny kerbs often stop it in its tracks, and I really need to keep an eye out for bumps in the roads. I hate taking it up bigger kerbs, as the frame has so much bounce/give, that it seems to take a real knack to tip it effectively. I’m hoping it’s just a case of getting used to it, but I have abandoned it for the school run (steep hills with uneven pavement) in favour of the UPPAbaby Minu, which is much more firm and sturdy.
What age is the Phil and Teds Go suitable for?
Even though the Go features a near-flat seat position, we recommend a sturdy carrycot for newborns. However, the Go can be used with the Alpha infant car sea as a travel system, which is very handy for those short on space or budget. The Go is tested to 15kg, so approximately 3 years of age. However, even though it promises a full-sized seat, my 2-year-old already seems to be stretching the seat’s limit, and his weight probably makes the going more laboured than with a baby.
How does the Go fold? Is it really one-handed?
Not really. To fold the Go;
Make sure the hood is extended
You then have to push the button in the handlebar
Fold it forward towards the hood
Make sure it clicks in place properly, otherwise the hood and handle will flop back open when you try to carry the folded buggy away.
Then you locate a ‘ribbon’ handle in the seat (under the stiff seat liner, if you’re using it) and give it a tug (similar idea to some of the Baby Jogger folds).
The buggy collapses on itself in its free-standing fold. I have learnt to check that the safety catch engages properly, at it doesn’t do so all the time.
So theoretically the fold is one-handed, although if the safety catch doesn’t engage, you need to sort that out with both hands. Also, it happened a couple of times that the handle and hood flop out again when I lift the buggy, even though I have made sure to hear a click when folding. It’s not that big a deal, but a bit irritating.
The unfold is very easy, as you just unclip the catch and swing the buggy out again.
How compact is the Phil and Teds when folded and unfolded?
The Go folds down to a very compact 54x44x19cm, which fits well within many cabin luggage dimension stipulations (British Airways’ are 56x45x25, for example), so Phil and Teds has tackled the compact challenge well.
Combined with the fact that the Go is freestanding when folded, it is super easy to store. You can tuck it in various spaces around the house, which is fantastic The fact that it’s so light also means that moving it about is no problem at all.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes, the Go fits very easily in the boot of our car, and would fit in many smaller a boot too.
How light is the Phil and Teds Go?
The Go weighs a lightweight 5kg, so it is lovely and lightweight – it beats the Yoyo by more than 1kg, for example.
How does Phil and Teds Go fare on public transport?
The Go fits very well on different transport, tucking nicely into spaces on buses, and its fold means it’s great for trains too. However, due to its weirdly bending chassis (more of which later), I hate having to tip it up steps – especially when there is a hugely daunting gap on train platforms etc. I haven’t quite come to trust its frame, although with more use, I might.
How easy is it to push?
The Go is easy to push in some ways, as it’s so lightweight, so it’s easy to get up hills (if there are no bumps), for example, or steer one-handed on smooth surfaces. However, it does struggle with uneven ground and small dips.
There doesn’t seem that much suspension, so you sometimes get stuck with quite a jolt – more so than with other compacts I have tried. My husband wasn’t quite as critical as me – he couldn’t get over the fact how much cheaper it was than other compacts we have tried, so he was happy to forgive a bit of give in the chassis.
How does the Go ride on different terrain?
I don’t like pushing the Go on uneven pavements. A few surprise moments when I got stuck have meant that I am quite apprehensive when the ground becomes too uneven. I definitely take things more gently when out and about with the Go.
What do you think of the wheels?
The wheels on first impression seemed nice and sturdy and as if they could cope with a number of different challenges. However, they definitely don’t provide that much cushioning or bounce to provide a superior, smooth handling experience.
Is the frame strong, durable?
I was really taken aback by how much give there is in the Go’s frame. It feels like you can bend the handlebar – not the metal itself, but where the joints are. It’s a really weird sensation and takes some getting used to – and doesn’t instil you with that much faith in its durability.
However, the bottom bit of the chassis does feel smooth and strong and well designed, and I’d like to think the brand knows what it’s doing in terms of durability, as the Go’s siblings are all so long-lasting.
What do you think of the handlebar?
The handlebar is covered in standard handlebar foam, which is relatively comfortable. The handlebar is not super high, but at 103cm it is fine for me (5’7’’) to use.
What do you think of the size of the seat unit?
The Go promises a “comfortable full size sling seat” in a compact frame of 44cm. Not sure what ‘sling seat’ means (Fabric hanging between the chassis, I guess), but I wouldn’t describe it as full size. It seemed extremely shallow, for example. I measured the seat’s depth at only 13cm before it starts to dip towards the legs.
The top of the seat does seem wider to provide more room for your little one’s arms etc, but that doesn’t help much when your toddler struggles not to slide down it. Also, the insert padding doesn’t fit the seat very well – and is a bit deceptive, as it makes the seat bottom look bigger than it is. All a bit odd and annoying.
How many recline positions are there?
The Go features a gradual recline so you can choose your angle to nearly flat, which is great for nap time.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
My little one was ok in this seat, but not particularly comfortable. In fact, a few times he woke a bit earlier from his nap than usual – possibly a coincidence, but I think it was because I really had to strap him in tightly to prevent him sliding off the seat… Also, you need to release two straps to recline the seat back, and they can be quite stiff. So a few times I ended up reclining the back a bit wonkily.
How is interacting with your little one?
Interacting is always quite easy with a compact buggy, but this one doesn’t have a peekaboo window to keep an eye on your little one. I mainly use these for checking on sleeping babies rather than interacting though.
What do you think of the hood?
The hood is quite basic – no extending sunshade or the like – and I don’t like the feel of the fabric either. You can roll up the back of it to provide a bit of ventilation though, which is handy.
Tell us about the brakes.
The brake is prominent, situated in the back axle. It’s very easy to engage and feels nice and secure.
How easily can you access the basket and is it big enough?
The basket is a good size and I can get my changing bag in easily. Access is a bit easier from the front, but you can also access it from the back, which is essential when getting around town.
Is it car seat adaptable?
Yes, with the brand’s Alpha infant car seat.
What’s in the box?
Assembled chassis, seat and hood
Coloured seat pad
Any additional extras that you can to buy?
Go all weather cover set (£29)
Travel bag (£79)
Alpha Baby Car Seat (£129)
Travel system belt for Go (£9)
Is it easy/hard to build the product?
It is very easy to build this product, although I did need to check the instructions about the two toggles at the back of the hood – couldn’t figure out what they were for. To hold the back of the hood out of the way when the seat is not reclined, it turns out.
What is useful to know before you purchase the item?
This stroller is maybe a bit too lightweight to use as a main buggy.
Who would the product be most useful for?
This is a great, lightweight buggy, best for those looking for a secondary buggy when a full-sized, heavy system is just too cumbersome – in other words, a quick nip about town, trip to the shops on public transport or meet with friends.
Even though Phil and Teds isn’t keen to market the Go as a ‘travel buggy’ per se, it would be great to take along on your city travels, as it would make transit that bit easier. I wouldn’t recommend the Go as a primary buggy as it feels just a little light and jiggly on its feet for that – and does compromise a bit on comfort for little one. The Go’s super price, however, makes this a must-consider in any situation.
What is the price? Is this good value for money?
With an RRP of £149, the Go is so much cheaper than some of the other ultra-compact strollers out there. It delivers on its compact and lightweight promise, with the added bonus of an OK-sized basket and good accessories – and you can use it with an infant car seat. So I think it’s pretty good value for money, although we marked it down as the raincover isn’t included – a good raincover is essential for city life in the UK!
The Go is a great little stroller for getting around town, on public transport, nipping in and out of your car, and dropping into shops or cafés. It has a great fold, which makes it easy to store and take along. However, I wouldn’t recommend it as an every-day, main buggy, as I fear it might not be sturdy enough for this.
How we tested Phil and Teds Go
Anna is a mother of two and tested the Go with her two-year-old. As they are out and about most of the time, due to her active 4-year-old firstborn, her little one relies on his buggy to nap at lunchtime. She used it out and about in the city and on weekend breaks.
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