Phil & Teds Metro Baby and Child Carrier
Phil & Teds
Metro Baby and Child Carrier
Phil & Teds is the New Zealand brand that launched in 1996 with a specialised in-line double buggy, and has since branched out to all areas of the market. Its Traveller travel cot is considered by many to be the best on the market, so I expected good design features from the Metro. Generally, it did not disappoint.
Is the child safe and comfy?
The Metro has plenty of adjustment for weight distribution on the wearer, although didn’t support from the hips that well. Like most backpack carriers, the height of the child is adjustable so it can ‘grow’ with him. Despite there being five straps to clip my son Arthur in, there did seem to be a lot of movement – he could lean forward and touch my cheek with his, which was lovely, but also dangled quite far back when I leaned back. But then, this isn’t necessarily a problem. The Metro’s packaging claims it’s for the ‘urban wilds’, which suggests it’s more designed for shopping trips than climbing holidays.
The shoulder ‘cradle’ (the main strap that goes over his head) is made of a reassuringly soft, felt-like material rather than the usual technical mesh that’s more common with carriers. However, although we never took it out in the rain (accessories cost extra), I’d imagine this strap soaking up a fair bit of water, so you’d probably have to fork out for the rain shield rather than clothing your baby in waterproofs. It was also rather tight to get over my 18-month-old’s 98-percentile head, so if you have a larger baby, it might not be ideal.
It’s cool though, isn’t it?
Well, apparently. The Metro is sold on being ‘the only child carrier with any fashion sense’, which is rather like having a ‘stylish’ backpack: it’s not really the point. However, if you like primary colours and a streamlined design (eg, zips hidden along the seams), the Metro will appeal to you.
Available to buy at Pramworld, Kiddicare, Kiddies Kingdom and other retailers.
Is it worth its weight in storage?
At £149, it’s one of the most expensive in its class – ie, a lightweight, basic model with no detachable rucksack – but it does have 25 litres of storage and can hold up to 20kg of child. Of course, unless you’re doing army training it’s hard to think of a situation when you’d want to test this. There are side pockets, but I was not able to reach them while carrying Arthur, so to access your wallet, keys or phone, you would have to take it off and rummage in the under-seat storage.
It’s reasonable and mid-price when compared to other back carriers like the Thule Sapling Elite (£259.99), and the LittleLife Adventure carrier (£99) and the LittleLife Ranger carrier (£69.99).
How does it compare to other carriers?
The competition for lightweight carriers is fierce, and in many ways the Metro is a great product. But, in my opinion, it doesn’t quite live up to its main rival, the Littlelife Adventure carrier, which has similar features (kick stand, good storage, similar – but much nicer – graphics, also with accessories at extra cost) but weighs less (1.9kg compared to 2.5kg), feels more supported (it sits better on your hips rather than shoulders), has easy-to-reach pockets while you’re on the go, and has three, rather than five, clips to fiddle with before you can set off. But Phil & Teds is not afraid to respond to constructive criticism, so watch this space as it may consider making some improvements.
This basic carrier from Phil & Teds is comfortable to use and has some really nice touches, but its main rival is currently cheaper and better designed.
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