Pioneering New Zealand buggy-makers Phil&Teds strike another hit with their award-winning stroller, the Navigator. Sticking with their original and celebrated USP, the pushchair is a three-wheeler which can be turned into a double-seater to adapt to an expanding family.
Where the Navigator has been updated is its weight – the incredibly light-weight frame, even with two on board, means it’s super easy to push.
Design is a major point of focus for all Phil&Teds products, and the Navigator is no exception – it looks very stylish, and with mix and match colour options, you can accessorise it exactly to your taste!
As well as looking great, the Navigator is extremely functional and can be adapted several times over according to you and your brood’s evolving needs.
The seat can be forward or rear-facing and the frame is travel seat compatible. However, these different options require the purchase of extra parts, like the carrycot, and with accessories like a raincover and footmuff having to be bought separately as well, the pushchair is likely to cost most parents a god deal more than the RRP of £449.
You can buy the Navigator at John Lewis.
While the Navigator boasts several great features, looks sleek, and is very light, it has a number of drawbacks – do these weak points steer what could be a fantastic pushchair off course?
What we love
The best thing about the Navigator is its look – the design is super stylish, certainly making it look like an expensive pram. I got many an admiring glance from fellow Mums!
There’s a good choice of bright colours which really makes it stand out from other pushchairs, and I love the fact that you can mix and match the hood, seat liner and carrycot, meaning you can really make it your own.
The handlebar has multiple positions and is easy to adjust, which is a real plus for parents of varying heights.
Phil&Teds evidently place their emphasis on adaptability, and the Navigator is incredibly versatile, accounting for all sorts of different situations and individuals.
Another real positive is that the Navigator is really quite dinky, very light and easy to steer – making life for us baby chauffeurs a lot less sweaty.
This was particularly noticeable when trying to navigate my way down a busy high street, and I found I could quite easily nip between shoppers without feeling like I was about to mow anyone down! I found myself repeatedly muttering to myself ‘it’s so light’ as I walked down the street. All-round suspension also means that the buggy is suitable to go off road – it effortlessly glided over the cracked pavement that lines my street.
The Navigator is no doubt a luxury ride as a single buggy. The cosy-looking main seat has plenty of room for something so compact, and there’s lots of storage space underneath even when the seat is completely reclined (and baby inside has the luxury of lying completely flat!).
When adapting to a tandem buggy, the extra seat slots in with ease and gives lots of room for the little one who pulls the short straw and gets to ride below. And it’s still so light. This is a buggy for two which doesn’t feel like you’re driving a tank!
The Navigator’s also really easy to fold up. Just a few buttons to click and it’s ready to squirrel away.
What to watch out for
The instructions aren’t very easy to follow – they are diagram only and without any accompanying text I found myself unsure of whether I was doing the right thing.
However, there is a video on Phil & Ted’s website showing how to put the Navigator up and it’s a lot clearer. If you can, it might be best to skip the book and go straight to the video.
I found that there are three other problems. Firstly, the adjustable reclining main seat is a bit too much like hard work for me. There are various straps to pull and things to unclamp, which you obviously then have to do in reverse to get the seat upright again.
I found the process annoying enough when I was setting the buggy up, let alone when I had one of the boys in there. The double seat reclines at the pull of a little handle, which is much easier.
My second issue is that when the main seat reclines, there is no roof covering the baby’s head. A strip of clear plastic comes included, but you have to fiddle round to attach it with toggles and Velcro. It makes you wonder, couldn’t it have been built in?
The third and final niggle is that the baby in the double seat is very low, and quite exposed on either side, which put me in paranoid Mum mode, and made me jumpy whenever there were dogs around.
Who is the Phil&Teds Navigator best for?
Busy, urban parents who want a compact, lightweight pushchair with lots of different seating options.
The Navigator is compact, looks great and is very light to push. t offers all the features you’d look for from a good travel system, however the instructions are hard to follow, and the seats could do with a minor redesign.