Key features of the Phil&Ted’s Sport:
Age suitability: Birth until 20kg (approx. 4 years)
Type of buggy: All-terrain multifunctional stroller/trailer
Fold: Two-handed fold
Travel system compatible: Yes
Total cost: £449
Phil & Teds is an award-winning company based in New Zealand and known around the world for its fun brand persona. It promises to release parents from “the nursery jail, with products that let you retain your sense of self, and live your dynamic lifestyle with kids in tow”.
Having tested the Phil & Teds Sport for a few months, I’d say it definitely lives up to the brand promise. The Sport has quite a few features to set it apart from other mid-priced pushchairs. The three wheels, with air-filled tires and the option to lock the front wheel, mean it’s a great option for country walks or even jogging.
You can also purchase separate kits to convert it into a travel system, or even a double pushchair, depending on your changing needs. Then there’s the unique pushbar-mounted autostop brake, making bringing the buggy to a complete stop easy and automatic (no chance of it rolling away on its own).
Combined with its comfy seat with a tall back, its über-easy folding system and good looks, these features make the Phil & Teds Sport a great option for all types of families.
I tested it with my nearly-three-year-old daughter Audrey, who was delighted to try out some new wheels. I used the pushchair on the pavements around town, running in our local park, and on short bus journeys.
What were your first impressions of the Phil & Teds Sport?
My first impressions of the Sport were good – one small box (so there’s not loads of packaging to dispose of), looks easy to fit together, and I love air-filled tires. The next thing I noticed was the unusual pushbar autobrake, which I admit I approached with some scepticism (spoiler, I’m now a big fan!).
How does it compare to other 3-wheeler buggies you’ve used?
It’s definitely as good or better than some of the others I’ve used. For example, I’d say it feels much smoother and lighter than the Baby Jogger City Mini to handle, although not quite so easy to push as the amazingly smooth Out ‘n’ About Nipper 360. But with its unique autobrake, super-easy folding design and smart looks, the Sport holds its own very nicely in the mid-priced 3-wheeler single market.
The fact that it can be converted into a double with a separate kit gives it an extra edge for parents who may want to expand their family in the near future. If I’d known about it when I had my first child I definitely would have considered buying the single with the view to adding the second seat later.
How compact is the Phil & Teds Sport when folded and unfolded?
The Sport three wheeler is pretty compact, and I like that it folds down into one piece (you don’t have to remove the seat). Folded, it’s a bit longer than my Baby Jogger City Mini, but it folds down to quite a neat, flat shape. Its folded dimensions are 76x30x59cm.
Is the Phil & Teds Sport lightweight?
No. The frame is quite sturdy, which gives me confidence it will last for a long time, but also means it feels a bit hefty to lift if you want to pop it in the boot, for example. Compared to its competitors it’s not the lightest or heaviest, weighing in at 12.5kgs.
This compares to 7.6kg for the Baby Jogger City Mini or 9.8kg for the Out ‘n’ About Nipper, but is still lighter than the Quinny Buzz Xtra’s 14.4kg. However, despite its weight, it’s very comfortable to push, even singlehanded, and gives a pretty smooth ride.
How easy is the Phil & Ted’s Sport to push?
Very. Overall, it’s very smooth on pavements, and it passed my school run test (hefting it up and over the kerbs singlehanded while holding my other child’s hand). It can feel a little bit trundly on bumpy ground but nonetheless feels very sturdy.
The swivelling front wheel also means it’s really easy to steer, even with one hand, so it’s quite comfortable to go for a walk while holding a coffee or your phone, for example.
On tougher ground, such as long grass, I preferred to push with two hands to give it a little extra help, but it handles most surfaces pretty well.
How did you find it as an all-terrain buggy?
I think the Sport is a great all-terrain option. Having three air-filled tyres and a lockable front wheel means it can take a lot of bumps and jolts without your little one feeling too much disruption. We trundled across the long, boggy uncut grass in the park, and while it obviously wasn’t as smooth as a pavement, the Sport handled the rougher ground very well.
Can the Sport be used as a running buggy?
Phil & Teds says although they’re not designed for it, all the three-wheeled strollers in its legacy line –including the Sport – can be used for light jogging at your (and your doctor’s) discretion.
Features such as air-filled tires with an all-terrain tread, and a lockable front wheel, will all help make it a smooth enough ride if you fancy adding a bit of exercise to your childcare routine.
For a baby, I would personally stick to a buggy specifically designed for running, with larger tires and more rigidly locked front wheel.
However, as Audrey is nearly three, I locked the front wheel and we took the Sport out for a spin round our local streets and the paved walkways of the park.
Even when locked, there was a bit of turn to the front wheel, which was nice when turning a corner but I would prefer it to be completely fixed for maximum stability.
I also found it considerably heavier than my dedicated running buggy, the Nipper Sport. But on the plus side, Audrey was quite comfortable and I love the fact you can quickly convert your everyday buggy into exercise kit.
Is the auto-stop brake a useful feature?
I found the auto-stop brake really impressive and useful. Basically, there’s an ‘anti-rollaway’ brake wire, which runs along the pushbar. A bit like some airport trolleys, you just squeeze it (or tuck it into the clip on the pushbar) to disable the brake and push freely. If you release the wire, the pushchair automatically stops.
For parents who are health-and-safety enthusiasts, or live in a hilly area (or like me, both!) then this feature is enormously reassuring and very well designed as you know your pushchair can’t roll away on its own.
It is an unusual feature, though, and I had some queries to start with – firstly, would holding the brake wire feel annoying, or make my hands ache? Happily, the answer was no.
When I held the wire in place I found I didn’t even notice it after a while. If you don’t want to hold it, you can hold the wire in place with a clip on the pushbar.
And if you want the best of both worlds, there’s a wrist strap you can use – the clip holds the brake wire, but if you accidentally let go of the pushbar, the wriststrap yanks the clip away to release the brake instantly.
I was really impressed, and it felt like the designers had thought of everything. But it is a bit different to your standard footbrake, and maybe not every parent will like it.
How is the Phil & Teds Sport on public transport?
On the bus or a busy train the pushchair is good because it is quite slim (59cm wide), which makes it easy to navigate tight spaces and crowds. Also, if the front wheel is on the swivel setting it tucks underneath the seat quite smoothly (handy if you’re nestling the pushchair into the corner of the buggy storage area on a bus).
Being very easy to fold is also useful if you’re keen to get on a bus with no available buggy spaces, and you want to fold it up quickly.
What do you think of the Sport’s wheels and suspension?
Ah, the wheels. Having three air-filled tires makes the Sport a beautifully smooth buggy to push. However, we live in a suburban area awash with housing extensions, meaning the pavements are sometimes home to spiky rubble, bent nails and the odd piece of broken glass – a pneumatic tire’s nightmare!
That said, when the Sport took its first puncture and I had to use our clunky old Baby Jogger City Mini as a replacement, I was on Amazon ordering a new inner tube in no time.
Repairing the occasional puncture can be a nuisance, but for me the smooth ride you get from air-filled tires is totally worth it. Note to new owners: seriously consider ordering a repair kit, spare inner and decent pump along with the buggy.
After a couple of weeks of use I discovered one of the wheel guards had fallen off. I couldn’t figure out how to securely fix it back on, which was annoying, but as it’s been fairly dry we’ve managed without it since then. They do feel a bit flimsy though.
How easy is it to store?
It’s very easy to store. It’s really simple to fold and unfold, which is a real bonus when you’re bringing your pushchair inside to store on a daily basis. It’s quite long (folded dimensions are 39.8 x 58.9 x 87.8cm) but it folds down neatly and is pretty flat, so could be tucked away in a porch or under-stairs cupboard.
Is the frame strong and durable?
Yes, the Sport’s frame feels really sturdy, which is as you should expect from a pushchair that can be converted into a double at a later stage. I would feel quite confident using this from newborn well into toddler years and would happily consider buying the double adaptor kit if I was expecting a second baby.
The only bit I didn’t find particularly strong was the hood – it felt a bit flimsy and I couldn’t see how to fix the back of the hood to the chassis frame, which meant my toddler could (annoyingly!) pull it forward right over her head. It also made fitting the rain cover a bit tricky as the hood moved about as I was tugging the cover forward.
How does the Phil & Teds Sport fold?
It is super simple! On the front bar beneath the seat there’s a catch – slide it along and squeeze to release the chassis frame, which folds easily in half. You can tuck the front wheel in when it’s on swivel setting, so it folds down to a neat size (76x30x59cm) and a catch on the side automatically locks it in place.
It’s billed as a single-hand folding system, and I would agree with this (I don’t have a newborn but I practised while cradling a Minnie Mouse doll with one arm and managed fine!). I would definitely prefer to use both hands to unfold, though.
To unfold, simply unhook the catch, and pull the chassis open. It will partly unfold, and then you pull out the front wheel (which is where that second hand comes in), allowing the pushchair to lock back into an unfolded position, and then you’re good to go.
What do you think of handle?
The handle is good – the foam padding makes it comfortable to push, and it’s really easy to adjust the height. You just squeeze the grey buttons on either side and raise it up or down. We had it on the highest setting (by husband is 6’ 2”) and it worked well for us.
The obviously unusual feature is the autostop brake wire that runs along the pushbar when you’re pushing it.
Personally, I didn’t notice it after a while, but I can imagine some people wouldn’t be so keen. If you have small hands or a tight grip, you might be more conscious of the wire beneath your fingers, so worth having a test push before you buy.
The only thing I didn’t like about the handle was that I couldn’t hang a buggy clip from it because it would get in the way of the brake wire. As it’s super-useful to hang a bookbag from at school pickup, I actually clipped a clip to the recliner clasp at the back of the seat, and this worked fine (although I wouldn’t hang anything heavier than a book bag off it).
What do you think of the size of the Phil & Teds Sport seat unit?
It’s very good. Audrey is a tall three-year-old but she had plenty of growing room on either side, and I wasn’t concerned about her getting too hot in warm weather. The seat itself has quite a high back (28% more seat height than leading competitor strollers, according to the manufacturer) so her head was well supported.
How many recline positions are there?
The Sport has four positions, from upright to lie-flat. Lowering it from upright is fairly easy, if a bit fiddly. You release the seat using a combination of clips and zips, depending on how low you want it to go.
Returning the seat to an upright position, however, is a bit of a pain if you are trying to raise the seat with the weight of a child against it. You have to invert the base, reattach the clips and do up the zips, so you’ll definitely want to use both hands (and maybe an elbow).
Fortunately, my three-year-old rarely naps in the pushchair now, so we kept it mainly in the most upright position.
But if I had a younger baby or toddler I would find the faff of regularly raising the seat back up after a nap a bit annoying. Other pushchairs, such as the Baby Jogger City Mini, or the Out ‘n’ About models, have a much simpler design.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
My daughter was very comfy in the pushchair. She has quite long legs so I had to remind her to keep her feet on the footrest rather than dangling them over the side, but otherwise she had plenty of room.
The seat is nicely padded, as are the straps, and she seemed to enjoy it. She’s a tall child, so I appreciated the extra-high seat as it meant her head wasn’t popping over the top.
Can the Phil & Teds Sport be used from newborn?
Yes, the seat can lie flat and you can also buy a carry cot (£139) or a soft-shelled baby carrycot (£59) to use from newborn up to six months.
How is interacting with your little one when in the buggy?
It’s not particularly easy to interact with your child in this pushchair, in my opinion. The seat is facing forwards, which is lovely for older babies and toddlers who enjoy seeing the path ahead. However, you can’t really see them from behind when the hood is even slightly extended.
I’m used to pushchairs with a little peekaboo window in the hood (like the Baby Jogger City Mini or Out ‘n’ About Sport or Nipper) and I missed being able to keep an eye on my three-year-old, especially when she was snacking or talking.
What do you think of the hood?
The hood felt a little flimsy at times, because it didn’t seem to be attached to the back of the pushchair, so my three-year-old could grab it and pull it right forward over her head.
However, it’s a good size to cover her while I pull out the rain cover if we get caught in a shower, or to use as a sun shade. There’s a detachable clear plastic section that covers the back of the pushchair when you lie the seat back.
As I would never choose to detach it I wasn’t sure what the point of it was. Phil & Teds say it’s to help protect your child from poor weather, but it seems quite fussy as most pushchairs have a fabric back sewn into the seat.
How did you find the quick-release five-point harness?
I grew to love it! It was my least favourite feature at first – the four waist and shoulder straps release separately from the clasp, which makes it quite difficult to wrestle your toddler into the seat if they decide they don’t want to co-operate.
However, I came to appreciate the major plus side of this design – you can easily release your child by just squeezing the release button, which was nice when my daughter was desperate to get out at the playground.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
It does. The boot of our W Golf is quite compact, but I found I could comfortably fit the pushchair in without removing the wheels (which you can do) and then pack a few shopping bags around it. However, if we were taking it on holiday and wanted to fit in suitcases and travel cots, we’d probably be looking at a roof rack to fit it all in.
Is the Phil & Teds Sport pushchair travel system compatible?
Yes, I tested the Sport as a single buggy, but it can be adapted for a range of configurations – you can add a carrycot, or a second seat, and you can also turn the stroller into a travel system with a car seat adaptor (TS26 v3 RRP £39). It is compatible with several car seats including the Phil & Teds Alpha, Mountain Buggy Protect, and the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix or Pebble.
What age children is the Phil & Teds Sport best for?
The Sport can be used from newborn up to five years old (the main seat can hold up to 20kg/44lb). Parents who buy it when their child is a newborn, and later convert it to a double pushchair to also carry a second child, will get the most value.
However, I did find raising the seat to upright from flat a bit of a faff, so if that would bother you then it’s best for little ones who would mostly use the seat in one position.
How easily can you access the basket and is it big enough to store everything you need?
The basket is reasonably sized, but it’s quite shallow so you can only really fit in one or two shopping bags, especially if you store the rain cover there too.
I was impressed by how easy it is to access though, thanks to a large opening at the back. With two small children, this is a huge plus as I can grab emergency wet wipes, water and snacks with ease.
A slight downside is that there are no other storage compartments (like Out ‘n’ About’s zipped hood pockets, for example). I feel a zipped pocket would be a very useful addition especially if you’re going out for a run and want to secure your house keys.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x frame with basket
- 1 x seat
- 3 x wheels
- 1 x hood
- 1 x grab bar
Is it easy to build the Sport?
It’s pretty easy to assemble the Sport. I confess I struggle with instruction manuals and so both the assembly of the mudguards and the front wheel defeated me. But the cavalry (husband) found it all clicked into place quite simply!
Phil & Teds reckons you’ll be up and running in around five minutes, but (ahem) we took about 30 minutes to set it all up.
The online manual is easy to follow, with cute phrases such as ‘ups & downs’ for the seat reclining instructions – it’s not essential but a playful style might add some fun to the boring business of buggy building!
Who would the Phil & Teds Sport be most useful for?
The flexibility of the Sport makes it a great option for parents who are considering growing their family in the near future and so want the option of a great single that can convert into a double for a newborn and toddler.
It’s also a smart, smooth-riding pushchair that I think both off-road country dwellers and city pavement pounders would appreciate.
For parents who want to take their little on one woodland walks, or go for a run with an older baby without splashing out on a separate running buggy, the Sport’s fixable front wheel and auto-brake make it a real winner.
Is there anything unique about this product?
The auto-brake on the pushbar is definitely unique (I was a fan but not everyone will be). The fact that it can used for light jogging and can also be converted into a double pushchair also make it stand out from other three-wheel single pushchairs.
Is the Phil&Ted’s Sport good value for money?
The Sport comes in a range of colours and seems to generally sell for its RRP of £449, but you may find a deal if you shop around. It’s a similar price to the Quinny Buzz Xtra (£450), sitting comfortably in the mid-range bracket, although there are cheaper options such as the Out ‘n’ About Nipper (£339.95).
The Sport’s rain cover is sold separately (£20) which is a bit disappointing, as I would class this as an ‘essential’ part of the pushchair. I had to pump up the tires for the first use, so I’d recommend adding a decent pump (and repair kit) to your shopping list.
I really liked using the Sport, and have happily retired my worn-out Baby Jogger City Mini to use the Sport as my everyday pushchair. It’s a pleasure to push, super-easy to fold and store, and I really like the easy access to the shopping basket.
As a regular runner I already have the Nipper Sport, so I probably won’t use the Phil & Teds as a running buggy, but it’s a great feature if you’re looking for a flexible everyday buggy which can double up for jogging.
Likewise, I don’t need to use it as a double buggy as my eldest is nearly 5, but if I had a newborn I’d definitely consider buying the converter kit.
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