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With 18 years in the business, the much-loved brand has amassed countless awards for its pushchairs, travel cots, high chairs and baby carriers.
Never one to rest on its laurels, the company has introduced a new, well sort of, pushchair to its vast collection, the updated Verve.
The Verve is the only 4-wheeled double buggy that Phil & Teds make. The stroller has a total of 23 seating options (more positions than the Karma Sutra, say Phil & Teds) and can be used with one child or two, from newborn to when your child is five-years-old.
Roughly about the same price as its 2009 predecessor, the seat units on the new pushchair can now face both forwards and backwards, unlike the original. It has a one-touch break located on the handle and comes wrapped in all the trendy Phil & Teds style that we’ve come to know and love.
Additionally Phil & Teds prides itself on enabling parents to ‘adapt & survive’ – just what you want to hear when you’re faced with the task of juggling a 20-month-old with an oh-so demanding newborn.
What’s in the box?
- Seat unit
- Second seat unit (sold separately for £129)
Any additional extras?
- Seat unit – £129
- Carrycot – £149
- Single storm cover – £20
- Single sun cover – £25
- Parasol – £25
- Freerider stroller board -£79
How was the Phil & Teds Verve to assemble?
Notoriously impatient when it comes to setting up anything new, I braced myself for the task ahead, particularly as I’d shirked the responsibility of setting up our first pushchair – a sturdy Hauck stroller – and left it to my husband to do.
I remembered how he’d been more than a little irritable with the process, taking over an hour to construct the heavy-duty pram. So the thought of having to set up the Verve – a buggy that houses not one, but two tiny tots – filled me with dread.
However, optimism emerged when the pram arrived. Neatly contained in two boxes with no excess packaging, we were off to a good start. Opening the boxes and seeing no sign of that dreaded bag full of nuts, bolts and screws was the second reason to breathe a sigh of relief.
Now feeling mildly confident, I was ready to grab the instructions and get to work – and so came the first glitch. Oddly, the instructions were placed inside the folded buggy – and how was I supposed to open the buggy without the instructions?
I lifted the pram and attempted to shake out the instructions, but with the product being quite heavy (for me, anyway), I couldn’t muster up the strength to keep shaking. Frustrated by this nonsensical packing, I called my hubby to assist. He too had to shake the product and then use his hand to finally prize out the instructions.
Thankfully, the instructions – which were made up of a series of pictures – were simple enough to follow (though the addition of words would have been a good idea, to completely eliminate possible confusion). Unfolding the pram, attaching the four wheels to the wheel guard and fastening the hood to the top was pretty straightforward.
Tell us about the 23 seat positions.
A versatile and attractive product (mine is cherry red and it also comes in black and cobalt blue), the pram is able to be set up in different ways, depending on the ages of your two little ones, and can also be used for just one child. With a toddler and a five-week old baby, I followed the instructions to set up the pram to hold both of them.
Does it work well as a double for a baby and toddler?
No, I don’t think so. While the seat for my 20-month-old looked sturdy and secure, the area for my five-week old baby – which sits below the toddler seat – didn’t fill me with confidence. It seemed almost makeshift and lacking in adequate reinforcement and snugness.
Once I placed my baby in the pram – lying on his back and secured with straps – the setup looked odd; it’s as if the pram is attempting to be a moses basket and a car seat all in one.
And while I see the logic of this combination (comfort and security, what more could you want?), my baby was surrounded by empty space and just didn’t look as snug as I would have liked.
Would the Verve be suitable as a buggy for a newborn baby?
It would be, but only if you are willing to spend extra money on the buggy. I visited Phil & Teds’ website and found that there is a product sold separately called a cocoon, described as a ‘soft-shelled baby carrycot’ designed to ‘keep your baby snug and warm in their verve’.
This was a relief and an insult at the same time: The cocoon would indeed provide the snugness I was looking for – but I would have to fork out £79 for the accessory. Seems pretty expensive when the pram itself is priced at £549 and really, the manufacturers could have put more thought into making the pram itself more suitable for a small baby.
You’d almost certainly have to purchase this accessory to keep your baby sufficiently warm and secure. Failing that, you may want to use warm blankets to create your own makeshift ‘cocoon’ around your little one.
It’s such a shame that the manufacturers didn’t put more thought into making the product more newborn-friendly, particularly when you consider how vulnerable to the elements a tiny baby is.
How comfortable is the pushchair?
It was comfortable for my 14-month-old daughter, who sat at the front in the toddler seat unit. The padded straps provided extra comfort, which was a bonus, and with my little one facing the direction of travel, she was able to see her surroundings and interact with her ever-chatty mummy at the same time.
She was snug in the pram – until she fell asleep. At this point, her head began hanging off the chair, as there isn’t any additional space for her head to rest
Also there was a huge open space between my toddler’s seat and my baby’s area, leaving baby’s head completely exposed. The product does come with a mesh cover, but after numerous attempts to work out how to connect it to the pram to close the open space, I couldn’t work out how to do it.
After a few minutes of unsuccessful improvisation, I once again consulted Phil & Teds’ website. I found that the mesh does indeed fit on the back of the buggy, but only if you have it set up to hold two toddlers. When the pram is set up to hold a newborn and a toddler, there is nowhere to connect the mesh, meaning that you have to attach it via makeshift means. This is a huge flaw.
Is the Verve durable?
Yes, though I was dubious about my baby’s security, the pram gets marks for sturdiness and durability. It is a solid product that handles well on the pavement and on grass with both my children in it.
Mounting pavements was initially a bit of a challenge as it is quite a heavy product when holding two little ones. But this got easier with practice.
Tell us about the one-touch break.
It is a particularly unique feature located on the handle, which eliminates the need to press a break with your foot as you would with a traditional buggy. However, it’s worth noting that pressing the break does bring the pram to a very sudden halt.
So unless you need to make an emergency stop, you may want to naturally lower the buggy’s speed before hitting the button to avoid giving your kids a sudden jolt!
What about the opening and folding the Verve?
Both opening and closing the pram is straightforward and got easier with practice. However, it is quite a bulky product when folded and as such, takes some effort to get into our standard-sized car boot.
Tell us about the basket?
There is plenty of space in the underneath storage area, allowing space for babies’ travel bags or several shopping bags.
Made For Mums verdict?
On the whole the, buggy is a good looking product and if it’s being used for one toddler or two toddlers (if the pictures on Phil & Teds’ website are anything to go by), it’s ideal. But to hold a newborn, it’s definitely lacking without investing in the cocoon or creating sufficient extra padding for your baby.
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|Brand||Phil & Teds|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 5 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:116cm W:65cm L:121cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:86cm W:65cm L:31.5cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Phil & Teds Bebe, Quest and Mountain Buggy Peppy - adaptors required|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|