Well, baby number 2 is a bit over two months now and I sure put our Phil & Teds Navigator stroller to the test. We chose this as our daily double stroller for a multitude of reasons. We needed something small, as lightweight as possible and close to being as easy to maneuver as my Britax B-Agile. The Autostop feature was also a huge selling feature for us, which I still love to this day. First, let me say that I did break the stroller within 2 months and had to get a replacement frame. The right side cable for the autostop handle snapped which made the left wheel stuck on the locked position. The total process to get in touch with Phil & Teds and get the new stroller frame was about two weeks. I have to say that I am about 75% happy with this stroller so far, and although that number is not as high as I would like to hope for, considering my requirements for a double stroller, I think that is as close as I am going to get to perfect. Maybe I can one day create a double stroller that meets all of my requirements.
So what are those requirements anyway? Here it is… I wanted an in-line double stroller that was not as long as a stretch limo. Side-by-side strollers were definitely out of the question as they are not convenient with doorways or aisles in NYC or for pulling up to tables in restaurants or for squeezing between racks when shopping. It needed to have pneumatic wheels for on and off roads. I wanted plenty of storage and a full recline to discreetly change the baby.
My choices boiled down to the Britax B-Ready stroller and the Phil & Teds Navigator stroller. Both strollers met most of my requirements, but the pneumatic wheels and the Autostop feature made Phil & Teds the more obvious winner for us. After owning the Phil & Teds Navigator for two months I am very pleased but I do question at times if I should have gone with the Britax B-Ready or even…. gasp… a side-by-side stroller like the City Mini GT Double.
If only the Britax B-Ready had pneumatic wheels… I would have probably overlooked it not having the autostop. Compared them, the Britax stroller seemed to be of better construction to the Phil & Teds. The recline on the Phil & Teds Navigator has got to be the most complicated and ridiculous 3 step recline ever engineered. But my two biggest gripes with Phil & Teds that makes me wish I had another Britax is the car seat adapter and the customer service. First lets talk about the customer service. Phil and Teds has no telephone number on their website. When my stroller broke I had to contact them via email. I finally got a response after 3 days and had my stroller at my front door in about 10 days after that. When I needed to order a new canopy for my B-Safe car seat I got the telephone number right on the website. I called, placed the order, and got my item in the same week. So when it comes to customer service Britax won hands down… Now about those car seat adapters… The Britax click-and-go car seat adapter clicks right onto the stroller and feels very solid. Loading the B-Safe car seat is a breeze which can be done standing up normally, while on one side of the stroller. The Phil & Teds Navigator TS26 car seat adapter connects to the stroller and jiggles back and forth when connected. But the worst part is loading the car seat to stroller. I literally have to bend down to align the adapter on one side of the stroller, and then walk around to the other side while holding the car seat, and bend down to align the adapter to car seat on the other side. But once that is over the stroller is a dream….
I might sound like I really hate my stroller, but honestly, I really do like it a lot. It maneuvers almost as well as my B-Agile, even with one hand and little Lana in the second seat. The weight distribution amazes me because it never tips over, even when little Lana is putting much of her weight in the back seat, yet its super easy to pop the front wheel up on a curb, which I can also do one handed. The pneumatic wheels are awesome and the ride is smooth enough to keep baby asleep even on grass and gravel. Little Lana loves the lower second seat and actually stays in it longer without getting bored. Although with the second seat you pretty much lose your basket so storage becomes an issue. There’s small pockets in the canopy and if you get the rain cover and car seat adapter, they come in nifty little storage bags that I was able to strap onto the stroller for extra storage. I also found two spots to just hang my diaper bag, so it wasn’t a huge issue. The styling of the stroller is really cool and I get a lot of looks and compliments. And don’t forget the autostop feature! Autostop is great. It really puts my mind at ease, especially while pushing up and down inclines or stopping at street corners. I don’t even have to think about putting on the brakes. If I ever have to chase the toddler I don’t have to waste precious time locking the stroller. There’s many applications where the autostop comes in handy.
Overall I really do like the Phil and Teds Navigator a lot. I really hesitate to say that I love it as I do have my gripes with it. But when it comes down to it the Navigator meets more of my expectations for a double stroller than any other will. I’ll list a few of my other double stroller runner ups down below just for comparison. Enjoy!