phil&teds Sport Stroller: 4 Ways to Ride

04/02/2008 at 07:00 AM ET

102350camoblue0_2 How many strollers can you configure 4 ways? The beauty of the phil&teds Sport Stroller ($489.00 with doubles kit) is that it can take you from transporting one child, to two children, and then back to one child again —  just by changing the configuration.

There are 4 ways to set it up (newborn mode, toddler mode, toddler/baby and toddler/toddler mode).  So, it literally grows with your family, and is a great alternative to a side-by-side double stroller.  This sporty, inline stroller is so popular in urban areas, such as NYC, because it can function as a tandem double stroller. We tested the Sport in the winter time, when baby Allegra was a newborn. The footprint seems wide for a single stroller (24") — but since it can be used a double stroller… This buggy has been mentioned many times on CBB, click here for the review mentioning the Sport and here to read the review mentioning its predecessor, the E3.

Click continue reading for the rest of the Sport Stroller review and a free gift with purchase.

Configurations
1) For Newborn mode: Use it with the car seat adapter (or just use the fully flat recline option).

Full2) As your child gets bigger, they go in the regular seat.

3) When another child comes along, get the optional doubles seat ($99) and use the toddler/baby configuration. You simply put the regular seat into the fully flat recline option and then put the doubles seat on top of the first seat — it clicks in. The older child goes in, the now, Baby higher seat and the infant goes in the flat recline area — which is a thin padded mattress and very comfortable for baby.

5066 4) To use it in the toddler/toddler mode – put the regular seat upright and then attach the doubles seat behind — it clicks in. You lose the stroller basket (but you can easily tote your goodies in two side pannier bags). More info about accessories at the end of this review.

The Frame
The lightweight frame is powder-coated steel. The fabric is hard to stain and very washable. The blue camo fabric we tested was gorgeous (they just added a pink camo version too).  I tested my toddler in the main seat and the doubles seat. I found both 5-point harnesses very adjustable.  You can lock the swiveling front wheel (for um, those who want to jog). I prefer to maintain a very brisk walk to the park and back, so I didn’t lock it.

Usually I can easily figure out how a stroller goes together, without using directions, but I needed help this time. I enlisted my father -in-law to help me. But once we actually read the directions, it wasn’t hard. Since this stroller uses air tires (actually these are first air tires I’ve ever tested), invest in an air pump — we haven’t had to touch it since we filled the tires. Switching modes, from infant to toddler, etc, takes seconds and is pretty genius. My neighbor, who also owns the Sport, had to show me how to do it. After that, it was pretty simple. To fold it using the toddler/baby configuration or one child configuration, stand in front of the stroller, facing it.

Fold1

Finger2

1) First, press the two buttons (they say "press") on the sides, near the footwell, and rotate them around. The seat will collapse backwards. In this mode, you can fold it with the doubles seat on top (or quickly just take it off).

2) Then pull up the bar under the footwell to collapse the front part Fold2back (you can push the wheel down to make the stroller flat). It seems like a reverse book fold. To unfold, simply pull the handlebar up and click the stroller into place. If you fold it in the toddler/toddler mode, you have to take off the doubles seat (again, takes 2 seconds) and repeat the fold mentioned above. To make a smaller fold, you can easily take the wheels off. It was easier to fit in my car this way.

The Ride
The suspension was so smooth and the push was basically effortless. This stroller turned on a dime and does beautifully in tight corners and spaces (especially narrow city store aisles). This stroller is perfect for brisk walks.  I really loved that I could take both children with me, as I try to shed that baby weight. Tall parents will love the easily adjustable ergonomic handle.

Side My toddler loved the higher seat in the toddler/baby mode, but the upright seat position was wasn’t upright enough for him (but he has NEVER liked any sort of recline). It took him a few tries before he asked to sit in the blue stroller (as he called it) and finally relaxed enough to sit back a little.  Baby Allegra gave it more of a chance and after the first time we tried it, she fell asleep when we took it out (which is an endorsement from her).

Celebs who own this stroller are Holly Hunter, Mary Louise Parker, Brooke Shields and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Final Thoughts:
This is one great stroller that has an excellent value for all the ways you can use it. If you are worried about sun protection (the hood could be better for that), you’ll have to get a stroller shade attachment for the top – I love Protect A Bub’s sun shades. I had one on hand from a friend. There’s no sun protection for the rider in the toddler double seat mode either, but Protect A Bub just came out with one specifically for the use with the doubles seat in the toddler mode on the phil&teds strollers, called the Back Seat Tandem Sunshade – that we will be reviewing it soon).

Pros:
4 ways to use it
Will take a family from one child to two (and then can be used as a single again when the first child has outgrown the stroller).
Great tandem stroller option.

Cons:
When used as a tandem, barely any storage space (in toddler/ babymode), no storage space (when used in toddler/toddler mode).
You have to take off the doubles seat to fold it in toddler/toddler mode (though it takes mere seconds)
Heavy for a single

Tip Test (Empty stroller with weighted diaper bag hanging from handlebar)

5lbs: No change — it didn’t tip at all
10lbs: Most it could take, it was about to tip.

Accessories

phil&teds makes so many terrific accessories for this line. Use their side pannier bags for storage or you can use another brand’s (like Skip Hop or Carry You). Mr. B also makes the Double Decker Diaper Bag for the phil&teds that you can clip to the handlebars (and it won’t smack the bottom rider in the head). For a peek at all the different colors of the strollers and accessories by phil&teds, click here.

Features:
• Slide & click to add the unique phi&teds double kit*
• 4 position contour seat™ (upright, heads-up, sleepy & lie flat)
• Double rear foot brake                                 
• Multi-position handle
• Velcro multi adjustable crotch strap
• Zipper recline on doubles kit.
• Solid axle
• Quick release one touch hub wheels
• Higher front bar and easier removal
• Toddler seat below holds child up to 33 pounds
• Toddler seat on top holds child up to 44 pounds
• Main stroller seat holds child up to 55 pounds

Specifics:
• weight: 23 lbs (not counting the doubles seat – which is probably 1 pound)
• dimensions: width, 24”; folded, 30x20x9” (with the wheels off)

— Nancy

Exclusive for CBB Readers: With purchase of phil&teds Sport or Vibe Stroller at Barebabies.com, get a free J. L. Childress Bottles N Bag (a $19.99 value). Put the stroller and the J. L. Childress Bottles and Bags bag in your cart, then use code: cbbfreejlbnb at checkout. It will take off the $19.99.                   

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Showing 6 comments

SK on

I live in Manhattan and am expecting my second child in the fall. We are considering the P&T but are concerned about the add-on seat…Does the child sitting there get any stimulation? Is it fully safe-are they protected from pebbles, etc. off of the ground. If anyone has experience/thoughts on this please share!

chatty cricket on

We have the Phil & Ted’s e3, the model that came before this one… the sport has a few updated options, but the basic stroller is the same. P&T also just announced an even NEWER model (the Vibe) that retails for a little more, but I believe it comes with more options, AND the ability to collapse with the doubles kit attached. It also has a slightly sleeker look.

SK, to answer your question- we use the stroller as a double, and since the lighter weight child must go in the back seat (to avoid back weighting the stroller and possibly tipping it), my son rode in the back seat exclusively. He gets a great view out either side, and when he looks up, he sees me! I used to clip a couple of toys to the back of the seat in front of him, and he’d keep himself entertained. Frankly, I think he liked being back there- he was blocked from the wind and the sun, and seemed pretty cozy. The best part about the stroller is that when we travel, we can bring it and have the option of using it as a double OR a single, ad when my older child decided she was too old to ride in the stroller, I just took the doubles kit off!

Also good to note is that Real & Lager is the importing company, so if you ever have any issues with the stroller, you’d contact them directly, and their customer service is INCREDIBLE.

Hope this helps!!

Nancy Johnson Horn on

Writer’s Note: I have seen so many kids riding comfortably in the back doubles seat. There are wheel guards to make sure they cannot stick their fingers in. I heard one person say, the back doubles seat was like riding in the back seat. They can see out the sides, but not the front. Another person said that one of her children actually preferred sitting in the back doubles seat. My advice would be to see it in person and test it out. Wait until after your child is born to see what works the best. You can sling the baby and let your older child ride until you make a decision. Do any of your friends have a phil&teds?

meka on

We have the new Phil and Teds and while it’s great for two kids (no double wide!), I hate it as a single stroller. The brakes are also horrible. I often have to bend over and use both hands to release! I hear that the Vibe has brakes on the handle– maybe that would work better!

SK on

Thanks everyone for the input. I will definitely test it out if possible. I don’t have any friends with it (we are the first to have a 2nd child!) but in NY, you can always stop strangers on the street and ask their opinion of their stroller! I’m also considering the Jane Powertwin, which I’ve heard great things about.

Heather on

I bought the PT Sport to possibly jog with knowing it wasn’t meant as a jogger but thought I could get by. I’m 5’9″ and I can’t jog behind it…only off to the side. My feet kick the back even when I’m walking. Like another reviewer mentioned, the break is awful…must wear shoes to use it and even then you sometimes have to reach down and use both hands. Other than that, I love the idea that it’s not a double-wide when I do have a second child. Very comfortable ride for my 7-month-old. Purchase the 2007 Sport, just fyi.

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