Sneak Peek at the Phil & Teds Dash
Today we had a visit from a couple of representatives from Regal-Lager, the US distributor of Phil & Teds, as well as the new US representative for Phil & Teds, who works directly for the New Zealand outfit. We were pleased as punch when they told us they were bringing us a Dash to play with. As it turns out, we were the first to see the final version of this new model, which is due to hit stores at the end of this month.
The Dash is built on the same geometric frame as the Classic and the Sport buggy, so the dimensions of the stroller and doubles kit are exactly the same. But the premium features are in the details. First, the fabric is lovely. It’s a ripstop denier nylon that looks sharp and feels very strong. The stroller seat has a padded insert that is removable and machine-washable (drip dry). There’s a sturdy plastic footwell that’s a nice improvement over the Sport and Classic – it will be far easier to keep clean. The seat recline is excellent, using a combination of a pull strap and zippers to achieve a virtually infinite array of recline positions between upright and completely flat. The wheel guards are made to pop on and off easily instead of using screws, as is done on the Sport and Classic. The front wheel lock is simpler to operate, as are the straps, both of which elements are borrowed from the more expensive Vibe model.
To fold the Dash, you engage a couple of mechanisms in the handlebar and the whole thing collapses with ease. It seemed like a very smooth fold, and some parents will appreciate that they don’t have to cross over to the front of the stroller, as is the case with the Classic and the Sport. It features the same automatic locking hinge as the newest version of the Sport.
The Doubles Kit frame is wrapped in padding, so when it reclines, there is no exposed metal (on the Sport, you can recline the seat, but the bar at the top of the frame becomes exposed, making some parents uneasy about bumped heads). Like the stroller seat, the Doubles Kit also comes with a nice, padded insert that is removable and machine washable (you guessed it, drip dry).
The most interesting new feature is the brake, which is engaged by adjusting the handlebar down to it’s lowest level. It is certainly easy, but not intuitive. It’s the sort of thing you don’t want to forget to mention to your mother-in-law or nanny before they go out for a stroll. It’s also something to keep in mind when you decide where to affix your cupholder.
Overall, I have to say I was really impressed with the Dash. I remember liking it when I saw it at ABC, and after today, it’s officially my favorite of the four. It has the smooth ride and nimble handling of the traditional Phil & Teds frame, and a nice, easy fold, but it’s also got a polished look and thoughtful features that make it the most user-friendly model. With the new price changes in effect, the Dash will retail for $549 and the Doubles Kit will be $99. It comes in two colors, Red and Charcoal/Black.
Many of you are wondering why the Dash was delayed so significantly, and we got some answers about that today, too. It’s a long story, but basically Phil & Teds is experiencing explosive growth and had a hard time keeping their supply chain in line with the demand for their products. Regal-Lager has also been very proactive about testing the new products before distributing them to retailers, and they’ve helped to uncover a few small issues that needed to be resolved before the stroller was ready to ship. But at this point, they have a significant amount of inventory already in the US and it will be released in the coming weeks.
It will have been worth the wait.