phil&teds Verve Double Review
phil&teds products are fun, deliberately quirky and are all about safety and innovation. As the creators of multi-award-winning products like the original inline stroller, a travel cot lighter than a baby, and the 'auto-stop brake' they are constantly on the look out for ways to make parents' lives easier.
Sporting a stylish, funky design, luxurious fabrics and amazing versatility, this pushchair really could last long enough to carry all your children. There are 23 different seating configurations with the verve double, so it will grow as your kids do. Start with a carrycot, and end with a Freerider – you're really spoilt for choice.
We put the verve through its paces. Come and see what we thought in our phil&teds verve double review...What's in the box
• phil&teds verve chassis
• Sun hood
• Wheels Mud guards
• Bumper bar
• Second Seat + Sun Mesh
The phil&teds verve is RRP £549. The double kit is RRP £129Specifications
• Weight: 13kg
• Folded Size (cm): 86 x 65 x 31
• Open Size (cm): 133 x 65 x 103
• Suitability: Birth - 5 years
• Single storm cover £20
• Double storm cover £25
• Single sun cover £25
• Double sun cover £30
• Carry cot £139
• Bottle holder £20
• Universal travel bag £79
Cherry red, Cobalt blue, Black
phil&teds Verve Double Review: Chassis
Two boxes are all that stand between you and the phil&teds verve in double mode.
A little bit of assembly is needed, but don't worry - you don't need your toolbox to put it together. The larger box contains the single phil&teds verve, while the smaller box contains the versatile second seat.
The verve has looks and style in abundance. The brushed aluminium curved chassis gives the pushchair a fabulous, modern look while the big rear wheels and funky fabrics really make it stand out from the crowd.
Two large 12" air filled tyres at the rear (without suspension) and two 7" EVA front wheels on the front (with suspension) make for a very comfortable ride. The rear wheels have plastic covers on the inside - a protective guard against little fingers getting trapped. This is an improvement from previous models and offers great peace of mind. The front wheels are lockable, so if you need to do a bit of off-roading it's not a problem.
Pushing the verve is really easy. It's designed to feel lightweight and it really does - even with two on board! Getting up and down kerbs won't be a problem either as phil&teds have designed a brilliant feature they call‘kerb pop' so it can easily deal with the lumps and bumps of everyday life.
The Brake on the verve is just brilliant! All you need to do is press the red button in the centre of the handle (yes, you heard that right) to apply the brakes, and the larger black button above it to take them off. It is so light and easy to do. I really wish all brakes were like this…
The verve's handle is made from dense high quality foam, so shouldn't suffer from nicks or dents like some do. The handle can be adjusted to six different heights, too, so you should easily find a position to suit you. To adjust the height, just push the black circular buttons on either side of the handle in, and move the handle to the location you want. It will click into place so you know you've got it right. You also have a wrist safety strap, which comes as standard on many pushchairs now.
If shopping is your passion, you won't be disappointed - the basket is a good size at 50cm x 44cm x 31cm. When using the verve as a double, with the rear seat in its lower position with a child is sitting in the rear seat, access is restricted and the basket isn't as big. However, it's still large enough for a bit of shopping or a changing bag.
phil&teds Verve Double Review: Seats
The main seat is attached to the verve when it arrives, so you can start using it for one child straight away. One of the best features of the verve is just how easy it is to change it from a single to a double and how many flexible options you have.
Reclining the huge main seat (it's 61cm tall!) is simple if a little time-consuming, there are four different recline positions, including fully lie-flat (the best way for a newborn to travel). That said, I'd buy a phil&teds carrycot if I were using this for a newborn as it provides a snug cocoon and makes getting them in and out much easier. It is a bit of a shame that the panel from the rear of the seat is an extra that comes with the rain and suncover, as there is quite a gap at the head area where the wind can blow through.
If you want to recline the seat a little you can just undo the buckle behind the seat. For more recline you must loosen the straps at either side of the seat. Finally, There are two zips on the inside of the seat to lay it down further (fully flat) and by undoing these all the way you get the full lay flat position. Honestly, it works, but it is a bit of a faff.
Both seats sport a contoured lycra fabric insert. The
main seat feels well padded and luxurious - so much so, in fact, I wouldn't
mind resting in there myself!
You have 23 different travelling options with the verve. I won't go into them all, but I will tell you about the ones I think you'll use most often with the second seat.
The second seat is 35cm wide, 20cm deep and 40cm high, so it's a great size and it's nice and lightweight making it easy to put on and off as you wish.
If you have a newborn in the main seat fully reclined, you can attach the second seat to the front of the frame (in the same holes that the bumper bar uses). You simply line up the clips on the arms of the seat with the holes in the frame and push it gently but firmly into position. You can then pop your older child on the seat in front. To remove the seat simply push the two black clips on either side upwards and lift the seat off.
If you have two older children, you can place the second seat behind the main seat in the basket area. There are holes in the frame down near the shopping basket that the seat slots into. There are plastic holders on the seat to hold it all in place. To remove, you need to lift the black flaps on the verve frame then push the little catches to pop the seat off. In this position, the rear seat has three recline positions and you fully recline it by lifting the black clip on the top of the second seat frame and pushing it into position before releasing. You do lose some of the basket space with this mode as your little one's feet take up a bit of basket space, but there is still some storage to be had at the back of the basket.
One big advantage with the second seat is that you
can use it to create the parent-facing option. With the main seat fully
reclined, all you need to do is slot it into the two fabric loops hidden in the
head area and then attach a strap to the two small loops located where the
pushchair breaks when it folds. It's quick, simple and clever.
Both seats have an adjustable 5-point harness. It's easy to clip your child into the harness, as it's a standard buckle-style clip. However, phil&teds have added an extra safety feature to the harness to prevent escapees. So, when you want to release your child, you need to push in the two red buttons on the front at the same time as pressing in the clips to opening the buckle. It isn't easy when you have a little one in your arms but as long as you remember to leave them open when you've taken them out it is not an issue.
The verve comes with a bumper bar, which is attached easily into the holes on the frame by simply pushing it into position. This only works if the additional seat is being used in the basket area main seat as it uses the same connectors on the frame.
A follow-the-sun hood on the main seat helps protect your little one from the sun or wind. The hood height can be altered by pushing the clips up and down the frame, too. It's a nice, quiet action and there is also a handy pop-out mesh sun visor for extra protection.
A sun mesh comes with the additional seat, which adds UV and bug protection for your little one in the back. I would have preferred to see a double mesh, though.
Lastly, you can buy adapters to fit one or two carseats to the chassis and, when your children get older, you can get a Freerider scooter that attaches at the back - a toddler board with a difference.
phil&teds Verve Double Review: Fold
When folded, the phil&teds Verve is only 86cm x 65cm x 31cm, which is less than half the unfolded size. Impressively, it is also self standing, even with the doubles kit fitted.When you want to fold the verve, first you must adjust the handle up as high as it will go. You also need to push the lower seat forwards as far as it will go. To push it forwards, push down on the safety catch on the left of the seat, where it attaches to the frame. Then, using the reclining clip, push the seat forwards. It pushes up against the front seat. Now, open the two plastic flaps on each side of the middle of the frame. Lift the metal safety catch (which is next to the left hand flap). The pushchair is no longer locked. Now push the handle down to the floor. The front of the pushchair will fold inwards, and essentially the pushchair has folded in half. Now the auto-lock will engage, and the pushchair will stand freely. You can lock the flaps down again if you wish.
When you want to unfold the verve, unclip the flaps on either side and release the auto-lock. Now grab hold of the handle and pull it upwards until the frame is fully open. You will then be able to close the flaps on both sides and pull the rear seat back into position.
phil&teds Verve Double Review: Conclusion
I really like the phil&teds verve. The design, the quality and the many ways you can use the verve mean you are spoiled for choice. I can just picture my older children fighting for the rear seat.
Even with two children occupying the seats, the verve is easy and light to push. The designers have worked hard to ensure everything from the shape of the chassis to the sling style seats make for a well-balanced, easy drive.
When folded with the second seat in the rear position, it's still as small as when it's a single, although there's an additional step to fold the rear seat into position for the fold. The fold can only be achieved when the seat is located at the back, so if you have it on the front and want to fold it you'll need to remove it or swap it to the back. However this is quick and easy to do. I was able to fold the pushchair one handed. It takes a few steps but it is do-able with a baby in your arms. Fantastic!
The niggles are few, but I'd like a viewing panel in the hood and I'm disappointed that a raincover and rear seat fabric panel are not included in the price. The shopping basket is compromised if you have the additional seat on the back and is near impossible to access with a child in place, but there are accessories you can buy to add extra storage if you need it.
I really like the verve in double mode. The positives outweigh the negatives, but it's a shame that a couple of key functions let it down. All that said, if you want a functional double pushchair with an amazing fold that is achievable one-handed, what are you waiting for? Take a look at the phil&teds verve.
We give the phil&teds Verve Four Wheel 4 out of 5 stars
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