I am all about multi-functional items these days.
Since our second child arrived, our house seems to have shrunk and our once spacious vehicle makes me claustrophobic. The last thing we need is another piece of bulky baby gear cluttering up our house, but a double stroller seemed nearly essential for life with two kids under two. If you think that a multi-functional double stroller sounds like an oxymoron, you are not alone. I did too until I discovered the phil&teds explorer.
The explorer is a single stroller that can be configured four different ways to carry one child. It has a main stroller seat for an older baby or toddler. The seat can fully recline and allow a newborn to lie flat. A peanut bassinet attachment is available for newborns as well. Finally, a car seat adapter is available which allows the explorer to function as a travel system stroller. In addition to these four single stroller options, the explorer has three double stroller options. (Did you catch that? That’s a total of seven configurations. Like I said: multi-functional!) A double kit provides a second seat and can be attached to the lower back of the stroller or to front of the stroller. With the double seat in the front, the main seat can lie flat to carry a newborn, while older brother or sister rides in the front. With the double kit in the back, the Explorer can carry an infant car seat in the front or have the main seat upright for a second toddler. Did you find all that multi-functionality confusing? Check out this diagram on the phil&teds website for some visual help.
There are a few things to be aware of when using the explorer. My almost two-year-old is pretty close to the back of the main seat when riding in his “special seat” when the main seat is occupied by an infant car seat. The stroller comes with covers for the tops of the back wheels, but I am routinely reminding my son to keep his hands out of the spokes which are within easy reach. Also, when the double kit is used on the back, the storage space becomes leg room for a child, so diaper bags and other items must be stored elsewhere.
However, I will take these drawbacks for the ease of use of this stroller. It is a cinch to steer, turn and maneuver over all types of terrain. It is a little heavy, but it is easy to fold and unfold and fits well in my trunk. The explorer fits through any doorway just as any other single stroller would. Best of all, I know that this stroller will grow with my family, as my newborn becomes a toddler and as my older child decides he is too big for a stroller. I only wish I had thought to purchase this stroller before my first child was born.
Just in case it isn’t obvious, I highly recommend the explorer to those looking for a single stroller and especially for those searching for a double stroller. If, however for some reason you are in the market for a less versatile option, you can find all my other strollers at the local Goodwill.
Price: $480 (doubles kit, $90; car seat adapter, $35)
To buy: babyontherun.com