One of the most important life lessons I am trying to impart to my own children is that you generally can’t have everything you want, at least not all at the same time. And when it comes to my search for the perfect double stroller, I’ve had to remind myself of these words of wisdom.
Why? Well, as I’ve looked at different models, it’s become clear that there really isn’t any model currently on the market that offers every single thing I want. Instead, various double strollers offer different combinations of features, while failing to offer others. The key for a mom on the hunt for her own perfect model is to prioritize which features matter most to her, and to shop accordingly.
In the case of the high-end phil&ted’s vibe 2 with doubles kit, this stroller’s list of included features is pretty darn impressive, offering a lot of what I’ve been seeking in a stroller for my two youngest children, toddler Charlotte and infant Georgia. First of all, I have to admit that this stroller’s “cool factor” is off the charts, and while I wouldn’t choose a model for that reason alone, I have to admit that just like when driving a bright red Ferrari, the bright red phil&ted’s model I’ve been trying out attracts a whole lot of positive attention when I am out strolling the girls. People have been regularly stopping me on the street to ask me what kind of stroller it is, and where they can find one.
As for the more practical elements of this innovative stroller, I absolutely love the high-tech fabric that lines the seats. It’s soft and comfortable for both girls, with just the right amount of padding, and it’s also easy as pie to wipe clean when needed. The stroller rolls and maneuvers like a dream, even with both of the girls in it (that’s 50 pounds of kid total!). The three wheel design makes it possible to steer with one hand when needed, and the large, sturdy wheels comfortably take on even the bumpiest sidewalks in our urban neighborhood without jolting the stroller’s small passengers.
The most unique feature of the phil&teds vibe is the ability to use it as a single stroller, or to add the “doubles kit” to turn it into a double. The stroller’s design allows this smaller doubles seat to be easily attached behind and below the primary seat, creating a double stroller without any significant change in the stroller’s overall size. This is a big bonus—particularly for city dwellers who need to get in and out of shops or buildings without the extra bulk and width of typical double strollers.
While I appreciate the efficiency of the doubles kit design, I am not sure how well this smaller, lower seat will work for my younger daughter when she gets a bit bigger, and wants to sit up completely and look around. For the moment, the slightly reclined position and limited space of the doubles kit seat works well because Georgia is only 8 months old, but I honestly can’t imagine an active and curious toddler wanting to ride that way for very long. It would be a bit like being in the trunk while her big sister gets to actually ride in the car and look out the windows. Because of this notable discrepancy in size and position between the two seats of the phil&teds vibe with doubles kit, I definitely would not recommend it for parents of twins because with two same-age children, one or the other of them would always get the “good,” larger seat that allows a range of seat positions and a full view, while the other would be stashed away in the permanently semi-reclined “baby seat” attached behind and below.
The stroller is not light or easy to fold and transport, so it wouldn’t be the best choice for the frequent in and out car + stroller trips of suburban parents. But for our city walking needs – meaning we rarely fold it up or put it into our car – it works just perfectly.
Given that I have accepted that no double stroller is going to offer every feature and option in one package, I am very happy with the phil&teds vibe 2. I think that I’d really love it as a single stroller. It will be interesting to see how long my younger daughter continues to accept her “second banana” seating status in the vibe 2, but for now, she’s happy with the stroller, and overall, so am I.
To buy: philandteds.com