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The Phil and Teds Verve (initial review) by Theresa

Being a massive P&T fan, talk of the new Verve intrigued me. I already own a Vibe 2 but with the news of a new Phil & Teds pushchair with 4 wheels and a 3 position doubles kit recline, along with all the other great features we’ve been treated to from P&T lately, I just couldn’t resist. I bought myself a Verve!

It arrived and I unboxed it and set it up within minutes. The first things out of the box were the two airless front wheels, followed by the two air filled rear wheels which I had to pump up (air pump not included). I wasn’t exactly sure how these would work with each other but when it was taken on it’s maiden voyage the same day, I could clearly see what a great combination they were.

The main chassis was unfolded, the hood and all wheels were attached and I was ready to unbox the doubles kit. Having toddler twins I will always be using the two toddler mode, ie, using the main seat with doubles kit on the rear. The doubles kit slid out of the box looking just as smart as the main unit with the gorgeous aluminum frame exposed as opposed to covered by fabric. It slotted neatly into the housing clips on either side of the frame and the lever on the top of the frame was lifted to slot it into the desired recline position. There are three choices for me here, in my opinion they’re upright, relaxed and sleep – perfect! With the doubles kit hood attached, it’s ready to go!

At this point the kids are just as excited as I am. After a quick battle for the popular rear seat position is sorted, the kids are in their seats with the easy adjust harnesses buckled. The multi position handlebar is adjusted to the correct height for me and we’re off for a walk!

We live at the beach so immediately have a couple of different terrains to deal with. The smooth pavements of the promenade, followed by the stoney, rough ground of the harbour. The Verve handled both beautifully, the four wheels enabled it to glide effortlessly over stones, while the suspension on the airless front wheels smoothed out the bumps, providing a very comfortable ride for my little ones. In fact, so much so, that my rear passenger promptly fell asleep, allowing me to try out the recline facility. A very straightforward pull on the top lever and he was reclined into the sleep position, very simple and very effective as he slept comfortably for the duration of our trip.

When I got home I had a go at folding it all up, bearing in mind I hadn’t even been near the instruction book, I managed to do it quite quickly. I do have the advantage of knowing the Vibe fold, which is similar, but this has the added bonus of an auto fold lock which helps you to keep everything in place as you reduce the size of the fold. The end result is a very neatly packaged double pushchair with a locked standing fold.

I am delighted to say that our first trip out for a walk was a great success, it performed as amazingly as it looked and we all loved it. I’m really looking forward to many more adventures with our Phil & Teds Verve and I will update my reviews for you as I go.

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16 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Thanks for this fantastic review (and youtube video!). I almost bought an explorer last fall but didn’t like a number of things about it and the verve seems to have fixed all the issues. I was wondering if you could possibly measure the open length of the frame? My boys are now 1 year and almost 3 so I only need a double part time but if it’s huge as a single I know I won’t want to use it.

    Thanks again-
    Sarah

    • Theresa

      Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your lovely comment, I’m glad the reviews were helpful.
      I’ve just measured the open Verve as a single for you and with the handlebar in the most upright position and the front wheels tucked under the frame it measures approx 103cm in length.
      I hope that helps.
      Theresa x

  2. Sarah

    Perfect, thanks!

  3. Nasrin Amin

    Hi Theresa,

    You’ve had the Verve for almost 2 months. Is it still going strong?

    Kind regards,
    Nasrin

    • Theresa

      Hi Nasrin,

      I absolutley LOVE my Verve, and more importantly, so do the children.

      We have taken it everywhere, parks, zoo’s, on buses, trains, shopping, in and around London and it has also had a trip on the London Eye! The very clever one piece fold was incredibly handy for that trip as all pushchairs have to be folded up to be taken on the Eye, this was easy with the Verve.

      When the children fall asleep when we are out, it is very easy to recline them for comfort, the doubles kit recline is superb, and so easy to do one handed – even when walking along.

      I’m really delighted with it and would highly recommend it to others!

      All the best
      Theresa

  4. Nasrin Amin

    Thanks for your reply Theresa,

    Do you find the Verve heavy to lift in and out of the car? I’m a bit worried that I will be struggling as I’m only 5′ 2” and 8 stone. Also, how old are your children? Mine are 3 1/4 years and 17 months old. Do you find the double kit seat is big enough for a toddler?

    Kind regards,
    Nasrin.

    • Theresa

      Hi Nasrin,

      No, I don’t find it heavy to lift in and out of the car but then having twins I’m used to lifting large double side by side pushchairs in and out so this feels light in comparison anyway. It’s a neat fold and fairly compact for a double pushchair so that definitely makes it easier to handle – I’m only 5ft 3, so there’s not too much difference in our height, but sadly, after having 6 wonderful children, 8 stone is a long way off my current weight, (but I can dream!) :-)

      My twins are 28 months old now and they are absolutely fine in the doubles kit – I think it’s a great size. I’ve had nearly all the Phil & Ted models over the years and this one is definitely my favourite!

      It would be great if you could find somewhere to go and see the Verve, just to try it out for yourself before you decide. In the meantime there are some useful demo & review video’s of it on youtube which might be worth a look too.

      Hope that helps a little.

      All the best
      Theresa.

    • I do find the Verve heavy to lift, but you can use the bumper bar as a handle which does help. But it is still heavy!
      My 2 and a half year old likes being in the double seat kit, but if you look at the photos of her, especially this one: http://www.bestbuggy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Phil-Teds-Verve-off-on-an-Outing.jpg, as a friend pointed out to me, she looks very cramped underneath. If you look at this photo: http://www.bestbuggy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Leg-room-in-the-Verve.jpg her feet are actually flat against the end, not against the floor / basket bottom. I honestly think there are better options with more leg room for older children.

  5. Dave

    Hi, This looks good but in the photos I cannot see any room for storage for nappies, clothes, bottles etc. Where do you carry all your spare items.

    • Hi Dave,
      This has been my issue with the Verve. I have tried everything possible to add storage to the Verve and have resignedly given up. I can manage to get the smaller half of the base bag to hang out of the back with my purse, a nappy, some wipes, my keys and phone in. Also a parent console on the handle. But there is no room for any shopping or a changing bag. I have tried attaching things to the frame and there isn’t anywhere to even clip a small bag onto. I have tried hanging things from the handle, and they just bang annoyingly on the back of the doubles kit. I don’t feel like the panniers suit such a stunning looking, stylish pushchair – they suit the more sporty styles of the other P&T’s. If I am pushing a pushchair, I don’t want to be carrying shopping or changing bag or potty or anything else on my back!! I thought I could manage, but I can’t, which I am gutted about because I love the way the Verve looks and some of the features.

  6. Theresa

    Hi Dave,
    I have a rucksack style changing bag for my twins stuff which I wear on my back and that contains all the bits & pieces I need for them.
    However, there are storage solutions available if you don’t want to wear a bag, you could purchase any of the Phil & Teds accessories: pannier bags (which attach to the sides of the pushchair for storage of clothes, changing & feeeding items and your shopping etc), a shop & drop bag (which sits in the shopping basket) or a base bag (which fits over the rear axel of the pushchair) to hold a few small items too.
    I hope that helps,
    Theresa.

  7. amie

    Hello, thank you for a fantastic review. can you please tell me if it it possible to have both seats reclined at the same time? i mean if the back seat is in a reclined position, can you recline the main one as well? can both babies sleep at the same time?

    And lets say that the one of the babies is a newborn, i understand then that the main seat is in a recline position and a toddler goes on top? do you think the toddler can sleep then as well? can his seat be reclined then?
    thank you

    • Theresa

      Hi Amie, Thank you.

      Yes it is possible to have both seats reclined at the same time when in two toddler mode. The bottom seat can be in full recline position and the main seat can be reclined slightly (without encroaching on the child below) to make the child more comfortable for sleeping. My twins have slept happily in the pushchair with both seats in a reclined position.

      When the main seat is being used for a newborn and the doubles seat is on top for the toddler, the doubles seat has a fixed position on the frame. However, whilst there are no recline options for the doubles kit in that mode the top fixed position is a fairly relaxed one so I would think that a toddler would still be able to sleep up there if required.

      There are some more pictures of the Verve on the link below that show the seating options available and you will also get the idea of the angle of the seat when it is in the top fixed position:

      http://www.bestbuggy.co.uk/2011/05/phil-teds-verve-2011-photo-set/

      That said, I think it would be really beneficial if you could find somewhere to go and see the Phil & Teds Verve, just to try it out for yourself, so you decide whether it would be suitable for you & your family.

      I hope that helps a little.

    • Hi Amie,
      If you have your toddler on top and the newborn in the newborn space ie main seat, it is impossible to recline the upper seat (the doubles kit on the front) because it is fixed to the chassis. The only way you could have a toddler sleeping with a newborn would be to use a car seat on top and then the doubles kit would go underneath and can then be reclined. However as Theresa has said the main seat is quite reclined already, however my concern would be at the lack of a side ie the toddler is very exposed on the top at the front. I know my children need a bit of a side to a seat to stop their heads lolling, and to lean on whilst sleeping if you know what I mean! However I guess there isn’t that option with the doubles kit either.

      • Amie

        Hello, as i know that the front wheels are not the pumped ones, do u think they will manage their way through the snow, i am not from the UK and the winter here can get quite heavy with lots of snow, will Verve be suitable for that? thank you

        • I don’t think they will. We tried taking the Verve on the beach but as soon as we tried to push the front wheels just crumpled into the sand.
          We are also aware there are chassis issues with the Verve so be careful buying ie check you have a new chassis – I am not sure if these are available at present.

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