Phil and Teds has been the market leader with their in-line tandem prams for many years. They have produced the P&T e3 and P&T Sport and now in 2008 have released a new selection with their Classic/Sport/Dash and Vibe.
The Vibe is a departure from the usual Phil and Teds style lines. It is an eye catching pram with the multi function of the traditional P&T. It does tick the asthetics box with this author avoiding the P&T as she didn't like the 'look' until she saw the Vibe.
The Vibe has the optional toddler seat to enable you to use it with a toddler and newborn, two toddlers or as a straight single pram. The handle adjusts to 3 positions and it has 3 air filled tyres with the font a swivel wheel. The main seat can go from nearly upright to completely flat enabling it to be used from birth. The Vibe comes with a padded seat insert for both the main and toddler seat to increase child comfort. The shoulder pads on the harness stay in place and the height is easily quickly adjusted. The sun canopy provides lots of cover and the best thing is that the Vibe can fold with the doubles seat attached.
|Model Reviewed:||Vibe 2008|
|Edited By:||Sally Marshall|
Seat design and function
The Main Seat on the Vibe has a lovely padded insert which provides extra cushioning for the child. The seat is of reasonable depth and height. The seat can lay completely flat with the side zips undone and the recline toggle fully released. Otherwise you can choose your level of recline.
In the most upright position, the seat still has a reasonable recline. As the base of the seat slopes backwards, a child is not able to sit upright independently of the seat back. This author found that the seat often would end out at an angle rather than being flat straight across the back.
The internal height of the seat is 60cm or 23.6 in. Shoulder harness points are at 25cm (9.8 in) 30cm (11.8 in) and 35cm (13.8 in). Width at the base is 28cm (11 in) and the depth of the seat is 27cm (10.6 in).
The layback position on the Vibe can be used for a newborn and P&T have an optional pram cocoon to use with a newborn. When in the full recline mode, included with the pram is a piece of clear plastic that buttons on to cover this area, and rolls up out of the way when not in use.
The bumper bar comes with a zip on protective covering (although my 2 year old son thought it was much more fun to do and undo the zip and take this off constantly, so we do not use it).
The footrest is solid plastic and non adjustable.
To recline the seat there are 2 parts. A zip on each side gives you extra room and then a toggle at the back allows the parent to release the seat to the desired recline position. The toggle can be used first or the zips can be used first to get the required recline.
The seat itself is threaded into the frame like the Quinny Zapp seats. The fabric is of a lighter denier than other P&Ts. The padded seat is of a more sponge-like fabric similar to that of the 2007/8 Quinny Buzz.
For the toddler seat the internal dimensions are 44cm high (17.3 in), 25cm (9.8 in) wide and 22cm (8.7 in) deep. The lack of depth could be a problem when putting the larger toddler in the toddler seat when in the toddler/newborn mode. Shoulder slots are at 23cm (9.1 in), 28cm (11 in) and 33cm (13 in). The seat has a minor recline which is activated by undoing zips either side of the seat, but the recline means that there is only a small clearance for a seated baby not to hit their head on the top of the toddler seat frame. The author uses the toddler seat with the seat pushed in front of the top bar so it does not hit the head of the baby.
Child safety harness
The 5-point harness on the Vibe is similar to the Quinny prams, but it does not have the puzzle of the Quinny harness (where both sides need to be fitted together before inserting into the latch).
Each side of the harness can individually be slotted into the latch on the crotch stap. To release the crotch strap you press the grey buttons on either side of the latch.
There are three sets of slots for the shoulder harness straps to come through in order to adjust to the size of the child. To move the harness up/down you just twist the harness 90 degrees, slide into place and return 90 degrees. The shoulder straps come apart under the shoulder pads to enable this to be done.
With the padded seat, the harness is directed to come tightly from behind the child rather than from the side, so this should help to restrain a child more tightly in the seat as it comes close around the waist.
Hood or Canopy
The hood is a generous one. There is a zip on the front side of the hood to enable you to attach the sun cover or all weather cover (extras). There is no viewing window to the hood. The rear part of the hood is 24cm wide or 9.4 in (between the back and centre frame) and the front part of the hood (from the centre frame to the Zip) 38cm or 15 in.
As the hood clips onto the pram frame, rather than the seat, it can also be moved up to a higher position to accommodate a taller child. This is important when using the pram in the toddler/newborn mode as it allows you to use the hood while having the toddler on the front seat. Moving the hood can also help to block the sun from your childs eyes.
Handle design and function
The handle on the Vibe is able to be moved into 3 different positions. The uppermost position (which is also the position required for folding) is at 110cm (43.3 in). The middle position (in line with the angle of the frame) is 105cm (41.3 in) and the lowest position (with the handle parallel to the ground) is 96cm (37.8 in). The author of this article has no issues with stride when the toddler seat is on the back when using the lowest position (author is just under 5ft) and her husband who is 6ft has no issues with the handle when in the middle position.
To adjust the handle you depress the circular buttons on the inside of each side of the handlebar. This sometimes can be a bit hard to depress both buttons and adjust at the same time.
The Vibe handle is a padded oval shape. One handed steering can be a problem as the wheel brake mechanism is right in the middle of the handlebar. Accidentally putting the break on and coming to a halt has happened quite a few times to this author.
The basket on the Vibe is of reasonable size: 37cm (14.6 in) long , 27cm (10.6 in) wide and 30cm (11.8 in) high at the top and 13cm (5.1 in) high at the back. The issue can be accessing the basket depending upon the position of the seat (upright, middle or layback) and is very hard to access if you have a toddler in the back seat in toddler/toddler mode.
The Vibe has three air filled tyres which are all are 30cm (11.8 in) in diameter. The front wheel can be either swivel or fixed.
Both front and rear wheels are easy to remove. The rear wheels are removed by depressing the centre button on the wheels. The front wheel is released by pulling the small button on the back of the wheel attachment.
The wheel brakes on the Vibe are easy to apply. The centre of the handlebar has a single red button which engages the brake. The brake puts a rod from the axel into circular depressions on the inside of the wheel to securely hold the pram.
To disengage the brake you press the black button above the red one on the handle bar.
When folding the Vibe some important things to remember are that the handlebar must be in the most upright position (perpendicular to the ground), nothing can be below the rear axle level (ie. lift the basket up above this) and the front single wheel should have the side with the attachment bar on the outside.
- Put handle bar in upright position.
- Undo the side lock clips. Then you lift the red lever on the side to start the fold. Fold so that the pram front wheel and handle come together.
- As the pram folds ensure basket is above rear axle and the front wheel has the attachment bar on the outside.
- When the pram is fully folded you can fold the side lock clips back in place.
The Vibe can be folded with the toddler seat attached to the front, but the toddler seat has to be in the higher position. The fold is the same as the normal fold.
To fold with the toddler seat attached on the rear:
- Put handle bar in upright position.
- Unlock the clips keeping the toddler seat in place.
- Push the toddler seat forward.
- Undo the side lock clips. Then you lift the red lever on the side to start the fold.
- As you start the fold you need to push the toddler seat forward up under the seat, avoiding the recline toggle and harness from the front seat.
- As the pram folds ensure basket and toddler seat is above rear axle and the front wheel has the attachment bar on the outside.
- When the pram is fully folded you can fold the side lock clips back in place.
This fold can be quite tricky to ensure you have all the bits in the right places. The fold locks will not engage if everything is not in the correct position. If everything is in the correct position the fold locks will easily engage/disengage. If everything is NOT in the correct position the fold locks will not engage and should not be forced. To do so could potentially break your pram (and it is VERY hard to disengage).
To unfold the pram, lift the fold locks and then lift the red lever. The pram easily unfolds. If you have the toddler seat on, just make sure you guide the toddler seat out of the fold, past the harness and recline toggle and once open ensure you lock the toddler seat back into position. When the pram is open close the fold locks.
The Vibe is a good pram to manoeuvre. It steers easily with one hand (once you remember to avoid the brake button) with both a small or larger child when on smooth indoor surfaces or smooth footpaths. The Vibe handles most terrains although the lack of suspension can make the ride a bit bumpy. The Vibe is a longer pram and you do feel this when pushing.
The wheelbase of the Vibe is slightly larger (wider by 2cm) than other prams in the P&T lineup.
Wheel base width (rear axel including wheels): 66cm or 26 in
Length front wheels to back wheels: 100cm or 39.4 in
Length front wheels to back of toddler seat on rear: 118cm or 46.5 in
Folded dimensions (with toddler seat underneath):
Wheel base width: 66cm or 26 in
Length - rear wheels to front bumper: 90cm or 35.4 in
Height: 37cm or 14.6 in high
Total weight approx 17kg or 37.4 lbs
Frame approx 12kg or 26.4 lbs
Seat approx 5kg or 11 lbs
Front and rear wheels approx 5kg or 11 lbs
The toddler seat on the Vibe as mentioned previously is smaller than other P&T designs.
In toddler/newborn mode the main seat is fully reclined for baby to lie in and the doubles seat is attached up the front of the pram for the older child. The doubles seat is attached with small latches which hook into the frame in place of the bumper bar. The doubles seat can attach to either of two positions on the front which gives the child below a bit more room if needed. The doubles seat in this position will take a child up to 25kg or 55lbs.
In toddler/toddler mode the older child sits in the upright main seat whilst the younger child rides in the doubles seat at the rear. The doubles seat is attached by linking the latches on the seat onto the black adaptors on the back of the rear axle as well as having the arms of the toddler seat go under the black connectors and then you secure with the black buttons on either side. This is a little tricky and does require two hands to line up correctly. The doubles seat in the rear position will take a child up to 15kg or 33lbs.
The maximum total loading of the pram is 40kg
The Vibe, like all Phil and Teds prams, comes without any accessories included, however there is a range of optional accessories to purchase such as covers, storage options, liners etc.
The doubles seat is itself an optional extra. Other additional accessories include:
- A variety of covers : single and double sun and rain covers.
- Particular to the Vibe is the Thirsty Work (Vibe cup holder) and an attachable food tray.
- For storage there is the Bacpac X which is a clip on and clip off back pack satchel, Base Bag which goes along the rear axle for storage and the Hangbag for holding two drinks/bottles and a few items in the middle(this can fit to the pram handle or around your waist). Also available is the Shop & Drop which is a parcel cell that fits in the basket to keep all items in place and the Diddle and Mini Diddle carry bags which can be used with the pram.
- For comfort there are a few options: Sponge Ted is a soft padded liner, but probably not needed on the Vibe as the Vibe seat itself is padded. The same goes for the Buggy Bunny (which is cotton on one side and fleece on the other) and the Woolly & Warm lambskin cover. To keep your little ones warm there is the Snuggle & Snooze which is a foot muff with slots to enable the harness to be used. For newborns there is the Cocoon which can be used both with the pram and without the pram, so you can use it when out and about visiting. It provides a warm enclosed environment for baby.
- The Vibe has a travel bag with luggage wheels and a drag handle and fits both the both the single Vibe and doubles kit. A travel system car seat converter kit enables a car seat to be attached to the pram when in singles mode only (not available in Australia). It is compatible with the Phil & Teds Bebe, Graco Snugride, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and Maxi Cosi Cabriofix.
- The Lazyted attaches to the toddler seat to enable the toddler seat to be used separately as an infant bouncer.
The Vibe is an eye catching pram with the benefits of the P&T in-line design that can accommodate two children. The seat is comfortable with an extra padded insert. The functionality is good - the main seat can move from nearly upright to fully flat, but unfortunately the toddler seat is rather small in height and depth and may not suit an older/taller child. The manoeuvrability of the Vibe is good with parent comfort high with the oval rounded handlebar and easy pushing with one hand, but the position of the break can cause issues with accidental deploy.
The Vibe is also a lighter pram. The fold is reasonably complicated and all conditions must be met for the pram to fold fully and enable the fold locks to be engaged.
The Vibe provides a stylish alternative to those who need a pram to cater for two children.
- Comfortable seat which lies flat and is large to accommodate taller children
- Good steering and manoeuvrability
- All tyres air filled
- Nice compact fold
- Very small toddler seat
- The main seat sometimes ends out on a slant
- Rear break in centre of handlebar (accidental engaging)
- Storage basket sometimes hard to access