Saturday, May 18, 2013

Phil & Teds Navigator Stroller with Double Kit

After weeks of researching double strollers on mommy blogs, YouTube videos, online baby store reviews, visiting local baby stores to test strollers, and most importantly, inquiring of my mommy friends with more than one baby, I narrowed down my double stroller selection to the Baby Jogger City Select and the Phil & Teds Navigator. We chose to go with the Navigator, and here's a detailed run-through. 

My two sons. Big guy up top; little guy reclined in the double kit
(this position is great for loading and unloading him).

With so many factors to consider, this was a really tough decision to come to, and I think the hubby and I made the right one for our family. Here's our list of important factors:
  1. The stroller had to fit two kids but must be a great single stroller (similar to our Bumbleride Indie) when needed. So that ruled out those double-wide strollers.
  2. Must have air-tires for an easy push for me and a smooth ride for the kiddos. We LOVE our Bumbleride Indie (oh how I wish they had an inline/ tandem stroller!), whose air tires have never failed us and have taken us through sidewalks, grass, dirt and even snow! 
  3. Must be relatively light and compact. Our Bumbleride weighs a mere 20 lbs and folds small enough to take up less than 1/2 of our Toyota Corolla trunk. It's travelled with me and two kids on airplanes (via gate check) and through airports, malls, libraries, and many a Starbucks runs. I know that a single stroller and double stroller comparison might be unfair, but we were looking for something as close to our Bumbleride as possible.
  4. Reasonably priced. Here we were thinking about how much we could get for selling our fabulous Bumbleride (less than $300 used) along with how much our double stroller would cost (budget of $500) and how much it could bring us in a few years (hopefully $300).
  5. Our tall 3.5 year old must fit in the main seat. He's about 100cm/ 39-40 inches tall.
My view. My big guy chose to use the big shade
to block him from the wind rather than the sun during our walk.

The City Select wooed me because of its multiple seat configurations and the fact that the seats are exactly the same, which meant the weight limits were equal and there's no need to worry about who's sitting where. Not to mention that it's hot on the market right now; there's not a sale to be found- not even on our local classified ads! What steered me away from this tempting piece of mommy bling was just that- it's pricey! $570 (in Canadian $) for the single stroller plus $200 for the second seat (add 13% Ontario sales tax to that!). Though I loved the thought of its plentiful under-carriage storage and its multiple seating options, I couldn't trade off my need for factors 3 and 4 above. As a double, the City Select second seat would need to be removed for the most compact fold (but where to put that 2nd seat when boarding a plane?!), and it's 2 lbs heavier than the Navigator (36 lbs vs 34 lbs). I'm often the one folding and loading the stroller into the car trunk, so those 2 lbs are significant :)

The little guy sitting upright in the double kit. You can see there's not much storage room with him in there, which is what I miss terribly from our Bumbleride. Though, I was able to fit all three of our light-weight coats and a bag of two boxes of baby cereal tucked under the second seat.


So, what's great about our new Phil & Teds Navigator? Well, it satisfied our family's top 5 factors and I think I'll be able to live with the less-important factors that I'll tell you about below.

THE GOOD STUFF

  1. We got the double kit ($150) FREE with purchase of the single stroller ($500)! This sealed the deal with us. This meant we also got the one-year warranty and it will likely keep more of its value when it's time for us to sell. We wouldn't have either of those if we purchased a used stroller (and there were no used Navigators being sold at the moment of our purchase).
  2. It's a smooth ride on those three 12" air-filled tires, turns on a dime, and I was able to push it one-handed with my two kids in tow and coffee mug in hand. Winner, right there!
  3. The second seat has a shade and reclines with a smooth one-hand motion (which also makes it much easier to load the little guy into his seat). 
  4. Hubby & I can use the same height on the adjustable handle bar. He's 6' 2" and I'm 5'4". 
  5. We can get the Freerider Stroller Board for the big guy (and storage space!), which can connect to the stroller or he can ride it by itself. 
  6. It's so narrow! It's more narrow than our Bumbleride and we fit well through small shopping aisles and doors. Fabulous!
  7. Cool little clever details, for example, the way the straps adjust for the riders height and girth, easy one-hand fold, etc.
  8. This was a really helpful video to watch since the instruction manual wasn't too helpful: phil&teds instructional video for the Navigator.
  9. It can fold with the two seats when the double seat is on top. This is fantastic! When the stroller is vertical, the double seat will flip out horizontal, so we just use a bungee cord to hold it in place when we store it.
This is the double kit on top of the main seat.
I haven't found another double stroller that can do that!
    Double kit on top (for toddler)
    of reclined main seat (for use with newborn baby).
These are the connectors for the double kit to go on top of the main seat. They are marked with "R" on "L" and these are intended to guide you for when you are facing the front of the stroller. It took us a minute to figure that out!

THE "OH I WISH" LIST


1. Storage (see photos above with my boys in the stroller). With most double tandem strollers, this is what is lost. So for now, I'm sporting my handy-dandy backpack until I can decide on other options like the Phil&Teds pannier bag or hang bag.

2. An inward fold (like our Bumbleride) would better protect the seat cushions and top of footwell and sides of the front wheel bar (see the photo on the right). Already, there are scratches on the top of the front wheel cap and the wheel bar because these easily scrape the ground. Be careful with the handle bar, too, as this often rests on the ground when the stroller folds belly out.

Be careful when folding the stroller.
The top/ cap of the of the footwell and the side
of the front wheel bar scratch so easily.
3. Include some accessories. I wish a stroller cover and cup holder were included with the purchase instead of the bumper bar that we will likely not use. Again, I know I'm comparing a single stroller to a double, but our Bumbleride came with the car seat adapter, a cup holder, a rain cover and a hand pump for the tires. Phil&Teds brand covers range from $50-65, cup holders are $10-20, car seat adapter $40.

There are two pockets on the hood for light things like keys, wallet, phone. We used them for empty travel mugs, water bottle, sippy cup, granola bars, etc. Making due with what we have. 

4. I'm not a fan of the wide opening in the back when the seat is fully reclined. My boys sleep well when they can't see out of the stroller, so an easy fix is to use mesh blankets to hang over the front and back of the hood.


So far these two mesh blankets work for us. I'm still debating on whether I need the
Phil&Teds mesh cover  versus the rain/ wind cover.



5. Better footrest for the taller kid. Our Bumbleride spoiled us in many respects and its footrest is fantastic! My big guy is a bit squished in the Navigator but he deals with it fine. He has much more headroom in the Navigator, especially since the hood is height adjustable!
Mr. Long-Legs is a bit more snug in the Navigator than in the Bumbleride
but that's something we just had to accept: he's going to fit like this in most strollers.
These are the same pudgy legs in both the Bumbleride and Navigator. I suppose I could have scooted Oliver higher into the Navigator seat but I didn't want to mess with him as he slept. 


The footrest on the Bumbleride is long and adjustable; 
it can be raised, flat and lowered.
6. It's heavier than my single. The Navigator (28lbs) with the double kit (6lbs) weighs about 34 lbs, which isn't terrible in the world of double strollers. But coming from my 20lb single Bumbleride, that's a significant increase. Better start working out those arms :)

Here is a quick video of my two boys in the stroller. Before I was able to try out the stroller, I tried to find pictures and videos of actual kids in it, but no luck (except for a couple of dear friends with other P&T models). So here you go. My big guy is 3.5 years old, 38 lbs and about 100cm/ 39-40 inches tall. The little guy is 10 months old, 20 lbs and about 69cm/ 26-27 inches tall. You can see the second seat upright and reclined. You can see Mr. Long-Legs. You can see the great coverage of the hood. 


Overall, we are very pleased with our new stroller. It's as close to the Bumbleride we have loved so much over the past few years, and we are looking forward to making some good memories with this Navigator stroller.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Three Months Later

A lot has happened since our last post in January when we celebrated Baby A's 1st birthday and I returned to work. Though I only have the time to post these two videos, I'll just mention that in the last three months, Baby A has enjoyed daycare, crawled, walked, had two sets of febrile seizures due to two fevers, is starting to cut a molar, babbles and talks all the time. Thank God Almighty he continues to sleep from 8pm- 7am (when he's not sick or teething :). His personality is revealing his fun and sometimes sly self, and he's super friendly- waving and saying "hi" to everyone he sees no matter where we are.

Also, mommy has finished her first semester teaching university-level students, daddy has been busy teaching, presenting and planning conferences, and we've made it through two different virus/ cold cycles and moved to a different house in the same neighborhood. It's been a very exhausting month and a crazy busy semester!

For now, here are two videos. I realize these are mostly for our parents. After all, who else has the time to watch videos of other people's kids that last longer than 30 seconds? :)

Ball or Duck's Head? Bathtime fun yesterday.
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I Can Walk, Mom & Dad! The most exciting thing the three of us encountered all day!
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More later.

Hope you're pondering the Reason for Easter!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Baby A is 1 Year Old!

Our little house smelled of chili, cornbread, and cupcakes yesterday. Several balloons and Happy 1st Birthday signs decorated our sage green walls adding to the new 1-year-old photos of Alexander, which were placed around the house (the portraits were done wonderfully by Mona Elisa Latif!)

Then the doorbell rang and all the fun began! What wonderful chaos it was to have our house warmed with dear friends and children who all ventured through the thick layers of last night's snow. We are loved and how grateful we are for each of them. (We wish we could have invited more friends to join the celebration. Next time, perhaps, we'll be in a bigger space :)

4 short videos below show just part of Alexander's special day. The first two are of our Happy Birthday song to the birthday boy, and the last two are what happened post-candle-blowing. It makes us smile and laugh out loud to watch them. Hope it warms your heart, family. We wish you all could have been with us today!

Love,
2 Parents of a 1-Year-Old!

PS. Soon, we'll post birthday pictures and a brief update about Baby A's 1st Christmas, mommy's return to work and our first days of home daycare.

VIDEOS 1 & 2: Happy birthday song

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VIDEO #3: Post-Candle-Blowing Fun

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VIDEO #4: Cupcake!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Baby A Bundled & His New Drum

With the temperature cooling, Baby A finally gets to wear his winter clothes when we go out for our walks. He gets all bundled up and I think he likes it. We'll get to take our BumbleRide stroller out for a spin in the snow & he'll be nice and cozy!




Baby A loves to slap his hand on his tray table & give high-fives. So at one of the mom-to-mom sales I went to a couple weeks ago, I bought this cool Baby Einstein drum for a really good deal. It sings and talks in English or French and has lights on the top to keep baby's attention. I thought it was a good find. So after I sanitized it & put in some new batteries, Paul and I gave it to him to see how he'd like it.

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I think this was a superb find! Watch out, Lou. Baby A may be after your spot on the FFC worship team :)

Happy Monday, all!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Catching Up Before Falling Back

Whew, this summer came and went faster than I imagined! And now, fall is coming to a close, too! So what have we been up to since our last post?

Our almost-10-month-old son
showing off his karate skills.

Well, since Ontario permits up to a full year of maternity/ parental leave and Paul doesn't teach during the summer, we had the wonderful opportunity to spend a lot of time with family. It was such a refreshing time, especially being new parents and living so far away family. Paul and I were able to go out without the baby for the first time. And, wow, all the people around to help care for Baby A! We found great pleasure in seeing our family interact and love on Baby A. WE MISS YOU ALL SO MUCH!

There are way too many pictures to post here, and I've started posting our pictures and videos on one of our previous sites. I find it so much easier to use and there is a very simple way for viewers to see pics, watch videos and comment. If you're interested, check it out here!

A quick run down on Baby A's summer:
* flown on an airplane several times & travelled to NY, CA, OK, TX (he is an incredibly easy baby to travel with, thank you God!)
* lost his spiky hair somewhere around 6 months old :(
That spiky hair is all natural and is, sadly, gone.

* took a boat ride on Lake Tahoe
* went swimming in a couple different pools with his cousins
* was dedicated to the Lord in June. (Family, we wish you could have been with us that day! The video is about 6 minutes long, and you'll need to turn up your volume. Just remember to turn it back down when you're done :)

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Pastor Don Horban at our home church, Cedarview Community Church.

* started eating solid foods and has quite the appetite!
* with daddy teaching him about the "claw" and the "antlers," Baby A cheered at his first Texas Rangers game when they played the Toronto Blue Jays
* cut both his bottom teeth and is now working on the two top ones
Can you see them?
We LOVE that Baby A loves to smile. It's contagious!

I suppose we could say these were some of the highlights of our summer. Lots of delightful memories to think back on. Fall has been wonderful, too, with its sunshine autumn weather and beautifully colored leaves. We take advantage of these days with leisurely strolls around the neighborhood and through the parks. Winter, with its chill and snow, is lurking around the corner and this California girl is bracing herself. Paul keeps telling me he'd like to see me purchase a knee-length puffy jacket. He jokes the warmer I am, the less I complain about the cold and the fact that he's dragged me from my California sun! Ha! :) I will survive.

Thankful for you & praying for extra blessings as the year winds down to the next.

Love,
the franks tribe

Friday, May 14, 2010

Standing, Splashing & Noise-Making

So today was a pretty laid-back Friday. Daddy got to take care of Baby A while I went out shopping, then we all hung out & relaxed. Baby A showed us a couple of new skills today. First, while we've known he's growing in strength, we didn't realize how strong he already is. This boy has been "standing"! He can't balance just yet, but he sure can support his own weight!


Also, he has been kicking around in his bathtub for a while now, but today he was really showing off his splashing skills! Good thing Mommy covered up Daddy's coffee grinder & coffee maker! You can see the short video on our family photo site.

Finally, we had some fun making noises!

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He makes us smile :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

4 Months Old & Mother's Day

Baby A is 4 months old today or he's 17 weeks & 1 day old. I'm still not sure which date to use. If anyone has an opinion on this, please feel free to comment :)

I was just talking with Paul today about how it feels like so long ago we excitedly (and somewhat naively) brought this sweet, tiny little person into our home. This small, delicate boy, snuggled into a brand new carseat, driven through the winter snow & chilly air, was welcomed into a warm house by two curious corgis & Grammy & Grandpa Franks. The fatigue of labor & the exhilaration of delivery was followed by our world being turned upside-down during those first few weeks. We laugh now at our insanity due to the lack of sleep (thankful for Paul's parents' help!), fumbling through diaper-changing a newly circumcised boy, and ourselves baffled at the different types of cries used to communicate with us. Just from these first few weeks, I know I'll never be able to repay my mom for all of the love & care she gave to me :)

On this first Mother's Day, I cherish the memories already. I remember how Baby A's entire body curled up to fit softly & perfectly across my chest when we cuddled & fell asleep on the couch; the tired tears & joy of nursing him a gazillion times each day; and staring into those beautiful eyes, wondering what he'll see in his lifetime and praying God's blessings over his life. Even at 8 lbs at birth, he still was so little to me. What a precious gift he is to us.

(1 day old; 7 weeks old; 9 weeks old; 12 weeks old)

Our little guy is 4 months old now, weighed in at 18 lbs. 5 oz at his well-baby doctor visit this past Tuesday, and he's over 26.3 inches long. Doc measured his head & it's not as big as we thought it was; it's just the right size (LOL!). He sits well in his Bumbo & holds his head up quite steadily. His hair still spikes up like a peacock's tail feathers. He's alert & growing more & more in awareness of his surroundings. With consistent sleep training & a great temperment, he's a sleep champ- naps well throughout the day, sleeps at least 8 hours each night (praise the Lord!), and wakes with smiles and coos in the mornings. And he loves to talk & play with dad & mom. His bedtime routine includes a story from dad & lullabies from mom- it's our favorite part of the day with him.

(4 months old)

What a pleasure & privilege it is to be a mom, especially Baby A's mom. I think of how much I love him; how I'd do anything for him- and immediately, I think of how the Lord loves us. How deep, how far, how wide is the love of Christ. The amount of love I feel and have for my son is just a taste of the love God has for us. I know this now in such a new way.

Happy Mother's Day, mommies!