The phil&teds Sport – the granddaddy of the in-line stroller revolution – has been discontinued and will be replaced by the new phil&teds Explorer, which is expected to arrive in stores within the next few weeks.
Six years ago, we were one of just a handful of retailers in the USA who carried the phil&teds stroller. Back then there was just one – the e3 – and I had to order it directly from New Zealand. When we used to take our girls out in our e3, people would stare, often stopping us to ask about it.
Obviously a lot has changed since then. These days, phil&teds strollers are everywhere. But while phil&teds has spent the last few years expanding their product line based on their original design platform, other manufacturers have stolen their thunder by creating in-line strollers of their own. Many of the imitators have improved on the original, and phil&teds ironclad grip on the category has slipped.
This redesign of the Sport – the foundation stroller of the brand and still our best-selling phil&teds model – is a risky move. But phil&teds is eager to recoup some market share by adding some of the most commonly requested features, and it makes sense for them to focus these upgrades on their strongest performer.
The Explorer still looks like the Sport, with the same frame and those ubiquitous white-wall tires. But it has a one-handed recline, and a durable footwell cover. The seat looks a little different – more contoured, with ventilation, a quick-adjust harness, and an interchangeable seat liner.
The sun canopy is greatly improved, with added coverage, a pop-out visor and a pivoting hinge that allows you to move the canopy to follow the sun. The foot brake is now a pedal brake, which should be much easier to engage and disengage.
The new Explorer has a fast, one-handed fold. The fold location is still in the front of the stroller at the base of the seat, but it looks very quick and easy. The redesigned Double Kit (sold separately) has a sun canopy of its own and a cushy-looking seat liner. It is cross compatible with older Sport and e3 models – a nice touch.
Best of all, parents will get their #1 most requested feature – you can use the Explorer with an infant car seat and the Double Kit.
I’m expecting to get an in-person introduction to the new Explorer later this week. I will try to come back with video and more pictures.