Life just got SMARTER!

I have spent the last few days
experimenting with the new phil&teds smart stroller!  To summarize
briefly, it is a compact stroller that feels like a full sized
stroller.  In typical phil&teds style, it is very versatile from birth,
super easy to push even with one hand, very stable, and has good big
wheels to get you where you need to go!  And the colors are wonderful.  I
chose tangerine and hot pink as we are coming out of a long cold
winter.  Have you played with the color combinations on philandteds.com?  It’s very clever and fun for the stroller obsessed and future smart owners.  
Set-up

  If you have had another
phil&teds stroller, a lot of the set up will come naturally.  Lots
of things simply click into place.  The instructions come in five
different languages, with the main stroller instructions a series of
pictures.   

The sun visor set up took me
much more time than getting the stroller together.  Both my 7 year old
and then my 4 year old tried to take the supports that you need to
thread through before you zip it on the stroller.  I learned that while trying to
figure out where the guides fit in the sun visor, it would have been
easier to not have my 18 month old outside with me (she was EVERYWHERE
as most 18 months olds are). I also first
zipped the shade on backwards.  Mind that the taller of the two guides
where you zip on the shade is closest to the handle bar.  It’s a very
clever shade as it works for a rear facing child and a forward facing
child.  I also appreciate the price point of the shades and seats (for
me in the USA, only $20 for the shade, $25 for a new seat).  My husband
has already wondered how many colors combos I will eventually own.  

Size and fold: 

One of the biggest deals to me in a compact stroller is the ability to
fit well in a car truck.  I have had a great mid-sized umbrella-like stroller
that I love, but it is very awkward in a trunk. With the smart, pop off
the seat and pop off the back wheels, and the frame is practically flat.
We then just store the seat and wheels separately as space allows.   If
packing a car for a long trip, it is very handy to not have your whole
trunk filled with just a stroller.  The stroller does seem small and
light compared to my phil&teds explorer.  It is easy to carry with
just one hand.


And it is easy to unfold the stroller with one hand.  I tested holding
my wiggly and busy 18 month old and while holding her, I could get the smart out of
my trunk and unfold the stroller.  Just undo the locks and listen for
the click (or check the side red button,  this is a new feature from the
first smart.  The side red button allows you to fold or unfold the
stroller and clicks when it is ready for baby). 


Storage for all the baby things:

The under carriage storage when using the parent facing verso, is quite
ample, allowing a large diaper bag.  I was slightly concerned as the
user manual states that no more than 7lbs/3kg to go in the storage
basket.  I know especially when I have a young baby,  I have a massive
diaper bag.  Once I count all the extra clothes and baby food and
bottles and water, etc, etc, it very much weighs more than 7 pounds.
The manual also states to not hang parcels from the frame.  I know that
is stated for safety, but it feels to be a super stable stroller with not much worry for tipping.
Knowing how things go when I am out with my kids, at times, we need a
lot of extra of everything.  There will probably be some parcels hung
from the frame. 

The new smart seat:

From looking at photos of the first generation smart, the seat always looked
small to me.  I have tall kids and I wondered if it would be
comfortable for them.  The new seat has been made longer and looks like
it provides kids with a better ride.  My 18 month old is almost tall
enough to use the bottom foot rest, but she has found another way to
rest her legs.   Since the seat is
long, she bends her legs a bit and puts them on the bottom.  The
seat is very roomy for tall kids too.  The sun hood also accommodates
my very tall 4 year old (she is over 46 inches tall).  She has outsized
the stroller by a few pounds, but she would still fit. 

There is not a huge recline when the seat is forward facing, but my daughter
would be able to take a quick stroller nap. I realized my daughter
sleeps in her car seat, and the recline is better than where she is in her car
seat.    The recline with the verso is brilliant and looks very comfy
for the smaller traveler.  And your baby can be rear facing until the
generous weight limit of 33lbs/15kg.

(check out my daughter’s mokopuna hoodie!)

The seat also has a tail-free harness, that keeps everything together
and tidy.  It’s easy to adjust.  Just if people are curious, I put my explorer doubles
kit liner in the seat and it also works well.  I have not tried to hand
wash the cushy seat liner of the smart yet (but the time will come!).  I
love that my explorer liners can go in the washing machine and hung out
to dry.  And as the main seat can be wiped down,  it is like a parental dream.
I should give my baby an ice cream cone to then see how well things
clean up.  For now it would make me too sad to see the smart that dirty.

For those parents going into the Fall, I popped my snuggle and snooze on and it fit perfectly. 

Terrain:  

With the larger wheels than many compact strollers, the smart will take you
places others could not.  It handles great on gravel (not easy for wimpy wheels!) and grass, pops up
curbs, and covers cobble stones with ease.  Although I love the air
filled tires of my explorer, the large wheels are great, and nice to not
worry about flats.  

 

The smart is a very clever, lovely to look at and extremely functional
piece of baby gear.  If you are hesitating about getting it, don’t.  You
won’t regret it.    

About the author:

Prior to becoming a traveling opera wife and full-time mother, Ann Hinckley Stucki studied socio-cultural anthropology as an undergraduate and went on to receive her master’s degree in social work. She has worked in a variety of fields from health education, mental health/community/school social work, geriatrics, childbirth labor support, and disease prevention in Latin America. Her research pursuits have taken her from a Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border dispute to London, England to present graduate research at a Medical Anthropology conference. Additionally, she is an award-winning photographer and enjoys portrait work. She also teaches fire breathing. Brian Stucki has been singing professionally full-time for more than six years, taking his family on the road with him. He has sung with companies and orchestras from coast to coast and on three continents. Highlights include The Pearl Fishers with Seattle Opera, Così fan tutte with the New Israeli Opera, Haydn’s Creation, with Boston Baroque, The Barber of Seville with the Compaña Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City, and The Fall of the House of Usher with the Polish National Opera..