Phil&teds led the way with their introduction of their original inline stroller 14 years ago. This inline stroller started the current popularity and craze for single strollers that turn into a double with the addition of a second seat either in front or back of the stroller to create a slim stroller for two.
The Dot seat is roomy for a tall, slender child with a 44 lb weight capacity and measures 11″ wide at the front of the seat (it is 13” wide at the back of the seat) with a very tall seatback of 24″, and 28″ seatback to canopy measurement. The seat sports a padded, adjustable, 5-point harness that is tail-free (no loose straps in the way!) with the hard-to-undo buckle that we love for our escaping toddlers. The seat also has a great Ventilating Seat Performance System that will keep your child cooler in the summer.
There is a removable baby bumper bar but there is no parent or baby tray, as well as, no cup holders. There is a spot for a cup holder to attach but you have to buy the cup holder separately.
There is a strap recline that is our least favorite feature of the stroller. While we love that the seat reclines completely flat for a newborn, the straps are not very convenient or easy to manipulate for the parent. It’s definitely a two-handed process and can’t easily be adjusted with a child in the seat. We hope to see a one-handed recline on the next version of the Dot. There is also a non-adjustable, easy to clean, plastic footrest for your child
The Dot has a decent sun canopy with a flip-out sun visor but it’s not the biggest that we’ve seen. The canopy attaches to the handle bar with Velcro pieces but lacks the structure to use it as a floating canopy to fold in front of the child like the Explorer. Therefore, if you want full sun coverage, you may need to add a canopy extension. Two great features of the canopy are that you can actually attach it farther up the frame to accommodate the tallest of children and it has a large peek-a-boo window to keep an eye on your rider.
The Dot has an adjustable handle bar (up and down but not telescoping) that adjusts from 29” to 42” from ground to handlebar. Since it doesn’t telescope away from the stroller very much, if you are super tall, you may want to try it out first before committing to it.
The large basket underneath the seat is accessible and will hold a very large diaper bag or other baby essentials.
The Dot rolls on three air-filled, 10-inch tires. As we said at the beginning, these smaller tires are one big difference between the Explorer and the Dot. Since the air-filled tires naturally act as suspension, there is no additional suspension on the stroller frame. There is also a rear, one-step foot brake that locks both wheels at the same time.
With the front swivel wheel that has the ability to lock straight, the Dot has great maneuverability. We can maneuver it easily in a crowd and with the front wheel locked, it tackles grass, playground mulch, and gravel with no problem. Plus, the frame is very narrow (23 1/2 inches across at the widest point) – so this stroller will fit down the narrowest aisles.
One very minor complaint about the stroller is that it does not come with a tire pump. Not too big of a deal because you can purchase one for about $7-$10 but, of course, an included tire pump would be greatly appreciated!
Folding the Dot is an easy-peasy, one-handed process that you can do whether you are left or right handed. Lift up the front of the seat, grab the handle, slide over the red button with your thumb, squeeze, lift and the stroller folds easily and locks with an automatic lock. What’s not to like about that?!? Plus, weighing in at 26 lbs, the Dot is average for an all-terrain stroller and totally manageable to get in and out of your trunk.
Looking for a pram? Add the new phil&teds snug carrycot to turn your Dot into a rolling bed for your baby. You do have to remove the seat fabric to attach the carrycot, but with a few zippers and snaps, it’s simple to do.
Looking for a travel system? The Dot has you covered there as well! There are individual car seat adapters for most of the major infant car seat brands that are sold separately.
The Dot also works as a stroller for two with the double kit. The double kit is a reclining seat (3 positions with a one-handed lever!) that is 13″ wide with a 19″ seat back and a measurement of 22″ from seat to canopy that accommodates up to 33 lbs if used in the back and 44 lbs if used in the front (on top of the main seat!).
The double kit seat is super easy to attach and sports an adjustable, 5 point harness with the same great phil&teds hard-to-do buckle. The canopy is small and isn’t the sturdiest on the double kit but we are happy there is one at all.
The double kit seat has two places that it can attach. The first position is in the back of the stroller by the basket and behind the main seat. Your rear rider’s legs will actually be in the basket in this position. The double kit seat in the rear position sits very low to the ground making it easy for a toddler to climb in on their own, but a little trickier to get your smaller child in and out of the seat. Also, considering the double kit seat is right next to the wheels, the stroller sports rear wheel guards but we’d recommend either putting a small baby in the double kit or an older toddler closer to the max capacity that can learn not to touch the wheels. What I’m saying is that it’s not a great spot for a 2 year old.
The second position for the double kit seat is on top of the main seat. You will attach the double kit seat to the adapters that the baby bumper bar would normally go in. This position can only be used when the main seat is fully reclined. So, this is a set-up for a newborn in the main seat fully-reclined and an older baby or toddler in the top seat. Another reason this is a set up for newborn only is because the top seat will completely block any view of the main seat rider.
You can also accommodate a newborn in doubles mode by adding the car seat adapter up front and the double kit seat in the rear position. It’s important to note that the stroller can be folded with the second seat on the front, but will need to be removed before folding when attached to the back. It’s so easy to remove that it isn’t a problem but know that you have to do it.
Overall, we like the phil&teds Dot stroller but we just wish the main seat reclined differently and the handle extended out for our taller parent friends neither which is a deal-breaker. Other than that, it’s a stroller with great features for both mom and baby plus has the versatility of changing from a single to a slim, inline double back to a single.
*Disclosure: Thanks to phil&teds for sending a Dot to review. As always, all our opinions, statements and comments are our own.