I have had the Phil & Teds navigator for almost a month now. I have been using it almost daily over that time.
My first impressions of the Navigator were good. I liked the soft canvas like fabrics and the hard sleek footplate design is one of the best upgrades Phil&Ted have made to their design. The new no tail harness system is a great idea, and the one hand recline on the toddler seat is fabulous.
Phil&Ted strollers boast one of the tallest seat backs and hood clearances on the market. With the hood being able to move freely up the chassis even the tallest of children will be comfortable in the Navigator. In fact I challenge you to find a taller seat back/hood clearance combination!
The Navigator can be used in several modes:
Single face to face seat or bassinet (sold separately)
Single Travel System (Car seat adaptor sold separately)
Travel system/Toddler (Double kit sold separately)
Toddler/extra storage space
As I mentioned the seat on the Navigator has a very impressive seat height. The included padded seat insert is cushioned and has side wings for your child’s comfort. I would like to see the liner slightly more padded to provide a little more comfort from the plastic hardware in behind it.
The seat has a different strap recline system to the Explorer and is reminiscent of the older style of recline systems. I have read some opinions on the recline system and some hate it some love it. I am in the love it camp. I am glad they moved away from the dangling strap recline.
To recline fully unclip the lock clip behind the seat. You can adjust the angle of recline by plugging the side clips in and adjust the slide locks to the correct incline. If you only require a slight recline you can leave the initial clip done up and release the slide locks on either side that gives a recline suitable for an older child to snooze without impeding the double kit rider space too much.
Seat Back: 60cm
Clearance to hood: 60cm to 84cm
Seat depth: 25cm
Foot well: 13cm
Weight limit: 20kg
The safety harness on the Navigator is very secure; it features a safety lock consisting of two smaller red buttons that have to be pressed in simultaneously, while unbuckling the harness. This means it really is escape proof for even the trickiest toddler.
The shoulder harness straps have cushioned harness pads; to adjust the harness height is as simple as a twist and slide. There are 3 harness height levels. The harnesses also feature a quick release clip that make putting in or removing a liner a breeze. The Navigator harness also has a new feature; a tail free harness, it has slide cam lock system leaving no loops that could entrap your child and no free tail.
The sun coverage on the Navigator is fantastic. The hoods in standard mode offer reasonable coverage, but when you flick out the sun visor the sun coverage range is excellent. The hood also has a follow the sun feature allowing full range of movement to catch the sun no matter which angle is coming in on. I would recommend the option, sun over for younger children as it comes with the back flap sunshade as well.
The Navigator hood is also height adjustable so you can move it up the frame to accommodate a larger child.
Handle design and function
The handle height on the Navigator will have something to suit all parents. At the lowest setting it is 76cm and by extending the handle to the highest position it reaches 115cm.
The under seat basket on the Navigator is a medium basket. It is easy to access in single mode. In toddler/newborn mode access is restricted but still adequate. In toddler/toddler mode the size if your child in the Double kit may restrict the use of the basket. I recommend the optional Pannier bags if you find you require more storage.
Wheels and Brakes
The Navigator has 3x12” air filled wheels. The front wheel can be locked for better maneuverability on tougher terrain. When unlocked the front wheel swivels 360 degrees for the ultimate in maneuverability.
The rear wheels feature “mud guards” which are actually finger guards to protect your toddler from finger injuries while riding in the double kit in the toddler/toddler mode.
The Navigator has an easy one touch red brake lever, it depresses with a nice satisfying click to let you know it is on and flips up almost effortlessly to let the brake off.
The buggy folds with a one handed system under the main seat. To fold slide the red lever sideways and press the long rectangular button underneath. This releases the locking mechanism and lets the buggy swing into fold mode. I do suggest tucking the underseat basket up out the way to help the automatic lock engage.
Please note in toddler/toddler mode the double kit will need to be removed prior to folding.
To unfold the buggy unhook the automatic lock lever located on the side and swing the buggy up into the unfolded position. It will click into place automatically.
I was very impressed with the manoeuvrability of the Navigator. Even loaded up with two older children it was effortless to push. I used it on a variety of terrains from footpaths, unpaved surfaces, shop floors and even very rough terrain and the buggy handled all of them very well. Even with two children on board the Navigator was a one handed push on most surfaces, with only rough terrain requiring two handed.
Width by length by height 59x95x37cm
Seat, wheels, basket and hood on: 13.6kg
Double kit with hood: 3.3kg
The Navigator comes standard with a belly/bumper bar, main seat liner and wet weather back flap for the rear of the buggy when reclined ( this is not a rain cover) Optional accessories such as carrycot, liners, travel system adaptors, rain covers, sun covers and foot muffs, pannier bags, parent consoles, snack tray and a cup holder are all available separately. The Navigator is also compatible with the face to face seat and of course takes a double kit.
The stand out feature of the Navigator double kit has to be the one hand fold. It is similar in design to the Verve double kit seat but unlike the Verve the Navigator double kit does need to be removed prior to folding. The double kit comes with a hood that provides adequate sun protection and has a tall head clearance.
When attaching the double kit I recommend engaging the brake to secure the buggy. The double kit attaches in newborn/toddler mode to the front of the buggy via the connectors provided. You need to recline the main seat, remove the bumper bar and place the connectors into the bumper bar holes. The Double kit is then connected to the front of the stroller using the push pin system. This configuration can also be used as toddler/storage space adhering to the 9kg weight limit for the main seat in this mode.
To connect in toddler/toddler mode the main seat needs to be at least partially upright. The main seat connects to the chassis using the push pin system already mounted onto the frame just above the rear wheels. It clicks in and then the recline mechanism is engaged.
Seat Back: 51cm
Clearance to hood: 58cm
Seat depth: 23cm
Foot well: n/a
Weight limit: 20kg in toddler/newborn mode. 15kg in toddler/toddler mode.
The Navigator is functional, stylish and a pleasure to use. In my opinion it would take very little for the Navigator to be a perfect double, a one piece fold for easy use on public transport, a slightly longer footwell for the main seat and a little more leg room for the double kit in toddler/toddler mode. I really am splitting hairs with those last two though because even my tall kids can use both seats comfortably.
I was a bit concerned about the washing instructions as it states hand wash without detergent but thankfully it seems to stay very clean and I have only needed to surface spot clean.
Overall I am very happy with the Navigator and most definitely recommend it to people wanting an inline convertible all terrain buggy.