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Phil and Teds Escape Review

Price:   $250 List | $179 at Amazon - 28% off
Pros:  Torso adjustment, multiple storage pockets
Cons:  Hard to get baby close, hard to adjust harness, uncomfortable
Bottom line:  Disappointing functionality in an uncomfortable package
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Phil & Teds
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
Monday

The Skinny

The Phil and Teds Escape is a more substantial pack than the Phil and Teds Parade. It has an adjustable torso, stiffer waist strap, and thicker padding that make it slightly more comfortable. however, it still lacks a breathable back and straps that are easy to alter while wearing it. The design of the cockpit doesn't consider how a baby will be sitting in the pack with an ample rear headrest and a thinly padded face rest covering a hard bar which makes comfortable napping just a dream. This carrier also has limited storage that is less functional than the competition. While arguably a step up from the Phil and Teds Parade, it still fails to match the comfort and functionality of the competition and its lower overall score reflects this.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Phil and Teds Escape is a more substantial pack than the Parade  but it still failed to impress testers.
The Phil and Teds Escape is a more substantial pack than the Parade, but it still failed to impress testers.

The international Phil and Teds is an award-winning company that creates juvenile products. Phil and Teds has been in the baby gear business for over 20 years, has won three Red Dot awards for design, and includes the Mountain Buggy and Mokopuna brand names. Phil and Teds offer backpack carriers, strollers, travel gear, car seats, and more.

Performance Comparison


This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the products purchased and tested in this review including the Escape (in blue).


The information below provides additional performance details about the Escape's performance compared to the competition.

We found the Escape needed regular readjusting to keep it somewhat comfortable.
We found the Escape needed regular readjusting to keep it somewhat comfortable.

Parent Comfort


The Escape earned a 3 of 10 for parent comfort, scoring just above the Phil and Teds Parade.

Despite two adjustment points on the Escape  it still doesn't feel like the shoulder straps fit properly and the weight of the baby pulls the straps loose.
Despite two adjustment points on the Escape, it still doesn't feel like the shoulder straps fit properly and the weight of the baby pulls the straps loose.

The shoulder straps adjust at the top and beneath the chest clip but they do not tighten enough to keep baby close, and the weight of the child pulls the straps down and loose as you walk.

The torso adjustment on the Escape is easy to access and use.
The torso adjustment on the Escape is easy to access and use.

Unlike the Phil and Teds Parade, this pack has an adjustable torso which helps it fit a little better but still not as good as the competition. The torso adjustment is in a zippered pocket on the back, but despite its 4.5-inch range, some testers could feel the bottom of the pack rubbing on the top of their rear ends with every step. The back padding is pretty good for cushioning, but it isn't very breathable.

The waist belt is more substantial and comfortable than the Phil and Teds Parade's, but it isn't as supportive as most of the competition. Testers feel it is saggy and the back of the strap stretches under the baby's weight as you walk.

Baby can stay somewhat cozier in the Escape thanks to the included canopy.
Baby can stay somewhat cozier in the Escape thanks to the included canopy.

Child Comfort


The Escape earned a 3 of 10 for child comfort. This product is the second lowest scoring pack for comfort.

The Escape has what looks like a cozy fleece collar but during use  it seemed to make little ones hot and sweaty.
The Escape has what looks like a cozy fleece collar but during use, it seemed to make little ones hot and sweaty.

The shoulder straps are a U shaped fleece pad with a center buckle. The U goes over baby's head and clips to the harness in front. It feels cozy, but if it is a hot day, then the baby will be sweaty.

The padded headrest on the Escape is moldable but unfortunately  with the way baby sits he is unlikely to ever use it.
The padded headrest on the Escape is moldable but unfortunately, with the way baby sits he is unlikely to ever use it.

The headrest is well padded and moldable inward to support baby's head. Unfortunately, the way most babies sit in the cockpit means they always lean forward and never use the headrest.

The face pad for the Escape is not as well padded as the headrest  and in our experience  most babies end up napping with their head forward on the pad.
The face pad for the Escape is not as well padded as the headrest, and in our experience, most babies end up napping with their head forward on the pad.

Baby's head usually rests on the front of the cockpit which is not removable making it difficult to clean baby's drool. The pad has no slant for their face to rest on and the padding is thin so they can feel the frame underneath.

You can adjust many of the features on the Escape with a baby in the pack.
You can adjust many of the features on the Escape with a baby in the pack.

The seat pad adjusts for height and is relatively wide and well padded. However, it is poorly structured and folds under the baby's weight. The front of the pad covers the buckles for comfort, and the width is suitable for preventing hip dysplasia if it doesn't fold in half.

The cockpit on the Escape doesn't tighten enough and we felt it left the passenger sort of flopping around and not secure to the wearer's back.
The cockpit on the Escape doesn't tighten enough and we felt it left the passenger sort of flopping around and not secure to the wearer's back.

The cockpit has a side adjustment flap, but no matter how we tightened it we still didn't feel like the baby was pulled in close enough to the back of the parent. This design feels less secure and cozy with unwanted floppiness, but it isn't as bad as the Phil and Teds Parade.

The Escape canopy is not great  but at least it has one and it is relatively straightforward.
The vinyl front visor of the Escape's canopy has a convoluted attachment that is easy but poorly designed. It protects little ones from the rain and wind.

The Escape has a canopy (above left) that stores in the pack. It has a plastic vinyl flap (above right) that can be used to keep out wind and rain, but it is not breathable and has a faint plastic smell. The canopy doesn't cover much territory, but it is better than nothing and can keep baby sunburn free.

The rear "legs" of the Escape's canopy slide into the red slit in the side of the cockpit.
The canopy on the Escape clips in the front onto the front pad.

The Canopy attaches to the pack by way of leg slots for the back (above left) and clips in the front (above right). It is easy to connect and improves the baby's overall comfort.

The stirrups on the Escape are little booties with an elastic back strap.
The stirrups on the Escape are little booties with an elastic back strap.

The stirrups are located on the back near the sides and are height adjustable with little toe booties and elastic heel straps. While not all children will use them, it is better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

The rear pockets on the Escape cannot be accessed by the wearer  so if you need supplies you'll need help  or you'll have to take the pack off.
The rear pockets on the Escape cannot be accessed by the wearer, so if you need supplies you'll need help, or you'll have to take the pack off.

Ease of Use


The Escape earned a 4 of 10 for ease of use.

The Escape has a stiff waist buckle that is difficult to squeeze than it should be and the straps are a struggle to pull unless it is positioned just right on your body.

Most things about this pack are harder to use than they should be including the waist belt (above left) that we struggled to adjust while wearing and the chest (above right) and waist clips that are stiff and hard to squeeze.

The chest clip on the Escape's harness is stiff but workable.
The chest clip on the Escape's harness is stiff but workable.

Fitting the child harness is convoluted with a hidden pocket and adjustment points. The design makes the fleece loop challenging to pull over baby's head and there is no visibility into the adjustment pocket, so you'll be making the changes by feel.

The Escape has two carry handles.
The Escape has two carry handles.

The Escape comes with a back and front carry handle and a location for a hydration bladder (sold separately). The pack is spot clean only and doesn't have a removable drool cloth on the headrest. The pack comes with a changing pad and mirror accessory to see baby over your shoulder but easier to use adjustments would have been preferable to accessories.

The Escape only has two rear pockets and neither is that impressive or functional.
The Escape only has two rear pockets and neither is that impressive or functional.

Storage


The Escape earned a 6 of 10 for storage.

The right-side waist pocket has a zipper  but it isn't big enough to hold most mobile phones which is what many parents would want to use it for.
The waistband of the Escape has a left-hand card pocket that isn't good for much and we wouldn't advise putting an ID or credit card in there given its lack of closure.

The waistbelt of the Escape has a pocket on either side. One side has a zippered pocket (above left) that is relatively small and not big enough for larger mobile phones. The opposite side has an open top pocket that would fit an identification card or credit card but not much else. We aren't sure you'd want to put those items in it, however, because they could fall out.

The Escape has a removable backpack with storage pocket. Unfortunately  when attached to the Escape the pocket is upside down making it hard to use.
Because the carry bag attaches upside down to the Escape the pocket can't be fully opened and the ability to use it is seriously hampered.

The Escape has a small removable backpack (above left) that attaches to the back. This pack has an odd design that places the zipper on the side/bottom when used on the Escape (above right) and the top when you remove it.

The lower storage pocket on the Escape isn't really useful for much both because it is small and because it has holes in it where the leg brace comes through.
The lower storage pocket on the Escape isn't really useful for much both because it is small and because it has holes in it where the leg brace comes through.

The Escape has a lower pocket under the removable pack. This pouch has a zippered opening and holes in the bottom where the leg brace attaches to the frame. Smaller items may fall out of this pocket, so it is better suited to carrying things like a jacket or diapers.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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