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Britax Romer Smile III Review

Review Overview

Britax Romer Smile III Review
Expert Reviewer
77 Reviews
Reviewed On: 08 Sep 2021
Kelly Walker
Expert Reviewer
Kelly's Verdict:
4.5 / 5

Britax Romer is a hugely popular and well-renowned brand in the baby world. They have taken their Smile pushchair and tweaked it to present us with the Smile III. We have been testing it out to bring you our verdict!

Review Summary

Summary

The improvements made to this latest model of the Smile III are vast and really do add to the useability and comfort of the pushchair. The generous seat, easy drive, air tyres, one handed recline and extra large hood are just a few of the features that made us Smile!

What’s good
  • Large seat unit
  • Suitable from birth
  • Carrycot and car seat compatible
  • Huge hood
  • Air filled wheels
  • Large basket
  • Easy to use
What’s not so good
  • Large
  • Wheels can get punctures
Watch our review video:

Review Content

Britax Romer Smile III Review
Chassis

Assembly was quick and easy consisting of opening the frame, clipping on the 4 wheels, putting the hood on the seat and popping the seat into place on the chassis. 

The Frost Grey model we are testing dons a svelte black chassis which sets the fabrics off beautifully. Starting from the top, the adjustable handle bar is covered in brown leatherette with a nicely finished rubber stopper to stop you scuffing the handlebar on the floor when the pushchair is folded. Using the circular buttons either side of the handlebar, you can adjust the height from 83-113cm. Even the smallest and tallest of pushchair drivers will be able to find a comfortable height meaning big brothers and sisters can join in with the fun and take turns in having a push whilst you are out and about. The design of the Smile III is quite clever, small details such as the angle of the handlebar allowing taller drivers to stride out without catching the back of the pushchair were not overlooked by our eagle eyed reviewer!

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Handlebar

We know that wheels can make or break a decent pushchair and Britax have chosen to grace the Smile III with four air filled tyres which really does make the driving experience so much better for baby and parent alike. The ride in the Smile III is smooth and pushing is a breeze thanks to the brilliant suspension system. You can lock the front wheels for uneven terrain too using the black sliding clips just behind the front wheels. Because the air wheels allow, your walks do not need to be refined to smooth pavements and when your off road walks take you through mud, all four wheels can be removed with the push of a button and rinsed under the tap or with the hosepipe for an easy fix.

You will find the brake on the right axle. To activate it press down on the pedal. There is a colour coded peephole that will show red when the brake is on and green when it is off. The brake requires such little effort and is very light on the feet!

If a large shopping basket is your priority, then look no further! The basket is large, with a capacity to carry 7kg - trust us, that's more than you will ever need! The reflective strips around the back of the basket are a nice touch and give great visibility if you are strolling at dusk.

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Basket
Seating options

The pushchair comes as standard with the seat only. If you would like to purchase the carrycot or use it as a travel system with an infant carrier, then you will need to purchase these separately or in a bundle.

Let's start with the seat; it is suitable from birth and is certainly spacious. The design is completely different to the previous Smile models and it sports deep sides which we found nice and cosy for babies to nestle into. 

The seat can be placed in a parent or world facing position using the easy press buttons on either side of the seat unit. It boasts a really great flat recline, a bolt upright recline (perfect for toddlers!) and a nice resting position in between the two. The recline is easily operated with a one handed lever at the back of the seat unit and moving the seat was smooth and seamless - easy to do with a sleeping baby in the seat!

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Recline

The harness is practical and easy to use for parents and safe and secure for babies. It is clipped together with a reassuring clunk and easy to undo with a large circular button. Altering the height of the harness was also simple by just sliding the adjusters up and down the webbing to achieve the desired fit. The seat also features a really handle swivelling bumper bar or grab bar which can be unclipped on one side and swivelled out of the way to allow you to put baby in and out of the seat easily. There is a cloth crotch strap that can be velcroed around the bumper bar or alternatively it can be removed using the velcro tabs. 
 

We have already touched upon the generous size of the seat and with a capacity of 22kg, we were able to allow our four year old (18kg) to hitch a ride in the seat to rest her legs meaning the Smile III offers great longevity of use to families. Usually pushching a 4 year old would be quite heavy work but the four air tyres made light work of her extra weight in the pushchair seat! The large dimensions of the seat meant that she could sit comfortably with plenty of wriggle room. 

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Seat

Adding to the length of the seat is the adjustable leg rest. Using the circular buttons on either side of the footrest, you can change the angle from horizontal to completely down to suit your baby. 

The cherry on top of the Smile III seat has to be one of the largest hoods we have ever encountered. The extendable hood covers the whole of the baby when it is pulled down with the additional zip open panel extended making it perfect not just for sunny days but for encouraging your little one to nap on the go. 

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Hood

There is also a handy ventilation window in the top of the hood which is held closed by a magnet so there are no noisy velcro ripping sounds waking your baby or making them jump!

There is also the option to purchase the ‘Stay Cool' canopy (£74) which is a large hood with extra ventilation panels and mosquito guards to protect your baby from heat and bugs. With the recent heatwaves the UK has been seeing, we thought this was an excellent option to ensure your little passengers comfort and safety on warmer days. 

If you prefer to use a carrycot from birth as opposed to the pushchair seat, the carrycot can be purchased as an additional accessory for £179 (or as part of a bundle). The carrycot has some lovely features, such as the memory buttons allowing you to lift it off the frame with just one hand and also the fact that it doesn't need any adapters and it just clicks straight onto the chassis just as the pushchair seat does. 

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Carrycot

The mattress and walls of the carrycot are silky smooth and perfect for baby to sleep in. The apron is attached using magnets and is easy to whip off in a flash if baby is crying or needs some air. 

We also really like the ability to fold the carrycot flat to store it in the box. It takes up far less space and can be kept in pristine condition in case it needs to be used again in the future. 

A popular choice is to use your pushchair chassis as part of a ‘travel system' and click an infant carrier onto the chassis of your pushchair to make quick trips easy and to avoid moving baby from seat to seat multiple times - this is perfectly possible with the Smile III. 

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Car_Seat

We have been sent the Smile III Comfort Plus iSense Bundle which includes the Britax BABYSAFE iSENSE and the FLEX iSENSE BASE. Clicking the seat from car to chassis was so easy. The seat clicked straight onto the chassis with the use of the included adapters with a reassuring sound and was easily removable using the one handed lever on the rear of the infant carrier.

The BABYSAFE iSENSE seat itself is phenomenal, a further in depth review of the seat alone will no doubt be coming soon. It features three different sets of clever lights which are ideal as we enter into the darker months. These installation lights turn on automatically so that you can install at any time on to the base or the pushchair chassis. The safety lights light up the area as you walk to make sure you don't stumble and the interior lights let you see your baby in the car while travelling.

If you do wish to use the Smile III chassis with any other infant carriers then the adapters for most Maxi-Cosi and Cybex infant carriers are included with the pushchair in the box. 

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_BabySafe_iSense
Fold

The fold on the Smile III is not the most compact fold however at the same time, we must commend how simple it is to operate. So many folds nowadays can be complicated to master, but not this one! Hurray for simplicity 

The chassis folds by simply pulling up the two triggers on either side of the frame. The trigger levers are very easy to find with your fingers whilst standing behind the handlebar of the pushchair. 

If the seat is on the chassis in the parent facing position, then you can fold the pushchair all-in-one with the seat still in place, however if you are using the chassis with the seat in parent facing position or with the carrycot, then you will need to remove them before you can fold. 

The fold is free standing which was great for storage in the hallway. There is even a clever rubber stand on the handlebar so that the leatherette does not scuff when the pushchair is stood up.

 

Travelling with the Smile III in a car will require a mid to a;rge sized boot. We had to get creative to get it into the boot of our Nissan Micra however it went into the boot of a Mercedes GLA and a Discovery Sport with ease but with very little room to spare. 

Unfolding the pushchair is as easy as the initial assembly by just releasing the auto-locking catch on the side of the frame and clicking the pushchair back up into place. 

Britax_Romer_Smile_III_Review_Fold
Our Verdict

The improvements made to this latest model of the Smile III are vast and really do add to the useability and comfort of the pushchair. The generous seat, easy drive, air tyres, one handed recline and extra large hood are just a few of the features that made us Smile!

There are a few points we would raise; for those of you with smaller car boots, it is worth bearing in mind the size of the SMile III when folded. The chunky tyres, frame and large seat mean for an inevitably larger package when folded. 

The Britax Romer Smile III is a quality pushchair that will stand the test of time. 

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