Pushchair Expert

Header

0 Items
Shopping Basket Dismiss

Your shopping basket is empty

Britax Smile Review

Review Overview

Britax Smile Review
Expert Reviewer
216 Reviews
Reviewed On: 17 Mar 2015
Sophie Bell
Expert Reviewer
Sophie's Verdict:
4.5 / 5

A maneuverable, smart looking pushchair from Britax, the Smile comes in at £589.00. It features a large shopping basket and sports excellent functionality.

Review Summary

Summary

If shopping is your passion and you need a nice, functional buggy to go with you then the Britax Smile just might make you smile.

What’s good
  • Stylish
  • Reversible seat
  • Great sized shopping basket
What’s not so good
  • Quality lacking in places
  • High handlebar
  • Recline awkward when handle in lowest setting

Review Content

Britax Smile Review
Introduction

Hampshire based company Britax was founded in the 1930's so they have lots of experience, and a huge arsenal of baby products to boot.  After acquiring pushchair brand BRIO in 2013 Britax have taken a BRIO favourite and tweaked it. The Smile is the new addition to the Britax family and is available now. Come and see how it got on in our Britax Smile review… 

BRITAX_SMILE_COLOURS
Chassis

We tested the Navy colour option. With a curved silver chassis with black plastic connectors, the Smile certainly will make you smile. The finish of the chassis is very glittery and looks great in sunlight.

There is hardly any assembly and what is needed is really easy to achieve. You need to unfold the Smile first. To do this, unclip the safety lock from the right hand side of the chassis and lift the handlebar upwards. The frame will pull outwards and will click into position once open.

Starting from the top. The handle bar is made from dense foam and feels strong enough that you don't need to worry about denting or nicking it. In the centre of the handle is a large plastic button. This is used to change the position of the handlebar. Its lowest position is 101cm and there are two more, 103cm and 106cm. To alter the height, push the button in the centre of the handle inwards, the handle is telescopic so it simply glides up and down.

Moving down now. You will need to attach the wheels when your Smile arrives. The rear 11" rubber air filled wheels push into the sides of the rear axle and click when they are in place. They are easy to remove too as you push the centre of each wheel inwards and they pull free of the frame. The front two 7" EVA wheels push upwards into the holes in the front, again they click loudly when they are in position. The front wheels are also really easy to remove. If you want to take them off just turn the plastic circle above each wheel clockwise and they pop off.

The Smile's ride is smooth and pushing is a breeze thanks to the all round suspension which makes it feel like it's gliding. You can lock the front wheels for uneven terrain too using the black clips just above the wheel.

You will find the brake on the right axle. To activate it press down on the pedal. There is a peephole that will show green once the brake is engaged. It's so easy to put the brake on that I had to push the Smile to make sure as it had stopped as it's silent. Once you are ready to move again stand on the pedal and it will release.

Now down to my personal favourite, the shopping basket! Well, there are no complaints from me, it's cavernous at 40cm x 30cm x 67cm and it even has 3M ScotchLite™ reflective safety stripes which help make sure you are seen in low light situations. The maximum capacity of the basket is 7kg and there are two pockets at the back which are perfect for kids bottle or heavier items you don't want rolling around in there. 

CHASSIS_IMAGE_SMILE
Seat

We tested the Britax Smile with the Smile Carrycot. Using the carrycot means that the Smile is suitable from birth so we'll cover the carrycot seating arrangement first.

Usable from birth until the child is 9kg the carrycot is more than up to the job thanks to its great size 39cm x 82cm x 17cm.

When you open the box it is all one piece, which is a relief. There is a little assembly to get it ready for your tiny bundle as it comes folded.

Remove the mattress and liner and pull the frame supports outwards until they are all extended and they lock in position. Now place the fabric liner over the frame and close the Velcro fastener around the handle. You can now pop the mattress back in and it's ready for your little tot.

To adjust the carrycot hood, push the two black buttons on either side inwards and pull into position. This is not easiest action and those with smaller hands may find this difficult. The bar on the front of the hood can be used as a carry handle and there is foam in the centre to make it more comfortable for lifting and carrying.

To stop your little one overheating you can unzip the fabric from the back of the canopy. This reveals a fine fly-net mesh. The fabric can then be held up out of the way using hidden magnets in the material.

Your little one will be nice and comfy as the mattress feels plush and supportive. It's 3.5cm thick and has a cotton cover. There is also an abdominal belt built into the carrycot should you wish to use one and D rings on either side should you want to fit a harness.  The carrycot apron attaches with Velcro around the outside of the frame.

The carrycot exterior fabrics are the same as those found on the pushchair seat, however internally, the mattress cover and sides are cotton. This is ok to the touch but not as plus as some.

CLICK & GO® connectors ensure that the carrycot simply pushes into the receivers on the chassis. To remove, simply place your hands into the centre of them and lift, they detach really easily and quietly.

There are feet on the carrycot so you don't have to worry about damaging the bottom when popping it on the floor and it squashes down a little bit for storage when not in use.

BRITAX_SMILE_Red_01_hardcarrycot_2014_300dpi_Retouch_72

Now onto the Smile seat. Suitable from 6 months or when your little one can sit unaided, it attaches to the chassis in the same way as the carrycot. It also uses the CLICK & GO® system and can be attached to the Smile parent or world facing.

Reclining the seat in either position is easy and is achieved using the black plastic flap at the back of the seat unit. Lift up the flap and then move the seat to your required position. It adjusts to three different positions in both parent and world facing mode. Trying to move it to it's lowest position when forward facing if you have the handlebar in the lowest position is a little awkward due to the proximity of the handle.

You need to attach the hood to the seat unit when it arrives. It's easy to attach simply pushing down into the black clips located on either side of the seat unit. Once in place use the zips to attach the hood to the back of the seat. The hood can be moved to three different positions. There is a hidden vented mesh panel within it that you can expose by opening the middle zip. Once the hood is opened it provides good coverage from the elements, but it would be nice to see a hood extension to increase this when the mesh panel is not deployed. The material is thick and durable and doesn't feel like it would snag easily. Like all the fabrics on the Smile, it can be wiped clean with soapy water if needed.

A peekaboo window in the hood means you can check on your tot, but, be careful as it's not PVC covered so if it's raining they could get wet. It opens and closes with a hidden magnet that means it's nice and silent which is great when checking on a sleeping little one.

BRITAX_SMILE_Red_01_rearwardfacing1_2014_300dpi_72

Your little treasure is held in place safely by a 5-point harness. The shoulder straps are fitted with shoulder pads and can be adjusted for a snug fit. You can adjust the shoulder strap position to two heights and thankfully it's a quick re-thread as you only have to unhook a tiny part of it. The leg and crotch strap lengths can also be adjusted, and there are D rings on either side of the seat for attaching another harness or your little ones favourite toys.

The seat is a nice size, 30cm x 23cm x 55cm so it should easily last until 3 years as advertised, the seat is padded so even though it doesn't have an additional liner it feels more than adequate.

It comes with a bumper bar too which I'm pleased to say is gate opening. It pushes into the holes on the seat frame and is removed using the two buttons just underneath either side.

You can adjust the position of the footrest to suit your child this being achieved by using the buttons on either side. It's a shame it's not hardened or covered in rubber or plastic though as muddy shoes would make a real mess. Here you will find one the little niggles in the detail that slightly lets the Smile down. There is noticeable play where the footrest is riveted to the hinge, it is not enough to cause a problem, but it is there none-the-less.

Both the seat and carrycot come with raincovers which are quick and simple to install.

BRITAX_SMILE_Red_01_forwardfacing2a_2014_300dpi_72
Fold

Folding is really simple and can be done with the seat in place in forward facing mode. Push the handlebar down to its lowest position. Still holding in handlebar adjustment button push the fold release button, which is on the left of the chassis in. The pushchair will release and begin to fold. Continue pushing the handlebar down until it folds flat to the floor.

An automatic safety lock will engage to ensure that the pushchair stays in place. It isn't self-standing but the folded package is quite compact so storing or fitting it in a car boot shouldn't be a problem.

When you are ready to use the pushchair again release the auto lock catch and lift the handlebar upwards until it all clicks into place.

BRITAX_SMILE_Red_01_foldedwithoutbumperbar_2014_300dpi_72
Driveability

When it comes to pushing the Britax Smile, it's a pleasure! The all round suspension means that any bumpy uneven surface is well cushioned for your little one and also for the whoever is pushing as the vibration isn't transferred up to your fingers like some other pushchairs do.

 With two 11" rear air filled wheels and two 7" EVA rubber ones for the front it feels lovely and stable. Bumping up and down a kerb isn't a problem and the weigh is distributed evenly regardless of the seat position.

 The large handle allows you to push one handed and you can steer it effectively with one hand as it is light and easy to manoeuvre, definitely a good thing if you have a toddler walking by your side who needs to hold your hand. 

BRITAX_SMILE_Red_03_forwardfacing_2014_300dpi_72
Conclusion

I like the Britax Smile. It's a stylish, versatile pushchair that is not only good to look at but it is also very functional.

There are a few niggles for me though. The high handlebar position means it suits taller people. I am only 5"1 and I found even the 101cm lowest pushing position was too high for me. That said the pushchair is very easy to steep which negates this somewhat.

Some of the plastics felt a little unfinished in places and the fit is not perfect – the footrest hinge being an example. The material on the bumper bar doesn't feel as nice or thick as the rest of the fabrics which is a shame.

Don't let that put you off though, the good definitely outweighs the bad, it's nice to look at, comes in some lovely colours and I really like the finish on the silver frame. It feels nice to push and has a great brake. Swapping seat units is easy thanks to the CLICK & GO® system. The fabrics are durable and strong and the shopping basket is HUGE!

If shopping is your passion and you need a nice, functional buggy to go with you then the Britax Smile just might make you smile.

Menu Pushchairs Brands Categories Popular pushchair types Accessories Car Seats Brands Categories Popular car seat types Accessories Home & Nursery Brands Categories Popular departments Accessories Baby Essentials Brands Categories Popular departments Accessories