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Silver Cross Pioneer Review

Review Overview

Silver Cross Pioneer Review
Expert Reviewer
216 Reviews
Reviewed On: 26 Aug 2014
Sophie Bell
Expert Reviewer
Sophie's Verdict:

With more than 40 years experience of designing pushchairs, Silver Cross have created another innovation. Sporting numerous features from their previous successes, the Pioneer is an all-terrain, lightweight, robust pushchair which has everything you need to use it from birth to toddler.  

Review Summary

Summary

It's all the attention to detail touches I love. The buckle, the handle and the wheels. It all adds to the overall feel of quality. I think the Silver Cross Pioneer will be very popular.

What’s good
  • Great looking
  • Compact and multi-terrain
What’s not so good
  • Not self standing when folded
  • No viewing window in the hood

Review Content

Silver Cross Pioneer Review

Dating back to 1877, Silver Cross is a strong recognisable brand with a solid reputation. Known by mothers and grandmothers alike for their robust prams and pushchairs, the story remains the same today. New for 2014 is the Pioneer, a redesign of the popular Silver Cross Wayfarer. It's a multi-terrain, compact, forward or rear facing pushchair which comes with a carrycot, making it suitable from birth. Come and see how it got on in our Silver Cross Pioneer review...

SilverCrossPioneerColours
Chassis

As soon as you get the boxes you'll be amazed by how small the packages are. One box contains the pushchair, carrycot and seat unit, and the other contains the hood and fabrics.

Once you've excitedly opened the big box up you don't need to worry about being overwhelmed by the work ahead of you. There's not an Allen key in sight.

Starting with the chassis, just release the auto-lock on the left of the frame around half way down by lifting it up. Now raise the handle bar: the front will push out forwards and it will all click into place.  Put the frame on the floor attach the four wheels, trust me it's easier that way. The two rear wheels simply push into the holes on the side of the axle and click into position. The front wheels push up into the front of the frame and again click nicely into place.

Now you just have to choose whether you want to use the carrycot or seat unit, attach the hood and fabric pack and you are ready for your first outing.

When it comes to the aesthetics of the Pioneer, the lightweight mirror finished aluminium chassis is beautifully engineered. All the plastic is matt black and it looks great - especially when the hood and fabrics are attached as it gives that extra splash of colour. 

Starting from the top, the handle is a lovely soft leatherette with beautiful central chrome detailing. It makes the whole pushchair feel luxurious and elegant. You can adjust the handle to four different positions. To alter the position, just pull the button in the centre of the handle in, and slide the handle up or down to the desired height.

SilverCrossPioneerChassis

Four-way suspension, along with four puncture proof, EVA treaded tyres ensure a smooth ride whatever terrain daily life throws at you. The rear wheels are 10" and the two at the front are 7.5" swivel wheels. They all have a stylish silver inner that creates a cool car alloy look. The rear wheels have the Silver Cross logo in the centre which is another nice detail. As expected the front two wheels can be locked for uneven ground should you need that extra stability – you do this with the flick of two clips just above both wheels.

If you need to take the wheels off at any point, there's a green button under the frame for each to release them. With the front ones you just push in the white pin with a pen or similar.

You can 'shop 'til you drop' with the large shopping basket which measures 43cm x 56cm x 26cm at it largest point, with a maximum load weight of 5kg. It's easily accessible, with both the carrycot and seat in place and would easily carry a couple of shopping bags. There is a hardened floor in the basket, too. It adds strength but is nice and flexible, folding nicely with the frame.

Braking is simple. Simply push the red pedal just above the right wheel down to put the brakes on and push the green button above it in to take it off again. It's great for those like me who prefer open-toe sandals in the summer.

SilverCrossPioneerBasket
Seat

With the Pioneer you get a main seat and a carrycot as part of the package. The hood and fabric pack is designed to fit both and is easy to change. You can buy an additional pack or different colour to suit your mood if you wish.

Let's start with the main seat unit, which can be used from 6 months onwards.

It comes as one piece when you get it out of the box. You simply need to slot the connector points into the black connector holes on the side of the chassis. You can use the seat in a world or parent facing position as the connector is the same for both. When you want to remove the seat it's easy peasy. There are flaps on both sides of the seat where the connecters are that have a nice Silver Cross logo on them, pull those up and then lift the seat from the frame.

An elevated seating position gives you the best possible view of your little one and makes eye contact and interaction with them easier, especially when parent facing. It's an impressive size too. 24cm deep and 30cm wide, easily wide enough for a toddler and a toy and as its 50cm high, my 3.5 year old fitted in it without an issue. The maximum child weight is 25kg.

There are three different back rest positions for the seat. I'm sure, like me you'll be pleased to hear that the recline is a one handed action, and really couldn't get any easier. Simply lift the flap behind the headrest up and tilt the seat into position. The lowest position is just perfect for a sleeping tot.

A bumper bar comes with the seat and is fitted to the sides of the seat by simply pushing into position. It's gate-opening, and can be opened with one hand making it easier to get a wiggling toddler in and out.

There are three different calf/leg rest positions. You adjust them by pushing in the buttons just underneath both sides. The lowest position was perfect for my 3.5 year old as his feet nicely sat on the non slip, hard footplate. Although he rarely uses pushchairs now he really liked the position.

The hood is a little noisy when you open it, so I would fear it might wake a sleeping baby. You'll just have to remember to open it before they fall asleep if they are easily stirred.

Fabric wise, the seat feels sumptuous and well-padded throughout, and the liner is lovely and elegant, sporting whatever fab colour you've chosen. We tested the wonderful damson purple which is really eye catching - I love purple so I think it's fab! The apron clips nicely on to the frame using the usual Silver Cross rubber clips which simply slide over the hooks on the frame.  The top of the apron then folds perfectly over the bumper bar and is held in place with invisible magnets.

A 5 point harness secures your little one. The shoulder and waist straps can be adjusted and the re-thread is fairly easy. I was frustrated when getting a toddler in and out as the shoulder strap loops into a slot on the buckle rather than clipping in, so it has a tendency to fall out. As I have an escape-artist toddler it didn't take him long to realise he could easily slide them out. However, there are D rings to add an additional harness should you want to. I love the harness release button as it looks like an expensive pendant. It's all about the bling with the buckle, but I like it.

SilverCrossPioneerSeat

Attaching the hood is easy as it has ingenious easy-fit clips, so simple it just clips on to the frame. I like the added thought that has gone into its ease of use. The hood has a slot for the recline clip to go through and velcro to attach it to the back, so it fits nice and snug. The hood has three positions: fully open, semi-open and fully covered. There is also a pop out sun visor for added protection. The hood fabrics are UPV50+ so you have extra peace of mind. When the hood is pulled out it offers excellent coverage from the elements. It's just a shame there isn't a viewing window for when your child is world facing. 

Also included is a nice rain cover, which fits the seat and carrycot and it is supplied in a nice carry bag. I love the style of the rain cover as it's a ventilated material with a see through window which has a zip making access super easy when a dummy has been lost or a snack is needed.

SilverCrossPioneerHood
Carrycot

Ventilated and suitable for overnight sleeping and coated in a beautiful bamboo fabric, it would be difficult to find a nicer sleeping environment.

When you pull the carrycot from the box it's in two pieces - the outer frame and the mattress and liner.

To put the carrycot together, place the outer base on the floor and push the two metal bars into the locators on the base. There is a small groove which helps to hold them in position. Now attach the carrycot liner. It fastens with a zip at each end. Next place the mattress in the bottom of the carrycot.

The carrycot is completely collapsible, so is great when your child has outgrown it - you can just store it away safely until your next baby.

It attaches into the same connectors as the seat unit and simply clicks into place on the frame. When you want to remove it, just lift the flaps on either side and gently lift from the frame. You can fit the bumper bar to the carrycot too, which makes it much easier to lift off the chassis if your baby is sleeping in there.

It's a good size - 30cm x 75cm x 20cm at it's biggest point, so it will easily last from newborn until six months, or perhaps even beyond that for smaller infants. The carrycot has a deep padded mattress with plush, soft bamboo lining to offer the snug cocoon - the perfect environment for a newborn. It uses the same hood and apron pack as the seat and is just as easy to attach to the frame.

It has feet, so you don't have to worry about the bottom getting dirty or damaged when you put it down on a surface.

You can also use the Pioneer as the perfect travel system, as it comes with car seat adaptors to fit the Silver Cross Simplicity Car Seat.

SilverCrossPioneerCarrycot
Fold

If you want to fold it as one piece you need to ensure the seat is forward facing and in the most upright position prior to folding the pushchair.

Apply the brake to make things easier. Then, push the fold release button on the right handle bar and pull the two triggers underneath it upwards (they slide nicely up the frame). The handle goes towards the floor and concertinas before auto-locking into place.

With the seat attached it's not the smallest fold, but I preferred to remove the seat and fold the frame separately, as I found that gave a flatter fold which is preferred for getting in and out of the car.

When you want to open it up again, release the auto lock and pull the bar upwards. If you push the front with your foot slightly it helps lock it into place quicker, in a smooth motion. The more I did it, the easier it became - but even on your first attempt it's not difficult.

SilverCrossPioneerFold
Conclusion

How can you not love it? It's beautiful to look at with its chrome detailing finishes, leatherette handle and luxurious fabrics. It's easy to push and the oversize wheels and multi-terrain, puncture proof tyres mean the Pioneer can take on any surface everyday life throws at it. Suitable from birth thanks to its gorgeous carrycot, and then from 6 months to toddler with the seat. It even has a travel system option and comes with the necessary adapters as part of the package.

There are seven funky colour choices to choose from so you can stand out from the crowd. And if you fancy a change you can buy additional colour packs without having to replace the whole thing. You could even colour code depending on your mood, or to match your outfit if you fancy. The choice is yours. 

There are a few things that could be improved upon. I still feel the fold could be more compact, and it would be nice if it could free-stand. The shoulder straps fall out easier than I would like and I would have liked a viewing window for when it is forward facing. None of these things are deal breakers, though.

The one handed seat recline is a doddle. Because the seat can be world- or parent-facing and is in a heightened position it's easier to maintain eye contact, is further away from car exhaust fumes and causes less back strain for parents replacing dummies.

It's all the attention to detail touches I love. The buckle, the handle and the wheels. It all adds to the overall feel of quality. I think the Silver Cross Pioneer will be very popular.

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