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Silver Cross Surf Review

Review Overview

Silver Cross Surf Review
Expert Reviewer
216 Reviews
Reviewed On: 14 Mar 2011
Sophie Bell
Expert Reviewer
Sophie's Verdict:

Great British brand, Silver Cross, has evolved throughout the last four decades to compete side by side with all the contemporary brands. The Surf is a demonstration of Silver Cross at the top of their game, combining the quality for which they are renowned with modern, sharp, design.

Review Summary

Summary

As one of the most attractive pushchairs on the market, the Silver Cross Surf delivers reassuring quality and good looks in abundance. Silly glitches let it down in places, such as the trivial basket on the frame and the shopping basket accessory, but overall it ticks many boxes in style and practicality.

What’s good
  • Fantastic quality
  • Sophisticated engineering
  • Large canopy
  • Tidy fold
What’s not so good
  • Small fixed basket
  • Awkward recline
  • Seat unit must be removed to remove shopping basket

Review Content

Silver Cross Surf Review
Introduction

Silver Cross has been producing ‘perambulators since 1877, started by inventor, William Wilson, who ran his business from Silver Cross Street in Leeds. Since then, their name has become synonymous with well built, large carriage prams, used by nannies and the gentry in days of old. Despite their connections with yesteryear, Silver Cross have continued to build their brand and modernise. The Surf is sharp, contemporary and crafted with the caring attention to detail for which Silver Cross are renowned.

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Chassis

The frame is made of lightweight magnesium, giving a ‘with wheels' weight of 7.5kg, remarkably light! Starting at the handle, squeezing the central button allows it to be lengthened from a height of 92 to 100cms. The dense foam handle is very comfortable and pushing is a breeze, even with one hand.

It is a gorgeously smooth streamlined looking frame. The D-shape back axle supports the encased brakes with a simple red switch to stop and green button to go; easy-to- use and magnificently flip-flop friendly. Keeping up the excellent aesthetics, puncture free back tyres sit on unique Silver Cross wheels, like cool alloys for a car, they add that ‘something extra' to the overall look. 

The small front wheels stem from the ‘Y' shaped wheel base which also supports a tiny basket, so small that it feels like a designer's afterthought. It is located at the front of the pushchair so it's not easy to access and being so diminutive makes it virtually redundant.

Our test model has the shopping basket included which is sold as an optional accessory for £30. First impressions are ‘Great idea' as it has a handle like a supermarket shopping basket, although much sturdier and foam covered. It is big enough for a basket of shopping and clicks in beautifully under the chair unit, locking into place when the handle is folded down.

However, this shopping basket has one major flaw... it cannot be removed while the chair unit is in place. We contacted Silver Cross to make sure that our discovery wasn't user error but to our surprise, this turns out to be the way in which it was intended to work. Silver Cross has subsequently listened to users of this product and is reviewing its design. Good news! It's a handy concept that's simply not been completely thought through from the user's perspective.

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Fold

The folding mechanism is easy; Apply the brake, squeeze the height adjustment button and push the handle down (as though you are rapidly reducing the height), when it clicks, it releases the handle to allow it to swing over the frame. At the same time, push down with your foot on the very obvious red button in the centre of the frame which collapses the base. The folded frame is pinned shut by the very robust, nail breaking clip near the back wheels.

Unfolding is simply a matter of grabbing the handle and flicking upwards until you hear a chunky click; a noise of reassuringly solid quality.

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Seating

The sockets on the chair slide over the pegs on the frame and click into place in either a front for rear facing direction. The leather covered bumper bar has a knuckled gate mechanism that makes access, loading and unloading uncomplicated.

The three position recline (in both directions) is controlled by the two large buttons either side of the seat...not the best location. It requires two hands and a knee to adjust the angle of recline, especially when the seat is loaded with an older child. This is a function you are going to be using most days and over time it would become irritatingly dysfunctional.

Removing the chair or the carrycot from the chassis is a matter of pressing the red button on one side of the unit, which remains depressed, while then pushing the button on the opposing side and lifting the unit off using the bumper bar. Stiff buttons make this operation a little fiddly but it's not over-complicated to master.

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Styling

The seat unit is delicious, especially in the lime colour we have on test. The base of the chair is black with the brushed aluminium accents. The colour you choose is then supplied as a seat liner, apron canopy and parasol.

The apron slides over pegs each side of the frame and the top flap goes over the bumper bar, so once the child is installed the apron won't slide off or move, making it a perfect pocket for chilly legs.

The canopy is large, made up of three exposed brushed aluminium arches linked with a generous amount of thick fabric. A sun visor can be extended from the canopy to add even more shelter, virtually turning the chair into an encapsulated pod.  The peephole in the back of the canopy allows you to look in on your child when the chair is facing away from you.

If you choose not to buy the carrycot accessory, a fleecy babynest (a triangular cushion) comes supplied with the Surf. It is a fleece covered bolster cushion in the shape of a squat Toblerone that fills the seat to make the chair flat when in the fully reclined position. Included with the babynest are some fleecy slide-on covers for the shoulder and crotch straps to make them ultra comfortable.

The raincover and the mosquito net are tailor-made to fit the chair. With the canopy being so large, it holds covers away from the passenger, so they have plenty of room to move and breath.The raincover is extremely well made.

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Carrycot

Although an optional extra, available in black and silver, we have included the carrycot in the review. At £160, you need to be sure you need it to warrant the extra cost.

Like the chair unit, the carrycot is a pod like cocoon,  with a zip-in liner and soft touch mattress...it looks so comfortable. Like the seat unit, the carrycot has a leather covered knuckled bumper bar which, in this case, acts as a handle to assist in removal from the frame. The apron zips onto the rim of the carrycot sealing your baby in against the elements.  The canopy of the carrycot is equally as sumptuous as that of the chair unit.

Once again, the rain cover for the carrycot is exquisitely manufactured.

Conclusion

As one of the most attractive pushchairs on the market, the Silver Cross Surf delivers reassuring quality and good looks in abundance. Silly glitches let it down in places, such as the trivial basket on the frame and the shopping basket accessory, but overall it ticks many boxes in style and practicality.

Silver Cross have not cut corners on any of the included accessories, they are all of the highest quality and include their logo wherever possible.

We love the expansive canopies, the two button brake and the easy-to-master fold. We also like the fact that the carrycot is not included in the price; it opens up choice for the consumer. Many people are deterred from buying new ‘packages' if their child is a little older, resenting the extra ‘built in' cost of a carrycot they aren't going to use.

If you don't want to buy a carrycot, the fleecy babynest is a great alternative to spending £160. However, it is still not completely flat and, in our opinion, requires some extra padding to make it perfect.

A beautiful parasol is included in the colour kit, an accessory which few people will actually use. It would be more beneficial to include sun shade like those sold by many third party designers and preferred by most parents.

Another improvement could be made in way the recline functions; straddling the pushchair to depress two buttons seems old fashioned compared to the one handed recline now found on the back of pushchairs like the UPPAbaby Vista or the Mamas and Papas Mylo.

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