Is the rise of the luxury stroller unstoppable? Now Silver Cross have joined the fray with the Silver Cross Reflex. Read our full review.
Luxury strollers haven't been around for long. But with products from brands such as Maclaren, Cosatto, Quinny and Silver Cross hitting the market at over £200, the battle to be the best is heating up. The Silver Cross Reflex claims to be ‘the ultimate combination of convenience for you with comfort for your baby'. Does it live up to the hype? Find out in our Silver Cross Reflex Review.
What's in the box?
• Reflex Pushchair
• LED Safety Lights
• Silver Cross Simplicity car seat adaptors
• Padded seat liner and harness pads
• Bumper Bar
The RRP of the Silver Cross Reflex is: £250
Newborn Accessory Pack including – 100% Bamboo Baby Nest, Rearward Facing Hood, Matching jersey apron for babynest. RRP: £75.00
• Suitable from: Suitable from birth
• Open Size: 107cm x 61cm x 100cm
• Folded Size: 35cm x 31cm x 86cm
• Weight: 8.5kg
Silver Cross Reflex Colours:
Chilli, Black, Lime, Purple, Raspberry, Sky Blue, Sand
When you're spending over £200 on a stroller you expect certain things. You want it to be tough and easy to use. You want top quality materials and, of course, a great brand name.
It's obvious that the Silver Cross Reflex ticks all these boxes the minute you unpack it. Though it might look like just another stroller, it's miles ahead in function and quality. Silver Cross have worked hard to produce an upmarket product - and it shows.
The chassis has a brushed silver finish with subtle grey ‘reflex' logos. The plastics, which feel reassuringly sturdy, are a darker grey. There's the usual collapsible folding frame that Maclaren have made so popular. There's not much new in the frame design, except a pair of height-adjustable handles and two chassis locks. But what's the point redesigning something that works so well?
Let's start with the Silver Cross Reflex handles. The front of the handle is covered in semi soft rubber, while the back is a plastic moulding. They feel OK to the touch, though it would be nice if the rubber extended round the back, or maybe if the handle were leatherette. It's a small but personal thing - I think it would give a more luxurious feel.
The handles do have a really cool extending function, though. Press a button underneath and you can slide each handle out to one of two positions (up to 7cm) increasing the overall height from 100 to 107cm. It's a nice touch.
Moving down to the basket, this is where the compromise of a stroller design starts to cause a few problems. The basket, although fairly roomy at 40cm x 32cm x 14cm, doesn't have great access. You can only really put you things in it from the rear, and the slot is only 16cm from front to back - so you won't be dropping any full shopping bags in there. That said, it's quite deep and well-supported.
Silver Cross have developed some nice wheels for the Reflex. Measuring 16cm, they have a big chunky look and feel, and don't have any traditional ‘stroller wheel rattle'. The front wheels are lockable too (there are eight of them though - so if you head off the beaten track, you'll have to spend a bit more time on cleaning!)
The brake on the Reflex is easy to operate. Press down for ‘on', and use your toe and lift for ‘off'. It's not perfect if you have open toed shoes, but it's very light to operate, so I doubt this will bother you too much.
Finally, Silver Cross have included something I think is long overdue on mainstream pushchairs - integrated safety lights. When you take the stroller out the box, you'll find two LED safety lights included with the instructions. You simply snap them into place at the pivot point on the frame. When you need the lights, press the centre of each for four seconds and they give out a cool white light. Press twice more for two different flashing patterns, and once again to switch off. The four second delay is a great way to prevent accidental switching on, and the flashing patterns will help to ensure you're spotted even on the darkest evenings.
Silver Cross have made a huge effort to ensure the Silver Cross Reflex seat is top of its class. Design time has been spent to lift the seat back away from the criss-cross structure that makes up the back of the seat. This is a very clever move and one that helps the Reflex stand out from other strollers. The mesh seat back combined with the design ensures that the seat will be one of the most comfortable on the market. It's a very clever idea and we love it.
As you'll know if you read our reviews regularly, we're not fans of the strap recline - so Silver Cross earn extra brownie points for including a simple one hand recline. The seat reclines all the way to completely horizontal, and you can drop it into one of three recline positions. In addition, you can raise the thigh support, giving 82cm of bed length – all of which adds up to a very versatile product.
The Reflex has a pretty impressive hood. On first glance, you'll see the hood has good coverage. However, there's a well-hidden water-resistant zip. Undo this and the hood is huge! The leading edge can come right down to a horizontal position, giving fantastic coverage. This position is obviously designed for sunny days, as it exposes the mesh panels designed to provide airflow in hot weather.
The back of the hood has a cape that fits under the seat back and offers great weather protection around the head area, especially when the seat back is all the way down. There is also a handy pocket, perfect for a bottle or phone.
On the downside, it's a shame that Silver Cross haven't given as much thought to the hood mechanism. Pulling the hood forward and pushing it back is noisy and feels crude. This doesn't fit with the quality of the rest of the product.
The bumper bar is gate opening, and you can leave it on the Reflex when you fold it down.
Clever harness design is often ignored. Silver Cross have produced a five-point harness with three shoulder positions and a lovely Silver Cross branded buckle. You can do it up one side at a time and it separates into five straps making adjustment simple. In addition you get colour-coordinated crotch and shoulder pads to cover the already soft straps. Once again, the attention to detail shines through.
Does it look like rain? No worries - the Reflex comes with a very good, easy to fit rain cover. Made from soft flexible rubber with a lower section of black rip stop fabric, it's small and doesn't wrinkle. This is how all raincovers should be – well designed and small when folded. Remember, though, that you need to buy a separate raincover if you're using the parent-facing baby nest.
Lastly, car seat adaptors for Silver Cross's excellent Simplicity carseat are also included, further increasing the flexibility of this feature rich product.
Silver Cross also sent us the optional baby nest. This fantastic addition allows you to change the seat into a parent-facing nest suitable for a newborn child.
Usually, fitting something like this can take time, with Velcro and buttons and more straps and so on. Not so with the Reflex - changing over to the baby nest is really simple, and takes seconds.
The baby nest pack comes with second hood, a 100% bamboo baby nest and a jersey apron. This is a really clever addition, making the Reflex a serious contender as a first pushchair. I love the 100% bamboo material, which is really soft and luxurious. It feels gorgeous to the touch, and at £75 is good value too. Good thinking Silver Cross!
If you're used to folding a stroller, you'll have no problem
with the Reflex - you just raise the rear mechanism by lifting up the central
red tab. Grab the handles at the top, push down on the small lever to the right
of the frame and push the handles forward, folding the stroller around its middle.
The two autolocks engage and you can pick the Reflex up with the carry handle.
To unfold, undo the two autolocks and unfold the stroller, then push down on the central red tab to fully open and lock the frame.
We tried folding the Reflex both with the baby nest in place and without. It still folded with the nest in place, but it was a bit of a squash.
The Silver Cross Reflex is certainly an interesting product. For just £250, you can have a stroller that you can use from birth right up until you no longer need a set of wheels. Add in the parent facing baby nest (£75) and it begins to sound like a very good deal. Many parents will tell you they could not wait to move on from their big pushchairs to a stroller – and with the Reflex you can have a parent facing stroller from day one.
Functionality is the name of the game here, from the clever seat to the big hood, the LED lights, the great raincover, the extending handles… the list goes on and on. It's hard to think of much you'd wish Silver Cross had done differently. Add to this the premium fabrics and excellent build quality, and you have a very desirable stroller.
It's a shame the hood mechanism isn't better, and - if I was being picky - the handles could have a more luxurious feel, but these are small points.
The Silver Cross Reflex is a great product. If you're looking for a high quality, flexible, compact, from-birth stroller, I would seriously consider it.We give the Silver Cross Reflex 4.5 out of 5 stars