We take a peek at Silver Cross' new Surf Elevation, it's every bit as lovely as the standard Surf... only with a lot more GGRRRRR!
The Silver Cross Surf is already well established as a luxury 3 in 1 travel system. It looks good and it performs well in the urban environment. Silver Cross have extended the popularity of the Silver Cross Surf by creating a new version – the Surf Elevation. The Surf Elevation has some advancements that make it a bit more rugged, and easier to use not only just around town, but now also across country. The main differences include a robust, elevated, magnesium alloy chassis, mountain bike inspired air suspension and chunky tyres – the rear ones being air filled. The fabrics specially made for this edition are hard wearing and weatherproof. As such this version of the Surf is much more ‘grrr' than the original (as well as being £50 more expensive), could this make it a great compromise not only between country and town, but also between mums needs and dads needs!
You might like to read our review of the standard Silver Cross Surf model first, as this review will focus slightly more on the attributes specific to the Elevation edition.
What's in the box?
Colours: The Surf Elevation comes in Zinc
of the Silver Cross Surf Elevation has an exceptional feel and look to it. It has
a matt gunmetal black finish to it that looks and feels lightweight yet strong,
a bit like it has been forged by hand from the most resilient metals on earth.
In reality the chassis is actually made from a magnesium alloy, which gives it
strength, durability and good looks
The 16cm front wheels, although small and hard, have a decent tread to them and are rubber rather than foam – meaning they won't become embedded with every little stone you roll over. You are able to lock them in a fixed position really easily with an easy to slide switch which should make cruising over rough ground even easier.
The Elevation has been given an all round suspension upgrade; at the front as well as at the back, and this gives an even smoother ride, although not a dedicated off-roader, it should be able to handle your countryside walks easily enough without your little one feeling any lumps and bumps in the road.
The back axle forms a sweeping curve at the rear which joins the two air
filled 30cm diameter rear wheels, perfect for off-road.
If you look above this part of the chassis you will find a single fat mountain bike style air suspension shock absorber connecting the back axle to the rest of the chassis. It screams "GRRR" at you, and is definitely one to tempt the dads with. From this central hub the two delicately curving arms raise up to gently cradle your seat, carrycot or car seat – whichever you choose to slot on.
The adjustable handlebar feels like it has an exceptionally large range – giving plenty of height for taller dads, and those with a longer stride – there is no risk of catching your toes on the back axle of the Surf Elevation. The way the chassis is designed with the suspension means you do need to put a little additional weight down on the handle bar than you would normally expect to lift the front of the pushchair off the ground for kerbs, cliff faces etc.; this is especially noticeable if you have the handle bar fully extended.
The basket on the Surf Elevation isn't anything to get too excited about, a rounded square shape, you might be able to fit some essentials in there but that's about it really, but if you were off-roading you might find they jump out as you go over any big bumps as it's quite shallow. It does have a zipped opening to help with access, and you'll notice this model also includes a tyre pump in case you get a puncture whilst out and about. The brake is really easy to put on and take off, and works really well – it's very satisfying clunk on and flips off with the depression of a little button, it's almost too easy to do – I would worry about older siblings being able to do it when they get bored waiting for mummy to stop chatting! In the general scheme of things this pushchair is not lightweight, but saying that for a good quality 3 in 1 travel system that can cope with the demands of off-roading it's at the lighter end of the spectrum, weighting just over 11kg with the seat unit on.
Firstly, you need to remove completely the seat, carrycot or car seat before beginning the fold. Not always the most useful of features but it does mean you can slip the seat in somewhere else, but with no adjustable calf rest the seat remains full size at all times.
To activate the fold, fully lower the handle bar height down, past the shortest notch until you feel the mechanism release, lift the handle bar up and forwards over the top of the chassis until it has just passed a vertical position, listen for a click, at which point you can depress the red fold latch on the rear of the chassis with your foot, and then you will feel the chassis start to collapse. It's really not intuitive, but once you know how to do it it folds smoothly enough that you wouldn't have a problem doing it many many times over. There is a catch that will automatically engage if you push down on the handlebar when it is folded to keep the pushchair shut. To reverse the process is much simpler, just lift the handle bar and ‘flick' the chassis out, it locks securely into place.
The seat shape and overall structure will look familiar from the standard Surf model, and you still get the newborn insert (so you can use the seat from birth) as standard. The recline is also the same – a tilt of the entire unit using two (stiff!) buttons on either side, one can be depressed before the other and then the seat can be tilted back with one hand. The seat has also been given a makeover to make it a bit more grrrr. The hood fabric is water resistant (which I love to see as it means no nasty watermarks when you forget the raincover, and no fighting with your toddler to stop them kicking the raincover off every time there's a drop of rain). The whole pushchair has a matching colour scheme, with the fabrics in Zinc, which tie in really well with the chassis. The bumper bar is soft leather, and like the original Surf, is gate opening and swivelling, so really handy for getting little ones in and out in tight spaces. A typical length of back rest height (50cm) for a reversible seat unit, not too generous but adequate for most children's needs.
The seat comes with a reversible liner (in the essentials pack) and you can also get a lovely snugly footmuff that slots over the lower half of the seat, the outer is the same leatherette material as the hood and the inside is very soft and snugly. The bumper bar itself is lovely on the Elevation – covered in a soft leatherette - gives a really expensive feel. The pushchair comes with a water resistant footmuff, which is really cosy and fits snugly, keeping out any draughts on long winter walks. The 5-point adjustable harness is well padded, and can be made to fit a variety of sizes and shapes by adjusting shoulder heights and routing the waist straps differently. The calf rest, although not adjustable seems comfortable and the foot rest is a rubberised material that looks like it would be both hard wearing and easy to keep clean when your youngster is jumping in and out during those long muddy woodland walks.
The Essentials Pack
The Pushchair comes as standard with an Essentials Pack which contains the Elevation hood and apron with its luxurious feel weather resistant fabric, a perfectly shaped padded seat liner – soft fleecy material on one side and the more robust textile on the other, and lastly you get a combined sunshade and mosquito net - great to have included as it is perfect for countryside walks. The sunshade covers the entire seat unit and you can either completely shade your child, or leave the netted part open to allow air to circulate without flies getting in.
The carrycot is a continuation of the Surf Elevation's good looks and practicality. There is a lovely contrast between the harsh robustness of the exterior to the extra soft luxury of the interior. It is the perfect place for a newborn, giving your little bundle the lie flat option in a cosy weather resistant cocoon. The hood is water resistant and covers the top half of the carrycot well, the apron covers the remaining half so your little one can be enclosed snugly. There is a rubberised base, similar to the footrest on the main seat, that will be great when you need to set the carrycot down on the potentially muddy floor to fold the chassis.
The joy of the Surf Elevation is in its hybrid nature. A versatile beast that not only looks good for the fashion conscious mum about town, but performs well for dad taking little ones out on a weekend for a run around the park. It looks at home in either situation and its understated good looks are actually more impressive than one of the candy bright standard Surf models.
Everything about the Surf Elevation oozes quality, the fabrics are faultless and the chassis actually makes me want to caress it – the many included extras are of a similar standard. The only things I can truly fault the Surf Elevation on is the two piece fold (I feel this leaves it a little behind the times in the modern age of pushchair design and also results in a bulky combined size when folded), the stiffness of the tilt recline and seat removal buttons seems unnecessary, and the basket is a little too small to be useful.
The Surf Elevation is really a luxury pushchair and for anyone wanting style, grace and practicality I can't recommend it highly enough. The Surf truly has reached new heights when it comes to the Elevation.
We give the Silver Cross Surf Elevation 4.5 out of 5 stars.