Silver Cross is a brand that totally passes you by until you have a baby, but for those in the know, it’s incredibly well respected. We would say it is the Rolls-Royce of baby manufacturers, but Aston Martin seems more apt, especially as they have teamed up with them to make the Surf edition top of the range buggy.
The Pioneer pram and pushchair combo might not have the same wow factor, but it certainly is an excellent choice in the £600-£700 range. Careful attention has been paid to the design, both in terms of function and style. It is convenient, eye-catching and most importantly comfortable for your little one.
While the price might seem a bit excessive, the Pioneer can quickly transform into a toddler pushchair from a pram. The quality is such that the Pioneer is clearly built to last and it should see your child through to the age where they no longer need (and demand not to be put in) a stroller. There’s also a detachable carry cot. So, the additional outlay might higher than some others, but you won’t be falling into the “buy cheap, but twice” trap.
We’re struggling to find any major drawbacks – but in the interests of fairness we’d say it falls in the middle of the pack in terms of its ability to handle bumps (but if you live in an urban area, this probably won’t be a major issue) and the harness in the seat is not our favourite.
Put simply, it’s a thing of beauty. The looks are definitely on the modern side and most of the colours are pretty muted and suit the subtle style of the stroller. The bright pink and blue though are a little garish for our tastes.
Form goes hand in hand with function as the Pioneer can perform as a push chair or as a pram – either by attaching the included carry cot and facing it towards you or by turning the chair towards you and reclining it back (which gives a gentle pram to pushchair cross over period for your little one).
The Carry Cot & Pram
The carry cot 30cm x 75cm x 20cm, making it suitable for the average baby up to the age of about 6 months. Assembly is straightforward and it clips into place pretty easily.
Often when carry cots are included, they are just an afterthought, but Silver Cross really impressed us in this area. The mattress is really deep and comfy, has an antibacterial lining and is suitable for overnight sleeping.
There’s an attachable bumper bar so you can lift it right off the chassis without waking your baby.
It is travel system compatible, and can be converted for the Silver Cross Simplicity Car seat – but that will have to be bought separately at £130.
It’s also collapsable so you can fold it away when you’ve stopped using it.
We really couldn’t fault the carry cot for convenience, but most importantly it’s pretty damn comfortable too.
The seat can be used from 6 months onwards. It is pretty spacious and can handle up to 25kg (which is just shy of 4 stone for the metric martyrs out there). It’s easy to attach and can face towards or away from you and there are 3 recline positions.
The cover is pretty nifty. It has a viewing window, but also has air ventilation for when it gets hot and can protect from the sun with an SPF factor of 50. However, it is a little noisy, which can be a pain if you have a sleeping child that you REALLY don’t want to wake.
Unlike some other models from Silver Cross, it has an adjustable footrest, though it’s not something your little on will be able to reach until they are old enough for their legs to be sticking out or the seat.
The four puncture free wheels are on the large size, which helps keep the ride smooth. They can be easily removed if storage is a factor. Urban exploration is definitely the Pioneer’s sweet spot, but it performs competently on more uneven ground due to its sturdy four-way suspension.
The Pioneer can be a bit difficult to tilt back to get up curbs because of its weight, but the big wheels mean this is only really an issue on particularly deeps curbs. The step brakes are large and easy to apply and release.
Manoeuvrability is pretty strong. The wheels can swivel, but are also lockable is you prefer to be tracked to a straight line.
The handle is chrome and leatherette and has 3 possible positions to suit your push style. All of this means that while the Pioneer comes in a little on the heavy side, weighing approximately 12kg in total, it doesn’t feel very bulky.
Storage under the chair is ample too – and can fit comfortably 4 full plastic shopping bags (even when the recline is at maximum).
There’s also a cup holder on the side – because, you know, why not?
The fold down can happen in under 5 seconds and, as you can see below. However, it does end up a little more bulky than some of its rivals. If you live in a small flat and space is at a premium then this might be a little awkward.
The downside we found with the Pioneer was the buckle. Firstly they are unpadded – which seems like a weird oversight from a brand that adds padding in most of its other models. Secondly, while the it is a full 5 strap safety harness so will keep even a little Houdini in place, the shoulder straps have to be looped into the buckle rather than clipping in. This can take a bit of getting used to.
The seat, just like the carrycot, is one of the most plush and comfortable we have come across in this price range.
Putting it together is a fairly straightforward task. You just release an lock on the frame and it can then quickly be expanded. The wheels are attached with a push and a click. Then you attach the carry cot or the seat. Voila.