24 July 2015

Surf is Super!


A review of the Silver Cross Surf 2

by Becky Clarke

"Lovely to push and a smooth ride for baby"

As first time parents the thought of purchasing a buggy is pretty exciting. It’s almost like buying your first car. There’s a lot of choice and it can be pretty overwhelming. After all this is probably the most costly piece of kit that you’ll be buying for your new babe.

After a great deal of scouring the internet and wandering aimlessly around Mothercare every weekend (other baby stores are available) we began to feel frustrated that we weren’t able to take the buggies for a test drive. We wouldn’t go and buy a car without driving it first!

Thankfully for us though, Silver Cross kindly allowed us to review their Surf 2 pram system. We’ve tested all areas of the Surf 2, from putting it together, taking it out in the car and using it on days out with our new little girl, Baby A. We’ve always been a fan of classic British companies, so it was only natural that Silver Cross would be the brand that we gravitated towards. Our mums have always spoken fondly of their Silver Cross prams from back in the day too!

We are a 30-something couple from London who like to get out and about a lot. We spend a lot of time in the park, at restaurants and also travelling into the City, mainly on the train. The pram for us has to be lightweight, easy to use and easy to manoeuvre when out and about in busy areas. 

Here’s what we thought of the Silver Cross Surf 2. We hope this review is of some help to you if you are still undecided as yet on the all-important buggy purchase. 

How is it delivered?

The Surf 2 arrived in 2 boxes (one large and one medium). In the larger box was the chassis, carrycot, pushchair seat with harness, 4 wheels, shopping basket and bumper bar. In the smaller box was the hood and apron pack which is available in a variety of different colours (we played it safe and went for black). 

All goods were well-wrapped to prevent damage and the instructions were easy to find and follow. The chassis had a folding guide attached to it which was made of card and could be kept with your buggy should you need to lend it to someone or perhaps when grandparents and other carers are looking after your little one. 

Quality and first impressions

On opening the boxes, we were initially impressed with the quality of the materials. The chassis was made of an attractive lightweight metal and painted in brushed silver. The upholstery of the seat and carrycot also looked to be high quality and we particularly liked how comfortable and cosy the carrycot looked – it was the best quality carrycot that we had seen with a pram so far. 

Assembling the buggy

To fully assemble the pram took 35 minutes, which we thought was pretty good. The instructions were easy to follow and no tools were required. The only thing that we found to be a bit of a pain was the washers that came with the wheels (which are not attached to the chassis at the point of delivery). They kept falling off the wheel spindle mid-assembly and could be easily lost under the sofa. There was thankfully a spare in with the instruction booklet.

Wheels

The wheels are very nice looking and are in two sizes – large for the back and very small at the front. The tyres are rubber with a thick tread, perfect for uneven terrain and parks. The rear wheels are removable from the chassis meaning that they can be easily cleaned. It also means that the pram can be folded down to a very small size, perfect for those with smaller cars. The front wheels can be fixed straight if desired or can be left to twizzle in “shopping trolley” mode.

Carrycot

We very much liked the carrycot that comes with the Surf 2. As previously mentioned we think it looks to be the most comfortable cot for babies from all that we have seen when shopping around. It is very sturdy and had studs on the bottom to prevent it getting dirty should you need to put it on the floor to put down the chassis. (NB: chassis cannot be put up and down with the carrycot or seat attached). It also has a removable inner lining so that it’s easy to clean should your baby soil in the cot (this will happen!!)

Hood and apron

The hood and apron are of high quality and protect baby from UV rays. We used the hood in very hot weather (28 degrees) to protect Baby A and the reflective inner lining kept her lovely and cool. The apron is easily attached using a zip. It can be a bit fiddly to zip up, but you do get used to this. The hood has a peep hole for checking on the baby when the buggy seat is in forward facing mode; this is a really nice feature although we won’t need to use it for a little while yet. 

Shopping basket

If you are a shopaholic then sadly this basket may not be to your liking. It is very small and would only hold a handbag or maybe one supermarket shopping bag. It is also quite difficult to put a shopping into the basket when the carrycot is attached. Another downside of the shopping basket is that when you fold down the chassis the basket gets pushed inside out. This means that you have to remove everything from the basket when you want to put down the pram – you’re not even able to keep the rainhood in there which is a bit of a pain. 

Folding and unfolding the chassis

The chassis is very nice looking and has an attractive faux leather handlebar. It is not immediately obvious how to put the chassis up and down so it is important to read the assembly instruction card attached to the handle. I don’t think we would have been able to work out how to do this without the card unfortunately. This may be an issue when leaving the buggy with other family members to use. The carrycot or pushchair seat also needs to be removed from the chassis when folding down. 

The chassis folds down to an extremely small size and would be perfect in the boot of a very small car. This is definitely a big advantage. As previously mentioned, the wheels can also be detached which would create even more space in the boot. I have travelled with this pram in the back of a friend’s Mini and there was plenty of room. 

Steering/Controls/Handlebar

The Surf 2 is lovely to push and handles very well. It is a very smooth ride for the baby too. It is easy to manoeuvre around difficult obstacles and handles well on all terrains. We have been to the park and pushed on gravel and grass as well as manoeuvred the wheels around our favourite restaurant (which is quite small). The handlebar is adjustable and even extends long enough for Baby A’s very tall Daddy!

The brake is controlled by foot and is very obvious as it is bright red, the “go” button is in green – great as it saves confusion. We have often found ourselves greatly confused in the midst of sleep deprivation! 

Summary

Overall we found the Surf 2 to be a great pram. We feel that it would be suited to families who like the outdoors and spend a lot of time in the park. The compact nature of this pram makes it perfect for families with small cars. The pram is very stylish whilst still being practical. The price tag makes this a mid-priced pram and we would say is good value for money. We have seen many prams at similar prices and feel that the Surf 2 offers more features.

We would give this buggy 8 out of 10! 

B. Clarke, London