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The Pioneer, from trusted British brand Silver Cross, is described as a “ go-anywhere travel system”, suitable from birth to 22kg. Having been upgraded in 2018 and again in 2020, the latest model is now lighter with better handling. Further upgrades include the change in chassis from matt to polished chrome, and the materials used are now soft sheen fabrics with quilted details and a coordinating leatherette handle. The 2020 edition has a choice of 4 fabric colours on the polished chrome chassis too.
The pushchair shares a number of similarities with another one of Silver Cross’ bestselling pushchairs, the Wayfarer 2020 (£694.99 on Amazon), but the key difference is that the Pioneer 2020 has larger wheels and therefore being better suited for more terrains. In fact, Silver Cross promises that the “Pioneer 2020 will tackle any terrain with ease.”
With an RRP of £795, the Pioneer 2020 is a premium product at the higher end of the market – our parent reviewer has put it to the test to see how it fares in everyday family life.
Becky is a mum-of-2 who tested the Pioneer in both pram and pushchair mode with her son. The buggy was tested in the city and in lots of muddy off-road walks.
What was your first impression of the Silver Cross Pioneer 2020?
All was well packaged, albeit in a very large and heavy box. The chassis and components were easy to remove from the box and whilst the polished chrome chassis is not my personal favourite, the buggy looks very stylish. So initial impressions were good.
How easy is it to build?
Instructions are in a very simple booklet. The instruction guide is easy to follow for overall build.
There was very little assembly required. The wheels needed to be popped on, and the carrycot put together. The seat is a separate unit, as is the hood, both of which clip on easily.
The only instructions I struggled with were for the rain cover – this I did not find intuitive.
How does the Pioneer 2020 compare to the previous versions of the product?
This is the latest version of Silver Cross’ popular Pioneer pushchair. The 2018 update addressed previously handling complaints by lightening the weight, and this 2020 update has taken this a step further. The chassis now only weighs 7.5kg (10.2kg with the seat unit and 10.5kg with the carrycot), plus the latest version has a polished chrome look and all materials were upgraded, with the bamboo liner of the carrycot being particularly soft.
How comfortable is the carrycot for your baby?
The carrycot is very comfortable for my son, as it has very good quality, soft material. It weighs 3kg and is suitable for overnight sleeping, which is fantastic as it saves you from taking an extra travel cot on overnight trips and allows you to rest assured when your baby sleeps in it. The lining is soft bamboo, which is breathable and antibacterial, so it’s fantastic quality.
The apron looks great when on and has a magnetic fold over the belly bar. But it’s fiddly to attach it at the sides. I prefer the aprons which are zipped both sides, instead of the clips on the Pioneer.
MFM tester Leanne added, “I cannot fault the carrycot, the lining is very soft and cosy and it is deep enough and completely flat to not worry about baby sliding.”
How easy is the carrycot to add on/take off the pushchair?
It is extremely easy to attach and detach both the carrycot and the seat, as both use the same mechanism: there are large buttons on either side of the seat and you pull outwards to release and then lift up the seat or carrycot to remove them from the chassis.
Is the seat unit comfortable for growing children? Was it roomy enough for your toddler?
The seat is reversible so can be both parent and world facing. It has a 5-point harness, which I personally do not always prefer, but is very secure. The materials are great quality and comfortable.
The weight limit is 22kg, which is approximately 4 years, but as with the carrycot, it feels narrower than competitors, so I am not sure whether it will comfortably last that long.
How easy is the Pioneer 2020 to fold?
The seat unit – or carrycot – needs to be removed from the chassis to fold it. Folding is very easy, however:
- You release buttons on both side of the chassis and then slide the buttons up, which releases the fold, and the buggy will flatten.
- To unfold, you release a catch and pull the handlebar to lift until it unfolds in place.
You can also remove the front wheels to help reduce the size of the folded buggy, but the back wheels do not come off.
How compact is the Pioneer 2020 when folded?
The folded buggy is not self-standing but can lay flat. The folded dimensions are H33cm x W60cm x L87cm, so it’s still quite long, but it easily fits inside our boot (and would for most cars). As the chassis is only 7.5kg it is light enough to easily carry, but you’ll need both hands as there is no carry handle.
When storing or loading the Pioneer into your boot, you need to place the seat or carrycot on top of the folded chassis, so it’s not a compact, fold-in-one type of buggy, such as the iCandy Lime or the Babystyle Oyster 3.
How easy is it to push and steer?
The Silver Cross Pioneer 2020 is extremely easy to push and offers your child a very smooth ride. The tyres (which are the key point of difference from the Silver Cross Wayfarer) and suspension mean that you can take on any terrain and it’s still very comfortable.
I found mounting kerbs, bumps in the pavement and dragging through muddy paths all easy to manoeuvre. In fact, the wheels are great in muddy situations as they do not easily clog. Although tester Celine did find it “awkward going up and down kerbs”, which could be due to its bigger back wheels.
It can turn tightly and there is no noise when pushing. The steering and suspension are strong features for this pram. It was just as easy to push my toddler in the seat as it was the baby in the carrycot.
Do you think it is suitable for public transport?
Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions I was unable to test this buggy on any public transport. However, from previous experience of travelling with a buggy on public transport, I feel the width and great handling of the buggy would make it quite smooth.
How sturdy is the chassis?
The polished chrome chassis is study and durable. However, I would imagine over time the chassis might scratch and become a bit duller, as the polished chrome finish is likely to show up wear and tear. I like the durability of the frame as it feels sturdy, but personally I’m not a fan of polished chrome.
How comfortable and adjustable is the handle on the Pioneer 2020?
The handle looks very stylish as it is covered in faux leather material, which also makes it comfortable to hold. Silver Cross has matched the colour of the leatherette handle to the colour pack. I tested the Sky colour with a blue handlebar.
Adjusting the height is an easy one-hand click on the centre of the handle and it ranges from 94cm to 107cm. MFM tester Leanne reported that the adjustability of the handlebar was great for her 6’3’’ husband who often struggles with other prams.
Plus, as tester Celine discovered, “As an added little perk, there’s a hook on the handlebar, which is handy to clip on a bottle or a bag.”
How much coverage does the hood provide?
The hood is the same for the seat and the carrycot. It is UPF50+ and has a pull-out sun visor as well as peekaboo window with magnetic cover to check on your baby. The mesh panel is a great addition, allowing for extra airflow when needed, especially on a hot day.
While the hood does give good coverage, it is not full coverage, but I like that the hood stays in place and pulls out with ease.
How do the wheels perform on the Pioneer 2020?
The wheels were a focus for improvement in both the 2018 and 2020 upgrades to the Pioneer, and these improvements have been worth it. Made of non-puncture, ‘never wear’ material, they enable the pram to be used on any terrain and they glide over kerbs and cope extremely well with mud.
The wheels are large, but they detach for storage (an easy of cleaning).
How easy are the brakes to use?
The brake is a big plus point of this buggy. It is a large footbrake, tucked away from the frame so there’s not danger of accidentally engaging it when walking. It is very easy to use – you push down on the large red part to engage the brake and click the green button in the middle of the brake to release.
Some may feel that the green release button is quite small, but this isn’t an issue and means that you don’t accidentally release the brake.
Is the basket big enough to store everything you need?
The basket is fantastic. It has great capacity and access, even in pram mode which cannot be said for many other buggies. I managed to carry several heavy shopping bags in the basket on numerous occasions and the sturdy sides mean nothing falls out.
The basket is plus point for this buggy – I even stored a scooter in it.
What’s in the box?
- Front wheels
- Bassinet components (needs to be built)
- Seat unit
What are the additional accessories that you can buy?
There are several accessories you can buy, such as the following:
- Car seat (from £180 for Simplicity Plus)
- Car seat adaptors (£35)
- Cup holder (£35)
- Footmuff (£90)
- Seat liner (£60)
- Universal winter pack (£100)
- Universal parasol (£45)
- Changing bag (£90)
As MFM tester Leanne pointed out, it’s a shame that not more accessories are included in the basic price. A footmuff, especially, would have been a nice addition to the basic package.
What is worth knowing before purchasing the Pioneer 2020?
As the Pioneer is not the most compact when folded, it’s good to double check the folded dimensions to see if it’s easy to store where you need it to go.
Is the Pioneer 2020 worth the money?
With an RRP of £820 the Pioneer 2020 is quite expensive, but as it is very well made it feels like it would be a good investment.
It can easily see a child through from birth to toddlerhood and will last for siblings two and three too. In my opinion, it is a great pram and if budgets allow (and storage isn’t an issue), and I would highly recommend it.
How does it compare to similar pushchairs?
|Silver Cross Pioneer 2020||10.2kg||H33cm x W60cm x L87cm||£820|
|Silver Cross Wayfarer 2020||10kg||H32cm x W54cm x L85cm||£720|
|iCandy Lime||10.2kg||H30cm x W62cm x L74cm||£750|
|UPPAbaby Cruz V2||11.6kg||H83.8cm x W57.8cm x L41.9cm||£939.98|
|Bugaboo Fox2||9.9kg||H90cm x W60cm x L47cm||£1,029|
Where can I buy the Silver Cross Pioneer 2020?
A sturdy, stylish, super quality pushchair that handles all terrain extremely well with an excellent basket. Due to the amazing wheels that secure a smooth ride over pretty much any terrain, the Pioneer 2020 would suit those who want to be active and explore parks or walks particularly well. However, it’s expensive, not the most compact and doesn’t fold in one piece, so not one for those tight on space or budget.
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Dimensions & Weight
|Weight||10.2kg – Chassis Weight 7.5kg Carrycot Weight 3kg Pushchair Seat Weight 2.7kg|
|Dimensions||H:95cm–108cm W:60cm L:87cm|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 5 years – up to 22kg|
|Child weight||Up to 22kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||
Silver Cross Simplicity/Dream car seat
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
Simplicity plus/Dream I-Size car seat and adaptors
Luxury seat liner