Silver Cross Reef pushchair review
In a nutshell
A beautiful, statement buggy that takes you from birth to toddler all with a high spec, sustainable finish and innovative technology – just make sure you can accommodate its larger than life frame
What we tested
4.7A star rating of 4.7 out of 5.
4.8A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.
- Comfort for child
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.8A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.
4.8A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.8A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.
- Smooth steering, sturdy wheels, easy to fold, suitable for overnight sleeping, beautiful recycled fabrics, ultimate comfort, large storage basket
- Difficult buckle system, wider than average frame, difficult to manoeuvre on some terrains
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Silver Cross is a premium, heritage brand with over 140 years’ experience in sleeping and travel systems, with May 2022 seeing the release of two new pushchairs, the Dune and Reef.
The Reef is described by Silver Cross as their multi-terrain travel system and is designed to be ready to use quickly and easily straight from the box. Compared to its urban sibling the Dune, the Reef is a single, larger-wheeled buggy with a reversible seat, with the British manufacturer stating it offers the best in baby comfort and practicality.
With beautiful attention to detail when it comes to its finish, sustainable fabrics and ease of use, the Reef is a great buggy for busy lives, whether you’re a first-time parent or looking for another pushchair purchase.
Priced at £895, much like the Silver Cross Dune, the Reef is inspired by nature and the environment and comes in three striking colours, Neptune, Orbit and Earth, to reflect this. It is suitable from birth to 22kg (approx. 4 years).
Georgia Day tested the Silver Cross Reef with her 3-month-old baby.
What were your first impressions of the Silver Cross Reef pushchair?
First impressions were great. The Reef looked really smart and very sturdy. There weren’t a million different pieces and clips to slot into place, and the finish was beautiful – it looked more like something from the automobile industry with its design-led features. I also liked that it came with both a rain cover and sun shield and each component had tags on it, instructing you on how to assemble.
How easy was the Silver Cross Reef pushchair to build?
The Reef buggy arrived in just a few pieces and so was very easy to fit together on my own. Although there were instructions on how to assemble the pushchair, the process was very intuitive, and I was able to build it with no fuss at all.
How do you rate the Silver Cross Reef carrycot?
The carrycot seemed very roomy for my baby and at 3-months-old he still had lots of space and seemed very comfortable. However, a customer reviewer on Stroll Berry did note that the bassinet appeared a bit short for her child and doubted whether it would last the recommended six months.
It’s beautifully padded and comes with a mesh view hole which provides ventilation and enables you to see into the carrycot. Thanks to its bamboo fabric, it is also beautifully breathable for your baby. Like everything else with the Reef, the utmost care and consideration has been applied in the choice of fabrics, ergonomics and look and feel, so, like the toddler seat, it feels lightweight and not at all bulky.
How easy is the carrycot to add on/take off the Reef pushchair?
It is very easy to add and take off the carrycot and, even better, it can be detached from the chassis with one hand. It also folds totally flat, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about storing it when you’re not using it.
Is the Silver Cross Reef carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping?
The carrycot is a lovely option for a newborn and is labelled as suitable for overnight sleeping. Also, as a first for Silver Cross, it can be taken off and used as a crib with its very own stand, making it perfect for travel or emergency situations if you find yourself without your baby’s cot. Check out the manufacturer's video here to see how it works.
How simple is the Silver Cross Reef pushchair to fold?
The Reef pushchair boasts of a compact, free-standing fold which can be operated with one hand in seconds. It’s really easy to collapse using a few simple buttons on the back of the buggy hood and handle. It can also be folded with the toddler seat still in place if you need to and has a strap for carrying. Silver Cross have also made this simple video to show just how easy the folding process is.
How compact is the Silver Cross Reef pushchair once folded?
Seeing as the Reef buggy itself is quite large and wide when standing (L85cm x W61cm x H98.5-112cm) this does mean that when folded, it’s not as compact as other folded pushchairs I have used. Its folded dimensions of L71cm x W61cm x H30.5cm, give you an indication that it does measure slightly on the wider size. However, it does feel very lightweight (the frame alone is 8kg) and so is easy to lift in and out of a car boot. I think parents with a small car boot may struggle to fit much else beside the Reef pushchair, which is a view supported by a customer on Stroll Berry who felt that the Reef “is not a compact stroller easy to load in your trunk”.
What is the Silver Cross Reef pushchair like to push and steer?
My favourite thing about the Reef is how easy it is to push and steer, and that’s thanks to the enhanced suspension system. Moveability is really good and it handled all terrains I tried it on really easily, including uneven pavements and rocky roads. However, despite Silver Cross claiming the Reef can tackle all terrains with ease, some parent reviews have suggested that while it can go over grass, it doesn’t do so softly and fuss-free, adding that it’s more of a stylish pram that you can show off while tackling bumpy pavements and an occasional dirt road.
Because of its size and width, which is larger than your average pushchair, it’s not the easiest to manoeuvre in very tight situations (perhaps its city-living built brother the Dune would fare better) but the comfort and luxury of the buggy itself makes up for that. It’s quite a silent pushchair and there’s no audible rattling which makes for a nice smooth, quiet ride.
Is the Silver Cross Reef pushchair good for use on public transport?
I took the Reef buggy on the train and fared well getting it up and down the steps, as well as moving it on to the train. However, thanks to its wider chassis, I would worry that it may be tricky to get in and out of tight spaces on buses or the tube.
What’s the Silver Cross Reef chassis like?
The chassis is strong and sturdy, made from aluminium, steel and polypropylene, and comes in a lovely matte stain finish. While the frame may be quite wide at 61cm, it’s pretty lightweight for this standard of buggy, weighing in at 8kg. Depending on the colour of the carrycot and pushchair seat, the frame is available in either black or bronze. Despite it clearly being an expensive buggy, it feels discreet and not overly branded which I liked. Most of the branding is blind embossed which means it doesn’t scream designer at you, but still feels luxurious.
Is the handlebar adjustable and comfortable to hold?
The Silver Cross Reef pushchair handle is made from padded, vegan leather and is easily adjustable to your comfort. The stitching on the handle is done so that it’s comfy to hold for long periods of time and the finish itself looks really premium. It’s adjusted seamlessly by squeezing a button on the inner handle allowing you to find the most comfortable steering position.
What did you make of the Silver Cross Reef pushchair’s toddler seat?
The seat unit is lovely; really roomy and very comfortable. There’s plenty of space for your baby and it’s very padded which makes it seem extra cosy. The straps are cushioned and the Genius™ harness system - which Silver Cross claims is a world-first - apparently allows you to adjust both the headrest and harness with one hand, switching between positions with ease at the push of a button. Despite Silver Cross’ statement that its harness saves time and stress, I actually found the buckle mechanism quite difficult to fasten single handedly.
The seat itself - which weighs 4.5kg - can face either outward or parent facing, depending on preference and is nicely padded, giving your child that added, cocooned comfort. It has a generous foot panel so that it can grow with your baby. The outer materials are also sustainable and made from recycled plastic bottles which is a nice touch. The seat fully reclines easily and smoothly so that your baby can go from sitting to lying fully flat if needed.
Can you extend the Silver Cross Reef’s hood?
Yes. The hood is a great size and has two sections to it, one standard part that sits in line with the baby's forehead and then another inner part that can be pulled down even further to shield your baby. It’s a nice, smooth hood that comes down seamlessly with no jarring or scrunching when folded back into place. It features an UPF50+ extendable hood with air vent and pop-out sun visor, with the Reef also coming with a UV50+ sun sail which connects directly to the hood and offers further protection for sunny climates.
What are the wheels like on the Silver Cross Reef pushchair?
One of my favourite things about the Reef is how sturdy the rubber-coated wheels are. Even though there are two smaller wheels at the front (19cm in diameter) and two larger ones at the back (25.5cm), it moves and pushes like it has four bigger wheels. This combination means it’s very agile and thanks to its independent four-wheel suspension, it is able to handle lots of different terrains well, including awkward pavement potholes, curbs and cobbles. Silver Cross also states that the tyres are puncture proof and surrounded by springs so there is no danger of a bumpy road disturbing your baby’s nap time.
How good are the brakes?
The brake is a central one-stop rocker pedal marked with a red sticker and so is easy to spot and use. It’s a smooth mechanism, secures the buggy to a good standard and is well placed on the footbar but not so much that it gets in the way when you’re out walking. It’s also worth noting that the brake is flip-flop friendly for those summer days out.
What did you make of the Silver Cross Reef pushchair’s shopping basket?
With Silver Cross well aware that family adventures come with a lot of baggage, the 5kg storage basket is a great size and can easily fit a large nappy bag in, as well as several other bits and pieces. I found it extremely useful on daily walks when you inevitably end up filling up the basket with a parcel or two or have bits of shopping to collect. It’s easily accessed too, so no grappling with trying to pull your bags out from a narrow compartment, and has a sturdy lip so that nothing falls out.
How does the Silver Cross Reef compare to similar pushchairs on the market?
|Product name||Puschair weight (Kg)||Unfolded size (Hcm x Wcm x Lcm)||Folded size (Hcm x Wcm x Lcm)||RRP (£)|
|Silver Cross Reef||12.5kg||112cm x 61cm x 85cm||71cm x 61cm x 30.5cm||£895|
|Bugabooo Fox 3||12.2kg||108cm x 60cm x 84cm||90cm x 60cm x 47cm||£1003|
|iCandy Peach All-Terrain||13.5kg||105.5cm x 60cm x 89cm||73cm x 60cm x 28.5xm||£874.80|
What’s in the box?
- Toddler Seat
- Bumper Bar
- Sun Sail
- Rain Cover
- Shopping Basket
What are the additional accessories that you can buy?
- Bed folding carrycot £275
- Backpack changing bag £130
- Footmuff £120
- Carrycot stand £100
- Ride on board £100
- Snack tray £45
- Car seat adapters £35
- Cup holder £25
- Phone holder £20
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing the Silver Cross Reef pushchair?
While everything else on the buggy seems to have been designed to be done with one hand, my only real complaint when it comes to the Silver Cross Reef is the buckle. Despite the manufacturers stating that the Genius™ harness system is designed to make a parents life easier, I found that you almost needed four hands to secure the buckle into place! It consists of a four-piece jigsaw type buckle, where all the pieces have to be in place and fit together before you can then click the rest of the harness into place with a magnet, as seen in this demonstration video.
Although this creates a neat and very secure buckle (of course, the ultimate aim here), the reality of fastening it is really quite tricky, with this view disputing Silver Cross’ claim that the mechanism is pure genius and stress free. I found it virtually impossible to do on my own and almost always had to rope in someone to help, with one of us holding the pieces in place while the other slotted them into the buckle. Not ideal if you are alone.
I would also say that the width of the Reef is also something to think about before buying, as it does feel a lot wider than most buggies I have used in the past. The frame definitely protrudes out more than others I’ve used. On the plus side, it does feel incredibly sturdy and well-made, but if you have a very narrow hallway or corridor, you may struggle.
Who would the Silver Cross Reef pushchair be most useful for?
The Reef is the ideal statement buggy for those parents who want a travel system that is well made, gorgeous to look at and comes complete with some deluxe design details. With its extra padded seats, longer foot rest, UV hood, generous storage basket and smooth steering, the Reef screams practicality with a stylish feel. It would also be perfect for families who could take advantage of the overnight sleep cot feature, meaning the buggy could double up as a travel cot for those nights away.
Is the Silver Cross Reef pushchair worth the money?
With its £895 price tag, the Reef is definitely a high-end purchase, but seeing as it takes your baby from birth to toddler age, I’d say it’s an investment worth making. The buggy feels built to last and it also makes use of elevated technology, finish and fabrics so you definitely get what you pay for.
Where can I buy the Silver Cross Reef?
It is available at John Lewis, Pramworld and Samuel Johnston
Overall, the Silver Cross Reef is a great option for parents looking for a pushchair that will stand the test of time. It’s a well built, sustainable piece of kit and has some brilliant design features such as its overnight sleeping carrycot. I could easily see this pushchair being used again and again with other siblings and without any compromise on the quality. The price reflects its quality, but before purchasing it’s worth considering its wider chassis size and the feeling that perhaps it’s not the best all-terrain option on the market.
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Dimensions||H:112cm W:61cm L:85cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:30.5cm W:61cm L:71cm|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 22kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Four-wheel suspension|