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The Silver Cross Surf now has a sibling – the Surf Elevation. It sees the stylish Surf tweaked and tuned up to be able to tackle life off-road. Team it with the Group 0+ Silver Cross Ventura Plus S car seat, and you have a practical travel system.
The original Surf boasted lots of technical spec and the Elevation is no slouch in this department either. The Elevation is probably most easily described as the off-road version of the Surf, but we are not talking rustic, it’s more Range Rover than Land Rover.
Straight out the box this buggy screams quality – the Elevation graphite chassis, Surf seat unit, Bamboo babynest, Bamboo shoulder pads and buckle pad, multi-position cup holder, folding basket with graphite anodised frame, pneumatic tyre pump and raincover with handy storage bag – everything here feels superbly made and reassuringly sturdy. The Surf Elevation is also the 2012 winner of ‘best buggy’ in the Junior Design Awards.
The Silver Cross Surf Elevation has a reversible seat unit, so you can choose between forward or rear facing travel for your little one, 3-position seat recline (including lie-flat), air suspension and an adjustable 4-position handle to provide a comfortable push for taller people. It has lockable swivel wheels and pneumatic (air-filled) rear tyres.
Included in the £650 buggy price tag is the Surf Elevation essentials pack, which provides 3-position UPF50+ hood with viewing window, wind-proof hood guard to cover seat back, deeper hood visor for wind protection, protective apron with microfleece thermal lining, reversible seat liner, sunshade and insect net with multi-position front shade visor and fabrics with water resistant outdoor coating.
Two years ago when Silver Cross released the Surf it said it had tried to start again and rethink pushchair design. When I reviewed the original Surf buggy and Surf travel system I agreed – I think it’s a great pushchair with loads of practical features and fantastic stylish looks. I think the only niggles for me were the small size of the shopping basket under the buggy, and there was no ISOFIX base for the car seat. The recent updates and release of the Elevation have addressed those issues. You can now buy an ISOFIX base (£125 of the total price shown) for Silver Cross’s own Ventura Plus S car seat (£125 of the total price shown). Without the base, this rear facing car seat is installed with the car’s 3-point seatbelt. Also, you can get adaptors to use a Maxi-Cosi or Britax car seat with the buggy. For the buggy, car seat and ISOFIX base, the total price tag would be £900. Without the base, you’re looking at £775.
The Venture Plus S car seat is suitable from birth to 13kg. Silver Cross says it has advanced side impact protection, one click attachment to the Surf, 3-point quick-release safety harness, head support cushion, removable padded apron, removable adjustable hood, padded interior and padded handle.
I also tried out the summer pack (an extra £85), which looks great. The summer pack customises your Surf Elevation to provide simple but stylish summer protection. Included in the pack is a ventilated hood system with UV protection meshwork, a 100% natural bamboo seat liner and an easy to fit hood and apron with UPF50 fabric all with mesh panels for ventilation. It’s a fantastic idea to put all you need in one handy package.
There’s also a Surf Winter Pack, which is like a padded overcoat for your Surf to give it thermal insulation and includes unisex winter mittens to keep your hands warm on chilly winter days!
You can also buy a raincover for the Ventura Plus for £15. And for those who want a traditional carrycot to attach to the buggy, you can get one for the Elevation for £185, though you don’t have to have this – you can use the babynest set-up instead from birth.
What we love
The Elevation’s large air-filled rear wheels with chunky tyre tread, plus increased clearance and a front suspension upgrade, make for a buggy that effortlessly smoothes out any bumps. The whole chassis of the buggy is said to be inspired by mountain bike technology. The Surf Elevation’s air suspension and water-resistant fabric (to keep out the elements) help make this an outdoor vehicle.
As with the original Surf, the babynest is included with the buggy. This super soft wedge shaped cushion really cocoons your newborn, making them look stable and comfy whatever terrain you’re covering.
As a travel system the Surf Elevation performs well. We tested the Ventura Plus S car seat and ISOFIX Base. The car seat is well padded and goes easily onto either the ISOFIX base or the buggy chassis. Whilst I didn’t find this a one-handed operation, changing from car to chassis is easy and simple and as neither the car seat nor the chassis weigh much – it’s a breeze. As a buggy, the Surf is 11.3kg (7.5kg chassis and 3.8kg body).
From about June 2012 you’ll be able to add a Surf Board (what a great name!) for an older child. The Surf Board is said to connect to the Surf in seconds with no extra fixings required.
What to watch out for
The shopping basket is bigger, probably over 100% bigger, but it is still smaller than those found on some other all-terrain buggies. For me, if Silver Cross threw in some buggy clips to hold my shopping, this would be perfect.
The Surf Elevation offers a top performance. It’s stylish, has good suspension, great tyres and an fairly easy-to-use travel system set-up. It’s not cheap, but it offers a great number of practical features and has a quality feel. The option of an ISOFIX base is also great, however the new larger shopping basket still may not hold everything you need to haul.