The arrival of the Silver Cross Surf has been long awaited. It was two years in development, during which time, to quote design director Phil Taylor, “We started with a totally blank piece of paper, we questioned everything.” So is the Surf that different?
The Surf arrives in a very compact looking box and is fantastically sturdy looking from the off. Quality is evident from the minute I unpack it, carefully wrapped almost like a present in tissue paper.
The Silver Cross Surf has a myriad of features. There’s a Babynest insert to cocoon your tiny baby and render the seat 100% flat, uniquely smooth air-sprung suspension that allows it to glide over the ground (hence the name Surf), front forks and a rear wishbone so there’s no rear bar to kick. Silver Cross says the Surf is all about the ride, in town or on the beach.
To turn our Surf into a travel system, we used the Silver Cross Ventura Plus Group 0+ car seat, which is £115 of the total price. The Ventura Plus is a super comfy universal fit car seat that clips easily onto the Surf’s frame in exactly the same way as the seat does. You can also buy a carrycot that attaches in the same way.
The Surf is ultra-lightweight - the chassis is 7.5kg, as a buggy its total weight is 11.3kg. and with the car seat on as a travel system it's 12.2kg. Its magnesium alloy castings are a third lighter than aluminium - magnesium alloys are normally used by aerospace companies and top of the range car manufacturers such as Bugati and Porsche. The chassis also folds very small, compact enough to fit inside the boot of a classic Mini.
Other features on this radical departure for Silver Cross include a forward and rear facing seat, an adjustable handle and puncture resistant pneumatic tyres. The all in one accessories pack contains a raincover, a mosquito net, seat liner, newborn Babynest, hood, apron and parasol - bits of which you can have in some very funky colours.
What we love
The Surf is a brilliantly well-built buggy. Silver Cross has managed to innovate without losing its commitment to quality. I’d go so far as to say this is the best made buggy I’ve seen in a very long time. It isn’t just the build that screams quality - even the bumper-bar is wrapped in leather and the wheelbase is coated in what looks like the deep metallic paint you get on very nice cars.
The air suspension on the Surf is fantastic. Baby Freya and I really glided about town. Even the cobbles felt smooth and no matter how bumpy the terrain, nothing could disturb Freya’s sleep, which let’s face it, is essential if you are to indulge in a little retail therapy. The air ride suspension also made a difference to me too - not only is the Surf easier to push than most buggies, but the suspension reduces the reverberations up the handle and definitely made a long walk more relaxing for me.
The Babynest that comes as standard with the Surf is a revolutionary thing. Lots of pushchairs claim to be suitable from birth upwards, and while many of these claims are accurate, and the seat does indeed recline completely flat, they still seem very open and unsupportive to a tiny newborn. With the Surf, the Babynest is a foam wedge insert with a lovely fleece surround that cocoons your newborn, supporting every bit of their tiny body. Now Freya is no longer a newborn but is at that in-between stage - not quite sitting up but still wanting to see what’s going on. By removing the foam wedge but still using the Babynest as side support, Freya has been able to use a less reclined position in the buggy and look around without getting too wobbly.
The Surf comes with a comprehensive essentials package, and you can choose some bits in very funky colours. Although this buggy is not one of the cheap options on the market, you do get everything, including a very sturdy raincover that folds up easily. That’s because it’s not just one huge piece of plastic but a fabric cover with a large plastic window. This probably means it won’t rip like most raincovers do, too.
What to watch out for
The shopping basket, or should I say the shopping pocket? This is really very small. We managed to carry our raincover and (because of the smooth ride) a cup of coffee but that was about it!
Who is the Silver Cross Surf travel system best for?
Mums after a modern look and top performance, willing to use buggy clips to hang their shopping.
The Silver Cross Surf travel system is very modern looking, superb to push and fantastically comfy for your baby with loads of practical extras. When an additional shopping basket that clips on to the bottom of the buggy and adaptors to take a Maxi-Cosi car seat become available in August 2010 it may well be perfect!
See how the Silver Cross Surf has evolved over the years: