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Review: Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair

Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair

Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair

You’ve got a baby along the way, and you are wondering what kind of stroller to get that would suit your style, your baby and your needs.

Or you already have a toddler, and you have a newborn (like me), and are in the market looking for another stroller that would suit your needs.

Or you could just want another stroller. Maybe you collect strollers. (I don’t know! I mean..there could be people like that out there. =P )

Well, let me tell you a little (actually a lot) about the Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair. It is the epitome of plush, luxurious and comfort. If that’s what you’re looking out for your baby, then you should definitely check it out.

definitely was in the market looking for a stroller that could suit my needs. I have a 2.5 yo toddler, and a 5mo baby. To save my sanity, I have slowly but surely figured out a way to go out with two kids in tow. A little harrowing, but we’ll live. It basically goes like this – QT in the baby carrier and Ollie in the stroller, diaper bag loaded with essentials (usually Ollie’s toys, books and snacks) hooked up at the back of the stroller. And we’ll take a 20-min walk to the train station.

kinda like this, minus Daddy Ting

kinda like this, minus Daddy Ting

What drew me to the Silver Cross Reflex was that it allowed for BOTH parent-facing & front-facing, which means that I can get to see QT if I wanted to. Hmm. The current stroller we have is a travel system, which meant that in order for me to be able to see QT in a parent-facing mode, we would have to fit the infant car seat in.

Umm..definitely not going to happen if I were to go out alone with the boys. Where am I going to put the car seat when Ollie needs to nap in the stroller??

So here is my take on the Silver Cross Reflex:

Firstly, it is plush and it is comfortable. I couldn’t help running my hands over the seat liner. It was smooth and nicely padded. When I opened up the newborn accessory pack and took out the baby nest, OMG. Seriously, at that moment, I could only wish I was a newborn too, so that I could lie on it.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let me talk about the rest of it. Haha.

The Reflex in Toddler-mode

Ollie is about 12kg and about 90cm tall so as to give you a rough idea of how it suits the toddler.

Pushchair & the accessories

Pushchair & the accessories

The Reflex comes with the following accessories: seat liner, straps & buckle pads, a very lightweight rain cover, a foot muff and car seat adaptors for the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat. Now that is pretty much as much accessories you will need for the stroller. We probably won’t be using the foot muff very much in this hot and humid Singapore weather. But it would be really useful if we decide to take this stroller along when we go for a winter holiday.

5-point safety harness

5-point safety harness

Like most strollers, the Reflex boasts of a 5-point safety harness for the child. What I felt was different was the buckle was literally made up of 5 pieces. As you can see in the photos on the left, to form a clasp, you would need to attach two parts together. And to further reinforce the safety, the lower piece of the clasp can be threaded through the padding so it would not slip out easily if it is not buckled properly (see right photo).

My view is that although there is a strong focus on safety, it can get a little fiddly, especially when you are squatting/kneeling down with a baby in front and trying to strap the toddler in. I’d imagine if I was alone with just one kid, that would have been a major plus point for me. Having said that, I could do away with the buckle padding and just strap Ollie in..but to miss out on the comfort? *whines* It would probably give him a bad wedgie without the padding. *grumbles*

stroller canopy

stroller canopy

Now, this is another plus point. The Reflex has a canopy that offers really good coverage and is a UPF50+ sun protection hood with breathable mesh panels. Our current stroller allows such extended coverage only if the stroller is in an upright position. If the stroller was reclined fully, the coverage was probably as much as what you would see in the left photo. However, the extended coverage for the Reflex applies to even when the stroller is fully reclined. No more taking an extra nappy/swaddle cloth to just cover to keep bright lights out as Ollie naps.

And if you use the canopy when you are outdoors, you would want to see what the kiddo is doing under the canopy.

Canopy peep-flap

Canopy peep-flap

What I really liked about the peep flaps is that there is a clear vinyl peep flap for normal canopy coverage and a breathable mesh peep flap for the extended cover. The clear peep flap really works for me because I can see what mischief he is up to. After having to live with a mesh opaque peep flap for a few years, this was really awesome. I no longer have to walk in front to look at Ollie.

toddler product testing

toddler product testing

What I also liked about the stroller was that it has a streamlined body. Ollie was able to comfortably rest his arms on the stroller bar, without having to lean forward and strain against the strap. In being streamlined, Ollie could see more with just a turn of his head, compared to having to lean forward to look around the stroller. And don’t be deceived by it looking narrow. It is spacious and deep inside. There was even enough room for him to turn on his side to nap, and long enough for his feet to not dangle a lot off the end of the stroller.

The best part of it, when fully reclined, it is almost flat. That is as good as being on a bed. However, the down side to this almost-flat recline is that the stroller will tip backwards easily if it is bumped from the front. This is easily rectified if the stroller is raised one notch up from its full recline.

Raincover

Raincover

The stroller comes with a lightweight rain cover that fits snugly over the canopy and goes all the way down to cover your little one’s toes. It has holes at the side of the clear plastic, allowing for ventilation. As the raincover only covers the front edge of the canopy, I am not sure if the canopy is waterproofed so that water will not drip into the stroller anyways.

Upping the safety another notch, the stroller comes with LED lights on the sides which has three modes: constant, flash and rotate; and it also has reflective outlines on the stroller. This will make the stroller, even a black one, visible in dark conditions.

The Reflex in Newborn-mode

QT is 7.1kg and about 63cm long.

Newborn Accessory Pack

Newborn Accessory Pack

The Newborn Accessory pack is an option item that you can purchase to convert the Reflex into a parent-facing stroller. Ever since we were expecting Ollie, I was always keen on having a stroller that would allow me to see my baby especially when they are that young.

Now that I have a second chance with QT, I bought the accessory pack to try it out together with this review. The accessory pack comes with a babynest, a canopy and an apron to cover the feet. When I unpacked the accessory pack…

now can you say plush??

bamboo babynest

bamboo babynest

This has gotta be the most luxurious babynest I have ever felt. Okay, granted it is the only babynest that I have ever felt. The deeply padded babynest is covered in bamboo jersey fabric that is really soft and gentle against baby’s skin. With our current stroller, each time we went over a bump, QT would reach out his hands as though he wanted to grab something. With this babynest, he has only casually just looked around as though nothing happened.

When assembled, the parent-facing Reflex now looks like this:

Parent-facing Reflex

Parent-facing Reflex

All you need to do is to remove the canopy, remove the bumper bar and fully recline the seat, attach the babynest and newborn canopy..voila!

When I first learnt that there was a newborn accessory for the Reflex, I had hoped that it would be convenient for me to bring along when I went out, and that it would be easily interchangeable for when it suited my needs.

Unfortunately, that is not to be the case. The canopy and the babynest are too bulky for me to bring along alone, and attaching the newborn accessories onto the stroller requires some dedication. And when I say dedication, it is in a good way. To fasten the babynest securely, I would actually have to slide a pocket onto the seat, secure a loop on the babynest to a knob on each side of the stroller, and secure it to two D-rings on each side of the seat. Basically, the babynest is as secured as the seat itself. It also comes with a 5-point safety harness for the baby.

Having said that, I have been out with the hubby over the weekend and tried interchanging between the newborn mode and toddler mode, complete with a 3-4kg diaper bag in tow. It gets easier with practice, AND the canopy/bumper bar or babynest/canopy combo can fit into the basket with some squeezing. So it is doable but you will lose out on the basket space and it is easier if you’re doing it with another person.

QT wasn’t really sure what to make of the new position as he is not used to being able to see me when in the stroller. That, and because he is mostly in the baby carrier when we go out.

hrm.

hrm.

I love being able to see QT when pushing him in the stroller! Now..the downside to this is that you have to find a position you are comfortable with to put the baby in and take the baby out. On my first attempt, I naturally went between the handles to put him in. *sigh* see, I am not the slimmest of all persons but I am not that plump/fat either okay. But I did struggle to squeeze through the handles to comfortably put him in. It is easier to put the baby in from the sides, but only if the canopy is down. As you can see from the side view of the parent-facing mode, that the frames on the sides are fairly high and so would be awkward to place the baby in from the side with the canopy up. So that is really tricky. And if I were to hang my diaper bag as well, I would have no choice but to put QT in from the side.

The other downside would be very limited access to the basket because again, the seat is fully reclined. Weight distribution wasn’t so much of an issue this time as the weight is pretty much concentrated in the front so I didn’t have to worry much about the stroller tipping over with a diaper bag at the back.

Apart from that, I am loving the versatility of the stroller with the parent-facing mode. And QT obviously is enjoying “business class” ’cause..

Business Class

Business Class

every trip in the stroller always ends up with him falling asleep, even in the front facing position! See what I said about the stroller being a comfortable thing??

Conclusion

Overall, at 8.5kg, the Reflex has a sturdy frame and has wheels that seem to glide over bumps very easily. Don’t get turned off by the endless buttons and knobs that is littered around the frame. This is what makes it so versatile without all the additional clips that would make it bulky. It also has a fairly huge basket that is easily accessible when the seat is in an upright position. The seat is also ergonomically designed in such away that the seat is separated from the structure. There is a gap between the seat and the structure, big enough for my hand to pass through when upright. And this is even so when Ollie is sleeping on a full recline position, my fingers could still pass through between the seat and the frame! So he won’t feel any of those hard parts of the frame.

diaper bags on the stroller

diaper bags on the stroller

L: JJ Cole diaper bag for long trips out, secured with bag hooks on each handle

R: Wide tote diaper bag with stroller organiser for short trips out.

As with all other umbrella strollers, there are some cons to it. The most common one is probably the counterbalancing issue. With an empty stroller and a diaper bag weighing about 4-5kg, a slight bump to the front of the Reflex will cause it to tip backwards. Because of the design of the umbrella stroller, access to the opening of the basket from the back is generous, however, the space is limited by the frame that it sits on. In addition to that, once the stroller is in a full recline position, you will not be able to access the basket from the back. My other grief with it is…there is no cup holder! Argh..where to put that cup of Starbucks coffee that this mummy needs sometime during the trip out? *horrified* I have resolved this with a stroller organiser with a cup compartment to put items like wallet, phone, small pack of wipes and yes, that desperately needed cup of coffee!

The stroller does come with a generous pouch on the canopy, however I have found it to be too unstructured as it is attached to the excess part of the canopy, so it swings a bit when I try to get my stuff from the pouch. Hence getting items from the pouch is actually more inconvenient than getting it out of the diaper bag.

Stroller Storage

Stroller Storage: L – with babynest, R – normal stroller

Storage of the Reflex is simple, by just lifting up a catch with our feet, stepping on a lever and pushing it down till the side catch clips on to secure it together. What makes this different to the other umbrella strollers that I have come across is that when folded, the wheels do not touch the canopy. That was one of the reasons why we did not buy an umbrella stroller. Donald was iffy about the dirty wheels touching the canopy. The front wheels of the Reflex, when locked, point away from the canopy, which kinda ensures that the canopy will not get dirty! The Reflex can stand when folded, only if the brakes on the back wheels are engaged and if it is leaning against the wall. Otherwise, you will have place the stroller on the ground like in the photo, and have to bend down to pick up the stroller.

If you are looking for a stroller that provides the versatility of being both a parent-facing stroller and a front-facing, one that has all the bells and whistles without too many clips and buckles (just tiny little buttons and knobs), and one that is spacious and yet doesn’t take up too much space, and most of all…

comfortable…

I  reckon you should give the Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair a go.

FAQs

How was the Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair tested?
My kids and I go out fairly often and I get to walk A LOT. This stroller has been tested at a wet market, malls, up/down escalators, in lifts, over paving blocks with gaps, up/down steps, slopes.

Where can I find the Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair?
The Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair can be found at the following retail outlets: Mothercare,

Where can I find the Newborn Accessory Pack and how much is it retailing for?
The Newborn Accessory Pack can be found at Mothercare and is currently retailing at S$100.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary set of the Silver Cross Reflex Pushchair from Mothercare to write this review. The Newborn Accessory Pack was fully paid for by myself initially but was refunded to me after writing this review. All opinions are solely mine and are written as objectively as possible.

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