Tried & Tested: Silver Cross Pioneer
New mummy Franki Hobson tests the hot wheels and shares her verdict.
By Franki Hobson
Practical Parenting Reviews Editor / July 31 2018
As a parenting editor of almost 20 years and the mum to two boys, I’ve pushed my fair share of strollers and prams. I remember in the early days as a Parenting Editor I was asked to present a segment on the latest prams on one of the breakfast TV shows - and I spent an hour in the car park trying to assemble and collapse the latest whizz bang wheels!
Then there was the time I took my newborn son, Maxwell, now 9, to a café when he was just a week old. I hadn't done the requisite pre-birth pram trial ... The pram was fine coming out of the boot – but do you think I could collapse it to get it back in? No way Siree! I had to take the pram apart in three sections – the chassis, bassinet and front wheel because it was so big!
So when I fell pregnant with baby number two, little Louis, now 11 months old, I knew I had to be a little more selective with my hot wheels. And organised. And know exactly what I'd be using the pram for.
Here’s the low-down.
The product: Silver Cross Pioneer with bassinet and pushchair
The pros? I wanted a sturdy pram, with a big under carriage for shopping and nappy bag, and something that looked smart! Hey, I knew I was going to look like a sleep-deprived mum with frizzy hair for the first year, so I was keen to have a functional accessory that looked fancy! Other bonuses include:
The car seat capsule (compatible with the Maxi-Cosi).
My first pram nine years prior didn’t have a compatible car seat capsule, and I loathed having the wake Maxwell every time I got him in and out of the car – unwrapping his swaddle, popping his arms through the seat belt straps and then doing it all over again in the pram. So this time round I was determined to have a capsule - and let the baby sleep! Admittedly, it took me about six weeks before I worked out how to get the capsule in and out of the car! (Note - always do a pre-birth trial with your pram, carseat, cot and capsule!). But when I did, oh it was life changing! I kept Louis in the capsule for about four months.
What a luxe way to sleep! The bassinet canopy has an extension, which is a must-have for keeping the sun out, and the mattress can be removed easily and washed (‘cos babies do love to be sick multiple times a day!). The bassinet is also easy to click in and out of the chassis, too, so popping it in and out of the car boot is simple. If baby falls asleep while out for a walk, just leave him in the pram and park it in your house!
A good sturdy frame with adjustable handle bars so the height worked for Louis' dad, who is six foot plus, and myself, who has been referred to as ‘vertically challenged’ on multiple occasions. The wheels are big at the back and smaller at the front, but do not require inflating. It rides much smoother on flat surfaces (of course!), so don’t take it off road like I did when I accidentally got lost on the golf course in my new area - and had to walk the entire perimeter of the course before realising there was only one way in and out! I don’t think the golfers were too impressed with my pram tracks over the sand!
The instruction manual says ‘keep babies in the bassinet for the first six months’, but Louis is one curious little soul. He was itching to see the world from an upright position! So I did a few trial runs with him in the seat from five months. The first time, while he loved his view, he was just too little and kept rolling into the side pram and canopy – face first. So we waited a little longer –just before six months of age – and then switched him over. I must admit I felt a pang of sadness seeing him grow up from the bassinet to seat so quickly, but he was ready. It took him a while to get used to sleeping in the upright position (the stroller seat has three positions but is not flat like a bassinet), too, as he was used to the enclosed cocoon feel of the bassinet – with less distractions.
I was going to say ‘every mum loves her pram’ but actually, they don’t! This one is great for long, flat walks. I still use a little umbrella stroller for quick supermarket trips now that Louis is 11 months old, but if I’m at a work event and have to ‘look the part’ (I so do not do yummy mummy well), I always pull out the Silver Cross. It’s like the Range Rover of prams. Or if I am going for a walk to the shops from home, where there are flat and safe paths, I take the Silver Cross. It has much better suspension, so Louis doesn't feel every bump we go over, is a better height and has great storage (unlike little umbrella strollers).
Visit Silver Cross for more information.