Silver Cross Wayfarer Review by Best Buggy
The Silver Cross Wayfarer exudes quality and combines it with modern styling. We have seen a lot of pushchairs here at Best Buggy HQ, and there are very few pushchairs that have come close to the Wayfarer for quality and attention to detail. However, amazingly this quality and style does not come at a price! The Wayfarer is very reasonably priced at a total cost of £495 for the pushchair, carrycot, hood, apron, cupholder, car seat adaptors and raincover.
The Silver Cross Wayfarer comes in two boxes. The first large box contains the chassis, pushchair seat unit and the carrycot. These all come with black fabrics. The second box contains a hood and apron set, in one of seven colours. The hood and apron interchange between the seat and carrycot bases to finish them off. It is easy to buy another colour pack if desired for a fresh look, new baby, or even to mix and match!
The Silver Cross Wayfarer chassis is beautifully simple and elegant. The mirror finish lightweight aluminium is off set with black detailing, to give enough of a head turning look, without being too bling. The shiny finish is echoed in the ribs of the hood.
The Silver Cross Wayfarer seat is very well padded and covered in quality fabric. The calf rest has a stitching and stud detailing which looks great. The seat is tall at 50.5cms and the pushchair has been tested to hold 15kgs of child weight. The seat is suitable from 6 months old.
The Wayfarer seat is reversible, therefore it can forward or parent face. The seat drops onto the chassis absolutely superbly. The seat literally has to be held above the fixings and it practically attaches itself. The movement is so smooth, and there is just enough of a click to know the seat is secure. Removing the seat is just as lovely. The round buttons surprisingly do not press in, there is a cover which opens up. Simply lifting these ‘wings’ up releases the seat, and the seat comes off in your hand. Fabulous! I think the Wayfarer takes the prize for the most effortless seat removal and fitting ever!
The Wayfarer calf rest is rigid which is a little frustrating with an older child who needs to use the footrest. Although the footrest looks a good size, in reality a child can only rest their heels on the front edge of it. Even then, the footrest is rounded and our son’s heels simply slide off, and he ends up dangling his feet. There is also no footrest parent facing. Nethertheless, as our photos show, when reclined our 3 year 3 month old did manage to sleep very comfortably with his legs supported. We love the small logo detail on the side of the footrest of the Wayfarer.
The recline is one of the easiest that we have tried. The recline lever on the rear of the seat has been designed to work beautifully. The lever is very easy to release, and the seat slides simply and smoothly into the next position. There are 3 recline positions – upright, mid recline and a lie flat recline. It is also easy to sit even a heavy child back up again after a nap.
Harness and Bumper Bar
There are 3 harness height settings and a good quality, chunky, highly polished, circular buckle. The harness straps feel soft. The shoulder straps slide onto the side of the waist straps. However these are easy to slide off, and having then 5 parts of the harness in your hand with a wriggling toddler can get frustrating, especially when cold and wet. We have found that any pressure on the plastic clip means that the two parts where the split is do not align correctly to fit into the buckle socket, which is also frustrating. It is good that one side of the harness can be inserted at a time, and then released one side at a time if you require, as well as being able to release both sides at once by rocking across the buckle button.
Note there are no shoulder pads or crotch pad although we like the wide crotch strap.
We found that the waist straps were too large even for our 3 year old. However, he was held tightly in using the other 3 points of the harness, although this is not ideal. We suggest that we would feel uncomfortable having the waist straps so loose on a smaller baby or child.
There is a swing away bumper bar. Once again the quality oozes from the pushchair. The leatherette handle is stamped with the Silver Cross logo and the joint and even the small metal pins which hold the bumper bar in place are good quality. The bumper bar swings away, to allow a child to hop in and out easily, thus only one side needs releasing. Two small simple to press in, easy to find buttons, release the bumper bar on either side. There is no fiddling about to put the bumper bar back into position – it fits back in easily.
Hood and Apron
The Wayfarer hood attaches on at either side of the frame using plastic clamps. The quality hood fabric is stitched onto thick metal ribs. We love the stitching on the Wayfarer’s hood. We also like the metal and leather loop detail, although we are unsure of its purpose because the loop is too far away from a child to hang toys from, and keys etc would damage the fabric. The hood is beautifully lined in silver fabric, and has a UPF of 50+.
The hood itself is surprisingly heavy to fold back. So much so, that when taking our empty photoset, every time we pulled the last fold of the hood up, the force required was so much that the rear wheels of the pushchair actually came off the ground. Thus the brake was not in contact with the floor and the Wayfarer rolled away slightly down the hill until the hood was up, and then the rear wheels touched the ground again! It is not an easy hood to pull completely up!
We liked how the hood fabric has a hole for the recline lever and supposedly velcroes into place at this point. In reality the fabric does slide off the recline lever which was a little annoying as it leads to fumbling in the hood fabric to recline the seat.
There is a small visor on the front of the hood. We were impressed that although the visor does not flick out of the way, it is never in the way of the child when the hood is folded.
The Silver Cross Wayfarer comes with a lovely thickly padded on top apron. This hooks over envelope style over the foot area in pushchair mode and then attaches on at either side near the bumper bar using two clips. It fits really well and looks fabulous on. Again the quality of this product shines through in the thickness of the fabric, but also in my most favourite detail of the whole pushchair – the chunky logoed zipper. I think that the detail in the zipper stands out as being the one thing that tells me that Silver Cross cared when they put the Wayfarer together. The zipper is a piece of art in its own right and I love it. Another small invisible good detail are the magnets which hold the top of the apron together neatly over the bumper bar. These are a lovely touch.
Carrycot & Car Seat
The carrycot is beautiful. The sides of the carrycot are padded in incredibly soft cream fabric. The mattress is a good thickness and is covered in matching fabric. The carrycot is suitable for overnight sleeping.
The carrycot is constructed in two parts. There is a hard bodied base part, onto which the cream liner is attached. The hard bodied carrycot folds flat for storage. There are straps to help pull these up, but logically they did not help! It is very, very hard to put the struts into the correct position – it would be easy not to do it correctly – so if you need to fold the carrycot regularly, then check out how hard this is to do. There are easier carrycots to fold, however in reality most people do not fold a carrycot until their baby has outgrown it. The carrycot has D rings on the base board for a harness to be added. The inner liner zips onto the upper edge of the carrycot base. Again, this is not easy to do. We don’t know if we were unlucky, but when we had zipped on the foot end, as we moved the fabric to fit the head end, we split the foot end zip and had to start all over again. It was frustrating but it was worth it once we had both ends attached. It is useful that the inner liner detaches for easy washing if necessary.
The hood from the pushchair attaches onto the carrycot frame and finishes the carrycot off well. Although amongst the good attention to detail, Silver Cross seem to have ignored that there is a hole in the hood where the recline lever peeks through on the pushchair. An open hole is left above a sleeping baby’s head. It is a small detail which could really have been resolved with a flap of fabric inside or outside the hood.
In carrycot mode, the top of the apron is removed, and then this can be zippered onto the carrycot. We have to say, it was not easy to line up the zips and make the apron fit the curve. However with a bit of tweaking we managed it. In reality, anyone is unlikely to unzip the whole apron off again – you would simply undo one side to access a baby. Simply be aware that the zip is not the easiest to undo and do up again. However the seamless look this gives the pushchair, and the snuggly, no draft environment for a baby would be worth the effort. Once again the top of the apron is kept neat using the hidden magnets to hold it folded over the bumper bar. One word of warning though. The apron does cover the bumper bar which also acts as the carrying handle. Thus it is not clearly obvious where to hold the carrycot when lifting. I found myself accidentally lifting the carrycot off using the front metal rib of the hood on more than one occasion before realising. The carrycot is released from the chassis in the same way as the seat unit, using the two ‘wings’ on either side of the carrycot. The trick is to release one ‘wing’, grab the bumper bar with that hand to take the weight, before releasing the other ‘wing’ and pulling the carrycot free of the chassis.All round, I think the Silver Cross Wayfarer is probably the equal best carrycot that we have seen here at Best Buggy HQ.
The Silver Cross Wayfarer also takes a Simplicity car seat. We do not have one here to test, but Simplicity car seat adaptors are in the box to attach one to the chassis. It is also possible to buy Maxi Cosi car seat adaptors to attach a Cabriofix or Pebble to the chassis.
Storage and Raincover
The storage on the Silver Cross Wayfarer is FABULOUS! The basket is so simple but its perfect. It is high enough off the ground, but yet low enough under the pushchair and carrycot to allow access. Access is slightly more restricted in carrycot mode, but there is still enough room to push a changing bag or some shopping underneath. In pushchair mode, access is brilliant from all 4 sides. The basket is deep and large. It swallowed up my daughters school bags, lunchbag, book bag, medical bag, booster seat and coats for the school run. It is exactly what we look for in a basket!
As mentioned there are two metal loops on the Wayfarer fabrics (one on the hood, and one on the apron). Logic suggests that these are toy loops. However in reality no toys could actually be accessed by a child from these points!
We love the zippy raincover which comes with the Silver Cross Wayfarer which allows access to the child from the front. The raincover is really easy to fit too. The raincover has its own storage pouch.
The Wayfarer also comes with a cupholder which is a useful accessory to have.
Handlebar, Suspension ,Wheels, Handling, and Brake
Up to this point, the Silver Cross Wayfarer could easily sell its way out of any nursery retailer’s shop on looks, quality, feel, luxury, fabrics and a great value for money package. We are absolutely sure that anyone looking at the Wayfarer would see why parents-to-be would consider buying one. The Silver Cross quality continues in the detailed handlebar which is beautifully covered with leatherette with a fabulously shiny section which is embossed with the Silver Cross logo in the centre. The handlebar extends upwards, through 4 positions, to a tall height, by simply pressing in the button under the logo section of the handlebar, and pulling upwards.
However, it is once you get hold of the handle and take the pram out, that the Wayfarer lets itself down. First of all it is a hard ride – by that we mean there is no bounce or give in the chassis. We could only see the front suspension working by pushing the pushchair against a wall and pushing forwards. We understand there is rear suspension but however much we looked, we were unable to see it working. However, using the Wayfarer in every day life, we were concerned how any lean or pull on the handle e.g. cornering or our son wriggling, or our daughter holding onto the handle, led to bending in the lower joint area, (the one near the basket,) rather than the suspension giving. This concerned us.
The wheels themselves are 7 and 8 inch hard rubberised wheels. The front wheels swivel, or can be easily locked using a paddle switch located behind the wheels. More often than not, we also had one front wheel off the ground simply walking along. Overall, the combination of the the lack of good suspension, and these small hard wheels, meant that we would not have wanted to do more than walk on pavements or shopping malls. The Wayfarer is very much an urban pushchair.
However the handling of the Wayfarer is also not great. It takes a lot of effort to steer the Wayfarer, even with a small child on board. Changing the seat direction did not seem to make any difference. We fully expected the Wayfarer to be a light whizzy pushchair, but it really is not!!
The biggest surprise was when we tried to get the Wayfarer over the 1 cm high high lip on our front door. It would not simply push over, but neither could we tip the pushchair with the seat forward facing, over the lintel! We simply could not get the front wheels off the ground. We quickly realised that extending the handle gave more leverage, but this is something to consider if you are of short statute or like a low handle. Even with the handle extended, lifting the front of the pushchair off the ground was not the easiest we have ever had. All round the handling and manoeuverability really let the Wayfarer down in our tests.
The brake is a simple step onto the red button situated by the right hand rear wheel to apply. To release the brake, simply stand on the green button. Personally we find the green button just a little on the small side for our big feet, but open toed shoe fans will appreciate this!
Folding the Wayfarer is simplicity itself. It is rare to find a pushchair which is so simple and so smooth to fold. Simply press in the black button on the top right hand side of the chassis above the folding loop. Then with one finger on each side in each loop, pull these upwards and the chassis bends at the ‘knees’, folds and autolocks. The seat can be left on the chassis in the forward facing, upright position which gives a neat fold. However the fold is quite long and it barely fitted in our car boot the ‘short’ way. This really surprised us because the pushchair itself seems very compact. The fold is more compact with the seat removed and ‘nested’ into the chassis – the last folded photo shows the difference with the seat off compared to the previous folded photos with the seat left on.
The chassis will freestand when folded. Silver Cross have cleverly incorporated a flat rubber stopper onto the handlebar to prevent the shiny handlebar centre getting scratched.
Unfolding is easy. Simply undo the storage latch and flick the pushchair open until it clicks.
The retailer we bought the Wayfarer from said they liked this pushchair because anyone can open the boxes, set the pushchair up and go without needing to read the manual. It is true. The Wayfarer really is simple and easy for anyone to use, open fold without needing to read anything.
The Wayfarer is relatively light to lift and carry. There are also natural carrying points to the chassis which make it easy to handle.
We know that the Silver Cross Wayfarer is selling well in local retailers, and that there are waiting lists for stock. It is very easy to see why. The quality, fabrics, chassis and attention to detail on the Wayfarer is superb. Both the pushchair and carrycot are easy to use once set up, and offer very comfortable environments for any baby or toddler to travel in. The basket, raincover and apron are all great although the apron zip could be easier. The Silver Cross Wayfarer offers great value for money simply for what is in the box i.e. carrycot, chassis, pushchair seat, raincover, apron and hood, BUT on top of that Silver Cross have injected the small touches and finish which make this a luxury purchase at a budget price. However, the Wayfarer has poor handling, and has a suspension mechanism which feels hard underhand. However on balance we would probably put up with the poor handling of the Wayfarer to keep the luxury feel, beautiful styling and great basket.
We do however understand there will be some changes coming to the Wayfarer, so hopefully Silver Cross will have considered some better wheels; will have looked at the handling; and will put a fabric flap over the recline lever hole in the hood; to make the Wayfarer the perfect pushchair!
With many thanks to Nurseryland in Wakefield, for their help with this review.
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