Family Traveller’s Amy Hopkins and her 17-month old toddler try out the new updated version of Silver Cross Pop, a pushchair jam-packed with practical features for busy families
With a heritage dating back to 1871, Silver Cross is a brand synonymous with royal vintage and quality baby products. I’ve never owned a Silver Cross pushchair before, so I was intrigued to try out the updated version of their lightweight stroller, the Pop. At £190, it’s surprisingly affordable for such an esteemed brand and significantly cheaper than some of the big players in the lightweight buggy market (the Babyzen Yoyo, for instance, costs more than £300).
The Pop arrived in one neat box and I assembled it in minutes, even with my 17-month old daughter Annie clambering all over it (and me). I didn’t need the instructions - in fact the hardest part was prising open the cardboard box. Then, all I had to do was attach the wheels, which clicked into place with a reassuring clunk, and slide on the hood.
For both Annie and I, the Pop is smooth ride. Compared to the bulky travel system I’ve been using as my day-to-day pushchair, it feels blissfully light. I haven’t tested the Pop in the countryside yet, but in town it handles beautifully, making light work of kerbs, narrow alleyways and cobbled streets. The front wheels are lockable for extra control. The handles have a soft padding and are angled like bike handles, which makes them comfortable to hold, but does have the disadvantage of making the Pop difficult to push with one hand.
The Pop has a premium look, as you’d expect from Silver Cross. Those who aren't keen on branding should note that the logo appears on everything from the harness to the hood, albeit subtly. When the seat is in the upright position, there is an excess of loose material that hangs down at the back (it’s needed to accommodate the lie-flat position). This isn’t a problem per se, except that it looks a bit messy.
The Pop's tagline is ‘perfect for popping out’, as it’s designed to be unfolded, re-folded and reclined with just one hand. While it’s pitched as an ideal day-to-day pushchair for urban parents, the easy-fold features mean it would work just as well as a holiday buggy.
The stroller collapses with the traditional umbrella folding motion, which is easy once you’ve practised a couple of times. The new Pop is heavier and longer when folded than the previous model, but the payoff is that it folds more compactly. When folded, it looks pleasingly neat and just about fits in the boot of my saloon car. It’s over a metre in length when folded, so check your boot can accommodate it before buying one.
The Pop can be used from birth up to 25kg or approximately five years, although I’m not sure I’d use a lightweight stroller like this for a newborn. It took me a couple of attempts to get the hang of the seat recline mechanism, which requires squeezing two levers with one hand (it needs a little wiggle before it clicks into place), but it’s easy when you know how.
My nappy bag easily fits in the under-seat basket. Disappointingly though, there is no easy-access pocket underneath the handles, so I have to rummage under the seat if I want to quickly lay my hands on a snack, or my phone.
For me, the feature that makes the Pop stand out from the competition is the fact that its hood extends all the way - and I mean all the way! - down over the seat. I’ve found it helps Annie settle to sleep if I pull the hood all the way over, until she ends up looking like the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz, with just two little feet poking out.
Should you take the pushchair on a sunny holiday, it’s reassuring to know the the hood is UPF 50+ rated and has a mesh vent. This also doubles up as a window so you can keep an eye on your sleeping (or not) passenger.
The five-point harness is easy to adjust and comfortable for Annie, but the buckle on the harness is a little different to other lightweight strollers. The shoulder and waist straps have to be clicked together first, and then inserted into the central buckle. Personally I find this saves time, as I leave the side buckles clipped together so they’re ready for the next time I use the stroller. The seat has an adjustable leg platform. Annie enjoys having her legs stretched out in front of her (although it does seem to encourage her to remove her shoes and throw them).
To my delight, Annie is very happy to ride in this pushchair. Since learning to walk she’s been resistant to being strapped in buggies, car seat or highchairs, but is quite content in the Pop. For that reason alone, this pushchair is a keeper.
Dimensions: L80cm W50cm H107cm
Folded: L105cm W31cm H35cm
Colour options: Blush, Quarry, Flint