Silver Cross Halo Pushchair Review
I have a dirty secret, I have 4 pushchairs. It seems perfectly reasonable to me, you see, over the last two years I have been struggling to find the perfect pushchair for every occasion. This has lead me to purchase :
* Silver Cross Linear Freeway Pram system- The first pushchair I had, great for shopping as it has a large basket and ideal for putting the baby in a range of different seating positions.
* Out and About Nipper 360- brilliant for the beach, easy to push, comfortable for baby, but does get the odd puncture. I did use this for jogging occasionally and its great for that.
* Maclaren Quest- for the car and general nipping about, quick to collapse, a classic buggy, everyone has one.
* Phil & Teds Sport Buggy- for transporting two screaming kids at the same time.
I was quite happy with this number. Although hubby feared for his life and the porch is straining under the tangled weight of metal. However, then I was given the opportunity to review another pushchair. So, we come to pushchair number 5! The Silver Cross Halo
Why I’m keen to give Silver Cross a chance!
Silver Cross are a long established British Company, having produced their first pushchair in 1877. Its this name and heritage that attracted me to purchase the Linear Freeway. However, I have to admit, its this pushchair/pram that lead me to buy the others, as it was a bit of a mistake purchase for me.
I bought it over the Internet and didn’t realise how big the frame was when the pram was folded. It just about fitted in the car boot. Lovely to push and with a big shopping basket, I used to walk all over St Albans proudly pushing my sturdy buggy. Until the handle snapped off miles from home. I was having a bad day, suffering from Post Natal Depression and I literally felt like sitting down on the kerb and giving up. I looked at (then) baby boy and that gave me the energy to move, but I vowed not to walk too far with the pram again.
I digress, I was really delighted to be given the chance to review another Silver Cross pushchair, as I really felt that the problems I had with the Linear Freeway (which was fixed and I still use) were down to me.
At Last! On to the Review
For me, there are several aspects of a pushchair which influence how favourably I consider them. So, I thought that rather than do a Pro’s and Con’s list which has been done very eloquently before, I thought I would take you through my thoughts on the various aspects of a pushchair which are important to me:
Ease of Construction
I’m not known for my ability to work technical things, this includes constructing potentially difficult items such as pushchairs. When the Halo arrived, with a very apologetic TNT man in tow- who had actually managed to lose it in the depot, toddler boy and I were extremely excited, so we tore the box open and tried to put it all together without instructions. It wasn’t all that easy, so I had to resort to using the instructions. There are two types of instruction, written and pictures. I used the pictures and within seconds I had constructed it. Then in a further few seconds, Toddler boy had installed himself and he remained there for the next hour or so, revelling in the most luxurious chair in our house.
Ease of fold
The pram collapses using a trigger system either side of the frame. From what I can tell this is a fairly standard feature of the Silver Cross prams. I found the mechanism to be a little bit fiddly, but once the pram was folded it was very small and there is a handy carry handle.
The wheels are really easily removed and as the pram folds flat, this means that it will fit into a very small space. I think this ability to fold flat is a major benefit, as it means that if you are short of space you really can cram it somewhere very small. Just think, no longer will you have a car boot rammed full of things wedged into tiny crevices when you take your next British Summer holiday. You could easily stash the buggy on the floor behind the drivers seat and still fit your baby seat behind there. (Well, you could in our Zafira anyhow!) For me, all things said, I would argue that for the comfort you get for the baby, its better than the Maclaren for the car boot.
Longevity of Use
The Halo is suitable from birth until toddler. The seat reclines to flat and the stage 1 car-seat attaches. This is a major bonus. However, my toddler did look a bit snug in it, as you can see from the image on the left. One of my major bug bears with it is the fact that you can’t attach a buggy board, which means its only suitable if you have one child. However, I guess it all depends on the age gap between your kids. For me at the moment, wandering about with two kids, I can’t really better the functionality of the Phil & Teds. That said Ive enjoyed pushing this so much that I’m prepared to take the baby sling with me and swap the kids around as need requires.
Use with a car seat?
I have to admit, that I haven’t really used the car-seat- puschair option with either of my kids very much. However, the fact that it converts into a travel system with the addition of the Ventura car seat, means that it offers a remarkable range of flexibility. I actually own a Ventura car seat as it goes with my other Silver Cross Linear Freeway pram. So, I can say with experience that fitting the car-seat is a bit of a doddle.
The Halo is a fabulously trendy looking pushchair. It comes in three different colours and I would be happy to have any of them. I received a couple of positive comments about it whilst out shopping which I was quite chuffed about.
Image; Halo storage system, with raincover and baby-sling in the bungee cords and Babymel change bag hanging from the frame!
I have to admit, I do walk about with almost the entire contents of our house, except the kitchen sink. I’ve been known to have 3 change bags on occasion. Its a sort of knee jerk reaction to being out in early streamlined days and having to deal with an exploding poo which lead me to have to sacrifice my t-shirt to baby ( I did have a jumper). That said, for me, this is one area where the Halo really falls down. There isn’t a proper storage basket, rather a system of stretchy cords in which, once you have wedged the rain cover you can’t fit a lot else. When I hung my change bag off the handle however I adjusted the bag it still seemed to push the seat sightly forward. I wasn’t very happy with this. For storage, the Silver Cross Linear Freeway is really excellent.
The Halo has the best rain cover I have ever seen, It simply drops over the top of the whole pushchair. Brilliant.
Ease of push
The Halo is incredibly easy to push over normal street surfaces, it glides. This really made it a pleasure to push, apart from the handle which after a while started to stick in my hand. I think this could be remedied by a bit of padding. For the sake of completeness I also took the buggy over grass, cobbles and gravel. These surfaces proved a bit harder to push on through and were also a bit juddery on the wrists. However, if you are not worried about yourself, the suspension was excellent and the little traveller within the pushchair was nicely cushioned from the bumps. If you live in a bumpy country place then I would recommend the Out and About Nipper 360.
One of the things I love about the Out and About Nipper 360 is the canopy, its long and provides a lot of sun shelter for the baby. This is a feature that I look for on pushchairs having endured a whiney baby and toddler for hours on end complaining about the sunlight. When I got the Phil & Teds, I actually purchased the additional UV canopy/ screen net thing, which I have found very handy. Phil who designed the Halo and who was talking about it at the British Mummy Bloggers meet has really come good on this feature. The canopy is generous and there is an additional UV screen which can be folded back. I approve of this feature very much! Some people have mentioned the lack of a window, personally I don’t I use that very much anyhow, so I’d rather not have one, than have the thing flapping about or providing an area which isn’t UV protected.
Comfort for the baby/ toddler
This is a crucial aspect for me and I would say that both baby and toddler look very comfortable. There is a lovely cushioned seat pad included and a really good foot muff system which clips on. The seat can be reclined to any position with a handy webbing strap at the back, which was very easy to operate. I personally like this sort of system which is why I really like the Out and About Nipper 360 pushchair. However, on the Halo its much easier to operate as you don’t need to fiddle about with strapping clips. There is an ingenious system which means you literally flick one lever and pull the straps.
The baby is also nicely cosseted away within the pushchair, protected by the Halo of metal which gives the pushchair its name. I really really like this feature as it really helps you to keep the baby away from the prying hands of strange old ladies who seemed to have a compulsion to poke Toddler boy and grab baby Fifi’s hand. In my opinion, for this feature alone, its worth buying this pushchair. But then, I can be a bit stand-offish and fussy with my kids. Message here for any old ladies reading this, look but dont touch!
The fabric used is clearly of really high quality, it feels nice to the touch and looks as if it will last. I really like the foot muff and seat padding. The silver paint (?) on the frame is a bit disappointing as it looks as if it will scratch off quite easily. Overall the Halo does feel like a good quality product, unlike some other pushchairs I have looked at.
At first glance, £275 it seems a bit pricey, but then I thought about it and I realised that for my first pushchair I spent £375! As a result, I actually think that for what you get its very reasonable. Think, you are effectively getting the stroller that you would inevitably buy after that first pram system, but one that has pretty much all the functionality of a pram system.
So would I buy it?
After testing it and using it over the last couple of weeks, I have to say YES. I really genuinely have grown to love it. In fact, Ive even been going about with a baby sling, so that I can swap the kids around if Toddler boy gets fed up walking. The main disadvantage is the lack of a shopping basket, but that said, for popping around the shops on a Saturday afternoon, it’s fine. I am also informed that I could purchase a special bag for it (if I wasn’t so mean I might be tempted). I just like the way it glides about the pavement whilst feeling solid and I really like the way the baby/ toddler sits inside it.
I’m lucky, I can chose to keep the Halo, so I think I can now give away my Maclaren and my Linear Freeway and streamline the household buggy collection down to three. My thanks go to Silver Cross, my faith in the quality of your brand has been restored and I’m really proud to own a British pushchair.