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Silver Cross Reef review: A stylish, practical go-anywhere travel system

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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
985
inc VAT

Gorgeous looks, big wheels and brilliant design – the Reef will transport your child from birth to toddlerhood and beyond

Pros 
Adjustable, easy-to-use design
Multi-terrain tyres and four-wheel suspension
Lots of accessories
Spacious underseat basket
Cons 
Seat adjustment is a little stiff/awkward
Seat material could be softer
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Released in May 2022 along with its sister model Dune, the Reef is the newest travel system from one of the oldest baby brands, Silver Cross. As the Dune’s big sister, the premium-tier Reef pushchair has many similarities to the Dune, but its bigger wheels make it more suited to life both in and out of the city.

The Reef comes mostly pre-assembled – the wheels click into place easily in a matter of minutes. It’s newborn-ready straight out of the box, and the lie-flat seat can be paired with the optional newborn pod or the First Bed Foldable Carrycot which is overnight sleep approved. All add-on accessories for the Reef are also compatible with the Dune. You can choose from a wide range including universal car seat adaptors and a ride-on board for older siblings.

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Silver Cross Reef: What did we like?

Although the Reef and Dune look practically identical at first sight, the Reef is slightly larger and around a kilo lighter. The Reef’s larger wheels are designed to roll off pavement and straight into the countryside, and all four wheels have independent suspension, which helps smooth out footpaths and fire roads as adeptly as pockmarked pavements. There’s a very roomy basket under the seat, too, which is great for shopping and baby essentials, although it is a little smaller than that of the Dune.

The telescoping handlebar accommodates parents of any height. The result is a travel system which is easy to manoeuvre, and the all-terrain, puncture-proof tyres glide along pavement and roll over rougher terrain without bumping to a halt. When you do want to stop, the brake pedal on the rear axle is super-easy to toggle on and off with one foot.

There are three colour choices to choose from: Earth (a beigy brown), Neptune (navy), and Orbit (black). The Orbit model features tan leatherette detailing which, to my mind, gives it a more luxurious look; it provides more of a contrast than the other two styles. The Earth model’s chassis is finished in a chic beige and rose gold as opposed to the others’ black frames.

The Reef’s design is simple and elegant. Many of the adjustments only require one hand: the latch on the rear of the lie-flat seat adjusts the seat angle all the way from flat to upright to folded in half, and the frame can also be folded and unfolded one-handed, gliding open and closed with little effort. Once both the lie-flat seat and base are folded down, the Reef stands on its four wheels rather like a carry-on suitcase, and the comfy vegan leatherette handle makes it easy to pop it in the boot.

If you’re using the carrycot or car seat, it’s necessary to remove those first before fully folding the base, but the carrycot unhooks with one-hand – simply grip a single latch at the top of the hood and lift – and the modular latches for the car seat allow you to press one at a time before lifting it away. My only complaint is that the latch on the seat can be a tad stiff, and you need to bend over to fold the frame fully, which might not be convenient if you’re carrying a baby.

The lie-flat seat is reassuringly sturdy and can be clicked in and out using the two buttons at either side which allow you to remove the seat and turn it to either front- or rear-facing positions. It slots in easily with minimal effort. The seat material feels durable, too, and its outer fabrics are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles—perfect for the eco-conscious.

For anyone who’s struggled to secure a pram harness with a wiggly child, Silver Cross’ new five-point harness is a breath of fresh air. It uses an innovative magnetic buckle that practically secures itself. This means you’ll never have to deal with pinched fingers getting stuck in the buckles. To release it you have to simultaneously push in the two adjacent buttons – easy enough for an adult, but too tricky for a child. It offers plenty of adjustability, too, and the seat’s straps can be moved up and down easily from the back of the seat while your child is seated and secured, ensuring the safest and most comfortable fit.

The fold-back sun canopy provides welcome protection from UV rays, and also has the ability to extend further once you unzip its rear section. There’s also a pull-out shade under the canopy’s front lip which remains hidden until you need it, and you can uncover a rear peep window with mesh when extra ventilation is required. In addition, the Reef comes with a sun sail that extends right to the handlebars when the seat is rear facing—perfect for shielding your passenger during afternoon naps.

My favourite accessories have to be the First Bed Foldable Carrycot and the ride-along board for older kids. The carrycot is overnight sleep approved, which is a huge boon for when you’re away from home. Bigger kids will love the ride-along board, too: it’s spacious enough for larger toddlers – there’s a generous 20kg weight limit – and it doesn’t impede the stroller’s manoeuvrability.

READ NEXT: The best prams, baby buggies and pushchairs in 2022

Silver Cross Reef: How can it be improved?

Though the company boasts that opening and closing the Reef is effortless—and all the videos on the site seem to make it look like a total breeze—you do have to fold the seat first to close the stroller, and I found that the mechanism could be a little stiff. However, this could be because the stoller was new and needed a little wearing in. Also, the fact that you have to bend down almost to ground level in order to close it might be tricky for those with disabilities (or anyone suffering from that all-too-familiar new parent backache).

In addition, while I love the eco-friendly and recycled fabrics of this stroller – they look great and feel super durable – more padding on the stroller seat wouldn’t go amiss in my opinion.

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Silver Cross Reef: Should I buy it?

The sheer quality of the Silver Cross Reef is evident from the get-go. It’s stylish yet practical, and feels like a premium product throughout. It’s easy to use, highly adjustable, and the combination of puncture-proof tyres and suspension makes for smooth rolling both on- and off-road. If you’re looking for a go-anywhere travel system which can transport your kids from infancy to toddlerhood, there are few better options than this.

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