* Prices may differ from that shown
Once my son got to about 10 months old, it became increasingly difficult to push him about in his travel system pushchair that he had had since birth. This has a very solid, heavy frame that, combined with his increasing weight, meant that it was hard work pushing him about for long periods, especially on uphill terrain. We decided that it was time for a more lightweight stroller and began our search for one that would suit us.
In the end, we opted for the Silver Cross Zest Secret Letters model. This had a number of features that we liked and Silver Cross was a brand that we knew and trusted - the travel system that we owned was by Silver Cross and we had been pleased with this. We bought this for £85 from Mothercare (RRP is £99.99) and it comes with a two year manufacturers guarantee (Mothercare also guarantee for two years so we are doubley covered).
The stroller looks and feels lightweight yet supportive to baby. The predominant colour of the seat is black but this features silver and white letters of varying sizes dotted around. The letters used are those in 'silver cross'. The frame is silver metal and there are two handles rather than a buggy bar. The handles are cushioned with black foam and fit nicely in the palm of your hand, feeling quite comfortable when pushing. The stroller has four wheels which are lightweight, small in size, black in colour with a silver inside.
The stroller is suitable for use with babies from 3 months old up until the child weighs 15kg. The seat can recline and locks into several positions. The calf support is also adjustable. The stroller weighs 6.5kg and, once folded has the following dimensions: H103 x D27 x W24cm. Once folded, it also has a carry strap which makes it easily transportable.
The stroller also features a large retractable hood and sun visor. This has a flap on it which covers a clear plastic 'window' so, when the hood is in place, the parent can lift this up to check on their baby without disturbing them (a particularly handy feature if baby is napping). A clear plastic raincover is also included. There is also a black mesh shopping basket under the seat. Front wheels are lockable. The stroller also features the hinges of the collapsing mechanism being encased in plastic as an anti finger trap mechanism. The chair has a five point safety harness.
This stroller is certainly lightweight and we have found this much more convenient to not only push our son in but to transport it in the car boot as well. By far my favourite aspect of this stroller is the speed and ease with which you can collapse and put it up. You literally have to unclip the catch on the side and then pull the material strap located on the back of the seat. This fully collapses the stroller and is easy to do - even with one hand. This is definitely a good feature for when you are on your own with baby or if you struggle with your joints or heavy weights etc. Once collapsed though, the stroller is not freestanding.
The seat reclining lever takes a little bit of getting used to, but once you have mastered it, it is easy to do with one hand. Once the seat is fully reclined, the shopping basket is not easily accessed from the back of the chair but it can still be accessed from the front or sides if required.
The handles are fixed in height and therefore cannot be adjusted to suit your height. For me, this is not a problem and the handles are at a comfortable height but if you were quite short/tall, this feature could pose more of a problem. The positioning of the handles - angling slightly inwards - offers good support and keeps the wrists in quite a comfortable, natural position. The brake pedal is quite small and, as such, can be quite difficult to flick down with your foot. Once on though, the brakes do hold well.
The stroller is really easy to control, push and steer - particularly over flat ground. It also handles slightly bumpier ground quite well too. It is also quite narrow in size so fits very easily through doors - this is a great stroller for use around towns and shops.
You can purchase a matching footmuff for this stroller to keep baby warm but, at around £30, this is quite expensive. Instead we opted to transfer the plain black footmuff that we already owned which fits the five point harness. This fits the stroller fine. The seat itself seems well cushioned and my son seem comfortable and content when in this.
Overall, this is a great stroller that has really made my life simpler. There are more lightweight options than this available but this does not feel at all heavy to me and I am reassured that it provides my son with ample support. The chair is well made and wipe clean and collapses to a size that would make it suitable for most car boots. The ease of use of this is the best feature for me, although some of the features - e.g. fixed handle positions - will not suit everyone. For the price paid, this is a great purchase.