Secret review – We no like the… Silver Cross Dazzle Pushchair.

Picture 1Okay, as we always do, when we get a product we don’t like, we go back to the PR company and give them the choice – pull it? Or publish anyway? I’ve been avoiding writing the Dazzle review, simply because I kept waiting to fall in love with it. In the end, I wrote what I thought, and pushed it off to the lovely Silver Cross PR’s, expecting them to snatch it and run to the hills with it.

But no.

D’you know what they said?

“Thanks so much for sending over the Dazzle review for us to look at – do go ahead and post it on the blog.”

Well. Muchos big and shiny points to Silver Cross, eh? So we won’t give it space on the main site – but here it is. What we REALLY think of the Dazzle pushchair (this may take some time – I rather enjoyed writing it!

Silver Cross’ Dazzle is a bit of an ‘oooh’ pushchair. The first day I used it on the school run I gathered a very distinct ’oooh’ from my fellow circle of mums, and the colour and style were much admired. I was of course humble and shrugged it off, but couldn’t help but feel a sneaky happy thought at the admiration it induced.

But – and it’s quite a big ‘but’ here. I did as I always do, and used it. A lot. School runs, short shopping trips, park walks and the like – nothing strenuous, just your average ho-hum everyday pushchair tasks.

And here I am – 5 months later, and really liking it rather a lot less than when I started.

Yes – it looks lovely, and the handles are nice and high for me (I’m 6’, all but a tiny bit, so that one’s an important one for me). It is suitable from birth – yet roomy for a toddler, the fold works beautifully one handed, it feels solid and substantially built as you would expect from Silver Cross, the ride is smooth and rock-steady when walking, and the material is gorgeous – soft yet practical.

But… (and there are quite a few buts):

  • The seating position. Oh dear, silver Cross, of all the things to get wrong. When Ella sits in it she always ends up looking like she’s slumped in a hammock – it is impossible to get it straight
    This is how Ella always seems to end up looking after she's been in it for a while.

    This is how Ella always seems to end up looking after she’s been in it for a while.

    upright, and the bucket-shape to the seat material means she constantly slides forwards until her bottom is perched at the front of the seat and her chin is resting on her chest. Not good.

  • The buckle. At first, I rather liked the clear plastic clips and the way they slid into the central circle. Until the first time I tried to do it when Ella resisted. You know that irate toddler rigidity where they suddenly become filled with poles of steel, and are impossible to bend? Any pushchair not designed with that situation in mind is a bit laughable. Only I wasn’t laughing. The shoulder straps slide on to a little plastic hook on the waist strap  – and they slide straight off again. And the whole clip then has to be inserted at just the right angle into the central disc – which is wide, and takes two hands to accomplish. During which you use your third hand to hold reluctant screeching child in place, of course, because if they wriggle the whole strap shebang flies apart and you start over…  You can of course leave the shoulder strap connect to the waist strap to save a step – which works fine until said child begins to torso-straighten in indignation again. Or is wearing a thicker jumper than last time. Or has sussed if they just wriggle left quite quickly the whole flipping thing comes apart in Mummys hands. Which is EVER such a fun game. When we’re late for school. In the rain.
  • The brakes. That don’t. It’s a simple mechanism usually – push down with foot, pushchair stops. Flip up with foot, pushchair goes again. Only these ones seem to have decided that actually, that’s all a bit pedestrian and mundane. So you push with your foot and nothing happens… This is moderately irritating on the flat, but when you’re on a hill and in need of leaping to help fallen-down 6 yr old with bleeding knees it becomes a little more important. Then of course there’s the opposite game of trying to get the brake off again – even harder, and have had to resort to reaching down and attempting to do it by hand on numerous occasions. Have figured out now that you need to shove the braked pushchair along with stuck wheels for a few yards, and then the brake will allow itself to be released. Good-oh.
  • The hood. Doesn’t stay down – ever. There is no mechanism for locking it in place, and whilst it flips down easily and covers well, it rides itself back up and folds itself neatly away again. Over and over and over. In light showers not worthy of the rain cover, I have perfected the art of steering one handed whilst holding the hood down with the other.
  • I shan’t be boring and go on about the front wheel lock frequently jumping out of lock – and the way getting it to actually lock in the first place has been made amusingly tricky. Or the random front wheel flick sideways when you run, making a school playground dash in the rain a bit ‘interesting’. Or the way the handles, comfortable initially, are hard and unfriendly after long pushing. Or even the poor balance – far too light at the front so the slightest thing will tip it backwards, even with a toddler strapped in it. It does have a good umbrella fold mechanism; but is rather too bulky for the umbrella-fold market.

Now I’m no pushchair novice; four children and goodness knows how many pushchairs. I think the Dazzles biggest issue is that it doesn’t know where to sit in the market. At over £150 it is NOT a basic kick-up stroller. But by trying to get elements of pushchair design in the kick up frame, it has become a not-very-good mix of the two.

But my it certainly does look pretty…


Product no longer available but check out the Silver Cross website for many other lovely pushchairs!

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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  1. Dear Laura
    I am quite passionate about our products and range so felt compelled to respond on your review. First and foremost we dont like to hide bad reviews – criticism REALLY can only make us better so perhaps this is why the PR company responded this way. Each point in turn.
    1. The seat. This is an odd one as the complexity of the upholstery on Dazzle is designed to avoid what you have experienced AND provide unrivalled comfort. Can I ask if you have all the straps in place underneath the stroller? There is quite a complicated network of support straps there which were designed to giv ethe stroller a totally different ride! If something is not correctly attached this could explain the issues here.
    2. Buckle. Obviously, the safety of your child is our prime concern and a quick release system such as this was designed to help easy fastening and unfastening in the event of a problem. Your comments are noted however, you make some good points and we will take this into our design review meetingd.
    3. Brakes and swivel wheels. Sorry but there is an issue here that needs looking at. All our strollers meet the strictes of safety standards and I will ensure each of these issues are looked at if you return the stroller for repair. We offer a 2 year warranty on all our strollers (whatever the price) and pick up any strollers with issues and service these at our UK service centre Free of Charge. Please just call Silver Cross.
    Finally, the Dazzle is designed to look good and perform well and is loved by many customers. Let us trya and resolve the issues you have found and make tose school runs a happier event!!


    Nick Paxton

    Post a Reply
    • Hello Nick
      Firstly, thank you so much for responding in such a positive and helpful manner – Silver Cross earns yet more shiny points.

      Regarding the seat straps – how can I tell? I haven’t touched them since the pushchair arrived, they are all very well protected underneath… (scurries off to have a peek) it does all seem to be as it should be with no obvious errors. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite sure it is comfortable – just has resulted in poor sitting posture for my daughter.

      The Buckle – I so hope you do look at this, as above all else this has probably been the most consistent annoyance (and the one which makes my husband walk the girl rather than face the pushchair!). Hey – maybe the Dazzle MkII will prototype the new improved LittleStuff Buckle ;)

      The brakes / wheels – I shall certainly arrange for the pushchair to be checked – perhaps, as you say, it is simply that mine is faulty rather than a generic issue. That would be nice.

      Thank you again for responding – and in such a positive manner. It makes a very pleasant change for us, and it is nice to think that you are actually listening and considering what we are saying. The biggest issues with the Dazzle are the small, possibly insignificant details that probably aren’t figuring very highly in the technical design, but which create continued mini annoyances (like the hood that refuses to stay open). In essence the Dazzle is great: a large, well-built, sturdy and comfortable pushchair. It is those small finishing details which let it down, and make it so frustrating to use – and which matter so much on the school run. In the rain. When you’re late. And have four children…

      Post a Reply


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