Great build quality, effortless manoeuvrability and sensible design combine in this luxurious travel system
- Highly adjustable for both child and parents
- Folds down small
- Useful accessories and a roomy underseat basket
- Four-wheel suspension gives a smooth ride
- Not particularly easy to fold
- Seat could be softer
Silver Cross released both the Dune and Reef strollers in May 2022, and at first glance you’d think they were twins. They look the same, share the same accessories, and the chassis are indistinguishable from one another. Look closer, however, and the differences reveal themselves: where the Reef’s larger wheels are more suited to life both in and out of the city, the Dune is its urban-focused sibling with smaller wheels that are designed to spin smoothly across pavements and tarmac.
Right from the get go, the Dune is everything you’d expect from a luxury stroller. Despite its relatively small size, it’s a highly capable travel system that can adapt to carry cots, car seats and toddler seats as your child grows. And as all accessories are compatible with both the Dune and the Reef models, there are plenty of options to choose from to suit any family.
What’s more, the eco-friendly design employs recycled materials – according to Silver Cross, 35 plastic bottles were used to create the seat, 24 to make the bassinet and 12 plastic bottles for the first-bed carrycot – so both sustainability and style go hand in hand.
Silver Cross Dune review: What does it do well?
The Dune’s lie-flat seat is newborn-ready straight from the box, adjusting easily and smoothly from a fully flat position to a toddler-friendly upright position. The seat can be mounted in either forward- or rear-facing positions: simply press the buttons either side of the seat simultaneously to release it and flip the seat around. It takes two hands to press the buttons, but the seat is lightweight enough to lift and turn with one hand, clicking easily into place.
The magnetic safety harness is brilliant. You can click the child safely in place (it’s not really even a click; it just sticks together like a magnet and stays put) without worrying about pinching your own or the little one’s fingers, and it feels very secure. To release, you push the buckle’s side buttons together simultaneously – easy for an adult, but too awkward for a child.
The harness adjustment at the back of the seat slides easily up or down to get the best fit for your child. The straps are thinner than some other stroller straps, but their length is easy to adjust and cushioned strap protectors keep baby comfortable and secure.
The stroller’s canopy is large, offering lots of coverage from the elements, and a zip at the rear allows it to extend even further when required. A further pull-out shade at the front of the canopy provides extra protection on sunnier days, and a mesh peep window at the rear is covered by a flap of fabric that easily slides up and down to increase ventilation on those warmer days. The Dune also comes with a sunsail that attaches to the handlebars when you’ve positioned the stroller in rear-facing mode.
There’s also a spacious basket at the bottom of the stroller that’s big enough for an oversized nappy bag and some shopping.
Manoeuvrability with the Dune is a high point. The handlebar is covered with a grippy, luxurious-feeling vegan leatherette and you can adjust the handlebar height up and down with one hand. The smooth-rolling wheels and sprung suspension make it supremely easy to push, and the swivelling front wheels allow it to take tight corners like a dream. The small wheels do get out of their depth on rougher tracks – out-of-towners are better suited to the big-wheeled Silver Cross Reef – but the Dune’s suspension helps to suck up pavement bumps without disturbing your sleeping baby. You can lock the front wheels to face forward if needed – a useful feature on bumpy or off-camber surfaces – and the brake can be toggled swiftly with a dab of the foot pedal.
Collapsing the stroller is mostly a two-handed affair. If you’re using a cot or car seat, it’s necessary to remove those first, but you can leave the lie-flat seat in place regardless of whether it’s forward- or rear-facing. Simply fold the seat down, then press the handlebar adjustment button, slide a lever and fold the frame down. Some bending is required, though, which can prove tricky if you’re juggling a baby and shopping bags, and we did find the button at the back of the seat to be a little stiff.
Once folded, the Dune stands on its four wheels – as long as it’s on flat ground – and the handlebar doesn’t touch the floor, which stops it getting grubby. A small leatherette handle makes it easy to carry the stroller or load it into a car boot, and the compact dimensions – it measures 71cm tall, 61cm wide and 30cm deep when folded – leave plenty of boot space for all your other essentials.
Though you can comfortably use this stroller without any add-ons, there are plenty of optional accessories to choose from. Our favourite add-on is the First Bed Foldable Carrycot (£275). This carrycot can accommodate your baby all day long, especially in those early weeks, and it’s approved for overnight sleeping which is incredibly helpful when you’re away from home.
Unlike the main seat, the carrycot has a super soft interior for the baby’s delicate skin and is particularly roomy, especially for a newborn. There’s a cover that fits on top to keep the baby warm and shielded from the elements, and vents at the rear of the carrycot provide extra airflow for hotter weather, too.
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Silver Cross Dune review: How can it be improved?
Silver Cross has pretty much thought of everything when it comes to this nifty little stroller. However, the only consistent downside we could find was that you have to bend all the way down to collapse it, which can be tricky if you’re holding a child in one hand (or if you have a backache from all the carrying you’re inevitably doing). It also might be a little hard to do for anyone with a disability.
And while the seat material is clearly durable, we found that it was a little bit rougher than we’d like – it’s not as soft as the fabrics employed by some other high-end luxury stroller brands. If you’re set on a stroller seat with a soft sherpa or suede-like interior, you’ll either need to look elsewhere, or consider splashing out on Silver Cross’ reversible Seat Liner Air (£45), which features faux fur and breathable bamboo finishes to maximise warmth or breathability depending on the weather.
Silver Cross Dune review: Should you buy it?
Minor quibbles aside, the Dune is a very well-designed pushchair. Everything from its ingenious magnetic buckle system through to its easy adjustability bespeak a product that’s been tried and tested to make parents’ lives easier and keep children comfortable and safe.
Factor in the stylish, understated looks, and the Dune is a delight to use and own. The way it glides serenely as you stroll – and the ease of getting up and down pavements – makes this pricey buggy one of the best we’ve come across in its category.