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The Discover is a high-backed booster seat from the hugely respected parenting brand Silver Cross. It’s part of a new range of car seats just released by the company and is accompanied by a new app that uses QR codes to help users install the seat correctly.
The Discover is very much in line (price- and function-wise) with some of its main competitors. With a very reasonable RRP of £150, it is slightly more than the Diono Monterey 2 and the Maxi Cosi Rodifix Airprotect, which are both around £120 and have similar features, but there’s not much in it. There are also much more expensive high-backed boosters, such as the Britax Kidfix III M, which costs more than £200.
The Discover promises style and comfort with its diamond stitching back design and bamboo fibre fabrics and features an adjustable headrest, Isofix connectors and expanding side wings too.
Anna is a mother of a three- and five-year-old, and tested the Discover with her oldest, taking it on holiday and putting it through its paces on long drives as well as short trips.
What were your first impressions of the Discover?
The Discover looked lovely and comfortable and felt compact and lightweight. It was also very easy to lift out of the box, which is a great bonus.
What age is the car seat suitable for?
Silver Cross says the car seat is suitable for children weighting between 15 and 36kg (which is approximately 3-12 years), but my three-and-a-half-year-old is still under 15kg, so he won’t be using this before he’s four. My five-year-old daughter, on the other hand, is very tall for her age and weighs around 22kg, so this was the perfect seat for her.
I only started using high-backed boosters for her when she was well through four years of age. They rely on the car’s seat belt to hold the child in place, so if you have a wriggly toddler, its best to wait until they can sit sensibly while you tuck them in.
How easy was the car seat to assemble?
It was very simple to assemble and install.
How do you install it in the car?
The car seat is very easy to install. It’s great that you have both the option of Isofix connectors, which always provide a secure installation, as well as using it without the connectors. It makes it very versatile. It’s also good that the back of the seat tilts slightly, so that it rests properly against your car seat’s back, whatever the angle. This made it feel very secure. On holiday we also used the plastic Isofix connector guides for the first time – we really needed them to isolate the anchor points correctly, so it was a good job I had packed them!
What’s the ‘Car Safety Made Simple’ app and how useful is it?
The Car Safety Made Simple app aims to take the guess work out of installing your car seat and provides extra instructions to make sure it is securely in place in your car. It also allows you to scan the QR code that’s on the side of your seat and takes you directly to the right installation guide (as the app itself covers a few different models of car seats).I think the QR code feature is a bit of a gimmick as you can just open the app and select the car seat you bought quite easily without scanning the code. In terms of the app itself, the CGI illustrations do help, but in my opinion they don’t do anything a simple instruction leaflet can’t do, and faffing around with my phone while installing the car seat is not my idea of helpful.
I ended up putting the seat down and looking at the instructions while I was installing it. Also, the app didn’t have any information (that I could find), on how to disconnect the car seat’s Isofix connectors. I figured it out easily enough, as I’ve reviewed a number of these, but if you’re new to high-backed boosters, it’s not obvious that you need to pull a release button back. I also think the instruction leaflet has forgot to label the button that releases the Isofix catches properly: it currently advises you to pull the ‘Isofix adjustment button’, which is its label for the levers that release and retract the Isofix arms according to its sketch of all the components.
On top of this, I would have liked more examples – with some real-children photos – on how to choose the right height for the headrest. This is where such an app could be really useful.
Does the Discover feel securely installed, once in place?
Yes, it feels securely installed, once in place. I think Isofix connectors are great for high-backed boosters.
How is strapping your child into the seat?
This is fairly easy. I would just advise that you make sure you adjust the headrest before strapping your child in – this isn’t necessary, but it makes it much easier. You then strap your child in with the car’s seat belt, and the guides are very clear and straightforward.
What do you think of the design?
I really liked the design; it’s stylish and understated.
Does the seat feel safe?
Once installed the seat does feel sturdy. It also feels safe, as it fits snugly and provides side and head protection. However, it is very compact – and I had to remind my daughter to sit up straight in it, with her bottom pushed back.
The depth of the seat was much shallower to the one we usually use, the Britax Römer Kidfix III M. I measured the Discover’s seat depth at around 32.5cm, while the Kidfix is a good 5cm deeper. This makes a difference to how my daughter sits – and therefore how the lap belt lies on her hips. So in regards to safety, I felt my daughter was slightly less well positioned in the Discover. This was particularly noticeable in our hire car on holiday as the backrest was more upright. It was not so marked in our BMW. So – as always – it’s definitely worth checking the fit of the seat in your car before buying.
Are there different seat positions with the Discover?
The Discover doesn’t recline as such. Its back is adjustable so that it hugs the car seat better, but once installed there is just one position for the seat back. In fact, installed in our holiday rental (the Renault Captur), the seat was very upright, and my daughter found it difficult to get comfortable.
How can you adjust the height or size of the seat as your child grows?
The headrest has five adjustable positions to allow your child to grow, and as you adjust the headrest, the side wings expand automatically to accommodate a growing child. However, I did feel that the sides of the seat were still a bit snug with the headrest at the right height for my daughter. Maybe it’s a safety thing, but it did feel tighter than others we have tried.
How comfortable is it for your child?
As mentioned, the Discover seemed snugger around my daughter’s arms and chest than other seats we have tried, and the seating area is less deep. She never got super comfortable sitting straight in the seat and tended to shift about a bit, twisting sideways a tad. This is not great, as the function of the seat relies on your child sitting straight without shifting and sliding. This was the main reason I marked this product down on comfort. However, I can’t deny how lovely and comfy the fabric is.
What do you think of the size and weight of the Discover?
The Discover weighs 7.2kg, and is very easy to carry, lift and shift. We took it on holiday with us, and I never minded it. It’s nice and compact.
What do you think of the fabric?
The Discover boasts soft natural bamboo fabrics which have thermo-regulating properties to take moisture away from the skin, keeping your child warm yet dry and my daughter really liked the fabric. In the heat of summer we had a hire car with air conditioning so we didn’t get that hot. But even back in our own car, my daughter never complained of stickiness. It’s also very easy to remove with clear instructions included.
Tell us about the side impact protection.
This expands and retracts automatically as you adjust the headrest up and down, and is a great feature. You can really tell the difference as it adjusts.
Is it easy to clean?
As it’s so easy to take the fabric off the car seat, it’s a joy to clean the Discover. The covers can be removed and washed at 30 degrees with no detergents.
What feature do you like most?
The lovely fabric and its compactness.
Is the Discover a stylish product?
Yes, we really liked the look of it. Some might find the grey colourway too muted, but it’s right up our street. I also liked the fact the red seat-belt guides are stitched rather than plastic.
Is it good value?
With an RRP of £150, it is similar to other mid-market booster seats. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles (no drink holder and no additional safety elements) apart from its style and lovely fabric. However, Silver Cross is a well-respected brand that produces high-end quality items, so the price is understandable. Silver Cross products also come with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Where can you buy the Discover?
It’s available to buy from Silver Cross, Winstanleys Pramworld & Little Angels Prams
What’s in the box?
- Car seat
- Plastic Isofix connectors guides
Are there any accessories needed or available?
Which type of family is the Discover best for?
This is a great car seat for any child within the acceptable weight of 15-36kg, although I would recommend it for slightly older kids, as I would with all high-back boosters. I believe the Silver Cross quality means it will last the distance and a fair number of years. However, if you have very tall kids, I probably wouldn’t go for the Discover, as it’s much more snug than others we have used.
Would you recommend this car seat?
I would recommend this as a standard high-backed booster for those who love the Silver Cross style and quality. However, if asked for advice, I would probably recommend other models over it first.
The Discover and the Maxi-Cosi Rodifix AirProtect car seat are very similar in many ways. With an RRP of £139, the latter is marginally cheaper, although they both provide Isofix connectors, an adjustable headrest and backrest, an easy belt-guide system and easily removable and washable covers. According to the Maxi-Cosi brand, its seat must be installed through Isofix in combination with seatbelt, so it could be tricky if Isofix anchor points are not available.
I haven’t tested the Maxi-Cosi car seat myself, although on paper I think I would be tempted to go for it. One of the Maxi-Cosi’s main USPs is its patented AirProtect technology which it claims provides extra protection for the child’s head. I always appreciate such extra safety features – any additional level of protection is a plus for me. In addition, it has a recline – or ‘sleeping’ – position which would be a fantastic option. Finally, the Maxi-Cosi comes in far more colour options.
This is a lovely, stylish high-back booster of lovely quality and feel. As it’s light and easy to move, it’s super simple to change between cars and it provides all the basic safety features you could want. However, it may be a tad on the snug side for taller kids.