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Safety is always the driving force behind choosing a car seat but if it also leaves your baby sitting comfortable and has a long life span, like this Silver Cross Explorer Sport, then it’s as close to a must-buy as you can get.
The Silver Cross Explorer Sport is a Group1/2 car seat, which means it’s design to grow with your child from 9 months to 6 years.
With its chunky appearance and limited colour choice (it only comes in black) the Silver Cross Explorer Sport may not win any beauty contests. However, the dads will love it. Black, bulked up and buckled into the back seat of their vehicle, this car seat shouts minimalist cool as well as protection.
We like travelling in our family. A lot. We’ve carted our 7-year-old son and 20-month-old-daughter half way around the world since they were weeks old. That means we’ve got through a few car seats in our time. Both my children are bigger than average. My toddler isn’t even 2 and wears clothes meant for a 4-year-old. So we’ve always had problems fitting her into a Group 1/2 car seat as she needs all those safety features but is physically almost too big.
With other seats we’ve been able to let out the adjustable 5-point harnesses to the maximum positions, but Anais cries when we click her in, as the crotch straps have always been too tight. One time, she screamed as the mechanism actually pinched her inner thighs. On other occasions, we’ve had to take off her coat, or trousers to do the strap up. With this in mind, I couldn’t wait to try out the Silver Cross Explorer Sport…
What we love
The true appeal of the Silver Cross Explorer Sport car seat lies in its flexibility, easy-to-use installation and long life span. And while other manufacturers claim their car seats are adaptable the Silver Cross Explorer Sport really does live up to its promise.
I’ll admit that I was apprehensive about installing the car seat. I’ve broken out in a cold sweat before trying to translate installation instructions. But this time was a doddle. I read the very-well explained leaflet, looked at the pictures (with easy-to-follow numbered diagrams) and had the Silver Cross Explorer Sport car seat fitted within five minutes. I then asked the ultimate tester to put the seat through its paces – my toddler, Anais.
Anais screamed, wriggled and thrashed around and made it as difficult as possible, but I had her happily sitting in the Silver Cross Explorer Sport before she could throw a proper tantrum.
The harnesses were secure, the crotch strap was perfect, and Anais could read her fairy book in comfort. Something she’s never really been able to do because she inherited her gran’s chunky thighs. Those clever designers at Silver Cross have been listening to mums as the Explorer Sport comes complete with a unique 3-position crotch strap to let out as your baby grows.
The designers have really done their research because there are even five reclining positions so you can have your child sitting up, relaxed or reclining when they fall asleep.
The unique headrest and harness system is specially made so that it supports your child totally whether they’re sitting up or napping. That means you never get that horrible head-lolling when they’re asleep.
At £185 the Explorer Sport is in line with price point of most top selling Group 1/ 2 car seats. However, this seems more purse friendly because it lasts such a long time.
The Silver Cross Explorer Sport is light enough and easy enough to install that you don’t have to leave it in the car all the time if you’re lucky enough to have more than one vehicle or need to take the seat abroad. You can even use it on plane, though check with your airline as specifications differ between airlines.
I love it, but more importantly so does my daughter.
What to watch out for
Personally, I’d like more colour options than black.
The manufacturer points out that no car seat is child proof and that very curious children could learn to unlock the 5-point harness. My daughter is only 20 months and hasn’t. Maybe they’re actually just being incredibly honest (and that all harnesses can be opened by very curious children) but it put a worry in the back of my mind. I will always be checking (and double checking in rear view mirror) to make sure she hasn’t undone it.
If you’re after an ISOFIX option, there’s a separate model suitable from 9 months called the Silver Cross Explorerfix.
Who is the Silver Cross Explorer Sport car seat best for?
Parents after a top-performing option with longevity.
The Silver Cross Explorer Sport is a great Group 1/2 car seat, especially if your baby or toddler is bigger than average. It’s high on safety features, is quick and easy to install and has true lasting power. It’s suitable from 9 months to 6 years, has a unique adaptable crotch strap and can be fully reclined so your little one can sleep comfortably. The looks will probably appeal to dads the most, but all its mod cons are a parent’s dream.