Key features of the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat:
- Age suitability: Birth until 13kg
- Installation: ISOFIX base (additional £99) or car seat belt
- Travel system compatible: Yes
- Total cost (car seat and ISOFIX base): £234
The name Simplicity is a big clue – Silver Cross spent four years designing a Group 0+ car seat that’s simple to use safely and easy to fit. As we’ve come to expect from Silver Cross, there’s also an emphasis on quality and fine detail – it feels robust, safe and good looking.
Completely rearward-facing, this seat can be used from birth to 13kg, which is roughly 12 months.
You can buy the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat from Silver Cross, John Lewis, and Mothercare.
How do you install the Silver Cross Simplicity car seat in the car?
There are two ways to fit the Simplicity into your car, with and ISOFIX base or with the car seat belt.
The first uses an ISOFIX base called the Simplifix, which costs a further £120. You connect the Simplifix base to the two anchor points in your back seat and then secure it with the leg. Both the base and the leg have useful green/red lights to show you when you’ve secured it properly.
The Simplicity then simply clicks in and out of the Simplifix base, with a single action in seconds. Clear green indicators reassure you that it’s fitted correctly.
But you don’t have to use ISOFIX. You can use your seatbelt (which is also known as Universal installation) to secure the seat safely, and one of the main benefits of the Simplifix is that it’s been designed to be fitted as simply and easily as possible.
You can’t miss the bright, blue guides on each handle and the back. They’re a great help in threading the seatbelt through. You simply:
- Slide the lap belt underneath the blue armrest guides over your baby’s legs
- Plug in the seatbelt in as normal
- Stretch the diagonal seatbelt strap around the back of seat
- Slot the seatbelt through the blue guide on the rear
- Pull the seatbelt tight to secure
How easy is it to get your baby in and out?
MFM mum Danielle: Like most Group 0+ car seats, the harness straps aren’t held in position, so I ended up having to fish them out from under my baby once I’d put her in the car seat.
But the adjustment of the straps has been designed to be simple – you press a button underneath the bottom strap and either loosen or tighten the harness.
My only quibble was with tightening the harness straps, which I found stiff. Maybe I’m just a bit weak but I struggled to pull them tight enough when my baby was strapped in. Perhaps this will get easier as I use it more.
MFM mum Melanie: I like the 5-point safety harness. It grips the baby strapping her over the shoulders and across the thighs. The shoulder strap tongues clip into the crotch buckle firmly.
A tip; clip the strap tongues through the blue belt guides on the side. It’ll save you disturbing the baby when you’re feeling for them down the side of the seat.
The red release button is quite stiff so you might not get baby out as quickly for those projectile moments. The harness and straps can be adjusted. The manual shows this can be done with one hand pulling on both straps. I haven’t managed it yet. Perhaps because it’s new and stiff.
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What about safety features?
Danielle – Over 4 years worth of design and engineering went into making the Simplicity car seat, and it shows. As well as a clear colour system showing the seat is correctly fitted and the bold blue guides for the seat belt, there’s high quality side impact protection. The 5 point-harness is also well padded giving extra coverage for your baby’s upper body in the event of sudden movement.
Melanie – It looks robust, feels sturdy and the side impact protection on head support looks top quality.
Is the Silver Cross Simplicity comfortable for your baby?
Danielle – The seat is deep and appears to mould to my baby – which makes it look very comfy. The backrest and seating feel generously padded out as do the harness straps. Certainly, when my baby fell asleep in the seat, she looked well positioned. More importantly her body didn’t look scrunched up.
The Simplicity comes with a ‘newborn comfort wedge’ which helps position your newborn or premmie baby while they’re still tiny. This is easily removed once your baby gets bigger. It’s little details like these that make the Simplicity such a reassuring purchase.
The seat also has a colour-coordinating apron, which slides on and is held in place with straps, so it can’t be kicked off. This is particularly useful if you’re using the car seat as part of a travel system, and need your baby to be protected against cold winds and rain. There is also an optional rain cover (£10) to buy.
Melanie – Yes, but I have mixed feelings/with some adjustments. The seat, hood and apron fabric is soft and deep-cushioned. The newborn head support is solid and adjustable. It slides up and down, single-handedly with ease. As much as I love the apron, my 8-week-old Isabella isn’t a fan. There’s not much wriggle room at the feet end. So long-legged Isabella only had a week’s worth of use out of it before it became uncomfortable.
Disappointingly, the newborn wedge isn’t as comfy as it appears. At 8 weeks old Isabella already looked uncomfortable sat on the lumbar wedge, as it’s called. It’s not just me who thinks this. Similar discussions are on some mummy forums. In the end I decided to ditch the wedge even though Silver Cross say you should keep the wedge in place as long as possible. She’s much happier for it.
Which pushchairs can it be used with to create a travel system?
You can use the Simplicity with the Silver Cross Wayfarer, Surf 3, Wave, Pioneer and Reflex pushchair models.
So what’s in the box?
- Ready assembled car seat
- Instruction booklet
- Apron and hood
- Newborn comfort wedge
- Simplifix ISOFIX base £99
- Simplicity raincover £10
How light is it to carry?
Reasonably easy. At 4kg the Simplicity is one of the lightest on the market and really portable. If you’re looking for lighter, check out the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix, and BeSafe iZi Go Modular, though only marginally lighter.
What do you think of the 5-position handle?
The 5-position handle is inspired: carry, rest, rocker, stable, installation. But you need two hands to move the handle into all of these positions, including into the carry position. I’ve been spoilt. I’m used to a single-handed pull and click into the carry mode. Also, with no grip contours, the Simplicity handle isn’t the most comfortable to hold after a while.
Can it fit in the back of a smaller car, alongside other sibling seats?
The Simplicity fit sunggly in between my 5-year olds’ chairs but my off-roader is bigger at the back than the average sized car.
The Simplicity measures a width of 44cm so it’s a good choice if you have to fit three kids in the back. The Britax Romer Baby Safe iSize is the same width, while the Joie i-Gemm (43.5cm) and Recaro Guardia (43cm) are marginally slimmer.
Is it i-Size compatible?
No. Silver Cross doesn’t currently have an i-Size model. Cybex, Be Safe, Maxi Cosi and Joie all have i-Size models among others.
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Is it easy to clean?
Relatively. The seat, apron, hood and head support are all removable to hand wash only. They’re attached with a number of poppers and Velcro. Farbic wipes work quite well for a quick fix to mishaps and spillages.
How effective is the sun canopy?
Not very. Sadly, the Simplicity has a tiny hood so it doesn’t fully shade Isabella. You only have to look at any other shade on the market leading brands to highlight it. I wish the canopy was as well thought out as the hoods for Silver Cross buggies and prams.
For what it’s worth Silver Cross says the canopy does offer UV protection and the fabric is luxuriously thick. You can solve the problem with a hanging muslin or shade or a parasol – which Silver Cross also sell.
How stylish is it?
It’s a good looking seat, without being flash. There are 14 colours to choose from.
Is the Simplicity value for money?
Debatable. The Simplicity is not cheap at £135. Add that to an outlay for the raincover and perhaps the parasol too, you’ve spent an extra 40 quid on top – taking your car seat spend to £175. You could get a new generation i-Size car seat for that. Resale should be good though as you can’t doubt the SImplicity is desirable and fits onto a range of travel systems beyond just Silver Cross with the right adaptors.
It’s a well-made car seat, that’s really simple to use. It’s easy peasy to install even with a seat belt. Its smart hood and apron are eye-catching with their coordinated colours.Great safety features, lots of attention to detail and a reasonable price tag, the investment is worth it just for the Simplicity’s side impact protection – it’s a winner, especially if you’re buying a Silver Cross pushchair.
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