A straightforward car seat marketed as good value for money - but fixing it into the car can take some practice
The Silver Cross Ventura Plus is marketed as a ‘value for money’ option by its manufacturer. Having used it for several months with my daughter, it lives up to its promise to a point.
This Group 0 car seat (from birth to 9 months) comes with safety features that include a 3-point harness, increased side impact protection and extra padded head support. It’s secured into the car using the vehicle’s seat belts and can also be combined with four Silver Cross pram systems.
If you’re looking for a car seat that gives good value for money, Silver Cross says the Ventura Plus offers top quality fabrication and safety levels for a good price. But it doesn’t offer any extra special comfort features for baby - and you might want to have a practice run at fitting it in your car before you make a purchase.
What we love
The Ventura Plus has been comfortable for Zoe since she was a couple of months old. She regularly goes to sleep in it during car journeys and has even slept solidly in it for a 2-hour trip.
It also looks pretty sturdy and feels well made. We’ve also found it amply spacious for Zoe, who, at 8 months old, still fits in it with room to spare. Admittedly though, she’s not a big baby and other mums online have said their bigger babies grew out of the seat at a younger age.
What to watch out for
The major drawback with this seat is that it’s difficult to fit into the car. I have a VW Golf and feeding the car seatbelt through the various hooks and catches of the Ventura Plus is a fiddly business requiring both hands, the full length of the seatbelt and frequently some yanking and cursing.
After using it for months and months, I finally feel that I’ve got the knack of it - but it still takes a bit of time and I have to pull the seatbelt right out so that it’s fully extended before I start wrapping it around the seat. It’s definitely worth checking that your seatbelt is long enough before you buy, as a few mums online have found their car seatbels too short to work with the seat. There’s no IsoFix or fixing base available to go with the Ventura Plus, which means it’s vital that you fit it correctly each time.
Comfort wise, although Zoe seems fairly comfortable in it now, the seat isn’t particularly well padded and the fabric isn’t soft. I didn’t feel that it supported her very well when she was a newborn - she seemed tiny and a bit lost inside it! Also, the denim-covered padding on the straps isn’t soft and rubbed her neck when she was small – I used to wrap a muslin around each strap to protect her. The head hugger doesn’t seem that comfy either. The back panel is made of a fleecy fabric that used to make Zoe pretty hot when she laid against it.
Who is the Ventura Plus best for?
Mums looking for a standard car seat without gimmicks, who also don’t mind spending a bit of time fixing the seat in place.
The Ventura Plus is an overall comfortable option for your baby, but it isn’t the easiest seat to secure in the car and you need to check that your seatbelts will work with the seat before you buy.