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Can someone help re: 5 point vs 3 point harnesses on Group 0 car seats.

(11 Posts)
Sahkoora Mon 02-Jun-14 11:11:17

I'm getting the Obaby Zezu pramette, and the car seat that goes with this is the Obaby sport here. It has a 5 point harness.

However, I can also buy adapters to fit a Maxi Cosi carseat, which are a good deal more money (and I am assuming better quality?) but these only have a 3 point harness.

Surely the 5-point is better? Am I playing for the Maxi Cosi name or should I go for the more expensive seat even though the harness isn't as good?

Thanks for any advice smile

AndHarry Mon 02-Jun-14 22:29:09

I had a Zezu carseat for DC1 and a Maxi Cosi for DC2. DC1 is now 4 but back then I found the Zezu carseat difficult to strap in as in sleep-deprived mode DH and I both put the seatbelt through the wrong set of clips at the back (one set is to open the back, the other for the seatbelt). The actual straps tangled something fierce as well. I swore never again (multiple times a day!) and found the Maxi Cosi much more user-friendly.

evertonmint Mon 02-Jun-14 22:35:17

I don't know about the Zezu but the Maxi-Cosi is always one of the highest rated baby seats by Which. I have the Maxi-Cosi and have been very happy with it.

BertieBotts Mon 02-Jun-14 22:42:35

I don't think it matters on infant seats. Babies don't/can't wriggle around as much as toddlers so it keeps them in anyway. In a rear facing car seat, the harness doesn't hold them back as such, it stops them from sliding up the reclined slope of the infant seat, so the important part is the shoulder straps and making sure they sit properly on the shoulders.

Most infant car seats produced in/for the EU have 3 point harnesses rather than 5 point harnesses because it doesn't make any significant difference to safety.

As for whether the Obaby or maxi cosi is better, price won't tell you - I had the mothercare own brand one 6 years ago which at that time was a clone of the maxi cosi seat with less padding. (It isn't now.) Cost me £30 and it was the exact same seat.

Is it possible for you to go to a shop which stocks both car seats and try putting both of them into your car to see which fits better? The other thing I'd look at is how long the back is on each seat, because it's safest to keep your baby rear facing for as long as possible. Unless you plan to buy an extended rear facing seat later, that means you want an infant seat with the longest back possible, as most babies outgrow the seat by their head going over the top first.

You could try looking at the Which? reports - libraries often subscribe to them or I think you can get a trial for £1.

Sahkoora Tue 03-Jun-14 11:15:19

Thank you everyone, that's very helpful. I've had Britax First Classes for older DSes, and kept them rf for quite a while in DH's car, but this is the first baby I've had since passing my driving test so would really like something to lift out of the car and plonk on the pushchair frame for small school run trips etc.

I expect when DS3 gets bigger I'll get another First Class and keep him rf as they have been brilliant.

I'm glad to hear that price isn't the only guide to quality in infant car seats, as some of them are definitely out of my budget and I'd hate to think i was compromising on safety. Don't want to spend more than £50-70ish, particularly as I COULD just buy the Britax.

BertieBotts Tue 03-Jun-14 11:30:58

If you're getting a first class then the back length isn't an issue.

Check out Which reports for safety, see how practical they are in the car. I'd avoid anything, personally, which looked too shallow or which the fittings seemed flimsy. Aside from that go as cheap as you want. Part of the reason that Maxi Cosi seats are so expensive is because people assume that higher price means better - it's not necessarily the case. High price can mean aspirational! Like Aptimil and Cow and Gate are produced by the same company and are almost identical but Aptimil is consistently £1-2 more expensive per tin, if you compare the marketing, Aptimil is far more aspirational, marketed directly at breastfeeding mums, more MC voiceovers in the ads etc.

All car seats have to have legal minimum tests. I do think Maxi Cosi and Britax do higher tests as standard. Not all do but that doesn't mean a particular seat wouldn't pass it if that makes sense? I'd look for signs that they haven't cut corners, nice rigid easy to use seatbelt guides, fairly deep seat with side impact protection. Other things - extra infant inserts, funky coloured covers, straps which ping out of the way, 5 point harnesses etc, are optional extras really.

BertieBotts Tue 03-Jun-14 11:32:13

Is a base a consideration? You can buy a belted base for the Maxi Cosi which means it just clips in and out of the car. I don't know if you can for the OBaby.

Sahkoora Tue 03-Jun-14 16:30:48

Unfortunately the isofix bases won't fit in either mine or DH's car. You can get one for the OBaby but it seems quite hard to get hold of in the UK as I've only seen them with a huge lead time.

That's very interesting about the formula, and very sneaky. I've never had to use formula so not noticed, but from what I've learned on here about marketing tactics by certain brands, I'm not surprised.

Maybe I will go for the Zezu seat as it's cheaper then. DS1 and 2 have been big boys for their age and the size of 1yr olds by 9mths ish, so it's likely that DS3 will be the same. No way would I want him ff at that age, so it looks as though an infant seat will need to be on the cheap side, followed by a First Class to keep him rf longer.

Thank you so much for all the help and advice.

BertieBotts Tue 03-Jun-14 16:50:02

You can get a base for the Maxi Cosi which fits with a belt rather than isofix, I don't know if it's the same with OBaby. Best thing to do would be to see if you can find who the parent company of OBaby is. I know OBaby do very good quality strollers for the price compared to other cheap strollers.

Maybe formula was a bad example - you see it as well with household appliances (Zanussi vs Electrolux vs AEG. Same company, three different price brackets) and toiletries etc as well. Sometimes the more expensive products will have more premium features, but the bare bones, the important part of the product will be exactly the same, higher pricing makes the consumer feel like they're buying into higher quality and gives them a sense of security, which can actually lead psychologically to them having a better experience of the product!

Problem is that this isn't always the case, because sometimes cheaper products are produced more cheaply and corners are cut in order to still make a profit. The larger companies make profit anyway from selling their "premium" brands at a higher mark up so they can afford to run closer to manufacturing cost to sell the lower end products. Plus, it's already cheap for them to produce a car seat shell, washing machine component, or whatever, to the high specification because they are producing those for the higher end model.

Sahkoora Tue 03-Jun-14 17:02:50

Thank you, I'll have a look at the bases, I didn't realise there were bases other than isofix! I must admit the bases look brilliant, and really save a lot of time. Really having to plan this out now I can drive, didn't really appreciate how much of a faff it was going to be to get 3 kids into the car by myself. Added to which I have to park on the street some way from my place and DS1 is autistic so has zero road sense. He's starting at special school in September and I will have to drive him there and back every day at least until we feel he's comfortable enough to use the school transport. Anything that shaves a few seconds off getting in and out of the car is going to be brilliant.

SqutterNutBaush Fri 06-Jun-14 21:04:30

The Zezu seat (in fact the whole Zezu system) is awful! The seat shell is huge so you need a massive belt length, the seat itself is small and it weighs a ton so not one for lugging back and forth to the car.

The Cabriofix is a great little seat, much better side impact protection, about 1.5kg lighter and the seat back is longer so baby can stay in it longer (my DD is just growing out of it at 15 months).

Another to consider is the britax babysafe.

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