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Forward facing seat for a 2yo, any recommendations?

(22 Posts)
JoJoMam Tue 28-Dec-10 15:37:29

I need to move my 2 year old out of her rearfacing seat and into a forward facing seat but I'm not sure what to go for.

After looking into it I decided I wanted to get a Kiddy Energy/Guardian Pro or the Cybex Pallas but they don't fit my car so now I'm back to square one!

So, are there any FF car seats that are really good and equally, are there any I should really avoid?

Should I go for a 9mths-4yrs seat and buy her another in a few years?
Should I buy a 9mths-11yrs seat? Then I wouldn't need to buy another for her but are they as safe?

Can anyone tell me which seats come out on top of the 'Which?' reviews? Thanks.

JoJoMam Tue 28-Dec-10 16:53:20

I'm thinking of the Maxi Cosi Tobi maybe?

TruthSweet Tue 28-Dec-10 21:45:40

What seat is she in at the moment?

Is she out growing it by height or weight?

thisisyesterday Tue 28-Dec-10 21:46:52

i would buy an extended RF seat like the britax 2 way elite.

nicm Tue 28-Dec-10 22:35:38

a britax two way elite is a good seat. have one for ds and he can use it to 25kgs. have a look on www.rearfacing.co.uk for more info.

JoJoMam Wed 29-Dec-10 08:39:53

She is currently in an extended RF seat, an Izi combi, I should have made that clearer sorry.

I need my younger DD to go into the Izi and I can't fit two ext.RF seats in the car. I've tried every possibility so we need to put 2yo DD1 in a FF.

Any recommendations??

TruthSweet Wed 29-Dec-10 15:46:13

I'm sorry I have no experience in ff car seats (except DD1 sits in a TWE ffing now and has a cheapo booster/ffing seat for emergencies but I wouldn't rec. it for a main seat!).

Are you any where near Essex? There is a service run by Essex County Council which has fully train staff to fit seats in cars - they have a large stock of seats (not to purchase but to try out) which they can fit in your car to see what will go with out you having to buy a seat before hand. We live in W.Sx but travelled there when we needed a 3rd seat fitted in our Mazda - they were really helpful and got us sorted quickly - you do need to make an appointment though.

here is a link to their contact details. If you look on the left menu on that link there is a option called 'Recommended Fitters' so if you aren't anywhere near Essex you might be able to find somewhere near you.

JoJoMam Wed 29-Dec-10 15:51:50

Truth Thanks but no, no where near Essex. I have called the Essex car seat place but they never called me back. Maybe I should try again.

I know nothing about FF seats either, I never thought I'd be buying one but hey ho!

TruthSweet Wed 29-Dec-10 16:36:01

What problems do you have fitting two rfing seats in your car? Is it lack of width across the back of the car, driver/passanger needs their seat pushed back into rear passanger compartment, or something else?

Also, what car do you drive? And how big is DD1 (weight/height/long or short legs/long or short torso)?

Some car seat reviews say they have an especially tall back or people mention the size their child grew out of them Oh, for a US style system where most seats tell you the top slot height so you can tell if your child will last in it.

We've had 3 rearfacing over the back of DH's car (Mazda Premacy - a mini MPV/5 seater) - TWE behind 6' 2" DH as it's quite upright, Britax First Class in the middle and a Britax Nordic Secura behind me (5'8" so not short either!). We can also get the TWE in ffing so it might be possible to jigsaw two rear facing seats in your car. <hopeful emoticon>

JoJoMam Wed 29-Dec-10 21:58:57

Truth DD1 fits in her RF behind me (drivers seat) but we can't get one behind DH's seat because he needs quite a lot of space. He has mobility issues so he needs to be in the front otherwise I'd put DD in an RF on the front passenger seat (airbag off!) and DH in the back.

Its an old ford focus so not lots of space and crappy short seat belts which limits which seats fit in too I've now found out. New car is out of the question though.

I assumed DD1 would be RF until 4 and that sometime after that a second child would be going into an RF seat, but DD2 came along a lot swifter than planned so now our car is too small!!!

castleonthehill Wed 29-Dec-10 22:18:13

don't get the tobi she will out grow it quickly on height. Why won't the kiddy go in the car.

JoJoMam Wed 29-Dec-10 22:23:50

The kiddy won't fit in because the seat belts in my car are too short. I can just about get the car seat in but only if there is no child in it!

Having been today to look at the Tobi I think the short seat belts will mean I couldn't get that one anyway.

Back to the drawing board!

TruthSweet Thu 30-Dec-10 01:44:26

The TWE can be installed very upright for a rfing seat and if it isn't possible for her to go upright she would still be harnessed to 25kg (approx 6-7 years).

It has an alternative routing for the seat belt if your seat belt wasn't long enough for the standard as well, plus it can be installed with just a lap belt for ffing up to 18kg if that makes things any easier?

It is only (ha!) £50 more expensive than the Tobi but would be used for more years by DD1 or could be passed down to DD2 when she out grows the Izi (that's an 18kg weight limit isn't it?).

JoJoMam Thu 30-Dec-10 14:06:27

Truth how would I find where stocks the TWE? I would have to try it first, no way could I buy online, it might not fit suitably for my DH.

thisisyesterday Thu 30-Dec-10 14:17:11

i have a funny feeling that the in-car safety centre in Milton Keynes is the only stockist of the Britax 2 way elite

i may have mis-remembered though!

JoJoMam Thu 30-Dec-10 14:52:09

That is what I think too thisisyesterday, after a quick trawl of Google. I couldn't buy one on spec though because the chances are that it won't fit our needs.

Have called my Ford dealership and confirmed that it isn't possible to get extended seatbelts for my car because we could have replaced them with longer ones.

So, back to my original question - any recommendations for FF seats?

Some of you must have FF seats surely!

TruthSweet Thu 30-Dec-10 16:43:22

TWE can be used ffing to 25kg which is why I would recommend it over and above a bog standard ffing car seat which would only harness to 18kg.

It doesn't need a very long seat belt to ff either as the manual shows on the 1st page 2nd picture down and if you scroll down to very nearly the end of the manual there is a list of cars it fits in. The Ford Focus is listed the TWE fitting in the front/middle/side seats.

I hope that helps somewhat smile

If not then try the Britax fit finder here where you can put in make/model/year.

thisisyesterday Thu 30-Dec-10 19:20:48

i would say you're fairly safe buying the TWE without seeing it tbh, it seems to be pretty universal, and I am sure there is someone on the rearfacing.co.uk forum who has one (or has had one) in a focus

that said, i can understand why you would be reluctant to do so as it's a big lot of money if it doesn't fit well.

whereabouts are you? i wonder if any of us happen to live nearby? i'd certainly be happy for you to try my TWE in your car!

if you do decide to go for a bog-standard FF seat then I think it depends on her weight.
If she is well under 18kg then I would go for something like the Britax evolva 1-2-3 which has a removable harness and comes out well in safety tests. The harness has to come off once she hits 18kg though, so you would want to be sure you'd get plenty of use out of it. Once she hits 18kg it is removed and the seat is used just with the seatbelt- so you would get a lot more use out of it than you would one that is harness only iyswim

If she is nearly at 18kg (unlikely, but you never know!) then I guess any highback booster that uses the adult seatbelt would be fine.
I have a Graco one for ds1 in my parents car, and the Britax adventure in our own car. I'd happily recommend either

JoJoMam Thu 30-Dec-10 20:00:04

Truth thanks for that, the Britax fit finder doesn't have the TWE on it, I think because its the UK site. If I go back to the main car seat page here the TWE isn't listed as an option.

I like the look of the TWE but am very cautious about buying online having never seen one and having no chance to fit it in the car. Will have to have a think. My gut instinct is that I'd rather have a less safe seat properly fitted and secured than a safer seat but compromising on the fit because if we bought it we'd have to keep it whether it fit well or not IYSWIM.

I also don't really trust the manufacturers fit finders because, for example, the Brio Zento says in its vehicle compatabilty list here that it fits the Ford Focus but it really doesn't, not unless you are very, very short, I'm only 5ft4 and I couldn't fit in front of it!! Maybe they assume everyone has the new Focus and that could be bigger?

I hate car seat shopping and the guilt that is attached to it sad

JoJoMam Thu 30-Dec-10 20:04:20

thisisyesterday I'm in Huddersfield, if anyone is nearby I'd love to have a nosey at a TWE!

I think the problem is that if we buy it and it isn't right then thats the money gone, not sure DH would forgive me! Its a big purchase both money and safety wise and I have to get it right.

TruthSweet Thu 30-Dec-10 20:30:13

The fit list for the TWE (on the manual I linked to earlier) is an old list based on older cars. DH's car isn't on that list (Premacy) but the car it was based on is (Demio) - the Premacy came out in 1999.

So if they say it fits in a Ford Focus they mean a older style one not a 2008 one - the list for the Ford cars are Fiesta 89-, Escort, Focus, Granada, Galaxy, Ka, Mondeo, Orion, Scorpio, Sierra, Taurus, Taunus, Windstar, Bronco. None of the C-Maxs or other newer Fords.

Unfortunately TIY and I based down South so Huddersfield is a bit out of the way!

TruthSweet Thu 30-Dec-10 20:34:14

Buggeration! I just checked the link I posted earlier and it just takes you to the front page of carseat.se. Sorry!

To get to the TWE manual you need to click on the TWE (1st seat in 3rd row) then scroll down to the price and just above that is a link to the manual (pdf format). Click on that and on the first page of the manual is a picture of the seat installed forward facing - you should be able to judge whether your seat belt would be long enough. If you then scroll down to the 2nd to last page you will find the list of cars the TWE fits in.

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