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This topic is for discussing car seats. If you want to buy and sell car seats, please use our For Sale/Wanted boards.

Have you bought a Kiddy (German one) car seat online? If so how was it?

(65 Posts)
SaffronCake Mon 15-Aug-11 12:23:59

I want to buy a Kiddy Guardian Pro (because of Which?) for my daughter who has just passed the 9kg mark. I need to soon because I am expecting a new baby and I will need daughters old MaxiCosi for the little one.

I looked for stockists in my area and found there were NONE. I would have to go hundreds of miles, with both our cars, to try them for fit.

The trouble is at least one of our cars is a total pig for fitting car seats into, as we discoverd not that long ago. So I need to see that the seat does go.

I noticed Kiddicare.com sell them, but I can't find details on their site to tell me for sure if I could return this if it didn't fit. The FAQ section just suggests people go to Peterborough to try them out... I live in Cornwall!

Does anyone know of an online stockist for the Kiddy Guardian Pro (or Kiddy Guardian Pro 2) who will take back a seat which doesn't fit our cars?

Or alternatively does anyone know how I can find out if the car seat would fit our specific cars without physically trying it?

If at all possible I really really want the Kiddy Guardian but we just can't take 2 cars to London to check it out.

Pootles2010 Mon 15-Aug-11 12:27:19

What car do you have? We have Comfort pro, and we bought ours from Germany. I had no idea whether could return it, just crossed everything and thank god was fine.

Very very happy with the seat btw.

HarrietJones Mon 15-Aug-11 12:40:19

If you phone the in car safety people in Milton Keynes they have a lot of info re seat/car combos.

I spoke to them a while ago and they were v helpful

aswellasyou Mon 15-Aug-11 12:46:59

John Lewis sell them. Is Exeter too far from you? If not, you could contact them to ask if they have them in stock or otherwise ask them to order one in so you can try it in your car.

HarrietJones Mon 15-Aug-11 12:59:56

John Lewis wont fit them apparently , so check before visiting them

killercat Mon 15-Aug-11 13:06:06

I thought they truly do fit every car bar sports cars? Look on the kiddy website for info.
I have a kiddy for my dd and it is fab grin can absolutely recommend. Because it's loose as it were, it's fitted in everything I've tried it in so far (bar my friend's Porsche so if you have one of those think you'll need a Porsche own expensive toddler seat!)

SaffronCake Mon 15-Aug-11 19:38:36

Drive time from here to Exeter 2 hours (each way), with both cars, cost in fuel likely to be £80-£90. There is a stockist in Plymouth who will happily check the fit in the cars, but that's a drive time of 1 hour each way and fuel, bridge tolls and parking should come in at £40-£50. By going to Plymouth we'd get peace of mind, but we'd be spending half a day and £70ish over the odds to get it... That's IF traffic's moving well, Cornwall + August = far from certain. Buying it online but returnable is by far the best option for us, if such an option exists.

There is, for the benefit of anyone else reading, a fit guide on the Kiddy website, it's a .pdf and you'll find it about half way down the FAQ page. Neither of our cars are listed. Mine's a Xsara (not a Picasso) and his is a Saab 9-3, both are hatchback style cars made in 2000. The Saab is a total b*stard to fit carseats into, the seats are shaped strangely and there is not much room. You'd think there would be enough space as externally the cars size is in the Focus or Astra kind of ballpark; but there isn't. Saab have filled all the space up with "stuff". People love Saabs or hate them apparently, he and I are one of each.

I very much want the Kiddy Guardian Pro, but money has to be a very serious consideration. If I were truly honest about what I could really afford we'd be looking at the cheapest of the cheap from Halfords (the only place that does fitting locally)... But I have no intention of that. I want a Kiddy, as long as it fits the cars I shall be getting a Kiddy, but I shall have to ballance getting it as cheaply as I can with as little financial risk as possible. I'll be funding it by paring the rest of the household budget right back for a few weeks. That sounds really bad doesn't it. It's not that bad, I do it everytime I have a big bill.

I'm very grateful for any help from other Mumsnetters.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 15-Aug-11 20:43:44

A few thoughts:

1. Can you see if a mumsnetter or someone else in your area would be willing to let you try theirs (e.g. post a new thread called "anyone in cornwall with a kiddy car seat?")

2. Phone John Lewis and find out whether it can be returned if it doesn't fit

3. Consider a Cybex Pallas - you may be able to find one of those nearer you.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 20:48:51

I bought one online, I didn't have to return it though. Everything was okay with no problems, I haven't ever had trouble fitting it in a car (had to remove headrest completely in a couple though) - but I haven't tried it in a saab, sorry.

I really love the seat and would recommend it. I think we ordered from Baby2000 or somewhere like that? Just the cheapest option as came up on Google Shopping. I did dither over the returns policy but didn't check it out in the end. But here and Oscar's Babycare I think are known for good customer service - it would definitely be worth ringing them to find out what their policy is. A lot of places won't take returns on car seats in case the seat has been damaged.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 15-Aug-11 20:51:42

According to this page there is a stockist in Penzance.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 20:52:56

Although actually, I think you have a legal right to return goods bought online regardless of the shop's policy, under the distance selling act or something?

Here

aswellasyou Mon 15-Aug-11 21:09:42

That company seems to actually be in Hayle rather than Penzance. Their Facebook page says they're closing down and have reduced everything by 20% instore. I'd call them and find out if they have one in stock.

SaffronCake Mon 15-Aug-11 21:19:29

I've got hold of them through facebook and they do have Kiddy Guardian Pro's in stock so I will be paying them a visit soon.

There is as I understand it a clause int he Sale of Goods Act's distance selling regs which excludes items where they would be compromised (for example of safety). I might be wrong about this but it is, as I understand it, why a vendor has no obligation to accept a motorcycle helmet return if you find it is not a good fit. As I say I could be wrong on this one, I'm not 100%.

aswellasyou Mon 15-Aug-11 21:25:26

I thought that was the case too but I wasn't anywhere near confident enough to say it! grin

Hopefully it's a happy ending on the carseat hunt with 20% off and being close by. smile

sleepevader Mon 15-Aug-11 21:29:25

YAY! Happy ending glad its worked out okay for you. Do let me know what the shop is like. I may pop down myself.

acatcalledfelix Mon 15-Aug-11 21:49:32

I bought an Energy Pro on Amazon. Unfortunately I did have to send it back as DS was able to break out of it and it became extremely unsafe. Please be forewarned that this is a potential problem with all the Energy Shield car seats, and if you look on Which? you'll see several reviews documenting the same. I bought it after reading the Which? reviews, and because I don't have Isofix. But I was also convinced at the benefit over the shield than the 5 point harness safety-wise. That was until DS (at 20 months) managed to get out of his and stand up in the back of the car three times in one week! It was fitted correctly, but he was able to wriggle and push it enough to render it useless.
I emailed Kiddy (as recommended on the Which? website) and after a bit of badgering, they agreed to refund me if I sent it back (at their expense). It was only picked up on friday so I can't confirm how good they are at actually paying the money back.
I've now got a rear-facing seat. I have a real issue with how Which? have rated the energy shield car seats when there are many examples of children coming loose in them. You can't assess that with a dummy, yet they don't seem to be taking into account peoples real experiences.

SaffronCake Mon 15-Aug-11 22:28:51

A kind Mumsnetter has let me know that there is a shop nearer to me, in St Austell, who sell the rearfacing Britax Multitech, but I'm reading Which? now and they slate it. It's a "Don't Buy". I've seen the info on rear facing and it seems pretty persuasive so now I'm totally and utterly confused.

The "Sharp" tests for motorbike helmets were badly flawed when they first came out and what all riders knew to be the best there is (the top Arai's and Shoei's) tested really badly. But back then even Sharp agreed the testing wasn't perfect and needed a bit of adjusting to reflect real-world crashes. A few years on and the helmets everyone knew were the best (because in 200mph crashes on race tracks riders weren't dying) are now coming out with a proper 5 stars as they should. Is there any similar consensus with car seat testing do we know?

If not can anyone explain why Which and the rear-facing lobby (which seems fairly well evidence to a layperson like me) are so divided? Sorry to be so nosey, just trying to do right by my baby.

SaffronCake Mon 15-Aug-11 22:30:29

*evidenced, sorry, I type lightly.

BertieBotts Mon 15-Aug-11 22:34:52

Mainly because Which do their reviews based not only on safety, but also on user-friendliness. Meaning that, because it's not a standard car seat installation, they have rated it low. In short - some people are idiots and would probably install a rear facing seat incorrectly. But since they're so rare and you have to do quite a lot of research to come across them, you're likely to either go to a specialist place and be shown how to fit it, or read the instructions. But Which are catering not only for informed, concerned parents, but also for the people who will pick the highest thing on their list and not bother with any other research.

I suppose the problem with escaping DCs is that you don't know which one you're going to get beforehand - wriggling arms out of shoulder straps, or pushing the impact shield thing away and wriggling out! DS has never tried the latter, but has definitely done the former - I've seen him, in his CM's car.

acatcalledfelix Mon 15-Aug-11 22:45:39

I've now got the RF Britex Two-Way elite that I got (and had fitted) from the In-Car-Safety Centre in Milton Keynes. I agree they are not as straightforward to fit as standard forward facing ones, which is Which?'s main issue with them. But once you are shown how to fit it, it's easy.

Bertie is spot-on with the escaping dilemma. My DS is able to wriggle his shoulders out of the straps on my new seat, so tomorrow I'm going to get him one of the safey clips (Houdini clips???) that will prevent him from doing this. There was nothing I could do with the Kiddy to stop him from escaping from that. And with the Kiddy, he could get himself out of the seat completely. He can't this a 5 point.

I do think once you've seen the crash test video comparing forward and rear facing it's very hard to then go for a forward-facing (though I do find the reasoning behind the impact shield compelling).

SaffronCake Mon 15-Aug-11 22:47:03

I've worried about this too. Daughter is a total scamp, I have a thread about the trouble we're having finding a highchair arrangement she can't outmanoeuvre. Do I worry about the body shield or do I worry about the harness? I have never found selecting a product so tricky before.

aswellasyou Mon 15-Aug-11 23:06:02

My daughter can out of any form of seat/highchair harness except carseat ones. I pull them far too tight for her to breathe escape. wink The whole carseat choosing thing is a nightmare!

SaffronCake Tue 16-Aug-11 09:03:12

Without wishing to make my partner and I sound like idiots any risk of fitting a carseat wrongly could be a problem. Our next baby is due in 2 months, which means we'll have 2 babies 12 months apart. We're going to be so exhausted that it's tempting fate a bit to have any kind of safety kit we could actually make a mess of. I've even been known to get the MaxiCosi wrong before now (by forgetting to turn the airbag off or forgetting to tighten the straps). So I think it's going to have to be back to the original plan- a Kiddy, not a rearfacing.

Pootles2010 Tue 16-Aug-11 09:44:48

May I ask how your child got out a cat? I know they can be little monkeys and get out of anywhere sometimes, but just can't imagine it. Did he wriggle out under the cushiony bit?

BertieBotts Tue 16-Aug-11 10:32:46

Some children discover they can push at the impact shield thing and wriggle it so it loosens. I think I've seen 2, maybe 3 threads where it's happened to people? The seatbelt won't tense unless they make a sudden movement, and there shouldn't be room for them to wriggle arms or legs down behind the shield thing, so perhaps it's only DCs who are particularly wriggly, or skinny, or something. I think it would be really difficult to do, anyway. You need to pull it quite tight as well, DS usually says it's too tight and it's hurting him, but once we are travelling, he is fine, and he always holds his arms up happily to have the seat on, so it can't be that bad.

(That sounds really bad that I ignore his pleas, but he often says that about nappies as well but is fine once he's been walking around for half a second)

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