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Rear facing car seats without isofix, nasty man in halfords told me off.

(25 Posts)
Iamnotloobrushphobic Tue 26-Apr-16 11:43:12

I need to buy a rear facing car seat that doesn't require isofix. Ideally I want to leave baby rear facing until he is 2 years old. I can't have isofix because baby often has to fit on the front passenger seat (airbag has been deactivated). I went to halfords for advice on choosing done thing suitable but got a huge telling off for putting baby in the front seat and he told me that he could not sell me any seats knowing that I wanted to use it in the front. We are currently using an infant carrier seat but want to move up to a bigger seat with more cushioning and decent safety features. I sometimes have no choice but to drive with baby in the front as I drive a motability vehicle which has been adapted and when my older child is in the car with all his disability equipment i cannot safely fix a baby seat into the rear of the car. The car manufacturer says it is okay to use s rear facing seat in the front as long as the airbag is switched off. What seat do you all have / like and can recommend. Tia.

OP’s posts: |
bluecarpet Tue 26-Apr-16 12:03:42

Britax two way elite is fantastic, easy to move between cars, fits in just about any car. Halfords, john lewis, mothercare etc are crap on ERF. are you anywhere near Milton Keynes? If so go to the in car safety centre, they are excellent (I have made three trips there, 3 hours round trip each time)

moggle Tue 26-Apr-16 12:10:45

We are currently looking for a seat belt fixed rear facing car seat for our 17m daughter who is nearly out of her maxi cosi cabriofix. We don't have isofix in our car, and any way the seat belted seats last longer as isofix only goes up to 18kg child weight. I don't see us using our seat in the front but I believe this is quite commonly done in scandinavian countries? this is a link to a useful article about it on the website of a guy who is very knowledgeable about extended rear facing car seats (i think he pops up on this forum sometimes). I certainly wouldn't have qualms about doing it if we needed to, if the airbag is switched off. The seats we are looking at are the Britax Maxway and the Axkid Minikid as they are supposedly quite compact for our ford focus, and have an OK recline which is important as our seats are very sloped (another reason for using a belted car seat - you have wiggle room to adjust the recline during the installation - you can't do this with isofix).

Whereabouts in the UK are you? Some places in the South that specialise in rear facing seats are Securatot (Wiltshire) and the In car safety centre (Milton Keynes and Essex). Even if you aren't within reach of those, they give excellent advice by email so maybe contact them as a starting point. I know Mothercare is starting to stock more rear facing seats too and John Lewis as well, but they don't have such a range. From what I've read about Halfords it would be the last place I'd go to for correct car seat advice, especially about extended rear facing ones! Sorry they told you off, the guy sounds like a clueless nob. I would say make a complaint but not sure it would do much good and really who has the time for that :-(

makingmiracles Tue 26-Apr-16 12:20:06

You might want to look up the new i size rules, ie all children under 15m to be rear facing and i size seats only fit with isofix. The new rules run alongside the old till about. 2018 apparently. Has changed my mind on what car seat we were going to buy as we have a ten yr old car with no isofix so will buy a cheaper carrier type till we sort out getting a bigger car with isofix points before shelling out on a big car seat to last through till 3/4yrs.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Tue 26-Apr-16 12:20:27

Thanks to both of you. We are in the north west. I went to mothercare first but it was very busy so I went to halfords the next day. I won't be going back to halfords. The man gave me a real lecture about how it was too dangerous to put a baby in the front seat and made me feel like I was really compromising my baby's safety when in reality I wanted advice on which was the safest seat available to meet my needs and cost wasn't too much of an issue. Not everyone has isofix (my car does, but only on the rear seats) and some people fit child seats in 2 seater vehicles so I can't be the only person who sometimes travels with a baby up front. I would make a complaint but I really can't be assed and would just find myself getting all wound up and upset again. I will take a look at that britax model and will make a trip to John

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JennieSL Wed 27-Apr-16 16:38:55

The halfords man was talking rubbish. I remember a bbc watchdog episode where they went to halfords, john lewis and some others most of their 'experts' made shocking errors when demonstrating how to fit car seats. It is safe to put a car seat in the front seat as long as the airbag is deactivated and your vehicle owner's manual shows the seat position is suitable for the type of car seat you want to use. I would personally go for rearward facing though. Saw this About going forward facing too soon the other day, which goes into exact reasons why. You can get plenty of extended rearward facing seats.

I would second the opinion of contacting They helped my sister-in-law massively as her boy has Hip Dysplasia and they sorted a seat for him whilst he had to wear a body cast.

captaincake Wed 27-Apr-16 19:33:50

How about one of the joie seats? steadi, stages, everystage. They only go up to 18kg rear facing too but the stages and everyktage can be used past that forward facing too. There are several belted erf seats. Have a look here it says on each picture if it's belted, isofix or both before you click on it.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Wed 27-Apr-16 20:09:20

Thanks Jennie and captain. It is rear facing that I want. I ideally want rear facing until he is at least 2 and longer if possible. I have checked out a couple of seats today and the manuals say they are suitable in the front seat of my car as long as the air bag is deactivated (it had been deactivated since just before baby arrived), I looked at a joie seat and it looked great but the reviews were really poor mentioning things like the seat rattling and baby's head jolting around. I will look into the incarsafety centre. Looking at advice about car seat safety I can see that the halfords man was talking utter rubbish. Obviously the rear seats should be used where possible but the front seats can be used if necessary.

OP’s posts: |
Iamnotloobrushphobic Wed 27-Apr-16 20:15:46

Just had a look at the incarsafety center a site and I like the look other kiss 2 and the joie stages so I am going to look into those. Thanks for the suggestions, you have all been more helpful than halfords.

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happy2bhomely Wed 27-Apr-16 20:19:09

I've got my almost 3 year old rear facing in a Britax Maxway. It installs using the seat belt and and a prop with tether straps. (It is much less complicated to fit than it sounds!) It goes up to 25Kg. I'm hoping to keep her rear facing until she is at least 4. My chunky 6 yr old does just about squeeze in.

I really like it and I drive a tiny Hyundai i10 and it fits perfectly. It is only suitable for certain cars. You can find the list on their website.

ToastyMcToastface Wed 27-Apr-16 20:22:18

We've had loads of different isofix seats and they all could be used with or without isofix - the attachment bars either slide in or rotate out of the way if they are not needed. So yiu don't necessarily need to discount getting an isofix seat.

polkadotdelight Wed 27-Apr-16 20:27:53

I bought an axkid minikid but I dont think it would be suitable for your circumstances as it uses the belt on the seat, a foot plate and two tethers that attach to the anchor points of the front passenger seat. I bought it from securatot and they spent a lot of time advising me on the phone about which seat would best suit us. I would ring them for advice to be honest, they were very helpful.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Wed 27-Apr-16 20:48:11

The axkid minikid looks good polka and the manual says it is suitable for my car on the front seat. It is only suitable from 9kg and I think my baby is probably about 8kg so if I went for that I could just keep him in his infant Carrier until he has gained enough weight. I don't know why he is so diddy as he was born weighing 10lb. His head is only about 2 inches from the top of his infant carrier so he must be a long thin baby.

OP’s posts: |
AliceMum09 Wed 27-Apr-16 21:41:39

We used to have a 2003-2009 model Renault Scenic that had ISOFIX points on the front passenger seat, so clearly it is ok to have a child seat there. Airbag off obviously for a rear facing one.

And it's very common for children to sit in rear facing seats in the front of the car in Sweden apparently

Halfords didn't know the weight limit for rear facing in the Joie Stages when I went there to try it out (I am a big fan of ERF seats, I already had my daughter in a Britax Multi Tech II but wanted a new seat for a spare). Luckily I did know the limit was 18kgs, but then the 'trained fitter' looked at me like I had two heads when I said I wanted it rear facing for my 3 year old! He did fit it, but then told me it was dangerous for her to be sitting with her legs touching the backrest of the car's rear seat. I just nodded politely at his nonsense and then left! I never intended to give them my money, I was buying it online from but just wanted to double-check it would fit my car.

eatingforonemore Thu 28-Apr-16 01:24:56

BeSafe izi plus? It rear faces to 25kgs

FishWithABicycle Thu 28-Apr-16 04:57:43

Given that you have isofix available in the rear, don't completely rule out getting an isofix seat. All the Britax seats we've had over the years have been isofix but flexible - you can easily release the isofix points and flip the hooks out of the way if you need to use the seat in the front or in a non-isofix car.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Thu 28-Apr-16 07:21:06

eatingforonemore you have solved my dilemma. Thank you so much. The be safe izi plus is exactly what I really wanted. It has the extended legroom feature which is only usually on isofix only seats. The info given on the website about it is really helpful too, especially about isofix only lasting up to 18kg whereas belt fitting lasting up to 25kg. It also says it can be used on the vehicle front or rear seat. I'm going to get one of these as long as it is compatible with my car.

I started this thread mainly to rant because I was upset and angry after my visit to halfords but everyone has been so helpful and lovely and offered really good advice. Thank you everyone.

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bonzo77 Thu 28-Apr-16 07:32:35

Have you checked out the Klippan kiss 2? It goes in with iso fix or the seat belt, has no tethers and is easily but enough for my tall 3.5 year old. Is also suitable from birth and front-to-back is only slightly bigger than a maxi cosi cabriofix (infant carrier) on a base? In car safety centre have them.

fruttidibosco Thu 28-Apr-16 07:41:11

We have the klippan trio fix recline which is amazing - compact within the car, yet spacious enough so allow the child to be rear facing for a long time. It does have Isofix but you can also use the seat belt where there are no isofix points. We have used it in the front seat (we actually have isofix points there so it's obviously fine!). Can be used forward and rearward facing. Excellent seat and really recommend. We got it from We are sadly no longer using it and are considering selling it as still in excellent condition - although I realise that most people will not want to buy second hand. In fact it's definitely not recommended. Such a shame as perfectly good and safe seat!

moggle Thu 28-Apr-16 09:56:10

frutti I would try- I've seen rear facing seats on eBay and they do sell. Personally I feel that someone who was so concerned by their own child's safety that they spent the time and money in getting an ERF seat would not be so cavalier with other children's safety that they'd sell a seat that had been in an accident. (tbh I feel no one would actually knowingly pass on / sell any car seat that had been in an accident but especially not ERF owners!)
I know someone with twins and she has bought two pairs of second hand BeSafe seats for her mum and DP's car after much eBay trawling (in addition to the new ones in her car!)

AliceMum09 Thu 28-Apr-16 10:27:18

I'll be selling my ERF seat when DD2 grows out of it (unless we have an accident of course). It was bought new for her and has never been stored in a loft/garage/shed etc.

I'd rather someone spent £50 on my ERF seat than on some cheap, bare minimum safety standard seat from Argos or a supermarket shelf. Britax have a fitting list which says which car it will fit, and I am absolutely certain I could show someone how to fit it correctly. I also have the instruction manual to pass on with it. Hopefully people will trust that since I've cared enough to keep my daughter rear facing until she's at least 7 I'd never in a million years sell a damaged seat.

Laquila Mon 09-May-16 13:47:12

BeSafe are great seats. Also another Rev for the Joie Stages here - the only thing I'm not so keen on is that it's a lot lower than our BeSafe IZi Combi, bit it's still comfy and easy to move form car too car if needed. I wouldn't hesitate to put it in the front if needed.

The "trained fitter" at Halfords attempted to fit the Britax First Class ff for my 10-mth old, and couldn't even manage to do that correctly. He was baffled that I wanted it rear-facing. I wouldn't even give him a second thought, OP!

Laquila Mon 09-May-16 13:49:13

If you're in the NW then it's definitely worth a trip to Winstanleys Pram World in Wigan - they have a fair few ERF seats (more than JL).

Iamnotloobrushphobic Sun 22-May-16 17:14:16

Just come back to the thread to thank you all for helping me out and bring far more helpful than halfords. I contacted the in car safety centre by phone and they gave me done good advice. I have now been to winstanleys as recommended by lalquila and bought a seat. I wanted the be safe izi plus but it was too big for me to be able to see my wing mirror so I went for the joie every stage. Winstanleys were really helpful and knowledgeable and were aware that an erf seat is perfectly safe to be fitted on the front seat as long as it is fitted corrected. The car seat assistant at winstanleys ensured the seat fitted correctly and it made the trip worthwhile.

Halford's, mothercare and toys r us (who tried to sell me a pink forward facing £50 seat) really could learn a few things from shops like in car safety and winstanleys.

OP’s posts: |
Laquila Sun 22-May-16 18:14:18

Ahh I'm really glad you're sorted, OP smile

As it happens, we've just been in a minor accident so have to replace our bloody seats...we may well need another trip up the motorway to Winstanleys! (the 3-mth old is 98th centile so am wondering whether to get him an ERF seat now and borrow an infant carrier for the foreseeable)

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