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Sturdy group 2/3 seats?(5 Posts)
My little girl is still comfortably in her group 1 Recaro Young Expert (just turned 3) but looking into the next seats in case any sales come up.
I had a quick look online and the Britax Adventure/Joie Trillo come up at about the £40 mark with good reviews. But just went into Halfords this afternoon and was slightly taken aback as to how flimsy the back support is and how much it flexes.
The main reason for my concern is that we bought a £50 group 1/2/3 mamas and papas seat from Argos as a spare for when she's in the car with her Auntie (approx once every other month). Instantly regretted it when I saw it come down the conveyor belt in two halves, it never felt sturdy and I was mightily relieved when it was recalled and we got the money back. Replaced that with a Britax Evolva 123 which is much sturdier.
These cheap Britax/Joie ones look as flimsy as the mamas and papas one that got recalled. But, the Halfords own brand ones for £30/40 were just the same.
Am I over reacting or am I best to spend double the cost on another Recaro (the Milano for £85)? They didn't have one on the shop floor so couldn't see if that was any sturdier.
I'm perfectly happy with the two Britax Adventures that we have. The backs are supposed to flex a bit, so that you can recline then very slightly or so that they just fit better against all the different angles of various vehicle seats. I've never had a Joie high backed booster, but I have a Joie Stages seat and love how sturdy that is, plus I often see the Joie Trillo recommended as a next seat after extended rear facing by experts/independent retailers who know their stuff.
All a high backed booster is there for is to lift your child up in the car so that the seatbelt can do it's job properly. Obviously it's better to go for a decent brand and a seat that provides good side impact protection, but there is no need for ISOFIX or for the seat to be rigidly 'fitted' in your car like a Group 1 seat or infant carrier needs to be. ISOFIX is handy on boosters so that you don't have to remember to fasten the seatbelt over the empty seat of your child is not in the car with you, but it doesn't really make much difference to the child using the seat in terms of safety. A lot of boosters now have 'soft' ISOFIX (for example Britax add SL to their seat names to denote 'soft latch' ISOFIX) or sometimes they call it ISOFIT, this means that the seat has ISOFIX connectors on the end of a short strap, you click the ISOFIX connectors into place and then just pull a strap to move the seat in close to your car's seat.
I don't think it's worth spending over £50 on a high backed booster.
We have just put the Recaro Monza Nova 2 Seatfix and the Volvo highback booster through product testing here at Mumsnet and have been incredibly impressed with both. They are slightly pricier, but we think they're worth the money. (The Volvo seats are available through local dealers rather than online.)
And with the Recaro, it even comes with an iPod jack in the side and speakers in the head rest to keep kids entertained on longer journeys, which for some will be a real godsend! (No more arguments about who's music to play in the car!)
If you're daughter has just turned three, it's recommended that children are in a car seat with a harness or child restraint until they're around 105cm tall (around age 4-5). So another alternative could be the Recaro Monza Nova IS, which is essentially the highback booster I mentioned above but with a younger child's impact shield included. Not everyone is comfortable with impact shields, however, and some kids don't like them, so it's about what works for you and your daughter.
The Volvo seats are just Britax ones with fancy covers on!
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