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Any advice? Portable Travel lightweight Car Seats

(9 Posts)
Bellseybub Thu 19-Jul-18 15:10:36

I am hoping a savi mummy or daddy can help I desperately need a lightweight foldable car seat which makes easy travel through the airport for Group 1 (my 11 month old baby) and 4 yr old (Group 2+) In terms of booster

It needs to be UK complaint but we’ve run out of steam googling smile

Any top nuggets of knowledge for 2 seats that would cover our age gap are greatly appreciated!! Thanks

OP’s posts: |
teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 19-Jul-18 17:35:30

You won't get a safe, lightweight foldable one for an 11 month old. You'd either need their infant carrier (which is probably the the most convenient type of seat) or check a group 1 (rear facing?) car seat well packaged into the hold.

As for your 4 year old, I'd probably check in a high back booster but you might be able to get away with a bubble bum depending on how old, weight, height, maturity etc. Obviously you'd be compromising on safety again so it might also depend on how much they'll be in the car abroad.

teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 19-Jul-18 17:38:05

Sorry, a good budget seat for your 11mo would be the Joie Steadi if you're looking to buy one.

Bellseybub Thu 19-Jul-18 18:48:33

Thanks - the problem I have is that the infant carrier is Group 0 and only goes up to 9 months - otherwise that would have been the solution (it’s what we have been doing up to this stage!). We are trying to work out if we can get something similar to an infant carrier that is Group 1+ (ie from 9 months onwards) - these seems to be the tricky bit! Any ideas or pointers much appreciated!!


OP’s posts: |
teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 19-Jul-18 20:21:07

I'd possibly get a cheap infant carrier for the next 6 months. Something like the Joie Juva - scores well on safety tests and normally costs about £35.

Or I'd go for a group 1 to use just for travel - something like the Joie Steadi or Tilt.

BertieBotts Wed 25-Jul-18 19:57:59

You're looking for an infant carrier which is Group 0+, not 1+, there is no such group as 1+.

I would first double check your own infant seat - if you look on the underside it should have an orange sticker which shows the maximum weight. Some infant carriers are still sold as Group 0, which only fits up to 9kg or 10kg but these tend to be very rare these days. It might be the case that it's truly a Group 0 if it's an older seat, a lie-flat seat or it came with a travel system.

Group 0+ is 0-13kg so should fit your 11 month old (unless they are enormous) regardless of being over 9 months. Generally you can ignore age ranges on car seats since the weight and/or height of the child is much more important, ages given are just a guide.

I agree that if yours isn't suitable, the Joie Juva would be a great budget buy. There isn't much point spending loads to get a top rated 0+ seat as it isn't likely to be suitable for much longer. If it's just this one trip that's what I'd go for, personally. Or see if somebody has an old Maxi Cosi or Graco or whatever knocking around which you can borrow.

Otherwise if your DC2 is over 9kg (which is likely) then you're looking for a Group 1 seat. Unfortunately none of these are particularly portable, although I did come across this the other day on another thread, which looked like a good compromise:

If you can't get hold of that one (the other posters seemed to find it difficult) then you could look at the Joie Elevate which is a Group 123 seat (highback booster with harness) which weighs about 5.5kg - I'd go for this over the slightly lighter super-budget ones (Often decorated with Frozen, Cars etc) simply because the fit will be a bit more reliable and those super-cheap seats don't do very well in safety testing whereas Joie does alright. However, it's a very grown up seat for an 11mo, you might not necessarily need the booster function, and so you might be more comfortable with the Joie Tilt which is also fairly lightweight (as they go) at 6kg, and would allow you to keep your baby rear facing (much safer until well over a year) with the option to fit forward facing if you really needed to or as s/he gets older.

You can get car seat bags which have rucksack type straps to transport these seats a bit more easily but they are a pain compared with booster seats and infant carriers.

If your baby is under 9kg then your only options are the Tilt or the Group 0+ seat because they can't yet go into a Group 1 seat.

Lastly another option might be to rent a car seat when you get where you're going, which would eliminate the airport question entirely. Car hire places usually rent car seats (although I have heard horror stories and they can be expensive) but you can also try googling Baby Equipment Hire + City and sometimes there are companies which will deliver a suitable seat to the airport for you.

BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-18 18:32:30

Oh - and perhaps you know this already, but just in case you come across these products - there are some "car seats" you can buy on ebay and amazon which are basically a harness which straps onto the seat using the car's seatbelt. They usually state that they meet European safety standards, but they don't - they are really dangerous fakes. There was a campaign done about it by trading standards a few years ago and this article sums it up well (including horrifying video!) - there is no European approved car seat on the market which doesn't have a solid plastic shell.

Bellseybub Thu 26-Jul-18 22:25:33

Thank you so much for all the useful advice. Group 1 is what we think will work with our 20lb+ baby so have eliminated smaller car seats. We travel several times a year abroad and rent a car. Aside from the car rental companies charging astronomical prices for car seat hire (£60 pw) the seats have been appalling quality and are like something out of a budget super market. Having also experienced how they store them, we have limited confidence in their safety (they are also regularly not fantastically clean!). This has been the main driver for buying a seat - which we also know the history of. The urban Kanga is v interesting. I was however aware amazon had pulled them and I wondered if they still complied with EU regs such as isafe which have changed in the last few yrs.

For our 4 yr old, we are considering a trunky which looks really portable. Our thoughts are that a big brand wouldn’t sell them if they weren’t safe as it would be too much of a risk. Any views much appreciated!

Ps we found a car seat from Halfords at 3.5kg which tilts and goes up to age 6. It’s not foldeable (this may be why other brands no longer sell folding seats due to more recent regs) but is v sturdy. Not cheap but the plus side is 2 wks of non car seat hire washes its face.

Brilliant advice on here - thanks so much for all the good know how ! smile

OP’s posts: |
BertieBotts Thu 26-Jul-18 22:54:03

The old R44/04 regulations are still running alongside the new isize regs so there is no worry with products conforming to older regulations, these are still safe products to use and the majority of car seats on the market are R44/04 compliant, not isize.

I'm not aware of amazon having pulled them - although they were out of stock for a while. They're available on amazon again now. I do believe that they meet R44/04 regs, although it obviously isn't as supportive and protective as a standard Group 1 car seat. There's nothing about foldability in either of the current regs as long as the seats work in crash tests.

The Trunki Boostapak is a reasonably portable option for a 4yo though the Bubble Bum does much the same thing and is even smaller to carry. I think the difference between these is small so really personal preference.

Is it the Joie Stages you've found? If it goes to age 6 then you're probably looking at a group 0/1/2 seat but I can't see any on the Halfords website at the moment. The only thing to be careful of with some of the cheaper 0/1/2 seats (like this from Asda) is that the rear facing function is only valid until 9kg/20lbs which is really little. I'm not sure you mean this one, though, because you said it wasn't cheap. The Joie Stages is alright as it rear faces until 18kg/40lbs with the option to face forwards as well if you want.

I've also just noticed that the Diono Radian 5 is in this weight category and folds - but it's hefty at 11kg for the seat itself!

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