Bertie! I need your car seat advice!

(9 Posts)
TheCraicDealer Thu 25-Jul-19 09:05:04

I'm due PFB in September and have narrowed down our choices for a 0/1 seat to-

Cybex Sirona S i-size
Joie 360 i-spin
Britax Römer Dualfix M i-Size

We have a Cybex Aton infant seat which is coming with the pram, but have decided against getting the isofix base and instead are putting the money towards a 0/1 seat, so we have one for each car. The 0/1 seat will be going in a 2018 MINI countryman.

Unfortunately having narrowed it down to the above three I just can't make a final decision- I can't find anywhere that's done reviews of all three i-size versions of the seats, and I'm not sure where to look for test results etc.

The price of the Cybex and Joie are about the same, but if the Britax is considered to be a much better seat then we would spring for the extra and go for it. Does the lack of rebound bar on the Joie make much difference? Which would you go for?

Thanks in advance! Sorry for being a CF!

OP’s posts: |
BertieBotts Mon 29-Jul-19 10:06:39

Oh me? Hello grin Sorry I don't have tagging turned on so I probably wouldn't have seen this.

We have the Joie 360 spin GT which is sort of a cross between the spin and the i-spin. I really like it. You do need to be careful to position the straps correctly as they are rubbery on the back so if you're not careful they end up in a V shape over the shoulders.

Honestly? There is not very much between these seats. They are all excellent. The Joie doesn't have a lot of legroom, if that's a concern, but it is compact in terms of depth. I'm not sure how small a mini really is these days - we have it in a Suzuki Swift and I don't need the passenger seat all the way forward (which I did with the Aton 5 on a base).

Does the Cybex Sirona need a base? I think that it might, which bumps up the price (but it might be compatible with your infant seat as well, which might make it worth it).

It might be well worth finding a local store which stocks all three seats and going and trying them out, sometimes they even have a weighted doll to try putting in and out of seats to see how easy they are. (Or just take a teddy). You could then compare recline angles (most reclined/most upright - bear in mind some like the Joie use inserts to increase recline for the smallest babies), height/view in your car, max legroom, max room for passenger, how easy the spin/recline features are to access, how to adjust headrest/straps and so on and the max/min sizes if you like.

Will come back with safety stuff later because I can speak Geman so navugate the ADAC bit easier smile

BertieBotts Mon 29-Jul-19 15:13:06

OK have done some more digging.

Dualfix is known for being fairly short in the shell. If you're likely to (long term) get a larger seat and hand this one down to a younger sibling then this might not be a problem. Otherwise it might be irritating especially if you've paid more. Both the Joie and Cybex Sirona S have decent length/height, although as i-size seats these are all outgrown at a standing height of 105cm - there seems to be a bit of a disagreement about whether it's safe to use past a height of 105cm if the child still physically/safely fits into the seat and hasn't passed the weight limit. As weight limits go the Joie has a slightly more generous 19kg limit, the other two are 18kg.

Generally Britax and Cybex are known for being high quality, trustworthy manufacturers. Joie is trustworthy but not of the highest quality. Some of their seats have been known to perform poorly. They make rear facing affordable but it may be that if you're considering paying the price for the i-spin (their most expensive seat IIRC) it might be worth looking at other brands. But Joie may still be the right one for you. As I said before it's really splitting hairs between three good seats, so the decision probably will come down to looking at how the three go in your car, how easy they are to use etc and just picking the one you like the best.

Best safety result of the last few years in this category in ADAC is the Britax Swingfix with 1.4 for safety (smaller numbers better). I know that's not on your list, but I thought I'd say so anyway.

Of your list: The Dualfix i-size gets 1.9, Sirona S i-size gets 2.1, the Joie i-spin has not been tested, but the original Joie 360 gets 2.6. It falls down on the side impact protection, which is improved both with the little side pop out things and the memory foam headrest in the i-size version.

The GB Vaya may be exactly the same seat as the Cybex Sirona S i-Size (this is often claimed on Facebook) - I'd take this with a pinch of salt, partly because I spent ages while pregnant thinking that the GB Idan was the same seat as the Cybex Aton and it turns out they are not, partly because they have slightly different ADAC test results when broken down. GB and Cybex are the same company, or at least they have merged (Cybex, originally German, bought out by GB aka goodbaby, who are Chinese and known for making generic car seats). Having said that, the GB Vaya i-size gets a 1.8 for safety (ADAC) overall, which is really good... so might be worth a look as according to that it would be better than your three shortlisted ones, while still being a rotating i-size seat to 105cm/19kg. I think it's pretty likely that the GB Vaya does use a Cybex design, but some of the GB products seemed not as good quality compared with Cybex to me. Possibly comparable with Joie, though.

The Dualfix i-size is meant to be the same seat as the Britax Swingfix except that the Swingfix can't go forward facing, and the Swingfix has passed the Swedish Plus test as well as having the best ADAC score of the last few years, so that might edge the Dualfix in for safety if the height issue doesn't bother you.

Surfskatefamily Mon 29-Jul-19 15:16:06

I got the joie spin and am very happy with it. I went and tried a number of seats in my car so would recommend you do that too. Some seats just don't fit correctly in every car.
The shop assistant will be able to advise you and ensure safe fit

clottedcreamoverjam Mon 29-Jul-19 15:43:18

I love the Joie spin. We have a small car and it is perfect.
It saves my back and I am still on rear facing mode at almost 2.5 years

BertieBotts Mon 29-Jul-19 20:11:05

Also - if I can make one last point blush

Since you will have the Aton anyway, it might be worth narrowing down, getting an idea, but ultimately delaying this decision until PFB is around 4-6 months old (at least).

Reason being 1 - you'll have a better sense of how large they are. Not at birth but the centile they settle into for both weight and height. Because if you're not likely/still undecided whether to have another child, that means you're not going to want to buy another big harness stage (Group 1, essentially) seat, as they are the most expensive and the most tricky to get right, safety wise. That means if your PFB outgrows the 0/1 seat at about 2.5, as some children do, you're going to be really pissed off and feel that you've wasted the money. You probably aren't going to be happy with putting them into a high backed booster, and so you'll end up forking out for either a forward or rear facing seat which can keep them in a harness up until 25kg, which for a child who outgrows the seat that early may be 5 or 6. Even if your child outgrows the 0/1 seat at the age of 3 or 4, you still may feel this is too young for a booster, and have the same problem.

So when your baby is born, if they are large for their age, you'll know that you will need to factor in this early outgrowing and you can decide whether to skip the rotating seat and go straight for a Swedish ERF, or whether to go for the rotating seat for now anyway but understand that the "until 4" really means "until they are wearing age 4-5 clothes". If they are about average, you would probably rule out the Dualfix, but might decide that the Vaya, Sirona or i-Spin are still worth it in terms of longevity. If they are small for their age, then you'll still have the choice of a 25kg ERF if you suddenly get hit with the urge to have the option to keep them RF until maybe seven or eight years old, or you'll have the freedom to choose between any 0/1 rotating seat, including the smaller Dualfix.

Secondly Kind + Jugend 2019 is happening in September, this is when car seat companies in Europe often announce/unveil their newest products for the coming year. That means that any seat which is currently newer to the market might have improvements added to it, but also if any company releases an even newer and better seat, their current seats might drop in price. Use PriceSpy, BTW, to check price history on car seats - with this if you have a really long window for potentially purchasing something, you can wait until it drops to a very good deal/price.

Thirdly ADAC do their twice-yearly testing and publish results in October/November, they might test the Joie i-Spin? I don't know how they choose which seats to test, so I'm not sure. But it might be worth waiting for. If you can stretch until May 2020 that will be the next test batch after that.

TheCraicDealer Tue 30-Jul-19 13:54:55

Bertie, thank you so much for all your research and thoughts on this. I forgot to add that I had joined the car seat fb group you had recommended previously on a number of threads but was still waiting on approval!

The level of detail you've gone into is incredible. I also should have mentioned that I wanted specifically to get a swivel seat (bad back) and that we aren't anticipating a bruiser- DH and I are average/shortarses respectively. My MINI is actually a small SUV, and I did check compatibility on all three which were good to go.

I got a bit ahead of myself on Friday and ordered a Britax Romer Dualfix M i-Size. I was wondering what the difference was denoted by the 'M' and then realised after looking at the Britax website that it only does them from three months old [facepalm] Very annoyed at myself for being so bloody impatient and assuming '0-4' automatically meant from birth. Had I read your comments I would have just gone for the Cybex which is marginally cheaper- although I had read a few reviews mentioning it not being great leg-room wise for older kids.

Not the end of the world as, as you say, Britax are a high quality, trustworthy manufacturer and longer term it'll be grand- so long as she's not an anomaly for both sides and shoots up! And at least I have the Aton anyway, it's not like I have to run out and get another one for the first three months!

Surfskatefamily and clottedcreamoverjam thanks to you two as well- my DSis has the Joie 360 (non-i size) and thinks it's great, hence why it was on my shortlist!

OP’s posts: |

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clottedcreamoverjam Tue 30-Jul-19 14:03:09

smile
Best of luck OP smile

BertieBotts Tue 30-Jul-19 15:05:22

Well I wouldn't be so sure on size - DH and I are average but DS2 outgrew his Aton 5 at 10 months which was a huge surprise. I think the Aton is small, though. I'm hoping the Joie 360 will at least get him to 3.5 or so.

If you did want to swap it and you've ordered online you do have the right to return/cancel the order up to it's either 7 or 14 days after purchase, I can't remember now. Even with the usual rules about not returning car seats in case they are crashed. It's to do with the distance selling regulations. So if you did get the burning desire for the Cybex it probably isn't too late smile I do think the Dualfix is really nice though. If it wasn't for it being short I would have looked at it too.

Funny that you haven't been approved - did you do the three questions thing? They are always posting about how people don't get approved if they don't answer the questions, but inside the group so I'm not sure if you can see it without being a member confused

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