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Car seat recline positions

(23 Posts)
gemandthetwins Sun 09-Aug-20 10:41:44

We're pretty certain we're going to opt for a isize 0+/1 swivel car seat to use from birth.

We're super tempted by the Halfords one which is an amazing price with it being swivel and isize:

However, it only has 1 recline position rearwards and 3 forwards, whereas the branded ones tend to have many more positions.

I'm looking to find out how much people use the recline features of car seats and if it's worth paying more for more positions?

Thank you smile

OP’s posts: |
2155User Sun 09-Aug-20 10:55:55

I definitely in the newborn day would've needed more recline

teaandlotusbiscoff Sun 09-Aug-20 11:32:42

I wouldn’t go for that one as it’s RF to 15 months. One recline should be OK as lots of car seats have a newborn wedge.

Better ones to take a look at within price range:
Joie tilt
Joie Steadi (similar time tilt, easier to adjust)
If your budget can allow up to ~£200 Joie spin or britax dualfix are good too smile

gemandthetwins Sun 09-Aug-20 13:06:05

Thank you. I thought rearward to 15 months was OK? Or would you suggest a extended rear facing?

OP’s posts: |
teaandlotusbiscoff Sun 09-Aug-20 13:08:47

While you can FF at 15 mos it isn’t necessarily safe. Best to keep RF as long as possible. If you want to FF you still can but I wouldn’t in the Halfords own brand ones as they tend to be cheaply made and only pass the legal minimum. Whereas joie/maxi Cosi/Britax do higher testing therefore it’s safer.

Just noticed in your OP you wanted a spin seat, Joie 360 and Britax dualfix 2R are rather budget friendly smile

teaandlotusbiscoff Sun 09-Aug-20 13:24:49

Another thing to consider is if baby is likely to be tall or over 50th centile, they may end up growing an 18kg seat before they’re four. Or if you have DC2 when DC1 is ~2 years old then it may workout OK as DC2 could use the 18kg seat and DC1 can go in a 25KG seat or a grp1/2/3 seat. Future plans is something to take into consideration before buying a car seat smile

gemandthetwins Sun 09-Aug-20 14:48:29

Thank you @teaandlotusbiscoff. I thought because it's a child safety product and Halfords being a high street brand, that the quality would be decent, so you've given me food for thought and it's probably worth seeing them in store before buying them.

As we're having twins, I'm trying to keep costs down! We've been gifted Maxi Cosi Pebbles but need to buy the isofix bases, and one of them needs a 2-way fix which I believe is discontinued, so this is one of the reasons we think a 0+/1 seat would work out better financially. It means we don't have to buy 2 isofix bases now and 2 Pearls in a year - I think it'd work out the same/cheaper to buy a 0+/1 now. I know being able to clip car seats in out between the car and prams but we're happy to sacrifice that given it's likely we'd only be doing that for 6 months...

But of course safety is absolutely more important than cost and if the cheaper option isn't up to scratch then we wouldn't go for it.

(PS, as it's twins, we don't intend to have any more!! But just buying one type at a time we would have a different thought process and not have to think about cost as much and would definitely re-use things for the second child.)

OP’s posts: |
teaandlotusbiscoff Sun 09-Aug-20 16:18:58

Ah congrats on the twins! I believe that the pebble can be fitted with a seatbelt so an isofix base isn’t actually necessary, but I get what you mean. Sadly the seats aren’t always safe as the legal minimum is only around 30mph head on collision whereas joie, maxi Cosi, britax test up higher to around 60mph I believe.

In car safety centre offer a “twins trust” which involves a discount of 10% if you buy two seats or more for twins. This would be worth taking a look at smile

teaandbiscuitsforme Mon 10-Aug-20 07:08:32

If you've been gifted two pebbles and you're happy that they're in good condition, I would use them installed with the car seatbelt and save up to buy two extended rear facing seats when the outgrow the pebbles (12-18 months).

Isofix bases are definitely a nice to have. They do make life a bit easier but so long as the seats are installed correctly, seat belt installation is just as safe as isofix. You also get much quicker at putting the seats in the more you use the belt!

Mysa74 Mon 10-Aug-20 07:16:49

It might be worth checking marketplace or other selling sites for the correct maxicosi base. They're pretty indestructible and as they have the lights and sound indicators you can tell of they're working/fitted correctly....

OhWifey Mon 10-Aug-20 07:17:39

Definitely echo what @teaandlotusbiscoff has said. If the Pebbles are from a trusted source use them belted. They're likely to be more suitable anyway if your twins are small. Then when they are outgrown you will have a much better idea about what kind of seat is most suitable for their size and your car.
With car seats unfortunately if they're cheap it's for a reason and those brands mentioned cost more due to increased investment in safety testing and performance.

gemandthetwins Mon 10-Aug-20 08:41:01

Thank you @Mysa74 @OhWifey @teaandlotusbiscoff

We started thinking last night that the Pebbles may be a better option as we started thinking about the practicalities of getting two babies in and out of a car, especially if we're not necessarily using a pram (ie popping to a cafe or going to someone's house), and that parking situations might not always be the best. At least in the carrier seats you have somewhere to put them whilst you deal with the other. But then we also thought it'd still be tricky when they're outgrown the carriers but not old enough to stand! We got ourselves in a right old tangle!

If we were to use the Pebbles with just the belt, is it difficult to get them in and out the car each time?

OP’s posts: |
teaandlotusbiscoff Mon 10-Aug-20 17:24:40

Never used an isofix base and it was fine!

BertieBotts Thu 13-Aug-20 20:28:01

With car seats you get two types of manufacturer - the ones which make and test their own products, examples Britax, Maxi Cosi, Cybex - and then the manufacturers which buy car seats from a generic manufacturer and rebrand them with their own fabrics and logos.

Most high street stores in the UK rebrand from a French company called Team Tex. There are other generic manufacturers in Europe, but I don't know their names. In recent years, generic car seat factories have sprung up in Asia too, partly because of lower import/export costs and partly because several Asian countries are beginning to require the use of children's car seats by law for the first time and as part of the UN many of these countries are using the UN ECE regulation which is the same one that is used all over Europe. For this reason we are now seeing even more cheap, generic car seats for sale. It's difficult to keep up with all the branding.

What you find with generic seats is that they may not have the features of the bigger manufacturers. For example many of the generic seats which are approved for both rear and forward facing can only be isofix fitted for forward facing, and need to be seatbelt fitted for rear facing, which can be a bit of a pain especially if you don't initially realise.

But the main concern I have with them is that when you look at crash test results from places like ADAC (they provide the test results that Which? and similar publications in other European countries publish in their own languages - you may have heard of Which? Best Buy/Don't Buy) the generic seat models tend to do very poorly. Sometimes they do OK. I have never seen any get a score higher than "Satisfactory", except for rear facing infant capsule type seats, which just seem to be such a simple design that you can't get it wrong! Slightly more than occasionally, one of the generic seats will actually break apart as a result of the forces of the crash test. It's better than not using a car seat at all, but I would not use a generic seat if I could help it.

I can't tell why that one has such a poor recline option, usually it's because you have to belt fit it in RF mode but it doesn't seem to be the case there. Anyway if they're forced to be so laid back you probably wouldn't want to RF much more than the minimum, which is a bit of a shame - nice to have the option to RF for longer. Under i-size the law is no forward facing before 15 months, but it's recommended to rear face as long as possible - it's just much safer frankly.

Anyway, for a 0+/1 seat I'd go for Joie 360 Spin over that one. You can often find them for £160/180 on sale and it has much better features and a good trusted safety rating.

OTOH, as you already have Pebble seats - are these the original Pebble, or are they newer i-size ones (Pebble Pro/Plus/I forget all the suffixes) with a height limit on? Are they both the same version? Maxi Cosi have THE MOST CONFUSING set of base and seat compatability rules, so I would write an email to them with either a photo of the seats or the definite full model name/number and ask which currently sold bases are compatible, if you want bases for them. The 2way base is the same as the One base, apparently. There is a chart here you can download, but it only has the Pebble Pro, no older versions:

You may also consider buying the appropriate base second hand. It's not really recommended but I do think it's a bit less risky than buying the actual seat part second hand, since most people are honest and would not sell on a seat/base after an accident. (Of course, not everyone is honest).

If you can find out exactly which Pebble seats they are I will try and have a look for you if you want. Or you could go into somewhere like John Lewis with the seats you have and just ask to test which bases they go into.

If you think you'll use the bases to purchase the next size of seat and click in, then I would recommend getting a base which has the option to take a rear facing seat, just in case your children outgrow the baby seat before 15 months. On the other hand, you could forget using bases for the toddler seat and just buy seats which don't need a separate base. There are even longer-lasting rear facing seats for example which just fit using the seatbelt, last until around 7 years old and cost about £200, which is less than some of the Pearl models. Also, if you do think you'll use some variation of Pearl seat on the base, I would recommend trying this out in your car/s at a baby store, even if you have no intention of buying the toddler seat yet, because it's useful to see in advance what the recline is like and how much front seat space you have with the seats installed - it might influence whether or not you go for the base.

Sorry for the essay! Hope it is a bit helpful.

BertieBotts Thu 13-Aug-20 20:37:44

I had a car seat which didn't use a base with my first and never found it a pain to do the seatbelt, it only takes a minute. It might be a bit more annoying with twins though, especially if you've parked somewhere you only have space to open one side door.

I would try a post on Multiple Births with the pros and cons of different types of car seats to see what other people have gone for.

gemandthetwins Fri 14-Aug-20 17:59:24

@BertieBotts thank you, that's all really interesting. My thinking was that a big name brand probably made the Halfords one but it was cheaper because it was own brand.

We're pretty certain we're going to use the two Pebbles but went into Halfords on Wednesday to see all the options in person. They didn't have their own seat in but we didn't mind as we'd pretty much vetoed it anyway.

The seats we have will be about 4 and 2 years old and I think they're plain old Pebbles rather than Pro etc. The people who gave them us had a 2way fix and a family fix. I've not got round to looking if I can find a 2 way fix online - I understand they're discontinued. Someone we know with twins has said she has bases which she's used with Pebbles and Pearls for her twins who are 4, as well as the Pearl seats. I'm waiting for her to confirm that she still has them so we can collect them and figure out if they're compatible. I think they will be given they'll be similar ages. If not I have been wondering if they both would be compatible with the current family fix 2. So things are kind of on hold until we hear more from her.

I'm not sure the stickers on the bottom of the seats actually indicate which version they are.

OP’s posts: |
gemandthetwins Fri 14-Aug-20 18:01:16

These are the stickers on the Pebbles. @BertieBotts

OP’s posts: |
BertieBotts Sat 15-Aug-20 21:40:21

Yep those are the original Pebble seats, rather than the newer versions which are all i-size so have height limits. (It's actually my favourite ever Maxi Cosi seat!) That's good, as you'll be able to use them until your twins reach the edge of the seat rather than until they are 75cm tall which is usually under a year old. Both seats are from 2015, so the one you thought was 2 years old may have been used by someone else before your relative - if that's something you'd like to check out.

The 2WayFix is the same compatability as the Familyfix Base One, I think - maybe get someone from Maxi Cosi to confirm.

I would not recommend you use the Pearl seats for your twins because they are forward facing only. Any of the newer Pearl seats - 2Way Pearl, Pearl Smart, Pearl One (anything with a suffix) is OK as they are able to be fitted rear facing or forward facing.

However you will need at least the 2wayfix base for the rear facing toddler seat, and likely a newer one for any of the newer seats. It might work out cheaper to just get whichever base you're being offered and then decide later about the toddler seats. You can get standalone seats which don't need a base for example from about £70 seatbelt fit / £200 isofix / £180 for one which lasts longer and lets you harness longer than the maxi cosi anyway.

About the branding, this used to happen, Mothercare had seats made by Dorel who own Maxi Cosi back in the 00s, and they also had some own brand seats made by Joie more recently, but it isn't very common, and anyway the Mothercare Joie seat was more expensive than the branded Joie version which was odd! Mothercare's budget own brand seat range was team tex as well. Argos's Cuggl range is team tex. Car manufacturer-branded seats (e.g. VW, Volvo etc) are usually made by Britax! And they tend to be more expensive than the Britax branded version as well.

Mysa74 Sun 16-Aug-20 04:18:50

I've got a pebble and a pebble plus op. The they look very similar. The easiest way to Tel them apart(other than the lable) is by the newborn insert. The pebble has a round head piece and the plus has a whole body butter... It also has pebble plus written on the fabric and the other just says pebble...

Mysa74 Sun 16-Aug-20 12:43:09

*whole body hugger

gemandthetwins Sun 16-Aug-20 13:32:13

Thank you @BertieBotts, that's all super useful and interesting. I've got a couple of questions which I'll PM you about at some point - it's all blowing my mind a bit!

And thank you @Mysa74 - they both have different inserts which I presumed one just had something missing. One has a head support and one has a wedge for under their bum. I was considering buy a replacement off the Maxi Cosi website

OP’s posts: |
BertieBotts Mon 17-Aug-20 22:35:18

The insert might be missing a piece, you can usually buy replacements fairly easily. I would check against the illustrations in the manual.

BertieBotts Mon 17-Aug-20 22:35:44

They should both have some kind of head support at the very least - I'm not familiar enough to know about the wedge.

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