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Car seat with top tether - how can it rotate?(12 Posts)
I'm looking for a group 1/2/3 car seat and almost all of them have top tether instead of a support leg. I like the look of the rotating 360° ones so that it'll be easier to get DS in and out but I can't seem to understand how it can rotate if it uses top tether to secure it into position!
Am I missing something? I've attached a pic from the ad. Surely the top tether means that this can't be done?
Generally you have to undo the tether in order to rotate it, which can become a bit of a pain but sometimes people tend to leave it undone.
Is there any particular reason you want a group 1/2/3? I only ask as in terms of safety it’s much better to buy a separate group 1 seat and then a booster afterwards (boosters tend to need to be more lightweight)
How old is your DS?
Rear facing is much safer and they don’t tend to have a tether, but can forward face if you want
Rotating group 0+/1 seats:
Britax Dualfix (2R/I-size/I-size M)
Joie 360 spin/I-spin
Maxi Cosi mica
Maxi Cosi axissfix - but bare in mind it’s only RF to around 2
Thanks so much for responding @teaandlotusbiscoff You've been very helpful.
My DS is 11 months old and really no longer comfortable in his group 0+ seat which came with our travel system.
I like the idea of group 1/2/3 because it would last for such a long time although, frankly, I definitely don't imagine my DS still using it at the age of 12! I didn't realise they weren't considered as safe so that's good to know.
All of the 1/2/3 car seats I've been looking at are rear-facing but can be rotated to front-facing when the time comes and they all come with top tether. You've confirmed my suspicions about the tether and having to undo it every time I want to spin the seat to get DS out. I'm struggling to find support leg ones within our budget.
Thank you for the recommendations, I often see those models mentioned on here. Unfortunately, they are way over budget for us at the moment (I live abroad and I think they may be more expensive here).
I think I'm going to have to get a top tether one but not use the rotate function on a daily basis. I'll definitely look into a group 1 and then a booster following your recommendation.
Yep - sometimes they can't actually be rotated. It's just marketing, as they technically can but it's not as convenient as the more expensive ones. Or they have included the tether so it passes crash testing, but they don't expect you to actually use it. That kind of thing isn't common in the UK, but is in some other countries where things like legal standards are seen as annoyances to get round, rather than important safeguards!
It all depends on how the tether is situated. The Maxi Cosi ones for example can rotate just fine with the tether attached because it comes around the back of the seat when it's rear facing so it just goes slack when you're rotating and then comes back to correct tension when the seat is clicked into place for driving.
What is your budget and country? I can try to find something suitable for you. I am going to make a wild guess from the picture and say you may be somewhere that car seats are either only recently being enforced or fairly uncommonly used and so perhaps there isn't a huge selection of the bigger brands? Just so many red flags in the picture making me think the company making (or marketing) that seat are not especially invested in their customers using it correctly. You often see this in countries where car seat usage is a more recent thing or a low priority, or the legal "standards" attitude I mentioned above. In this kind of situation you will frequently encounter incorrect information about how seats can be used as well so it can be useful to look for foreign brands from countries where car seats have been established for a longer time and consumers trust in the legal standards. In some countries you have a choice of car seats approved to various different international standards, so it might be for example that you can legally use an American car seat and they might be cheaper. You may also wish to import for example a Swedish seat which can be purchased online and sent to most countries, as they are the gold standard for rear facing seats.
It would also help if you can say what's important to you in a seat. If your DS is outgrowing the baby seat at 11 months he may be big for his age - do you know if he is/what he weighs? If so a standard seat where the harness is no longer used at 18kg might not be big enough to last him very long. Do you want to be 100% certain you won't need another seat until high back booster (I agree to avoid seats with HBB built in for now, as these are often poor quality), or are you happy to take a gamble and see if you need a larger harnessed seat later on? It's likely HBB seats will be more expensive where you are than the UK, but they still tend to be significantly cheaper than harnessed seats (IME, about a quarter of the price in most places).
Do you want to stay rear facing for now? I would strongly recommend it because it is quite dangerous for a child around a year old to be involved in a crash in a forward facing seat. But if you're wanting to forward face, I would rather you pick a good seat to do it in if that makes sense. And when seats are expensive sometimes it's a choice between a decent seat and a very poor quality one rather than it being a choice between rear and forward facing.
Do you want/need an isofix seat or are you happy with seatbelt fitted if other things like convenience, safety and price are right?
It sounds like spin function is a nice to have rather than a definite need, but perhaps you need something which is easily accessible? Do you do long trips and/or does your DS sleep in the car, or would you be OK with something without much of a recline?
I was confused how it would work too but ended up buying the Apramo 360 all stage. It has a top tether but you can still rotate it when attached.
Some of them you can, some of them you can't. It seems to depend how they've routed the tether.
Dotty, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but are you aware the Apramo failed testing when rear facing with an older child? This is the crash test.
OP I went looking for the manual of the seat you mentioned to see about the tether, couldn't find it but it seems to be a Spanish company. Good news - there is a Spanish company similar to Joie who make ERF seats cheaply but are good - BabyAuto.
I would just be careful if buying from somewhere like Carrefour, often they list seats as being rotating when they really mean you can install it both ways. Their actual rotating-in-use seats are:
Ronda i-size (might not yet be released)
Biro Fix (but only rear facing up to 13kg) - if you get this I strongly advise you never to use it in Group 2 (booster) mode - the belt fit looks absolutely awful.
@BertieBotts Thank you so very much for your detailed responses! Sorry I didn't respond before, I've had a hectic few weeks and every spare minute has been spent researching car seats.
Your posts gave me so much to think about. As a car seat novice, I thought that higher price = more high-end features and that as long as it met the EU safety regulations it was fair game. As you astutely imagined, I was looking at places like Carrefour and considering the highest rated ones on Amazon.
Well, after reading your posts, I fell into the rabbit hole of ECE R44/04 vs i-Size, ADAC, Plus Test, etc!
I've always intended to keep DS RF for as long as possible so the rotating feature wouldn't be used to FF but I realised that rotating the seat to get him in and out is something we don't mind paying a bit more for if it makes our lives that little bit easier.
All that said, I've chosen the seat! I'm going to start a new thread and tag you and @teaandlotusbiscoff in it to see your thoughts. A lot of people may not know it exists yet but, in my humble opinion, I feel it could be one of the best out at the moment.
OK! I don't have tagging turned on but I will keep an eye out for it.
Just wonder what the new seat you found was. I think I'm looking for similar and feel like I'm spending every spare minute (with a toddler and baby precious minutes) looking at car seats online 🤦🏻♀️
@TDAO I know that feeling of spending every minute researching! The advice I got on here was invaluable so I could figure out what was important, and safety and ease of putting DS in it were my top priorities.
I ordered the Joie i-spin safe but changed at the last minute for the Joie i-360 Spin. Even though we plan to use it rear-facing as long as possible, I wanted to have the option to rotate it to forward-facing just in case when my DS is, say, 3.5 he is too cramped.
We are so so happy with it! It's so comfortable and luxurious and my DS loves it! Some very good ones are fitted using a seatbelt and can't rotate but I personally couldn't be faffing around trying to squeeze DS in under the seatbelt, especially when he gets older and heavier.
Here is my second thread which has some great info about some of the pros and cons:
@BeesAnkles thanks so much for your reply, I actually have the i-360 spin in my car for my oldest LO and love it! Unfortunately this search is for my partners parents car and I don't think we can stretch to 2 more I-360 spins as my youngest will need a new seat in a few months too and my partner will need a new seat for his car for the youngest. We're going to have more car seats than Halfords between us 🙈