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Affordable car seat help please!

(37 Posts)
buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 10:27:10

2 children, already have 4 car seats and now need to get another 2 for my mothers car. Really don’t want to spend a fortune but don’t want them to be in anything unsafe.

All my other seats are extended rear facing so I’m convinced of the rear facing argument but my mum has a tiny car and will only be picking them up from nursery and driving 2 miles up a country lane every now and again so I think FF will be fine.

Both fairly tall, 12 months and 2yo (3 in June). Would like something that will last a bit and preferably < £100.

Ideas? Never really looked into FF seats before.

furryelephant Tue 06-Mar-18 10:34:24

Would you consider £160 or so? The joie every stage is a popular seat, rear faces to 18kg and can be used at every age, turning into a high back booster so would get its money worth smile

buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 13:24:08

3 of the 4 other seats are joie stages. Thing is I don’t think that practically they are going to fit in rear facing or if we’d be able to put them in them rear facing (small 3 door hatchback). Plus £320 is more than I want to spend really.

PotteringAlong Tue 06-Mar-18 13:25:45

Toys r us have 20% off all car seats in their closing down sale if tht helps!

buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 13:27:52

Thank you! Mothercare have a sale on too but their sale prices are more than other people sell them for full price!hmm

Will have a look at Toys r us.

furryelephant Tue 06-Mar-18 14:06:51

Oh blushI was at a toys r us the other day and would advise that if you want to fit in the shop and find a free member of staff to help then go at opening time shockit was packed!

RandomMess Tue 06-Mar-18 14:13:11

Surely your 12,month old will fit into their infant carrier for several more months - eyeline below the back of the car seat?

furryelephant Tue 06-Mar-18 14:22:41

@RandomMess for an infant carrier it's the top of the head must not be past the top of the back of the shell

RandomMess Tue 06-Mar-18 14:29:34

Argh I thought it was the other way around!

furryelephant Tue 06-Mar-18 15:04:08

@RandomMess if only! 😩

BertieBotts Tue 06-Mar-18 18:36:04

I personally would not bother with anything which converts to a booster. For the difference in price you can normally buy a perfectly acceptable booster when the time comes and the harness in a 1/2/3 seat is no larger than the harness in a group 0/1 or group 1 only seat.

If you're bothered about them being harnessed past the age of 3 then you'd need to look into harness to 25kg seats but these will definitely be over £100. Folk will come and argue with me over this but I really don't see the need for a harness past 3 IF the child is the correct weight and height to be restrained by the seatbelt in a booster. The main safety benefit of a harness over a seatbelt is the fact that small children cannot easily take them off.

So...

ERF to 18kg or FF:
Joie Tilt £75
Joie Steadi £100

Standard g0/1 (RF to 13kg, FF to 18kg):
Britax First Class Plus £100

Group 1 FF only
Britax Eclipse £80

Group 123 FF plus booster
Joie Elevate £70 (but unsure about this for the 1yo)
Britax Evolva £90 (probably worth it as it is a great booster later)

Those are all I'd touch in that price range. Especially avoid anything which has the rucksack-style tightening mechanism on the straps. That's a sure sign the seat was produced cheaply.

Look around for price differences. But mothercare have some pretty substantial drops on the "plus" versions of some of these.

BertieBotts Tue 06-Mar-18 18:37:05

So, in fact, I should clarify: Don't spend over £100 just because something converts to a booster later. Especially a lot over £100. Boosters can be very cheap.

BertieBotts Tue 06-Mar-18 18:38:45

I reckon BTW I'd probably go for the Elevate for the 2yo and the Tilt or Eclipse for the baby.

morh Tue 06-Mar-18 18:45:54

Hey I know asda do some at a reasonable price. Got one for my mums car and it's really good x

NapQueen Tue 06-Mar-18 18:47:46

If you and your mum are both fully comp on insurance just swap cars on the day she has the dcs.

buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 19:21:30

That’s what we are trying to do at the moment but my husband is away for the whole week so he’s had to go in her car, mum is in my car and I’m in his car! All a bit complicated plus I’d like for her to be able to go and get them if we both get stuck at work.

I’ll have a look at those suggested when I’ve got the kids down.smile

buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 19:23:56

Bertie, is there a reason you’d not go with the elevate for the 1yo?

Andbabymakesthree Tue 06-Mar-18 19:29:19

Driving two miles down country lanes doesn't make FF safe.

Joie tilt or steadi for younger child.

The elevate would give no support or recline for the one year old.

How often are the seats in other cars used. Couldn't she have those?

BertieBotts Tue 06-Mar-18 19:39:48

It just looks very upright and not that supportive in the harnessed stage to me. OK for a child who will be in a booster soonish anyway, but I don't know that I'd choose it for an earlier stage where they'll spend longer harnessed. Generally, I would not choose a 123 seat unless it was for a child who just needed to be harnessed for a little while longer and then use a booster. But I know lots of people who have used the Evolva for example right from first moving to Group 1 and found it fine. I don't think that a recline is necessarily important if the seats will only be used for short journeys.

That said, I haven't looked at it in detail because it's not a stage I've ever needed a seat for. I've always gone separate group 1 and then high backed booster. Maybe it's worth looking at some reviews and seeing if you're comfortable with it?

FF is not unsafe, otherwise it would not pass safety testing. RF being safer doesn't make FF unsafe. Particularly after 15 months as per newer regulations (all of the seats I've listed conform to old ones, so OK to FF after 9kg though obviously still always safer to RF. As you know.) Possibly it would be a compromise to try and use the baby's infant seat until he has absolutely and completely grown out of it and then move to one of the new seats you're buying now.

blinkineckmum Tue 06-Mar-18 19:43:55

Boots is quite good as you get loads of points.

buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 19:52:11

I suppose I could get one RF one for the baby but can imagine it’s very hard to get them into it in a 3 door car? My mum is a bit useless with these things at the best of times lol.

I’m a advocate of ERF but sometimes there are other things to be taken into consideration.

Elevate looks good for 2yo.

RandomMess Tue 06-Mar-18 20:03:40

Look for a RF that you can just leave in place and fairly easily slit DD in and out of. Not the easiest in a 3 door granted!

RandomMess Tue 06-Mar-18 20:04:00

Swap cars for the day your Mum had them???

buckyou Tue 06-Mar-18 20:29:51

I honestly don’t think my mum will manage the RF in her car. We have tried swapping and that’s what we do when she has him for the day on a Wednesday but DH is working away and it’s all ending up too much of a logistical challenge!

It will literally be one 2 mile trip once a week. When she has him for a whole day she can take my car.

BertieBotts Tue 06-Mar-18 21:29:43

OP I agree, sometimes RF is impractical, especially since a 1yo can't get themselves in, she'd have to wedge herself in the back between both of them - not going to work really, is it? A baby capsule kind of seat might work (I assume that's what she's been using so far?) but I think I'm with you in that I'd go for a decent FF seat which stays in the car and she just has to strap him into. I would normally say look at an impact shield one but even that sounds quite complicated in a small 3-door compared to doing up some straps and tightening. 1yos aren't always the most co-operative with car seats IIRC...

The most important thing about a car seat is that it's fitted and used properly, so if you're worried she might not manage this then it's going to be safer to get something she can manage. If she's hauling herself in and out of the back to put a child in a RF seat then that risks loosening the fitting, she might not be able to access and tighten the straps securely.

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