My SIL gave us the Maxi Cosi car seat (Cabrio Fix), which is great, but I'm now really confused about which base I need. Is it the Isofix one? Can you fit the car seat in the car with just the seat belt or do you have to have a base? Don't want to accidentally buy the wrong thing and get all stressed watching DH try to fit it!
It depends on your car. You can fit it with just the seatbelt if you want, or if you want a base there are two options - ISOfix and non-ISOfix. You can only use the ISOfix base if you have ISOfix in your car (I think you would probably know if you did)
If you want a base I'd just go to mothercare or halfords and say this is my car, what base do I need? And they should tell you.
I think it can be fitted with either the 3 point seat belt or an isofix base from what I can remember.
I would nip along to Mothercare or somewhere that does child seats and see what they say on the ones in the shop.
If it is one that does fit onto the isofix base I would highly recommend getting one for your car if you have isofix anchor points as it 1) ensures the seat is always fitted propelry 2) makes it easy to get it in and out of the car.
Wow, that was fast! Thanks guys. The car does have Isofix points - think will do as you suggest and go check out Mothercare/Halfords and get someone to sort it out for me. I like the idea of the base if it's easier and safer, but I was a bit put off by DH saying they cost £100. I naively didn't budget for car seats after SIL said we could have hers! Might have to wait for HIP grant to arrive before buying.
the seat is quite a bit safe when used with the easyfix based instead of the family fis base. (you can use the family fix base, which is a bot more expensive with a group 1 car seat too, (the maxicosi pearl) but if you have a maxi-cosi pearl CANT fit it with belts, which might cause as issue if travelling in a friends car or hire car etc)
The family fix works with the cabriofix and the pebble.
I have an easyfix base on DH's car and the familyfix base in mine. I actually prefer the easyfix base as you have the visual green dots, whereas the familyfix you have to crane to see the lights or hear the beep. However, the familyfix can be moved to give more leg room, and DD at 14 months benefits from that.
The easyfix base works in cars without isofix, you use a seatbelt through clips on the base and it is still easier than just seatbelt alone. My parents don't have isofix in their car, but we still transferred our base to their car.
I also would advocate buying the base to go with it which as others have said you can pick up very cheap on ebay. It just makes everything easier and more importantly - safer. I bought the non-isofix base for my 3 door KA because when I went into Halfords I had a chat with the guy who worked there who explained that with fitting straight in the car I would need to ensure it was 100% right everytime as where with the base it was just clip in and go then pull and release. Reassurance for safety of baby and will stop me damaging my back leaning over a car seat to strap it in.