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Car seats - Isofix versus not Isofix: how do I chose?

(15 Posts)
Essie3 Sun 21-Jun-09 15:58:14

I'm about to buy a forward facing car seat. I got a temporary Which subscription, and the one that comes out best is the Kiddy Infinity Pro with 78%, but that's not isofix; second is MaxiCosi Priorifix which is Isofix with 75%. There's not much in it - I'd looked at Maxi Cosi because I knew the name of the brand blush.
My car is a VW Golf with Isofix points.

What are the advantages - if I have Isofix, should I use it? Or go for the better rated (and cheaper blush) Kiddy one?

Someone help! I have a PhD, but this car seat business is rocket science! grin

MIAonline Sun 21-Jun-09 16:18:20

If you can afford it, get Isofix, the stats for isofix safety, compared to a standard seat are incredible. It is worth paying the extra.

LittleHarrysMum Sun 21-Jun-09 16:59:34

Ok for easy use I would say def go for the isofix, plaus I would say for safety do the same.

For my DS I didn't go for isofix and the faffing about getting carseat in and out of car was a nightmare, plus if you're in a rush you don't know if you've done it 'properley',

With DD I went with Isofix (maxi-Cosi) and it is fantastic. Always know if it's in right and it's one click in the car and go.

To me there is no comaprison. HTH

LittleHarrysMum Sun 21-Jun-09 17:00:06


CMOTdibbler Sun 21-Jun-09 20:29:01

Def Isofix. They are so much more rigidly fixed to the car its amazing. Also no risk of incorrect installation

HeinzSight Sun 21-Jun-09 20:40:49

Go for a rear facing car seat! Much safer up until age 4.

I was always very keen on isofix, but on the advise of an in car safety expert they said that a properly fitted non isofix seat is safer than an isofix. The reason for this is isofix seats are anchored so stiffly to the car that in the event of an accident all the forces go straight to the carseat harness which of course has no give, these forces are then directly 'given' to the child. The argument for non-isofix (properly fitted) are that the car seat belt takes a substantial amount of the force from an impact first.

I think the safety statistics are heavily in favour of isofix because so many people don't fit non-isofix seats properly.

I hope that helps you and hasn't confused you more!!!! Have a look at the link above, the in car safety centre in Milton Keynes is only 1 of a few in car safety centres in the UK and they really do know their stuff. Please feel free to phone them for current and up to date advise, just in case things have changed since I visited them.

nicm Sun 21-Jun-09 22:25:09

i too would recommend a rf seat, they are 5 times safer then ff and also recommend the in car safety centre. i went to the one in belfast and they were really helpful. they have a section of rf seats on their website now and have both isofix and non isofix ones. i spent months deciding on ds car seat and bought the britax 2 way elite. hth

arabicabean Sun 21-Jun-09 22:32:03

Essie3 - I too have a Ph.D but the car seat business is quite easy really! grin

I would recommend deciding on FF or RF after looking into both options (if not done already). The advice given by Heinz is spot on. I have been to the In Car Safety Centre in Essex and can not recommend them highly enough for impartial advice.

(I chose RF as anything else was not an option on safety grounds).

PrettyCandles Sun 21-Jun-09 22:41:20

You take Isofix. Isofix seats score consistently highly, as do Maxi Cosi. The fixing is easier than with belts, less likely to get it wrong, no struggles tightening.

Isofix seats generally need 3 fixing points, the clips only provide 2. You will probably need either a leg prop in the footwell or a top tether over the back of the seat into the boot space. Our's has a top tether, which makes it a bit of a faff moving the carseat. I don't know what the leg prop is like, but we didn't take it because (a) we have underfloor storage in the footwells, and (b) two older children getting in and out of the car past that seat.

lynniep Mon 22-Jun-09 13:51:33

If we had isofix points, I think I'd have gone for the isofix base.

We have a maxicosi cabrio car seat for the forthcoming DC - I just bought an easybase because its our only alternative to getting the seat out quickly. But the 'extra' safety aspect is missing with the easybase. I always felt when we used the cabrio for DS when he was tiny, that it was a bit 'wobbly' all on its own.

We also have the maxicosi priori for DS, which is a beast of a seat, but feels very safe all on its own to be honest. Far more sturdy and protective than the Britax first class we have in the other car.
Again, had we had the isofix fittings, I would have probably bought the isofix base for this too as an extra precaution (although not for ease of removal - we never take the priori out) But I'm pretty happy with the priori as standalone.

lynniep Mon 22-Jun-09 14:01:49

p.s. I mean priori XP not priori as apparently thats old version!

Essie3 Mon 22-Jun-09 22:05:06

Thanks, everyone - this is all really helpful! I'm in no rush because my DS is very little for his age and I reckon we can manage up to 18 months in his Group 0 car seat (RF). But might as well look into it now! Am seriously considering a visit to a safety centre - but I don't know if there are any my way (north Wales...)

nicm Mon 22-Jun-09 22:54:59

the in car saftey centre is really good over the phone too and they do next day delivery. i would say they would be able to advise you over the phone. most of the rf seats on the site are shown in a golf, so a member of staff must have one or they have access to one. hth

HeinzSight Wed 24-Jun-09 20:13:12

I second phoning one of the in car safety centres, they'll be happy to advise you smile

scattykatty Wed 24-Jun-09 21:20:13

I have the MC Priorifix and love it, at £250 is pricey but worth it for the peace of mind I think. No real way to move between cars though without serious faff which is the big minus.

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