Best Car Seat from Birth to 12 Years 2020
Cozy N Safe Arthur Review
As a flexible and good-looking car seat that will grow with your child, the Cozy N Safe Arthur ticks all the boxes. And it’s biggest selling point? It could be the only car seat you’ll ever need.
At a glance
- Age range: Group 0+/1/2/3; rearward-facing from birth to 18kg (approximately 4 years); forward-facing from 9kg to 36kg (approximately 9 months to 12 years)
- Safety credentials: R44/04; side impact protection; steel frame for improved structural strength and energy absorption
- Fixing system: Three-point vehicle seatbelt for rear-facing; three-point vehicle belt or ISOFIX for front-facing
- Dimensions: 68 × 45 × 56cm
- Weight: 12.5kg
- RRP: £299.99 but widely available for between £159-£200
- Guarantee: 12 months
- Frame reinforced with steel and padded with high-density polyurethane foam
- Adjustable headrest
- Four-position recline to a 155-degree lie-flat angle for newborns
- ISOFIX and belted installation
- Extended rear-facing car seat
- Can only use ISOFIX for forward-facing travel, otherwise you need to use the three-point seatbelt fixing
- Quite tricky to install when using seatbelt fixings
- Frame fully lined with high density polyurethane foam for comfort
- One-handed headrest operation
- Self-adjusting harness
- Four recline positions
- Side ventilation
- Extra lumbar support for 155-degree lie-flat option for newborns
- Extra padded and anti-slip chest pads
- Removable and machine-washable covers
How safe is the Cozy N Safe Arthur?
If you’re looking for a safe, well-designed, sturdy and long-lasting baby car seat, then you can’t go far wrong with the Cozy N Safe Arthur.
Use your car seatbelt to fix the seat in a rear-facing position, then you have the option to switch to the ISOFIX fittings when you want the seat to face forward.
You also have the choice to keep your child rear-facing until age four – considered to be the safest way to travel. The Arthur has added side impact protection and its frame is fully lined with high density polyurethane foam. This provides comfort and additional energy absorption.
The seat shell is injection-moulded with a steel frame for added structural strength and in-built side ventilation. There are indicators to ensure that the seat has been correctly installed when using ISOFIX. Anti-slip chest pads also help to keep your baby secure.
The inside of the seat is smooth and comfortable with nothing to irritate baby’s skin and no loose parts that could be a choking hazard or trap small fingers.
How does it look?
This seat has a unique and well thought-out design – far from boring and with wide appeal.
It’s tricky to design something that a baby will be comfortable travelling in and that a pre-teen will also be happy to use, but Cozy N Safe seem to have cracked it with this good-looking, versatile seat – it's one that will still suit your child all the way up to around 12 years old.
The material is very good quality – soft, but strong – and the padding feels lovely, a bit like a memory foam cushion.
It’s chunky, it’s different, the outer shell looks like something from Star Wars (according to our tester, Sam) and the grey padding adds a streamlined, classy feel. No tweeness or cutesy motifs here.
The Arthur looks and feels much more expensive than it actually is – like a premium seat without the premium price tag.
The website advertises three colours, but don’t be deceived by this. The different colours are merely marginal alterations in trim and not wholesale changes in colour blocks.
Everything you need to install the seat is included in the box.
The instruction manual is concise and to the point considering how many variations there are to the seat. There is one way to install for Group 0, three options for Group 1 and a further two installation options for Group 2 and 3. But it’s all explained clearly and with plenty of illustrations to help.
There are also lots of little diagrams on the side of the seat that offer various instructions on how to use it depending on the weight and age of the child and the configuration you desire. You'll also find an instruction video on the Cozy N Safe website.
The ISOFIX anchoring only applies to the seat when it’s in the forward-facing position, not the rear-facing, so if you are using the seat rear-facing up to age four, you will need to use the seatbelt.
Sam found the seatbelt fixing a bit fiddly and sometimes frustrating, especially as the seat is so heavy.
How easy is it to switch from rear- to forward-facing?
If you want to change from rear-facing to forward-facing, then you can use the much simpler ISOFIX installation. But if you don’t have ISOFIX fittings in the car then you can continue to use the three-point seatbelt – just make sure you follow the correct set of instructions.
While it's not that simple to switch configurations, once the seat is in place it’s pretty sturdy, mainly thanks to the seat’s weight which helps to hold it in place.
Because the fitting is a bit fiddly, this is a seat you’d probably want to install when you had the time to make sure you could do it safely and correctly, and then leave the seat in the car permanently. This would mean you could feel confident that everything was in order even if you left the house in a hurry.
In ISOFIX mode it’s solid as a rock, but in belt route mode it’s not quite as rigid. There was a lot of wrestling (pulling the seat belt tightly, aligning the belt through the loops at the back of the Arthur etc) to get the seat to sit as solidly as possible.
If you’re using the ISOFIX fitting, there’s a lever at the front of the seat, near the underside, that says ‘ISOFIX Operation Lever’. Give it a gentle squeeze and prepare to be amazed at the powerful blast when the ISOFIX arms shoot out of the back of the seat, ready to be anchored into place.
One thing to watch out for is that the seat is so smooth and well-rounded that there’s nothing to hold on to when you pick it up. It can just slide out of your hands.
There’s a support section on the website, with contact details and downloadable instruction manuals. There’s also a Q&A section with FAQs, information about car seat laws and safety, and a handy jargon buster. There’s also a blog with articles such as ‘How to prevent your toddler from escaping their car seat’ as well as various product reviews.
What's it like to use day-to-day?
Once you’ve got the fitting sorted out, the seat is great when using day-to-day.
It’s soft and comfortable, and really well-padded and cushioned with no annoying bits or scratchy fabric to irritate your baby. The removable seat cushion is like a big padded wedge, which allows a newborn baby to almost lie flat.
The strap adjust button is incredibly satisfying and simple to use, even in a rush, but the straps are quite stiff to pull to the desired length. There’s no chance of your child escaping the seat or the straps if everything is installed properly though, and the five-point safety harness will keep your child safe and secure.
The adjustable headrest moves up and down with ease by pulling a lever at the top. In fact, it’s so easy you can do it with one finger.
Cozy N Safe's Arthur doesn’t obstruct the driver’s view in any way even though it is a big seat, and there’s nothing distracting about the seat at all – no jazzy colours or distinctive patterns that could be off-putting.
Its size, while adding to the feeling of safety and security, does mean that you’d be hard pushed to fit more than two child seats in the back of a standard-sized car.
Once the seat is safely in place though, it’s quick simple to use on a day-to-day basis for school runs and trips to the supermarket. Sam did feel that on longer trips, however, her five-month-old baby couldn’t get comfortable enough to settle into a really long sleep, but did feel the seat would come into its own when the baby was a little older and wanted to sit up more.
As with other larger seats, it would be a pain to take this seat on holiday – it’s a great seat for installing into the car and leaving it there, but not as flexible as smaller seats like the Mothercare Ziba or the Maxi-Cosi Rock.
How easy is it to clean?
The fabric is soft and smooth and therefore wipe-clean, but it is all machine-washable as all the cushions can be removed.
When milk and juice were spilled on the seat during testing, a damp sponge, soapy water and a little bit of elbow grease removed any visible signs.
To clean things more deeply and hygienically, though, the cover did need to come off – and it wasn’t that easy, particularly the removal of the base layer seat cover. So much so that Sam had to reach right down into the gap between the hard plastic shell to get the cover free.
The seat we tested was in graphite colourway and quite a forgiving colour when it came to marks and stains.
What about value for money?
This seat could potentially be the only car seat you’ll need (which is pretty bonkers) and is designed to appeal to your child as they get older. It’s really great quality and offers fantastic value for money.
The Cozy N Safe Arthur is a great option for any parent in need of a car seat that'll last for the long haul.
It's well-designed, hard wearing, extremely comfortable and safe, and it will also grow and adapt with your child too.
Considering all of this, the seat is so reasonably priced that we think most parents will rush to buy it in a heartbeat.
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All prices correct at time of publication
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