Best Budget Child Car Seat 2018

Joie Trillo Review

Our Best budget option is the Joie Trillo, a modest child car seat that can hold its own against pricier options

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The Joie Trillo is substantial but not bulky, plainly designed but not distracting, and does exactly what it says on the tin. In many ways, the Trillo is incredibly good value; it’s a perfectly decent car seat that will last six years, at a fraction of the price of some of its flashier competitors.

Joie Trillo car seat

For day-to-day use, the Trillo excelled in our tests. Our mini-testers were able to use it with ease, climbing in and out without help and able to easily buckle up even with two car seats next to each other. In fact, if you need multiple car seats the Trillo is a great option. Not only is it boxy but contained, you can remove the extra padding if you need more space. Ultimately there were no complaints from little testers, who were more than happy to jump in and out of the seat.

The Trillo comes out of the box in pieces, but assembly is straightforward — we had the seat built and installed in 10-15 minutes. After that, installation took less than a minute, so if switching between cars is a concern you have nothing to worry about here. The Trillo uses clips on a fabric cord which attach to the Isofix connectors — and we loved these. While they’re not quite as locked in as rigid Isofix connectors, they’re much easier to use.

I have a bit of a thing about car seats, and I've been so pleased. The cheapness of it actually put me off, but it doesn't look or feel cheap and DD finds it comfy - I'm keeping her in it as long as I can.

As for extras, the big one is the added side padding — Joie have included removable air pockets (“Guard Safety Surround Air pockets”) which clip on to the sides. We’ll be honest, they’re pretty much just extra bits of plastic, but do claim to add a bit more protection in the event of a crash.

Cup holders are also included, although these were more of a fun added bonus than a really useful feature.

As far as adjustments go, the Trillo is limited. The head adjustment is great, but that’s where it ends; seat width and other customisation present in more expensive models didn’t make it into the design. However, we didn’t find this a problem; yes, the seat is less perfectly moulded around your child, but there’s plenty of room in the seat as it is and our testers were nothing but comfortable.

Money

For £50, you might expect a car seat that has the basics down, and not much else in the way of extras. But while it’s true that the Trillo doesn’t have the innovation of the Cybex Solution, this modest little car seat can hold its own. It’s not the most fancy or stylish, but it will keep your child safe and comfortable until the age of 12. And really, that’s what matters.

The Specs

Suitable from: 15kg – 36kg (about 4 – 12 years old)
Weight: 4.49kg
Dimensions: 48cm W x 39cm L x 69-84cm H
RRP: £49.99
Website: Joie

Available in Salsa (or in other words red), and Earl Gray

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Awards

  • Best Budget Child Car Seat 2018

How we test

After researching the latest safety guidelines, market bestsellers and the views of hundreds of parents, we tested 10 of the top child car seats on the market. Here's how.

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