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Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat review: an affordable car seat that grows with your child

As a newcomer to the Ickle Bubba car seat lineup, the Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat caters to children from birth to 12 years old. After rigorously testing it for three months with a mum of two, we share our insights on this car seat's top features. 

By Tammy Jacks | Last updated Mar 25, 2024

Child in Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat

Price: RRP £189

What we like
  • Grows with your child (up to 150cm)

  • Extended rear-facing

  • 360-degree rotation for easy boarding

  • Good value for money

  • Easy to clean

What we don't like
  • Heavy to manoeuvre

  • No sun hood

  • The base is bulky

  • Not clear how to locate or use swivel function

Key specs

Age range: Birth to 150cm (approx. 12 years) | Safety credentials: i-Size (R129), standing support leg for stability, side impact protection, travel rear-facing for longer | Fixing system: ISOFIX | Dimensions: 53 x 44.5 x 61cm | Weight: 11.6kg | Warranty: 2 years

Our verdict
  • Installation: 2/5

  • Safety & Stability: 5/5

  • Ease of use: 3/5

  • Comfort: 5/5

  • Design: 4/5

  • Ease of cleaning: 5/5

  • Value for money: 4/5

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly, 360 spin car seat that’s durable and versatile enough to stand the test of time (from birth to age 12), the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat is a great choice.

According to RoSPA, extended rear-facing seats like this one, which adhere to the i-Size standard (and come with an i-Size base and load leg), provide the safest travel option for infants and toddlers. With the i-Size standard, it allows your baby to stay in a rear-facing position up to 105cm (approximately four years) and transition to a forward-facing position from 100 cm to 150cm (approximately 15 months to 12 years).

Packed with a range of impressive features like three recline positions, a 360-degree swivel function, adjustable headrest, removable harness, memory foam padded headrest and a soft infant insert, the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat has a very competitive price tag while offering a long lifespan. 

Our tester, Sarah, has been impressed with just how easy it is to strap her four-year-old son in the Ickle Bubba, and get him out using the handy spin/swivel function. She also notes that it fits well in the back of the car, is easy to clean and is sturdy and comfortable too. 

Child in Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat

How we tested the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat 

  • Three months of using the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car seat multiple times a week

  • Tested on both long and short journeys, from five minutes to a six-hour road trip  

  • Tested with a four year old

Mum of two, Sarah started using the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat when her son was four years old and weighing 19kg, putting it through its paces every day for three months. She used this car seat in her BMW 5 Series along with a second baby car seat in the back to accommodate her 14-month-old too.

Sarah used the Ickle Bubba for school runs, short trips to the grocery store, and longer road trips up north to visit friends for the weekend.   

As part of the testing process, Sarah scored the car seat out of five in several different categories including: installation, safety and stability, ease of use, comfort, design, ease of cleaning and value for money.

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat: what’s in the box?

  • Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat 

  • ISOFIX base and installation anchors

  • Infant insert

  • Standing support leg

If you’re looking for a complete travel system, the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat is compatible with a range of Ickle Bubba travel systems which also include a pushchair, carrycot and accessories like a rain cover, footmuff and sun visors.

Read next: Best lightweight buggies as tested by parents

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat recline

How easy is the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat to install?

Though our parent tester Sarah admitted to not having much experience installing car seats, always relying on her husband in the past, she was determined to install the Ickle Bubba herself and found it to be relatively easy.

To start, you’ll need to attach the integrated base and anchor points to your car’s ISOFIX points. Next, adjust the load leg to the appropriate height. Once both elements are in place, the indicators will change to green, confirming the correct installation. The load leg also has a visual indicator that lets you know it’s fully locked which is always handy for first-timers and offers peace of mind.

If you have a little one, you’ll want to ensure that the infant insert is in place before putting your child in the seat. In Sarah’s case, she removed it as her son no longer needed the additional padding.

At 19kg, he’s also outgrown the five-point harness, so Sarah opted to use the seatbelt but had trouble figuring out what to do with the harness straps, as it wasn’t clearly outlined in the instruction manual. She ended up tucking them behind the padding, but the harness can be removed completely for older children who have outgrown them.

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat: how does it look?

The Ickle Bubba features a sleek and modern design with plush padding for comfort and safety. It also has an adaptable headrest which ensures a perfect fit as your child grows. Sarah liked how she could adjust the headrest with one hand to fit her taller son.

Its 360-degree rotating mechanism allows for easy access and adjustment, ensuring a snug fit for your child. The seat is designed with high-quality materials and comes in dark grey to suit any car interior, plus it has white detailing around the edges which really stands out.

Read next: Best baby carriers, wraps and slings

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat harness

Is the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat safe?

Yes! Safety-wise, the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat is a good option. It’s been rigorously tested and approved to ECE R44 04 – the British and European safety standards for car seats. Plus, it comes with an ISOFIX base and conforms to the R129 European car seat safety standard, which aims to improve car seat safety, particularly in the event of a side-impact collision.

 Under this car seat regulation, R129 car seats are also required to be rearward-facing until children reach a minimum of 15 months. However, the Ickle Bubba takes it a step further by accommodating rear-facing seating up to four years old or 105cm, offering an extended safety measure.

 When evaluating the car seat's padding and overall design, Sarah says, “The Ickle Bubba is stable once correctly fitted and, once the straps were securely tightened, my toddler couldn't wriggle his arms out of the seatbelt. The seat itself is comfortably cushioned and can be adjusted to accommodate my son's growing frame, ensuring he remains well-supported and protected at every stage.”

Child in Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat

What’s it like to use the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat day-to-day?

Whilst it might not have both light and sound confirmation when ISOFIX is installed correctly, like the Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus, the Ickle Bubba is still quick and simple to install and use daily.

Our tester Sarah commented how much she liked the handy 360-degree swivel feature that allows easy switching from rearward to forward-facing depending on your child’s age and height and agreed that this feature made it easier to get her son in and out of the car, especially since he has long legs for a four-year-old.  

One downside is that the swivel function can be tricky to locate initially. It's controlled by a grey lever located on the flat surface between the leg and the seat. To activate it, you need to slide the lever backward while spinning the seat. “Unfortunately, this detail isn't clearly outlined in the instruction manual, so we had to search for the sliding catch to release the seat and start the rotation,” says Sarah.

Sarah notes that the finger groove for pulling the lever isn't deep enough, and the spinning function isn't as smooth as with other rotating seats her family has tried. However, after getting the hang of it, this becomes less of a concern.

When it comes to fitting the car seat, the Ickle Bubba is slim enough to fit in most cars and alongside a second car seat in the back but bear in mind that the ISOFIX base is quite bulky. As a result, Sarah felt that there wouldn’t be enough space in her BMW 5 Series for a person to sit comfortably in the middle seat if needed. Unclipping the car seat from the ISOFIX base can also be a little awkward, as it requires pressing both buttons simultaneously for removal.

From a user point of view, Sarah says, “My son found it easy to climb into the car and get into the seat to wait for one of us to buckle him in using the seatbelt rather than the five-point harness.”

When configured for an older child, strapping them into the car seat is straightforward. You just use the car's seat belt, which slides through a loop above the shoulder. “However, it can be a bit tricky reaching over their lap to clip them in, especially if they're wearing bulky coats," says Sarah. "While my son couldn't quite reach to clip himself in, he could undo the seatbelt once we parked."

Sarah also tested the harness on her 14-month-old and noted that the padded straps sit snugly across the shoulders and legs, and when fastened, they securely clip together between the legs.

Read next: Best lie-flat car seats for newborns

How comfortable is the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat? 

Designed to grow with your child from birth right through until your child reaches 150cm (or is roughly 12 years old) one of the Ickle Bubba’s standout features is its comfort and durability.

Sarah says, “Both the headrest and harness height can be adjusted to suit as your child grows which is such a useful feature. I also appreciate that the headrest can move up or down using just one hand by pulling on a pull cord at the top of the seat.”

The seat belt configuration feels comfortable as the top part of the belt is threaded through the seat above the shoulder, so it stretches across the chest at the right height. 

Although her four-year-old no longer has regular daytime naps, Sarah found the three recline positions on the Ickle Bubba to be useful for longer car journeys and says her son fell asleep quickly and looked comfortable once reclined: “The recline handle is easy to use and is accessible using one hand - useful while driving if hopeful of an impromptu nap!”

For little ones, the well-padded infant insert, and memory foam headrest provide an extra layer of comfort and protection on car journeys.

Sarah notes that comfort may be an issue for taller children like her son, who is 108cm tall. “While he usually sits comfortably in the car seat when I'm driving, there are instances when my husband, who has longer legs, needs to adjust the driver's seat, reducing the legroom for my son due to the larger ISOFIX base. So, I'm uncertain if we'll be able to use the Ickle Bubba until he reaches age 12, as his legs continue to grow.” 

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat: is it easy to clean?

Yes! The Ickle Bubba is a breeze to clean thanks to its simple design and fewer fiddly parts. With a four-year-old who goes to a muddy forest school each day, and then requests (or demands) endless snacks, hard-wearing material that can be easily wiped or washed is a key requirement for Sarah.

“On a couple of occasions, I needed to clean the Ickle Bubba and a damp cloth was all I needed to remove mud scuffs and jammy bars,” she says.  

For deeper cleaning, the entire cover can be removed and put through the washing machine - a key consideration for a car seat that you’re going to use as long as this one.

Read next: Best car sunshades for babies and toddlers

Is the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat good value for money?

Yes! With an RRP of £190, the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat is very reasonably priced when compared to other 360 spin car seats on the market.

A major benefit of this car seat is that it’s suitable from birth right up until your child reaches 150cm (or approx. 12 years old), so no need to spend extra money upgrading to a toddler car seat.

The spin function makes getting children in and out so much easier and after testing the Ickle Bubba, Sarah says she doesn’t think she’ll ever go back to a standard car seat. “I’d recommend this to other parents looking for a reasonably priced rotating seat,” she adds.

An additional bonus is that the Ickle Bubba comes with the ISOFIX anchors and a car seat  base, however, this car seat isn’t compatible with many pushchairs, prams or buggies.

About the author

Tammy Jacks has 15+ years of experience in the publishing industry, having served as Managing Editor and Health & Beauty Editor for Woman & Home magazine.

Later, she transitioned to become Assistant Editor of Living and Loving, a prominent South African parenting title. Tammy's expertise also extends to writing for various lifestyle publications, including Oprah Mag SA, Your Family, and Health Intelligence. Additionally, she has contributed to the success of fitness influencers and health professionals by editing their books. 

Passionate about fitness, wellness, and nutrition, Tammy leads an active lifestyle as a marathon runner and cyclist. As a mother to a lively nine-year-old girl, she is dedicated to ensuring children travel safely, making safety her top priority in her baby travel reviews.