Cozy ‘n’ Safe’s 0+/1 size Merlin car seat has a 360-degree swivel and, though it can be used from birth, we think it’s also a great choice for parents moving on from a carry seat
With a soft, T-shirt-like fabric, this seat was our testing child’s favourite of the bunch, and our go-to when we needed an easy, peaceful journey.
The swivel feature is truly amazing, and a lifesaver when you’re in a tight spot. Having to repeatedly twist to get your child in and out can be back-breaking, which is why being able to turn the seat to face you means it’s worth its weight in gold. Like the Zero. 1, the swivel is activated at the touch of a button, which we found smooth and easy to use.
The Merlin is Isofix only, with a leg support, and we found that a bigger car will help you out here. While it’s definitely possible to fit into a smaller car, the angle of the Isofix means that for the Merlin, bigger is better. In terms of safety, the seat feels reassuringly secure; there is ample padding and side protection, so much so that our tester described her child as being “cocooned in an egg”.
However, we found that the Merlin did wear quickly. After just one week of use, the fabric under our tester’s child’s legs had started to bobble, and it didn’t completely wipe clean either. The instructions say that the fabric is hand-wash only, but nothing designed for a toddler should be hand-wash only, so we put it on a delicate cycle and it survived. While washing in this way did remove the dirt, we’d be wary about stains and bobbling over time.
Nevertheless, for ease of use and its beautiful colour, the Merlin stands out from the crowd. In addition to the swivel, the headrest is adjustable with one hand, and the straps are fully padded and secure enough to hold any would-be escapologists. We loved the simple but classy designs, and the seat looked great in our tester’s car. If longevity is a key concern, you may be better off with something more hard-wearing; but for safety, ease of use and design, you really can’t go wrong with the Merlin.
Suitable from: Birth to four years
Dimensions: H64 x W43 x D66cm