If you're opting for a shield seat rather than one with straps, the Cybex Pallas M-Fix is a winner
Once your little one is out of the newborn stage, you can start to explore options other than your standard five-point harness seat. One such option is to buy a car seat with an impact shield. Instead of straps, your child is held in place by a cushioned bar which sits across their torso, and holds them steady in the event of a crash. One benefit of impact shields is that faffing around with straps becomes a thing of the past, however, we’d recommend reading more on the safety of impact shields before making a final decision.
If you’re interested in looking at shield seats, we’d recommend the Cybex Pallas M-fix, which can be used from nine months all the way up to 12 years (9 to 36kg). As well as looking extremely stylish in a choice of seven colour options, the Pallas M-fix feels ultra secure, giving you peace of mind as well as a great-looking back seat. It’s worth mentioning that this seat is front-facing only – so while it can hold a nine-month-old, we’d recommend waiting until your child hits 15 months.
The seat attaches using Isofix, with the seatbelt also holding it in place for double the protection. The shield can take some getting used to if you’ve always used a harness, but after a bit of practice we found it just as convenient to use, especially when getting your child out of the car (it releases almost instantly). Yes, it can be a challenge if your child is in total plank mode, but not significantly more so than a harness system.
The shield is cushioned and spreads across your child’s torso, which feels very safe but doesn’t leave them much room to play. They shouldn’t wear any bulky clothing for instance—the padded bar would quickly overheat—and if you rely on toys to keep your baby entertained, the lack of arm space could be an issue.
This aside, the Pallas M-fix is ultra comfortable, with lots of padding, soft plush, and adjustable head support. The impact shield can get grubby quickly, but washes easily and, as an added bonus, even prevents the majority of crumbs and spills from reaching the fabric of the seat. Nevertheless, if snacks are a staple of your journeys, we might suggest choosing one of the darker colours which can hide a multitude of sins (and biscuits).
At £224 at the time of review, the Pallas’s 11-year lifespan is excellent value for money. Even aside from the many years of use, this seat is a high-quality product which is extremely secure and feels very luxurious. We’d recommend checking the measurements of your car, as it does end up being on the large side, but if you opt for a car seat with an impact shield, you can’t get much better than this.
Suitable from: Nine months to 12 years
Dimensions: H71.5 x W56 x D43cm