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which review - multimac

3 replies

mummysleepy · 28/06/2011 21:43

has anyone seen the which review of multimac carseats? Was it positive? We are thinking of getting one but its so expensive I would like to see some independant reviews first.
TIA Smile

OP posts:
alibubbles · 29/06/2011 08:46

I hope this is permitted!

Multimac on test
Multimac ease of use results

Seatbelt fixing screws are replaced by eyebolts
Preparing the vehicle
The Multimac 1260 is much more complicated to install than a conventional child car seat, so we would not recommend this seat for anyone who needs to transfer child seats between vehicles regularly.

One difficulty is that, as a part of the installation procedure, the adult seat belt fixing screws being replaced by eyebolts. This requires tools and some degree of mechanical skill and for most it will mean finding an appropriately qualified installer, which Multimac can recommend.

It?s also important to note that you should notify your car insurance provider if you use a Multimac seat because you?re modifying the car by increasing the number of seats.

Installing the seat in a prepared vehicle
The user manual is very clear and easy to understand, but the seat is bulky and heavy (35kg), so you?ll probably need two people to install it.

A set of straps and ratchet mechanisms firmly fix the seat to the vehicle. The integral harnesses are height-adjustable and easily adaptable for children between one and 10 years old without re-threading the belts (see Figure 3). When buckling up the child, the harness tightens and loosens easily via the centre strap.

You can?t use a conventional infant carrier with the Multimac, since neither Isofix attachments nor three-point or lap belts are provided. However, Multimac supplies its own infant carrier, the Minimac, which allows you to carry babies (newborn to 13kg).

Installing the Minimac baby seat is complicated as it involves threading a metal plate at the bottom of the shell through a slot in the Multimac before the Minimac shell locks into position.

We believe there?s a high possibility of a user getting this wrong, which could compromise crash safety. We think the best option is to ask Multimac or a recommended installer to show you how to do this.

Space and seat geometry

Minimac is more upright than a conventional infant carrier
For newborns, the Minimac is fairly upright compared with conventional infant carriers, raising a risk that a sleeping child may slump forward, which may compromise safety and comfort levels.

Similarly the geometry of the main Multimac seat for older children is relatively upright, so it is not very supportive if your child falls asleep.

There is plenty of space for smaller children, but when we tried the seat with children over about six years old, they found the seats too narrow. This may not be such an issue with the wider 1320 model, though this can only be used in wider vehicles.

Given the space constraint and the lack of side impact protection for older children, we cannot recommend the Multimac 1260 for children over six years old.

Front crash tests
All in all, this seat offered satisfactory protection in our frontal crash, when installed correctly.

The loads measured for the 18-month-old (rear-facing in the Group 0+ Minimac seat) were low, indicating a minimal risk of injury.

For all the forward-facing dummies the measured loads were acceptable, regardless of size ? meaning while a child in such a crash would be shaken up and probably bruised, the risk of serious injury isn?t high.

Side crash results
The Q1.5 dummy is the largest that can be used in a Group 0+ seat, so this represents the worst case scenario. The Minimac seat is thrown violently towards the car body, but it is very effective in containing the child, preventing any part of it from coming into contact with the car.

Three-year-old dummy with optional YLVA headrest with side impact protection
Our three-year-old would clearly be shaken up by the force of this sort of crash, but the harness and side impact protection are effective in preventing the dummy?s head from contacting the car body.

Three-year-old dummy without headrest (no side impact protection)
During the crash, the dummy is thrown sideways and bumps uncontrolled into the vehicle door. The loads measured indicate a high risk of injury.

Six-year-old dummy with optional YLVA headrest with side impact protection
The child is thrown sideways by the force of the crash, but the side impact protection is effective in preventing the head from hitting the car door frame and window, and crash loads experienced by the child are acceptable.

Side impact protection for older children
We found side impact protection for a child of three, without the optional headrest is inadequate. And we know from testing other child car seats that if we were to test this scenario with a larger (Q6) dummy, the increased weight with the same limited protection would generate an even higher injury risk. So we don?t recommend using the seat without the optional headrest and side impact protection.

The optional head rest is only designed for use with children up to 22kg in weight, making it unsuitable for children older than about six years old. This means older children must travel without side impact protection, which we also believe exposes them to an unacceptable risk of injury in a side crash.

We see the Multimac as an innovative alternative that might suit you if you have a larger than average brood. But it is quite complicated to use and won?t suit everyone.

On the face of it, the four seat Multimac does offer a flexible and unique solution to the problem of transporting a larger than average family. It may suit you if you have three or four children who are all close in age. And, despite the initial outlay, it could be a more economical option than buying a new car and four individual seats.

However, it lacks the flexibility of a large MPV because it is not suitable for older children, and doesn?t leave an alternative rear seat space for them.

Not suitable for all ages
When installed correctly the 1260 four-seat model worked well to protect babies from newborn up to 13kg, using the Minimac infant carrier and for children up to 22kg (about six years old), in our severe front and side impacts, when fitted with the optional YLVA headrest.

Not well suited to older children
However, we found side impact protection without the YLVA headrest inadequate, so we don?t recommend using the seat without it. As this headrest is designed only for children up to 22kg, this means we can?t recommend its use for children heavier than this; they may also struggle for space.

Ask about installation
If you do buy this seat, we recommend you ask Multimac (or its recommended fitting agent) to prepare your car for it and show you how to install it correctly.

You should also inform your insurer of your intention, since using this seat counts as a modification to the vehicle.

Should you decide the Multimac isn't for you but you still need a child seat, read our full test results at

sazm · 30/06/2011 00:58

thats quite scary actually,so my (just turned) 5yo daughter would have to use it without side impact protection and also my son (just turned 7yo) and my 2yo would use it with the side impact protection,but theres no recline/ support when he is sleeping,
a LOT of money, for something thats only really safe if your kids are all under 5yo!
much better IMO to save the money you have available for the mulltimac and buy a different car!

mummysleepy · 30/06/2011 21:19

yes interesting reading.
thanks alibubbles Smile

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