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Car seats

Am I looking for a unicorn??

13 replies

thinpigeon · 15/10/2019 23:13

I am looking for a car seat for my small 15m old. She has just hit 9kg. I would like a seat that rotates for strapping the child in, will be suitable for extended rear facing and has a top tether. I can only find one option currently but it is nearly £400 and only rear faces until the age of 2, neither of which is ideal. Our car has underfloor storage that the manufacturer says can not be filled so a stabilising leg is not an option... We have isofix but I would be happy to use a belt to strap in if necessary

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 15/10/2019 23:28

Yes you are I'm afraid :) not all of that exists in the same seat.

Why is it you want top tether? I can see the benefits of all the other requests but I'm not sure about that one. As you have found, the only rotating seat with top tether is the axissfix plus which only rear faces to 86cm. However, if your dd is small for her age, this may last. Try to measure her height and follow centile up in red book. You might also find a suitable seat if you go for one which is only rear facing to 13kg. At her size, this will probably get her to about age 3. You'd have to turn forwards after that. But this could be an option as 13kg seats need less stabilisation than seats for larger children, and as the seats normally go to 18kg forward facing, height isn't as much of an issue.

With non fillable storage boxes, you need either a seat without a leg, or one with a long leg that can be extended right to the floor of the box. I would need to have a look and see if I can find which have this.

Seats without legs are the Joie belted seats, and the britax two way elite. None of these are rotating though.

thinpigeon · 15/10/2019 23:31

Top tether purely because of the storage boxes. We tried a Joie 360 but the leg came to the hinge of the storage box so we couldn't open it to extend the leg to the floor. Does that make sense?

OP posts:
thinpigeon · 15/10/2019 23:34

@BertieBotts thanks for your quick reply!

OP posts:
NameChange30 · 15/10/2019 23:40

Does it really have to be a swivel seat? There are other (non-rotating) seats which are easy to get a child in and out of. (The Two Way Elite springs to mind.) If you can't use a support leg in your car, you could get a seat which braces on the seat in front instead. This would give you more options.

Are you anywhere near a branch of the In Car Safety centre? They are excellent.

thinpigeon · 15/10/2019 23:54

@NameChange30 I'm pretty sold on the swivel seat, it just seems like the best option as I struggle with back pain at the best of times and trying to wrestle DD into a car seat at 90 degrees seems like it would be challenging. That said, I will have a look at the seat you mentioned, and the Safety Centre, thank you.

OP posts:
NameChange30 · 16/10/2019 00:02

The In Car Safety centre (or similar independent rear facing car seat retailer) can try different seats in your car, for example you might find that there are other rotating seats with the support leg in a slightly different position that could be extended to the bottom of the storage box.

BertieBotts · 16/10/2019 08:26

OK stop the press - I may have found one - Apramo All Stage. HOWEVER, it's expensive. Your car MUST be on their fitting list. It's a combo seat which is usually not the best (particularly as a booster). Apramo is a little known brand. I couldn't find much info about them, and the ADAC result for this seat is not good - the most detailed breakdown I can find is here:

Sorry, this probably just confuses things further. Blush

The rest of my post describes what I found before I saw this one :)

The in car safety centre won't fit any seat with a leg into a car with storage boxes regardless of what the manufacturer says. So you will be more restricted by their policy, even though they stock more seats.

Do you have isofix in the middle seat? That could work, some legs can be fitted over a hump, or a seatbelted 25kg seat in the middle seat. In car safety centre or another ERF specialist could advise here.

You might have to compromise on swivel or length of rear facing. I don't know that you'll get both, as all the swivel seats which RF to 18kg use a leg. (See above - but this is still rare). The maxi cosi ones (two FF only, two RF to 87cm - average 2y, but goes by height) are the only (well known brand) ones which don't use this. This seat is £275 on Kiddies' Kingdom, cheaper than MC/JL. There is also the (extortionate) Axissfix air, which is RF to and then FF with airbags, which apparently(?) reduce the risk of FF - might be worth a look.

Besafe izi twist may be worth a look. The legs are pulled out to a wider angle (more towards front of car) so may fit in front of storage box. It might also be long enough to go to the bottom. But again, it's not cheap. Besafe is a respected brand in the car seat world though. Cybex Sirona Z may also have a long leg - again pricey as a combo (maybe check other Cybex seats, as some of them are affordable, and GB Vaya, which is the same company). Britax does not allow this and Joie (and presumably Nuna) generally are too short to fit.

Looking at just 9kg at 15 months, your DD probably won't reach 13kg until just about her third birthday, so a combo 13kg RF / 18kg FF seat might be OK for her, if you're OK turning her at three. Unfortunately the two maxi cosi ones definitely go on height rather than weight. If she's on the same centile for height as she is for weight that only gets you to about 2.3. If she's on a higher centile for height, less than that. But if she's on the 9th she might get to about 2.6 and on the 2nd she might get to almost 3. You'd have to measure her and take a gamble on it. Personally, I'm OK with FF at 3, but I know not everyone is. If you look at the data from Sweden most children are turned at either 3.3 or 3.9, around half of their 3 year olds are forward facing, and they have very low death rates for children in cars. But obviously, rear facing is still safer for as long as possible.

So non swivel options:

Axkid move/minikid (ERF to 25kg) have long support legs which can fit to the bottom of a storage box, if your car manufacturer approves this. Not swivel, just RF. But fairly low sides so may be easier to get LO in without turning.

As mentioned above, Britax Two Way Elite or Diono Radian 5 brace on front seat, so can fit without a support leg. Not swivel, but RF to 25kg - also low sided.

Worth noting if you go for one of the 25kg seats she may be too little to fit the smallest harness position, if she's also shorter than average. 18 months might be a more realistic age. But if she is tall/average and slim then you might be OK to go into them already.

You could look at Joie seatbelt fitted seats - Every Stage, Stages etc. But these are even more annoying than a normal non swivel seat to use because the seatbelt covers the gap to put the child into.

If you want to fit a support leg to the bottom of the storage box, this must be approved in your car manual. It may be referred to as a "stay".

Hope this is helpful and not just more confusing.

NameChange30 · 16/10/2019 08:32

"The in car safety centre won't fit any seat with a leg into a car with storage boxes regardless of what the manufacturer says."

Sorry, I didn't realise that.
I'm in awe of your knowledge Bertie Grin
You don't sell car seats for a living by any chance?!

OP I have nothing useful to add except that if you join the FB group Car Seat Advice UK and post the info they need (including which car you have) someone might know whether there are any swivel seats with support leg that can be fitted in your car.

BertieBotts · 16/10/2019 15:21

Not yet :o I interviewed for a job selling them, at which point I massively stepped up my research (from a vague interest to a full on passion I would say) in order to just go fully into it with my whole self, but mainly it's a hobby. Didn't get the job unfortunately but not because of my lack of car seat knowledge Wink it just wasn't the right timing. I haven't severed ties with that place and I had brilliant fun/learned loads more doing a trial shift so may look back into it in the future when DS2 is a bit older.

Most of this is me searching various things (that FB group is one of them) in order to bring the collective knowledge together, but some of it is stuff I've just picked up from being interested in car seats (I know, most people have interesting hobbies...) and talking to people plus reading forums, reviews, going to look at new seats at shops/baby shows etc when they come out. DS1 just turned 11 and I've been broadly following developments in the car seat world since then. I think it's much more confusing to go into it today without that background, it was a little bit simpler back then with less legislation to contend with. But much better seats on offer now.

NameChange30 · 16/10/2019 15:33

I'd buy a car seat from you Smile
Maybe you could start your own business selling them!

BertieBotts · 16/10/2019 17:13

There's not that much money in it unfortunately. Most businesses have to stock other baby/child products in order to survive.

thinpigeon · 16/10/2019 17:48

Thank you so, so much for taking the time to share your knowledge. I didn't realise there were so many options to consider so definitely some more research to do. But thank you!

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 16/10/2019 19:50

Oh that's fine :o it's my twisted idea of fun Blush

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