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Car seats

Lie flat car seats + Uppababy

8 replies

Kateblue · 10/03/2021 14:57

I’m looking at getting a lie flat first size car seat and wonder if anyone can advise?

Options currently considering but open to suggestions:
◦ Maxi Cosi Marble £229 - haven’t read any complaints about it other than it’s quite heavy.
◦ Joie iLevel £200. Heard the headrest isn’t great.
◦ Nuna Arra £315 with discount. Lighter weight, I like the natural materials but covers not washable?
◦ Cybex cloud Z £539 with base. Really expensive but sounds good. Would only consider if much safer?

Reason for choosing lie flat (although I know they’re not completely flat) is we like to go on holiday a 5 hour drive away. Probably won’t go until baby is at least 4 months old, could be a lot longer though with covid around. Is it worth getting one of the above for potentially only a couple of 5 hour journeys? We’d stop twice on the journey most likely anyway.

Is there a much difference in safety between the options above? Or would a non lie flat be safer? Do I need to pay to look on Which? To view proper safety comparisons?

Size wise, I fear baby will be big, would any of the above be more suitable if baby is big?

Also am I right in thinking all of the above would unofficially fit on Uppababy Cruz V2 with adapter? Don’t necessarily think we’d use this option much but it would be nice to have the option for quick trips out if baby is sleeping? Would consider the Mesa too because doesn’t need adapters.

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 10/03/2021 16:51

Hello :)

The Cybex is not a huge amount safer than the Joie i-Level. (0.3 points better via OAMTC, which is like the Austrian version of Which?) The others haven't been through independent testing yet, but are probably comparable with the Joie - Joie and Nuna are the same company so I wouldn't be surprised if it's almost an identical seat. Also, you can't recline the Cybex in the car, so it might not be useful for what you want to do. What these lie flat functions are useful for is when you've been out and about and your baby is sleeping but you want to bring the seat into the house. Do bear in mind that there is no specific research on them, so the 2 hour guidance (30 mins in the first 4 weeks) does technically still apply although you can of course use your common sense.

Once baby is 4+ months old, it doesn't really matter if you have a normal car seat or a lie flat one as they will well be able to manage the angle of a car seat for up to 2 hours at a time, so if you're stopping twice this will be absolutely fine. What I'd probably prioritise instead is one that has nice inserts for a good head position for babies, and check whether you have sloping seats in your car - if so, consider a car seat with a base that can tilt, rather than a reclining seat. The only three tilting bases I know of on the market at the moment are Britax Flex Base (takes Britax Babysafe i-size 2), Joie i-Advance base (takes Joie Gemm, i-Gemm, i-Gemm 2 and i-Snug - I think the i-Snug has the nicest inserts out of all of these for head position), or Graco Snugride.

You can look up the safety scores on OAMTC although you will need to get your browser to translate from German. Lower numerical scores are better.

Those are all pretty roomy seats so should last a while :) With a big baby, I would recommend being wary of i-size seats which have a height limit somewhere less than 80cm. If they have no height limit, or the height limit is higher, this is usually fine.

All the seats you mentioned plus the Joie ones I mentioned will go onto the Uppababy using the standard/universal car seat adapter. Britax will go onto Uppababy using a Britax adapter. Graco won't be compatible - they only go onto Graco pushchairs.

I think my favourite of all of these is the Britax one :) It also has a nice little "internal recline" which helps flatten the angle for younger babies which works really well. So although it's not got a lie flat function, it is still not a bad option. Quite a few other seats which don't necessarily recline also have features which flatten out the angle for younger babies, such as insert cushions, so the lie flat function may be a bit of a gimmick. The Cybex is an absolutely lovely seat but the price is quite something, especially considering it only lasts for the first 18 months or so.

Worth bearing in mind that any of the three which recline in the car take up more space in the car as well because of the shape of them. And the reclining seats all tend to be incredibly heavy.

Kateblue · 12/03/2021 18:35

Hi thank you so much for your reply! Sorry I meant to thank you sooner but not had chance to finish researching yet. I didn't know about the Britax and Joie tilting base options which seems like a good idea. I like that Britax has their safety scores listed on their website whereas the others don't seem to! Hadn't really looked at Britax before as it doesn't seem to be stocked in as many places.

The Britax works out a fair bit more expensive than the Joie options including the iLevel - do you think it's worth it?

OP posts:
BertieBotts · 12/03/2021 19:24

Ah do they? I didn't know that, how useful!

I would say that in general the Britax products are much higher quality than Joie and this is behind the price difference. Joie are great at offering safety and/or premium features on a budget, but Britax are more of a premium brand. They have been in the car seat business for a really long time, they were involved in the invention and standardisation and legalisation process for seatbelts and then isofix and more recently the newer car seat safety standards. I'd say they are probably one of the best companies in the world for car seats - that's why they can get away with charging more. Their materials are generally high quality for example and they don't really do gimmicks.

Will you have time before your due date to wait for shops to open up a bit and have a look at the two different models in any store? They are both popular, so you should be able to find them quite easily.

Kateblue · 13/03/2021 14:06

Thank you, I managed to get on the OAMTC website and the Nuna Pipa Next is rated even better than the Britax one. Have you got any thoughts on that? I like that it's about 2kg lighter in weight and has a bigger hood. I guess it comes down to whether the positioning for a newborn is good?

Yes baby is due in June so a look in a store might be a good idea! Do they usually let you try them in the car before buying?

OP posts:
xxhetty · 13/03/2021 14:28

I have the joie but still pregnant so yet to use with baby. However I really like it much cheaper than the cubes and I got a deal for 150 in a sale including base. Feels very sturdy and looks comfortable we got a free silver cross car seat with our pram and our joie seems a lot better. It has lie flat in the car and looks really easy to use. Also fits with the maxi cosi adaptors so can fit most prams and has a really long hood so can pull right over baby. Like I said I haven't tested with baby yet but really pleased with it so far and has great safety ratings reasonably priced and lasts up to around 15 months.

xxhetty · 13/03/2021 14:28

*cybex

crazycatlady7 · 13/03/2021 14:59

We have the cybex and I loved it- and the Uppababy vista pram- with adaptors we could pop DS from car and lay him out if he was asleep- fantastic for quick shops and less hassle than sorting the pram out. Also meant if he was asleep I could bring him in and lay him out for a while.

PerfectPinecone · 13/03/2021 15:48

I have bought the maxi cosi jade. Not sure if it fits with your pushchair but it is totally lie flat and can be used overnight. I bought a maxi cosi pushchair so will use it as our pram. Effectively it's 3 in 1 for us so was well worth it

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