Britax Two Way Elite – A Toddler’s Point of View

UPDATE:

ANNOUNCEMENT! The Britax Two Way Elite HAS CHANGED!

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Happy Holidays!  :D Our holiday started off with a bang, and we are currently cruising around in a 5-door hatchback Fiat Punto 2003 model! Not to worry, hubby is OK, but our car is not, so my wonderful father in law has lent us he’s stepson’s car for a while. So with no further ado, here is the Britax Two Way Elite in a Fiat Punto 2003, and it’s in the front seat! It is a convertible car seat that rear faces to 25KG, and is also now the only manufactured seat that harnesses to 25KG forward facing, as the Britax Xtensafix is no longer in production.  I do however strongly advocate for using it rear facing as it’s outgrown at the same time both ways!

This is one of the most “eye deceiving” seats I have come across.

Because when you look at the seat from the side/front, and there’s no one in it, it actually doesn’t look like much. A lot of people have said that they felt it didn’t seem to offer much SIP (side impact protection) because it looks so narrow. Well…. I’m happy to say that it has in fact been side impact tested (unlike a lot of other seats that “claim” to have ‘excellent SIP’ ) and scored 7/10. Woohoo!

I have installed this seat in the front of the car, now there is a chance that will change, but at the moment this is where it is currently installed. The 2003 Fiat Punto only has a ‘lap-belt’ in the middle seat, which is why I need to puzzle this seat or the BeSafe izi Plus in the middle. It’s not safe for me to sit in the middle with just a lap belt.

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Rock solid install, and it’s the quickest seat install I have ever come across!  It’s also got 3 belt paths, the one I am using which is for the reclined install. Then there is one for extra leg room and the “alternative” method for short seat belts. Can’t complain about that now can we? To put it short, this seat fit’s (as far as I’ve now read) any car.

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Any extended rear facing car seat installed in the front seat should ideally be bracing on the dashboard. However, seats like the Two Way Elite, that have no foot-prop, needs to be leaning on the dashboard.
If in doubt always have a look in your seat’s manual. Most of them have a section on how to install the seat in the front seat.

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Tethering while in the front seat, also looks a bit different.
You tether to the same anchor as you would in the back seat, but you then send the straps under the passenger seat and up in front to be clicked in, like the picture shows.

So the tethers go under the car’s passenger seat and connect to the car seat in front and the anchor points in the back.

Space wise I was quite surprised. The ‘Punto’ being a small car and all, but it has surprised me a lot. I actually love the car and I’m wondering if I should invest in such a small little thing as a ‘mummy car’, but then again I’m not totally done making babies, and then it would be too small! haha
Unless I can fit an infant carrier in the front and have two in the back….hmmmmmmm….. :p

Anyway… so yeah space wise!

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She looks very comfy, doesn’t she?

Now just to make a note, none of my children are allowed to keep hold of a ‘bobba’ while we drive, they drink and then I put it away, so yes there is a ‘bobba’ in the picture, that’s empty, but none the less it’s made of hard plastic and in a collision this can be fatal, not only for her but also for us others in the car.
So the fruit shoot was removed after I took the photo.

The focus ‘I wanted to have in this picture (above) is her legs. Because this is something that a lot, and I mean A LOT of og parents have some concerns about. So I wanted to give you some info there.
The legs bend in many ways when we are children. If you look at your toddler on the floor, or a baby, you often find them in the fascinating positions! haha

They are quite flexible and bendy by nature. A child will most likely be far more comfortable rear facing with legs like this, or legs like the very top image where she has them stretched up the back, or even thrown off to the sides. You can find them in a lot of weird poses! None the less, they will always have support for the legs, and they won’t struggle with things like their legs falling asleep from dangling over the edge of the seat, which is what happens a lot when you forward face and can’t reach the bottom of the floor.

It’s like sitting on a wall you know, dangling your legs over, and when you jump down, sometimes I experience some pains because your legs fell asleep? It’s the best way to describe it.
It’s important to remember that like I said, kids work differently than an adult, so what we picture to be uncomfortable, really isn’t there in a child in a lot of cases. However, if you put a thought into a child’s head that something will hurt, or something is scary, they will often copy it, and that goes for their legs while rear facing as well.

Another myth a lot of parents believe is that they can break their legs. Truth is that ofc a rear facing child can break their legs, we all can, we aren’t made of hard metal from the waist down….
But what is important is to know that no child will break their legs because they are rear facing, they would break them, if they do happen to break them, because of a different factor in a crash, not because they were purely rear facing.

It is, however, a very rare injury in a rear facing child, broken legs that are, but a very common injury in a forward facing child. This is something most people don’t either know or think about. And this has to do with the fact that a forward facing child is thrown forward (obviously..) and if you watch a crash test video, you will see that the legs get flung forward quite hard, and what will they hit? The front passenger seat…

Can it be avoided? Yes, in a lot of cases it could have been. How? By having the front passenger seat further away from the children in the back. A lot of you think that a rear facing car seat will take up all the space for the front seat, now this CAN be true, if the seat is not fitting the said car, BUT the fact is that a forward facing car seat takes up the same amount of space pretty much, because of the need for space between the child and the front seat.

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Another example of how she sits! haha

Another thing I really like about the TWE is that it has quite low sides.

This makes it very simple for her to get in and out of the car seat by herself.

Is that it has quite low sides. This makes it very simple for her to get in and out of the car seat by herself. She can do the same in her BeSafe izi Combi, but the sides are much higher, and so is the seat, it sits far higher above ground (which makes it excellent for younger children!) whilst the TWE and seats like it, are more suitable for older toddlers and children in that aspect. Just a personal opinion. Safety wise there is no difference between the two.

Is this now our main seat? No. I bought this seat for travel purposes actually. It’s so light and easy to install that it will be great to use as an extra seat for travel and in other people’s cars. Also, the Fiat Punto that we now are borrowing does not have Isofix, so I was unable to use her BeSafe as that one is Isofix. Henry is using he’s BeSafe izi Plus just fine in this car though, I will be writing a short review on that as well for this car.

I did try Henry in the TWE once it arrived though, and he does fit!
I will try to take some pictures of him in the car in it tomorrow and add, but for now, I have these cute ones taken inside.

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As you can see, the straps are just at his shoulders, if he was any shorter he wouldn’t fit the seat properly, and I do think they would sink a bit if he fell asleep, so I won’t be using this seat for him just yet.
I haven’t had a chance to actually measure his height and torso length, this is not something that is done in my part of the NHS here, so any length measuring is done in the home. hehe

Safe to say he’s not that excited about it! :p But I will have a go. It will be interesting to see because I was told by someone else that her daughter actually fit this seat just fine at 7 months because she has quite a large torso, so it can be done, though I wouldn’t recommend this seat for such young children, I generally wouldn’t go lower than around 15 months, which in many cases is when the infant seat is generally outgrown anyway.

So there it is, the TWE from a toddler’s perspective! If you own this seat or are thinking of buying it, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, I would love to hear about your experience and thought on this seat!
Also, any questions you may have I will try to answer to the best of my capability, and if I do not know the answer I will find it! hehe

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Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

#brilliantblogposts

UPDATE TO THE BRITAX TWO WAY ELITE CAR SEAT:

ANNOUNCEMENT! The Britax Two Way Elite HAS CHANGED!

Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, give-aways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breast feeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.