On Saturday I was desperate for a car seat “shopping” trip. If only I had won the lottery….ha ha
I decided that a trip to Kiddicare was in order, it’s been a few months since I was there last. I wish I lived closer! Peterborough is about 30-40 minutes away depending on traffic, not horrible, but too far to just pop up to every day. Trip went fine, my kids love the car so we didn’t have much problems there. Besides… I think I could do some really really long road trips in our new car..I just love it that much. ha ha
We arrived at Kiddicare in the afternoon and there was QUITE the cue in the car seat section, I think we waited more than 30 min for our number to pop up!
Not that I minded I was…well… in car seat heaven haha. I then got served and asked to see all the Extended Rear Facing seats (ERF), if he was surprised he made sure to cover it quick.
The very first seat we tried (all the seats are pictured above by the way) was the Britax Duelfix. We tried this seat last time we were here as well, that was a couple of months ago and wow.. Caitlyn has just grown like a weed!! Now she had completely outgrown the seat, her eyes/top of ears were level with the seat-shell, the seat’s headrest was touching her shoulders and the harness is dipping below her shoulders quite a lot.
This is the seat that also spins by the way. Like the Cybex Sirona it can also be rotated 360 degrees. It’s a really nice seat, comfy, compact, good recline – it’s just such a shame that it’s not go a higher headrest.
To be fair to Britax though my daughter is on a high percentile for hight, so for an average child (which is what they go for) it would still fit.
Caitlyn is 4 in January.
Just to show you the difference 6 months can make, here’s a comparison picture of the same seat. The red one is from our last visit, and she still had 3 slots to go on the headrest then:
She’s grown quite a bit!
The other seats we tried again was the Britax Max Fix 2. In this seat it was also quite easy to see how much she’s grown over the last few months. No wonder I am now buying clothing size 4-5 and even 5-6!
Not the most flattering image from Saturday’s trip (left) ha ha but it’s hard to take photos in a shop that is so full of people.
I have to constantly make sure I don’t get anyone else’s children in the picture or other parents obviously.
6 months ago her head was just at the top of the Max Fix 2, now she’s over the top and the headrest is almost at the top position, I think I had 1 or 2 clicks to go, I don’t remember. The straps were here just on her shoulders. They are allowed to dip below the shoulders so she would still have a few months left in the seat I suspect. So technically if she made it to 4 she would have used the seat for exactly as long as Britax promises.
Another seat that I have actually never tried before is the Britax Multitech II.
Want to know something funny? It’s the exact same seat as the very popular Britax Evolva. Except this one rear faces to 25 kg while the Evolva is Forward Facing only.
It’s a really nice and snug seat, but sadly because it has to touch the seat-back, it offers next to no leg room for older children.
Take note that this isn’t in any way dangerous to the child (just look at the right hand picture how she just comfortably fold her legs. ) but I had problems buckling her in because it was so little room.
So an excellent seat for small children, but for an almost 4-year-old I wouldn’t have bought it.
I’m sure it would have been a little different in the car, I have friends who has this seat and do like it, but like I said I wish they would update the model.
3rd up is the Britax Max Way. This is a very popular seat as well, it’s actually on of the cheapest of the Swedish ERF seats (£215) and for the price you do get a lot out of it. It rear faces to 25 kg and the headrest can go quite far up so you would in general get around 5 years in this seat.
I really like the Max Way, and it can be installed with a bit more leg room as well which makes it nice for older children. It’s got a wedge you can buy if you think the recline needs to be better (note that it’s on recline 1 here so quite upright). It’s nice and snug and here the headrest also isn’t so bent on the sides, so even though she had 2 slots to go before the top one even at the top one she would have had a few months left on the last setting I think.
I tried Henry in it as well to give a comparison, he’s 2 years old.
Henry wasn’t too impressed with trying out seats, he preferred to eat he’s lunch and run after a balloon bless him…
Then finally….my baby. I have a special connection with this car seat, because it’s the first car seat I bought in England that was ERF after I kept getting told there was no such thing here, it was illegal, there were different cars in the rest of Europe – yeh… there were plenty of odd and plain out bullshit spewing from the random high street “specialists”. And yes I am actually angry that people can be so daft as to think it’s OK to stand there as a specialist trained car seat fitter in for example Mothercare or Halfords and tell a customer something like this… Because it’s plain out wrong and they should know better.
Take some pride in your work, CARE about your costumer’s child/children, do some research on your own time to make sure you are actually stating the facts!!
Grrrrr…. I get so angry….
Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked sorry.
It’s a wonderful seat, it’s one of the seats in its class that offer the most leg room, something some people are really concerned about, so the ever asked questions; “where do they put their legs??” is usually never asked with this seat I feel. Hehe
It is however a bit bulky, but all in all it comes down to taste. BeSafe is a Norwegian brand so I was pulled towards it the moment I saw it just because of that. It also comes in many colours, and I’m a sucker for patterns.
Caitlyn has outgrown this seat, she had when we moved house, because I tried her in it then before I sent ours to the skip, but I had to try her in it again to see if she did “fit” in it at all.
I think that if BeSafe didn’t have the thicker padding on the shoulder straps, but had something like the Britax TWE instead or the Max Way, it would actually fit better. As it is I couldn’t even get a finger between her shoulder and the headrest, and she did complain it was digging into her. Again she’s a very tall child, and the seat only promises up to 18 kg which is an average 4-year-old.
She’s only 16 kg so it is a shame she outgrew it, but I have tall children, not much I can do about that sadly.
IS THERE A SAFETY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM?
The answer to that is actually both yes and no. Of the seats I tried three of them are PLUS tested.
- Britax Max Fix 2
- Britax Max Way
- BeSafe Izi Kid
What is the PLUS test? Quote below from VTI Sweden.
The Plus Test is a voluntary test, inheriting thoughts about important protection of head and neck from an older national child restraint approval.
In a Plus Test, the forces subjected to a child’s neck in a frontal collision are measured. The Plus Test is an additional test carried out on seats designed for the Swedish market.
This form of testing is not conducted anywhere else in Europe and is not included in an E-approval. An E-approved child restraint system meets all the statutory requirements for sale in Sweden, but a seat that has passed the Plus Test gives the child additional safety. A seat that has passed the Plus Test is E-approved for installation in every seat row in a car. Such seats ensure that child passengers are not subjected to life-threatening high neck forces in a frontal collision.
The Plus Test has been developed through collaboration between VTI, NTF (Swedish National Society for Road Safety), Folksam, SIS (Swedish Standards Institute), Volvo and representatives of manufacturers of child restraint systems.
The other two seats; Britax Multi – Tech 2 and the Britax Duelfix haven’t passed this test because for a car seat to pass the test it needs to be tested in every single way the seat offers. The MT2 and the Duelfix can both forward face making it impossible for them to pass the test as no FF (forward facing) car seat can pass the test. This is because the forces subjected to the child’s neck in a frontal impact is too great, and this is the same reason why it’s recommended to rear face your child for as long as possible pref. up to at least 4 years old.
But even if the other two seats, or other rear facing seats, haven’t passed the Swedish PLUS test, it doesn’t make them unsafe, far from it. Any, and I stress the word ANY, rear facing seat is going to offer better protection in a crash than any forward facing seat. As long as the seat is compatible with your car and correctly installed.
ARE WE HOME YET??!!
After I was done drooling at car seats and subjecting my eldest to try out all the HBBers (High Back Booster) they had we decided it was time to get something to eat and get home. It’s soo annoying that they are and were having a huge sale…sigh… I’m not sure what I would have bought, but I would have bought something! haha
We decided to go for dinner at the shameless KFC…hehee
What can I say I happen to love the food, yes it’s bad for you, but…it’s just so good! When we got there I chose a table, which was a problem because the 3 kids decided on a different one…Caitlyn decided on the “bar” (should I be worried..?) and Henry? Well..he decided on the neighbour table where there was already a family! To make it worse he tried to steal some chips from them as well!
Luckily with much hurried speed I managed to grab him and plunk him into the baby seat and strap him in. SAFE. phew
I then decided to put Caitlyn in the other seat, but she was very happy at the…well…”bar”… in the middle of the room. So any try in getting her to come over and sit down failed.
She finally did come over, but had the melt down of all meltdowns (3 year-olds right???) screaming the place down and going limp on the floor… Not my favourite things to participate in…
The father of the family next to us looked like a man who likes to be a form of..authority. He was literally barking orders to their oldest who I presume was around 3 as well.
I’m sure he didn’t approve of my gentler parenting approach.
After a few minutes of chaos, Caitlyn ended her tantrum and declared she needed the toilet.
Food arrived and all was well. The kids ate, we ate, the floor ate….and then we went home.
During the trip home the backseaters all fell asleep! (silent yay!) And me and hubby enjoyed a quiet home journey with some romantic car music and small talk.
Linking Up To:
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, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.