Challenge two. The installation. The hardest part of this process was getting the actual instructions out from their cleverly placed pouch in the back of the seat. I was relieved to find an easy to understand set of pictures and clear instructions inside. I was still a little confused whether this model was suitable for cars without isofix, but ours has it so didn't worry too much about this point, but am sure if you're going to make a major purchase such as this you'd have checked its ok for your car first!
The seat is lightweight but looks both sturdy and comfy, with room for little one to grow- just as well as the seat fits up to 4years. We popped bubba in the seat to adjust the headrest which was easily done, then went to try it in the car. The isofix clips mean that the seat fixes in very easily, much more so than the isofix base of our previous seat. However once it was installed and we went to clip the belt across we found the seat belt clip had got stuck behind the seat! Hence we needed to work out how to get it out again.
After some confusion we managed to release the isofix but it was hard to get the seat belt clip out enough from the seat- beware you may need another pair of hands to help if you also have a smaller car! The main difference with this seat is a lack of a 5point harness and instead there's a safety restraint cushion that your cars seat belt fits across.
I think I would want to read the safety reviews to check this was as safe, if not safer than the standard car seats. But I am assuming that you'll probably be able to quote the vital stats of many a seat before committing to such a purchase.
Challenge 3. The trial. Well its been 3 weeks now, and having satisfied myself the seat was indeed safe (5 star rear impact, 4 star front) we've been on several trips. It is noticeably easier, and quicker, getting him in and out without faffing with a harness. Especially with a baby that hates being strapped into anything. There's also a handy place to clip toys, minimizing the risk of toy-overboard-hysteria.
The only challenges involve leaning over bubba to clip in the seat belt without leaning on him. That and trying to keep the restraint in as he pushes it away. As with many baby products, if you had more hands it would help. Alternatively, bribe the husband with a trip to the model train museum and all hands are on deck!
I did find it hard to know if the restraint was in far enough, and wasn't sure if the seatbelt should click to lock, but felt that little my little man was safe as houses, especially with the use of both seatbelt and isofix to secure him and his seat. The only other mild gripe is that the seat can't be reclined once bubba is installed, so its either sleep sitting up (which didn't bother bubba given the cosy headrest to snuggle up against) or travel in recline mode.
Overall I would highly recommend this seat to others- particularly for those with little ones that hate being strapped in, and will benefit from some extra room.
I was sent this seat for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own. I did not receive payment for this review