Car seats are the bane of my life at the moment. We currently own 4, 2 for dude and 2 for bear, one in each car. My parents look after the boys whilst im at work and so it was inevitable with the school runs, we would need 2 more seats for their car.
For bear we eventually decided on a group 1/2/3 seat so that the seat could grow with him and we wouldn’t have to pay out for yet another seat. Although we are huge advocates of extended rear facing, it was just not feasible in my parent’s small car nor did we have the funds to purchase another ERF.
We bought the Joie Elevate through www.very.co.uk for a reasonable £49.99. When it arrived it was easy to assemble, the booster base simply slotted onto the high back.
- The seat is well cushioned providing a comfortable seat for the child. It was also easily removable in order to put it through the wash.
- Now the weather is warming up, the mesh sides have been great. I always find that car seats make children warm up very quickly and this airflow through the seat definitely keeps them cooler.
- The 5 point harness so far has been great, I get so fed up with straps that constantly twist but these have been easy to buckle with.
- Once installed the car seat is very secure with the 3 point car seat belt. Theres no movement with the seat and I felt confident that it will protect my son.
- It has a handy cup or snack holder which is definitely a plus for us as bear is constantly dropping any type of bowl I give to him in the car.
The Cons (There aren’t many!):
- The seat is installed with a seat belt, I much prefer the security of isofix and an option for this would have been great.
- The release button to lengthen the straps is tricky to get to but tighening is easy.
- Although marketed from 9 months, i believe it is not suitable for a child this young. It is much more suited from 2 years onwards. Babies under this age still nap in the car quite often and there is no recline with the seat meaning that when the child falls asleep their head flops forward. Not only is this a suffocation risk (chin on chest, blocking airway) but it is so uncomfortable for the child.
Overall Bear has been very comfortable in this seat other than when he falls asleep. Its a highly affordable car seat and as it grows with your child its also cost effective. It is listed as fitting most popular cars and it is light and easy to transfer between vehicles.
I would definitely recommend the seat for any toddler over 2 years.
More information is available here and it is available to buy in most retailers.
Disclaimer – All views in this post are mine and in no way affiliated with the company or brand.
I’ve always been passionate about car seat safety. I have bought the best car seats I could afford to ensure y children are safe in the car at all times. Bear at 19 months is still rear facing in his Britax dual fix and dude uses an isofix high back booster and will continue to do so till he is 12.
4 out of 5 car seats in the uk are installed incorrectly and at present there isn’t a great deal of support out there to help with this. A company in the states have developed a great new piece of software built into a group 0 car seat and base to help with this problem. It has technology to level itself, create tension and ensure that the seat is correctly fitted at all times. It can relay the information straight back to smartphone app.
I think this is great and will hopefully go on to be sold in the uk. Car seat safety is key to prevent serous injury and deaths and technology is advancing to help with this.
Here’s a great video showing the seat in action
I am always asked why we have forked out for 2 extended rear facing car seats. I get told I could have easily picked up a much cheaper seat so that Bear could see where he is going. Now before I explain our reasons, I would just like to point out that everybody has the right to choose their own carseats, all car seats are tested to the minimum standards and I am not judging anyone that has a forward facing seat for their little one.
All I wish is that the there was more information and explanation of extended rear facing out there for parents to make an informed choice.
I have come across many videos explaining the differences between forward facing and rear facing. It’s well worth taking a few minutes to watch this video.
Sweden had some of the lowest mortality rates and serious injuries in children when involved in car accidents. Why? Children legally have to be rear facing until 4 years old. It is 5 times safer for children under 5 to be rear facing when in the car.
Their skeltons are not mature enough to withstand the forces put upon them when in an accident. In forward facing alot of the forces are driven towards spine and neck whereas rear facing this is far less.
I have been asked whether the forces would cause broken legs due to the appearance that the childs legs are scrunched up against the seat.
My answer to this: I would rather my child had broken legs that can be fixed rather than serious neck or spine injuries that may cause long term, unrepairable damage or even death.
Alot of mums I have spoken to are concerned about the price of a rear facing seat. The carseats are becoming more and more available in the UK and you can pick them up from around £120. This is roughly similar to some of the popular forward facing car seats from Britax and Maxi Cosi.
I have previously written a review about the first rear facing seat we purchased, the Maxi Cosi Milofix. You can read that here. I would not personally recommend this seat.
We curently have the Britax Dualfix and Joie stages.
I will write a review of both of these seats soon.
Both are available to buy at major car seat sellers such as Mothercare, Halfords and Toys R Us.
For more information on rear facing here are some great websites to look at.