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Baby seats - travel systems

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by skempster, May 29, 2006.

  1. skempster
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    skempster Member

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    **Don't bother reading if baby/kid's stuff bores you senseless**

    We have been looking at baby seats and travel systems to fit into my car and in my wife's (Peugeot 206).

    We did quite like the Mamas and Papas 3 in 1 travel system but were very surprised when on trying to fit the Primo Vaggio car seat in my A3 yesterday the salesperson declared that the car seat wouldn't fit in the front "because of the sport seats" and nor in the back "because of the isofix" attachments....!

    What car seats/travel systems have people managed to successfully fit in their A3s?

    Our shortlist is now between the Bugaboo (with Maxi Cosi seat) or the Mothercare Trenton deluxe. Any one had any experience of these, both in terms of 1. fitting the car seat in front/back and also 2. fitting the main buggy bit in the boot?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I dunno what that salesman was on,but there's no problem with using non-isofix seats in the back of a Sportback,or the front for that matter.

    We've used all sorts of stuff,from the Graco bases that mothercare's own rear-facing childseats click into (saving you the bother of belting the seat in every time),to Britax forward facing toddler seats and my daughter's current seat,which uses the adult belt and looks like some sort of rally seat,with cup holders and arm-rests and everything.

    Never had an issue with any of them.

    It's all down to common sense,in my opinion.

    As long as you can get the seat to fix in solidly,you'll be fine.
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  3. skempster
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    skempster Member

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    Cheers for your comments Bowfer.

    I agree that I think the saleswoman was being a bit strict. She actually did manage to fit the Mamas and Papas car seat in the front and back of my car but she claimed that it wasn't as secure as it should be so said we should look elsewhere....

    That's good to hear the Graco base is ok as that's the one needed for the Mothercare stuff, like you said.

    Its been a revelation to me how few manufacturers do Isofix fittings for baby seats but they all say "we'll be releasing one soon". Even my wife's Pug 206 which is 5 yrs old has the Isofix bits!
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  4. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    No probs.

    Those Graco bases are an absolute godsend and worth every single penny.

    There's many a time we inwardly sniggered at friends,fighting to loop seatbelts around their babyseats,as we went 'click' and on our way. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    Really,the security of the bases,or any seats,is down to the brute strength of the person pulling the belt.

    As I keep telling the wife,the harder you pull,the better the result. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    PS - one bit of advice...
    Learn how to take the covers off BEFORE they're covered in puke...

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/vomit.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked2.gif
    #4
  5. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    This thread is well-timed for me - on Saturday week we've got a baby seat fitting at John Lewis for our Sportback. They've got Maxi Cosi and Mamas and Papas seats (both ISOFIX) lined up for us.

    Our baby is due at the end of August and so as well as the seat fitting, John Lewis are also going to help us make sure the pram/push chair we've chosen fits into the boot easily as well!

    I'll update this thread after the fitting.
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  6. skempster
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    skempster Member

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    Yes please let us know how you get on.

    Mamas and Papas don't seem to do ISOFIX though (for infant carriers - up to 9/12 months - they might do for larger baby seats from 9/12 months onwards) so not sure what they've got lined up for you. If you look on their website, they only do 1 infant carrier, which was the one that didn't fit my car (you should be ok if you don't have sport seats in the front though!). The mamas and papas salesperson told me they should start doing ISOFIX seats from Sept onwards.

    Maxi cosi are one of the few that do ISOFIX infant carriers, but you have to get a base unit that clicks in to the fixings (the seat doesn't click directly in).

    I think we will go Maxi cosi if we can.
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  7. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    This months Which magazine has just be delivered and it has a test on Child Car Seats.

    The best model for Children from 0kg was the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix (£160 with Easyfix base from John Lewis), with the Britax Cosy Tot Isofix (£200 from Halfords) in second place.

    They also suggested that you avoid the Mamas & Papas Alto (for Groups 1, 2 and 3) and the M & P Revo and they say these are hard to install and the belt routing is awkward and they are difficuly to secure in the car.
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  8. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    This months Which magazine has just be delivered and it has a test on Child Car Seats.

    The best model for Children from 0kg was the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix (£160 with Easyfix base from John Lewis), with the Britax Cosy Tot Isofix (£200 from Halfords) in second place.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    There's simply no need to spend that kind of money on car seats.

    Fine,if you've got it,but no-one we know paid anything like that for any of their seats.

    Nice to see Which are 'keeping it real'.
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  9. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying that you can get the same seats for less or that a different make of seat is cheaper.
    #9
  10. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Are you saying that you can get the same seats for less or that a different make of seat is cheaper.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Simply saying that Which have recommended seats which (sic) are outwith most people's pockets,especially when most people have more than one car and,therefore,need more than one seat.

    Why not give results for different price ranges ?

    Tests like that just make people worry that their cheaper seat is deficient in some way and,possibly,force them into debt at a time when their finances will be stretched as it is,because we all want what is best for our kids.

    You don't need ISOFIX and you don't need to spend £200,that's all I'm saying.

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  11. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    All I was saying was the information from the Which magazine in case anyone was interested and does not subscribe to Which.

    As with most things in life there are always cheaper items available, but whether they are as good as the ones tested and recommended by Which I have no idea, having never had any children and therefore never had to look into or purchase any children's car seats.

    But there again Bowfer, if I said black was black you would no doubt find some reason to disagree with me !

    If you don't want to spend that sort of money on seats for your children that is entirely up to you. Some people may be glad to read about the Which recommendations.

    I know you don't have to pay for your car, but for those who do to spend £20k+ on a car and then skimp on child seats seems a little strange to me.
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  12. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    I know you don't have to pay for your car, but for those who do to spend £20k+ on a car and then skimp on child seats seems a little strange to me.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    As you say David,you've chosen not to have kids,so you probably don't realise the utter futility of spending loads of money on something that will be redundant in a very short time,and will end up cluttering up a cupboard.

    Still,as with cars,you'll always get people who pay more,assuming they're getting 'better'.
    #12
  13. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    Double post
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  14. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Be careful Bowfer, I said I had not had any children not that I had CHOSEN not to have any ! It's not necessarily the same thing.

    As far as cars are concerned the various Audis I have owned have been the most expensive I have purchased and have also been the best in all respects.
    #14
  15. arthurfuxake
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    arthurfuxake Controversial & Contradictive

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    [ QUOTE ]

    As you say David,you've chosen not to have kids,so you probably don't realise the utter futility of spending loads of money on something that will be redundant in a very short time,and will end up cluttering up a cupboard.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless you plan on having more than 1 kid, in which case it might be a worthwhile investment. Cover it in nice clean plastic and store it safely until the next one pops out. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    And, as with cars, some baby seats are safer than others. I agree that it's not always the most expensive ones that are safer or better, but it's very rarely the cheapest ones that are the safest and best.

    At the end of the day, we can only gather the information and make our choice, you pays your money and makes your choice.

    It might also be a good idea to try a few of them out, don't just believe the hype. What suits one baby, might not suit another. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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  16. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    I'd go with that.

    I wouldn't condone buying the cheapest of everything,but if you go for a reputable make then you'll find that you're getting the same basic construction,with the dearer models simply offering a few add-on's or 'funkier' designs.
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  17. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Interesting thread and the timing is good for me too.

    Is it not a case of buying the best to protect the child?

    J.
    #17
  18. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    nah not if you can save a few quid (living up to the stereo type there I think)

    It's only your kids life at the end of the day.
    #18
  19. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    nah not if you can save a few quid (living up to the stereotype there I think)

    It's only your kids life at the end of the day.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Talking from experience Eeef,or just talking Horlicks ?

    I'd suggest the latter.
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  20. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    Interesting thread and the timing is good for me too.

    Is it not a case of buying the best to protect the child?

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless you're reading a different thread,I don't think anyone is suggesting you scrimp on baby seats,but at the same time,you needn't spend a fortune to get a good level of safety and protection.

    You'll see what I mean when you go to buy one.You'll see some that are,frankly,a horrendous price and all they offer over less expensive models is 'trendy' designs and/or functions that are of dubious value.

    Of course,to the likes of Eeef,who probably hasn't looked at a babyseat in his life,that's classed as penny-pinching. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif
    #20
  21. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]

    Interesting thread and the timing is good for me too.

    Is it not a case of buying the best to protect the child?

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless you're reading a different thread,I don't think anyone is suggesting you scrimp on baby seats,but at the same time,you needn't spend a fortune to get a good level of safety and protection.

    You'll see what I mean when you go to buy one.You'll see some that are,frankly,a horrendous price and all they offer over less expensive models is 'trendy' designs and/or functions that are of dubious value.

    Of course,to the likes of Eeef,who probably hasn't looked at a babyseat in his life,that's classed as penny-pinching. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Not at all. I bought one for my Goddaughter who I only get to see once every few months. I didn't consider cost was a legitamate deciding factor when it came to her safety when in my charge.
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  22. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]

    Interesting thread and the timing is good for me too.

    Is it not a case of buying the best to protect the child?

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Unless you're reading a different thread,I don't think anyone is suggesting you scrimp on baby seats,but at the same time,you needn't spend a fortune to get a good level of safety and protection.

    You'll see what I mean when you go to buy one.You'll see some that are,frankly,a horrendous price and all they offer over less expensive models is 'trendy' designs and/or functions that are of dubious value.

    Of course,to the likes of Eeef,who probably hasn't looked at a babyseat in his life,that's classed as penny-pinching. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/noidea.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Not at all. I bought one for my Goddaughter who I only get to see once every few months. I didn't consider cost was a legitamate deciding factor when it came to her safety when in my charge.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Well you're obviously in a very fortunate financial position,as no parent I know simply bought the dearest one they could find.

    They balanced cost with safety.

    Honestly,to suggest anyone compromises their child's safety is just stupid. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsdown.gif
    #22
  23. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    BTW,MB.
    When you go looking for child seats,remember you're not allowed to park in the child spaces...yet. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
    #23
  24. Eeef
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    Eeef Lord of War

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    [ QUOTE ]


    They balanced cost with safety.

    Honestly,to suggest anyone compromises their child's safety is just stupid. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsdown.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Isn't that a contridiction? If they balanced cost with safety then there was obviously a trade off?

    I'm not saying buy the most expensive one there is, irrespective of safety. What I'm saying is buy the safest one, irrespective of cost.
    #24
  25. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]


    They balanced cost with safety.

    Honestly,to suggest anyone compromises their child's safety is just stupid. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsdown.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Isn't that a contridiction? If they balanced cost with safety then there was obviously a trade off?

    I'm not saying buy the most expensive one there is, irrespective of safety. What I'm saying is buy the safest one, irrespective of cost.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Like I said,you're obviously in a very fortunate financial position then.

    But,then again,if it's not for your own child you're not having to worry about the other financial costs that comes with a child.

    Most people buy the safest they can afford,not the safest one irrespective of cost.
    #25
  26. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    BTW,MB.
    When you go looking for child seats,remember you're not allowed to park in the child spaces...yet. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    LOL...really! I thought that was part of the deal /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
    #26
  27. skempster
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    skempster Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    The best model for Children from 0kg was the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix (£160 with Easyfix base from John Lewis), with the Britax Cosy Tot Isofix (£200 from Halfords) in second place.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Useful info, thanks Dave. At the risk of fanning the flames of the debate on cost vs safety, I actually think that those prices probably include the separate base units. The maxi cosi and britax seats are I think about £60 and £80 respectively, but then you pay an extra £80 and £120 odd for the base units, which are more of a convenience feature than a safety feature I think (click in, click out - rather than wrapping seat belts round each time).

    I would hope that all the seats are properly tested and safe; I think that as Bowfer said some of them are designed more to appeal to the parents designer sensibilities, making them look like recaro's etc..
    #27
  28. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]

    The best model for Children from 0kg was the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix (£160 with Easyfix base from John Lewis), with the Britax Cosy Tot Isofix (£200 from Halfords) in second place.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Useful info, thanks Dave. At the risk of fanning the flames of the debate on cost vs safety, I actually think that those prices probably include the separate base units. The maxi cosi and britax seats are I think about £60 and £80 respectively, but then you pay an extra £80 and £120 odd for the base units, which are more of a convenience feature than a safety feature I think (click in, click out - rather than wrapping seat belts round each time).

    I would hope that all the seats are properly tested and safe; I think that as Bowfer said some of them are designed more to appeal to the parents designer sensibilities, making them look like recaro's etc..

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It wasn't that long ago that we bought the Graco bases (3 years) and I'm sure they were only around £30 each.

    Loads of them on ebay for very little money.

    Indeed,the two we have are still in perfect nick and working order,but we're not sure we're finished having kids,so we're keeping them.
    #28
  29. john2garden
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    john2garden Gonad

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    When we had our first we looked at a variety of 4 in one prams or travel systems as they are called. We looked in various places and the best shop was John Lewis in Cheadle. I wanted to get a pram that didnt look too bizzare when pushing in town but one which was also complete with all the accessories and also one that folded nearly flat when in the boot. We bought a Silver Cross 'Cruiser' like this one - Link And have found it to be brilliant. The carrier comes out and is used as the car seat, only problem is you have to strap it in all the time, but if you have 4 doors this is not really a big issue. We used this till she was 9 months and then I had a look at various 'permanent' seats. My car does not have Isofix so I have to strap it in. You can get seats for different age ranges as you probably well know. Birth to 15 months, Birth to 4 years, 9 months to 4 years, 9 months to 6/11 years. I thought I didnt want to keep changing the seat so opted for this one Recaro which is suitable for 9 months to 6 years. What is good about this one is that it comes with removable padding which you can remove as your child grows and also an extendable back. This means your seat will have a lot longer life span and also once stripped acts as a sort of booster seat. And it is not too expensive considering the ammount of time you can use it. It also looks quite good in the car too, because it doesn't have flowers or tractors printed on the fabric!! Kids are costly enough as it is without having to keep changing seats/prams etc. Just my 2 pence worths anyway!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    #29
  30. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    The carrier comes out and is used as the car seat, only problem is you have to strap it in all the time, but if you have 4 doors this is not really a big issue.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Believe me,once you've tried the Graco type base,which is permanently strapped into the car and the seat simply clicks in and out,you'd never go back to fiddling with seatbelts again.

    I well remember a friend and I running back to our respective cars in the hissing rain.

    One quick click,and that was my daughter sorted.

    Meanwhile,he was getting his back soaked as he tried to get the seatbelt around his baby seat.

    They are an absolute must,those things. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ok.gif
    #30
  31. john2garden
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    john2garden Gonad

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    I was on about the carrier that clipped into the pram, this had to be strapped in. When you have a new born you cannot use a standard seat can you??
    #31
  32. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Is this the same system I have biought from M and P? We bought a pram with a new born baby attachment thing that clips into the pram and then clips into a base in the car?

    Then as the baby gets older I buy another type of seat? This I then assume stays put in the car and we just move him from pram to seat?

    Do I bother going for Isofix? The plan is we will mainly be using Claires car as the family car so it will stay put in that. I thought the Isofix seats where better as the mounting is secure and not relient on the seat belt?

    J.
    #32
  33. john2garden
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    john2garden Gonad

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    Ours didnt have that. The Pram has two removable clips on so the child seat can be fixed into place. This is not the case when you put it in the car you have to fix it with the seatbelt. I didnt realise you can get ones that clip into the car too. What a bonus that would have been!!! Bit late now.
    #33
  34. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    Is this the same system I have biought from M and P? We bought a pram with a new born baby attachment thing that clips into the pram and then clips into a base in the car?

    Then as the baby gets older I buy another type of seat? This I then assume stays put in the car and we just move him from pram to seat?

    Do I bother going for Isofix? The plan is we will mainly be using Claires car as the family car so it will stay put in that. I thought the Isofix seats where better as the mounting is secure and not relient on the seat belt?

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah,the rear-facing baby seat unclips from the pram and clips into a plastic base in the car.
    The base is the bit that is belted in,with the babyseat being held into the base by metal pins.
    Rock solid,and
    a brilliantly simple invention.
    No more leaning over seats and bashing your door into other cars etc.etc.
    Just 'click' and off you go.

    When he/she is slightly bigger (goes by weight more than age,but around 12 months is about right) you can transfer them into a forward facing seat that stays in the car,with a full harness holding them in.

    When they get to around 3,you can transfer them into a seat that looks like a rally seat and uses the car's own seat belt.

    When they get older still,you ditch the seat and get a booster cushion thing instead.

    Next thing you know,you're taking them out to look at Saxo's with big exhausts... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    PS-we didn't go for ISOFIX and didn't have any issues with security.
    #34
  35. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    Cheers for that looks like we have done the right thing then with the pram/car seat.

    Wasn't sure on the isofix thing, when I wasn't working I did baby sit a lot and just used a normal belt in one but wasn't sure if the Isofix thing was the way forward.

    J.
    #35
  36. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]

    Cheers for that looks like we have done the right thing then with the pram/car seat.

    Wasn't sure on the isofix thing, when I wasn't working I did baby sit a lot and just used a normal belt in one but wasn't sure if the Isofix thing was the way forward.

    J.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think ISOFIX alleviates dodgy security issues caused by lazy parents,but that's about it really.

    As long as you can pull a seat belt tight yourself,and tighten it from time to time,you won't have an issue.

    I'm always shocked when you see the likes of GMTV doing their occasional car seat articles,where they go to the likes of ASDA and film people with wobbly car seats in their cars.

    No excuse for it at all really. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/soap.gif
    #36
  37. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Never having been in the position to have to use any kind of child seats, how does the ISO fix system work. I know I've got the lugs in three of my seats but that's about all I know about them.
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  38. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Never having been in the position to have to use any kind of child seats, how does the ISO fix system work. I know I've got the lugs in three of my seats but that's about all I know about them.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Seat just clips onto those lugs.
    Simple as that really.

    Totally alleviates the need for the seatbelt,thus avoiding the risk of dodgy fastening or slackening.

    Avoids the 'idiot factor',if you like.

    There are other arguments about feeding shocks straight to the car body etc.etc.,but the prime reason is security.
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  39. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member

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    Do you still have to use the normal adult 3-point belt as well or are their straps to hold junior in as part of the child seat.
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  40. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Do you still have to use the normal adult 3-point belt as well or are their straps to hold junior in as part of the child seat.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    For a baby seat (0-1) and toddler seat (1-3),a full harness,which is part of the seat,holds them in.

    The car's three point belt comes into play when they get too big for the full harness (around 3) and you either remove it from the seat you have,or you buy one of those seats that looks like a rally car one.
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