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Baby seats - travel systems

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

  1. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [May 31, 2006]
    Thanks Bowfer - you learn something new every day !
    #41
  2. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [May 31, 2006]
    This is great reading - all my baby seat research on my favourite Audi forum!

    One extra thing to mention for prospective or very new parents which has been passed on to us by both John Lewis and a friend - try to minimise the amount of time the baby spends in a car seat, and particularly a travel system where they're whisked from car to pram. The reason is that where they've been laying on their back for a long time, it gradually flattens the back of the skull as they grow.

    Thus what we're planning to do is buy an ISOFIX baby seat to click in and out of the car, and a Silver Cross pram/pushchair (assuming both fit when the car's measured up on Saturday week). The pram also works as a moses basket which the baby can also sleep if we're staying away from home, but it means he will have to come out of the child seat at the end of a journey.
    #42
  3. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    This is great reading - all my baby seat research on my favourite Audi forum!

    One extra thing to mention for prospective or very new parents which has been passed on to us by both John Lewis and a friend - try to minimise the amount of time the baby spends in a car seat, and particularly a travel system where they're whisked from car to pram. The reason is that where they've been laying on their back for a long time, it gradually flattens the back of the skull as they grow.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's not strictly true.That only becomes the case if the baby's head is fixed in one position for long periods.

    As long as your seat allows them to move their head around,they'll be fine,as they move their heads all the time,even when sleeping.

    We don't know any babies with strangely shaped heads ! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    #43
  4. skempster
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    skempster Member

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    Plagiocephaly is the technical term for flat head syndrome. Can be caused by laying babies on backs generally, not just car seats. Has become more common apparently (but still fairly rare I imagine) because of the recommended practise of putting babies on their backs to avoid SIDS (cot death).

    I think the concern with car seats is more to do with curviture of the spine. The mamas and papas salesperson said they recommend limiting car seat usage to 2 hours for babies for that reason.
    #44
  5. john2garden
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    john2garden Gonad

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    Fair doos. This site has got everything covered!
    #45
  6. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 1, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Plagiocephaly is the technical term for flat head syndrome. Can be caused by laying babies on backs generally, not just car seats. Has become more common apparently (but still fairly rare I imagine) because of the recommended practise of putting babies on their backs to avoid SIDS (cot death).

    I think the concern with car seats is more to do with curviture of the spine. The mamas and papas salesperson said they recommend limiting car seat usage to 2 hours for babies for that reason.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You'll never get two hours without having to take them out of the seat for a feed or nappy change anyway,so no big deal there ! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    #46
  7. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Jun 10, 2006]
    Today we had our baby seat fitting at John Lewis, which went very well. In the end, we opted for the Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix Infant Carrier (Click here to view) with an EasyFix ISOFIX base (Click here to view).

    We also looked at a Britax seat, but alarmingly, although it was secure in the car, the seat moved from side-to-side quite a lot, whereas the Maxi Cosi was virtually solid. The staff handling the fitting said that this was normal from car to car; apparently, because the car seat shapes vary, it can have an effect on the seat even though it uses ISOFIX. So basically, I can report that this Maxi Cosi product works well with an A3 Sportback!

    Aside from the baby seats, we've also ordered a Silver Cross Linear Chassis pram/pushchair with a Sleepover top and the guys also made sure it fitted the Sportback boot. And it did, but only after its front wheels were removed and the handle rotated back. The Sleepover basket sat on top but there wasn't much room for anything else.

    We get the baby seat and base in two weeks. If there's still interest in this thread by then, I'll post up some pictures.
    #47
  8. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Jun 11, 2006]
    Please do mate. We're expecting out first in september, we have our baby baby seat for when he is a tiny tot but I'm assuming he'll grow out of it pretty soon. All the info I can get is definately welcome.

    J.
    #48
  9. Aldo
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    Aldo Active Member

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    [Jun 11, 2006]
    Congrats-Ours is expected in November, was looking in to gettin M+P's, I have heard mixed reviews now so will keep my options open :)
    #49
  10. TuffLittleUnit
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    TuffLittleUnit Member

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    [Jun 20, 2006]
    Here's my experience - I have two sons, one aged 4 (5 next month) and one aged 2 (3 in August). Son 2 (youngest) was very poorly for the first 18 months of his life (but is perfectly fine now) and rear facing seats were a real pain in the arse 'cos we couldn't see if the little chap was still breathing. Son 1 was fine but was 98th percentile for the first 3 years of his life which meant he quickly grew out of car seats.

    Son 1 was bought an M&P 3 in 1 travel system at birth. Very attractive but rather poor on the practicality side. I had a new style Celica at the time and the base just wouldn't fit - it use to slide all over the place and fitting the seatbelt as a restrainer drive me crazy. He's also had Mothercare, Graco and lower end Britax seats - all of which have wobbled in all the recent cars I've had (Celica, Volvo S60, Audi A3 Sportback). He's now in a Britax booster seat which fits snugly in the Sportback providing the rear headrest is raised to the right level. It still moves laterally no matter how smoothly I try to take some corners which is a nagging concern.

    Son 2 has a Britax ISOFIX seat. It's the dogs. Really. Absolutely rock solid. Had him in it from 6 months to age 3 and it should last him to 4. Yes, it was expensive but the way it fits is miles in advance of anything else we've had from Mothercare, M&P, Graco and Britax (non-Isofix). Taking it in and out of the car is a cinch - about 5 second after a little practice. No dicking about with seatbelts and worrying about the tension.

    It's just a shame the ISOFIX seats seem to stop at the "up to 4 year" sizes.

    Regarding the comments on the cost of these things ... yes they're expensive (overpriced) but I'll bet you anything most of you paid more to upgrade the stereo in your A3s. Nuff said.
    #50
  11. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 21, 2006]
    That's a shame man.
    Get him his own one.
    #51
  12. TuffLittleUnit
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    TuffLittleUnit Member

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    [Jun 21, 2006]
    Touche! Nice one, Bowfer.
    #52
  13. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Jun 21, 2006]
    What a terrific quote. How true is that? Spent £265 on a Symphony II upgrade, so I can't moan about the cost at all ...
    #53
  14. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 22, 2006]
    I sort of see where you're coming from,but a £265 stereo upgrade will last for years and will be redeemable against the resale of the car.

    Child seats need replacing every year,for the first three years of their life anyway,and cannot (should not) be resold.

    Okay,you can keep them for 'future additions',but if you only plan to have one,then that argument goes out the window too !

    Bottom line is,no-one is suggesting safety should be compromised for money but,at the same time,you don't have to do daft. The basic construction may not vary that much,so your extra moolah is just going on fancy design/dubious features.

    Then again,it could be argued we've all paid over the odds to own Audis,so....err....ooh is that the time ?
    #54
  15. DaveP
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    DaveP Member

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    [Jun 22, 2006]
    TuffLittleUnit are you saying that your 4 year old is just on a booster? If so, I wouldn't personally be happy with that. Ours are in Britax Kid seats which give lateral support to their heads. It also came out highly in some consumer report when we bought them.
    #55
  16. TuffLittleUnit
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    TuffLittleUnit Member

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    [Jun 22, 2006]
    #56
  17. DaveP
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    DaveP Member

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    [Jun 22, 2006]
    It always amazes me to see how kids smaller than mine are just in booster seats. No idea whether the adults think they are protected enough like that.
    #57
  18. Amchlolor
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    Amchlolor Active Member

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    [Jun 23, 2006]
    God,I remember me and me brother bouncing around all over my mother's Hillman Avenger.

    Changed days,right enough.
    #58
  19. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Jun 23, 2006]
    What never fails to amaze me is the amount of people who don't even bother strapping the kids in (who said chav scum!) thing is if they where carrying a Tea set or TV it would be strapped down!

    4 or so years ago on a lovely hot sunny friday afternoon I went to the pub with my collegues and decided I wouldn't go back to work in the afternoon. Heading down the M3 I over took a mini metro in the middle lane doing about 70-75, I was doing about 80-85, when I heard a bang. Her rear tyre exploded. She fishtailed one way then the other. Got to the point of no return and the car rolled over a couple of times. It ended up past the hard shoulder resting on it's side against a tree. I stopped and ran back to the car not expecting to find anyone moving but to my amazement the woman driver was ok. Bit shaken but was stook up trying to climb through the side window. Thing is she had a toddler in a car seat strapped into the front of the car who wasn't moving. I kicked the fonrt window in to get to the child (mother was hysterical and I have never been so scared) got the child out, She wasn't moving because she was asleep and only woke up when this strange man removed her from the car.

    Moral of the story a decent child seat fitted well definately saves lifes!!!

    J.
    #59
  20. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Jun 24, 2006]
    Wow, that's a scary story marriedblonde! Just bad enough you had to bear witness to the accident, let alone pull people out of the wreckage. Pat on the back for stopping and helping though.

    Just to get the thread back on track though, our Maxi-Cosi ISOFIX base was delivered this morning. The seat isn't in stock so didn't arrive with it, but I'm going to trial-fit the base tomorrow (so I know what I'm doing) and will post up some pics if anyone's interested.

    Should add that I'm not actually a Dad yet - two months to go! :D
    #60
  21. TuffLittleUnit
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    TuffLittleUnit Member

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    [Jun 25, 2006]
    DaveP - do your kids' seats still have a 5 point harness i.e. the seatbelt holds the chair in the car rather than the kid in the chair?

    I wanted this for my 4 year old but couldn't find any seats that still had a harness. Looking at the Britax site, even the Evolva seats have to lose the harness and rely on the car seat belt once the kid gets over 15kg.

    On balance I deemed it better to have the Hi-Line which protects his head rather than having his head poking over the top of a seat that's too small.

    I'd be interested in any recommendations of seats which had a 5 point harness and would fit a child > 120cm in height.
    #61
  22. Wolfsburger
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    Wolfsburger Member

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    [Jul 8, 2006]
    Any updates on the photos?

    I`ve just been on the maxi-cosi site to check if the base is suitable for a 2006 Passat and it`s not on their list!
    #62
  23. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Jul 9, 2006]
    I haven't forgotten! As luck would have it, the seat is being delivered tomorrow (Monday 10th July). We've got the ISOFIX base already, but the seat itself was delayed.

    I'm planning to do a trial-fitting ASAP so I know how to fit them properly, and will take pictures when I do.
    #63
  24. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Jul 15, 2006]
    Okay, as promised, I got round to trial-fitting our Maxi Cosi ISOFIX base and seat this afternoon (sorry for the delay!).

    To begin with, here's what the base looks like. Must add that it's surprisingly heavy - must be well reinforced. The front "leg" extends into the footwell to brace the whole unit:

    [​IMG]

    And this is what the actual ISOFIX connectors look like ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and where it will be shortly fitted to (this is the nearside rear passenger seat of an A3 Sportback). The two open lugs at the base of the bench are the connectors and have a strip of metal across them:

    [​IMG]

    You press the big button at the front of the base to extend the connectors out, then push the base home. Once the connectors slot in place (with a loud click), the indicator on the button goes green:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Then, you continue to push the base against the rear seat. There's more clicks as it settles against it - this stops the base moving forwards or backwards:

    [​IMG]

    Note in the picture above that the base is pushing hard against the seat upright. You can now check that the front leg is also secure, by adjusting its height. If you got it right, the indicator at the bottom of the leg goes green, like this:

    [​IMG]

    That's it! You now just drop the baby seat on to the base, and again, a little green indicator lets you know it's in place (these indicators are on both sides - nice touch):

    [​IMG]

    And this is what the whole lot looks like:

    [​IMG]

    We chose the Maxi Cosi product because of the fool-proof indicator system it comes with. It's not an electrical system, but mechanical so is perfectly reliable. Once in place, there is absolutely no forward or backward motion possible - it's just solid. However, there is some lateral movement, but it is still secure and wouldn't move under hard cornering.

    I must just add (as per my previous post!) that I can't totally recommend this product yet, as our baby isn't due for another six weeks! :D
    #64
  25. Wolfsburger
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    Wolfsburger Member

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    [Jul 15, 2006]
    Cheers for the photos!

    I ordered my Maxi-Cosi seat and base the other day.

    Looks like a good bit of kit.
    #65
  26. b7ryn
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    b7ryn New Member

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    [Dec 18, 2006]
    Hi - I was looking on the Maxi Cosi website, and it doesn't specify if the the Cabrio seat can sit without the IsoFix?
    I'm wondering if it can fix on its own (i.e only with the seatbelt/harness) and if anyone has tried it?
    Rgds,

    Brian (newbie, who's just bought a 54 plate 2.0 TDi Sportback)
    #66
  27. alexc
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    alexc Member

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    [Dec 19, 2006]
    Everyone has their own opinion on what is suitable and how much to spend.

    Personally, I went with (who I think) is best. Britax have been developing in car safety for decades, they were also the first in the UK to introduce ISOFIX seats.

    I went for the Cosy Tot Isofix when my baby girl was a newborn and now she's 9 months old and has outgrown it I've changed to the Duo Plus Isofix seat.

    I had to retro-fit the ISOFIX bars to my B5 A4 Avant.

    Both seats are excellent products, not the cheapest but worth every penny and MUCH safer than attaching a seatbelt. :thumbsup:
    #67
  28. Wolfsburger
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    Wolfsburger Member

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    [Dec 19, 2006]
    The seat can be used on it`s own but I haven`t tried it. I bought this one mainly for the ease of use with the base and it`s been fantastic.
    #68
  29. s3bow
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    s3bow Member

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    [Dec 19, 2006]
    @benw123, are you going to use the Cabriofix with a pushchair (ie. clip in place) or just as an infant carrier/carseat ? I will probably get this to fit the Quinny Buzz. How much did John Lewis sting you for the two mate ?

    Chris.
    #69
  30. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Dec 19, 2006]
    Correct - we were advised the same by the fitters at John Lewis, but with ISOFIX you wouldn't ever use a seatbelt.

    Hi Chris, we don't use the car seat with anything else. We have a Silver Cross pram/pushchair instead. We read about one study that suggested it's not a great idea to use car seats that connect to prams or pushchairs. This is because the baby may be laying in the same seat for several hours and it's not healthy for them. I know such travel systems exist but we decided against.

    The base was about £100 and the same for the seat, so it's around £200 all-in. Quite expensive really, but, as any retailer will gladly tell you, you can't put a price on safety.
    #70
  31. RobB
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    RobB Member

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    [Dec 20, 2006]
    I have bought the Maxi Cosi Cabrio seat for our cars for baby (who's now 2 days overdue - could be an extra Christmas present at this rate!).

    The seat itself can be fitted on its own by the seat belt but we have bought a base for each car, for safety and also to make fitting and removing the baby seat quicker and easier. One base is for seatbelts which will go in my wife's Peugeot 106 and the other is an Isofix version for my A3. This saves us eternally swapping them around as we regularly use both cars. Also, the base is better in the 106 as the car seats are very squashy and the baby seat still has a lot of movement in it when not used with a base (also due to the seatbelt buckles position). The seat was £100, the seatbelt base £65 and the isofix one about £85, but for a seat that will last for over a year and the additional safety from a more secure seat, I thought it was well worth it. We have also bought anti-slip mats to go uinder the seat which reduce any friction wear on the seats themselves and also reduce any movement. Essential for leather seats too! They were about £10 each.

    For what it's worth, the Maxi Cosi Cabrio came top in a recent Which report.
    #71
  32. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Dec 20, 2006]
    Pleased to read that! My son is now three months old and the seat has been great to use since we bought it. Recommended.
    #72
  33. s3bow
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    s3bow Member

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    [Dec 20, 2006]
    Rob, where did you get the anti slip mats ? I've only ever seen them for carseats in Mothercare.
    Bought the quinny buzz deal with the cabriofix and bought the base today from Pramworld.

    Chris.
    #73
  34. marriedblonde
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    marriedblonde Moderator

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    [Dec 20, 2006]
    With the Isofix base do you use the same base for the next child seat after the rear facing baby seat?

    J.
    #74
  35. Macduff
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    Macduff Member

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    [Dec 21, 2006]
    We bought the Bebecar 3 wheeler with 0+ car seat travel system. Not ISOfix but it fitted in both our A4 and Lupo. The 3 wheeler chassis is a bit bulky and heavy plus the front wheel wobbles if you walk too fast. Apart from that it's well made.

    Once our daughter was old enough we went to a Britax Duo ISOfix car seat that will do her until she's 4ish.

    There are very few ISOfix baby seats on the market
    #75
  36. benw123
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    benw123 Moderator

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    [Dec 21, 2006]
    This is true; you are surprisingly limited for choice for newborns, and very few retailers know much about ISOFIX either.
    #76
  37. RobB
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    RobB Member

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    [Dec 29, 2006]
    Sorry for delay in replying - been working out how to work the new baby, which is slightly more complicated than an Isofix car seat!

    The anti slip mats were bought in a shop in Tonbridge Wells in Kent called Duncans, but I have seen them in other baby shops too. They are £9.99 and made by a company called Sunshine Kids Juvenile Products in the US and they are called "Grip It, Car Seat Gripper". They fit perfectly on the A3 seats and have cut outs for the isofix or seatbelt mountings in the crease of the seat. The website is www.skjp.com although I have not looked at it. I would imagine you can get them from most baby shops though.
    #77
  38. RobB
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    RobB Member

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    [Dec 29, 2006]
    The Maxi Cosi Cabrio bases only work on the specific seat so will also need to be replaced when we get a larger one in 12-15 months time. According to the dealer when I asked anyway.
    #78
  39. garypaul
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    garypaul Member

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    [Dec 29, 2006]
    Does the maxi cosi clip onto a buggy type chassis so that it can be used like a pram as well as a car seat?
    #79
  40. s3bow
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    s3bow Member

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    [Dec 30, 2006]
    Fits the quinny buzz and zapp.

    Chris.
    #80

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