I’ve been looking for a group 1 rear facing car seat for Pumpkinella for about 6 months now and I’ve found it to be an absolute minefield. Safety is paramount to my husband and I.
It was a no brainer with her first car seat as it seemed to be the standard for very young children to be in rear facing car seats. I bought the very best I could find in terms of safety ratings, a Cyber Aton 3 and right after we bought it another much better looking model was released and at the same price, irritatingly. You can’t even find these on sale any longer as it was totally redesigned after we bought ours.
Some background for you; My husband constantly comments on me being a speedy-Gonzalez! I’ve been driving for about 7 years and have never had an accident or a speeding ticket but what I do have is my Barry, my nippy 2005 Vauxhall Corsa and because it chugs a bit, it feels like you’re racing just trying to get round a corner or up a hill.
So in an effort to ensure our daughter remains as safe as possible regardless of who is driving, I’ve been in search for car seats that are the best range but which won’t cost the same as my mortgage payments.
After just a quick google search on ‘safest car seats’ I was bombarded with mixed reviews on rear-facing car seats. On the positive side there are claims that rear-facing children are up to 400% safer than traditional front facing children in car seats.
Sweden is used as a benchmark on many websites. This country apparently has excellent car safety records and much of this for young children is attributed to keeping them in rear facing car seats for as long as possible. One year, there were no infant deaths from road traffic accidents. To me this is profound reading and definitely something I need to pay close attention to.
In order to understand what it is they’re doing right that others aren’t, I’ve had to dig a little (maybe a lot) deeper. www.carseat.se has been a really informative website as well as www.rearfacing.co.uk.
Both provide valid justification in terms of how car seats are tested and why rear facing car seats are deemed to be safer.
Playing devil’s advocate for a split second I did also look at the reviews which slate rear facing car seats. Reasons include their price point, a top of the range one setting you back a cool £375. Some parents argue the leg room between the child’s legs and the back seat is too small and restrictive. Others argue their children like to look out of the window and this is difficult to do in a rear facing seat. However the general consensus with these complaints were more aesthetic than safety driven and I’m sorry to say but a mild discomfort that could potentially save my child’s life in an accident is definitely worth it.
So…onto my dream car seat. I’ve test driven the Cybex Sirona and I found it too heavy to carry and potentially not high enough in the back for a taller child. Pumpkinella is that taller child and this makes it unlikely to last till age 4 as it’s manufacturers suggest.
Further market research led me to the Concord Reverso. It’s not yet released in the UK market but at 10.5kg it’s the lightest rear facing Isofix stage 1 car seat I could find. It’s absolutely gorgeous, conforms to the new I-size and seems easy to install. It’s set to cost £289.99; expensive I know but not as expensive as all the others such at the Maxi-Cosi 2WayPearl, Cybex Sirona, and Britax Dualfix, all £375.
I’m going to try out the Concord Reverso as soon as it’s available and I’m likely to have to travel over 50 miles away and into England to be able to get a glimpse of it but we can treat this as a mini road trip and make a day of it. At 14 months old Pumpkinella has very nearly outgrown her current car seat so we need one pretty much right away. I’ll keep you posted on how we get on. What has your journey been like? Have you found it easy to make the choice?