Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
We recently purchased a second car and therefore needed a second car seat for our 2-year-old son Oliver. We had been using my daughter’s old seat, which Oliver was started to become a little squashed in. I was therefore extremely delighted to be offered the chance to review the Britax Advansafix II SICT, a forward facing group 1/2/3 car seat. I have wanted to purchase an Isofix seat for a few years but they have always been out of my price range. I have owned Britax car seats in the past and know that they are an excellent brand of seats. One of the main reasons I wanted to try an Isofix seat with Oliver is that he tends to be a cheeky monkey and unplugs his car seat belt that is holding the seat in place whilst the car is moving – this has been terrifying at times. Having the Isofix securing the car seat in place in addition to the car seat belt gives me peace of mind that my child is safe and secure.
Oliver is very big for his age and at 17kg he is at the top end of the group 1 car seat weight limit. We were offered the Advansafix so that he would have enough room and weight allowance to last him for many years, and this car seat was compatible with our car. The seat allows a weight of 9-36kg and an age guidance of 9 months -12 years, meaning that we can also use it for our 6 year old daughter. I love the fact that this car seat allows for the use of 5 point safety harness up to 25kg, this is extremely more than previous car seats I have owned and having a large two year old, I am reassured that he will be safer for longer. I know if I was to change him now to a 3-point harness due to his weight he would climb out whilst the car is in motion.
Delivery of the car seat was very prompt and it was packaged extremely well, I couldn’t wait to get started once it had arrived. I am more a visual person and tend to prefer to watch videos or go off pictures when I try out new products. I therefore decided to go onto the Britax website to watch the installation video before reading any instructions. I watched the video a couple of times and as suggested I prepared the seat so that the headrest and straps were correct for my son’s height. My son looked really comfortable in the chair, which was placed on my living room floor prior to installation in the car… I found making the adjustments very straightforward and decided to take my phone with the installation video loaded onto it out to the car with me ready to fix the seat into the back.
Having not ever fitted an Isofix car seat I was very apprehensive as to where to start. But after reading the instructions and watching the video I found the installation relatively simple. I did get a little muddled up at first with the Isofix but it was because I had missed a point in the video, so I watched it again and checked the diagrams on the side of the seat. To ensure that the seat is correctly fitted into the Isofix, the green safety buttons need to be visible from the base when they have been pushed in. I found this really simple to work out and it didn’t take too long.
Next I fed the seat belt through the back of the seat, similar to a non-Isofix car seat. This was really easy to do and I had no problems.
I was unable to secure the seat with the top tether due to the design of my car not having a hook for it to click on to. The video shows how to do this and would have been very straightforward if I had been able to do it.
We were finally ready to test out the seat. I decided to take my little ones on a drive to the play centre to tire them out. My son was very comfy in his new seat and it looked really stylish and sleek in the Cosmos Black colour. Buckling up was very easy, the two sides slot into each other before fastening into the buckle. My wriggly son tends to hate being strapped in and pushes his bum up, there was room to extend the straps to get the buckle in place and then tighten them again to fit. I found this easier than with our other car seat. Once we had finished at the play centre we drove home and within minutes my son was asleep. I adjusted the recliner on the seat so that he was lay slightly back.
I tested the seat out with my daughter a few days ago as I had forgotten to bring hers when collecting her from her grandparent’s house (this is one of my favourite things about this car seat, knowing she will be safe using it if I forget her seat). It was really easy to use in 3 point seat belt mode and she loved being in her brothers chair, she said it was very comfy and keeps asking if she can go in it again.
In addition to all of the other amazing features the seat also has Side Impact Protection, which is deep, softly padded side wings and SICT technology, removable to use only on the side closest to the door. This was very easy to install, it clips into the side of the seat and protects the seat against side impact. Having recently had an accident with both children in the car, impact safety is a main concern of mine. The seat also has deeply padded side wings, pivoted links system to reduce movement and performance chest pads to reduce forward movement – all giving me reassurance that my son is in the best possible car seat for if we ever have a crash again.
The car seat is superior to any car seat I have purchased in the past although it costs £210, which is more than I would usually spend on a car seat. However, after having trying and testing this car seat and realizing how much better than our other car seats it is and recognizing the amount of time it would be used for, it is completely worth the money. It gives me peace of mind, knowing that if we were to have a car crash, my son would be safe in his seat, he will be able to use the seat in 5 point safety harness until he is 25kg and we can use this seat with our daughter if we ever need to as it will last them both until they are 12 years old.
I would definitely recommend this car seat and look forward to using it for years to come.
Available to buy in 7 colour options from Britax here.