Reviewed by Bharti Patel
The Britax Romer DUALFIX M i-SIZE car seat is part of the premium line range of the Britax car seats and its well placed to be put in that range. This car seat is very sleek in design with no additional fancy parts, it is simple yet stylish and looks great, from the design of the swivel release to the simple neoprene chest pads which make it really easy to put a child in and out of the straps without it feeling bulky.
When taking the car seat out of the box the first thing we noticed was the weight, it was quite heavy but this is to be expected as it is one piece with the base and the seat attached due to the swivel mechanism. There is nothing to do other then take the tags off the back, adjust the head height to accommodate your child and fix into the car and you can get going. It does come with instructions on how to adjust various aspects and installation instruction and they are provided in every language possible, there is a handy compartment in the seat to keep the instructions should you need them later.
As expected, Britax has ensured the car seat meets all the safety standards claiming their internal testing is more demanding than the current standard (ECE R129) required by i-SIZE which is reassuring. The car seat is designed, developed and manufactured in Germany where all the testing is also carried out. The car seat is suitable from 61cms to 105cms tall, up to 18kg. The recommend age for use is 3 months up to 4 years old. The car seat needs to be attached to the ISOFIX anchorage points in your car and also has a support leg to ensure optimum stability.
The DUALFIX M i-SIZE is a 360 degree rotation car seat so it can be used rear facing as well as forward facing (15 months onwards) with a nifty swivel system that is really useful when putting a child into the car. The release mechanism for the swivel at first looked like it might be really difficult with it being such a long thin button but the designers had added a lip above it to allow you to grip the button making it easy to press. I would say this is quite difficult to do if you are holding a baby in one arm, you do need 2 hands to use the swivel system, one to press the button whilst you twist the seat with the other. This was not an issue for us as my little one is over one and I could just stand him next to me as I did this. The seat has a 5-point harness system, the straps can be loosed quite easily so you can release and tighten each time you have to use the car seat so there is no messing about trying to twist the child in and out of the seat. Again, this button is very easy to press to carry this out and easy to pull the straps tight again. The seat has 12 recline positions, handy for napping children and adjusting as they grow, this is quite easy to do and much smoother than other similar car seats we have used. The recline positions on the DUALFIX M i-SIZE seem to be at a better level so your child can lie a little flatter stopping the drooping head problem that can be experienced with many of the competitors to this seat. In regards to the headrest, it is in a unique V shape, giving the child much more support and can easily be adjusted to suit the child’s height as they grown. There is also an adjustable rebound bar on the seat which is helpful to stop the seat tilting in an accident but can also be adjusted to allow for additional leg space as your child grows allowing you to keep your child rear facing for longer.
The car seat also features a cover that can be removed without having to remove the harness, as a parent that has had a child that’s been car sick multiple times I cannot tell you how wonderful this is to hear. Having to remember how to put the car seat back together is not something I look forward to which often stops us from removing the cover unless really required.
We have a large 4×4 car so you could say we have space for a large car seat but actually this car seat is very well designed and does not protrude too far past the actual seat, it does have to fix into the ISOFIX anchorage points but compared to another car seat it is much slimmer yet retains the safety and protection required should we have a collision and features the Britax SICT inside technology, this is specifically for side impacts ensuring superior protection in the event of a side collision. More details about this can be found on the Britax website. I would say that this would fit well into most cars but if you are unsure you can check on the Britax website to ensure your car is on the list.
The car seat is available in a range of colours, Britax also offers a range of accessories that you can purchase, including a spare cover and a summer cover suitable for hot weather.
The Britax car seat was not one that I had considered for an i-SIZE car seat however I am totally converted and will be recommending it to all our friends and family. It meets all the requirements and then some with the features that are most handy to parents to the safety aspects. The overall look and feel are fantastic and it does not look too bulky or big, not as much as competitors seats do. From a cost perspective it isn’t the cheapest car seat on the market at RRP £350 but it is on par with the other swivel systems and I would say that it is worth it. If you are going to spend money on your child you need to be doing it on something they will be in on a daily basis and is one of the most important things they will need if they will be in the car. I believe you really do get what you pay for with this car seat.
For more information and stockists visit www.britax-roemer.co.uk.