Reviewed by Claire Murray
Rear facing child seats are mandatory in other European countries for children until the age of four, U.S guidelines until at least the age of two and it’s been proven to be a whopping five times safer to travel with your child rear facing as opposed to forwards facing for the under four’s.
There is a big perception that you can’t use rear facing seats when their legs grow long enough to touch the car seat, but this just isn’t true. Children bend their legs and put them against the footplate and this month I’ve been testing the Cybex Sirona for protecting my most treasured cargo!
This beautiful Group 0+/1 0-18kg seat retails at £375 and you can see on first sight what you get for your money. It’s a stylish and sturdy looking seat and mine is orange and beige coloured. It was chosen as the test winner by Germany’s leading consumer testing organisation Stiftung Warentest in the test 6/2012.
It attaches via the Isofix into the seat and I’ve had this both in my Vauxhall Mokka and my Mini Cooper and there is more than enough room in both which is amazing as I’ve tried numerous car seats in my Mini. Once the leg is adjusted to the right height and the seat slid up to the back rest, this can be clicked into place and easy observed to be locked by the colour coded areas. I found it easy to lift in and no heavier than other seats at 16kg.
The recline can be changed to seven positions, catering for comfiness from newborn. I’ve mostly used the full recline for my nine-month old and her head was perfectly in place and she remained comfortable when asleep with no hanging of the head which I had in every other seat I’ve tried. There is a moveable section for the head rest which slides up or down to 11 settings with the touch of your finger so that it fits your child every step of the way.
Then for the best bit… The 90 degree rotation! When you go to put your child in or take them out, you slide your hand into the area on the seat front grasp the top and bottom button and the seat glides round weightlessly to face your for easy access. It’s such a treat! When removing the seatbelt, which is a 5-point harness, the metal clasps hold magnetically to the areas at the side, meaning you don’t have to dig around under your child to reach them, which is another luxury perk!
When travelling, the seat surrounded my baby and was ergonomically perfect for her with the dips at the side a perfect height for her to rest her arms in, enough room to rest by her legs and lots of leg room that she could get comfy and not be sat with them in one fixed position. The seat has an apron which removes the gap between the foot plate and the seat meaning she didn’t drop her toys too.
The material is a super soft and cosy fabric which is easy to remove and wash at 30 degrees and has added perks such as the shoulder straps and waist cushions are attached with poppers, meaning they come off in a second. I was able to wipe clean any mess as the fabric is a great quality and putting it all back on was just as simple.
There is the option to forward face from four months to four years with this seat. Once the footplate has been removed, you can turn 180 degrees and after the seat belts have been tucked into their holder out the way, the cushion restraint may then be used. This is a matching barrier which clips on using seatbelt clips either side of the seat to spread the force of the collision and absorbing the impact like an airbag would. This has been proved to be safer and provides even more protection if your child is forward facing.
All the manuals can be found neatly tucked away behind the zip of the outer cover behind the seat in a slot which means they’re always accessible and ready to look at without having to find more space for these.
There are additional options to buy, a summer seat cover for £49.95 which is a white towel cover to reduce sweating in the summer which looks really comfy! You can also buy a newborn insert for £40 which is a padded insert to keep baby nice and flat for extra safety.
If I had to find fault with this seat, and this has been incredibly hard… The only thing I came across was when I turned the seat to rear face after strapping her in, when I reclined it, I sometimes caught her foot in the centre hole area of the footplate. Had the apron cover, which makes this area seamless been a bit longer or had it been a solid plate, I don’t think her feet would catch. But it’s really been no problem since happening as I move her feet out of the way now.
As I mentioned above, the retail price of this seat is £375, which works out at just over 25p per day for one of the best seats I’ve tried out by far. The ease of getting her in and using the rotation function which genuinely is a one–handed job makes life so much easier. The uneasiness of seeing her head hang when asleep has gone with not one instance. I think the price for peace of mind knowing my child is safe is worth every penny and there won’t be a question of what I’ll buy for my next baby, I’ve recommended this seat to everyone I’ve spoken to since having it!
- Safely rear-facing up to approx. 4 years
- 360° rotation with easy entry position
- Front-facing with adjustable impact shield (9 –18 kg)
- One-click installation with ISOFIX
- Telescopic Linear Side-impact Protection (L.S.P. System)
For more information visit www.cybex-online.com/gb/carseats/sirona.html.
Available to buy from Amazon here.