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When I had my first child, our car didn't have Isofix, and by the time we got my car (2002 Skoda Fabia) my son was too old for infant carriers, though we were very pleased with the Britax Safefix seat we got for him. So when this bundle was on the way, again we looked to Britax, and our previous experience, along with a positive score on Which tests guided me to the Britax Babysafe SHR II and Isofix base. It wasn't my ideal choice, because I can't see how a seat that clicks into a base can be as safe as a seat which attaches directly into the car by isofix, but when I took other factirs into consideration, I still decided on this.
The Britax site informed me that this seat and base was approved for my car for added reassurance. I purchased the seat from Halfords who had a promotion at the time where two seats could be purchased for a reduced rate when purchased together, and the website allowed me to count the base and seat as two separate seats.
I found it slightly awkward to install the base into my car, it didn't slot in as straightforwardly as the Safefix seat I had for my son. The floor leg had plenty of adjustability to ensure a good fit, and the seat came with seat protectors/guides which are plastic shapes which clip onto the isofix bar in the car to prevent the seat ripping and make it easier to install the base. I was disappointed that there wasn't a clear visual indicator that the isofix had clicked in correctly.
Installing the seat was straighhtforward, align and click in. Again I'd have liked a visual indicator to assure me that it was in place. The base has clips that click around bars in the seat. Removing the seat is via a button on the front of the base. I'm sure it's thoroughly tested, but it did concern me slightly that this was at the front of the base - if my seat was forced back in a crash, would it release the baby seat from the base? This was different in my son's safefix seat where two buttons needed to be simulataneously pressed to release the seat.
I don't know whether it was the base or the seat but the seated angle of my son was steep when installed in my car, and as a newborn I frequently found him slumped forward after a journey. Considering the combination had been supposedly approved for my car by Britax and fit checked when purchased I found this disappointing.
The flap which fits up against the back of the car seat has instructions printed on it. My son finds these fascinating and frequently stares at them during the journey.
Another review has suggested a limitation of this base is that it is specific to the infant carrier - combined it certainly does make a large investment in terms of cost, but with Britax the seats for older children include the isofix integrated into the seat so don't require a separate base.
Although many of my complaints about this product are specific to my car, or I'm unsure whether the problem rests in the seat or base, I don't find this product combination reassuring, and wouldn't purchase if I was to make the choice again.
When I was looking around for a car seat when I was pregnant, I came across the Isofix idea & thought it was a great idea. The Isofix car seats (or bases) clip onto Isofix points in the car, normally located on the back seats, which means the seats are securely fixed to the main structure of the car rather than using a seatbelt which is commonly incorrectly installed.
I checked our car (a 2006 Mini - yes I know not an ideal family car!) and was happy to find we had the standard Isofix points. The Isofix anchors look like little metal loops at the base of the seat in the back, between the back and the seat cushions.
If you are looking to buy an Isofix car seat be careful as many cars do not have the standard fitting, some car manufacturers previously had their own special fittings which meant you have to buy the car seat directly from the car manufacturer if you want to use the Isofix. However, a lot of newer models have the universal anchor points. Check your car manual first!
It is not yet mandatory for new cars to have the universal Isofix anchor points, but most now do. I think it is becoming law between 2012 & 2014.
After looking around there were not many options for the Isofix base, therefore I went for the Britax. It is a well known name & is a leader in the car seat safety technology.
~ Availability ~
As this Britax is one of the bigger car seat brands it is available in most places which sell car seats i.e. Mothercare (£109.99), Boots (£89.99), Kiddicare (£74.49), Amazon (£73.60). It does pay to shop around the internet as the price variance is huge! I ended up getting this from Amazon as they were the cheapest at the time (and I can get my Nectar points in the click through!).
~ Product ~
The base itself is a very sturdy looking thing, made out of strong metal pipes and hard plastic. It looks a bit confusing when you first look at installing but really it is quite simple. There are two catches that stick out on the "seat base" with red push buttons to lock and release the base from Isofix anchor points and a leg which extends to the floor to support the base, to avoid any movement.
On the board that rests against the back of the car seat, has a pictorial guide on how to install the base, however, it is recommended you read the instruction booklet which comes with the base as there are a few safety issues which you need to look at when installing. I suppose it is there for future removal/installation as a reminder of how to install.
Once the base is in, you do not need to remove unless you are going out without the child seat & need the seat. It is easily removed and replaced and the base folds flat for storage.
To get the child car seat in and out is very simple, you just sit the seat on top of the base and you hear a big clunk and the green part of the release button is visible to show that the seat is in correctly. To release the child car seat you just push the button firmly and lift the handle.
When the seat is in there it feels very secure and doesn't move, even when pushed and rocked by hand.
The only issue I have with this seat, is that it is ONLY for the Britax Babysafe rear facing car seat, it will be useless once the child has outgrown this seat. I am not sure the resale value of these items, as people are reluctant to purchase second hand car seats in case it has been in an accident, therefore I expect it to be the same for the bases.
However, for peace of mind and convenience for the car seat, I definitely think it is worth it. Plus we intend to have more children so it will be passed on..