When the rules changed on car seats around ten years ago children who had moved on from using car seats suddenly had to start using them again and parents with three young children had to go out and buy bigger cars because they couldn't fit three car seats alongside each other in the back of a normal car. It's all a far cry from the days when I was growing up and kids used to be crowded into the back of estate cars to make space on the back seats for the Grandparents.
So, we had car seats for our first child - the rear facing first stage one and then the front facing big boy's seat. But we stored our son's old car seat in the shed once he had grown out of it and the cover had gone a bit mouldy by the time we needed a second stage car-seat for our daughter. We kept her in the rear facing seat for as long as possible, having heard from a road safety officer that rear-facing seats were the safest of all, but it was clear that it was too small and she could hardly fit into it much longer. The mould on the old seat washed out, but that car seat had been moved from car to car, carried from place to place and used in many coaches and taxes so we knew that really we needed to buy a new one. I generally try to reuse things for as long as possible but risking a compromise to my child's safety trumps that issue!
Dear daughter and this car seat
We've had a lot of challenges persuading our daughter to stay in her car seat - she's very active and does not like sitting still - so we were looking for one that she would really like (enough to not wriggle out of it whilst travelling down the motorway!). As a result, the version of the Graco Junio Maxi car seat that we went for has a pink design for the padded material cover (to make it even better, I think the design was called Sweetie) and, of course it has cup-holders. These really sold it to her! She loved the idea of being able to store small toys, bracelets and sweeties in these cup-holders. And it was one thing that her brother did not have and indeed had never had! One of the downsides to these cup-holders however is that she has also used them to store food like grapes and biscuits: not very nice when you discover it a month later!
The seat also has little arms - like a miniature armchair - but which fortunately do not get in the way of the seat-belt. It can be easily used with seat-belts on either side of the car. We haven't needed to transfer it between cars very often, only taking it out when we need to put the back seat down to extend the carrying capacity of the car, but it has proved robust and is still in very good condition several years later.
Our daughter seems very happy with this seat. We will be thinking about removing the back of it soon, now that she is seven and growing fast. Luckily this seat can be used as just a booster seat - and even more luckily, the seat is the bit with the cup-holders so our dear daughter will still be happy.
This seat is for Group 2/3 i.e. Children who have grown out of the first stage rear facing seats. It is the sort that uses the car's seat-belts rather than it's own straps.
It is advertised as being suitable for age 4-12, so it will cover you legally the whole way, although your child can stop using it sooner than age 12 if they are tall enough.
We bought this car seat from our local Asda in person rather than online after searching the internet for the best price. This meant that we were able to check immediately that it fitted our car. I think this is one are where buying online is not the best option.
We paid £25 for this seat around four years ago. The current price for the latest design of this seat at Asda (which still seems to be the cheapest of the well know retailers) is £35. Online it states that it will take £10 off when you add it to your basket, but it would be worth checking if there is an equivalent deal at your local bricks and mortar store.
So this is our third car seat purchase!! As our son grows up (he's now 3 years old) we obviously have to buy a chair thats suitable to his weight and keeps him as safe as possible whilst travelling.
This seat is extremely light weight and is a breeze to move in and out of the car if needed. The headrest is adjustable so it can be moved as your child grows taller.
We LOVE the cup holders! No more "mummy! mummy! hold my drink" or "mummy! pass my drink please" - he has it in the comfort of his own space. There is 2 holders so we use one for a little snack and the other for his bottle of water.
The seat is easy to install and my son looks sturdy and safe when hes strapped in. He much prefers it to his other car seats as hes free to move about a little more rather than being held in by the sides of the seat.
You cannot knock the price! especially as we paid up to 100 pounds for previous seats.
I am the very proud Nana of three little ones. My eldest Grandson is practically four years old, his sister three and is baby brother under one years old.
When the eldest was first born he was transported around in a pushchair, which had a seat that doubled up as a car seat. It wasn't long however (sadly) that this dear little lad started growing and before you knew it he seemed very squashed in this travelling car safety seat.
Nana and Grandad decided it would be nice to have a seat in their car, as well as the safety seat he had in his Mum and Dads car, and when shopping in Toys R Us a couple months before his first birthday we happened to be in the queue at the cash desk when we noticed a promotional stand with this lovely looking car seat reduced to half its normal price, it was £29.99 rather than £60 ish.. we didn't need to think twice about it, we knew Graco to be a most reputable name in pushchairs and travel systems and to be honest Toys R Us have a good reputation too and I was happy to buy the car seat from them.
Then we got home and popped the box away until it was needed.... and when it was we realised that we had mad a stupid mistake and bought a stage two and three car seat, whereas my little Grandson was only just under one years old and needed to be in stage one for another couple years.
So, the seat went back under the stairs and stayed there for quite a long time.. until very recently actually when we had the grandchildren visit and decided to take them all out.
Thomas is now four years old and a tall lad for his age, so we set the new seat up and decided that finally this seat could earn its keep.
The Graco Junior Maxi is a great seat. It consists of a booster cushion and a fitting, separate back, it is fastened with the child sitting in it and a three point seat belt being threaded through the correct points on the back part of the seat and clunk-clicked into the seat belt fastener.
It appears exceptionally comfy and as anyone with a four year old knows, the little critic will soon let you know if there is something uncomfortable about the seat.
It is slightly padded all over and even has a little cup holder, which is a nice touch, and little Thomas is finding it quite a novelty to have somewhere to put his beaker.
The covers are removable and are machine washable, which for a seat used by a four year old is exactly what you need - machine washable on a thirty degree cycle.
The head support is adjustable too, which is a bonus as obviously this seat is for a growing child. It is easy to adjust too, it pulls up and down the height that you require.
The seat is forward facing - I do not know the rules and regulations about front seats, so this seat is on the back seat in our car.
It is 81cm high, 41cm wide and 41cm deep.
It is suitable for children from 15kg to 36kg - age range 4 years up to 12 years, obviously as the child gets older the back part of the seat is no longer required, as the seat can just be used as a booster seat.
The seat is classed as being suitable for group 2 and 3 - group 2 being the booster seat with the back attached and group 3 being just the booster seat.
It weighs 3.6 kg, which is not very heavy at all, the seat is totally easy to take out of the back of our car and put away or relocate into another car.
At the moment (February 2013) this seat is available from many stockists, but I looked online at Argos today and can see that it is for sale at £39.99 - not dear at all, considering this is a one off payment and will last your child through from the age of 4 up to 12 years old - conforming with the law covering children being transported in cars.
I will need another 2 seats eventually, for my ever growing brood of grandchildren and would have no hesitation in buying the same model again.
I recently noticed that my youngest son was starting to outgrow his current car seat so I had a look online and decided to buy the Graco Junior Maxi Car Seat. It's for group 2-3 and suitable for children from 4 years-12 years (weighing 15kg-36kg). It's a forward facing car seat and uses a 3 point seat belt. It has an adjustable head support, 2 cup holders and seat belt guides on both sides of the head support. The covers can be washed and the car seat can also be used as just a booster seat (without the back and neck support). The car seat conforms to ECE: R44.04 European safety standards.
I purchased my car seat during the Baby Event at Asda so it only cost £25, which I think is amazing value. The seat came boxed. Inside the box the seat was split into 3 parts; the booster seat, the back support and the head support. The instructions were very clear and made putting the pieces together very easy. The instructions also show you how to position the car seat in the car, how to position the head support and where the seat belt should lie.
Fitting the car seat in the car didn't take long at all. All you need to do it feed the seat belt through the seat belt guide and click your child in. My son loves this car seat. It makes him feel grown up, like his older brother. The cup holders have come in really handy for when we are long journeys. No more trying to juggle juice cartons.
I'd definitely recommend this car seat. I think it offers great value for money and will last a long time as it can be easily adjusted to grow with your child.
The most important essential for your car when you have children is the right fitting car seat. One that is suitable for their age, weight and height. You also need to make sure that the seat is comfortable and that your child is happy with it.
We purchased the Grace junior maxi car seat from Mothercare around a year ago. It cost us around £30-£35. Which I think is a very small price to pay to insure your child's safety.
The Graco junior is high back booster made from strong quality plastic and a nice fitted seat padding with a washable cover. It is suitable for children between the weights of 15 to 36kg.
The car seat nice sits onto the main seat in your car and uses the adult seat belt to secure your child into the car. Very quick and easy to fit into your car with no hassle at all.
The car seat had a removable back so once your little one has out grown it height wise they can use it as a booster seat. It also included the shoulder strap for when the car seat is in booster mode. The shoulder strap is used for attach to the seat belt above the shoulder to keep the strap from digging into the child neck and keep it in the correct safe position.
When you have the back on there is on either side, a red plastic hook. This is to easily twist the seat belt into this also hold the seatbelt above the child's shoulder in a safe secure position making sure that your child is securely seated in the car. There is on either side so you can place this car seat in any of the seats in the car. One you have placed the top through the hole you will need to feed it under the armrests and then into the plug, this makes the seatbelt slightly more secure.
I have washed the covers a few times. They are easy to remove and replace and I did have any shrinking of the covers. I washed them on a 30 degree wash.
On the base of the booster seat there is a cup holder on each side. This is a slight novelty to children and keeps them happy as they can place there drink or snacks into them.
My 4 year old daughter has told me that her car seat is very comfy and that she likes that the seat has a head support as it is comfortable to fall asleep in. She also told me that is doesn't hurt her bottom.
So the car seat seems to be a thumbs up from my daughter.
And this Graco being a branded name they go through many safety checks and if it wasn't a safe product they wouldn't be sold in the shops.
I am very happy with my purchase, and it has certainly been doing its job well since the day I got it.
I intend to use this car seat for my other children as well.
This child car seat is a light weight seat which is suitable for 15 -36 kg, this is about 3 years- 11 years, although the manufactures recommends that the weight of the child/ user is to be the primary choice of the seat to use and not the age, we all know that each child is different!!!
These seats come in a variety of colours and designs, obviously the plain colours cost a fraction of the price of the character ones, and they do the same job!!!
I got this seat, in Gray and red for my son when he was 4.5 yrs, like I said previously, all children are different and 4.5 was when my child was finally 15 kg!!! And to be honest, I wouldn't have trusted my son in anything less than a 5 point harness when he was only 3! We live out of town so use the car often, I find he is able to sit comfortably in it, and when going on a long trip, whilst in the front of the car, I can recline the 'cars' seat which causes the car seat to lie down. This is what I think the manufactures means but 'reclinable'!
There are a lot of adjustable futures on these seats in comparison to other car seat. The head rest can move up and down, and the arm rests have 3 adjustable setting too. The booster part of the seat can be removed for the older (heavier) child. There is two cup holders in the booster seat, this is great because my car does not have a cup holder so long trip I can use the right hand holder whilst my son uses the left.
This seat is light weight and easy to install into most cars, however the head/ back and booster come apart easily, which is annoying when moving from one car to another. BE AWEAR, regular movement in and out of cars, increases the chances of the seat being poorly fitted and unsafe in an accident!!!
The other down side to this is the cup holders are NOT suitable for small items, e.g. money, there is currently a small fortune floating around inside the booster part of my sons seat!!
I think this seat is fantastic value for money, I paid £30 for this from Asda two years ago, and with the easy removable covers looks reasonably still.
This is a an item I would recommend.
I bought the Graco Junior Maxi Car Seat for my daughter when she had just passed her fourth birthday because she had grown out of her toddler car seat. This car seat is suitable for children who weigh between 15 - 36kg - and so that's children who are about 4 until the grow out of car seats altogether - and so we were hoping that this would be the last time we would have to buy this for her. She is now 7 years old and she still comfortably fits in and and it is still in one piece. It cost £34.99 from ToysRUs - and as it has lasted for the last 3 years and is still going strong then I think this was a really good buy.
The car seat comes in different designs, but the design we have is the "Sweetie" design which is very pink and very girly. The central panel on the seat back and the booster cushion has pink and red heats lined up over it of assorted sizes - and it is the sort of thing that little girls would warm to, but that little boys may run away screaming from!
The car seat comes in two separate parts that can be used together and alone. The booster seat is a typical booster seat style which adheres to European safety recommendations (ECE: R44/04) and this has arm rests attached to it and two holder compartments attached to either side. The seat is basically hard and solid, but there is also padding which, my daughter claims, makes it fairly comfortable and the armrests make it more comfortable still because it acts as a kind of containment also so that even if the child falls asleep, they stay firmly on the booster seat. As the child gets older, the booster seat can be used with or without the backrest.
The backrest will attach directly and securely to the booster seat - and as I've said, as the child gets older, you can take the backrest part away and use just the booster seat. My daughter now just uses the booster seat as she has really outgrown the need for a backrest and just finds it uncomfortable. The backrest is nicely curved, again so that the child is contained safety and comfortably (while they're younger) and there is a separately adjustable headrest. Within the headrest there is expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam which provides further protection against side impact. Adjusting this part is easy and painless.
Fixing the car seat into the car is pretty easy and is done by putting the seat belts through the fixed points - and its just as easy to uninstall if needed. There are belt positioners that means that its possible to move the seat belt around from my daughters neck - and so this is an extra safety feature also.
All of the covers can be removed to be washed - and when washed they come up well and don't shrink! There is the option of getting replaceable covers, but we haven't found the need to do this as the covers are still in good condition and my daughter hasn't moaned about them yet!
Overall, I would recommend this car seat for children that are 4 years and older. It's comfortable, safe, adjustable and easy to install.....what more could we want?
We've been looking around for the next stage car seat for our four year old for a while now. I am always worried I won't buy a good model and she won't be the safest as she could be when travelling in the car.
After a lot of searching, comparing and reading reviews, we settled on the Graco Junior Maxi car seat which is suitable for children from the age of four years or 15kg.
The car seat is available in a variety of designs, and we settled on a pink version called sweetie which has hearts on the seat and back covers. All the designs do appear to be retailing at around the same price so whether you wanted a plain or patterned design you shouldn't get stung on price.
We managed to pick this car seat up for £34.99 which is marketed to have £15 off the recommended retail price of £49.99, but to be honest in every shop we looked at that sells the Graco Junior Maxi range, the price was always £34.99.
**In the box**
The car seat comes in three sections in the box. The base seat which is otherwise known as the booster seat, a middle back panel and a head rest section.
There is also a strap that can be used should you are only using the booster seat. This will secure the base of the seat to the seat belt, giving a little more support for older children who perhaps still need extra support.
The seat is very easy to fit together, with the head rest sliding into the back section. This can be raised or lowered to the desired height once positioned in the car according to the height of your child.
Once these two pieces are together, then you need to clip the booster seat onto the back section. This is done via three multi way clips and is easy to do. You will know when you've done it so there was no worry about not doing it properly and providing an unsafe mode of transport for your child.
Once together the car seat is fairly sturdy. If you are using this to transport between two cars then you will need to remember to hold the seat both on the back section and the seat area to avoid the back section flopping backwards and almost laying flat. We have found that if the seat stays in one car then it appears much sturdier.
The seat itself looks quite basic in design, but we did notice that there wasn't a lot of variation in designs across different manufacturers when it came to stage two seats that used the seatbelt rather than a three point harness.
We did notice that there wasn't a lot of padding in the booster seat, but to be honest there wasn't that much padding in some of the stage one's we had previously owned. We also reasoned that we don't do that much travelling for the seat area to become an issue for our daughter.
The seat boasts a curved area on the head section. This appealed to me as a parent because our daughter still occasionally falls asleep in the car, and I did wonder where her head would go without the confines of her previous seat. There is enough space within the head rest to give freedom of movement, but her head also does catch on the side rest when she falls asleep so we almost get the best of both worlds.
On the base of the seat there is an arm rest on either side. This is nice for our daughter to feel as though she is a grown up girl as she pretends she's in a larger chair whilst travelling. These rests are solid and won't move up or down.
A nice little feature that I know my daughter fell in love with was the retractable cup holders. There is one on either side of the booster area which is handy depending which side of the car the seat is positioned on. We have found out that both can be extended on either side of the car which is even better. The cup holder space is quite large and takes our flip lid bottles very well. They do have a tendency to fall over if the bottle is nearly empty, but it's still better than just leaving a water bottle lying on the back seat of the car.
**Fitting into the car**
Unlike stage zero and one car seats, stage twos are a doddle to fit into the car. Place onto the seat of your choice and then the seat belt is secured as you would normally secure for a person. The lap belt section goes underneath the two side rests, and the upper portion of the belt goes down across the child's shoulder and then underneath the side rest with the lap belt section before being secured into the seat belt clip.
The only negative we found when transferring to the stage two car seat was that for the first couple of weeks, our daughter thought it was a great novelty and realised she could undo the seat belt clip if she wanted to. This instigated a safety talk between parents and daughter quite quickly, but I think this is something we face as parents every day as children grow and develop. They are bound to be investigative which is only natural.
In reality the clip does sit quite nicely tucked away in my Fiesta and is harder to reach than in my husband's Astra.
Obviously you want to make sure the car seat will fit your car for safety. I have found that when you move into the stage two car seat which is more than likely the last stage you will need to buy for your children, then the fitting safety isn't as strict as when you are buying a stage one or zero seat. This is down to the age of the child, and the fact that at four years old and above they are more than capable of sitting up straight in the car, and having a seat belt. What they do need is the added height and back / side support of the car seats which is where the stage two's come into play.
You should make sure that despite the child's age that they are in fact big enough to fit into the stage two car seat as some children are very short and narrow in build. If they are two short the seat belt will cut into their neck and make it very uncomfortable and unsafe. If they are slight in build then there is a risk of them slipping underneath the seat belt which again makes it dangerous.
Overall we have all been very pleased with our purchase, and as our daughter grows, the seat will be able to grow with her, enabling the back section to be removed when she is older and we are left with just the booster section for her.
Aftercare for the seat allows the booster cover to be removed and washed, which being a pink colour in our case, I can see this being needed within a few months.
Important information regarding the purchase of the seat
- Side Impact Protection - Yes
- Dimension - L = 41cm / W = 41cm / H = 68 - 81cm
- Weight of the seat = 4.5kg
- Isofix fitting = No
- User weight = 15 - 36 kg
My son who is now 3 has had a range of car seats as i seem to have a small addiction to buying them like i did his buggies.
I regularly shop at asda and they very often have baby events. Last year this was no exception, and the Graco junior maxi car seat in grey and red was on sale for a fabulous £25!! This car seat i have seen ranging from £25 up to £50, and sometimes more depending on a disney branding!! For £25 i thought it was worth a go and if nothing else it would work well as a base booster when he was a little older!
Graco are a company that specialise in baby products, from seats, to prams and bouncers.
As you would expect, this seat meets all the safety standards which you will find on the labelling. When you buy this seat you will find that it comes apart into 2 pieces. The base, which can act as a booster seat in its own right, and the backing, which is ldeal for your growing toddler providing they weigh 15kg and the seat belt doesnt cut into their neck when sat in the seat. This seat weighs a mear 3.6kg, so very light and easy to move from veihcle to veihcle.
I will talk about the seat in the 2 pieces that it comes in, as there are lots of features that i would like to tell you about.
Ok, so the base itself can be used as a booster seat for group 3 seats. The padding is on the slim side, but i have never had complaints from my son that it is uncomfortable. The padding, covers the central part of the base and either side is a grey plastic, easy to clean and hard to permanently mark. Along the front edge, you will find an opaque plastic clip. Long and rectangluar, this clips off and you are able to take off the cover and stick it through your washing machine to freshen up and get rid of the food and occasional vomit stains!!
At the sides of the base, are grey plastic 'arm rests' i suppose. These give extra support for your little ones around the hips, and when the seat is completley together, the waist strap of the seatbelt sits underneath.
Now one of my favorite features are the cup holders either side of the front edges. On the 2 front corners of the base, are light grey plastic cup holders, that slip in and out of the seat and are retractable. These holders have become toy car and sweet holders more that drink holders, as to be fair i dont think that they are deep enough to hold a juice bottle upright safely enough (unless it is just my driving of course). None the less though, they are a great addition and are used on every journey.
On the underside of the seat are 2 long foam rectangular strips that i think are there to help the seat grip inside the car. In thinking, the seatbelt is the only thing keeping the seat in place, and the weight of your child of course, which is why these little seats are so mobile.
I cannot comment on the use of the base booster alone, as my son is too small to be able to use it is this sense.
Now the backing, clips onto the base using 3 'u' type hooks at the back. I have found this quite fiddly and to be honest, if you dont supprt the back when transporting this around, you may find it drops back and comes apart, so be warned!!
The back itself is in kind of 2 sections. The main spine of the back rest is completely covered in the grey fabric, and have 2 elongated 'wings' for support around your childs arms. Graco state that these 'wings' that you will find at the top of the seat also contribute to the triple side protection, safety at an optimum. This section of the seat is the most basic, and this is also where you will find the famous graco branding. The fabric from this section can also be taken off easily and washed. My seat covers have been through the washing machine several times, and i have not found any bobbling or shrinking of the material, so all good!
The top section of the back rest slips into the top of the main shaft of the backing. Again this is fully covered in material that can be washed and is an adjustable headrest. the design is so that your childs neck and head sit in this most upper part of the seat. If it does not, then your child may be too short for the seat.
There is a handle at the top of the seat that you pull from the underside to allow the headrest to be adjusted. At either side of the bottom of the adjustable part is a red clip if you like. This clip is a safety feature and also where you will put the seatbelt through. I currently have this at its lowest position, as my son is only just 3 and although tall, the seatbelt has to be in the correct position.
In conclusion, there are an awful lot of features for such a simple looking seat, especially for the humble price of £25. I apologise if any of my explanation seems a little confusing, i have tried to explain it as i have used it myself. Easy to clean, lightweight and very handy, i would recommend this product to anyone!!
5/5 for me!!
My son has got 2 car seats one for our car and one for his grandparents car, we felt it was time to buy him a new one to go out with his grandparents as the one he currently has is starting to get too small.
A few weeks ago I noticed on the Asda website that there was a baby event, the Graco Junior Maxi was advertised as £14.99. So off we went to Asda to find out that they were £20 instore, we picked one up because it would have cost £4.95 delivery online.
**The Car seat**
The car seat comes in pieces
2.Lower Back support
3.Shoulder belt positioning clip
My husband found it very easy to put the car seat together as there is an instruction manual which has loads of pictures showing how to put the car seat together but also it has written instructions as well.
What I like is that you can easily adjust the height of the headrest, there is like a handle at the top of the headrest and you just squeeze it and move it up and down to adjust the height. We have found this very useful and the good thing is as my son gets older we can keep adjusting it so that he feels comfortable.
The seat has armrests and there is a drinks holder on each side of the seat which my son loves you just simply pull them out when you want to use them and then simply push them back in when they are not in use or what my son likes to do is hide things in them!
The covers are a dark grey which are removable and washable they have elastic on the back of the material which latches onto the back of the car seat.
**Using The Car Seat**
Once we put the car seat together we just simply placed it in the car, threaded the seatbelt through the shoulder belt positioning clip which brings the seatbelt down to the level of my sons shoulder so that the seatbelt is not round his neck. Then we buckle him in making sure the seatbelt goes under the car seat arm rest.
**What do I think?**
Well like I said at the start of my review the grandparents were supposed to have had this car seat but my son loved it so much that we kept it for our car. Last week whilst in Asda we noticed this car seat was on offer for £15 so we picked one up for the grandparents car which my son thinks is very cool!
What I love about this car seat is it is very easy to fit in the car and my son can nearly buckle himself in. Also the good thing about this car seat is when he is old enough we can remove the back of the car seat and he will then use the booster seat.
I love the colours of the covers as they are nice and dark and will hopefully stay clean longer than his current car seat, also the covers are very easy to remove for washing which is a plus!
This car seat does not have as much padding as my sons other car seat but we have been on some long journeys which have lasted a couple of hours and my son has not complained.
My son loves the hidden drinks cups holders and always insists on either taking 2 drinks out in the car or a box of raisins which always has him laughing because he can hide them away.
The only downside to the car seat is now and again my son will fall asleep in the car and the headrest is not deep enough so his head goes all over the place, I have solved the problem with a little cushion that I leave in the car.
Price - £39 Tescos but take a look in Asda as you might find it a lot cheaper!
When we were looking for a car seat for our son, he was 4 at the time, and we wanted something that would support his head as he had a tendency to fall asleep on long journeys and his head would loll. This came recommended as the best of a decent bunch of car seats, and although I can't remember exactly how much it cost, I remember it was very reasonable at the time.
The car seat basically comes in two units. The first is the seat, which acts as a booster seat, with two low arm rests on it. This seat unit has two retractable holders, one on either side, which are a good size for holding pretty much any drink you would give your 4 year old in the car, be it Fruit Shoots or your own bottle from home, or anything else to be honest. They're just as good as little storage units for pieces of Lego and the like, or other toys, ready for the journey.
The seat itself is well padded, soft enough to provide comfort for long journeys. He's now 6, and we've probably had it for about 2 and a half years. The seat still has its cushioned padding that it had to start with. It works very well with safety, as it has the facility to hook the seatbelt through the gap between the armrests and the actual seat, securing the bottom strap through here and in front of the child in the seat.
The top half of the car seat is more for when they're younger, and we're at the stage now where we're considering removing this part and getting him used to just the bottom part. It attaches onto the bottom part, and locks forward in two angles, to fit various seat angles in cars. At this point, it's worth mentioning that attaching and detaching the two parts can be a right pain, with three curved lugs needing to slot into the opposing slots. Once attached, it's very secure as you fold it, but it can take a bit of getting used to. This second back bit has two stages as it goes up, with both sides having outward curving supports for if they loll from side to side. Younger kids don't quite have the established strength in their necks and backs to support themselves, and this helps very much.
The very top part is adjustable, and you can extend it if the child's head protrudes above the top, to ensure constant support. As with the seat, the back and side pads are well padded, and the quality has remained for the time we have had it. You can use it on either side of the car, as there is a slot on either side of the top part of the seat for hooking the seatbelt into. This, combined with the bottom half of the carseat, makes for extra protection, and means that the seatbelt isn't cutting into the child's neck, only allowing it to cross the body once it has reached the slot on the upper part of the carseat.
It looks really comfortable to sit in, and my son is very happy sitting in there. As I said earlier, we're thinking of taking the top part off to get him used to having a more regular seat, with essentially just the booster seat underneath him and nothing at his back. This would reduce the aid when he falls asleep, but at 6, he's a bit more able to support himself in the car, and it would be a matter of getting used to not having the back there.
The covers for the carseat are removeable, washable, and ultimately, replaceable. I know you can get various themed ones, with Toy Story seeming to be the latest favourite one. We just have a rather plain pattern on the one we have, but then he's sitting on it nearly all the time and any kind of themed seat would be a bit of a waste of time.
Overall, I do highly recommend this carseat. It's currently available for anywhere between the £30 and £40 mark, it seems, which appears to be a good price. Padded seats, with good protection and of a sturdy build and quality. Recommended.
On searching for a car seat I wanted to make it a purchase that would last a good few years and grow with my child. My son was 4 at the time and so in order to do this I needed to get a car seat that was suitable for him now but would also be suitable for him when he was 8 or 9 years old.
I had seen a few seats where there was a back to the seat that could be used for the smaller child and then this could be detached once they were slightly bigger and so this is what I set out to look for.
After searching online I came across a few ideas and then went to have a look in person. I think a car seat is something you need to see and touch and your child to sit in it to see that is comfortable for them and suitable.
I was having a look around the store and came across this seat. The reason being that it was on offer (this always catches my eye!!) and it was perfect for what I wanted.
The thing that stood out with this is that it was a dark colour and so it will fade into the background of the car. It is the exact colour as above. The only difference is ours has covers on the armrests too (only these do slip off from time to time and usually end up staying on the floor!) The back can be taken off eventually to be able to just use it as a booster seat. As my son was 4 I didn't need a seat that had belts included so this not having them was a plus for me as it just needed to be placed into the car and the seat belt is attached through the top and over the child like a normal passenger. This means that it is easy to remove if needed and put back within minutes.
On removing it, it is not that heavy so this is not a problem and as the back comes off it can be easily stored in the boot.
The covers come off easily to clean, although I have only done this once.
The head rest can be adjusted to the height you require and there are also armrests. The other good thing I love about this seat is that it has pull out cup holders on both sides that come out of both front corners. These come out easily and fit back just as easy when not in use. My son uses it to keep sweets (or gogos) in. On asking what he likes about it, he says it's the secret compartment!
Overall this ticked all the boxes and now my son uses it as a booster seat as he is now 7 and I am very impressed with it. He can use it up until he is 10. It was easy to install, easy to clean, easy to use and he says it is very comfortable.
Definitely recommend this car seat. I purchased it for about £25 but it looks like you can get it from Amazon for about £35 which is a good price in my opinion when you get 7 years out of it. Considering we have had it for 3 years already it still looks new even though I have a boisterous boy.
We have had our moneys worth with this car seat - we bought it five years ago and still use it now and it still has loads of life in it yet. We bought it for our then 4yr old but as he is quite small for his age the seatbelt was still too high so he was five before he used it. Its now being used by our youngest son who is 6yrs old as a stage 3 booster seat.
The car seat features -
Height adjustable head support grows with the child
Height adjustable arm rests to give better back support
Raised seat and belt guides ensure maximum performance
Colour coded seat belt guides
The back can be removed to leave a group 3 booster
2 position recline
2 retractable cupholders
Removable and washable cover
Dimensions: 41cm x 41cm x 68-81cm (LxWxH)
My thoughts on the features -
The headrest is the main reason I bought this car seat as it is quite wide so even when the child falls asleep the head does not drop and give neck ache. As the head rest is adjustable (very easy to adjust even with one hand) it can take different sized children. The back part is also quite wide so can be left on until the child is quite old, the only reason we no longer have the back part for our six yr old is that we have three car seats in the back and with the back on they didnt all fit as it is so wide.
The arm rests are on the booster seat part which my son likes as it makes him feel grown up.
The covers are dark so do not need to be removed very often for cleaning as they hide the dirt well but the option is there to remove and clean them.
Once the back is removed it can easily be put back so can again can be used for different children.
It is a very lightweight car seat but as the back comes off so easliy it can be a pain to carry if using it in more than one car.
The drinks holders are a great idea as it stops spills in the car - one word of warning though check them regularly as I often find mouldy sandwiches and black banana skins in them - they are easy to clean though !!
We paid around £30 for ours but as this was a number of years ago it has probably gone up slightly. We bought it from Halfords but I think Mothercare also sold it.
I have had this item for about 6 years now. Having passed seats down to each child after having to get bigger ones, this is now on its last child, of mine anyway.
My son is now 5 and he is a lanky little dude, as all of my children have been, (Their father is 6' 8"). He first started in this seat when he was about 2, nearly 3. Have to say was not disappointed in having to get rid of the seats that are for ages 0 - 4.
The Graco Junior seat is easy to fit in the car, just sit it on the seat thread the seat belt through which ever shoulder handle is the right side and click the seat belt in. It really could not be easier.
Taking the seat apart to clean it (should you have ant accidents in the ill child area) is easy too.
The base folds underneath and back and slides off, and the headrest, all you have to do is click up the handle and pull the read rest up and off. Thats it, 3 seperate pieces.
The fabric cushion buts just click out of place with various fixinfs, some hook and loop elastic and the base had a three pronged plastic part that click out of the base.
All of the fabric / cushion parts are washable (I have done this many, many times in the past). It only took me about 5 minutes to take apart and put back together.
The plastic parts are easily wipable, and for those hard to reach nook and crannies I always make sure I have a trigger spray bottle with an adjustabble nozzle, The pressure get rid of the muck quite effectively.
The cup holders are a great addition, mine uses one side for a cup or bottle and the other for squashing their bags of crisps or their fruit in. Good thing its easily wiped down!
I Like the curved head rest, as I find as a parent, there is nothing worse than you looking in the rear view mirror and seeing your sleeping childs head lol to one side when theres nothing to stop it. With this seat you don't have that problem. Their head just rests on the side and looks quite comfortable too.
The arm rests, I suppose, and added safety measure, if in the event of an accident i would think that this helps the legs getting damaged.
Now this seat comes in a few different colour choices. I stuck to the old neutral black, but there is a vibrant pink and blue and probably a few more besides.
I, for one, am very pleased I chose this seat, its lasted a very long time and apart from the odd xscuff, look the same as when it was first bought.
Graco Junior Maxi Car Seat.
I've owned this car seat for about five months. I had to upgrade my three year old because he was too big for his previous chair. After surfing the internet and reading the reviews I settled on the Grace Junior Maxi Car Seat. I waited a further month to buy it in the January sales. It was meant to be anywhere between £55 to £70 from my research but I managed to but it for about £30 from Mothercare, with plenty of stockists it's easy to find a bargain though. This chair is suitable for ages four to eleven, this is a general guide depending on the size of your children.
It arrived in a cardboard box with a clear picture on it and some information but the majority of the information is on a leaflet inside the box. It complies with all British safety standards, as you would expect. It needed a little assembly but it wasn't difficult.
The base of the unit is wider than previous boosters I've used but I do manage to fit it in the back seat of my Ford Focus with a baby seat either side so I should imagine it fits easily in most cars. The seatbelt feeds through easily and fastens in as normal. There are two pull out cup holders contained within the base of the unit, we use them to store small toys to keep the children entertained on longer journeys.
The colouring of my chair is black, grey and red. The padded part is easy to remove and wash if needed. It is sturdy and feels secure when fastened in. The back is removeable as your child gets bigger.
It's good product that will keep your children safe in the case of an accident.
Features: Lightweight, easy to handle and fits in most cars; Padded reclining seat; Adjustable head and armrests; Retractable cup holders; and Raised seat and belt guides ensure maximum performance.