* Prices may differ from that shown
When you are looking for a car seat for your newborn it can be really difficult to decide which one to go for as they are all so different in terms of price but all essentially do the same thing... that is the case anyway until you look closely and you realise that actually car seats differ a lot in what they do.
The car seat that we chose for baby Hope before she was born was the Maxi Cosi and the reason why we chose it was because it was the safest on the market. Now I can see that it has another benefit to it too- it's actually the most practical on the market too.
The majority of car seats fit into your car by the seat belt securing them in place which means that every time you want to take the car seat out of the car you have to start to unfasten the seat belt and disconnect the car seat like this and then once you return to your car with the seat the whole installation programme begins again. This may not seem like that big a deal but wouldn't it be easier to just be able to lift the car seat out like you would with your bag or the pushchair or something?
Well this Easybase makes this possible! Instead of installing the car seat to your car you install these base and the car seat slots into it. This means you can just lift the car seat out as and when you need it and it is the base which you leave behind in the car.
The base comes separately to the car seat which seems a little odd considering that you can't attach the car seat to your car any other way but I guess perhaps some people only want the car seat to use along with their pushchair or they may not need a base etc but it does seem strange that there are no options to buy both together. The car seat cost around £110 and the base almost matched that at £80 so when buying this you are looking at quite an expensive item especially when it is only used for about 9 months.
The base is very solid and rather heavy which is obviously for safety reasons and it isn't the sort of thing you will be carrying around with you so I don't see this as being a problem. The only time I Have had to move it was from taking it from one car to another so it's never involved a huge walk whilst carrying this.
It is made from very tough plastic and metal. The base is moulded out into the shape of the seat so it's obvious just from looking at it where abouts the seat should fit. You put the base onto the chair of your car and then you ensure that the metal leg fits in the chair well of your car. This secures it in place and the foot of this leg can be adjusted so that it is at the correct angle. once it is in the right position the little window on this foot will display a green circle. If it's in the wrong position it will show red so it is easy for you to see if you have it in the right place or not.
The base then gets secured by you threading the seatbelt through the base, through several twists and turns, plugging the seat belt into the socket and then pulling the excess belt as tightly as possible before securing it in place with the blue lever. This can be a bit complicated the first time you do it and even the second and third time but it is actually quite simple and you do get used to it. I was shown how to do it in store and then again by my husband once we got home and after a few attempts it became easier to do. This isn't the kind of process you'll be having to use very often anyway so although it's fiddly it's not something you'll be having to keep doing.
The base is then in place and ready for your car seat. The car seat slots into the base and when in the right position it shows a green circle in the window on the base again indicating that you are in the right place. To remove the seat you just pull out a level and lift the seat up so you can carry your baby in the seat out of your car without having to go through the whole installation programme again because the base is left behind.
In my opinion this base is a fantastic idea. It is great to be able to lift the car seat out without any bother, friends of mine had car seats that had to be disconnected each time and it would add time onto their journies anywhere and as well as time it was also disruptive for the baby who would wake up whilst the car seat was being banged around and released from the car. It really is extremely useful and I would never consider buying a different kind of car seat again as this base makes life a lot easier.
Although it is expensive, heavy and a little difficult at first to install I still give this base 5 stars because I can't think of a better design idea myself and it really was extremely useful.
It is important that when you buy this you get someone to show you how to fit it properly and that when you do fit it you check that it is as stiff as possible. There are some cars that this base won't fit into so ensure that you check it out first.
They are available from Halfords, John Lewis, babies r us, Mothercare and other stores for around £75 which is expensive but it's worth every penny.
I thought about what useful product I could review and realised that I hadn't even thought about the car seat base which we have as it's so easy to forget about seeing as it is no trouble at all!
Children have to travel in carseats which is great for safety and knowing that you rbaby is safe as you drive but it is also quite limiting when you need to go in another other to the one that has your car seat in or is awkward when you have to keep lifting your baby in and out of the car seat and then putting them into the push chair.
Maxi Cosi have created this really easy to fit base which solves so many problems! For a start the car seat clips into the base and takes just seconds to remove it and then carry into the house so you don't have to struggle or wake the baby up. Secondly, the base is what is all connected in by seatbelts etc so the car seat itself is all about being that- a car seat and not a complicated design of a safety device with lots of holes and fastenings for attachment.
The base is what I am reviewing though so here are the specifics of the base.
The base is basically a large 'station' for which the car seat slots into. It sits on the back seat of your car and is secured by a large 'foot' which folds out and stands on the footwell in front of the seat. This keeps it steady. The seat belt then slides through the base up through a hole on either side before clipping into the seat belt section of the car. You then have to pull the seat belt taught before securing it in place with the blue clip.
It sounds a little complicated at first but it really is so very easy to do! I was shown how to do it and then was able to do it myself after just one demonstration and then showed my wife and she also found it easy to do. The only bit which is a little difficult is making sure the seat belt is tight enough so that the base doesn't wobble at all and is extremely stable but this is easy to do once you've done it the once.
The base then stays in place and doesn't move at all so all you do is pop your car seat in and it will click and a green window will appear in the side of teh base to show that the seat has slotted in correctly. If the seat isn't slotted in correctly then a red window appears. Usually if it isn't slotted in correctly it's just because you have the angle wrong and a bit of jiggling around soon slots it into place!
The foot which sits in the footwell of the car also has a window which shows in red or green. This window shows if the foot is firmly on the ground, if it is slightly up in the air or at an angle it will show red and it's then really easy to just move it to the correct angle to get the green safety window showing.
The base is easy to take out of the car too it is just a case of unfastening the seat belt, opening the blue clip, dragging the seat belt back out and then just lifting the base up. It can then be put into another car easily so is really useful if you are having a lift somewhere or you have more than one car and so need to swap the seat between the two.
The base is a big black bulky construction made from plastic and metal and so it is rather heavy as it is for safety and so it's important to have some weight on it. This is probably vital but is also seen as a negative in my wife's eyes as she finds it an awkward, cumbersome item to carry but we don't often have to carry it, the most we would do would be from one car to the next.
With car seats which don't need a base it's easy to just carry the car seat around and then get in any car and fix them in to it but with this car seat it means you have to have the base with you and it's not something you can carry around so will have to be secured in the car previously. This just means that you have to think ahead- if you're going to be somewhere make sure that the car you're using has the base in.
It's easy to clean as it's just plastic and it shouldn't really get covered in baby-related things anyway seeing as it is just the base so it would be the car seat itself which would cop for all the soggy biscuits and what not that are likely to fall onto it. But if you did want to clean it it would be very easy to wipe clean with some hot soapy water.
Which magazine has voted this car seat in it's top for safety and so it is a great buy with a great reputation.
The base costs between £50-£80 depending on where you buy it and what deals are on. I purchased mine a year ago from Toys r Us for £75. When buying the base it is vital that the store you buy it from fits it to your car and shows you how it is installed so that they can be sure that it fits your car and that you know what you're doing. Stores can be taken to court if they sell you a car seat without properly fitting it/checking your car first.
I think that it is great value for money, when it comes to safety you're willing to pay anything to ensure that your baby is safe and with this car seat base you definitely know that your money is well spent. I have seen friends with car seats that don't come with bases struggling for a good 10/15 minutes to get their car seats back in the car after they've been shopping or somewhere. Who wants to stand around in a car park struggling to fasten in a car seat whilst it's raining and your baby's crying when you can simply just slot the car seat into the base and off you go? This is a definite good buy and I cannot fault it for safety or ease of use at all. It's title 'easy fix' is definitely spot on.
I have used the Maxi Cosi EasyBase for both of my children and found it an absolute god send.
Once you have fitted the base in your car it is so easy to click your car seat in and out. We found it a little tricky to initially fit the base in the car as it felt quite stiff and almost like it wouldn't fit, however once it has been fitted once, when we did have to fit it again (in another car for example) it was much easier to fit and slotted in straight away.
It is straightforward to fit a Maxi cosi car seat into the base. When you have a screaming child and you just need to get going quickly it is good not to have to worry about strapping the car in using a seatbelt.
I guess it does seem like an expensive/non essential item compared to all the things you have to buy when you have a baby. However, in my opinion it is well worth the money.
We got this carseat base just before our baby was born. We had seen other parents struggle with fastening carseats and carrying baby around everwhere without taking the carseat with them, so we decided to buy the base as well. It made life easier!! It is so easy to adjust and fasten.
On first time use, it took us a while to put the base on but this was more due to my hubby not wanting to read the instructions for easy assembly!!! When in car, it is very easy to use. All you do is put the carseat on the base. You will hear a clicking noise when it is in place. There are red and green buttons on the base which show whether the base is correctly on or not. Red for not on correctly and green is all good for driving.
It is so simple to take the carseat with you everywhere and has really helped us a lot. Our boy is now in a forward facing caseat and I am missing the easyness of the first nine or so months we used the Maxi Cosy EasyBase.
It is pricy, but well worth the money and it is re-sellable on sites like Ebay where you would get some money back for it.
If you are after easyness and quickness, this product is for you.
MAXI COSI EASYBASE
A must have for any parent who wishes to make there life so much easier by taking the hassle out of getting their prince or princess out of the car.
The dreaded Scenario :
You have just got your little one to sleep, yes they have been awake all night and you have finally got them to sleep and then you realise you must go out but the little one has fallen asleep...you can carefully slip them into the car seat that is fine but trying to get the belt around the car seat and secured without wakening sleeping beauty is mission impossible so here is the answer....
THE SAVIOUR...MAXI COSI EASYBASE.
Ok, this may be a bit of an exaggeration but it feels that way when you have been up all night and all you want is to get the car seat into the car without wakening your little one.
What is an Easybase?
An Easybase is designed to allow you to securely fit your car seat into the easybase which is fastened to the seat belt. It is completely secure and the car seat slot easily into the easybase and clicks into place ensuring no need to fiddle about with seat belts etc.
Is it easy to use?
Yes, very easy. It can take a bit of time to get the Easybase into place and set up but most sops will do this for you so you will not need to move the base again and all that is required is for you to just slot the car seat into the Easybase.
Is it worth the money?
This depends on your outlook...personally I loved the Easybase as it saved so much hassle and time. Yes it can be expensive but worth every penny.
My advice would be for anyone who is due or has a child to seriously consider this brilliant device as it will save your sanity and time when taking your young one into the car.
This is the most amazing product for those early days with a younf baby. It is expensive and lots of people may consider it not necessary, but honestly it makes life so much easier. We bought this as part of a travel system package when I was expecting my daughter. I had seen other people spending ages putting baby seats in the car and this seemed like a great way to avoid all the faffing around. We fitted it in the car while I was still pregnant and then every time we used the car after my daughter was born, it was a breeze. You just put the car seat onto the base and wiggle it to check it has clicked into position. It is pretty obvious but there are also indicators on both sides that change from red to green to show whether or not it is safely in position. Makes travelling so much less hassle. Will definately use again for future children.
I bought this over 2 years ago for my first son and i'm now using it for my second son. It has to be one of the best buys I ever made. We had the bugaboo pram and wanted to clip the car seat to the pram base. The easy base made this extremely easy. Parking on the road side wasn't a problem. You don't need to worry about your car door been took off by a passing car as it takes seconds to drop you car seat onto the base. It takes the stress away of getting the car seat in the car.
The base is very easy to install with your 3 point seat belt and the support leg is ajustable to fit your car. It is very safe and easy to use with the colour indicators telling you when the car seat is attached to its base correctly and also one on the support leg to tell you it is positioned safely.
Overall I think the price is out weighed by the practicalityof this product. It makes a mums life that little bit easier.
I bought the Maxi Cosi EasyBase because I knew i wanted to use a baby carrier that would fit onto the pram I was buying (a bugaboo bee) and maxi cosi were the only ones that would fit. But this did mean that I had the option of also using the easy base.
At first balked at the price - they're not cheap by anyone's standards and I wondered just how much better they were than just using a seat belt to secure the carrier/car seat. But once I bit the bullet and bought one and started using it I was so pleased that I had.
The base is a bit tricky to install at first - or perhaps after my husband had been up all night in the delivery ward he wasn't thinking too clearly. It is also very heavy - far too heavy for me to lift when pregnant. however, thankfully we only had to fit it the once as it stays in the car.
The main benefit of it is that you can leave the base in the car and the baby carrier/ car seat just clicks into it - not fiddling with seat belts to make sure it's secure. Then when you want to take it out you pull the handle and unhook the seat. It's so convenient and gives you a real fighting chance to get a sleeping baby in and out without waking them.
It's also good to know that the seat is apparently more secure using one of the bases than just the seat belt alone and there's no chance of fitting it incorrectly either (which is apparently what lots of us do with the traditional seat belt secured seats.)
It's handy if your car is compatiable with it - most new cars are fitted with isofix in the back (little slots that the base fits into and is then secured by) but if you have a car that's more than a couple of years old you might struggle. However the base can apparently be fitted with just the seat belt which will still give you the option of clicking the seat in and out.
We bought the maxi cosi carseat and then looked at these bases. We bought one after listening to the spiel frorm the assistant. Although they are good i wish we hadn't bothered with one. The assistant said some cars have shorter seatbelts then others and this may be a problem but it is not the case with our cars The base stays in my husbands car and i do not use one. I have found that seat is just as secure in my car without the base. As i have said it is a good product but i wish i had spent the £100 + amount of money on something else. With the base unit the passenger seat does not go back as far as without the base. My husband does like it though and finds it easy to get the seat on and off the base but i find it harder. Once you have got used to getting the seat in and out without using a base it does not take that long to warrent spending the extra money.
This base makes using your Maxi Cosi car seat so much easier - worth every penny!
When you decide to buy a care seat you accept the hassle of fitting the seat every time you want to go out with your baby especially if you bought a car seat that fits onto your pram wheels for extra convenience. When this becomes a reality you find yourself actually deciding whether to take the car when you go out with your baby - having to fit the car seat every time never seems to get any easier!
Feeding that seat belt through loops while your baby is actually sitting in the seat is difficult enough without any wind rain or snow involved. And if you baby is sleeping you do your very best not to wake them up. If its dark you end up with your mobile in your mouth to let you have two hands free to fit the seat.
The alternative is to keep the seat permanently fitted in your car and lift only your baby out but this is difficult to do without waking them up, and as they get older/bigger its also difficult to avoid banging their head off the actual car! Again the weather or lack of light becomes an issue when its home time and you have to find the harness to strap in your baby.
All this has to be done properly EVERY time to ensure maximum safety for your baby.
Each of these problems are solved by the EasyBase. It's easily fitted into your car using the seat belt and an arm to prop it up from the floor of your car. The base remains permanenty in your car. With the lift of one handle you can release your car seat without disturbing a sleeping baby and fix the seat onto your wheels. Much quicker in bad weather, easier if its dark too.
A'traffic light system' makes fitting the base idiot proof with red lights displayed for incorrect fitting and green lights if its all in properly. There are also lights to show if the seat in in the actual base properly so everyone is reassured that safety will not be compromised by human error.
No disadvantages at all - perhaps just the price. The actual seat is expensive enough
Maxi-cosy cabrio easy fix base. This was a great investment, having a 3 door car i found it very hard to get the car seat in and out having to strap it in everytime i wanted to pop out. It just became an a problem as not everytime i got it in tight enought and would worry about it tipping over as i went round the corner. I then invested in the maxicosy easyfix base. Ican leave it in the car and not worry weather or not i have fitted the car seat in correctly.
It such an easy item to use. It just straps into the car (occasionally i would re fit it to make sure it was correctly in but thats not a problem) there is a leg that sits in the footwell which went fitted correctly shows a green spot and if its not it shows red. its very easy to use and has saved me lots of time and effort.
Once you have placed the car seat into the base there is anm indicator on either side yet again shows red if fitted incorrectly and green to say your ready to go.
I must say altough £60 seemed alot of money at the time it was defently worth it knowning that my daughter was saftly fitted in the rear of my car. plus £60 is nothing compare to what your child is worth. and to know they are safe you cant put a price on that.
I am now due to use it for my son, Its been packed away for the last year and is finally going to be used again. A fantastic product so glad i kept it.
10/10 very coviniant.
We invested in the maxi cosi cabriofix car seat for our baby a while before he was due and with anything it lay in the box until the week before his due date when we thought we better try it out in the car. We weren't happy as the car seat seemed very wobbly and unsafe so quickly looked for a solution and found this easybase.
The most appealing part of this is that the car seat just clips onto the base without having to struggle with seatbelt etc which is a blessing considering we have a 3 door car! This makes getting in and out of the car so much less time consuming.
How is it fitted? well to be honest we cheated and purchased it from a well known high street store who fits car seats safely for free. However it couldn't be easier. The base sits on the seat of your car and a big metal foot type contraption folds out and stands on floor in front of the seat which holds the base steady, you should notice that the red indicator at bottom of foot has changed to green if its fitted properly. Next, the seatbelt slides through the base up through a hole on either side before clipping into the seat belt section of the car. You must make sure the seatbelt is tight before securing with the blue clip otherwise base will wobble a little.
When clipping the car seat on to the base ensure the indicator at side has changed from red to green just like the one at base of foot.
This base provides more safety and although a little pricey is worth the money for extra safety for your precious little one
Anyone with young children will know the hassle and bother of fiddling with infant car seats to get them secured properly. It usually involves a veritable dance of up, under and over as you loop seatbelts this way and that while trying your best not to tie yourself in knots.
When we invested in a new Maxi Cosi Cabrio car seat for our newborn son, I resigned myself to at least another year of back seat ballet, but my resourceful wife rode to the rescue, informing me of a product made by Maxi Cosi called "Easybase" which allows the car seat to be clicked in and out of place very simply, without the pfaff of using the seatbelt. Intrigued and hopeful, I decided to investigate.
WHAT IS IT?
Put simply, the Easybase is a heavy form fitted base suitable for most cars which uses the three point seat belt on the back seat, plus an extendable retractable leg, to create a solid and practically immovable base for compatible car seats. Maxi Cosi car seats have two metal bars underneath, and these easily click in to the retaining mechanism.
It is currently available on Amazon for £71.50 and it also comes in a more expensive Isofix version (£92.69) for cars which have the facility (our 55 reg Ford Focus Zetec did not). It is suitable for children up to 13 kilos - so from birth to about a year old.
HOW IS IT FITTED?
A word of warning - at around 11 kilos, the Easybase is very heavy - an essential feature to ensure it provides a solid platform for the car seat. Our version was simply but securely packaged (with completely recyclable materials) with manuals and a list of compatible cars.
This seems to include most popular makes and models and will also tell you where in the car you can fit the product. The most common area is either directly behind the passenger or driver seat. If you are driving something unusual, I would advise checking out the web site at www.maxi-cosi.com before ordering. The web site also has a wealth of information on the company and product - including a fitting instruction film.
Apart from the base, there is an extendable leg that rests in the foot well that supports the main body and provides stability. This clicks into place when you extend it out from the base at a 90 degree angle. You then release the retractable leg and adjust it for height. A colour coded indicator then changes from red to green to show that the leg is locked in place and placed in the correct position. To be frank, it's actually easier than I am making it sound.
You then pass the seatbelt through the base of the device, threading it around a locking mechanism and into the seat belt catch. Once the seat belt is pulled tight, you click down the locking lever and the Easybase is ready to go. If done properly, it's actually quite difficult to shift, and I was well pleased with its security. It certainly felt safer than using the seatbelt alone.
Next, you insert the car seat onto the base and push down gently until both bars on the bottom of the seat engage with the locking mechanism. Again, colour indicators on either side of the base will go from red to green to confirm the locks are properly engaged. To release the car seat, with one hand you grasp a grey lever at the front of the unit, pull up a small lever underneath simultaneously and pull it out in one fluid motion to disengage, while the other hand pulls the car seat free. It takes one of two goes to get it right, but once you have the hang of it, it's a real doddle. Helpfully, the fitting instructions are repeated in colour pictograms on a sticker on the side of the Easybase, so there is no need to worry about where the manual has got to.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
Getting the infant car seat in and out of the car is now completely hassle free. When you have a second child (ours is four) to deal with, getting the immobile one into the car quicker means less chance for the other nipper to get themselves up to mischief. It's also easier if you are carrying something else in the other hand as you can literally click it in place one handed.
The only negative is that it takes up a fair bit of space. The back "bench" style seat on our Focus is fairly generous, but with both an infant car seat and our daughter's booster seat installed, there is little room for an adult in between them (a child or pre-teen would be OK). Obviously, the amount of space will differ from car to car, but it's worth keeping in mind given the substantial cost of the unit.
In addition, given its weight, it is more than likely to be a permanent fixture in the back seat, and although removing it, placing it in the boot and then re-installing as needed is an option, it's not a practical one given its relative bulk and it would also be something my wife would be hard pressed to do (especially as she is still recovering from a C-section).
IS IT WORTH IT?
I have found the Easybase to be a very practical piece of kit, however, if you are going to treat it as a long term investment (i.e. you intend to have more kids) keep in mind that you will be tied to using Maxi Cosi branded car seats. Whilst this is no bad thing (they are amongst the best rated seats in the industry) it does limit choice.
At £70 - almost the same cost as the car seat itself - it's a lot of money to pay for a little convenience. However, when the safety angle is taken into consideration, it's a lot more justifiable. In addition, for us, its long term value (it's very well built and put together) makes it a worthwhile investment.
Every once in a while, you find a product where you think "I wish I'd found it sooner". This is one of those. Had we secured one of these for our first kid, then the Easybase would undoubtedly have been great value. It still is - for us - but whether you can justify the expense (even dearer if you go for the Isofix) is a call only you can make. Price aside, it's an excellent product - convenient, practical, well built, really useful and an appreciable improvement on the safety of your child. Recommended.
© Hishyeness 2009