Britax Romer are constantly pushing forward with innovation and technology with their car seats and the latest offering that they have unveiled is a multistage car seat from its best selling ADVANSAFIX collection.
The ADVANSAFIX IV R is a Group 1/2/3 and is a forward facing chair. The great thing about multistage chairs is the longevity and subsequent value for money it provides to parents. With some simple adjustments, this will see children through from 9 to 36kg, roughly 9 months to 12 years so it is excellent for future proofing.
One concern for me with extended use chairs is whether the safety features are specifically targeted to children across the full range, or whether it’s a case of trying to squeeze a big kid into a smaller child’s chair. Fortunately, with two years in the making from some of the top technicians in the world, these fears seem to be alleviated. Britax has always featured some of the very highest safety specs of the competing brands out there. Researching and testing out the ADVANSAFIX IV R, it definitely has all the tick box safety components you want from all stage chairs.
For smaller children, the protective shell design has been enhanced for strength and robustness, along with the security of the 5-point harness with chunky wide pads. As toddlers, the chair pulls out as a high back booster maintaining the deep side protection, with the Britax SICT that offers reinforced side impact protection in the event of a collision. Older children benefit from the new and enhanced frontal impact protection, a unique SecureGuard technology that helps protect a child’s delicate abdominal area by adding a fourth contact point to the 3-point seat belt.
This chair is really easy to use. From set up, which took all of five minutes to install (ISOFIX and popular Britax tethering strap combo so I did know what I was doing!) to the adaptations to change it, known as the ‘Flip & Grow’, taking it from younger to older mode.
The ‘Flip & Grow’ is the transition from harness seat to high backed booster. Simply tuck away the harness to the rear of the chair and pull out the metal plate that changes it to work alongside the seat belt strap.
Britax have yet again got this spot on. I have to admit that it always has to be substance over style when it comes to car seats, but if it can do both then let’s be honest we’d all take it! It is incredibly sleek, especially the Cosmos Black we tested, and has a very simple design with clean neat lines and minimal nooks and crannies. The cover is also machine washable, an essential feature if you intend to use it over a number of years.
However, my favourite feature, particularly as I currently have three children of car seat age/size, is that the narrower design allows for three car seats to be fitted in a row on the back seats of most standard cars. This is HUGE! This opens up so many more options for car choices when families are selecting a family vehicle, whether that’s budget or style.
The narrower design doesn’t heavily impact on the space available in the chair either. My three children, aged 2, 5 and 7, all tested the chair and had plenty of room. I found the wings to be less padded than with some of the other Britax models, but it wasn’t a compromise on the strength, just the general cushioning that I suspect has allowed for a slightly more narrow design.
When it comes to comfort, we tested out the chair on a recent journey to the Peak District with no complaints – not from the chair anyway! In the smaller and larger set up, there’s plenty of space with some growing room. The ergonomic V-shaped headrest provides good wrap round support while allowing for lots of freedom of movement and the straps when fitted tightly are still comfortable.
For longer journeys, you can also recline the seat to a choice of three positions. This can be accommodated while the child is in the chair, great if they drop off to sleep and you want to provide additional comfort for them mid journey.
Overall, this is an excellent car seat – high levels of safety, particularly with some advanced new features which is good to see; great longevity and you can see for yourself – it will look good in any car.
The ADVANSAFIX IV R is priced £250. For more information, please visit www.britax-roemer.co.uk.