In a previous post I went through why we chose the Kiddy Evoluna i-Size car seat. In this post I talk about how we have got on with it over the past 6+ months, since the arrival of baby T in January 2017.
Whilst the lie-flat position is not truly flat, it is a much flatter position than most car seats and allows T’s body, neck and head to all be in-line. In the lie-flat position we haven’t once noticed baby T’s head fall forward into a position that could potentially restrict his airway.
To use the lie-flat position you need to push in the two grey buttons at the bottom of the carry handle (one on either side) and then push the handle behind the car seat, as can be seen in the second photo above. This make the car seat longer and takes up even more space in the car. They grey buttons also make a ‘clunk’ noise as they are released and this has woken / startled baby T on more than one occasion. To lift the car seat out of the car the carry handle has to be moved into the upright position, which can be annoying when baby T is still asleep at the end of the journey (although we are getting better at doing this so it disturbs baby T as little as possible).
Requires a lot of space
In the lie-flat position the carry handle needs to be positioned behind the car seat, as shown in the photo above. This means it takes up a lot more space in the car than other car seats. Before we purchased the seat we visited John Lewis where we were able to see how a few the car seats we were looking at fitted into our car. At the time we had a SEAT Altea and the front passenger seat needed to positioned all the way forward. We decided that this was not going to be an issue for us as, whilst baby T is still in this car seat, one of us would be travelling in the back with him. The measurement shown in the is approximately 72cm, which is the distance from the base of the rear seat to vertically below the handle and is the minimum clearance you would need in your car.
The straps are very easy to adjust, without the need to rethread them. To adjust the straps, simply open the back panel of the chair, turn the grey ring through 90 degrees and then slide the adjustment bar up or down. The headrest part of the padding moves with the straps, so it is always in the right place as you adjust the straps. The only issue we have experienced with this strap setup is that occasionally one of the straps will catch on the grey ring when they are undone – so that when you go to tighten them up one of the straps will get tight whilst the other remains loose. Fortunately this is very easy to identify and, once we had worked out what was causing this, was very easy to rectify whenever it occurred. (This has probably happened no more than 2-3 times in 6 months)
Vented back system
The back system of the car seat is vented to allow airflow around the baby’s back – even on long journeys, baby T’s back does not get sweaty and he remains a comfortable temperature. There is also some flex in the system which means that it moulds to the shape of baby T’s back and this also helps provide cushioning in the event of an impact.
The sunshade on this car seat is huge. It is independent from the handle (unlike many other car seats) and can be set to any position. It has been great for the times when we have attached the car seat to the pushchair, but it has proven most useful in helping to get baby T to sleep when driving as it hides most potential distractions from his view!
When we were doing our initial research we became quite fixated on the relative weight of the different car seats we were considering. At 4.9kg this is one of the heaviest car seats we considered but, after using it for over 6 months, I have to say that I don’t understand what my fascination regarding the weight was about. There hasn’t been one occasion since baby T was born that I have thought to myself “I wish we had chosen a lighter car seat”.
Extending the leg
One of the only things I struggled to work out with this car seat was how to extend the leg for the base and reading the instructions in the manual didn’t really help either.
To extend the leg you need to push the bottom of the block on leg backwards, exposing the little metal pin, as shown in the photo below. This releases the lower part of the leg so that it can extend to the floor. Release the block and extend the leg until the block clicks back into place and the metal pin as per the photo above and the little marker on the foot is green.
Although my thoughts above may sound like I don’t like this car seat, the opposite is in fact true – I really like it. The negatives above are no more than minor niggles. This isn’t the lightest car seat, but the weight hasn’t been an issue for us. Yes it takes up more space in the car than most car seats but I would say that, if it does fit on your car, this should right at the top of your list of considerations for an i-Size group 0+ car seat. The various safety accolades earned by this car seat (ADAC – best in test; Which? Best Buy) should be enough to convince you that this car seat is worth considering. Having lived with it over the past 6+ months, I still believe 100% that our decision to buy this was the correct one.