Top critical review
Good, but not fantastic. And NO anti-rebound bar! :(
Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2019
*Edited to add: I’ve removed a star for lack of comfort. Without a pull-up on but with the Britax Seatsaver in use (so an extra layer), my son started complaining about 25 minutes into a 40-minute car ride that his bottom hurt and the seat was too hard. I put my hand down on the seat cushion and felt around and there’s an easily palpable bar or something right under the seat cushion. The cushion is not padded enough. Of course that’s not comfortable! This is EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING for such an expensive seat. Also, the manual storage location is downright idiotic. It’s directly under the seat cushion, behind the child’s back, making an even more uneven surface for the child to sit on. Not to mention that it would likely get torn up from all the in and out and moving around of the child. I’ve been storing it in my glovebox instead which I don’t like. It really should be kept with the seat. I’m really not thrilled with this seat, but it is the only RF seat that has a shell tall enough for my son, who is only in the 75th percentile for height, so not extremely tall. I did like the harness straps, but now they seem to be shedding. Going to keep an eye on this. There is a lot on this seat that needs improvement, especially for the price.*
First, I'm VERY disappointed that no anti-rebound bar is available for this seat. The previews of the seat I saw all showed it with the anti-rebound bar, which was supposed to turn into a leg rest for forward-facing. But when the seat was finally released, no word on the anti-rebound bar at all. The company now just says an ARB might be available at some point. Not good enough!! Britax touts the importance of the ARB and then releases a seat that doesn't have one!
Another issue with the seat is that the headrest cover doesn't actually fit the headrest. I've talked to someone else who has this seat and theirs is like this too. There is a LOT of bare foam showing all around the top of the headrest--several inches of it. I don't like this AT ALL. It seems way too easy for the foam to be damaged.
Also, the headrest wiggles around a lot. This seems odd to me. It just doesn't fit snuggly into the shell of the seat. Every time my son moves his head I hear it rattle around, which is a bit unsettling. It just seems like it should be more solid, especially for the price.
This is quite a wide seat. I measured 20.5" at the cupholders. But it does fit in my small car pretty well, since we don't usually have any other passengers in the back seat. Also, the cupholders are too easily removed. I can see them being pulled out and thrown around by a 2-3 year old, which would be dangerous for the driver, having cupholders launched around the vehicle.
This seat requires the child's head to be 1" below the top of the shell, and that is confusing. I really hate ambiguous rules like that for car seats, though I know a lot of them have this rule (our old Nextfit did not though). I'm going to speak to a tech about how to measure that.
My 4-year-and-3-months old, 38.5-lb, 42" son seems to fit well in it, with room to grow. There are four height adjustments left for him, so it looks like we have *finally* found a seat he can max out rear-facing in height or weight rather than have to forward face early because he has such a long torso. Hopefully the 1" rule won't hinder that, or the seat will have been a waste of money, since we already had a seat he could forward face in.
My son says the seat is comfortable, though I've only allowed him in the seat with a pull-up on so far, and I'm concerned the crotch buckle is too short and might smash him in the crotch once he's not in pull-ups. Britax said their Britax Seat Saver can be used with this seat, so I will soon find out if it will be comfortable for him without a pull-up.
The seat was SUPER easy to install. This is actually the only seat I've tried (and I've tried several) that I would actually say is legitimately easy to install. It also installed more evenly than any of the others I've tried. I haven't yet tried removing the seat cover for washing (we've been spoiled by the Nextfit Zip), but I definitely like that it is machine washable. Apparently, it's machine dryable too, which is great just in case, but I will probably try not to dry it to help with longevity.
This seat sits up quite tall. I have to have it on the second-to-last recline, almost all the way down, in order to be able to see enough out my rear window.
Overall, the height of the shell, the ease of installation, and the comfort of the seat are the big winners here. I also like the straps and found it pretty easy to tighten. Of course, once it is set to my son, I leave the straps and just unbuckle to get him in and out so I'm not retightening all the time. I definitely wish the anti-rebound was available as originally promised. Particularly with bigger kids, the ARB seems even more important, since more weight means more force. There are definitely some things that need improvement on this seat, but there are also some great things about this seat, too. I'm not positive we will keep this seat. We might end up with the Nuna Exec instead, since it comes with an anti-rebound bar and is also super easy to install and super comfortable.