For the past couple of months we’ve being putting the Britax DUALFIX car seat to the test as part of the Britax ‘Mumbassador programme’. Britax are well known for producing excellent quality, safe car seats but having never owned a Britax seat before, I was excited to see how the DUALFIX faired.
I have to say, that over the past few months, we’ve been thoroughly impressed and I really could wax lyrical about how brilliant the DUALFIX is, but to keep this post more concise I have highlighted the main features below:
- It’s a Group 0+/1 (0-18kg) car seat, making it suitable from birth to approximately 4 years old. This is a huge selling point and saves you the hassle and cost of splashing out on a new seat every time your child has a growth spurt!
- The seat can be used both rearward-facing (from birth to 18kgs) and forward-facing (from 9 to 18kgs ). Rearward-facing car seats are up to five times safer than forward-facing car seats in a head-on collision, so having the option to keep your child rearward-facing until four years old makes the DUALFIX a great investment.
- In my opinion, the best feature of the DUALFIX is the ability to rotate the seat 360°; parents can switch between forward-facing and rearward-facing without taking the car seat out of the car, which is ideal for parents who suffer with back pain or reduced mobility or for those of us who have toddlers at that wriggly, ‘I don’t want to go in my car seat’ stage! By swivelling the car seat to face the car door, popping Phoebs in the car seat is now totally painless (no more twisting my back, hurrah!) and she loves the 90° rotation to forward-facing once she’s strapped in. The turn is enabled through the touch of a button and it locks in place at each 90° turn, ensuring the seat is safely secure and still when you’re placing your little one (or potentially wrestling your strong-willed toddler) into the seat!
- You can only use the DUALFIX if you have ISOFIX in your car, but it does mean that installing is super simple. It comes with plastic insert guides to help with installation and prevent damage to your seat and the DUALFIX features installation indicators which turn green if you have installed it correctly for added peace of mind. The support leg is adjustable to fit the height of the car seat and again this has an installation indicator that turns green when in use correctly.
- The seat has been designed with deep softly padded side wings to offer the ultimate in protection and comfort. It also has a 5-point harness with soft, padded covers to keep your little one cosy and secure, and performance chest pads and a pivotal link system to reduce forward movement.
- The DUALFIX has multi-position recline settings in both forward-facing and rearward-facing modes to allow a comfortable sleeping position for your little one and it can be adjusted when they are in the seat without disturbing them. There is also a handy arrow on the seat to show how far the seat reclines.
- The seat comes with a newborn insert for additional comfort and support which can be removed as and when your child outgrows it.
- The multi-height headrest and harness system adjust simultaneously and thankfully require no re-threading of the harness. The headrest is really easy to adjust with a little loop at the top of the seat.
- For everyday spills and marks, the seat is easy to sponge down and clean using a damp cloth, but for the larger mucky areas, the seat cover is removable, machine washable and brilliantly you don’t have to remove the harness to get it off.
- The DUALFIX has a grey safety button than must be pressed when changing from group 0+ to group 1. This is a really clever feature and prevents the car seat being used in the wrong group for the child.
One additional thing I would like to point out is the location of the instruction booklet. It’s situated in the back of the seat but for some reason it took me ages to locate it. I was so convinced that the instructions hadn’t been included in my package, I downloaded the DUALFIX instruction booklet and started the installation using the easy-to-follow visual instructions on the side of the seat!
The DUALFIX comes in six colours from their “Inspired by Nature” collection. This collection features bold and vibrant styles as well as smooth and soft shades representing the different elements of nature. The available colours are:
(l to r) Cosmos Black, Ocean Blue, Flame Red, Steel Grey, Mineral Purple, and Black Marble.
Value for Money
At £355 the DUALFIX does come with a pretty hefty price tag. But when you take into consideration that it can be used from birth until 4 years old, it works out at approximately £1.70 per week which sounds much better value! If you can afford the initial outlay, the DUALFIX really is a great buy and will cost you a lot less than buying numerous car seats to take you through the different stages as your little one grows.
Overall the Britax DUALFIX gets a huge thumbs up from me (and Phoebe!). It’s well made, versatile, super safe, easy to install and most importantly comfortable for Phoebe, especially on long journeys where the recline function comes into its own. In addition, the fact that the seat can swivel to face the car door when we are getting Phoebs in and out of the seat is such a brilliant feature and makes it so much easier for Andy and I to put Phoebe in the car.
Of course there are some features where a stand-alone category 0+ car seat might be better for babies. For example, the DUALFIX is fixed so you can’t lift your sleeping baby in and out of the vehicle in the seat, however in my opinion, safety and long term value for money far outweighs this diminished portability.
If you’re looking for a safe and robust car seat to take you from birth to school age, I would wholeheartedly recommend the DUALFIX.
You can find all the latest news from Britax on their Facebook and Twitter pages and to see the full range of their brilliant products, check out their website. You can purchase the DUALFIX from a number of online retailers including John Lewis.
Disclosure: We received the Britax DUALFIX free of charge as part of our Ambassador programme, however all opinions and photographs are my own and I’d still rave about it even if i’d paid for it!