Britax Römer BABY-SAFE i-SIZE Review
Expecting a baby soon? Not sure what car seat to get? It's
time to take a look at the brand new i-Size, lay flat, infant carrier
from Britax Römer. It is definitely one to have on your list if you are
hunting for an infant carrier right now.
Britax Römer are the Kings of child car seat safety. With more accolades and awards to their name than we have space for, this well-known and well-respected brand has invested years of research and development into designing their very first i-Size Infant Carrier. Not ones to follow the crowd, it has interesting safety technology and clever features that make it stand out. See what we found out in our review of the Britax Römer BABY-SAFE i-SIZE Infant Carrier.
What's in the box?
• Infant Carrier
The RRP of the Britax Römer BABY-SAFE i-SIZE is £165. If purchased along with the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE you can receive a bundle deal of £300.
The Britax Römer BABY-SAFE i-SIZE is available in Ocean Blue, Cosmos Black, Flame Red and Mineral Purple.
• Car seat group: i-Size Infant Carrier
• Child's Height: Birth-83cm
• Child's age: Birth-15 Months
• Weight: 4.8kg
BABY-SAFE i-SIZE Review: Installation
If like many parents, you worry about making sure your car seat is fitted correctly then the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE is likely to put your mind at ease. i-Size seats are designed to be super easy to install into virtually any car that has ISOfix anchor points.
The Britax Römer BABY-SAFE i-SIZE is installed into your car using an additional ISOfix base. There are two bases available to choose from: the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE BASE and the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE. We tested out the seat using the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE and it quite honestly couldn't have been simpler to install.
The BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE is fantastically clever. You can adjust the angle of the base according to the incline on your car's seat, allowing for the ultimate comfort and safest position.
From the very beginning, you can see how Britax Römer have thought out every fine detail of this system to make parents lives easier! Instead of fumbling with a chunky piece of kit out of the box and to the car, the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE has conveniently placed carry handles so you can hold it firmly without it slipping out of your hands.
To install it, sit the base on the vehicle seat with the support arm opened and dropping down towards your footwell. Towards the back of the base, in the centre, is a grey lever. By pulling this, extend the ISOfix arms fully. Line the ISOfix arms up with the anchor points in your car and click them both into place. On the side of the ISOfix arms a green indicator is visible when the base it securely clicked in. Push the seat as far as it will go until it touches the car seat back.
The support arm needs to be extended by squeezing the two grey buttons on either side until the green indicator shows at the base and the red marked section has disappeared at the top of the arm.
The BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE then has the very special extra feature of adjusting the inclination of the base according to your car. This is such a brilliant feature that really made it love at first sight with the base. If your car seats are angled, then even with the seat on full recline, your baby might not be as laid back as you would like them to be. The BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE eliminates all of these problems and makes sure baby is in the most ergonomic position possible - a genius feature which reminds us of why Britax Römer are so highly regarded in the car safety market.
Once you have found your desired position, click your infant carrier onto the base and it's ready for baby. The circular green indicators on either side of the connection points will appear so you know it is installed correctly.
We loved the unique design and shape of the Britax Römer bases. The seat sits in the base itself rather like a boat making it seriously stable.
Installing and exploring the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE was just as exciting as discovering the seat itself. There are so many features on the base itself you realise exactly how much time and expertise have been put into the safety technology and engineering of the base.
You can, of course, belt the carrier into your car using a standard three-point seat belt. The clearly marked blue guides make this a quick and easy process too. But if you do want to use the carrier with a base, the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE BASE is around £110 and the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE is around £135 in addition to the cost of the seat. Although it might sound top heavy, this is very similar to other i-Size infant carriers on the market and we feel for the safety technology featured that it is a cost very much worth investing in.
BABY-SAFE i-SIZE Review: Day to day use
We were impressed with the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE but just wait until you see the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE infant carrier. It really is packed with everything parents and baby needs to be utterly safe and luxuriously comfortable. As we have come to expect from Britax Römer products, the quality is second to none. From the rich, thick woven fabrics to the quality of the mouldings - everything about this seat screams quality.
One of the first things you might notice is the size of the carrier. It has a tall back and can accommodate babies up until 83cm - we loved this simply because it gives the carrier excellent longevity in terms of infant carriers as many other infant car carriers on the market can only accommodate up to 75cm. But even with its bigger size, it is strikingly light to lift and carry at just 4.8kg.
The brilliantly padded carrier comes with completely removable and machine washable covers and the specially designed newborn insert to make the carrier cosy for smaller babies. These are removable foam pads which can be taken out as your baby gets taller and larger and the headrest can be adjusted for ultimate safety and comfort too.
One of the huge selling points for us with this carrier is its lie-flat capabilities. Although from the outside it may look like any other regular infant carrier, hidden inside the shell is some seriously nifty safety technology that alters the inclination of the seat back as you adjust the harness height.
If you open the back hatch of the carriers shell you will see a grey harness adjuster. Squeezing this and moving the harness position lower gradually flattens the backrest into a lay flat position and again drawing it upwards moves the backrest into a more seated position. This totally gives parents and baby the best of both worlds - A comfortable, safe and ergonomic ride for baby and for parents a fuss-free travel as the carrier only takes up the same amount of space as a regular infant carrier in the car.
As well as being easily adjustable with just one squeeze of the lever, the harness is made of the highest quality webbing. The buckle is plastic which gives no risk of catching on clothes or getting hot in sunlight and it gave a reassuring clunk when clipped into its chunky buckle.
Adjusting the tension of the harness around baby was easy by pulling the cord between their legs and placing two fingers underneath the shoulder strap to make sure that the harness was fitted correctly.
Another fabulous feature which made testing the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE seat an absolute joy was the SICT (Side Impact Cushion Technology). All i-Size seats have to pass certain side-impact crash tests and Britax Römer has invented this clever safety technology to make baby even safer. The SICT sites are on the hinges of the carry handle and basically look like giant grey screws which you can twist in and out according to which side of the car seat is nearest to your car door. It pushes your child away from the impact in a controlled movement and then absorbs the energy from the crash.
The stretchy sun canopy (UPF 50+) gives protection and privacy for baby and can also be removed for washing. The carry handle is easily accessible when the canopy is up which means less fumbling and less chance of waking a sleeping baby!
The carry handle is easily rolled back out of the way by pressing the two grey buttons simultaneously. So if you need to gain access to baby, you don't need to bend your arms in awkward directions. The handle also extends backward and acts as a stable stand for the carrier when you place it on the floor. This reduces any rocking movements and keeps the carrier still whilst you get baby in and out.
Using the carrier on short trips and quick errands was very easy. It clicked on and off the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE FLEX BASE with ease and required very little effort. You can remove the carrier by pressing and pulling the large and easily accessible grey button lever on the back of the seat shell, just below the canopy. It was just as effortless to click the carrier on and off our travel system too.
Speaking of travel systems, the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE is compatible with many travel systems and of course the Britax travel system range. There is a comprehensive list on the Britax website which we found really helpful.
BABY-SAFE i-SIZE Review: Conclusion
In essence, using this infant carrier as a parent is an absolute dream. The excellent quality and well thought out engineering means that otherwise fiddly tasks go unnoticed. From the important safety features right down to the rubber feet on the underside of the carrier - no detail has been overlooked.
Baby was always comfortable and happy in the carrier whether awake or asleep and a happy baby means happy parents!
The superbly researched and engineered safety technologies such as the lie-flat seat position, harness adjustment, and side impact protection (SICT) are so easy to use and give a peace of mind that baby is going to be as safe as can be whilst travelling.
The price bracket of the infant carrier is very similar to that of others that do not have the lie-flat capabilities.
The BABY-SAFE i-SIZE is a pleasure for parents to use in every single way.
We give the Britax Römer BABY-SAFE i-SIZE 5 out of 5 stars