Before I had kids I hadn’t even thought once about the direction a car seat faces. There are no other children in the family and at the time I had no friends with children so the subject of car seat safety wasn’t on my radar at all. Then I had my boy and I remember how many times Keith checked that the baby car seat was fastened securely on the trip home from the birth centre and how I sat right next to it holding on, just to be sure. The baby car seat had come with the travel system buggy we used so we hadn’t had to look into car seats initially but well as everyone tells you it will, time flew by and suddenly Aiden looked pretty big in that little seat. A quick internet search told me that different car seats fall into different Groups (0/0+/1/2/3) with each group being safe to use with children of up to a set weight and height rather than age. Car seats are expensive, there is no avoiding that, but as it concerns my child’s safety I am ok with that. What we did decide was that as we were going to be spending a significant amount of money, we would like a car seat that lasted. We opted to look at seats that covered the most groups even if they cost more as it worked out cheaper (and less wasteful for the environment) than buying say three cheaper ones as the child outgrows each one.
After a LOT of research online, I found the absolute perfect car seat that met all our requirements and more but I will tell you it wasn’t easy. It isn’t a well-known British or American brand so I am still the only person I know who has one, although several friends have commented that they wish they had known about our car seat before they got theirs which they are disappointed with/considering changing. The car seat we have for Aiden (and absolutely rave about given half a chance) is the Klippan Triofix. We had it shipped to us from Finland that is how convinced we were it was the best car seat out there from all the research I did online. There are a number of reasons why this car seat is the perfect car seat, which I will cover in this review, but probably the biggest prof that we really adore this seat is that when thinking of moving Faye out of her baby car seat we didn’t hesitate and knew we wanted another Klippan Triofix. So I called Helsinki (there’s a sentence I love saying!) and a very helpful man (speaking excellent English as my Finnish is nonexistent) kindly informed me there is a new version of the Triofix available called the Triofix Comfort and would we like to try it out. Of course we said yes / kyllä! Here is how we got on.
Keith and I recently got to experience the erm ‘joy’ of assembling and installing another make of car seat as part of another review. It was totally hellish, taking around three hours to set up the car seat and that was before we even tried getting it fixed to the car safely. This was the complete polar opposite to our experience with the Klippan Triofix and the Comfort thankfully. The build and installation could not be easier, there isn’t actually a build bit as it comes set up. The seat comes with two parts; a base (rrp £155) and the already built seat (Triofix rrp £240 Comfort rrp £320). You fasten the base to your car by simply clicking it onto the isofix points and then just slot the seat onto the base (you can also install this seat using the seat belt system if you don’t have isofix) The base has a colour locking system to indicate when it has been correctly installed for peace of mind too. I have moved Aiden’s seat across to his Nana’s car countless times with no bother at all which makes this an ideal seat if you need to move it between cars frequently. I can’t imagine how it would be possible for there to be another car seat out there that is easier to install than this one.
Comfort from a carseat that grows with your child
I like a car seat that looks like a car seat. That sounds silly but let me explain. I am not a fan of those seats that look like a ninja turtle or Spiderman etc because even though I assume these must meet safety regulations also I always fear that style has been put ahead of safety and for me a car seat must be safe before everything else. The Klippan Triofix looks and feels like a very safe car seat, like that is the job it is meant to do. The new comfort version is equally as safe but with the nice addition of some extra padding for comfort which is always a bonus. As we have one of each model I can vouch for the fact that the Comfort version certainly feels softer although the origional is already a very comfy seat. The comfort model is available in three different colours and the origional Triofix in over ten varieties so there is sure to be something to suit your style (I love the simple and chique plain black of the Freestyle design but that is just me). Both Aiden and Faye find the seats to be extremely comfortable and neither of them complain when getting put into them which I know is half the battle with friend’s of mine’s children.
The seat is suitable for children within the weight range of 9kg – 36kg which is approximately from 6 months to 12 years. This also means that it is a Group 1/2/3 car seat so other than the baby car seat we used initially with both children, we won’t ever have to buy another one, an important factor when buying a more expensive car seat.
The most important element that I was looking for in a car seat for both my children was the ability to keep them rear facing for longer. Rear facing car seats are five times safer and that is an undisputed fact. In Scandinavian countries it is absolutely commonplace to keep your child rear facing until they are at least 4/5 years old whereas here in the UK parents often move their children into a forward facing seat as soon as they outgrow the baby seat, which means they could be as young as six months old. A child’s body is simply not developed or strong enough to cope with a front on collision when they are so young. This to me, alongside all the research that has been done and data collected on there being more fatalities and serious injuries when children are forward facing, is extremely worrying. I know I am a safe driver but it is others on the road that you can’t predict and as such I will be keeping both my children rear-facing and as safe as possible for as long as possible. The Klippan Triofix will allow me to do this and has the option of me being able to change them round to a forward facing seat whenever I feel it is safe for my children to travel that way.
With all the research I have carried out on my quest to find the perfect car seat, I discovered that in order to get a seat that offered extended rear-facing AND covered my child untill they no longer need a car seat, I had to buy from outside the UK. In Britain there are no companies making car seats that do these two things together. There are car seats you can buy from shops here that do offer rear-facing for longer than 6 months (not a huge variety mind but it is steadily increasing thankfully) And there are seats that will cover all groups 1/2/3 but there is not a single one I could find that does both as the Klippan Triofix Comfort does. Luckily for us Klippan ship from Finland to the UK and speedily so we could get the cat seat we wanted. As you can see, it is a seat that suits both baby and toddler very well!
When we first installed Aiden’s cat seat over two years ago, we were extremely happy with it. As the months passed we did notice some very small things that we wished we could fix or change but they were only minor things and didn’t really bother us much at all. When Faye’s car seat arrived with a whole host of accessories this time I was so pleasantly surprised to find that they managed to fix most of those small issues we had with Aiden’s seat by having these add on items. Normally I find add on accessories a bit pointless but these ones I think absolutely add to the who package and would definitely be worth considering buying.
I love the add on sun hood you can clip on to the chair as this was something I missed both times when we stopped using the baby carseat which had a full hood. I think as well as being useful for keeping the sun out of the child’s eyes, the hood is a great way to signal to your child when you want them to nap in the car and when you don’t. It certainly works for Faye and she looks so nicely protected and snug with the hood up.
A mirror so you can see what the kids are up to when you are driving and they are rear-facing is an absolute essential I think. It is great for checking if they are asleep or just quiet and especially with a young child, for making sure they are ok, breathing/not spitting up etc on long journeys.
Both the Triofix standard and the Comfort model come with cup holder included. There are slots on both sides of the seat so you can pick which side you want to attach it too or purchase a second cup holder and use one for a drink and one for snacks. It is definitely extremely important to keep your child hydrated on a long trip so best if they can reach their own water themselves.
Klippan also sent us a car seat protector which very easily fastens round the headrest of the actual carseat and then coversion your car to protectit from muddy feet kicking up against it for example. It also has some mesh pockets which are grear for tucking extra bits and bobs you might need on the journey. Once the car seat is turned to be facing forward the child would he able to access these pockets themselves so handy for games or snacks.
A lot of people when they discover that Aiden is almost three and still rear-facing in his carseat will ask me how his legs fit in as he is a tall boy. Well kids have these magic things called knees a lot like adults, and he fits in just fine. What Klippan have sent me though which will help as he keeps growing, is a spacer. You place it between the car seat base and the car seat and it adds another few inches to where the child’s legs go. Aiden has never once complained about the space he has but the spacer will certainly come in useful as I hope to keep him rear-facing to around five years old.
When little children first move up to the next size up in car seats I think the thing that always to me looks awful is when they fall asleep and their heads are slumped forward. I always worry that they will have a sore neck or even worse, not be able to breath. With the baby car seats, the child is laying back which stops this from happening so I wanted to find a car seat that reclined for the journey’s I knew Aiden and Faye would be sleeping on.
The recline on the Triofix is both one of it’s best and also most frustrating features. The positive is that it does recline (this is not hugely common in car seats). The negative is that the child has to be out of the car for you to take it off the base, change a setting and put it back into place reclined. Fine if they are going for a nap at the start of a journey; but more annoying if you are doing this at a service station for example.
The recline is a big recline so they really can get very comfy all laid back which is great. Unfortunately because it is a big recline it means having to move the front car seats forward a fair bit to accommodate the space needed I have no problem with this and I am 5ft 11 inch but Keith is 6ft 3inchs with very long legs so it is a bit of a squeeze for him.
In an ideal world you would be able to recline the seat as the child fell asleep in the chair and ideally somehow it would take up lless space for the tall grownups driving but aside from these two gripes, the recline is actually one of my favourite features of the car seat.
We LOVE these car seats. There is no point beating about the bush here because they are simply great. I will often be quite reserved in reviews as it comes down to personal requirements but I can hand on heart say to you if you are about to buy a car seat, this in my opinion is the best car seat out there. I have heard of no others that can do the things this on can. We have had Aiden’s for over two years and are still fanatic about it. Faye loves her new one and I am satisfied that my children are both as safe and as comfortable as can be in their Klippan Triofix Car seats. You can take a look at the Klippan website here, were you can purchase their products from retailers across a wide range of countries. In the UK that would be In Car Safety Company, whom you can visit to try out the car seat across three locations in Britain.
Disclaimer: I was gifted the Klippan Triofix Comfort car seat and accessories in exchange for a honest and fair review. All opinions are my own.