Over the last ten years I have used quite a few car seats with the children and finding ones that are easy to use, provide comfort and adaptability, as well as keeping your child safe is not easy. The world of car seats is an ever evolving one and can be confusing too.
For the last few months Erin has been putting the Britax Dualfix through it’s paces with a little help from me. The Britax Dualfix is a group 0+ and group 1 car seat, which means that it is suitable from birth to around 4 years of age. This clever car seat adapts to your child’s growing needs and changes from a rear facing to forward facing car seat. So you can find the perfect position for your child and if you wish you can keep them rear facing until 18kg or you can turn them to forward facing from 9kg.
When the boys were babies we had group 0 car seats which were suitable from birth to around 9 months old and once they were big enough we moved them to group 1 forward facing car seats. It’s important to ensure that your child is in the correct seat for their weight, Britax have a very handy tool which lets you put in your child’s weight and age, then the make/model of your car. It then shows you the seats that are suitable for your child, you can find it here
With the boys, especially Luc and Rowan they were in their group 0 car seat’s until well after their first birthday as they did not meet the weight requirements to move up. However Erin and Trystan reached these requirements slightly sooner than the other two, which shows how different children can be. Remember NEVER use a car seat that is too big for your child.
In October Britax kindly sent Erin the Dualfix in Dark Grape fabric, I love this colour, it’s unisex and does not show dirt easily. There are five fabric options available, Chilli Pepper (Red), Black Thunder (Black), Crown Blue (Blue), Crown Zebra (Zebra print) and the Dark Grape (purple). Erin was very taken with the seat as soon as I unboxed it, she had just fit that stage when children enjoy climbing into everything! She spent half an hour just sat in the seat in the middle of the hall. I decided to use the time to familiarise myself with the fitting instructions and user guide which were included with the car seat.
When dad of 3 returned home that evening I set about installing the dualfix. The dualfix uses the ISOFIX system which enables you to fit the car seat directly into your car’s ISOFIX anchors. This makes instillation easy and it took me about five minutes to carry out. The Dualfix also features installation indicators which let you know if you have installed it correctly for added peace of mind.
Erin was eager to try her new seat out straight away. As we had moved Erin into a forward facing car seat about six weeks earlier I opted to use the dualfix in it’s forward facing position. However I could have used it in the rear facing position too. Erin happily climbed into her new seat and sat still while I adjusted the five point harness to fit. This was so easy to do as all you need to do is. I simply secured Erin in the harness and then using the top of the head rest I pulled to adjust to her, ensuring a perfectly adjusted harness which out having to take the seat out and un-thread straps as I’ve done with previous car seats. In the picture below you can see the harness adjuster behind the headrest (grey pull). Erin immediately looked so comfortable so the boys jumped in the car and we went for a drive around the town to see what she thought.
You can just make out from the above photograph that there are three forward facing car seats in the back including the Dualfix and there is plenty of room for them. Erin was chatting away in the dualfix the whole time we were out and when we returned home, she really didn’t want to get out. She’s always been relatively happy to be in the car seats but always happy to get out at the other end so to see her not want to get out was something different for her.
Like most young children Erin has gone through the phase of not wanting to be put in the car seat, you know the one when they make themselves all rigid so you can’t get them in! this was something we were just starting to experience with Erin in October but after her first ride in the dualfix she stopped that is unless we attempted to put her in the car seat she previously used! Erin very quickly made it known that the dualfix was her car seat and that’s still the case now six months on.
I transport not only my own children but those I childmind so initially I had thought I would try the dualfix out with them as well but Erin became so upset on the occasion I tried this that it really was not worth the stress and upset so I relented. I alternate the other two rear facing car seats in the back of my car now for the children I care for, so both Rowan and Erin have their own seats and I change the third seat to match the child I have that day depending on weight etc. But if I wanted to use the dualfix in the rear facing position it couldn’t be easier thanks to the 360 degree seat rotation. It’s something I have used to help get Erin in and out of the dualfix too on occasion, it makes this process so much easier on your back.
The dualfix features a multi position recline to which enables you to gently recline the seat when your child is sleeping without disturbing them. The seat itself is deeply padded which makes using the seat really comfortable and the full side wings of the seat are also padded providing full protection all around the seat for your child. Erin certainly seems comfortable in the seat which is why I think she enjoys being in it.
The Dualfix retails at around £340 which although may seem expensive but really isn’t. Ensuring the safety of your child in the car is extremely important and for a car seat that will grow with your child and can be used until around the age of 4 years old it’s quite reasonable.
The key features of the Britax Dualfix
- Isofix system
- 360 degree seat rotation
- Group 0+ and group 1 (suitable from birth to approx 18kg, 4 years)
- Rear and forward facing
- Deep padded seat and side wings.
- quick to remove and washable cover
- five point adjustable harness with one pull adjustment
- installation indicators
- performance chest pads
- newborn insert
- Height Adjustable headrest with single handed adjustment.
- Multi recline position
- belly pad.
The specifications of the dualfix are:
Height 78cm, width 45cm, depth 53cm and weight 14,7 kg. It is quite heavy to lift however I managed it without problem.
Our experience of the Britax Dualfix has been very positive so far and I hope it continues. The main thing that counts is that Erin enjoys using the dualfix and trips out in the car are enjoyable thanks to her comfort in the seat. I would certainly recommend the Dualfix to anyone looking to buy a car seat for their child, it has to be the easiest car seat I have used to date. Knowing that your child is enjoying being in their car seat makes a big difference if you do a lot of travelling like we do.
Disclaimer – We were sent the Britax Dualfix for the purpose of this post, however the content of the post is 100% my own.