One of the final items we received before Rex was born – and probably the most important – was the car seat. Things have changed so much and so regularly in respect of car seat safety over the years. I knew that whatever knowledge I was aware of when Grace was a baby I should completely disregard.
I didn’t really know where to start so, when Kiddy confirmed that I could review their Evoluna i-Size car seat, I admit to being somewhat relieved!
The Kiddy Evoluna i-Size
The Evoluna i-Size has the ability to lie flat when travelling, which is much safer for a baby. It assists in maintaining an open airway. It is suitable from Birth up to 15 months, a height of up to 83cm and weight of 0 – 13 kg. The Evoluna i-Size has been approved to meet the new ECE R 129 (‘i-Size’) safety standards. It is an award-winning seat which includes a prestigious Which? Best Buy. This was awarded in 2016 after the Evoluna i-Size achieved the highest ever score for a Group 0+ R129 infant carrier.
The lie-flat position can be used in the car, on a pushchair, or on the floor next to you. For older awake babies, there is an upright seating position, which allows the child to sit up when awake.
The Evoluna i-Size fits using adaptors onto the Kiddy City’n Move stroller; or onto another brand of pushchair such as Babystyle, iCandy, Baby Jogger, Joolz, Bugaboo or UPPAbaby. There is a pushchair checker over on their website.
We received the car seat in purple but there are seven other colours to choose from. We have been using it in conjunction with the iCandy Peach frame as a travel system when out and about. This is done by way of adaptors which cost us £28.
The Lullaby Trust
Because of their innovative car seat which promotes safer sleep, Kiddy work in close partnership with The Lullaby Trust. This shows how keen they are to promote safer sleep for babies.
The Lullaby Trust funded a research study on car seats which was published last year which may interest you to read: http://www.bris.ac.uk/news/2016/october/child-car-seats.html
Fitting the ISOfix base
As I was admitted to hospital earlier than anticipated and induced, Ross and Grace were left to fend for themselves. This included the fact that they would have to fit the car seat. In my opinion they did a pretty good job. The video below shows how they got on!
A Kiddy ISOFIX Base 2 is included with the Evoluna i-Size, in the box, to ensure a safe and secure fit in the car. You can check that the isofix base fits in your car with the Kiddy car fitting checker – https://www.kiddyuk.com/infant-carriers/evo-luna-i-size
Adjusting the straps
This is easy and straightforward. There is a small gap in the material in front of the buckle/crotch pad which you press at the same time as pulling the straps. It’s easy. Bear in mind that, whilst it is best to pull the straps out in upright mode, you may need to tighten them further when the baby is lying flat.
If the straps get twisted then there is a panel on the rear of the car seat which can be opened and the straps easily rectified.
Also, when putting your baby into the seat, there are some handy sections to balance the belt straps.
Removing the insert
The newborn insert can be removed easily by sliding it off the straps once the baby has outgrown it.
How to lay flat
This is done by pushing in the grey buttons on either side of the car seat at the bottom of the carry handle.
The pushchair adaptors slide into the white area underneath the carry handle (you can see this in the image above). To remove the car seat from the pushchair you push the black buttons on the inside of the car seat:
Ross has kindly put together a video review of the car seat (note that the second part was recorded four months after the first!):
Any points to be aware of?
I found the weight of the car seat a slight issue. It is heavy and, with the added weight of the baby, can be quite hefty. It is great for a workout on your arms though! It is worth noting that it is only 400g heavier than the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus and it is 900g lighter than the Jane Matrix Light which is another lie flat seat. I am also reliably informed that Kiddy have identified that the handle thickness gives the impression that the seat is heavier than it probably is. It has been altered on the Evoluna i-Size 2 which is coming out next year.
You do need space in your car in order to lie the seat flat. You can always pay a visit to one of the many Kiddy stockists to double check on this. I knew we were safe as we have a very spacious Mazda 5. Plus you can check that your vehicle is compatible over on the Kiddy website.
The seat can be quite tricky to take on and off the adaptors when we use it with the pushchair frame. You have to push the black buttons on the inside of the seat to release it and I have found that this is easier when two people are doing it.
The Kiddy Evoluna i-Size is a pricey £389 but, unlike its competitors it does include the isofix base (this normally costs around an additional £149). When you also consider that the Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus, as an example, will only last a maximum of 12 months (which is not the end of rear facing under i-Size thus meaning you need to buy another car seat to get your little one to 15 months); but the Kiddy seat is designed to last until the full 15 months, then this maybe makes the extra £30 worth while. On top of this, the next stage Kiddy car seats don’t need an ISOFIX base as the ISOFIX is built into them, unlike the Maxi Cosi seats which still need a base and support leg.
My thoughts on the seat
There is a deeply padded inlay and head support which I feel holds Rex safely in place and ensures that he is in the correct travelling position. The three point harness has 5 shoulder height positions as well as padded shoulder and crotch pads for extra comfort. The slatted base means that there is a good air flow. It is breathable and means that they stay warm in winter, but cool in summer.
I am impressed with the large sun hood which easily comes down over Rex’s face and protects him well from either the sun or wind.
Having been thrown at the deep end without the prior ability to read any instructions, I have to say that I was impressed. I believe that Rex is comfortable and safe and, to me, that is the most important thing in all of this. Whilst it isn’t cheap, you cannot put a price on safety so, from a comfort and security point of view, I would wholeheartedly recommend this car seat.
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The Kiddy Evoluna i-Size Car Seat is available from KiddyUK and the RRP is £389.99
Disclosure: Thank you so much to Kiddy UK for sending us this car seat in return for this honest review. I also need to say a special thanks for their patience in waiting for this review to be completed. Please note that all words, images and opinions have been formed by the owner of this blog. They have not been influenced in any way. Please do not reproduce any of the content or images on this post without prior agreement from Verily Victoria Vocalises.