It is time for Little I to move up to the next stage car seat. Last time round we opted for the Maxi-Cosi Axiss at this age which I loved because the chair swivelled making it super easy to get children in and out of the seat. But the latest safety data showing that rear facing car seats are 5 times safer for under 2's in a frontal collision has made us rethink and we have decided to extend Little I's rear facing for as long as possible.
Maxi-Cosi have developed a range of extended rear facing seats which can also be switched to front facing mode. The 2way Axiss can be rear facing until the age of 2 then switched forwards until 4yrs but I've decided to give up the practicality of a twisty seat in favour of the 2way Pearl which can be kept rear facing until around 4yrs old. Anything which improves the safety of my kids on the road has to come first.
The 2way Pearl comes in 2 parts; the seat and the 2way isofix base. I should point out right now that this seat can only be attached to your car via isofix. There is no seatbelt securing option so make sure you have isofix anchors in your car. Once the base is secured in the car the seat clicks on top either front or rear facing. It really is that easy. To make sure you have installed the seat correctly there are a series of lights built into the leg of the isofix base. Basically they all need to be green to confirm correct installation. If the seat is installed incorrectly an beeping alarm sounds to alert you.
Husband's car is super easy for isofix because the anchors are really accessible at the back of his seat pads. Mine unfortunately are sunk really deep into the seat upholstery and locating them is a complete pain. So I am super pleased that the 2way Pearl comes with these cute isofix guides which I can leave in my car permanently making installation so much easier. One the seat is anchored it is very secure.
The seat reclines in 4 positions using a handle at the front, perfect for longer journeys where is it likely the child will fall asleep. The angle of recline is fantastic, the best I have seen. There is no chance of Little I's head falling forwards. You can use the maximum recline in rear facing mode until your child is 97cm tall. In front facing mode you can use the full recline until they outgrow the seat.
The 2way Pearl offers state of the art safety by complying with the new European i-Size regulations. This means instead of weight limits the car seat suitability is determined by the height of the child. The 2way Pearl is suitable for children up to 105cm. In the Spring 2015 safety tests the 2way Pearl received 4 stars, the highest rating given to a car seat which can be both forward and rear facing.
The Pearl has easy in straps which are spring loaded so as you put the child into the car the straps don't get stuck underneath them! This is my pet hate with car seats so this feature is brilliant. The straps are also heavily padded and not too invasive so Little I looks super comfy.
Another feature I like on the Pearl is the adjustable headrest which extends high above the car seat wings. Having tall girls they grow quickly and being able to have a wide adjustment range on the headrest is a must.
The 2way Pearl seat costs £200 and it cannot be used without the 2way fix base which is £190. So the overall cost of the seat is £390. It is not the cheapest seat but I absolutely believe it is one of the most comfortable and safest seats available. You can find your local stockist here
I was sent this car seat free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.