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Axkid Minikid 3 Review

Review Overview

Axkid Minikid 3 Review
Expert Reviewer
78 Reviews
Reviewed On: 17 May 2022
Kelly Walker
Expert Reviewer
Kelly's Verdict:

Rear-facing until 125cm and 36kg, yes please! We’re reviewing the new R129 car seat from Axkid!

Review Summary

Summary

Axkid have really revolutionised the extended rear-facing car seat market with their new Minikid 3. Being R129 and Swedish Plus tested, parents can be assured of the additional safety features to keep their child safe. Not only can children travel rear-facing to 25kg, but up to 36kg, which is great as we notice more and more children are reaching the weight limits of their car seats and pushchairs sooner. Noone wants to make important decisions on their child’s safety because they’re on a higher centile! It was great to test this out with an actual seven year old, proving that this is a car seat with great longevity.

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£ 99 . 99
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What’s good
  • R129 tested
  • Now up to 125cm and 36kg
  • Rear-facing for longer
  • Simpler to install in six stages
  • Lighter than ISOFIX car seat
  • Can be fitted in most cars
What’s not so good
  • Not as much leg room
  • Recline has to be done before installation
Watch our review video:

Review Content

Axkid Minikid 3 Review
Installation

As with all car seats that can be used rear-facing for an extended period, there is a little more to the installation of the Minikid 3. Axkid have improved on this since the Minikid 2 though, to make it a more intuitive and easier fit in the car for parents. There is still the same seat belt, lower tethers and support leg to fit, but the belt routing is simpler, with only one lock off point.

Any car seat fitting can be confusing and tricky, so we absolutely loved the inclusion of a full video guide on how to install, provided in the manual via the BILT app! Using the QR codes, the app is downloaded and you can then search for your instructions. The 3D graphics used in the video are amazing, so clear to see what needs doing and you can use the arrows to move through the installation process at your own speed. There are tips and reminders given by the audio description too, which makes things so much easier. If you prefer, you can also use the printed instruction booklet that has precise diagrams and instructions to follow.

Axkid Minikid 3 BILT App

To start fitting the Minikid 3, we’d advise to put your lower tethers in place first. If you drive a Volvo, you can skip this stage as they are already pre-installed in the vehicle. There are a few different places that you can connect these, but the most common is around the rails of your front seat. As the rails in our test vehicle, a Nissan Navara, are covered, we attached them to the seat in front. The lower tether is basically a webbing strap with a metal end that needs wrapping around the rail and threading back through the holes in the strap to create a loop. Once you’ve got this as close to the floor as possible, you can start putting the seat itself in.

Axkid Minikid 3 Lower Tethers 2
Axkid Minikid 3 Lower Tethers

First thing is to unzip the fabric panel that is inside the seat. We like that Axkid have added numbers to follow the stages, as they did with their last car seat, the Axkid One. There are six simple steps to work your way through.

The Minikid 3 needs sitting on the car seat rear-facing and giving the right leg room for your child. For a more compact fit you can have it tight up to the back of the vehicle seat, or for longer legs you might want to give more room. You can extend right out so that the vertical line on the side of the car seat is up to the edge of the vehicle seat, but it mustn't hang over it.

Before fastening the seat belt, you need to choose the recline angle of the car seat and you have three options. The leg at the front of the seat will drop out when you press the button underneath. It’s best to have the seat in the most upright possible, and only use it fully reclined for younger children. Generally, the older the child, the more upright. If you want to change the recline position once fitted, you will need to redo the installation, rather than just change for naps, like with other car seats.

Axkid Minikid 3 Installation Line

Once you've adjusted the recline, lengthen the seat belt and pass it through the gap at the side of the seat, underneath the green plastic clip and out the other side to buckle in. It's then important to take out any slack from the seat belt by tightening through the lap section and shoulder section. Once done, you can lock off the grip clip over the top of both sections. This is much easier to do now that there is only one clip, rather than trying to tighten and fasten two on the previous model.

Axkid Minikid 3 Green Clip

Next, pull out the tether straps from the side of the seat and clip on to where you have created your lower tether points. You must make sure that this pulls out sufficiently so that you can see the white marker on the tether straps. If you can't, you need to move the tether points closer to the floor, or cross them to the opposite point to lengthen it, which we had to do. Then wiggle either side of the seat several times, so that the tether straps tighten automatically for a secure fit. You might need to use your full body weight for this! The tether straps have changed so that they aren’t solid against the side of the seat now. Instead they move, giving you more flexibility when fitting. As they can only tighten, you don’t have the worry of them loosening over time.

The final stage is to pull out the support leg to its maximum angle and press the button to drop it firmly to the floor. You're also provided with an ASIP Pad (Axkid Side Impact Protection) which slots on to the car door side of the seat. There are black clips over these, so you'll just need to remove from whichever side you're attaching to. This gives additional side impact protection in a collision and it's strongly recommended to attach it, even though you can leave it off if you physically can't close the car door with it in place. If you’ve decided to fit the car seat in your middle seat, then you don’t need to use the ASIP Pad.

Axkid Minikid 3 Support Leg
Axkid Minikid 3 ASIP

The new shape of the Axkid Minikid 3 looks really streamlined and slim once you’ve got it fitted in the car, a modern update to the already popular, extended rear-facing car seat. If you are looking for a car seat to have three side by side, the 44cm width of the Minikid 3 will help you.

Axkid say that the Minikid 3 can be installed in 60 seconds, and we think this is definitely doable once you are familiar with the process and six stages!

Axkid Minikid 3 Installed
Day to day use

The Minikid 3 is available in a total of six different colours and gives you great choice, whether you’d rather a more subtle grey or black, or a bright blue or red. We have been sent the dark grey Granite for review. The two premium versions are different in that they have colour matched headrests, branded premium zippers and a meshed back cover on the seat.

As all car seats are now moving to R129 R129 testing, it’s great to see this option from Axkid too with its ability to rear face for so long - a potential seven years. rear-facing is five times safer than forward facing for children, so this just makes sense! It is also Swedish Plus tested too, which only rear-facing car seats can be put through, as it is one of the hardest to pass.

Axkid Minikid 3 Colours

The design on this car seat has the sides cut away, so it makes it really easy for the older child to climb into the seat from the car door, or the middle seat if it’s free. This can save time on a busy day and give them some independence too.

When moving the Minikid 3, you will notice that it’s lighter than ISOFIX car seats, at 11kg, so it’s handy if you’re moving from car to car regularly. If you do fit the car seat in more than one car, you can purchase additional tethers which you can leave attached, which will make it much quicker to install each time.

Car seats are generally in use every day, so, as a parent, you want something to work as simply and as safely as possible.The Axkid Minikid 3 features an automatically adjusting headrest and harness, which sits at the perfect height for your child every time you tighten the harness. This is a genius car seat idea, as so many parents will wonder whether their child has the correct fit in their car seat and it’s our most frequently asked question. It removes any worry and takes away the job of having to keep an eye on the position and moving up as your child grows.

Axkid Minikid 3 Harness

You can lock the headrest at the top if you would prefer and work through 14 fixed headrest positions, but most people will leave it to move automatically. Our only slight gripe on this is that you need to push the headrest up into the highest position every time after loosening your harness, to make sure that it will pull down automatically as you tighten. This can be frustrating if you haven’t realised until you try and tighten, and the headrest doesn't budge. Meaning you then need to loosen, move up and tighten again. This is a change from the Minikid 2, which always moved straight to the highest position. The button has also changed on this model to an easy slide rather than a toggle.

Axkid Minikid 3 Headrest Button

We like that the harness pads are nice and long and help to hold the harness out of the sides of the seat, or tucked under the deep headrest, so that you don't sit your little one on it when placing them in the car seat. The harness is very easy to fasten, by placing the two sides together and then straight into the buckle. Remember when tightening, you need to pull up on the shoulder straps to tighten the waist straps first, and then use the strap at the front to tighten and lower the headrest and harness. Proving that they are always thinking of the parent as well as safety, there are printed instructions on the inside of the left harness pad on exactly how to operate the harness. Brilliant that you always have with you and it’s there as a reminder for anyone else using the seat too! 

Axkid Minikid 3 Harness Pads
Axkid Minikid 3 Inside Harness

Axkid have updated the headrest design into more of a V-shape with force-absorbing technology. As well as the obvious safety benefits of this, the new shape also makes it easier for the child to see out of the window, which our two testers loved! The headrest is still nice and deep though and really cocoons their heads.

As it can be used from 61cm, which is around six months old, the Minikid 3 comes with an insert to keep smaller babies comfortable and supported. The insert is made from memory foam as well as mesh fabric on the back for air circulation to keep them cooler in the car. Axkid advise to use the insert until it is too tight for your child, but between 61cm and 105cm, which is around three years old. It can then be removed for your child to sit in just the seat for the rest of the time that they use it. Even without it, the seat is nicely padded to ensure the best comfort, with a new two way stretch fabric with high density laminate. This makes it longer lasting and the seat covers are simple to remove, for machine washing.

Axkid Minikid 3 Toddler Insert
Axkid Minikid 3 Toddler Insert 2

Car seats that can hold a seven year old child need to be generously sized, and the Minikid 3 has an increase of 10cm for the backrest, along with now being able to take 36kg rather than 25kg! We did find that the maximum leg room was a bit less than what is offered by the Minikid 2,  though Axkid advises that the leg space is up to an impressive 30cm. As we needed to test the car seat with a four and seven year old, we opted for the fit with the most leg room, so had it sitting on the seat right up to the horizontal marker. In this position, the front seat did need to be pushed quite far forwards, with limited room for the passenger. This will vary from car to car though and might not be an issue depending on who is travelling with you. You also have the option for installing on the front seat if this suits your family better.

We would remind potential buyers of the Minikid 3, that the age range, as with all car seats, is an estimate and you need to stick with the maximum of 125cm and 36kg to determine when the car seat is outgrown. Being an R129 tested seat with a height maximum, parents of taller children may find that the seat is outgrown before seven years old, but children on the higher weight centile, but average height will get more use out of it.

Although you have three recline positions to choose from, we have been testing in the most upright position with our testers, and had no problems with comfort or head flop. If you find that this is an issue, you can choose to have it more reclined, but will need to start the installation again, which some parents may not like.

Axkid Minikid 3 Seven Year Old
Axkid Minikid 3 Four Year Old
Axkid Minikid 3 Seven Year Old 2
Conclusion

Axkid have really revolutionised the extended rear-facing car seat market with their new Minikid 3. Being R129 and Swedish Plus tested, parents can be assured of the additional safety features to keep their child safe. Not only can children travel rear-facing to 25kg, but up to 36kg, which is great as we notice more and more children are reaching the weight limits of their car seats and pushchairs sooner. Noone wants to make important decisions on their child’s safety because they’re on a higher centile! It was great to test this out with an actual seven year old, proving that this is a car seat with great longevity.

We found this car seat simple to install and much easier than its predecessor, just work your way through the six stages using the brilliant app or printed instructions. Because of the installation method using seat belt and lower tethers, it can be installed in so many cars, including vans and ones with difficult seats.

If parents don’t have the budget for the £460 price tag of this car seat, they can opt for the Minikid 2, which still offers rear-facing to 25kg, just on the R44 standard and £100 cheaper. If you think of the additional testing, ease of use and extra 11kg of weight for the child, we definitely think it’s worth it if you can.

Axkid Minikid 3 Conclusion
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