BeSafe have been around for over 50 years and are known for their extremely safe car seats and their passion for extended rear-facing. We are trying out something different this time, with their from-birth, spin car seat with built in spirit level - the BeSafe iZi Twist B i-Size!
Suitability 40-105cm (birth to 4 years approx)
Group i-Size and Swedish Plus Test
Fitting ISOFIX and Support Leg
Colours Metallic Melange, Burgundy Melange, Premium Car Interior Black, Sea Green Melange, Fresh Black Cab, Cloud Melange
RRP from £499, £519 for Melange fabrics
The BeSafe iZi Twist B i-Size is a rear-facing only car seat that can be used from birth up to 105cm, which is around 4 years old. We love this, as it's proven to be five times safer for children to travel in this position. It is easy to install in the car using the ISOFIX points and support leg, but does differ slightly with the installation instructions.
Unlike the majority of other car seats available, the installation instructions on the BeSafe iZi Twist B i-Size advise that is fine to fit the seat in a floating installation, with a method called Universal-Level Technology™. This basically means that once the ISOFIX arms are connected to the anchors in the vehicle, the support leg needs to be lifted until the spirit level on the base is showing level. Depending on the angle of the vehicle seat, from 5°- 20°, the seat is kept level even though the base of the seat isn't touching it. It looks strange to be lifted from the seat, but the forces are distributed to the vehicle floor through the support leg, and to the car body by the ISOFIX anchorages, so it is not needed! It means that the car seat is kept at the perfect angle, even in cars with a bucket style, angled seat.
The child seat is also embedded at an angle in its base to ensure it is always horizontal. Great that it gives that correct position in the car for your child, and we haven't seen any head flop while testing.
There are green indicators on the ISOFIX arms, leg support and swivel feature to let you know that everything is fitted correctly, which is good reassurance for parents. The base will also continue to beep if you don't have the leg support securely fitted at the right height.
Making life easier for the parent, the iZi Twist B i-Size includes rotation to the vehicle door. To operate the swivel, just pull the handle at either side upwards and spin the seat. You then have perfect access to your child while you place or remove them from the car. If locked correctly back in to the rear-facing position, the indicator under the handle will show green. We did find that you need two hands to operate though.
The most important thing for a car seat is that it can protect your child while travelling in the car, so the fact that this seat not only is tested to the latest R129 i-Size regulations, but also the Swedish Plus Test is amazing!! If you're not sure what that is, then the Plus Test is a Swedish standard that was created in 2009 to ensure that car seats manage high forces against the neck in the event of a collision. The testing is done at a higher speed and shorter braking distance than standard testing and measures the force through special sensors on the dummy. It's not mandatory and can only be done with rear-facing seats, as forward facing car seats allow too much force on the neck.
To create a seat perfect from birth up to a child of four years old, the iZi Twist B i-Size comes with a Baby Shell™ and Newborn Hugger™. They completely cocoon a tiny newborn in three layers of safety, and it is designed to give an ideal sitting angle for a baby, the same as you would see in an infant carrier. This whole outer shell contains a Dynamic Force Absorber™, which cleverly flexes on the inside to absorb the forces. The Newborn Hugger™ then sits inside the Baby Shell™ with a wedge to keep newborns supported and in a flatter position, which is better for their airways. The Baby Shell™ should be used in the seat until 87cm, which is around 2 years old, giving them the perfect amount of support needed until they are ready to be in the bigger seat. The Newborn Hugger™ needs to be removed at 60cm or once baby reaches 4 months old.
Protecting from side impact, the seat features Side Impact Protection (SIP) built into the seat shell, but also comes with an additional SIP+ cushion, which clips on to the side closest to the vehicle door. There are two raised dots on the side of the seat so you know exactly where it needs to be placed. It is removable though, so make sure that it doesn't get lost in the depths of a family car boot!
The headrest is curved and padded for comfort and moves the five point harness up and down simultaneously with the button at the back. There are 10 positions to move through and our two year old tester has lots of space for growing. Another feature to make it easier to get baby in their seat is the magnetic circles in the harness pads. Simply lengthen the harness each time and connect to the sides of the seat to keep them out of the way. It would be fab to see the same thing in the buckle pad too to keep it forward from under baby's bum.
For nap times, the iZi Twist B i-Size has four recline positions and is done with the button at the front of the seat. It's easy to access and can be altered at any time. If you are still using the Baby Shell™ in the seat, BeSafe advise to keep it in the most reclined position. When fully reclined and sleeping, our two year old tester looked very comfortable. As well as reclined, we found the upright position nice for older children to be able to see out of the windows while travelling.
At 15kg, it is quite a heavy seat, so probably not one you're going to want to be moving regularly - even if it is easy to install.
As well as the multitude of safety features, it's easy to install and use. Using the ISOFIX arms and support leg, the spirit level on the base makes sure that the angle is just right. Having a swivel function on the seat means that you have perfect access to place your child in the seat and the magnets in the harness also help to keep it well out of the way to place them.
If you want an all singing, all dancing car seat that has passed the strictest car seat testing and will last for around 4 years, then the BeSafe iZi Twist B i-Size is definitely one to take a look at!
We give the BeSafe iZi Twist B i-Size 5 out of 5 stars