360 degree rotation is something that is becoming more popular in the car seat world, and this time we're taking a look at Britax Römer's version, the DUALFIX.
Britax Römer are truly a respected and trusted brand when it comes to car seats. And so they should be, as they helped to write Europe's first ever legislation for car seat standards in 1981. With their engineers constantly looking for better safety technology, their car seats are amongst the safest. We are taking a looking at one in our Britax Römer DUALFIX Review.
What's in the box?
• DUALFIX Car Seat
• ISOfix Guides
The RRP of the Britax Römer DUALFIX is £355
The Britax Römer DUALFIX is available in Black Marble, Cosmos Black, Flame Red, Steel Grey, Ocean Blue and Mineral Purple.
• Car seat group: Group 0+/1
• Child weight: Birth-18kg
• Child's age: Birth-4y approx.
• Weight: 14.7kg
Once the seat is sat level on the vehicle seat you can pull out the strap that is at the back of the base, and this will extend the ISOfix arms. If your car doesn't have ISOfix guides, Britax Römer do provide them with the car seat, making it easier to reach your ISOfix points without tearing your material. Guide the arms to the back of the seat until they connect with the ISOfix anchors. We did find this bit slightly difficult, as the ISOfix arms slide back into the base when pushed against the seat. You have to get your arms around both sides and press on the red parts of the arms in order for them to engage. There will be an audible click and a green indicator will show on the arms. Next push the base as close as you can with the rebound bar firmly against the vehicle seat. Then, squeeze the buttons on the support leg and pull out to the correct height for your car. The foot of the leg will show a green indicator when level against the floor.
Though capable of 360 degree rotation, the DUALFIX has 90 degree rotation at a time, depending on if your child is rear or forward facing. As it has been proven that extended rear facing is five times safer for the child, we love that the DUALFIX can carry your child right up to it's highest weight limit of 18kg, or around four years old. It can also be spun around once your child reaches 9kg. To rotate the seat, there is a button at the front of the base, in a small dip. Once pressed, you can spin the DUALFIX towards either side of the car. This makes placing your child so much easier, especially if you suffer from back problems.
Once fitted, you need to make sure that the seat is set up for your child's weight category. There are marks on the base for either 0-13kg or 9-18kg and it can be switched by holding the grey safety button at the front while operating the recline button and moving accordingly. In order for the seat to rotate, it must be either full reclined when rear facing or fully upright when forward facing. The recline action is really smooth and you can hear loud clicks into position, which is reassuring. It's nice to have this security feature there so that you are not tempted to move your child to forward facing before the 13kg mark.
The five point harness offers a perfect fit with the harness height and headrest adjusted in one movement. Simply pull the grey loop at the top of the headrest to release, and move up or down. The shoulder pads, or performance chest pads, are different to what we have seen before, as they are backed with a ridged memory foam. Not only should this be comfortable for the child, but it is designed to reduce any movement of the child in the event of a collision. The two parts of the harness fit together before then clipping into the buckle, which has one button to release again. To lengthen the harness, there is a soft button just below the buckle, and tightening again is the usual pulling of the strap. From birth up to around six months, the newborn insert is to be used in the DUALFIX to support your baby's spine in a better position. The cover of the car seat is easily removed, which is great, as it will most likely need cleaning a few times in those four years of use!
As well as child comfort, with the newborn insert for additional support and the deep, softly padded side wings and several recline positions, there are also the all important safety features. The side impact protection is placed along the whole seat to protect the child in the event of a side collision, and there's Pivot Link. This optimum anti-rotation protection combines the ISOfix attachment with a special mechanism to reduce forward rotation, instead channeling the energy down into the seat of the car.
The Britax Römer DUALFIX is a striking looking car seat, that though hefty, isn't too big in the car. Its standout feature is the 360 degrees rotation, which makes getting your child in the car much easier with no struggle to adjust their harness. Though we did find that the ISOfix arms slipped back into the base with little force, fitting is a breeze with the two stages using ISOfix and the support leg.
As the car seat can be used from birth up to around four years old either rear or forward facing, it's a flexible and cost effective option for any family. We don't think that £1.71 a week works out bad at all.
We give the Britax DUALFIX 4.5 out of 5 stars