Adding to its growing collection, Ickle Bubba has released a new i-Size infant carrier that should last your baby longer.
As well as its popular Stomp travel system, strollers and car seats, Ickle Bubba is giving parents another option when purchasing one of its bundles. You now have a choice of two infant carriers! The new Mercury is an i-Size tested car seat suitable from birth to around 15 months.
What's in the box?
• Infant carrier
• Newborn insert
• ISOFIX base (if bought as a package)
Currently, the Ickle Bubba Mercury only comes in one colour option - black with white piping.
• Car seat group: i-Size Infant Carrier
• Child's height: 40 - 80cm
• Child's age: Birth - 15 months
• Weight: 4kg
It is also possible to fit in the car with the vehicle seat belt, but this falls under the older R44 testing. This is done as usual with the lap belt over the child's legs and through the blue guides, and then the diagonal part around the back of the seat and under the guide. It's good that you have flexibility with the installation in case of using different cars or public transport.
To fit the ISOFIX base in the car, you start by pulling up the lever on the top of the base and push the support leg in to extend the ISOFIX arms. Once you have pushed these onto the car's anchor points, the red indicator on the top of each arm will turn to green to show it has connected. Then push the base so that it touches the vehicle seat back.
Next push back the two buttons on the support leg, which allows you to move it up and down to reach the footwell of the car. Again you will get a green indicator on the bottom of the leg once it is at the correct height.
Popping the car seat onto its base is the last job, and once connected makes a nice click. A green indicator shows at either side on the base. Whilst travelling in the car, the handle on the seat needs to be in the upright position, as would act as a roll bar in an accident. It's easy to take out of the car thanks to the sliding button at the very front of the base.
The Mercury is designed to use alongside the Ickle Bubba travel systems, with car seat adaptors included with the pushchair. Parents can upgrade their travel system to this car seat from the Galaxy infant carrier for a further £150. When using it as part of your travel system, the handle needs to be in the furthest position back, which locks it into place. Removing it again from the pushchair chassis is just a case of moving the handle back upright and lifting. Thanks to the shape of the handle, it's comfortable to carry.
The Mercury uses the same universal adaptors as other infant carriers to allow it to be attached to a range of pushchairs from other brands. At the time of review, Ickle Bubba has tested the car seat with Mima, egg, Joolz, iCandy and Bugaboo.
Suitable from birth up to 80cm, the Mercury should last a good amount of time for most babies, up to a maximum of 13kg. An infant carrier is outgrown once the child's head is level with the top of the seat, so parents shouldn't worry about the legs extending past the bottom. It's great that the child is kept in the rear-facing position until the i-Size minimum age of 15 months, no matter which next stage seat they move up into.
The reinforced shell of the car seat has side impact protection in-built in the form of mirror finished circles under the handle. These flashy areas really make the car seat stand out, as well as being a great safety feature. There are also air ventilation panels on each side to increase the airflow around baby.
A three-point harness makes placing and removing baby easy, with the clips going together and into the buckle smoothly. Adjusting the height of the harness is done from the back of the seat, with six different positions to choose from. Once the harness is in the correct position, the headrest can be slid up the harness too. There's a button just below the buckle and this allows you to lengthen the harness.
The inside of the seat features a memory foam newborn insert and headrest cushion to make sure a small baby is kept secure and comfortable. Once they outgrow it, it's easy to remove from under the harness and can be done in stages with the wedge and then body support. We didn't find that the fabrics used throughout the seat are as premium as other car seats at a similar price point.
We love the shape of the hood on the Mercury. As it features a hard plastic edge, it pulls over the child offering good protection and keeps the stretchy material in a great shape.A big plus for the Ickle Bubba Mercury is the four-year warranty that you receive with it! This is longer than a lot of other car seats currently offer, should you need it.
For the price of £319.98 you get the infant carrier and base. At this higher price, it would be nice to see the fabrics used have a greater quality feel. Similar car seat in terms of safety and functionality are available on the market featuring more premium textiles, but this does come at a higher price. The finish is the compromise with the more affordable Mercury.
We are impressed that the seat has the capability to last your baby right up to 15 months rear-facing. It would be nice if a range of colour options was available, as currently there is only the black version that we have tested.
We give the Ickle Bubba Mercury 4.5 out of 5 stars