We’re the kind of family who love a day trip, and will find any excuse to visit somewhere new. I’ve said it before, but when you work full time and only have two days off a week, you have to make the most of them.
When we were very kindly gifted a Britax Advansafix III SICT car seat to review, I took that as a fab excuse to go for a drive to west Wales and test it out. We headed to St Davids – the smallest city in the UK – where we last visited on a wet autumn day when our biggest boy was four months old. It’s a lovely little town (sorry, city), with a cathedral, gift and surf shops, a couple of pubs, and an ice cream shop – where we inevitably ended up even though it wasn’t exactly summer.
In fact, our ice-cream loving sons took themselves straight into the shop before we could stop them. To be fair, it was such a mild day that we’d already ditched our jackets. Our biggest boy had placed his order before we got through the door, and the lovely woman behind the counter gave us a free cone with a small portion for the littlest.
They were the happiest boys in the city!
As St Davids, in Pembrokeshire, is roughly an hour and a half drive from home, it was the perfect length journey to test the car seat. I’d tasked Stew with fitting it before we went, and he had it sorted in no time.
The Britax Advansafix III is suitable for children aged roughly nine months to nine years, with a five-point harness for those under 18kg. Once your child is over that weight, they can use the car’s seatbelt. This has always made me bit wary as S is on the borderline weight-wise and I was worried it wouldn’t feel as secure, but a top tether which hooks around the back of the car’s seat stops the carseat from moving at all.
By the time we got to St Davids, S had fallen asleep. One of the reasons I chose this car seat, apart from the gorgeous green colour, was that it has three recline levels. I’ve found that some of the carseats that will take older children don’t tend to recline, and we still need that as S tends to fall asleep and I’d hate for his head to slump forward as it looks so uncomfortable.
But he was snoozing away, so top marks for comfort here! He even has enough space to curl his legs up onto the seat when he’s sleeping, and looks nice and snug. We adjusted the headrest as soon as we stopped, as we realised we’d set it a little bit too high. That was easily done with one button, and can actually be done while your child is in the seat – great if you have more than one child who will be using the car seat.
Our first stop when we arrived was the cathedral. It’s a beautiful building, with lots to explore. There was a service on, so we didn’t hang around for too long, and headed off to find something to eat. The boys loved exploring the little streets, which were practically deserted as we were out of season.
We stumbled upon The Bishop’s pub, which was a winner as they did children’s pizza and chips … these days we don’t even have a chance to check what we fancy on the menu, as long as the boys can eat we’re in! It was a lovely traditional pub, with plenty of quirky things to look at on the walls, and a beer garden that would be fab in the summer. Crayons and colouring paper entertained the boys while we waited for our food, and I was impressed with the Havana Club rum tins the crayons were kept in. We went to Cuba on our honeymoon, so it was a nice reminder of our few days in Havana.
Our final stop before heading back home was, of course, the ice cream shop. It turns out we can’t go on a day trip without an ice cream anymore … and we weren’t even at the beach! We found a little patch of grass overlooking the cathedral for the boys to sit and enjoy them, and they attracted quite a bit of attention from people passing. They did look very cute, even if I do say so myself!
We just had time to play a bit of hide and seek in the gatehouse, and raced each other back to the car … always best to wear them out before a journey home! And it was back into the carseat for another little nap before we got back.
Britain Advansafix III – our thoughts:
As I mentioned at the start, we were gifted the Britax Advansafix III, so here are our thoughts after using it for a few months. Comfort-wise, it seems perfect. There have been no complaints from S, it’s roomy enough for him to look secure but not squashed, he can almost curl up for a sleep, and can rest his head without slumping forward. As I said, the recline feature is fab for children who still fall asleep in the car.
Fitting: Stew found it very easy to fit, and managed it in a few minutes, but for me it was more of a struggle. It’s quite a heavy seat, so was hard work for me to get to the car when we left it at nursery a few times, and I don’t quite have the strength to pull the top tether as much as I probably should. We now leave it in one car, rather than move it back and fore, which is recommended with all carseats anyway.
Security: With the top tether, the seat feels super secure even if S is buckled in using the seatbelt rather than the five-point harness. The seat also features side impact protection, a secure guard to keep the seatbelt at the optimal level, and wide chest pads and high padded sides to minimise impact in the event of a crash.
Style: This is the least important point, but the Advansafix III comes in seven different colours. We went for green marble, which S loves. And the cover is removable, so spillages can easily be washed off.
The Britax Advansafix III is currently priced at £249.99 at John Lewis.