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2514 posts

Uber Geek
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#207744 12-Jan-2017 07:22
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Ok, so I like to think I am organised, and that I do a fair amount of research before I purchase items, usually based on price and features, but this is actually quite hard on car seats for babies.




So I am expecting my first child at the end of may, and the last purchase I need to make is the car seat, we have been given a capsule to use when baby first comes along so we are looking for the one from 6 months on.


I like the look of a couple of the convertible 3in1 seats but aside from meeting the standards to be able to be sold in NZ I am at a loss.


So I would like either






Now price wise, this is one thing I will not compromise on, I will spend what ever is required to make sure I have a safe seat.


Has anyone done the research lately on purchasing a car seat, and what did you look for.


I think the important things are the wings on the sides to stop lateral movement, the anchor and the belt buckle, my partner also wants to make sure that the buckle can be done up one at a time as a struggling baby doesn't make it impossible to do up!


In all honesty I love the phil & teds unit but I am unsure of the practicality of PU leather!


Any advise will be gratefully appreciated.

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1968 posts

Uber Geek


  #1701788 12-Jan-2017 07:43
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You're not going to need it for another year or so so don't buy it yet!!!


They have a limited life (they should have an expiry dated printed on it usually 5-7 years (from memory) after manufacturer).

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595 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1701806 12-Jan-2017 08:43
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Also need to consider how it will be mounted. Does the car you will be using have ISOFIX mounting points? The recommendation is that the seat is mounted rear-facing for at least the first 2 years, but some seats only have ISOFIX mounts for forward-facing. We have a cheaper seat in our second car which can only be fitted forward-facing due to seatbelt length.


We ended up going with the Safety 1st Guide 65, which can be mounted both forward and rear-facing with ISOFIX mounts, and haven't had any issues with it.


This seat was recommended to us by


247 posts

Master Geek

  #1701809 12-Jan-2017 08:59
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Firstly congrats on the pending new arrival!


Agree with mentalinc, you could probably hold off buying a car seat right now, as realistically your baby won't be in it until December which is still a long way away.  At which point you might be lucky enough to hit a xmas sale... Car seats are big and bulky, so you'll need somewhere to store it til then too.


Like you, we had a capsule for the first 6 months or so.  When it came to buying a car seat we looked at car seats online that we liked and actually went into the store to try them out with baby in them and also tried to see if it actually would fit in the car (might not be a problem for you if you have a big car). 


We ended up going for the Britax Boulevard Click Tight or the model below during a sale for about $500, due to the fact it looked safe, was easy to install (either with a normal seat belt or ISOFIX) and our boy look cosy in it. 


As for the leather, seems like a good idea to clean up spills and accidents that inevitably happens..  But can imagine it getting warm/hot if lyour car is eft out in the sun all day?



125 posts

Master Geek

  #1701811 12-Jan-2017 09:05
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+1 Britax boulevard.


We bought ours from baby on the move and couldn't be happier with our purchase and the customer service is 2nd to none as after the initial fitting we've gone back a couple of times and they've sorted us out no questions.


Yes they are a bit pricey but you do have a bit of time up your sleeve and as suggested above could nab one in a sale.



3897 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1701820 12-Jan-2017 09:27
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I wouldn't go too nuts on a car seat. We bought a Sunshine kids Radian for our first and while it was OK it wasn't that comfortable forward facing (too upright) and it was big and heavy.

We got two Evenflo seats through the Portage licensing trust and they were great. If you live in the portage trust area they are $30 through Plunkett.

It's a good idea to get the fit checked by Plunkett. They gave us some good tips on fitment and if you car doesn't have a restraining bolt will help you sort it out.

687 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1701828 12-Jan-2017 09:47
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FWIW - we used a capsule (a Phil and Teds one - can't recall the specific model) for the first while. We didn't bother with a special base, as running the seat belt through it was easily enough managed to not warrant the extra cost. Then afterwards, we were lucky enough to be in the PLT area also (West Auckland), so were able to take advantage of the $30 car seat from Plunket. That was great, as it was a mid range seat that allowed us to move out of the capsule quickly enough - as out little man grew like a weed!!. 


One thing to also remember is to keep them rear facing for as long as possible - the research on how much safer it is just blows my mind. 


We decided to move out of the Evenflo model (from Plunket) before it's life span was up, mainly because it was a very snug seat, so it didnt look like he was that comfortable (heat, position, etc), just because of his size. SO after a lot of hunting around (I was in a similar mindset of just wanting the best/safest seat), I concluded the Britax Frontier Clicktight was the one for us ( Although I think this will be a bit further down the line for you, as its not rear facing...its a convertible booster seat....It is rather large, so makes our car seat only 2 in the back really (3 is okay at a push), just due to the width of it and the size of the wings....but I felt for the amount of time we actually have people in the back, I would rather have a safer seat for our little man. Plus the fitting is beyond amazingly simple and always snug and tight...have not regretted it at with our man being on the larger size, this seat is very versatile in how it can be used. I would certainly recommend the Britax range of seats from my experience. 


But yeah - certainly do the research, have a hunt around, but I wouldn't buy it till a little closer to the time...or unless you spot a great special (I did with the Frontier, so grabbed it about 6 months before needing it)...


Good luck!

16107 posts

Uber Geek


  #1701831 12-Jan-2017 09:54
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Our antenatal class covered car seats reasonably well. Short version: buy one you like, within your budget, that meets standards. If it's used, check the expiry date and condition. Have it fitted professionally.


We're still using the P&T / mountain buggy capsule, with base. Isofix was too loose for some reason, it wobbled around too much, so we got the seat belt version. Having the base is really handy.


Interested in peoples recommendations on car seats too, we'll need one in a couple of months.


22700 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1701897 12-Jan-2017 10:26
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My wife is incredibly detailed in her research and we have *6* top of the line car seats to cover our 2 kids in her car, my car, and the nannys car to ensure they are always safe. I'll get her recommendations. She was exhaustive and she knows more than most of the salespeople we interacted with at various stages. 


Don't buy them till you need them, a month before is plenty of time. 


The expiry date does not mean the seat is no longer safe. The manufacturers put them on so that people don't keep them forever when new technology is being added all the time.



258 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1701921 12-Jan-2017 10:44
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I think all suggestions provided above are good. Just to add to this you do need to consider what car the seats are going in to. Some seats just don't fit that well in some cars, either too close to the back of the front seats or so wide you restrict room for other passengers. Back when we got ours, Baby on the Move let us try a selection of seats in our car, they may not have the models you are keen on, but you can at least see how they differing sizes fit in your vehicle.

463 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1701922 12-Jan-2017 10:49
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First thing to do is check if your vehicle has ISOFIX mounts.  If it does then use them, so you can be sure the seat is properly attached to the vehicle, which is the most important thing.


Using ISOFIX mounts restricts your choice of seats because many seats sold in NZ are made to be strapped in.


Once you have invested in ISOFIX seats you can only use them in vehicles with ISOFIX mounts. That means any European or US vehicles after 2002, most Japanese from about 2007, and some Australian from 2014.


ISOFIX fixings have been mandatory in Europe and the US since 2002, but were ILLEGAL in Australian vehicles until 2014. Weird.


2572 posts

Uber Geek

  #1701927 12-Jan-2017 10:52
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My better half (who is an NZTA-certified Child Restraint technician) suggests the Diono Rainier or Safety 1st Grow n Go Air. Also, Phil and Teds has puzzle buckle (both parts engage together). As others have pointed out, correct installation is one of the biggest factors, so ensure the seat is correctly installed. The safest car seat in the world won't be much help if it isn't installed properly and goes flying around in a crash.

4985 posts

Uber Geek


  #1701977 12-Jan-2017 11:51
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My daughter-in-law has two Dionos. Swears by them, and she did a heap of research before buying.


She says if you go Diono, hunt around as they aren't stocked at many places and there aren't very many shipments. She has one that goes from Newborn all the way till they are ready to move out of the seat, and the other doesn't have the Newborn bit. Came with a heap of connection options (the use ISOFix now, but didn't in their previous car).

1164 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #1701982 12-Jan-2017 12:09
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This is good, we're expecting our first in June so interested to see what you end up with


You're doing well, we haven't bought anything yet >_<


618 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1702003 12-Jan-2017 13:06
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Ahh, welcome to the never ending learning curve of buying stuff for your kids. We bought the Phil and Teds one you have linked in the first post and had to buy another one 6 months later cause it was so difficult to get it to stop moving around in the car (didn't come standard with ISOFIX). We ended up buying a Diono radian and giving the Phil and Teds to the grandparents for them to keep in their car. Very solid (weighs a ton) and much better than the Phil and Teds design, however in our car (VW Touareg) no matter what I do I cannot get it as tight as I would like it when forwards facing. I have resorted to putting the ISOFIX belt through the bottom (which is only supposed to be used in rear facing) and then putting the seatbelt through the rear passage (where the ISOFIX is supposed to go in forward facing), plus the top teather goes to the clip on the back of the seat (which is what is stopping it being 100% securely anchored) and that gets the most secure fit. It only moves 10-15mm at most (maybe less) but I really have to give everything a big tug whilst kneeling with all my weight on the seat during install.


We have just had #2 so are going through the process again and I am still undecided on whether or not another Diono is the best option. It is a good seat and I have fit it in other cars to be snug as, just the seat design of our VW makes it sub-optimal. Very easy to clean and easy to get in and out of. Our daughter has been sick in it about 15 times so I am pretty good at pulling everything off for a wash down. Never had that with the Phil and Teds so can't comment.


Good luck!


Edit: The Diono Radian goes from baby to toddler to booster seat. That is main reason we bought it.

2514 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user

  #1702361 13-Jan-2017 06:32
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Hi All,


I really appreciate all the advise, so far we have discussed and decided that we will wait until we need the carseat, unless there is a very good special, we will try it in our cars first, currently I have a 2002 Commodore and my fiancé has a 2014 Santa Fe so we will need 2 seats, which was always likely anyway. When I upgrade my car, likely next year it will probably be to a 2009 - 2012 Commodore so still no ISOFIX.


Agree with the above post that I want a 3in1 version that can change with the child.


By the looks of things the Diono and Britax are very popular, I will go and have a look at these ones.

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