Lily is not far off 3 years old and she’s still not officially grown out of her infant car seat in terms of height or weight but it was getting to the point where she was screaming through entire car journeys which we put down to being reclined constantly because she was wanting to be able to look out of the windows. She had well and truly hit the bored toddler age where they don’t sleep during car trips and want to see what’s going on so we decided to discard the baby seat and bite the bullet and buy the next size up.
If you’ve bought a car seat before you will know the utter minefield well! All the different reviews, watching countless crash tests, reading blog after blog after blog and asking for recommendations on every social media platform you own and still be left completely downed by the amount of choice there is. Having kids is hard! Every single decision has so much riding on it, especially when it comes to something that is there to potentially save your child’s life. There’s a lot of pressure to make sure you find the right one.
Joie Tilt Group 0+/1 Car Seat
After a lot of Googling and questioning the internet, we finally decided on the Joie Tilt. This is the cheaper of the offerings at Joie and I got it for an absolute steal during the Halfords Bank Holiday Weekend sale at a grand total of £60!
The main thing that drew me to this particular model is the fact it is suitable for rear facing up until 18kg which is about age 4. Now Lily is a tiny dot so I’m guessed she could be rear facing for a good bit longer than that if I really wanted which is fantastic although we have been using this for a good few months now and her head is getting veeeery close to the top already. I remember with Eloise I tried to find a good rear-facing seat when she was due to move up into a group 1 and there just wasn’t anything that didn’t require you to have a car the size of a bus. They were all so bulky and awkward and I wish these were available 7 years ago!
It has 4 different recline settings, 1 rear facing and 3 forward facing as well as a padded infant support because this seat is suitable from birth which makes it even more value for money.
The only thing I don’t like is the buckle. The plastic part wobbles around a bit (video here) which initially made me worry that the seat was faulty so I got in contact with Joie customer service who assured me that all was well, it’s meant to do that and it doesn’t impact the safety of the car seat at all. Other Joie Tilt owners also got in contact and told me theirs did the same so panic over.
The design is nice, sleek and modern looking which is what I was looking for. I’m not a huge fan of the brightly coloured car seats, even just red is toomuch for me haha. I went for the two-toned black which is mostly black with grey toned sides and newborn insert (only the headrest part of the inser
t is shown above). The material is lovely and soft, not your regular run of the mill car seat material which is a lot rougher or plasticy feeling in comparison. Is plasticy a word? well, it is now.
The only issue we have come across is that Ben finds it difficult to fit his finger into the little pocket covering the strap adjustment button. It’s quite a tight squeeze in there although the actual adjustment process works perfectly.
This is always the ballache for me because I can’t install car seats for the life of me, partly because of my joints but also partly because they confuse the hell out of me. After watching a YouTube tutorial for the installation I couldn’t believe just how simple it was. It has colour coded installation points to ensure it’s fitted correctly and it took less than a minute to get it fitted!
It comes with instructions in every written language you can think of with diagrams and labels galore filled with everything you need to know. I opened the box and there were legit 3 thick booklets of the safety information in just about every language in the world.
The strap adjustments were simple to do and took no time at all. The shoulder pads have an almost gel feel surface on the side against the child’s body meaning they won’t slip down over their shoulders and they’re a lot harder to escape from. They are also removable which makes cleaning them a doddle because let’s face it, they’re going to get filthy in no time. Stitched in shoulder pads are just and I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of all parents when I say that.
Since switching Lily to this car seat there has been remarkably less screaming involved in car trips and she is much happier being able to see out of the window. We have kept the head hugger part of the newborn insert to give her that added comfort around her head in the hope it’ll make her sleep in the car again haha. The shoulder pads don’t slip thanks to a soft gel-like strip on the inside which makes it harder for them to slip their arms out. Lily was able to do this in her old seat but it yet to do it in this one.
Overall I do really like it, for the price it is the design is lovely and it looks a lot more expensive than it was. However, it seems to be quite small and although the upper weight limit is 18kg I don’t think Lily will be able to fit height wise in it until she’s that weight because her head isn’t far away from the top of the seat and the lack of headrest adjustment means once she hits the top then it’s new seat time which isn’t ideal seeing as I’ve not long bought it! It’s also worth noting that Lily is mini, she may be nearly 3 but she’s in 12-18 months clothing to give you an idea of her size. I think if I had bought this to use from birth it would have worked out much better but if you’re looking at moving up from an infant seat, particularly if your baby is tall or even average height then it would be more cost effective to fork out that little bit more for the Joie Every Stages (as recommended to me by the lovely Charlie) which has the adjustable headrest that grows with your child.
What car seats do you have for your littles?