I was recently sent a Britax Trifix car seat to review.
The Trifix is a forward facing stage 1 car seat, suitable for toddlers weighing 9-18kg (which is around 9 months to 4 years). It features the new Britax V tether system, which anchors the car seat in place from the top of the car seat, as well as from the Isofix connections. The Trifix features the new, wider Britax Isofix+ installation system, which will reduce the seat’s sideways movement in the event of a side-on collision.
It also has the new, patented SI-PADs, which cushion side impact forces. The Trifix has a 5 point safety harness, with performance chest pads, as well as the Britax Pivot Link system, which transfers forces smoothly to the main car seat. Basically, it is the safest Britax stage 1 car seat on the market.
The Trifix arrived extremely well packaged, and with instructions in multiple languages. There was also a QR code on the Car Seat’s label, which gave me instant access to the INSTALLATION VIDEO via my phone – I really liked this!
The first thing which struck me was the fact the seat was much larger than Sam’s other stage 1 car seat. It looked much safer than his, and much comfier, too. The padding feels deep, and the straps are well padded.
The car seat can be fitted via isofix, or isofix and the new V Tether System. (Which is the safest way to fit it, but not all cars have the anchor points). If you’re not sure if your car has them, have a look at the back of your rear passenger seats (via the boot) – you’re looking for a metal hook. I have added a photograph below to show you exactly what you are looking for.
Before I continue, I want to point out a couple of things. Firstly, TRIFIX can only be bought from retailers who physically fit it into your car. It will be fitted by a specialist, who is trained to fit and demo a TRIFIX. This will ensure you are shown exactly how to do it and should prevent the issues I had, below.
Secondly, I am 35 weeks pregnant and suffering from SPD, so my movement isn’t great. Finally, our car is a 5 door 2011 Vauxhall Insignia, and the rear seats are rarely sat on, so very firm still.
When I came to fit the car seat, I managed to get it into the car easily, but I couldn’t get the Isofix Guides to stay in place – they popped out whenever I let go of them – this was because the seats were so firm, not because the guides weren’t compatible. After a fair bit of fiddling around, and with DaddyGeek’s help, we managed to get the isofix connectors to go in. The V tether was a doddle to connect – it just looped over the headrest and clipped onto the hook at the rear of the insignia seat the Trifix seat was positioned on.
Here is a photo of the car seat once it was correctly fitted – note the green button, which tells you the isofix is connected correctly. The photo on the right shows you the V Tether Anchor point – the photo is taken looking into my car boot from the rear of the vehicle. It took us 23 minutes to get the car seat fitted correctly. It was 27 degrees outside though, and I did struggle for 15 minutes by myself before asking hubby for help.
When you are putting your child into the car seat for the first time, make sure you just pop them in and see if the head rest and straps need adjusting before you try to strap them in. The Trifix has a genus pull up adjustment method, which saves you having to unthread the straps every time you need to raise the strap height or the head hugger position. However, it’s much easier to adjust if there is no child sat in the seat at the time! You will struggle to get the car seat straps to tighten or loosen if they are positioned too low for your child.
To tighten the straps once your child is in position, you pull the strap between their legs until you can just get 2 fingers between your child’s shoulders and the straps. The slack is taken from behind the shoulder straps, so if it’s stuck, make sure your child’s top isn’t in the way. To loosen the straps to remove your child, press the button on the front of the car seat and gently pull the straps downwards, below the shoulder pads. If you pull too hard, the safety lock kicks in.
Once you unclip the 5 point harness, there are handy holes to pop the strap clasps into to keep them out of the way while you remove your child. I really liked this feature – it meant Sam wasn’t getting his arm tangled in the straps, and I didn’t have to move them out of the way when I was putting him back in the car seat the next time.
The 4 point recline didn’t lie back as much as Sam’s old car seat did, but he still fell asleep happily enough. He loved being able to see out of the passenger window for the first time too. Sam looked far comfier in the Britax Trifix car seat than he did in his old one. The padding definitely made for a comfier ride for him.
From my point of view, it is far easier to lift him in and out of the Trifix, as it’s higher and the rounded sides are easier to reach around than his last car seat. The Trifix definitely feels safer, too. When I did the shake test to make sure it fitted correctly, it barely moved compared to his previous seat. The V tether made a huge difference, and I feel much happier knowing he is so much more protected in the car now.
In all honesty, the RRP of £320 would probably have put me off considering this seat before I tried it, as it seems a lot of money. However, now I have seen for myself just how much safer it is, I am already saving up to buy another for Robyn.
It was not easy to fit in my car, but half an hour of struggling for 3 ish years of peace of mind seems like a fair exchange to me! Also, as explained earlier, you can only buy it from retailers who will fit it to your car for you, so you won’t have the issues I did. When I take into account fitting it, the price, the safety, the instructions and the comfort, I would give the Britax Trifix 9 out of 10. For me, it loses a point for there being no mention of how to loosen the straps in the instructions. It took me ages to work out that I was pulling too hard on the straps, and causing them to lock in place as they would if the car had performed an emergency stop. Now I know what the issue was, it makes sense, but at the time it was really frustrating – especially after spending so long trying to fit it just beforehand.
Would I recommend the seat to friends? Definitely!
Well done Britax!
This is not a sponsored post. We were sent the Britax Trifix to review, but all thoughts and words are my own.