A few months ago we noticed that Nerys’ car seat was looking, how do I put this, a little tired. We had used it for a long time with Rhys before he moved up to the next size and so, while it was still safe, it was just really past its best.
So we started looking around for a new seat for Nerys. And we were thrilled when Kiddy UK asked us if we wanted to test out their new Phoenixfix 3 group 1 car seat.
The phoenixfix 3 is a group 1 car seat, which means it’s suitable for children who weigh between 9 and 19 kilos. Or who are aged from about 9 months to 4 years. This was perfect for us because Nerys is 2, but is quite big for her age. So it was good to know that we still had a good few kilos to go before she was too big for the seat! I’m not sure she’ll still be in it when she’s 4 though, I think she’ll have outgrown it by then.
There are quite a few colours to chose from with the Phoenixfix 3. And after a fair bit of deliberation we decided on the shanghai seat, which is a gorgeous bright pink. We weren’t sure to start with about going with a colour that was potentially too girly, but we’re really happy with the shanghai. It’s pink, but it’s also bright and vibrant, and the grey and black does tone it down a little bit.
The main thing that won me over with the Phoenixfix 3 is how safe it is.
I hadn’t seen a seat like it before. All the group 1 seats I’d seen in the past were fitted with a standard 5-way harness to secure the child. The Phoenixfix 3 on the other hand has the Kiddy impact shield. So you sit your child in the seat, then place the impact shield in front of them and slide it towards their torso, so the shield’s arms fit underneath the seat’s armrests. Then you secure the seat by feeding the car’s seatbelt through the guides on the impact shield, before fastening the seatbelt.
The impact shield has been designed so that, if the car is in a front-end collision, the child’s upper body will curl over the shield. What this means is that the loads on the child’s cervical spine are significantly reduced compared to 5 point harness systems.
And on a far more superficial note, the impact shield gives Nerys a nice little surface in front of her. Perfect for playing with her toys on, and for covering in crumbs from her snacks!
When the seat first arrived we were both a little concerned that it would be too small for Nerys. She is so big for her age, it just didn’t look like she would be comfortable in it. But as soon as we fitted it in the car and sat her in it we realised we were completely wrong.
The seat is absolutely big enough for her. And she seems really comfy in it.
We recently drove from Swansea to Leamington Spa, which takes around 3 hours each way. And Nerys was really happy in her seat the whole time. She fell asleep both ways and looked really comfortable snoozing away.
Along with the design of the seat, the fabric that Kiddy have used really helps with the comfort factor. They’ve used a breathable 3D mesh fabric, which helps to keep the child nice and cool. This is really great for Nerys because she does tend to run a bit hot, especially when she sleeps.
And a plus for parents, the seat covers can be removed and washed at 30 degrees too.
The Phoenixfix 3 is fitted with the Kiddy K-fix+ system, which you can use to secure the seat if your car has the isofix mounting system. This system is really great, as the K-fix+ connectors are now longer, which makes them really easy to fit the seat and make a rigid connection to the car. They also move sideways if the car is in a side-on collision, pushing the child away from the impact.
If your car doesn’t have isofix, then the k-fix connectors can be easily retracted so you can fit the seat with just the car’s seat belt.
We’ve been in the unexpected position of being able to test out both methods of fitting the seat. When we first got it we had a car with isofix. So we used the Kiddy K-fix+ connectors and were really impressed with how easy they made fitting the seat. It did feel really nice and secure when it was fitted that way too.
Then at the start of the summer our car was hit and written off. And our new car doesn’t have isofix. So for the past few months we’ve been using it by simply securing it with the seatbelt each time. And I’ve been really pleased with how steady and secure it still seems to be when fitted this way.
We’ve been using the Phoenixfix 3 for several months now, and couldn’t be happier with it.
It’s lovely and comfortable for Nerys on longer car journeys. And it’s also great for nipping out on the school run every day. It did take a few days to get the hang of fastening the seatbelt with the impact shield, but now I’m used to it I find it really quick and easy to do.
So if you’re looking for a new seat for your little one, the Phoenixfix 3 is definitely worth checking out.
It’s a lovely looking seat, very user-friendly and extremely safe. I’ll be really quite sad when Nerys gets too big for it!
You can find out more about the Phoenixfix 3 on the Kiddy UK website.
Disclosure – I was sent the Phonixfix 3 for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are my own.