Looking for a car seat that will last your child from toddlerhood right up until the end of their primary school years?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with what’s on the market, and all the different groups of car seats that you need to think about.
I had been looking for a new car seat for my toddler for quite some time, but just couldn’t make a decision on what would work for us best.
As a parent there are a few important qualities that we are looking for in a product for our kids.
Number one is, of course, safety, the next is practicality and finally we want it to have staying power. If you can spend your hard-earned cash on something that will last your growing child for years and years, then you feel like you’ve got your money’s worth.
That’s why I set my sights on the Joie Elevate 1 2 3 car seat, which at just £49.85 on the Kiddies Kingdom website is a total bargain. This handy seat will last your child from around age one (or 9kg in weight) to age 12! How fantastic that I don’t have to worry about changing car seats again.
The Elevate is a group 1, 2 and 3 car seat, which means it’s suitable for kids weighing 9kg to 36kg. Through a simply series of readjustments to tuck the harness away, you can transform this into a super comfy booster seat for your child once they are ready to move up to group 2 and 3.
This means the seat grows with your child, keeping them safe and giving you peace of mind. Full side impact protection and safety panels give your little one extra protection when they are in their seat.
For now my child is in the group 1 stage still, so I’ve been using the five-point harness that comes with the seat. This is very straightforward to use and includes padding on the shoulders to keep your child comfortable.
We know how mucky children can be at any time, including the car, so having washable covers is an absolute must for me when it comes to any car seat.
The Elevate also features a cup holder, which my toddler has been particularly pleased with as it means she can keep her drink handy at all times. The adjustable head rest is so easy to use, and can be moved up and down with only one hand using the button at the back.
We went for the Elevate in cherry, which has red flashes of colour combined with black. I think it looks fab, and blends in with the rest of my car upholstery really well.
All of this and with the price coming in at less than £60, I think you get a lot for your money considering this product promises to last until your child is big enough to ditch booster seats altogether.
Since having children I’ve developed an impressive level of patience.
But it’s not just tantrums I need to remain calm in the face of, it’s also the fiddly toys, products and packaging that test my Zen levels on a daily basis.
Luckily the Joie Elevate was so very straightforward and easy to both assemble from the box, and to install in the car.
Thanks to the helpful stickers with diagrams on the side of the car seat, I didn’t actually need to refer to the manual while putting the car seat into my vehicle. However the manual has the details of installing it as a Group 1 car seat in full, and I do recommend giving that a good read.
One of my favourite things about the car seat was not only how easy it was to get into the car, but also that it’s fitted with the seatbelt. This means if we do get another car in the future, we don’t have to worry about it having ISOFIX points. I know that most cars do, but it’s still a bit of a risk whether your next set of wheels will have them.
I had to fiddle about a bit to get used to adjusting the harness, as the button to loosen it is tucked away a bit, understandably I suppose as you don’t want your child figuring out how to escape their harness!
However once I had played around with it for a bit I was more than comfortable with doing up the harness.
Find out more about installing the car seat in my vlog:
What does my toddler think?
My toddler was so pleased with her new “big girl” car seat.
She’s been happily clambering in and out of it all by herself. She tells me she’s very comfortable, and if I needed any more proof she’s nodded off in it several times and be pretty unwilling to budge when we’ve arrived home.
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense, safe and great value-for-money option for your child’s next car seat, you can’t go far wrong with the Joie Elevate.
It covers all the bases for what your growing toddler will need over the next decade and is easy to install and use.
Seat weight: 5.47kg
Suitable for: Weight 9kg to 36kg
Age range: 1-12 years
Installation: Use 3-point seatbealt
Covers: Removable and machine washable
UPDATE: My thoughts two years later
It’s now nearly two years since we got our Joie Elevate car seat and we love it so much it’s still used every single day, and we bought a second one for my younger child!
We now use this seat without the five-point harness, and simply pop the seat belt around the child and seat as stated in the instructions.
What’s particularly great is that these seats switch between cars so easily. Just take the seat belt off the safety clip and pick up the seat. Much easier to move between cars than an ISOFIX car seat.
It’s still an amazing car seat two years on and has remained and comfy for the kids.