360 Isofix Car Seat is gaining popularity in Malaysia due to it’s functions, and easy installation. Of course, as the price become rather competitive, product with this 360 features is seek by many parents these days.
360 Isofix car seat was initially designed for convenient. For parents who have backache problems and need to carry their baby out of the vehicle often. Of those parents who drive 4WD vehicle and the seat is usually much higher and very difficult for them to take out their baby especially rear-facing. Or you have a vehicle that has a small door or frame at the back.
Or you really love the convenient of this features, it’s so COOL and it is easy to take out the baby from their car seat.
For us, we often being ask whether this features is a need. It is good to have this feature?
Parents need to know and understand few important things before getting this 360 Isofix car seat for their baby.
No. 1. You vehicle MUST have ISOFIX anchorage.
For 360 Isofix car seat, the main things is that a vehicle must have isofix anchorage so that you can use the 360 features. For belt installation car seat (European belt path), the seat belt will go through the back of the seat thus blocking the car seat to turn.
General rules is that all vehicle APPROVED to be sold after 2013 must have Isofix in Malaysia. But there are vehicle that are approved before that selling until 2015 that is without Isofix. The best way to check is to find it out yourself by going to the back of the seat and check the seat. Use you hand to feel if you cannot see the Isofix sign at the seat bigh.
Note: We have search many brands and manage to found a 360 car seat that is install using seat belt – Combi Culmove Smart 360 Eggshock Convertible Car Seat.
No. 2. There are 2 type of 360 Isofix car seat. One is Isofix with Load Leg / Support Leg installation, another one is Isofix with Top Tether Installation.
Isofix comes in a sets with either Load Leg / Support Leg or with Top Tether. Isofix anchorage prevent the car seat from moving forward during the collision. And the Load Leg / Support Leg or the Top Tether prevent the car seat from rotation during the crash.
It is really important to check your vehicle for isofix anchorage system. We found out that there are some vehicle that comes with Isofix anchorage but does not have Top Tether anchorage.
No. 3. 360 Isofix car seat is higher price compare to vehicle belt installation car seat. Usually the price of above RM500.
We were often ask by parents whether the car seat that is below RM500 got Isofix and can turn 360 or not. The answer is actually Yes & No.
As mentioned before at the previous point, Isofix comes with 2 types of Isofix installation. Usually the type of car seat that equipped with Isofix with Load Leg / Support Leg installation are higher in terms of price due to price of load leg. Even a local brand Isofix 360 car seat with Load Leg / Support leg installation are at least RM700 and above. If parents are able to find cheaper version and they are satisfy with the installation and the quality, parents can buy those car seat.
Cheaper version of Isofix with Top Tether car seat will be slightly cheaper compare to Isofix with Load Leg / Support Leg car seat. For this, parents needs to be very careful in terms of the installation when rear-facing. Some of the top tether installation required a V-Shape installation thus make the car seat not very friendly when putting the baby in.
Note; Top Tether is NEVER an OPTIONS in European standards car seat, Top Tether MUST be installed during rear-facing AND forward-facing for all European standard car seat.
No. 4. You cannot have 3 car seat in a row with a 360 Isofix car seat.
For many parents who drive a sedan or a hatch back vehicle, if you are planning for a family of 3 children, you might want to re-consider when buying Isofix 360 car seat.
Isofix 360 installation are not able to fix 3 across car seat in a row at the rear seat. This is because the Isofix anchorage is shifted slight towards to inner of the vehicle set. making the middle part a bit narrow and not able to install another car seat at the middle.
No. 5. 360 Isofix car seat is heavier than belt installation car seat.
Is Nasi Lemak Ayam more heavier than Nasi Lemak Biasa? What about the price? Concept is prettier simpler with the car seat too.
Belt installation car seat is lighter than Isofix car seat for sure. Because Isofix car seat will need to add the Isofix system onto the car seat. Adding the Isofix system means adding iron rod and more part onto the the car seat making it more heavier.
Isofix 360 car seat with Load Leg will be much heavier than Isofix 360 car seat with Top Tether. So, if you are thinking of keep switching car seat between vehicle, you might need to think again. It is recommended to try to life the car seat if you have a chance to do so. You will know the differences.
No. 6. 360 Isofix car seat requires more space than most car seat because you need space to turn the car seat.
Imagine making a turn inside a life that are full. Can you do it ? What about in a lift that are not full and have plenty of space? Same concept apply here for Isofix 360 car seat. They need space so that they can turn. In point C, you can read why it is one of the reason it cannot be install 3 in a row with Isofix 360 car seat.
No. 7. You CANNOT place 360 Isofix car seat at the middle rear seat of the vehicle.
Base on our findings, most manufacturers only provide 2 sets of Isofix in the car. It is also the requirement by the ASEAN NCAP in 2012. Only very few vehicles that has 3 sets. Those which comes with 3 sets could be Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) or the 3rd set is at the front passenger seat or beside driver. We have never encounter or found any vehicle that has Isofix at the middle so far.
No. 8. Some 360 Isofix can use belt for installation but MOST cannot use 360 feature when install using belt.
This is one of the frequent ask question by the parents. In Malaysia, having 2 vehicles in a family is normal. It could happen that some families have one vehicle that has Isofix but another do not.
This could be an issue when purchasing the Isofix 360 car seat for your baby. What happen that the vehicle with Isofix anchorage is broken down and needs to be repair for few days? Are your jobs requires you to travel long distance and you usually drive the car with Isofix to travel because it is newer and more reliable for long distance travel? Or the vehicle with Isofix is often going to work early and come back late. And the vehicle that pick up the child is the older one without Isofix?
These are some of the issue couple need to consider before getting a car seat for their baby.
No. 9 You usually need Isofix 360 car seat the most when rear-facing.
Usually, when rear-facing, taking out the baby and putting them back in is the issue. It is much more easier when forward -facing. For most cases, when a child is forward-facing, most of them can climb up themselves to the car seat. All you need to do is just buckle them up.
When rear-facing, from newborn to as long as possible according to your car seat. Usually they are much more smaller and not able to climb into the car seat. And if you have a tall vehicle or you have backache, this could cause more issue.
No. 10 More features, could means more issue.
If a human being only has brain and no other part of the body, we only have brain cancel or anything related to brain. But human body is complex and we have many internal organ to external part of the body. That means we could have many issue like skin problem, liver problem, heart problem and etc.
The point is, the lesser features a car seat has, the lesser problems with the car seat. Because you have less to worry about the feature malfunctions. Make life simpler sometimes when you have lesser to worry right ?
In conclusion, some features are good but there are many things you also need to consider before getting thing with such features. The most important matter is that you need to understand that there is no best products in the world. The one that is most suitable to you is the best.
Like we also always said, there is no best car seat in the world. The BEST car seat is the one:-
a. Suitable to your baby
b. Suitable to your car
c. Suitable to your budget
d. A Car seat that is easy for you and you can use it correctly all the time.