Something a little different today, due to my ridiculous and unexplainable love of car seats I have agreed to review the latest child car seat from Safe n Sound. I have written about choosing car seats, I have had twitter conversations and facebook chats about seats and shopped for hours looking for the best one. I hope this helps other parents when they go out looking for a new seat.
The Diamond AHR is a seat designed from birth to four years. At birth it is a rearward facing car seat and when your baby is ready at around 12 months (hold off as long as you can to provide your baby the safest drive possible) it turns around into a forward facing seat.
Included with the seat is a decent sized hood, which very easily snaps on and off and an infant insert which is the best that safe n sound has offered so far.
I chose the grey colour best as that is least likely to show the baby spew, rusk crumbs, squashed sultanas and melted crayons in a few years time.
What I like:
Easy Straps: In previous seats you need to take the car seat out and pull the straps out to re-position them as your child grows, threading them through the appropriate slots for their shoulder height. NOT ANY MORE! The Diamond AHR has a new headrest that you simply pull forward and upwards to the right place for your child. This is even more useful if you are often (as many parents are) travelling with additional kids. Be it helping another Mum with a crèche pick up or dropping home after a play date. If the children are shorter or taller, just adjust the headrest to the correct spot and you are good to go.
For years the seats have been selling as appropriate for age 0-4 and rarely did the child reach their fourth birthday and still be in that seat. It is really annoying to have to buy a new seat for a three year old who will (in Victoria) still need to be in a 5 point harness which they may grow out of within 18 months. Many people illegally choose to go straight to a booster seat or fork out extra cash for a seat that has a 5 point harness and then converts to a booster. The Diamond AHR will EASILY take a baby from newborn to four years of age.
Popps (above) is nearly seven and I got her to sit in this chair to show how well it suits a bigger child.
Here, Immy (below) is sitting in our original 0-4yr chair, notice how her head is far and above the top of the chair…we took her out of that a year ago when it was no longer safe. Immy will turn four this month, she is average height for her age and we will be keeping her in the Diamond AHR for a while yet.
The main purpose of every seat is to protect your child if a car accident happens to occur. In a perfect world we would all be driving exclusive cars with amazing safety features, but reality means we buy the car that we can afford. Thankfully car seats are now coming with their own built in safety features. The Diamond AHR comes with what they call SICT – Side Impact Cushion Technology, what this means is that when the seat is in a side impact collision the Air Cushions (which are rubbery to touch) absorb the impact of the crash by slowly compressing and letting out air at a controlled rate, so the cushion area absorbs some of the impact rather than your child’s head.
There is also a little seat belt lock off, where you place the car seat belt at the back of the chair, so it wont move around at all.
Nifty but not essential:
These side harness holders would have been excellent when I had a newborn, slot the buckles into these and you don’t have to pull the buckle up from under the baby, also hot buckles wont touch new skin. We use them now because Immy thinks they are pretty flash.
What it's missing:
This is really an excellent chair. If I were buying a seat for a new baby tomorrow I wouldn’t even consider another seat, however if I could add one small feature it would be a cup holder. Immy is used to her Maxi Rider in the other car having a cup holder (on both sides) and she often keeps her secret treats in one and on long trips her drink bottle in the other. On a recent trip it was annoying not to have the cup holder. Of course this is not likely to be a problem for a newborn, but it would make this seat pretty perfect.
This seat is at the higher end of the market in cost. I have seen it advertised recently in two of the major baby shops for around $590 (sale price) RRP is closer to the $695 mark. Justify the price by knowing you are getting a very safe, easy to use, excellent product and you will use this seat for at least four if not not five years for just one child, if you have more children it will possibly get a full ten years, which is much much more than you will use any of the other purchases you make for a baby.
If you would like the exact specifics of this seat, visit Safe n Sound Diamond AHR.
Today's Disclaimer: I was sent the Diamond AHR to review, I do not have to return the seat. Safe n Sound did not check this review before posting (they may not even read it) and all opinions are my own.