Evenflo Sureride

We’ve been road testing this seat and have found the following things:

It fits newborns well.
It can fit an average sized 4 year old boy rear facing
It’s so easy to install, this includes small cars and even leather seats
The sides are lovely and deep
No complaints of discomfort
So easy to swap between cars
No tether when rear facing

rem doll (36cm) too small. Newborn doll (46cm) good fit

 year old REAR FACING 4th slot from bottom (this slot can be used either rear, or forward facing). 2 slots still to go above his shoulders and last image shows the left over webbing when harness is done up at the 3rd slots with same child in the seat.

Comparing seats

Highest Top Slots
Evenflo Sureride 48cm
Evenflo Securekid 300 46cm
Safe n Sound Maxi Rider Easy Adjust 46cm
Safety 1st Complete Air 44cm
Diono RXT / R100 43cm
Tallest Internal Shell height Includes head rest to the top
Safe n Sound Maxi Rider Easy Adjust 79cm
Evenflo Securekid 300 73cm
Safety 1st Complete Air 69cm
Diono RXT / R100 64cm
Evenflo Sureride 63cm
Weight Limit (Harness)
Diono RXT 36 kg
Safety 1st Complete Air 32 kg
Evenflo Sureride 29 kg
Evenflo Securekid 29 kg
Diono R100 29 kg
Maxi Rider – Unknown Height based | not on the market long enough to get an average

Evenflo Sureride

This post entails a review done by New Zealand Child Restraints on the Evenflo Sure Ride DLX convertible car seat, dated April 2013. To see a larger image, click on the photo.

Evenflo Sureride DLX

Evenflo Sureride DLX

Basic seat facts:
Rear facing 2.3 – 18kg (48 – 102 cm)
Forward facing 10 – 29.4 kg (71 – 137 cm) At least 12 months old.
Maximum height – 137 cm
Standard – NZ “S” 1754 (New Zealand)
Lifespan – 6 yrs

The Seat:
6 – height slots –  17, 22, 27, 37, 43, 49 cm
2 – buckle slots – 14, 18.5 cm (from back of seat)
Seat width – 46 cm (across leg area)
Shoulder width – 33 cm
Leg width – 33cm
Crotch buckle length -15.5 cm (Including buckle head)

Bum to top  - 63 cm
Bum to legs – 31 cm

Shell height – 71 cm
Back width – 39 cm
Base depth –  44 cm

Chest clip
locking clip
Cup Holder x1
Push in lever to adjust harness.
Padded cover
Single engaging buckle tongues
Latch and top tether attachments

About the Sureride DLX

A good sized seat suitable from birth to booster, with deep sides and tall shoulder slots. Most children will last for ages in this seat, or at least the full lifespan of the seat (6 years).
It’s lovely and light weight, so it’s easy to swap quickly between cars.
Latch fitted with adjustable sides (both).


- Light weight
- High shoulder slots will last children to booster age easily
- Toddler insert padding
- Latch and tether attachment slots to store away when not in use
- Slot 4 can be used for either rear or forward facing, slots 1-3 must be used for rear facing and slots 5 & 6 must be used for forward facing.

Continuous loop harness
- Large space needed when rear facing, but slightly less than the Diono convertible seats.
- Large gaps between slots 3 and 4.

Expected retail price of this seat $349


The seat comes with the typical features like top tether (forward facing use only), LATCH anchors, chest clip, toddler inserts and locking clip.

On the rear of the seat you will also find the locking clip, expiry date and top tether strap. LATCH hooks connect to hooks on the side of the shell.

While we have not yet taken measurements from the seat, it looks like you will get 6 years  for a heavy/tall child, and up to 7-8 years use for children at the lower ends of the growth curves.

The seat has life span of 6 years (2013 – 2019), as noted on the white sticker on the top rear of the seat. The seat has an easy to read manufacturing date system.

Seat fabric – It seems that it will wear well. Easy to remove as one piece. The extra padding comes away without uninstalling the belts or buckle.

For what it’s worth we had a 4yr old, 104cm tall, 16kg heavy in this seat. He’s at the 4th set of slots (with 2 more slots to go). The seat installed easily in forward facing mode with isofix, and top tether, on leather seats with minimal movement and was not installed with a knee press, just hand on the seat area. I found the seat fit the vehicle contours well, and was easy enough for the child to climb into and out of the seat. He says that the seat is comfortable, and his preferred choice over the Securekid booster seat (in harness mode). His only qualm was the lack of cup holder (which was not attached to the car seat).

The images below will help you experience the seat as if you are in the store right now.

Expressions expressed in this Blog are that of our own and not influenced by a third party or sponsoring company. Images used on this page are our own, stock photos, or images used with parents permission. Please do not use without permission. admin@childrestraints.co.nz

Boosters, law change and myths.

November 1st, 2013 will see a law change that will require children aged 5-7yrs to ride in a booster seat (or child restraint with harness where they still fit correctly). Under current law children aged over 5 years old do not need a car seat or booster seat, only those aged 5-7 years “where a seat is available”, which will now extend to children until 8 years of age (NZTA, 2013).

Why the law change?
“Around five children are killed or injured every week on New Zealand’s roads and in the event of a crash, young school age passengers are at a higher risk if they are only restrained by an adult seat belt.” (ONE News, 2013) 

However the law change may be somewhat short-sighted in terms of the age/height/weight combination of things, as huge differences can be seen between two 7 year old children, one may stand at 130 cm tall, the other 115 cm tall, both of whom are too short to sit correctly in an adult seat belt, without a booster seat. A better move would be to see an age and height teamed up together, such as 10 years old or 140 cm tall. This would then see some children reaching the height requirement at 8.5 years old and others at 13 years old (obviously forfeiting the need at 10 years of age, unless the parents choose to continue past this time, which is perfectly safe where the child still fits within the requirements, height and weight, of the child restraint they’re using at the time).

Looking at the American Paediatrics (2013) growth charts (NZ Ministry of Health charts we found only went to 5 years of age), we plotted the age in which the average child would reach 148 cm, we found girls reached 148 cm around 11.5 years of age and boys closely behind at 11 years, 9 months. In contrast to this the lowest 5% of girls reached 148 cm at 13.5 years old and boys at nearly 14 years old. The tallest 5% of girls reached this height around 9 years, 9 months, and boys much the same.

The UK, in 2006, passed a law requiring children remain in booster seats until their 12th birthday, or 135 cm tall, whichever came first. While slightly lower than our intended goal of 148 cm tall but keeping the majority of children in boosters until they’re tall enough to pass the 5 Step Test to no longer require a booster seat.

According to Elizabeth Segedin of Starship Children’s’ Hospital in Auckland (NZCR, 2006), children required boosters until around 10-12 years of age, a few more years on top of the impending law change, and many more years on top of the current child restraint law.

Segedin found;

  • All 4 and 5 year olds required a car seat or booster seat
  • 90% of  6, 7, and 8 year olds required booster seats
  • 50% of  9 and 10 year olds
  • 10% of 11 and 12 year olds still required booster seats

In 2008 Sydney’s Child published the following statement;

“The rear seat of the average family car is too deep for almost half of adult women to sit upright and comfortably bend their knees over the edge of the seat, and the seat belt in the rear seat is unsafe for any person less than 145 cm tall. Children do not reach this height until around 11 years old, on average. There are two main concerns with being too small for an adult belt: the lap portion rides across the tummy, not the bony hips, causing abdominal injury in a crash, and the sash portion rides across the neck rather than the chest, causing injury to the neck and throat. Long seat cushions exacerbate these concerns by causing the child or small adult to slump so that their knees can bend at the edge of the seat, causing both parts of the seat belt to ‘ride up’.”

So while there are a few numbers being tossed about and wanted to be placed alongside the law change, from 135 – 148 cm, the latter being easiest to relate to everyday life, as it’s said to be the height of a New Zealand Police Highway patrol car. Although one issue some have addressed in regards to this figure (148 cm) is that people happen to know of adults who are around this height, so would they too need a booster seat? Well the answer to that is no, the reasons include, the law typically sees an age alongside the changes, and adults have been through puberty, which sees physical changes to their hips, pelvic region and upper chest, changes that allow the body to withstand greater forces in the unlikely event of a car crash than a child who has not yet been through puberty.

So what’s the purpose of a booster seat?
A booster seat is used primarily to assist with correctly placing an adult seat belt (full lap/sash seat belt) over a child’s body. The seat elevates them to sit high enough so the lap portion of the belt rests low down over their upper thigh, rather than over the lower abdomen. Thus then upper portion of the seat belt then sits away from the child’s neck, over their clavicle (collarbone). Some boosters come with a top tether to help secure the top portion of the seat, others do not require this, but each seat must be used correctly, this meaning that the seat belt passes though the shoulder belt guide, and then passing under the arm rests on each side where it’s then buckled into the car. The shoulder belt guide will be either under the head rest, to the side of the headrest or a small strap with a clip attached to the end, the clip sits on top of the child’s shoulder to help keep the seat belt as close to the shoulder as possible, without slipping off.

Without a booster a child is at risk of an ill-fitting seat belt. Children become uncomfortable or tired and are more likely to slip the sash portion of the seat belt behind their back, under their arms or some even resort to placing it around their knees, thus then the issue of the lap belt where children slouch to bend their knees over the edge of the vehicle seat, draw their knees up to their chest to rest their feet on the seat edge, such actions could then see the child sliding out from under the lap part of the seat belt (submarining), causing injury to their lower organs. Where the seat belt is behind their back the belt becomes a lap only belt and internal decapitation likely. Where the seat belt is placed under their arm the belt can cause severe injuries to the ribs and lower internal organs. There have even been cases where children who have got bored in the car have placed the seat belt sash around their neck, add that to a sudden stop or accident and your child may not fare well at all.

Age, height or weight?
Ideally, your child should remain in their car seat until they reach the upper height and/or weight limit for that seat, the same goes for booster seats. There are seats on the market that will restrain in a harness up to 36 kg and boosters that will restrain your child to 54 kg. There is no magic age, height or weight where your child needs to come out of their seat. If you check the manual, or stickers on the side of your child’s seat you will find reference to the maximum height and weight, as long as your child does not exceed these and their eyes/ears do not pass the top sides of the seat shell, they can remain in their seat.

5 Step Test
For seat belt use without a booster seat there is a quick reference tool that you can use, this is called the “5 Step Test”, with these 5 steps you can see if your child is able to ride without a booster seat.

You must be able to answer “yes” to all of the 5 following questions:

1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

Answered “no” to any of the 5 questions above? Then your child needs a booster seat to make both the shoulder belt and the lap belt fit right for the best crash protection. Your child will be more comfortable, too! Click here for printable copy (PDF)

Types of booster seats
There’s many different types of booster seats on the market, the primary purpose of these are to correctly place the seat belt over the child’s body to promote the correct fit over a smaller body.

Combined booster seat - A car seat with 5 point safety harness that later on becomes a booster seat, the harness is removed or stowed away under the cover, a shoulder belt guide located on the side of the seat, under the headrest or as an attachment to the back of the car seat. Armrests present a place for the lap portion of the seat belt to pass under (both sides).

Full back booster seat - A seat shell without a harness, may have an adjustable head rest, or be of fixed height. The seat will have armrests for the lap portion of the seat belt, and a guide for the shoulder portion of the seat belt. The seat may later on detach into two pieces allowing you to use the lower half as a half booster (see below).

Half booster seat - A half booster is the bottom portion of a booster seat, it has no back to rest against the vehicle seat. The child sits on top of the booster, the belt then passes under the arm rests, with the shoulder portion sitting against the child’s upper body, there may or may not be a shoulder belt guide attached to a webbing strap. If there is the strap hook must sit above the child’s shoulder. If there is no shoulder strap, and the belt cuts across the child’s neck, consider swapping to using a full back booster (as above) later returning to the half booster if required.

Generally these types of booster seats all have “belt guides” for the lap portion of the seat belt and the shoulder portion of the seat belt. The belt must always be correctly placed through these paths and your child sits correctly within the seat belt and car seat/booster shell. Where your child does not sit correctly in the shell, pulling seat belt, undoing the seat buckle etc., it’s worth considering your child’s mental maturity and placing them back into a harnessed car seat until they’re ready to use the booster seat responsibly.

Concerns raised by parents over the law change

Premature graduation

Premature graduation from boosters on the child’s 7th birthday, the issue here is that some parents will allow their children to go without a booster seat simply because they’ve just turned 7 years old. The truth is that many of these children will still benefit greatly from remaining in their booster seat for all car rides for some time yet. There is nothing magical about the number 7. If your child does not pass the 5 Step Test outlined above, keep them in their booster seat. Be in no hurry to graduate to a seat belt, as in this case the graduation is actually a step back in their safety.

Move them from a booster seat only when:

  • They exceed the stated weight limit for that seat, Or
  • They exceed the height for that seat shell, eyes/ears level with the top of the seat shell
  • They pass the 5 Step Test, on all points listed.

The cost of a booster seat, the confusion of a booster seat

A booster seat comes in 3 different varieties as listed above.
You can use a combined booster with the internal harness for your child as long as they do not exceed the weight limit for the harness (range is from 18-36 kg depending on your seat), if they still fit, it’s just as safe to keep them in the seat. If not, you need to change the seat over for booster mode, this means removing or stowing the harness, and setting the headrest at the correct height for your child (if fitted).

A half booster can be picked up for as little as $29, a full backed booster for around $299 and a combined booster for up to $499.

Consider your child’s/future children’s needs when buying a seat, if your child is already 5 years old and you want no more, or they’re your last, a full backed booster will meet your needs, if you want to have more, or your child is only 4 months old you’re best investment would be a convertible car seat that also offers booster mode, then you only need to buy one seat for your child and they can use it all the way through until they no longer need a car seat/booster.

Half Boosters – No longer legal?

A half booster is acceptable, though best left for the older children once they have outgrown a full-backed booster seat.
There are some people saying that half boosters are no longer being made, or that they no longer meet standards. Let’s correct this statement, they are still legal and they are still being made. The change is that Australia no longer accepts them under the revised 2010 AS/NZS standard. If they are made prior to this time, around 2011 or prior they can still be used as per the manufacturers specifications (in this case 14-26 kg) until they reach 10 years old. As Australia only accept their own standard you won’t see them coming out under brands like Safe-n-Sound, or Infa anymore but you will still find them legally available here under UK standard, and NZ standard (not the combined Australian & New Zealand standard though).

Grace Period and older kids

Parents have asked how long they have to get a seat sorted for their older children, like any law change a grace period is often given; this is now, July through to November. Yes you may right now have a 6 year old not using a booster, but they do need to be in one come November if they’ve not yet had their 7th birthday. We expect the Police to be out checking around schools and educating parents on the requirement, they are within their legal rights to ticket a fine if your child is not restrained in an approved child restraint, though initially they’re likely to give a warning.

This change is not about inconveniencing parents and families by having you place your child back into a booster seat, it’s about protecting those 260 children from injury or death each year on our roads, and matter of factually the majority of accidents happen only a few short km’s from a person’s home. So popping out to school, the mall, the sports field is when these accidents are most often going to occur.

Boosters with height markers (Australian standard) may differ greatly between brands, take a tape measure along with you to get one with high makers, so your child can remain in it for as long as possible. Some combined models have very small gaps between markers, so again, check these, or get a standalone booster seat so your child has greater opportunity to use the seat long term.

Seat shell heights, weight limits, shoulder markers.

There’s no requirement for car seat shells to be made to a set height, or weight limit, so when buying a child restraint for your child it’s important to factor in the height of the seat shell, shoulder slots/shoulder markers and the weight limit applied to that seat. Often enough the cheaper (non-half boosters) are shorter and won’t last as long, which may mean you need to purchase another seat not long after you’ve last bought.

In contrast however, you also need to be sure that your child’s car seat/booster is not going to obscure your own vision when driving and some of the newer seats on the market are good at this.

Passenger Safety

If your car does not have isofix you will want to have the seat tethered to the car at all times so it does not become a projectile in an impact, or if your car seat/booster does not tether or attach with isofix you will want to buckle the seat when not in use.

Why not just have belt adjusters in the rear of the car?

While some parents think this would solve the issue, the reality is that it won’t. A seat belt adjuster will only see the height at lower so the shoulder portion sits lower, it won’t address the lap portion of the seat belt, nor will it shorten the leg area of your vehicle seat. Without which would see children slouching to fit the belt correctly, and the lap portion sitting incorrectly over their body.


NZ Transport Authority.

American Paediatrics.

New Zealand Child Restraints.

ONE News.

UK Booster Law.

SafetyBeltSafe USA.

Sydney’s Child.



Seat Review List

Graco Logico S  (Infant Capsule)

Baby Safe LM208 Booster

Cosco Scenera

Evenflo Symphony E3

Baby Safe Isofix seat 0-18kg

Safety 1st Onboard 35

Chicco Keyfit (AU Model)

Evenflo Tribute vs. Cosco Scenera

Evenflo SecureKid 300 | Evenflo SecureKid 300 Part 2

Safe-n-Sound Maxi Rider Easy Adjust

Safety 1st Complete Air 70 Car Seat – Decatur


Coming soon:

Infa Kompressor

Infa Cosi Compact

Evneflo Chase

Diono RXT

Diono R100

Recaro Pro-ride

Diono Monterey

Yet to be confirmed child restraint

Safety 1st Complete Air 70 Car Seat – Decatur

This post entails a review done by New Zealand Child Restraints on the Safety 1st Complete Air 70 convertible car seat, dated March 2013. To see a larger image, click on the photo.

Safety 1st Complete Air 70

Safety 1st Complete Air 70

Basic seat facts:
Rear facing 2.2 – 18kg (48 – 101 cm)
Forward facing 9.9 – 32 kg (86 – 132 cm)
Maximum height – 132 cm
Standard – NZ “S” 1754 (New Zealand)
Lifespan – 8 yrs

The Seat:
5 – height slots – 22, 28, 32, 38, 42 cm (8.75, 11, 12.5, 15, 16.5 in) +2 cm without padding & compression extra
3 – buckle slots – 10, 13, 16 cm (4, 5, 6.25 in) From back of seat
Seat width – 45 cm (17.5 in) Across leg area
Shoulder width – 32 cm (12.5 in) Measured under headrest
Leg width – 34 cm (13.5 in)
Crotch buckle length -15 cm (6 in) Including buckle head

Bum to top  - 69 cm (headrest to max. setting) (27 in)
Bum to legs – 30 cm (12 in)

Shell height – 76 cm (30 in)
Back width – 27 – 42 cm (10.75 – 16.5 in)
Base width – 27 – 45 cm (10.5 – 17.75 in)
Base depth –  44 cm (17.25 in)

Chest clip
locking clip
Cup Holder x1
Push in lever to adjust harness.
Padded cover
Single engaging buckle tongues
Latch and top tether attachments

About the Complete Air 70

A convertible car seat for use from birth to 32 kg, or 131 cm tall. This seat has an easy adjust harness with no re-threading required. High rear facing weight limit. Light weight shell.

Headrest has air bags for side impact reduction, expelling air from the side of the child’s head as they strike the head rest, reducing crash forces to the child’s head.


- Easy to adjust head rest & harness
- High shoulder slots will last children to booster age easily
- Light weight
- Toddler insert padding
- Latch and tether attachment slots to store away when not in use

- Cannot remove headrest cover
Continuous loop harness
- To remove the toddler padding you need to remove the buckle, the slot is not wide enough to push it though.
- Headrest pushes head forward slightly (though may not be an issue once installed* we have not yet trialed this seat for fit).
- Similar fit rear facing as Diono RXT/R100, needs a lot of space – dual indicator may reduce issue this in come cars with older toddlers.

Expected retail price of this seat $399



This is the latest model to hit the shelves, it’s identifiable by the 32 kg weight limit (normally 29 kg) and dual angle recline lines on both sides of the seat. This has currently been found at Baby City stores (in store only), currently on sale till June 24th for $299.

The seat comes with the typical features like top tether (forward facing use only), LATCH anchors, chest clip, toddler inserts and locking clip.

On the rear of the seat you see 5 levels of harness adjustment, the seat comes out of the box on setting 2 of 5 (2nd from the bottom). The seat states that you can use it from 5-70 lb (2.25 kg to 32 kg) and up to 52″ (132.1 cm) tall.
On the rear of the seat you will also find the locking clip, expiry date and top tether strap. LATCH hooks connect to D rings found on the side of the seat cover.

While we have not yet taken measurements from the seat, it looks like you will get 6 years  for a heavy/tall child, and up to 7-8 years use for children at the lower ends of the growth curves.

The seat has life span of 8 years (2013 – 2021), the manufacture clock and expiry, do not use after date, are embossed into the seat shell, so no hard to locate clocks, missing stickers or missing manuals to worry about. Speaking of which, the manual stows away in its own housing on the adjustable boot used for rear/forward facing conversion.

Seat fabric – It’s a nice mixture of fabrics, the insert is plush, the main seat fabric is a jacquard type that is similar to upholstery style fabrics. The top sides of the seat has a mesh like covering, as found on many of the S1 “air” seats, this may be to allow any air expelled from the headrest to escape quickly.

The images below will help you experience the seat as if you are in the store right now.
The final image is an example of use found online. It is not part of our review.

Expressions expressed in this Blog are that of our own and not influenced by a third party or sponsoring company. Images used on this page are our own, stock photos, or images used with parents permission. Please do not use without permission. admin@childrestraints.co.nz

Swaddling and Winter Coats

I feel that now’s a good time to write up this post as a reminder of correct etiquette for jackets and swaddling kids in car seats as we come into the colder weather.

Swaddling Infants. 

When placing an infant into their car seat it’s important that you harness them in their seat unwrapped. They must be able to sit correctly with the harness over their body, arms and legs through the correct section of it, then a blanket can be tucked in over them.

Solutions to this include:
1. You can place a thin blanket under them, buckle, then wrap the blanket over the child, (see image/s below).
2. You can place the child into the seat as per normal, and then tuck a blanket over your child.
3. Purchase a “shower cap” style cover that sits over the top of the car seat, with a wee peep hole for your child to see out of.

Where a child is wrapped first, then placed into the car seat, chances are they won’t remain in the harness, they become a possible projectile and due to their naturally fragile state, are unlikely to come out unscathed, more often than not the outcome is fatal.
An outcome Elizabeth Cardwell’s family would now change in a heartbeat, if only they’d known how to keep their child warm, safely. Her daughter, Isabella, was fatally injured as a result of being placed into her car seat, wrapped, with an ill-fitting harness. You can view their story here.

For a car seat harness to function correctly, keeping the child restrained and impact forces dispersed evenly over the child’s body, it needs to be used as per the manufacturers specifications, thus, being over the shoulders, over the hips, between the legs. A child wrapped in a blanket, is unable to sit with their arms and legs through the harness correctly. It’s much like strapping a sack of potatoes into a car seat. It just does not work correctly.

Neither of these solutions affects the fit of the harness when done correctly.


Winter coats.

It’s cold, we want your children to be warm, but we also want them to be safe.

When a child is placed into their car seat, while wearing a thickly padded/puffy winter jacket, the harness fit can be compromised due to the bulk of the jacket. It can cause the harness to sit incorrectly over the child, especially over the shoulders, and just as bad, the jacket can be compressed considerably under force, welcoming unwanted room into the harness, room that can be detrimental to your child’s safety when in an impact.

You can see how much jackets can affect the install in this video 

Solutions to this issue include:
1. Thinner/warmer jackets, or layering. Micro fleece is great. It’s thinner than Polar fleece, and just as warm.
2. Place child into car seat as per normal, then place jacket over child, so that the back is on their front, and the zipper side towards the child’s back.
3. Place child into car seat with jacket on, but unzipped, place harness over child as per normal, do up jacket, over the front of the harness. As per this video.
4. Use the cars heating.
5. Purchase a car seat poncho for older children.
6. Keep a throw rug in the car for older kids to over themselves with as the need be.

Neither of these solutions affect the fit of the harness when done correctly.




“Jackets over the harness, what about in an emergency, wont this slow them down?”

Thank you for your question. In all reality in an emergency most crew will not remove a child from their car seat, rather they will remove the seat with the child remaining harnessed, travelling to hospital while still in the seat. This keeps the child’s head secure in case of suspected head or neck injury.

Images used on this page are our own, stock photos, or images used with parents’ permission, or linked to the original source. Please do not use without permission. admin@childrestraints.co.nz if you have concerns with links or images used, contact us.

Expiring capsules 2013

These seats are due to expire this year:

Baby Trend Latch Loc 
Expiring the month of which they were made, many of which were last imported in early 2007.


Evenflo Discovery with 3 point harness
Expiring 31 December 2013, last imported in early 2007.
Since replaced by models with 5 point harness, these are not due to expire yet.

Fabrics and base colours may vary, check manufacturing year on the seat (the one stamped into the shell)

Radian Recline & Rear Facing Boot

A few nights ago it was bought to our attention that a parent had unknowingly placed their seat into recline and then attached the rear facing boot to enhance the recline for their baby. A post was put on the wall informing people not to use the seat in recline with the rear facing boot attached. This led to confusion as some members thought you could use it this way, while others had no idea that their seat has a recline function.
Let me clarify that the recline is not massive, rather is more to assist with getting a solid install of the seat in your car.

Recline function

Under the seat is two gold bars, when you squeeze the one towards the rear of the seat you are able to swap between upright and recline mode. This requires quite a good grip to move the bar. As you can see in the photo there is an inverted “U” shaped slot where the bar needs to move through to swap between the upright and recline modes. [Seat shown on recline mode].

Rear facing boot

When used rear facing the seat needs to have the recline boot attached. The seat base must be in the upright most recline position at all times when used with the boot.


Upright for forward facing and rear facing use

When used rear facing, or installed forward facing the base must be in the upright position. This means the base will be flat, with no protrusions.

Recline function for forward facing use only

When installed forward facing you can use the recline feature on the base of the car seat. You must not use the seat forward facing with the rear facing boot attached.

When to use the rear facing boot, when not to, and when to use the recline function:

  • Never use the seat with the rear facing boot attached AND the base of the car seat in recline mode.
  • The boot must always be used when rear facing, though the seat base must be set to the upright position at all times when the boot is attached.
  • The boot should not be attached when the seat is used forward facing.

We checked the recline angles with the seat on a flat surface and found that when correctly fitted the rear facing recline with the boot and base in the upright position was the correct required angle (for infants*) of 45° degrees. When the base was incorrectly set with the seat based reclined, the angle varied between 5° – 7° OVER reclined (~50-52°). An infant’s recline must be around 45°, and older child can sit more upright at around 30° (as shown in the graphic below).

Rear facing angle.

Correct rear facing use

Over reclined – incorrect use

*Where an infant requires an angle of more than 45° in a car, you must check with your child’s doctor as a car bed may be required. Younger infants who are susceptible to breathing issues should travel only when required.

What about my 3-in-1 seat?

In response to our recently posted entry: UK Standard 3-1 boosters, are they safe?

We had a number of parents wondering about their 3-in-1 seat, with detachable back/bottom and the risk their seat may have of detaching in a similar manor to that shown in the video on the link above.

The answer is complicated but we will do our best to explain it to you and allow you to make your mind up about your car seat.

These seats DO meet standard, under UK ECE 44.03 or 44.04.

In the UK there are multiple “Testing Houses”, where you find a crash test sled, electronic equipment and engineers with crash analysis skills. These houses have various companies submitting their seats for testing, some will use the same company for many years.

When a seat is placed on the sled in rear or forward facing orientation they have to pass a “minimum” threshold for a range of different things, including G-force, the distance a seat moves from the sled during an impact, head excursion and so forth.
The minimum however is enough to basically say “the child remained within the seat during the test. The speed at which the test is done is quite low, and cannot reflect what would be the outcome in an open road car-hit-dear type impact.

While the shells are blow moulded, they are designed to take some of the force from the child, some of these seats meet only the minimum standard requirements reflected in the  materials used, the lifespan applied (most of which do not state a duration, but realistically would not exceed 5-6 years). and largely the price applied at the checkout.

They are mass produced, they skim through testing, and when a problem occurs there is no one place to pin point, the seats have no single batch identifier and no original place of manufacture. They are made somewhere in China, and pass through a testing house somewhere in the UK.

If you have your doubts you’re probably right. We cannot (without building our own testing house, and testing each batch of seats as they come in, like they do with seats under NZ S 1754)  test each of these 3 in 1 seats to see what the outcome is. The fact is that as the back is NOT attached to the bottom, rather pressure mounted, with the belt oddly threaded through the seat back, the seat belt retractor above off to one side of the seat, there is a likelihood that the seat back can detach under force.

Unfortunately aside from the video recording, we cannot tell you that your seat is or is not safe, rather that it comes under a parental decision until the likes of NZ Transport Agency pick up on it and investigate it further … we have initiated this process.

–As a addition to this, I do recall seeing a car seat off to the side after an accident (fatal) where a child had one of these seats, the seat was in 2 pieces on the ground next to the car. Though I cannot say for sure if they took it out like this, or if it was viewed by investigators and as part of this detached during their procedure. It was also not clear if the harness was still in the seat or if it was used as booster, the child was of age that a harness was still required.