Joie has recently introduced the i-Level car seat, a rearward facing baby car seat suitable from birth up to 13kg /85cm in length.
There’s definitely more choice coming to the market in terms of Group 0+ car seats, which can make it really difficult for parents to decide on the best product for them at the right price.
In appearance this seat is a lot more stylish than some of their previous models.
The smart grey ember fabric, leatherette handle and large streamlined canopy hood look a lot sleeker and dare say, more fashionable.
So moving the attractiveness aside, it’s really about practicality and safety with car seats so I am intrigued to see what this offers that makes it different from it’s predecessors the gemm and juva classic.
i-Level is an i-Size car seat fitted only via an ISOFIX.
The benefit to this is that once it’s fitted, which is pretty straight forward, you can simply click in and out the seat quickly and easily, while being confident it is 100% securely locked in to your car’s ISOFIX fittings.
The chair for me has one huge standout feature – a great lie back option.
I’m not talking recline options, but a notable 157° angle. It has been well documented that, where possible, it is safer for babies to lie as flat as possible and that elongated periods in a car seat are best avoided by health professionals.
Having a near lie-flat position is really supporting these recommendations and promotes healthy spine development and makes it easier for babies to breathe more comfortably.
None of my children have ever had any issues with sleeping in the car, but the simple nature of having the space to stretch out definitely makes it more appealing.
However, prior to seeing the seat and learning about this feature, my initial concern was with the potential exposure and safety of the baby.
The recline of the seat doesn’t actually change the make up as drastically as I was expecting (I had visions of a carrycot in mind but it’s definitely nothing like this!).
These have been clearly factored in in the shape of a unique patented foam for additional side impact protection and a carefully crafted headrest that appears soft and comforting, but is actually made with three layers of security for angling and maximum protection.
The three point harness also conforms with the chair regardless of recline and as a great feature is that you can adjust it based on your child’s size and weight, without needing to rethread it as it moves as you adjust the chair.
The chair fits onto a variety of pushchair bases, another nice bonus for the lie flat option to be used as it eliminates the need for an add on carrycot.
It’s not limited to Joie strollers either, as handily the car seat works with Maxi-Cosi adaptors so can be used with many different brands for flexibility.
Another element I appreciated is the extendable canopy I referred to earlier.
In addition to looking great, it’s really practical. It can be removed or opened for ventilation and adequate sun protection.
It’s very tight fitting so there’s no risk of it falling in your baby’s face too (as previously experienced many a time!).
The handle has even had some consideration, which is great as toting babies in car seats can be heavy work!
The ergonomic handle provides a range of holds and a soft-grip hand piece.
I sincerely doubt carrying a growing baby will be ever be ‘easy’ and without the aches and pains on the body, but having a more comfortable hold and less redness of stressed hands, is a step in the right direction.
I really loved this car seat; it has some great features and flexibility for its use that makes it stand out from other Group 0 car seats currently on offer.
Joie i-Level is priced £250 from Mothercare. For more information on the i-Level, visit www.uk.joiebaby.com/product/i-level/
Published: 29 January 2018
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