Becoming a mother for the first time is exciting, nerve-racking and downright frightening.
Yes, it’s love at first sight but all of a sudden you realise you’ve got this little bundle who’s dependant on you and for whom you’re responsible for evermore. There’s so much to learn, there’s so many people with advice, there’s so many competing brands and products. How do you know what’s best?
So I admit I was thrilled when I was asked to review the Britax Platinum SICT Convertible Car Seat. It’s a bit like when airlines say their first priority is safety – so it is with a child’s car seat.
I’m a mum of two children, aged 4 months and almost 3 years so this model is perfect for either of them in either its rear-facing or forward-facing mode. The rear-facing mode is recommended from birth up to approximately 12 months of age and forward-facing from 1-4 years.
‘SICT’ stands for Side Impact Cushion Technology – which means it maximises the chances of your baby or toddler surviving a crash.
It’s a safety feature that helps minimise the impact of any force delivered to the child’s head and body, so it gives me a sense of confidence and security about it. This, along with the active head restraint, is the first thing I like about this car seat.
It was really simple to install once I found the instructions on either side of the seat. Yes, this seems like an obvious place to put them really, but I hadn’t seen it before and it’s a good idea.
I did the installation myself – and I’m no engineer. It was relatively light to lift and move about, but obviously solid.
A lot of thought has gone into the practical aspects of this model, because there is inbuilt flexibility all-round. Here are the features I noticed and liked, compared with previous car seats I have used:
- For a start, I had a try of both the rear and forward settings and it was relatively easy to change between the two.
- The headrest and the shoulder height adjuster are connected which means it’s simple to get the correct height for the child. It is adjusted by pulling a tab and sliding it to the right position.
- There are also side tabs that hold the seat buckles on either side of the seat which is a very helpful feature.
- The buckle system means the buckle is facing the right way all the time and can’t be sat upon!
- There are also four reclining positions, including upright, in the forward-facing mode and my daughter loved this!
- And for the real praticalities of life, there is a 'messy mat' included with a storage pocket.
This looks so comfortable as well as safe, solid and stylish. It’s plush, soft cushioning is very welcoming for a young child and my toddler daughter didn’t hesitate to return to it on second and third trips. My baby also looked serene and comfortable in his ride also – in fact, with the safety cushion feature in rear-facing mode, I was reminded of the saying of ‘looking as snug as a bug in a rug’.
At a recommended retail price of $659, the Britax Platinum SICT car seat is a ‘platinum’ or premium-priced brand.
But, over four years with just one child using it, it works out to be under $165/year or 45 cents a day.
In terms of safety alone, if you can afford it, this car seat is well and truly worth it in my view; but it also scores highly in terms of other important features such as installation, flexibility, practical considerations and comfort also.