Black Thunder sounds just so damn manly. Black Thunder, a helicopter piloted by someone who might not be Jan Michael Vincent but probably plays the violin just as well. Black Thunder is also the colour of the Britax Versafix car seat that arrived on Friday.
The Versafix is suitable from 9 months to 4 years (or 9-18kgs), so is ideal for New Years Day baby Danger. He was still in his from birth bucket seat and beginning to both outgrow it and get the hump with being rear facing and unable to hang out with the big kids.
As the name might suggest, the Versafix is one of the most versatile car seats about. Playing on the fact that recent research shows 51% of households have 2 cars, it comes loaded with every conceivable way of affixing the car seat to the car, so you can switch it around between cars easily. It has (deep breath) ISOFIX, Top Tether and via the safety belt fixing. We’ve tried the safety belt fitting out in our Zafira and I’m pleased to say it’s pretty easy to secure it well.
|The excitement of a new car seat was too much for Danger|
Unlike some other seats I’ve used, the safety belt clip doesn’t appear to chew up the safety belt. Sometimes passing the belt through the back of a chair can be a bit fraught as well- I’ve often scratched my hands on unfinished rough plastic doing this but the Versafix was better than most, ensuring I left the installed seat decidedly un-bloodsoaked. The clip that secures the safetybelt is particularly easy to operate too.
There is plenty to like about the seat itself too. It’s a standard 5 point harness for little kids but the strap cushions are secured on to the strap and as you can see from the picture, very flat, which means they can’t slip down or twist up. The seat reclines when your monster goes to sleep, although with our set up we didn’t attempt a recline. The seat as a whole is quite narrow for a class 1 seat, whilst somehow remaining very wide in the actual accommodation sense, which means we were able to fit it 3 across the back of our Zafira a lot more easily than with the baby seat it replaced.
Thankfully, as we enter Christmas, or as I like to call it, The Winter Vomiting Bug Season, the cover is very easy to remove and machine washable to boot, as well as being nicely padded.
The Versafix is available in a wide range of colours and has a recommended retail price of £225. It’s not the cheapest stage 1 seat out there but you do get what you pay for; cheaper seats have corners cut in terms of materials used, design and practicality- the way the buckle is designed so it wont get stuck under your toddler as you put him in the seat is a stroke of genius. It also gets the Danger seal of approval, although this isn’t noted on the paperwork that comes with the seat.