Car safety is something I take very seriously, I’ve seen so much change over the years. By the age the toddler is now, the teenager was in in a forward facing foam based car seat which was held in place with a seat belt.
It was a really basic one but it did the job and a bloody good one at that, so I thought. But looking back at old photos, especially the ones when he’d nodded off (there weren;t many to be fair, I was still using a film camera back them. Google them if you have no idea what I’m on about!)
While we travelled around, he would be slumped forward with his head rolling and the seat belt pulled a little too close to his throat. It makes me shudder to think I actually thought that was ok! Fast forward 14 years and I am sharing a very different picture of how our car journeys are now.
With a little trepidation, I’ve been testing out an extended rear facing car seat from Cybex. I say trepidation as he’s been forward facing for the past year and I had an inkling that he’d protest at the sheer thought of switching to a seat where he couldn’t see all the tractors and lorries coming our way.
But with the current car seat safety guidelines recommending extended rear facing up until 4 years it really wanted this to work out. The Cybex Sirona actually works both ways though, with the option to rotate it around with out moving the seat should your child find that they would rather be forward facing. So we didn’t have too much to loose if it was a no go.
What did we think of the car seat?
It’s a really sturdy, fantastically well made and thought-through carseat. With a heap of features which make getting in and out, as well as travelling so much easier. I’ll start with the fitting. Using the isofix connectors and floor anchor, it was a doddle to put it, the instruction manual is stored in a zipped pocket at the bag of the seat with a small picture tab to tell you where, there’s a few of these dotted around so should you find you need reminding what goes where, they’re a great help. Plus always having the booklet to hand is a huge advantage.
So once you’ve worked that bit out, using the under seat handle, you push it up while pushing the seat into an upright position and the seat rotates so it’s facing the door. I can’t tell you enough how much easier it is getting a baby or toddler in and out the car with out having to move them into an awkward position to avoid bumping their head. (which I did on a regular basis, I hasten to add!)
Once in, you reach back under the seat to the handle and rotate it back to it’s rear facing position, it drops back a little until you hear it click into place. My toddler’s legs do touch the back of the seat, (which is protected by a plastic bumper shield,) but he likes to sit with them slightly crossed taking the pressure off the back of his knees which is what happens while his legs dangle when forward facing.
The Cybix Sirona has 2 recline positions, I tend to move it to the lower when I know he’s going to drop off to sleep, and with a well protected head support, there’s no danger of his head rolling around, making any naps much comfier than before.
It’s set at a height where he can see easily out of the window which is a huge help during car journeys. We use a large mirror which attaches to the back of the head rest to keep an eye on him from the front and he loves watching himself, pulling faces and practicing sure poses, but he also likes to see what’s going on outside.
Giving the forward facing position a go
As this car seat does have the option of forward facing, I thought we’d give it ago. The Cybex Sirona comes with an impact shield which is stored in a handy bag, that fits in place with seat belt style clips. The 5 point safety harness which you use when in the rear facing position, tucks away under the seat and the impact shield is all that’s needed to keep them in place.
At 2, and quite a diddy 2 year old at that, we found he was still a little too small for this way as he seemed to be hidden under the shield. I actually thought he would love not having the restraint of the harness but he much prefers the rear facing position for now. We gave it a go though, and I’m sure in a year or so he’ll be happy to travel either way.
I guess the real proof in the pudding is how comfortable my boy is in the Cybex Sirona and I’m guessing by the shear fact that he tends to fall asleep on any journey longer than 10 minutes, he loves it.
And I must admit, knowing he’s travelling in the safest position possible is a huge relief.
If you’d like to find out more about the rest of the Cybex range including some very stylish interior design products following their collaboration with Marcel Wanders , you can even download their addictive Hausschwein Run smart phone app game
I have been sent this car seat to share our honest thoughts, all words and photography are my own.