I reckon a car seat is one of the first ‘baby things’ parents-to-be consider. Let’s face it – you can find one to suit any budget and any style. We had three requirements:
- It needs to be as safe as possible (duh!)
- It needs to be suitable from birth;
- It needs to look good in the car (the ‘car’ being my husband’s other baby – just to be clear).
We scoured many baby shops online and in the flesh, and one particular car seat stood out to us: the Recaro Zero.1. My husband liked the Recaro brand anyway, but we were also drawn to its dashing good looks and impeccable safety ratings.
We spent weeks (yes, really – WEEKS) researching car seats. We read reviews; we asked people; we tried the Recaro Zero.1 out in our car; and we eventually came to the conclusion that this was the car seat for us. Five months later, and I’m giving ourselves a pat on the back – we really excelled ourselves this time. Here’s why:
- we opted for Performance Black. Well done us: it looks like it’s part of our Skoda Rapid;
- the Isofix base has coloured indicators to reassure you that the seat is safely installed and ready to go;
- the seat rotates 360 degrees, making it a piece of cake to get a baby (a baby in any state – sleepy, awake, tantruming…) in and out;
- it meets the new the new i-size European safety standards;
- it comes with a newborn insert so babies can sit comfortably in it from birth (something we were concerned about: will it be supportive enough for a newborn? The answer is definitely ‘yes’. Our 8lb 13oz baby was as snug as a bug on the way home from hospital in her car seat);
- it’s survived many baby poo and baby sick occurrences;
- you can tilt the car seat backwards to give more support to younger babies;
- it’s rear facing from birth and forward facing from 15 months old;
- will accommodate your child until he or she is around four years old;
- Ada is clearly very comfortable in it: she seldom fusses or cries when we put her in it, and is often happy to have a little snooze on the journey.
A review wouldn’t be a review without some negative points (hey – nobody’s perfect), and these are what I see to be the Recaro Zero.1’s flaws:
- although it is very supportive, when Ada sleeps, her head slumps *. This doesn’t seem to bother her in the slightest, and I’m sure this would happen in any car seat, but it’s worth mentioning;
- if you’re wanting a car seat to unclip and carry baby around in, this isn’t for you *. The Recaro Zero.1 stays anchored to your car, and that’s exactly what we wanted;
- it’s a tiny bit of a faff to wash if your baby has any – ahem – ‘accidents’. Having said that, we’ve coped just fine (despite the Tesco Car Park Poonami of May 2017).
All three of us are super happy with the Recaro Zero.1. It’s certainly not the most affordable in the market, but we believe it is the best (available for £399 from Hello Baby). In fact, we like it so much, that we’re considering buying a second one to go in my husband’s car, ready for the nursery run.
10/10, Recaro. Bravo.
*Whilst I’m here – it’s definitely worth noting that if a car seat that you can un-clip from the Isofix base and carry around with you tickles your pickle, then you really should consider the Recaro Zero.1 Elite (£495 from Mothercare) – that’s what our friends, who are expecting a baby in October, have gone for.
*Edit 1: Since writing this, Recaro have kindly sent us an insert which fits in the car seat once your baby’s out of the newborn insert. This has stopped Ada’s head slumping when she sleeps – awesome!
** Edit 2: Since reaching 8 months old, we no longer need the above insert as Ada’s head no longer slumps too much when she sleeps.
Here are two photos of the insert so you know what I’m on about! I’ve included the 500ml water bottle for scale purposes.