Saturday, 30 June 2012

Review: Britax TRIFIX Car Seat

Back in April we were approched by Britax who were launching their latest car seat - the Britax TRIFIX. Dubbed "the safest and most beautifully engineered Group 1 car seat", it sounded fab and after taking a peek at it on the Britax website  I was impressed by all of it's safety claims - not to mention it's modern look and sleek lines. 
I wrote back immediately to confirm that we would LOVE to road-test the TRIFIX  -and that is what we have been doing  for the past 3 months.

3 months, I feel is a long enough time to really get to grips with a carseat and it gives you enough time to pick up on any annoyances that in a couple of weeks might not necessarily come to light.

Here's my full and frank review...

The Arrival and Fitting

Well to be honest car seat fitting is not my speciality so Chris took charge of "putting it in". Our car is a 54 plate Meriva and we had checked beforehand that the car seat was compatible with our particular car.
After thoroughly reading the instructions he got to work.

After locating the iso-fix bars between the seat cushions, Chris lined up the car seat arm hooks. At first he really struggled and we're not sure what was at fault (the car, the human or the seat) but he only seemed to be able to lock one of the iso-fix hooks rather than both hooks at the same time. As he hooked one on in the other hook would retract. This went on for about 10 very frustrating minutes before he eventually managed to fix both together.

It's important to note that the TRIFIX cannot be fitted using the cars three point seatbelt. In fact, research shows that only 30% of car seats installed using an adult seat belt are installed correctly, compared to 96% when using the iso-fix system.

The V-Tether system (shown left) was relatively easy to setup. One of the good things about this seat is that it has 2 special indicators - (1) to show that the iso-fix arm hooks are properly engaged and (2) to show that the V-Tether is pulled tight.

It took Chris about 25 minutes in total to fit the seat and ensure that it was all safely fitted.

Second Time Mummy Top Tip
: It is a lot easier to fit a child's car seat when both front seats of the vehicle are as far forward as they will go. It allows the fitter maximum room to move and adjust the child seat in the back of the car.

The Sitting Test

Prior to fitting the seat, we had Little E sit in it in the hall so that we could adjust the headrest and the harness to the correct height.

A correctly adjusted headrest ensures optimal protection for your child in the safety seat and should be adjusted so that the shoulder straps are at the same level as your child's shoulders or slightly above.

The seat is clearly comfortable - it has deep softly padded side cushions which are incorporated with uniquely designed SI-PADS. These SI-PADs are made of special energy adsorbing material which will protect your child from any side impact collisions by moving them away from the accident.

The Strap Test

Straps are key for me when choosing a car seat. I want my child to be safe and secure but comfortable at the same time. The straps on the TRIFIX were a real standout for me in comparison to previous car seats we have used. The TRIFIX has special 'perfomance chest pads' (see left) incorporated into the five-point safety harness - meaning, if an accident where to occur these pads will absorb forces felt by your child and further reduce forward movement.

The straps, with thier flexbile high-density foam padding, allow your child to be tightly strapped in to the seat without cutting in to them or feeling too tight and uncomfortable.

The Fastening Test

It's all very well having a comfy seat but if it's a  nightmare getting your kids in and out then there's a big problem. One of my favourite features of the TRIFIX is that the main buckle remains permanantly upright saving me a lot of "fishing under bum time."

My ultimate fear though is catching Little E's skin in the buckle and the TRIFIX doesn't solve this issue. If I could change the design in any way it would be to add some kind of leg protector to prevent any nasty accidents.

The Sleeping Test

There are multiple reclining positions available for when your little one is sleeping and I am pleased to say that you can adjust the position easily using the front lever - without it even waking your little one!

We did still get a case of "drooping head" but I felt that Little E was a lot more supported than in her previous seat. The head rest is well padded and snug. In the past 3 months the TRIFIX has seen a lot of snoring from my little girl so I guess that's a pass.

The Cleaning Test

Great news.. you can remove AND wash the cover! There are full instructions provided but basically you just slide off the headrest cover and then the main seat cover comes off easily. Both covers can be safely washed at 30 degrees. The only part you cant wash is the shoulder pads as they are permanently attached to the harness. 

Finally, huge tick for Britax for realising the plus points of having a removable main buckle. This has been one of my major frustrations over the years when cleaning - you always get loads of crumbs and dust gathering in the nooks and crannies that is impossible to remove because of the buckle. You can never do a proper clean - not anymore! Hooray!

The Fashionability Test
The TRIFIX is currently available in 8 colours. The design is fabulously sleek and I've had a couple of "Oooh what's that car seat?" queries whilst chatting to  mums in the nursery car park. It looks stunning and I only wish I could ride around in one!


  • ISOFIX+ – superior ISOFIX system allows direct connection to the car’s ISOFIX and Top Tether anchorage points
  • V-Tether – superior top tether system which intelligently absorbs energy in proportion to the accident
  • SI-Pad Technology provides Superior Side Impact Protection
  • Top tether provides a third anchorage point, limiting the rotational movement of the seat
  • Deep, softly padded side wings provide Optimum Side Impact Protection
  • Side Impact Protection
  • Performance chest pads reduce your child’s forward movement in the event of an impact
  • 5-point safety harness with one-pull adjustment
  • Height-adjustable headrest and harness with easy single-handed adjustment, prevents rethread errors
  • Indicators confirm the ISOFIX hooks are engaged
  • Indicator confirms the top tether has been correctly installed
  • ISOFIX connector release – releases easily from the front
  • SOFIX insertion guides – for easy installation and protection of car interior
  • ISOFIX arms retract for easy storage
  • Multiple recline positions – adjusts without disturbing your child
  • Quick-remove cover without interfering with the harness
  • Softly padded cover can be removed for washing
  • Harness retainers make it easy to get your child in and out of the seat
  • Buckle stays in forward position to make it easy to put your child in the seat
  • Installation with ISOFIX

What Do Britax Say?

Mark Bennett, Britax’s Car Seat Safety expert remarks, ‘We are incredibly proud to be launching our safest Group 1 car seat. The advanced safety technologies form part of what Britax call 360 degrees protection – our commitment to keeping children safe from every possible angle of impact. We will continue to strive to develop and enhance all our seats to ensure peace of mind for all parents who choose Britax and optimal safety for their children.

The original ISOFIX (which connects child car seats rigidly to the vehicle chassis) now an international standard for child seats in vehicles, was born by Britax in co-operation with VW in 1997 to combat the problems of poorly fitted car seats and improve child safety. Now, with the advent of ISOFIX + technologies used in the TRIFIX seat, parents can have the ultimate peace of mind knowing their child could not be any safer.

As well as being Britax’s safest child car seat for this age category, TRIFIX is simple to use. The ISOFIX system anchors the seat directly to the car’s ISOFIX connection points, while the V-Tether clicks into the third anchorage point in the rear of the car. Special indicators show parents that the ISOFIX catch arm hooks are properly engaged and that the V-Tether is pulled tight.In addition to this, there are some more practical, parent friendly enhancements; the seat cover is quick and easy to remove and wash, the buckle stays in the forward position so it is easy to sit your child in the seat, there are multiple recline positions for when your little one is sleeping and the ISOFIX arms retract neatly for easy storage.

The Verdict

After 3 months with the TRIFIX we absolutely love it. It gives us piece of mind with all it's safety fetures, it looks great and Little E finds it comfortable enough to snooze in. Retailing at £319.99 I would have completely dimissed this seat as being out of budget but given that it can be used for 3 years - that works out at less than £10 per month over that time frame. Well worth it if you've got the money to spend up front. We think it's great and we're recommending it to all of you.

The TRIFIX seat is suitable from 9 months to 4 years (or 9-18kgs) and retails at £319.99. recieved a Britax TRIFAX carseat in order to post this review. However, this is not a sponsored post and all views are my own.

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