For the last few weeks we’ve been road testing the Joie i-Anchor Car Seat and i-Anchor Fix Base, which we were kindly sent for the purpose of this review. You might have already come across this car-seat, as it’s one of the few available here in the UK that can remain rear facing up to 4 years. It’s recommended that babies remain in a rear facing carseat up to 15 months minimum, but by this point many have outgrown their smaller car-seats, meaning the transition to forward facing can sometimes come earlier than advised.
We’ve been using the car-seat for our 21-month-old, Finlay. To fully test it we’ve tried both forward and rear-facing modes on different journeys and F has been very happy and settled seated in either position. That’s something my husband and I both really like about this car-seat, how it can quickly and easily be adjusted to suit our families needs. However, safety wise it really is best to keep your little one in the rear facing position.
Upon receiving the i-Anchor system my husband swiftly installed the iso fix base, which took no time at all. Bit of a pro now! The green safety light told us when we had installed everything correctly, which is great for giving you peace of mind before you set off on your journey. The seat and base also have 7 recline positions and you simply pull the the orange lever upwards to reach the position you require. If you needed any help there are also video tutorials on the Joie website to show you how to set up everything correctly.
I want to mention quickly that another bonus with this car-seat is that it can be used from birth, meaning you can possibly avoid added expenses! It comes with 3 handy inserts that you simply take out when your child outgrows them. If you were using the seat for a newborn you’d also install the rebound roll bar for additional rearward facing security, which comes with the seat. Basically it’s up to you whether you’d be happy to stick with the ‘stay put’ i-Anchor seat or if you’d prefer to have the flexibility of the Gemm infant seat which you can use with the i-Anchor base and also out of the car (I.e click it onto your pram etc.) It depends what’s most convenient for you and your family.
Once installed our first impressions of the i-Anchor car-seat was how well padded and comfortable it looks. It feels very luxurious and is one of those baby products that you’re actually excited to use and install in your car! It comes in a range of colours but we went for simple black, as it blends in nicely with our seats and also won’t show up any messes should there be dirty shoes etc. after the park. The straps also clip together easily and can be adjusted within seconds. We’ve used the seat for a number of journeys now and have been really impressed with this travel system and Joie as a brand! Most importantly I feel that Finlay is very safe and secure, which is what every parent looks for.
My only criticism of the i-Anchor car-seat is that when Finlay falls asleep (which he often does on car trips) his head will fall forward and stay there instead of relaxing back – we’ve found this happens even when we’re using the full recline mode 7. It’s something I’ll need to look into further to see if there are any ways to stop this happening. Personally I do find this an issue as I often have to gently press his head back into the correct position, which isn’t always easy to do.
*Update: We contacted Joie about the issue above and we were sent an insert to use with the seat, which basically keeps your child less upright. I was sceptical at first, however it has solved the head falling forward issue (even on long car trips) and it hasn’t happened again since using it. If you find you have the same issue, it’s good to know there is a way to fix it, though ideally you’d rather it not happen in the first place.
Overall, despite the sleeping issue we’re very pleased with this carseat. With baby no. 2 arriving soon it’s made me look into other Joie products, as I’m really impressed with their forward thinking when it comes to safety! I also love the design and high-quality materials used, something I always look out for in any baby product. To view the full specifications and other features the i-Anchor seat & base have check out the Joie Baby website. I hope this review was helpful and as always feel free to ask any questions in the comments below or on any of our social media pages linked on our sidebar.
– Steph x