John Lewis & Partners Swivel i-Size Isofix Car Seat Review

from John Lewis
RRP £250
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by Mother & Baby |

This i-Size car seat rotates 360-degrees and has an extended rearward facing travel position to 4 years for added head and neck protection. It’s certified to be suitable from birth up to 105cm, rearward facing from birth to 105cm and forward-facing from 85cm to 105cm. It has multiple recline positions for comfort – 1 rearward and 5 forward. The cushions are soft and plush with a quilted effect, and removable for hand washing if needed. This seat is ISOFIX installation only, with a 5-point safety harness and removable newborn insert with a separate head cushion. Light and sound indicators on the base confirm that the installation is done correctly. The headrest and harness are easily fitted to the correct height using an adjusting loop system.

We spoke to these real parent testers to get their review...

How did this product make your life easier?

Marie: The 360-degree swivel function is a game-changer for getting baby in and out of the car more easily. It saves any awkward wrestling to get my baby into the seat, and I can only see this becoming more useful the bigger and heavier he gets! It is easy to spin the seat when pressing the rotating button. The seat comes with a comprehensive vehicle fitting list, so it was easy to find my make and model of car to see which positions the seat could be used in – in my case, the two back seats, but not the front passenger seat. When my child is ready for forward-facing, the seat’s five recline positions will be great for finding the most comfortable angle for him.

Gabriella: THE BEST CAR SEAT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!! I suffered back problems throughout both of my pregnancies and unfortunately, after having my son I get constant sciatic pain which when it presents itself has made getting my son in and out of a car seat quite literally a pain, but thanks to the seat turning so I don't have to try awkwardly get my son into the seat, I haven't had any moments of becoming stuck in a car door while I try to wince through the pain.

Sophie: Having the Isofix car seat makes life so much easier as a mum. There is no need to be faffing around with seat belts and worrying if you've pulled it tight enough. The secure fitting and green indicator lights 0puts your mind at rest knowing it's perfectly safe and super easy to install into your car.

Would you recommend this to other parents?

Vicki: This car seat is really easy to fit, has removable covers so if it gets mucky your can machine wash it at 30 degrees. The fact the seat rotates makes it super easy to manoeuvre and get baby in securely. Great for the school run as it makes it super quick. It’s also clearly a high-quality product, well done John Lewis!

Fern: First, it is super comfy for my son, he loves it and seems super happy even getting into the car seat which can sometimes be a struggle. Second, the ability to twist the seat means no more straining to get him in and no more fighting as he canteen what's going on while getting him strapped in because I am hunched over and uncomfortable. Third, the fact there are lights that confirm the seat is set up and installed correctly. This means you can rest assured that your little one is safe and secure. If something is not right the seat beeps at you once your little one is settled so you know to look again, an awesome feature if you need to swap the car seat between cars regularly as you know it's been installed perfectly each time. Fourth, the fact it can face forwards and backwards, I can use it either way to suit my son's mood, if he is fussy and needs, I can face him towards me to help soothe him and if he is chill and ready for a nap, then I can swivel him backwards which is obviously the best position for him.

Marie: I would recommend this to other parents, provided their baby is on the lower-to-average range in weight and height. This i-Size seat has a rear and forward-facing weight limit of 18kg and a height limit of 105cm. While this is not unusual for the majority of seats on the market, there are 25kg seats available in this same price range (although none of them swivel), which is something to consider if you’d prefer to keep your child rear-facing for longer, and if you want a seat that stands a chance of lasting the full four years. The installation instructions are clear and easy to follow, giving a reassuringly sturdy fit in the car with electronic safety indicators. My average-sized 11-month-old fits well with the newborn insert in, but the headrest cushion removed, and so it’s clear that this seat would’ve been too big for him from birth. I would therefore suggest this would be a good follow-on seat after a baby has outgrown their infant carrier.

Would you choose this product above all others on the market? 

Marie: As John Lewis & Partners are new to the car seat market, I would probably rather choose one of the long-standing respected brands, such as Axkid, Joie and Britax, but that’s not to say these seats won’t become more well-known and trusted over time. Having said that, I would choose it above any seat that doesn’t have a swivel function, because this makes getting the baby in and out of the car so much easier.

If I had a newborn again, I would need a seat with a wider range of newborn inserts to ensure a good fit, but with an older baby, this is a comfortable and supportive seat. However, I have paid extra for an insert cushion sold separately for my other car seat, so the fact that one is included in the box is a bonus. The seat is reassuringly heavy, which is great once installed but would be awkward to move if you need to switch cars regularly.

Sasha: I think this product should win as it caters for every age of the age of child from birth right up to the age of 4. The fact you could put the child in a rear-facing position for longer than 15 months provides flexibility to those who want it. I think it offers great value for money versus other specialist car seat manufacturers. The design looks comfortable with the quilted cushions and I imagine this would be a priority for longer car journeys. It’s a very solid looking car seat that would provide parents with that extra level of reassurance.

Caroline: The seat looks smart, is easy to install, faces rearward up to 18kg, and it’s easy to adjust the headrest/harness height. However, this seat has only been tested to the minimum safety standard required by law (I know, because I emailed John Lewis and asked!), and for the same price or less you can get seats that have been tested to a higher safety standard (e.g Swedish Plus Tested seats, Joie seats), and I would choose or recommend one of those over this one.

What changes would you make to this product?

Marie: To make it truly suitable from birth, it would need a smaller newborn insert. If the seat was lighter when detached from the base and had a carry handle, it would be more portable for the times when you want to take the seat out of the car with the baby in it. Others might prefer a choice of fabrics, but for me, the black and grey colours are stylish and practical.

Gabriella: There isn't anything I would change on this seat, everything about it is absolutely perfect. It is an incredibly well-valued car seat at a fraction of the price of some other car seats that do not look as sturdy or ensure an error-proof installation. I would easily pay the price of this seat and then more!

Jasdeep: I would highly recommend changing the weight and making the car seat lighter. I struggle to get the car seat in and out of the car if my husband is not around to help me. I would also change how difficult it is to get the newborn inlay out the seat when the baby has outgrown that size. The instructions do not explain properly how to take it out.

Discover the new John Lewis & Partners range of car seats, strollers and pushchairs.

Product Information

  • Suitable from birth to 105cm (approx. 4 years)

  • Extended rearward facing travel to 4 years

  • Suitable rearward facing birth to 105cm, and 85cm to 105cm forward facing

  • Isofix installation only

  • Light and sound indicators confirm correct installation

  • 360 degree rotation to make it easy fitting the child in the seat

  • Multiple recline positions; 1 rearward and 5 forward

  • Soft and plush cushioning, with side impact protection

  • Removable newborn insert

  • 5-point safety harness

  • Easy headrest and harness adjustment

  • Removable covers, hand wash at 30 degrees only

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