Review of the forward-facing Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 Car Seat with unique impact shield. Group 1/2/3
If you have read My Mummy Reviews before you will know that I currently have my daughter ,who is over 2 years old, in an extended rear facing car seat. I did lots of research when she was still in the stage 0 car seat and I decided I wanted her rear facing when travelling in the car for as long as possible. Having an extended rear facing car seat was not an easy option to choose as it does limit the amount of space I have in my small car and although it is quite easy to swap it between cars it is a little bit time consuming fastening the tethers to the seat in front and getting the front passenger seat into the correct position to allow the seat to be fastened correctly.
When I first decided to go down the route of having an extended rear facing seat I knew that if I couldn’t get one to fit in my car properly then I would be buying a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 forward facing car seat instead. The reason being that it seemed like the best forward facing alternative to an extended rear-facing car seat, in my opinion. The Kiddy car seats are very unique as they have an impact shield to keep the child in the seat and no harness. Instead you fasten the shield with the seat belt and this keeps the child in their seat. There is no fiddling around trying to fit the seat in the car…you just strap it in with the normal seat belt keeping the impact shield held in place. This means that each and every time you put your child in the Kiddy Car Seat you are having to check the seat has been fitted properly which can help eliminate problems which can occur when people fit a car seat once and then don’t check it regularly.
Well, as you know, I chose to buy an extended rear-facing seat to fit in my car so I had no need for a forward facing car seat such as the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2, until now that is. I am finding that as my daughter is getting older we are tending to travel in other people’s cars a lot more and this brings about the issue of having to constantly swap her seat between cars. The problem is that although her seat fits fine in my car with the front passenger seat as far forward as it will go…this isn’t always feasible in everyone else’s cars. I could instead use her seat as a forward-facing seat (as I have the Britax 2 way Elite which can be used both ways) but it doesn’t have as much side protection as I would like on a forward facing seat. This is what prompted me to ask Kiddy if they would consider me reviewing their Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 (the newest version of their seat) for My Mummy Reviews…..
Well you can imagine my delight when they actually said YES!! Kiddy were going to send me the seat for free in return for me road-testing it and writing about it. It was fabulous news as it meant I could start to use the Kiddy seat if I travelled in anyone else’s car and not have the time-consuming task of moving seats between cars. I could just put the Kiddy seat in their car and strap it in with the seat-belt and the impact shield…much easier and I have the peace of mind of knowing that she is well protected.
is the press release document for the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. It shows a full, detailed photo of the seat with lots of arrows to indicate the impact shield, seat belt guides, extending leg support, etc.
I have now been road-testing the seat since the end of June, so 6 months and to be honest I have had my ups and downs with it. My daughter still travels rear facing in my own car but I have road-tested the Kiddy seat whenever she travels in my mum’s car or anyone else’s car.
|Photo showing the inside of the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 impact shield
Once your child is over 18 kilos you no longer have to use the impact shield or seat cushion and you just strap them in with the seat belt across their body, but placed through the seat belt guide so that the belt comes across your child’s body in the correct place. My daughter reached this weight limit not long after I got her to start using the impact shield and so I then started to try her in the seat without the impact shield. I wasn’t too pleased that she managed to get her arm out through the seat belt on several occasions but my mum has told me that I did exactly the same when I was little and there was nothing she could do to stop me. I have spoken to a few other people and they have all said the same that once the child is out of a harness and instead just uses the seat belt across a high-back booster seat that this is what they try and do…. FREE THEMSELVES!
I’ll be honest, in my current extended rear-facing car seat I do not have that problem as my daughter is still harnessed in and she will continue to be like that until she reaches the maximum weight limit of 25 kilos. The Extended Rear Facing Britax two way Elite is unique in that it is the only car seat in Europe that allows you to have your child harnessed either forward or rear-facing until they are 25 kilos (55lbs). That is one of the main reasons that I have continued and will continue to have my daughter travel in her ERF Britax whilst in my own car but I have allowed her to use the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 whilst in my mum’s car or in anyone else’s car. I do personally feel that extended rear-facing is best for your child but if that is not an option for you then I do like the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 as I feel it has much superior side protection to many of the other brands of forward facing car seats currently on the market. Like I said, it even has better side protection that my current Britax seat.
It is a real struggle to weigh up in your mind which car seat is the best option for your child. I have spent months on end worrying about what is best for my daughter but in the end I think it is down to each and every parent to make their own decision about how their child travels in a car. In the first instance I decided after reading all the studies that I wanted my daughter to travel in an extended rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. This ideal scenario did then start to get much harder when I had to keep changing the seat between cars when I wanted to go somewhere in someone else’s car (as my Britax seat has tethers and you need to get the right angle of recline each time you fit it. – very difficult if you are trying to do this in the dark whilst it’s raining. I talk from experience). This is why I am so grateful that Kiddy have been so kind as to provide my daughter with the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. I rest assured that she is travelling safely when in that seat and it is so easy to fit in other people’s cars. At the moment my daughter continues to travel rear-facing in my car but if she goes in someone else’s car then I use the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. I still intend for my daughter to rear-face in my car until she is 25 kilos but then I will be turning her forward-facing in the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 and she will remain in that seat until the Kiddy’s maximum weight limit of 36 kilos (approx 12 years). I can foresee absolutely no reason that I will decide to buy her an alternative high-back booster for when she outgrows her Britax seat as the Kiddy one really is all singing all dancing. It is lightweight, at only 7.5kilo, it has washable covers, the height can be adjusted really easily with one hand and like I keep saying, it really does offer so much side impact protection for your child.
There is so much that I could tell you about the features of the Kiddy Guardian Pro but I think it best you take a look at the site
and read it all in Kiddy’s own words, they can say it much better I can. 🙂
Here is an animated video for the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2.
Here is a crash test video for the Kiddy Guardian pro 2.
Here are some other useful points:-
- The recline on the seat can only be used up until your child is 18 kilo. I have discovered that if you have a 4×4 and are quite short you may find it very difficult to reach over and fit this successfully in your car in the recline position. Both me and my mum tried to fit it like that in her 4×4 and just could not do it. It’s possible if you go round to the other side of the car and get in to fit it but you can’t just reach over. We could reach over and fasten it in the upright position. It’s still a bit fiddly but do-able
- The recline position can only be used by unstrapping the seatbelt and physically pulling out the recline bar. They say this is the safest option as you cannot then do it whilst you are driving, unlike some brands of car seat which can be reclined by pressing a button at the front of the seat.
- The Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 is more ‘self-explanatory’ and easier to fit in the car than some other group 1/2/3 car seats but it does feel “un-natural” when you try and tighten the tension on the impact shield. This is because the shield is pressing against your child’s chest, stomach and you are scared of hurting them. It doesn’t hurt them and it is so important to tighten it properly but it takes a little while to get used to fastening the seat this way.
Please take a look here to read a report done by Which during child safety week 2010. There are a couple of videos to watch and one of them shows a crash test where a child is sitting in a backless booster seat. It is a scary video to watch as it shows how much damage a child can incur when there is no side -impact protection in a crash. The other video was filmed in the Bluewater shopping centre when ‘Which?’ had a day of checking people’s children’s car seats to see if they had correctly installed them. The video shows examples of common fitting mistakes people have made and out of the 27 car seats they checked only 2 were fitted correctly!! That is a scary thought. This brings me back to the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 – one of the things that is most appealing about this seat is the fact that it is quite easy to fit. All you do is run the seat belt along the channel in the impact shield and plug it in. You do still need to make sure that the seat belt isn’t twisted and you must make sure that the shield is pushed back far enough against your child but other than that it seems easy enough to install. The good thing about having to install the seat each and every time you use it is that you are forced to make sure the seat is safely fitted each time unlike the traditional style seat where you install it once and then check it every so often. the trouble with the traditional ones is that they can become loosely fitted but you will only know if you check it regularly. With the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 you are checking it every time you use it.
Sorry for this being such a long post but I wanted to give you all a comprehensive review of the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2. It is not cheap at around £225 but the most important thing is your child’s safety. You will get a long life out of this seat as it can be used from 9 kilo (which is approx 9 months) up until 35 kilo (approx 12 years). I have not changed my opinion though…I do still personally recommend keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible but if that is not an option for you or maybe you don’t agree with extended rear-facing then I would definitely say that I recommend the Kiddi Guardian Pro 2. My daughter looks very comfy in it and her head is kept well supported and most importantly well-protected. Plus…my dad is extremely impressed with the car seat and can’t say enough good things about it! 🙂
You can purchase the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 at lots of different stores, both on the high street and online. I would personally recommend buying from a store that will allow you to either try it in your car before you buy it or alternatively buy from a store that will let you send it back for a refund if you find your child doesn’t get on as well as you’d like with it.
Here is a video of the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 fitted in my friend’s car…
Click here to visit the Kiddy website.
I was also sent the Kiddy Aqua Paint accessory but I’m afraid I didn’t think it was worth the price of around £20. It’s a great idea as it fixes to the impact cushion but it went all watermarked after a couple of uses, just the same as my daughter’s big water mat does, and also it doesn’t keep your child entertained for very long as they have to wait for the water painting to dry and disappear before they can draw on it again.