My first go-around at mommy-hood was pretty typical of first time moms. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t do a lot of research on what things to buy, I just got what the majority of people had and fell into a decent price range. I got the generic Graco travel system, a pack and play, a swing and a bunch of other things that, looking back, I really wished I would have read into a little bit before making a decision. After I got the hang of things and started to realize that some of those purchases were really a waste of my time and money, I started to do some heavy research before committing to a purchase. Like when we bought our convertible car seat. I was online for weeks reading reviews and looking up safety comparisons between different brands until I decided that the Combi was the right one for us (you can read that review here). This time around, I have been contemplating a new infant carrier. We originally used the Graco classic connect with the travel system stroller and it came in handy. But it has its downfalls that made me lean toward getting a different car seat. Number one, it isn’t really that small for a small car. It feels flimsy and the shell is all plastic that doesn’t seem very sturdy. The latches on the base are horrific to get connected and the crotch strap was recalled (we did get a new one, free of charge). I never felt like the base was secure enough in the car even though we had it inspected. I felt like there was a lot more wiggle room than I would consider to be safe. The more I thought about it, the more unhappy with it I became so I started looking into something else.
That’s when I found the Cybex Aton Q. I have been looking for a new seat for several months now and after comparing several different brands, this is the one. Here are some of the features that it comes with that I have copied from their site:
- Weight limits: 4-35 lbs.
- Height limits: 30” or less and with a min. of 1” above head
- No re-thread harness with 8 height positions from 7.5” to 12.5”
- 1 buckle slot position
- Load leg built into adjustable base
- Telescopic Linear Side-Impact Protection™ transfers crash energy to the carrier shell
- Energy-absorbing EPS foam
- Specially designed Perfect Positioner™ fabric insert stays in the carrier to help properly position small infants
- Recline positions for 2 weight ranges: 4-22 lbs. and 22-35 lbs.
- Carrier can be installed both standard-style and Euro-style without the base
- Measured Carrier weight: 11.3 lbs.
- Dimensions: 17¼” at widest part of handle, 14 7/8″ at widest part of base (just past belt path)
As far as safety is concerned, this car seat is one of the top ones on the market. All car seats on the market are safe or they wouldn’t be selling but some have more safety features than others that makes them, in my mind, better than the rest.
You get what you pay for though. Price comparison to other car seats is something to think about too. The Cybex is $349 online. The Graco classic connect can range anywhere from 70-100 dollars depending on the fabric design and the like which is pretty comparable to Evenflo or Safety First. Britax run slightly higher toward 200 dollars. Quite the price difference but when it comes to my child’s safety, money isn’t everything.
So far, we haven’t been able to use it yet as we are still awaiting the arrival of Baby Brother but straight out of the box, I can tell you that I love it. The first thing I noticed when I pulled it out of the box was the weight. The base is pretty heavy. In comparison to the Graco, its probably three times heavier. I like that about it because it seems like it anchors to the car better with the extra pounds. The actual seat itself is pretty comparable in weight to the Graco. I highly suggest reading the instruction booklet before installing the base. I couldn’t for the life of me find the LATCH system buckles on it but its because they are stored under the recline adjustment so you have to move that in order to get the buckles out. (Of course it tells you that on page one of the instructions!) After that, it was pretty easy to install. The instructions are printed on the base itself also. I had to read up on how to install the car seat to the base as well as getting it off. It was a learning curve and I think it would have been a little easier to figure out outside of the car and then practice once it was installed.
I will post a more detailed review once we have had a chance to use it for a while. But for first impressions, I really like this car seat.