Several weeks ago we were sent a Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 car seat for Elvis to try out. I was intrigued by the car seat, as it doesn't use a five point harness, and instead utilises the seat belt to secure an impact shield for Group 1 children, which holds the child in place and keeps them safe in the event of an accident. Group 2 and 3 children just utilise the conventional seatbelt without the impact shield, due to a clever bit of technology 'the kiddy shock absorber' which takes the braking force in the event of an accident. As Elvis is a houdini, and manages to wriggle out of his harness, I was keen to try a seat without a five point harness!
We were amazed at how easy it was to pop the seat into the car, but I have to be honest it wasn't easy convincing Elvis to sit in the seat and let us put the impact shield infront of him, in truth he screamed so loudly the neighbours came to see if there was a problem. Once secure in the seat, for the first 3 or 4 outings, Elvis screamed and cried, clearly very upset, and I did wonder whether we should give up and go back to his original five point harness seat. We persisted with the seat, making sure Elvis had something to hold while we put him into the car seat. He soon realised that he had far more freedom in the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 and started to make use of the impact sheild - driving his car along it or perching his teddy on the edge! The screaming ceased, and now he can't wait to clamber into the car seat, I think the problem was the unfamiliarity of the car seat, he had spent 6 months in a conventional car seat and so the change was a little frightening. The impact shield is cleverly shaped to mould around your childs body and legs, so while it initially looks a little strange, it is clearly more comfortable than a conventional five point harness as there is no fear of any pressure on the shoulder area.
The seat it seems is incredibly comfortable, judging by the way Elvis falls asleep in the seat so easily and for longer periods (he's just woken up in the photo above!). There are no more issues with us having to stop the car to put his arms back into the straps, as there are no straps! He is now happy to climb into the car seat, and most importantly, it is so easy to fit the car seat that we can take the seat out and leave it with the Grandparents when the boys go to visit knowing they can easily fit it without a huge fuss! It is incredibly easy to clean the seat, I was worried as E managed to get hold of a bar of chocolate and wipe it over the impact shield, but it wiped clean! The rest of the covers can easily be machine washed, so even when we reach potty training all accidents are covered!
Is the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 worth the investment? Yes, I wish we'd discovered it sooner! No more bucking child as you try to secure them, no more having to stop to re-secure them! It's really ingenious, and I'd urge anyone looking for a new stage 1,2,3 car seat to take a look! As with any car seat do check the seat is appropriate for your car and your requirements! For all safety information check a good independent guide e.g Which!
Disclaimer: I received the Kiddy Guardian Pro 2 free of charge for the purposes of an honest review, we have trialled the seat intensely for almost 6 weeks and the opinions stated above are based on our experiences during that time.