The Woodlark is reasonably-priced, has pretty basic features and would probably be better suited as a second car seat to fit in grandparents' car
Key features of the Argos Cuggl Woodlark Group 0/1/2/3 car seat:
- Age suitability: Birth to 25kg
- Installation: Seatbelt
- Seat position: Rear- and forward-facing, although rearward only until 10kg
- Additional features: 5 seat recline positions; side impact protection; machine-washable fabrics
- Cost: £49.99
Cuggl was launched by Argos last Summer and now has 84 products for sale through their website and in-store, with all 14 of their car and booster seats coming in at under £100. That puts them at the value end of the price range.
The Woodlark is a Group 0/1/2 car seat, which means it is suitable from birth to 25kg, including rear-facing to 10kg. With an RRP of £49.99 it compares favourably with other from-birth competitors, as it can last your child potentially well beyond age 5. The Recaro Zero.1 Elite, for example, which you can use up to 18kg costs well beyond £400 (although it is i-Size compatible), or the Graco Milestone, which is designed from birth to Group 3 (up to 36kg) costs £149.
What were your first impressions of the car seat?
Out of the box, the Woodlark isn’t exactly stunning with its muted colours and straightforward construction.
How easy is it to install Cuggl’s Woodlark car seat - is it ISOFIX?
At 6.7kg the Woodlark pretty light (compared to 15kg for the Recaro Zero1, for example) and therefore easy to pick up and put in the car.
We tried it rear- (from birth to 10kg) and forward-facing (9-25kg) and although it goes in easily, fitting it correctly can be a bit of a pain, as it doesn’t use ISOFIX connectors, but can only be installed with the seatbelt.
You recline the seat to give yourself space and then run the seatbelt behind the seat. The belt runs through a clamp which is snapped shut. The clamp fell off when I first tried to use it, but once shut I can see it’s not going to budge, but it wasn't a great start.
Finally, there’s an additional clamp which closes on the seatbelt by its buckle to hold everything tight. Once fitted, the Woodlark feels as secure as any other seatbelt-fastened model, with more play than an ISOFIX but with a limit caused by the seatbelt.
How easy is it to strap your child in the car seat?
It doesn’t swivel (Cuggl’s top-of-the-range Owl will for an additional £40), but getting your little ones in is easy enough. The harness is also nice and wide, with the padded section running the length of the harness, making it not only more comfy but also stiffer, meaning it doesn’t get caught behind your child when putting them in.
Tell us about the buckle.
The buckle beats a lot of the competition for ease of use. Far too many buckles are fiddly, especially when you have to deal with your child’s hands getting involved too! But this has a little tab to slot one side of the buckle into the other which holds it together while you fasten the buckle.
How comfortable is the Woodlark for your little one?
Our 16-month-old still uses the inserts and fits snuggly with plenty of support for the head from the side cushions. He’s now happy being upright but there are five recline positions for smaller babies and this is easily done with a pull tab under the front of the seat.
We’ve done little trips to the park and a two-hour journey and he fell asleep - and woke up near the end of the journey smiling and was soon playing with his big brother in the other car seat. So it must be comfy!
How sturdy and secure does the Woodlark feel?
The Woodlark has enhanced side impact protection and the sides of the seat feels pretty secure. It's not the sturdiest seat on the market, but remember that all car seats must conform to the ‘R44’ regulations, which tests crashes at 30mph. And the Cuggl Woodlark has additionally passed the ADAC German testing system at 40mph.
How many seat positions are there?
The Woodlark has 5 recline positions.
Is the Woodlark easy to clean?
The cover is removable and washable – essential when kids are eating or there’s a bit of reflux or worse.
Is it value for money?
Considering its RRP of £49.99 and the fact that you can get extended use from this car seat, well beyond toddler years, this is definitely a good value buy.
Overall, this is a very basic, yet affordable, seat. It's probably better used as a second seat for a grandparent and it's certainly better than having no car seat at all.
Read some more reviews and car seat info here...
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