Axkid is a 10-year-old Swedish car seat company with a passion for child safety on the roads. The brand recommends rear-facing travel for as long as possible and, to that end, it designed the Minikid, suitable from birth to 25kg or 125cm (roughly age 6), for rear-facing only. It retails at £350, which puts it in the league of the likes of the Jané Gravity (though the Gravity is Isofix-compatible, which the Minikid is not) and the Britax Multi-Tech II. Last year, the 2.0 version was launched, with reinforced side-impact protection developed with a crash laboratory in Germany.
Bethan is a first-time mum to a 6-month-old baby, Annie. The pair travel in the car several times a week, though Annie isn’t hugely keen on being strapped into her current baby car seat.
What were you first impressions?
My six-month-old daughter, Annie, is very tall for her age and has never been all that keen on her infant car seat – she looks quite squashed in it now and prefers to sit up straight. But, while I have been keen to try something bigger and more accommodating for her, she does still seem very young for some of the larger car seats. For this reason, the Axkid Minikid seemed like an ideal fit – it’s rear-facing, which is very important for me while Annie is so young, and it isn’t an enormous seat, so it doesn’t overwhelm her.
What age is the Axkid Minikid car seat designed for?
The Minikid is suitable from birth up to 25kg, or about 6 years old. However, I’m not sure I’d have used it for Annie as a newborn, as it is a little too upright and more suitable for babies who can sit up. In fact, Axkid itself suggests that the Minikid is a good choice for when your child grows out of their first baby car seat, so even they recommend that it’s not used from birth. I also think a 6-year-old would be comfier in a larger seat. Annie is only 6 months old, and by about 2 or 3 I imagine she’ll have outgrown it – her head is already not that far from the top.
How easy is it the Axkid Minikid car seat install?
Having been used to the simplicity of an infant car seat with an Isofix base, the Minikid was an all new – and terribly complicated – kettle of fish for me. It is fitted with the seatbelt, a support leg and tether straps. I struggled first of all to get the seatbelt threaded through it, and met another hurdle with the tether straps. They are designed to be anchored onto the front seat rails on the floor of the car, but in our car (a Ford C-Max), they could only be attached on the inner side, as a tray by the door is in the way of the rails. Axkid suggests the alternative to tethering the straps to the seat rail is to wrap it around the wheel that adjusts the angle of the front seat, but this didn’t seem hugely satisfactory to me, or secure. Also, I had to move the front seat forward a lot to fit the seat in the back.
Is the Axkid Minikid car seat’s harness easy to adjust?
It’s a simple and safe five-point harness that I had no trouble with fastening up or tightening. The shoulder straps are well padded and sat nicely on Annie’s shoulders, so she looked very comfortable. The height of the headrest also automatically adjusts when the straps of the harness are tightened – positioning it at the correct height for the size of the child (there are seven headrest positions in total), and it can be locked into place with an easy-to-use brake lever.
What do you think of the Axkid Minikid car seat’s design?
The car seat looks great – it is simple and robust, with some good safety features, including a separate side-impact support pad and the automatically adjusting headrest. However, much of the brand’s description of the product focuses on the simplicity of installation, and I just found it really difficult to install!
Does the Axkid Minikid car seat have different seat positions?
The seat has five angles, and Axkid also sells an angle-adjusting wedge that can further alter the slope. However, I found it fairly difficult to adjust the angle of the seat and reclining it any further than I had would render the front passenger seat unusable because of the space it used. It’s not a huge problem if there is just one child in the car, but if you had two adults and two car seats, it wouldn’t work.
How comfortable is it for your child?
It is a snug fit and really well padded – particularly the headrest and shoulder straps – and there is plenty of leg room for Annie at the moment. It’s much comfier for her than her infant car seat. She doesn’t generally like being strapped into anything but she had no complaints about sitting in the Minikid, which is high praise indeed.
What do you think of the size of the Axkid Minikid car seat? How easy is it to get in and out of the car?
It is fairly compact and not too unwieldy, but I still wouldn’t want to be lugging it in and out of cars. It is over 11kg, so not at all lightweight, and it takes so long to fit it that once it is in place, I would be pretty loathe to move it!
Is the Axkid Minikid car seat easy to clean?
The cover can be removed and washed at 30 degrees C. However, removing the cover is an eight-point process in the instruction manual, so I would try to avoid doing it too often!
What feature do you like most in the Axkid Minikid car seat?
I wasn’t a massive fan of any of the seat’s USPs, such as the tether straps or adjustable headrest, but I did like the robustness of the shape and materials, and thought it seemed very comfortable.
Is the Axkid Minikid car seat good value?
Personally, for the price, I would want my car seat to do much more –rotate so I can get the baby into and out of it with greater ease; also be forward-facing, so it has more options for an older child, and be Isofix-compatible and therefore much simpler to install.
What do you wish you had known before you got it?
I’d like to have had an idea of how difficult it would be to install, as it may make me choose something compatible with Isofix instead. And for me specifically, it would have been good to know in advance about the issue with the anchor points for the tether straps, as it really isn’t compatible with my car.
What’s in the box?
The car seat
Are there any accessories needed or available?
You can buy an angle-adjusting wedge to alter the recline position of the seat but other than that, it comes with everything it needs.
Would you recommend this car seat?
Probably not. I think there are lots of equally sturdy and comfortable alternatives on the market that would be much easier to install, and for me, buying baby products is all about choosing something user-friendly. Saying that, I do really admire the company’s safety focus, and would consider using its Isofix-compatible products.
Where can I buy the Axkid Minikid car seat?
It is available from PreciousLittleOne, Uber Kids and Direct4Baby.
Axkid has put a lot of thought into the safety features of the Minikid seat, but I’m not sure the theory works so well when put into practice – the seat is difficult to install, takes up a lot of space, and probably isn’t ideal for the age range it is targeted at. However, I would be very interested to revisit an Isofix-compatible offering from the brand.
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