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Axkid is a Swedish company that specialises in rear-facing for longer car seats. Its popular model, the Axkid Minikid, offers rear-facing mode of travel for your child until 25kg or approximately 6 to 7-years-old.
Building on feedback that the Minikid can be tricky to install with its various tether straps, the brand has now released the Axkid One which removes much of that hassle. This is down to the fact it is currently the only car seat available that is rear-facing for children up to 7 years which offers the ease of Isofix installation and i-Size certification.
You can even get it as a from-infant model (sold as the Axkid One+ for an extra £125), so it could see parents through from newborn to primary school in one purchase.
Most other rear-facing for longer seats have an upper age limit of around 4 years, like the Cybex Sirona M2 i-Size (£250.13 on Amazon). Others that are suitable for kids up to approximately 6 years, such as the Diono Radian 5 (£232 on Amazon), which is also usable from birth, have similar installation to the Minikid, with tether straps – so not as user-friendly and versatile as the Axkid One.
However the One comes in at a significantly higher cost at £600 – our in-depth review will explore whether this innovative rear-facing seat is worth its premium price tag.
Natalie is a mum-of-2 and tested the Axkid One car seat with her 4-year-old and 11-month-old daughters.
What were you first impressions of the Axkid One?
On first impression, the Axkid One looks a slightly daunting size with its base rails fully extended. But otherwise the seat is compact considering it can fit a 7-year-old.
It appears well-made – there is a lack of the chunky, lightweight plastic that can encase lesser car seats, which is great aesthetically but it also makes the seat feel more sturdy. The cushions look very comfy, especially around the head and shoulder area, and are made from premium materials.
What age is the Axkid One suitable from? And how long can it be used rear-facing for?
The Axkid One is suitable from 61cm (approximately 3 months) to 125cm/23kg (approximately 6 to 7 years). If you’d like to use the seat from birth you can buy the One+ version for £725, which comes with a soft inlay to provide extra support for newborns.
Its upper limit is one of its main selling points, as it is the only Isofix seat currently to allow children to be rear-facing until they are 125cm/23 kg, which is around 6 to 7-years-old.
The seat is also marketed as having the best legroom in its class – at a depth of 32cm. My 4-year-old had her knees bent close to the normal 45-degree angle and said she was really comfortable.
Because the seat is rear-facing though, she couldn’t kick and swing her legs about like she would in a front-facing seat. This would probably only trouble her on long journeys though and could be solved by taking more stops for a run-around.
How do you install the Axkid One?
The Axkid One uses Isofix connectors to secure it in the car. The base works in a similar way to others on the market. It has a support leg that can be adjusted to rest on the footwell of the car and 2 Isofix connectors that slip into a car’s Isofix points. It also has a brace bar, which is adjustable and rests above the child’s feet on the car’s back seat.
To install the seat, you slide the base inwards, to make it shorter, and fold the brace bar inwards also. Then you carry it to the car and place it on the back seat and slot it into the Isofix points. The connectors click in easily and a green marker appears on each one when they’ve engaged correctly.
You then extend the support leg using a grey button, until it reaches the floor. The brace bar is then secured against the car’s back seat by turning a dial around until it clicks, and the bar is rigid.
Now that the chair is secured, you will need to adjust the seat position depending on the size of your child. This gives older children the leg room they need in order to be rear-facing for up to around 7 years. This can be done both with the child in the seat or without the child present.
Finally, there is a slightly fiddly extra side impact protection that slides onto the side of the seat that is next to the door.
How easy is the Axkid One to install?
The instruction booklet is very clear, and each component on the seat is helpfully numbered in the order in which you need to adjust them. It is quite simple to insert the base, with the composite parts moving easily and securely into place.
It took about 3 minutes the first time and then about 30 seconds. The hardest part of the installation is carrying the seat to the car. The seat is fairly heavy, so it’s awkward to manoeuvre. At 10kg, I can’t carry it with just one hand and you need a bit of space to walk around the car with it.
How easy is it to adjust the car seat to your child’s age?
The seat is mounted on rails and there are 3 possible positions marked onto the base, one for newborns to 60cm, then one for 60cm to 100cm and another for 100cm to 125cm. Using a button at the back of the seat, you can slide the seat back and forth along the base to increase or decrease the legroom required for your child.
You will need to adjust the seat once it is in the car, rather than beforehand, as it would be hard to try and fit the seat while it is extended and at its longest. The sliding action is, however, very smooth.
Next, the recline must be adjusted depending on the age of the child and there are again 3 settings for this. To recline, you turn the grey dial between the child’s legs on the seat until it matches up with some small arrows. Babies occupy the maximum recline position.
How does this compare to previous Axkid car seats?
The Swedish-designed Axkid One is the only Isofix-compatible, i-Size standard car seat on the market to be rear-facing until around 7 years, 125cm in height or 23kg in weight.
The brand’s Minikid seat is also rear-facing and suitable for children of up to 25kg. However, these are fixed with the car’s seatbelt and additional tether straps rather than Isofix. Seats that are installed in this way are often trickier and take longer to put into place – and are more daunting, with more room for error in installation.
With the One seat, Axkid has reduced the weight from the Minikid’s 11.4kg to 10kg, to ensure that the One can be used with Isofix connectors (which allow a maximum load of 33kg) while being suitable for a child of up to 23kg in weight. It can therefore claim that the One will keep children in a rear-facing position for far longer than other Isofix seats, plus the One+ can also be used with newborns.
What are the key safety features of the Axkid One?
The Axkid One is tested to Swedish Plus standards – one of the most thorough forms of testing that uses higher speed impact crashes compared to i-Size testing, with very short breaking distances.
Other key safety features of the Axkid One include its i-Size standard certification and Isofix connectors, which make it much easier to install correctly and securely. The support leg and brace bar also hold the seat in place.
There is also an additional side impact protection pad that you attach to the side of the car seat that’s closest to the door.
When using the Axkid One I felt confident that I had one of the safest child seats on the market, especially for an older child. Experts agree that rear-facing seats are much safer and Axkid says that the latest research suggests they are up to 5 times safer than forward facing ones.
Rear-facing car seats need more space in the back – does the Axkid One compromise space of the front seat, and is it suitable for small cars?
Our MFM reviewer of the Axkid Minikid found that it took up quite a lot of space, so it’s great that the Axkid One has made a huge difference to this and is suitable for small cars too. This includes my 4-seater Mini which, as did my larger car, still had enough usable leg room in the front seat with either my 4-year-old or my 11-month-old sitting in the back.
The Axkid One’s rail-mounted design is unique and means that, not only does it slide easily to adjust your child’s legroom while they are seated, it also does not need to be removed from the car if the front seat needs to be pushed back. If the Axkid One is not being used, it can simply be slid back, to make it shorter, giving the front seat more space.
Are there any unique features of the car seat?
The Axkid One’s one-handed adjustment of the headrest is very handy. It has 12 positions and can be slid up and down the back of the chair with ease, using one hand. The headrest also has a marker on it so you can quickly measure its height against your child’s eye level.
The best thing about the headrest is that sliding it to eye-level position moves the top of the straps into the right place too, giving you peace of mind that the straps are in the correct spot behind your child’s shoulders.
The headrest doesn’t protrude as much as the headrests in other car seats do, cutting back on bulk, plus there is also a useful handle provided for lifting the seat, at its back.
How comfortable did your child find the car seat?
The cushioned insert for children below 3 was very deep and snug against my baby’s head which was reassuring when I was driving, and she was napping – her little head didn’t have room to roll forward. She also enjoyed the angle of the recline and seemed very happy.
My 4-year-old said she was very comfortable in the seat. I had thought that she wouldn’t like facing the back of the car, as she didn’t like being rear-facing when she was younger, but in the Axkid One, she didn’t mind.
How well did the Axkid One work with different-aged children?
I tested the seat with my 11-month-old and 4-year-old. Newborns use a cushioned insert that must be bought separately, called the Axkid One+. The standard Axkid One is sold with a larger insert that is suitable for babies longer than 61cm and toddlers up to 3 years old. You can easily remove this insert as you just need to thread the straps through.
My 4-year-old found the seat’s aluminium frame helpful for climbing in and out of the car. She does need to be entertained while travelling though. As I don’t give her phones or a tablet, she is used to having access to books and crayons from a pocket on the back of the seat in front of her, which also has a fold-out table.
Instead she had to access these things from a bag beside her while facing backwards and she could not reach the switch to operate her window either. This ultimately meant that she got bored quicker and made journeys more trying for us!
However, fans of rear-facing car seats swear by them and say that legroom and facing towards the back of the car are never an issue for older kids. MFM users who have reviewed Axkid’s Minikid car seat unanimously praise the brand’s rear-facing experience for their children, highlighting the unparalleled safety these car seats provide.
How do you rate the harness?
The 5-point harness is very easy to click into place via an old-style, 2-piece metal clip. I was less keen on the button used to lengthen the straps as I always had to fiddle around a bit to find it, down under the child’s left leg, and then I always needed to yank the cord to find the right angle to release more length.
Given that it also took a fair old pull of the cord to tighten the straps, this is my least favourite part of the seat. However it is handy that you can tuck the straps into each side just before popping your child into the seat.
How robust does the car seat feel?
The seat feels very robust, particularly the body of it, which is made with high-strength steel. The frame is made with high-strength, lightweight aluminium. The seat cover tucks in well and should not dirty or tear.
The only part that might not last the test of time is the button and mechanism used to release and tighten the straps, as it does not operate very smoothly. I fear it may get stuck or break.
How far does the Axkid One recline?
The Axkid One has a large recline of up to 42°. I like the fact that if you want to, you can easily change the recline position while the child is sleeping. On my other car seats the recline levers are often clunky and stiff to operate when the child is in position. But the Axkid One’s mechanism is a dial and does all the hard work for you.
It is very easy to access, between the child’s knees, and adjusts the decline very smoothly. The full recline is to a laid-back angle that is recommended for newborns.
How good is the headrest?
The headrest includes memory foam and is very comfy, with 12 positions. My 4-year-old’s neck seemed well cushioned and the eye-level marker gave me peace of mind that the headrest was in the right place.
My baby seemed very happy snuggled up, and it provided excellent support when she nodded off.
How easy is the car seat to clean?
You can remove the Axkid One’s inserts very easily – you just need to thread the strap clip through. They are easy to wipe down.
The seat cover takes a bit longer to get off, but it’s easy to wipe clean and the black material doesn’t really show stains.
How portable is the Axkid One – is it easy to transfer between cars?
Isofix seats for older children are on the heavy side and this one – although Axkid claims it weighs 30% less than some on the market – is 10kg and feels quite heavy.
When I needed to take one hand off it – to open a door – I couldn’t really take its weight in the other hand for more than a couple of seconds and worried that I would drop it.
However, the adjustable nature of the seat means that you can easily fit both an older and a younger child into the seat without having to take it in and out constantly for adjustment.
But, like most extended rear-facing options, this is not the seat for you if you are planning to switch cars regularly. Moving it is doable, as long as you have plenty of space on your driveway to carry it between vehicles – but its bulk means you don’t want to do it on a regular basis. It also means it’s not really suitable to take on travels.
Is the car seat big enough for a growing child?
I can definitely see my eldest, who is on the small side, using the chair comfortably when she is 7-years-old. It is possible though that the older she gets, the more likely she is to want to be able to move her legs around in the seat and therefore want to face forward like the adults in the car, especially on journeys of a few hours.
But kids do get used to the position in rear-facing car seats, and their safety benefits are not to be discounted.
What’s in the box?
- Car seat
- Side impact protection cushion
What are the additional accessories that you can buy?
- A safety kit – mirror, window shades, seat protector, baby on board sign (£40)
- A premium seat protector (£40)
What would you have wanted to know before purchasing the car seat?
It is worth knowing that it is suitable for smaller cars too – making rear-facing for longer an option for many more parents out there.
Is this car seat worth the money?
The Axkid One has a premium price tag of £600, but I think it is worth it. It is not just innovative in that it can hold a 7-year-old in a rear-facing position, but it is also kind to parents too, with lots of great features that make life easier.
These include straight-forward and easy installation that only takes 30 seconds; a smooth and quick headrest adjuster that positions the shoulder straps at the same time; a sensitive and easy to reach recline button and an impressive seat-on-rails concept that makes switching between different size passengers simple.
It is super user-friendly and should last families a long time – no need to buy a series of car seats, with the Axkid One, one product does the job of three.
Where can I buy the Axkid One?
The Axkid One is ideal for parents with babies or very young children who are happy to pay a premium price for a seat that grows with them. It is great for those who would like a rear-facing-for-longer option but have previously been too daunted by their installation, thanks to its user-friendly Isofix installation. But like most extended rear facing seats, it’s a bulky option that isn’t designed for swapping between cars.
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Dimensions & Weight
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 7 years – From birth with the ONE+ cushion|
|Child weight||0kg to 23kg|
|Child Height||Up to 125cm|
|Car seat installation||Isofix connectors|
|Travel system compatible||No|
|Height adjustible headrest||Yes|