Britax is a leader of in-car safety and wins many awards for its car seat products. The Dualfix is a 0+/1 cutting edge car seat in design and has huge appeal on the safety-front. It allows your child to sit rear-facing longer, until they’re four years old.
Research shows rear-facing is a safer position than forward. And it has a 360 swivel feature so you can place your child into the seat while facing you. The you have the option to turn the seat either rear-facing or forward facing from 9 months.
Who’s the Dualfix for?
It’s for the parent who drives their child every day or frequently and is happy to keep the seat in the car. It’s definitely most useful when you can keep it strapped in.
You have to have isofix in your car so won’t fit most cars older than 7 years. The 360 swivel feature is useful for parents who suffer with back pain or reduced mobility providing you don’t need to move it from one car to another.
The Dualfix is heavy so not good for those who keep a car seat for using taxis, hiring cars or travel in family and friends’ vehicles. You can’t use this seat with a buggy so no good if you want a travel system.
What’s in the box?
- Car seat
- Isofix (attached to seat)
- Newborn snug padding
- Instruction manual
The Britax Dualfix can only be bought in-store so trained staff can show you how to use it. It arrives as a single unit, with the Isofix integrated, so no assembly is required. It also comes pre-fitted with the snug newborn padding, which is easily removed for an older child.
What are the extras you might want to buy?
- Summer cover – £25.00
- Keep cool cover – £32.00
- Car seat saver – £20.00
- Back seat mirror – £16.00
- Window shades – £8.00
- Protect, Shade and See bundle (car seat saver, window shades, back seat mirror) – £38
You can buy the Britax Dualfix from John Lewis, Mothercare, Halfords or Amazon.
Is it easy to get baby in and out of the car?
It’s clear the Dualfix was designed to be user-friendly. The 360 swivel is crucial in getting baby in and out of the car with ease but it comes into its own from toddler age. Getting my son Fergus into the seat is literally painless. No more twisting with potential risk of back pain.
Wrestling with a heavy and sometimes wriggling 14 month old isn’t easy at the best of times. In comparison it’s much more straightforward than some of the more popular seats in the market.
One thing to note, turning the seat with a toddler in situ is slightly fiddly when forward-facing. But that’s a small price to pay for the useful 360 swivel feature.
But remember, here at MFM we always think it’s better to get an expert to show you how to safely install a car seat in your vehicle before you buy it.
What is extended rear facing?
The number of rear-facing Group 1 car seats in the UK are gradually increasing due to safety. More Group 1 (up to 18kg or four years) like Dualfix and Group 2 (up to 25kg or six years) seats are now being introduced. These are known as extended rear facing car seats.
What are the safety features?
Everything about the Britax Dualfix is designed to be as safe as possible and incredibly user-friendly. It has a huge range of excellent safety features but the standout is the ability to remain rear facing until 4 years old.
Some studies claim rear facing seats offer more protection if there is a collision. The deep, softly-padded full side wings provide optimum side impact protection along the entire seat.
The performance chest pads reduce how far your child might be forced forward in the event of a crash. The one-handed, adjustable headrest is a handy reassurance.
Is it easy to fit in the car?
Fitting the car seat was pretty straight-forward; a marker indicates the Isofix leg is in the correct position, which is reassuring. The written instructions were quite useful although the pictorial instructions on the car seat base were pretty confusing. The video on the Britax website was the most help.
Is it a comfortable car seat?
The Dualfix manages to be roomy while snug at the same time but more importantly very supportive. The Dualfix straps are wide and have padding on the shoulders.
There’s also detachable padding on the side straps for extra comfort. The multiple recline function is fantastic and definitely helps Fergus sleep.
Something you can take full advantage of with a newborn. We did a two-hour motorway journey and Fergus drifted off to sleep without a whimper and slept the entire trip. Short journeys are a comfortable too.
What colours is the Dualfix available in?
- Crown blue
- Dark grape (damson)
- Chilli pepper (red)
- Smart Zebra (black n white stripes)
- Black Thunder
How easy it to keep the seat clean?
We discovered with a sickly Fergus that the Dualfix is really easy to clean. The seat’s silky finish means a sponge clean or wipe will suffice for everyday spills.
For the real mucky moments the covers are removable and mashine washable. The bonus is you don’t have to remove the harness to get it off.
Is the Dualfix value for money?
At £290 the Dualfix does come in at a pretty hefty price tag. That said it does include the Isofix base and lasts up to 4 years.
The same can be said of the of Cybex’s 360 swivel seat. But the Sirona will set you back more at £375. There’s the Maxi-Cosi swivel equivalent.
The Axiss is significantly cheaper at £150. But the Axiss can’t be used from birth like the Dualfix or Sirona – only from 9 months (9kg).
It’s only forward-facing and only swivels 90 degrees. The £140 Safety 1st Primeofix is the cheapest of the Group 0+/1 extended rear-facing seats with a swivel function.
But it only works in two positions – forward and rear-facing. You can’t turn it towards you to seat your little one.
How does the Dualfix compare to traditional car seat options?
The £290 for the Dualfix works out only £1.39 for every week, used from birth until 4 years. The Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Pearl, FamilyFix combination we were using would collectively cost more than £400.
What do you miss out on with the Dualfix?
Buying a 0+/1 multi-group seat car seat to last until 4 years can work out cheaper but you do miss out on some much-valued category 0 features.
- It’s fixed so you can’t lift your baby in and out of the vehicle/house in the seat. That means inevitably disturbing baby’s nap time.
- You can’t snap the Dualfix into a buggy as part of a travel system so there may be more costs in optional extras like a carrycot.
Does the Dualfix travel well?
For those who use taxis, hire or change cars often, it’s cumbersome for travel as the seat doesn’t detach from the base.
Alternatively, the Maxi-cosi Axiss is worth considering as it’s fitted with a seat belt instead. It provides a lighter option at 11kg. Amazingly the Safety 1st Primeofix is the lightest at 10.5kg including its integrated ISOFIX but its finish doesn’t rank as highly in reviews.
For trips abroad, weighing in at a heavy 14.7kg the Dualfix would take up the majority of the typical 20kg allowance for a single bag on a flight. Though the Cybex Sirona would eat up a little more allowance at 15kg.
Could you get some money back by resale?
Resale value is difficult to estimate. I couldn’t find any being sold second hand. But as this top range item is also a newcomer, it will be a rare find for buyers and likely to retain its value.
It’s a brilliant seat for my son, who is 14 months and would be about to go into a Stage 1 car seat. If you can afford it I can’t think of a better option, particularly as a category 1 car seat.
There are some features where a stand-alone category 0+ car seat would be better. But if you’re buying just the one seat, then safety and comfort is more important even if it means losing some flexibility in terms of portability.