A lot has happened in the car seat industry since the Britax King Plus first hit the market some years ago. There have been various safety laws introduced by the UK government and the EU, followed by a swarm of manufacturing safety innovations by the industry giants.
And Britax, the British/German brand, is one of the biggest. Upgrading its King Plus car seat, the company has recently released the King II LS, a Group 1 seat. It is suitable from 9 months to 4 years or 9 – 18 kg and is both forward facing and has four recline positions.
But it is the car seats ‘next generation’ light and sound harness indicator that separates it, not only from the older model, but also from many car seats on the market today. The indicator tells parents when their child’s harness is at the correct tension for a safe journey. The new and improved seat also has a patented seat belt tensioning system and a 5-point harness.
What’s in the box?
- Britax King II LS car seat
Any additional extras?
- Summer seat cover -£36.00
- Keep cool seat cover – £34.99
- Car seat protector – £24.99
- Car seat organiser – £12.99
- Sun shade – £4.99
- Drink and snack holder – £11.99
When the seat was delivered, I was slightly surprised to find nothing in the box at all, apart from the car seat itself. The only instructions seemed to be a few photo bullet points on the tags attached to the seat and some diagrams on the side of the seat itself, which I did not find helpful, nor ideally placed.
I later discovered an instruction manual hidden behind a flap at the back of the seat, but initially it was youtube and the Britax website to the rescue. It would have been good to have the instructions presented somewhere more obvious and visible.
Is it easy to install?
Yes, although the seat is quite heavy to lift into the car (weighing at over 10kg). But once it was easy and fit in securely with the car’s seat belt. You just tilt the seat forward and fasten the seat belt into the seat’s in-built base.
The belt tension also works well and the great thing about this is that it means there’s no need for a separate base as I’d had with our first rear-facing seat. Once you’ve got it properly installed in your car, you’re sorted. You just need to get your child in.
How was getting your little one into the seat?
That part is quite straightforward, there were no problems or tantrums and the 5-point harness system is relatively easy, if a little fiddly getting the two buckle parts to slot together and lock into the harness.
What about the Britax King II’s safety features?
The seat not only looks smart, it comes boasting various safety features; the seat belt tension indicator, the 5-point harness and performance chest pads.
There is also deep, softly padded full side wings, which give extra cushioning to the sides of the seat. The performance chest pads are pads around the upper chest part of the straps, which reduce movement in case of impact and also make the straps more comfy.
Tell us about the 5-point harness.
The 5-point safety harness is actually much simpler to use than it sounds and has a one-pull adjustment to tighten.
However, despite watching the two videos on Youtube and the Britax website, at first it wasn’t clear how the much heralded ‘sound and light’ indicator on the harness worked. Eventually I realised that it lights up and clicks when you’ve got the seat belt tension right.
The headrest height is quite easy to adjust too without needing to move the harness.
How comfortable is the seat?
Very! The best thing about this seat is how comfortable our 15-month-old daughter Georgina seems in it.
My other half usually sits next to her in the back but he was also struck by how happy our daughter seems in it. So much so that he might even try sitting up front in the passenger seat again.
This was the second forward-facing car seat we’ve had for Georgie. After outgrowing the rear-facing one we’d bought before she was born, we used an old forward-facing one I’d been handed down by a friend of mine.
So this is her first new one and she seems amazingly happy and comfortable in it, even on longer car journeys.
What do you think of the reclining positions?
It has four recline positions, which is a great idea, particularly for longer journeys when your little one is likely to have a snooze.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes, I was delighted to learn that the seat cover is removable and washable, especially as you can do this without removing the harness. A definite bonus once you’ve had a few of the inevitable in-car snacks.
Is it value for money?
Yes it is, for this age group. There are pricier ones around, so all in all, it’s not bad value, particularly as it should last till she’s four years old.
Overall, it’s relatively easy to use, secure and looks quite smart if not necessarily sleek. If you’re looking to move your baby/toddler on from a rear-facing seat, this is a very good next stage. They can be secure and comfortable and even face forward like the grown-ups.