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Britax is a heavy hitter in the world of baby products – car seats and buggies.
An award-winning company that’s been around since 1938, the Britax Multi-Tech II car seat has safety (as it should) at the heart of its development so says the brand.
A Group 1/2 (9kg – 25kg) seat, its major selling-point is the fact that it’s an extended rear-facing car seat, meaning a child can remain rear-facing in it up to 25kg, which is around 5 – 6 years.
How do you install the Britax Multi-Tech II car seat?
Back in 2009 the Britax Multi-Tech II seat received a particularly bad review from a consumer publication, which sent many parents into a panic. The journal criticised the safety of the seat safety and said it was difficult to install, despite the seat having been tested to and passing European safety standards.
It’s worth noting this seat won’t fit in all cars. Britax has a list of compatible makes and models on its website where you can check if it matches your car.
The seat can be installed in a few different positions in the car (in any of the rear seats, including the middle, and in the front seat if rear-facing and air bag switched off).
It fits in the car using the car seat belt and tether belts. It also has belt guides and a foot prop with installation guides and indicators.
I positioned it behind the passenger seat. The instructions state that you can either place the tether around the passenger seat or use the “eyelets in the glide rail”.
Once my husband had explained what this meant, I opted for the latter option (also explained in the instruction video below) as we need to constantly adjust the passenger seat depending on who’s driving.
While it’s good that there are so many options on how to install the seat, I found the instructions a little convoluted and the margin for error quite high seeing as there are so many ‘if you don’t do this, do this instead’ directions.
I got a bit flummoxed by the instructions so needed to enlist the help of my husband to finish the job.
It helped that the instructions included diagrams but as it’s imperative that it’s installed correctly for safety reasons, I didn’t trust myself entirely not to misinterpret something.
It’s worth noting that this seat seems to need more seat belt than some seats I’ve used so perhaps short seat belts might be an issue.
So remember to check if your model of car is compatible with this car seat on the Britax website.
If you’re confused by car seat laws, have a look at these…
- Guide to new car seat laws and safety
- The new i-Size law: What it means for you
- Booster seat laws – UK update and changes
Does the installation feel secure?
It does. The seat belt feels taut and the seat hardly jiggles when I try to shake it. This is largely due to the foot prop and lower tethers that offer extra stability.
The Multi-Tech II is rear-facing until 25kg, will it last that long?
A child can remain rear-facing up to 25kg but if you choose to turn the seat around, this can be done from 9-18kg (if using the five-point harness) or 15-25kg (if using the three-point seat belt).
Even with this seat’s expandable seat shell, I can’t see my son, Toby (10 months), fitting into it in the rear-facing position when he’s six. He’s tall for his age (on the 98th percentile) and his legs are already practically touching the back of the car, so I imagine he’ll outgrow the seat earlier than other children. However, I’ll happily keep Toby rear-facing for as long as he fits and is happy.
Does the seat feel sturdy?
Yes, seeing as this seat is designed to be used every day for up to six years, it feels like it’s been built to last. It feels sturdy and durable, and I think it will withstand the test of time.
How comfortable is the Multi-Tech II seat for your child?
One of this seat’s safety features – the softly padded sides – not only offers side-impact protection, it also makes the seat feel plush and comfy for my son.
The straps also have chest pads, which provide further comfort. I moved Toby into this seat from a Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix, which he was starting to outgrow, and he is certainly much more comfortable.
How is strapping your little one in?
Easy-peasy. With the CabrioFix, Toby would arch his back, cry and generally cause a ruckus when I tried to strap him in, but with the Multi-Tech II, he is happy as Larry as I easily clip him in.
What’s the headrest like?
The headrest is adjustable and can be raised or lowered to fit your child for optimum comfort and safety. Toby seems rather taken with this feature when he lays his head against it for a snooze.
How many recline positions does it have? Is it easy to adjust?
There are no recline positions but, so far, Toby seems perfectly comfortable both awake and asleep in it, so this isn’t a problem for us.
Do you worry that the non-recline position is too upright, particularly for a sleeping baby?
While it does look rather upright and I initially worried that Toby wouldn’t be able to relax into slumber, our first car journey – and most subsequent ones – have proved that he enters the land of nod with no trouble.
While a seat like the Britax Dualfix looks to be more reclined and ‘cosy’, I think that Toby would feel a bit restricted. The Multi-Tech II allows him more freedom to move and see what’s going on, and I think this is due to the upright position.
Is the Multi-Tech II high enough for your little one to see out of the window when rear-facing?
Yes, it is. Toby loves watching the world go by. This is one advantage of it being so upright. How portable is the car seat? Did you find it easy to get in and out of the car?It’s not particularly portable (what decent child’s car seat is?) but I won’t be needing to take it into and out of the car very often so this isn’t a worry for me.
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Is the car seat easy to clean?
Yes, it is! The first page of the instruction manual explains how to wash the harness buckles should food or drink escape into them – a likely occurrence with my mucky pup!
This is useful as the buckle won’t clip into place if it’s got goop in the way, which is obviously a safety issue. The seat cover can be removed and cleaned in the washing machine.
What do you think of the design?
The Multi-Tech II comes in five colours (black, grey, red, blue and purple). I have the black one and think it looks rather stylist. Well, as stylish as a car seat can look!What do you think of the size of the car seat?
The dimensions of the car seat are 62-72cm (height, depending on where you position the headrest), 45cm (width), 48cm (depth). It doesn’t seem much bulkier than your average car seat but I think we’d only be able to fit one in our car.
This has nothing to do with the size of the seat and everything to do with the size of my husband (6ft 7in), who needs the seat to be right back when he’s driving, meaning that it would press into the car seat, which is a no-no.
Is the seat value for money?
At £260, it’s certainly an expensive car seat, but if you plan to use it until your child is six then you’ll get your money’s worth.
With car seats, the most important factor is obviously safety and no one can actually know if they adequately meet this criteria until after an accident. Touch wood, I hope I never have to find out how effective this seat is. All I can say is that, with the Multi-Tech II, I imagine that you get what you pay for.
Even though I don’t think we’ll be using the Multi-Tech II in a rear-facing position when Toby is 6, I am still happy with this seat. That’s because it keeps him comfortable and safe, and keeps me happy because I can strap him in without a fuss.