Key features of the Britax Römer Dualfix M i-Size
Age suitability: Birth to 105cm or 18kg (approx 4 years)
Rear-facing to: 4 years
Installation: Integrated Isofix base
Dimensions: 48x74x44cm (h, l, w)
Features: 360-degree swivel seat, rear-facing up to 105cm
Britax Römer is a German-based company with a combined German and British heritage. It developed its first children’s car seat in 1966 – and from then has made a name for itself in child safety, and manufacturing 90% of its seats in the UK or Germany.
Its new Dualfix M i-Size is an updated version of the Dualfix, now tested to the new i-Size regulations, and with a few new design features. It is a from-birth, extended rear-facing car seat with an integrated Isofix base and 360-degree swivel action.
I-Size child car seats – everything you need to know
It is certainly at the more expensive end of the scale of this type of car seat, with an RRP of £450. Cybex’s Sirona i-Size, for example, costs £300, while Nuna’s Rebl Plus i-Size Car Seat is £350 and Joie’s rotating i-Spin 360 car seat costs £280.
I immediately noticed the quality of the Dualfix M i-Size, an opinion shared by Halfords customers, who gave it 5/5 for this. We got the Blue Marble which is a stylish, understated colour, but you can also get some more exciting colours, such as Wine Rose or Fire Red. I was slightly surprised by the bulk of the product, but that’s mainly because I had never handled a seat in that Group with an integrated Isofix base before.
Is the Britax Dualfix i-size suitable from birth?
Yes, the Britax Dualfix i-Size is designed to be used from birth and up to 105cm (or approximately 4 years). It certainly is suitable from birth, as it comes with a great newborn insert and is very plush, comfortable and supportive. It also has a very horizontal recline which is great for newborns.
The only downsize to using it from birth is that it’s not travel system compatible, meaning it’s designed to stay put, so no carrying of newborn out in the car seat or fitting it on a buggy.
However, I know many who buy this type of car seat after the first 6 months, and still get good-value use out of it.
How long do you think the Dualfix i-Size will last?
It is always questionable whether the seat really will last the full 4 years, especially rearward-facing, but the Dualfix M i-Size still had plenty of growing room for my 2.5-year-old.
It has larger dimensions than some of its competitors such as the Cybex Sirona i-Size. For example, it is 1cm wider, and 4cm longer, so it has more room for growing legs.
In addition, it is important to note, it is no problem if a child has to slightly cross their legs when facing the back.
How do you install a Britax Dualfix i-Size car seat in the car?
Apart from the heaviness and bulk of the Dualfix, it is simple to install, and 61% of parents we surveyed* scored it 8/10 or more for ease of installation. You install it with its integrated Isofix base, which is very easy to click into place.
- You release the Isofix connectors by pulling a handle/strap in the base on the side where the connectors are.
- This should extend the connector arms, allowing you to click them into your Isofix anchor points – they show green when engaged correctly.
- Then you push the seat back towards the car’s seat back as far as you can…
- The support leg also extends easily and shows green when it’s secure.
- The Dualfix also has an adjustable rebound bar, which allows you to fit it to your particular car seat more easily, as you can adjust the angle better.
Once all installed, it feels incredibly secure, giving you fantastic reassurance that it won’t budge. It’s also handy that the instructions are kept in a compartment in the seat – this means you always have them to hand.
Does it feel secure once in place?
Yes, I absolutely loved how secure the Dualfix M i-Size felt once installed, as did 25% of parents we surveyed. We also have the fantastic Joie Stages that is installed with the car’s seatbelt, which we still use when on holiday. But compared to a seatbelt installation, I must admit that the Dualfix Isofix base feels so much more secure. It just wasn’t going anywhere.
Does the Britax Dualfix i-Size have a swivel function?
Yes, the Britax Dualfix i-Size rotates, which is great for getting your baby in and out of the car – 41% of parents we surveyed mentioned this as the feature they particularly liked about the seat and some of our readers are fans, too (see user reviews below). Even my husband – who is usually left quite cold by baby product design features – thought it was revolutionary.
It’s so much easier to get our little one in and out of his seat. Especially as they grow into large toddlers, lifting them into a seatbelt-strapped car seat is a bit of a palaver (although definitely doable, we did it for quite a while). Our 2-year-old also liked the ease of it.
It’s also handy that you can so easily swap between rear- and forward-facing. If you have a really tall driver in your car, it’s great to have the option of a bit more space behind the driver’s seat – which forward-facing provides.
The best rotating car seats
What’s the harness like?
As with all of this car seat, the harness is great quality and easy to use, it has comfy padding and can be adjusted very easily so it snugly fits your little one, providing optimum safety. In our survey, 85% of parents found it easy to strap their child in, scoring it 8/10 or more for this.
Does it feel sturdy?
Yes, it feels incredibly sturdy, but also nicely finished, with clear guides and good-quality materials.
What’s the headrest like?
The v-shaped headrest is designed to control the movement of your child’s head to ensure optimal protection in a side collision, while also providing comfort. It’s also very easily adjusted in multiple positions. As you adjust the headrest, the straps automatically change fit as well, so it’s very easy to get the right level for your child.
Are there different seat positions? Does it recline?
There are lots of different seat positions including 12 recline positions in total across forward- and rear-facing.
How comfortable is it for your child – what did your children feedback?
My little one loved this car seat. He was very happy in it, didn’t get too hot and sweaty, and slept well in it. Halfords customers also gave it the thumbs-up for its comfort factor, while 82% of parents we surveyed scored it 8/10 or more for this.
Tell us about its safety features.
The Dualfix M i-Size has superior side impact protection, tested to the new i-Size regulations. It has integrated SICT protection that absorbs energy in the event of an impact. It also has the Pivot Link Isofix system which directs the force of an impact, first downward into the vehicle seat and then forward more gently which reduces the risk of head and neck injury, especially when forward-facing.
The fact that this seat is rear-facing for longer also greatly reduces the risk for your child.
What do you think of the size of the car seat? How easy is it to get in and out of the car and swap between cars?
This seat is not designed to be swapped between cars regularly. Even though it is incredibly easy to install, and adapt to different cars, it is 15kg and a bit cumbersome. So lugging it to the car is a bit of a faff – especially with the support leg always unfolding and getting in your way. Around 20% of parents we surveyed disliked the seat’s weight, but felt it was to be expected with this sort of seat.
Will your children fit in it until they are 4 years old (up to 105 cm)?
My older child had grown well beyond the 105cm by the time she was 4. However, if you’re child falls within the height parameters, I think the seat is generous enough to last. As mentioned before, it is a bit longer and wider than some of its competitors.
Is it easy to clean?
Oh, yes. It features a machin-washable cover that can be removed without un-installing the harness – hurray! If all seat covers were this easy to clean, our car seats would be much more pristine! However, only a third of parents we surveyed gave it 8/10 or more for being easy to clean.
How heavy is it?
At 15kg (due to the heft of the Isofix base), this car seat is quite heavy and not designed to be swapped between cars regularly – only 25% of parents we surveyed gave it 8/10 or more for being easy to carry in and out of their car. We would also not take it on holiday by plane, as it’s a bit of a faff to carry about, the Isofix base’s leg making it very cumbersome.
Is it value for money?
At £430, the Dualfix M i-Size is perhaps prohibitively expensive for many. We loved the seat, and it has made getting little one in and out super easy, and has him happily snoozing. However, paying that much money? The brand makes a lot of how long it lasts you – as they point out “4 years, 200 weeks, 1500 days”, and it will see you through. However, it is so handy to have a Group 0 infant seat – which often allows you to use it with your pram and certainly lets you carry sleeping baby from car to house with no hassle. So realistically, you might be buying the Dualfix in addition to an infant carrier… at which point the value for money equation is getting trickier. A few parents we surveyed felt the seat was pricey – as did MFM readers – but they felt that the seat’s safety, comfort and general quality was worth the money.
What’s in the box?
- Car seat with integrated Isofix base
- Infant insert
Are there any accessories needed or available?
Who is this car seat best for?
The Dualfix M i-Size is best for those who want an easy-to-use, superior quality and safe car seat that will grow with your child. It’s not great for those who want a car seat that’s easily swapped between cars or those who travel a lot.
What do you wish you had known before you got it?
I wish I had known just how easy this kind of car seat makes getting older babies and toddlers into the seat. I had originally opted for a seatbelt-only car seat, but we now love using this one.
Would you recommend this car seat?
I would definitely recommend this car seat, if you have the budget. There are quite a few swivel seats out there now, but this one is such great quality – it has been a real pleasure and provides fantastic security and peace of mind. It’s why 92% of parents we surveyed would buy it again.
The Dualfix M i-Size delivers on safety and comfort, and will see you through until well into preschool age. It is very easy to use and gives you the feeling of ultimate safety. It seems a bit roomier than some others in the same group, and I will definitely be putting my little one in rear-facing for as long as possible.
*MFM survey December 2019 of 564 users
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