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The Chicco Xpace car seat offers a greater choice of height and recline positions than the old Chicco Key Fit model it is designed to replace.
As a Group 1 forward-facing car seat, the Xpace is suitable for children weighing from 9kg up to 18kg. I used the version that is fitted using a car seatbelt, but you can also buy an ISOFIX version, if you’re prepared to pay an extra £70 or so.
The head cushion and attached 5-point harness can be adjusted to six different heights, which means the seat can “grow” with your child. The incline can be adjusted to five different positions, which was a help depending on whether my 2-year-old son George wanted to sit up and look out of the windows or lie back for a nap.
The straps can be tightened by pulling on a single strap, which is handy if you have a wriggly child ever keen to get their arms out of the harness. The seat is also deep with high curving sides, designed to offer side impact protection.
What we love
First impressions were that the Chicco Xpace car seat feels robust and looks stylish. The white contrast stitching against the black material looks smart, and the material feels nice. My 2-year-old son George was really keen to climb into it.
Fitting the seat in my car proved easy once the seat was fully reclined, as the hooks to thread the seatbelt through were pretty obvious.
The way the shoulder padding is fixed to the headrest was good, as it meant the shoulder padding moved as I adjusted the height of the seat, so the pads are always in the right place without having to fiddle with pushing them up and down the straps.
The Xpace was easy to recline, using a lever underneath the front of the seat, and I was able to reach the handle to recline it once George dropped off to sleep.
From a practical point of view, it’s great that the cover can be removed for washing without having to remove the harness. It’s also a comfort to know that the high tech mesh fabric and built-in ventilation system allow air to circulate through the seat, should hot summer weather ever appear.
What to watch out for
Much as Henry Ford would say, you can have any colour you want as long as it’s black, so if you’re after a car seat in a more cheerful colour you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you want to make the straps looser, remember that the shoulder padding is fixed in position relative to the headrest. Once you’ve pressed the right lever at the front of the seat, trying to loosen the straps by pulling on the shoulder padding will therefore have zero effect – you need to pull on the straps themselves lower down, below the shoulder padding.
The height of the headrest adjusts pretty easily once you grip a handle at the back of the seat. However, it’s difficult to reach the handle after the seat is strapped into the car, so you’ll either need to get your child to try it for size indoors first, or be prepared to unstrap the seat while you get the headrest into position.
The spacious seat and solid feeling design of the Chicco Xpace means it weighs in at 8kg, which is a third heavier than the Key Fit model it replaces. This shouldn’t be a problem once it’s fitted in the car, but might be something to think about if you’re looking for a seat to transfer between vehicles often.
Who is the Chicco Xpace best for?
Parents looking for a sturdy car seat at a reasonable price.
The Chicco Xpace feels secure and looks sleek. It’s a value-for-money car seat with plenty of height and recline options and easy-to-adjust straps. However, you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want a lighter seat or any colour apart from black.