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When it comes to car seats, Concord prides itself on exceptional safety, increased comfort and simple handling.
The German company has been an industry leader for the last 25 years and makes a vast array of juvenile products including buggies, carriers, highchairs as well as its multi award-winning car seats.
The Transformer XT-Pro is the 2014 version of the Transformer XT car seat, which is known for its excellent safety features. The chair’s closed shell shape promotes maximum safety at every age.
Concord, which puts car seats at the heart of its business, touts the Transformer XT-PRO as suitable from the age of nine months to 12 years.
Unique to this car seat is the variosize system which allows you to adjust everything – the headrest height, shoulder protector height and width, sit and recline inclination – pneumatically at the touch of a button.
Most car seats in the UK market use a five or three-point harness to restrain children. But there is a growing trend – mainly in the rest of Europe – to secure little ones with an impact shields.
Which as you can imagine has sparked many debates about which is better among experts and us – the parents.
Like other brands such as Kiddy and Recaro, Concord has two different types of chairs that use the protective cushion as a form of secure restraint and the Transformer XT-Pro is one of them
However, it claims value for money due to its exceptional safety features and because it is a Group 1,2,3 seat, suitable from the age of 9 months to 12 years.
What’s in the box?
- Concord Transformer XT-PRO
- Concord Protector plus
- Instruction manual (neatly secured to the back of the car seat where it can be kept)
Any additional extras?
How do you install the seat?
It is easy, it attaches to an ISOFIX base. But it can’t be installed with a seat belt and you can only use this car seat if you have an ISOFIX system in your car.
If you do have ISOFIX simply use a button at the front of the car seat and the Twinfix connectors at the back of the car seat extends and locks into place. These then connect to the ISOFIX points in the car.
How portable is the chair?
Not very portable at all, I find the car seat quite heavy and bulky to manoeuvre.
It is a good product if you intend to put it into one car and leave it there. I would not enjoy lugging it in and out of different vehicles.
How is strapping your children in?
It was easy to strap both my children in, perhaps slightly easier without the impact cushion.
With the cushion, you simply put the cushion in front of the child and secure by using both the shoulder belt and lap belt of a car’s seat three-point belt.
It is a Group 1/2/3 car seat, how does the car seat work in the various stages?
The Transformer XT-PRO is a forward-facing car seat, which I prefer because it allows you to keep an eye on your child a little bit easier.
The car seat can be used as a Group 1 car seat with the impact cushion, known as the Concord Protector. So, this is for children aged nine months to approximately four years, or weighing between 9kg and 18kg.
Without the impact cushion, the seat is suitable for children aged between three to 12 years, or weighing between 15kg and 36kg.
The impact cushion is very easy to use and replaces the usual 5-point harness often used for younger children.
All essential functions of the child car seat are easy to operate by pressing a button that is pneumatically supported by a lockable gas spring.
These include: the adjustment of the height of the head rest, the adjustment of the height and width of the shoulder protectors, the extension of the Twinfix-connectors for the Isofix fixing and the continuous adjustment of the sitting / recline inclination.
Which stage is the best?
I found the seat best as a Group 2-3 seat – without the Concord Protector cushion.
Although the cushion did feel quite safe for my three-year-old, Mili, she did seem quite “boxed in” by the shape and size of the cushion.
I would imagine very long journeys with the cushion being “claustrophobic” for her, and it could get quite hot during hotter months.
How comfortable is it for your children?
My 9-year-old, Roma, found the seat very comfortable.
It is well-padded and with comfortable arm rests, so she was quite happy to sit in it (once she had got over the embarrassment of using a car seat at all! She thinks she is too old for one now).
My three-year-old, Mili, wanted to get out quickly after each journey. She is not used to sitting with such a big ‘cushion’ on her lap and couldn’t understand why she needed it. Since she is 16kgs in weight, she travelled without it and was much happier. And three-years-old is the age I would be inclined to remove the impact cushion anyway.
I sat my 7-month old baby daughter, Tara, in the seat too, but didn’t drive with her in it, since she is not yet sitting upright unaided. I felt the impact cushion was a great support for her since her hands rested on it and it stopped her from flopping forwards in the way that a 5-point harness can’t. I look forward to driving her around in it as she gets bigger.
What do you think of the different adjustable height levels, do they differ much?
The fact that you can adjust both head AND shoulder level protectors is quite unique as most car seats only allow adjustment for head height.
Simply press down on the head section and push a button at the back of it, and you can simply adjust both shoulder and head level protectors simultaneously.
The shoulder protectors are not only raised upwards, but outwards too, widening for an older child. It is worth nothing that the seat cannot be used as a booster seat alone.
Do you think being a 1/2/3 car seat compromises on the safety features?
No, I don’t think the safety features are compromised at all. The Transformer XT-PRO feels very safe as the child is secure on both sides due to both head and shoulder protectors. The shell shape of the seat hugs and cushions the child very well at each stage.
In that respect would it be better to get a new car seat for each group?
No, it wouldn’t. If you use this seat with your baby/child from a very early age, they will get used to the impact cushion so this product is a very good one to see your child through all the stages.
Is it easy to position the seat belt when used as a group 2/3?
It is secured in pretty much the same way without the impact cushion. The main difference is that you now use the shoulder-level belt guide, which must be opened by pressing a button, although the closing is automatic.
Is the car seat easy to clean?
Although not wipe-clean material, the seat covers can be removed and washed if need be.
How does it compare to your previous car seat?
The Concord Transformer XT PRO felt a lot safer and more secure than my various existing car seats.
My daughters felt well-supported and well-cushioned. I am not a big fan of the 5-point harness system for younger children because mine were/are always trying to remove the shoulder straps and take their arms out!
I think the car seat would be quite good to use for a small baby, aged 9 -12 months, as the impact cushion gives the baby something to lean on.
The seat seems to be very safe and supportive. However, by the time a child is 2-3 years old, the seat plus impact cushion is a very small space, and it becomes more uncomfortable. By the time they can travel without the cushion, however, it is fine. product, although a bit heavy.
Made For Mums verdict?
I think the Concord Transformer XT-PRO is a good buy for someone looking for a long-term car seat – one that grows with your child.
I will be happy to use it immediately for my baby, Tara, once she is nine-months-old and sitting upright. That way, she will get used to the impact cushion in a way Mili was not able to.
Feeling that your children are safe is a great feeling and despite a significant price tag, you can’t put a price on a child’s safety so this car seat is a good one to invest in.