Nursery brand Cosatto is known for experimenting with its products – whether it is its vibrant colours and bold patterns or its funky designs Cosatto consistently pushes the barriers of what is considered “normal” in the baby market.
The UK-based company sells a huge range of products, from prams and car seats to high chairs and furniture. And with the Troop, a Group 1/2/3 car seat, you see Cosatto at it’s most experimental – mainly because it doesn’t use straps to restrain your child; it uses an “industry-leading” impact shield.
Most Group 0 and 1 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.
Brands such as Kiddy and Recaro have been using impact shields for years, but Cosatto is the first British company to incorporate the protective cushion into its collection of car seats.
Being an all-group chair the Troop can be used from around 9 months until about 12 years, meaning you will only ever have to buy two car seats, after a Group 0+ infant carrier.
Within the nursery market it rivals the likes of the Britax Evolva 1/2/3 Plus Car Seat (£99.99), Recaro Young Sport Group and the Casual Play Multi Protector Fix, (£229.99) which also has an impact shield.
The Troop also has an ISOFIX system – retractable legs that be fitted directly into cars for a secure installation, as long as your car has the correct ISOFIX fittings. It can also be secured by a seatbelt giving it a “universal” tag when it comes to connecting it to your car.
And with a toddler son and a fly-drive holiday booked, I needed a car seat, which was both ultra safe and very portable, which is why I chose the Cosatto Troop.
What’s in the box?
- Impact protection shield
- ISOFIT guides
- 4 year guarantee information
Any additional extras?
- No, everything was included.
How is installing the seat into the car?
It depends on how you fit it, it can be a bit tricky. Installing it in universal mode is fiddly, as I have to try to get my toddler to sit still while I fit the Impact shield and then try to keep it in place while I fit the seat belt through the safety guides.
However, it is very easy to fit the seat with the ISOFIT legs (as long as your car has the fittings) because it instantly secures the seat and makes it easier to attach the Impact shield.
The one thing that does make it more difficult than necessary are the Troop instructions. They are a bit faffy to read as you have to flick backwards and forwards between the written instructions and the illustrations. Still, you can work it out pretty quickly.
Is the Troop easy to move between cars?
Yes, weighing 9.2KG it’s relatively lightweight, as it doesn’t have an ISOFIX base attached to it and is less bulky than some others on the market.
So it’s also useful if you use taxis regularly, because it’s easy to carry and because of the universal fit.
What do you think about the impact shield?
Cosatto say it goes “above and beyond industry standards” when testing its car seat designs and the impact shield is “industry-leading as a result.”
But with the impact shield in place my son’s arms sit higher than he is used to in a five-point harness, which he doesn’t particularly like.
And it is also a struggle to push the shield into place, purely because he feels a bit restricted and at times, he wriggles and pushes it away.
However, looking at it from a parental aspect, it is impossible for him to undo the shield or wriggle out of it.
And I have friends with similarly aged children who are able to get themselves out of a five-point harness buckle, so, I think an impact shield would be invaluable for them.
Tell us about the recline positions
This is one area that I find most difficult. When I practiced in the house it seemed easy; you pull two latches out either side of the seat, push the seat back and then push the latches back in to secure it in a reclined position.
But when I tried to replicate this while the seat was in the car I found it extremely hard to do.
Each time I thought I had done it, by the time I pulled the seatbelt tightly the seat was upright again. I drive an Audi estate so it’s quite roomy and I think it would be even harder to do if you were using a hatchback.
I have tried on several occasions to get it to recline while it’s in the car but have yet to master it, which is pretty frustrating.
I also can’t see how it could be reclined if your child is sat in it at the time, which would be annoying, and if you are using the ISOFIT these would also need to be adjusted.
Will the troop last the recommend 12 years?
I think so, the seat feels very durable and the fabric is very good quality. It’s something that would certainly last a long time as long as it was looked after.
The side wings and headrest are quite easy to adjust, which means it can be made snug for different ages.
Is it value for money?
Not really, at £220 it is quite expensive and there are certainly cheaper alternatives on the market, but for a car seat that can take your child from nine months until 12 years, it means you will only have to buy one after infancy, instead of three.
Is it easy to clean?
Yes, the covers come off if you need to clean them and the material is silky which means it should be easy to wipe away spills.
The Cosatto Troop is a stylish carseat that can take your child from nine months until 12 years. The Troop has an “industry-leading” impact shield to protect your child, but while I see its advantages, my son can’t seem to get used to it.
It would be a brilliant but for anyone whose child can escape from a five-point harness. It’s also a great option for going on holiday or transferring to different cars as it’s quite lightweight and can be fitted into an ISOFIX as well as a seat belt.