Baby carrier brand Cybex has come into the nursery equipment industry as a younger, quirkier brand. It teamed up with maverick fashion designer Jeremy Scott for a range of limited edition baby equipment last year and many celebrities have been spotted with a Cybex car seat, buggy or sling. These include Fergie sporting the carrier and Simon Cowell who’s driving baby Eric around in Cybex Aton Q. Although it wasn’t a Jeremy Scott edition, the Aton 3S car seat I was testing was no less eye catching.
Cybex Aton 3S
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What’s in the box?
- Car seat
- Instruction booklet (which took me a while to find as it is hidden in a small compartment on the bottom of the seat)
Any additional extras?
- Aton 2-fix base – £95
- Summer cover – £30
- Travel system adapters – £30
How easy was it to install?
Easy. You can fit it in two ways
- Simply secure it with the car seat belts, which have very clear placements so it is idiot-proof to install
- Or it can also be fitted to the Aton Base 2-fix isofix base, which is an additional cost at £110
Which buggies is it compatible with to create a travel system?
It’s versatile.It’s compatible with the Cybex Callisto, Onyx or Topaz strollers as well as other buggy brands including Bugaboo, Baby Jogger and Mamas & Papas. However, you’ll need the adapters, which cost extra – around £30.
How comfortable is the car seat?
One of the big selling points of the Cybex Aton 3S (and the Aton Q) is that it offers a flatter sitting angle for young babies. This angle then adjusts as your baby grows, providing what Cybex claims to be the ideal sitting angle for infants.
The flatter position aims to reduce the risk of a very young (or premature) baby’s head falling forward. If your baby’s head does droop forward, this can increase the risk of breathing problems for some babies – particularly if they are in that position for an extended time.
There are some other nice touches for young babies. There’s a soft seat inlay that can be positioned to support a young baby’s pelvis. Plus Cybex claims the highly padded 3-point harness (Y-shaped) is particularly comfy for small babies. The pads are fastened with poppers so they come off and can be washed (great for messy babies!).
This makes the Aton 3S a great car seat for newborns and even premature babies.
But what about older babies? The headrest is height-adjustable with 8 different positions, enabling a lot of growth for your child. However, my son spent a lot of time tensing his tummy muscles and trying to sit up, and didn’t find it so comfortable.
Will it last for the full 18 months?
Cybex states that the Aton 3S can be used from birth until your child reaches 13kg in weight, which it suggests is approximately the age of 18 months. Interestingly, other manufacturers suggest 13kg is around 12-15 months. From my perspective, it’s not a seat that you would want to keep your child in right up until they’re 18 months.
As you’d expect from a 0+ car seat, it’s rear facing. My son is 11 months old, and is at the age where he wants to be sitting in a forward-facing seat, to see what’s going on. Research has shown it’s safer for a child to be rear-facing for longer, and so the Aton 3S does enable this. The crunch is whether older babies and toddlers are able to sit quietly and comfortably facing rearward on long journeys.
Was the Aton 3S portable?
Definitely. The seat felt lighter than I’m used to (even though, on paper, at 4.8kg it’s not a particularly lightweight Group 0+). It certainly felt easy to lift in and out of the car, and despite being light, it also felt strong and sturdy.
It’s great to be able to use it without a base – we took it in my car, his grandparents’ car, his auntie’s car and a variety of taxis. However, we found it was hard to get it really tight and secure in all of these different cars, and so occasionally moved around a bit on the back seat. There is an accompanying ISOFIX base (£95), which would secure the seat firmly, and I’d recommend buying that.
As we’ve seen with several recent Group 0+ car seats, there’s an emphasis on side protection, In the case of the Aton 3S it offers Linear Side Impact Protection – basically absorbing some of the shock of a side-on collision.
The extra-large foldaway hood is very neat and big enough to offer good protection. It fits tidily behind the car seat so you don’t even know it’s there until you need it.
The handle is strong and locks in place securely. It can also be used to steady the seat when it’s on the ground. You can slide it right back to act as a balance, which is handy.
There is nothing complicated about this car seat, and so it’s a good choice for first time parents who want something highly portable, simple to use and sturdy and reliable. Due to the focus on comfort for young babies, it would particularly suit parents of.small or premature babies. It’s also handily compatible with a number of big name buggies – but you will need to buy additional adapters. It’s also unlikely that you’d want to use it for the 18 months it claims to cater for. You’re likely to be looking at moving on to a Group 0+ seat once your child is around 12 months.