Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat review

A statement car seat that offers i-Size, near lie-flat option, rotation when you buy the additional base, a large sun canopy and a MadeForMums Triple Tested Best Buy Award 2020

Our rating 
4.4 out of 5 star rating 4.4
User rating
£224.95 RRP
Cybex-cloud-z-i-size

In a nutshell

A stylish i-Size baby car seat boldly offering a wealth of cool features and a premium price tag
Ease of installing
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Comfort
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Safety features
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Style
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Durability
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Worth the money
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Pros: Near lie-flat option outside car, additional base enables 180° swivel, ISOFIX and seat belt installation, extra large sun canopy
Cons: Can't adjust the recline position in car, tricky to remove covers, pricey
Skip to view product specifications

MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

The Cloud Z i-Size is a sleek and bold car seat, boasting a multitude of features to reassure parents that the high price tag isn’t all talk. i-Size compatibility, travel system compatibility, 180° swivel entry (when used with the Cybex Base Z, additional £185), linear side impact protection system, an extra long sunshade, the ability to lie near flat when outside of the car, as well as an 11-point adjustable headrest means there’s a lot going for this car seat to keep it going from birth to when your baby is 13kg (around 12-15 months).

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Tested by…

Mum-of-2 Lara lives in Essex with her husband, 5 year-old son Dexter and 17-month-old son, Felix. She tested the car seat and base in their Kia Ce’ed.

What are your first impressions of the Cybex Cloud Z?

Looks great – despite the in-your-face colour. It’s well made and the movements of the handle and sunshade are smooth and sleek. I’m impressed.

cloud-z-landscape

Do you need to buy a base to use the Cybex Cloud Z?

You don’t have to buy the base – the Cloud Z can be installed using your car’s seatbelt, but this then means it’s no longer classified as i-Size (as i-Size requires ISOFIX fitting). However, you still get the additional side-impact protection and the car seat still exceeds current safety requirements. If you’re set on using an ISOFIX base, then it’s reassuring to know that the Cloud Z can still be used safely in an alternative car, such as grandparents’, without needing to use the base.

The compatible base is the Cybex Base Z, a rotating base that has an RRP of £184.95. It’s another big cost but is part of what Cybex call its Z-line modular system – which means it can be used with the next stage up Cybex car seat – the Sirona Z i-Size (birth to approx 4 years). This means, if you stay with Cybex car seats, you can use 1 base from newborn to 4 years – and the £184.95 starts to look like good value.

How is the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat different to the Cloud Q?

The Cloud Z i-Size differs from the popular Cybex Cloud Q in that it is i-Size compatible when used with the base. i-Size regulations require a higher level of side-impact protection and the Cloud Z features what Cybex calls Linear Side-impact Protection (LSP). The Cloud Z is also 15% lighter than the Cloud Q. Given that the two car seats boast a similar price tag I’d personally choose the Cloud Z i-Size.

What age is the car seat suitable for?

The Cloud Z i-Size is suitable from birth to 13kg. Interestingly, Cybex states 13kg is equivalent to around 18 months, whereas most manufacturers (and MadeForMums) use the more common comparison of 12-15 months. My son is 17 months but not yet 13kg, so a great test of Cybex’s claim of 18 months. While at the end of Cybex’s suggested age range, the rear-facing seat is a little snug but does fit him.

Which pushchairs are compatible with the Cloud Z to create a travel system?

A high number. The Cloud Z is compatible with all Cybex pushchairs, including the Priam, the e-Priam, the Mios and the Ballios, plus a number of other other-brand buggies using universal adaptors including Bugaboo Fox (£979 from Amazon), Cameleon and Bee, UPPAbaby Cruz and Vista plus iCandy Peach and Lime

How do you install the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat in the car?

The car seat can be belted into the car quite easily or you can use it with the Cybex Base Z to install it with ISOFIX fixings (which you need in order to fully comply with i-Size standards). In common with 80% of parents we surveyed*, I found the seat straightforward to install. For added reassurance, there’s a noise sensor to alert you if the base isn’t sitting correctly.

I would definitely choose to use the car seat with the ISOFIX base rather than belt. It feels more secure, and is quick and easy – much less faffing around when you’re running late and trying to get the family into the car!

cybex-base

Does the car seat feel securely installed?

I tried out both methods for installation (the instruction booklet was clear in helping me with both). Just using the strap did feel like the seat was held in place and I would be confident using it in this way. However, once I then installed the Cloud Z I-size with the ISOFIX base I instantly felt more comfortable that the car seat wasn’t going anywhere.

Does the car seat feel sturdy and safe?

Yes! When it was in the ISOFIX base it didn’t want to budge.

How comfortable is the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat for your child?

Felix looked comfortable in the Cloud Z, despite being at the upper limit for this seat. The harness and straps were easy to do up and undo, and I felt that he was held snug and securely.

While he was comfortable in it for shorter journeys, on long journeys he would start to become distressed – possibly because it was more restricting for him. As he is right at the top end of the age recommended for this car seat, this may be why.

He is also used to being in a car seat that is front-facing and has become accustomed to seeing more of what is going on, so I think this was a factor in how much he liked the product.

In our survey, 60% of parents gave the seat full marks for comfort, while customers of Natural Baby Shower and Bella Baby also gave the seat the thumbs-up for this aspect.

cloudz-landscape2

What are the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat’s main safety features?

The Cloud Z has several safety features, and most notably, when used with the Base Z, it is i-Size compatible. This means that your baby can remain rear-facing until they’re 13kg and the seat has improved side impact protection.

Our article on what you need to know about i-size car seats tells you exactly what this means for car seats and how regulations can affect your choices.

I was really impressed with the telescopic linear side impact protection system. It features an ‘arm’ on each side that pulls out to help stabilise the car seat and will absorb some of the impact, if involved in a crash, before it reaches the flexible shell. As there’s an ‘arm’ on each side, this protection is there whichever side the seat is installed. It’s a great idea and as Cybex are innovating in safety features, I trust that it’s another element to keep my baby safer even though it may not feel very substantial,

How heavy and bulky is the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat?

The car seat weighs 4.8kg, which is 15% lighter than the Cloud Q. The handle makes it a breeze to carry – even with the sunshade down there is still enough space to get your arm through for a more comfortable hold. The seat’s portability is backed up by parents we surveyed, all of whom gave it 8/10 or more for this.

Despite its lighter weight, the Cloud Z is a reasonable size – big enough for my 17 month old. However, given Felix’s size now I wouldn’t want to lift it in and out of the car with him in it, but when he was smaller this would have been fine.

As the Cloud Z i-Size is easy to get into the car, whether belting in or using the more straightforward ‘click and go’ with the ISOFIX base, swapping between cars is a breeze. It’s a bit more effort if you’re moving the base as well, especially as the leg can swing and be quite a whack to the shins!

Is it easy to clean?

The covers can be washed at 30° on a delicate machine wash, which is very handy. The instruction booklet has a clear guide on how to remove them and, more importantly, how to put them back on.

Parents we surveyed were also happy with the ease of cleaning, with 80% giving it 8/10 or more for this.

CLOUDZ1

What Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat feature do you like most?

I think the lie-flat function is definitely one of my favourites – and this was also a hit with John Lewis and Bella Baby parents. I haven’t used it so much with Felix, but to have this from when he was a newborn to 18 months would have been a dream!

Like John Lewis, Bella Baby and Natural Baby Shower customers, I also love the swivel function of the seat when used with the base, so handy when using with a baby who doesn’t want to co-operate!

How easy was it to swivel the car seat?

OK, but the only downside of the swivel feature is that if you have long nails or have just had a manicure, you may struggle to grip the shallow lever, pull it towards you and push it to the side to turn the chair, with one hand – a minor detail, but an important one for when you’ve actually had a chance to pamper yourself.

Is the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat stylish?

The model I tested had the bright orange covers, which was a bit too bold for me, but other options are available. Customer reviews on Natural Baby Shower showed that parents loved the bold seat design. Aside from the colour, I loved the hood and how far it came across to shield Felix from sunlight and to aid naps.

I also liked that the sun shade was separate from the handle. Previous car seats I’ve had, such as the Maxi-Cosi Pebble (£250 on Amazon) has the sun shade attach to the handle which isn’t convenient for carrying the car seat.

cybx-product-edited-pattern

Is the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat good value?

The Cloud Z is part of Cybex’s premium Platinum range and at the top end for pricing. So is it worth the money? For me, yes,  it’s packed with safety features and additional extras such as near lie-flat and the opportunity to use a swivel base.

To benefit completely from all of these features, in particular the i-Size compatibility, you would need to invest in the ISOFIX base too, which is another £185, but can be used with the next stage Cybex Z car seat, so can be seen as a good investment.

How established is the manufacturer Cybex?

German company Cybex offers car seats, buggies, baby carriers and some nursery furniture, designed for a more urban lifestyle, with child safety, innovation and style among the brand’s key goals. The company has built a big audience in the US, with many celebrities spotted using Cybex car seats and strollers, and have become an increasingly big player in the UK over the past 5 years, particularly with car seats.

What’s in the box?

  • Cybex Platinum Cloud Z car seat
  • Newborn inlay
out-of-box

How easy was it to assemble? Were the instructions clear?

It’s very straightforward, no assembly. There is a small instruction book which was clear at explaining how to use and fit which was a great help on a few occasions.

Are there any accessories available?

  • Cloud Z base – £189.95
  • Summer cover – £44.95
  • Sun shade – £16.18
  • Insect net – £19.95
  • Rain cover – £17.95
  • Foot muff – £55.99

Where can I buy it?

The  Cloud Z i-Size is available to buy from Mamas & Papas, John Lewis and Kiddies Kingdom

MadeForMums verdict:

This is a great car seat to invest in – it’s a statement seat that lives up to its bold approach. It’s packed with useful features and some smart additions such as the innovative Linear Side-Impact Protection, and exudes an air of safety with style.

Yes, it comes with a high price tag, but personally I feel that if it’s within your budget then it’s worth it, and this is a view shared by parents we surveyed, 100% of whom said they would buy the seat again.

*MFM survey December 2019 of 564 users

MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

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Product Specifications

Product

Brand Cybex
Model Cloud Z i-Size
Price £224.95

Suitable for

Child age (approx) Birth to 18 months
Child weight Up to 13kg
Child Height 45cm to 87cm

Features

iSize compliant Yes
Car seat installation Isofix base
Travel system compatible Yes
Removeable cover for washing Yes
Side crash protection Yes
Height adjustible headrest Yes
Features
  • The adjustable headrest offers 11 positions for a customised adjustment as your child grows
  • An integrated, fold-away XXL sun canopy offers premium sun and wind protection with UPF50+.
  • innovative rotation mechanism of the Base Z makes it simple to swivel
  • flexible structure of the material absorbs the forces of an impact
  • Can be changed to a lie-flat position outside the car