Cybex Cloud Z2 i-Size car seat review
In a nutshell
A sleek, safe, durable car seat with bags of style, a 180-degree rotation and in-car recline – but to use these features you will need to purchase the separate isofix base
What we tested
- Ease of installing
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Safety features
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.3A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.
- Stylish, great safety features, travel system compatible, 180-degree spin, adjustable headrest, recline feature, can be used with a seatbelt or base
- Base must be bought separately, can only recline and rotate with base
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German brand Cybex launched their best-selling, award-winning infant car seat – the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size – 3 years ago. Their newest version, the Cybex Cloud Z2 i-Size, launched late last year. The Cloud Z2 car seat has the same award-winning features as the previous model – the side impact wings, adjustable headrest, and 180-degree spin functionality – but with some new features that make it an even more appealing purchase.
The biggest difference between the Cloud Z and Cloud Z2 is in the seat's recline function. While the original Cloud Z could be adjusted to a flatter angle only when attached to a pushchair chassis, the new model allows the seat to semi-recline in the car, and to lie completely flat when used outside the vehicle.
The Cloud Z2 is compatible with a wide range of strollers, working as part of a travel system, and it can be installed in your car using either an isofix base or your seatbelt. The car seat comes in a variety of vibrant colourways, and retails at a fairly reasonable price for a premium product; similar to the BeSafe iZI Modular AX1 i-Size car seat, £309, and the Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360 i-Size car seat, £299.95. Although, you will need to buy the isofix base separately, which bumps up the cost. And you'll pay extra if you opt for a seat with a designer finish (the Fashion Collection and Design Collaboration models start at £339.95).
Frances, a journalist from Essex, tested the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat in Deep Black, with her partner Paul and their 6-month-old daughter Cora, in their mini SUV on long and short journeys. They also used it alongside their Minu V2 stroller for trips to the shops and local walks and on a trip abroad.
What were your first impressions of the Cybex Cloud Z2?
As soon as I pulled the Cybex Cloud Z2 out of the box, it was clear this wasn’t any old car seat. It looked sleek, almost futuristic, and very stylish in the Deep Black colourway with attractive silver straps. It definitely lived up to my expectations. The material of the UPF50+canopy, which promises to protect your baby from the sun, wind and outside noise, felt particularly luxurious. I also noticed the bottom is curved and can be rocked gently, which I really liked, because you can potentially keep your baby sleeping for longer when you bring them in from the car.
How do you install the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
- The best way to install the Cybex Z2 i-Size is by using the Base Z2, which retails for £209.95, and which is also compatible with the Sirona Z2 car seat for when you need the next size up for your growing babe. This is great as it saves you having to buy another base if you decide to stick with the same brand.
- You can also use the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat with just a seat belt in the traditional way if you don’t have isofix connectors in your car – handy if you have an older car without connectors, or you want to use the car seat in a relative or friend’s vehicle from time to time. When I did use the car seat with a seatbelt it felt very secure and hardly moved at all.
- I found having a choice of installation really appealing. We previously had a car seat that could only be used with the base, meaning Cora’s grandparents, who live in Ireland, had to buy a separate car seat as we couldn’t take the seat and base on the plane. However, for the majority of the time, we used the Cloud Z2 the base, with the idea we would probably purchase the Sirona Z2 when Cora outgrew the Cloud Z2 anyway, so it seemed like a worthwhile purchase.
Is it easy to install?
I found the Cloud Z2 car seat incredibly easy to install – the easiest car seat I’ve ever installed, in fact. It took a matter of minutes. Used alongside the Base Z2, you simply slot the seat onto the base – the traffic light system on the base will turn from red to green to let you know it’s been placed correctly and is secure. I found this quite reassuring. It almost seemed too easy, I was worried I hadn’t done it correctly. The instructions were easy to follow, only I did struggle to find them at first! They were tucked into the back of the car seat.
How does the Cybex Cloud Z2 compare to similar car seats for this age range?
There are a number of similar car seats to the Cloud Z2 on the market at around the same price point. For example, the Maxi-Cosi Pearl 360 i-Size car seat (£299.95) rotates, lies flat and can be attached to a variety of pushchairs. Previously, I had the carrycot-style Nuna Cari next car seat (£250) in which Cora could lie completely flat. I liked it but it took up a lot of space. The Cybex is completely different. It's compact and still allows your baby to lie semi-reclined while travelling, which is arguably safer than a carrycot-style seat.
How is the Cloud Z2 different to the original Cybex Cloud Z car seat?
The Cloud Z2 is very similar to the original Cloud Z model, however, the new model allows the seat to semi-recline in the car and to lie completely flat when used outside the vehicle, either on the floor or attached to a pram as part of a travel system. The Cloud Z could only be reclined outside the vehicle, so these new features are a great addition. It’s important to note the car seat will only lie flat when used outside of your car. Still, being able to recline the seat at all while travelling was helpful, especially on long journeys – Cora looked much more relaxed and comfortable.
One of the selling points of both the original Cloud Z and the latest version is its ability to spin 180 degrees, meaning you can turn the seat to face the door when you are putting your baby in and out of the car. The spin mechanism has apparently been made even easier by the updated Z2 base which now has a larger handle on the side. I haven’t used the original seat, but I can say the V2 version is staggeringly easy to use.
What are the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat’s best safety features?
The Cloud Z2 i-Size has a Linear Side-impact Protection (L.S.P.) System, basically little wings on either side of the car seat that tuck in when not in use and can be pulled out before heading off on a journey. These are designed to increase protection on the road in a side collision. Cybex says this can reduce the force of a side impact by up to 25% by channeling the impact away from your child.
This is incredibly comforting to know, although I found that I didn’t always remember to pull them out before heading off! I think it would have been brilliant if they came out automatically, or if they were a bright colour, as it might have reminded me to pull the wings out each time.
How big is the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
The car seat itself is very compact, measuring L64.5-75cmxW44cmxH38-60.5cm. Once fitted in place, using the base, I found there was space for another child (in a car seat) or 2 more adults to sit in the rear passenger seat of our Toyota CHR mini SUV if needed. I liked that I could sit comfortably in the back with Cora when my husband was driving, and there was room for my changing bag and shopping bags beside me.
Is the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat rear and forward facing?
No – this car seat only works rear facing, which is the safest way for a baby to travel. For babies weighing more than 13kg, you will need to purchase the Sirona Z2, which can be used rear or forward facing with the same base.
Does the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat rotate?
Yes, and I think the 180-degree rotation really does make life easier. Cora can be a bit wriggly, now, and getting her in and out of her old car seat involved a lot of stretching and leaning over. I think this feature could be particularly invaluable if you're placing a newborn in the car after having a c-section, as it involves no twisting or turning, something I personally dreaded in those early days.
You can also turn your baby to face the front of the car, useful when you are taking a break in your journey and want to be able to see your baby. You can't travel with the seat in a forward-facing position, though.
The transition from sideways door-facing to rear-facing is effortless, thanks to the innovative rotation mechanism of the Base Z2 – you just lift a lever on the side and turn gently. After using a car seat with the spin function I can’t even imagine going back to using a seat that doesn’t rotate. I found this to be kinder to my back and arms, and also just a much more pleasant experience for both me and Cora as we could clearly see each other while I fitted her in.
How comfortable did your child find the Cloud Z2 car seat?
At 6 months, Cora was already too old to benefit from the newborn insert, but it looked very comfy, and, again, the material felt and looked expensive. She seemed relaxed and happy in the seat on the move. She would usually stay asleep while the Z2 car seat was attached to my Minu stroller, or when I brought her into the house and put away my shopping. This was unusual for her. She usually wakes up as soon as I step foot back in the house, so I think she found the seat pretty comfortable. I also loved the fact I could gently rock the seat and put the hood up, to comfort her and protect her from any noises.
What are the straps like on the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
I love the straps! Often, straps are my personal bugbear with prams and car seats because I find I have to adjust them all the time, or the clips move around the straps, something that is guaranteed to stress me out, especially with a cranky baby. But the clips of the Cybex Cloud Z2 stayed firmly attached to the straps, so I wasn’t fiddling around trying to get them into position. The straps fell easily to the side and out of the way while I put Cora in the seat. Adjusting them was a very simple and straightforward process with minimal pulling and tugging. The 3-point harness felt so sturdy, and, as with everything about this car seat, the straps look fantastic in an attractive silver colour.
Does the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat feel robust?
Yes, I feel like this car seat is really going to go the distance. The materials feel premium, and it seems like such a solid, durable piece of kit, I expect it to look and work the same after plenty of use. I also really like the fact that the fabric covers are machine washable so you can keep it looking new and lovely for longer.
Does it recline?
Yes, the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat does recline. I found the in-car recline feature very easy to operate, you simply pull the lever at the back of the seat. The seat cannot lie completely flat in the car but it does when attached to a stroller or pram.
Is the headrest on the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat adjustable?
Very. The headrest of the Cybex Cloud Z2 can be extended to 12 different positions, which means it literally grows with your child. We only adjusted it once in the month we had the car seat to review, so it’s hard to say how useful this feature will be or if that many positions are necessary. It was very easy to adjust, though.
How easy is the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat to clean and keep clean?
The Cloud Z2 stayed really clean while testing – the material isn’t the sort to scuff easily, so I didn’t need to clean it. To be honest, I wouldn’t clean it unless I really had to, as with a baby there’s enough washing to do anyway. But, I do think the fact the cover is machine washable is a handy feature.
How heavy is the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
The car seat weighs 4.6kg, which is very light compared with similar seats. The Cloud Z2 is lighter than the original Z car seat, weighing 4.6kg compared with 4.8kg, however, I have to say I actually found the car seat quite heavy to carry when Cora was in it and even when it was empty. The fact you could place it in the car from the sideways, car door position, did definitely help, but I struggled a bit to lift it off and on the Minu V2. To me, this was the biggest downside of the car seat, although I appreciate that it weighs less than many similar car seats.
Does the car seat have a sun hood?
The sun hood on the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat is lovely – a generous size, offering UPF50+ protection. It was very handy on a sunny winter’s day while we drove around, protecting Cora from the sun coming in through the window. It was so effective we even removed our sunshade on the car as we didn’t need it with this car seat. The sun hood went up and down very smoothly and effectively.
What age range is the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat suitable for?
This car seat is suitable for babies from newborn to approximately 24 months (up to 13kg). It's worth noting, Cybex also makes the Sirona Z2 car seat (£304.95), which can be used for babies from birth, with the newborn insert, up to approximately 4 years of age (18kg). If you were being budget conscious, and you weren’t bothered about using the Cybex Cloud Z2 as part of a travel system, you could skip the Cloud altogether and just purchase the Sirona, which has a 360-degree spin function and 5 recline positions.
Does the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat work as part of a travel system?
The Cloud Z2 is compatible with all Cybex pushchairs, as well as a number of other models by brands including Bugaboo, iCandy, Silver Cross, Stokke, UPPAbaby, Joolz and Babyzen, although you will need to buy adapters separately. I think if you’re happy to purchase the raincover and footmuff for the car seat, the Cloud Z2 would work well as a complete travel system. It’s easy to put the seat on and take the pram frame off with the adapters, my only issue was that I had to unclip and unbutton the hood and the bumper bar of my UPPAbaby Minu V2 to do this, which is easy enough but a faff I could have done without.
What’s in the box?
- Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat
- Newborn inlay
- Instructions manual
Any additional accessories you can buy?
- Base Z2, £209.95
- Cloud Z2 i-Size Summer Cover, £54.95
- Baby Car Seat Insect Net, £24.95
- Baby Car Seat Rain Cover, £24.95
- Snogga Mini 2, £74.95
- Platinum Winter Footmuff Mini, £154.95
- SensorSafe infant Safety Kit, £54.95
I’d say the base is an essential purchase for everyday ease of use. None of the others are ‘must buys’ but are definitely helpful if you want to use the Cybex Cloud Z2 as a travel system.
What features did you particularly like about the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
As mentioned previously, the 180-degree spin feature is an absolute game changer and the additional safety features like the Linear Side-impact Protection (L.S.P.) System really did put my mind at ease while driving Cora around. The fact it can be used as a complete travel system and attach to a variety of prams and strollers is another great feature.
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before buying the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
It would have been useful to know exactly what accessories it came with and what you’d need to use it effectively as an all-weather travel system, such as the adapters, foot muff and raincover.
Is the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat worth the money?
This is definitely a premium car seat, but I actually think it’s pretty good value –although keep in mind that purchasing the Z2 base will also set you back an additional £209.95. My only reservation is that you could potentially save some money by skipping the Cybex Cloud Z2 altogether and use the Sirona Z2 instead, as this is suitable for a newborn with the insert. The only downside is that you can’t attach the Sirona Z2 to a compatible stroller or pram and use it as a travel system – but for me, and the way I want to use it, that isn’t really an issue.
How does it compare to similar car seats?
|Able to recline?
|Cybex Cloud Z2
|Birth to approx. 24 months (87cm)
|Ickle Bubba Mercury i-Size
|Birth to approx. 15 months (80cm)
|Birth to approx. 24 months (85cm)
|Cozy N Safe Morgan i-Size
|Birth to approx. 6 years (125cm)
Where can I buy the Cybex Cloud Z2 car seat?
The Cybex Cloud Z2 is a sleek, stylish car seat that's designed to go the distance. It has lots of useful extras, including 180-degree rotation and the option to recline the seat, plus, enhanced safety elements to help give parents peace of mind. It delivers looks-wise with premium materials and luxury touches throughout.
The seat is perfect for those with newborns who often make long journeys, who don’t want to sacrifice on style. The fact you can install the car seat using a seatbelt offers some versatility of use. But, if you want to make the most of the car seat’s functionality, you will need to invest in the Base Z2 and this does add to the cost. The Cybex Cloud Z2 is a great piece of kit that’s well worth the money if your budget can stretch.
|Dimensions & Weight
|Child age (approx)
|Birth to 2 years – approx.
|Up to 13kg
|45cm to 87cm
|Car seat installation
|Isofix base and seat belt
|Travel system compatible
|Removeable cover for washing
|Side crash protection
|Height adjustible headrest