Easy to install and with a long life span, the harness-free Mamas and Papas Cybex Pallas car seat is a Group 1/2/3 option with a clever safety feature that sets it apart for most rivals.
When I first put my 18-month-old daughter in to the new Mamas and Papas Cybex Pallas car seat, I said to her, “Now Esme, this is going to be interesting!” I just couldn’t get used to the idea of her sitting there with a large bolster cushion in front of her. But actually this is a car seat that is very clever, and while it might seem a little weird to start with, it works.
German engineered, and first produced in 2009, the Cybex Pallas car seat is a car seat that differs from most by using an adjustable protection pillow that fits on top of your child’s lap. Used instead of a harness, it neatly slides in front of your toddler and then buckles in place with the seat belt. This idea isn’t unique to the Pallas though, as Kiddy car seats feature the same innovative design.
One of the great safety features of the Mamas & Papas Cybex Pallas car seat is how the protection pillow is designed to absorb energy in the event of a front impact, meaning your child’s upper body rolls over it, avoiding any strain on the critical neck area.
Also, linear side impact protection locks your child’s head and shoulder area into the safety zone of the car seat.
A further positive of the Mamas & Papas Cybex Pallas is its longevity. It’s a Group 1/2/3 car seat, so can be used from when your baby is about 9 months old to 11 years old. Simply remove the protection pillow and base, and you’re left with a booster seat for an older child. This, I feel, means it’s well worth the £160 retail price.
What we love
When Esme was first buckled in to the Mamas & Papas Cybex Pallas car seat I expected her to object, wanting her usual harnessed one. But she didn’t, and in fact seemed to appreciate that she was buckled in with the seatbelt. I think she noticed that it was the same as Mummy and Daddy’s seat in that respect.
Initially, I felt concerned. Not strapping her into a harness seemed odd. As did the fact that the seat itself is ‘floating,’ as I’m used to a car seat that can’t move. This is why once you understand how it works, the Cybex Pallas is so reassuring. Billed as “More safety due to less strain”, the protection aspects of this seat are second to none. There’s an impressive video introducing the car seat on the Mamas & Papas website – I recommend watching it to get a better understanding.
Second time in the car seat, Esme had to endure a long journey, so we stopped and she ate some lunch. The protection pillow, far from being in the way, doubled up as a little table. You could lay a tea towel over it if you’re going to have your child eat in the seat, although the durable mixed fibre material covers are machine washable at 30 degrees. Great if your child gets carsick.
The Mamas & Papas Cybex Pallas easily reclines (although Esme was so tired she fell asleep in the upright position). When I checked her in the mirror, she looked so peaceful and surprisingly comfortable. Her head didn’t fall forward, but relaxed back in to the padded headrest.
The headrest has three different positions, and the seat has an 11-position height adjustable backrest, so it really can grow with your child.
Another major positive is that unlike my present car seat, it is so easy to install and buckle. And for that reason alone, I’m a huge fan.
What to watch out for
I had to remove my vehicle’s headrest from the chair that the car seat sits on. Not a big deal but worth pointing out.
I also have to remember to make sure the car seat is properly buckled in whenever driving the car without Esme onboard.
Esme is tall for her age so I took out the base (a foam insert that’s easily removed), as I believed it was obsolete. It does actually say that it’s not needed from 18 months onwards. On testing the seat though, I realised Esme had actually slipped down a little, so I stopped and put the insert back in again. Even though she’s just over the specified age for the base, I felt we still needed it. This will obviously vary from child to child.
I wonder how Esme will fare in the hotter months in this seat. I drive a no frills Citroen Picasso model without any air-conditioning. It worries me that she’ll have a big cushion in front of her already hot little body.
Who is the Mamas & Papas Cybex Pallas car seat best for?
Mums after an easy-to-install car seat that’s put safety and longevity at the forefront of its design.
It’s not the cheapest car seat on the market but for good reason. The clever safety feature, coupled with the large number of years the Mamas & Papas Cybex Pallas car seat will last your child, make it a more than sensible buy.