Hauck Varioguard review
In a nutshell
An award-winning, multi stage seat that allows your child to sit both forward and rear-facing, the latter up to 18kg - but only if you have ISOFIX.
What we tested
- Ease of installing
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Safety features
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
3.0A star rating of 3.0 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Light to hold, sturdy, compact, easy to assemble, soft & comfortable, great that it is front & rear facing.
- Annoying to transfer from one car to another, confusing instructions, annoying harness.
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Hauck; a brand that has been around since the 1920’s has evolved from children’s clothing to all kinds of baby equipment such as buggies, car seats, highchairs and many others.
Alongside their own product lines, they licence products with designs from Disney, Lief! & I’Coo. Their highest priority resides with the safety and wellbeing with each child, creating a trustworthy reputation and versatile product line to cater to different requirements and preferences.
The Varioguard is one of their several car seats to offer flexibility. A Group 0+/1 chair, it is rear and front-facing and comes equipped with multiple recline positions and an adjustable headrest.
It reassuringly meets all required safety standards and has additional features that maximises support and comfort such as the 5-point harness with memory foam padding, which increases safety in the unfortunate event of frontal or side impacts.
The latter is one of my favourite qualities as not only is it safe, it keeps my son cosy and he falls to sleep effortlessly.
It’s nearest rivals on the market are the Maxi Cosi Milofix Car seat, which is priced at roughly £225 and the CasualPlay Bi Care at £219.99 as they are similar in features and price.
Hauck is a well known brand, one of the best sellers globally and has won several awards. The Varioguard itself has won Right Start Best Baby Essentials Winner Award 2014.
Click here to buy the Hauck Varioguard on Amazon
Read our full Joie Every Stage review
How does the car seat work in the various stages?
As a Group 0+/1 car seat it is both rear and forward. I have tried both, I personally prefer forward facing, just because I can see my son and can check and see if he is ok through my mirror whereas I cannot see him at all when he is in the rear position.
My personal preferences aside, the Varioguard meets the current (ECE 44/04) and upcoming car seat laws, which means my little one can sit rearward facing until he is 18kg or four-years-old, way past the current 15 month legal requirement.
But to ensure maximum safety, it is advisable to keep your child in the rear facing for as long as possible to reduce risk of injury, and that’s what’s great about the Varioguard is that it gives the option to have your child sitting rearward way past the 15 months.
However it's worth noting that Hauck says its rear-facing for longer abilities only works with parents using an ISOFIX base, not when installed with a seat belt.
Saying that, I think it works best for a child from six months onwards and would suggest a more intimate car seat for newborns.
Compare the Varioguard with the Cybex Pallas M-Fix car seat here
How is strapping your son in?
Easy, thankfully, sometimes the straps can be a nuisance as it can get in the way but what straps don’t from time to time!
Other than that it was easy to loosen and tighten the straps, sometimes it was even one handed! And clipping my son in was easy peasy.
How comfortable is the chair?
It fits like a glove. My son loves looking out of the window and as this seat sits higher than the previous car seats I have owned he is very happy observing the outside occurrences.
I would definitely recommend to other parents with a child my son’s age, especially because the five-point harness is excellent, with the extra padding, which guarantees added safety and comfort.
How many recline positions does it have?
In the rear-facing position, just one position. However in the front-facing there are three recline positions, but there isn’t much of a noticeable difference in the reclines. And I thought the sleeping position would have been flatter.
Can you tell part of the seat is made of memory foam?
Initially, no. I was eager to see what a car seat with memory foam cushions would feel like. My friend has a memory foam mattress and I was half expecting it to feel like that, but it’s not quite the same spongy feeling.
However, after a while of using it with my son and when considering the feeling of my last car seats, I noticed a big difference with the comfort of the chair, it was better than I hoped.
Is the car seat easy to clean?
Yes, the surface of the chair doesn’t absorb mess like other car seats I’ve used, I find it easy to simply wipe clean.
A baby wipe suffices, which makes me feel more at ease allowing him to eat and drink in the car.
How does it compare to your previous car seat?
My last car seat; Graco didn’t have any recline positions and it didn’t have any comfortable padding, my son was also too big for it but it did the job at the time.
The Varioguard is a major upgrade compared.
Is it value for money?
At£199.99 I think it is excellent value for money, especially as it will last for a few years.
The design is quite simple but I like that. It isn’t the prettiest car seat to look at but it is safe and comfortable and that for me is the main thing and it is great for the price.
How is installing the seat?
It is very straightforward to install the Varioguard in the car, despite the instructions being a little confusing, all-in-all it took less than 10 minutes to put together and fit.
I currently alternate between two cars, I am glad I have the option of using either ISOFIX connectors or the 3-point seat belt, when fitting it into a car.
Our previous chair was the Casualplay Sono Car Seat, which was an absolute bother to set up in the car so my mum and husband are so relieved that this one works with ease when changing between cars, they much prefer it.
We did have one scary moment when we changed between cars and realised the ISOFIX connectors had not fitted properly, eek!
After checking over a Youtube video to see the best ways to fit the seat, I decided to use the alternative option of the 3-point harness, which feels much sturdier to me.
What’s is in the box?
- Hauck Varioguard car seat.
- Hauck ISOFIX base
Any additional extras?
- Cover me seat organiser -£7.49
- Hug me head protector -£17.99
I find it hard to find fault with this sturdy car seat. It meets nearly all of my needs; it has maximum safety which is accompanied with ultimate comfort hence the memory foam padding.
Another great pro is the versatility; the different reclining positions and headrest adjustments aid with the growth of my son from sitting up and playing to laying flatter. Although I must say, the reclining positions are only slight and think they could have made the sleeping position more horizontal.
The only main disadvantage was the unclear & contradictory instructions, which could pose a safety issue, but due to the diverse information on the Internet such as Youtube and Google to help aid with any questions, that wasn’t too much of an issue for me personally.
I think it works best for a child from six months onwards and would suggest a more intimate car seat for newborns but conclusively a superb car seat.
If you like this car seat, check these out...
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 18kg|
|Car seat installation||Isofix base and non-isofix base|
|Travel system compatible||No|
|Removeable cover for washing||No|
|Optional extras||Cover me seat organiser -£7.49,hug me head protector -£17.99|