Key features of the Joie Every Stage car seat:
- Age suitability: Birth until 12 years
- Rear-facing until: Approx 4 (18kg)
- Installation: Seat belt only
- Total cost from birth to 12 years: £140
- Travel system compatible: No
Joie is part of the ‘rear-facing for longer’ campaign and with the Every Stage car seat the British brand hopes you’ll only have to ever buy one car seat for your child.
This robust 0+/1/2/3 stage seat will take your baby from birth (most other multi-stagers only start from nine months) to 36kgs/12years or when they use normal seatbelt in their teens.
What’s the difference between the popular Joie Stages and Joie Every Stage car seats?
We know a lot of you love the award-winning Stages chair, but what the Every Stage will offer is an extra 6 years of use!
So your child can sit in the seat from birth, right to up to a massive 36kgs/12years, rather than the Stages 25kgs/six years.
That means a few things; firstly (as we alluded to earlier) you’ll only have to buy one seat – ever.
Secondly, the Every Stage is cheaper. It’s £160, which works out to be £13.33 per year for 12 years. Whereas the Joie Stages works out to be £25 per year. It’s miniscule pennies we’re talking about, but every saving makes a difference.
You can buy the Joie Every Stage car seat from Mothercare, Halfords or Amazon.
Another marked difference is the recline, the Stages has one rear-ward recline when in Group 0+/1 mode and three reclining for the next two modes, while the Every Stage has 5 recline positions; 1 rear facing and 4 forward facing for tilt options at every age. More on the Every Stage recline below.
Joie has also introduced new Guard Surround Safety panels for extra side protection, a 10 position height adjustable headrest and
AutoAdjust side wings that widen as the headrest is raised to accommodate growing children.
What is the difference between the Joie Every Stage and the Joie Every Stage FX?
Joie is one of the pioneers of the multi-stage car seat – the Every Stage was the first on the UK market and the Every Stage FX has come around 3 years later. The newer Every Stage FX has same features with a few tweaks and improvements including:
- Installation with ISOFIX and a top tether to provide further anchorage – my favourite addition as this makes things much more versatile.
- Reinforced steel inner seat.
- Softer five-point harness for a more comfortable ride
- Three piece flexible insert system for infants with bits you can remove and adjust to keep your baby comfy.
How does the Joie Every Stage compare to a single stage infant car seat?
The previous seat we had for our 18-month-old son Arthur was a Mothercare Ziba (£70). An entry-level 0+ seat, which he’d really grown out of.
The Joie Every Stage is a whole new level of sophistication – and size, I’ve been impressed by the design as well!
The comfort is good, but of course the selling point is how long it will last. Even though the Mothercare car seat is very affordable and certainly at the budget-end of the market, it still only lasted us 12 months. That means we ended up spending (price comparison time again) £70 per year, or 0.191p per day.
For tiny babies the Every Stage does come with an 0+ infant insert sections, that coupled with the recline option makes it comfy for new babies.
However, the Every Stage is not travel system compatible, which means you can’t use it with a pushchair.
So if you’re thinking of buying it as a Group 0+ car seat bear that in mind.
Guide to child car seat laws and safety
What’s it like in rear-facing mode?
As with a number of these all-in-one seats, I can’t believe Arthur legs will have anywhere to go if we’re still trying to be safe and put him in the rear-facing position when he’s four-years-old (rear-facing seats are five times safer in a collision).
He’s a big, long baby (15kgs at 18 months) and already his legs can’t go straight because the rear seat is flush up against the car seat.
This is a compromise most of us make and probably why some of use simply turn the kids round to face the front a year or two earlier than we’d like to, because they simply can’t fit facing the back way.
If you’ve got a big baby they may start to look a bit squashed in the rear-facing position from around the two year mark, rather than the four years they optimistically tell us is possible.
How about forward-facing?
Facing forward for the later years the seat also works very well. It’s comfortbale, safe and the not-so-little-ones ‘ill also get a nice view because of the quite thick base.
For the toddlers facing back in the early years, they’ll probably not be able to see out, which is always useful if you’re trying to distract them.
How is strapping your little one in with the 5-point harness?
Arthur seemed comfortable in it and strapping him in with the standard five-point harness was simple.
After removing the 0+ infant insert sections, all it took was a grip and lift of the ‘Grow Together’ headrest, which nestled around his shoulders and head, and it fitted him like a glove.
This can be done with one hand, even in the car. There are also ‘Guard Surround Safety’ side-impact panels which you can snap out on either side of the seat to provide extra protection when it’s not in storage or a very tight space.
How is strapping your little one in with a seat belt?
The ‘Harness Hideaway’ compartments store the five-point harnesss once little Arthur is big enough (from three) to use the adult seat belt threaded through the child seat.
The adult seat belt has to be fitted once your child is in the seat and in reverse order to get them out again.
The adult seat belt goes across the child seat via a slit, which made it look a little uncomfortable at first, but as it rests against the five-point harness, which rests against your child, it actually works fine.
Is the Every Stage ISOFIX compatible?
No, it’s not. It’s Universal fit, which means the chair has to be installed in the car with an adult seat belt.
There are no isofix attachments, but there is are ‘Dual lock-off clips’ for the adult seat belt at the back of the child seat to secure it in place and stop you worrying they might slip out.
Cars with short seat belts, as ours was, should be fine with this seat if it’s not reclined.
Is the seat adjustable?
Yes, there are moving parts to allow for the expansion of the seat, but it all feels simple and strong.
Not at the expense of weight, either. It doesn’t seem any heavier than the little Ziba, which is impressive, given what it does.
Does the seat recline?
Yes, there are five recline positions. For older children facing forward, the first four provide flexibility. But for babies and toddlers, you’ll probably want the ‘5’ most reclined position if you’re trying to get them to sleep in the car.
You can do this when baby’s in the seat, when it’s rear-facing, although it takes a bit of arm-forcing to get to the level as it’s pushed up against the rear seat.
Fully reclined, the seat takes up quite a bit of room once they reach around 15kgs as the ‘Grow Together’ headrest will have to be pulled out a fair bit, making it quite long.
We rented a tiny city car and the front seat had to be pushed forward quite a bit to allow for a full recline. It worked, but if you’re both big and want your baby to sleep in the back, you’re going to need a bigger car.
Will the Joie Every Stage last the full 12 years?
It feels well-made, safe, and like it might just last 10 years! It’s also pretty easy to adjust height and recline even when your child’s in the car.
Thinking about it, does anything these days last for 10 years? If not, this seat will be well past its 1-year guarantee.
What’s in the box?
The seat comes out of the box, and remains, a single-piece seat. No detachable base here.
And psst! The box makes a great castle, which Arthur’s been enjoying making his first den in for over a month now!
Made For Mums Verdict:
With the Every Stage, Joie might just have created a benchmark for multi-stage car seats. It’s quite different to any other car seat available on the market. It’s innovative, safe, comfy but it still comes with an affordable ‘Joie’ price-tag.
The only reason we’ve not given this chair 5 out of 5 stars is because it’s not ISOFIX or i-Size compatible.
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