The Joie i-Anchor Advance is the updated version of the no longer sold Joie i-Anchor car seat, which I have been using for the last two years.
It is one of the new wave of i-Size car seats to hit the market since the legislation was introduced three years ago. It is designed to be used from birth (or 40cm tall) to around four years (105cm), with a maximum weight of 18.5kg.
i-Size car seats are safer because they:
The Joie i-Anchor Advance can be used rearward facing until four years old (in theory). It can also be used as a forward-facing seat from around 15 months to four years.
It is an important contender in the car seat market for all these reasons. Rearward facing seats can be five times safer than forward facing seats in a frontal collision.
As a Group 0+/1 car seat that can be used rearward facing to age 4, the Joie i-Anchor Advance is up against seats including the Jané Protect (£169.99), Recaro Zero.1 i-Size seat (£399), although this does rotate and includes the base, and the Graco Milestone (£178.99), which lasts for around 12 years.
The Joie i-Anchor Advance is available from John Lewis, Kiddies Kingdom and Amazon.
So what’s the difference between the Joie i-Anchor and the new Joie i-Anchor Advance car seat?
Looking at a picture, there doesn’t seem to be anything different, but the improvements on this model were apparent as soon as I took it out of the box.
The upholstery is better quality and the newborn insert snug and ergonomic. The new seat (6.7kg) is also much lighter than its predecessor (15.7kg) and of course, the older i-Anchor version can’t be bought anymore.
How does it install in the car? What kind of base does it fit into?
The car seat has to be used with Joie’s i-Base Advance (£114.99), which slots into the car using ISOFIX connectors.
How to install a car seat
The accompanying i-Base Advance is broadly the same as the previous model’s, but seems a little lighter and easier to install.
In the box are included a couple of simple guides to clip over your car’s ISOFIX bars for protection and guidance, and they seem to do the trick. The release catches are also better designed and require less brute force to use.
How much space does it take up in the car?
When the seat is in a rearward facing position it takes up a lot of room (in my Skoda Octavia VRS anyway) – so you can’t have a passenger in front of it with really long legs!
How comfortable is the i-Anchor Advance for your baby?
I can sometimes get a bit panicky when my baby is in a car seat: I am constantly looking out for that terrifying neck loll in the mirror. But my 9-week-old looks totally snug and secure in the iAnchor Advance. There’s plenty of padding, and the removable infant support (newborn insert) which can be removed as my child grows.
Do you think the car seat will last the full four years?
It will do forward-facing – I use the older model with my nearly-three-year-old, but his legs have long outgrown the space he has facing backwards, and he’s quite petite.
But, much like its predecessor, this seat won’t fit a four-year-old rearward facing, despite the claim.
Do car seats expire?
What did you think of the harness and buckle?
A gripe for me with the Joie i-Anchor Advance is that the buckle strap is really fiddly. My 9-week-old Sammy always cries when I put him in the car – irrespective of the car seat – so trying to buckle him up while he’s seriously furious with me for daring to leave the house is pretty stressful.
The buckle takes maybe 30 seconds longer than ideal to attach, and that’s 30 extra seconds of a baby screaming in my face. Perhaps I’ll get used to the new buckle, but it does seem a lot more fiddly than the previous model.
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Tell us about the Grow Together multi-height headrest and harness.
Both the headrest and the harness are adjustable so, when you eventually get your baby clipped in, you can pull the straps to tighten or move the headrest to make them comfortable. They adjust together with one hand, and the headrest has been designed to have triple layers of security.
How easy is it to clean the car seat?
The covers are easy to remove and are machine washable at 30C.
How portable is the Joie i-Anchor Advance and can it be used as part of a travel system?
The i-Anchor Advance isn’t portable, but it’s not designed to be. It’s a car seat that stays in the car. You can of course, unlatch it and move it from one car to another, but it’s heavy, as you’d expect and you’re not that likely to move it around.
It’s worth noting that the car seat also isn’t travel system compatible (i.e. you can’t plug it into a buggy).
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How heavy is the car seat?
It weighs 6.7kg, and the base is almost 8kg as well.
How many recline positions are there? How easy/difficult is it to recline?
There are seven recline positions and these are easy to work out if, like me, you don’t love reading instructions.
What’s in the box?
- Joie i-Anchor Advance car seat
- Newborn insert
- Rebound bar
- ISOFIX guides
Joie i-Base Advance (£114.99)
Good value for money for a car seat that can be used from birth to four years. Ergonomic design. But isn’t ideal for very young babies simply because the seat can’t be removed and used as part of a travel system.
Looking for more car seats…
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