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With a reputation for producing great quality baby essentials at an affordable price, Joie have created a lightweight i-Size car seat with both parents and baby in mind.
At just 3.25kg, it’s incredibly light, and is certainly one of the lightest models on the market.
Weightwise, it sits alongside the Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna, which, at almost double the price of the i-Snug, comes in at either 3kg or 3.1kg (depending on which colourway you choose), without the sun canopy, infant insert or other loose parts.
Suitable for use from birth up to 75cm – approximately 12 months – this rear-facing model is packed with safety features, making it a reassuring choice for that special first journey with your baby.
Mum of one, Tracey, lives in Kent with her partner and 5-month-old daughter, Florence. She tested the Joie i-Snug infant car seat and Isofix base in her Ford Focus.
What were your first impressions of the Joie i-Snug?
Described by Joie as a ‘weightless wonder’, the Joie i-Snug car seat does feel incredibly light. I tested the Coal version, which has a discreet and simple design, but it also comes in Grey Flannel. If you’re wanting something that looks a little fancier, its plain looks might not appeal, but all the finishings are good quality.
How do you install the Joie i-Snug?
I used the Isofix base (an additional £80), but you can also use a seatbelt. Fixing the car seat to the base was very smooth, in fact, it only took a second to secure – you simply click it onto the Isofix base.
There are two handy green spots that show once the car seat is correctly secured – they display red when it isn’t, so you can tell at a glance if you’ve locked the seat in place safely.
To release the car seat, you just pull the carrier up while squeezing the release button. It’s really seamless, with no jolts or wiggling to get the car seat out, giving you the best chance of keeping your baby asleep if they’ve nodded off.
It’s straightforward enough to fix the car seat in place using a seatbelt, with clear step-by-step instructions in the manual, as well as images stuck to the car seat itself to show you what to do, and what not to do.
How easy is it to install?
The car seat was ready to use, it was just the Isofix base that needed installing into the car, which was a very simple two-minute job and a similar process to others on the market.
The car seat isn’t bulky and fitted easily in a single seat in the back of our Ford Focus, so it would be an ideal choice for those with smaller cars.
Is the Joie i-Snug car seat’s 3-point harness easy to use?
There’s a 3-point harness with shoulder straps and a covered lower buckle, which you can tighten and loosen with a single, pull motion.
The thick straps and strap pads, however, did mean it was a little bit fiddly placing my daughter into the seat.
You have to pull the straps to their full length in order to place your baby down without laying on them, although I appreciate this is the case with the majority of car seats, especially those with a 3-point harness.
Annoyingly, I found that the lower buckle tended to fall into the seat where the baby needs to sit, meaning I then had to pull it out from under her and reposition her correctly.
It’s only a minor niggle and easy to rectify – once fastened in, she was relaxed and comfortable, which is the most important thing.
How robust does the car seat feel?
On picking up the Joie i-Snug and feeling how light it was, I was initially concerned it might not be as durable or as good quality as other car seats available.
But despite its weight it appeared to be pretty robust and it does have some excellent safety features that made it feel particularly secure.
What safety features does the Joie i-Snug include?
Joie enjoys a great reputation when it comes to car seat safety, with many buyers on retail sites like Argos and Boots rating it for quality and trustworthiness. One safety feature that really impressed was the Tri-Protect headrest, offering 3 layers of protection, inside the side wing and the infant pillow.
The headrest is really padded, and the thick straps mean my baby felt securely fastened in and well protected. I would have no hesitation using this car seat from birth because of the padding, however it did make me wonder if it would be too tight for a larger or older baby.
How heavy is the Joie i-Snug?
Being lightweight is really is where the Joie i-Snug comes into its own, a claim backed up by it’s stats and rave reviews on Boots and Argos for its easy-to-carry portability. At just 3.25kg it’s one of the lightest i-Size car seats available, with only the Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna (£179) at between 3-3.1kg (depending on the colour) coming closer.
Other popular i-Size approved car seats for newborns, like the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus (£199), weighing 4.55kg, and the Britax Baby-Safe 2 (£200), weighing 4.8kg, are noticeably heavier.
I could comfortably carry the Joie i-Snug car seat with my baby inside, using just one hand due to its light weight. I’d say this would definitely be a two-hand job by now, if it was any heavier.
Is the car seat big enough for a growing child?
My daughter is 5 months old and it was a snug fit. Coming in at H:57xW:43.5xD:65cm, Joie says it’s suitable up to approximately 12 months but I’m not sure if it would be a comfortable fit for that long for most babies.
How comfortable did your baby find the Joie i-Snug car seat?
My daughter looked very comfortable and in a relaxed position owing to the car seat’s curved base – even at 5-months-old, she didn’t appear hunched or squashed at all. The curved base also allows for rocking, which is a nice feature and really adds to the feeling that Joie has thought through the design elements, keeping the practical functions that parents need front of mind.
Does it recline?
The Joie i-Snug doesn’t recline, but I felt it held my baby in a safe and comfortable position regardless.
Does the Joie i-Snug car seat rotate?
For a car seat this lightweight, unsurprisingly the Joie i-Snug doesn’t rotate.
Incorporating a rotate function would certainly up the weight, making the car seat less easy to carry around and the majority of rotating car seats can’t be used a part of a travel system. If you’re after a rotating car seat, both the i-Size certified Joie i-Spin 360 (£280 with base included) and Silver Cross Motion (£350 with base included) are MadeForMums Best Buys 2020.
Does it have a sun hood?
Yes, the i-Snug has a fantastic retractable sun canopy. The UPF 50+ canopy comes a good distance over your baby, providing excellent protection from the sun.
According to Joie, it’s also water repellent, and I think it would provide decent protection for your baby until you find your rain cover.
Does the Joie i-Snug have a multi-position handle?
It does, and one thing I particularly liked about the ergonomic carry handle was how quiet it was to move up and down. This is especially useful if your baby has fallen asleep and you want to pull the handle up to pick up the car seat without waking them, or you want to put the handle down to get your baby out – it makes barely any noise.
I have used other car seats where the click of the handle locking into place is so loud that your baby wakes before you’ve even tried removing the carrier from the car, which is never a good thing!
How easy is the Joie i-Snug to clean?
Very easy! All the covers and inserts are machine washable. Music to a busy parent’s ears.
Is the Joie i-Snug compatible with car seats to make a travel system?
Out of all of the Joie car seats currently on the market, the i-Snug is compatible with the most pushchairs, with one Boots buyer mentioning how easily it fits onto their buggy.
Of course, there are many buggies from the Joie range to pair with, but with pushchair adapters you can also use the i-Snug with Silver Cross, Uppababy, Mamas & Papas, iCandy and Bugaboo models, among many more.
There’s a handy compatibility guide on the Joie website if you want to check before you buy.
Is the Joie i-Snug car seat good value for money?
At only £90, it’s well worth the money. Yes, it’s not an especially fancy-looking car seat, but it makes up for it by including those things you might not realise you need until you start using it, like the large sun hood, rocking base and secure padding.
The lower price point means it would also be a great option if you needed a second car seat.
What is worth knowing before buying the Joie i-Snug?
The lightweight nature of the car seat is its main selling point, but I do feel this comes at the expense of the size of the i-Snug.
It’s certainly compact, and I’m not quite sure it would last the full 12 months it states, especially if you have a big baby to begin with.
How does it compare to similar car seats?
|Product name||Weight (Kg)||Dimensions||RRP (£)||Base included|
|Joie i-Snug||3.25||H57xW43.5xD65cm||90||No - additional £80|
|Babyzen by BeSafe YOYO||4.95||H42xW38xD68cm||210||No - additional £159|
|Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna||From 3||H59.8xW44xD69cm||179||No - additional £139|
|Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus||4.55||H56xW44xD67cm||199||No - additional £199|
Where can I buy the Joie i-Snug?
An excellent value car seat, that wowed us with its featherlight weight. It offers all the essential features you’d need and expect, without any gimmicks or flashy looks, so is ideal if you’re on a budget or are looking to purchase a second car seat.
It doesn’t have a rotating function, which many parents find useful for this stage, and larger babies may find it snug as they approach their first birthday, but overall this is an excellent value first seat.
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Dimensions & Weight
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 12 months|
|Child weight||Up to 13kg|
|Child Height||Up to 75cm|
|Car seat installation||Isofix base|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Positions of carry handle||Multi-position|
|Removeable cover for washing||Yes|
|Side crash protection||Yes|