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The i-Venture is the latest i-Size certified car seat from Joie, a well-known brand leading the way in producing car seats that adhere to the latest safety regulations. The company has a total of 7 i-Size compliant seats and the i-Venture is a plush, cushioned car seat suitable from birth that offers extended rearward facing up to 4 years.
i-Size car seats are at the top of their game in safety, complying to the most recent regulations. As such, they are generally priced higher than car seats that are not i-Size compliant. The i-Venture’s price is mid-range in the i-Size market, but it’s worth noting that it has to be used with a Joie i-Base Advance Isofix Base, at a cost of £125, slightly reducing its value for money.
Safety is key in the i-Venture and it’s packed with smart design features to ensure a totally careful, yet completely comfortable ride for your child.
Tara is from Hampshire and is a first-time mum to 7-month-old daughter Elodie. She tested the Joie i-Venture in its rear-facing mode in her Mazda CX-5 on both short and longer trips.
What were your first impressions of the Joie i-Venture?
It seemed large and a little awkward to move but once fitted, it had a really good seating position. However the seat is not travel system compatible and stays permanently fixed in your car, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
I loved how much space Elodie had and it sits high in the car so even in its rear-facing position Elodie can both see out the window and easily interact with anyone travelling in the back seat with her, which she loved!
What age is this car seat suitable for?
The i-Venture is a baby and toddler car seat that’s approved for use from birth until your child reaches 105cm in height (18.5kg in weight), which is usually around 4 years old in both the rear and forward-facing positions.
The seat can be forward facing when your child reaches 76cm, approximately 15 months, though research proves that rear-facing provides the best protection in the event of an accident.
It comes with 3 padded newborn inserts, which snap together in a variety of configurations for a custom fit so you can ensure your little one is snug. I tested it with my taller than average 7-month-old in its rear-facing mode and it was great, but it looks as though it would be comfy and versatile right up to age 4.
How do other i-Size car seats compare to the Joie i-Venture?
The i-Size car seat market is rapidly-expanding and as such there are a number of products to rival the i-Venture’s offering.
One standout feature of the i-Venture is that it offers extended rear-facing up to 4 years, which has been shown to improve protection for your child in the event of a crash. However increasingly we’re seeing i-Size extended-rear facing seats that also offer a swivel feature, which the i-Venture is missing. One of the main benefits is that this makes it easier to take your child in and out of the car.
For example you can see this in the Joie i-Spin Safe which is slightly more expensive at £280, but does come with an in-built base unit. There’s also the GB Vaya (£340), which is a sleek, contemporary, slightly more expensive alternative to the i-Venture. It also has an in-built base unit, which while is arguably easier to fit, if you need to switch the seat between cars often, they tend to make the seats bigger and significantly heavier. If you don’t want a heavy seat but still want the benefits of extended rear-facing, the i-Venture may be a better pick for you.
If you’re after an i-Size car seat that’s compatible as a travel system, the Joie i-Level (£249 on Amazon) and Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus (£199 on Amazon) are both good options. While they offer more flexibility for travelling with your baby, bear in mind they have a much shorter lifespan – the Joie i-Level is only suitable for babies up to 15 months and the Maxi Cosi, 12 months. The Joie i-Venture offers more longevity but can’t be used with a pushchair.
How do you install the car seat?
This car seat pairs with i-Base Advance Isofix Base It’s very simple to fit – it has colour indicators to confirm you have installed the base, support leg and seat correctly.
Before you attach the child seat, you adjust the recline to the seventh position. The base clicks in and the indicator turns green.
Once your baby is in the car seat, make sure you pull out the Guard Surround Safety Panel closest to the door before you set off as this offers extra protection in the event of a side-impact crash.
Does the Joie i-Venture feel secure once it’s installed?
Yes, it is very secure. There are clear instructions about installing it safely and indicators which turn green giving you peace of mind that it’s properly fitted.
The i-Base Advance also ensures a very stable fit to the car. It’s a well-made, quality product and it feels very robust. In the handful of online reviews there are of this seat, the reliable, sturdy feel of it is what shone through the most.
How easy is it to strap your child into the Joie i-Venture?
It did take a little while to suss out how to extend the straps at first. There is a lever at the front of the car seat which you have to push down while loosening each strap.
However, a word of warning – we initially made the mistake of trying to pull the entire strap as we did with our old car seat and it just wouldn’t budge but on closer inspection, there is actually a double layer of straps so you need to make sure you pull only the top layer.
The harness is well designed and there is extra padding around the crotch and shoulders for added comfort. Strapping Elodie in was very easy. Even though it is in a fixed position in the car, there is plenty of space. The straps tighten smoothly and she feels very secure.
How comfortable is the Joie i-Venture for your child?
Thanks to its various recline positions, height-adjustable headrest and newborn inserts, the Joie i-Venture is very comfortable. The car seat is spacious and it is well padded with soft material. Almost all online reviews for the i-Venture compliment the seat on its comfort – with one reviewer even saying it’s a struggle to get their baby to come out as it’s so snug!
When Elodie fell asleep, I felt she was more comfortable and supported when the seat was reclined rather than in its most upright position but it’s easy to change the seat position on the go which is ideal for longer journeys!
How many recline positions are there on the Joie i-Venture?
There are 7 recline positions when the seat is both rearward and forward-facing and it is easy to adjust when your baby is either in or out (perfect for when they’ve fallen asleep and you want to recline them). You simply pull a latch under the front of the car seat to tilt it up or down.
What is the headrest like?
I particularly liked the cleverly-designed 8-position Grow Together headrest. You simply pull up a latch using one hand and it simultaneously adjusts the headrest and harness, which means you don’t have to rethread the straps whenever you want to change the height.
Are there any additional features for comfort?
Joie say their design uses temperature controlling fabrics that are loose-knit and moisture-wicking so sensitive skin can breathe and that there is ventilation in the car seat shell to help keep your child cool. We only tested the car seat so far in winter weather but Elodie got particularly hot in our old car seat so it would give me peace of mind if she did stay cooler.
Is there anything the seat is missing?
A minor quibble is that Elodie was squinting in the winter sun as there is no sun canopy, so our plan is to invest in some sun shades for the windows to keep the sun out of her eyes.
How easy is it to switch from rearward to forward facing on the Joie i-Venture?
So easy. You simply press a quick release button – there’s not even any need to reinstall.
What are the main safety features of the Joie i-Venture?
The Joie i-Venture meets the i-Size standard and has many safety features. The fact you can keep your child in the safer rear facing position and comfortably up to 18.5kg or approximately 4 years old is a big selling point. Research proves that riding rear facing reduces the risk of injury to underdeveloped necks and heads so it’s a great feature.
The seat also boasts a Tri-Protect headrest with 3 layers of foam including patented Intelli-Fit memory foam for optimal side impact protection. Guard Surround Safety panels lock outward to offer extra energy absorption and slow the force of impact in the event of a side impact crash. It also has a reinforced steel inner shell designed for structural strength and resilience.
How big is the car seat?
Compared to a Group 0+ seat, like my previous Maxi Cosi Pebble, the Joie i-Venture does look extremely large and is much heavier – it’s 7.05kg, while the Pebble is just 4.1kg.
But when considered how much longer it can be used for – until age 4 – its size is completely justified, as a Group 0+ seat generally only lasts until your baby is 12-18 months. The seat is not travel system compatible, which means you can’t attach it to your pushchair and so it’s really designed to stay in your car. There is no carry handle so it is quite tricky to move around and I wouldn’t want to swap it between cars frequently.
Compared to other competing i-Size car seats, the size of the i-Venture (H68.5 x W43 x L40.5cm) is very similar – it’s slightly taller than the both the GB Vaya and the Cybex Sirona, but they’re all the same width and its length is shorter.
Is the Joie i-Venture easy to clean?
The material is very easy to wipe down and the covers are removable and machine washable at 30°C in case of any accidents.
Do you like the look of it?
Yes, the design is very modern and it comes in three different colours – ember, dark pewter and deep sea.
What’s in the box?
- 1 x car seat
- 1 x instruction manual
Are there any accessories available?
The Isofix base, the i-Base Advance is sold separately and costs £125. The base is also compatible with Group 0+ car seat, the Joie i-Snug for anyone who wants an i-Size infant car seat that’s travel style compatible.
What do you like most about the Joie i- Venture?
I love the fact the seat is so spacious and you can adjust it to fit your child perfectly. It’s great for taller babies! I like its seat position too. Elodie is up high and can interact with her surroundings which prevent her getting upset or bored.
The safety credentials are without a doubt its best feature though. As a parent you need to feel reassured that a car seat will keep your baby as safe as possible and the i-Venture does exactly that. The fact it’s i-Size certified gives me peace of mind that she’s as protected as possible.
Is it good value?
It costs £350 with the Isofix base, so it certainly isn’t cheap, but is a mid-range price for an i-Size compliant seat. It also cannot be used with a pushchair, so you would have to buy another seat if you wanted that function. However, given its impeccable comfort and safety features, and that you will use it for 4 years, it’s good value in my opinion.
Where can you buy it?
The Joie i-Venture is a well-made, robust and comfortable i-Size car seat. Designed to grow with your child from birth to 4 years, this sturdy seat is built to last. It’s great for a family in need of a comfy, super safe seat who can keep it fixed in one car.
While it’s not the cheapest you can buy, its excellent safety features, second-to-none comfort and other smart extras like multiple recline options and a multi-height headrest, make it a fantastic buy.
Just make sure you check it’s compatible with your car and that the rest of the family have enough room too, as it does take up a lot of space!
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Dimensions & Weight
|Weight||7.05kg – seat weight|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child Height||Up to 105cm|
|Car seat installation||Isofix base and isofix connectors|
|Removeable cover for washing||Yes|
|Side crash protection||Yes|
|Height adjustible headrest||Yes|