Following on from its award-winning Stages car seat, Joie introduced the Steadi – another car seat which can be used rearward-facing up until your child is 18kg (approx. aged four). The Steadi, a group 0+/1 car seat, is slightly easier to install than the Stages and lighter too (7.52kg compared the Stages 8.86kg) making it easier to lift between cars.
It’s also narrower at 42.5cm, compared to the Stages 58cm width. The Steadi is marginally cheaper than the Stages to account for the fact that it can only be used up to four years old, compared to the Stages, which is suitable up to 7 years old.
Laura is the mum of two boys, and a big fan of the Joie Every Stage used by her 4-year-old son. She tested the Joie Steadi with 18-month-old son.
It may seem superficial but how a car seat looks inside our car is important. I want it to look stylish, and I wasn’t taken by the red tones (described by the manufacturer as ‘Merlot’) that our Steadi came in. But it is also available in ‘Moonlight’ – shades of black and grey.
At first glance, I said ‘ooh! Looks comfy’ but on touch, the padding isn’t as substantial as it first appears on the sides of the headrest where a child rests their head to sleep. But it does come with extra padding for infants.
What age is this car seat suitable for?
It’s suitable from birth up to 18kg (approximately 4 years old) and the big advantage of the Steadi is your child can sit in the safer rear-facing position up to 18kg.
However, I’m not sure how an older child would fit their legs comfortably in the rear facing position. But it was perfect for my 18-month-old.
How does the Joie Steadi compare to other seats in this category?
It’s similar to other car seats like the Britax Römer Dualfix i-Size, the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus and the Joie Stages, in that they all allow your child the safety of remaining rearward facing up to approx. age of 4. But, unlike the Britax Römer Dualfix i-Size and the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus, the Joie Steadi doesn’t have an isofix base and unfortunately it doesn’t have the Britax Römer Dualfix’s handy 360-degree swivel base.
Unlike the Maxi-Cosi Pepple Plus, the Steadi can’t be used as part of a travel system. But when you consider the price difference, the Steadi is a far more affordable option for anyone looking for a car seat that allows your child to remain rearward facing for longer.
The Britax Römer Dualfix i-Size costs in the region of £325 and the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus requires you to also buy the 2waypearl base in order to use the car seat rearward facing up to four years old. This brings the total cost for the Maxi-Cosy Pebble Plus into the region of £600, compared to the more modest sum of £100 or under for the Steadi.
The Joie Stages is probably the best comparison in terms of price range (costing around £100-£130). Both are suitable from birth, but the Joie Stages is suitable up until your child is 7 years old, unlike the Joie Steadi which is only suitable up to age four. However, the Steadi is lighter at 7.25kg, compared to the Stages weight of 8.86kg.
How does the Joie Steadi install in the car, and how easy is it?
Another big advantage of the Steadi is how easy it is to install. It isn’t an isofix car seat, so you secure it using the seat belt.
- For rear-facing position you simply pass the belt through the space in the base of the car seat and click it into the buckle
- Then you open the locking clip on the side of the car seat and insert the seat belt through it, pulling to tighten before you lock the clip
- Above the locking clip is a blue rearward safety slot, so you pull the belt through that and then check the car seat is securely in place before you’re good to go
It’s even more simple to install forward-facing.
- Again, you weave the belt through the base and click into the buckle
- Then you pull it through the locking clip
- But this time you don’t need to thread it through the blue safety slot above the locking clip
Does the Joie Steadi feel securely installed, once in place?
It did feel very secure, more so in the forward-facing position I felt. But personally, I always feel more at ease with an isofix car seat. Though if you’re going to be swapping the car seat between cars (or needing to get it into a taxi) then it’s really quick and easy to whip this car seat out of one car and install it in another.
It also means that if your mum, a childminder or relative is using your car seat, it’s not a big complicated procedure of explaining how to install the car seat.
How is strapping your child into the seat?
As the harness and the headrest are connected, to adjust the straps you have to adjust the head height by pressing on the lever at the back of the headrest. I really like the simple 3-point harness as it makes it quick and easy to secure my son in the seat when he’s reluctant to get in and starts wriggling.
My little boy loves to contort his body to squeeze himself free of the straps, so what I love about the Steadi is the straps have a rubbery strip on the inside which makes it difficult for him to pull his arms free.
What do you think of the design?
It’s designed to be left in a car or easily transferred between cars. It’s not part of a travel system and therefore doesn’t have a handle. But although it looks bulky and sturdy, it’s surprisingly lightweight 7.52kg.
It’s secured using the seat belt and as manufacturers advise securing the seat before placing your child in, it means the seat belt gets in the way a bit when you’re trying to put your child in. But I didn’t find this a major problem with my 18-month-old.
Does the Joie Steadi feel sturdy and safe?
It does feel sturdy and surprising secure considering it’s just fitted using the seat belt. But personally, I always feel more secure with an isofix base.
Are there different seat positions?
There are 4 recline positions. One whilst rearward facing, and 3 recline positions once in forward facing mode. It’s easy to recline using the lever at the base of the seat and the position indicator along the side.
I’d prefer if it reclined back a little further as my son tends to drop his head forward.
How easy is it to adjust the seat as your child grows?
This is another great feature of the Joie Steadi, you don’t have to bother with rethreading the harness as your child grows. You squeeze the head support adjustment lever on the back of the seat and pull up or push down the head support until it snaps into position.
The harness and headrest heights adjust simultaneously with one handed click of the lever. This is a particularly great feature if children of different ages (birth to 4 years) are going to be using the car seat (say if you’re picking up a niece, nephew or a friend’s child).
How comfortable is it for your child?
The base, sides and harness are well padded. But I’d like to see more padding around the sides of the headrest for when my little boy falls asleep. I’d also prefer if it reclined just a little more as he tends to drop his head forward. But it’s a good height for my 18-month-old to be able to look out the window and he obviously finds it comfy as when we have it out of the car and in the kitchen, he goes and sits in it.
With regards to leg room, I’m not sure how comfortable it would be for a larger child in rear-facing position when travelling on a long journey.
Tell us about its main safety features.
Rear-facing car seats are known to be 5 times safer than forward facing seats in a frontal collision. So a major benefit of the Steadi is that your child can remain rear facing up to 18kg (approx. 4 years old).
The Steadi features side impact protection to protect your child’s head and hips in the rare case of a side collision. It comes with extra padded head and body support for infants.
What do you think of the size and weight of the car seat?
Considering its bulk, it’s very light at 7.52kg but it doesn’t have a handle, so you have to carry with both hands. I make regular trips over to Ireland, but I certainly wouldn’t be taking this on the plane with me.
Is the Joie Steadi easy to clean?
It has removable, washable, fabrics for easy cleaning.
What feature do you like most in the Joie Steadi?
The biggest selling point for me is its ease of installing. It’s super quick and easy to transfer between cars.
Is it a stylish product?
It’s not unstylish but it’s not cutting edge either. I’d like if it came in the same colour range option as the Stages.
What’s in the box?
Car seat, additional support cushions for infant, an instruction manual and a car fit guide.
How easy was the Joie Steadi to assemble?
It comes fully assembled so you can put it straight into the car without having to mess about with threading the harness first. I thought the instructions in the manual looked pretty straightforward but I’m terrible at following picture instructions, so I went online and followed a video instead. But as far as car seats go, this could not be easier to secure in your car.
Which type of child/family is this car seat best for?
It’s suitable for a safety conscious family who wish for their child to be rear-facing for as long as possible. The Steadi’s light weight and ease of installing makes it most suitable for a household where there are two cars and the seat regularly needs to be moved between both.
Would you recommend this car seat?
Yes. If you want a car seat that’s easy to install and transfer between cars, that feels secure, is reasonably comfortable and doesn’t cost a bomb, then the Joie Steadi is a good buy.
If you’re torn between this and the Axkid Minikid, which should you choose?
The Joie Steadi and Axkid Minikid are pretty similar in that they are both installed using the seat belt, both allow your child to sit rearward-facing for longer and with both it’s easy to adjust the head-height and harness as your child grows.
But the Axkid Minikid is suitable up to approx. 6 years of age, it’s more stylish and it offers 5 recline positions compared to the Steadi’s 4 positions.
Width-wise, they’ll both take up the same amount of space in your car (the Axkid Minikid is 44cm wide, and the Steadi is 42.5cm. However, the Axkid Minikid is hefty at 11.4kg (compared to the Steadi’s 7.52kg), which might be worth considering if you’ll be shifting it between cars.
But an important thing to consider here is the price difference, as the Axkid Minikid retails at around £350 (£325 on Amazon), compared to around £100 for the Steadi.
Is the Joie Steadi good value?
Yes. With everything from comfort, safety features and ease of installing, considered, the Joie Steadi is good value.
Where can I buy it?
You can buy it from Amazon, Kiddie Kingdom, Uber Kids and Argos
I can see little to distinguish the Joie Steadi from the Joie Stages 0+/1/2 aside from the fact that it’s lighter and slightly easier to install. But the Steadi is only suitable up to age 4, whereas the Stages is suitable up to age 7, so the Stages seems better value for money. However, if you did buy the Stages, you’d still have to later buy the next group car seat.
So, for the sake of around £50 more I’d recommend buying the Joie Every Stage, which is suitable up to age 12 and can also be used rear-facing up to the approx. age 4. It also has the benefit of being isofix.
But if you’re going to be transferring your seat between cars regularly the Steadi is probably the best option for your needs. It’s a good quality car seat, that’s easy to install has lots of safety features and it comes at a good price.
MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.