Relative newcomer on the scene Joie was started by a ‘group of friends and parents’ to make a range of kiddie products that are ‘better, safer and stronger’ – and aim to bring the ‘joy/Joie’ into baby rearing.
The award-winning UK brand’s latest car seat is the Joie Tilt, which claims to take your baby from birth and beyond – beyond being four-years-old.
Babies can ride rear-facing up to 18kg (approximately three-years-old) then swap to forward facing.
The Tilt, as you may have guessed, boasts four recline/tilt positions; one ‘sleeping tilt’ when rear-facing and three when the chair is facing forward.
Doing battle with the likes of the Britax Dualfix (£350+), Cybex Sirona (£375+), Mamas & Papas Vito (£150-£180) and Nania Driver (£65-£85), the Group 0+/1 chair comes fresh off the heels of Joie’s ground breaking i-Anchor and Stages car seats.
What’s in the box?
- Joie Tilt car seat and instructions.
Any additional extras?
How is installing the Joie Tilt into your car?
One thing you should know about the seat is that it can’t be used with ISOFIX, it fits using a standard three point seat belt, as it reclines off its own base.
However, the seat does come with colour-coded installation paths for the seat belt, they are well marked and easy to follow – unlike the instructions.
The instructions are unnecessarily hard to understand and took my partner and I about an hour to get our heads around.
The diagrams didn’t match up with the text and that wasn’t helped by the fact it’s written in multiple other languages on other parts of the page.
OK, so I gave up and let him work it out, he got it installed eventually; but it took longer than we thought it should.
Once you get it in the car, the Tilt has a ‘Dual lock-off’ device, which clamps to the car’s seat belt to give it an extra safety element and makes it more solid and secure and instantly gave me added peace of mind.
How easy is it to get in and out of the car?
It’s very portable and light, in fact it’s only 6.1kg. It’s no problem to carry and it won’t break your back.
It’s good for taking in and out of cars, which my partner and I did between both of ours.
How is strapping your little one in?
It’s tricky trying to figure out how to get the adjustable harness to the correct height as you have to slide the straps in and out of the loops at the back, so it’s takes a bit of guess work and a lot of bending.
But once we figured out how to adjust the harness it was easy enough and the 5-point harness feels really secure and gives our daughter good stability when in the chair.
The harness is easy to elongate and clip together with good padding. The problem is the 5-point harness doesn’t look like it will grow with Lyla. She is under a year old and already she’s nearly on the top rung of the shoulder harness, and there’s only one more step higher it can go!
Fingers crossed the harness will fit when she’s three, especially as it’s recommend to 18kg.
The chair is being sold on its reclining capabilities, tell us about them.
There are four tilt positions in total, one when the chair is rear-facing and three when it’s forward.
When in the rear-facing position the seat has a ‘sleeping’ tilt, which isn’t a lie-flat mode, but it’s ideal for smaller babies as it enables them to sleep comfortably without having heads bobbing all over the place.
Once your baby is over 9kg, you can use it forward facing, but when you switch the chair into the forward position the differences between the three remaining tilts are literally unnoticeable, which is very disappointing.
The motion also becomes quite clunky as you push the lever with one hand and push the car seat down/up with the other.
What’s better rear or forward-facing?
Aside from the poor tilt, forward facing is much sturdier and feels strapped in well; the belt zig zags across the back of the car seat, and it uses the clamp and the ‘dual lock-off’ device mentioned earlier.
The rear facing isn’t so solid. The base feels a bit wobbly and the seat belt rests right across the front of the seat and becomes intrusive when you try and get your baby in and out of the car. This makes it annoying and a hassle to get our daughter in and out over the belt.
How comfortable is the seat?
Very! Lyla seems comfy and cosy when in the Tilt, I think the padded sides and bottom would make it snug for any newborn baby.
Saying that, the adjustable headrest, sold as being one of the comfort-inducing aspects of the chair is really a padded insert that can be removed from the neck area. I would have preferred a headrest that can actually move.
Will it last the advertised four years?
As said earlier, my daughter is close to outgrowing the 5-point harness already and she is just one, so it doesn’t look good for the harness.
The seat itself looks pretty narrow for older kids, but there is still room to move and my daughter fits in the chair well.
Is the car seat easy to clean?
Yes, it has removable, washing machine friendly pads.
I think the Joie Tilt is good value for money, safety conscious and stylish, but the fact it only tilts slightly when forward facing is a big negative for me. I was expecting a dramatic recline which would have been great because Lyla always falls asleep in the car, but it didn’t deliver.
However, I’d still recommend the Joie Tilt because it’s a decent, comfy, purse-friendly car seat – even though it’s not as snooze-friendly for older babies as I’d have liked.