Joie is well-know for its range of car seats which deliver on safety without breaking the bank, along with pushchairs and innovative products like the Joie Kubbie Sleep Travel Cot (£126 on Amazon
). The Traver is a solid all-rounder Group 2/3 car seat, which sits smack in the middle of the price range for this group of car seats – and our reviewer actually found it to be a lot more comfortable and less restrictive than some of the more expensive seats in the class.
It’s adjustable – to a point – the headrest can be extended, as can the seat depth but apart from that it pretty much comes as you see it. However, the safety elements of this seat are top quality – with ‘Guard Surround Safety’ side impact panels that have extra protection on the outer shell – which gives an extra level of security for your child’s head, body and hips.
Joe tested the seat with his 3-and-a-half-year-old daughter in his car on short and long journeys.
We’ve been looking for a Group 2/3 car seat for a while, as our daughter has been just about ready to move into this car class for the last couple of months on the weight line.
We thought the Traver offered the best overall package when taking into account comfort, safety and price.
How does the Joie Traver compare to other seats?
The main thing I found that differentiates this seat from other more expensive offerings is the fact that the sides of the head support aren’t as restrictive as in other seats. While some parents will prefer big side ‘wings’, I actually think once your child gets bigger, they want to be able to look out of the window with ease and not feel like they’re restricted in the seat. Also as your child gets older, the time that they nap in the car reduces, so I felt this wasn’t such a consideration compared to baby/toddler seats.
Officially, you can use this seat up to 12 years old, and looking at it, I see no reason why you wouldn’t be able to. It’s less adjustable than other more expensive seats in the class – with only a depth adjustment on the seat, but again – I’m not sure you need multiple adjustment options when you have a child who is becoming more independent and sturdy.
How does the Joie Traver install in the car?
Easily! I’d be surprised if anyone struggled to fit this seat – the Isofix connectors spin into the base of the seat, which makes it easy to transport and then slot neatly into your car connector when needed.
The seat’s easy installation is backed up by parents we surveyed* – who scored the seat 9/10 or 10/10 for this aspect – as well as 34% of Halfords parents and 20% of Smyths Toys parents, who mentioned the ease of installation in their reviews of the seat.
You can also use the seat on cars that don’t have Isofix connectors by installing it using the normal car seat belt.
I found it to be pretty lightweight (just 5.6kg) so it’s incredibly easy to switch between vehicles if needed – an opinion shared by parents we surveyed and Smyths Toys parents.
Does it feel securely installed, once in place?
We used it with the Isofix connectors, and it feels completely secure and sturdy.
How easy is strapping your child into the Joie Traver?
Very easy – the route of the seatbelt is clearly signposted by red indicators that you thread it through.
What do you think of the design?
Comfortable, lightweight and simple. Its looks were also loved by Halfords parents.
Does the Joie Traver feel sturdy and safe?
Very – not only is it fixed via Isofix, but it also has side-impact air pockets: it means the seat has a 5-star rating for side-impact protection and 4 stars for front impact protection.
Parents – including 81% of Halfords parents and 41% of Smyths Toys parents – love the seat’s safety features.
Does the Joie Traver have different seat positions?
The seat depth has 3 settings – the chair itself doesn’t recline but the headrest is more adjustable with 7 different settings.
How do you adjust the height of the Joie Traver as your child grows?
You can adjust the depth and the headrest height – it is very easy to do, simply a case of pressing a button and moving the seat/headrest.
How comfortable is the Joie Traver for your child?
I found this more comfortable for her than many more expensive chairs in the group – there’s lots of padding and support for legs while the seat is roomy.
The way the belt comes round the child’s body is also in a comfortable position (as long as you’ve got the headrest set at the correct height).
Many parents, including those we surveyed, felt that the seat more than delivers on comfort, with 81% of Halfords parents giving it 5/5 for this, and 41% of Smyths Toys parents praising this aspect, too.
What are the Joie Traver’s main safety features?
Excellent side impact protection and Isofix connectors.
What do you think of the size and weight of the Joie Traver car seat?
This is a lightweight manoeuvrable seat that is very easy to lift and swap between cars if needed (for grandparents to borrow, for example) – it weighs just 5.6kg.
Is it easy to clean?
The car seat covers are machine washable and I found them easy to remove – a feature that has gone down well with Halfords and Smyths Toys parents.
Is it a stylish product?
In terms of style, it’s quite inoffensive looking, but it does look very neat and non bulky (despite the side impact protectors adding to its width).
Is the Joie Traver good value?
Yes, it’s incredibly good value compared to competitors – and 81% of Halfords parents, and a number of Smyths Toys parents, agree.
Where can I buy it?
How easy was the Joie Traver car seat to assemble?
Another tick – we found it incredibly easy to slot together thanks to the clear instructions.
It’s hard to find a weakness in this chair – especially considering it is among the cheapest group 2/3 car seats available. I would recommend it to other parents, as it’s comfortable and competitively priced with top-quality safety features – an impressive 96% of Halfords parents recommend it, too.
It is a good overall level of crash protection and is straightforward to use and swap between cars. Despite having no recline feature, it is easily adaptable to fit your growing child.
*MFM survey December 2019 of 564 users
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