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Joie is a UK company that makes car seats, travel system, pushchairs, high chairs and travel cots. The company, a “group of friends and parents” claims to make products that are, “better, safer, stronger”.
Following on from its popular and revolutionary i-Anchor chair (the first UK government certified i-Size car seat) the Trillo is last in a five car seat line-up that accommodates newborns, toddlers, almost teens and everything in between.
This Group 2/3 car seat comprises a booster seat fixed onto an adjustable backrest.
The booster can be used on its own but the high back backrest with side wings and head support gives protection against side impacts.
The Trillo has been sent to do combat with other Group 2/3 seats, it is suitable from approximately four years to 11 and has some pretty stiff competition on the market, like the Cybex Solution Q-Fix, Britax Kidfix XP SICT and Diono Cambria.
How is installing the Trillo in your car?
Fitting this seat is easy peasy. In fact you could throw away the instructions, although they may be useful for grandparents, so maybe hold onto them.
The booster and the backrest come separately in the box. To assemble the seat simply fit the feet at the bottom of the backrest into the holes to the rear of the seat.
Fitting the two pieces together does require that you have the back rest flat on the ground so that the feet fit secure into the holes – there are ridges that hold it firmly in position.
Once together the red, colour-coded installation paths on the shoulder and under the arm rests make securing your little one with the three-point seatbelt pretty foolproof.
Although when under pressure from a three-year-old, anyone can be made to feel like a fool, but what’s great about it is that unlike some seats of this kind, the belt doesn’t tend to twist in the shoulder fixing.
Is the height adjustment of the seat as easy as Joie promise?
Yes, it is. Adjusting the height of the seat really can be done with one hand – just squeeze the button at the back of the seat and pull up.
It is worth mentioning that if the seat is in the lowest position it’s easier to do this without your child in the seat rather than grappling behind their head.
Is the backrest flexible?
Yes, the backrest has seven positions, which is impressive and is the most I have encountered in a Group 2/3 car seat.
When the backrest in its highest position the seat is 83cm from the base of the booster seat, which certainly makes it suitable for a child entering their teenage years.
To be able to extend the backrest so extensively means that this car seat will last for a long time, as long as your eight years of heavy wear doesn’t take too much toll.
One thing to remember is that all seats of this type detach if you carry them by the backrest. And whilst this is bound to happen, it’s the kind of thing that you forget every time and that can be annoying.
Putting the backrest and booster together does require a little precision and patience but again, this is simply to ensure that the seat is totally secure.
How comfortable is the chair?
There’s a good level of padding on the backrest and on the wings, which means that when your little ones nods off there’s decent cushioning for their weary head.
In my experience it’s hard for children to get really comfy in most car seats of this type, as there can be so much space for them to bounce around and they are sitting straight for the most part.
However, for Poppy, my oldest daughter who is five-years-old, she loved the fold out cups as both a novelty and a handy addition – they were most useful for storing her favourite plastic tat of the day.
It’s worth noting here that although some Group 2/3 car seats are said to be suitable from three years of age, the Trillo specifically states that it’s for children from four-years-old.
Tell us about the safety features?
The Trillo is ECE R44/04 approved (current EU car seat standard) and Joie takes safety testing very serious and has its own government certified crash test facility.
The company also states that each product is put through extreme testing, for car seats this is a 50kmph crash test.
In addition to the side impact that is in the shell of the Trillo there are additional side impact wings that can be fitted to the seat. This is obviously a huge plus but does add around 8cm width to the chair, so if you’ve got three in the back it might not work for you.
My car does not possess ISO fixings, so I borrowed a neighbour’s car to test this. The fixings at the rear of the seat were easy to slot into the fixings. A little force was required to secure the seat but in my mind this is a good thing and showed quite how secure the system is.
And having ISO fixings gives the Trillo an edge over similar car seats such as Maxi Cosi Air Protect.
What do you think of the Trillo’s style?
It’s plain – if you’re a fan of bright car accessories then this may not be for you – as it only comes in one colour, Black Carbon, which is a little drab.
What do other mums say about the Joie Trillo car seat?
Is it value for money?
At £40 this car seat does represent good value for money, particularly as it’s robust enough to last nearly a decade.
And when compared to it rivals such as the Cybex Solution Q Fix (£195), Britax Kidfix XP (£140) and the Recaro Monza Nova 2 Seatfix (£130) it is more affordable as well.
What’s in the box?
- Joie Trillo car seat
Any additional extras?
A light, easy-to-install Group 2/3 car seat with enhanced safety features and some clever additions. An impressive level of adjustment makes this a long-lasting seat. A good choice if you need to swap seats between cars.