Kiddy has been developing child travel systems for almost 40 years and is renowned for its innovative designs and safe car seats. Its products have won numerous awards, including the top ratings from ADAC, the German automobile club.
The brand new Evo-Luna i-Size is the latest in the Evo series and follows closely from the Kiddy Evo-Lunafix car seat released back in 2015.
What’s the difference between the Kiddy Evolution Pro 2 and the Kiddy Evo-Luna i-Size car seat?
The first thing you’re likely to notice about the two car seats is the price difference, the Evolution Pro 2 car seat costs between £120 – £145, depending on where you buy it. However, Evo-Luna i-Size will cost you at least £389, with the i-Size base included in the price.
Functionality-wise, both seats have similar features, but the big difference is that the new Evo-Luna i-Size has been certified to meet the new i-Size regulations.
i-Size is a new European safety standard that offers an extra level of protection to child car seats. It’s not currently compulsory to buy an i-Size car seat – the new regulations are running alongside the current ones – but it’s a good way to future proof.
According to Kiddy, the Evo-Luna i-Size was the first infant carrier to pass safety testing with the new i-Size crash test dummy called Q1.5.
It has also been certified to take children up to 15 months – the mandatory minimum age to keep your child rear-facing under the new i-Size regulations.
There’s a growing collection of other i-Size infant car seats in the Evo-Luna’s class such as the Joie i-Anchor Advance, Nuna Rebl, Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus – though none of these are lie-flat.
There are also other lie-flat infant car seats, such as the Stokke Izi Sleep and the Jane Matrix Light 2. But these only last until 12 months, so can’t meet the i-Size guidelines of offering rear-facing until 15 months.
The Evo-Luna i-Size is also the only lie-flat infant carrier that takes up the space of just one seat in your car.
I’d never used a lie-flat infant carrier but know that it’s the perfect way to get around the 2-hour rule that advises you not to keep your baby sitting in the same position in a car seat for longer than two hours. With a 150-mile drive up the M5 with my 7 month old, I was excited to put the Evo-Luna i-Size to the test.
Was it easy to install?
Yes. My husband installed our previous ISOFIX base so I left that job to him and he found it very easy. As with the base we’ve used before, it just slotted into place with the two built in clips in the back of our car.
The only slightly tricky bit was extending the support base to reach the floor of the car (pic below). The instructions for this step weren’t entirely clear, but after a bit of fiddling we managed to do it. And the green indicators meant we were confident that everything was safely in place.
The seat itself is very straightforward to use, and installing it on the base is simply a case of clicking it into place.
The ISOFIX carriage can be moved backwards or forwards depending on whether you’re using the seat in an upright or lie-flat position.
It’s easy to do and again the green indicators are a reassuring sign that everything’s locked in place correctly. We had it all out of the box, installed and ready to go within about half an hour.
Is it comfy for your little one?
Yes it is. We installed the seat for the first time just before setting off on a two-hour trip to visit the grandparents and baby Lamorna slept most of the way, which is endorsement enough for me!
She certainly looked very comfortable and incredibly well protected as she was nestled deep into the shell of the seat.
What is the lie-flat position like?
It’s very simple to use – pushing the handle back extends the seat out so baby is lying flat and this can be done when in the car. It’s a great feature to have as newborns in particular should lie flat most of the time when they’re sleeping to help their lungs develop and assist their breathing.
Normal car seats hold the baby in a seated position, so it’s recommended that they only stay in them for up to two hours at a time. But when your baby falls asleep in the car seat it’s very tempting just to leave them be.
I’ve certainly been guilty of stretching that 2-hour window rather than waking a snoozing baby. Being able to move the baby into a lying down position either in or out of the car takes away that dilemma.
However, one niggle I had with the design is that bringing the handle upright moves the seat back into a seated position.
So to transfer a sleeping baby from the car you have to sit them up to carry the seat and then lie them flat again once inside or on a pushchair chassis. Luckily Lamorna always slept through, but it could be an issue for light-sleeping babies.
When in lie-flat mode does it take up much room in the back seat?
Because of its size and the lie-flat option, the Evo-Luna I-size does take up quite a lot of space in the back of the car.
We have a roomy VW Passat and had to move the front passenger seat forward and the backrest further upright to fit the car seat behind.
It was fine for me to travel in but left less room for my husband to stretch out if I was doing the driving. And I imagine in a smaller car it could leave the front passenger very cramped.
Also, its size means the seat is heavy. We were using a Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix previously and I can still carry Lamorna fairly easily in that, but I struggled to carry the Evo-Luna any distance at all.
Does it feel safe to you?
Very – the seat feels very sturdy and solid and once Lamorna was nestled deep into the seat and strapped in with the three-point harness I felt she would be well protected if anything terrible was to happen.
All kinds of clever state-of-the-art technology has gone into developing the seat’s safety aspects and reading up on Kiddy’s credentials was very reassuring.
And of course the lie-flat function is an added safety feature. When Lamorna falls asleep on long car journeys I’m always reaching over the back of my seat to check she’s still breathing – being able to lie her flat gives me that added peace of mind that she’s in a safe position.
Is the Evo-Luna i-Size car seat value for money?
There’s no denying that the £389 price is fairly hefty for an infant carrier but the price does include the ISOFIX base. So while some i-Size car seats in its class such as the Joie i-Anchor Advance are considerably cheaper (£199) the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus i-Size works out more when you add the cost of the car seat (£199) to the £199 for the 2wayFix base.
What’s in the box?
- Evo-Luna i-Size infant carrier
- Kiddy ISOFIX Base 2 (which is included in the price)
- Instructions for both the carrier and the base
A sturdy seat packed with state-of-the-art technology, the Evo-Luna i-Size offers a brilliant solution to the safety issue of keeping your baby in a car seat for more than 2 hours at a time. But you’ll need a reasonably big car to house it, and strong arms if you intend to carry it around.
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