Key features of the Mountain Buggy Safe Rotate car seat:
Age suitability: birth to 18kg (around 4 years)
Rear-facing to: 18kg
Installation: Integrated Isofix base
Features: Advanced side-impact protection, 360 degree rotating system, adjustable headrest, 4 recline positions, auto-adjust straps
As its name suggests, New Zealand brand Mountain Buggy made its reputation by designing superior buggies to cope with all terrain in the founder’s home country.
Since its inception in the 1990s, the company has grown and now offers a huge range of baby products to suit all needs. Car seats fit nicely in its product stable, and the brand offers a well-thought-out range.
The Safe Rotate is its extended rear-facing car seat, catering for newborn to 18kg (approximately 4 years old). A Group 0+/1 car seat, it offers the option of having your child rear-facing to 4 years, but combines this with a very easy swivel function to allow you to swap between rear- and forward-facing super easily.
Its RRP of £199 places the Safe Rotate is much more affordable than the Joie Spin 360 (£250) or Cybex Sirona (£375).
Right from the start I was very impressed by the Safe Rotate’s 360 swivel feature. I have never used a car seat that rotates before, it makes getting your baby in and also out of the car a breeze. Especially if they have fallen to sleep and you need to gently and swiftly move them from the car into their cot.
The rotating seat also makes access to strap your little ones in and out really easy. Another thing I really liked was the car seat only has to be installed on the ISOFIX once for the first time, then it can be swivelled from rear-facing to forward-facing, or side-facing by simply pressing a button. Both my children, the two-year-old and the four-year-old, were impressed with the swizzle motion and enjoyed having the option of rear-facing or forward-facing. They both said it was really comfortable too.
You can buy the Safe Rotate from PramCentre.co.uk or at Über Kids
Explore the best rear-facing for longer carseats
A Group 0+/1 chair, what’s the best age child for this car seat and why?
This car seat is suitable from birth up to 18kg (approximately 4 years old). The great thing is that it can grow with your child, you can easily remove padding and an insert to make more room, and adjust the headrest to make it higher as your child grows and gets taller.
Would you use it for a newborn?
Yes, I would definitely use this car seat for a newborn, it looks incredibly comfortable and has lots of extra padding (which is removable and washable). There is a newborn padded insert which would fit perfectly snug around a small baby and provide ideal support for their neck and shoulders. The 360 rotate feature makes it very easy to get a baby in and out of the car, even if they are asleep. There are also three different recline positions to make resting while travelling more comfortable.
The only thing to consider is that the seat is not designed to be lifted easily in and out of the car, so if your newborn falls asleep en route home, you will have to lift them out to transfer them to a cot.
Best baby car seats from birth
How does the Mountain Buggy Safe Rotate install in the car?
The Safe Rotate installs in the car via its ISOFIX connectors which makes it feel extremely safe and sturdy. The Isofix system was relatively simple and straight forward to use, even if like me you haven’t used it before.
New legislation also means that in the near future, all new infant car seats sold in the UK will have to be i-Size compliant which means they will have to use Isofix.
Read more about i-Size legislation.
How long does the 5-point harness last?
Personally, I would use the harness for the duration of the seat’s use. I still use a harness on my four-year-old. She fitted perfectly into the seat and the harness once the extra padding was removed and the head rest was extended to the final height.
What do you think of the design?
I really like the design and the colours used on the Safe Rotate. It’s very practical but also looks stylish. The rotating feature is a brilliant idea, I wish I had used as swivelling seat four years ago!
Does the Safe Rotate feel sturdy?
The car seat is a little on the heavy side, weighing a whopping 14kg. However, I thought this made it it feel even more safe and solid. It locks into place in the car and Isofix without any complicated instructions or unnecessary faffing, and instantly feels safe.
How is strapping your child/ren in?
Strapping your baby into the seat is relatively easy and hassle-free, especially combined with the rotate feature. The 5-point harness feels very safe and secure. The first couple of times I used it the metal buckles were a little bit stiff and tricky to clasp together but they became easier to manoeuvre the more I used it.
What did you think of the 5-point harness, how easy is it to use the Safe Rotate’s no-re-thread feature?
Adjusting the straps and making the harness looser was easy, just a simple push of a button. Undoing the harness was also easy. I like the buckle holder feature on each side of the seat – a place where you can conveniently keep (and find) the buckles. This stops your baby or child accidentally sitting on the straps and you having to fish for them under their bottoms.
What’s the headrest like?
The headrest is very well padded and comfortable looking and feeling. It is adjustable, so can easily grow and be extended as your child gets taller.
How many positions does the headrest have?
It is very easy to adjust the headrest with one hand, even when your child is already in the seat. The headrest offers five different height position so it can be adjusted to suit the height of your child as they grow and need more room.
How many seat positions are there in forward and rear facing and how easy is it to recline the seat?
There are four different recline positions in total when the seat is forward or rear facing. It is very easy to activate the recline position by simply pulling a lever, which you can do with one hand – a great feature and really beneficial if your little one falls asleep, as it stops their head from flopping forward.
Do you think the side wings provide good protection?
The car seat has side bumpers with reinforced side impact protection, offering even more protection and safety measures than other car seats.
What do you think of the size of the car seat?
The car seat is definitely much larger than an infant car seat. But, as it is suitable up to 4 years old, I think it is a perfect size. The harness and padding are all removable and adjustable providing comfort and safety for your baby as they grow into a toddler and then up to a four-year old. I have used the seat for my just four-year-old daughter and she said it was very comfortable.
How long is it rear-facing for?
You can use this car seat rear-facing for much longer than the new legal requirement of 15 months, as it has extended rear-facing innovation up to 18kg (approximately 4 years old). The seat can grow with your child. I think it could be rear-facing for as long as your child is happy to face the other way, my four-year-old didn’t look that comfortable rear-facing as her legs were too long.
Is it easy to clean?
The soft-quilted, grey fabric looks great and the subtle diamond pattern would help hide any marks. However, you can remove all the fabric (quite quickly and simply) and wash it. It’s polyester and seems very breathable and washable. You can also gently wipe any marks off with a wet cloth.
I’d definitely recommend this car seat to anyone looking for their first car seat from newborn or even thinking of replacing an old car seat for a slightly older child. It’s stylish, comfortable, easy to use, long lasting, well priced considering the age range, extremely safe and sturdy. I enjoyed using Isofix connectors for the first time. Having to constantly use the adult car seat belt to secure a baby seat now seems madness!
How we tested the Mountain Buggy Safe Rotate carseat:
Jessica is a mum-of-two. Her son is 28 months old and her daughter is 4 years old. She has been using the car seat every day in her family car for her 2-year-old. As well as in her husband’s car when we out and about. Her four-year-old has also used it a few times and said it was very comfortable, she fits it well in the front-facing position.
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