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The Phil and Teds Tott XT is a super slim, multi-stage car seat that’s light, portable and simple to install. Suitable for children from 9kg to 36kg, it’s best for short journeys, rather than long ones when your tot may want to sleep.
New Zealand’s Phil and Teds has a deserved reputation for producing clever, parent-friendly kit. The Tott XT is a multi-stage car seat that covers Groups 1/2/3 – that is, 9kg up to 36kg. Once your child outgrows “infant mode”, you can remove the harness and extend the headrest to fit your older child.
UK law requires that children travel in the correct car seat for their weight until they reach 135cm tall or their 12th birthday, whichever comes first. So the beauty of this seat is that it should be the last one that you have to buy.
The Tott XT is a forward facing seat, made of a moulded, plastic shell covered with a layer of EPE foam, which sits under the soft fabric layer. This helps to absorb impact in the event of a crash. The seat meets European Safety Standard safety certified ECE R44/04.
The headrest is shaped to protect your child’s head and extends by pulling up. There’s a 5-point anti-twist harness for use in “infant mode” (when your tot’s 9kg to 18kg) and a single strap to tighten the shoulder straps.
Once your child’s older (weighing 15kg to 36kg), the Phil and Teds Tott XT is secured by feeding your car’s 3-point seatbelt through the back of the seat and through two belt guides at the side – it’s a simple system that’s easy to use. When the headrest is extended, seat belt guides and a shaped armrest secure the seatbelt into place across the chest and pelvis.
What we love
I spend a lot of time moving car seats in and out of vehicles. My toddler’s current car weighs 10kg (yes, it’s heavy!) but the Tott XT weighs in at a featherlight 4kg. Needless to say, it makes the process carting car seats around much easier.
What’s more, because the Phil and Teds Tott XT seat is so slim (46cm wide) you can fit three seats side by side in the back of a car – an advantage if you have a large family.
The seat fabric is breathable, removable and washable so as the mum of a very travelsick child, this is a Godsend. Although the fabric wasn’t a doddle to remove, it wasn’t as hard as some. The seat itself is super soft and the charcoal and red colour scheme is really smart.
In “toddler mode” (15kg-36kg) the belting system is easy to follow (despite the small illustrations in the instruction booklet) and once you start using the seat with the headrest extended, it’s even easier.
Finally, at £99.99 it’s great value.
What to watch out for
The official line from Phil and Teds is that this car seat is recommended for children from 12 months old, or 9kg in weight. However, the instruction book clearly states that it can be used from 9 months.
At nearly 10 months and just over 9kg, Poppy was far too small for this seat. The gap between her head and the padding was so big that it didn’t support her and it would be unsafe for her to travel in the seat.
Minnie, 2 ½ years, fitted perfectly but because there’s no recline, when she fell asleep her head fell back, her mouth dropped open and she looked really uncomfortable.
The buckle on the 5-point ‘anti-twist’ harness is small and fiddly to secure and the locking mechanism has a tendency to get lost in the soft padding. Some people have complained that a standard seatbelt is too short to secure the Tott XT. Mine fitted but it was a tug of war to get it into the buckle.
Who is the Phil and Teds Tott XT car seat best for?
Two-car toddler parents after a portable seat that will last but won’t break the bank.
The Phil and Teds Tott XT is a simple, safe car seat that will last and last. It’s well padded and easy to install, and for older children it’s a comfy ride. But because there’s no recline it’s not suited to long journeys when toddlers like to sleep.