Stokke has become a popular name among celebrity circles, with A-listers on both sides of the Atlantic regularly snapped pushing its uber-cool strollers. The Norwegian company prides itself on innovative products which are functional, hard-wearing, and also look the part. Its strollers, for example, have an elevated seating position, which is said to encourage face-to-face contact between parent and child, without giving mum a sore back – simple but effective. Such functionality has landed the company a host of awards, from industry accolades to design gongs. But what does the child seat have to offer?
I am a first-time mum (35) living in East Yorkshire, currently on maternity leave from my job as Business Editor and Journalist at Mail News & Media. I tested the product with my 16-week-old son, Eric, and partner Glen (39).
See a video of the Stokke Izi Go in action
Out of the box
The seat I tested was red and reminded me of one of those cool doll’s prams from the 1980s that looked like a ladybird, only more stylish, more space age and infinitely more useful. It’s clear the car seat shares the same sense of style as the Stokke strollers and it received lots of admiring glances from my mummy friends.
How light was it?
When the iZi Go arrived on my doorstep, the first thing I noticed was how light it was. Even when it was still in its box, it felt as light as a feather and this, along with the ergonomic handle, made carrying the seat to the car a doddle. Despite the fact my son is now tipping the scales at over a stone, I could still carry the seat with him in it one-handed, leaving my other hand free for carrying shopping and opening the car door. Parents we surveyed* agreed, with 63% scoring the seat 8/10 or more for how easy it is to get in and out of the car.
What about the hood?
The hood and sun visor incorporates a sun canopy, which extended over the top of the seat in a concertina action. Not only did it mean I didn’t have to stick a sunshade to the window, it also facilitated a calm journey by creating a temporary barrier between Eric and the outside world. The hood also got the thumbs-up from parents we surveyed, with over a quarter saying it was their favourite aspect of the seat, and it got plenty of praise from John Lewis parents, too.
How comfortable was it?
According to the blurb, the iZi Go has padding “in all the right places to allow baby maximum comfort whilst in an upright position”. After two weeks of putting it to the test, I couldn’t agree more.
The removable head cushion hugged my baby’s face, and my initial reaction was he looked a little squashed – something which almost half of parents we surveyed and around 20% of John Lewis parents flagged up as a concern, with some saying this was what they disliked most about the seat, as some babies found it uncomfortable.
As a result, the seat got mixed results for comfort in our survey, with 54% of parents giving it 8/10 or more, and two parents scoring it zero.
From my perspective, once I realised he was perfectly comfortable I could see how the snug fit was a safety feature acting in the same way as a swaddling blanket in that it soothed him, to the point he fell asleep – brilliant for keeping him quiet while I battled through the rush-hour traffic. The removable padding means the seat adapts to fit your growing baby, with two cushions that can be taken off as baby gets bigger.
How were the straps?
The length of the straps can be easily adjusted by fastening the buckle and pulling them together, while the magnetic shoulder pads are ingenious. These enabled me to put Eric straight into the seat without having to untangle him or pull wayward straps from beneath his legs – and plenty of John Lewis parents loved them, too. It is the kind of feature you think is unnecessary until you try it, after which you wonder why it isn’t standard on all car seats. The height of the harness can also be adjusted using a hidden pulley behind the back of the seat, and again it was simple to use.
In short, strapping baby in was quick and stress-free – great for when you’re in a hurry or standing in the supermarket carpark and the heavens open. Parents we surveyed agreed, with 81% scoring it 8/10 or more for this aspect.
How was getting it in and out of the car?
I’d previously used a Maxi-Cosi Pebble and despite having a fairly spacious Audi A3, I always had to move the front passenger seat forward in order to strap the car seat into the back. Getting it into Eric’s grandad’s Ford Fiesta was even more of a balancing act as the seatbelt wouldn’t feed through the safety hooks without tilting it.
Because Stokke strollers have a tendency to be on the large side, I assumed the Izi-Go would be big too, but I was surprised that it took up less space than the Pebble and fitted perfectly in the Fiesta, with no tilting required!
As with most car seats, the Izi-Go can be used with an Isofix base but it also has hooks so it can be safely strapped in using the car’s seatbelt. In our survey, 63% of parents scored the seat 8/10 or more for how easy it was to move in and out of the car.
What about cleaning?
The seat cover is also removable and machine washable – great if, like me, you have a son whose nappy explodes on a frequent basis. Parents we surveyed agreed that the seat was easy to clean, with 54% scoring it 8/10 or more for this, and more than a third giving it 10/10.
Is it good value for money?
At around £185 it isn’t cheap, but features such as the sun canopy and magnetic shoulder pads, not to mention how darn cool it looks, further help to justify the price. Two-thirds of John Lewis parents felt that the seat was either ‘great’ or ‘excellent’ value.
Who should buy it?
I would definitely recommend this product, particularly for parents who spend a lot of time on the road, or are simply prepared to pay a bit extra to ensure their baby is as comfortable as possible.
In our survey, however, the seat wasn’t rated as highly by parents, with only just over a third giving it an overall score of 8/10 or more, and 45% saying they wouldn’t buy it again. With John Lewis parents it got an average score of 3.5/5.
In a nutshell
After two weeks of use, I can safely say it was as comfortable for me to carry as it was for little Eric to sit in, and he seemed as happy to sleep in it as he was in his crib. It’s just a shame I can’t attach it to the chassis of my Quinny Mood as this is one of the lightest car seats I have ever used with excellent magnetic shoulder pads.
*MFM survey December 2019 of 564 users