Straight off the bat I’m going to say getting me to review these products is a stroke of genius by the folks at Satety 1st. Having parented for coming up to 25 years now, I’ve owned no fewer than eight strollers and twelve car seats. Putting kids in and out of them has been, at times, trying. As in me trying not to swear.
Recently, when I was offered a car seat and stroller to review, I immediately said yes – not because I love reviewing stuff, but because I always like to say yes when people offer to give me stuff I need, and we really needed to replace one of the car seats we had. Plus they said I could give one of each away to one of my readers, and that’s something I really, really enjoy being able to do because it feels like I’m giving back a little to you guys for all the joy I get from you hanging out with me.
But mainly we needed that car seat.
So before I get to the competition, let’s have a look at the goods.
Safety 1st SUMMIT AP Convertible Car Seat
I could give you the hard sell sales pitch about how it’s the first car seat with antibacterial protection and superior side impact protection and even its, quite honestly, excellent accident exchange program, but what you really want to know is do I think it’s worth paying the extra for this seat.
Hell yes, it is.
For one thing, it’ll do from new born until 4yrs of age, so that’s nice. When Master24 was born we were looking at one product for the first few months and then another for the next bit. Now that was expensive. Not to mention, when you put it into perspective, it’s not as much of a hike upgrading from the cheaper options as it is with say a car or a computer. Plus, in term of actual dollars I spent about this much on an extended warranty recently when I bought a new computer, and I like my kids nearly as much as my Mac.
I know a lot of people go right into it, but all the extra safety stuff is really not what I’m thinking about when I buy a car seat. I figure if it meets the Australian Standard then that’s all covered. What I care about is how easy it is to install, clean, locate the button to loosen/tighten the straps and, most importantly, to get a kid in and out of. I want to know about things like being able to easily locate the buckle while a kid thrashes about because they’re overtired. Well, on these points we have a winner. I had it installed inside of five minutes, it’s new so it’s clean, I haven’t had to ferret around in the hole in the front of the seat to adjust the straps and my daughter is four so she jumps in by herself.
After a quick drive around town with Miss4 to see if she liked it, my initial thoughts about this car seat were only reinforced. I had no idea how hard and uncomfortable the old one was until I had the new one to compare it too.
“Tracey!” I called out. “Tracey! You’ll want to see this!”
She stuck her head over the balcony and looked down on me.
“The car seat? What’s it like?”
“Makes the old one feel dangerous,” I answered honestly. “It’s…I don’t know…more robust or something.”
Surprisingly, it really does feel safer. Maybe it’s the lack of mould.
But that’s not the reason I yelled out to Tracey.
“So long as she likes it, we’re all good then,” said Tracey, referring to Miss4.
“That’s why I yelled,” I said. I pointed into the back seat. “She’s in the car kissing her new seat and refusing to get out.”
Which is sort of the ultimate approval, isn’t it?
Safety 1st WANDERER X Stroller
As far as I’m concerned, there’s really only a couple of things you need to know when it comes to strollers like this one. Sure, it’s nice if it has a nice smooth ride and there’s decent storage underneath (yes and yes with the Wanderer X), but I’m a realist and I know the big questions you’ll expecting me to ask.
Firstly, am I going to have to shop in suburbs where people don’t know me? I mean, is it easy to collapse and put in the car, or alternatively transform when you take it out. I had no problems once I worked out the lever. The only difficulty was our boot wasn’t big enough (we have a Kia Grand Carnival which seats eight but still has a tiny area in the rear for groceries etc) to fit it in without removing the two rear wheels. No worries working out how to do this (I’d just put them on). It was easy peasy and, for us, worth the effort.
Secondly, can you check your smart phone while you’re pushing it? Because, as we all know, the Pokemon won’t catch themselves. A resounding yes here, although I did have to let a Zubat escape because I needed both hands to push up a grassy embankment to get to a gym. Pokegym that is. Obviously. The ride is smooth and liquid, if you get my drift. I notoriously know nothing about bearings and grease and round wheely things, but whatever they’ve done where the rubber meets the path beside the road has done the trick – it’s easy to push and goes where you want it to.
Thirdly, when I hang groceries and my wife’s handbag over the handle, will it tip back and embarrass me in the middle of the main street, like has happened to us too many times to recount here and avoid a visit from child safety. Allowances for us parents being tired and wanting to get everything done seem to have been engineered into the unit, right down to the aforementioned deep and generous tray under the seat which will comfortably hold nappy bag, handbag and, if you happen to have one you need to hide, manbag.
And finally, is it worth paying for a good quality unit instead of a throwaway stroller? The answer to which is, if I’m honest, it’s totes up to you and where you see value. I’ve bought both over the years, usually alternating them. A good one, a cheap one, a good one etc. I do some research and buy a good one, then I don’t think about that side of things again and simply use it until it wears out or I give it away because we’ve stopped having kids (SEVEN TIMES NOW!). Then I need a replacement so I think I’ll save money and buy a cheap one. It, of course, flips up and gives my kid a nasty bump on the head. Then my back hurts because the handle is never long enough so I have to hunch over like Igor while we walk through the supermarket – and I am not tall by any measure except a Hobbit’s.
Just while I’m on this point, the handle on the Wanderer X is adjustable, so although I didn’t need to move it, there is the option.
My point about value and spending the money is I’ve historically flip-flopped between good and cheap strollers, which is totally the fault of the good strollers because I forget how crappy life can be with a bad one. So if I had to answer the question of is it worth it, I’d say yes.
If you want to test my theory, start with a cheap one and go from there.
The good news is, you don’t have to take my word for it. If you’d like to win these two fantastic products for yourself – or someone you know could put them to good use – simply answer this question in the comments below and you’re in with a chance. Entry closes on Sunday 7th August 2016 and the winning entry will be judged on creativity and notified within 48 hours. Why should product reviews be done by real parents?
“Raising a family on little more than laughs”
Sharing is caring. Plus it really does make a difference. Thanks heaps.
This post was sponsored by Safety 1st
The prize is valued at $948 with entries closing on Sunday 7th August 2016 and the winning entry will be judged on creativity and amusement, and the winner notified within 48 hours. terms & conditions COMPETITION IS CLOSED
Why should product reviews be done by real parents?
Congratulations to Linda, our lucky winner. Her response caught the eye of the judge: Reviews should be done be real parents as they tell it how it is, we don’t need all specifications mumbo jumbo, we just need to know if the product can handle our crazy kids!