It was a bumpy ride for me and my husband as we tried to decide on a car seat for our firstborn. As NGOs and government bodies debate having regulations on infant and child car seats, there is still no law on it in Malaysia, giving rise to many products in the market and a wide range of standards, or lack thereof.
It is tempting to always go for the most expensive option to ensure your child’s safety, but there are plenty of incredibly safe options to suit every budget. I believe the snskidz Sport fits our bill perfectly with its features and reasonable price.
snskidz is the Safe ‘n Sound brand. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the company used to have a bricks and mortar store, selling baby products, and now operates purely online.
As its name denotes, snskidz advocates safety, so we had high expectations for this car seat and I am glad to share that it has lived up to its name. The first thing we noticed was how snug it was when installed in our car.
The snskidz Sport is a seat belt (seat-fix) car seat, which means it only needs to be fitted with the car’s seat belts (the car’s seat belt passes through the snskidz Sport seat and is buckled to the car) and not via any additional bases or connecting slots. This is convenient as it makes installation easy with assistance from the colour-coded installation paths.
Typically, with seat-fix car seats, while it is more convenient, there may be a slack in the seat belt which could cause the seat to be wobbly, unsecure and move more than it should.
This was not the case with the snskidz Sport. Upon proper installation and using the additional clasps to the car’s seat belt via the lockoff clips and shoulder belt guide, it was not wobbly nor was there any movement in any direction. Not even an inch! We felt assured as it felt secure and snug, without us having to exert our weight on the seat while installing (as recommended for some seat-fix car seats).
The snskidz Sport is certified with the United Nations’ ECE R44/04 standard, which means it is safer and more capable of protecting a child in the event of a collision. In order to qualify for the ECE R44/04, car seat manufacturers must allow their products to undergo vigorous testing that ensures each seat is designed with safety as the foremost feature. There are some countries that deem it illegal to sell car seats that do not meet the ECE R44/04 requirement. For more information on the regulation, visit: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:42011X0909(02)&from=EN
The buckle on the car seat was a hit and miss with us. On one hand, I appreciate that the buckle is firm and tight, ensuring my baby does not release the buckle on her own. The harness is also easily adjustable, once again ensuring my baby does not slip out of the seat. Hence, baby-tampering is avoided. On the other hand, both sides of the seat belt had to come together before we were able to buckle her in, which proved to be a tough manoeuvre for me, especially when I had an impatient baby.
(Note by manufacturer: The buckle is in compliance with the European Standards, which requires the buckle to come completely undone in one click or press of the button. All European standards car seats have this feature.)
In terms of space, the snskidz Sport is wide enough for comfort and takes up a seat in our car. However, it is not too bulky or heavy as compared to other seats we’ve tried.
While I wanted to ensure a cosy ride for my little one via the four-position recline, I was hesitant and feared she might fuss when I changed her position. Nevertheless, I tried it with my sleeping baby and amazingly she slept soundly throughout. The tilt from one position to another was seamless, and my baby did not even realise mummy was shifting her position!
Perhaps the other factor that contributed to her sleeping through the change in positions was the additional memory foam padding. The infant head and body support is substantial and well-padded. Additionally, the paddings are removable and washable, allowing for convenient cleaning.
I personally also like the design and especially the fabric on the overall car seat. If your little one enjoys snacking during a car ride, the snskidz Sport makes cleaning up a breeze. This is a great improvement over older models of car seat brands I have tested.
For a car seat that is for newborn to four years of age, I would say the price is indeed reasonable. This seat is suitable for rearward facing from birth to 13kg and forward facing from 9-18kg.
Pros: Snug and secure installation for a seat-fix car seat; nice fabric and design.
Cons: The harness that requires both sides of the belt to come together before buckling in takes some getting used to.
Manufacturer and distributor: SNS Products Sdn Bhd (http://www.safensound.com.my)
Group 0+/1 car seat
Age: newborn to 4 years
Rearward facing from birth to 13kg
Forward facing from 9kg to 18kg. (Recommended only forward facing from 13kg)
Product info: Padded infant head support for added protection and comfort; removable infant body support; washable fabric for convenient cleaning; padded harness and lower buckle cover for baby’s comfort; 4-position recline ensures a cosy ride from newborn
Safety info: Dual lock-off devices for installing with vehicle’s 3-point seat belt; well-marked, colour-coded installation paths
Safety standard: ECE R44/04
Availability: Safe ‘n Sound (http://www.safensound.com.my)