Installing the Kiddy World Plus car seat is terrifically easy thanks to the LATCH system. Our sparkling new minivan comes equipped with LATCH, so it was a breeze to install the seat safely and effectively. The car seat comes with clips that snap onto the right and left LATCH hooks near the base of the seat and one over the top. (Our ’99 sedan does not have this luxury, leaving us only with the option of using the lap and shoulder belt to secure the seat and baby—which isn’t particularly ideal—but this won’t be an issue for vehicles manufactured in 2002 or later when LATCH became standard.)
The car seat itself required no assembly and weighs in at around 15 pounds. If you’re planning to move it from vehicle to vehicle, keep in mind that it will be helpful to have some muscles on hand.
The seat is comfortable to sit in, and comes with a little insert for smaller children. My daughter is nearly 2 years old and has only just broken the 20 pound barrier, so she’s quite a tiny little lady. This insert is a good thing for her, but wouldn’t be necessary for most children. Though not nearly as bulky as some car seats (i.e., many Britax models), the World Plus is a bit wider than the traditional booster seats we use for our 5- and 7-year-old sons—something to keep in mind if you need to plan for any backseat space-sharing.
This seat is suitable for forward-facing use with children over the age of 2 and more than 20 pounds. It is intended to go up to 110 pounds (though it’s strange to imagine a 110-pound child riding in a car seat!).
What sets this car seat apart is its unique shield used to secure the passenger in the seat. According to the manufacturer, it’s the safest way for a child to ride because she cannot slip out of the top or bottom of the restraint. Rather than using a five-point harness, the seat comes with a middle piece that slides in under the armrests and sits in front of the child at all times. It is large, bulky, and can make doing things like snacking or using a sippy cup tricky because of its height and angle. If your little one is used to a more traditional harness, adjusting to this innovative design will likely take some time.
This seat is clearly designed with safety in mind. I do not worry that my child will be harmed (though I didn’t put her in harm’s way for the sake of confirming my expectations!). There is plenty of side impact support, the straps are easy to adjust, and there’s even a place to store the straps, which can prove convenient when getting in and out of the seat. Once your child is big enough (over 40 pounds), she may use the seat without the middle shield, as it will accommodate her comfortably as a belt-positioning booster seat.
The seat is washable, but the fabric on the shield isn’t removable. It comes in a variety of different colors (we have one in lavender, which is lovely). This seat definitely has safety on its side, and I trust that when installed properly with the LATCH system, my child will be as secure as possible.
To buy: amazon.com