If I had to pick one word to describe my experience with the Mountain Buggy Protect Infant Car Seat, it would be intuitive, and what’s a better word than that when it comes to your baby’s safety and wellbeing? Car seats are often anxiety-inducing products that give even the most confident parent a complex from time to time, but this seat not only makes sense, it makes things easy—just the way I like it.
The seat and base come ready for installation in the same box. While pulling the set out, my initial reaction was, Wow! This thing is really light. (a mere 8.3 pounds!) With my first baby, I used a very heavy infant car seat, so the comparison was drastic and immediately noted. I should have realized it was easy to carry when I hauled the box from the trunk of my car to our apartment building without any assistance.
After scanning the product for any issues (it arrived in pristine condition), I quickly started thumbing through the instruction manual. I know manual reading is not everyone’s favorite activity, but I found this one to be well written and universally helpful—whether you’re a visual learner or need it spelt out.
It comes with numbered images and corresponding text, and the step-by-step directions are written in red. The pictures are also color-coded to help you understand what you’re supposed to be doing and what it’s supposed to look like once complete. They even add in extra pieces of advice for proper setup and safety, like making sure you car is on a flat surface while installing the base. I personally need this type of installation guidance, and I was so appreciative of their comprehensive, easy-to-follow directions. (Also, there’s a great video available if you need some additional help!)
After my love affair with the manual, I looked for three main checkpoints:
1 | Does the handlebar adjust easily? (Yes—the levers are in red, so you can’t miss them!)
2 | Is the seat easy to detach from the base? (Again, yes! It’s also colored red for easy use.)
3 | How’s the canopy? (I think most moms would love for their infant’s car seat to create a cocoon around them for optimal protection, but all-in-all, it was effective at shielding sun.)
Lastly, the seat may be light, but it doesn’t lack in comfort. It’s quite plush (made with EPS foam), and it felt snug and comfortable. It comes with a quilted, padded infant insert and lumber cushion (like a wedge) to get the best fit for your wee one. Aesthetic wise, it’s a classic design with an easy color system that could fit with anything, as we millennial moms think about color schemes in all ways.
Take a Seat
My son may only be a 4-month-old, but he’s a big one at that, so we ditched the infant inserts immediately. (You can leave the quilted cushion and remove the extra padding located on the back—sort of like removing the extra padding from a swimsuit.) That’s when I realized the Mountain Buggy Protect comes with four different adjustable harness heights, which is more than my past experience with seats. Note that you *do* have to rethread the harness to adjust the height (meaning it’s not automatically adjustable like other seats), but I discovered this method is thought to be safer and follows a stricter set of safety standards, so it makes it worth the extra few minutes of work! Once he was fitted properly, it was quick and easy to connect the 5-point harness and tighten the straps.
As I prefaced, this isn’t our first rodeo with car seats, and it’s usually my husband who bears the burden of installing each one. His rather immediate response to the setup was (and I quote), This is so much easier than our last one.
We started installation with the base. It needs to be leveled up front, and you can find a level meter on the side that lets you know when it’s balanced. The meter is a feature itself, but a sub-feature is that it separates into two categories of weight, so you can adjust it to best fit your baby for their current size. To adjust the base higher or lower, you locate the foot underneath and follow instructions for expanding or collapsing.
After we anchored the base, the car seat locked easily into place. You will hear an audible “click” once it’s properly set, ensuring your babe is ready for the road. If you find yourself without a base or anchor system, this seat can still be installed safely using the seatbelt—just take extra care to double-check the instructions. The verdict … installation was a breeze!
Before takeoff, I always to a quick reach-back and tug on my baby’s car seat, just to make sure everything is firmly planted. This usually results in either laughing or crying, hopefully not the latter.
We make the quick drive to visit my husband at work, and even though it’s a mere 10 minutes with traffic, he’s asleep by the time we get there. Thankfully, I was able to easily detach the seat from the latch base and carry him in with my toddler attached to my other arm. I am always locked and loaded with stuff, and I was really grateful in that moment to carry something lighter than normal.
Where we live, it’s flu season, and it’s bad. I planned on leaving him in the seat with the canopy up for privacy and to shield him from unnecessary touching. He was so snug and comfortable (I’m assuming), that he stayed put even once he woke up. Toward the end of our visit, he started to fuss, so I used the rocker-style base to create some motion and avoid a total meltdown. Success!
If you’re considering adding the Mountain Buggy Protect to your registry, here are some additional details on the product.
- The minimum weight capacity is 4 pounds, and it can grow with your child up to 35 pounds.
- The recommended age range (although used just as a guide) is newborn through 12-15 months.
- There is currently one color option for this seat (black/silver).
- It is compatible with all Mountain Buggy Pushchairs, allowing your car seat to transform into a travel system for all your transportation needs.
- Adaptors for travel systems are extra and not included.
- Other accessories for purchase include weather covers and a stroller umbrella.
- This seat is certified by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard. Additionally, a full set of detailed performed safety tests can be found on their site, allowing you to feel confident in your Mountain Buggy Protect purchase.
Last, but certainly not least—although, it definitely doesn’t break the bank, either!—this seat is a fair price. With how easy-peasy the process was (and with all the helpful resources included), I would pay more! I would recommend this product to anyone, and it’s probably worth the investment of an entire travel system, too.