Cybex Aton Q

By Published On: July 24th, 2014

My first impressions of the Q were that it looks […]

My first impressions of the Q were that it looks very sleek, very minimalist, very European. And that’s just the box it came in. With its German engineering, the Cybex Aton Q screams safety and style—it’s like the BMW of infant car seats. But I’m a believer in function over form, so let’s talk about how this thing actually works.
This seat is heavier than the one I used with my older babies, but only by a pound. It’s a trade-off for its height-adjustable headrest, which has eight positions–very cool–and an integrated harness guide, which translates to no-threading straps. Hallelujah. Even better, the harness adjusts automatically when you move the headrest. As you raise the harness to accommodate your ever-growing baby, the floor of the car seat drops for extra space and to maintain the safest lying angle—pretty clever stuff.
That angle is another feature of the Q. Though its shape is similar to other infant seats on the market, the angle has been adjusted to allow for a flatter lying position. Anyone who’s ever held a squidgy little newborn will appreciate the concept. Those heavy heads topple forward and side to side so easily, and who hasn’t worried about whether they’re breathing fully and comfortably in their car seats?
Cybex bills the Q as the epitome of safety and technology, and frankly, I believe it. This thing is packing features I’ve never seen before, like these telescoping rods on the sides that extend outward about six to eight inches. The company calls this its Linear Side-Impact Protection (L.S.P.) System, designed to absorb energy in the event of a side-impact collision—an extra layer of protection beyond the seat shell and the internal headrest, both of which are lined with EPS foam. It’s a clever concept, but it’s a feature I can’t see us using since this seat is going in the middle of a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Toyota 4Runner, smack dab between a booster seat and a convertible car seat.
Another feature completely foreign to me is a stabilizing leg on the base. The company pitch is that it keeps the car seat in the right position in the event of a crash, channeling energy away from the baby and preventing rebound. I won’t lie—it’s kind of a pain when the other kiddos are climbing across the car into their seats, but it’s not a deal breaker.
As for ease of installation, my husband is the official car seat installer of the house, and he said it took him a little longer to get it squared away properly, but it was straightforward enough.
A few final details—the Q is intended for babies between 4 and 35 pounds and up to 30 inches in length. It comes in five nice colors and it’s compatible with a number of strollers. The canopy is notably well done. At first, we didn’t think it came with one because it folds away so neatly. But it’s definitely there, it’s big enough and bonus, it’s SPF 50.
So is the Q worth the price tag? I think so. Just give yourself a little time to get used to its bells and whistles.
Price: $350
To buy: