What is iSize?
Safety of our children is paramount for any parent and thats why a regulation has been in the news a lot lately despite being around for over 2 years now, ECE R129 or iSize as you and me will have heard of.
I SIZE LOGO
I was fortunate enough to be able to spend some time with Damon Marriot, Product Manager at Joie during the recent Baby Show at NEC in Birmingham to talk about all things iSize as well as taking a look at Joie’s iSize range.
So what is iSize?
iSize means isofix, so all car seats which are iSize compatible will be primarily fitted using ISO Fix connections in cars. The main reason for this is there is no room for error, they simply click in. No twisting, turning or feeding seat belts through what feels like a crystal maze, all still to be unsure if it is the correct method and more importantly will be safe if you were unfortunate to be involved in a car accident.
The R129 regulation also means more advanced safety testing has been carried out on them, so gone are the days of a weighted doll being used as test dummies. Nowadays, the test dummies have multiple sensors on them to help ensure much more advanced tests can be completed. This has led to better side impact protection featuring as a mandatory part within the new regulation.
Another important part of the iSize regulation is the fact that in chairs which carry the R129 / iSize logo, its mandatory to have your child rear facing until 15 months as it is proven that the longer the child is rear facing the safer they will be. iSize will also see a switch from the typical guidance of seat use from “weight bearing” to “height” instead as the temptation amongst us parents is to switch from a rear facing to front facing due to simply not being able to carry our little ones in the car seat anymore due to the fact they weigh what feels like a tonne. with R129, its the child’s standing height that dictates when to move onto the next seat, so stature based rather than weight.
Now, one of the biggest myths doing the rounds is that iSize is regulation now and you have to ditch your current seats and rush out to buy new ones now or face being prosecuted…. THIS IS NOT TRUE. iSize has been bought in alongside the current regulation and is seen as the way forward in terms of safety standards however it isn’t mandatory at the moment. There is no date on this, however over time, you would see older style seats being phased out and the new made for iSize seats being more mainstream. Joie are the only true fully iSize compliant infant carrier (40-85cm) available in the UK at the moment with some others producing i-size compliant products that rely upon multiple seats to achieve the classification.
The one sticking point to all of this in my opinion is the car manufacturers. Currently there are only a few manufactures which have iso fix as standard. My own experience is that the Ford Focus I have wasn’t fitted with iso-fix as standard, despite is being a free option from new, it then costs a hefty whack to get it retrospectively fitted should you wish. More needs to be done to ensure that Car manufactures look into fitting ISO Fix as standard on all makes and models or cars.
About the Joie iSize Range
As mentioned above, Joie is the only car seat manufacture to have a true independent iSize carseat range available from Birth-4 years old thanks to their iAnchor base which when coupled with their iAnchor seat and now also their new iGemm seat which is a Group 0 (take home from hospital seat) it makes them true iSize.
The good news is that the iGemm can also be fitted using the seatbelt too so if you don’t have ISO fix at present but may be getting it soon, this seat is great as it means you can still ensure the best safety for your little ones but can be used now. The iGemm is rearward facing from between 40cm-85cm so will be perfect even for some tiny/premature babies and beyond. With three layers of security thanks to its tri-protect headrest, a one handed adjustable headrest and harness and a curved base perfect for rocking, this seat really does tick every box.
We are currently in the process of testing the Joie iAnchor seat and iAnchor base as the iGemm has only just been released this Spring so D was a little too early for it. Watch out for my review coming soon…
I would finally just like to say a special thanks to Emma @ Azaria and Damon @ Joie for the opportunity to spend some valuable time with them and for their support with answering any questions people my have around iSize 🙂 .
NB: For more information on iSize visit Which! or feel free to leave any questions you may have in the comments and I’ll forward them onto Damon and the team at Joie who have offered to answer any questions.