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Review of Axkid Minikid 4 ERF Car Seat

Axkid is a Swedish company at the forefront of extended rear facing (ERF) car seats. They are dedicated to the highest safety standards in car seat production and make a range of Plus Tested car seats; a test known for being the most stringent safety test for car seats in the world.

The Minikid 4 is a seatbelt and tethers installed seat. It's suitable from 61cm to 125cm or 36kg. It includes automated tethers on the back of the seat to aid quick installation and an automated head rest for accurate headrest position. This has one of the tallest seat backs, not all 125cm car seats are of equal size. If you want one that is going to really last, this is a good option.

We've been selling this car seat for a while now, but recently, (thanks to Peter at Axkid - thank you Peter!) I've had the chance to use the Minikid 4 for my daughter, who is six weeks away from her 3rd birthday. So now I have a parental view of the seat, not just a retailer's one!

I have a Prius and on certain days of the week I do a lot of driving around. I have other children and in the Prius I have a 6ft 2in son to fit in the front and my 2 year old daughter behind him. It's not a problem with the Minikid 4. I have it fitted quite upright, my daughter doesn't sleep often in the car, but she can still manage one if she needs it, even with it set quite upright. And my tall, gangly son with long legs is happy with the leg room it affords him (he's a teenager and is very quick to complain if it's not perfect for him!) If space was not an issue for me, you can fit this seat with a recline, which is handy if you have a child on the lower end of the size range. We recommend having your child more upright as they get bigger from a safety point of view.

In terms of installing the seat, I do have an unfair advantage over most parents in that I fit a lot of seat belt and tethered seats so for me it's easy-peasy. It doesn't take many times of doing it before you get it down to a fine art, especially if the vehicle is familiar. I'm probably not going to move the Minikid 4 very often from my car. I will say, as someone who installs these regularly, I'm always really happy when I get to the bit in the installation where I am attaching the rear tethers and I remember that they are automated, it does make it easier. So if you are going to regularly move the seat the automated tethers are definitely worth having.

Axkid Minikid 4 harness instructions are in the shoulder pad
Axkid Minikid 4 harness instructions are in the shoulder pad

The seat has nice low sides, which makes it easy for my daughter to climb in. I don't love the automated head rest. I find it a bit of a faff. I've fitted it for all different size children and it is easier to use as they get bigger, but I don't love having to do it for little ones. Luckily you can do it buy hand and lock the mechanism which is my preferred method of fitting the head rest. The underside of the harness pads are a rubbery material, I suppose it's so they can't slide off wriggling shoulders. It isn't hair friendly as we have learnt (I made her cry twice when I've forgotten and trapped her hair in the harness and pulled it tight - yes, I'm a bad parent and I feel awful :-(. So now when she gets in we have to lift her hair out of the way, before we put on the harness.

In terms of doing up the harness (which can be an issue for some customers) it is pretty easy. I would say that if you have room and don't need to have the seat butted right up to the seat it's facing, I would have it very slightly back because it can be a bit awkward getting your hand in to slacken off the harness.

The seat comes with an insert which it says is upto 105cm. My daughter is about 95cm and I had to take it out after the first use because she hated it with a passion! I do sometimes take it out for customers with children who are less than 105cm because it seems like they are not sitting comfortably in the seat, so I'd say the 105cm for the cushion is flexible and go with what seems to be a good fit for your child.

You can fit the Minikid 4 further back on the seat to allow for leg room. There is a handy indication for positioning on the seat. This will be handy as she gets bigger, and I'll probably move it back a bit just to give her bit more space. That won't be for a long time, she loves getting into the seat, telling me to mind her hair, telling me how tight I can do the harness (I ignore her and do it nice and tight and then she pretends that that was exactly what she wanted all along) and crossing her legs and cuddling her fluffy pink cat.

Axkid Minikid 4 mark to show how far back on the seat it can be positioned
Axkid Minikid 4 mark to show how far back on the seat it can be positioned

In terms of longevity, as I have already said it is a tall seat unit that should last my daughter until she is around age 7. The seat itself is very robust and there is no part of it that stands out as being flimsy.

Overall, I really like the Minikid 4 and so does my daughter. She is always eager to get in it, she can snooze in it, demand her favourite music from it! My oldest son is happy because he has plenty of space. Most importantly I know that this is one of the safest car seats on the market, that it has been through the most rigorous safety testing produced by a pioneer of car seat safety. The fact my daughter likes is a bonus.

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