Tag Archives: GH7

Review: Axkid Kidzofix

After all that research, I purchased the Axkid Kidzofix from RearFacingKids.com, because they had an option to exclude tax for non-Euro customers.

Shipping was a flat €80, and as an opening offer, they offered a free Axkid Keezone front facing booster seat (15-36 kg). Woot – 2 for 1 – snap it up!

Opening offer – that set off some alarm bells that this was a relatively new set up, but I went ahead. The order was made 4 Apr 2012….

Turns out that their regular supplier stuffed it up and the package ended up stuck in Malm̦, Sweden for about 20 days. Re-contacted them, and they resent the package via UPS a week later. The package arrived 3 May 2012, all 24kg of it Рin a big hunk of package.

From the amount of UPS tape on the package, I suspect that it’d been busted open somewhere along the line, and the styrofoam headrest of the Keezone was broken.

I sent an email out to them the next day. They responded to say they’d fix it – but its now been a month, and no word yet. They have however, changed the terms on their website to say that the 1 for 1 offer is only valid in Europe due to freight costs.

The Kidzofiz is now attached rear-facing via ISOFIX. The foot-prop is extended, and tether straps fastened. The seat is rigid – in all directions, unlike some of the other seats I’ve seen in the shops.

Timmy didn’t like it much at first, but seating isn’t negotiable. He adapted after 2 days or so.

We’ve used it for a month, and I can say I’m very happy with it. The car has become smaller – I can’t carry as many people and the front passenger area is quite cramped. The self adjusting harness is a great innovation and very difficult to get wrong. Installation was quite easy.

We’ll figure out the booster situation when we come to it…..

Bosch Car Batteries

18 months after getting my GH7, the non-maintenance free battery that came with the car gave up the ghost. A friend came along, jump-started it, and we made it to a shop nearby and changed it out for a Bosch S3 battery.

Another 1.5 years down the road, the battery was showing signs of needing to be replaced. I drove to the same shop and this time round they sold me a Bosch S5.

I don’t really know what the difference is, but I guess the proof of the pudding is in how long it’ll last. Fingers crossed.

Car polished, in the shop, being tested – not in that order

TWIB – Week 12 of 2012

Over Skype:
Me: come back to us mountain man!
Ex-Colleague: i like nature
Me: i will donate a plant for your desk
Ex-Colleague: haha

The War against Spam:
While MICA’s Data Protection Bill with a National Do Not Call / Do not SMS registry is still in the works, IDA’s Spam Control Act still stands. Received another of these “I wanna sell you property” SMS’es after I’d previously unsub’ed to the same.

Tracked the company down and spoke to the marketing manager. You haven’t honoured my request. You will never get business from me. You don’t need to know my name. I will sue the next time I hear from you. *end rant*

The Killing Fields Paper
Had a cup of coffee at a old-school coffeeshop while waiting for an appointment, and got this pic. Haven’t seen fly-paper in some time.

Fender Bender
So one wet evening I was driving to the gym. And this Jetta bumps into me. His fender is bent. Beyond some scratches on the rear passenger door, I couldn’t find any damage on mine. My car is already all scratched up – and I wasn’t willing to lose use of the car for a day to get just the door repainted. So here I am building some road-karma.

To ISOFIX or not to ISOFIX

Timmy is about 7 months old, and at 9kg, very nearly reaching the usable lifespan of the Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix he’s been traveling in. We don’t have the Maxi Cosi ISOFix base, so I’ve been strapping him in and out the car using the belt. Group 0’s almost done.

Here’s what the groups mean:

Stage Group Approx Age Weight (kg) Weight (lbs)
1 0 Birth – 15 months 2 – 13 5 – 29
2 1 9 months – 4 years 9 – 18 20 – 40
3 2 4 – 6 years 15 – 25 33 – 55
4 3 4 – 10 years 22 – 36 48 – 76

(Source: Wikipedia)

So now we’re in the market for Group 1, or a Group 1-2 seat.

ISOFIX

Most seats are affixed to the vehicle using seat belts. But belts can stretch and fray, especially with the seat in place semi-permanently. ISOFIX is a 20+ year old standard that has vehicle manufacturers weld 2 hoops of metal behind the rear seat cushions. A child seat with the ISO attachment points allows it to be directly linked to the vehicle chassis, and simplify the installation process.

The caveat is that ISOFIX in its current form (and as I understand it) allows for it to hold fast (in a crash) 15kg of child seat, and 18kg of child – which is the limit of the Group 1 seat.

According to Britax’s catalogue, the ISOFIX equipped Group 2-3 seats uses the seat belt to secure the child to the car – so the ISOFIX and the seat belt holds them past the weight limit.

OPTIONS

Mothercare Singapore only carries 3 ISOFIX models – Maxi Cosi Pearl, PrioriFix, and one other. Prices start at $800 as of last weekend. I decided to explore importing a Britax through perhaps Amazon.co.uk and Borderlinx. This was the shipping quote I got. What the Fwoah!

A Britax Duo Plus front facing seat with ISOFIX and allows seat belt installation could be gotten at the local distributor. About the same prices.

The Britax TriFix is the latest model, due out this month (Feb 2012). It’s front facing, ISOFIX only and uses a top tether. Top tethers are typically on the back side of the rear seat, or the rear parcel shelf. On my car it’s on the trunk nearer to the rear bumper. This will significantly decrease the amount of boot space available.

REAR FACING

Some more reading on the internet revealed that rear-facing car seats are the safest. They are slightly more complex to install – and require tether straps and a foot prop. The Swedes recommend Extended Rear Facing (ERF) seats for children up to 4, or longer. CarSeat.SE will also globally ship a child seat for €75 Euro per seat.

So maybe Timmy will get to remain rear facing for several more years.

My current requirement?

  1. ISOFIX
  2. Seat belt installation – just in case I have to use the seat in another car.
  3. Combination front and rear facing
  4. Group 1 – 2 so we can depreciate this over longer

I’m currently drooling over the Axonkids Kidzofix, a relative newcomer to the car seat manufacturing scene, but run by very serious and experienced guys. Watch the video, its got tons of install options and clever features like automatic tightening tethers and automatic headrest height adjustments.

The worry of course is, its lack of support in this part of the world, I can’t touch it before I buy it and possibly the lack availability of spare covers and such. If I do my conversions right, yeap – about the same prices as purchasing locally. But for rear facing AND for ISOFIX. Not bad.

If we eliminate ISOFIX from the wishlist, then a Britax Multi Tech 2 would fit the bill.

If we eliminate ISOFIX and forward facing, then a Maxi-Cosi Mobi would be a go.

Hmmm. Still some time to think about this….