Joie I-Anchor Review

Which car seat is an important decision! Very important!

I think I am living proof that it is possible to spend almost 9 months deciding on a car seat. Second only to the pushchair, a car seat is, typically, the dads favourite arena of play. It is a headache if I’m honest, especially now there all these new regulations and laws about which way the baby is facing. When I was a baby my parents had one basic car seat, belted with the lap belt into the car that lasted me 5 years…there was no fluff and what not…and I survived. It was probably something like this:

Joie is a great brand. You can generally tell whether it’s a good brand or not by the website; This has been a fabulous website for me, with excellent help videos. They sent us the i-anchorsafe system to test out and put through it’s paces. It’s basically a base, with isofix capabilities and a car seat that sits perfectly onto the base. There is also a Gemm infant seat that you can purchase as well, but I’ll come more on to this in a little while. Here’s a very helpful picture: 


The Base: 

The base is heavy, which to me indicates it is well made. It is similar to most other isofiix bases, with 2 prongs out the back that fit through the seat and clip into the fixings on the car. Now, I must pause here for a moment and let out some frustration… Nissan decided to locate the Qashqai’s isofix fixings 3 inches too low. There is no way on this earth that they are usable. AAAAHHHH! I’m thinking a trip to the local Nissan garage is in order. This did mean however, that I need to belt the base in using the seat belt and this was very easy to do. (Since first writing this post, I have now upgraded to a newer Qashqai and the problem has been solved! Thank you Nissan!) 

The instructions were clear and accurate for using the belt to buckle the base in and they also have a video just incase the wife is doing it… That is a joke! The bottom ‘arm’ unfolds and sits on the base of the footwell. Joie have a green light system that when installing the base and car seat, all the ‘lights’ must turn completely green showing you that everything is correctly installed. Very helpful indeed! 

Another great thing about this base is that is has 7, that’s right 7, different reclining positions. And each and every position is very easily found using the orange lever which, when pulled upwards, allows the smooth movement to your new position. This is great for if you want your baby/child to sleep or sit upright. Good thinking Joie! 

The Seat: 

The seat boasts that it can be used from newborn all the way to a child roughly aged 4. That is a massive selling point to me because I do not want to be forking out for a new car seat every 6 months. The way it does this is in 2 ways. 

#1 The seat can attach to the base rear facing (for when you have a newborn – 15 month old) and can stay rearward facing for up to approximately 4 years old. At any point it can be forward facing to suit your needs. What a great idea and is unique! The quick release button allows you to take the seat off and turn it round with ease and speed. Not that you’d ever need to this with speed, but I like doing things with speed…it’s what I do…much to the wife’s irritation. *ahem* 

#2 The seat comes with 3 inserts that you simply take out when your child outgrows them. The restraints don’t change, just the padding inserts. The belts are big enough and have enough adjustment to cater for all the phases. This again, makes this seat a winner to me! 

The straps clip together very easily, so when it’s pouring with rain and you need to strap them in quickly, it’s easy to do so. They are also very easily adjustable using the small button, easily located under the buckle. There is one other addition to the seat which is a little annoying but nothing you can do about it. The roll bar has to be attached. I guess most people use a carry car seat and then change to one of these when a roll bar isn’t need. (Carry car seats use the carry handle as a roll bar.)

Now, this next bit of info needs to be a real consideration. This car seat does not come off the base and straight onto your pushchair. It is not part of a travel system in that capacity. If you want that, you would need to purchase the Gemm infant seat from Joie. Because of this, you need to weigh up what you want out of your car seat. We like this one because the advice we received was a newborn shouldn’t be in a car seat for any longer than 1 hour 30 mins and that time can run away with you if you drive into town and move the car seat to the pram without moving the baby. That baby will be in a car seat position
for a long time. With this seat, you would have to lift the baby out and put it into the separate pushchair, thus making the 1 hour 30 minutes start over. 

The seat is incredibly well padded giving ample support to the baby’s body and it meets all the necessary standards, including the new changes. It comes in a small range of colours. This is the first UK government certified i-side R129. It’s also
side impact certified so it really does cover all necessary requirements. For us, this is one of the best we’ve come across. It meets out needs and ticks our boxes. If we did want the Gemm car seat, we could get it but we’re going to see how we on to start with. 

We’ve looked at a lot of car seats, and really, what with the huge amounts of traffic on the road, there isn’t another piece of baby paraphernalia as important as this. It’s worth spending time looking at but this one for us was the best we found. When it comes to which car seat, this one is at the top of the pile! 



We really do like this car seat and so we’ve scoured the web to find you the cheapest place to get it. If you like what you’ve read and want to go for it, then click here.

Joie i-Anchor

The Joie i-anchorSafe system receives an official Dad Network star rating of 5 / 5 stars and receives our award of recommendation. 

The last thing we want to leave you with, is a table of some great car seats that have received excellent reviews. Obviously, cost has a big role to play when buying anything for a baby, so we’ve also found the best deals on the web for you.

[table caption=”Best Car Seat Deals” width=”700″ colwidth=”50|250|400″ colalign=”left|left|center|left|right”]
No,Car Seat,Price,Where to Buy
1,Maxi Cosi Pebble,£165,Amazon
2,Nuna Rebl iSize Car Seat,£395,eBay
3,Cybex Sirona,£369,Amazon
4,Maxi Cosi Tobi,£229,Amazon
5,Silvercross Simplicity Car Seat,£169,Amazon
6,Britax Evolva,£79.99,Amazon

If you enjoyed reading this review, why don’t you take a look at some of our other helpful guides, tips and reviews.

Since posting this review, we have received some comments about the difficulties some people have had with their baby’s head flopping when they’re sleeping… The Dad Network takes this seriously and so we have been working with Joie to try and help those having trouble. Joie have said this about the issues:

“I wanted to share with you directly the changes we have implemented to help with this common complaint with all ERF ISOFIX products.
As the ‘envelope’ is a specific parameter set within the ECE standard for ISOFIX products, thus all manufacturers of convertible seats have restricted space available to offer recline and still maximise the safety attainable within the set space allowed. The angle that the child seat has available does vary from vehicle to vehicle and unfortunately in some can be quite upright but around about 15-18months a child will usually have significant neck strength to naturally hold their head up during sleep even in vehicles with a steep seat. As the child will naturally keep their head upright whilst awake this head nodding is only when asleep, so a device that will help maintain a more comfortable position for older children is known as a neck support cushion. 
We at Joie are always looking to create the best products from the word go but also have no problem initiating changes to further enhance or improve usage of existing lines. During 2014 we actually changed the insert on production in the I-Anchor to allow for extended use of the wedge section alone which allows parents to maximise the seat angle for longer until the child’s neck has gained sufficient strength to hold up naturally during sleep, this new style insert we also brought in as a spare part thus is readily available FOC to anyone in the UK using the seat with the older version. The Joie website has also been improved to still offer consumers a direct contact facility straight from the page plus now on the contact us section it also has all regions customer service contact details including Global distributers, if a customer needs to contact us directly.”
Take a look at this Powerpoint for some more help.
Both The Dad Network and Joie are keen to see happy customers – don’t hesitate to leave a comment! :)

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