Safety 1st Connexion Indoor & Outdoor Pack April 2012
First look review
According to Safety 1st, the Connexion is the ‘ultimate solution for feeding, travelling, sleeping and playing’. The complete package includes a pushchair, carrycot, car seat, high chair and rocking bouncer. But does being a jack of all trades make it a master of none? We got it in for a first look to find out.
The Connexion system is an innovative concept that offers a reasonably priced package of baby equipment for new parents. But we found this package isn’t perfect.
Indoor and outdoor packs
The complete Connexion system consists of two separate packs. The Outdoor Pack comprises a pushchair chassis, seat unit and car seat, while the Indoor Pack offers another seat unit, carrycot, high chair frame and rocking bouncer frame.
The two seat units are almost identical and can be interchanged between all frames. The only difference is the colour – the one in the Outdoor Pack is black and the one in the Indoor Pack is red. The carrycot can be used on the pushchair frame to make a pram and on the high chair frame to make a crib.
So £450 will get you a pushchair, pram, car seat, crib, high chair and rocking seat. This seems like a pretty reasonable price for so much versatility.
However, the car seat that is included hasn’t been tested in our lab. We would always recommend you buy a child car seat that we’ve put through our rigorous crash tests. The Maxi-Cosi Pebble and Cabriofix, both of which we’ve tested, also fit on the Connexion.
You can read our more in-depth first look review of the Connnexion as a pushchair, but here’s a quick summary of our first impressions.
The Connexion pushchair is intuitively designed and feels sturdy, with the exception of the rather flimsy hood. We liked the capacity of the shopping basket, which is easy to access.
The easy-to-operate brakes are clicked on with the right foot pedal and off with the left pedal - and the back-rest recline is very smooth and simple to use, even with just one hand. We found it easy to fold and reasonably compact when folded, and it is equally simple to unfold.
However, we weren’t sold on the pushing experience – the Connexion feels heavy to push and there’s no suspension, so bumps on cobbles and gravel are quite noticeable.
Both seats can be used from six months but if you buy the Indoor Pack too, it comes with a carrycot that can be used from birth.
Connexion high chair
The high chair is easy to use, fold up and store. The tray can be removed very simply and can also be handily stored on the frame when not in use.
It uses the same seat as the pushchair, but the label on the accompanying soft fabric cover says it is hand wash only. We think it’s unrealistic to use this cover in high chair mode when it’s likely to be splattered with food very quickly. It’s removable but it’s a bit of a hassle to take it on and off.
Altering the harness height poses the same difficulty, as it requires some strength to get the strap fixings in and out of the foam seat.
Ease of cleaning is something we always test in our full high chair tests, as unsuitable fabrics stain easily, and nooks and crannies can become food traps.
The seat has a decent recline so can be used in its reclined position for children younger than six months, to bring your baby closer to your height when you are sitting down or at the table.
The bouncer’s rocking frame feels sturdy, while the seat, which has two recline positions, can be attached and removed with ease. The rocker can be used from birth to nine months.
The carrycot fits on the high chair frame so it can be used as a crib or cradle, as well as to form a pram when fitted on the pushchair frame.
It seems very spacious and actually looks a little oversized on the pushchair’s compact frame, but at least it’s unlikely your baby will grow out of it before they can sit up.
Safety 1st Connexion price
The Safety 1st Connexion Outdoor Pack costs £250 and the Indoor Pack is £200.
Pros: Innovative, versatile system that’s reasonably priced and provides most of your essential baby kit in one package
Cons: The pushing experience isn’t great – it’s heavy and harder work to manoeuvre than it should be, and the soft seat insert isn’t machine washable