Cybex, maker of child car seats and pushchairs, has announced the arrival of a new Group 0+/1 seat, the Sirona, that is designed allow children to stay rear facing for longer.
Due in the UK in spring 2012 the Sirona, which will be available in Mamas and Papas, claims to offer ‘more leg room and the same level of comfort as conventional forward facing Group 1 car seats’.
New UK regulations on their way
The Cybex Sirona should meet the new legal regulations that are expected in early 2013 that children must be kept rear facing for longer. It is anticipated that the regulations will require children to be kept in rear-facing car seats until they reach 15 months.
Which? child car seats expert David Evans says, ‘We welcome innovations that allow parents the option of keeping children rear facing for longer as, in theory, this should offer better crash protection. However, this certainly isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing the right seat for your child’.
Reduced chance of misuse?
Which? has tested a number of rear-facing Group 1 seats and has found that some are very difficult to install making the risk of misuse unacceptably high.
Cybex says that the possibility of installing the Sirona incorrectly is very small compared to traditional group 1 rear-facing seats because it uses Isofix in both front and rearward facing positions.
Innovative design features
The Sirona can be used from birth to around four years old (18 kgs). Once your child can no longer fit comfortably in rear-facing mode, the seat can be switched to forward facing using a 360-degree rotating mechanism. Current legal requirements state that your child must be at least 9 kgs before you move them forward facing but Which? advises that you keep your child rear facing as long as you can.
The rotating feature also allows parents to put their child in and take them out with the seat facing the car door which tends to make the process easier.
In forward facing mode the Sirona uses a safety cushion instead of a five point harness similar to the cushion used by another Which? tested Cybex model, the . We’ve also tested some Group 1 seats from Kiddy like the Energy Pro which uses a similar system.
Cybex also says that the Sirona utilises a revolutionary new technology that they’ve called Seat-to-Chassis Connect Technology. A direct link is created between the car and seat which transmits the force of a collision directly to the seat allowing the impact to be absorbed very quickly.
We look forward to probing Cybex’s claims in our rigorous crash tests once the Sirona is available on the UK market.
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