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28 Aug 2019

Are Joie car seats any good?

We compare popular Joie baby car seats including the Joie Every Stage FX and Joie Spin 360

Joie is one of the most popular child car seat brands in the UK.

It makes a car seat for every age and stage, with some Joie car seats spanning all the seat groups - Group 0+, Group 1 and Group 2/3 high-back boosters.

Prices start from a pretty reasonable £60 for Joie multi-group car seats and high-back boosters, but the feature-packed high-end car seats from Joie rise to around £200.

There's a range of belt-fitting or Isofix installations possible, and for the i-Size Joie car seats you can choose from four base types - clickFIT (£60), i-Base (£90), i-Base Advance (£125) and i-Base LX (£100).

See which were the best child car seats when we put them through crash tests.

We've tested 14 of the most popular Joie baby and child car seats. Here's how the most widely available compare:

Joie baby car seats

Joie i-Size car seats

The Joie i-Level and Joie i-Gemm are i-Size car seats that are suitable from birth until your child reaches 85cm, but less than 13kg, which is approximately 12-15 months old.

  • Both car seats come with a zip-open expandable canopy and a plush infant insert to ensure a cosy fit for your baby.
  • Both are travel system-compatible with Joie pushchairs and with other branded pushchairs using Maxi-Cosi adapters.
  • The i-Level (£200) is twice the price of the i-Gemm (£95), but the Isofix base is included with the i-Level so you don't have to budget separately for it.
  • The i-Gemm can be installed using the adult seatbelt, but to be truly i-Size it needs to paired with the Joie i-Base Advance Isofix base (£80).
  • The i-Gemm is airline certified, so it can be taken on flights.
  • The i-Level has a lie-flat recline option, which you can use in the car or as part of a travel system with Joie pushchairs. A flatter position is beneficial for young babies, enabling them to breathe more easily and put less pressure on their spine compared with a more upright position.

One of these seats scored higher than the other in our safety crash tests.

Joie Group 0+/1 car seats

The Joie Spin 360 (£200) can be used from birth and it's suitable until your child reaches 18kg, which is around four years old.

  • It's an extended rear-facing car seat, which is the safest position for your baby to travel in, but it can be turned forward-facing thanks to the innovative 360-degree spin feature once your child reaches 15 months old.
  • The fact that you can spin it round also helps when it comes to putting your child in the seat, meaning less strain on your back.
  • Unlike the lightweight i-Level and i-Gemm, the Spin 360 is quite a heavy seat, thanks to the integrated Isofix base, so it's not a good choice if you plan to regularly move it between cars.
  • It's also not travel system-compatible so it can't be used with a pushchair.
  • It has padded inlays for a cosy fit when your baby is very young, and five recline positions to help your little one travel in comfort.

We've found other car seats at this stage that have done better in our crash tests. Compare all our group 0+/1 car seat reviews.

Joie multi-stage car seats

Group 1/2/3

The Joie Transcend (£180) and Joie Trillo Shield (£120) are forward-facing child car seats spanning multiple groups. This means they last much longer than single-group car seats.

  • They can be used from 9kg to 36kg, which is from around nine months old to 12 years old when a car seat is no longer required. To adjust the seat as your child grows, simply raise the headrest and the sides expand automatically.
  • The Transcend and the Trillo Shield both use an impact shield cushion instead of a harness in Group 1 mode. Not all children like impact shields. We always advise taking a child along when buying the next stage seat to ensure that the car seat fits in the car. But with an impact shield seat it's also important to check your child will sit in the seat comfortably.
  • Both child car seats can be installed into your car using Isofix connectors and the car's adult seatbelt, or using the adult seatbelt alone. Using the Isofix means you don't have to worry about remembering to secure the seat when it's not being used.

If your little one isn't happy with an impact shield, see all our other reviews of group 1/2/3 car seats.

Group 0/1/2/3

The Joie Every Stage FX (£240) is approved for use from birth right up to 36kg, which is around 12 years old.

  • It spans all the car seat groups: it's a rear-facing Group 0+ baby car seat, a Group 1 toddler seat that can be rear- or forward-facing with a five-point harness, and a Group 2/3 high-backed booster seat.
  • The Every Stage FX can be installed using the adult seat belt or Isofix connectors when it's forward facing in Group 1 and Group 2/3 mode, and there's the addition of a top tether when it's forward facing in Group 1.
  • Bear in mind that a multi-group seat can be trickier to install, as you have to route the seatbelt differently depending on how you're using the seat.

Read our Joie Every Stage FX review to find out why we're saying don't buy this car seat.

Joie high-backed booster seats

The similarly priced Joie Duallo (£70) and Joie Trillo LX (£70) are forward-facing Group 2/3 high-back booster seats that are designed to be used from 15kg, which is about three years old, to 36kg, approximately 12 years old.

  • The Duallo can be installed using the car's adult seatbelt and Isofix connectors, or the adult seatbelt alone.
  • The Trillo LX is the same, except it uses Isofit connectors which are slightly different to Isofix. They're more like loose hooks, rather than rigid connectors, but they do the same job of holding your car seat securely in place, even when it's not being used.
  • Both car seats are relatively lightweight, so it won't be an issue to swap between cars, and they offer extra side-impact protection to shield your child's head and torso in the event of a sideways collision with another vehicle.
  • As with the multi-group seats, pulling the headrest up automatically extends the side wings to create more space for your child as they grow.

If you're in the market for a high-back booster, go to our Joie Duallo review and Joie Trillo LX review to compare the star ratings, tech specs and crash test results.

Find out more about Joie baby car seats in our guide to the most popular baby and child car seat brands.