Eliza has been in her baby car seat pretty much since she was born, but she is definitely ready for something bigger now. Choosing the right car seat is a real minefield. There is so much to consider – safety is obviously the top priority, but I also want something that will last as she grows, something that is easy to install, and something comfortable. The Joie Bold seems to tick all those boxes and then some.
Essentially the Bold is 3 car seats in 1. Suitable from 9-25 kg with the 5 point harness, and then up to 36kg with the seatbelt, this car seat will last you from the toddler stage right through to the age where you no longer need a car seat. I really love the fact that you can use the 5 point harness for a lot longer than you can with some child seats, as I do feel this is much more secure for most children. The seat features Guard Surround Safety panels, which offer side impact protection from head to hips, keeping little ones safe in an impact.
Installation is pretty straightforward. There is a 9 position ISOFIX connector, making it easy to slide into the car seat whatever the angle. For extra security on top of this, you fasten the seat into position using the seatbelt (there are very obvious guides for this) and a top tether. Once installed, it feels incredibly secure and there is no movement. There is a handy vehicle compatibility guide on the website to make sure the Joie Bold will fit safely in your car.
Adjustability is an important factor in a car seat, and the Joie Bold delivers here too. The headrest can be moved up and down easily – you just push in the button on the top of the headrest and slide up or down until it clicks into one of the 10 available positions. The bottom of the headrest should be level with your child’s shoulders. The seat also features 3 recline positions, which can be accessed by using the button underneath the seat. Adjusting the headrest automatically relocates the harness into the correct position, meaning you don’t need to rethread the harness straps every time your child has a growth spurt! The harness is simple to use too – you simply clip the shoulder and waist straps together with the crotch strap, then pull the adjustment strap between the legs to get the right amount of tension. There is a removable insert for smaller children, to ensure they are sitting in the optimum position for the harness, and the sides of the seat are ventilated for extra comfort on those hot days.
The Joie Bold is well padded and seems to offer a good level of comfort for Eliza. It is spacious while still being secure and holding her in a good seating position. She loves the cupholder on the side – this is something she hasn’t had before, but is really useful for longer journeys, and definitely safer than trying to retrieve a dropped bottle from the floor! It’s handy for small toys too.
As Eliza gets bigger, eventually we can remove the 5 point harness and use this seat with the seatbelt instead. The harness can be stored within the seat to keep it safe and out of the way along with the installation manual.
I am really impressed with the Joie Bold. It is incredibly versatile, offering car seat safety from 9 months – 12 years approximately. It is easy to adjust as Eliza grows, and it keeps her snug and comfortable even on longer journeys. It is compact too, not taking up much room on the back seat of our car. We can still easily fit 3 car seats in a row using the Joie Bold. The extra side impact gives me peace of mind, so I know her whole body is protected. Overall, the Joie Bold is definitely one of the best stage 1,2,3 car seats we have had, and we will continue to use this for may years to come.