For any parent who’s constantly on the move, among the most important considerations that you’ll have to make would be getting a good child seat for your kids. This is vital, not only for the comfort of your little loved ones, especially when they’re of tender age. But also, a good child seat will be able to guarantee their safety, should something happen.
And FYI, it’s a bad idea to keep younger children restrained using only seat belts. The latter of which is designed to accommodate adult proportions. As such, they won’t easily fit a small child to keep them safely in place. In most cases, a child won’t be able to be restrained properly with a seat belt until they’re at least 8 to 12 years old, once they’ve grown to be tall and wide enough to fit into one.
This is where specialised child seats come into play. Yet, most parents often make the mistake of assuming that every child seat is practically the same. That often gives the illusion that we won’t need to fuss around and be picky about choosing between child seats. Although, in practice, this is not true. Although all child seats need to meet a minimum safety standard, some are just better.
That’s where the BeSafe Stretch child seat enters the fray. Which, some might refer to it as the Rolls-Royce of child seats. Therefore, if you want the absolute best for your child, this is basically it. But, what is it about the BeSafe Stretch that makes it so special compared to getting just any other child seat? Often, for much less money than what this one costs. Well, we’ll begin with its design…
Rear-Facing vs Front-Facing Child Seats
For one, BeSafe is a market leader when it comes to creating rear-facing child seats. This is much more important than it might appear at first, especially when compared to front-facing child seats. Having them face rearwards could significantly boost a child’s chance of escaping a crash without any scratches (or as few as possible). In fact, rear-facing seats can be as much as 5-times safer!
This is because, in most forward-bearing collisions, much of the inertia and momentum that a body undergoes will force you to jerk forwards with such brunt force. For younger kids, this can seriously damage their necks and heads, should they fly or be jerked forwards with that much force. With a rear-facing seat, a similar collision would simply force the heads back into the padded headrests.
This is why rear-facing child seats will always triumph over front-facing ones, in regard to ensuring maximal impact protection. The BeSafe Stretch even goes further beyond. To best maximise a kid’s chances of escaping a collision unscathed, it has a robust external frame. That’s the silver bar which you might be able to see wrapping around the clamshell… To absorb much of the initial brunt.
The inner shell itself is also incredibly rigid, ensuring that a child could stay safely in place in the aftershock following the impact. And don’t just take our word for it, either. The BeSafe Stretch has passed the world’s toughest crash test, the Swedish PLUS test, with flying colours. As for fitment, it’s suited for children as young as 6 months old, up to 7 years old. So, it’ll certainly last for a long while.
Easy And Versatile Installation Process
Due to the BeSafe Stretch’s relatively large size, it’s no longer feasible to simply install it using your car’s ISOFIX points. Yet, they’ve made the installation process as easy and simple as possible. Now, the seat itself is basically placed atop a solid mount. A part of that mount has a leg that will reach the bottom of the floor. But, what if that extended leg was knocked out of place in the footwell?
In that case, it even comes with an audible alarm to let you know that it’s partially floating and isn’t correctly propped up. This is crucial, to make doubly sure that the seats are positioned as stable as they can be. On top of that, the Stretch has a seat-belt-like self-tightening tether that you can hook onto the bottom of the front seats or anchor points in the car. These provide additional stability to the seats and prevent excessive movement.
As for mounting the Stretch onto your seats, there’s no physical latch or mounting point like ISOFIX. Instead, it’s a simple (yet elegant) solution of running your seat belts through a set of loops near its footrest. Then, latch the seat belt into the buckle on the other side, using it as a solid tether. The BeSafe Stretch comes with a clever tightening mechanism to make sure that the seat belt is as taut as it can be.
The fact that it relies on your seat belts as tethering points instead of an ISOFIX setup means you’re not limited as to where you could install the seat. You might also notice a solid bumper guard on the sides, as well. This prevents the doors from hitting the Stretch at full force, in case of a side-impact collision.
Improving Upon Every Child Seat Before It
In the Ford Mustang Mach-E that we have here, the BeSafe Stretch fits rather easily. Yet, it still has an abundance of headroom and legroom to comfortably fit the seats. And, I imagine their versatile mounting system would make it pretty straightforward to install in most other cars, too. But, if you think that’s not enough, there’s a lot of adjustability in its configuration to play around with.
This way, it’ll always be as snug and as comfy as possible for your child. You can see how there are several cushions and inserts on the upper layer of the super-soft fabric seats. Well, as your children grow older and get bigger, the cushions can easily be removed, one by one, to enable a better fit. It then comes with an adjustable headrest, which you can extend and lengthen in ten different ways.
When it comes to fitment, the BeSafe Stretch is good for kids as tall as 125cm and 36kg in weight, with legroom of 26cm. If you want your kids to get even comfier, the seats can pivot slightly, as well. Such as, being able to recline in one of five positions, depending on how you want your child to orientate. BeSafe’s minute attention to detail is also very handy, and commendable.
For instance, you might be able to see those round pucks inside the middle of the seat harnesses. It actually contains magnets in there, where you could stick them onto the side of the seats. Thus, it makes the troublesome and tricky process of wanting to stuff your rowdy kids into the seats a much easier process. The seats are quite light too (around 11.5kg), so removing them is fairly easy.
Are They Worth The Price?
For around £450, the BeSafe Stretch is no doubt a premium bit of kit. But given that you’re spending to enhance a child’s comfort… And most importantly of all, their safety, it’s an investment that’s well worth the asking price. Some child seats are cheaper, but they can’t offer nearly as much as these can.
I’d say if you can afford it this is a very wise choice to spend your money on. That’s especially if you’re conscious of just how random and sudden accidents can be on the open road. Rather than leaving it all to chance and hoping nothing bad happens, you’ll feel a lot better about yourself if you minimise those risks as much as possible with a good child seat.
Take a look at more images of the seat installed below. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer.