A Car Seat on a Budget – the Joie Tilt
With a big baby who had outgrown the initial group 0 car seat that I purchased by 6 months, I was in the position of needing a group 1 car seat far quicker than anticipated. With us both being self employed and having little in the way of maternity pay I was definitely very conscious of our budget. Browsing in-store in a few places was a bit daunting, especially as some car seats were costing £200 or more – and I’d need two, as my mother wanted one for her car as she helps us with childcare two days a week.
I was also stuck with the issue of my son’s size. A baby in the 99th percentile means weight and size restrictions are suddenly really important. I finally happened on the Joie Tilt, which at around £70 came in far cheaper than others. In fact, I could buy two cheaper than I could buy a lot of single seats. I purchased it at full price and wasn’t asked or compensated in any way for this review. I read a lot of reviews on dozens of car seats before buying, so I thought I’d share my thoughts having used it now for over 6 months.
I ordered my Joie Tilt from Uber Kids and it came very fast and well packaged – with free delivery too!
Advantages of the Joie Tilt
The Joie Tilt was very easy to fit – but we found the instruction manual a little bit confusing and complicated! Instead we ended up browsing YouTube videos to figure it out. One we knew how to fit it, both my husband and I and my mother have no problem popping it in and out. It only takes about 3 minutes to get it in and is quite lightweight at 6kg, so ideal for car swapping or carrying.
It’s rear facing for the full duration of the weight limit – that’s up to 18kg (40lbs), or you can switch it front facing. In front facing it has three recline positions, but safety recommendations these days are to keep rear facing as long as possible. In rear facing it has a sleeping tilt mode or upright, and the sleeping is ideal for younger babies or trips where you hope they’ll be sleeping.
The seat is very comfortable, with absolutely no complaints at all from my son and a secure 5 point locking harness with shoulder protection that’s easy to clip on and off.
It’s also available in two colours. We use the “two tone black” which is black and dark grey in our car, but my mother went for the “ladybird”, a jazzy red and black in hers, which I actually really like.
Disadvantages of the Joie Tilt
It is only a group 0+ and 1 car seat. This means it’s suitable to 18kg (40lbs). Since my son is now 30lbs at 14 months, it seems very unlikely this will last me to the advertised age of 4 years. His length is also off the charts, which doesn’t help. So when your child hits 40lbs, you will need to upgrade again, however when you consider the price, I feel quite happy that it will (hopefully) have lasted us two years.
It doesn’t have ISOFIX and the base can feel a little bit unsteady compared to my previous ISOFIX car seat, although I’m reassured that it’s a good brand and it’s passed all the safety tests, so I feel quite confident using it. I like to just re-adjust and lock the seatbelt every time before we set off to make sure it’s secure, which only takes me a few seconds. I think this is a downside that most seat-belt strapped car seats will have over ISOFIX.
It’s a little bit awkward to get my son in and out of it in the rear facing position. In part due to the high sides, and in part due to the seatbelt position. You have to do a little bit of a tilt and a swivel. My son goes in like a dream, but if you have a baby that’s hard to get in and out of a car seat, I imagine this battle could be a little bit harder due to the somewhat limited accessibility.
A Quick Recap of the Pros and Cons of the Joie Tilt Group 0+/1 Car Seat
- Very budget friendly and lower priced than most car seats with the same features.
- High ratings for safety.
- Rear facing up to 18kg.
- 3 front-facing recline positions
- 1 rear-facing recline position
- Only group 0+/1 so will need to be replaced at 40lbs.
- No ISOFIX.
- Limited accessibility in rear facing.
- Seatbelt placement can get in the way.
I’m actually very impressed with what the Joie Tilt offers for the cost and I think it compares with car seats that cost double or more the price. It’s definitely not perfect, but I do think that it’s safe and comfortable which are my two important concerns, and I’d be very surprised if you could get something better in this price range. A big thumbs up for the Joie Tilt Group 0+/1 Car Seat, especially for those shopping on a budget!
What are you looking for in a car seat right now? Leave a comment below!