Installing a Swedish rear facing car seat
Each month we receive thousands of emails from parents around the world. The other day we received a question regarding installation which is often asked. It's one of the many myths regarding Swedish rear facing car seats. Heike from Germany writes:
We live in Germany and would like to buy a rear facing car seat, a reboarder. We have spoken to some baby stores and seen some tests. Many say the seats are difficult to place in the car. We drive a 2009 VW Golf, can you tell us if installation is difficult?
Mfg/Heike aus Germany
Many organizations, magazines and papers write that rear facing seats are “difficult or almost impossible to install”. An expert is required and it's nothing a normal parent can do. Is this true?
We decided to show a complete installation of a normal rear facing car seat in real life conditions. We installed a seat on the street outside our store a typical Swedish winter day. It was 3 pm in the afternoon, light snow and a temperature of -1 degrees C (30 Fahrenheit). At this time in winter it's also dark which is why the video is not of great quality.
So we had darkness, side walk installation, snow and cold weather. Since the Swedish rear facing seats are “almost impossible to install” this must have taken a long time. How long? 5 hours? 2 hours? Maybe just an hour? As short as 30 minutes? Shorter?
This complete installation with seat belt, under worst conditions possible, took 2 minutes. What do we see in the short video? Installation of a Britax Hi-Way. Installation will also be exactly the same with Britax Max-Way, Multi Tech or pretty much any other Swedish rear facing seat.
- We slide front seat forward to attach tether straps. This car has small tether loops which are found in some Swedish cars. We are NOT using these and instead attach straps to seat rail of the car. This can be done in almost any car regardles of nationality.
- We place car seat on the seat, remove fabric slightly, slide seat belt through the seat and buckle the seat belt.
- Then we attach tether straps to the car seat, make sure support leg is in a good position and tighten straps
- We move front seat backwards.
As you can see, installing a Swedish rear facing seat is fast and not difficult. Even when done during a cold and dark Swedish winter day:-)