04 October 2018

REVIEW:KOOPERS LAVOLTA CAR SEAT (BELT) AN AFFORDABLE OPTION


Once you have a baby, your main aim is to always have them protected and living in this modern era, car seats have become essential for their safety. If I'm not mistaken, starting next year, our government will be enforcing the use of car seats for babies and toddlers in cars just like as we have to wear our seatbelts. It's a good thing too as some may still not see the importance of a child's safety as our old folks didn't use these back in the days and some may not even want to splurge on something that is thought as not necessary enough to them. Don't be shocked as some parents I know still have this kind of mentality and yes it angers me too. Actually, you don't really have to spend so much on a car seat if you know which car seat you should aim. Let me tell you my experience on this and why I chose a car seat from Koopers. Read on to know.



The first thing my husband and I bought when I was pregnant was a car seat. Living in a modern society makes us more aware of why car seats are needed especially when you live in the city. Of course, I did my studies on which car seat I should buy and my top priorities were safety, quality, and price. So I went into tons of websites, reading reviews and comparing prices of car seats from different brands as we had quite a tough budget back then. We didn't want to buy a cheap car seat as we were worried it's quality might not serve its purpose when something unexpected happens and that's a risk I couldn't take. So what I did was I listed down the brands that I knew have car seats made with trustable safety standards. Once I had all the brands listed down, I went on with choosing a car seat which mostly I see above my budget.

Honestly, it made me a bit down so I stopped doing my research and planned to go to the Baby Expo where prices were usually marked down a bit. So we did go but we bought a 2 in 1 car seat instead since my mother-in-law wanted it, so she paid for the balance from our budget. LOL... But after my son reached 7 months, we found that the car seat was no longer suitable for him as he seems a bit tight in it and it's only able for rearward facing when he already shows signs he wants to sit straight. So that's when I started doing research again and this time I needed to get a car seat which was compatible for him to use now up until he grows up to sit without it. Only this time, it wasn't that hard of a research since I already knew what brand was good that offers a car seat within my budget. This brand was also recommended by my friends as they feel it's a good one too and it's no other than Koopers Distribution.


I've been eyeing Koopers car seats for a while but didn't get it immediately as I was still unsure if I'll be making the right choice. Eventually, I made up my mind that I should just go for Koopers as I got so many good reviews from word of mouths from other parents that its quality is superb and it's an affordable one too.

Seems Maliq was at luck as Koopers was good enough to sponsor one of their car seats for him at just the right time! We were even invited to their office to choose the one that suits him best and I was glad we did because we learned a few things that we didn't know before regarding on car seats. Mr. Wong, their director personally was kind enough to recommend us the right car seat and even show us a demonstration on how to install it as well. Honestly, my husband and I are rather clueless about car seats.

Turns out, the most important thing you should know first is if your car has Isofix. If it has Isofix, you can purchase any car seat offered, but if you don't, you'll only have the belt option. Since our daily car didn't have Isofix our choices were a bit limited to belt only which made us narrow down to choose Koopers Lavolta Car Seat.



Before I go on with my review, let me share with you some of the features this car seat offers and explain the reasons why we chose this car seat as well.

1. Group 0+, I, II (0-25kg) 
The first reason why I wanted to change to a new car seat was that Maliq has been uncomfortable in his old one since space between him is getting tight. He starts to yell out loud after a while and I could clearly see that he's uncomfortable. So this time I had to make sure the car seat we chose was suitable for a long run. Koopers Lavolta car seat offered just what I needed which was to still allow Maliq to sit rearward until he reaches 1 and then let him sit forward facing after, up until 6 years old.

2. European Safety Standard ECE R44/04 approved
This was one of the main reasons why I chose Koopers was that they actually do crash tests with their car seats which makes me feel more confident that the car seat would help keep my baby safe of lowering the risk if anything may have happened. Besides, isn't that what car seats are for? If I'm not mistaken, Koopers also has this special program where if you get into an accident and your car seat is damaged, you can come to their office with your police report to get an exchange for a new car seat. Interesting right? More details below:


3. Rearward Facing from 0-13kg (newborn to 1 year)
It's a big advantage that this car seat could be used since newborn as it has an infant body which is another layer of cushion on top. Since Maliq was already 8 months when we got this car seat, we took out the extra cushion which gave him more space with his seat. The first time we had him in this car seat with the infant body, he fell asleep instantly. Probably with the extra cushion, it made it softer than our previous car seat so he was comfortable but when he got up, he kept wanting to lift up his body,  could be because the extra cushion made him lay down a bit tall, so when I had that removed, only did he look comfortable. The best part is that he had his legs wide apart like a boss. He sure looked like he loved the extra space the car seat provided.


4. Forward Facing from 9-25kg (9 months to 6 years)
According to the instructions placed on the car seat, 9kg above we can already have the car seat forward facing which was also another main reason I wanted to change my previous car seat. Maliq was already over that weight when he was 9 months but Mr. Wong advised to only face it forward once the baby reaches 1 year as the neck isn't that strong yet. I only got the point when I had to drive alone with Maliq when he was fast asleep at the back.

I rarely drive alone with Maliq as I tend to get worried easily having him at the back all alone because I can't see him. I don't want to take the risk and have his car seat placed at the front even if the airbag is turned off, it's still risky. So what I did was let him face forward so I could see him easily from the mirror, besides, that time I thought that his weight was already heavy enough to face forwards so I had my husband adjust it.

Well, no doubt Maliq did enjoy his first ride facing forward and looking out the window easily instead of looking in front and seeing the back seat. I was at ease too because I could see him through the mirror easily and he didn't even cry at all, except yelling with joy when he sees a motorbike beside his window. LOL... Anyways, the point is, when he fell asleep his neck wasn't properly supported as he didn't rest his head down properly at the back. So his neck was bent down to the front which concerned me that something might happen if I don't do something so I actually stopped at the gas station to adjust his seat. He had his neck bent down quite low and he was fast asleep, it looked so uncomfortable and even us as adults sleeping like that will cause pain when we wake up.


5. 4 Reclinable Positions
Rearward facing there is only 1 reclinable position and there are 3 positions for forward facing you could choose from, which of course depends on your baby's weight as well. There are instructions on the car seat labeled with stickers so you won't have to worry if you forget. But you won't be able to lay it down like the rearward facing for forward facing position. The difference for forward facing doesn't have much difference for each number actually. Even for number 3, it still seems like it's straight up and not much slanted but all car seats are like that I suppose, it should be for safety reasons.

6. Infant Body and Head Support Cushion
As I mentioned earlier, the car seat was included with an infant body and head support as well. We took out the infant body but kept the head support on for Maliq. His head still needs support since he's still a baby. Helps to keep him comfortable too especially when he falls asleep.

7. 5 Point Safety Harness System
I don't know why but my previous car seat, the straps keeps getting tangled and I have a hard time making sure that it's not twisted. This one seems to always have it in place and it has never got twisted either. Which makes it much easier to buckle up Maliq especially when we're in a rush too. Compared to my previous buckle, it was all hard plastic but the Lavolta has a steel buckle which makes it more steady. The straps also have a rubber pad at the back so it's able to avoid it from getting twisted and going up and down as well. I didn't notice much use of this at first but later when I compared to my previous car seat which didn't have this, I notice that with the pads at its right place,  gives much more comfort to the baby.
While for the installation, honestly it's still a bit tricky for me but I could do it if I set my mind to it. LOL... Usually, I'll have my husband to do it since he's more detailed and I'm just lazy. Since the car seats, main purpose is for safety, you should always make sure that it's properly installed and below is a video on how to install the Lavolta Carseat rearward and forward position by my husband.









As you see it may be a bit tricky at first but once you get the hang of it, its not as hard as you think,  but it does take some time to install. There are 4 steps to install it properly but don't worry, directions are placed on the car seat itself for reference just in case you forget.

8. Side Impact Protection
I guess this function is to help minimize the risk if the car is hit from the side. There's one on both sides and it sticks out from the car seat.
My Overview
Above I mentioned about all the features the car seat has but now here's my personal view on this car seat. Besides all the features, there are also some other things that I'll like to highlight so you can think about it too.
What I Love:
1. Spacious
Compared to my previous car seat, the Lavolta is indeed spacious once the Infant Body is taken out. I'll know it'll get smaller once my son grows but for now, he has the luxury to enjoy the space for quite some time because it will take time before he totally grows out of it.
2. Design
The Lavolta Offers 4 colors which are Black, Grey, Blue, and Red. All colors were nice actually but we chose Grey because my husband likes black but I didn't want to get black because of mosquitoes (like it made a difference though). Let's just say Maliq liked the grey color. Anyways, for the design, I think it's stylish and it kinda looks expensive too.
3. Material
I super love that the seat rest is covered in a breathable mesh so that air could flow and reduce the heat. My son sweats so much even sometimes when it's air-conditioned, probably the outside heat is too hot too. Our previous car seat, when I picked him up after a ride, I can see his sweat drenched on the seat rest but for the Lavolta its different. I can't see a wet seat and even my sons back isn't that drenched with sweat too.
What I'm Not That Keen Of
1. Installation
I'm not gonna lie but I really don't prefer the installation, it's quite a hassle especially when we change cars most of the time. It depends, sometimes we use my husbands' car, sometimes my car, sometimes our parents' cars and so on. So there's actually a lot of uninstalling and installing and it takes time too. This would all be good if my husbands' car which was our daily car had Isofix, so installation would be easy just by a click. He kinda disliked that it's taking much of his time as well, so guess who bought a new car.

Overall the Koopers Lavolta is perfect for those with a tight budget but wants a quality car seat. Installation may be a bit tricky but if you don't change cars as much as us, it's the right one to have. There should be no more excuse that car seats are expensive as Koopers does offer an affordable price. Besides, you could use this car seat up to 6 years, so that's worth the investment. Please keep your child safe and use a car seat, please do not risk your child by carrying him in your arms because you'll never know what sudden impact could do. Also please don't use the excuse that your baby cries in a car seat, it's sad to even hear excuses like that. Teach them and they'll get used to it, just like Maliq had.

Product Deets
Name: Koopers Lavolta
Price: RM469 RM375
Purchase: koopers.co

More Deets
Website: koopers.co

Till then peeps!

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