Cybex Cloud Z iSize car seat review

It's our pick for the best overall car seat – but is it right for you?
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Score

    Pros

    • Swivel base
    • Great design
    • Good recline

    Cons

    • Expensive

    What's the best car seat for babies? We reckon it's the Cybex Cloud Z iSize car seat. Our tester Hanna Cesek, mum to six-month-old Noa, tried and tested this car seat for our in-depth review.

    Looking for a super stylish car seat that swivels for easier access to your baby or toddler? We’ve found it.

    Credit: Cybex

    Design

    Weighs: 4.8kg | Suitable for: Birth – 24m

    Looks don’t matter all that much when it comes to a car seat, of course – safety is the number one priority. But the Cybex Cloud Z i-Size car seat looks so good that we have to bring it up. It’s so stylishly designed that you can’t help but remark on how smart it looks – car-proud parents will definitely approve – plus it comes in a variety of colours so you can match it to your vehicle’s upholstery, if you so desire.

    But what we love most about this car seat is that fact that it’s compatible with lots of different pram frames with the use of adapters (these have to be purchased separately) to create a travel system – and outside of the car, the seat can be reclined right back so that your baby can lie almost flat. This is the recommended position for newborns to support the healthy development of the spine and lungs, and to ensure optimal breathing, so this is a real standout feature that separates this car seat from others. If your baby nods off in the car, you can easily move them to the pushchair and let the snooze continue, knowing they’re comfortable in an ergonomic lie-flat position.

    Do note that the lie-flat feature can only be used when the seat is outside the car, but it also has a removable inlay to support newborns and help prevent breathing difficulties.

    Comfort and features

    Another standout feature of this car seat is the fact that our tester found it really intuitive to use, which isn’t always the case with car seats. Very often you can end up feeling like you need an engineering degree to operate a car seat, and that can be even more problematic if other family members are likely to be using it in their car from time to time. Not an issue with this one.

    But our favourite feature, apart from the recline mode, is the rotating base, which lets you swivel the seat to face the door side of the car, making it super easy to get your little one in and out of the car. Until you’ve used a car seat with a rotating base, it’s difficult to contemplate how much easier they are to use than car seats with fixed bases. Gone are the days of wrestling a wriggling child into a car seat whilst risking putting your back out – you just swivel the seat to face you without having to strain across the seat or reach awkwardly around your child to fasten the buckles.

    Our tester also commented on the safety features of this car seat, but noted that it was easy to forget to activate them all. “It has an energy absorbing shell and extra pop-out arms to increase your child’s safety in a side-impact collision side impact,” says Hanna. “Just make sure you don’t forget to pop them out.”

    It’s also worth noting that this is an iSize seat, which means it meets or exceeds the very latest European car seat safety regulations (ECE R129). Eventually, the older regulation (R44) will be phased out (they both run concurrently at the moment), meaning all car seats sold will be iSize seats, so if you’re buying this seat for your first baby and thinking about using it again for another baby within the next few years, you can rest assured that this will meet the necessary safety regulations. You do, however, need to check that this seat is compatible with your vehicle before you buy because not all iSize seats fit all vehicles. iSize seats, unlike seats that adhere to the older car seat safety regulations, also have to pass a side-impact crash test so they’ve been through more rigorous testing than non-iSize seats.

    Value for money

    There’s no denying it; this is an expensive car seat – especially when you factor in that you’ve got to buy the base separately as an additional expense. But we think it’s the kind of item of baby gear that you end up being really glad you went for, even if the price might make you think twice initially. The base is an extra £185, which is a pretty hefty additional cost, but this seat can be used until your baby is two years old, which adds to its overall value.

    Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that the base can also be used with the Cybex Sirona car seat, which can be used until your child is four years old. So if you opt for that seat once your child has outgrown this one, you won’t need to buy an additional base and in fact, you’ll get a further two years of use from this base. If, by then, you might be thinking of having another child, the base will obviously also be put to use all over again.

    Despite the price tag, our tester wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this seat to friends. “The Cybex Cloud Z is perfect for people who want a smart-looking car seat, packed with safety features that can be taken in and out of the car really easy but also allows you to take your baby out easier than any other car seat on the market,” she says.

    “The swivel base makes it perfect for anyone who maybe who suffers from a bad back or another injury that might ordinarily make taking your baby out of their car seat a little tricky, or for anyone who just wants to be kind to their back – it just eliminates all the hassle of getting a squirming baby in and out of the car. I also don’t think you need to pick functionality over design with this car seat –  this one really has it all.

    Verdict

    "The Cybex Cloud Z i-Size is a great car seat, with brilliant safety features – including pop-out side impact protection and a base that swivels – making getting your baby in and out of the car so easy," says Hanna. "It also reclines, so your baby can lie nearly flat, plus a removable newborn insert and adjustable straps and headrest, so it can grow with your baby."