When Joseph became too heavy to for me to carry him in his infant carrier I knew that it was time for a new car seat for him. As he was still very young and under 9kg I wanted to follow the safety advice and still have him rear facing. So when I was offered a product from Graco as part of their Ambassador programme to test out, my choice was the Graco Junior Mini.
The Junior Mini is suitable from birth to 18kg (approximately 4 years) and can be used rearward facing from birth to 13kg and then forward facing from 9kg-18kg.
This is the first part of our review, using the Junior Mini rear facing.
The Junior Mini arrived pretty much in one piece ready to fit, the only thing that you need to assemble (when using it rear facing) is the top bar which simply clips into place. The inner cushion must also be in place when using the seat in rear facing mode. Fitting car seats is my biggest bug bear and it normally gets me all huffy but I was very surprised with how easy it was to install. The seat weighs 9.5kg which isn’t the lightest but the weight is all there for good reason and that’s safety.
To fit all you need to do buckle the seat belt and follow the seat belt routing which is clearly marked on the seat on blue, there are two seat belt hooks at the front bottom of the seat and two at the top of the back of the seat. Then just push down on the seat and pull the seat belt as tight as it will go. Check that the seat is installed properly by giving it a good wiggle, if there is movement then remove it and start again.
With the Junior Mini rear facing there is only one reclining position but that’s plenty and Joseph must find it comfortable as he can’t be in the car for more than 5 minutes before he nods off and there are no rolling heads.
The Graco Junior Mini has some great safety features including side impact protection, an anti-rebound bar and the shoulder straps of the harness are anti slip to absorb part of the energy during a crash.
As Joseph is still under 13kgs we are leaving him in the safest position, rear facing, for a little while and part two of our review will follow shortly once we have used the Junior Mini in forward facing mode.