Review : CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix a first glance and installation

The CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix is the first Group 1 car seat which features an automatic locking and adjustment system in the harness.  This means the harness works just like an adult car seat belt and ensures maximum safety as the harness is automatically adjusted.  

I was keen to test out the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix as I often struggle to obtain the correct tightness of the harness.  I am a huge fan of making things safer and that usually means eliminating common mistakes.  The most common mistake is incorrect fitting of the harness and another of the car seat.  The CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix comes with a handy guide which high lights the correct positioning of the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix in each make and model vehicle.  

There are two fitting options for the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix, both use isofix.  It is important to ensure the seat is fully moved forward before attempting to connect to isofix.  To do this turn the large button on the front 

This moves the seat forwards and backwards.  The button needs to be pulled out and turned at the same time.  It is a pull and turn not just a turn.  I had to remember to do this.  Once the seat is fully forward the isofix can be put into place.  There is an audible click and a green indicator.

There is a red lever next to the button to move the seat forward and backwards which unclips the isofix.  The seat must then be moved backwards using the button to ensure the back of the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix is against the seat it is secured to.

It is here that there are the options for installation.  The first is to use a car support leg, which is an additional purchase.  I did not do this so cannot comment on how easy it would be.  The instructions seem pretty straightforward to do, I guess it would depend on how much room you had to manoeuvre the support leg into position.  The second option is to use the top tether, which is what I decided to do.

The Karabiner of the Top Tether is secured to the ring on the back rest [use the adjuster side] and the other karabiner is connected to the vehicle anchor point.  You then tighten the top tether until the red tab on the tension adjuster disappears.  To tighten simply pull the belt.

With the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix now secured I could put the instruction book in the very handy pocket in the side headrest of the seat.

After I had installed the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix I decided to have a good look at how everything else worked, before putting my daughter in the seat.  The straps are well padded and seem to have a grip underneath to stop them slipping off clothes.  After using the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix I can also imagine this is one of the reasons the harness has not yet twisted.

There are some clever features on the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor fix one of which is the ability to move the buckle in order to obtain the correct fitting on the child.  I have not seen this before and loved the clever way it had been done.  The buckle can sometimes slip behind this padding though which makes it a little fiddly to put the harness in.

 The harness itself clips together by two metal ends and easily fits into the buckle.

Buckle on Q-Retraktor

What you do need to be careful of, is because the harness returns back to the original position the harness buckle does not stay in the position you left it.  I am used to unfastening my daughter and then placing the straps and harness buckle over the edge of the seat before lifting her out.  With the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor you cannot do this and so the buckle and harness always remain in the seat.  Once you are aware of the positioning there is no issue, but I have forgotten a few times and the buckle has caught on my daughters clothing

Hole in dress

Whilst I have not took pictures of them, you adjust the headrest with a small button at the side.  It turns and as it does so the headrest moves up and down.  What is incredibly clever is the harness moves at the same time, so the harness is also always at the correct height.  

The recline function is located under the front of the seat and was easy to operate.  This was great when my youngest fell asleep as I could easily recline her to make her more comfortable.

My youngest has been very impressed with the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor.  She loves the feeling of the straps and that they move with her giving her freedom and movement in the seat, whilst still keeping her safe.  I love the clever features of the seat.  The fact the headrest height and height of the shoulder straps are automatically taken care of and that the straps automatically tighten are great features which aid safety.  These are some of the most common mistakes made with car seats and to eliminate them gives the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor a great advantage.

I have also got quite fast at installing the seat and this was recently put to the test.  My car broke down on the A1.  I had to remove the seat from my car and re install in my Mums car on the side of the A1 in the rain.  I had to do this quickly and obviously under pressure, but I managed in 5 minutes and my Mum could take the girls home whilst the car was fixed.  If the car seat had been heavy or difficult to install I would not have been able to do this.

So far my youngest loves her CasualPlay Q-Retraktor.  She has had no problems, colouring, sticking, eating, playing computer, sleeping, playing with toys and looking out the windows.  The seat is high enough to give her a good view outside and has good side protection.

The CasualPlay Q-Retraktor

Overall we are very impressed with the CasualPlay Q-Retraktor and cannot wait to share more of our experiences with you.

We were sent a CasualPlay Q-Retraktor for the purpose of review.  All opinions are my own. 

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