We Tested The Ickle Bubba Radial 360 Rotating Car Seat And Fell In Love With One Thing

Choosing a car seat as a new parent can feel like a chore. When there’s so much on the market, it’s difficult to narrow down the one.

Then you have to keep up with the driving rules, am I allowed to have my child front-facing? From what age? Do they have to be a certain weight? Do I need a car seat base? Can I just strap the car seat in?

These were a few of the 1000 questions running through my mind as a first-time-mum when I had my daughter. I ended up going down a rabbit hole of information only to be overwhelmed further and shutting my laptop after getting no where.

Fast-forward to 1.5 years on, I am now what I would call a seasoned mother who is on the hunt for a car seat for my 17-month-old toddler, who seems to have outgrown her current Cybex Cloud Z i-size.

But this time, I’m armed and I know what I’m looking for.

Ideally I would like a car seat that can be used for future babies as well. So, over the course of the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my very honest reviews of a selection of car seats on the market. This week it’s the Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin Car Seat. How does it compare to the rest? Read on to find out.

Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size 360 spin
Ickle Bubba Radial i-Size 360 spin HuffPost UK

Radial i-Size Plus 360 Spin

Price:£189 from Ickle Bubba website (price correct at time of writing).

Quick lowdown:

  • 360 degree spin so baby can be rear or front-facing

  • The single-handed headrest adjustment lets you customise the seat to suit your child

  • Three recline positions in forward facing mode so baby can snooze

  • Longterm use, extended rearward facing, from 40cm – 105cm (birth to approx. 4 years*). Forward facing use from 100cm - 150cm (approx. 15 months to 12 years*)

  • The standing support leg provides additional stability

  • Meets i-Size safety standard – improved side impact protection & rigorous testing

The review

In terms of first impressions, this is probably the most luxurious looking car seat I’ve seen so far. The quality of the padded headrest and infant insert feels expensive, yet the price of the car seat is reasonable.

The car seat comes attached onto a base, which we weren’t able to remove so I assume it’s built in for easy and quick fitting.

After unboxing we actually came across an issue with the 360 rotation, however we now understand this was our own misunderstanding of the instructions.

Saying that, I would advise those buying this car seat to extend the leg of the base downwards before attempting to rotate.

Unfortunately, we wasted a good hour unable to rotate this as it wasn’t very clearly explained! Once we figured it out, the spin feature is great as it means you can easily take your child in and out of the car.

The 360 spin also makes forward-facing easy, and as this car seat is i-Size, it means your child can be forward-facing from over 15-months-old.

This feature stood out for me because though I would keep my child rear-facing for as long as possible, the option is really helpful for those rare difficult drives when my child just isn’t settling.

My daughter was quick to test it out and sat in it even before we placed it into the car. She seemed very comfortable in it so it looks ideal for long drives.

Though there are three recline positions in forward facing mode, I personally felt it did not go flat enough for a young baby, especially if they’re asleep and their head falls forward.

I would also knock it back as there is no way to lift the seat off the base. With a sleeping baby it would be difficult to carry them out of the car seat and into the house.

There is also no way to attach it onto a pushchair to avoid disturbing the baby — as a mother who knows just how difficult it is to get your baby to sleep and ensure they stay asleep, this would be a big issue for me if my child was younger.

However — for an older child, I would say toddler and above, this wouldn’t matter as much.

The great thing is that this car seat would be a one-off buy, so you would save a lot of money.

I think I’m in love with the price for what you get at £189, it comes with a base and can last your child up to the age of 12! Plus it feels and looks expensive.

All in all, I would recommend this seat for a toddler because of the comfort, price point, the fact that it can be forward-facing and because it could last you years. But I wouldn’t really recommend it to parents of a newborn due to its recline limitations and inability to take out of the car.

The verdict: 7.5/10