Cybex’s Sirona S Car Seat Keeps Selling Out, and Now I Understand Why
- Value: 16/20
- Functionality: 20/20
- Ease of Use: 20/20
- Aesthetics: 18/20
- Quality: 19/20
- TOTAL: 93/100
For months, I’ve maintained a theory that’s right up there with the existence of Big Foot: My not-quite-2-year-old daughter is a sleeper cell MMA fighter, and her trigger is the car seat. She roars to life as soon as she’s lowered into the seat, going from a full-body arch to a side roll, before hurling her legs over one side and flipping onto the passenger seat, all while I’m still fumbling to grab the straps and buckle. We’ve been working on that behavior, but even when my daughter’s calm, every car seat I tried just seemed kind of annoying to use. I was secretly counting down the days (OK, years) until we’d be car seat-free.
So when I heard that Cybex’s new Sirona S car seat swiveled, making it easier to get kids in and out of the seat, I was intrigued—and desperate—enough to test it out. Even though its $500 retail price went against my belief that there’s no reason to spend more than $300 on a car seat or stroller, because there are plenty of perfectly good budget models out there. But friends, let me level with you: I thought my Graco 4Ever DLX Convertible Car Seat, with its dual cupholders and thick, padded seats, was the Cadillac of car seats. The Sirona S is the Tesla. (And, considering it keeps selling out on Nordstrom, it seems every bit as popular.)
It Swivels Easily—But Stays Locked in Place.
The seat rotates 360 degrees, so it doesn’t matter if you place it behind the driver’s seat, the passenger’s or in the middle—you can easily pivot it to get the angle you need, all with the push of a handle. Oh, and you can do it one-handed (critical, since most of the time, I’m holding my daughter on my hip with the other arm). Once it’s locked in place (forward- or backward-facing, depending on the age and weight of your child), it stays locked, so you don’t have to worry about rounding a corner and your kid going on an unintentional Tilt-a-Whirl ride.
It’s Loaded with Safety Features—and One Ridiculous (Yet Ingenious) Extra.
Yes, there’s a load leg that helps stabilize the car seat, and it has what look like little wings on either side of the seat—known as Linear Side-Impact Protection—which absorb 25 percent more of the force of an impact in a collision when they’re in use. It received high marks for safety by ÖAMTC, the German Touring Club known for testing car seats, and is highly recommended by Touring Club Switzerland, which also tests them. And yes, it includes Sensorsafe technology, which plugs into your car and sends an alert to your phone if (A) your child manages to un-buckle the chest clip, (B) the temperature of the car gets too warm and puts your kid at risk of heatstroke, (C) they’re left alone in the car or (D) they’re in the car for too long. I’m not sure what, exactly, the latter would mean for cross-country road trips, but I get the intent.
Those are the truly important features, but I’m here to gush about one tiny little extra that I can’t believe all car seats don’t include: magnets. Yes, magnets. The Sirona S has a small buckle icon on either side of the headrest, and just under it is a discreet little magnet. Stick the metal prong of each belt buckle to it, and boom! The straps on the five-point harness are held in place, so you’re not fishing them out from under your child when she inevitably knocks them underneath herself while fighting to escape the seat.
Are magnets and a swiveling seat worth $500? No. But when combined with the safety features—and the ultra-plush seating that my daughter actually looks forward to curling up in—I’m willing to rethink my stance on luxury car seats. Peace of mind that also saves time? Now that’s worth it to me.