“ Brand: Jané / Range: Nurse / Type: Car Seat / Age: birth to 18 months / Connectivity: Adapts to Jané Dakar and Hello pushchairs „
The piccola car seat was our second car seat purchase for our first daughter - the first was sold with our travel system as I hated the buggy (fussy woman, yes!). The piccola has many advantages over others but it can also be a total nightmare!
The piccola car seat is compatible with a range of buggies but ours was the Nurse Dakar (Made by the popular Spanish giants Jane). It connects to the buggy via car seat adapters which makes it easy to use outwith the car to save carrying baby. It weighs in at just 2.4kg making it the lightest on the market at the time. It is a group 0+ seat so usually does until your baby is around 18months old or when they reach 13kg. My daughter reached 13kg sooner than 18 months though and at 9 months old we were out shopping for another car seat! I think it's a slightly shorter car seat than some so she was also too long for it. Not quite the 18months suggested to us when we bought it but if I'm perfectly honest she was too nosy too and didn't like facing the back of the car either.
The car seat also has side impact protection should you be in an accident so your baby is better protected. I think the idea is something to do with the materials absorbing the energy created and thus protecting your baby but I'm no expert. What I do know is that the Jane (who manufacture the nurse range of buggies) have their own crash testing facility because they are so safety conscious. I didn't know this at the time of purchase though but it is a big advantage in my opinion. Not only do they test them until they are 100% happy on site but they are also independently tested.
The seat is easily adjusted with a 3 point harness - press a button to slacken it off and pull the harness to tighten it up - so it couldn't have been easier taking my daughter in and out.
The seat also has a hood that comes with it although being solid cardboard with material over the top wasn't the handiest. It joined to the car seat with poppers which were very stiff and not always easy to access. Our new car seat is just adjustable material that is easy to pop on and off so if I'm sitting in the front and her hat slips off her head I can just reach back and sort it whereas with the Piccola I couldn't do that. It did have a funky little apron that went with it though so she was very well protected in the winter from the harsh weather - even without a raincover.
So reading all this I'd be pretty happy to buy it as the hood is something you can easily live with. Baby is comfy, easily adjusted and protected from the elements. There is one tiny little problem though.. or a big one depending on how you look at it.
Fixing the car seat into the car can be a bit of a nightmare - especially if your car is 3 door as the seat only just fits past the front seats in my mums corsa to get it into the back to begin with! Not a problem with our 5 door focus though. The problem is where the seat belt straps onto the seat to keep it secure. There are two side slots on the seat so the lap belt goes over baby. These are of course located underneath the apron so you need to take the apron off in order to secure it. Not handy if it's only a 5 minute trip in the car as it isn't the easiest to attach/detach. The other major problem is the shoulder belt needs to go over the car seat and through two little slots at the back - good luck if it's your first time fixing it!! Not only is it very hard to see the slots at the back, but you need to twist the seatbelt in order to slot it in. This isn't easy in daylight, let alone if you're crazy enough to do it in the dark and that's not even mentioning the problems in that corsa!
Overall though, it's a lovely car seat if you only need it in the car occasionally and are planning on using it more as a travel system. It's light to carry around, has a stable handle that adjusts at the push of two buttons and keeps your baby protected from the sun/wind with the hood and apron.
Jane also manufacture a rain cover specifically for the car seat that retails at around £20 and includes a flap at the top so you don't need to take it off in order to move it around.
Fix the way it attaches in the car and change the hood to material and it would be the perfect car seat.