Taking Grab with my two toddlers - what are my portable restraint options?
For this week’s Car Seat Chronicles, Elise discusses James’s restraint options and personalises a progression plan for his children, Alex, four years old, and Ben, 15 months old (full details of each child’s metrics are at the end of the post).
James is going to relocate from Australia to Singapore, and it’s likely that he will not have a car here. Foreseeing that he will be relying on taxis/Grab, James is searching for portable travel solutions for Alex and Ben, and is looking to move the latter to a forward-facing car seat.
If you happen to have the same lifestyle as James, have a read! Alternatively, you may listen to the podcast above. xx
Hi James, thank you for contacting us. Before we start, I’ll like to offer you some insights into some of our traffic regulations in Singapore. The law here requires that children below 1.35 meters in height use an approved child restraint. Taxis are exempt from the law at the moment, but there are some government trials to remove this exemption. If you catch our version of Uber, which could be either Grab or Gojek, you’re legally required to secure Alex and Ben in child restraints until they are 1.35 meters tall (approximately 10-12 years of age).
Based on your preference and lifestyle needs, I’ll recommend the mifold comfort grab-and-go booster or the RideSafer Delight travel vest for Alex. The RideSafer vest provides extra protection and comes in two sizes — small and large. At age four and 18kg, Alex will fit both the small and large RideSafer vests. My firstborn, Peter (four and a half years old, 19kg) is currently using the small size, but he fits into the large size vest as well. It’s likely that the small size vest will fit Alex for another couple of years at least; it could fit him until he’s ten years old, depending on the proportion between his torso and legs — depending on where he carries his height. The RideSafer is lighter and faster to use compared to the mifold, but it’s a more expensive product.
I’m going to recommend a car seat for Ben and here’s what you can do: get Alex a small size RideSafer vest and he could use for probably another two and a half years, after which he could pass it down to Ben, who would have outgrown his car seat by then. Following which, Alex could move into a mifold, for example.
Next, for Ben, I recommend that you look at the Urban Kanga since you’re looking to graduate him to a forward-facing car seat. Despite the name, the Urban Kanga is not Australian but a German seat, which is European certified. It’s forward-facing and lightweight at three kg only. It also features a five point safety harness and will keep him harnessed until he’s 18kg, approximately four years old given his current growth rate. The Urban Kanga installs easily and quickly — about 30 seconds — in a taxi and the upside is that you don’t require any separate hardware as it has a built-in locking clip. Once it’s installed in the taxi, you can go on and pop him into the car seat.
If you want to try the Urban Kanga out first, you may test it out with Grab’s GrabFamily Aged 1-3 service with just an additional cost of $5 on top of the regular Grab ride. The cars under this category are equipped with an Urban Kanga and the drivers are trained to use it, although I’ll recommend that you watch the installation video to familiarise yourself beforehand. I’ve heard from the community that there aren’t as many cars on the road as they’d like, so there can be some waiting time to get a car under the GrabFamily service.
Take some time to look at the three products I’ve mentioned — RideSafer Delight travel vest, mifold and Urban Kanga — and if you have any questions please do come back so that we can refine your options further to make sure we find something that is suitable for you and your children. All the best for the big move, bye! xx Elise
- Age: 4 years
- Height: 110cm
- Weight: 18kg
- Seated height: 58cm
- Seated shoulder height: 38cm
- Torso length: 32cm
- Age: 15 months
- Height: 81cm
- Weight: 11.5kg
- Seated height: 51cm
- Seated shoulder height: 34cm
- Torso length: 23cm
Below is a guide to the above measurements: