Review: Cybex Sirona S convertible car seat – do the twist
Is this the ultimate car seat?
We loved the Cybex Eternis S and its innovative SensorSafe system, so when Cybex contacted us to see if we wanted to take a new car seat out for a spin, of course the answer was a resounding yes. That car seat was the $500 Cybex Sirona S, and it’s another convertible car seat that expands as your child grows, but this time it’s got a twist. Literally.
See, the Sirona S has a 360-degree rotating seat, to make it easier for you to get your little tyke in and out of your vehicle. Awesome, right? I mean, I love the Eternis S, and our little one is super comfortable in it, but it is kinda hard to get her into, since we’ve got a sedan with a fairly low-slung rear seat.
So let’s go do the twist!
Twist in, twist out
The Sirona S comes packed with safety features and functionality that’s simple to use. Let’s get the main thing out of the way, that 360-degree swivel. Not only does this make it so you can make the car seat front- or rear-facing in an instant, it also means you can face it out of your car for easy loading/unloading of your little bundle of joy. And you know what that means? Your lower back will thank you, and so will your little one’s head. I mean, c’mon guys, who hasn’t bumped them at least once while trying to maneuver them into the car seat? Anyone?
- Rear-facing: 4-50 lbs
- Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs
- LATCH limit: 35 lbs rear, 40 lbs front
- Multi-position load leg
- No-rethread harness
- 12 recline settings
- Install-once belt tether
- Linear Side Impact Protection (LSP) system
- Magnetic buckle holders
Then there’s the fact it’s the only car seat on the American market with a 360-swivel and a load leg, which can reduce forces by up to 30 percent in certain types of crashes. I’m sure we can agree that if you’re in that horrible situation, that every last percent of force reduction is worth any amount of money.
So, how’s it to use?
Let’s start with one thing – all the heavy lifting is over after the install stage. Yes, the Sirona S weighs a lot. Nearly 42 lbs shipping weight, but it’s straightforward to install on your own (once you get it to your vehicle, I guess). Before wrestling it into your car, unfold that important load-leg, and put the car seat in position on the back seat. The load leg has indicators on it that let you know when it’s extended enough.
The only other setup is fastening the seat to the seat of your car. That’s either via the LATCH belt (which we used), or with the car’s own seatbelt. Either way, it’s the same install process and Cybex has brought a new innovation to the Sirona S, the EasyLock bar, which tensions the belt properly, so you don’t have to strain and push the car seat down while fastening it. This is fantastic and reduced the install time by ten minutes easily over the last Cybex seat we tested.
The rotating seat is game-changing, helping my back as well as making getting into the car more fun. Who didn’t like the merry-go-round as a kid? It’s one-hand operation too, so rotating into position and reclining is simple to do.
That’s all great for parents, but what about the littles? I mean, they’re never going to want to go into an uncomfortable seat, even if they know it’s to go somewhere fun. Well, the Sirona S outperforms the larger Eternis S in this regard, with our little one loving how the more-upright position lets them see out the windows easier.
So, should I buy the Sirona S?
If you’re looking for a solidly built car seat that won’t break the bank (or your back!), the Sirona S is a worthy choice. The tweaks Cybex has done to the setup routine makes this the easiest car seat we’ve installed to date, and it’s full of clever and potentially life-saving safety tech.
It’s also the easiest car seat we’ve used to get our little one into, with the swivel functionality being a real game-changer. The only drawback of the new system? It limits the number of years you’ll be able to use it for, as you’ll need to shell out for a booster seat around when your little one reaches the age of four.
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Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. It’s one of the ways we keep the lights on here. Click here for more. A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.