I posted this over in the Germany forum, but that area doesn't seem to get much action so I'm coming here.
I live in Austria and I've got a big decision to make about a car seat for my now 12 month old DD. She's outgrown her infant seat and needs the next size. The selection for car seats is a little different over here than in the US, but we have most of the major brands. There aren't many that go both front and back facing, however.
DH and I had settled on a Cybex Pallas 2, since DD can use it for a long time (kids have to stay in seats until they are 12 or 1.5 meter or 36 kg) and she'll likely be a tall girl anyway. However, it is not approved for airline use. The Kiddy Guardian is, but the current model didn't get good reviews in the auto club tests. We really like the idea of this front cushion type that supposedly protects the neck better than a normal harness. We also really like the idea of not having to buy another seat after this one.
In November we're flying back to the US for a visit and will be driving a fair amount while we are there. DH will likely fly with DD alone a few weeks ahead of me but we'll fly back together. I think we can get a good route with only 2 connections, with only the trans-atlantic leg on a non-US carrier. I think the trip would be much more comfortable (and safe) for DH and DD if she had her own seat and a carseat. Lugging the carseat around the airports won't be much fun for them, but we can get some kind of trolley thingy.
So, my question is, do we go ahead and get the super duper Cybex seat and buy a second seat as the "travelling" seat? Or, do we buy one seat now that will go in both the car and the plane and then buy another seat when she outgrows that one?
I would check with the airline you are flying. Not all international carriers allow car seats onboard.
If I could afford it, I'd get one of these seats:
Funny you should mention that site- was just looking at it yesterday. Yes, those seats are really spendy but they are rear facing for a long time. My only hold up (aside from the prices, yikes!) is that I'm not able to physically see them before ordering to play withe the adjustments and such. We drive a VW Bora, so not a huge car but not a Ford Fiesta either. Also wondering about the warranty, if something goes wrong it would be really expensive to ship it back to Sweeden.
I would suggest you contact the guy in charge of the website. His main business is international customers, all over Europe and the rest of the world. He may be able to answer a lot of your questions about fit, and return/warranty policies, etc.. I doubt you'd really need to ship a seat all the way back to Sweden for warranty service; Britax and most of the other companies who make rear-facing seats for the Swedish market also do business all over Europe.
Unless it's just outside your financial ability (which I would totally understand; not everyone can afford a seat like that) I think the extra $$ is well worth it. The shield seats like what are made by Kiddy may be a fair compromise if you can't afford a Swedish seat; they're supposed to be safer than forward facing with a harness for younger kids with immature spines.