The IMMI Go is a unique seat that provides a solution to some of the most common carseat difficulties. It is portable, easy-to-install and works well in some tight spaces. The same features that make it so great, however, also come with some limitations that make it not the best seat for every child or every vehicle. We hope that this review provides you with all the details you need to determine whether this fantastic seat will be the right seat for you!
The IMMI Go is a combination seat, which means that it combines the features of a forward-facing harnessed seat with the features of a booster. It is important to note that, while most combination seats convert from a forward-facing harnessed seat to a highback booster and then, in some cases, to a backless booster, the IMMI Go converts straight from a harnessed seat to a backless booster, with no available highback booster mode. It is generally recommended that children who are first learning to ride in a booster use a highback booster before switching to a backless booster. A highback booster often provides a better fit for a younger child and helps remind the child to stay in position better than a backless booster. Therefore, while the IMMI Go combines two stages very nicely, those two stages are not necessarily consecutive and so the seat might not be used in the same way as other combination seats. For example, instead of converting the outgrown harnessed seat to a booster and continuing to use it for the same child, a parent might choose to transition the child to a different highback booster and pass the Go down to a younger sibiling.
I bought the seat to use when my daughter turned four and began forward-facing in my in-laws’ car. I wanted something convenient to install and remove, while also being easy to use. I am very happy to say that the Go is fulfilling all those needs for my in-laws and we are even considering buying a second Go for our own car.
Without further ado, let’s get this review started!
IMMI Go Specs:
Forward-Facing with Harness: For use with children between 22-65 lbs (no more than 55 lbs when installed with LATCH) in weight and 31-52″ in height. Harness adjusters must be at or above the child’s shoulders and the top of the child’s ears must be below the vehicle’s seat back or headrest. (Note that while the IMMI Go has an adjustable headrest of its own in harnessed mode, this seat requires vehicular head support in the form of the seat back or headrest.)
An additional requirement is that the child must also be at least one year old, however it is not the most appropriate seat for a one year-old. The American Academy of Pediatrics, National Highway Transportation Safety Association and other organizations strongly recommended that all children under two years old continue to ride rear-facing until they have outgrown the rear-facing height or weight limitations of their convertible carseat. For more information on why rear-facing is safest for young children, see Why Rear-Facing is Better: Your RF Link Guide.
Backless Booster: For use with children at least four years old and between 40-100 lbs in weight and 43-57″ in height. The top of the child’s ears must be below the vehicle’s seat back or head restraint.
IMMI Go Features:
- Five-point harness system is attached to a flexible back which can fold up — this means that the use of the top tether is required in order to install the seat in harnessed mode
- No-rethread harness
- Energy-absorbing foam in the adjustable headrest
- 3 crotch buckle positions
- Premium push-on lower anchor connectors which can also be used in backless booster mode
- Lightweight and compact — can fit in the overhead bin of an airline
- 55 lb child weight limit for using the lower anchors in harnessed seat mode
- 6-year lifespan before expiration
- Integrated carrying case with padded handle
- NOT FAA certified for use on an aircraft (because it requires the use of a tether anchor for the harness and a lap-shoulder belt for the booster and airplane seats do not have either of these features)
- MSRP $199
IMMI Go Measurements:
- Lowest harness height setting: 12 inches, although this can vary depending on the vehicle and installation method
- Tallest harness height setting: 17 inches, although this can vary depending on the vehicle and installation method
- Crotch strap positions for the buckle: Three available, located 7.5 inches, 9 inches and 10.5 inches from the back of the seat
- Width across the armrests: 17 inches
- Seat pan depth: 14 inches
- Weight with harness: 10.4 lbs according to my digital bathroom scale
- Weight without harness (backless booster only): 5.6 lbs according to my digital bathroom scale
The IMMI Go arrives in a compact box that is quite light to carry. Inside, the seat is fully assembled and already folded into its carrying case. Aside from removing a plastic bag, the seat is ready to Go (sorry, pun intended).
The IMMI Go is very easy to install if you have a seating position with lower LATCH anchors. The push-on connectors are easy to attach and the low profile of the seat makes it easy to get the right leverage in order to pull the LATCH straps tight. When installed with the lower anchors and top tether, the IMMI Go installs so tightly and cleanly that it almost feels like it is one with the vehicle seat — much like an integrated car seat. When you install it you can even recline the vehicle seatback up to 30 degrees from vertical, which can increase the comfort for the child.
LATCH installations in center seating positions with non-standard spacing: in harness mode installation with LATCH using non-standard spacing is allowed as long as the spacing is between 11″ – 20″, the vehicle manufacturer specifically allows it and you can achieve a tight installation (less than 1″ of movement from side-to-side and front-to-back).
The seatbelt installation is much more difficult. The seatbelt must be routed in front of the armrests and also through two loop straps at the back of the seat. Then the seatbelt must be tightened and locked. While I did not find it difficult to achieve a tight installation with the seatbelt, the process is cumbersome and leaves a bulge of taut seatbelt and car seat straps in-between the child’s back and the vehicle seat back. This also pulls the back of the seat lower and means that the seat has slightly less harness height when installed with the seatbelt in comparison to when it is installed with the lower anchors. I found that the harness height decreased by about a half inch. It would be amazing if IMMI could find a way to re-work the belt path and integrate a lockoff onto the seat so that the seatbelt install were better. However, if you have a seating position with lower anchors and a child who weighs less than 55 lbs, the annoying seatbelt installation is a moot point.
Installation with inflatable seatbelts found in some Ford/Lincoln and Mercedes Benz vehicles is NOT allowed.
The top tether MUST be used when the seat is in harnessed mode, whether the seat is installed with the lower anchors or the seatbelt. Given the varied locations of top tether anchors and the resulting variation in the position of the tether straps, I wondered whether this would make a difference in the installation.
I installed the IMMI Go in three different cars: a 2015 Subaru Outback with the tether anchor on the back of the seat, a 2010 Subaru Forester with the tether anchor on the ceiling, and a 2009 Subaru Impreza with the tether anchor on the floor of the cargo area, near the hatch opening.
I did not find significant differences in the harness height as a result of the tether anchor location, however the available harness height did differ depending the angle of the headrest. In my Subaru Forester, the headrest angle was such that it was impossible to raise the headrest to its full height if the vehicle headrest was installed. This resulted in a Catch-22: in order to raise the Go’s headrest and shoulder straps to their highest positions, I needed to remove the vehicle headrest. But in order to use the seat for a child of that height, I would need the vehicle headrest to be installed in order to provide the child with adequate head support. With the vehicle headrest installed, the highest harness height I could get in the Forester was more like 15″. I did not encounter this problem to the same degree in the other vehicles, and my own daughter is short enough that the Go’s headrest is below the vehicle seat back anyway. The headrest is described in the manual as being removeable, however when I called IMMI to ask about this, the representative explained that the headrest is required and that the seat is not tested to meet standards without it. She told me that the marketing department would be reviewing the manual to correct the confusion.
While the harness height did not vary by tether anchor location, the tether anchor locations made a big difference in the ease of the install. The Outback’s tether anchor location at the back of the SUV’s seat back made it easy to attach. Because the Go is so flexible, you can fold an SUV’s seatback forward and the Go will just fold along with it. This made it very easy to get all the components attached — attach the lower connectors, fold the seatback forward, attach the tether, and fold the seat back and then tighten the three straps. The tether location on the floor or ceiling of the cargo area, however, did not allow the seat to be folded forward while anchored to the seat, but it did provide a more efficient pulling angle for tightening the tether strap. Overall, the seat installed easily in all three vehicles.
Although none of the vehicles I used had a third row of seating, the flexible design of the IMMI Go also makes it very convenient for accessing the third row of many minivans and three-row SUVs. If the tether anchor is on the back of the vehicle seat, it can fold forward even when the Go is fully installed. This means that the Go can stay installed in a second-row seat while you fold and slide the seat forward in order to load passengers into the third row. This is an awesome feature for larger families or those who need a specific seating arrangement!
Speaking of specific seating arrangements, the IMMI Go is also great in tight spaces. It is very narrow — only 17 inches (16.5 inches if you compress the material on the armrests) across. Although I don’t routinely need to be able to do a three-across, the IMMI Go came to the rescue when I needed to accommodate a third passenger in the back seat for a family trip. I was able to install the Go side-by-side with a Combi Coccoro in order to fit my sister-in-law in the back seat with the kids.
Ease of Use:
The IMMI Go is very easy to use. Unlike most car seats, most of the components of the IMMI Go are visible and individually adjusted from the front of the seat. To change the harness height, you pinch each adjuster and raise or lower it individually so that it is positioned directly above the child’s shoulder. To tighten the harness, you pull slack down from the shoulders to the hip area and then pull an adjustment strap on each side. The adjustment straps function similarly to the lower anchor straps and have the same kind of locking mechanism on them. I thought it would be confusing to have so many buttons and straps, but it is much more intuitive than I had expected. All of the straps that attach the seat to the vehicle (lower anchor straps and tether strap) are silver and all the straps that attach the child to the seat (harness and crotch buckle straps) are black. The manufacturer, IMMI, makes the chest clips, buckles, and lower anchor connectors that are found on many other brands of car seats, so those components are already familiar to many families.
Because the seat is so easily and intuitively adjusted, this is a great seat for carpools and other situations where kids are sharing or trading seats. The compact storage, easy installation, and ability to be installed in a seat that needs to be folded forward for third row access only makes it even more appealing as a carpool seat. This is a great seat to keep in the trunk for use as needed — in fact, this is how the seat is used by UberFamily drivers in select locations.
My in-laws provide childcare for my daughters when my husband and I are at work. User-friendly seats are critical for them since they need the flexibility of removing and re-installing the seats frequently. After four years of lifting her into rear-facing seats, they love that my daughter can climb into this low-profile seat all by herself. Although they find the harness easy to adjust, they also report that they feel more capable of getting her in and out without having to loosen the straps every time. “Set it and forget it!” says my mother-in-law.
Overall, my daughter loves it. She finds it comfortable and likes the armrests. However, I did notice that, even with the seatback reclined a bit, she still had significant head slump when she fell asleep. The headrest is rather shallow and her head slumped completely out of it.
Removing the cover was not terribly easy, but with a wipe-clean vinyl material, it is rare that you’d need to do that.
I don’t have any children who are booster-eligible, but I experimented with putting the seat into booster mode for the purposes of this review. Converting the seat to booster mode was a challenge. While this seat might be great for adjusting for different sizes of harnessed kids, it is not a seat that can easily convert between booster and harnessed modes. It is certainly not possible to convert between modes when the seat is installed and in fact putting it into booster mode requires the use of a screwdriver.
By the time I was done reassembling it into harnessed mode for my daughter, I raised my blistered hand and vowed to never convert it back to booster mode until my youngest child had outgrown it in harnessed mode. This is unfortunate because the IMMI Go has some great booster features. It can be installed with the lower anchors, which allows the seat to be firmly attached to the vehicle so that you don’t need to worry about it being a projectile when it is unoccupied. It is comfortable and has a deep seat pan. Plus, it has a sleek look that appeals to older kids. I wish that IMMI made dedicated boosters because they clearly know what they are doing!
- Light, compact storage with convenient carry handle
- Installs quickly and easily with LATCH
- Allows vehicle seat to be folded forward even when the IMMI Go is installed, making it the only harnessed seat (that I know of) that can be installed on the seat that needs to be folded in order to access the third row of many vehicles
- Narrow design makes it a good fit for tight spaces
- Low profile is easy for children to climb into or for a caregiver to reach across in order to buckle a child in the middle position
- Easy to adjust for children of different sizes without uninstalling
- Can be installed with lower anchors up to a child weight of 55 lbs
- Difficult to install with seatbelt — not a good choice for older, pre-LATCH vehicles, center seating positions that don’t allow LATCH installations or some international travel if you aren’t sure whether your vehicle will have the LATCH/ISOFIX system
- Requires the use of a top tether anchor — not a good choice for pickup trucks which often have weird tether routing
- Harness height varies depending on the vehicle and the maximum harness height of 17″ is lower than most other combination seats on the market
- Very difficult to convert from harnessed to booster mode
- Headrest area is more shallow than on other harnessed seats
- Requires vehicle head support, which may make it incompatible in some vehicles or with children of some heights, depending on the geometry of the vehicle seat back and headrest
- Confusing language in the manual regarding whether or not the headrest is optional or required
- Cover is not machine washable — spot-clean only
The IMMI Go is often described as a niche seat, which refers to seats with unique features that solve a specific problem for some families, but aren’t necessarily ideal (or cost-effective) for everyone. While I love the IMMI Go in general, it is a particularly useful seat for families who are facing any of the following issues:
- City dwellers who don’t own a car and need a carseat that can be stored away in a closet when not in use
- Families who need a harnessed child to ride in the vehicle seat that must be folded for access to the third row of a minivan or SUV
- Carpooling families who need to be able to easily switch the seat from vehicle to vehicle or adjust it for different children
- Traveling families who don’t want to risk damage or loss of the seat by checking it on an airplane, but don’t need to actually use the seat for the child on the plane (because the child fits the lap belt appropriately or uses a CARES harness during the flight)
- Caregivers who find the single-pull harness adjustment on a typical car seat to be difficult
- Families who require a three-across set-up and need a low-profile, narrow harnessed seat
- Parents who prefer a brush off or wipe-clean car seat over one that is machine washable
- Children who have medical conditions or equipment that requires individual adjustment of harness straps. If your child has a medical condition that affects car seat selection and use, we strongly recommend that you consult with your pediatrician and a car seat technician who is trained in special needs. You can search for a CPST with Special Needs Training in your area on the Safe Kids Website.
Overall, the IMMI Go is a great seat that provides a safe solution for specific needs that many families have. We only recommend this seat if you can install it with LATCH since seatbelt installation is challenging and in some cases may not result in a tight installation. Keep in mind that when installing this seat with LATCH the maximum weight limit for the child drops to 55 lbs. However, 55 lbs is still a reasonable weight limit and will get most kids to the age and size where they can ride safely in a booster. If you think this might be the right seat for you, you can purchase it directly from the manufacturer at immigoseat.com