CYBEX CLOUD G / LUX INFANT CAR SEAT REVIEW
The Cybex Cloud Q has been a popular seat which features an available recline when used on a stroller. Now, Cybex introduces the Cloud G, with a similar stroller recline, a more padded interior, a cute, whimsical design, a new rigid LATCH anti-rebound base (featuring a load leg on the Lux model), and a brand new insert. Intrigued? So were we! Let’s take a closer look.
CLOUD G/LUX OVERVIEW
- Comfort Extend Recline: When used outside the vehicle, the backrest can be reclined and the leg rest extended to provide ergonomic positioning and comfort for your newborn.
- Anti-rebound base with rigid LATCH and load leg
- Belt-tensioning device for seat belt installations
- No rethread harness
- Lux model features SensorSafe technology (see below)
- In-shell air ventilation channels
- European belt routing for baseless installation
- Linear Side-Impact Protection (L.S.P.)
- Fire Retardant Chemical Free
- Matching XXL UPF 50+ sun canopy with mesh peek-a-boo section
- Easy-in buckle to ensure hassle free loading and unloading the child into the seat
CLOUD G/ LUX WEIGHT AND HEIGHT LIMITS
- Rear-facing 4-35 lbs., 17-32” tall, AND child’s head is 1” below top of headrest or the top of the car seat shell, whichever is higher
CLOUD G/LUX MEASUREMENTS
Lowest harness position: 7″ with insert, 7.5″ without insert
External widest point (at handle hubs): 17.5″
Width of base at widest point: 14.5″
Internal shell height: 20.75″ with headrest in highest position
Crotch strap depth: 3.25″
Seat depth: 10″
Carrier weight: 13.1 lbs. with insert and strap covers; 12.8 lbs. without insert or strap covers
CLOUD G VS. CLOUD G LUX
The Lux model features a load leg on the base and the SensorSafe chest clip. SensorSafe is a technology integrated into the chest clip to alert the owner via phone app of certain events: if the chest clip becomes unbuckled, if the temperature inside the vehicle is too hot or too cold, if the child is left unattended in the vehicle, or if the child has been seated for too long. If you’re not clear on the safety advantages of a load leg, see our article here.
When the Cloud G/Lux is on the stroller, it can be reclined when you squeeze a handle on the back. The backrest reclines and the leg portion moves outward. While my little models seemed quite comfortable in the reclined seat (2 even stopped crying!), it’s important to note that this would still not be a safe position for sleep. ⚠️ The Cloud G/Lux cannot be reclined on the base and should not be installed baseless while in the reclined position. ⚠️
INSTALLATION WITH THE BASE: LATCH
The Cloud G/Lux features rigid LATCH. This type of LATCH connector, which is gaining popularity on infant seats, allows you to push the base onto the lower anchors without fuss in most cases. Indeed, the Cloud G/Lux manual indicates that LATCH is the preferred method for this seat. The installation with the base was quite easy when I followed the instructions. I especially appreciated the instruction to “walk back” the base click by click to retract the rigid LATCH; this is the type of instruction that experienced CPSTs will give, but I am not sure I’ve ever seen it in a manual. The rigid LATCH has a narrow connector that extends out, clicks on the lower anchor, then retracts inwards. I found this very easy to maneuver and connect in the vehicle.
It’s important to note that it’s necessary to follow the steps in the correct sequence, as the recline is done AFTER the rigid LATCH is connected. This differs from some other seats. (This is the type of distinction which will be more difficult for parents and caregivers who are experienced installing car seats and easier for newcomers!)
I noticed a gap between the ARB part of the base and the vehicle seat back in my 2021 Subaru Forester. Cybex has confirmed that this gap is acceptable.
I’d also like to mention that the base install is advertised by Cybex as a “5 second installation”. While it’s fairly easy, as detailed above, it’s not THAT easy. The step to walk back the base, for example, would itself take more than 5 seconds. I appreciate the marketing that the manufacturers need to do, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think they’re not doing the installation correctly if it takes more than 5 seconds!
INSTALLATION WITH THE BASE – SEAT BELT
The seat belt installation was similarly easy. The rigid LATCH must be moved into the storage position first. I found the storage position innovative and easy to use; the LATCH connectors flip as one under the seat and lock into the storage position.
When the seat belt is used, the recline adjustment is done before the belt is put through the seat.
The belt tensioner (read on) can be difficult to open, but I found that pressing down on it with one hand while squeezing the handle with the other helped a lot.
👉 Seat belt and LATCH can NOT be used together.
And once again, we have a seat with a device called the “SafeLock Belt Tensioner” which requires locking the belt afterwards as part of the installation. I know I join other CPSTs in wishing there would be some clarity regarding the naming of lockoffs and non-lockoffs. If the belt needs to be locked, the name of the device should not have the word “lock” in it.
The load leg comes with the Lux model. Load legs have thankfully become more common on infant seats, but we shouldn’t forget how much of a safety feature they are. It was easy to extend and use, though the red/green indicator on the bottom can be finicky depending on the angle of the load leg and the angle of the vehicle floor. Try moving the bottom of the load leg slightly forward or back if you can’t get the bottom indicator to show green. The base also has a helpful indicator behind the seat to show when the load leg is locked into place.
FRONT TO BACK SPACE
Although Cybex seats have traditionally been very compact front to back due to their egg-like shape, I found that the Cloud G/Lux is right in the middle of the pack for compactness, due to the large ARB portion of the base and the fact that the ARB can move away from the vehicle seat back when the base is reclined.
RELEASE FROM BASE
The Cloud G/Lux has two release handles on the back of the carrier. The top one is the handle to recline the Cloud, and the bottom one, under the European routing belt clip, is the handle to release the Cloud G/Lux from the base. I got these handles confused many times. Many many times. Numerous times. I think this is another of those items that will be clearer to car seat newcomers, as they’ll just learn which handle is which right away. But for those of us used to squeezing a handle on the top of the back of the carrier (think Chicco KeyFit or Graco type), there’s going to be a learning curve to aim for the right one.
INSTALLATION WITHOUT THE BASE
The installation without the base uses European seat belt routing. As is typical with Cybex seats, it got very tight very easily. I did notice, however, that the installation without the base placed the seat more upright than even the more upright setting on the base, due to the placement and angle of the baseless level line. When I tried moving the seat to the baseless install angle on the floor of the house with my two youngest models, both of them had their head fall forward. Because of this, I’d have to recommend using the base for babies who cannot tolerate the upright baseless angle.
L.S.P stands for Linear Side-Impact Protection. It’s a wing-like extension that should be used when the Cloud G/Lux is installed next to the vehicle door. The only difficult part about this is remembering to use it! It is an extra step in the installation, as it’s not the type of thing you’d leave out when the car seat is on the stroller or indoors. Likewise, it’s also an extra step to retract it when the seat is taken out of the car.
FIT TO CHILD
The buckle features a plastic covering over the metal prongs. As I live in Arizona, I love this! Buckles that are too hot is a huge problem here in the summer.
The Cloud G/Lux comes with a puffy insert that only raises the baby up about 1/2″ but provides padding behind the back to help lean the head back. It also features side wings that can be used folded in for the seat’s tiniest occupants or folded out. I know many parents ask me if they can add rolled blankets to other seats; these folding side wings are a welcome addition.
The headrest is more padded in the center. I noticed that my little models tended to lean into the side seams of the headrest, as the head wasn’t comfortable staying in the puffy middle of the headrest. This isn’t a safety issue, but it reminded me that one day I’ll start that “deflate the headrest” campaign I’ve always dreamed of. I do get it – many parents and caregivers gravitate toward the more padded seats. But they don’t realize that these tiny little babies just want to be able to lean back comfortably.
For one or two of the babies I put into the Cloud G/Lux, the head positioning improved considerably when I moved the headrest down a click, so that’s something to try if the chin appears to be pushed downwards. It’s a matter of where the puffiest part of the headrest hits the rounded part of the back of the head.
The Cloud G/Lux features a no-rethread harness; the headrest moves up and down when you pull up on a hard plastic loop behind the headrest. I found that the lowest harness position with the insert is 7″. When I tried my “preemie doll” (in quotes because I’ve compared it many times to actual babies – hey, we all have hobbies – and it matches a 6 lb. baby), the straps were just at the shoulders. Babies less than 6 lbs. will probably be too small for the Cloud G/Lux for that reason. That’s a shame since the insert sides do fold in. I wish Cybex had made a lower headrest position on this seat.
On that note, the manual says that the Cloud G/Lux is shipped with the headrest in the lowest position. I noticed this was not the case; I was able to lower the headrest two clicks after I took the seat out of the box. Cybex has confirmed that a running change will be made to the manual to correct this statement.
TIGHTENING THE STRAPS
A huge change, and very welcome one, from the Cloud Q is the ease with which the straps tighten. Like buttah! So smooth and easy. Cybex must have changed the strap routing and/or friction inside the seat, but no matter what the reason, I congratulate them on fixing this issue.
This little guy was a week and a half old at the time of the photo, weighing in at 8.5 lbs. and measuring 21.5 inches. Although he was fussy and wanted to remind us it was lunchtime, he fit well in the Cloud G Lux. He did seem to settle his head in the side seam of the headrest due to the fact that the middle was so puffy. Although at the headrest click above the one shown, the straps were also below the shoulders, his head positioning improved when I moved the headrest down another click, as seen in the photos.
Since the 8.5 lb. baby fit so well, I wondered how low the straps could go. I got my answer when I put in my 6 lb. doll; the straps were just “at” the shoulders. Although the manual indicates that the Cloud G can be used as low as 4 lbs, the manual also says that the straps must be coming from at or just below the shoulders. As the lowest strap height is 7 inches, we wouldn’t expect this seat to be a sure bet for a 4 or 5 lb baby.
Our next model is 4 months old, 12.5 lbs. and 24 inches. I took out the insert, as the manual indicates that the insert is recommended until 11 lbs. or 3 months. (Note that word recommended – that means you don’t have to take it out at that point.) We tried the seat in regular and reclined mode. She relaxed immediately when the seat was reclined, and like our newborn, she let her head lean into the side seam of the headrest.
Our next model is 7 months old, 16 lbs. and 27″. She fit well in the seat and also leaned her head a bit to the side. She found it a bit disconcerting when I reclined the seat and she gave me an adorable inquisitive look, but she continued to fit well in the Cloud G Lux reclined.
Our next model is 18 months old, 30 inches and 22 lbs. He was nice enough to postpone his nap a few minutes to participate. Now, 18 months is not always an age we see fitting infant seats, but 1) he’s within the height and weight limits, and 2) Cybex writes on their website that the seat can go from birth until “approximately 18 months.” So we decided to give it a try.
The Cloud G/Lux is outgrown by torso height when the top of the head is less than 1″ from the top of the seat shell or headrest, whichever is higher. Additionally, as mentioned above, the straps must be coming out of the seat at or below the shoulders. So here we’ve found a limitation of this seat, which is that an 18-month old sized head may not fit within the Cloud G/Lux headrest when the straps are in the correct position. In the below photos, the headrest does go up another click, but then the straps would be above the shoulders. In fairness, this is an issue with many rear facing only seats as babies go into their toddler growth spurt. A headrest designed to fit tiny newborns well may no longer fit a bigger toddler.
- The Cloud G/Lux expires after 6 years. The expiration date is written on a label on the underside of both the carrier and the base, which is appreciated. (The one on the base is below the load leg, which may be hard to see.)
- The Cloud G/Lux must be replaced after any crash.
The Cloud G/Lux is only approved for aircraft use WITHOUT the base. The manual indicates that the Cloud G/Lux can never be reclined when used on an aircraft. The LSP is also not extended on an aircraft.
The manual mentions that the level line must be level with the floor of the airplane, which is standard for infant car seats installed baseless on a plane. However, as mentioned above, the level line positions the seat very upright, which smaller infants may not be able to tolerate.
CLOUD G/LUX STROLLER COMPATIBILITY
The Cloud G/Lux is compatible with all Cybex strollers that take a car seat and with any stroller that uses the Maxi-Cosi adapters. Occasionally, a stroller manufacturer will assert that a car seat doesn’t work with their particular stroller due to the placement of the handle or the angle of the car seat. As the Cloud G/Lux is brand new, this type of testing has not been completed yet.
CLOUD G/LUX ADVANTAGES
- Infant insert with fold-in sides ensures a snug fit
- Reclining carrier for more comfort and a better angle when on the stroller
- Rigid LATCH base
- Belt-tensioning device for seat belt installations
- A load leg on the Lux model base
- SensorSafe chest clip on the Lux model
- Plush, padded interior with a cute whimsical design
- Large sun-protective canopy
CLOUD G/LUX DISADVANTAGES
- Comparatively very heavy
- Lowest strap height likely won’t fit newborns under 6 lbs.
- Baseless installation angle is very upright
The Cybex Cloud G/Lux has many improvements over the current Cloud Q: The straps are easier to tighten, the infant positioning is improved, and the base has rigid LATCH. I wish that the straps would go a bit lower to accommodate 4 and 5 lb. occupants, and I wish the baseless angle were more reclined. But the available recline on the seat itself is a fantastic feature which will provide a more comfortable, more appropriate angle when the car seat is attached to the stroller. For those looking for a plush, innovative seat with extra safety features, the Cloud G/Lux may just be for you.
Thank you, Cybex, for supplying the Cloud G Lux used for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are those of CarseatBlog.