Car Seat Reviews – Introduction
- 1 Car Seat Reviews – Introduction
- 1.1 Car Seat Groups Table
- 1.2 Anchor Points & Safety
- 1.3 Belted Car Seats/Base:
- 1.4 Isofix Car Seats:
- 1.5 I-Size Car Seats:
- 1.6 Top Safety Concerns:
- 1.7 Will it fit in my car?
- 1.8 Graco Milestone Car Seat
- 1.9 Maxi Cosi Axiss Fix
- 1.10 Britax Kidfix XP SICT – Group 2-3
- 1.11 Cosatto Hug Car Seat (Various Colours)
- 1.12 Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus
- 1.13 Maxi Cosi 2-Way Pearl
- 1.14 Recaro Monza Nova
- 1.15 Graco Affix Highback Booster – Group 2/3
- 1.16 Maxi Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat – Group 0+
- 1.17 Batman Car Seat
- 1.18 Our Favourite:
Car Seats can be one of the most difficult things to purchase, they come in many shapes and forms, groups and types. With our Car Seat Reviews we aim to explain what these groups and types of car seat mean to enable you to get the correct knowledge before making your decision.
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to car seats.
Car Seat Groups Table
The below table explains the different types of car seat available by restraint, the weight range they correspond do and then the age range.
|Restraint Type||Weight Range||Age Range|
|Rearward Facing Baby Seat||Group 0
0 – 10kg (22 lbs)
|Birth to 6-9 months|
0 – 13kg (29 lbs)
|Birth to 12-15 months|
Not based on weight, but height
|Up to at least 15 months|
|Combination Seat (Rearward & Forward Facing)||Group 0+ and 1
0-18 kg (40 lbs)
|Birth – 4 years|
|Group 0+, 1 & 2
Birth to 25 kg (55 lbs)
|Birth to 6 years|
|Forward Facing Child Seat||Group 1
9-18 kg (20 – 40 lbs)
|9 months – 4 years|
|Group 1, 2 and 3
9 – 36 kg (20 – 79 lbs)
|1 to 11 years|
|High Backed Booster Seat||Group 2
15 – 25 kg (33 – 55 lbs)
|4 to 6 years|
|High Backed Booster Seat||Group 2 and 3
15 – 36 kg (33 – 79 lbs)
|4 to 11 years|
|Booster Cushion (From 9th February 2017)||Group 3
22 – 36 kg (48 – 79 lbs) and 125cm or taller
15-36kg This group is being phased out due to new regulations.
|6 – 11 years
Anchor Points & Safety
15 years ago, all car seats were attached via the use of the seat belt. Over the years rigorous investment by car seat and car manufacturers has seen the way in which we can attach seats vastly improved. There are 3 ways in which a car seat can be anchored into your car:
Belted Car Seats/Base:
- A base can be belted into the back of the car which means the car seat can be slotted in and out of the base.
- The car seat itself can be anchored into the seat via the use of the belt and without using a base.
- Use of a seat belt to attach a car seat is now becoming a thing of the past. They are now predominantly only used to belt in high back booster seats for older children.
Isofix Car Seats:
- Isofix refers to the two metal anchorage points in your car seat that the Isofix car seat attaches to.
- Isofix has been present in most cars since around 2002. Since February 2013, all cars manufactured have to have Isofix tether points fitted as standard.
- Isofix also utilises a Top Tether for some cars/seats. This helps to provide a further anchorage point and is used dependant on the comparability of the car seat in conjunction with the design of the car the seat is being fitted to.
- Since the introduction of Isofix, fatalities in road traffic accidents have decreased.
I-Size Car Seats:
- I-Size was introduced in 2013. The standard of testing required to be I-Size approved is vigorous. The safest car seats available to buy are I-Size seats.
- If your car is I-Size, ANY I-Size car seat will fit. There is no need to worry about whether it will or won’t fit.
- All vehicles manufactured since I-Size was introduced have to be I-Size compliant in order to achieve the the maximum safety rating. This has encouraged almost all car manufacturers to make their cars I-Size compatible. In the future as older cars come off the roads and are replaced by newer ones, most cars will be I-Size compatible.
- The regulation states that children must travel rearward facing until they are older than 15 months.
- I-Size uses a child’s height and age rather than weight to judge sizing.
- I-Size runs alongside other regulations – there is no law that states every seat must be I-Size moving forward.
Top Safety Concerns:
- Children should use a car seat until the age of 12 or until they reach the height of 135cm, whichever comes first.
- Rearward Facing for longer is recommended – a child facing forwards in a car seat is 5 times more vulnerable in a frontal collision. Parents would love the ability to check on their little ones whilst driving, but having them face forward is not as safe as facing rearward.
- The safest place for your child to travel is in the back. If they do travel in the front, you need to de-activate the airbag.
- Nearly half of people who buy a car seat in the UK complete no checks first to ensure that it will fit in their car.
Will it fit in my car?
- The following are great places to check to see if a car seat will fit in your vehicle: Britax Fit Finder, Maxi Cosi Fit List, Joie Fitting List
- Many retailers such as Babies R Us, Halfords and Mothercare all provide a checking service to ensure the seat fits prior to purchase.
Graco Milestone Car Seat
The Milestone Car Seat is quite appropriately named – it is a milestone! This seat will serve from Birth up until the age of 12 years. It can be positioned as a rearword facing seat, forward facing and a high back booster depending on the age/weight of your child. There is a 4 position recline and 10 position headrest/harness to keep your little one comfortable.
The concept of this product is brilliant, but we cannot help but be concerned about a few things that may influence is usability in the future, it is important to keep in mind these points before deciding to go ahead and make a purchase:
- The car seat is designed to last for 12 years – will your car be the same throughout this period of time?
- Will it be able to handle 12 years of usage? Or will it succumb to various stains and incidents?!
- Reviews for this seat now are very good, but this will not have covered the use of the seat over a very prolonged period of time.
Maxi Cosi Axiss Fix
The Axiss Fix is a seat that has been designed to be used from birth until 4 years. The innovative seat has a unique feature of being able to rotated 90 degrees whilst fitted so easily place your child in the seat. You then simply rotate it into position to make them secure.
- The seat can rotate in its base 360 degrees meaning you can place your child in or take out of the vehicle easily.
- The seat comes fitted with a colour indicator to show you if the seat has been fitted correctly or not giving you complete piece of mind.
Britax Kidfix XP SICT – Group 2-3
This car seat is super stylish, innovative and long-lasting. This will suit weights of 15-36kg or roughly 4-12 years. The seat can be fitted using Isofix or the seat belt.
- Cover can be removed for cleaning
- Side impact protection is soft and well padded – can be moved to face the side of the vehicle where impact is likely to occur.
- Adjustments can be completed easily with one hand
- Incredibly well made and high quality.
Cosatto Hug Car Seat (Various Colours)
This award winning seat is not only incredibly feature rich and immensely safe… it comes in a variety of trendy colours! Cosatto specialise in the “wow” factor when it comes to colouring and style. Their mission is to “save the world from boring baby stuff” and these car seats are certainly not boring!
- Suitable from 9 months up til 12 years
- Isofix fitting (uses top tether)
- 5 position recline
- Features the innovative “Cosatto anti-escape system” to prevent children from escaping the seat
Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus
This I-Size car seat is great on its own, with the optional 2-Way Fix Base or to be used alongside a travel system. This car seat is a great choice for those who want the ease of leaving an Iso-Fix base in their car and having an easy to remove car seat which can then be placed onto a travel system. This seat is compatible with all Maxi Cosi systems including the Quinny. It can also be used with many other travel systems (but some do require adaptors).
- Suitable from Birth to 12 Months (75cms)
- Can be used with the 2-Way Fix base to ensure maximum security using the Isofix points. This base can be used for the next car seat in the range (the 2 Way Pearl)
- 2 year guarantee
- Many parents with premature babies recommend the seat
Maxi Cosi 2-Way Pearl
The 2-Way Pearl is an ideal partner for the 2-Way base and is an incredibly safe car seat. Not only is it safe, it is stylish too available in many different colours. It boasts the ability for your child to remain in the safer rearward facing position up until the age of 4 years.
- Suitable from 6 months until 4 years
- Rearward facing up until the age of 4 years with forward facing available from 15 months
- Seat can recline to 4 different positions in both forward and rearward facing mode
- Incredibly easy to place your child in the seat and strap them in
Recaro Monza Nova
The Recaro Monza Nova car seat can be anchored using your vehicles Isofix points or using the 3 point car belt if your car doesn’t have Isofix. The seat combines state of the art safety technology with comfort. One of the unique features of this fantastically designed seat is that it contains in built speakers for Smart Phones, MP3 players or in-car DVD players.
Recaro is known for its manufacturing of in-car seating for anything from race cars and even produced seats for VW. More recently they are becoming known for their innovative car seats.
- Suitable for age 4 up until age 12
- Breathable fabric and removable covers that can be washed
- Unique speakers for in-car entertainment for your little one
- Has a luxurious feel and look for luxury car enthusiasts
Graco Affix Highback Booster – Group 2/3
This affordable and feature-rich car seat is ideal for parents who want to find a car seat that will last a long time. The back on the Graco Affix can be removed so that it can be used just as a booster seat.
Its longevity is extended by the ability to remove and wash the fabric cover and can last from the age of 3 up until 10!
- Suitable for children aged 3-10 years
- Side impact protection on the wings and headset
- Fabrics removable for easy washing and cleaning
- Cup holder and accessory holders are a neat additional feature
Maxi Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat – Group 0+
The Maxi Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat is highly versatile at fitting on travel systems including Maxi Cosi, Quinny, Bugaboo, iCandy and many more through the use of adaptors. This is one of the most popular Group 0+ car seats on the market and like all Maxi Cosi products is incredibly safe.
- Suitable from birth until 12 months (13kg)
- Available in a huge range of colours which can match your travel system colour (you can also alternate the colours!)
- Can be installed using the seat belt or using the Maxi Cosi FamilyFix Base or EasyFix Base.
- Side protection system – offers additional protection in a side impact collision.
Batman Car Seat
What better way to get your child into their car seat than by encouraging them to spend time with Batman! From a company called Kids Embrace, their range of seats are designed to make a child’s journey both safe and incredibly fun.
- Suitable for 9kg to 36kg
- Uses the in car 3-point belt to secure it
- 5 point harness and side impact protection
- Cup holders and arm rests
An overall favourite is difficult to choose as there are so many options available dependant on what exactly you are looking for in terms of grouping. We hope you found the information in this article helpful in making your choice.
We think the Maxi Cosi Pebble plus is the overall winner if looking for a seat from birth. It is I-Size certified meaning it has gone through rigorous safety testing and is compatible with a huge array of popular travel systems including any Maxi-Cosi Systems, the Quinny, I-Candy, Bugaboo and Silver Cross.
When pared with the 2-Way Fix Base it will create a safe and easy to manage environment for your little one on those long or short journeys.