What a maze of products on the market! We aim to help you know how to choose your best car seat based on your family's needs. Here are a few important points to put you in the picture first:
When your first consider how to choose your best car seat, remember that you have to have a car seat for any children up to 135cm tall or until they are 12 years old. Children from 12 years old have to wear a seat belt. In the UK, you may not be able to bring your baby home from hospital until you have an appropriate car seat installed so buy your car seat before the new member of your family arrives. Until your baby / toddler is 15 months old, they have to sit in a car seat which is rear-facing.
In order to know how to choose your best car seat you can do it according to your child's height (if i-Size) or weight. Either way, the car seats available from each brand are tested in order to keep your child safe according to their weight or height. You probably know from your own research that babies and children are kept safer in a car when travelling with their back to you. Therefore, for continued safety, the longer your child faces rearward whilst travelling the better.
If you want to know how to choose your best car seat by weight, then you have a number of weight classified car seat groups to choose from as follows: (i-Size car seats, classified on the height of your child are explained further down the page.)
Group 0+ (0-13kg) from birth to around 12-15 months. These car seats/baby carriers usually weigh less and take up less space than those used for older children.
As babies have delicate, developing bodies, their organs, back and neck need the extra protection provided by the cushioning and shape of their car seat. You can install most of the car seats in Group 0+, like the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat and Familyfix Base, very easily using a 3 point car seat belt or Isofix (with the use of the car seat base).
The Maxi Cosi Cabriofix Car Seat with FamilyFix Base - comes with a lifetime warranty
Group 0+ car seats including the Maxi Cosi Pebble (see below) can also attach to a pushchair frame as apart of a 'travel system' . You can attach your car seat to a pushchair chassis whilst your child is still safely harnessed and comfortable. This is very useful for ensuring your family has happy journeys. Only Group 0+ car seats can be used in this way.
The Maxi Cosi Pebble Car Seat can be attached to a pushchair frame
Group 0+ & 1 (0-18kg) from birth to around 4 years. This group of seats includes the Britax DualFix Car Seat. They let your baby face rearwards and then swap to a forward facing position when the time is right.
Britax DualFix Car Seat - Rear and Forward Facing
Group 1 (9-18kg) from around 9 months to 4 years. If your child is about 9 months old then this Group of car seats will last them until they are about four. Most of these seats including the Maxi Cosi Pearl Car Seat are only forward facing facing. The Kiddy Phoenixfix 3 Car Seat includes an impact shield across your child's abdomen. This helps absorb impact on your child's cervical spine in the event of a collision.
Maxi Cosi Pearl Car Seat - Faces Forward
Kiddy Phoenixfix 3 Car Seat includes an Impact Shield
Group 1-2-3 (9-36kg) from around 9 months to 12 years. If you are looking for a car seat that will suit children of different ages and weights then a group 1-2-3 seat (or Multi-Group seat) is for you. They cater for children weighing between 20lb to 5st 9lb. Multi-Group car seats usually feature a 5 point harness for your baby's safety. They adapt into a high-backed booster seat suitable as your child grows. With options to move from rearward to front facing, these car seats also provide you with better value for money without compromising on safety and protection.
You will find a wide range of car seats in this group to choose from. For example if you choose the