BuggyBaby.co.uk stocks only the best and safest baby car seats from top brands like Maxi Cosi, Joie, Britax, and Cosatto. Buy now and receive free fast delivery. Products like the Joie Duallo, Maxi Cosi Pebble Car Seat, the Joie Spin 360 Car Seat , the Britax Dualfix Car Seat, the Cosatto Zoomi Car Seat, Kiddy Evolution Pro 2 Car Seat, the Recaro Zero.1 Elite Car Seat and the Britax Prince Car Seat.
What a maze of products on the market! We aim to help you understand the best car seat to buy based on your family's needs and here are a few important points to put you in the picture first:
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.
Choose the size according to your child's height 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 go by weight, then you have a number of weight classified car seat groups to choose from as follows:
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. Many of the car seats in Group 0+, like the Maxi Cosi Pebble+ Car Seat with FamilyFix Base, enable your child to lie in a rear-facing position, and are installed with a special base that allows your child's position to be adjusted from seated to lying flat. The base will also fit other car seats as your child grows which adds convenience to family travelling.
The Maxi Cosi Pebble+ Car Seat with FamilyFix Base - gives adaptability
Group 0+ car seats including the Maxi Cosi Pebble (see below) may also be made to attach to a pushchair frame as apart of a 'travel system' whilst your child is still safely harnessed and comfortable which is very useful for ensuring happy journeys. Only Group 0+ car seats can be used in this way.
The Maxi Cosi Pebble can be attached to a pushchair frame
Group 0+ & 1 (0-18kg) from birth to around 4 years. This group of seats include the Britax DualFix Car Seat and they allow your baby to 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 and 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 - catering for children weighing between 20lb to 5st 9lb. Multi-Group car seats usually feature a 5 point harness for your baby's safety, adapting into a high-backed booster seat suitable as your child grows. With options to move from rearward to front facing, these car seats may also provide you with better value for money without compromising on safety and protection.
There is a wide range of car seats in this group to choose from. For example if you choose the Cosatto Hug 123 (5 Point Plus) Car Seat, extra thought has been given to the design to stop younger children wriggling free of the car seat whilst travelling. The Joie Every Stage FX 0+/1/2/3 Car Seat provides a rearward facing position from new born up to 18kg and can easily be adapted into a forward facing seat in time.
Cosatto Hug 123 (5 Point Plus) Car Seat for snug fit
Joie Every Stage 123 Car Seat - Rear and Forward facing
Group 2-3 (15-36kg) from around 3 years to 12 years. When moving on from Group 1 car seats, don't go looking for just a Group 2 seat because they don't exist. If your child is about to move on from Group 1 they will need a Group 2/3 booster seat with a high back. There are plenty of models to choose from, including the Joie Trillo 2/3 Car Seat which gives added security for your child should the car be in a collision from the side. The Nuna Aace 2/3 Car Seat is also a Group 2/3 Car seat and has eight adjustable seat aspects and a headrest with ten different positions which work with padding at shoulder height to make sure it fits your child perfectly as they grow to the age of 12.
The Joie Trillo 2/3 Car Seat for added security
The Nuna Aace 2/3 Car Seat fits up to age 12
In 2013 EU safety law ECE (R129) 'i-Size' was brought in so that child car seats would more easily fit into different styles of car and allow babies and children to travel even more safely. 'i-Size car seats' are suited to your child's height rather than their weight and are an optional choice.
If you go by height then i-Size seats cater for around 40cm to 105cm (roughly birth to 4 years old). You can choose from a wide selection of i-Size car seats from top of the range to good quality or value for money models.
What type of fixing will you use in your car?
What if my car has ISOfix connectors?
An ISOfix fixing point is the name given to the 'International Standards Organisation Fix' - the standard for connecting car seats in passenger cars. Sometimes you will see the term 'LATCH' being used, which stands for "Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children". ISOfix fittings are not found in all cars( but most manufactured within the past 10 years do have them) so you need to check whether or not your car is included before looking for a car seat. ISOfix car seats can sometimes be used in cars without ISOfix fixing points, by using the seatbelts instead - so this is another factor worth considering.
ISOfix seats, using rigid connection points, help you to correctly fit your car seat in the right position; they generally cost more than car seats installed by seat-belts and they also tend to weigh more - so if you are planning to transfer your car seat between several cars, this is worth noting.
There are three kinds of ISOfix car seat to look out for if you want to use your ISOfix:
Universal Approval - these are forward facing car seats in Group 1 and they can be used in nearly all newer cars. They are installed using a two-point fixing system combined with a top tether.
Semi-Universal Approval - only to be used with with certain cars, these car seats can be forward or rearward facing and can include a foot rest or top tether. These car seats cannot be used in cars which have storage space under the floor.
Vehicle Specific Approval - these car seats are compatible with specific vehicles only, and use a two-point fixing mechanism.
Whichever car seat or method of installation you choose, it is of utmost importance that you know how to install your chosen car seat correctly.
What if my car only has Seat Belts?
If your car has car seats then choose a car seat with clear guidelines on correct positioning and guides for installation. By doing this you will reduce the likelihood of using the car seat incorrectly. Otherwise, by using car seat belts for installation such as with the Joie Stages 0+/1/2 Car Seat, there are a number of advantages:
However, the disadvantages of using car seat belts for installation include:
The Joie Stages 0+/1/2 Car Seat can be installed using the car seat belt
What if I want to use a Car Seat Base?
A car seat base, which is a separate product installed into your car, can be fixed by either seat belt or ISOfix connectors. Car seat bases are installed and locked into place in a variety of ways and aim to provide an additional level of safety. The car seat is then 'clicked' into the base. An example of a car seat that fits into a separate base is the Joie i-Anchor Advance Car Seat. This car seat uses the Joie i-Base Advance.
Joie i-Base Advance
Joie i-Anchor Advance car seat positioned on the Joie i-Base Advance
Why do I need Car Seat Footmuffs?
What is so important about Car Seat Replacement Covers?
Why do I need a summer cover for my Car Seat?
Why should I choose an ISOfix Car Seat?
Why should I buy an i-Size Car Seat?
If you are still not sure about whether the seat you are considering will fit your car then you can ask to check the car seat manufacturer's 'approved vehicle list' which is given on the packaging box or on the manufacturer's website. Otherwise you should also check your car owner's handbook (which may also be found online) or if still in doubt contact BuggyBaby.co.uk for some guidance.