Based on our research, in this article, we are going to talk about how to choose the best car seat for your children.
The legislation regarding the safety of the child in the car requires the use of a car seat to keep the child in a safe position and to protect him in case of an impact. The statistics related to the severity of accidents involving children not fixed in the car seat are frightening.
Purchasing an appropriate model is a very good choice when targeting an extended age group, and statistics show that the device saves the life or minimizes the trauma of the child in the event of a traffic accident. Such a measure for the safety of the little one is unmatched by any type of vehicle, and to choose the safest baby car seat, you have to consider a few features:
Approval: Because, unfortunately, not all car seats available on the market are manufactured in the EU or the USA, where safety standards are equally strict, careful buyers should check if the product they are considering is certified.
The safety certifications that should attract your attention are ECE R44 / 03, ECE R44 / 04, or ECE R129 (also known as i-Size). The products that hold these certifications have been tested in case of impact and impose certain construction features meant to provide comfort and safety.
Installation in the car: From this point of view, we must bring into discussion two elements: the fixing mode and the actual position.
For the fixing, there are two attachment options: with the help of the machine belts, or through an Isofix system. There is also a more modern version of the Isofix system, which includes an additional clamping element, either to the trunk or through an additional foot that rests on the floor of the car.
The Isofix system is found in slightly newer models of cars, and the big advantage is that it does not leave much room for mistakes in terms of fixing.
However, if you have a slightly older car, or in the equipment that does not have this clamping system, you can use the belt variant, with the mention that the assembly must be done step by step and with maximum attention to the manufacturer’s instructions. Otherwise, the best or safest car seat will not protect your child in the event of an impact.
Regarding the position concerning the driving direction, the legal safety rules usually require that all children up to one year old should sit with their backs to the direction in which the car is moving.
Safety standard R129 extends this period up to 15 months, and tests performed by independent authorities show that this position is superior in terms of safety up to 3-4 years. The manufacturers have considered this and make available to the car seats buyers that can be used in a rear-facing position for up to 6-7 years.
If we limit ourselves to what some legislations say in the field, it is not very clear about where the seat should occupy the car. The rear seats are the most protected, but if you need to place the 0 (+) group seat on the driver’s right seat, make sure you have deactivated the appropriate airbag. It is illegal and extremely dangerous to travel with an active airbag.
According to the child: From this point of view, we must take into account the age of the child at the time of the purchase of the seat or, more correctly and more accurately, the number of kilograms it has, as the most recent standard, R129, says that the parameters to be taken into account are weight and height.
Group 0 includes chairs that will be used up to a maximum weight of 10 kg; group 0+ is intended for babies from birth up to 13 kg. Always these models are installed with the back in the direction of travel, and you will not abandon them until the child’s crest exceeds the level of protective cushions.
Group 1 is for children from 9 to 18 kg; Typical are the belts with a 5-point clamping system, which must be adjusted with maximum care for the junior to be safe.
Attention, thick winter clothes make this difficult, so if you do the same things as the book, you should use blankets for wrapping rather than thick jackets when preparing the baby for a long journey.
Groups 2 and 3 are for children of 15 – 25 kg, respectively 22 – 36 kg. Models in this category always use the machine belt for fixing, the belt that must follow all the mounting instructions and especially, be guided always by the special fixing piece that prevents it from exerting pressure on the neck.
If you are hoping to invest in a single-car seat for babies and children, you can try to opt for an extended model, which covers at least 2 of these age groups. It is difficult to say whether a suitable seat from 0 to 25 kg offers the same degree of comfort as one made for a narrower range of weight, but it is certain that in the quality and safety rankings, there are models in this category, evaluated as good or very good.
Test results: All products in this category are subjected to extensive tests targeting a relatively large number of items, from safety to impact, to ergonomics, ease of maintenance or comfort for the child.
For the models available in Europe, the information provided by the ADAC tests performed in Germany is probably the most practical, because they provide you with data for the models available in this area of the world.
Brand: It is not easy to choose the optimal brand, from such a generous offer on the market. If we are to limit ourselves to criteria that are related to the quality and safety level offered to the child, our recommendations go to products belonging to brands such as BeSafe, Cybex, Maxi Cosi, Britax Romer, Joie, Recaro, Graco, Stokke.
Clear instructions: The rules of use must be easy to understand and need to be studied to avoid installation problems. Otherwise, for nothing, you have purchased one of the best car seats for children this year, if it is not properly mounted and does not perform the safety functions for which it was created.
At the same time, you can check the user manual of the car, because to a certain extent, the ideal model is also the most compatible with your car. Overall, the correct installation is the most important detail for a safe and worry-free trip.
Additional components and functions: Purchase all the installation accessories for the chair. If an element is missing or does not match the machine in which it is used, the safety offered by the product decreases. A backrest adjustment system would provide extra comfort for the baby. A glass or water bottle holder is also appreciated. Some baby models may include, optionally, a cold-weather cover, or an extra cover, to prevent the sun from beating the baby directly in the eye.
Easy to clean: The material from which the product is made must be safe for babies and easy to maintain, so easy to wash. Ideally, the seat should be wrapped in a pouch, for which you also have a double.
Find offers with side protection from foam and lining made from natural, hypoallergenic cotton. The mesh-lined ones allow for optimum breathability and prevent excessive perspiration.
We live in an era of speed and limited time, and with the help of busy parents comes online shopping, to purchase one of the best car seats for children this year. Most online stores have discounts, offers, “refund” possibilities, even free shipping proposals. In most cases, you can pay back or pay online with the card, and the delivery time is the order of the day.
How to use a car seat for children
The legislation requires the use of the car seat for children until they reach a minimum height of 135 cm, which is considered appropriate for the use of the seat belt. What few parents know is that they are investing in the best seat on the market for nothing, if they do not use it properly.
Specialist recommendations for people traveling with one child in the car are to install the seat on the central seat on the rear seat. Thus, the child is protected in case of lateral impact.
If there are two children in the car, one of them will sit in the middle seat, and the other in the right rear position, the area is considered protected.
Always mount the seat paying special attention to the instructions in the manual. Only in this way, you will benefit from the maximum safety offered by the chosen piece. If the attachment with the car’s safety systems – whether it is the Isofix system or the usual belts – is not done properly, in case of an impact the seat will fly from the position you placed it.
The seat chosen must be properly adapted to the child’s age and size. Until the age of one year, it is mandatory to install the car seat with the back in the direction of travel, to protect the child’s fragile spine, but the impact safety tests revealed that the rear-facing position should be maintained, as far as possible, up to the age of at least 4 years.
Installing the child
Especially when it comes to babies, parents tend to hold them in their arms. The idea that they would be more protected is fundamentally wrong… and illegal.
Always make sure that the belts are tightly adjusted according to how thick the little one is dressed and that their locking system has been properly operated.
In winter, warm up the car before starting on the road and take the baby’s jacket when you place it in the seat. Being extremely thick, it can be compressed in case of impact and will allow the child to slide out of the seat.
Even though the baby sweats during the summer, he never puts extra layers of textile material between the chair and the baby. The added finisher can interfere with the belt locking system or make it impossible to adjust their length properly, increasing the risk of accidents.
What to never do
We have already presented some of the most important safety rules regarding the use of the chair. Another element worth mentioning is that the car seat is installed on the rear seats. In the case of two-seater cars, it can be located on the right seat, provided the airbag is deactivated, which once triggered could seriously injure the baby.
Never remove the child from his or her seat while the car is moving. It is illegal and dangerous. You better stop and take a break for relaxation, which will benefit all the passengers, until the baby calms down.
If you are breastfeeding, you may be tempted to give the baby sucking while walking, bending over it. The specialists have shown that this gesture is just as dangerous as the removal from the belts because the inertia of your body in case of sudden braking can hit or crush the child.
Recommended car seats for children
Graco TurboBooster Grow High Back Booster Seat
If you are interested in a car seat for children to offer them safety and protection during occasional trips, then we suggest you choose this model from Graco. It is specially designed for individuals weighing between 15 and 36 kilograms. This means that it will be suitable for the age group of 4-12 years.
The product can be used both with the backrest attached, for younger children, and without it, for the older ones. In both cases, the fixing will be done with the help of anchors (Isofix) that will be firmly attached to the rear seat. The device does not have a built-in safety belt, but it has a guide at the back for the belt with which the car is provided so that it can be adjusted according to the height of the child.
You will have a choice between two folding positions, and the headrest can be adjusted up or down. The cover with which the product is covered can be easily removed and washed. On the sides, you will find two armrests (also adjustable), one for the glass and the other for toys.
Diono Radian 3R Convertible Car Seat
Radian 5 from Diono is a truly revolutionary car seat, or more precisely, the car seat that manages to meet all the expectations of the parents: long use time from 0 months to 6 years (0-25 kg), own belts with grip in 5 points and maximum impact resistance due to the steel-reinforced frame, as well as the unique innovations of Diono engineers.
Radian 5 is the only car seat in which the child can be transported in an extremely comfortable position, with the back in the direction of travel, up to a weight of 25 kg, which is the safest recommended position for small passengers. Maximum Protection at Impact
Due to its increased capacity, the Radian 5 is the only recommended car seat from birth that allows the baby to be transported both backward and forwards in the direction of travel up to the weight of 25 kg.
The steel-reinforced frame is extremely impact resistant, and the EPP foam provides maximum protection, while the side wings in the head area maintain the child’s position in the car seat in the event of an accident.
Thanks to the minimalist design, the Radian 5 seat takes up less space on the rear seat, so if you have more small passengers, you can put up to 3 Radian 5 car seats in the vehicle.
Transportation with your back for more time
With a carrying capacity with the back to the direction of travel up to a maximum weight of the child of 25 kg, Radian 5 provides the safest mode of transport for small passengers. Experts have shown that the safety of the child is 5 times higher when it is transported with the back to the direction of walking because in this position the area of the head and cervical spine are protected in case of impact.
Also, when transported with their backs to the direction of travel, the position is much more comfortable for the child.
Even when the children are transported face to face, they are secured in their seat belts, with 5 points.
The seat of the Radian 5 car seat is padded with memory foam, so it ensures an extremely comfortable trip for the child, whether it is for short trips or longer trips. The lining of the Radian 5 car seat opens and can be washed, at the washing machine, at 30 degrees, without squeezing
Chicco MyFit Harness + Booster Car Seat
the car seat you can buy for your newborn and you can use it up to 12 years old, respectively 150 cm high, offering a very good safety-comfort ratio.
Approved for age groups 0 + / 1/2/3 (0-36 kg)
Features and benefits:
1. Isofix installation: to provide maximum safety and stability, the car seat assembly must be made using the isofix connectors and by fastening the seat belts in 3 points.
2. Adapter for newborn: represented by additional protection for the baby, made of a soft and comfortable material.
3. Side protection system – to provide maximum safety in case of side impact
4. Seat rotation system: Due to the front handle, the car seat can be rotated so that the shift from the position “in the reverse direction of the car’s steering” to the position “towards the direction of the car’s direction” can be achieved with very easy, without having to lift the seat from the bench.
Car seat configuration details:
In this configuration, the seat should always be mounted with the back to the direction of travel, thus ensuring the correct position of the child.
After the child has reached the weight of 9 kg, the car seat can be installed facing the direction of travel and used up to the age of 4 years (9-18 kg). Due to the integrated 5-point fastening system of the seat belt, the child can travel safely.
Due to the adjustable headrest, the car seat can be used up to the age of 12, ensuring optimal positioning of the child. The clamping system for this group is the one in 3 points with the help of the safety belts of the vehicle.
Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat
If your child is already older, the perfect car seat for him is the Key model. It is an approved chair for the age group 2/3, from 3-4 to 12 years and between 15 and 36 kg. The adjustable safety system allows the adjustment of the seat in height and width. The seat is held in 3 points, with the help of the car’s seat belt.
Has special belt guides so that the child is securely trapped. The Ergos system ensures the correct position in the seat, offering an added comfort by supporting the elbow, lumbar area and legs. The backrest can be tilted in 3 different positions, the backrest and the headrest are adjusted in height in 8 different positions.
The side protection of the seat can be adjusted 8 cm in width, from 46 to 54 cm, the option being especially welcome in the cold season when the thick clothes could disturb the little one. The Air Circulating System cover ensures proper ventilation of the child even in the cold season.
DuoZone combined head and shoulder side-impact protection with 10 positions for growing children