When it comes to choosing the right infant carrier or car seat, parents take extra care. Finally, the seat ensures the safety of your child in the car. But complicated size classifications, i-size standards and fastening systems make the purchase a real challenge. We tell you which car seat suits your child and which recommended models are available.
Overview of standard sizes
- Group 0 for babies weighing 0-10 kilograms
- Group I for children from 9-18 kilograms
- Group II for children from 15-25 kilograms
- Group III for children from 25-36 kilograms
- I-size phase 1: from 40 – 105 centimeters
- I-size phase 2: from 100 – 150 centimeters
Important to know: children up to 12 years old and/or weighing up to 36 kilograms must ride in a child seat in the car. the isofix anchorage of the i-size phase 1 models is only approved up to 36 kilograms total weight (child + seat). In addition, group II seats are rare and hardly worth purchasing. This also applies to group III child car seats. These are pure booster seats without backrests. They offer no protection in a side impact and experts advise against using them. Tip: it is better to opt for seats that grow with the child.
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1. Hauck comfort fix – the price-performance hit
Simple and inexpensive: the hauck comfort fix shows that safety is affordable. the rear-facing infant carrier belongs to group 0+ and is approved from birth up to a weight of 13 kilograms. At ADAC child seat test (11/2018) 2018 the shell achieves a good rating in the points of safety, ergonomics, pollutants and workmanship.
The patented foam in the head and shoulder area absorbs the energy in the event of a collision, the 3-point belt secures additionally. The cover is breathable, so babies sweat less in it. At 4.3 kilograms, however, the shell is quite heavy. If your car has an isofix connection, the hauck comfort fix can be upgraded with the isofix base with pedestal.
- weight: 4,3 kg
- Recommendation for body weight: up to 13 kg
- Special features: 3-point harness, breathable cover, compatible with isofix base
2. Maxi-cosi cabrio fix + familyfix – the easy one
The well-known manufacturer has great experience and in the segment of car child seats . The maxi-cosi cabrio fix + familyfix model is a proven classic, which can be used up to 13 kilograms. This model is one of the smaller infant carriers, so that a successor seat must be purchased early on.
The infant carrier can be fastened in vehicles without isofix with the belt in the car. However, the isofix-base familyfix facilitates correct insertion and reduces the error rate during installation. There is no need to buckle the seat belt, and the visual and acoustic feedback when the seat is locked in place provides additional safety. the baby car seat weighs only 3.3 kilograms, which makes it more comfortable to use in everyday life. Adjustable headrests, harnesses and wedge cushions ensure a child-friendly seat.
Particularly praiseworthy is the low pollutant load as the Tstiftung warentest test result (11/2018) shows. The fact that the shell is equipped with a headrest, seat reducer and sun canopy is a further plus point.
- weight: 3.3 kg
- Recommendation for body weight: up to 13 kg
- Special features: adjustable headrests, seat reducer, sun canopy, isofix or 3-point harness
3. Kiddy evoluna i-size 2: the reclining chair
This baby car seat from kiddy is approved from birth up to a weight of 13 kilograms and is one of the few baby car seat models with a real reclining function. This is expressly recommended by pediatricians to protect the spine of newborns, even on longer car journeys. The evoluna i-size 2 also complies with the stricter ECE-R 129 standard, in which the seats are tested even more intensively in terms of their functions.
The car seat is attached using the isofix base 2, which is included in the scope of delivery. color markings show when the infant carrier is correctly installed. For baby’s perfect seating comfort, in addition to the reclining function, the adjustable harness system also ensures. The adjustable sun canopy provides protection in sunny weather.
However, the consistently positive amazon reviews all include one important aspect: in order to be able to use the reclining function in the car, the car should have plenty of legroom on the front and rear seats. Because otherwise the child sits comfortably, but not the passenger.
- weight: 14 kg
- Recommendation for body weight: up to 13 kg
- Special features: reclining function, isofix base 2, sun canopy
4. Maxi-cosi axissfix air – the seat with the air cushions
For children from 4 months to approx. 4 years there is the first child seat with airbag! The maxi-cosi axissfix air is an i-size standard phase 1 compliant child car seat that is secured in the car with isofix and additional top theater. If sensors detect a collision, the airbags in the belt are triggered, protecting the neck and head. This significantly reduces the risk of injury in a head-on crash, he said ADAC and stiftung warentest solid in spring 2018. The risk of injury in the event of a side crash remains at an average level, according to tests.
However, one advantage is the ability to rotate the seat 360 degrees. This allows you to sit in the backward position and from approx. 2 years forward facing. It is also very nice that the seat can also rotate towards the car door. Which makes getting in and out of the seat, as well as buckling and unbuckling, more comfortable for everyone.
Further advantages are the 7-way adjustable headrest, 4 sitting and resting positions in each driving direction, the 5-point harness system, soft padding and a washable cover. But there are also disadvantages: the seat takes up a lot of space and is somewhat heavier due to its innovative design.
- Weight: 12 kg
- Recommended age: from 4 months to 4 years old
- Special features: isofix, 4 seat and rest positions, 7-way adjustable headrest, 360-degree seat, airbag
5. Britax romer dualfix: the top candidate
The DUALFIX is made for families who are always on the go. Thanks to its 360-degree rotation feature, it can be easily switched from backward to forward direction. Parents can simply put their little ones in the car and lift them out again when they arrive – without straining their backs in the process. A support leg gives the child car seat additional stability over the vehicle floor. At the same time, it minimizes the tilting and rotational movement and cushions the forces acting on your child in the event of an accident – so it is better protected.
The model scores in test series (ADAC child seat test autumn /2018) very good safety results, processing and pollutant content. The cover is removable and washable, which will be necessary if the seat is used for around three years. As with all models with a support leg, this model requires slightly more space than models without a base and support leg.
- weight: 14,7 kg
- Recommendation body weight: up to 18 kg
- Special features: 360 degree swivel function, backward and forward facing, support leg
6. Recaro zero.1 elite i-size – the innovative
Designed for children from birth to four years, the recaro zero.1 elite i-size developed. It too is a reboarder with isofix base and support leg and complies with the new i-size standard introduced in 2013. Its special feature is the seat-in-seat system with the removable infant carrier. If the child is taller than 75 centimeters, it sits in the seat without the infant carrier. According to "autobild", the 5-point harness sits well on the body and is easily height-adjustable.
Up to the age of 15 months, the child must always be transported rearward facing. after that the very well padded seat can also be turned into a forward facing position – without having to be removed. Strong side bolsters and fold-out protectors protect the child in the event of a side impact.
However, the car magazine criticizes that the footrest does not always adapt well to the back of the seat, which is to the detriment of the seat’s stability. In addition, the seat is large and, at 18 kilograms, very heavy. This does not make installation particularly pleasant. Although the cover is easy to remove for washing, it is fiddly to attach.
- Weight: 18 kg (baby seat: 2.9 kg)
- Recommendation body size: 2 in 1: infant carrier (up to 75 cm) and child seat (up to 105 cm)
- special features: 360-degree swivel function, integrated isofix, 5-point seat belt
7. Cybex pallas S-fix (I / II / III) – with a catcher body
The pallas S-fix from cybex is a car seat that grows with the child, for children from 9 months to 12 years of age. It can be used in car with and without isofix and weighs about 10 kilograms. The Depth-adjustable impact shield, which is placed in front of the child’s body, reduces the risk of serious head and neck injuries up to the age of three years. The seat is then removed from the base and the impact shield is omitted. The side protector can be folded out and also folded back in case of lack of space.
The seat is particularly easy to fasten using the car’s three-point seat belt and, optionally, with isofix as well. The belt horns on the seat ensure that the pelvic belt remains in the correct position. The test winner of the stiftung warentest in november 2018 in the groups I, II and III can be easily adjusted to the lying position with only one hand, the same applies to the 3-fold tiltable headrest.
Satisfied parents also report in their amazon reviews that the seat is easy to get into, has soft padding and is quite narrow, so that even one adult can sit in the rear middle seat. In addition, the children should also sweat less due to the ventilated backrest.
- weight: 10 kg
- Recommendation body weight: 15 to 36 kg
- Special features: 3-way reclining headrest, adjustable recline function, isofix option, space-saving
8. Nuna AACE – the comfortable
The seat of the standard group II / III has a 3-fold extendable seat surface and a 10-fold height adjustable headrest. The width of the seat adjusts automatically when the headrest is adjusted. This 3-D system is its unique selling point. This means that the child car seat can always be adjusted exactly to the child’s stature. The side impact protection can also be adjusted.
the reclining backrest not only adjusts to the car seat, but is also ventilated so that, in combination with the breathable cover, sweating is well reduced on warm days. If the cover still needs a wash, it can be removed and cleaned. Important and practical: the belt guiding machine always keeps the safety belt in the right place, so it can’t slip up.
The manufacturer has also added a removable cup holder, which is very practical. With its 7, 2 kilograms the seat is not even particularly heavy, so that the installation and removal is quite uncomplicated from the hand. Of course, there is an isofix device, but the child car seat can also be simply attached with the car’s seat belt system. The nuna AACA was also put through its paces by the ADAC in 2018 and was rated among the best in its class with a score of 1.9.
9. Joie traver shield – the low-priced one
For the time after the baby seat is the joie traver shield is a successor seat in the price midfield. One that is good test results (ADAC and stiftung warentest 2018) in terms of safety, operation and low pollutants and accompanies the children until the end of the child seat obligation. not all cars are equipped with isofix. Still you want your child to be safe. This model is fastened either only with the belt of the car, or if available, additionally with isofix. Color markings indicate how to put the belt on correctly.
For the period up to the third birthday, a 4-position depth-adjustable impact shield provides extra safety. After that, belt horns keep the lap belt in the right place. The height of the headrest can be adjusted in 6 positions and the depth of the seat can be adjusted in 3 positions. The side impact guard is also removable and protects the head, chest and neck. Buyers of the seat describe it as practical and praise in particular the good side visibility of the children despite head restraint. However, this is not tiltable, so there is no adjustable sleeping position. Another disadvantage: the cover cannot be removed and washed.