Buying a Car Seat
The Supernanny team has reviewed a range of seats suitable from birth to age 12 (4ft 5 inches or 135 cm), and brings you the top three in each age group.
Top ten car seats
With hundreds of car seats on the market, first be clear about what the law
requires for your child. To help you find the best seat for your family and budget, the Supernanny Team road tests the top three seats for each age group. Car seats vary widely in price, so shop around for the best deal - see ‘Want to know more?’ for suppliers.
Top seats for babies (group 0 (0-13kgs) and group 1 (9-18kgs)
These seats have been recommended by parents for safety, ‘snuggability’, ease of fitting and other features. Remember to fit the baby seat into your car a couple of weeks before the due date, especially if you’re using a fixed-base system, to avoid a last-minute panic!
Maxi Cosi Cabrio
Expensive, but top of the range, this baby car seat puts safety first (available with ISOFIX and Easy Fix bases that you can leave in the car). It’s super-snug, easy to fit, your newborn can lie nearly flat and it comes in a fantastic range of covers (we love ‘happy flower’!). There’s a great instruction video on their website, if it’s your first time fitting the seat or base unit. There’s also a car fitting list on the site so you can check against the model of your car.
Britax Rock a Tot
Used with the Britax Travel System, this is an all-round terrific seat that won’t hurt your wallet. It’s cosy, lightweight and easy to fit, and comes in a range of designs. Once you’re at your destination, the seat makes a great rocker, too. Register on the Britax website and you’ll be able to use their trade-marked Fit Finder ™ to see if the chair is good for your car.
Graco Auto Baby
The Auto Baby rocks (literally), and has been a real hit whenever it’s been tested by mums and dads. It’s easy to use, relatively light, can be quickly fitted into a base and comes in three designs. Usually priced at about £70.
Top seats for ages 1 - 4 (group 2: 15 – 25kgs)
For this age, you’ll want something that’s quick to get them in to, easy to wash, with a sturdy harness and a range of sitting or reclining positions.
Britax Evolva 123
Amazingly, this stylish, comfy seat will last your child all through age groups 1, 2 and 3 (that’s 9kg – 36kg!), to save you the cost of two seats. The 5-point harness is easy to adjust with one pull, and the recline function, sturdy build and comfy headrest are all great. It also has snack trays that are usually found in the next range of car seats.
Maxi Cosi Priori XP
This one is easy to install, super-comfy and very safe. It comes with an isofix base, and although slightly heavy, parents appreciate the seatbelt tensioner and excellent range of reclining positions. It comes with a range of detachable covers and we love the play tray you can buy as an accessory.
This seat is usually cheaper than the previous two, and comes on a fixed base. It has a sturdy strap and lock system, comes in five designs and is easy to fit and remove.
Top Seats and Boosters for older children (group 3: 22 - 36kgs)
Drink holders, toy trays and snack boxes are all features your children will love, but look out for good side protection and easy to use belt adjusters at this age range. Trying to choose a design and colour that will last until they’re nearly teenagers might be the biggest challenge!
Maxi Cosi Rodi XP
This seat has had excellent safety test results, especially for side-impact. It has a comfy head rest, good reclining position and wouldn’t look out of place in a racing car.
Concord Trimax Bon Bon
A sugar-pink (it comes in different colours) pod which offers style and protection for your child. We love the arm rests and high back, which still allows your child see the view.
A wide seat suitable for larger cars, with a good seatbelt adjuster and optional isofix. Comes in two very stylish designs and is probably the cheapest of these three choices.
Graco Booster and Hi Life Booster
Not great for long journeys where your child might like a headrest, but buy two so you can give your children’s friends a lift, or when you’ve left the big seat in the other car. Don’t forget to buy one for the grandparents, too!
- Car Travel Products: Travelling with kids this autumn? See the Supernanny website’s list of indispensable things to amuse and entertain…
- Car Seat Laws : The child car seat law in the UK has changed, and children must remain in car seats until they are 1.35m tall or aged 12. We have the lowdown on the new laws and tips to get your older children back into car seats.
- Car Games: Car games can help to make long trips bearable – even fun! All these games can be played by young and older children, no props required.