Child car seats are a must for family car trips. Child seats of the right size ensure the safety of your child and also provide increased seating comfort. The decision for the right child seat is not easy, therefore we have summarized all important information about child seats in this guide.
What size your child needs – and much more – you can find out in our checklist. A wide selection of different great child seats can be found in our product recommendations.
- The weight of your child plays an important role when choosing a seat. Five groups are distinguished. Choose a seat of the next higher group if your child fits into it in terms of weight.
- Some manufacturers combine the group 0 and 0+.
- Group 0: Weight 0-10 kg (up to 8-9 months).
- Group 0+: Weight 0-13 kg (about 17 – 18 months).
- Group I: weight 9-18 kg (from about 10 months – about 4 years).
- Group II: Weight 15-25 kg (3.5 – 7 years).
- Group III: weight 22-36 kg (7-12 years).
- Regardless of age and weight, remember that your child may sit in a child seat up to a maximum of 1.50 meters.
- Turn off the passenger airbag if you want to transport your child in the passenger seat. Keep in mind that toddlers sit safest in the back.
- The child seat must be approved according to test standard UN ECE Reg. 44/04 or 129.
- Number 129 covers child seats with Isofix fixation. Most passenger cars are pre-equipped for this. Note that your child up to 15 months of age may only be transported backward in the car for its own safety. The seat or infant carrier is then secured with the harness or Isofix.
- Reboarders are very popular. With such a child seat you can transport your child up to the age of four sitting backward (group 0 to 1). Your toddler is secured with a harness or Isofix.
- The headrest must have a high side bolster. This way, the whole head is better protected in the event of a side impact.
- The shoulder belt should go over the middle of the shoulder. If it sits too far out, it slips over the shoulder more easily.
- The lap belt must sit low over the groin. This is important for small children.
- The backrest must be adjustable so that the side bolsters are always at head height. The seat grows with the child, so to speak.
- The covers should be removable so that they can be cleaned.
Table of contents
Recommended Child Seats
We have compiled the best and most interesting child seats. You can find the list with our product recommendations here.
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The Best Sellers Of Child Seats
In a list of bestsellers we have compiled the most popular child seats for you.
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Current Offers Of Child Seats
You can find the best current offers on child seats in this list.
Child Seat Advice
Which Child Seat Fits Me?
Some parents here may have already purchased a baby car seat and are now looking for a successor. Others may have found this test and are hoping for advice on which child car seat is suitable for older children. No problem! I’m happy to help you find out which car seat fits your needs and the age of your child.
From When And How Long Do You Want To Use The Car Seat?
In my recommendations I have presented you a child seat of the group 0+ and 1, as well as group 1, but also the groups 1, 2, and 3. If you are looking for a child seat that you can use immediately after birth and that allows your baby a comfortable and above all safe sleeping position, then you are type A. If you already have a baby seat, then you need a successor. Now you are spoiled for choice. One of my recommendations can be used from about 9 months to four years of age. If you are interested in this model, then you are type B. The remaining recommendations can be used until your child is 12 years old, or until he or she is over 1.50 m tall and therefore no longer needs a child seat. Long-lasting models are of course particularly practical, but also often a bit more expensive. If you are interested in a child car seat that you can use for as long as possible, then you are type C. If you have several children, then it may also be worth buying child seats for shorter periods so that your younger one gets the old child seat from his big sibling when he has outgrown it.
You Want A Child Seat Of The Group 0+?
You Are Type A!
For you, the Britax Römer Dualfix is the perfect child seat. It can be used directly after birth until about 4 years of age thanks to removable newborn insert. The child seat from Britax has a 5-point harness and can be easily and securely attached in the car as a border with Isofix.
The child seat from Britax offers infants a high level of safety. The high side bolsters not only serve as protection in the event of a side impact but also shield your baby from flying splinters. The integrated airbag reduces the risk of injury. Parents can especially enjoy the great handling of the Dualfix child car seat. It has a 360-degree swivel function, which means you can simply turn the seat towards the car door to comfortably put your child head-on in the seat. After that, simply turn it into the driving position and you’re done.
Although the Britax Römer Dualfix is quite expensive, the investment is worth it. Parents and children do not have to do without anything here, because it is not only comfortable and very safe but also has super easy handling.
You Already Have A Baby Car Seat And Are Now Looking For A Successor From The 9th Month?
You are type B!
If you already have a baby seat, then you need a suitable successor. This means that you need at least a child seat in group 1. If you are satisfied with a child seat that can be used up to the age of about four years, then the is just right for you.
Maxi Cosi is one of the best-known brands for infant carriers and child seats, so parents can’t go far wrong with it. It has a very thoughtful design and great features. With the Isofix attachment system, the child seat is quickly and easily attached to the car. The control indicator confirms the safe attachment. The seat can be adjusted 4-fold and can also be placed in a comfortable resting position.
The headrest and harness are automatically adjusted at the same time, so they are always perfectly aligned. Infants are secured by a comfortably padded 5-point harness. The Maxi Cosi child seat is also available at a good price and is a real recommendation for a group 1 child seat.
You are looking for a child seat that you can use until the end of the child seat obligation?
You are type C!
There are great child seat models on the market that can be used for many years. So you don’t need to invest money again and again and also save yourself the renewed search for a really safe model.
I have three great recommendations for you. Two of them even cover group 1, which means they can be used from the ninth month of your child’s life – so in total they have a useful life of almost 12 years. The last infant car seat in my recommendations covers groups 2 and 3, so they can be used from about 4 years old. It all depends on what model you are currently equipped with.
The Cybex Palls Fix
How can a child seat adapt optimally to your child’s body size for so long? It’s simple: the Cybex Pallas fix has a depth-adjustable safety cushion that protects children in group 1 and offers them even more comfort than a normal harness system. The child seat also has a removable seat insert that allows you to perfectly adjust the size. The seat not only adjusts to a sitting position but also offers a comfortable reclining position for little ones to take restful naps on longer trips. The headrest is tilt-adjustable so that the little head can not tip forward when sleeping.
The Pallas fix infant seat is very lightweight, so it can easily be placed in another vehicle if needed. During my research, I did a little research on the safety cushion. According to Cybex, this is ideal for a small group 1 passengers and gives them plenty of room to move. Some kids also seem very happy with the cushion, while others feel uncomfortable and cramped. So you should first test how your child reacts to the safety cushion. If it is satisfied, then this is definitely a great and safe alternative to the normal harness.
Recaro Young Sport Hero
The Recaro Young Sport Hero child seat is my comfort favorite and can be used from the age of 9 months. Thanks to the seat reducer, it can be perfectly adjusted to the size of the child, who sits super comfortably in the seat made of breathable seat foam. Molded foam is also found in the head, shoulder, and hip areas, providing extra protection in the event of an impact.
The straps are very well padded and have virtually no chance of slipping, which is very important to me. Many underestimate the risk of slipping straps, which in the worst case could cut into the neck. The Young Sport Hero child car seat also reclines to a comfortable resting position, which can be conveniently adjusted with a wheel. Unfortunately, this child car seat does not have the option to attach it via Isofix. However, the manufacturer has thought along and facilitates parents with extra belt clamp the attachment.
Cybex Gold Solution S-Fix
The Cybex Solution S-fix can be used 15 kg and is particularly compact, so it can also be well accommodated in smaller cars. Thanks to its low weight, it is also super suitable for more frequent vehicle changes.
The child seat is easily attached with Isofix. Children are particularly well secured by the linear side impact protection. The headrest is 12-way height-adjustable and also tilt-adjustable and thus adapts perfectly to the size of your child, while a forward tilt of the head is prevented. The Solution S-fix has a particularly good ventilation system, so your child does not sweat. It is available at a good price-performance ratio in seven different colors.
Child Seat Info
How to find the perfect child seat
Why is a child seat so important?
Child seats serve to protect your child and ensure perfect support in the event of a collision through the belt installation and protect the sensitive child’s head through the side shells. In Germany, it is obligatory to transport children up to the age of 12 and under a height of 1.50 m with a child seat in the car.
The determination of the body height is based on the belts in the car. The normal safety system is designed for the size of adults. The car seat makes the child sit higher. This and the belt guide integrated into good child seats guarantee that the belt fits properly and, above all, does not cut in.
Which child seat groups are there?
Child car seats are available in groups 0 to 3 and subdivide them into body size, respectively the age of children. Some child seats combine different groups and can thus be used for a very long time, which is why they are very popular with parents.
Group 0 child seats or infant carriers are suitable for newborns up to the age of 9 months and a weight of 0 to 10 kg. They are mounted in the car against the direction of travel.
Group 0+ covers ages from 0 to 18 months and a body weight up to 13 kg. They are also aligned against the direction of travel.
Child seats in this group are suitable up to 18 kg and can be used directly after birth up to the age of about 4 years. Babies initially travel against the direction of travel, but can also sit in the direction of travel from 9 kg.
Group 1 can only be used from 9 months and is suitable up to the age of 4 years, or a weight of up to 18kg. They can be mounted in or against the direction of travel.
This group is suitable from 3 to 7 years and a weight of 15 to 25 kg. The orientation of the child seat is in the direction of travel. Instead of a pure group 2 car seat, people like to use models that cover several groups at once.
From the age of 6, a Group 3 car seat can be used, which is suitable until the end of the mandatory child seat, i.e. until the age of 12 and up to 36 kg.
Group 1 to 3
Particularly practical are child seats that can be used from the age of 9 months until the age of 12 years. They are suitable from 9 kg body weight and are aligned with the direction of travel.
Group 2 to 3
Not quite as universal, but still very practical are child seats of group 2 to 4. They are suitable from a body weight of 15 kg, so about an age of 4 years to 12 years.
What you should look for when buying a child seat.
Isofix or belt installation?
Isofix was named after the ISO 13216 standard and is a system in which anchoring eyelets are installed in the car. Child seats with Isofix can then simply be clicked into the existing eyelets. Meanwhile, most modern cars have Isofix, but not all yet.
If you have the possibility to fix a child seat with Isofix in your car, then you should prefer this variant in any case. With Isofix, the installation is not only particularly quick and easy, it is also particularly safe. With the belt installation, it is easy to make mistakes during the attachment, which means that the child seat does not get enough support.
But even if you attach the child seat by belt installation, you don’t have to worry. You should just make sure that the child seat is really properly fastened and pull the belt as tight as possible. Also, make sure that the airbags are turned off at the points where the child seat is attached.
Safety and comfort
A child seat should always be able to be adjusted exactly to the size and needs of the child. For smaller children, this means, among other things, that the seat can be adjusted to a reclining position in which babies can sleep well. From toddler age onwards, it should definitely be possible to tilt the head to prevent it from tipping forward when sleeping in a seated position.
Parents should also make sure that the side shells are large enough and also flexible enough to absorb the forces of a collision and protect the body.
The straps should be able to be adjusted to the body size so that they provide sufficient support without cutting in. Especially for longer trips, your child needs a particularly comfortable and well-padded seat. This makes the ride more relaxed not only for the child but also for the parents.
The cover of the child seat
As with almost all baby products applies here: Pleasant for the skin and easy to clean. Because even in the car seat, things can easily go wrong. Therefore, the cover of the child seat should be removable and washable at 30 °. Most child seat manufacturers also offer replacement covers, some with extra light fabrics for summer and warm, cozy ones for winter. Purchasing at least one spare cover is advisable so that you can ride with your baby even when the cover is in the wash.
When is it time for a new car seat?
The manufacturer’s specifications indicate up to what age and weight the child seat is suitable. A new child seat should only be used when your child has reached the specified minimum weight. Another sign that your child is big enough for the change is that his head protrudes 1 cm above the backrest of the existing seat.
FAQ About Child Seats
The child must be at least 1.5 m tall or 13 years old to ride in the car without a child seat.
Children should be transported in a reboarder for as long as possible. From 3 – 4 years, however, reboarder are usually too small, so that must be switched to a child seat.
When which child seat makes sense depends on the size and weight of the child. You can find a list of sizes and suitable weight and age in our checklist.
A booster seat can be used as soon as the child reaches a weight of 15 kg.
Theoretically, the child may be transported in the front passenger seat at any time. However, it is true for child seat boosters that the seats in the back seat are safer. Reboarder are usually positioned on the front passenger seat. Here it is very important to turn off the passenger airbag.
From a weight of 15 kg, a booster seat can be used instead of a child seat.
More On The Topic
- The 10 best child seats for the car – guidebook
- The best child seats up to 36 kg – guidebook
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- The 10 best group 1 child seats – guidebook
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- The 10 best group 3 child seats – guidebook
- The 9 best booster seats – guidebook
- Prophete safety child seat
- Maxi Cosi TobiFix child seat
- Recaro Young Sport Hero child seat
- The 20 best Britax Römer child seats up to 36 kg – guidebook
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- The 20 best Maxi Cosi child seats up to 36 kg – guidebook
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