The car seat is one of the most important travel companions when you have your child in the car with you. Every year thousands of children are killed or injured in car accidents. Therefore, the selection and use of a suitable car seat is so important for all parents. So take the time to learn how to properly install the car seat in your car before your baby is born, so you can get home from the hospital safely.
With our great car seat test 2022 we have made a selection of the best child seats you can find on the net. We also answer important questions about child car seats, such as EU safety standards, the new ECE R129 standard or the correct seat direction, so that you are perfectly prepared.
The most important in a nutshell
- Children are particularly vulnerable in car accidents. That’s why you should protect your child as much as possible right from the first car ride. A child seat that is perfectly suited to its size and complies with the latest safety standards will help you to achieve this.
- Many tests have shown that rear-facing child seats offer better protection for your child in traffic accidents. That’s why the current i-size standard requires that babies be transported in a rear-facing car seat up to the age of 15 months.
- the new i-size standard offers you many advantages, especially the classification of car seats according to size makes it easier for you to decide which child seat is right for you. Another advantage of this regulation is the reduction of possible installation errors due to the standard isofix attachment.
Child car seats comparison: ratings and recommendations
The safety of your child while driving has top priority, therefore you should make sure that your car seat is tested and fits perfectly to your child. For this purpose, we provide you with a selection of the best child seats:
The best child car seat in the price-performance ratio
The comfort up from kinderkraft is a child seat for several age groups, which will accompany you and your child for many years. This child seat is suitable for children with a body weight of 9-36 kg and its adjustable headrest makes it easy to adapt to the growing child.
This versatile car seat fits all types of cars and has a comfortable, adjustable headrest that adjusts to your child’s shape. Your child is always protected by the side guards and the easily adjustable 3-point safety belts.
You can easily install this car seat and with the removable and washable cover it always stays clean.
editor’s rating: this popular child seat from kinderkraft is a real multi-talent, just the right thing if you are looking for a cheap, safe and comfortable child seat for many years to come.
The best child car seat from 0-36 kg
This child car seat from lettas, covers all age groups according to the ECE R44/04 standard, from birth to 12 years of age. The child seat must be suitable for children up to the age of 36 kg or up to a weight of 36 kg. Its 360° rotation makes it easier to get your child in and out of the car. You can use this swivel model for your child up to 9 kg as a reboarder, when it gets heavier, you simply build the child seat in the direction of travel.
For increased safety, this child seat features the side-protection system, which provides your child with optimal protection in the event of a side impact, a 5-point harness system, a height-adjustable headrest and very comfortable seating and resting positions.
In addition, you can secure the child seat with ISOFIX and top tether as well as with the car belt.
editor’s rating: this swiveling all-rounder with an attractive price puts special emphasis on safety and comfort. If you are looking for a child seat that covers all ages from birth, then this car seat is perfect for you.
The best child car seat for group 2/3
The cybex gold solution S-fix is a very comfortable, stable child seat that offers you protection for many years to come. Its ease of use, light weight as well as its small footprint are a big plus for you and your child.
This high quality model for children from about 4 years has a patented headrest, which is height and tilt adjustable. The child seat offers maximum safety thanks to its integrated side impact protection, its energy absorbing shell and the isofix attachment which prevents the child seat from tipping over.
Editor’s rating: the child seat cybex gold solution S-fix is the best model in this group if you are looking for maximum safety and comfort.
The best car booster seat at the best price
The child booster seat max from petex fits on any car and is suitable for children who have not yet reached the age of 12. The child seat raiser max from pe to pe is designed for children who have not yet reached the age of 150 cm or have not yet reached the height of 150 cm. The fastening is very easy and quick with the 3-point harness system. The shoulder belt of the car seat can be adjusted so that it does not rest on your child’s neck.
The extra strong child booster max has a breathable fabric that is flame resistant. Moreover, the cover is washable and available in many attractive colors and designs.
editor’s rating: if you are looking for a booster seat that fits on any car and is particularly lightweight and affordable, then the petex booster seat is for you.
Child car seat: purchase and evaluation criteria
Are you looking for a more suitable and safer child car seat?? We’ll tell you here which aspects to look out for when searching and which are particularly important when making a purchase decision:
Next, we describe these important aspects in a little more detail:
Compliance with EU safety standards for child seats
The ECE R129 regulation, known as the "i-size standard", is an improved standard for child seats and is expected to become the European standard over the next few years. The standards ECE R44/03 and ECE R44/04 are valid in parallel.
The main goal of this new child seat regulation is to ensure that your child is as well protected as possible in the event of an accident. In addition, these child seats are put to the test in both frontal and lateral crash tests, so these more comprehensive tests also increase the safety standards.
Thanks to this high standard, you have some advantages, such as, among others:
- Safety: the risk of incorrect installation is reduced by the secure isofix fastening system.
- Compatibility: these child seats are compatible with almost all isofix and all i-size capable cars.
- Operation: the quick and easy installation and removal is also a plus.
Only child seats that meet the specifications of the current ECE standards and bear a valid ECE test seal may be sold and used in germany and the european union.
The size of the child
New to the ECE R129 standard is that child seats are no longer classified by the child’s body weight or age, but rather by body size. The previous "child seat groups" are officially no longer valid for child seats according to R129.
The new i-size standard is based on the experience that many parents are often unsure which child seat size is right for their child. This can quickly lead to stronger children reaching the specified weight limit, switching more often to the next larger child seat. For more petite children, however, a seat reducer can be used so that the child can travel comfortably and safely.
This new classification makes it even easier for you to choose the right car seat for your child. Because parents often know their child’s size more accurately than its weight. So there is less danger that you change to the next bigger child seat too early.
The subdivision of child seats according to the standard ECE R129, takes place in three phases;
- I-size phase 1: for integral child seats. First introduced for children with a height between 45 and 105 cm. Corresponds approximately to the former child seat groups 0, 0+ and I. According to the law, the transport is carried out backwards until the child reaches 15 years of age.Month of life .
- I-size phase 2: for non-integral child seats. For children with a height between 100 and 150 cm. Approximately corresponds to the previous child seat groups II and III.
- I-size phase 3: for belted child seats and infant carriers. For children with a height between 40 and 105 cm. Since this phase is not yet in force, there are still no child seat models for children up to 105 cm on the market that are approved according to R129.
When driving forward, the risk of injury increases due to the sensitivity of the neck muscles. Moreover, sudden braking can cause serious injuries to infants and toddlers, due to the imbalance between head and body.
In a head-on collision, for example, the child’s head is thrown forward and then abruptly back again. For this reason, infant carriers are always installed in a rearward-facing position to prevent the child’s cervical spine from being subjected to excessive stress in the event of an accident.
The obligation to transport infant carriers and toddler seats in a rearward facing position is extended in seats conforming to the ECE R129 standard. So you have to transport your youngest in rear-facing child seats at least up to the age of 15 months.
Isofix is an international fastening system for child seats. With this mounting system, your child seat or base station is firmly attached to the vehicle seat: the child seat has two stable locking arms that snap onto two anchor points of the vehicle. The vehicle seat belt is not required for installation.
The fastening with isofix must always be done through three points. Two of them are created with the isofix locking arms and the third point is created either with the top tether for forward facing child seats or with a stand for rear facing seats. Many studies over many years have shown that child seats are far too often installed incorrectly. This happens very often when infant carriers and toddler seats are installed with the vehicle’s safety belts.
Isofix was invented so that child seats can be installed easily, quickly and safely. Especially to avoid misfitting with safety belts. Another advantage is that the child seat is permanently installed in the car and does not need to be strapped in when there is no child in the car.
Many tests have shown that in principle all colors can be contaminated with pollutants, but some pollutants are in the material and not in the colors. You should therefore only use tested quality and look out for child seats with covers containing increased levels of harmful substances.
With babies, toddlers and children, something almost always goes wrong. Be it bread crumbs, soaked chocolate or especially like spilled drinks. If the cover is not washable, the child seat will get dirty and stick together in the long run and become the favorite place for germs, bacteria and co. Therefore, make sure that the cover is removable and suitable for the washing machine.
If your child tends to have allergies, it is also advisable to buy a child seat with a washable cover and to wash it before the first use.
Child car seat: frequently asked questions and answers
Babies, toddlers and children need a suitable child seat for every car journey and must be able to ride in a properly secured position. Even for shorter car journeys, special protection is required.
Up to what age is an infant car seat necessary??
If your child is already twelve years old but is smaller than 150 cm, it is recommended that he/she continues to be transported in a suitable child seat, even if the child seat obligation no longer applies to him/her. For larger children, a booster seat with a backrest is safer and most suitable.
To ensure that the car seat belt does not run across the child’s neck and stomach and that the child does not slip, the child seat is compulsory until the child is 150 cm tall or 12 years old. Year of life. (image source: tomislav košcak / pixabay)
Every safety element in the vehicle was created for adults. The car seat belt for example is designed for the size of an average adult, specifically for adults from about 175 cm and 75 kilograms. The body of a child has little resemblance to that of an adult.
If your child is smaller than 150 cm, the car seat belt does not run optimally over the shoulder and pelvis, but over the neck and belly. Thus, in the event of an accident, there is a risk that the safety belt slips. This is why your child should travel in a car seat.
What are the different types of child car seats??
- The baby seat: they are for newborns, which must be installed rearward facing. Often stroller sets already include a matching infant carrier for your car. You can also mount many of these car seats on strollers, so that your child can just lie down after a car ride.
- Reboarder: these are rear-facing child seats that are used after the infant car seat.
- The child seat: this one is for toddlers and they conveniently come in models that you can adjust to your child’s size with removable seat cushions and adjustable headrest.
- Child seats that grow with the child: these are available either with a harness belt or with a restraint system.
Currently, three standards are approved in parallel:
- The ECE R44/03 now no longer recommended,
- The ECE R44/04 with classification by weight, reverse up to 9kg and
- The i-size (ECE R129) with classification by size and driving backwards up to 15 months old.
The ECE R44/04 with classification according to weight, backward driving up to 9kg
ECE R44 group weight age size
||up to 10 kg
||0 – 1 years
||up to 75 cm in height
||rear-facing or cross-facing infant carriers.
||up to 13 kg
||up to 83 cm height
||baby seat, rear-facing.
||9 – 18 kg
||1.5 – 4 years
||75 – 100 cm body size
||forward or reboarder backward.
||15 – 25 kg
||4 – 7 years
||100 – 125 cm body height
||booster seat with/without back support, forward, or reboarder backward.
||22 – 36 kg
||7 – 12 years
||75 – 150 cm height
||booster seat with/without backrest, forward-facing.
The i-size / ECE R129 norm with classification according to size and backward driving up to 15 months.
I-size group size
||0 to 59 cm
|class Q 1
||60 – 74 cm
|class Q 1,5
||75 – 86 cm
|class Q 3
||87 – 104 cm
|CLASS Q 6
||105 – 125 cm
|class Q 10
||from 125 cm
- Best possible protection: By extended backward driving.
- Simplified choice: simplified choice of the optimal child seat by classification according to body size.
- Minimized installation errors: virtually no installation errors due to the standard ISOFIX mounting.
- Improved safety: by obligatory side impact protection.
What does a child car seat cost?
Child seat type price
|infant car seats with harness installation
||from about 50 euro
|baby seats with isofix
||from about 90 euro
||from circa 120 euro
||from about 60 euro
||from about 20 euro
When choosing a child seat, it is particularly important that you look for high quality, the right size and a valid ECE test seal.
Where can I buy a car seat for children?
You can find them in:
- Specialty stores: family bear, dwarf experts, the child seat professionals, baby1one, etc..
- Department stores: galeria kaufhof, breuninger, karstadt, etc..
- online stores: amazon.De, ebay.De, real.De, otto.De, mytoys.De, babymarkt.De, etc..
- supermarkets: real, aldi, lidl.
The possibility to buy the car seat online is very convenient. However, it can easily happen that the purchased child seat does not meet your expectations. The good thing is that you can simply return the seat if you don’t like it.
buying your child’s car seat locally is still the better choice. because with this you have the possibility to get extensive and professional advice, as well as to make a seat test and test fitting.
What are the alternatives to an infant car seat?
If, on the other hand, you want to transport older or larger children by car, you can use an approved booster seat as an alternative.
Even if you rarely ride with friends or carpool, you can use a booster seat as an inexpensive alternative to a car seat, and they come in numerous models.
||inflatable booster seat
||simple booster seat
||booster seat with belt guide
||booster seat with backrest
Can you buy used child car seats without hesitation??
However, you should be very careful in this decision, because a safe child seat can save your child’s life.
When buying used, you should pay very good attention to the following points:
- Reliability: we recommend buying used child seats only from trusted sellers such as; friends, acquaintances and relatives.
- Approval: the used child seat must comply with one of the currently valid test standards.
- Useful life: you should check the maximum duration of use of the child seat.
- accidents: the car seat should be accident free.
- integrity: no cracks, deformations or breaks must be visible on the child seat.
What added value does the top tether bring to the child car seat??
A suitable child seat is very important, it should also be carefully installed and well secured. Best with a supplementary restraint belt, the top tether. (image source : rhonda jenkins / pixabay)
This seat attachment restricts rotational movements of the child seat. In the event of a collision, this seat raises the child’s head even more and protects the cervical spine of your child. Since 2011, all new vehicles in the european union must be equipped with an anchorage point for the top tether.
Whether it’s a short trip or a long drive, the car seat is a must if your child is under 12 years old or smaller than 150 cm. But which model or manufacturer is best for you to choose?? Product comparisons and independent tests can help you find out which child car seats really deliver what they promise.
You should also refrain from buying pure booster seats without back or side protection. These models are more unsafe than booster seats only and do not provide your child with the highest level of all-around protection. If you want to save money, it’s better to buy car seats that grow with your child. Otherwise, the new child’s seat should also look good. After all, driving should be fun for young and old alike.