How to find the right child seat

Car­child­seats - 375 child­seats in test

In order for the child not to be cramped, the child seat must offer space and at the same time sufficient support. Offered are seats that are approved according to the weight of the child (old standard R 44) as well as seats that sort according to body size (new standard R 129 "I-size"). Difference: the newer "i-size" standard prescribes side impact as an additional test. Both standards are only minimum standards. Our tests go deeper. With the filters for

Child car seats test results for 375 child car seats

Which seat for which age?

Hand on heart: do you know how heavy your child is right now?? Sure, you know the body size. But the seat that you and your child have chosen as your favorite is then approved according to weight?

To help you find your way through the maze of standards, we have combined weight and size into three filters. We distinguish between seats for

Graphics lead to the right seat

Car­child­seats - 375 child­seats tested

R 129 (i-size): child seats by size

I-size. All seats that are approved according to standard R 129 (i-size) sort seats according to the size of the child. There are no officially defined spans. In stores, for example, parents can find seats for babies from 40 to 75 centimeters tall, as well as baby seats that fit up to 87 centimeters tall, according to the supplier. Our classification is based on the maximum spans:

Longer-lasting child car seats

We also offer seats that are designed to accompany children through several phases of their lives, for example

Independent. Objective. Incorruptible.

I-size seats: mostly more expensive, mostly better

The seats according to the new standard i-size are usually more expensive than those classified by child weight. However, they perform better on average in our tests in the important test point of accident safety.

The i-size standard R 129 also specifies side impact protection. I-size seats were originally only allowed to be fastened with the isofix latching system. However, there are now i-size seats that can be fastened with a car seat belt – for example, for vintage cars. Optimal: there are very many i-size certified cars. They are optimized for the new seat standard and offer isofix anchors for the practical click-in system with isofix brackets: child car seats for isofix attachment.

Tip: i-size is not mandatory. You can use other seats rated very good and good without hesitation. However, studies by the accident research department of the insurance companies show that many child seats with belts are too loosely connected to the car. Jiggle the seat: if the car jiggles, it’s tight enough.

R 44: child seats by weight

The old standard for the approval of child seats, R 44, is based on the weight of the child. Note: only seats approved according to the last two versions of this standard (R 44-03 and R 44-04) may continue to be sold. If this condition is met, however, there is nothing to be said against a seat that is approved by weight. They are sometimes cheaper than seats approved according to the new standard and size.

In our tests we have found a whole series of good or even very good ones. And: for child seats sorted by weight, parents can use fixed weight classes as a guide.

For children of .

Weight (about)

Size (approximately)

Age (about)

Seats that do not grow with the child

Group 0

Group I

75 cm to 100 cm

Group II

Group III

Seats that grow with your child

Group 0+

Group 0+/I

Birth to 4 years

Group I/II

1 year to 7 years

Group I/II/III

Group II/III

3.5 to 12 years

Size, age and weight. The standard group only specifies the weight. Age and size are guidelines. Children grow at different rates and weigh different amounts at the same age.

Important is, that the child seat fits your child (not the norm).

Baby seats 0+ (up to 13 kilograms). Reach for toddlers up to about 15 months. At this age, children are about 76 to 88 centimeters tall. Tip: choose a rear-facing seat (reboarder child seat). Your child rides safer in it. Because at this age, the neck muscles are not yet strong enough to absorb a frontal impact sufficiently. The car seat is too small if your child’s head is above the top of the car seat.

Standard group I (9 to 18 kilograms). Statistically, four-year-olds are between 96 and 112 centimeters tall. At this age, one in four children already exceeds the weight limit of 18 kilograms. Tip: buy a seat that grows with your child. These seats can be adjusted in width, height and belt routing.

Standard group II (15 to 25 kilograms). Six-year-olds are between 108 and 127 centimeters tall. Every second child at this age is already heavier than 25 kilograms. Tip: seats that grow with the child also help in this age group. Always use the seat with backrest and headrest. This is the only way your child can really drive safely.

standard group III (22 to 36 kilograms). Twelve-year-olds are between 139 and 168 centimeters tall. children over 1.50 meters tall no longer need a child seat. You can use the normal car seat belt. Children who are smaller should sit in the child car seat – even if they are heavier than 36 kilograms. Tip: optimize the belt run of the car belt over the upper adjustment device. Important: the belt must go over the shoulder. It must not cut into the neck or go under the arm – both of which are serious mistakes that insurers’ accident investigators know well enough about.

Child car seats test results for 375 child car seats

A seat for every age or a seat for every age?

If you pick up your newborn from the clinic and drive it home, you would hardly think that there are seats in which it can ride from birth until it is twelve years old. The option sounds tempting. The one seat for all times" promises time savings in the selection process as well as financial savings.

Our recommendation: buy at least two seats

It is therefore usually a better decision to use a baby car seat for newborns and to switch to a larger seat later on. Baby seats are much easier to handle and are equipped with a handle for easy transport. Partly, their base remains on the car seat and the mobile carrier weighs about four to five kilograms or even less.

If your child needs a larger seat later on, it can be adjusted in just a few steps: the backrest is pulled back and, depending on the design, either the catch in front of the child’s stomach or the harness belt is removed. Then the offspring buckle themselves in with the three-point vehicle seat belt until they are either 1.50 meters tall or 12 years old. Then he can travel without a child seat at all.

Alternative: the two-seat solution. If you want to save at least one seat, you can, for example, switch to a

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