i'm looking at car seats (britax evolva or m&p teko if anyones got recommendations ;) probably the britax, tho) for my 28 month old and a friend showed me a cheap on on kiddicare, i said i didnt trust the cheaper ones, she said they all have to be safe or they couldnt sell them
aibu to think the more expensive ones or safer or are they all the same?
They all have to meet the same minimum safety standards and the rest of the price will be made up with quality of materials, finish & of course a nice big contribution to their brand advertising budget.
Not extra safety... just extra bits and pieces. More expensive fabric or more stuffing to make them more comfortable. That kind of thing. The core seat has to be safe or it would not be allowed on sale. Your friend is right.
Which? do safety tests on car seats and they definitely don't think that all car seats are equal. Some do well in their safety tests and some don't and they don't recommend people buy them. From memory the Maxi Cosi ones did well, at least at the high back booster stage. (They dont recommend boosters without the backs.)
There is a basic standard that has to be met to sell a seat so your friend is right.
The extra tests on the Which report involve things like a head on collision at 40mph and side crash, in my opinion in these types of crashes it is the car that is going to save you as opposed to the car seat (e.g. crashing in a clapped out old banger versus top of the range Audi)....
That said we have a spare car seat that I bought from Argos for £30 and I don't use it day to day, I use the Britax one that cost us £80...
I agree with your friend - you are paying extra for the brand, the advertising, the cupholders/more padding/etc. Safety wise they all meet a certain standard or they would not be on the market. I've always bought Graco which is a middle of the range brand, simply because they do the brilliant clip-in bases for baby seats so you don't have to faff about with the seatbelt every time. And the Graco boosters always seem to be half-price in Halfords! For a 2nd stage seat, I bought Britax as it was the only one that went rear-facing past 9 mths (which is MUCH safer for every age of child). So I've never bought cheap as such, but wouldn't avoid cheap ones if that's all I could afford or all there was on offer.