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Group 2/3 car seat/booster, why the price difference(3 Posts)
I am totally bamboozled, can anyone help me clear the fog!
I need a car seat for DS age 4 (Don't know his exact weight but he's average size).
The main confusion is that there seem to be some with good reviews for around £40 (e.g. Joie Trillo) and others around £200 (e.g. Britax Romer) - both have ISOFIX
Why such a huge price difference when the reviews say both are great for comfort/safety/ease of fitting etc??
Secondly, Some are called Car Seats and some are called High Back Boosters - is there a difference?
On Which? All the group 2/3 car seats are above £125 and none have been tested more recently than 18mths ago! Some more recent models reviewed elsewhere haven't yet been reviewed by Which, but the reviews are by users and don't include the safety tests that Which carry out - is there another independent/reputable review site that carries out its own testing?
Just to throw into the mix - There seem to be car seats on Which? that score entirely differently in other places such as Madeformums (e.g. Diono Radian 5 car seat - 4 out of 5 stars at MFM but Which says 'Don't buy', who can I trust??
Sorry for the long post - any help greatly appreciated. Thanks
You don't really need to overthink the purchase of a high backed booster. The only function of a high backed booster is to lift your child up so that the seatbelt can do it's job properly and secure your child. In my opinion it's not worth spending hundreds on one.
The only ones you should definitely avoid are the Graco ones, they have very poor side impact protection for the child.
The function of isofix on a high backed booster is really just to hold the seat in place when the child isn't sitting in it. If you have a non-isofix high backed booster you must remember to fasten the seatbelt over the empty seat if you are in the car without your child. Having isofix doesn't offer great safety benefits for the child.
A high backed booster doesn't need to be 'fitted' into your car like the seats for smaller children do, and a lot of seats now have their isofix clips on a strap (so they are not rigid). However all the different brands of seat are slightly different shapes so you might find that one sits better on your vehicle's seat than another.
The main thing to look for when your child tries a high backed booster out is that the lap belt sits low down near the top of their legs rather than being up above their pelvis and too close to their soft abdomen. Each brand of seat is slightly different, some might suit tall skinny children but not route the lap belt so well for a child with a different build. You should adjust the headrest so that the shoulder part of the belt is away from their neck.
I have two Britax Adventure high backed boosters, that's Britax's budget seat and I'm just as happy to put my children in that as I am our other high backed booster which is a Britax KidFix SL with isofix.
If you wanted a more fancy high backed booster the Cybex ones are supposed to be good. I've read that they have an adjustable headrest to allow children to sleep more easily in them, but my children have always slept easily in our Britax seats without their body slumping down.
As for Which? they can be a useful source of info but they don't look solely at the safety aspect of child seats. For example my 4 1/2 year old is more than safe in her rear facing Britax Multi Tech II but Which? have this seat as a 'Don't Buy'! They've marked it down for being difficult to fit when in reality it couldn't be easier. It's certainly quicker and easier to fit than the forward facing seats that my older two children had as toddlers! They'll also mark seats down if the covers aren't removable for washing etc. The Diono Radian 5 scored lowly because the seat wasn't used correctly during testing (Which? get their safety ratings from the ADAC independent tests in Germany, for the Radian 5 test they didn't use the chest pads correctly).
Thank you, this is really useful - it's so hard to be comparing seats that cost £40 with others that cost £250. I'll take a look at Britax and Cybex. Thanks