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size 1 v size 1 2 3 car seat?

(16 Posts)
ffffffedup Thu 22-Oct-15 17:39:28

I've been looking online for the next size car seat for my ds. All the size 1 car seats seem to be more expensive than a 1 2 3 car seat and obviously won't last as long. Can anyone shed any light on to why? I thought this would be the opposite way around. Are the 1 2 3 car seats not a secure / safe as just a size 1 seat?

KatyN Thu 22-Oct-15 17:53:42

We had a 0-123 seat. In fact we still do and my son is nearly 4. It's not as easy to fit as the booster style seat that lives in my husband's car but I love it,
Of course we've not had a problem with safety.

ffffffedup Thu 22-Oct-15 21:46:36

Thanks I've seen a good deal on a 123 seat with great reviews can't see any reason not to go for it

Snossidge Thu 22-Oct-15 21:56:19

Some of the 1,2,3 seats (like the cheapo kiddicare ones) are just a bit flimsy and not so safe as a good, rear facing group 1 seat, especially for a smaller toddler.

Eminybob Thu 22-Oct-15 22:01:47

I don't think you can rear face for as long in a 123. At least I couldnt find an erf 123 anywhere when I was looking earlier in the year. I got a joie stages in the end which is actually a 012, rear faces until approx age 4 and is good value for money.
If erf is something you were looking for obvs.

ffffffedup Thu 22-Oct-15 22:40:26

And here's me confused I thought size 1 were mainly forward facing. hmm

ffffffedup Thu 22-Oct-15 22:46:52

To be clear I've only searched amazon for size 1 car seat almost all are forward facing

Snossidge Thu 22-Oct-15 22:51:17

Group 1 (or group 0/1) often rear face til 13kg and then forward face til 18kg (like the Britax First Class), some rear face or forward face til 18kg (Hauck Varioguard, Joie Tilt). There are some that only forward face (eg Britax Prince).

Eminybob Fri 23-Oct-15 07:58:28

Group 1 rear facing are becoming more common due the imminent changes to the law.
I wanted to rear face after group 0, but also wanted a seat that would last me longer than a standard group 1. So I was specifically searching for erf 123, which doesn't exist as far as I can tell. But it did lead me to the joie stages.

ffffffedup Fri 23-Oct-15 09:57:23

So is it law now they have to be rear facing for longer?? It's been years since I last had to buy a car seat so I'm at a complete loss what's best to get

Snossidge Fri 23-Oct-15 12:08:53

I think 15 months is coming in. Currently it's 9kg.

Snossidge Fri 23-Oct-15 12:09:19

Obviously it's safer to keep them rear facing as long as possible though.

BertieBotts Fri 23-Oct-15 12:21:28

No it's not the law yet. It won't be until 2018. The only current law is that they have to be in the correct category for their age, so if they are over 9kg then they are legal to be forward facing. The recommendation is around 12 months - but it is safest to keep them rear facing as long as possible, whether that means keeping them in the baby seat until they outgrow it (head reaches the end or they weigh 13kg, whichever comes first) or buying a special extended rear facing seat, which are not so expensive now, but you still have to know what you're looking for. If you're interested, I'm sure MNers can help you choose one.

As for 1 vs 123 - It depends how old/big your baby is - if they are the lower end of the age group, then I'd stick with a Group 1 seat, rather than a 123, as they are much more protective. Every time a seat spans multiple age groups, it makes it less protective for each age group. If your child is nearer the end of the Group 1 stage (1-4 years roughly) then a 123 seat would be a good choice because it will last them longer, but I wouldn't put a 9 month old in one, for sure. I would be cautious about using a 123 seat for a child under 2 years, because I don't think the seat would fit them as securely as a Group 1 seat. Even good booster seats are very cheap, so I wouldn't worry about having to replace it later smile

Eminy, there is at least one seat, I don't know which one it is, which rear faces to 25kg so would be RF for Group 1 and 2. I don't know if it covers Group 3 as well, but 25kg is reached, by average, at 7.5 years so the Group 3 stage would be covered just fine by a booster.

BertieBotts Fri 23-Oct-15 12:27:06

The safety of rear facing is basically because - in an accident, there are huge amounts of force placed on a young baby or toddler's neck. Their heads are heavy in comparison to their bodies and their bones aren't as strong as an adult's. We know even adults can suffer whiplash in a crash. So if a very young child's head jerks forwards it can cause neck injuries, including some which can paralyse or kill. In rear facing, you don't get this kind of injury because the seat cradles the child and keeps their neck and head lined up even if there is a large amount of force placed on them.

ffffffedup Fri 23-Oct-15 13:05:03

Thanks Bertie it's a minefield isnt it. Ds is only 8mo so not ready yet I was just having a look online at what's available and cost wise etc for when he is ready. There's so many different options vastly varying in price it's hard to know what to go for.

BertieBotts Fri 23-Oct-15 13:19:26

Oh yeah, totally! I mean, I remember being overwhelmed when DS was that age too. I have since learned so much but he's seven now! It's like you need to start studying it before you even get pregnant, madness.

My top tips would be:

Rear face for as long as is practical and affordable for you. If that means just waiting until they outgrow the baby seat, this is okay. But do research what is available.

Avoid the super, super cheap options which are made by Nania. Unfortunately they trade under 100s of names, so it's hard to find, but avoid: Kiddicare own brand, Argos own brand, Baby Start, Fisher Price and Babyweavers. If you're unsure about a seat, compare it to seats of these brands and if it looks identical in shape, avoid. Another sign is weirdly shiny, cheap looking material, like cheap cycling shorts, very shallow sides (low side impact protection), where there is a 5 point harness that tightens like a rucksack, rather than with one-pull from below. For booster seats, curved, insubstantial belt guides which don't look as though they would hold the seatbelt fast in place, and for harnessed seats, flimsy, thin belt guides for the seatbelt which look like they might snap if you push them too hard.

You don't have to spend £400 to get a good car seat. There are cheaper options which are good. Britax often have a "basic" model which is good. I trust Britax but they are not the only good brand. Graco also produce mid-range seats but their seats are hit and miss on quality as I understand.

If you're wavering between two models, look for reviews, not only of user quality but of safety. Which? Don't publish their results online but you can access them at your local library. You can also look at the German site ADAC:

Scroll down and just above the yellow table, the left hand drop-down list is a list of brands. Romer is Britax. Peg Perego is Mamas and Papas. I think the others are the same smile Then it's pretty self explanatory - green = good, red = bad, yellow = middle.

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