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4+ car seats

(13 Posts)
fruitstick Mon 20-Jul-09 13:50:17

My DS1 is 3.5 and 18kg. I think he has outgrown his stage 2 carseat and we need to buy another.

Question - are the 4 to 11 car seats safer than the 9month to 11 ones? Obviously we don't need one to cover the 9 months to 4 stage.

You can still buy booster seats for aged 4 plus. Presumably these are far less safe than the 5 point harness but are they still legal? Am thinking of buying one for my sister to keep in the car.

All too confusing.

smellen Mon 20-Jul-09 13:57:13

In general, seats designed specifically for a particular age-range (as opposed to those that do all "groups") are safest. However, for the most up to the date - & impartial - advice contact these ladies:

Essex County Council's Road Safety Officers, who are working to inform parent about safety issues relating to car seats. As part of that, they run a "try before you buy" service for children's car seats. The centre is open Tuesdays 12.30–15.00 and Fridays 10.30–15.00 and is situated at Lubards Farm, Hullbridge Road, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 9QG. You can reach the centre on 01268 297593 (leave a message on the answer machine if there isn't anyone available to take your call).

If you are a parent and you live in the Essex area, you are welcome to the Centre on Tuesday afternoons and Fridays. The Centre carries a sample of all the seats that are currently on sale in the UK to try in parents' cars to determine the best and most secure seat for the child and car. They also give advice on existing seats, check the fit in the car and whether it is suitable for the child.

If you don't leave locally, you can call the centre for advice by phone - they will be able to help if you any queries about fitting a particular seat in a particular model of car, crash safety reports, etc. You could also send an email to

Lots of great info too on

smellen Mon 20-Jul-09 13:57:51

Personally, I'd always go for a 5 point harness over a booster seat - far safer.

fruitstick Mon 20-Jul-09 14:15:46

Will give them a call. To be honest I'm even more confused. I understand the multigroup ones not being as safe as the group specific ones but I can't find a 15kg plus seat that has a 5 point harness, they all use adult seat belts hmm

alittlebitfat Mon 20-Jul-09 14:19:13

I'm looking at a high back booster with isofix for my dd next seat, it will use adult belt but obviously headrest adjusts it to safe height. Its a Britax one.

Biglips Mon 20-Jul-09 14:23:52

i found a problem when my dd1 turned 3 and she was 18.42kg (40.10lb). We went to Mothercare World and it ended up that we couldnt find ANY booster seat with a back (5 harness) to fit dd1 as she was very tall (104cm) and got very broad shoulders. So there was nothing for her but to use a booster seat with NO back on it. She was fine sitting in it with the seat belt across her with a bracket clip on the seat belt.

Biglips Mon 20-Jul-09 14:26:00

Also Mothercare said that which ever comes first - 40lb or 4 yrs old.

Biglips Mon 20-Jul-09 14:26:39

to put the child in a booster seat with or without a back

smellen Mon 20-Jul-09 14:27:18

We have a rearfacing seat (Britax MultiTech) which is rearfacing to 25kg, so our DS (also 3.5 and quite hefty) will go backwards in a 5 point harness for another year or so.

In the UK, they are available here (sold as Nordic Multi Techs) for £260 inc. P&P:

Verity79 Mon 20-Jul-09 16:55:53

Any harnessed seat in the UK only goes up to 18kg (with the exception of the imported Swedish seats as mentioned by smellen).

If your DS is already 18kg (clothed/shod weight not naked weight) he needs a high back booster NOW. Once the limit of a car seat has been reached then the seat will no longer be safe in an accident i.e. if you put a child in a car seat they are too heavy for and you are in an accident, then they could potentially break the harness out of the shell. This is because the seat is only tested to 18kg the manufacturer will have no idea at what weight the seat will malfunction.

There are some really nice high back boosters out there at the moment. I particularly like the Sunshine Kids Monterey (a very well respected American brand and well liked booster). This fits up to 36kg and 160cm (5'1") so would be the last seat you needed to buy. You can normally get them for about £90 but I found an Ebayer that does them from £65 here.

Ideally though children should be harnessed (preferably rearfacing) until 4 or older if they are still under 18kg and fit into their seat but if you do not have the money to go for that then a group 2/3 high back booster with good side protection is your best bet rather than a low back booster or a booster cushion.

moshie Mon 20-Jul-09 21:33:49

The Britax Elite has straps that are suitable up to 25kg, it is sold as rearfacing on the the site linked to by smellen, but also says it can be used forward facing.
I bought one last year from a different supplier as a forward facing seat, and I'm really pleased with it.

smellen Tue 21-Jul-09 22:09:56

The Be Safe Izi Kid is licensed for use to 25kg rear-facing under Swedish law (and available in the UK from Paul Yorke and the Milton Keynes In Car Safety Centre for about £250 - you'd have to google that or go via the site). In the UK these seats are supposed to be used up to 18kg rearfacing, but they have been tested and approved for use to 25kg in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.

There was a thread on this on the rearfacing site a while back. The administrator used her Izi kid for her child in the UK as a RF over 18kg. At the end of the day if the seat has been engineered and designed for use up to 25kg, then I would be happy to use it as such here, even if I were technically breaking UK law - at the end of the day, I would use the seat that offered most protection to my child in the case of a frontal collision. At the end of the day, it's not marketed for use to 25kg in the UK for bureaucratic reasons, not safety ones.

Verity79 Wed 22-Jul-09 08:48:52


I didn't realise there was a 'cap' on Swedish rearfacers in UK at 18kg. That's shocking! I thought if they went to 25kg they were covered under group 1/2 (Group 3 being 22kg-36kg).

We have a 2 Way Elite and plan on using it to 25kg for DD1 and a Nordic Secura for DD2 (but I doubt she will get to 25kg in it as it has lower top slots and a shorter back) so I forsee some juggling of car seats in the future wink.

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