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Confused about car seat regulations? Read our reviews of baby car seats, toddler car seats and booster seats to find out which ones are worth investing in.

Which car seat would you recommend for toddlers?

67 replies

TinaMumsnet · 11/12/2018 14:40

We're making plans to test and review car seats for toddlers and we'd love to know which ones you recommend.

Tell us the make and model of the car seat you rate, and why you'd recommend it to others. Your comments will help us to create a shortlist of toddler car seats to test and recommend to new parents.

As well as listening to your recommendations, we'll be speaking to independent experts and studying a variety of crash safety test results before putting together a shortlist of 15 car seats to test with a real family.

This shortlist of car seats will represent the highest performing and best value products on the market. All the car seats we test will meet (or exceed) government safety guidelines, by having one family test all the seats we’ll get a clearer idea of with the differences between each car seat and how they fit into family life.

Help us find the best products to test by sharing your car seat recommendations below

Thanks!

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wheelwarrior · 11/12/2018 15:12

Can someone 9f the seats people suggest please be for the narrow type seats you get in adapted wheelchair vans or single chair type seathe with nothing next to

Nightmare finding one that fitted for my niece
But need one for 1 year old nephew as nieces to upright

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wheelwarrior · 11/12/2018 15:14

Nieces is the mothercare 1/2/3 ideal for older toddlers

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Bigonesmallone3 · 11/12/2018 15:31

We have the joie stages..
looks great, never had any problems..

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bawbles · 11/12/2018 15:45

Axkid minikid
Cybex Sirona
Joie spin

Or any extended rear facing seat

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Jackshouse · 11/12/2018 16:19

Ones that have passed the Swedish test. I want MN to recommend safe car seats not ones that are easy to fit or are pretty colours.

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BunloafAndCrumpets · 11/12/2018 16:26

Absolutely agree with jack, please.

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TheRealHousewifeofCheshire · 11/12/2018 16:46

Rearfacing from birth - 4 britax dualfix

Also more for just toddler axkid minikid

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BertieBotts · 11/12/2018 16:49

Being easy to fit is a massively important safety issue. If a seat is too complicated to install there is a high chance it will be installed incorrectly, and it doesn't matter what fancy safety testing a seat has if it's installed wrongly because it won't perform to test conditions.

It's fine to choose a seat which is complicated to fit if you yourself are a car seat enthusiast and are happy to study the manual, but most people want something that they can put in their car easily and not have to worry about whether it's right or wrong, especially if they need to trust other people to also use the seat.

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randomsabreuse · 11/12/2018 16:49

Cybex Sirona (only used rear facing) but won't last that long with a tall child) and Britax 2 way Elite. 2 way elite looks good for tall narrow children.

Installation wise isofix way easier than belt installation.

ERF definitely my preference

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Sparky888 · 11/12/2018 17:14

Besafe modular.
Kiddie

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Bigonesmallone3 · 11/12/2018 17:16

If they were deemed unsafe they would be removed from the market 🙄

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gallicgirl · 11/12/2018 17:23

No they wouldn't. The minimum safety test seats have to pass is really low.

It should be extended rear facing seats as standard, Swedish pass plus or ADAC tested and one which really does fit your car.

I'm lucky enough to love near to an In Car Safety Centre who do a fantastic job fitting car seats and recommending the SAFEST car seat for a particular car to local parents.

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Mammatron · 11/12/2018 17:40

Besafe modular. One of the safest seats you can buy!

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NotTired · 11/12/2018 17:41

Axkid Minikid for us. Easy to fit, head support self adjusts, rear facing to 25kg and Swedish plus tested.

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HermioneWaslib · 11/12/2018 17:53

Axkid minikid or move
Diono Radian 5 (approved for use on plane! Which testing put the wrong straps on so their test results are invalid)
Maxi cosi 2way Pearl
Britax 2way Elite

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newmumwithquestions · 11/12/2018 18:06

Please can you put on your test criteria how easy it is for seat covers to be removed, washed, dried and put back, and how easy it is to extract vomit from all the nooks and crannies. I appreciate it’s not as important as safely but it has made my life very difficult trying to de-vomit the car seats!

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newmumwithquestions · 11/12/2018 18:07

And axkid minikid brtitax modular

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teaandbiscuitsforme · 11/12/2018 18:13

You need to make it clear that a child's height and weight predictions are hugely important when choosing a toddler car seat. If a child is tall or predicted to be heavier than 50-75th centile by 4, parents should choose a 25kg seat rather than an 18kg seat otherwise they may have to buy two or may move their child into a booster far too early.

Swedish Plus test is the gold standard - not those that are legal to sell.

Parents should be made aware that no forward facing seat can ever be as safe as a rear facing seat and that rear facing seats will fit in every car, particularly the 25kg seats which can be more compact.

Parents need to know that isofix is not safer than belt fitted (if both are correctly installed).

Seats to test:
18kg ERF - Joie Stages, Be Safe Izi Modular, Joie 360
25kg ERF - Axkid Minikid, Britax Two Way Elite, Britax Max Way, Be Safe Izi Plus, Diono Radian five.

Personally I think that if you're reviewing the safest car seats, all forward facing seats would be discounted. It's time for MN to properly inform people of the difference!

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Bryna · 11/12/2018 18:37

I second what @teaandbiscuitsforme said more should be to promote erf, and make it the norm, I’m the only one I know who’s 4.5 DS is rear facing, everyone else seems to turn at the minimum weight for the next seat!

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Caillou · 11/12/2018 18:42

Our 17 months old has just started using the britax Roemer advansafix ii
Excellent car seat in my opinion.

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cakeandteajustforme · 11/12/2018 18:45

Axkid minikid here too.

I'd love a campaign that focussed on what's actually safest and then given informed choices around that.

rather than what is convenient and marketed here - I get the impression all these spinning seats are to pander to our FF preferences, at the compromise of safety (is there a reason they don't exist in Europe/Scandinavia?). But consumers aren't really given an informed choice because 'if the shop sells it, it must be safe'.

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NoParticularPattern · 11/12/2018 18:58

Axkid minkid. Easy to fit, harness is easy to adjust, covers easy to remove and wash, Swedish plus tested ERF to 25kg.

You need to make it clear that the legal minimums are not all there is to strive for. It also should be made clearer that the legal minimums are absolutely dismal! People say all the time “well they wouldn’t be legal if they were unsafe” yet they seem to forget that there are a great many things in this world which are both legal and unsafe. I think if you’re looking for the “best” you have to disregard all forward facing seats from the get go. Especially when they are usually marketed as “from 9kg”. My daughter was 9kg at 4 months old. No way on this planet would it ever have been safe to forward face her at that age! You also need to make clear that Which reviews are flawed. They place things like attractiveness over and above actual safety measures. Plus they are not unknown to use the wrong straps and harnesses and label a seat as “don’t buy” when it has, in fact, passed the Swedish plus test (the ONLY test which measures neck loads and therefore the only test which will never pass a forward facing seat as safe)

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teaandbiscuitsforme · 11/12/2018 19:00

I agree cake. There's a very clear reason why there just isn't the market for forward facing seats in Sweden. We think we're quite informed because of websites like MN and Which but they're completely dominated by FF seats. Until there's a big public safety campaign on the differences in safety, I think RF will always be seen as one of those slightly odd things that some strange parents do.

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teaandbiscuitsforme · 11/12/2018 19:04

Also there's a huge attitude of 'well my car seat's always been fine.' Until your car seat has been crashed, you have no idea how it's going to perform and the extent that your child would be injured or even killed!

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LordPickle · 11/12/2018 19:11

Joie 360 spin! DS is only 2 but so far this car seat has been perfect. It comes with the isofix base attached (no extra cost) and it rotates 360 degrees, so it's super easy to use. We simply adjust it as he grows, and so far it's been extremely easy and obvious when to adjust.

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