Which?'s pick of the top child car seat innovationsNew iSize and extended rear-facing child car seats

27 March 2014

BeSafe iZi Kid iSize child car seat

New BeSafe iZi Kid child car seat is iSize ready

We've rounded up some of the latest child car seat innovations, and explain how they will affect you and your child, especially if you're shopping for your first child car seat.

Which? has tested child car seats for almost 50 years and we're always on the look out for the latest child car seat innovations to make your life as a parent easier and your baby safer.

Before you take a look at our pick of some of the key child car seat trends visit our child car seat reviews to find the safest for your baby.

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iSize child car seats

Currently, choosing a child car seat can be a confusing process. But iSize, a new Europe wide regulation, aims to make child car seat buying simpler and safer. It means that:

  • Child car seats will have to pass more tests than currently required.
  • Children will remain rearward-facing in their car seat until at least 15 months.
  • Advice around buying a child car seat will be consistent.
  • Child car seats will fit in all cars - at the moment many car seats only fit in certain cars.
  • All seats will be Isofix, making fitting easier.

iSize child car seats you can buy

These rules are being gradually phased into the UK over the next four years - so there aren't many being sold yet. 

However, Maxi-Cosi has launched the first i-Size car seat, Maxi-Cosi 2waypearl, which is an extended rearward-facing seat. This means that it allows you to keep your child facing rearward until they're four, or around 105cm.

BeSafe has also launched the BeSafe iZi Kid, which according to BeSafe, is comfortable for your baby to sleep in and has lots of leg room.

We haven't yet tested these seats, but you can see how other Maxi-Cosi and BeSafe car seats have done in our tests.  

Extended rear-facing child car seats

More manufacturers are creating seats that can remain rearward facing until your child is around four years old. These seats are usually multiple group seats, which means they combine more than one car seat group, such as a 0+ 1.

We recommend that you keep your child rearward facing for as long as possible, ideally until:

  • They are at least 15 months old.
  • They reach the weight limit of that seat (13kg for Group 0+, 18kg for Group 1).
  • The crown of their head is level with the top of the car seat.

Babies heads are large and heavy in comparison to their body, so in a crash, if your child is facing forward, their head and weak neck are more likely to be injured by their head being pulled forward by the force of the crash.

Some of the child car seats that can be rearward facing until 18kg, which is around age four, are the multiple group seats Britax Max-Fix, Maxi-Cosi MilofixCybex Sirona and Chicco Eletta.

But not all multiple group seats do well in our tests - we've found big differences between a good and a bad seat, so visit our Best Buy child car seats to find the safest.

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