When buying a child car seat, your first priority should be safety, but you may also want to consider the weight of it for when you’re moving it from car to travel system or car to different car.
The lightest car seat we’ve tested starts at 2.9kg and the heaviest comes in at a whopping 18.3kg, although these weights are spread across a range of age suitability.
See our round up of the Best baby and child car seats
- Infant car seats for babies under 12 months are the ones you’re most likely to be moving around regularly, as you will probably remove the whole car seat when taking your baby from the car.
- Child car seats for older babies and toddlers are more likely to stay clicked or belted into the car, however if a childminder or grandparent needs to move the seat from your car to theirs, a heavy seat could be a real pain.
- Car seat manufacturers are constantly trying to balance the need for a lightweight car seat that’s easy to move around with being able to survive tough car seat crash testing.
Lightest child car seats we’ve tested
Here are the lightest we’ve tested for the different car seats groups and i-size heights:
Mothercare Ziba: Group 0+
The Mothercare Ziba launched five years ago, so it’s been around for a while, but for a cheap lightweight car seat, this one could be worth a look.
At 2.9kg, it’s one of the lightest group 0+ car seats we’ve tested. In fact, with a typical newborn weighing around 3.5kg, carrying your little one shouldn’t be too difficult.
But can a car seat that retails for £39 also provide adequate protection in a collision? Read the full Mothercare Ziba review to find out.
Hauck Varioguard Plus: Group 0+/1
The Hauck Varioguard Plus weighs 8kg and is the lightest of the group 0+/1 car seats we’ve tested.
This is an extended rear-facing car seat up to 18kg (around age 4), but only when attached to the car using the Isofix connectors.
If you don’t have Isofix, your child can remain rearward-facing with the seat attached using the adult seatbelt until your child weighs 13kg, which is around 15 months.
Read the full Hauck Varioguard Plus review to see if it’s also easy to install and gets a good star rating for safety.
Cybex Juno 2-Fix: Group 1
If you’re looking for a lightweight car seat for your toddler, the Cybex Juno 2-Fix, which is a group 1 car seat (for children weighing 9-18kg), weighs 5.5kg.
This seat uses an impact shield to hold your child in place, rather than a harness, and some children don’t react well to them. It’s always worth bringing your child along when you look at the seat in a shop to see how they feel sitting in it.
The Juno 2-Fix has been around for a good few years, but if it’s safe and lightweight, it could be a good option. Read the full Cybex Juno 2-Fix review to find out.
Britax Römer Adventure: Group 2/3
The Britax Römer Adventure is a high-backed booster seat designed for children weighing 15-36kg, which is around four to 12 years old.
It weighs 3.9kg, which is less than half what the heaviest group 2/3 car seat that we’ve tested weighs.
The Römer Adventure has been around for years, and when we first tested it, we made it a Don’t Buy, due to poor test results.
We retested it this year, and it’s faired better, but we’ve also discovered some other issues. Read the full review of the Römer Adventure to find out how it scores in our crash testing and other areas.
Watch out! The Graco Junior Maxi weighs 3.4kg and is technically the lightest group 2/3 child car seat we’ve tested, but it’s also a Don’t Buy seat with a safety alert because it scored so poorly in our Which? side impact crash test. Read the full Graco Junior Maxi review to find out why we can’t recommend it.
Argos Cuggl Chaffinch: Group 1/2/3
The Argos Cuggl Chaffinch should be very easy to lift and place into your car, as it only weighs 3.9kg.
It’s forward-facing only and approved for use from 9kg to 36kg (around nine months to 12 years old), although we don’t recommend you turn your child forward-facing until they are at least 15 months old.
At just £35, it’s another inexpensive car seat, but you should read the full Argos Cuggl Chaffinch review to find out the crash testing results.
i-size car seats
i-size car seats are designed for children falling into certain height categories, rather than weight.
Here are the three lightest seats from the most common i-size height groupings we’ve tested:
Maxi Cosi Rock: i-size 40-75cm
The Maxi Cosi Rock weighs 3.8kg, which is the lightest of the seats we’ve tested that fall into this height measurement category.
It’s an i-size approved car seat for children measuring 40-75cm, which is from birth to around 12 months.
Once your baby reaches the height limit for this seat, you can upgrade to the next stage seat, using the same Isofix base. This will keep your little one rearward-facing until they are around 105cm (four years old).
To find out how this i-size car seat scores in our crash testing, read the full Maxi Cosi Rock review.
Joie I-Anchor Advance: i-size 40-105cm
For a car seat with a longer life span, you can choose one that’s approved for use with children measuring 40 to 105cm, which is birth to around four years.
The Joie I-Anchor Advance weighs 6.8kg, although interestingly, the weight of the base you use to install this car seat is heavier than the actual car seat itself, at 7.4kg.
This car seat was updated from the original Joie i-Anchor. When we tested the original model forward facing, we uncovered slight weaknesses in our crash tests. Read the full Joie I-Anchor Advance review to find out if this is an improved car seat.
Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro: i-size 61-105cm
This car seat is 7.6kg, so certainly not the most lightweight car seat around but the lightest of the i-size seats that falls into this height range.
It should last you from when your child is around 12 months up to the age of four.
You can keep your child rear-facing for this whole period, or turn the seat round to be forward-facing from when they’re around 15 months old.
Whatever you decide, you’ll need to install it using the Maxi Cosi 3wayFix base.
Read the full review of the Maxi Cosi Pearl Pro to find out not just the safety score, but whether it’s comfortable and spacious for your child to grow into.
Four tips for lifting a car seat safely
Elaine Miller, pelvic health physiotherapist from Pelvic Roar and a spokesperson for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, says,
- When a woman has given birth, there’s an increased risk of vaginal prolapse, and this is worsened if you’re lifting heavy items such as car seats. For the first six weeks at least, try to avoid or minimise lifting anything heavy such as your baby in their car seat, and get your partner, a family member, friend or even well-meaning passerby to help you.
- Post-natal pelvic floor exercises are vital, as not only will they reduce the risk of prolapse, they’ll also strengthen your core and prevent back pain, and make lifting easier. Imagine you’re trying to hold in wind – it should be a squeezing and lifting sensation – and hold for 10 seconds, followed by 10 short squeezes, repeating three times a day.
- If you need to lift a car seat or anything which is heavier than your baby, sigh out and then contract your pelvic floor before you lift.
- If you’re struggling with incontinence or have a bulging sensation down below, speak to a health professional (midwife, health visitor or GP) as you may need to be referred to a specialist physio.