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30 May 2018

Is a child car seat with an airbag safe?

We put the revolutionary Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air i-Size car seat to the test

We've just crash tested and posted our review of the world's first child car seat featuring airbag technology.

Maxi-Cosi claims that itsAxissFix Air is 55% safer than any other forward-facing car seat.

Thiscar seat features a miniature airbag system that's activates on impact to protect your baby from head and neck damage.The airbags are designed to work when the seat is facing in either direction, but mainly for a frontal-impact collision.

We've put it through front- and side-impact crash tests. Read on to find out more, or go straight to our round-up of thebest baby and child car seats.

Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air

This new car seat with airbags is based on the AxissFix car seat. The Axiss-Fix Air i-Size is approved to the latest R129 car seat regulations, and is suitable for children from 61cm to 105cm in height. That's around four months to four years old.

It can be used rearward-facing until your child reaches 86cm tall, which is about two years old. It's worth noting that this differs from some other i-Size car seats, which can be used rear-facing until your child is around four years old.

You can use the Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air facing forwards from 76cm tall, but no earlier than 15 months old.

The airbags are stored within padded straps that rest underneath your child's neck, hooking over his or her shoulders, and are attached to the car seat harness.

The Air Safety system is activated by sensors in the Isofix base, which deploy the airbags 0.015 seconds after impact.The airbags should only go off if the impact is severe enough, though, so they shouldn't inflate if you have a minor crash or brake abruptly. And they'redesigned to work when the seat is facing in either direction, but mainly for a frontal-impact collision.

Find out what happened when we crash tested it for both forward and rearward facing and in front- and side-impact tests by reading our full Maxi-Cosi AxissFix Air i-Size review

More car seats with innovations

Our latest car seat reviewsinclude other child car seats with innovations - from the i-Size car seat for older kids, to a baby car seat with an 18kg weight limit for larger-than-average babies.

BeSafe Izi Flex

BeSafe claims that its new Izi Flex Fix is the world's first high-backed booster seat to meet the new safety demands of the latest i-Size/R129 regulations.

This seat is designed for older children, from 100cm to 150cm (around four years to 12 years old). It has Isofix connectors, a slim design and added side-impact protection.

BeSafe has done away with the 'horns' that usually hold the seat belt in place. Instead, the iZi Flex Fix comes with a foldable lap belt guide.

The extra side-impact protection can be removed, so three of these high-backed booster seats can fit across the car's rear seat.

Read our full crash test review of the BeSafe iZi Flex iSize.

Kiddy Evoluna i-Size 2

The original Kiddy EvoLuna i-Size is a baby car seat with a difference. It creates a flatter position for your baby to travel in, thanks to an adjustment you can make with the handle.

This is good news, especially for newborns and younger babies who aren't meant to stay in a car seat for too long. It's also a much better position for small babies to travel in, as it can help to ensure your baby's head doesn't loll forward during a snooze.

Now, the Evoluna i-Size 2 has arrived. It's been updated with a new handlebar, two additional side-impact protection 'capsules' have been added and an 'enhanced' canopy - that's the hood.

It's approved for use with babies from 40cm up to 83cm tall, which is from birth to around 15 months of age.

It's installed into a car using an i-Size approved base.

Read our full review of the Kiddy Evoluna i-Size 2 baby car seat.

Graco Snugride i-Size

The Graco SnugRide is a rear-facing i-Size approved baby car seat, which is suitable from birth until your child is 87cm tall, which is around 18 months.

Graco says it is bigger than other similar i-Size baby car seats, so this could be a good choice if you're expecting a bigger-than-average baby.

It's approved to the latest car seat regulations and could definitely be an option for parents with bigger babies if the crash test results are good.

The 87cm height limit on the seat is bigger than some others on the market. It's also travel system compatible, which is a bonus.

Find out if it could work for your bigger little one in ourGraco Snugride i-Size review.

Car seat reviews

If the car seat you're coveting isn't one of those above, you can get our crash test results and expert verdicts of more popular baby and child car seats that we've just tested. Follow the links below to read the full reviews:

Prices checked 28 May 2018.