12 of the most exciting new car seats for 2016

Rear-facing for longer, all-stage and 360 degree rotating - we've picked our top 12 brand new car seats for 2016

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  • The top baby safety car seats for the year ahead

    Car seats are constantly being reinvented, but 2016 has seen some of the biggest innovations in years.

    Rear-facing for longer, multi-stage and the introduction of all-stage car seats have set the standard this year.  We explain why you may want these types of car seats right here.  

    You can also see the best new car seats for 2017 here.

    But now, check out he best car seat innovations for 2016 - click through to see all-stage, multi-stage and more car seat newness ... 

  • Graco Milestone, £179, Birth – 36kg (11-12 years)

    US parenting giant Graco already has an all-stage car seat available in America called the 4Ever. But now it's bringing what it calls the 4-in-1 seat to the UK in the form of the Milestone. 

    A very affordable Group 0+/1/2/3 seat, the Milestone is only £179.  We did the maths; it works out to only £14.92 per year or 4p per day.

    Finances aside, the seat can be used rear-facing until 13kg (around 15 months), has a 10-height headrest and a harness that simultaneously adjusts as the headrest is adjust, so there’s no need to rethread. 

    It also comes with heat resistant rubber armrests and a moveable cupholder.

    Check out the full Milestone review here

    Available from Boots, Argos and Amazon

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  • Joie Every Stage, £200, Birth - 36kg (11-12 years)

    British parenting brand Joie has made quite a name for itself over the past two years by making groundbreaking but affordable car seats. 

    Known as the first car seat manufacturer to create a UK Government certified i-Size car seat with the i-Anchor, Joie is now launching its all-stage car seat, called simply Every Stage. Launch price is again great value at £200 (£16.67 per year, 0.4p per day).

    While the Graco Milestone offers rear-facing until your child weighs 13kg (approx 15 months), this Group 0+/1/2/3 chair can face rearward from birth up to 18kg (approx 4 years). And like the Milestone, the Every Stage can be used until your baby grows to be an 11 or 12-year-old pre-teen.

    The Every Stage features 5 recline positions, side impact protection, a 10-height headrest and side wings that widen as the headrest is raised.

    It also has a 5–point harness that simultaneously adjusts as the headrest is adjust, so there’s no need to rethread the harness.

    Here's our complete review of the Joie Everystage car seat

    You can buy the Joie Every Stage car seat from MothercareHalfordsKiddicare or Amazon

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  • Diono Radian 5, £295, Birth - 25kg (5-6 years)

    We first saw this car seat at the 2014 Kind & Jugend baby and toddler trade fair.  Back then it was so hush-hush we didn’t even have a picture to show you. It was also (at the time) the first time we'd seen an all-group car seat, spanning the full 12 years.

    However, when we saw the Diono Radian 5 at this year’s show in September, its release date has been pushed back to the beginning of 2016 and it had been updated.

    Now instead of being an all-stage chair, the Radian 5 is a Group 0+/1/2 car seat.  Your child can sit rearward facing in this seat from birth until 25kg (approx 5-6 years old).  There's also the option of your little one sitting in the forward position once they reach 9kg, if you choose. 

    It also comes with a 5-point harness that can be used up until 25kg as well. But you would need to buy a final group 3 car seat (which tend to come as group 2/3) once your child passes the 25kg limit. 

    We've got the full review of the Radian 5 right here

    You can buy Diono Radian V from Diono

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  • Kiddy Evo-Lunafix, £319.95, birth – 13kg (approx 12 months)

    Kiddy introduced the first lie-flat infant car seat in the UK back in 2013 with the Evolution Pro. However, you could only use it as lie-flat when out of the car. Now, the Evo-Lunafix can also lie flat in the car - perfect for long car journeys. 

    Kiddy’s Evo-Lunafix has all the original Evolution Pro features, including a 5-point safety harness, rocker function and travel system compatibility, and has landed a top rating for safety from ADAC and Stiftung Warentest.

    Read our MFM review, which gave the Evo-Lunafix 4.5 stars out of 5

    You can buy the Kiddy Evo-Lunafix from Amazon or Mothercare  

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  • Nuna Rebl, £395, birth – 19.5kg (4-5 years)

    I-Size compatible, 360-degree turn and 7-position recline, the Rebl is a Group 0+/1 car seat from Dutch parenting brand Nuna. 

    Probably best known for its IVVI pushchair and Leaf baby rocker, the Nuna Rebl is suitable from birth up to 19.5kg.

    This means children can sit rear-facing until 4 years old.

    Its newborn insert can accommodate a baby from 40cm, so it's ideal for parents with premature babies. And as the headrest adjusts to a max of 40cm high, it’s great for parents with taller children too.

    In a recent consumer crash test the Nuna Rebl was labelled as a ‘Don't Buy’ product over safety concerns that it could put children at 'high risk of serious injury' when used in the reverse-seating mode. 

    So what does that mean?  Is the Nuna Rebl car seat safe?

    According to Nuna, the Rebl is still safe.  In fact the brand won’t be recalling the car seat. 

    We’ve got the full statement from Nuna here:

     “The Nuna REBL meets and exceeds all the relevant UK government safety standards. The German Automobile Club, ADAC, has performed an extreme test, which is not recognised by the UK Department of Transport, or any other standard the industry is asked to comply with.”

    “We will not be conducting a product recall unless the recognised relevant national authorities deem the seat is unsafe. However, ultimately, what matters is our customers’ peace of mind – therefore, we are offering an exchange or full refund to any customer that does not feel that the rigorous UK government standards are sufficient.

    Any customers can contact the retailer where they purchased the product from for an exchange or full refund.

    And if you have any queries you can also contact Nuna’s customer service team Monday through Friday on 0800 952 0061 between the hours of 9am to 5pm, or via email at infouk@nuna.eu.

    Read the full Nuna Rebl review here

    You can buy the Rebl car seat from Mothercare

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  • Phil & Ted's Alpha Infant Car Seat, £129, birth – 13kg (approx. 12 months)

    The first car seat from all-terrain buggy specialists Phil & Ted's, the Alpha is a lightweight (3.9kg), slim-line car seat.

    Measuring a svelte 43cm at its widest, it can fit alongside a high-backed booster seat and a small-to-medium sized adult in the back of a Volkswagen Polo, according to our MFM reviewer. 

    The Alpha installs with either an ISOFIX base, Universal base or car seat belt so it should be able to fit in any car.  Saftey-wise it has side impact protection, 5-point harness and padded safety harness straps.

    And as it’s made by Phil & Ted’s it’s travel system compatible with all Phil & Ted’s buggies and quite a few other brands too.

    Check out the complete Alpha review here 

    You can buy the Alpha car seat from Kiddicare or Pramworld.  

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  • Joolz IZI Go Modular Infant Car Seat, £209, birth – 13kg (approx. 12 months)

    The very first infant car seat from Joolz, the Dutch buggy brand has teamed up with Scandi car seat brand Be Safe to create the IZI Go Modular.

    It's i-Size compatible, suitable from birth until your child is 75cm tall (roughly 12 months) and comes with magnetic shoulder pads. 

    Like all new infant car seats the IZI Go Modular has side impact protection built into the chair as standard, but Be Safe has also developed an additional side impact protection box that sits on the side of the chair. 

    It can be moved from one side to another depending on which side of the car the chair is on.

    As it’s made by Joolz the chair can be installed with the brand new Joolz and Be Safe car seat base or car seat belts and fits all Joolz Day and Geo pushchairs.

    You can order the Joolz IZI Go Modular Infant car seat from Joolz

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  • Recaro Zero 1 and Zero 1. Elite, £435, Birth - 20kg (4-5 years)

    The Recaro Zero.1 car seat won the Innovation Award at this year’s Kind & Jugend fair. It's easy to see why - it’s unlike any seat we’ve seen before. It's a Group 0+/1/2 that's rear-facing to 13kg (around 15 months). But the innovation comes with the infant carrier (Group 0+), which actually fits within the Group 1/2 car seat frame. This means it can be removed and used as a travel system on most buggies.

    Oh, and it’s also i-Size compatible and can be rotated 360 degrees. It's an investment, price-wise, but very clever. Interestingly, although it goes up to Group 2, Recaro recommend that it lasts until 4.5 years, rather than 5 years.

    You can read the full Recaro Zero 1. review here.

    Available from Uber Kids

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  • Silver Cross Quantum, £650, 9kg (9 months) – 20kg (4-5 years)

    The first Group 1 car seat from famed buggy maker Silver Cross, the Quantum is about as high-end as car seats get.

    Finished in premium, high-grade Italian leather and Alcantra suede, the seat has been inspired by luxury carmaker Aston Martin and is being sold exclusively at Harrods – swanky!

    Aesthetics aside the Quantum features a patented safety system called SA-ATS.  That stands for shock absorber and automatic tensioning system to you and me.

    It uses two components: hydraulics to reduce the impact energy in a frontal collision, and mechanical tilting to apply harness tension, providing better retention of children in the case of an impact.

    The chair also comes with the usual features you’d expect from a Group 1 chair, like a five-point safety harness, four reclining positions and a padded headrest.

    Being a Group 1 seat it’s suitable from 9 months to 4 years, however this means it’s only forward-facing. 

    Silver Cross have only made 1000 pieces of the Quantum, so you’ll have to get down to Knightsbridge sharpish if you want one of these car seats.

    You can buy the Silver Cross Quantum from Silver Cross

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  • Be Safe iZi Plus, £349.99, 6kg (6 months) – 25kg (5 years)

    A staunch supporter of rear-facing for longer, Scandi brand Be Safe has also developed its own Group 0+/1/2, offering rear-facing until 25kg or approximately 5 years old.

    It offers universal fit, so it can be installed with a seat belt, has 3 recline positions and Side Impact Protection.

    However, it’s worth noting that although it’s technically a Group 0+, it can’t be used from birth; it’s only suitable for babies from 6 months.

    That means you'll need to buy a Group 0 infant carrier car seat for those first few months, which also will give you the opportunity to use it as part of a travel system if you wanted. 

    You can buy the Be Safe iZi Plus from Pramworld

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  • Axkid Rekid, £349, 9kg (9 months) – 25kg (5 years)

    Group 1/2 car seats (9kg to 25kg, roughly 9 months to 5 years) haven’t been the most popular form of child car seats in the UK, probably because they don’t have a life span that can match a 1/2/3 seat and they've also been forward-facing.

    Now, the Axkid Rekid offers something new, as it's a Group 1,2 that’s completely rear-facing. It's also ISOFIX compatible, but can also be fitted with a seat belt

    The seat has a one-handed adjustable headrest and a harness that simultaneously adjusts as the headrest is adjust, so there’s no need to rethread. 

    You can buy the Axkid Rekid from Amazon, Uber Kids or Precious Little Ones

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  • Britax Kidfix II XP SICT, £170, 15kg (4 years) – 36kg (12 years)

    An updated version of a very popular, multiple award-winning car seat, the Britax Kidfix II XP SICT is a highback booster chair that offers Side Impact Cushion Technology, hence the name.

    Incredibly easy to install with ISOFIT or a car seat belt, the chair comes with an XP-PAD, a pad that goes over a seat belt and reduces the pressure in the event of a frontal impact by 30%.

    The Kidfix II XP SICT also comes with Britax’s patented SecureGuard, which acts as a 4th attachment point to a seat belt. It helps to keep the belt in an ideal position over the lap and pelvic bones so it better distributes the impact energy involved in frontal collisions.

    We've got all the specs, details and score rating of the Britax Kidfix II XP SICT in our complete MFM review

    You can buy the Britax Kidfix II XP SICT from Mothercare

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  • Why do you want one of these seats?

    The move to 'rear-facing for longer' has really gained pace, following the i-Size car seat guidelines.

    First we saw rear-facing 0+/1 multi-stage car seats, enabling your child to be rear-facing until 15 months. Now, we're seeing 0+/1 seats allowing your child to be rear-facing to 4 years and even 0+/1/2 seats, which keep your child rear-facing up to 5 years.

    The other innovation is more revolutionary: the introduction of all-stage car seats - meaning you'll only have to buy one car seat from birth to 12 years. 

    Currently, car seats are grouped into three age stages in the UK:

    • Group 0/0+ (birth - 12 months)
    • Group 1 (9 months - 4 years)
    • Group 2/3 (4-12 years)

    Over the past few years, we've seen multi-stage groups become more popular, so you only need to buy two car seats per child:

    • Group 0+/1 (birth - 4 years)
    • Group 1/2/3 (9 months -12 years)
    • And more recently, Group 0+/1/2 (birth - 5 years)

    But now a new type of seat is coming to market: Group 0+/1/2/3 that will last a full 12 years. So you’ll only ever need one seat.

    Of course, there are compromises in order to get the long-life, and they certainly won't be for all parents. But one of the big surprises of these chairs is that they are usually quite affordable. They certainly offer a value product for a second car seat for use by grandparents, and may be the start of a new breed of car seats if more companies start producing them. 

    But first; do you know what the 2-hour car seat rule is? Or how a winter coat can effect your child's safety when in a car seat?

    More car seats, we've got them...

Last updated on 5 September 2016

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