The 13 best car seats - from 9 months

Guide to the highest performing Group 0+/1 and Group 1/2/3 car seats for your child from the age of 9 months plus

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  • How to choose the best car seat for your 9 months+ baby

    We've picked out the highest performing 12 car seats from our rigorous MFM tests, but first here's a quick guide to choosing the best car seat to meet your needs... 

    Once your baby weighs more than 9kg, you can use a Group 1, Group 1/2 or Group 1/2/3 car seat.

    • A Group 1 car seat is suitable for a baby weighing from 9kg to 18kg, which is roughly 9 months to 4 years.
    • A Group 1/2 combination or multi-group car seat is suitable from 9kg to 25kg, roughly 9 months to 6 years, but isn't a very common option
    • A Group 1/2/3 combination car seat is suitable from 9kg to 36kg, which is roughly 9 months to 12 years, and there's quite a wide range of these now on the market

    Our car seat buyer's guide has more info on your baby's weight and car seat groups and combination/multi-group car seats.

    Group 1 car seats have traditionally been mostly forward facing, but this trend is changing with the new i-Size laws introduced in 2013 and UK regulations implemented in April 2015. Research shows that facing rearwards is a safer option and from 2018 the new law will require children to stay in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15 months old.

    In fact, some of the newer Group 0+/1 rear facing car seats can be used from birth to age five, and have features like swivel functions and added safety impact cushions.

    We spoke to experts in the industry to answer your questions about when to move on from one car seat to the next.

    Also, 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?

    Getting it right is vital for your baby’s safety, comfort and for your ease of use. It's also worth remembering not all car seats may be suitable for your car - check before you buy.

    Now, click through to see 13 top options, suitable from around 9 months and up…

  • Maxi-Cosi 2way Pearl, £175

    One of the few car seats available that adheres to the new i-SIZE laws, the 2way Pearl is designed to have your child sitting rear-facing for longer.

    The new i-SIZE guidelines (ECE R129) were introduced in July 2013 (but will not be enforced until at least 2018), and recommend, among other things, that children should travel rear-facing until they are at least 15 months old. 

    Complete with the 2wayFix base, which fixes to a car’s Isofix points and allows the seat to face either forward or backwards, the car seat is durable, value for money and will grow with your child.

    Read the full Maxi-Cosi 2way Pearl car seat review

  • Concord Ultimax 2, £294.99

    At less than £300 the Concord Ultimax 2 is a great investment that will ensure your baby is safe and comfortable as they grow from a baby to a toddler. The upgraded version of the Concord classic is now Isofix only, and the seat can click into the base either forward or rear-facing, allowing rearward travel up to the age of four.

    Read the full Concord Ultimax 2 review

    Click here to buy the Concord Ultimax 2 on Amazon

  • Cybex Sirona, £375

    This award-winning Group 0+/1 car seat has plenty of useful features – swivel function, lots of recline positions, an adjustable headrest and the front impact shield, which spreads the force of any crash when your child is forward facing. The high price tag is worth it when you consider it can be used for four years, but it must be used in a car with an ISOFIX system. 

    Read the full Cybex Sirona review

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  • Nuna Rebl, £395

    A 360 degree rotating car seat that will take your child from birth to the age of four, with the option of being rear-facing until then, the Rebl also has seven recline positions and can accommodate a baby from 40cm, so it's been billed as ideal for parents with premature babies. 

    It is i-SIZE compatible, and our reviewer described it as excellent value for money, great to look at and simple to use.

    Read the full Nuna Rebl review

    Buy the Nuna Rebl from Mothercare

  • Hauck Varioguard, £199.99

    An award-winning, i-SIZE compatible multi stage seat that allows your child to sit both forward and rear-facing - the latter up to 18kg, past the legal requirement. Described as having "maximum safety and ultimate comfort" by our reviewer, this is a good value 0+/1 car seat allowing rearward seating until the age of four.

    Read the full Hauck Varioguard review

  • Joie i-Anchor, £160

    The first UK government certified i-Size car seat; the Joie i-Anchor meets both the new 2013 i-SIZE ECE R129 and the current (2006) ECE R44.04 car seat safety laws.

    A Group 0+/1 the i-Anchor is suitable from birth up to 4 years old and will allow your child to sit rear-facing until the age of 4.

    But safety is not the only concern for the British brand; the seat's deep padding and seven recline positions will surely keep your little one comfy.    

    Check out the full Joie i-Anchor review here

    Buy the Joie i-Anchor from Mothercare

  • Recaro Zero.1 Elite, £435

    The Recaro Zero.1 car seat won the Innovation Award at the 2015 Kind & Jugend fair.

    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.

    Available: Summer 2016

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  • Britax Trifix car seat, £320

    Installed with ISOFIX and a top tether, Britax's Group 1 Trifix has impressed reviewers and experts alike, having garnered over nine awards, including a Special Mention at the 2014 German Design Awards.

    From safety features to ease of installation, comfort and durability, the Trifix scored full marks our MFM reviewer. It’s not cheap, but has a lot to offer, including an easy-to-use recline function. 

    Read the full Britax Trifix car seat review.

    Buy the Britax Trifix from Kiddicare

  • Diono Radian V, £300 (approx)

    A completely rear-facing Group 0+/1/2 car seat, the Diono  Radian V will allow your child to sit rearward from birth until 25kg (approx 5 years old). 

    And if that wasn't innovation enoug, 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 is around 5. 

    Available: Spring/Summer 2016.

  • Casualplay Bicarefix, £199

    The Casualplay Bicarefix is a Group 0+/1 car seat, which garnered 4.5 stars and 4 stars from our MFM mum and readers respectively.  

    Rear-facing up to 18kg (that's a brilliant 4 years) it has automatically adjusting shoulder straps that keep tension around your child’s shoulders at a safe and comfortable level, with a minimum amount of fuss. 

    The car seat was also given full marks by our mum for its deep, extra-padded seats and the fact is sits just under £200.

    Read the full Casualplay Bicarefix review

    Buy the Bicarefix from Amazon

  • Kiddy Phoenixfix Pro 2 car seat, £189.95

    The Kiddy Phoenixfix Pro 2 car seat is a new remake of the groundbreaking Phoenixfix Pro. Like its predecessor, the Phoenixfix Pro 2 is a Group 1 and suitable from 9 months to 4 years.

    Unlike other Group 1 car seats on the market it doesn't have a 5-point safety harness, instead, it uses an impact protection shield, which Kiddy claim is even safer than a harness.

    This design feature was once unique to Kiddy, but now others, such as Cybex, also use impact shields. Our reviewer found it lightweight, easy to install and loved the excellent safety features.

    Read the full Kiddy Phoenixfix Pro 2 review

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  • Recaro Young Sport HERO, £175

    An updated version of the award-winning Young Sport, the Young Sport HERO will safely and comfortably seat your child for over a decade. 

    A forward-facing Group 1/2/3 car seat that can be used from 9 months to 12 years (9 kg to 36 kg),the Recaro Young Sport HERO has a new, improved safety system harness, and will withstand the test of time, according to our reviewer. 

    Read the full Recaro Young Sport HERO review

    Click here to buy the Recaro Young Sport HERO on Amazon

  • Mothercare Madrid, £79.99

    A rear and forward-facing car seat, the Mothercare Madrid chair is a Group 0+/1 car seat, comes with a 5-point harness and has three recline positions.

    It'll make an ideal second car seat for use in grandparents car, for the simple fact that it is very affordable.  The price of the seat is usually £79.99, but when it goes on sale (as it currently is now) you can drive away with it for as little at £39.99 - score!

    Although it can be used from birth, the Madrid car seat is at its best when used for older babies and children, rather than newborns.

    But our MFM reviewer says the chair is A versatile seat that adapts with your child, but at its comfiest for older babies and children. It's a good value option with some nice features, which is why it got a great 4 out of 5 stars!

    Check out the full Mothercare Madrid review here

    Buy the Madrid from Mothercare

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Last updated on 7 December 2015


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