Guide to the highest performing Group 1 and Group 1/2/3 car seats for your child from the age of 9 months plus
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.
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 are mostly forward facing, though there are a small but increasing number of rear-facing models. Research shows that facing rearwards is a safer option. It’s important for your baby that she’s in a Group 0+ rear facing car seat until she’s at least 10kg-13kg (roughly 9 months or so) and can sit up unaided. And remember to always follow your baby’s weight, not age, when choosing car seats. We spoke to experts in the industry to answer your questions about when to move on from one car seat to the next.
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 12 top options, suitable from around 9 months and up…
Totally agree with the mums who are talking about rear facing seats. And Britax are shooting themselves in the foot saying it is difficult to install. I too bought a Britax rear facing seat from incarsafetycentre and it fits onto an ISOFIX base, so is very easy to install and remove, as anyone who has used ISOFIX will know, they just click in. The base itself is slighty more tricky but so worth it for the peace of mind, and for the ease of moving the seat itself from one car to another.
I predict that eventually Britain will catch up with Scandanavia in making it compulsory to keep children rear facing longer. One day people will look back incredulous at the memory of 9 month olds in forward facing seats the same way that we remember in amazement that when we were children we didn't have car seats, and only seat belts if we were lucky. When it has been proven that rearfacing is safer, why on earth this has not been publicised and adopted by UK seat manufacturers I cannot imagine.
I have seen on another site that there are some other companies other than Britax now marketing rear facing seats in the UK, so maybe this is something you could consider for the review panel. An example is the Volvo seat that someone put a link to, but there were others, I can't remember the brand names.
You're right that there's now a number of rear-facing car seats for older babies and toddlers on the market. We have reviewed some MFM, the BeSafe iZi Combi X3 and the Brio Zento. We've also reviewed a large number of Group 0+/1 car seats (car seats that span from birth until 18kg/roughly 4 years of age) that start life as a rear facing car seat, then can be forward facing once your child's weighing over 13kg (the end of the Group 0+ weight range). However, I think what you're talking about is more along the lines of keeping your child rear-facing for as many years as possible, like the Brio and the BeSafe. These are certainly car seat types we're eager to review! We'll be keeping our eyes out for brands to hit the UK so we can get tests underway.
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