How to find and pick the best car seats for 15kg+
Your child now weighs 15kg or more (roughly 3 or 4 years of age) and they can use a Group 2/3 car seat. A Group 2/3 car seat lasts until your child is 135cm tall or 36kg (around 11 or 12 years old).
The biggest changes when moving to a Group 2/3 car seat is that your child will probably be ready to sit forward-facing and the 5-point harness or impact shield will now be replaced with an adult car seat belt.
How does a Group 2/3 car seat fit in a car?
Not all car seats fit in all cars, so you need to check the car seat you like can be fitted correctly in your car. Most manufacturers have a quick online checking service, such as Britax’s Fit-Finder or Maxi-Cosi’s car fitting list. Have your car’s make, model and year of production close to hand for fast checking.
When fitting a Group 2/3 car seat you’ll be able to the car 3-point seat belt to install it, but there are a growing number of Group 2/3 child car seats that using ISOFIX systems.
How much will a Group 2/3 car seat cost?
Despite having to last at least 7 years, Group 2/3 car seats are probably the cheapest child seats you’ll need to buy. Prices range from £40 to £200, and there are, of course, the expensive and budget options.
While price is important, it is not an indicator of how safe a car seat is, as all car seats are tested to set safety standards. It’s more important to choose the right seat that works best for you, your car and your child. Remember, don’t settle for second best – or secondhand car seats.
When can I use a booster cushion?
A new law on backless booster car seats (booster cushions) has come into force, so now children will have to be:
- Taller than 125cm tall (4ft1)
- Weigh more than 22kg (3 stone 6.5 pounds) to sit on backless booster cushions
It’s important to note that this rule only applies to brand new products, it does not affect any booster seats that you may currently be using.
You can find all the information on booster seats and backless cushions in our safety article here.
Once I’ve chosen the best car seat what do I do then?
Once you’ve picked your ideal car seat, it’ll have to be fitted in the car. While we’re fans of DIY at MFM headquarters, we recommend you get your car seat fitted by a trained car seat installation advisor (appointed by the manufacturer) if you can.
Here’s our pick of the 13 best Group 2/3 car seats…
Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 2/3 car seat £180 – MadeForMums Awards Gold winner
The Peg Perego Viaggio 2-3 Flex is a seat that go from preschool to secondary (15kg to 36kg). It features a ‘4D Total Adjust technology’ what that means is it’s able to adjusted in four different directions, which are all independent from one another.
So, the headrest can be adjusted in 5 positions, the backrest and headrest can be adjusted in 3 positions; the sides open out so the width of the seat can be extended up to 10cm and the seat can be reclined to 5 positions.
The Viaggio 2-3 Flex also feature an “All Side Impact Protection” system with reinforced aluminium frame and side wings lined with EPS Styrofoam.
What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 2/3 car seat:
“This car seat has an impressively intuitive design. The handles which change the size are easy to find and just as easy to use. It folds up quickly and compactly, and it’s really light. It’s a great car seat,” Anthony, dad-of-two.
“What an interesting car seat. Bursting with innovation, which is unusual in the group 2-3 market. Love the slimness of the base, the widening of the side wings, ease of use and the fact that it folds down to easy travel size,” Susie, mum-of-three.
Available from: Amazon and Pram Centre
Recaro Monza Nova Evo car seat, £125 – MadeForMums Awards Silver winner
This silver winner scores very high on ease of installation as it comes equipped with an easy to extend, easy-to-use, snd easy to retract ISOFIX connector, that fits a whole range of cars.
The Recaro Monza Nova Evo car seat also has an Advanced Side Protection system and Anti-static side pads that reduce crash-generated forces to the head and shoulders by 30% and the neck by 20%.
What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Recaro Monza Nova Evo car seat:
“This car seat is easy to use, super comfortable for my children and offers great protection. The multi position head rest means it always grows with them,” Becky, mum-of-four.
“This is a really good value seat. It appears to offer enhanced side impact protection, with plenty of padding around vulnerable areas. The adjustable headrest ensures comfort and continued safety as your child grows. We tested the seat in winter so can’t comment on the air circulation claims but this appears to be a good, robust car seat at a decent price,” Claire, mum-of-two.
You can buy the Recaro Monza Nova Evo from: Direct2Mum, Amazon and Uber Kids
Bebylux Advance car seat, £249 – MadeForMums Awards Bronze winner
This seat is technically a Group 1/2/3, but if your little one wants a more grown-up car seat then you’ll certainly find one in the Bebylux Advance. Looks aside, the car seat has safey features galore, ISOFIX connectors, impact absorbing top tether belt tensioning system, 3 levels of Side Impact Protection, four-point recline positions, 5-point headrest adjustment and non-flammable bicast leather coverings.
What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Bebylux Advance car seat:
“The Bebylux Advance oozes style and promises to smarten up your car’s interior once again. The seat felt comfortably padded and my tall six-year-old (she’s 125cm) liked the four recline positions. The seat is Isofix and Non-isofix compatible which I really liked as we frequently hire cars and don’t always know what system they will have. The seat also has a narrow slot for the 3-point harness to slot through right before you plug it into the seat belt socket. On the plus side children who have a tendency to reach and unclip themselves while the car is moving would struggle to do this,” mum-of-two, Liz.
“The Bebylux Advance is super comfortable for my 4-year-old thanks to its deep padded seat with memory foam. The adjustable head rest is easy to adjust one-handed – something I’ve found isn’t always the case with car seats. Despite being spacious it still left adequate room between the front of the car seat and the back of my driving seat, so no legs kicking my back while I was driving. Finally, it combines style with substance having a shock absorbing structure and side impact protection. My son loved it and felt very grown up, he actually thought it was a throne!” mum-of-three, Catherine.
Available from: Bebylux
Cosatto Skippa, £140
A bright, super fun-looking car seat that will attract the kids instantly.
The Cosatto is not simply style over substance, this ISOFIX only seat also features side impact protection, 2-position recline, height adjustable back-rest, pop-off, washable fabric covers and a removable drinks holder!
“The seat reclines for long journeys, explains our MFM reviewer, “which is helpful to stop a sleeping child from falling forward, and the material cover pops off really easily and washes well, which is just as well seeing as my daughter stained it with food on its first outing!”
Available from: Amazon, Cosatto and Mothercare