We have had loads of customers in this week asking about second stage car seats – what age or size does my baby need to be before I buy their next car seat? Which one do I choose? With the overlapping car seat groups, i-Size, the age and weight guides and other baffling car seat jargon, making sure your child is safe in their seat can be confusing, so we decided at Direct4Baby to go over the basics and select some of our personal favourites.
When do I need to move up to the next stage car seat?
There are two ways to check this. When the top of your baby’s head becomes level with the top of the car seat or when they reach the weight restriction on the seat. With first stage, or Group 0+, car seats, this is 13kg. Generally you will find that they are about 12 months. It does not matter if the feet dangle over the end of the seat, baby’s are very flexible and very rarely sit with their legs straight anyway!
Forward Facing or Rear Facing?
The recommendation is that children are rear facing until they are at least 15 months old. We strongly advise that you keep a child rear facing as long as possible, the car seats below can be used in rear facing position until your child is approximately 4 years old which is the safest way to travel.
Here are some of our top recommendations.
BeSafe iZi Modular i-Size Group 1 car seat (from £249)
The iZi Modular i-Size by Swedish company, BeSafe, consists of one ISOfix compatible base and a spacious child seat which conforms to the new EU standard i-Size (R129). The iZi Modular i-Size can be used both rear facing and forward facing on the same base and the base module can be extended to allow more legroom for the child, which means children up to the age of about four years (105 cm tall) can be transported rear facing.
The seat adapts to your growing child with the adjustable headrest and body hugger. The smart magnet system ensures that the harness is kept out of the way when not in use, making it easier to get your little one in and out of the car seat more easily. The 5 point harness adds an extra level of safety that most car seats do not, spreading the force of an impact over a wider area.
SIP+ is an additional safety feature that is placed on the side of the car seat. It is constructed to absorb energy and reduces the load on the child’s neck and head by up to an additional 20% in the event of a side impact. In the Spring edition of the 2016 ADAC/Stiftung Warentest child car seat test, the iZi Modular i-Size achieved ‘Very Good’ in side impact scores.
Apramo ONE (From £284)
Say goodbye to multiple car seats with the Apramo ONE, a 4-in-1 seat that sees a child through every single stage, from newborn to 12 years.
The 360° rotational ISOfix base makes getting your child in and out of the seat easy and as stress free as possible. Changing them from rear facing to forward facing is simple with a one hand action.
In response to consumer demand for greater safety, Apramo has developed its latest car seat with a 5 point harness that can be used up to 25kg/6 years.
It offers ISOfix and Top Tether points to fasten the seat as well as traditional seatbelt fitting. With five recline positions you can rest assure that your child is relaxed and comfortable.
In order to achieve the perfect balance of both comfort and breathability, Apramo has chosen the BREATHEX™ fabric with a proper formulation of mixing fine quality cotton with polyester, together with additional textile technology to generate micro fiber on the fabric surface. The adjustable headrest that can be changed in just one easy step and without removing the seat from the car.
Maxi-Cosi 2WayPearl (from £225)
The Maxi-Cosi 2wayPearl is a toddler car seat which offers state-of-the-art safety performance and extended rearward facing travel from birth up to approx. 4 years.
Ideal if you already have the Maxi-Cosi 2wayFix base from your 0+ car seat, as you are already familiar with the peace of mind that the 2wayFix base gives you with its audio and visual signs that it is correctly connected.
The 2wayPearl complies with the new i-Size (R129) regulations, meaning secure installation with your vehicle’s ISOFIX points. Tests carried out by International Consumer Research and Testing (ICRT) rated the 2wayPearl 4-star for safety, usability and ergonomics.
Thanks to the easy-in harness and full recline options in both directions, the car seat is easy to use and comfortable for your child.
Recaro Zero. 1 i-Size (from £399)
The RECARO Zero.1 i-Size offers children comfort and safety from birth up to 4years/105cm. The clever 360° rotating function means the child seat can be switched from forward facing to rearward facing with easy-to-use one handed touch.
The fully intergated IsoFix base is simple to fit with coloured safety indicators to show correct installation at a glance. The space saving, foldable wings give maximum side impact protection. Recaro’s HERO safety system prevents belts from slipping or twisting and makes buckling up easy.
The height adjustable headrest and seat foam is made from memory foam, which adapts perfectly to your child’s body shape and provides necessary support. Recline positions in both directions of travel ensure your child is comfortable as they travel.
Joie Everystage (from £180)
This is a revolutionary new type of group car seat (0+/1/2/3) that can be used from birth all the way up to 12 years old, meaning it may be the only car seat you ever need to buy!
It can be used rearward facing until 18kg/4 years and then in a forward facing position until your child is 36kg/12 years. There are 5 recline positions, 2 in rear facing mode and 4 in forward facing, making it ideal for naps in the car.
Although it is installed using a seat belt rather than IsoFix points which may not suit some parents, this does mean that it can be swapped between cars easily and taken on holiday with no IsoFix base.
Joie’s Guard Surround Safety™ panels add layers of side impact protection, while the steel reinforced frame absorbs energy upon impact. Its clever seat mechanism grows up and out simultaneously so as the headrest raises, the AutoAdjust™ sides expand to custom fit growing little ones.
WIN a BeSafe iZi Modular i-Size Car Seat!!!
We are running a competition to win one of these car seats on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. To enter, simply go to the social platform you wish to enter on, or enter on all three for a better chance of winning!
- Like the post & share/retweet
- Like our Direct4Baby page
- Tag 2 friends you think would like to enter