Choosing the Right Car Seat

By Celine Gold on 23 November 2017

Let's start with the facts: all car seats sold on the Australian market comply to the Australian standards, all car seats are tested in the same way, using a weighted dummy in a crash test lab, and all car seats must meet the requirements to be sold Australia, so what makes the car seat for you the right choice?

 

We all have different cars, different budgets and a different set of requirements for car seats.

Some people come to me and say they plan on having three under three. For this scenario, we need to think slim so you are able to fit three car seats at any given stage. Your best bet is to go with something short in depth and narrow based.

My pick for this would be the Britax Safe-n-Sound Slimm-Line AHR. This is one of the narrowest seats on the market, has ISOFIX  installation; bamboo thermo 5 fabric to regulate heat, and will last years. The Slimm-Line is an A4 seat - allowing you the ability to rear face from birth to approximately three years, then forward face until four.
 
Britax Safe-n-Sound Slimm Line AHR
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‚ÄčIf size isn't an issue and you are looking for extreme comfort and safety, definitely look into the Britax Safe-n-Sound Millenia. It's sleek design, with ISOFIX installation, thermo 5 bamboo and charcoal fabric, and easy adjust head rest meaning no need to retread those straps. The seat is slightly larger than the Slimm-Line, but has more padding for comfort and would suit any car. 

Britax Safe-n-Sound Millenia
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If your scenario was you travel via car a lot, use highways that operate at speeds of 110km or even if you were honest and said you were not the safest driver on the road, (yes there people who admit it!) your best bet would be the Britax Safe-n-Sound Platinum Pro, offering top of the line side impact cushion technology covering the entire child's torso. It has extra side impact cushions beside the child's head for extra cranial protection. This seat is LARGE, so to fit this seat properly and comfortably rear facing, be prepared to lose your front seat or have a larger vehicle. 

Britax Safe N Sound Platinum Pro
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A great budget friendly option is the Infasecure Kompressor 4 Treo. It lacks some of the bells and whistles, including extra side impact protection - a big winner in the Safe N Sound range - but it does have deep side wings to keep bub in safe and tight in a side impact. The seat offers bamboo fabric and cushy inserts for optimal comfort. The harness, however, is a rethread harness unlike the three mentioned above. This means the seat will need to be removed from the vehicle to rethread the straps each time your child grows.

Infasecure Kompressor 4 Treo
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This brings us to capsules...
There is always that inner battle on whether or not to get a capsule - keeping in mind every scenario and that each persons' circumstance is different.

Here is a list of reasons a capsule may benefit you:

  1. You live up a flight of stairs. It is much easier to walk up the stairs from the car carrying the capsule on one arm and the shopping in the other, in comparison to carrying the child up and coming back down for the nappy bag (keeping in mind a newborn requires two hands).
  2. You are an extremely social family and are out at get-togethers, dinners, family events all the time; in and out of the car a lot for work requirements or other, this may benefit you as its great to be able let the baby stay asleep.
  3. You come home and park on the street and you don't always park right outside the house - sometimes parking 50 metres away. Having a capsule would be far easier to get baby and belongings into the house. 
  4. This is your second baby and you have a toddler or older child who requires school drop-off and pick-up, requiring short trips outside the car.


But... (yes there is a BUT!) 

  1. It is important to note that a capsule has a maximum stay of two hours for the baby at any given time. We would even recommend no longer than 90 minutes. It is not great for posture to leave your baby in a 'C' shape. As they don't have the neck strength yet, with their head curled over, it can potentially present breathing ussues if left for long periods of time. Long term capsule use can also be linked to babies staying in the banana shape and disliking tummy time, as once stretched out their tiny bodies hurt.
  2. Capsules are heavy. Even the 'lighter' capsules have a hefty weight. Then always remember to add the weight of the baby. A high percentage of babies don't settle well in capsules, disliking the 'C' shape, potentially aggravating reflux and causing babies distress in the car. 

In saying all of this, whatever you choose in the end will work for you. If you don't choose a capsule, there may be six times in the year that you wish you had chosen the capsule, and if your bub out-grows the capsule early you will be purchasing a rearward facing car seat anyway and question if you needed it to begin with.

The Nuna Pipa Klik capsule + base is a great option as it's compatible with over 60 strollers (you will need adaptors), has a revolutionary dream drape to keep out the elements while you're on the go, and has rigid ISOFIX for easy installation. The capsule itself weighs only 3.5kg so is a great lightweight option.

Nuna Pipa Klik
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As an alternative Maxi Cosi's Mico AP comes with an easy to detach split tether system making getting in and out of the car a breeze, and is also stroller-compatible (with adaptors). Available in a range of colours, the capsule includes Air Protect™ side impact technology and weighs 4.3kg.

Maxi Cosi Mico AP
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If you have any questions, you can always contact us and we'll help you make the right choice for you!

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