General car seat questions

If it feels like you need a degree in car seats to know your way around, you are not alone! Car seats are extremely complicated and it takes a lot of research to find the one that meets your needs. Read our 4-step guide to know how to get started.

At the moment we don’t provide recommendations. However, we believe that when you are considering your options, you should always look at car seat safety as the highest priority. The whole point of buying a car seat is to keep your child safe in the event of a car accident and you should want to know how a car seat performs in a front, rear and side impact crash. Car Seat Jungle focuses on analysing freely available data from independent car crash testing organisations such as the ADAC in Germany, TCS in Switzerland, OAMTC in Austria and Which? in the UK*. These independent testing houses publish their crash testing results giving us a glimpse at the differences between seemingly similar car seats.

These testing organisations are extremely important because right now, there is very little transparency with regards to car seat approval. We know how they are tested from a regulatory perspective but we know very little who awards the safety certificates and how each car seat performed in these tests. This should be considered questionable given the fact that car seats are required by law, yet basic information is hard to find for the average consumer.

With the above in mind, the only suggestion we make is to rear-face your child for as long as possible. This is the safest way to travel for children. If you are concerned that older children are uncomfortable or are not able to look out the window, be assured that this has been proven incorrect by thousands of parents who rear-face their children up until they are 25kgs.

* Which? is a subscription service and therefore we can’t share their data results. Instead we use resources that are available for free on the Which? website, such as their ‘Don’t Buy’ lists and safety warnings.

I-size is the name of the newest EU regulation which aims to increase child safety in cars. Car seats which conform to the new i-size regulation are:

  1. safer in a side impact collision than the older seats due to additional side impact crash testing during certification procedures
  2. rearward-facing until 15 months is mandatory
  3. height based, not weight as was the case in previous years
  4. isofix only which substantially decreases the risk of the seat being improperly installed

The i-size law is the first of three phases and manufacturers are mostly making i-size seats in groups 0+ and 1 at the moment.

The i-size regulation number is ECE R129 and it did not overturn the previous R44 regulation. This means that you are free to choose whether to use an i-size seat or not. The main thing to remember is that i-size is designed to be safer.

Nobody knows at this point in time. Car Seat Jungle will be closely following any proposed changes and updates to the current UK car seat laws. For now, we will assume current rules to still apply.

ISOFIX is a system of securing a car seat in the car. It is comprised of two anchors built into the car seat or into a car seat ISOFIX base and two metal hooks which are part of the car’s structure. An ISOFIX car seat simply clicks into place.

If you’ve read about ISOFIX being as safe as belted installations and are wondering if this is true, then please read on. Technically speaking ISOFIX provides the same safety as belted installations but this assumed that the belted installation has been done correctly. This is a problem because around 70% of car seats in Europe are used incorrectly and belted installations are a significant part of this problem. By using an ISOFIX base for infant seats or ISOFIX attachment points in car seats for older children, you are reducing the risk of installing the seat incorrectly. Once ISOFIX attachment points have been pushed into place and the supporting tether or foot leg have been installed (if applicable), the car seat is well secured. In other words, ISOFIX is safer in practical terms.

ISOFIX is a European standard. A similar system called LATCH is used in America.

When choosing a car seat you not only have to consider the seat itself (its safety, type, ISOFIX connection, swivel etc.) but also the car model(s) it will be fitted into. There are certain cars which will not fit certain car seat models very well. This is often due to the available space in the car, the angle of ISOFIX fitting points, underfloor storage in the car or other.

The best way of knowing whether your chosen seat is right for your car is to have it fitted by a specialist. We recommend In Car Safety Centreor Good Egg Car Safetyas well as independent specialists. Leading retailers are not recommended because the independent Which? reviewshowed that car seat fitting services are poor and 9 out of 10 times incorrect advice is given. This is consistent with our own experiences.

No. In fact, based on the data we hold, we’ve found that there are 16 ways of installing a car seat combined with how the child is secured. This is dependent on the direction of travel, tether/ISOFIX/support leg combinations of installing a seat, harness type of the car seat and more. Always make sure to read your car seat manual to know the correct installation for your car seat.

Please also note that for certain car seats, multiple installation procedures will be in place. For example, the Britax-Römer Advansafix IV R is a group 1/2/3 car seat and is installed in three different ways depending on the weight of the child and the presence of ISOFIX in the car:

The ADVANSAFIX IV R is approved for three different intsllation methods:
GroupInstallation methodApproval typeSection of user instructions
1 (9−18 kg)ISOFIX + Top tetheruniversalA
2/3 (15−36 kg)ISOFIT + car seat beltsemi−universalB1
2/3 (15−36 kg)Car seat beltuniversalB2
Source: Britax-Römer

So please remember: always check your car seat manual!

Car seat data

We have over 400 car seats in our database but not all will be displayed due to availability on the UK market. Worth noting is that we display only single car seats. This means that at the moment we don’t cover the Multimac range. Multimac is a great solution for families with 3 or 4 children.

All of our written material is based on the databases that we hold, unless explicitly stated otherwise. If we draw on other sources we always make a clear reference to where the information stems from. We use respected and reliable sources and conduct our own research. This includes freely available information from car seat manufacturers, EU legislation (Regulations 14, 16, 44 and 129 in particular), research houses as well as academic papers accessed via university libraries. When you see analysis of car seats on our site please note that totals usually exclude data from Multimac car seats.

Car seat availability and models change and we strive to update our databases at least once a month.

Yes, just click the export button.

About Car Seat Jungle

In the background we’ve created a huge database of all available car seat data we could find. This database is continually updated to reflect the most up to date features and availability, however as of now we are unable to show real-time data.

While every effort is made to keep the information up to date, changes may occur which are not immediately reflected on Car Seat Jungle.

We are working on adding further data points for an even easier car seat search of the future. Stay tuned.

Car Seat Jungle is an independent company registered in Scotland and is funded entirely through affiliate marketing and advertising on the website. Because we are not financially tied to anyone, we don’t have to meet growth or revenue targets, meaning that we can concentrate on providing truthful and fact-checked information. You won’t find clickbait or sensational headings aimed at generating traffic at the cost of inaccurate information.

No. Our mission is to use available car seat data and organise it in a user friendly way. There are specialists in the UK with decades of experience in fitting car seats and we recommend using specialists such as the InCarSafetyCentre.

Car seat availability and models can differ from country to country. The current version of Car Seat Jungle is tailored to the UK market, however, we will be introducing the same functionalities to other markets. We’re currently registering interest for other countries so please let us know through the Contact form where you would like to see Car Seat Jungle next.

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