If you have a child and own a car, it stands to reason that you’re going to need a child car seat. There are many different options covering various ages and weights of children, but in this article we’re focusing on the best toddler car seats for when your little bundle of joy is a little older.
There are many different toddler car seats on the market at the moment with most manufacturers even offering more than one product in this sector, but to help we’ve narrowed them down to ten of the best.
By law, you’ll need a toddler car seat to last right up until your child hits either 135cm in height or 12 years of age, whichever comes first. Infant car seats, or Group 0+, cover up to around 1 year of age and are rearward-facing, while Group 1 car seats are forward-facing and last from around 12 months up until 4 years.
Once your child hits 4 years of age they are no longer required to be strapped to the child car seat itself, however they must still use some sort of booster seat. Group 2 and Group 3 seats cover this age category as they don’t have a built-in harness, but do allow for your car’s own seatbelt to be used instead.
Child car seat categories
- Group 0: Suitable from birth to 10kg (birth to 6-9 months)
- Group 0+: Suitable from birth to 13kg (birth to 12-15 months).
- Group 1: Suitable from 9kg to 18kg (9 months to 4 years)
- Group 2: Suitable from 15kg to 25kg (4 years to 6 years)
- Group 3: Suitable from 15kg to 36kg (4 years to 12 years).
Most toddler car seats offer a similar range of functions, focusing on side impact protection, different reclining options and plenty of cushioning. It’s also vital that they are adjustable as your child is going to grow a lot and your toddler car seat must still be able to accommodate them at every stage.
It’s also important to check how the seat will fit into your car. Most toddler car seats use ISOFIX connectors to clip into your car’s anchor points, although the old-fashioned way of simply using your car’s seat belt is still a viable alternative and many seats also have this function. Always head to a store and check that the seat you want will actually fit into your car before you buy.
Now you know what to look out for, read our list below for the best toddler car seats available right now…