How to choose the best car seat base 2018: eight of the best from £80 to £200

If you want to ease the hassle of securing your car seat, then a car seat base could be for you. We pick out some of the best…

It wasn’t long ago that all child car seats were secured with your car’s seat belt, but now ISOFIX anchor points are common and that’s given rise to car seat bases. There are plenty of options on the market with all of the major brands now selling them, however to help you pick the right one we’ve rounded up the best car seat bases currently available.

Car seat bases have been designed to give parents a quick and easy way of securing their baby in the car. They work by fixing into the car’s ISOFIX anchor points, with the infant or child car seat then simply clicking into the base. The seat can be quickly removed with the baby inside, while the base remains in the car ready for use next time. This removes the hassle of fighting with seat belts or ISOFIX points every time you want to take your child in or out of the car. 

• Best baby car seats on the market

Bases are typically compatible with Group 0+ and Group 1 car seats. This means they are suitable from birth to around 4 years of age, with Group 0+ covering to 13kg (up to one year of age) before being replaced by a Group 1 seat. However, some bases only support Group 0+ car seats, limiting their usage. 

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)

As your child grows older, bases become redundant as Group 2 and 3 car seats usually fix straight into your car’s ISOFIX points. By 4 years of age your child will be more than capable of walking and therefore there is no real reason to remove the seat from your car every time.

Some bases are also i-Size approved. This new regulation was introduced in July 2013, offering significantly improved side impact safety in the event of an accident. However, the extra safety does come at a cost, with i-Size approved bases costing around 50 per cent more than standard bases. 

Best child car seats

It’s also worth noting that most child car seats bases are only compatible with the same brand of car seat. For instance, a Maxi-Cosi base would not work with a Britax infant seat. So before deciding what car seat base to buy, take a look at some of the best infant and child seats on the market to ensure you are buying the right package. 

Of course, always head to a shop beforehand and check that the base you want to buy actually fixes into your car. Alternatively, most brands have an online checker tool.

Click below for our list of the best car seat bases on the market… 

Best car seat bases

BeSafe iZi Modular

Price: Around £200Weight: 6.2kgi-Size: Yes 

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As with most BeSafe products, this is a light weight product. At just 6.2kg it’s one of the lightest bases on the market, however it’s also one of the most expensive at around £200. The iZi Modular base forms part of the brand’s modular system, which also features the iZi Go infant seat (around £210) and the regular iZi child seat (around £230), meaning it’s good from birth to around 4 years of age. 

Buy it from John Lewis here

Britax Romer Baby-Safe i-Size Flex 

Price: Around £175Weight: 8.7kgi-Size: Yes 

Most Britax infant seats are sold complete with the Baby-Safe i-Size Flex base, however it’s also possible to buy it separately, if needed. Although it’s quite heavy compared to some of the others on this list at almost 9kg, it features integrated handles to make carrying it slightly easier. It also boasts indicator lights to ensure the car seat is fitted correctly.

Buy it from Mothercare here

• Child car seat and booster seat laws explained

Cybex Q-Fix 

Price: Around £110Weight: 7.3kgi-Size: No

Although not i-Size approved, Cybex’s Q-Fix base can be fixed into position with either the ISOFIX points or your car’s regular seat belt. It’s compatible with the Cybex Aton Q infant seat (around £120) and the Cloud Q infant seat (around £220). The Q-Fix is also one of the cheapest bases available at just over £100. 

Buy it from Mamas & Papas here

Joie i-Base Advance

Price: Around £125Weight: 7.96kgi-Size: Yes

The Joie i-Base Advance sits roughly in the middle of the price range for bases at around £125. It’s fully i-Size approved and is compatible with the Joie i-Gemm infant seat (around £130) and the i-Anchor Advance child seat (around £200), meaning it’s suitable from birth up until around 4 years of age. It features a built-in rebound bar and colour indications to show when the seat is correctly fixed. 

Buy it from Halfords here

Maxi-Cosi 2wayFix

Price: Around £200Weight: 7.2kgi-Size: Yes

The Maxi-Cosi 2wayFix is one of the newest products on the market and is fully i-Size approved. Although it’s quite expensive at around £200, it’s compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus infant seat (around £200) and the 2wayPearl child seat (around £225) making it usable from birth to around 4 years of age. It also comes with handy indicators to ensure the seat is fitted correctly. 

Buy it from Mothercare here

Maxi-Cosi EasyFix

Price: Around £130Weight: 9.3kgi-Size: No 

The Maxi-Cosi EasyFix base shows the difference in price when not i-Size approved, as the 2wayFix (above) is around £70 more expensive. The EasyFix is compatible with the popular Max-Cosi CabrioFix infant seat (around £135), meaning it’s suitable from birth up until around one year of age, and it can be fixed using either your car’s seat belt or its ISOFIX points. 

Buy it from Amazon here

Mothercare Maine ISOFIX 

Price: Around £80Weight: 4.7kgi-Size: No

If you’re on a budget, the Mothercare Maine ISOFIX base could be the one for you. It becomes an even more attractive proposition when fitted with the Maine infant seat as this only costs around £120, meaning you can have the complete package for around £200 – the same price as some bases alone. However, it doesn’t support a larger child seat, making it only suitable up until around 12 months of age. It’s also not i-Size approved.

Buy it from Mothercare here

Silver Cross Simplifix 

Price: Around £100Weight: 7kgi-Size: No 

The Silver Cross Simplifix base is compatible with the Simplicity infant seat (around £150), allowing for quick and easy installation with one simple click every time. It’s not i-Size compliant and is only suitable until around one year of age, but it does have indicators for correct positioning and is relatively cheap at around £100.

Buy it from John Lewis here

What are your tips for buying child car seat bases? Let us know in the comments section...

Web producer

Pete has over 20 years journalistic experience. Having previously worked for Ladbrokes and the Racing Post, he switched from sports writing to automotive journalism when joining Auto Express in 2015.

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