How to choose the best toddler car seat 2018: 10 of the best from £50 to £200

As your child gets a little older, you’re going to need a toddler car seat. Here we take a look at the best Group 2 and Group 3 car seats

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 Group 2 and Group 3 car seats available. 

Best baby car seats

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 between the ages of four and 12 and your toddler car seat must still be able to accommodate them at every stage. 

• Child car seat and booster seat laws explained

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…

Britax Römer Kidfix II XP SICT

Price: Around £200Group: 2-3Weight: 7.4kgISOFIX: Yes

The Kidfix II XP SICT is almost identical to the regular Kidfix II XP, boasting the same range of features such as optimal lap belt positioning, an XP-PAD for reduced frontal impact and ISOFIX connections. However, the XP SICT also has adjustable SICT technology, which provides superior side impact protection in the event of an accident.

Buy it from Mothercare here

Cosatto Skippa Fix

Price: Around £175Group: 2-3Weight: 7.4kgISOFIX: Yes 

Comfort is paramount in the Cosatto Skippa Fix, which comes in a variety of bold-looking designs, as it features a luxury padded seat and armrests to keep your child happy on longer journeys. Side impact protection also provides extra safety in the event of an accident, while the seat has two reclining positions.

Buy it from Argos here

Recaro Monza Nova 2 Seatfix

Price: Around £160Group: 2-3Weight: 6.5kgISOFIX: Yes

The Recaro Monza Nova 2 is all about entertainment as it comes with integrated speakers in the headrest and a practical pocket for an MP3 player or similar. Safety has not been forgotten about either, with advanced side impact crash pads and foam supports in the head and hip areas as well as side crash fins and energy absorbers. In standard form, the seat lacks ISOFIX clips but for around £30 more the Seatfix version featured here can be fixed in place using either ISOFIX or the standard 3-point seatbelt. There are 6 colourways to choose from. 

Best child car seats available

Cybex Solution Q3 Fix 

Price: Around £190Group: 2-3Weight: 7.6kgISOFIX: Yes

Cybex says the Solution Q3 Fix is the “safest solution of all-time” and, while we haven’t tested it out for ourselves, the specs sheet certainly goes some way to justifying that statement. It features an optimised reclining headrest, automatic height and width adjustment, air ventilation and ISOFIX connectors. We also think it looks fantastic in Autumn Gold (pictured). 

Buy it from Mothercare here

gb Elian-Fix 

Price: Around £200Group: 2-3Weight: 7.6kgISOFIX: Yes 

The Elian-Fix highback booster seat is not the easiest to find in shops and is one of the most expensive at around £200, but you do get plenty of tech for your money. It comes complete with integrated side impact protection, 12-position automatic height and width adjustment, air ventilation and ISOFOX connectors.

Buy it from Mothercare here

Graco Affix

Price: Around £75Group: 2-3Weight: 4.5kgISOFIX: No

While not quite the cheapest seat on this list, the Graco Affix is available at well under £100. For your money you get a seat that offers side impact protection, a multi-layer headrest, energy absorbing foam and even a convenient storage compartment. However, the Affix doesn’t come with any ISOFIX connectors meaning you have to secure the seat with your car’s seat belt.

Buy it from Amazon here

Joie Duallo

Price: Around £100Group: 2-3Weight: 6.44kgISOFIX: Yes

The Joie Duallo is one of the newer Group 2-3 seats on the market and looks good value at around £100. It’s light compared to some of its rivals at less than 6.5kg and has a range of features, including auto adjust side wings that expand as the headrest rises, extra Surround Safety side impact protection and ISOFIX connectors. 

Buy it from John Lewis here

Best car seat bases on the market

Joie Trillo

Price: Around £50Group: 2-3Weight: 5.9kgISOFIX: Yes

If the budget is tight then the Joie Trillo could be the seat for you. At around £50 it’s one of the best value for money child car seats on the market as it comes with many of the features also present on far more expensive products, such as full body side impact protection, padded arm rests and ISOFIX connectors. It’s also lightweight at just 5.9kg.

Buy it from Amazon here

Max-Cosi Rodifix AirProtect

Price: £150Group: 2-3Weight: 6.2kgISOFIX: Yes

Maxi Cosi’s Rodifix AirProtect is arguably the best-looking Group 2-3 seat available with the open design allowing for easy access. The brand’s patented AirProtect technology provides extra safety for your child’s head, while side impact protection ensures the neck, lower back and hips are also safe. It has fully adjustable height and width, and can be secured to your car with its ISOFIX connectors.

Buy it from Amazon here

Mothercare Palma 

Price: Around £120Group: 2-3Weight: 12.2kgISOFIX: Yes

If you’re planning on moving the seat in and out of the car on a regular basis, then the Mothercare Palma’s hefty 12.2kg weight is definitely something to consider. Other than that, it’s a great all-round seat with ISOFIX anchorage points, side impact protection and a height adjustable head support, plus at just £120 it’s one of the cheaper products available. 

Buy it from Mothercare here

Have you owned one of these car seats? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments...

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