The Safest Baby Car Seats in Australia [Jun 2020]

Safest baby car seats

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All car seats are safe but some are safer than others. Here are the safest.

Safety first? You bet.

Every parent wants to ensure that their precious bundle is safe. When they are in the car, you want to have peace of mind that they will be ok if you do happen to get in an accident. Here’s our guide to the safest baby car seats in the market today.

The Safest Car Seats in Australia

  1. Nuna Pipa Klik Plus
  2. Infasecure Arlo ISOFIX
  3. Joie i-Gemm
  4. Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOFIX
  5. Mother's Choice Accord AP
  6. Britax Millenia TEX
  7. Britax Platinum PRO Plus
  8. Infasecure Quattro GO
  9. Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro

How to choose a safe car seat

Buying the right car seat can be daunting – there are so many choices.

Here’s how to navigate through it to figure out what to look for.

The type of car seat

Not all car seats are the same. For a newborn, your options are to get a baby capsule or a convertible car seat.

Baby capsule

A baby capsule is a carrier that your baby lies in. The baby capsule attaches to a base, which is then anchored to your car. 

The main benefit of a baby capsule is that you can take them in and out of the car in the capsule, which is especially handy if your little one is sleeping.

Baby capsules are rated for either approx 0-6 months or 0-12 months of age, after which you will need to upgrade to a different kind of child restraint.

>> Want to know what Baby Capsules are available? This might help.

Convertible car seat

A convertible car seat starts off rearward facing and ‘converts’ to forward facing once your baby reaches a certain shoulder height. Rearward facing has been shown to be safer than forward facing, and ‘Extended Rearward Facing’ convertible car seats (known as Type A4/B seats) allow infants to stay rearward facing until approx. 30 months of age, which is determined by the height marker on the seat.

Once your child’s shoulders has at least reached the lower height marker, they can then be placed in forward facing mode until approx 4 years, which determined by the upper height marker. But it is recommended to keep your baby in rearward facing mode for as long as possible.

>> All the Extended Rearward Facing convertible car seats can be found in the Car Seat Selector.

CREP Safety Rating

The Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) is an independent consortium of government agencies and motorist organisations who test child car seats and provide ratings to help inform customers about the safety of car seats.

All child car seats sold in Australia meet Australian Standard AS/NZS 1754 and are safe to use. The CREP safety ratings, which are measured out of 5.0 stars, offer greater detail on their safety standards beyond the Australian standards. A higher rating is better.

The safety ratings, quoted here for your convenience, represent the installation mode which achieved the highest rating in the CREP tests.

Because the testing mechanisms differ depending on what type of seat is being tested, ratings don’t compare across different car seats. But they do offer a guide on how safe a seat is within a type of car seat. 

Type of anchoring

With the exception of booster seats, child car seats need to be anchored to the car in one of two ways: using the seat belt or using ISOFIX if available. 

Anchoring with Seat Belt

All car seats and baby capsules can be anchored to the car using the rear lap-sash seat belts. Usually the seat belt needs to be threaded through a path that feeds behind and through the rear of the seat. Some car seats use an additional seat belt clamp to ensure the belt remains taut and in place.

New to the Australian market is a special type of seat anchor in the Britax called ‘Clicktight’, where you lift the seat pan and feed the seatbelt underneath, then ‘click’ the seat ‘tight’ downwards, which is much simpler than threading the seatbelt conventionally. This is currently only available in the Britax B-First convertible car seat – which we have reviewed here.

Anchoring with ISOFIX

Car seats with ISOFIX connectors can anchor via specific straps that attach to the ISOFIX latches attached to the car itself. Normally the ISOFIX latches are found in the gap between the car’s seat pan and back.

Instead of threading the seatbelt through the seat, you leave that alone and attach the connector at the end of the ISOFIX strap directly onto the ISOFIX latch with a satisfying click. Then you tighten the strap until the strap shows sufficient tension (usually by way of an indicator).

>> Want to know which car seats are ISOFIX enabled? Our Car Seat Selector will tell you.

Car seat ISOFIX

Seat belt vs ISOFIX - which one is better?

Both seat belts and ISOFIX systems are safe if installed properly – there is no difference in safety but achieving a secure attachment may be more difficult one way or the other, depending on the seat. ISOFIX is a more intuitive system and arguably provides a firmer connection. Use one or the other but not both.

If you have tried to install it and have re-read the manual and watched YouTube and can’t get it right, then seek a professional car seat installer. The safest rated car seat won’t be at all safe if it is not anchored properly.

Size of the car seat

Car seats come in different shapes and sizes, but there are two main dimensions you would want to know about if you have a small car: width and depth.  

Seat width

The width of your car seat is important if you want to fit three seats across the back. In smaller cars, wider seats will start rubbing shoulders and it becomes impossible to install them safely. Look for car seats that are less than 45cm wide to ensure a good fit.

>> Here’s a list of all narrow car seats available today.

Seat depth

Car seats that are deep tend to push up against the front seat. If your car is small, the front seat may need to be pushed forwards. While this may just be an inconvenience for the passenger’s leg room, it’s downright dangerous for the driver. Look for car seats that are less than 55cm to find one which is not too deep.

>> Looking for a short rearward depth car seat? Try these.

The Safest Baby Car Seats

1. Nuna Pipa Klik Plus

Nuna Pipa Klik Plus

Key features

  • Newborn – 12 months
  • 57.1 H x 43.6 W x 67.8 D cm
  • 3.75kg carrier
  • 5.0 star safety rating

The Nuna Pipa Klik Plus is the only baby capsule that scored a perfect 5.0 stars on the CREP safety test. European design, all round safety and comfort makes it a winning baby capsule.

2. Infasecure Arlo ISOFIX

Infasecure Arlo

Key features

  • 0-12 months
  • 43 H x 47.5 W x 54.5 D cm
  • 5kg carrier
  • 4.7 star safety rating

The Infasecure Arlo infant carrier is the perfect ISOFIX enabled capsule for small cars. At 54cm deep, you won’t be forced to squeeze the capsule behind the front passenger (and deprive them of leg room). You can also individualise your Arlo by buying different colour insert and hood canopies! Sweet!

3. Joie i-Gemm

Joie i-Gemm Capsule

Key features

  • 0-12 months
  • 58.5 H x 43.5 W x 67 D cm
  • 4.4kg carrier
  • 3.7 star safety rating

The Joie i-Gemm is a feature packed baby capsule loaded with safety features. A no-rethread harness adjustment makes it easy (and safe) to adjust the harness height as your bub grows in her early months of life. It also comes with ISOFIX to make installation more reliable, which is important to achieve for safety.

4. Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOFIX

Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOFIX

Key features

  • Newborn – 6 months
  • 76 H x 44 W x 63 D cm
  • 4.3kg carrier
  • 3.6 star safety rating

One of the more popular capsules in Australia, the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP ISOFIX offers a safe and comfortable baby capsule. Scoring 3.6 stars on the CREP safety test, it features Maxi-Cosi’s Air Protect side impact protection to keep your bub safe and sound.

5. Mother's Choice Accord AP

Mothers Choice Accord AP

Key features

  • 0-30 months rearward facing, 12mo-4yrs forward facing
  • 64 H x 45 W x 55 D cm
  • 9.8kg
  • 4.9 star safety rating

The Mother’s Choice Accord AP provides a quality seat at a great price. Scoring a near perfect 4.9 stars in rearward facing ISOFIX mode, it features AirProtect head protection as well as premium fabric. As an A4/B convertible car seat, it lets you keep your baby in rearward facing mode for longer: up to approx. 30 months, depending on shoulder height.

6. Britax Millenia TEX

Britax Millenia Tex

Key features

  • 0-30 months rearward facing, 12mo-4yrs forward facing
  • 64-81 H x 47 W x 39 D cm
  • 8.9kg
  • 4.6 star safety rating

The Britax Millenia is one of the most popular convertible car seats in Australia and for good reason – it is very safe. In TEX form, it comes with super premium Thermo5 fabric with Nanotex which claims to be easy to clean spills. Comfortable and safe, it is the perfect choice if you and your children spend a lot of time in the car.

7. Britax Platinum PRO+

Britax Platinum PRO Plus

Key features

  • 0-30 months rearward facing, 12mo-4yrs forward facing
  • 64-81 H x 50 W x 39 D cm
  • 9.65kg
  • 4.3 star safety rating

The Britax Platinum PRO Plus is loaded with all of the protective features you could imagine: dual layer head and torso Side Impact Cushion Technology cushion your baby against impact in a collision. It also has ISOFIX for easy attachment to your car’s ISOFIX anchors. The only downside is that you will probably need a large car if you want to fit a few of these in the rear.

8. Infasecure Quattro Go

Infasecure Quattro Go

Key features

  • 0-30 months rearward facing, 12mo-4yrs forward facing
  • 62-76 H x 42 W x 50 D cm
  • 9.5kg
  • 4.3 star safety rating

If you are looking for a safe Infasecure convertible car seat, the Infasecure Quattro Go has all of the best safety features. Secur-air and Air Cocoon Technology help protect from side impact and the twist and lift no rethread harness ensures proper fitment every time. Bonus: at 42cm wide, it is narrow enough you will easily be able to fit 3 in the back of most cars.

9. Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro

Maxi Cosi Vita Pro

Key features

  • 0-30 months rearward facing, 12mo-4yrs forward facing
  • 65 H x 45 W x 56.5 D cm
  • 10.4kg
  • no safety rating available

The Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro is Maxi-Cosi’s most advanced car seat. It features the newest safety features in G-Cell side protection and Air Protect head protection, which together is Maxi-Cosi’s Safety Shield. The Vita Pro also features chin support to help your baby keep their head up when they are napping in the car. Neat!

Still not sure what to get? Our interactive car seat selector might help you…

Looking for a safety-focused car seat? Or do you have one and have experiences to share? Comment below!

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One Response

  1. Hi there,

    It looks like the interactive car seat selector web page is broken, here: http://betterbuying.co/baby/car-seat-selector/

    None of the filters can be applied, nor can I click through to any of the pages past page 1 of the pre-loaded results.

    I have tried on a couple of different browsers and on a couple of different computers but it behaves the same way every time.

    Just thought you’d like to know!

    The car seat guide is very helpful, thank you.

    Cheers

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