Car Seats of Europe

Choosing a car seat is tough! One look at the options in the car seat aisle can make your head swim — from height and weight limits to unique bells and whistles on each seat, it’s hard to know which is the best seat for your child?

The safest car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, and can be used correctly 100% of the time.  To get a sense of how to find that safest seat for your family, consider the height and weight limits printed on the box.  But they often do not tell the whole story.

The height of the car seat’s shell, harness heights, and shoulder belt guide positions, plus ease of use and comfort features all factor into when the child will outgrow the car seat.

For our friends over the pond, we’ve compiled a list of commonly recommended car seats along with some of their their pros and cons. Though laws and products vary, the laws of physics remain the same the world around, and the same best practices guidelines apply: if you’re not sure which type your child should be in, start with our best practice guide through the four steps of car seat safety.

Seats are generally listed from least to most expensive, but prices do fluctuate often so please check your retailer for the current price.

Types of Car Seats

  • Group 0/0+: Rear facing only seats – up to 10 or 13kg
  • Group 1: Harnessed seats – up to approximately 18kg
  • Group 2: Harnessed seats or high back booster seats – up to 25kg
  • Group 3: High back boosters or booster cushions – up to 36kg
  • i-Size: Newer regulations have introduced i-Size seats, which are currently limited to Isofix fitted seats for children up to 105cm. In the future all seats will conform to i-Size regulations and will be available for all ages.

Different groups can be combined in one seat. For instance, a 0+/1/2 convertible seat can rear face, forward face, and become a booster. A 1/2/3 seat forward faces with a harness and then turns into a booster.

Group 0/0+ Rear Facing Only Seats


Joie Gemm
Joie Gemm 0+ car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Five
Pros: Flight approved
Cons: Base must be purchased separately.
Cost: £80 at John Lewis, Toys R Us, Mothercare
Maxi Cosi Cabriofix
Maxi Cosi Cabriofix 0+ car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Three
Pros: Readily available to try before you buy, has a tall shell which takes most children to around 15 months at least
Cons: Base purchased separately only two harness heights and a rethread harness
Cost: £99 at Mothercare, Argos, John Lewis
Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II
Britax Baby Safe Plus SHR II 0+/1 car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Five
Pros: Flight approved, easy removable cover, no rethread harness
Cons: Heavy, base sold separately
Cost: £140 at Mothercare, Kiddicare, Halfords
Recaro Privia
Recaro Privia 0+ car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Five
Pros: Flight approved
Cons: Base must be purchased separately.
Cost: £135 at Mothercare, John Lewis
Maxi Cosi Pebble
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Three
Pros: Readily available to try before you buy, has a tall shell which takes most children to at least 15 months, flight approved
Cons: Base purchased separately
Cost: £145 at John Lewis, Kiddicare, Mothercare
Nuna Pipa
Nuna Pipa 0+ car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Five
Pros: Base can be used with both isofix OR the seat belt (2 or 3 point belt), level line on the side to let parents know which recline the seat requires
Cons: Base must be purchased separately
Cost: £150 at Kiddicare or Mothercare
Cybex Aton Q
Cybex Aton Q 0+ car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg
i-Size? No
Five point or three point harness? Three
Pros: Fits smaller babies well
Cons: Base must be purchased separately
Cost: £175 at Mothercare, Mamas and Papas
Maxi Cosi Pebble PLUS
Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus iSize car seat
Rear facing limits: 45-75cm or 0-12kg
i-Size? Yes
Five point or three point harness? Three
Pros: No rethread harness
Cons: Has a lower maximum standing height than most i-Size infant seats
Cost: £190 at Mothercare and John Lewis

Group 0+/1 Seats


Joie Tilt
Joie Tilt 0+/1 Car Seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg, head level with top of shell if no gap between car seat and front vehicle seat; if gap, then ears level with top of shell
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg, ears contained in shell and straps above shoulders
i-Size? No
Pros: Lightweight, low-cost rear facing seat
Cons: Prone to buckle crunch
Cost: £70 from Argos, Mothercare
Maxi Cosi 2WayPearl
Maxi Cosi 2WayPearl iSize car seat
Rear facing limits: 67-105cm, or up to 18.5kg
Forward facing limits: At least 15 months old, up to 105cm, or up to 18.5kg
i-Size? Yes
Pros: Good recline
Cons: High cost, base must be purchased separately
Cost: £180 at Kiddicare plus £190 for the base
BeSafe iZi Modular i-Size
BeSafe iZi Modular iSize Car Seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg or 61-105cm
Forward facing limits: At least 15 months old, up to 18kg, 88-105cm
i-Size? Yes
Pros: Good recline, compact seat
Cons: High price, base must be purchased separately
Cost: £194.99 plus £189.95 for the base at Pramworld, Kiddicare
Joie Spin 360
Joie Spin 360 0+/1 car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Rotates 360 degrees, tallest shell among swivel seats
Cons: Can be very upright due to Isofix install
Cost: £250 at Argos, Mothercare
Hauck Varioguard
Hauck Varioguard 0+/1 Car Seat
Rear facing limits: 0-13kg when installed with seatbelt; 0-18kg when using Isofix
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Compact and less expensive ISOFIX rear facing seat
Cons: When installed forward facing with the seatbelt it requires a fix, cover is harder to remove
Cost: £279.99 and below at Kiddicare and Babies R Us (good deals are typically widely available online)
Britax Max-Fix II
Britax Max-Fix II 0+/1 Car Seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg or ears level with top of shell (the weight limit will usually be reached first)
i-Size? No
Pros: Tall shell with Isofix fitting
Cons: Installs rather upright due to Isofix, marketed as “from birth” but has an awkward stage when the child doesn’t fit with or without the insert
Cost: £285 at Mothercare, Amazon, Kiddicare
Cybex Sirona
Cybex Sirona 0+/1 Car Seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg or shoulders no longer fitting under head rest
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg (with impact shield) Sirona M2 uses harness forward facing
i-Size? No (Sirona M2 is iSize)
Pros: Rotating seat, leg extender available
Cons: Very short lasting by height for the price (Sirona M2 has slightly longer shell)
Cost: £375-£400 at Mothercare, Mamas and Papas
Nuna Rebl Plus
Nuna Rebl Plus iSize car seat
Rear facing limits: 40-105cm or up to 19.5kg
Forward facing limits: 80-105cm or up to 19.5kg
i-Size? Yes
Pros: Rotates 360 degrees
Cons: High cost, recline not ideal for all children but generally this is fixed using a wedge which can be detached from the infant insert
Cost: £395 at Mothercare
Klippan Kiss 2 Klippan Kiss 2 0+/1 Car SeatRear facing limits: 0-18kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Fits from birth with an infant seat that can be used independently with the car’s seatbelt until 10kg, compact seat with a taller shell
Cons: High cost, not readily available to try before you buy, often difficult to get a properly secure installation when using the seat belt
Cost: About £400 from online retailers

Group 0+/1/2 Seats


Joie Stages
Joie Stages 0+/1/2 car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg
High back booster: 15-25kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Affordable extended rear facing seat that is readily available, easy to adjust headrest, cover easy to remove for washing
Pros: Booster function will be outgrown before a child can safely ride without a booster, strap covers aren’t removable, belt routing passes vehicle door opening
Cost: Around or under £150 at Mothercare, Argos, Halfords
Joie Every Stage
Joie Every Stage 0+/1/2/3 car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-18kg
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Lower cost seat to rear face longer and usable as a booster. Expands width-wise as booster. Good recline
Cons: Belt routing passes vehicle door opening - some caregivers find this inconvenient for loading children
Cost: £200 at Argos, John Lewis, Halfords
BeSafe iZi Plus
BeSafe iZi Plus 0+/1/2 car seat
Rear facing limits: 0-25kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Fits children from around 6 months, has a good recline so heavier children with less head control can use it
Cons: Can take up a lot of room front to back in the car, has a shorter shell than a some of the other 25kg seats
Cost: £330 from online retailers
Diono Radian 5Diono Radian 5 0+/1/2 car seatRear facing limits: 0-25kg, less than 3.8cm from top of shell to child's head, or 122cm height
Forward facing limits: 9-25kg, tops of ears at top of seat shell, more than 144cm height
i-Size? No
Pros: Extended harnessing both forward and rear facing, uses the top tether forward facing
Cons: Multiple different rules for installation can be confusing, has a restrictive fit list, multiple components to keep track of
Cost: £225.00 at In Car Safety Centre

Group 1/2 Seats


Britax Two Way Elite
Britax Two Way Elite 1/2 car seat
Rear facing limits: 9-25kg, eye level below the top of the shell
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Optional belt routing for vehicles with longer seat belt buckles, extra tethers available for easy transfers to different vehicles, tall rear facing shell, fits most vehicles
Cons: Not readily available to try before you buy, harness may not fit until infant seat is outgrown by height
Cost: £220 at the In Car Safety Centre
Britax Max-Way
Rear facing limits: 9-25kg
i-Size? No
Pros: No rethread harness, a lower head rest position that fits small children well
Cons: Has a restrictive fit list and can’t be used in cars with under floor storage boxes (check your vehicle manual if you’re not sure if you have them)
Cost: £225 from online retailers
Axkid Minikid
Axkid Minikid 1/2 car seat
Rear facing limits: 9-25kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Tall shell, compact seat, self-adjusting harness height
Cons: High cost, not readily available to try before you buy, harness generally doesn't fit until the infant seat is outgrown by height
Cost: £280 from online retailers
Klippan Triofix
Klippan Triofix 1/2/3 car seat
Rear facing limits: 9-18kg
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg
High back booster: 15-36kg (ISOFIX base must be removed at 25kg)
i-Size? No
Pros: Tall shell and usable as booster
Cons: High cost, not readily available to try before you buy, harness generally doesn’t fit until the infant seat is outgrown by height, often difficult to get a properly secure installation when using the seat belt
Cost: £399 from In Car Safety Centre

Group 1 Forward Facing Seats


Britax Eclipse
Britax Eclipse Group 1 car seat
Forward facing limits: 9-18kg, eye level below top of the shell and harness still above the shoulders
i-Size? No
Pros: Fits a large variety of cars, is flight approved, has a nice recline
Cons: Forward facing only, difficult to change harness height
Cost: £65-80 from Mothercare, Kiddicare, Amazon, Halfords

Group 1/2/3 Forward Facing Seats


Joie Elevate
Joie Elevate 1/2/3 car seat
Forward facing harness: 9-18kg
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Narrow seat, good for three across, has a lockoff, very tall harness heights
Cons: Can have fit issues in some vehicles
Cost: £50-70 at Mothercare, Kiddicare and Halfords
Britax Evolva
Britax Evolva 1/2/3 car seat
Forward facing harness: 9-18kg
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Taller harness height makes it a longer lasting option
Cons: Belt routing can be a bit difficult with shorter seat belts
Cost: £70 - £120 at Mothercare, Kiddicare, Amazon, Halfords
Joie Bold
Joie Bold 1/2/3 car seat
Forward facing harness: 9-25kg
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Harnesses past the normal 18kg, no-rethread harness, tallest harness slots on the market, long-lasting booster mode
Cons: Must be installed with Isofix, seatbelt and top tether in all modes
Cost: £175 at Mothercare and Argos

Group 2/3 Booster Seats


Britax Adventure
Britax Adventure booster seat
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Lightweight for easy transfers between cars, easy to adjust headrest, easy to use belt guide, available in most high street stores either in shop or online
Cons: No armrests (armrests are not a safety feature, but a child may prefer them)
Cost: Around or under £35 from Mothercare, Halfords, Kiddicare
Joie Trillo
Joie Trillo booster seat
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Low-cost Isofix high back booster
Cons: Not as padded as some of the higher priced seats
Cost: £40-80 at Mothercare, halfords, Toys R Us
Diono Monterey 2
Diono Monterey 2 booster seat
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Expanding side wings have multiple settings, soft Isofix to keep it in place when not in use, well padded
Cons: Can't expand the side wings while it's installed
Cost: £120 at Mothercare and Amazon
Britax Kidfix II XP SICT
Britax Kidfix ii XP SICT booster seat
High back booster: 15-36kg
i-Size? No
Pros: Headrest isn't flush with the back of seat which accommodates some difficult vehicle headrests, SecureGuard helps prevent submarining and give a better belt fit, Isofix to keep it secured when not in use
Cons: No armrests (not a safety concern, but a child may prefer them), XP pad is a bit bulky, can be a bit narrow for children with wider shoulders
Cost: £170 at Mothercare