Keep your little one safe and secure with our picks for some of the best baby car seats in Australia.
Maxi Cosi Euro NXT Isofix Car Seat
The Maxi Cosi Euro NXT Isofix Car Seat is a very impressive, high-quality car seat and the first ISOFIX compatible car seat available on the Australian market. It is suitable for little ones under 4 years old; rear-facing up to 12 months and then forward-facing between 12 months and 4 years, or once your child reaches the second height marker.
The safety features on the Euro NXT meet all Australian Safety Standards too so you know that your little one will be safe, sound and comfortable. In the event of an accident, the inclusive GCell technology crumples in a way that absorbs energy on impact while the Air Protect technology protects your baby’s head and neck, especially during a side impact collision.
The Maxi Cosi Euro NXT can be installed using your car seatbelt or using ISOFIX adaptors but, whichever method you decide to use, you will also need to use the back tether strap in order to meet Australian Safety Standards.
This premium car seat is made from ‘cool baby’ wicking fabric to keep your baby comfortable and cool. It also features a 5 position adjustable head rest with recline options for optimum comfort. The Maxi Cosi Euro NXT is easy to keep clean too as it is fitted with a machine washable seat cover that is easily removable and comes with a ‘messy mat’ that sits under the car seat to protect your vehicle’s seats.
One thing you should consider before buying the Maxi Cosi Euro NXT Isofix Car Seat is that it is quite wide so there is less space for any additional passengers sat next to the seat. The Euro NXT Isofix Car Seat is affordably and, in our opinion, is fantastic value for money.
Recaro Performance Coupe Infant Carrier
The Recaro Performance Coupe Infant Carrier uses racing-inspired premium safety features to assure you that your baby will be kept safe during every journey. This rear-facing, high-performance car seat is suitable for babies up to 12 months old and includes full body side impact protection, HERO harness technology, and Safety Stripes to prevent strap twisting.
The user-friendly level indicator, exclusive dual-adjust knob, and flip foot make the Performance Coupe car seat easy to install while the ‘easy-off pad’, which quickly removes and re-attaches, without the need for harness re-threading, makes it easy to remove and replace.
When it comes to choosing a car seat for your little ones, comfort has to be a key factor and the Recaro Performance Coupe Infant Carrier doesn’t fall short here either. The Performance Coupe’s luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics together with the cloud comfort memory foam, which contours to your baby’s body, ensures that they are comfortable and safe while the extra large, multi-position canopy will protect them from harsh lighting and weather.
This premium baby car seat also offers a 5-point harness which adjusts easily with minimal effort and also 5 height and 2 buckle positions to accommodate your growing little one.
The Recaro Performance Coupe Infant Carrier can also be used independently or as a travel system with the RECARO Performance Denali stroller.
Infasecure Gold Quantum
The Infasecure Gold Quantum car seat is the only car seat you’ll ever need as it is suitable for children up to 8 years old. Offering maximum safety, comfort and flexibility this all-in-one car seat can be used for babies up to 12-months-old in the rear-facing position, the forward-facing position for children between 1 and 4 years old and as a booster seat for 4 to 8-year-olds.
Fitted with Infasecure’s unique, hard wearing, cool and soft Active Fabric, the machine-washable, press-stud covers are easy to remove and clean without having to uninstall the seat while the Secur-air Triple layer crash protection technology and inclusive Air Cocoon Technology work together to protect your child and keep them safe during every car journey.
This deluxe car seat by Infasecure offers optimum protection, premium comfort and maximum flexibility making it a wise investment for any parent.
Baby Love Ezy Grow Harnessed Seat
The Baby Love Ezy Grow Harnessed Seat, which previously won the Australian Mother & Baby Magazine Bronze Award in the car seat and travel system category, is suitable for babies from 6 months old to children up to 8 years.
The unique ‘EZYPROTECTR’ headrest on the Ezy Grow is fully adjustable so that it will consistently provide your child with all important head protection whether they’re 6 months old or eight years old while the large contoured side wings on the Ezy Grow are specifically designed to provide optimal protection in the event of a side impact collision while the Ezy Grow EP liner is designed to ensure that your little ones are always comfortable.
The Baby Love Ezy Grow Harnessed Seat also features 4 harness shoulder slot positions to accommodate growing children, padded inserts and shoulder pads, 2 recline positions, armrests and a ‘messy mat‘ to protect your car’s seats while the machine washable covers make it super-easy to keep clean and fresh.
Safety 1st Prime AP
If you need to fit more than one infant car seat or booster seat in your car then the Safety 1st Prime AP might be the car seat for you. With its narrow base design, Safety 1st have designed the Prime AP Convertible Booster Seat so that you could get up to three car seats next to each other in a standard sized family car, keeping all your kids safe and sound.
Featuring Natural Antibacterial Protection fabric and ventilated mesh openings for added air flow your child will be protected, comfortable and safe in the Prime AP which uses Air Protect Superior Side Protection to protect against side impact collisions by shielding the child’s head through the precision release of air. For even more peace of mind, Safety 1st Air Protect technology is fully compliant with Australian Safety Standards for infant car seats, which are acknowledged to be some of the toughest standards in the world.
The Safety 1st Prime AP Convertible Booster Seat is also a wise long term investment because it is suitable for babies and children between six months and eight years old.
In ’Toddle Mode’ (6 months to 4 years), the seat can be used in a forward-facing position with the inclusive harness while in ‘Booster Mode’, which is suitable for children between 4 and 8 years old, it can be used a booster seat with a lap-sash seatbelt.
The Safety 1st Prime AP is priced around $199 and offers optimal safety, flexibility, convenience, and value for your money.
Baby Car Seat Buying Guide
Whether you’re taking your newborn home from the hospital, popping out to the shops with your toddler or planning a day out for the whole family you need to be sure that your precious little ones will be as safe as possible in the car.
This is where baby car seats come useful but with so much regulation, choice and so many features to choose from, where do you start? Hopefully, we can help you make a wise and informed choice – read on.
What’s ISOFIX and why should you care?
Baby car seats and restraint systems in Australia must, by law, be secured to your vehicle using either the car’s seatbelt and/or using the ISOFIX anchorage point in the vehicle.
In Europe and the USA, the ISOFIX car seat installation system has been around for over a decade. It was incorporated into Australian car manufacturing standards in 2013 and provides a system for securing the baby car seat to anchorage points that are manufactured into cars. In Australia, your baby car seat must also be secured with top tether restraints. The current mandatory child car seat restraint system became law in Australia in 2014.
Also, you should be aware that ISOFIX models in Australia differ from overseas models so you should never buy an ISOFIX restraint system for use in Australia from abroad – it’s illegal to use it.
Types of baby car seats and restraints
Babies up to 6 months – Rearward facing baby and infant carriers (or capsules)
All rear-facing infant carriers are fitted with an integrated harness system to ensure that your baby is as safe as possible.
Some rearward facing baby car seats can be converted to forward facing seats as your baby gets older and outgrows the capsule.
Children from 6 months to 4 years – Forward facing child car seats
Forward facing child car seats and restraint systems should be used with children between 6 months old and 4 years. They can be used longer though if desired.
These systems come with a built-in six-point harness system to keep your child safe and sound.
Children from 4 to 8 years – Forward facing booster seats
Modern booster seats usually have high backs and sides to provide side-impact protection in the event of an accident and are used with an adult seatbelt and top tether strap.
Using a booster cushion that doesn’t have back or side protection for an older child, while not illegal, provided it met Australian standards at the time it was manufactured, isn’t advisable as it won’t offer the same level of protection for your child in the event of an accident.
Car Seat Safety
Manufacturers of baby cars seats need to meet strict safety standards in order to be able to sell their products in Australia. Tests to meet the mandatory standards cover areas including design and materials, performance (crash testing), instructions and packaging.
In addition to the mandatory safety requirements, additional testing and rating of the safety of child car seats is also performed by a variety of independent organisations so that a star rating from 1 to 5 can be applied to each model of car seat.
The Australian Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) tests cover extensive impact testing while other consumer organisations have ratings to cover ease-of-use and ease-of-installation.
Recent research has shown that around 70% of children in Australia are using a car seat that hasn’t been correctly installed, which materially reduces the level of safety offered by the seat in the event of an accident.
Best advice is to have your car seat installed by an authorised fitting station. You can find information about authorised fitting stations in your area by contacting your state’s road traffic authority or asking your baby car seat retailer.
If you do decide to install the seat yourself then we suggest you carefully read the instructions provided before you begin installation so that you can be confident you fully and clearly understand the requirements and that you have any additional parts that may be required and are not included with your chosen seat (like extensions for your seat’s tether strap). It is also best practice to install your baby’s seat with as few extension straps as possible.
Things to consider when buying a new baby car seat
Mandatory safety standards certificate
Your seat should have a tag that confirms it meets the Australian standard AS/NZS 1754 (either 2004, 2010 or 2013).
The weight of your car seat is an important factor to consider. Heavier is not necessarily safer and lighter child car seats are more practical if you need to move them between cars.
Recent standards require that infant car seats have shoulder markings that indicate when your little one has either outgrown their seat or that the seat is too big for them.
Seats that are equipped with buckle clips make putting your little one into their seat much easier as they hold the buckles out of the way for you.
Baby travel systems
Higher-end baby car seats are often part of a baby travel system where the seat (or capsule) has a base for the car and a pram or stroller too.
All-in-one travel systems mean that you can move baby from car to stroller (or vice-versa) without the need to disturb them or wake them up if they’re asleep.
The size of your car
When shopping for a new car seat for your little one it can be easy to get carried away in the showroom and buy a larger model that isn’t going to be a good fit for your car. Make sure that your car is big enough and has enough space inside to accommodate your chosen seat/s.
ISOFIX anchor points
Does your car have sufficient anchor points to accommodate your chosen seat or seats? The anchor point is the bolt in the car that you attach your baby’s seat too. For more about ISOFIX anchor points, please read the dedicated section above.
Other points to note
In Australia, children under 4 years old are not allowed to travel in the front of a vehicle that has more than one seat in the front of the vehicle. For example, a single seat ute would be excluded from this law whereas most modern family cars wouldn’t.
If children under the age of 7 years are using all the back seats, then it’s ok for a child aged between 4 and 7 years to use the front seat.
Our closing piece of advice when buying a child car seat is to never buy a secondhand seat however tempting the cost savings might be. Australian safety standards and requirements are constantly changing and, more importantly, your child’s well being is at stake.