Australia’s safest baby, child car seats for 2022 | RACV (2022)

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Australia’s safest baby, child car seats for 2022 | RACV (1)

Tianna Nadalin

Posted May 10, 2022

Not all car seats are created equal. These are Australia’s safest baby, toddler and child car seats for 2022.

Australia’ssafest baby and child car seatsfor 2022 have been revealed. In its latest round of assessments, the independentChild Restraint Evaluation Program(CREP)has published new ratings for eight child car seats, each tested against updated testing protocols including an intruding door side-impact test and a new test rig that is more representative of current popular vehicles.

CREP is a national consortium including VicRoads, Kidsafe and the Transport Accident Commission. RACV Senior Safety Policy Adviser Elvira Lazar says the program exists to enable parents to compare and find the seats that have the best protection ratings.

For the assessments, test dummies measuring the upper end of the height and weight limit for each type of seat are put into a crash simulation to measure the forces experienced by the dummy on impact. The car seats are scored based on several performance aspects, such as how well they maintain structural integrity and how well they protect the child’s torso in a car crash.

On this page

  • What do the crep assessments do?
  • Safest rearward-facing car sets
  • Safest booster car seats
  • Safest rearward to forward facing car seat
  • Safest forward-facing car seats
  • Multi-purpose seats
  • Tips for choosing the best car seat for your child
Australia’s safest baby, child car seats for 2022 | RACV (2)

All seats tested by CREP comply with Australian Standards.

What do the CREP assessments do?


The CREP assessments aim to educate parents about which restraints offer the best protection, by assessing child car seats not only on how they perform in crash tests, but also how easy they are to install and use.

Your child's safety is of paramount importance, which is why all seats tested by CREP comply with Australian Standards. While Australian Standards specify a range of design and performance requirements and involve some crash testing, the CREP ratings assess how a seat performs over and above the minimum safety requirements of the standard. This means even a one-star CREP safety rated seat performs over and above the minimum requirements.

“The CREP independent testing is tougher than Australian Standard requirements in order to help parents make an informed decision about which seat to buy based on actual performance, not what they are being told by a salesperson,” Elvira explains.

While overall protection ratings are paramount, Elvira says ease of use should also be taken into consideration as thesimpler a car seat is to installand use, the more likely it is to be used correctly.

“The results demonstrate that not all car seats are created equal and price is not a good indicator of safety so parents need to remain vigilant when it comes tochoosing the appropriate restraintfor their child.”

Australia’s safest baby, child car seats for 2022 | RACV (3)

How simple a car seat is to installand use is also an important consideration.

Australia's safest baby and child car seats for 2022

CREP has tested many of Australia’s top-selling car seats. From baby and toddler seats to boosters and convertibles, these are the highest-rating child car seats by category.

Australia’s safest baby, child car seats for 2022 | RACV (4)Single-purpose seats

Single purpose car seats are designed to be used in only one mode: rearward or forward-facing, or as a capsule or booster. That means once a child outgrows their seat, they will need a new one.

Capsules (rearward-facing)

These seats click into a base installed in the car. Some brands also offer an option that clicks into a pram.

Age of use:Capsules are generallyfor use from birth to at least six months; however, some are available for use from birth to 12 months.

(Video) Best Car Seats 2022 | Ultimate Buying Guide | Magic Beans Reviews

Highest rated:Of the seats tested since 2021,Nuna Klik Plus tested with ISOFix CF05702 was the highest rated, with a protection score of 2,9.

Full results:To see all seats tested in this category,click here.

Forward facing (tested from 2021)

SecureSafe Shield CS9513

Forward-facing (6 months - 8 years)

3.0

2.5

Convertible seats

All convertible seats can be used for longer because once kids outgrow one mode, the seat can be reconfigured. Most of the seats tend to have higher protection ratings in either rearward-facing or forward-facing mode so it is important to check the safety rating across all modes.

Rearward-facing car seat convertible to forward-facing

Age of use:There are typically three types of rearward to forward convertible seats on the Australian market:

  • Rearward-facing from birth to at least six months, forward-facing from six months to at least four years
  • Rearward-facing from birth to at least 12 months, forward-facing from six months to at least four years
  • Rearward-facing from birth to approximately two-to-three years, forward-facing from 12 months to at least four years.

Highest rated:Of the seats tested since 2021,SecureSafe Defend CS8713 tested with ISOFix CS8713was the highest rated, with a protection score of 3.9.

Full results: To see all seats tested in this category,click here.

(Video) Best Infant Car Seats 2022 - The Only 5 You Should Consider Today

Forward-facing car seat convertible to booster seat

There are a number of choices for seats that perform consistently as a forward-facing seat and as a booster.

Age of use:Six months to at least seven years.

(Video) Best kids' car seat

Best performer overall:Of the seats tested since 2021, the Mother's Choice Levi GMBE2 2013was the highest rated, with a protection score of 3.2 in forward-facing mode and 3.4 in booster mode.

Full results: To see all seats tested in this category,click here.

Forward-facing to booster (tested from 2021)

Mother's Choice Levi GMBE2 2013

Forward-facing

Booster

3.2

3.4

1.8

2.3

Booster seats

Parents are spoilt for choice in this category,with many seats consistently performing above the Australian Standard. Remember that kids should keep using abooster for as long as possible, at least until they can pass thefive-step testfor good seatbelt fit.

Age of use:Four years to at least seven years old. There are also booster seats that children can use until they are at least 10 years old.

Highest rated:Of the seats tested since 2021,Mother's Choice Tribe AP GMEA 2013was the highest rated, with a3.8 protection score.

Full results: To see all seats tested in this category,click here.

Multi-purpose child car seats

These seatscan be used from birth until kids outgrow the restraint and areready to travel with an adult seatbelt.However, seats can wear out over time,so make sure parts stay in good working condition.

Rearward, forward and booster mode

Age of use:Birth to at leastseven years or 145 centimetres tall.

Highest rated:Of the seats tested*, theInfa-SecureLuxiII Treo (CS4313)has its highest protection rating in booster mode with4.1 stars. Rearward mode received 2.9 stars and forward received a 1.8-star rating.

Full results:To see all seats tested in this category,click here.

*Note that no multi-purpose child car seats have been tested from 2021 onwards, when CREP introduced revised assessment methods. The above results are based on the 2018-2020 protocols.

Multi-purpose car seats

Infa-Secure Luxi II Treo CS4313

Rearward-facing

Forward-facing

Booster

2.9

1.8

4.1

1.9

1.9

2.6

Tips for choosing the right car seat for your baby or child

With such a big range of seats on the market, you can ask yourself a few questions to narrow your search.

  1. How oldand how tallis your child?While age is a good place to start, it’s more important to know how big children are to work out when it will be time tochange to another car seat.
  2. What type of car seat do you want?Would you prefer something that converts or one that’s used until another type is needed?
  3. Check the safety rating in all modes.Remember that convertible restraints might be safer in one position over another (for example, four stars in the forward position and three stars when facing rearward).
  4. Check the ease of use score.A seat that is easier to use is more likely to be used correctly.
  5. Does the seat fit well in your car?See how the restraint will fit into your car before you buy it, particularly if you have a smaller car. Having itfitted is also a good idea and the fitter can show you how to use the seat properly too.
  6. Check the price of the seat.Some of the seats that perform better in crash testing are also the cheapest! Aim to buy the safest seat you can afford.

*By law,children need to travel in a suitable restraintand, for children aged seven to 16, that restraint can be a booster seat or seatbelt. It’s important to use the restraint that is suitable for the child’s height.

(Video) TOP 5 Best Infant Car Seats 2022 [Review]

FAQs

What is the safest baby car seat in Australia? ›

Best performer overall: Of the seats tested since 2021, the Mother's Choice Levi GMBE2 2013 was the highest rated, with a protection score of 3.2 in forward-facing mode and 3.4 in booster mode.

What is the safest car seat of 2022? ›

The safest Car Seat in 2022 is:
  • Britax Marathon ClickTight – The Safest Convertible Car Seat.
  • Diono Radian 3RXT – The Safes 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat.
  • Graco Extend2Fit – The Safest 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat.
  • Britax Boulevard – Safest and Best Value Convertible Car Seat.
  • Graco Slimfit – Safest Narrow Convertible Car Seat.
Jul 14, 2022

Which car seats are approved in Australia? ›

Up to six months: Your baby must be restrained in an approved rearward-facing child car seat, such as an infant capsule or a convertible car seat specially designed for babies. From six months to four years old: Your child must be in either an approved rearward-facing or forward-facing child car seat.

What is the number one rated car seat? ›

Good Housekeeping's testing lab picked the Chicco KeyFit 30 as the Best Infant Car Seat, saying, "This infant car seat stood out to our lab experts for its ease of installation, which is crucial to ensuring your child's safety.

What car seats have the highest safety rating? ›

The Graco Extend2Fit earned the best score in our analysis of crash test results. The Graco had one of the best-combined head and chest sensor results, indicating an additional margin of protection over the competition.

Is Maxi Cosi a safe car seat? ›

Maxi Cosi Magellan

For parents who value the ultimate comfort and snug tight fit while knowing it's amongst the safest car seats on the market. The Leader in Safety: According to NTSB and the Insurance industry, it's in the top5 safest car seats.

Are all car seats crash tested? ›

Car seats are not currently tested for performance in a side-impact crash test. In 2002, however, NHTSA analyzed how two car seats performed, one convertible seat and one rear-facing infant seat, in side-impact tests of eight vehicles, as an experiment to see if side-impact data could be successfully obtained.

Is Britax a good car seat? ›

After two months of testing and a thorough debrief, our team picked the Britax – B-Safe Ultra as the best infant car seat. Easy-to-use installation and harness adjustment features make this a great seat to work with and you get extra installation flexibility with European-style shoulder belt routing.

Are Chicco car seats safe? ›

How safe is the Chicco Keyfit? Crash test results have been excellent for this car seat. It ranked in the top 5 for crash testing compared to other top brands, and for head injuries, tested higher than federal safety standards.

Are Graco infant seats safe? ›

The Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 DLX. The Snugride Snuglock 35 DLX infant car seat stays true to Graco's brand of making baby-safe products. It has top-end crash test scores. The rear-facing car seat adds to its safety rating with its use of TrueShield Technology.

What car seats do celebrities use? ›

Another car seat that is a favorite for celebs is the brand's Maxi-Cosi Magellan. The Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat can "grow" with the child. It can be used for kids 5-120 lbs.

Is Evenflo a good brand? ›

Evenflo is a comprehensive brand with an almost 100-year history. Today, it's a subsidiary to Goodbaby International. Evenflo manufactures all types of strollers for affordable prices. You can expect good quality with small, useful features such as cup holders and pockets.

Does Chicco use flame retardants? ›

All our car seats comply with Federal flammability standards, FMVSS 302. This regulatory flammability standard only applies to car seats, therefore all other Chicco products do not use flame retardant chemicals.

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