There are different types of products for child car seats. Depending on the seating environment and age of the child, a distinction is made between child seat, baby seat or simple booster seat.
Child car seats are classified in body weight classes. A single norm group like class I is for 9 to 18 kg and 1 to 4.5 years (child seat type). Growing seats are: Class 0+ from 0 to 13 kg and 0 to 2 years (baby seat), class 0 + / I from 0 to 18 kg and 0 to 5 years, class I / II / III from 9 to 36 kg and 1 up to 12 years and class II / III from 15 to 36 kg and 3.5 to 12 years.
Child seats can be fixed in the car with different systems. The simple belt attachment works in almost every car model. The newer systems make installation easier and ensure even more safety when driving.
A restraint system integrated in the child seat protects the child from falling out of the seat in the event of hard braking or a rear-end collision.
Using Isofix in a child car seat means easier operation and more safety. The locking arms are retractable, easy to unlock or easy to fold away. Other safety features in a child car seat include roll-over protection and an energy-absorbing interior. For especially small children there are premature child seats that guarantee full protection.
Current products in this category have been re-listed on billiger.de within the last 36 months. The period in which a product is considered current is determined separately by our product experts for each category.
The installation direction indicates how the seat is installed in the car. So in the direction of travel means that the child can look in the direction of the driver or windscreen. In general, child seats are classified as safer against the direction of travel.
The belt on the child seat serves as a holding and safety device when driving a car. Height-adjustable straps are better adapted to the size of the child. Padding ensures a more comfortable fit.
The maximum height of the backrest as a technical specification for a child car seat indicates the maximum height to which the backrest can be adjusted. The child in the seat must not protrude from the back with his head.
The minimum height of the backrest indicates how high the backrest protrudes from the seat in the smallest position. The backrest must be adjusted so that the child’s head is between the side supports.
Many child seats are equipped with an adjustable backrest. This can be adjusted 3 to 5 times, but it is also available with a continuous adjustment option. The height adjustment indicates whether the length of the backrest can be varied. This allows the seat to grow with the child and significantly increases the period in which the seat can be used.
The cover of child seats determines comfort while driving. Padded covers are comfortable and can usually be removed. Breathable materials ensure that clothes stay dry when sitting for a long time.
You are looking for a safe car seat for your child?
You can find everything you need to know about child car seats in our guide.
Car seat advisor
Updated: 05.06.2018 | Author: Online editor
Child seats offer your child a secure hold while driving and serve as indispensable accident protection. They are basically designed in such a way that they ideally absorb external forces, such as those caused by unexpected braking or an abrupt impact, and thus reliably protect your child in an emergency.
Since 1993, drivers have been subject to road traffic regulations in accordance with Section 21 of the Road Traffic Act legal obligation, Secure children under the age of 12 and a height of 150 cm in the car with the help of an “officially approved and suitable child restraint system”. Anyone who violates this must pay a fine that also depends on the number of unsecured children. With 2 children or more, there are even additional points in the Flensburg Central Traffic Register.
All of this is absolutely justified, since the number of children killed in a car accident has declined sharply since the law was introduced. In almost 83% of all traffic accidents, child car seats even protect the little ones from injuries on the go. However, only if the seat fits properly and is securely attached.
So if you take babies or children with you on the trip, you have to choose a child car seat for reliable protection in an emergency ideal for the size of your offspring and the type of attachment supported in your car. We have summarized the different seating systems available on the market and what is also important for an ideal purchase in our purchase advisor below.
Buying advice car seats
When buying an ideal child car seat, consider the following aspects that are decisive for the purchase:
- Choose the right child car seat type to match your child’s age or height.
Different models are suitable depending on the age or motor development of your child. While a baby seat is intended for newborns and babies, a classic child seat is suitable for small children who can already sit. Booster seats are an alternative for older children who have already outgrown the other models.
- An ideal fit of the child seat is essential.
Only seats that are ideally adapted to size and body weight guarantee the necessary level of safety.
- The supported fastening system of your vehicle determines the required mounting device for a child seat.
Isofix in particular has meanwhile developed more and more towards an established standard. Make sure that the child car seat of your choice is compatible with the supported fastening system of your car manufacturer.
European test standards ensure maximum safety for child car seats.
Make sure that the child car seat complies with the currently valid test standards ECE R 44/04 or R 129 (i-Size). You can find a corresponding label in our product details and by means of a sticker or patch on the child seat.
Car seat types
Child car seats differ according to their design. The individual models are suitable for a specific level of physical development of the child.
Baby car seats are suitable for newborns and babies. They only offer a light lying position. So you are a good choice if your child is not yet able to sit.
For children who are older and have outgrown the baby seat and can already sit well, classic child seats with a backrest are the right choice.
Booster seats are only suitable for larger children who no longer fit in a child seat. They have neither a headboard nor side impact protection. Therefore, you do not provide security for small children in the event of an accident.
The individual child car seat types are also available in different weight and size classes, so that your model guarantees an optimal fit for the child.
You can find out which size the model should be for your child in the size section.
Newborns and babies who are not yet able to sit on their own are secured in a so-called baby seat or carrycot in the vehicle. As a rule, attach the baby seat to the back seat. However, you can often transport them in the passenger seat. Most baby car seats are So-called reboarder, i.e. rear-facing child car seats.
In the event of an accident, an activated airbag poses a great risk of injury to the child.
You may only transport your child in the baby seat on the front passenger seat if the passenger airbag of the vehicle can be deactivated. If this is not the case, your child must sit in the back.
On special advantage of baby car seats: Many models can mostly be combined with certain stroller types and thus offer an ideal transport option when shopping with your baby.
Because baby car seats usually have one own small 3-point or 5-point harness for the small passenger, your child can also take with you both while driving and on the tour the stroller ideally and comfortably secured in the shell. A sun canopy for the little ones is often integrated as UV protection.
However, there is – especially the bigger the babies get – the shortcoming of less seating comfort due to the easy lying position of the bowl shape. In addition, the spine of your newborn is still very sensitive. It is therefore advisable to transport your child in it only for short errands. As you get older, your child will also be happy to sit upright so that they can see more and enjoy more freedom of movement. This is very limited in the baby seat.
The price of a baby seat can be between € 20 and € 900.
If your child has outgrown the baby seat, there are classic child seats that optimally support an upright sitting position of your toddler. With the exception of a few exceptions, many models are no longer designed for installation in the opposite direction, but instead forwardly. You can place them back to back on the vehicle seat.
This has the advantage that the little ones are now driving in the direction of travel – children with a sensitive stomach in particular may find this more pleasant.
By a Headrest, a backrest and side impact protection your child is well protected with the classic child seat.
You can also choose between child seats with the following safety devices:
- Child seats with harness belt
These are 5-point belts that you tighten when you buckle up so that they are close to your body. This can usually be done in a few simple steps. An important safety shortcoming: Children always manage to unbuckle themselves from a seat with a braces system. With this type of attachment, you should above all ensure that your child cannot free himself – for example with an integrated child lock.
- Child seats with safety gear system
Child car seats with a safety body system usually prevent your child from being unfastened by a safety bar a little better – but they also lead to restricted freedom of movement. In general, due to the securely lockable catch body, the individual requirements of a child can only be addressed to a very limited extent – here, a child must fit into the standardized form, so to speak. Especially in summer, child seats with safety gear systems can also cause uncomfortable heat build-up on longer journeys.
The disadvantage of a child seat is that it not so flexible is like a baby car seat. For example, you cannot mount the seat on the stroller frame or carry your child around in it. Switching between different cars is also more cumbersome with a classic child seat than with a simple booster seat, for example.
The price for a classic child seat is € 20 to € 750.
In addition to the comfortable and very safety-oriented car child seats, simple booster seats are also available for older or larger children. They don’t have one Side impact protection still a safe headrest or backrest. These seats are only used to ensure that the child sits elevated and thus the normal seat belt of the car does not cut into the neck.
A reliable backup in an emergency is therefore not guaranteed, especially for small children. For this reason, you should only use booster seats when your child has outgrown all conventional child seats.
The legal regulation according to § 21 StVZO states:
Your child must be secured with a booster seat until they have reached a body weight of more than 36 kg and at the same time have reached the age of 12 or a height of 150 cm.
The biggest advantage of the booster seat: You can easily and conveniently use them in different cars. Many therefore use the booster seat to transport friends who are friends as safely as possible, even on short distances.
adversely are, however, the poorer seating comfort compared to classic child seats and the lower protection.
You can buy a booster seat for less than € 10. The price range extends up to € 100.
The physical or motor development of a child largely determines which type of child car seat is suitable for transport in the car. For example, a classic child seat is suitable if your child can already sit well and demands more freedom of movement.
If you have chosen the right child car seat, you should pay particular attention to the weight and height of your child to find the right model.
The manufacturers can label the child car seat according to 2 European standards or regulations:
Weight class according to ECE R 44/04
The following table offers you a quick overview of the available weight classes according to the somewhat outdated ECE R44 / 04 standard, which is still valid:
|weight||Car Seat Type||Supported weight|
|0||Baby Seat||From birth to max. 10 kg|
|0+||Baby Seat||From birth to max. 13 kg|
|I||child seat||9-18 kg|
|II||child seat||15-25 kg|
So-called combination child seats or child seats that grow with the child are often marked with two weight classes at the same time, e.g. B. Class II – III. Here you can often repurpose and adjust the seat depending on the weight and size of the child. It is therefore suitable for a longer service life.
I-size according to ECE R 129
Meanwhile primarily the height used as a decisive criterion for a change to the next largest child car seat, since children can have different body sizes despite the same weight and the seat could therefore be too small or large despite the same weight class.
Since 2013, therefore, has been parallel to ECE R 44/04 developed a new European standard called UN ECE R 129, In the first phase, the i-size regulation has already entered into force. It affects all baby car seats and child seats that are equipped with a belt system and fastened with the Isofix system.
Here the child car seats are from the manufacturers directly with the appropriate body size range and also marked with a weight. This ensures that the manufacturers ensure that the child seat fits the small body as well as possible.
All child car seats marked with i-size must be legally fixed in the vehicle up to a child’s age of 15 months.
The safety of a child seat primarily depends on whether a seat model can be reliably fixed in your car. Incorrect installation can lead to insufficient protection in the event of an accident and seriously endanger your child. The type of installation may differ depending on the model.
The permissible orientation depends on the respective child seat model. Not every child car seat may be installed in a vehicle facing forwards or backwards – the correct and safe installation differs from model to model. Pay attention to the regulations or information applicable to your model.
Child seats of all ages must be delivered in accordance with the standard, including the operating instructions.
Read the instructions carefully before using your new child car seat and observe the safety instructions and instructions for action contained therein – in particular the content passages for professional assembly.
- safety belt
You do not need an additional Isofix device for child car seats that you fasten with a vehicle seat belt. When mounting, you can choose between the front passenger seat and the rear seat. Both places are suitable for the assembly of a baby seat or a child seat. With this type of installation, guide the vehicle seat belt through the marked belt guide of the child seat. It is often color-coded so that it is clear and easy to recognize.
Isofix devices are now standard in many cars. In order to secure a seat with Isofix, a corresponding device must be available in your vehicle. This can usually only be found in the back seat. These are 2 metal eyelets that are firmly anchored to the vehicle and into which the child seat fastening system snaps into place. For the group of baby seats and some child seat fashions, an Isofix base is also required for this, which you often have to purchase additionally. You can use the Isofix base of some manufacturers for the baby seat as well as for the successor model, the child seat.
Isofix is considered a particularly safe fastening system for child car seats.
It corresponds to the ISO 13216 standard, which regulates connecting devices for child restraint systems. It is also very easy to use. That is why the fastening system has its name Isofix.
The following table gives you a quick overview of the mounting options for your child car seat:
|Car Seat Type||mounting||Mounting|
|Baby car seat group 0 and 0+||passenger seat||Rear facing, vehicle seat belt|
|backseat||Mostly rear-facing, vehicle seat belt or Isofix (often only possible with Isofix base)|
|Child seats with i-size||backseat||Backward facing up to the age of 15 months (mandatory), Isofix|
|Child seat group I||passenger seat||Forward facing, vehicle seat belt|
|backseat||Forward / backward, vehicle seat belt or Isofix|
|Child seat group II and III||passenger seat||Forward facing, vehicle seat belt|
|backseat||Forward facing, vehicle seat belt or Isofix|
You can find out how to correctly install a child seat in the car in our FAQ section: How do I attach my child seat?
In order to offer the little ones the best possible seating comfort even on longer journeys, you should also pay particular attention to the ergonomics of the child car seat, which is enhanced by the following features:
- Adjustable backrests allow the setting of a sitting or lying position that is individually adapted to your child.
If your child is sitting at an individually adjusted angle of incline, you are already protecting them from back problems. The usually bendable headrests offer special comfort, which also provide ideal support for your child when taking a short nap.
- Above all, make sure that a seat offers enough freedom of movement.
Despite safe belt guidance, it is particularly important here that your child is not constricted by the tether and can enjoy a little legroom according to his height.
- Adequate air circulation between the seat and child also has a significant impact on the comfort of a model.
The little ones sweat significantly less when seats are equipped with breathable covers.
Especially for products that accompany your child over a longer period of time, the pollutant content of a child’s car seat is a key decision criterion for many parents. The health of the offspring should under no circumstances be affected by contaminated materials.
When buying, make sure that your child seat is labeled with the Oeko Tex Standard 100 seal. This ensures that the seat is only made of pollutant-free materials.
Useful insights have been provided here at regular intervals since 2011 Product tests by Stiftung Warentest, recheck the child car seats every year for potentially harmful ingredients in the materials used.
Current samples and test runs show that child car seats rarely contain inadmissible substances such as plasticizers, flame retardants or PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Nevertheless, high levels of pollutants are still one of the most common reasons that lead to poor performance of child car seats in test runs.
At the Stiftung Warentest you will find the test winners in the area "Low pollution".
Basically, car seats are made of the following materials due to their design:
- Plastic body
The shell of child car seats is usually made of plastic mixtures that have been specially tested for their ability to absorb shocks. The focus of the models manufactured according to the standard is the maximum resilience of the material in an emergency.
- foam padding
Most child car seats are padded with a wide variety of foam mixtures for ideal seating comfort. The upholstery is specially designed by the manufacturers so that your child not only rides in the seat shell as comfortably as possible, but also that shock absorption is favored in the event of an accident.
- textile cover
All seat models have a textile cover. The following applies: preferably choose models made of cotton or cotton blends, as they have good breathability. Removable, washable covers that can be cleaned in the washing machine are an advantage.
Frequently asked questions
We have answered frequently asked questions from other customers about child car seats in our FAQ section below.
Get in our FAQ section important answers on the subject areas
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