One of the hardest things about putting together a comprehensive “Best car seats Australia 2022” guide is there are so many variables to consider when choosing a car seat. While I quite happily limit myself to recommending the best 8-10 prams and strollers every year when it comes to car seats I would be doing you a disservice if I put that kind of limitation.
Also, car seats are used over such a wide span of time it didn’t make as much sense to put them all in one page. If you’re just needing a booster seat for your 6 year old you probably don’t need to be scrolling through a dozen newborn car seat options.
So I have split up these guides into the following pages
- Best Baby Capsules: 0-6months / 0-12months
- Best Convertible Car Seats : 0-4 Years / 0-8 Years
- Best Forward Facing Car Seats: 1-8 years / 4-8 years (the page you’re on!
Further to that there are three different types of forward facing car seats/booster seats.
1-8 years Forward Facing Car Seats that have a fully inbuilt harness that will provide your child with that same security as a newborn car seat with the 6 point harness until they outgrow needing a booster seat.
4-8 Year Booster Seats don’t have a built in harness, and just utilise the car seat belt like a traditional booster seat.
Convertible Booster Seats offer the 6 point harness until your child reaches the middle height marker and then the seat converts to a traditional booster seat using the car seat belt. Personally I don’t like this style of booster seat, so I haven’t included these on my list. They’re often not ideal for younger toddlers as they’re designed on the shape of a traditional booster with a harness added in. Also often the head support (which is also a safety feature like a bicycle helmet) can’t be adjusted down low enough to provide your toddler protection. (with the exception of the Maxi Cosi Titan. However for the price of the Titan you may as well purchase a 1-8 Forward facing car seat)
|1-8 Years||Market Value*||Widest Point||Key Feature||Upper Height Marker|
|Britax Urban Grow II||Best Budget Friendly||$269||47cms||Affordable Inbuilt harness to 8 years||50cms|
|Britax Maxi Guard||Best Mid-range||$379||46 cms||Great for fitting 3 across||51 cms|
|Maxi Cosi Luna Smart||Best Mid-range||$379||47.5cms||Premium Fabric||50cms|
|InfaSecure Grandeur Astra||Most Narrow||$449||44cms||Newborn to 8 years||51cms|
|Britax B-Grow ClickTight||Best High End||$649||47.2cms||Easy to install||51cms|
|Babylove Ezyfit||Best Budget Friendly||$109||44cms||Quite padded and comfy|
|Maxi Cosi Rodi||Best Midrange||$179||47cms||Great all rounder||56cms|
|Infasecure Aspire||Tallest||$239||44cms||Tall and compact||57cms|
|Infasecure Acclaim||Best For 3 across||$259||44cms||Narrow base for buckle access||54.2|
|Britax Kid Guard||Best for bigger kids||$239||47-57cms||Adjustable width and leg support||54.2cms|
*Price based on market value (not RRP). Pricing accurate to the best of our ability at the time of publishing and subject to change.
One of the car seat safety features that has the biggest impact on outcomes in car accidents is having your child secured in an inbuilt 6 point harness. Which is why I want to include this budget friendly Forward Facing Car seat option on this list. It might not be the fanciest option, but if you’re looking at a booster seat and you can stretch the budget to a forward facing car seat it’s well worth the investment. Britax Urban Grow II is just one example, there are other affordable options, just make sure they are harnessed until 8 years as a lot of the more affordable forward facing car seat switch to a traditional booster from 4 years (with the regular car seat belt)
Britax Maxi Guard is one of my go-to recommendations for so many circumstances. Looking for an affordable car seat for fitting three across? Maxi Guard. Need a car seat for Grandparents house that can easily adjust between grandchildren of different sizes? Maxi Guard. Just need a great all round forward facing car seat that’s easy to use? Maxi Guard. Simple.
Also the reason the Maxi Guard is so good for fitting three across is the open shell on the side, so with the right combination of car seats (and a professional installer) I’ve seen miracles happen with this booster seat squeezing in that third seat across the back of smaller cars.
Following on from the Maxi Guard, the Maxi Cosi Luna Smart is my other go-to suggestion for a good, mid range, reliable car seat. The benefit of the Luna Smart over the Maxi Guard is it does have a bit nicer fabrics and also the drink holder is round whereas the Maxi Guard drink holder is oval shaped. So your child will actually be able to put their drink bottle in the Luna Smart. Small detail, but I think it’s worth noting. However, the Luna Smart is a bit wider and without space in the shell it’s not so good for fitting three car seats across.
The InfaSecure Grandeur is almost an honorary mention on this list because technically it’s not a forward facing car seat, it’s a 0-8 convertible car seat. And while I don’t love the idea of using the Infasecure Grandeur from birth (because it’s a big car seat installed rear facing) if the Maxi Guard tetris trick isn’t working for you, then this 44cm wide car seat still has the same upper height markers. So it might be your only other option. Also this would be great alternative for parents of twins or triplets.
I’m OBSESSED with how the ClickTight range is installed into your car. It is so easy anyone can do it (I went to the product launch for the B-first which is the 0-4 car seat in the ClickTight range and I got to install one of these myself and they gave me a little certificate to be like – Well done! You did it!).
Just watch this video and then you can be the judge of whether this is an incredibly clever and innovative car seat that’s designed so that any parent can easily install their own car seat – or if I’m a sucker for praise and only love it because they gave me a certificate.
Best Booster Seats (4-8years+)
While I wouldn’t describe the Babylove Ezyfit as the best booster seat with all the bells and whistles, I’d say it’s the best cheap booster seat and it still ticks quite a few boxes for the price point.
I recently was in a situation where I needed to purchase a booster seat for an emergency, it was only going to be used for a few days, but I still didn’t want to completely disregard comfort and safety features. I did look at the cheaper alternatives like the Infa Secure Versatile and Safe n Sound, but they are untethered booster seats (so they aren’t able to be connected to the anchor point) because they’re so lightweight it’s not required. Which means they offer very little protection and next to no padding or support, and aren’t adjustable.
Whereas the Babylove EZYfit has a top tether, adjustable head protection, little arm rests and it’s well padded for a budget booster seat, and has reasonably deep backrest for support as well a little extra side impact protection.
Babylove EZYfit seems to be exclusive to Baby Bunting, however the Safe-n-Sound Express Booster is the exact same model and price.
The Maxi Cosi Rodi really is just a great mid range, mid prices, all rounder booster seat. It’s one of the taller boosters on the market, with a well shaped headrest so it won’t be bumping the sloping roof on some smaller cars. It does have a wide seat, that can be adjusted outwards to accommodate bigger kids. Although it maybe not ideal for fitting three across that’s not a feature most families will need in a booster seat.
It also offers Maxi Cosi’s “Air Protect” in the headrest and also an adjustable base to perfectly fit the angle of your car’s back seat for a secure fit.
Given how approachably priced the Maxi Cosi Rodi is, market value under $200, I’m surprised it’s not a more popular option when it ticks so many boxes for a good, easy, simple booster seat for an average 2 kid family.
If you’re looking for THE tallest booster seat on the market, this is the one. It’s also one of the narrowest booster seats. So if you have big kids AND a big family, this might be the better choice over the Maxi Cosi Rodi if you’re trying to get three car seats into your car.
The Infa Secure Aspire is also a premium booster seat, so on top of all the safety and practical features, it also has quilt style fabrics and an overall more upmarket look and feel.
However, the drawback if you’re looking at the Infa Secure Aspire for fitting three children across is the full base and armrests, while offering comfort for your child, will make buckling them up near impossible if you have another car seat pressed up against it.
Which would then bring me to the….
The Infasecure Acclaim, like the Aspire, is 44cms wide at its widest point, however the key feature making it ideal for three across is the narrower seat base. This narrowness will then allow easy access to buckle up without having to squish your hand between two seats.
Additionally the Acclaim offers the same overall premium style and feel as the Aspire, however it doesn’t quite match up in height. The exit shoulder marker on the Acclaim is 54.2, compared to the Aspire’s 57. So this may not be the best option for a bigger child.
The alternative to these two car seats is the…
The Britax Kid Guard offers a narrow base for easy access to the seat belt buckle like the Infasecure Acclaim. Also like the Infasecure Acclaim it is “only” 54.2cm to the upper height marker (keeping in mind these car seats are all the taller options on the market, so it’s still a very tall seat). However the flexible side wings can be adjusted from 47-57cms wide to accommodate the full shoulder width of a child up to 10 years old. As well as the adjustable seat depth, meaning you can ensure they are supported all the way to the back of their knees as they grow.
Additionally, for extra safety the Britax Safe-n-Sound Kid Guard offers the “Secureguard” anti-submarining device that secures the seatbelt between your child’s legs to prevent sliding down in the seat. This ensures the seatbelt is positioned across your child’s hips in an accident, rather than across their abdomen.
This feature is also a bit of a compromise for parents weighing up between a harnessed and unharnessed booster seat.
I hope this helps! If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for check out all the Best Car Seat guides.
Also feel free to reach out to us for a personalised car seat recommendation!