Baby Car Seat Reviews & Ratings

Canstar Blue’s 2020 baby car seats review has seen Mother’s Choice, Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound, InfaSecure, Maxi-Cosi, BabyLove and Kmart compared on comfort & support, value for money, durability & quality, design, flexibility and customer satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Mother's Choice

Mother’s Choice secured the top spot in Canstar Blue’s baby car seat review, earning five-star reviews in every single category in 2020.

Mother’s Choice rated best choice in baby car seat ratings

Keeping your kids safe is always priority No.1 for parents, especially when it comes to travelling in the car. That means you’ll want the ‘best’ car seat you can buy. It’s a major purchase decision, whether you are buying one for the first time, or replacing an old one after a couple of years. So, it pays to know what your options are, and what other parents think of the car seats they use. And that’s where Canstar Blue comes in.

To find out what car seat brands keep families happy, we surveyed hundreds of parents across Australia who have bought a new car seat in the last three years. Mums and dads were asked to rate the car seat they own on a range of important factors, including comfort and support, value for money, durability, design and style and flexibility. The idea is to give you as much information about the compared brands as possible, to help you make an informed purchase decision when the time (or date) comes. So, which brand came out on top in 2020?

Mother’s Choice was the clear winner in parent’s eyes. The Aussie brand achieved a five-star winning streak across the board.

Best-Rated Baby Car Seats

Best baby car seats reviews

Here are the best car seat brands in Australia, as rated by parents in Canstar Blue’s latest review:

  1. Mother’s Choice
  2. Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound
  3. InfaSecure
  4. Maxi-Cosi
  5. BabyLove
  6. Kmart

Mother’s Choice was also Aussies’ choice for baby car seats in our latest review, earning five-star reviews in every single category. These include comfort & support, durability & quality, design, flexibility, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Runner-up Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound also received top marks for comfort & support, design and durability & quality, with InfaSecure also scoring full marks in that latter category and for flexibility.

It’s important to note that our review includes feedback from parents with all types of new car seats. With the average spend of those surveyed being $285, baby car seats from leading brands evidently aren’t cheap – so it’s worth doing your research.

Read on for a guide to what the six brands in our review have to offer parents in market for a baby car seat, plus tips on what to look for.

Top Baby Car Seat Brands

Mother’s Choice

Mother's Choice Charm Convertible Car Seat

Mother’s Choice is a company owned by Dorel Juvenile Products. It produces a large range of baby capsules and child car seats, with convertibles and boosters on offer. Mother’s Choice baby car seats feature Air Protect technology for added peace of mind, a large seating depth to keep your bub comfy in the car, a breathable wicking fabric and washable covers.

Convertible car seats can be forward or rear-facing, and have multi-position adjustable headrests and forward-facing recline positions for maximum comfort. Some boosters can be found for under $100, going up to $219 for the Tribe AP Booster Seat, while convertibles start from around the $170 mark and max out at $349 for the Charm Convertible Car Seat.

  • Mother’s Choice was rated five stars for comfort & support, durability & quality, design, flexibility, value for money and overall satisfaction.

Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound

Britax Unity ISOFIX baby capsule

Britax is a well-known producer of baby car seats, encapsulating car seats for a range of different life stages, including baby capsules, convertible seats, and booster seats for the older kids. Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound has a huge range and boasts several leading technologies to help your baby or infant get from point A to B safely.

Britax lays claim to providing the only capsule in Australia suitable for low birth weights or premature babies without restrictive medical conditions − with its Unity ISOFIX compatible baby capsule (pictured).

Its booster car seats can be found for less than $100 but seats for younger kids can easily fetch $500+ prices. This cost is said to go towards rigorous testing and innovation.

  • In 2020, Britax achieved five stars for comfort & support, design and durability & quality. It got four stars in the remaining categories.

InfaSecure

InfaSecure convertible baby car seats

InfaSecure makes a wide range of infant, toddler and child car seats. It boasts a range of infant carriers with detachable bases, front and rear-facing convertible seats, as well as booster seats. There is also a wide variety of colours on offer, away from your standard grey and black that make InfaSecure seats at least interesting to look at.

Many convertible car seats also come with the ‘Twist & Lift’ system, which makes it easier to adjust headrests and harnesses without fiddling too much and ‘Secur-Air’ side impact protection for added safety.

The infant carriers can be found for around the $300 mark, on par with convertible and booster car seats. For older kids, car boosters can be had for around $100.

  • InfaSecure was rated five stars for durability & quality and flexibility and four stars everywhere else.

Maxi-Cosi

Maxi - Cosi Moda Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi is another brand owned by Dorel Juvenile Products. It provides a modest range of capsules, convertible car seats and booster seats suited for children across most age brackets, from newborns to kids approaching their preteens. With a number of colours also on offer, there’s likely to be something out there for every parent.

Arguably the most exciting in the range is its convertible car seats, boasting ‘G-CELL’ crash absorbing technology with crumple zones and ‘Air Protect’ for superior side impact protection. Maxi-Cosi’s infant car seats are priced around the $300-$400 mark, while the convertible car seats often cost nearer $500 in a lot of cases with some models priced at $799. Maxi-Cosi also offers a lifetime warranty on baby car seats.

  • Maxi-Cosi was rated four stars in all research categories, including comfort & support, value for money and overall satisfaction.

BabyLove

BabyLove Taurus baby car seat

A brand owned by Britax, BabyLove car seats have historically been a popular choice in Australia, with a relatively modest range of child seats currently available. Its car seat range is designed to accommodate a newborn baby through to approximately eight years by allowing you to have it rear-facing at first and then convert to a forward-facing position later on when your child is older. BabyLove’s boosters also feature detachable cup holders.

You can expect padded inserts alongside shoulder pads and deep side wings stated to provide additional protection. BabyLove’s booster seats can be found for under $100, while combo seats are usually around the $200 mark, and capsules and infant seats are nearer $300.

  • BabyLove was a solid performer in 2020, receiving four-star reviews for overall satisfaction and in all other variables.

Kmart

Kmart EZY Switch Convertible Car Seat

Kmart has a cheap and cheerful (although modest) range of baby car seats and boosters – all priced under $160. The cheapest model is the Transit Booster Seat for $89. It features a blow moulded design for side impact protection, while the headrest side wings act as airbags to reduce the force on your child’s head in case of a side impact accident. The Transit Booster Seat also has an anti-submarining feature to help protect your children from serious abdominal injuries.

The most expensive model, the EZY Switch Convertible Car Seat is designed with four slot harness positions, two recline positions and offers extended rear-facing from birth to three years. It also has padded inserts and shoulder pads and an adjustable headrest with side impact protection. It retails for $159.

  • Kmart was rated three stars across the board and for overall customer satisfaction.

 

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Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
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min. cost $8.99 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $8.99
Advertised Cost/month
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel & National Geographic
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $89.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $89.99
Advertised Cost/year
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *

Other Car Seat Brands

Baby car seats in the store

Besides the top six brands that made it into our ratings this year, there are several others you might like to consider:

  • Safety 1st: Safety 1st produces a wide range of products including car seats, travel system strollers, baby gear and safeguarding solutions. Expect features like multiple headrest positions for comfort, machine washable covers for easy cleaning and the ISOGO ISOFIX compatible soft latch seat system that’s claimed to offer simple and secure car installation.
  • Baby Jogger: This brand is designed for practical parents on the go. Its baby capsule is suitable for newborns up to approximately 12 months and is priced around $300. It can be attached to Baby Jogger strollers and cars. It’s said to feature a UV50+ Sun Canopy complemented by a plush infant insert and advanced no rethread harness system, plus its ISOFix Base is claimed to be easy to install and comes with an auto-adjust dial and a spirit level indicator.
  • Joie: Offering a versatile collection of car seats, Joie states it has a focus on safety, security and that perfect fit for growing little riders. Allowing for multi-group and multi-stage use, its baby car seat range is designed to accommodate young infants to grown-up riders. Within the line-up you’ll find boosters, convertibles and infant capsules. Expect patented Intelli-Fit foam, claimed to provide side impact certified protection, plus integrated headrests and adjustable harnesses. Prices start from around $200 and go up to $500.
  • Steelcraft: A Britax-owned company, Steelcraft manufactures travel systems, strollers and high chairs. When it comes to car seats, you can expect adjustable base positions for better fitment in the vehicle seat, baby inserts and shoulder pads for infants as well as head support to ensure comfortability. Its range is also boasted to have lightweight designs for easier moveability and compatibility with selected Steelcraft and Britax baby strollers for its capsules.

Things to consider when buying a car seat

Young mother putting baby boy in the car seat

First and foremost, when it comes to kids and cars, safety is always the priority. All car seats in Australia are required to meet safety standard AS/NZS (2004, 2010 or 2013). Apart from safety, below are the key drivers of satisfaction for parents identified from our research:

  • Value for money: 25%
  • Durability: 24%
  • Comfort and support: 22%
  • Design and style: 17%
  • Flexibility: 13%

Along with the above key drivers of satisfaction, you might like to consider the car seat’s weight – for easy maneuverability – and also features, for ease of cleaning. Compatibility with your stroller and car is also important if you’re purchasing a capsule or an ISOFIX car seat. Other key findings from our 2020 survey include:

What type of baby car seat should I get?

The type of baby car seat you should get largely depends on the age and size of your child, with personal preference also coming into play. There are generally three different types of baby car seats – infant car seats, convertible car seats, and booster seats.

Infant Car Seats

As the name suggests, infant car seats are designed for infants and are suitable for children’s use up to 12 months of age. Infant car seats are most cocoon-like of all, and are rear-facing. Depending on the growth rate of your baby, infant car seats are good for about six months to 12 months, but that’s not a hard-and-fast rule, and the general rule of thumb is to keep them rear-facing as long as possible. Quite often, infant car seats double as a carrier, with easily detachable bases for easy transportation. This makes it easy for transporting baby between two cars, between car and home, and for clicking onto strollers.

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats are generally the most varied type of child car seat and suit a wide range of ages, up to 30 months. Often, they come as one whole unit, rather than with a detachable base. They often come with removable covers, making them much easier to wash and clean. Based on your child’s size, these car seats will generally be suitable from birth to four years. Some can be rear-facing for up to 30 months. The main downside with convertible seats is that they are not exactly portable and cannot be used as child carriers. However, given their longevity, they arguably provide the best value for money.

Booster Seats

The last in the lifecycle of baby car seats, booster seats are the final step before your child is capable of sitting in a regular seat. Booster seats are often the most basic in design, and make use of the full-sized seatbelt. Booster seats are forward-facing and are suitable for toddlers and older children. Booster seats can also generally take the most weight, with kids up to around 35kg able to sit in them. Child height is critical in this segment, and if your child is tall enough, they may even be able to do away with a secondary seat entirely. Generally, the recommendation is that a booster seat should be used until children are eight years of age, with the legal requirement for sitting in a front seat being at least 12 years. The general rule is if the child is less than 145cm tall, they stay in their booster seat.

You may also be interested in:

What is ISOFIX?

Baby car seats isofix clamping

ISOFIX is the name for the international standard of attachment points for children’s car seats. Dubbed ‘LATCH’ in the US and ‘CANFIX’ in Canada, ISOFIX is a standard set of attachment points that will feature in all new cars in Australia.

The first compatible products were released in 1997, and by 2013 the UN stipulated that all new vehicles must have ISOFIX points attached. This development makes it much easier for parents to properly fasten their child seats in different cars. With universal attachment points, the aim is for much confusion to be removed and for car seats to be easily fitted in mum and dad’s car.

The bottom line on car seats

When deciding which car seat is best for your child, give some thought to the factors mentioned above. While ‘baby stuff’ typically ain’t cheap, car seats are required by Australian law and shouldn’t be considered lightly. Buying one may result in a significant hit to your baby budget, but you really can’t put a price on safety!

All of the brands featured in this report are reputable and must comply with Australian safety standards, so you should have confidence that your little one is in safe hands. As a result, factors like flexibility and convenience really come into play. While your car seat is for your child, it’s mum and dad who will be carrying it in and out of the car every five minutes, so find one that works for everyone!

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.

Pram & Stroller Reviews

Picture credits: Sergey Ryzhov/Shutterstock.com, Karolis Kavolelis/Shutterstock.com.

More About Baby Car Seats

Our latest customer satisfaction research on baby car seats saw a number of brands rated best in different categories:

  • Best Overall: Mother’s Choice was rated best for overall satisfaction, followed by Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound and InfaSecure.
  • Best Comfort & Support: Mother’s Choice was rated best for comfort & support, followed by Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound and InfaSecure.
  • Best Value for Money: Mother’s Choice was rated best on value for money, followed by BabyLove and InfaSecure.
  • Best Durability: Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound was rated best on durability, followed by Mother’s Choice and InfaSecure.
  • Best Design and Style: Mother’s Choice was rated best on design and style, followed by Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound and InfaSecure.
  • Best Flexibility: Mother’s Choice was rated best on flexibility, followed by InfaSecure and Britax Safe ‘n’ Sound.

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 1,200 Australian parents of children aged 6 years and under across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a new car seat in the last three years – in this case, 787 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

2019

best baby car seats 2019

2018Baby_Car_Seats_2018

2017Baby_Car_Seats_2018

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