I can still recall the first time we purchased a child car seat for our first child and all the research we did, reading various baby car seat reviews looking for the best baby car seat.  We found this quite daunting trying to work out not only what was the best newborn baby car seat but also which was the safest baby car seat to provide us with some peace of mind.

Fast forward a few years, and three children later, we have now used a few different car seats from various baby car seat brands.  So, to help new parents looking at purchasing a new baby car seat for either their first child or even subsequent children, I have put together this baby car seats Australia guide to assist you in deciding which is the best infant car seat for you and your child.

In this guide I not only take you through the features of the some of the top baby car seats but also help you understand what to look for to ensure you have the safest infant car seat.  I also provide a simple baby car seat comparison chart, so you can see the prams, their various features side by side and baby car seat ratings.

This best baby car seat 2018 guide focuses on baby convertible car seat options suitable for children under 4 years old.  All the car seats in this guide are suitable for a newborn right through to around 4 years of age, as there really is no need to buy multiple car seats as your little one grows.

I hope after reading these child car seat reviews you will be closer to purchasing the best child car seat for you and your little one.

Compare The Top 10 Baby Car Seats 2018

NameImageWeightChild Age/Weight RangeRatingPrice
Maxi Cosi Vela Convertible Car Seat with ISOFIX9.34 kgFrom birth up to 4 y/o4.5Check
Safety 1st Summit Convertible Car Seat with ISOFIX11.7 kgFrom birth up to 4 y/o4.0Check
Britax Emblem Convertible Car Seat8.85 kgFrom birth up to 4 y/o4.5Check
Chicco NextFit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat11.3 kgFrom birth to 29 kg4.5Check
Maxi Cosi Moda ISOFIX Convertible Car Seat9.84 kgFrom birth up to 4 y/o4.0Check
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat12.9 kgFrom birth to 29 kg4.0Check
Safe N Sound Platinum Pro SICT ISOFIX Car Seat10.4 kgFrom birth up to 4 y/o4.5Check
Maxi Cosi Euro Nxt Convertible Car Seat with ISOFIX9.9 kgFrom birth up to 4 y/o3.5Check
Safety 1st Complete Air 65 Convertible Car Seat8 kgFrom birth to 29 kg4.0Check
Evenflo Symphony LX Convertible Car Seat10.4 kgFrom birth to 50 kg4.5Check

Choosing The Best Baby Car Seat 2018

It is highly recommended that you spend some time thinking about the requirements you need in a car seat before rushing out to a baby car seat sale and purchasing one of the cheap baby car seats.  A good quality car seat is not a cheap investment but if you choose wisely it will not only help protect your child but also last them until they can transit to an adult seat belt.

Size

Consider the size of the car seat you purchase.  This will be more important if you have multiple children in car seats as you will need to ensure the car seats adequately fit in your car.  If you require multiple car seats, whilst it is recommended that you buy baby car seat that is narrow and compact, this needs to be weighed up with the comfort for your child.

Like car seats, children come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t just look at the baby car seat price, also be sure that the car seat is a good fit for your child, and not just for now but that they can grow with the car seat too.  I recommend you purchase a car seat newborn to 4 years option to get the best value for your money.

Weight

The weight of the car seat may not be so important if you intend to leave the car seat in the one car, but many parents these days have one parent drop their child and the car seat at child care in the morning and a different parent picking up the child and car seat in the afternoon.  In the latter situation you want something lightweight that’s easy to move around, particularly as you may well be carrying baby in one arm and the car seat in the other.

I don’t necessarily recommend you purchase the lightest car seat you can find, as of course the quality should not suffer.

I have listed the weight of all the child car seats for sale in these convertible infant car seat reviews in the above table, however if you are looking to buy child car seat not in this guide, you can check baby car seats online for their weight too.

Age/Weight/Height of Child

Be sure before purchasing a car seat that it is suitable for the age, weight and height of your child.  Newborn babies will need to be placed in a rear facing baby car seat (all car seats in this review are suitable for newborn babies), once your child grows to a certain height the car seat can be turned around into the forward facing position.

Car seats are designed for children of a certain weight and height, as opposed to their age.  Check that the maximum weight and height limits of the car seat is not only suitable for your child now, but that there is room for your child to grow.  You might think your saving money with a cheap newborn car seat, but you may find you will soon need to replace it as your child grows.

For your convenience, I have listed all the weight limits of the car seats in this guide, in the table above.

Harness System/Seatbelts

A harness system offers a much higher level of protection in a crash then a standard vehicle seatbelt. A correctly fitted harness system results in a far better outcome for the child in the event of a crash.

Car seats come with either a 5 point or 6 point harness system.  The 5 point system has five straps: two at the shoulder, two at the hip and one at the crotch where as a 6 point harness system features two straps at each the shoulder, waist and crotch.

Safety (ISOFIX Compatibility/Standards Certified)

Of course, when purchasing a car seat, your child’s safety is the utmost important factor to keep in mind.  The whole point of a car seat is to protect your child in the case of an accident, so you want to ensure the car seat can do just that.

When it comes to child car seat safety, Australia has very strict laws and guidelines. All car seats sold in Australia must meet the Australian safety standards AS/ANZ 1754.

Newer car seats are generally ISOFIX compatible.  ISOFIX is a simple car seat installation system that involves clipping the car seat into anchorage points which are manufactured into cars.  This system is much easier to install then the old car seat belt system, however the seat belt system is just as safe provided it is done so correctly.

Ease Of Use

Some car seats can be tricky to install so look for a car seat that is not only easy to install but also easy to change from the rear facing to forward facing position.  Given babies and toddlers are rather messy it is also recommend looking for a car seat that has machine washable removable fabrics.

Other Key Features

  • Colour – Whilst you might be tempted to purchase a brightly coloured car seat, infants and toddlers are usually extremely messy and so it is highly recommended that parents stick to the standard black or grey car seat.
  • Tray/Cup Holder – Some car seats come with a tray or cup holders for little ones to eat and drink from.  Tray holders can also double as somewhere for older children to do activities or read a book during long car rides.
  • Seat Recline – Reclining car seats are perfect for little ones who often fall asleep in the car as they have the ability to recline for a better position for sleep, thus preventing your child’s head from flopping forward.
  • Anchor Points – Before purchasing car seats, you will need to ensure your vehicle has the correct number of anchor points to secure the car seats.  If you purchase an ISOFIX car seat you will also need to check your car is compatible.
  • Overall Design – The overall design is also important, particularly if you need to have multiple car seats.  If your car is on the smaller side, you will need to look for narrow car seats to ensure you can fit the required number across.  It is also recommended to look for car seats that will grow with your child. There is no point purchasing one of the cheap infant car seats, only to replace it when your child gets a little bigger.

Top Baby Car Seat Reviews 2018

Maxi Cosi Vela Convertible Car Seat with ISOFIX Review

The Maxi Cosi Vela convertible car seats is the perfect car seat for newborns up to children around the age of 4 years of age.

This car seat is easy to install and the functional levers and straps making it really easy to use.  The harness height can easily be adjusted without the inconvenience of having to remove it from the car.

For your child’s comfort the car seat is made from a cool wicking fabric to keep baby nice and cool.  There is also 3 adjustable reclining positions and 5 adjustable headrest positions. For superior safety, this car seat also has extended rearward facing up to around 30 months as well as superior side impact protection.  The manufacturer will even replace the car seat for a new one if its involved in accident.

Other great features include ISOFIX compatible, removable infant insert, machine washable cover and car seat protector mat.  

This car seat features a 6 point harness system and is backed by a 10 year warranty.  It also comes in blue, black or grey.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

SAFETY 1ST Summit Convertible Car Seat with ISOFIX Review

The Safety 1st Summit Convertible car seat is another great car seat for families looking for a car seat that can grow with their child.

This Safety First car seat is suitable from birth to around the age of 4 years and features an adjustable headrest and 3 position recline.  Parents will love the natural antibacterial protectant on the harness pads and infant insert that inhibit the growth of bacteria whilst little ones will love the padded and cosy feel.

Other great features include ISOFIX compatible, superior side impact protection, machine washable cover and the manufacturer will even replace the car seat for a new one if its involved in accident.

This car seat is somewhat similar to the Maxi Cosi above, however this car seat can only be used in rearward facing position until the child is around 12 months and has a shorter warranty at 6 years.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Britax Emblem Convertible Car Seat Review

At 8kg this Britax baby car seat is one of the lightest convertible car seats in these reviews. A stand out feature is that it can stay rear facing for longer than most (up to 3 years). Rear facing is a safer position as the back of the seat supports the neck and back of the child significantly reducing back or neck injuries in the event of a car accident.

This Britax infant car seat has rear and forward-facing seat belt lock-offs and push button harness adjuster, which makes for easier installation as well as a secure and correct fit for a safer journey every time. There are also side impact cushions and head protection technology (SICT) with deeper side wings all providing support and protection by absorbing energy during a crash.

Additional support and comfort features include shoulder pads, adjustable harness and headrest as well as 4 recline positions.  This Emblem convertible car seat also has a full length car seat protector and handy storage pocket.

The Britax Emblem car seat is available in 4 dark easy to clean colours.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Chicco NextFit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat Review

Chicco is known for being one of the great baby car seat brands and its NextFit iX Zip convertible car seat lives up to its reputation.

This car seat is super easy to accurately install and has an easy to pull harness to ensure your child is safe and secure in their seat.  If you are installing by using the vehicle seatbelt, the LockSure technology makes it easy to position, tighten and lock the belt into place.

This Chicco car seat has some great features for your child’s comfort including 9 recline positions, 9 headrest positions and an auto adjustable harness system so you can adjust the height of the car seat as your child grows.

This car seat is jammed packed with safety features including an easy to read bubble indicator to ensure the seat is leveled correctly and a steel reinforced frame with EPS foam lining both of which absorb the energy on impact in an accident.  Other great features of this car seat include zip off machine washable cover, a thermal insulated cup holder and an infant insert.

At just over 11kg it is a bit on the heavy side and a bit bulky, so if you need to fit 3 car seats in a row this may not be the best choice.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

MAXI COSI Moda ISOFIX Convertible Car Seat Review

The ISOFIX compatible Maxi Cosi Moda is suitable from birth to approximately 4 years of age with the extended rearward facing ability for infants up to 30 months.

The safety features of this car seat include side air protect technology giving great impact protection and crash absorbing technology that provides a crumple zone for full body protection. The car seat also features a 6-point safety harness and top tether strap and the manufacturer will even replace the car seat for a new one in the event of an accident.

For comfort, the car seat is made from a wicking fabric which draws moisture away from the skin keeping the child cool. There are also 5 adjustable headrest positions, providing optimum fit for the child as it grows.

Other great features include removable infant insert, machine washable cover, car seat protector mat, padded belt mates and a lifetime warranty of 10 Years on the shell and 3 years on the fabric.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Review

At 12.9kg this convertible Britax child car seat is the heaviest in these baby car seat comparison reviews, but it does have a unique patented ClickTight installation system making installation as easy as buckling a seat belt.

A mixture of great safety features provides you with peace of mind while you’re on the go with your child. These safety features include an impact absorbing base, complete side impact protection technology, impact stabilizing steel frame and a V shaped tether that minimises seat rotation.

For comfort and support there is a foam padded and fabric seat that has 7 recline positions together with the 14 position easy adjust harness and push button height system which ensures customizable comfort for your child.

The Britax Marathon car seat is available in a range of colours and is another great choice for families.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Safe N Sound Platinum PRO SICT ISOFIX Car Seat Review

Britax claim that this ISOFIX compatible Safe N Sound Platinum convertible car seat is their most advanced car seat yet.

THe ISOFLEX connectors make it super easy for parents to install this car seat in their vehicle whilst the push button harness makes it simple to ensure your child is properly secured. The car seat also features side impact technology which provides head and torso protection and minimizes energy impact to your child in the case of an accident.  The car seat also features deeper side wings which shield your child’s head.

There is the option to have your child in the rear facing position longer as your child can remain in this position up until the ages of 2-3 years old.  Other features include shoulder pads, an adjustable harness and headrest together with the 4 recline positions providing support and comfort to your growing child.  

The Platinum PRO SITC is available in 2 dark easy to maintain colours, with a full length car seat protector, handy storage pocket, and a colourful holder a dummy clip or toys.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

MAXI COSI Euro Nxt Convertible Car Seat with ISOFIX Review

Yet another MAXI COSi car seat, the Euro Nxt convertible car seat is ISOFIX compatible and comes in three easy to maintain colours.

Safety features of the MAXI Cosi include crash absorbing technology for full body protection and superior side impact technology to protect your child’s head .  The car seat also has a 6-point safety harness and top tether strap in order to safely secure your little one, whilst the latch system makes installation a breeze.

The height adjusting harness is very easy to operate with one hand, as are the 5 adjustable headrest positions.   Other features include removable infant insert, machine washable cover, padded belt mates and car seat protector mat.   The car seat also has 3 adjustable recline positions.

The MAXI Cosi comes with the lifetime warranty of 10 years on the shell and 3 years on the fabric with the bonus of the accident exchange service.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Safety 1st Complete Air 65 Convertible Car Seat Review

For those looking for one of the great quality cheap child car seats which make a great back up the Safety First Complete Air 65 is a good choice.

This Safety First car seat features Air Protect technology which is an advance air cushion system providing full body side impact and head protection.   It also include a 5 point harness system with up front adjustment making it easy to adjust the straps whilst your child sits in the seat.

This car seat is also really easy to install and re-configure with its easy to use anchor latches, colour coded instruction labels and coloured manual which makes it super handy if you have to constantly switch vehicles.

This convertible car seat is super lightweight at 8 kg (one of the lightest in these baby car seat reviews) and comes in 12 different fabric options. Other features of this car seat include an easy to adjust headrest, removable cup holder and infant insert.

The Safety 2st Complete Air 65 is suitable in the rear facing position for children 2.2 kg to 18 kg and in the forward facing position for children 10 kgs to 30 kgs.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Evenflo Symphony LX Convertible Car Seat Review

The Evenflo Symphony LX is another great option for families looking for a quality budget option.

Weighing in at 10.4 kg it is not the lightest car seat in these reviews, but it is suitable for children from 2.2 kg up to 50 kg which is the largest weight limits of all car seats in this review.  Making it ideal if you have exceptionally heavy children.

With easy to read instructions together with its quick connector latch system, additional tether straps, easy to use up front multi-position recline lever and 1- hand adjustable headrest functions, this car seat is easy to install.  It is also quite slimline so it will fit safely into almost any vehicle.The 5 point harness is on a unique sliding track system, allowing you to perfectly adjust the shoulder pieces to your child’s comfort for an accurate fit as the child grows.

This car seat has all the standard features you would expect from a quality car seat including side impact protection, energy absorbing foam liner, removable head and body pillow, machine washable cover and cup holder.

This is a 3 in I car seat and is suitable in the rear facing position for children 2.2 kg to 18 kg,  in the forward facing position for children up to 30 kg and then as a booster up children up to 50 kg.

>> Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

 

Looking for other baby products? Read about the best pram here and other kids guides here.

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