Car seat can be defined into specific weight groups. These weight groups are defined by the United Nations safety regulations and in the UK cover children from birth to 12 years of age. The basic weight groups are: group 0 & 0+, group 1, group 1-2-3 and group 3.

A good car seat will grow with your child. Buying a new car seat for each stage of your little one’s growth can get expensive, which is why a multi-stage (or Group 1-2-3) car seat is such a good investment.

 

What is a Group 1-2-3 car seat?

This type of car seat is suitable for children anywhere from 9kg to 36kg, or those who are 135cm tall – which is around 9 months to 12 years. At this stage, children can sit in the back seat with a booster seat and either a harness or a seat belt, depending on age.

 

In this category, car seats tend to have high backs and are generally highly versatile. Many give you the option of eventually removing the backrest so you can use it as a booster seat only, and others come with the ability to remove the harness and replace with a seat belt when appropriate.

You may have heard of i-Size legislation, which dictates the best car seat based on height. This newer legislation does not currently override the existing EU legislation.

 

Should I choose with or without a harness?

The law states that children in Group 1 (9kg and 18kg, and approximately 9 months to 4 years) must always be secured in their car seat with a harness. Luckily, this group of car seats are designed to adapt with your child’s needs, so often the harnesses are removable.

 

How can I fit the car seat?

Nowadays there are two options for fitting a car seat: the traditional (also known as universal) method of attaching the seat to your car with your existing seat belt, or the ISOFIX method – which involves a base for your car seat being fitted to your car by a qualified professional.

 

Once your ISOFIX base is fitted, you can check the car seat is properly attached, thanks to an indicator light. An ISOFIX connection is increasingly being viewed as the safest fitting option.

 

What car seat laws should I know about?

According to the law, all children under 12 years of age or 135cm tall must travel in a properly installed car seat. However, if you have to make an unplanned and necessary car journey, children over 3 years of age may use an adult seatbelt for short distances.

 

Anything else to consider?

Car seats in this category are likely to be with you for a number of years, so it’s important to consider comfort, durability and practicality, alongside safety.

 

Look for adjustable head support with side protection, plenty of cushioning and ventilation for those long, hot summer car rides. Opt for an ergonomically-shaped seat for optimum comfort and happier car journey’s all round. Removable covers are also a plus, particularly if they are machine washable.

 

Take a look at our impressive selection of Group 1-2-3 car seats today.

 

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About the author: Lucy

Lucy is our youngest regular contributor at 24 and has recently welcomed her first child, Charlotte, only 3 months ago. As a single mum living in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, she's a huge fan of photography, cycling, and all things DIY - when she has time, of course.

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