With child car safety always a hot topic, our readers told us their children's safety was paramount. We had clear leaders in this category - brands and models which have stood the test of time with the Australian public.
But as well as safety, parents also consider seat dimensions, comfort factor, and ease of use for the adult.
Here are the most popular and highly recommended car seat brands, as chosen by our readers.
Safe N Sound took out the top spot with its popular range of child car seats - Compaq, Maxi Rider AHR, Meridian and Platinum to name a few mentioned by a large proportion of our audience. Safe N Sound offers baby capsules, convertible car restraints, harnessed booster seats, and remain the most popular and trusted brand in Australia.
Read what our members love about Britax Safe'n'Sound car seats:
- Storage compartments front and rear, extended rear-facing allowance, easy height adjustment, and great safety rating (AHR). Megan B, VIC.
- Compact, light, and my 3 year old is still able to rear face in it. Brilliant height markers (Balance). Madeline B. NSW.
- This seat is plush and comfy. It exceeds safety standards and is slimline so you can either fit 3 in the back, or you get more free space (Compaq). Tamara C. NSW.
- Coverts from laying down to upright. Plenty of cushioning which is removable as your bub grows (Maxi Rider). Amanda L. NSW.
Hot on the heels of the winner is Infa Secure; a brand which has become synonymous with combining safety and aesthetics in child car restraints. It's the largest Australian-owned and operated child restraint company and is now run by a 4th generation of the family which started the business 60 years ago.
Infa Secure can lay claim to many innovations in child restraint technology in Australia, including the first 0 to 4 compact convertible car seat and the first revolving car seat in Australia.
Read what our members love about InfaSecure car seats:
- I love this car seat, from the padding to the height markers. It just looks so comfortable for my baby and is safe too (Caprice). Sarah S. VIC
- It has the best CREP safety ratings across all if it's convertible stages and it's easy to use, plus it has a small footprint (Comfi Caprice). Leonie M. VIC
- Extra padding, nice colours, looks very comfy, allows for extended rear facing (Kompressor). Ilona B. NSW.
- Easy to install, birth to 8 years, comfy, excellent safety rating, looks fab, choice of lap sash and 5-point harness (Evolve). Lyndal S. NSW
A relative newcomer to the Australian market, European brand Maxi Cosi has evidently made the most of its five years here, with readers rating the brand highly when it comes to child restraints. Pioneering extended rearward facing for babies and toddlers, Maxi Cosi continues to provide car seats which make this possible - a concept that the Australian public is slowly coming around to. Maxi Cosi seats are attractive and feature state of the art fabrics to keep babies and young children cool and well ventilated, as well as well-protected in the event of an accident.
Read what our members love about Maxi-Cosi car seats:
- it was so easy to transpose from the car to pram to home. Baby was comfortable and never got too hot, and she didn't grow out of it too fast. Chloe W. SA.
- Baby doesn't sweat with the fabric and comfortable for baby (Complete Air). Anna-Lee F. VIC.
- It fit rear facing in my little car and a passenger could still fit comfortably in the front (Euro). Philipa R. NSW.
- Very light, easy to use, put the baby in and out, easy to put in the car. Feels very safe and well made. Clicks onto my pram so I don't have to take the baby out of it at all. ( Mico AP) Tereza G. QLD.
Britax Steelcraft Infant Carriers
Steelcraft rated highly with its infant carrier, which isn't surprising considering the Steelcraft Strider came in as our winner for favourite pram. Providing a pram and capsule travel system option for parents long before many other brands caught on to the concept, Steelcraft remains a favourite brand of capsule for babies in Australia. Being able to transfer a sleeping baby from pram to car is the pinnacle of early parent life and readers applauded this system in droves.
Read what our members love about Britax Steelcraft infant carriers:
- We bought this capsule as it was directly compatible with our pram. It's great that we can transport our baby safely and transfer her to the pram without waking her up! (Steelcraft Infant Carrier). Sonya A. SA
- Best thing for transporting infant twins. Clip in the car and pram ... it also rocks while visiting grandmas (Steelcraft Infant Carrier). Samantha C. QLD.
- Clicks right into pram without having to disturb baby, very easy to use and can also be used as a rocker. Shopping trips are delight as baby doesn't work from car to pram (Steelcraft Infant Carrier). Natasha S. QLD.
- I used the capsule included with my pram package and both my babies slept a lot in this capsule in the early days, as it was so secure and comfortable (Steelcraft Infant Carrier). Anthea G. NSW.
See more 2015 Essential Baby Award Winners
Best Prams/strollers 2015
Best Baby Carriers 2015
Best Nappies (disposable & MCN) 2015
Best Nappy Bags 2015
Best Family Cars 2015
Best High Chairs 2015
Best Cots 2015
Best Swaddles and Baby Sleeping Bags 2015
Best Maternity/Babywear Brands 2015
Essential Baby "Must Haves" 2015