Toddler car seats – 5 favourites from our car seat expert

Our car seat expert, Mandy Lee Miller shares her 5 favourite toddler seats, based on research, crash test results and personal hands-on experience.

Choosing a car seat for your growing baby can be overwhelming. To help make the decision easier, Creator and Director of #CarseatFullstop Mandy Lee Miller shares her 5 favourite toddler seats.

Top tip

Try keep your baby in their infant seat up to 13kg or 75cm. However, once they can sit unassisted (around 6 months old), it’s advisable to move them into one of the safe rear-facing toddler seats below. Your goal should be to keep your little one rear-facing for as long as possible as it is much safer for their developing body.

ALSO SEE: Swedish child safety heading to South Africa

We recommend these toddler car seats

Axkid Minikid

R7 999, Greendot Baby Boutique, AxkidZA

Suitable up to 25kg or 125cm (around age 6)

Why this seat?

The Axkid Minikid is compact and can be installed with a 3-point seatbelt and lower tethers, making it suitable for almost every car. There is an additional angle adjusting wedge you can buy if your car has very steep seats. It passes the strictest crash test in the world, the Swedish Plus Test, and is safe for use rear-facing with the harness until your child is 25kg or 125cm. Out of all the toddler car seats, Axkid seats are the longest lasting. The covers use zips and press studs to keep it firmly in place on the seat, are machine-washable at 30°C and easy to remove and replace.

Five favourite features:

  • 7 headrest levels, which means the seat grows with your child.
  • Unique auto-adjusting headrest and harness – every time you put your child in the car.
  • 5 recline positions means your little one is always safe and comfortable.
  • Axkid Side Impact Protection (ASIP) – in addition to the deep side wings.
  • Auto-tensioning lower tether straps ensure the firmest installation.

Axkid Minikid

BeSafe iZi Kid X2

R7 999, Kids Emporium, #CarseatFullstop

Suitable up to 18kg or 105cm (around age 4)

Why this seat?

The BeSafe iZi Kid is an award winning seat with an integrated isofix base. It passes the strictest crash test in the world, the Swedish Plus Test, and is safe for use rear-facing with the harness until your child is 18kg or 105cm. The isofix arms adjust to provide better legroom for your child or to provide more room for the person the front seat.

Five favourite features:

  • A patented front brace which mechanically locks the seat for a solid installation.
  • When your little one falls asleep, the recline position can be adjusted while he’s in the seat.
  • A smart belt system holds the harness out of the way.
  • Ventilation at the back of the seat keeps your child cool on those hot, sweaty days.
  • ISOfix indicators show the seat is safely installed.

BeSafe iZi Kid X2

Maxi Cosi 2Way Pearl

From R4 750, #CarseatFullstop, Kids Living

*Can only be used with the Maxi Cosi 2wayFix or 3wayFix base –  from R3 750

Suitable up to 18kg or 105cm (around age 4)

Why this seat?

The 2Way Pearl was the first i-size compliant seat on the Maxi Cosi range. The seat allows both rear and forward facing up to 18kg or 105cm, although the brand encourages families to keep their children rear facing as long as possible. The seat can only be used with the independently purchased 2WayFix or 3WayFix isofix base.

Five favourite features:

  • An easy-in harness, which stays open so you can easily get kids in and out.
  • Interactive light and sound feedback on the isofix base confirm correct fit.
  • The seat can be fully reclined in either rear or forward facing.
  • It’s a modular system, so if you have purchased the base with the infant seat, you need only buy the seat itself.
  • Maxi Cosi offers a lifetime warrantee on all its registered products (terms & conditions apply).

Maxi Cosi 2Way Pearl

Axkid Move

R6 500, Greendot Baby Boutique, AxkidZA

Suitable up to 25kg or 125cm (around age 6)

Why this seat?

The Axkid Move is the most affordable premium extended rear-facing seat on the South African market. It also passes the strictest crash test in the world, the Swedish Plus Test. As an Axkid seat, it allows rear facing with the harness until your child is 25kg or 125cm – another of the longest lasting of the toddler seats.

Five favourite features:

  • Most affordable Swedish Plus tested seat on the market.
  • Best fit for cars. Compact build, 3-point seatbelt and lower tether installation, angle adjusting wedge available to purchase for steep vehicle seats.
  • Deep side wings and Axkid Side Impact Protection (ASIP).
  • Its seat covers are soft to the touch, zips and press studs keep it fitted, it’s easy to remove and replace, and is machine-washable at 30°C.
  • It is simple to install and incredibly secure.

Axkid Move

Safeway Polar

R3 500, Baby City, Wheel Well

Suitable from the ages of 6 months to about 10 to 12 years (1.5m tall)

Multistage seats are only recommended when severe financial constraints apply. A seat specifically designed for your little one’s height, weight and stage of development is a much safer option. Safeway is the only affordable car seat range that #CarseatFullstop trusts for its safety. We admire the company’s commitment and dedication to developing the safest seats at the most affordable prices for South African children. NPO Wheel Well in Gauteng has seen thousands of used seats over their 7 years in operation and the longevity and reliability of the Safeway seats makes them our first choice.

Why this seat?

The Safeway Polar is a unique offering on the South African market. It is built for families whose budgets can only extend to a single seat after the infant stage. The seat offers rear facing to 18kg or 105cm, forward facing from 2 years old to 18kg or 105cm, forward-facing extended harness use to 25kg or 115cm if top tethered, and a full-back booster seat to 1.5m tall.

Five favourite features:

  • Extended rear facing. It’s an affordable seat allowing you to keep your child rear facing to 18kg or 105cm.
  • Extended harnessing. If your car has a top tether point, you can use the 5-point harness when forward facing up to 25kg or 115cm.
  • Seatbelt OR isofix and top tether installation.
  • Booster seat. When your child outgrows the harness, the seat converts into a full-back, seatbelt positioning booster seat until your child can safely use the vehicle seatbelt alone at 1.5m tall (between 10 and 12 years old).
  • 3 recline options in both toddler and booster mode.

Safeway Polar

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