Top 10 best baby car seats in Australia

You’re up to speed on how to choose a car seat for your baby. But making that final decision? It can be freaking hard. Not only are there so many car seats on the market, they honestly all start to look the same after a while (they’re generally black or grey, feature a sh*tload of padding, and a harness – seriously). 

We know you’ve got enough baby prep on your plate (especially if you’re a first-time mum). So, we’re here to help get you started with choosing a seat for your baby – here are 10 of the best baby car seats in Australia. 

Buckle up (pun intended), and let’s jump in. 

But quickly before we do… 

This piece is going to focus on the best baby car seats.  Specifically, ones that can be used by newborns and babies; we’re talking little ones 12 months and under. 

According to Australian safety regulations, children under six months of age must use a rear-facing car seat with an inbuilt harness. Children aged six months to four years must use either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat with an inbuilt harness. The positioning of the car seat will be determined by your little one’s size and the size requirements of your car seat’s manufacturer for forward-facing seating. The main thing to remember is that the safest car seat positioning is the one that’s most appropriate for your little one’s size (car seat safety is paramount, y’all). 

So, when it comes to car seats that can be used by newborns and babies, there are two main types you’ll find: 

  • Capsule car seats: otherwise known as infant car seats in the US, these are rear-facing only, so are especially for newborns and small babies. They feature a removable seat that can be taken in and out of the car or attached to a stroller. And they can usually be used from birth until about 12 months of age (or when your baby grows out of it).

  • Convertible car seats: these can convert (hence the name) from rear-facing to forward-facing as your little one grows, so you can actually use them beyond babyhood and they’re the best car seat for tall babies (i.e., there’s room to move). They are suitable for newborns with the help of a padded insert, and unlike capsules, they stay put in the car and don’t attach to a stroller. They can generally be used from birth until about four years of age.

There are many, many baby car seats out there, and the one you choose will depend on factors like the size of your car and whether it takes an ISOFix fastening system or if the car seat will need to be secured with a seatbelt, what features you want in the car seat itself, your stroller (if choosing a capsule), and which car seat you find simplest to use. So let’s help you start to narrow things down.

The best baby car seats 

The list below is by no means extensive – it’s really designed to help you begin your search. But know that these seats are some of the best-rated baby car seats when it comes to safety (according to the Child Restraint Evaluation Program, or CREP for short, a body that assesses and scores car seats for how well they protect little ones in a crash). Plus, they’re easy to buy from baby stores around Australia and online (as of January 2022). So the one you choose might very likely be on this list anyway!

Let’s start with capsule car seats.

The best all-rounder capsule car seat – Chicco Keyfit Plus Infant Carrier

Fitting type: Seatbelt

CREP protection rating: 4.6 stars

About: Chicco’s Keyfit Plus Infant Carrier is easy to install correctly, fits with a range of compatible strollers, features impact-absorbing foam and a removable seat (for washing), and can be used for infants as small as 1 kg (4lbs) and up to 13kgs (28lbs) or 76cm (30in) in height. Plus, it comes with a removable sun protection canopy (hooray). 

Why we love it: It has a smooth base that’s designed to protect your car seats as well as easy-to-read leveling indicators to help ensure it’s installed at the correct angle. 

Buy it here

Chicco Keyfit Plus Infant Carrier capsule car seat

Source: Chicco

The most stylish car seat – Nuna Klik Plus

Fitting type: Seatbelt and ISOFix

CREP protection rating: 2.5 stars (seatbelt); 2.9 stars (ISOFix)

About: Nuna’s Klik Plus is the revamped version of its beloved Pipa car seat. It’s made from high-performance materials like aerospace aluminum for maximum safety, includes an all-season, sun-protective canopy, and pairs perfectly with Nuna’s strollers for use when on the go. 

Why we love it: Look, it’s got a goddamn leatherette carry handle. Enough said! But really, we love a product that offers safety and style. 

Buy it here

Nuna Klik Plus capsule car seat

Source: Baby Bunting

The safer than safe car seat – Cybex Cloud Q 

Fitting type: Seatbelt

CREP protection rating: 5 stars (wow!)

About: This capsule ticks so many boxes. It has a ‘lie-flat’ position that turns the seat into a carrycot when outside the car, a removable inlay making it appropriate for use by premmies and very small babies, a specially engineered impact protection system for safety, a fully-adjustable headrest and carry handle, and a sun canopy for sun safety. It also fits with a range of strollers and buggies, including those from Cybex itself. 

Why we love it: It’s compatible with Sensor Safe, a system that attaches to your little one’s car seat and sends alerts to your phone if your child is unattended in the car, if they’re too hot or cold, if they’ve been in their seat for too long, and even if they’ve managed to unclip their harness (because babies are little houdinis). How good. 

Buy it here

Cybex Cloud Q capsule car seat

Source: Baby Kingdom

The easiest-to-carry car seat – Mountain Buggy Protect Infant Car Seat

Fitting type: Seatbelt and ISOFix

CREP protection rating: 3.6 stars (seatbelt); 1.9 stars (ISOFix)

About: This car seat is light as a feather (well, not really but you know what we mean) and comes with an ergonomic handle that distributes weight making it easy to carry. It also comes with the usual suspects: a five-point harness and thick foam running high up either side of the seat to protect your little one. Plus, you’ll find it has a sun canopy and fits with Mountain Buggy’s strollers.

Why we love it: it has some handy accessories for purchase, including a summer seat cover that’s designed to keep your kiddo cool and comfy during the warmer months. 

Mountain Buggy’s Protect Infant Car Seat is currently unavailable. However, you can sign up on Mountain Buggy’s website to be notified when it’s available again. 

Mountain Buggy Protect Infant Car Seat

Source: Mountain Buggy

And onto convertible car seats.

The best all-round convertible car seat – Safe-n-Sound QuickFix

Fitting system: Seatbelt and ISOFix 

CREP protection rating: 4.2 stars (seatbelt, rear-facing); 3.8 stars (seatbelt, forward-facing); 3.3 stars (ISOFix, rear-facing); 3.5 stars (ISOFix forward-facing)

About: Safe-n-Sound’s QuickFix car seat is easy to install, easy to adjust (the headrest and harness, we mean), offers two reclining positions for comfort while asleep, and isn’t big (meaning it won’t take up your whole backseat). 

Why we love it: your babe can actually stay rear-facing in this car seat until about two or three years of age, keeping them safer for longer. Cool, no? 

Buy it here.

Safe-n-Sound QuickFix convertible car seat

Source: Baby Kingdom 

The easy to keep clean car seat – Safe-n-Sound b-first ClickTight Tex

Fitting system: Seatbelt and ISOFix

CREP protection rating: 2.9 stars (rear-facing); 3.4 stars (forward-facing)

About: Britax’s Safe-N-Sound b-first ClickTight TEX is one of the best car seats that grows with your baby. It offers a slew of features like extra cushioning across the head and torso areas for ultimate side impact protection, a super protective shell, ventilation zones to keep your little one cool and comfy (ideal if your little one will be spending any length of time in the seat, like during a road trip), and an easily adjustable headrest. It’s also damn easy to install. 

Why we love it: it has a high-performance fabric lining that’s stain and moisture-resistant, making it easy to keep clean. Love! 

Buy it here

Safe-n-Sound b-first ClickTight Tex car seat

Source: Baby Kingdom

The best for passengers car seat – Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro

Fitting system: Seatbelt and ISOFix

CREP protection rating: 2.6 stars (rear-facing, seatbelt); 3.6 stars (forward-facing, seatbelt); 4.5 stars (rear-facing, ISOFix); 2.4 stars (forward-facing, ISOFix)

About: Maxi-Cosi is one of the best baby car seat brands out there, and it has such a wide range of car seats on offer (it sells capsules, convertible car seats, and even boosters that your kiddo will use once they’re out of their convertible car seat). We particularly like Maxi-Cosi’s Vita Pro car seat because it’s Australia’s most compact rear-facing car seat (it’s just 540mm deep, so perfect if you often have long-legged passengers in your front seat). On top of this, it’s safe as sh*t, offering superior head and body protection in the event of a crash, and cool wicking fabric that draws moisture away from little bodies. 

Why we love it: it also has magnetic harness holders which keep those little clips in one spot while you wrangle your baby into their seat (trust us, they’re helpful AF). 

Buy it here.

Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro car seat

Source: Baby Kingdom

The small car car seat – Infa-Secure Quattro Astra

Fitting system: Seatbelt

CREP protection rating: 4.3 stars (rear-facing); 3.8 stars (forward-facing)

About: Sitting at just 420mm wide, this is a super-compact car seat – great news if you drive a small car or if you are transporting multiple kids in seats. Features on this puppy include a special ‘Air Cocoon’ technology that reduces impact force in the event of a crash, a super breathable fabric lining to keep your little person temperate (it can also be effortlessly removed and washed in the event of spills), and an easily adjustable headrest and harness. It can also be used in the rear-facing position until your child is about 30 months of age (because #safety).

Why we love it: it comes in some of the funkiest colors we’ve seen in car seats – there’s a sleek charcoal, but you can also buy it in aqua and purple. 

Buy it here

Infa-Secure Quattro Astra car sear

Source: Infa-Secure

The sensible car seat – Joie Armour FX

Fitting system: Seatbelt and ISOFix 

CREP protection rating: 3.5 stars (rear-facing, seatbelt); 3.3 stars (forward-facing, seatbelt); 3.4 stars (rear-facing, ISOFix); 3.4 stars (forward-facing, ISOFix)

About: Joie’s Armour FX car seat boasts a reinforced steel inner shell, extra protection on its sides, a two-way customizable newborn insert for your little one’s head and body, a fully adjustable headrest and harness system that’s perfect as your kiddo grows, multiple recline positions when installed forward-facing, and even cooling fabrics for comfort. Tick, tick, tick, and tick. 

Why we love it: it has handly little storage pockets for toys, snacks, or whatever your little one needs. It’s the little touches, you know?

Buy it here

Joie Armour FX car seat

Source: Baby Bunting

The budget-friendly car seat – Mother’s Choice Adore AP 

Fitting system: Seatbelt and ISOFix

CREP protection rating: 4.8 stars (rear-facing, seatbelt); 3.8 stars (forward-facing, seatbelt); 4.9 stars (rear-facing, ISOFix); 3.4 stars (forward-facing, ISOFix)

About: The Adore AP car seat provides superior side impact protection for your baby’s head, a plush infant insert for use from day one, an easy to use headrest, a large seating depth to accommodate growing little ones, wicking fabric for comfort, and machine washable covers (you know, convenience and all that). It’s nice and compact, too, making it a go-to in our books. 

Why we love it: it offers all the features you’d want in a car seat, but without a hefty price tag. On top of this, it’s rated as one of the best baby convertible car seats in Australia. What a win. 

Buy it here

Mother's Choice Adore AP car seat

Source: Baby Kingdom 

We hope this gets you started on the right foot, mama. Happy shopping – you’ve got this. 
It’s important to know that your baby’s car seat should always be installed correctly and should always meet safety guidelines. For information on child car safety tips and Australian regulations, visit childcarseats.com.au.

Read next: We asked an expert what to look for when buying a stroller

Mumli.com, How to choose a car seat for your baby

Raisingchildren.net, Child car seats: a guide

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Car seats and booster seats

Childcarseats.com.au, Find & compare child car seats

Childcarseats.com.au, Who we are

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