The first time expectant parents walk into a baby shop to chose a child restraint, they are
often overwhelmed with the sheer number of restraints on the market. It doesn't have to be complicated to make the right decision.
Will it fit in your vehicle?
It's easy to buy a restraint that is too big for your vehicle.
Whilst any restraint will fit in just about any car , a big restraint will greatly limit the other passengers space in both the front and the back. Does someone tall sit in the front? Do you have lots of passengers in the back? Often a compact child restraint is a good choice to maximize space.
Is the child restraint easy to use?
Whilst all child restraints are safe and well tested, it's important that you can operate it easily. Features like no rethread harnesses and smooth harnesses will make it much easier to get baby in and out of the car and have the harness adjusted well.
Whilst the seatbelt method is just as safe, it's not overly easy. Isofix or Clicktight installation methods will generally make installing the restraint easier and has less margin of error.
Extended rear facing!
It's a good idea to always buy an extended rear facing child restraint so that you can keep baby rear facing for as long as possible. Whilst non ERF restraints are safe, they will limit your child's ability to stay rear facing. Extended rear facing restraints can be easily identified by them having 3 height markers.
Capsule vs convertible restraints!
*Capsules are super handy as they allow you to transition baby from the car to a pram or inside your home without disturbing them too much. Their only downside is that they will only last 6-12m on average depending on what you purchase.
*0-4 restraints will last significantly longer but you lose a bit of the convenience that you get with capsules.
*0-8 restraints will last the longest. There is two styles of 0-8 restraint, one of which is not extended rear facing or extended harnessing and the other 0-8 offers both extended rear facing and extended harnessing but is quite large in overall size.
I hope this helps make a tough decision a little bit easier.
Correct and tight is always right.