Working with Parents

My experiences of advising parents on child safety

Group 1,2,3 combination car seats

on May 9, 2013

WEIGHT: 9kg – 36kg

With harness: 9kg – 18kg

as high back booster: 15kg – 36kg

OUTGROWN: 12 years old, 4’5” (4’9” in the rest of Europe – go figure…?) or 36kg.  If your child is over 36kg BUT under 4’5”, it is safest for them to continue using the booster.

Direction of travel:  Forward.  (The Klippan Triofix is extended rear facing, it converts to a high back booster to 36kg)

VARIATIONS:  Some group 1,2,3 impact shield seats are available


A group 1,2,3 car seat is a combination car seat that will accommodate a child from outgrowing the infant seat until they no longer need a car or booster seat.

(An infant group 0+ seat is outgrown at 13kg/top of head level with the top of seat.  Keep your child rear facing for as long as possible for maximum protection.  A group 1,2,3 seat can be used from 9kg, but that is no reason to move your child front facing before they have outgrown the rear facing seat)


– Presents value for money lasting until a child no longer needs a car or booster seat


– The seat has to last 10 or 11 years, legislation may change in that time that the seat may not be able to meet.  E.G: A Nania car seat will struggle to pass a side impact test, which will be mandatory by 2018 in crash testing.

– Most are very upright, which would be very unsuitable for a child under 2.

– If a recline option is present it is normally a vague tilt at best and often has to be set before fitment – so cannot be done on the move (The Cybex Pallas is an exception, the Britax Xtensafix will be too on it’s release)

– The seat must cover a very wide age range, which reduces the safety offered, as well as comfort.  A younger child will need a well padded seat to fully support their body, which 1,2,3 seats struggle to offer.


Yes, there are quite a few cons to group 1,2,3 seats – but they are a very good buy for some families.

– Grandparents car (short, irregular trips – not everyday motorway trips)

– For children who travel infrequently and on short journey’s

– If a toddler seems “too big” for a group 1 seat.  (A 2 year old has rarely outgrown a group 1 seat, despite parents concerns!)

– If a younger child is moving up to an older siblings group 1 seat, the older sibling can have a group 1,2,3 seat to convert to the booster when the harness is outgrown

– If a child has outgrown the group 1 seat by height, but the parents wish to keep the child in a harness to 18kg

-Great buy for childminders or grandparents needing the seat to accommodate a few children of varying ages (not at the same time, of course!!)


– A recline/tilt if the child still sleeps.  They can be ‘barely there’ but it is better than bolt upright.

– Side Impact Protection – look for deep, padded side wings, not slight curves to the sides that some cheaper seats have which won’t offer as much protection

– A seat that is easy to convert to the next stage

– Build Quality: The Graco Nautilus has a far better, solid build quality than a supermarket/baby shop own brand seat.  Look out for this!  The seat must last a long time, so the materials ideally need to be very good quality.  You can clearly see the difference in quality in the following pictures:

Chester Zoo 046 DSCF0671

As always, when buying a child seat ensure it fits your car and child, and is fitted and used correctly on every single journey!


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