What is a group 1 car seat?
It’s an exciting time when your baby is ready to face forwards into the world, and you can move them into a forward facing car seat from around nine months, or when they weigh 9kg.
That said, babies are safer in a rearward facing car seat up to the age of at least 15 months and, indeed, safety experts recommended rearward facing for as long as possible. It’s actually safer for adults to travel facing backwards too!
Because babies grow at different rates, your child’s weight is much more important than their age, so bear that in mind when deciding when’s best to move them to the next stage.
Which group 1 car seat is right for you?
We all know toddlers grow astonishingly quickly so look out for head cushions, back rest and sides which adjust quickly and easily as your child grows.
Adjustable recline positions are always helpful for kiddies who drop off in the car.
How much do group 1 car seats cost?
Prices start around £30.
Top tips for buying a group 1 car seat
We think drink and snack holders are nice to have, but not essential.
Safety tip: when forward facing, do not use on a front passenger seat unless your vehicle manufacturer declares it safe to do so in your vehicle handbook. Always check the vehicle handbook for correct vehicle seat positioning.
Generally, the best position for a car seat is the left hand side of the car on the back seat. This helps when taking baby out as you'll be next to the pavement.
Ready to buy?
Take a look at some of the popular Group 1 car seats below.
Joie – Transcend Highback booster seat
RRP: £180 - Buy now
- Side impact protection is adjustable and provides added security for the head, body and hips.
- Guard Surround Safety™ panels provide extra side protection and fold into the seat when you’re not using it.
- This booster seat also has a four position SnugShield™ restraint with ventilation for ultimate comfort.
- It has an 11-position headrest that can be adjusted with one hand.
- It also includes a 10-position retractable ISOFIX connectors and easy ISOFIX release button.
Age: 9 months up to 12 years
Product weight: 7.8kg
Why we love the Transcend seat .... ...
- This is a great option seat for your older baby that will last till they no longer need a car seat.
- We adore the clever design that snuggles babies and toddlers but is removable to make room for your growing child.
- Safety is key with this seat and we love the peace of mind of the 10-position retractable ISOFIX connectors.
- We love that this seat is easy to use and fit and even the headrest can be adjusted with one hand.
- The adjustable side wings widen as your child grows making this a good value seat.
- We love the peace of mind that this seat has ISOFIX connectors ensuring baby's safety at all times.
Britax Duo Plus
RRP: £219.99 - Buy now
Britax has won numerous safety awards and is a trusted brand: the Duo Plus is a solid performer that isn’t too heavy or bulky.
- 5-point safety harness with one-pull adjustment
- Deep softly padded side wings for side impact protection
- Unique Pivot Link system reduces forward movement
- Height adjustable headrest
- Reclines in 3 positions
- Optional top tether provides third anchoring point
Age: 9 months to 4 years/ 9-18kg
Product weight: 9kg
Dimensions: H64cm x W45cm x D46cm
Fitting: Isofix or seatbelt
Why we love the Britax Duo Plus ....
- This seat isn’t back-breakingly heavy – unlike some - so it’s easy to move between different cars.
- The side wings are obviously a great side-impact safety feature, but also support a sleeping toddler’s head so it doesn’t automatically flop down onto their chest
- You really get the benefit of this seat when using Isofix: it’s so simple to click in and out.
- When using Isofix, there’s a colour-coded system to show whether it’s correctly fitted – great for peace of mind.
Maxi-Cosi Priori XP
RRP: £150 - Buy now
A well thought-out, practical and comfortable Group 1 seat with a brilliant recline mechanism.
- Reclines to 4 positions
- Belt tensioner to ensure safe installation
- Side impact protection
- Belt hooks keep the harness out of the way
Age: 9 months to 4 years/ 9-18kg
Product weight: 8.8kg
Dimensions: H69cm x W44cm x D52cm
Why we love the Maxi-Cosi Priori XP ....
- This seat has been a favourite of parents for years. It’s really roomy – sometimes even a bit big for nine-month-olds, although you can buy a neck support for smaller ones.
- The reclining positions are more generous than some other Group 1 seats so their head is much more likely to stay supported when in the land of nod – and reclining can be done one-handed. Our favourite feature.
- We love the clever little details – especially the hooks to keep the straps out of the way.
- It seems to sit a bit higher than some seats, so they can look out of the window rather than moan...maybe.
Recaro Young Sport Hero
RRP: £165 - Buy now
An extraordinarily sturdy and safe car seat with sporty looks that will take your child from toddler to age 12.
- Advanced side protection: protective foam at strategic points
- Seat ‘grows’ with your child
- 5-point harness that’s automatically repositioned when backrest is adjusted
- Height adjustable headrest (3 positions for Group 1, 2 for Groups 2 & 3)
Age: 9 months to 12 years/ 9-36kg
Product weight: 8.5kg
Dimensions: H71.5cm x W44cm x D44cm
Why we love the Recaro Young Sport Hero...
- Enormous side wings give great peace of mind – and they also help a sleeping child’s head stay supported (this seat does recline, but not that much)
- Sophisticated, sporty and clean design so it doesn’t look too babyish when your child is 8, 9, 10...
- We love the breathable fabrics and ventilated foam Recaro uses – no hot, sweaty and whingy children!
- It seems expensive, but it’s good value if you intend to use it until they are much older, so you won’t ever have to buy another seat.