Am I better to opt for a child restraint system with ISOFIX or for one that is secured by the car seat belt? Should I make ISOFIX attachment points a priority when buying a car? We look at the advantages and disadvantages of both so that you can choose which option best suits your requirements. The key to everything is how easy or otherwise it is for you to install a car seat.
This is because, in the event of an accident, for a child seat to operate correctly it is vital to have installed it correctly. This is the main problem many users come across with seat belts: the greater or lesser ease with which it secures the child seat correctly, always following the manufacturer's instructions.
Advantages of the ISOFIX system
- Less margin for error in its installation. Specifically, the objective of the ISOFIX system is that child seats are installed correctly. Infographic with all of the information on ISOFIX anchors.
- It is quick and easy to install. It can take just a couple of minutes.
- Isofix anchors form part of the vehicle's chassis, giving them great connection and holding power.
- In head-on collisions it shortens the trajectory of the head and reduces cervical whiplash.
- There are fewer possibilities of the child seat being displaced within the vehicle.
- A support leg or extra top tether point increases stability and avoids tipping (find out more about anti-rotation systems here).
Bear in mind:
- Not all vehicles are equipped with these anchor points. As a general rule, all new saloon cars currently on the market must have at least two seats equipped with two lower ISOFIX anchors and one ISOFIX top tether. They are usually located on the back seat on each side. Nevertheless, it is important to check this out in advance in the manufacturer's manual.
- The Isofix system is not suitable for child seats intended for larger children, as they only support up to a certain weight. That is why you often see systems that combine Isofix with seat belts. We are referring to child seats in Groups II and III.
- Not all child seats with an Isofix system can be installed in cars using a seat belt. Always consult the manufacturer's manual.
- Child seats with Isofix can be more expensive.
- To be able to install a rear-facing child seat using the Isofix system it is usually necessary to have a base:
Advantages of seat belts:
- In general, a child seat that is fitted using a three-point seat belt can be installed in practically any car that is also equipped with three-point seat belts. Generally speaking, there is a greater chance of it being suitable for all cars. In any case, it is always recommendable to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- The exclusive use of a three-point seat beat makes it easier to change the child seat from one car to another.
Bear in mind:
- You must take special care when installing the child seat, always following the manufacturer's instructions and passing the seat belt through all of the necessary slots. Without doubt, the main drawback of a seat belt is the increased possibility of making a mistake and leaving the child seat improperly secured.