The Best i-Size Car Seat 2023

With the introduction of the new i-Size safety regulations (R129), there are more and more new car seats hitting the market. To help you choose a seat that meets the new safety regulations, below are our best recommendations for i-Size car seats.


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Best i-size car seat
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If you require a quick answer, the best i-Size car seat that swivels is the Cybex Sirona S2, which can be used from 3 months to 4 years. However, if you are looking for an i-Size car seat that can be used from birth, the Maxi-Cosi Rock is the best alternative that includes plenty of padding to keep your baby comfortable. Alternatively, if you want your child to sit forward facing but require a seat that meets the i-Size regulations, the Cybex Pallas is our top recommendation.

To rate the i-Size car seats within our roundup, we based our recommendations on testing, our experience of using multiple seats, the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the seat’s construction, ease of use, adjustability (headrest and recline positions), additional features, warranty and value.

Best i-Size Car Seat Overview

Traditionally, the majority of group 1 car seats have always been forward facing. However, with the latest i-Size safety guidelines, the seats that comply with the standards allow your children to sit rear-facing for longer. This is made possible by using your child’s height rather than their weight to determine if the seat fits your child. There have also been changes to the regulations with regards to the rearward-facing restraints and side impact protection too. Therefore, if you are in the market for a new car seat, it’s advised that you opt for one that complies to the i-Size regulations.

Below is a list of the best car seats that are fully i-Size (R129) compliant and available in multiple types.

The Best i-Size Car Seats


1. Best Swivel: Cybex Sirona S2 i-Size Swivel Car Seat


If you require a swivel car seat that’s i-Size compliant and built to the highest of standards, the Cybex Sirona S2 is the perfect solution. It’s the brand’s new and improved car seat that includes improved safety features and an array of colour options to choose from. Although expensive, it really is a car seat that ticks all the boxes.

Pros
  • Suitable from 3 months to 4 years old
  • Integrated side impact protection
  • Energy absorbing shell for additional child safety
  • Easy installation with the ISOFIX base (it took us two minutes to install during testing)
  • An array of additional accessories available (drink holder, newborn insert and so much more)
  • Optional forward facing travel from 15 months (can remain rearwards for longer)
  • Available in a choice of 7 colours
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

To conclude, the Cybex Sirona S2 is our top recommendation if you want a rotating i-Size car seat. It isn’t the cheapest but it’s built to the highest of standards and has the reputable Cybex brand backing for complete peace of mind.

2. Best Swivel Runner-Up: Maxi-Cosi Mica Up 360 Seat


If you require a more affordable i-Size 360 car seat, the Maxi-Cosi Mica is the best alternative that’s still developed by a reputable brand. It’s available in a black, graphite or grey and is suitable for rearwards-facing travel up to 4 years old.

In terms of the standout features, it includes the desirable ISOFIX installation along with a G-Cell high-performance structure that’s designed to provide additional side impact protection for your child.

Pros
  • Effortless 360 degree rotation
  • Rearwards travel up to 4 years (105 cm)
  • Harness and headrest adjust simultaneously
  • Relatively affordable when compared to other rotating car seats that are i-Size compliant
Cons
  • One piece construction (base is fixed to the seat) makes it quite bulky to move

Overall, the Maxi-Cosi Mica is a great alternative to the Cybex above and there is no other i-Size swivel seat available at a similar price that matches its quality. Therefore, if you want an affordable rotating i-Size car seat that’s developed by a reputable brand, you can’t go wrong with the Mica model by Maxi-Cosi.

3. Best From Birth: Maxi-Cosi Rock i-Size Baby Car Seat


Another i-Size car seat by the Maxi-Cosi brand is their Rock model, which is designed to be used from birth to 12 months. What we really liked about this particular seat during testing is that it promotes a more comfortable lying position because it comes with a “BabyHug” insert that ensures a better fit as they are travelling in the car.

It’s important to note that to use this car seat with ISOFIX, you’ll require the brand’s “FamilyFix” base, which isn’t included. However, if you buy the base, it’s compatible with other seats such as the Pearl One, which is also i-Size compliant. This particular model is also a seat that allows for extended rear-facing travel up to 4 years too.

Pros
  • Choice of a red or blue design
  • Optional seat belt installation
  • Suitable for use with the brand's strollers
  • Plenty of padding to ensure your baby is as comfortable as they can possibly be in the seat
  • Very lightweight and easy to move around
Cons
  • ISOFIX base not included
  • No recline positions

Overall, the Maxi-Cosi Rock is one of the best i-Size car seats for newborns that’s easy to install and provides the utmost comfort for your baby. It isn’t the cheapest but it’s a high-quality car seat that won’t disappoint.

4. Best From Birth Runner-Up: Graco SnugEssentials i-Size Seat


A more affordable i-Size car seat that you can use from birth is the Graco SnugEssentials. It’s one of the cheapest i-Size car seats on the market that’s built to a high standard and by a reputable brand.

If you already have a Graco stroller/pram, the brand state that you are able to use this seat with adapters upon the Evo, Stage Two, Duo and Mirage travel systems, which is a great added bonus.

Pros
  • ISOFIX compatible installation
  • Comfortable newborn insert and headrest
  • Plenty of seat padding for maximum comfort
  • Machine washable covers and padding
  • Large canopy to block out the sun and provide protection
Cons
  • ISOFIX base sold seperately
  • Only available in a single colour

To conclude, the Graco SnugEssentials is a great option to consider if you are looking for an affordable i-Size car seat for your newborn. Apart from the fact that the base is sold separately and there are no colour options, there is nothing to dislike about it.

5. Best Forward Facing: Cybex Gold Pallas G i-Size Child Car Seat


If your child is ready for travelling forward facing in the car and you want an i-Size seat for its additional safety features, the Cybex Pallas G is a great option to consider. It’s one of the best-rated group 123 car seats on the market that’s available in 7 different colour options to best suit your requirements.

In terms of its usability, it’s suitable for children aged approximately 15 months to 12 years old, which means it’s a seat that’ll adjust to suit your child’s growing requirements.

Pros
  • Multiple recline positions that can be easily adjusted
  • ISOFIX and top tether installation
  • Machine washable covers
  • Air circulation system for a more comfortable body temperature on hots days
  • High quality impact shield for additional protection
  • LSP system that improves side impact protection
  • Three headrest positions
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

Cybex is leading the way in ultra-safe car seats and this group 123 i-Size car seat is a great option to consider. Not only is it built to the highest of standards but it’ll also last up until your child is 12 years of age. As an added bonus, it also benefits from having a variety of colour options to choose from to best suit your requirements too.

6. Best Forward Facing Runner-Up: Silver Cross Balance i-Size Car Seat


Another high-quality forward-facing i-Size car seat that’s developed by a reputable brand is the Silver Cross Balance. It’s an award-winning group 123 seat that’s designed to be used from 15 months to 12 years of age.

A standout feature of this multi-stage i-Size seat is that it offers plenty of adjustment with the choice of 9 headrest positions and 4 recline positions. This means that your child will always be able to find a comfortable seating position.

Pros
  • Built to a very high standard
  • Lots of seat adjustment to suit your child's growing requirements
  • Quick and easy ISOFIX installation
  • Super-soft natural bamboo fabric
  • Deep memory foam base for additional comfort
  • Easy to adjust 5 point harness
  • Improved side impact protection (i-Size compliant)
Cons
  • Paying a premium for the Silver Cross branding

To conclude, the Silver Cross Balance is a great alternative to the Cybex Pallas above and it offers a variety of unique benefits. The only main drawback is its price but the superior build quality, reputable brand backing and new and improved design make it a worthwhile investment that you won’t regret.

How We Rated

As we are parents ourselves, we’ve tried and tested a variety of car seats. However, due to the new safety regulations (R129 i-Size), we make sure that all of the seats that we upgrade to are i-Size compliant. The reason for this is that it provides us with complete peace of mind that our children are safe in the car and the seats include all the latest features.

Although swivel car seats are our favourite and most are i-Size compliant, they often come with a premium price tag. Therefore, we’ve included a wide range of i-Size car seats that are suitable for all budgets in our list of recommendations.

During our testing, we analyse the seat’s build quality, adjustability, usability, safety features and ease of installation.

best i-size car seats
best i size 360 car seat

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest i-Size car seats (for this article), we are continually testing the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new and improved seat, we will attempt to buy it to put it to the test (where applicable).

As well as our testing and experience of using multiple car seats, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the construction, safety regulations, adjustability (headrest and recline positions), additional features, warranty and value for money.

Conclusion

When it comes to transporting your child in your car, it’s vital that you choose a safe car seat and the latest i-Size car seats offer exactly that. All of the above recommendations are i-Size compliant and come in a range of types that are suitable for all budgets and designs to best suit your requirements.

If you require further information regarding our i-Size car seat recommendations, feel free to contact us and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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