Confused About ISOFIX? We’ve Got the Answers
1. So what is an ISOFIX base?
An ISOFIX base is an attachment that’s fitted directly to the chassis of your car. This allows you to safely install your child’s car seat by simply clicking the car seat on and lifting it off with either a lever or a button.
2. Does my car have to have ISOFIX?
If you’re looking at an ISOFIX base then yes. Some car seat bases do give the option of installing them with just a seatbelt making it non-ISOFIX, yet still allowing you to use the click and go system.
3. What is ISOFIX?
ISOFIX refers to the two metal bars that are welded directly onto your car’s chassis. In some cars they are highly visible and in others they are concealed.
This depends on which car seat you have. The majority of infant carriers tend to fit in with a seat belt as well as ISOFIX, whereas some car seats aren’t ISOFIX compatible at all. In short, if your car seat has the option to fit in with a seat belt then no, you don’t need an ISOFIX base.
Above: Visible ISOFIX points in a vehicle
Above: Concealed ISOFIX points in a vehicle
5. If I don’t need a base then why should I buy one?
It’s easier and it’s safer. Installing your seat using a base eliminates the chance of fitting the seat incorrectly. A survey carried out by Good Egg in 2014 found that 71% of seats tested in England were fitted incorrectly. It’s widely believed that incorrect car seat fitting is responsible for increased child road fatalities.
6. Will my base fit my next-stage car seat?
This depends on which base you have. Maxi-Cosi currently offer two bases: the FamilyFix and the 2wayFix base. Both allow you to put their next stage seats on them. There are pros and cons to this however; if you choose one of these bases then you can rest assured that the next car seat you use will be one of the highest quality, safest seats (especially the extended rear-facing seat – the Maxi-Cosi 2Way Pearl.)
The downside to this is that you are stuck to this one seat and if you wanted to for example put the seat in a grandparents car who didn’t have ISOFIX, then you may not have the option to install it with a seatbelt meaning you have to outlay more money for another seat. If you do choose a base though which doesn’t allow you to place your next stage car seat on it don’t worry. The manufacturers tend to have a next stage option with ISOFIX already built in to the seat.
All in all ISOFIX bases make life a lot easier for parents, especially on a rainy day when your little one isn’t too happy and you’ve got a trolley full of shopping that you need to put in your car. They also give you piece of mind that your car seat is fitted properly as in the above situation it would be very easy to forget something small when seat belting a car seat in making it unsafe.