There are 2 types of installation options when it comes to fixing your car seat in your car. Belted or ISOFIX. Not only will it be visible from the car seat itself what kind of installation method your particular seat has, but also will it explicitly be told on the packaging, the product page description or by the sales person when you make your purchase.
The choice is all being determined by what kind of car you drive. If your car has ISOFIX anchor points, choose a car seat with ISOFIX. If your car doesn’t have these anchor points in the back seat, then you’ll have no choice but to go for the belted option. Both options work just as well when used correctly. Check your car manual to learn about your car’s situation.
If your car doesn’t have ISOFIX anchor points then you will have to buy a car seat with belted installation option. Installation of these seats can be rather tricky, because the seatbelt has to be guided and placed in a certain way in order to correctly install the seat. If not done properly, the seat will not have the desired effect and may even end up being useless.
We always advice to ask the help of an expert. Usually that would be staff from where you bought the seat. Should you have bought the seat online, then check the manual, watch online installation videos and make sure you follow them precisely. Don’t rush through this job thinking that having a safety seat is already better than nothing. This is unfortunately not the case. If you’ve gone through the trouble to purchase a seat, please also go through the trouble to thoroughly understand your seat and the way to install it.
ISOFIX is a joint invention of Britax Römer and Volkswagen back in 1997. It is now worldwide the international standard for attachment points for child safety seats in passenger cars.
ISFOX refers to the standard attachment points that are manufactured into cars, being part of the actual chassis of the car. This enables compliant child safety seats to be quickly and safely secured. It was invented as an alternative to the belted child safety seats.
The anchor points can be found on the back seat of a car, sometimes covered by fabric or plastic. It might very well be that your car has ISFOX anchor points but that you’ve never noticed them before. This will actually become the case more and more often, as Indian government has mandated that ISOFIX will be standard in all cars produced in India.
The compliant child safety seat simply clicks into these anchor points, connecting the seat directly with the chassis of the car. This makes it the most safe and secure installation method as there is practically no room to do this wrong.
ISOFIX is designed to secure a maximum combined weight (comprising both seat and child) of 33 kg.
Stll somewhat confused? Watch the video below to get it all summed up by 2 Britax experts.
When researching about child safety seats, you might also stumble upon the term “ISOFIT”. This is basically the same as ISOFIX, with the exception that an ISOFIT child safety seat doesn’t have it’s own integral harness. The seat will still be installed using the ISOFIX method, but the child is strapped into the seat by the car’s own safety seat belt. This is only used for Group 3 seats.