Best Car Seats: NZ Buying Guide

Whether you're dashing around the city or setting off on a family road trip, picking the right car seat is crucial.

Last updated: 22 May 2024

Whether you're dashing around the city or setting off on a family road trip, picking the right car seat is crucial. It's not just about comfort; it's about keeping your little one safe every mile of the way. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options, our buying guide is here to help. We’ll walk you through the different types of car seats, highlight top brands, and help you make the best choice for your family. 

Types of car seats

You’ll want to choose a car seat based on your child's age, weight, and your travel needs. Here are your options:

1. Newborn car seats

Ideal for newborns and infants up to around 15 months, these seats are designed to protect the tiniest travellers. They're rear-facing, a position experts recommend for added safety. Plus, they come with a handle, so you can easily carry your sleeping baby from car to home without any mishaps.

Browse all newborn car seats.

2. Toddler car seats

As your baby grows, they’ll need a switch to toddler car seats, which can still be rear-facing but have more room to accommodate growing legs and curious minds. These seats ensure that toddlers from about 1 to 4 years old are snug and secure while giving them a bit of a view.

Shop toddler car seats

3. Isofix Car Seats (International Standard)

If the thought of wrestling with seat belts sounds less appealing than a silent night's sleep, Isofix is your hero. These seats snap directly into compatible vehicles using built-in anchors, simplifying the installation process and providing rock-solid stability that feels as secure as a bear hug.

Find an Isofix car seat

4. Booster car seats

When your child’s imagination grows wilder than their actual size, booster seats bridge the gap. They raise your child to a height where the seat belt fits properly, which is essential for safety and lets them enjoy the view — or nod off comfortably on long drives.

Browse all booster car seats.

5. 360 (rotating) car seats

For the ultimate convenience in getting your child in and out of the car, rotating car seats turn towards the door at the push of a button. This means less back strain for you and more giggles from your little ones as they spin into adventure.

Shop 360 car seats.

6. Capsule car seats

Think of these as your baby’s first astronaut capsule, designed for compactness and portability. These can be a great choice for families who frequently switch between cars or use taxis and want the easiest solution for on-the-go safety.

Find a capsule car seat

Top car seat brands in NZ

To help you pick the perfect car seat for your family, here are the safest and comfiest options in New Zealand:


Britax is often the go-to for parents who read the safety manuals cover to cover. Their car seats are engineered with leading safety features that go beyond standard requirements, ensuring peace of mind for miles to come.

Browse all Britax car seats


Combining style with function, Nuna offers car seats that not only look good in your car but are also packed with smart features for easy adjustments as your child grows. Plus, they're lightweight, which is a back-saver for sure.

Shop Nuna car seats.


Looking for longevity? Infasecure car seats are built to last, adapting to your growing child’s needs without compromising on safety or comfort, making them a wise investment for the long haul.

Find an Infasecure car seat.

Maxi Cosi

Famous for its plush, comfortable seats, Maxi Cosi makes sure your little ones are in the lap of luxury. With adjustable features and breathable fabrics, these seats keep your kids comfy, no matter how long the journey.

See all Maxi Cosi car seats

Safety First

As the name suggests, Safety First focuses on safety without costing a fortune. Their seats are affordable, reliable, and simple to use, making them a fantastic choice for families watching their budget.

Shop Safety First car seats


If you have a smaller car but don’t want to compromise on safety, Diono’s narrow yet sturdy design fits the bill. These seats are known for their steel frames and extended rear-facing capabilities, packing top-tier safety into a compact form.

Find a Diono car seat.


Offering a balance of features, safety, and price, Evenflo provides a straightforward choice for parents who want it all but don’t want to spend it all. Their seats are user-friendly, ensuring a hassle-free setup and adjustment.

Browse Evenflo car seats


Joie brings versatility and ease to the car seat game. Their models are known for being easy to install and adjust, making life a little easier for busy parents who need to move seats between cars frequently.

Shop Joie car seats.


If simplicity and effectiveness are your jam, Edinburgh’s no-fuss car seats get the job done. They offer basic, reliable safety that doesn’t complicate things.

Find an Edinburgh car seat.

Phil & Teds

Best known for their in-line strollers, Phil & Teds also offer car seats that are just as innovative. These seats are designed for active families who need gear that can keep up with their adventurous lifestyle.

Browse all Phil & Teds car seats.

Mountain Buggy

Designed to complement their rugged strollers, Mountain Buggy’s car seats are robust and ready for any terrain. Ideal for families who enjoy the great outdoors but need to ensure their little ones’ safety on the road.

Shop Mountain Buggy car seats

Jolly Jumper

Jolly Jumper focuses on adding convenience and comfort to your daily routine. Their car seats are straightforward and practical, making them a great choice for parents who need quick, simple solutions that work.

See the Jolly Jumper car seat range.

New vs Used car seats

Buying a new car seat means you're getting the latest in safety technology and design, complete with a warranty — a straightforward choice for peace of mind. On the other hand, kids outgrow these seats quickly, so many used scar eats are still in excellent condition and offer the same level of safety as a new one. Plus, a used seat is easier on your wallet. 

Browse new or used car seats.

Buckle up, buttercup

Picking the right car seat is all about balancing safety, comfort, and your budget. Whether you go for a shiny new model with the latest features or snag a gently used one that's still in great shape, you're making a smart choice for your little traveller. With the right seat, every car ride can be a safe and cosy adventure. So take your pick, strap in, and enjoy the ride knowing you’ve got your kiddo’s back!

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Written by one of our Trade Me Marketplace experts - providing you with the latest information to help you shop smarter in New Zealand.