The standard ECE-R44 entered into force in 1982. It relates more broadly to car seats which are attached using a seat belt and more rarely by Isofix. The seats are classified by group (0, 1, 2, etc.) according to the weight of the child.
Since 2013, you also have the choice to opt for a car seat that meets the standard ECE R129 (i-Size). Why a new standard? Because it goes further in terms of safety. The system uses Isofix attachments which fit directly onto the vehicle chassis via integrated rigid fasteners. This allows better support for the seat in the event of an impact.
Another advance is that this standard provides for the child to be placed facing the rear of the car until at least the age of 15 months. This position is recommended as long as possible to preserve small children’s fragile necks.
The I-Size standard also provides other classification criteria for car seats. You now choose a restraint based on the child’s height and no longer on their weight.
The final advantage is that the seat belt is no longer used for attachment, so you are much less likely to get it wrong. This is a good thing when a recent study conducted by Bébé Confort and Prévention Routière showed that 75% of baby seats secured with a belt are not properly attached!*
i-Size R129 is therefore the best choice in terms of safety. But be careful before deciding on a car seat that meets this standard. Do check that your vehicle has the necessary attachments and space to accommodate an i-Size type car seat. Only a full-scale test with your vehicle can assure you 100%. On the price side, i-Size equipment is more expensive with prices starting around €400.