R44 = Current regulation
R129 = Current regulation
Both regulations are running alongside each other. R129 (or i-Size) is the newer regualtion and has simply surpassed R44. To put it simply – its safety testing evolving.
Are i-Size seats safer than non- i-Size seats? NO. Ultimately what you are wanting to achieve is to ‘travel safely’. What is considered ‘safer’ is a subject that does cause confusion and debate! Example using two Axkid car seats: Minikid and One. The Minikid is R44 regulation. Seat Belt installation to 25kg. The One is R129 i-Size. Isofix Installation to 23kg. Either seat, as long as it is right for your child, right for your vehicle and practical for your family's requirements, either seat cannot be considered ‘safer’ than the other.
Much older style child car seats that are available online and through retailers are certainly questionable in safety and quality. Therefore the i-Size option would be considered to have a greater level of safety, testing and data.
With the above two seat examples, the non- i-Size car seat allows users to a higher weight than the i-Size option. Your child would stay in a 5-point harness longer. Is that considered safer? Or are you simply maximising your safety options?
Purchasing a children’s car seat is a very important decision. The decision should be yours. Be wary of being influenced by influencers, hard-selling, promotions and reviews.
Does this mean the older R44 regulation isn’t as safe? No – Safety and tests are evolving and it means the level of testing and criteria to get a seat to market is stricter.
The new regulation (R129) will eventually be the only regulation that is available and the current R44 regulation will be phased out. It is worth noting that the end date for the R44 regulation has not been set. The new regulation (R129) was launched in 2015 and is still considered to be in its early stages. This, therefore, offers a varied amount of child seats available to purchase. Is Isofix safer than using seatbelts? No – Isofix simply reduces the risk of incorrect installation.
Extra Supporting Information:
**Age should be used as a guideline only**
R44 (or its official titles ECE R44 04 – Weight based criteria)
Child safety seats (amongst other requirements) must commence a frontal collision at a test speed of 50km/h (approx. 31mph) and a rear-impact collision at 30km/h (approx. 19mph). The 04 part of the R44 regulation is also subject to a rollover test. All tests are performed with the ‘P’ dummies representing the weight category of the child, which is approved for the correct weight group of the seat.
Click recommends to any parents that they maximise the use of any stage of child restraint. Don’t be in a rush to move up to the next stage seat. Always Maximise!
UK law states that a child should be in a child restraint until they are 12 years of age or 1.35meters tall. However, in Europe this is 1.5meters.
R129 (i-size, belted, height based criteria)
Child restraints (amongst other requirements) must commence a frontal collision at a test speed of 55km/h (approx. 34mph) and a rear-impact collision at 30km/h (approx. 19mph). It is also subject to a rollover test plus additional side-impact testing. This is done with the ‘Q’ dummies that represent height and not weight.
R129 Expanded: Regulation R129 has Isofix and Belted options.
i-Size restraints are designed for an i-Size vehicle.
Mandatory to use a rearward-facing seat until the child reaches 15 months of age.
The move to ‘Height’ criteria overweight is ‘potentially’ easier to establish needs.
Subject to side-impact testing.
Improvements on fitting compatibility: an i-Size seat for an i-Size car seat position.
Certified vehicle labelling.