Don’t Buy child car seat exposed in Which? crash tests

Which? is warning parents against using the Kinderkraft Comfort Up car seat (pictured above) after it failed to pass our rigorous testing. 

In our side impact crash tests, the head of the test dummy hit the side of the test car. If this occurred in a real accident, it could be very dangerous for your child.

Keep scrolling for more on the results, or head straight to our child car seat reviews to choose a seat that’s simple to install, comfortable for your baby and most importantly, able to get through our tough car seat crash tests.

See our round-up of the best child car seats for 2022

Video: Watch our crash test footage of the Kinderkraft Comfort Up 

What did our testing reveal about the Kinderkraft Comfort Up?

During Which? crash tests, our lab experts found that the car seat lacks adequate protection in the side wings, which meant that during the side impact tests, the head of the crash test dummy hit the side of the test car. 

This dangerous issue only worsens when your child is big enough to use the Kinderkraft Comfort Up as a backless booster seat because there’s no side impact protection at all. 

What’s more, during the front impact crash test when set up as group 2/3 seat (for children weighing 15kg or from around age four), the diagonal part of the vehicle seatbelt was very close to digging into the neck of the crash test dummy, which is caused by the poor belt routing of the seat.

While the Kinderkraft Comfort Up car seat is approved to (ECE R44/04) regulations, our tests go further, making them more demanding than the British standard safety tests. However, we feel our tests more accurately reflect what could happen in a real crash. 

See our full Kinderkraft Comfort Up review and safety warning. 

Kinderkraft Comfort Up car seat

What should you do if you own the Kinderkraft Comfort Up child car seat?

Because the Comfort Up passes the minimum legal regulations for R44 car seats, it can still be legally sold and there’s no recall on the product. 

If you already own the Comfort Up, we’d suggest you look for a new car seat to replace it. Check out our reviews before purchasing so you know you’re buying one that has passed our tests.

Remember, you shouldn’t stop using this car seat until you have a replacement. A car seat that scores poorly in our tests is still better than no car seat at all.

What does Kinderkraft say?

A spokesperson for Kinderkraft told us:

‘The test report states that the Kinderkraft Comfort Up will receive unfavourable side impact safety ratings, which will likely affect the overall rating of this model by Which?. According to regulation UN R44/04, the seat meets the current legal requirements, whilst Which? conducts more stringent tests than the current legal requirements for car seats. 

‘However, as a responsible manufacturer we are working on introducing an equivalent model to the Comfort Up which also complies with the new approval regulation R129.’

What other Don’t Buy car seats have we tested recently?

You don’t need to be a member of Which? to see if a car seat has a safety alert. We give away this information because we feel it’s important that everyone is able to check if a car seat they’re considering is safe to use. 

Below, we’ve listed some other Don’t Buy car seats we’ve recently tested. 

Urban Kanga Uptown TV107, £129

Urban Kanga portable car seat

This group 1 child car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R44/04. But in our own tests, which are conducted at higher speeds and forces than the standard requires, this seat scores poorly for side impact tests. We also identified issues with installation and fitting which could mean the seat is not used as safely as it should be. 

Read the full Urban Kanga Uptown TV107 review for more information.

Joie i-Spin Grow, £400

Joie Spin i-Grow car seat

This baby to child car seat has passed the regulatory tests required by ECE R129/i-Size to be sold as suitable for children from 40-125cm. But this seat scored poorly in our own frontal-impact tests. We also identified issues with installation and fitting which could mean the seat is not used as safely as it should be. 

Read the full Joie i-Spin Grow review for more information.

Latest child car seats out of the Which? test lab

Cybex Anoris T i-Size, £600
This ground-breaking car seat has an airbag built into the impact shield to provide protection in the event of a crash. Read the full Cybex Anoris T i-Size review to find out how it scores.

Maxi Cosi Pearl 360 + FamilyFix 360 base, £475
With a rotating and reclining seat, this extended rearward-facing car seat has some useful features for parents. Find out how it scores in our tough tests by reading the full Maxi Cosi Pearl 360 + FamilyFix 360 base review.

Chicco Seat2Fit i-Size, £179
This is another extended rearward-facing car seat, and is approved for use with children measuring 45cm to 105cm (birth to around age four). Read the full Chicco Seat2Fit i-Size review to see what it’s like to install. 

Graco Eversure, £100
If you’re looking for a good value high-backed booster seat for your child, this one could be an option. Find out if it’s sailed through our crash tests, installation assessments and ergonomic checks by reading the full Graco Eversure review.

Nuna Pipa Next + Base Next, £440
Infant carrier car seats that click onto a rotating swivel base can be a real help when you’re clicking your baby into the car. Find out if this i-Size approved baby car seat performs well in our crash tests by reading the full review of the Nuna Pipa Next + Base Next.

Recaro Avan + Avan/Kio base, £258
The Avan infant carrier car seat can be clicked onto a stroller to turn it into a travel system, while the Avan/Kio base can be used for the Kio toddler car seat once your child has outgrown the Avan. Read the review of the Recaro Avan + Avan/Kio base to see if this car seat is worth purchasing.

Which? car seat testing

Which? car seat crash tests

We crash-test every child car seat we review, carry out fitting checks with both experts and parents and their children, and assess the comfort and ergonomics of each seat.

Our crash tests go beyond the minimum legal requirements for the current car seat regulations (R44.04 and R129), and they’re derived from tests by Euro NCAP, the organisation that carries out crash tests on cars.

We feel our tests more accurately reflect what could happen in a real crash.

Safety makes up 60% of the total test score, which means the most important element of the product – whether it will protect your child in a crash – is reflected in the score. The best car seats are Best Buys, while ones where we’ve highlighted safety issues will be made a Don’t Buy with a safety alert.

Remember, you can sign up to the pregnancy, baby & child newsletter to receive safety alerts, including recalls. However, you should always take the time to register your new car seat with the manufacturer so you can be automatically alerted if there is a recall on the seat.

For more information on what goes into Which? car seat testing, read our guide on how we test baby and child car seats.

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