Baby carriers provide a comfortable and secure resting space for newborns, allowing them to lie completely flat, an ideal position for their well-being, whether out and about in a pushchair or on a car journey. Complying with the strictest safety standards, such as the i-Size standard (R129), isofix carrycots are designed to guarantee optimum protection and comfort for your child when you're on the move. Whether you're looking for a lightweight, easy-to-carry carrycot or one with advanced features, we'll review some of the best isofix carrycots available to help you make an informed choice.
What Is A Carrycot Car Seat?
A baby carrycot is a small, portable bed designed for infants from birth to around 6 months. Similar to a cradle, it allows the baby to remain in a reclining position, providing a cosy, secure place to sleep, whether at home, in a pushchair or in the car.
The carrycot has a comfortable mattress, a bonnet to protect baby from the elements and a handle for easy transport. Many models fit easily onto pushchair frames, transforming them into prams. The baby carrier is often part of a trio pack, which also includes a pushchair and a baby cosy. At home, the carrycot can also be used as an extra bed, providing a place to sleep close to the parents for the first few months.
Installation in the vehicle
For car journeys, the carrycot is placed on the back seat, in the transverse position, secured with the vehicle's safety belt or, for greater safety, with an isofix base. Although they offer comfortable space, carrycots are not always the safest solution for car journeys, especially over long distances. Compared with a baby cosy, carrycots offer less protection in the event of a collision. Nevertheless, some recent isofix carrycots, such as the Maxi Cosi Jade, have been specifically developed to provide excellent safety.
Selection Of The Best Baby Carriers
|Certification||R129 (i-Size)||R129 (i-Size)||R129 (i-Size)|
|Height / Weight||40-70 cm (max. 9 kg)||40-70 cm (max. 9 kg)||40-83 cm (max. 13 kg)|
|Age||Up to 6 months||Up to 6 months||Up to approx. 12 months|
|Seat position||Transversal||Transversal||Back to the road|
|Reclining backrest||Lying flat||Lying flat||✅|
|Compatible base||Base 3wayFix, FamilyFix 3 & BabyFix||i-Base Encore & i-Base LX 2||iPlatform database|
|ADAC test||Very good (1.5)||Good (2.2)||Good (2.3)|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||47.5×80.5×58 cm||44.8×60.6×82.4 cm||44x62x83 cm|
|Weight||6 kg||3.6 kg||5.5 kg|
Maxi Cosi Jade
It's hard to compete with Maxi Cosi's Jade carrycot, as its safety and comfort performance surpasses that of the best baby cosies. This isofix carrycot has been developed to transport babies from birth to around 6 months (max. 9 kg). The first baby carrier to comply with the i-Size standard (R129), it ensures optimum protection for your child.
This baby carrier has a flat sleeping position, ideal for the rest for newborn babies. It can be easily transferred from the car to the pushchair, so there's no need to wake baby. Thanks to its compatibility with the 3wayFix, BabyFix and FamilyFix3 bases, it's easy to install using the isofix fixingThis makes it quick and easy to fit in the car.
- Maxi-Cosi carrycot, suitable from birth to 9 kg (approx. 6 months)
- As the 1st R129 cherry picker, Jade has been awarded a perfect 5-star rating by independent crash testers.
Awarded 5 stars by the German Stiftung Warentest, the Maxi Cosi Jade offers exceptional safety and comfort for your child. The ADAC tests confirm its excellent performance with an overall score of 1.5, indicating a very low risk of injury in the event of a head-on or side impact, while ensuring optimum installation and comfort.
|Height / Weight||40-70 cm (max. 9 kg)|
|Age||Up to 6 months|
|Reclining backrest||Lying flat|
|Compatible base||Base 3wayFix, FamilyFix 3 & BabyFix|
|ADAC test||Very good (1.5)|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||47.5×80.5×58 cm|
The Calmi de Joie carrycot, suitable for babies from birth to around 6 months (40-70 cm, max 13 kg), combines comfort and safety. Compliant with the i-Size standard (R129), it offers a flat sleeping position, perfect for the well-being of newborns. Easy to install on the i-Base Encore swivel isofix base, it ensures secure attachment in the car and can also be fitted to a pushchair using special adapters.
This isofix carrycot has a 3-point harness, a covering apron to keep baby warm and a retractable bonnet with UPF 50+ protection. The Joie Calmi carrycot is also exceptionally light (3.6 kg) and has an ergonomic handle for easy transport.
Tested by the ADAC, this baby carrier achieved an overall score of 2.2, attesting to a very low risk of injury in the event of a side impact and a medium risk in the event of a frontal impact, guaranteeing optimum safety and comfort for the child. What's more, the Joie Calmi carrycot has also been assessed by the TCS (Touring Club Suisse), where it received 4 stars, ranking it as "highly recommended" for its overall performance.
|Height / Weight||40-70 cm (max. 9 kg)|
|Age||Up to 6 months|
|Reclining backrest||Lying flat|
|Compatible base||i-Base Encore & i-Base LX 2|
|ADAC test||Good (2.2)|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||44.8×60.6×82.4 cm|
The Jané iMatrix baby carrier, which complies with the i-Size R129 standard, is suitable for children from birth to around 12 months (40-83 cm). It is distinguished by its ability to transform into a car seatto travelling rear facing It is easy to install on the iPlatform isofix base. It is easy to install on the iPlatform isofix base, which offers an adjustable recline of up to 11° for your child's comfort.
This model has a newborn insert for the safety of the little ones, a waterproof canopy and a covering apron for external protection. Finally, the carrycot is compatible with Jané pushchairs thanks to the Pro-Fix system, making it easy to switch from the car to the pushchair.
- Compatible with i-Matrix, Koos iSize and Koos iSize R1 shells
- Adjustable by means of an integrated button. This function makes it easy to change the baby's resting angle while keeping the ISOFIX connection locked in the vehicle.
The Jané iMatrix isofix carrycot achieved an overall score of 2.3 in the ADAC tests, indicating a low risk of injury in the event of a frontal collision and a medium risk in the event of a side impact. It was also awarded 4 stars in the ANWB tests, underlining its quality and safety.
|Height / Weight||40-83 cm (max. 13 kg)|
|Age||Up to approx. 12 months|
|Seat position||Back to the road|
|Compatible base||iPlatform database|
|ADAC test||Good (2.3)|
Baby Carrycot Selection Criteria
When choosing the right baby carrier, there are a number of criteria to take into account to ensure your child's safety and comfort. Here are the main points to consider:
- Safety and compliance with standards Safety is the most important criterion. It is important to choose a cherry picker that complies with current European safety standards, such as the standard i Size (R129). ADAC test results are also particularly useful, as they assess not only compliance with standards, but also the performance of isofix carrycots in more advanced frontal and side impact tests.
- Comfort for baby Comfort is essential for your baby's well-being. A good carrycot should be sufficiently padded, offer adequate support for baby's head and back, and be made from breathable materials.
- Easy to use and transport A carrycot must be easy to handle. This includes fitting it in the car, removing it and attaching it to a pushchair if it is designed to do so. A light weight and an ergonomic handle are assets.
- Compatible with pushchairs If you plan to use the carrycot as a pram, check that it is compatible with your pushchair. Some carrycots are designed to fit specific pushchair models, while others use a universal attachment system.
ADAC Test Results For Isofix Carrycot Car Seat
The ADAC tests, recognised for their rigour and objectivity, play a crucial role in the evaluation of Isofix carrycots for babies. These tests are particularly important because the safety of carrycots in the event of an accident can be problematic. In fact, very few models managed to achieve good results, particularly in terms of safety. Here are the main criteria assessed by the ADAC for baby car seats and carrycots.
- Safety in the event of an accident This is the key criterion. The tests include simulations of frontal and lateral collisions to assess the protection offered to the baby. The performance of a carrycot in these tests is essential, as it determines its ability to protect the child in the event of an accident.
- Ease of use The ADAC also assesses the ease with which the carrycot can be installed in the car and attached to a pushchair. Simple, intuitive installation is vital to ensure that the carrycot is always used correctly.
- Comfort for the child Comfort: The child's comfort is also an important criterion. This includes the space available for the child, the quality of the padding, and the ability of the carrycot to provide a comfortable and safe environment.
- Manufacturing quality Durability and the materials used to manufacture the carrycot are examined to assess the overall quality of the product. A well-built carrycot is more likely to withstand the rigours of daily use and provide reliable safety over the long term.
Baby Car Seat or Baby Carrycot, Which Car Seat Is Better?
The choice between a baby carrier and a baby cosy depends largely on the specific needs of each individual, but also on the child's age, the frequency of use and the type of vehicle.
The baby cosy positions the child with its back to the road in a semi-seated, or even virtually lying position, offering adequate protection thanks to the adjustable headrest and side protectors. Suitable from birth, it is suitable up to around 15/18 months (max. 13 kg). The baby cosy is practical, easy to install and compatible with many pushchair systems.
The carrycot, used from birth to around 6 months (max. 9 kg), offers optimum comfort for baby's sleep thanks to its reclining position. However, it takes up a lot of space in the vehicle, often occupying two seats, and is less safe in the event of an accident. These are points to consider when making your choice.
|Criteria||Baby Carrycot||Baby Car Seat|
|Age||From birth to around 6 months.||From birth to around 15 or 18 months.|
|Weight||9 kg max.||13 kg max.|
|Security||Less safe in the car||The rear-facing position offers greater protection|
|Orientation||Transversal||Back to the road|
|Position||Only lying down||Semi-seated/recumbent|
|Space in the vehicle||Bulky, requires two seats||More compact|
|ADAC tests||Very few models recommended||Wide choice of recommended models|
Up to what age should a baby carrycot be used?
Switching from a baby carrier to a car seat is an important step in ensuring your child's safety and comfort. Here are a few key points to consider when determining the ideal time to make this change:
- Child's age and weight : Most baby carriers are designed for newborns up to around 6 months (40-70 cm) or until the baby reaches a certain weight, usually between 9 and 13 kg, depending on the model. Once your child has reached the age or maximum weight recommended for a carrycot, it's time to switch to a car seat.
- Physical development : If your baby starts to sit up, roll over or show signs of wanting to sit up, this is an indicator that he or she is ready for a car seat. Carrycots are designed for babies who cannot yet sit up on their own.
- Child comfort : If you notice that your child seems cramped or uncomfortable in the carrycot, it could be a sign that it's time to switch to a car seat to give him more space and support.
- Safety standards : Car seats are designed to offer greater protection than carrycots in the event of a collision. They are fitted with harness systems and side protection adapted to the child's growth.
How To Attach A Baby Carrycot Car Seat In The Car
When fitting a baby carrier in the car, especially one with an Isofix base, you need to follow a number of precise steps to ensure your child's safety. Here's how to install it easily:
1. Isofix Base Installation For Carrycot Car Seat
- Locating the Isofix Anchor Points In your vehicle, locate the Isofix anchorage points. They are usually located between the backrest and the seat of the rear seat.
- Positioning the Isofix base Place the Isofix base on the car seat, aligning its attachment arms with your vehicle's Isofix anchorage points.
- Fixing the Base Insert the base's attachment arms into the Isofix anchorage points until you hear a click, indicating that the base is correctly attached. Some Isofix base models have indicators that change colour or emit an audible signal to confirm that the installation is secure.
- Check stability Once the base is in place, try moving it around to make sure it is stable and firmly anchored.
2. Installing Carrycot Car Seat On The Isofix Base
- Align the nacelle with the base Position the carrycot above the Isofix base, aligning the connection points.
- Securing the nacelle Lower the carrycot onto the base until you hear a click, indicating that the carrycot is correctly attached to the base.
- Check the installationAs with the base, check that the carrycot is securely fastened by trying to move it. It should not move.
- Settling baby in Place your baby in the carrycot and fasten with the safety harnesses provided.
Isofix Carrycot Car Seat Fixing Tips & Tricks
- Read the manual First and foremost, it is essential to read the instruction manual supplied with your carrycot and Isofix base carefully. Each model may have its own specific installation requirements, and it is important to follow the steps recommended by the manufacturer.
- Nacelle position The majority of carrycots are designed to be installed in a transverse position on the rear seat of the vehicle, i.e. perpendicular to the road. This position is crucial for baby's safety and comfort.
- Checking installation indicators After installing the carrycot, it is essential to check carefully that it is correctly attached and that there is no play. Isofix bases are generally fitted with visual or audible indicators to confirm that the base and carrycot are correctly attached. These indicators are a key element in ensuring that the carrycot is correctly secured in the vehicle.
- Importance of manual verification : Although there are installation indicators, a manual check is still essential to ensure that the carrycot is secure. Proper, secure fastening is essential to guarantee your baby's safety.
Can A Baby Sleep In A Carrycot?
Yes, it is possible to have baby sleep in a carrycot, as long as it is designed for prolonged use and meets certain safety and comfort requirements.
- Make sure that the carrycot complies with current safety standards. It must be stable, with a mattress suitable for babies.
- Choose a mattress that is firm enough to avoid the risk of suffocation. Avoid mattresses that are too soft or the addition of extra cushions.
- The carrycot must be placed flat in a safe place, away from objects that could be a danger to baby (cords, curtains, clothes, etc.).
- Bear in mind that carrycots are not generally designed for long-term use. As soon as your child starts to roll over or sit up, it's time to switch to a more suitable car seat and cot.
- Even when baby is sleeping in a carrycot, it is important to check on him regularly.
Reclining Car Seat: The Perfect Alternative To The Carrycot
Ideal for the first few months, thanks to its reclining position, a baby carrier cannot replace the safety offered by a baby car seat. These baby car seats are essential for protecting your child in the car, offering advanced side protection in the event of a collision.
You should be aware that some recent reclining car seats can now be adjusted to offer a reclined position, similar to that of a carrycot. These models are an excellent alternative for parents who want to keep their baby in this position while guaranteeing optimum protection in the car.
Wherever possible, parents are advised to combine the use of an isofix carrycot with a baby cosy to ensure maximum safety during car journeys. However, the carrycot remains a wise choice for its versatility and comfort in baby's early months.