Can I install Britax seats using both ISOFIX + Top tether AND the vehicle seat belt + Top tether?
No. Child seats should be installed using only one installation method – either the vehicle’s seat belt and top tether (if anchor is available) or ISOFIX + top tether. Parents should always refer to the child restraint user guide with any questions.
Is it safer to use ISOFIX + top tether or the vehicle seat belt and top tether to install a car seat?
Installed correctly, both methods of installation are equally safe. Parents should use their child restraint user guide and vehicle owner’s manual to determine the best way to install their child restraint for their vehicle and for their child.
What are ISOFIX anchors?
ISOFIX anchors are the metal bars located in the vehicle seat bight where the upper and lower cushions meet. A child restraint ISOFIX anchors are affixed to the child restraint and allow installation of the child restraint without the use of the vehicle seat belt system.
What does it mean when a vehicle has ISOFIX?
A vehicle equipped with ISOFIX will have lower anchors (metal bars in the seat bight, where the upper and lower cushions meet) and a tether anchor for securing the child restraint to the vehicle.
What is a tether anchor?
A tether anchor is the position in the vehicle where the child restraint top tether strap is connected. This position will vary from vehicle to vehicle please refer to your vehicle owners manual.
What is a top tether strap?
The top tether strap is typically located on the upper part of the back of the child restraint. Please read the child restraint user guide to understand how the particular top tether strap works.
The use of the top tether strap when installing a forward-facing car seat can reduce forward movement of the child’s head in the event of a crash.
What is the difference between rigid ISOFIX and flexible ISOFIX?
The difference between flexible and rigid ISOFIX is the manner in which the components are attached to the car seat.
Why should I consider an ISOFIX compatible seat?
ISOFIX seats offer parents and carers easier fitment of child restraints. ISOFIX seats provide greater peace of mind that the child restraint is fitted correctly and therefore perform correctly in the event of a crash. ISOFIX seats are particularly useful if a child restraint is moved from one ISOFIX compatible vehicle to another ISOFIX compatible vehicle.
Are all child restraints ISOFIX compatible?
Provision of lower anchorages to attach to ISOFIX low anchorages is an option for car manufacturers. Child restraints will continue to comply with the Standard by using the current seat belt and tether strap installation. Britax will provide ISOFIX compatibility on a range of child restraints. Only rear facing infant restraints and forward facing child restraints that are suitable up to approximately 4 years of age are permitted to have the capability of ISOFIX compatibility.
Do ISOFIX seats still require the use of the top tether strap?
Yes. Australian rearward and forward facing child restraints all require the use of the top tether strap. This will continue to be required for all rearward and forward facing child restraints, including any AS/NZS 1754 ISOFIX compatible child restraints. A top tether strap prevents the child restraint from rotating forward in the event of a crash and is tested for strength, independent of the ISOFIX low anchorages or vehicle seatbelt.
Why does Australia require the use of a top tether strap on ISOFIX seats?
Australia has had extensive experience and success in the use of top tether straps. AS/NZS 1754 utilises the significant benefits of tether straps in ISOFIX compatible child restraints which reduces the need for rigidity in the design of the seat construction and therefore keeps the weight of the seat to less than 10kg.
Can I convert my existing child car seat to an ISOFIX seat?
Child restraints without connectors to fit to the vehicles ISOFIX low anchorages cannot be converted to include connectors. Straps with connectors cannot be retrofitted as the Standard required manufacturers state that these straps must not be added.
Will I be able to fit ISOFIX compatible restraints across the back seat?
Most vehicles will only have 2 pairs of ISOFIX low anchorages across the back seat thus only two ISOFIX compatible Child restraints can be used. There may be no room for a third child restraint or a passenger between these child restraints depending on the vehicle. If 3 pairs of ISOFIX lower anchorages are fitted they can be used.
Can I use an ISOFIX compatible restraint in the front seat of my vehicle?
Road rules in most Australian States/Territories do not allow children less than 4 years of age to sit in the front seat thus vehicles fitted with ISOFIX low anchorages can only be used if the vehicles is a utility or similar vehicle. In addition, rear facing child restraints cannot be fitted in a seating position which has an airbag fitted in front of that position. Users will need to check their vehicles owner's handbook and refer to their local Road Rules as well as referring to the Child Restraint Instruction manual.
Will I be able to buy a strap to fit my existing child restraint to make it suitable for installation to the ISOFIX?
No. Adding any form of strap assembly to the ISOFIX low anchorages may not be suitable to restrain an existing child restraint adequately and will not have been tested. The Australian Standard specifically requires manufacturers to advise against this addition.
Can aftermarket ISOFIX low anchorages be fitted in my vehicle?
No. Australian road authorities do not recommend having aftermarket ISOFX low anchorages fitted to your vehicle.
Why are ISOFIX Compatible Child Restraints only available for children up to four years of age?
The Australian Standard (AS/NZS 1754:2013) only allows the use of isofix anchors for ‘Type A’ and ‘Type B’ restraints. These restraints are designed to carry children that are generally under the age of 4.
The use of isofix is prohibited in larger harnessed restraints such as Type G restraints. Type G restraints are designed for children up to approximately 8 years of age. This is because the car's anchorages may not be suitable for older, heavier children.