How to choose best car seat in Malaysia?

What is Car Seat?

The baby car seat is also called many names such as infant car seat, newborn car seat, booster seat, child seat, child safety seat. People in the industry will call it Child Restraint System or CRS in short. It helps to reduce injury to a child or prevent death during a car collision. According to statistics, the car seat has reduced the child injury from age 4 to 12 age by 45%.

How does a baby car seat protect the child?

Car seats help prevent injury by performing these task during a collision:-

  1. Keeps the child/baby in the car
  2. Direct the impact forces to the strongest part of the body
  3. Spread the impact forces over a wide area of the body, setting less pressure on any one part.
  4. Protect the neck, spinal cord, and brain of the child.
  5. Help the occupant (Baby/child) to ride down the impact forces.

Looking at the crash test video, when there is a car collision, everything inside the car will be moving towards the crash point. If the adults do not fasten the car seat belt, they will move forward and ht the dashboard r the steering wheel. Imagine the same thing will happen to a child inside the car.

The vehicle seat belt is designed for an individual that is 135cm and above. An adult will be able to use it and the seat belt will be able to fit it nicely and safely on them. But when a child shorter than 135cm, the car seat belt will cut through their neck and the stomach, thus making this dangerous. It will hurt the child’s neck, upper spinal cord, or the internal organs near the stomach area.

What is Malaysia Car Seat Guideline?

Child Seat mandatory Law starts in January 2020 in Malaysia. The event was launched in Melaka in October 2019 in Malacca PC3 facility in Akademi Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalanraya by Deputy Prime Minister – Wan Azizah Aziz.

Car seat guidelines issued by the Malaysian government are published on the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) website @ According to the source, Malaysia is adopting the European standard that is ECE R44 or ECE R129. The main reason is that Malaysia is a country that has signed a World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations agreement with the United Nations in April 2006. Since then, all vehicles in Malaysia are approved according to ECE standards. And due to this, it is logical to be adopting only European baby car seat standards as the safety standards having the same philosophy. 

how to choose car seat

There is no clear indication when is the other standards of baby car seats will be discontinued at the moment. So, as for now, you are still able to purchase other standard baby car seats in the market. For full list of car seat that has obtain the MIROS QR code, you can refer HERE.

Even though the Malaysian authorities have not started to summon or penalties have not started. The Malaysia Authorities have started to create a lot of car seat awareness in communities. They even started a child car seat course name Malaysia Child Occupant Safety Training Program (MycostP) for those who are interested to know and understand about the car seat and injury mechanism. And also the Malaysia car seat law.

Malaysia Child Occupant Safety Training Program is divided into the Child Occupant Safety Instructor (COSI) & Child Occupant Safety Advisor (COSA). It is a 2-1/2 day course with a compulsory car seat check event participation at the end of the course for the Instructor and a 1-day course for the Advisor. The course Info can be obtained from the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) website. 

Car Seat grouping for ECE R44

Many do not know that the car seat is divided into few groups for the ECE R44 car seat. It was a group into 5 groups. Group 0 & 0+, 1,2 & 3. 

Group 0 – 0kg to 10kg (approximately newborn to 9 months)

  • Also names as Infant Carrier, Infant Car Seat, Newborn Car seat. 
  • Normally comes with a handle and some son be compatible with a stroller as Travel System.
  • Only can installed rear-facing.
  • It allowed having 3 point harness as the child is protected by the shell during a collision.

Note: Group 0+ is no longer being approved but they are still in the market for sale. 

Group 0+ – 0kg to 13kg (approximately newborn to 13/14 months)

  • Also names as Infant Carrier, Infant Car Seat, Newborn Car seat. 
  • Normally comes with a handle and some son be compatible with a stroller as Travel System.
  • Only can installed rear-facing.
  • It allowed having 3 point harness as the child is protected by the shell during a collision.
  • Mostly does not have many reclining positions.

Group 1 – 9kg to 18kg (approximately 9 months to 4 years)

  • Car seat with only in this grouping is very rare these days. Normally car seat in this group comes with the other group. For example, Group 0+ &1, Group 0+,1 & 2, Group 1,2 & 3, Group 0+,1,2 & 3.
  • At the group, most car seats allowed forward-facing. For best practice, you are advised to rear-facing if your car seat can still rear-facing in this group.
  • For this group, the car seat is 5 point harness. 
  • Some come with few reclining positions for forward-facing.
  • Normally will comes with few reclining positions for comfort of the child.

Group 2 – 15 to 25kg (approximately 3 years to 6/7 years)

  • At this grouping, it is normally called booster seat, highback booster seat.
  • Normally does not come only in this group. It will combine with few groups like Group 0+, 1 & 2. Group 1,2 & 3, Group 2 & 3)
  • This is normally a booster mode. If your car seat can still use the harness, it is recommended to use the harness longer.
  • Most of the time, it uses a car seat belt to fasten the child and the car seat.

Group 3 – 22 to 36kg (approximately 5/6 years to 10/12 years)

  • It might be on its own as Group 3, and name as a backless booster, booster cushion, or combine with group 2 as high back booster.
  • Starting September 2017, a new improved standard said not suitable for children below 125cm.
  • The old standard is suitable for 15kg. 

For all the grouping above using weight. It is always recommended to use a car seat until the maximum weight or height is allowed. Parents are advised not to upgrade the car seat if the child still fits the child’s seat.

Rear-facing or Forward-facing is safer?

For a convertible car seat, you can convert the car seat from rear-facing to forward-facing when the child outgrow the weight or the height of the car seat. Children in group 0/0+ MUST be rear-facing according to the usage. In Group 1 (9-18kg), Some car seat allowed you to forward-facing since. It is recommended to rear-facing for as long as possible according to the car seat usage recommendations.

Most car seat nowadays can be rear-facing up to 18kg or more. However, you will also need ensure the installation requirement before you purchase those car seat.

Which installation is the best between Isofix Versus Seat Belt car seat?

A car seat is installed either using a car seat belt or ISOFIX system. Most cars in Malaysia has a car seat belt. But there is 2 type of car seat belt. 2-point and 3-point seat belt. ECE R44 car seat can only install using a 3-point car seat belt. 

For the ISOFIX system installation, you need to ensure your car is equipped with this ISOFIX system. If yes, you can look at those baby car seats that allowed you to installed using the ISOFIX system. 

Both are equally safe and tight if you installed them correctly. However, you might face some challenges when using a car seat belt because it is slightly complicated. Some baby car seats will have the option to install both car seat belt and ISOFIX system. You are advised to check the installation properly before getting one that is suitable for your child, your vehicle, your budget and you can use it correctly at all times. 

When an ISOFIX system installed car seat turn to booster mode, the ISOFIX functions turn to hold the seat when the child is not sitting on the car seat. Not to protect the child from the collisions.

Differences between ECE R44 Versus ECR R129

ECE R44 baby car seats are recommended base on weight. We had mentioned it in the car seat grouping. It is a standard that was first developed and used for many years. The issue with weight is that weight can be fluctuated but not height. Baby car seats under this group are only being tested for the frontal collision. 

ECE R129 car seat is newer car seat standards, it is base on height supported by the weight and age of the child. It is tested using newer dummies called Q dummy with more sensors and can collect more accurate data. Baby car seats under these standards are also tested for side-impact. ECE R129 car seats are all installed using the ISOFIX system. For booster mode., you are allowed to use only a car seat belt.

Where is the safest location for car seat in Malaysia?

Many parties all over the worlds will choose rear CENTER seat at the safest place to install a car seat due to the fact that it is away from most impact point. However, there are few things parents need to be careful when they want to install their car seat in this position in Malaysia.

Generally, rear center seat is not same level with both side of the seat. It normally are much higher and hard to get a tight installation with seat belt. In additions, you need to know what type of seat belt system, all ECE R44 car seat must be installed using 3-point vehicle belt and some older vehicle equipped with 2-point seat belt only.

The other challenges is that some parties will recommend the usage of ISOFIX installation. You would not be able to install the car seat at the center if you purchase a car seat that only can install using ISOFIX, reason being there is no ISOFIX at the rear center place.

Malaysia is adopting European standards. Vehicle in Malaysia will allowed car seat to be installed in forward-facing or booster car seat at the front passenger seat. NEVER install your car seat at the front passenger with airbag is switch on. You can install in the front passenger seat when rear0facing ONLY IF YOU CAN SWITCH OFF the front airbag. For installation at the front passenger seat, you are recommended to read the vehicle instruction manual and follow all the requirement for optimum safety of your child.


It is challenging to buy a car seat. Not only in Malaysia i guess. Looking at the information and the grouping and so many other information you need to look into before getting one which is good. Parents will have to do lots of research and relied to some of the baby store that they trusted to purchase the car seat. But however, some resort to purchase online due to limited choices in their area.

Check out the list of the car seat we recommended in other article to help you selecting one that is most suitable for your baby.