The best taxi-friendly car seat and compact pram for a 1yo
Travelling with young tots can be extra challenging—you’ve got to plan ahead. We’ve been there (we didn’t have a car until we had #3) and we know the stress of traversing around the city with our tots! You’ve got to figure out the route for the day and your pick up location just so that you won’t have to stress over getting your car seats installed. Getting the right equipment will do half the job for you and help make traversing around Singapore less daunting. Let’s get rolling with Rachel's story, where we document her search for a taxi-friendly toddler car seat and stroller combo!
Rachel’s expecting baby #2 and would like to use her toddler’s BeSafe iZi Go Modular car seat for the newborn. As such, she’s searching for another car seat for her firstborn, Felix (one-year-old), which could ideally last for a couple of years. Rachel’s looking for a rear-facing toddler car seat that’s as lightweight and convenient as her BeSafe car seat as she doesn’t have a car and takes the taxi/GrabCar about three times a week. The car seat should ideally be compliant with the regulations in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Europe for future travel use.
Hi Rachel, Elise here! Thank you very much for giving me all of that comprehensive information, that makes it easier for me to propose some recommendations for you. I’m going to make some bold recommendations for you, especially for your second pram—I understand why you love your Babyzen Yoyo, it’s amazing but I’ll tell you why I propose a different pram.
I’m going to recommend 1) the Cosco Scenera NEXT, 2) Mountain Buggy Nano stroller and 3) the Nachfolger inflatable car seat (yes you read that right. It’s inflatable! *gasps*).
Car seat and stroller combo for everyday use: Cosco Scenera NEXT + Mountain Buggy Nano
Let’s start with a car seat for taxi in Singapore. I’m going to recommend the Cosco Scenera NEXT quite simply because it’s the only rear-facing car seat that can accommodate toddlers and practically go into a taxi three days a week. I’ve personally used this car seat with two of my boys! It weighs 3kg only, which is a lot lighter than your current BeSafe car seat, and it’ll keep Felix rear-facing until 18kg (approximately 4-5 years old). It’s a US-certified car seat, legal for use in the US and parts of Canada if you’re a tourist apparently. This information is new to us and we actually got it from a manufacturer of car seats, which kind of makes me think it could be true but I’ve never heard it before. So, fair warning on that one, you might want to look it up on the internet. It’s also legal to use the Cosco in New Zealand and most of Asia like Singapore; the rest of South East Asia don’t really have hard rules, i.e. Malaysia’s new legislation states that it’s not legal for a Malaysian retailer to import the Cosco but it’s totally fine if you use it there.
Moving on to your second pram, I’d suggest the Mountain Buggy Nano to go with the Cosco car seat. They’re just better together (officially too!) and most prams are not compatible with toddler car seats because it’s not that a big market here. It’s sort of a unique situation here because most people with toddlers have cars. I know you love your Yoyo stroller, but the Mountain Buggy Nano stroller is one of its biggest competitors—a very solid competitor in my opinion—and it’s got a much more pocket-friendly price point! They’ve recently launched a new version which lays flats from birth without the need to change the seat or anything like that.
The Nano buggy and the Cosco car seat are officially compatible; it’s been safety tested and the Nano’s sunshade fits perfectly over the top of the Cosco. The reason why the Nano works with toddler car seats is that the Mountain Buggy Nano has strap adaptors, unlike the Yoyo where the car seats clicks into the pram adapter. The Nano’s strap adaptors can be used with both the forward-facing and rear-facing belt path of the Cosco. I love the Nano and I think it’s a really fantastic pram. I’ve got three boys under five and I like that I can put any of them in there, even the baby, without having to change the seat because of the Nano’s lie-flat feature! The Nano goes up to 20kg, which is a pretty high weight limit! I know that the new Yoyo has a very high weight range as well, but the Nano’s kind of over-engineered; Mountain Buggy’s really well known for its rugged prams and they’re like the Range Rover of prams! My 5-year-old actually climbs in the basket (face first, like Superman), my one year-old sits at the back and my two-and-a-half-year-old sits at the front with the seat reclined and I take them around in a compact pram. This is absolutely not regulation usage but the point here is that the Nano holds up really well. To sum up, I don’t think you can have a better rear-facing taxi solution than the Cosco Scenera NEXT plus the Mountain Buggy Nano.
Car seat for holidays in Europe
Now that we’ve sorted out your needs for Singapore, what would do for Europe? You may delay this option until you actually travel to Europe. The only rear-facing European travel car seat is the Nachfolger. It’s an Austrian design and it’s very cool. It’s an inflatable car seat! Now, don’t be alarmed because Nachfolger uses super impressive new engineering technology and once it’s inflated, it feels like a rock-solid plastic car seat. It has the same specs as the Cosco, it’s also a rear-facing car seat which takes kids up until they’re 18kg and it’s airline-approved! However, it’s super deep, so it does take up a lot of space if you’re putting it at the back seat of a car. It weighs 5kg, and it comes with a carry bag and a pump! I reckon that the Nachfolger isn’t suitable for taxis in Singapore for two reasons: 1) the need to deflate and inflate every use and 2) it doesn’t fit on a pram.
For the Nachfolger to be genuinely portable, you’ll need to deflate and inflate it each time and while it’s easy to do, there’s a whole other set of steps that you’ll need to go through each time you get in and out of the cab. It’s absolutely perfect for holidaying, rental cars, and the odd taxis here and there but I’d not want to do this three days a week given that it doesn’t fit on a pram when inflated. I don’t think it’d be super practical for taxis but it’ll be an amazing travel companion in Europe.
Alright, these are all my recommendations, holler if you’ve any questions and I’ll catch up with you soon. Have a good weekend!
After reviewing Elise’s recommendations, Rachel came back with the following questions:
Thank you so much for this, it is so good. Your recommendations are extremely useful for us! I have to confess that the Nachfolger was on my list for when/if we go traveling.
- Am I allowed to use it both in European countries and USA/Australia/New Zealand?
- We understand the regulations but is it really checked in the different countries or is it more for insurance issues in case of accident?
We are very keen to follow your recommendations so we will probably purchase the three items (the Nachfolger at a later stage when we can travel again or go back to Europe).
Hello Rachel, to answer question #1, the Nachfolger is an European-certified product so you can use it in any car in Europe and New Zealand! For Australia, taxis and Uber car—in some states—are exempt from car seat requirements so you can legally use the European car seat in those vehicles. However, if you’ve a hire car or you’re using a family member’s car (i.e. a private car) then the Nachfolger is not approved. In short, the it’s not legally approved for use in cars that require an Australian-compliant car seat. The Australian standard is strict (and honestly a little bit old) and you’re not going to find affordable car seats that’s Australian-approved. But you’re not going to find a car seat that’s approved in Australia and for travelling around the rest of the world, unfortunately. If you do head back to Australia very often, I can recommend some seats for you if you’re keen on keeping one there. For the US, it’s pretty similar to Australia, where taxis are exempt from requiring car seats that adhere to the US standard in most states. So, you can legally use the Nachfolger there but not in a rental car, Uber or a private car.
For question #2, yes and no—each country is different. I’ve never heard of anyone having issues in Europe, but that’s not really your problem anyway because you’re thinking of using the Nachfolger. The Cosco, however, I’ve heard in different countries in Europe that tourists are sort of given an informal exemption from following the car seat standard in Europe but I’ve never seen that written anywhere. I’ve heard that for France and somewhere else—Italy maybe?—but the local regulations are not written in English so I can’t verify that, I’m sorry. In Australia, this issue only arises once you’ve had an accident, but using a non-Australian car seat when you should have used one can void your insurance completely and you can also face criminal prosecution for child endangerment. However, when I go to Australia, I don’t use an Australian car seat not because of the convenience factor, but because the seats—for my children’s age and size specifically—are actually less safe than the seats that I take with me. There’s that balance between safety and legality and so long as you’re aware of what the implications are in both directions, you can make an informed decision.
Disclaimer: I’m not telling you that you should do what I do; I’m telling you what I do for a point of reference. I’m willing to take both the legal and insurance because I don’t believe that you could prove that I endangered my children by putting them in a safer car seat, and I feel quite confident that I’d be able to put forward the case that the seats are actually safer. In the US, I’ve heard of traffic cops sometimes being able to identify American car seats as opposed to seats from other countries. But I think that the biggest risk there is a fine, though it’s not like people are running around in Australia and the US checking whether you’re using the right car seat. Oh, I should also add that in New Zealand, you can legally use an Australian seat, an American seat or a European seat (New Zealand’s awesome!) so you can use the Cosco or the Nachfolger there completely legally. I’ll chat with you later. Bye! xx
- Age: 1 year
- Height: 75cm
- Weight: ~ 9-10kg
- Seated height: 50cm
- Seated shoulder height: 30cm
- Torso length: 18cm
Below is a guide to the above measurements: