What is ISOFIX and does it really substitute the 3-point belt?

What is ISOFIX?

ISOFIX is a standardised and globally uniform mounting system for child seats of the ECE Groups 0 (up to 10 kg), 0+ (up to 13 kg) and I (9 to 18kg). The system and the respective standard ISO 13216 were first defined in 1990 by the International Organisation for Standardisation.

In October 1995, the ISOFIX system was approved by the European Commission and the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile). The FIA is the international umbrella organization of all automobile clubs around the world, including the ADAC or ÖAMTC who are representing their respective countries.


How does it work?

Using ISOFIX is safe and very easy. Thus, the child seat is connected firmly to the vehicle body. The time-consuming and often wrong installation with the vehicle's three-point belt is eliminated.

The metal brackets installed in the vehicle are usually located on the two outer seats in the back seat, between the backrest and the seat. They are easy to find or just covered by an additional cushion. The ISOFIX points latch onto the metal brackets; an audible click should be heard, signaling the correct engagement of the connectors. For additional safety we have integrated color indicators that signal the correct installation.


There are various ISOFIX systems:

  • ISOFIX base with support leg
    These systems are available for the installation of rearward and forward facing seats of group 0+/I. For example the Privia in combination with the RECARO fix base
  • Child seats with integrated ISOFIX latch arms
    This applies to forward-facing child seats in groups II and III. In order to avoid any confusion RECARO uses the term SEATFIX. In our current product range of RECARO child seats, the Monza Nova IS and Monza Nova 2 Seatfix are equipped with this technology. However, in this case it is always mandatory to secure the seat and the child with the car's three-point belt.
  • Child seats of Group I with integrated ISOFIX latch arms and "universal approval"
    These forward-facing child seats require an additional mounting option in the form of a so-called top tether.


What is important when buying?

The various ISOFIX systems have car-specific approvals, which we have documented in the corresponding type list. Please visit the product page of your favorite child seat and search for your vehicle to make sure the child seat is approved for your car. Child seats without ISOFIX or SEATFIX have a universal approval and can be installed in almost any vehicle with a three-point belt. Please read the manuals of the child seat and your car carefully. Our retail partners are also at your service for questions and the recommended test installation.

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