Best car seat in Korea

My son had his first car seat before he was even born. It was a baby shower present from my friends here in Korea. He is almost 5 years old now and we’ve already had four car seats. Our latest is the Graco High Back Turbobooster car seat that we got from Toys R’Us last year.

There is a car seat law in South Korea but most parents still prefer to carry or have their children sit on their laps. I am guilty of this too since there have been a few times that my son didn’t use his car seat, usually when my parents-in-law ride with us.

Car seats are so expensive in Korea. Actually, baby products are so expensive here. I believe that we’ve been wise when it comes to prioritizing our “investment” for our child. We’ve spent mostly on my son’s vaccinations (all of them he had at Samsung Cheil Hospital), car seats and winter clothing. A lot of his things were either hand-me-downs (clothes mostly) and a few of them we bought from other parents at Dawa.

KBS’ Friday night TV program “Consumer Report” said that only 20% of Korean parents use car seats for their children. That’s a really low percentage and to think that South Korea is second (to Greece) among OECD countries in car accident ranking.

“Consumer Report” had sixteen brands of car seats available in Korea tested by the Korea Consumer Agency. They were tested on four criteria: head-on collision, convenience (편리), fixation and overturn. Here is a screencap of the best car seats in Korea based on the tests and their corresponding prices:

Best car seat in Korea

1 – Daiichi Dualwell car seat – 420,000 won
2 – Safe Organic – 350,000 won
3 – Combi Coccoro – 240,000 won
4 – (Yuarang) Cruise car seat – 170,000 won
5 – Recaro Smart Plus – 720,000 won
6 – Kiddie Cardian (?) Pro – 495,000 won
7 – Britax Royal Extreme – 635,000 won
8 – Forb – 460,000 won

On head-on collision, these car seats performed best:

Best car seat in Korea

* Recaro Smart Plus
* Daiichi Dualwell Car Seat
* MaxiCosi Tobi
* Safe Organic
* Combi Coccoro

11 comments

  1. Yeah, I remember how expensive baby stuff were in Korea. Baby clothes can be hand-me-downs/second-hand since they outgrow their clothes (and shoes!) so quickly anyway. But that is interesting that infant/child car seat usage is so low in Korea. Here in the US, when I had my son, you have to leave the hospital with the baby in an infant car seat. Otherwise, they won’t let you take the baby. And use of seatbelts are strictly enforced. You can get a ticket if you’re not buckled in..”Click it or Ticket” is the ad campaign to remind motorists to buckle their seatbelts.

  2. oh the CAR SEAT……i’ve had a couple of arguments with my MIL because of the car seat….she would always insist that it’s ok not to use the car seat but i refuse to put the safety of my child at risk…tsk tsk tsk

  3. We will be visiting Korea with our infant twins later this year. I just booked the flights a couple of hours ago, and started researching what to do about car seats!

    It’s unthinkable not to have car seats here in Canada… Now that I’ve booked the flights with our children sitting on our laps, what do I do with the car seats?
    Has anyone travelled to Korea, or travelled abroad with the car seats?

    1. Hi Mary-Ann! The law on car seats here is not strictly enforced.

      I’ve traveled from the US to Korea with a car seat. The airline will provide you with a plastic bag to put the car seat in. You won’t need to pay extra as it is part of the baby’s luggage.

  4. Hi,
    Does anyone know if the regulations for Korean car seats are as high or higher than the U.S.? I’m going to Korea with my toddler in a few weeks, and my cousin offered us to use one of his son’s in Korea. I’m wondering if I should bring one or use his. Thanks in advance.
    Mary-Ann, what did you end up doing?

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