Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Special Interest Travel > Travel with Children
Reload this Page >

Using a UK car seat in Toronto Canada

Using a UK car seat in Toronto Canada

Old Aug 15, 07, 5:03 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3
Question Using a UK car seat in Toronto Canada


Does anyone have any experience with using a UK (Graco) car seat from their travel system, in Toronto? Is it legal? Also were there any problems with the fit? Did you take it as part of your baggage allowance, and if so, how did you wrap/protect it?

Ours is a rear facing seat for our 5 month old - and having read some of the pros and cons of renting a car with a baby car seat I'm leaning towards taking our own to use in Toronto.

Thanks for your help!!
NL1234 is offline  
Old Aug 19, 07, 7:36 am
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kuwait
Programs: Worldperks Elite
Posts: 24
car seats in Canada


Not sure if this will help or not as I've never used a UK car seat in Canada - but have used car seats in Canada and specifically, until our daughter outgrew it and we switched to a Britac, used the Graco travel system. I'm assuming that you are using the travel system which includes the base and detachable carry seat which clicks into the stroller?

I can't see any real difference in the UK system or the Canadian model - both of which would be made by Graco and which would both have the LATCH/ISOFIX system attachments. To be certain however, you could go to the Graco Canada website (www.graco.net) and see if your model matches those sold in Canada.

All cars manufactured for use in Canada must have the LATCH system as standard features so it should not be a problem for you to install your seat in a Canadian car as my understanding is that it is a universal standardized system - we used our Canadian car seat in Ireland using the LATCH/ISOFIX system with no problems and I would imagine that the reverse would also be true.

Re: wrapping - we have typically put the car seat in checked baggage as now that our daughter is well into the toddler stage she sits and sleeps better in the airline seat rather than the car seat. You can buy car seat covers for travel but we've usually had the car seat shrinkwrapped with the cling film plastic wrapping you can have done at many airports - this allows the check-in agent to see that it is a car seat (and thereby keep it from counting towards your checked baggage allowance) and protects it from dirt and ripping.

Again, not certain if this is of any help but good luck with the flight
Phaedros is offline  
Old Aug 19, 07, 11:44 pm
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
There ought not to be any legal issues - IIRC, visitors to Canada may use seats not approved by the Canadian gov't for their kids with no ramifications. And Graco is so prolific in Canada that no one may even notice

You might even be able to carry on the carseat - it sounds like it would be small enough to fit in the overhead bins ...
Neatfreak is offline  
Old Aug 21, 07, 4:11 pm
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,363
Graco makes different seats for different markets. And as I recently learned, the US models are not legal for use in the UK.

That said, I would think that practically your child will be safer in a car seat you know than (s)he'll be in a strange rental car seat. For that reason, we're probably going to bring our "dangerous" US Graco car seat with us when we go to the UK in October.
themicah is offline  
Old Aug 23, 07, 5:42 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 1999
Posts: 12,097
Originally Posted by themicah View Post
Graco makes different seats for different markets. And as I recently learned, the US models are not legal for use in the UK.
Yes, EU regulations (R 44.03/44.04) are much stricter than US ones (various sources, including Consumer Reports:
Infant seats sold in England and the 24 other countries of the European Union must meet safety standards that include a 31-mph frontal crash. Many are also tested in a 40-mph frontal crash and a 31-mph side collision. [...] In the U.S., car seats must withstand only a 30-mph frontal crash, even though most passenger vehicles are tested in a 35-mph frontal crash and a 38-mph frontal crash and 38-mph side impact. [...]Another notable difference between the European and U.S. infant seats we tested is that the European Cosy Tot includes an attachment or "foot" as part of the base that adds stability in frontal crashes.).

You will ask why infant car seats sold in other countries undergo a battery of tough tests including front and side crashes whose results are widely publicized, while seats in the U.S. do not....

You will ask why the LATCH (short for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system, which was designed to make it easier to secure child car seats safely in place, has proved to be so unreliable. We have the same question, and we want to see a system that any of us could use with confidence."

Last edited by hillrider; Aug 23, 07 at 5:52 pm
hillrider is offline  
Old Aug 31, 07, 9:12 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3
Thank you!

Thank you everyone for this fantastic information! I really appreciate you took the time to help me out. We've decided to take our UK car seat with us to Canada. Now I just hope Air (crappy) Canada doesn't bang it up too much, even with all the shrink wrap

Thank you!
NL1234 is offline  
Old Sep 6, 07, 11:14 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: somewhere north of London, UK
Programs: HH Gold, BA Silver, Accor Silver
Posts: 15,243
We had this same question 2 years ago and ended up buying a new one in Canada.

The main issue I saw was that N. American infant seats use a 5 point harness, whereas the UK Graco one is only a 3 point harness. This would be quite easy for a traffic cop to spot IMO...

It was a well known brand. We got it through HBC.com and it was very cheap. Ordered online and collected at the Hudson store downtown after taking the coach from the airport to the hotel.


This also eliminated my concerns about the stresses the car seat would be placed under whilst in the aircraft hold/being tossed around the airport.

(Note as far as I am aware, LATCH is only used on the next size of seat up i.e. 1yr plus).
Swiss Tony is offline  
Old Oct 7, 07, 5:36 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 3
We're back home in London now safe and sound, and used our UK car seat in Toronto the whole time and baby was very happy.

Worth mentioning....the car's seatbelt straps in Toronto were slightly shorter than in the UK but we we're still able to safely and securely strap the seat in, just took some extra wrangling the 1st time round - give yourself enough time.

posted this on another thread but it might be useful if your reading this thread ....FYI...terminal 1 in Toronto no longer has a shrink wrap facility for your car seat and they seem to run out of carrier bags all the time. Take a bin bag just in case. Ours had to fly home 'naked' and was fine.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to reply!!
NL1234 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: