What a car seat protector is
A car seat protector is an accessory used to protect the vehicle’s car seats from the car seat (although backseat protectors are used to guard the back of the front seat from scuff marks). The need for such a fitment is obvious. Even though the motor industry has to account for the legal requirements for child’s safety on the road and keep their cars compatible with the safety car seats, it does not mean that the aesthetical qualities of the vehicle’s car seat will not be ruined by the safety car seat. A car seat’s base is often far from soft and may be quite damaging for many materials used in vehicles’ car seats, including leather. It is a little wonder many people want the best car seat protector for leather. Your leather protector car seats are quite different to the leather couch in the living room as they are exposed to a variety of detrimental conditions such as extreme heat and the harsh UV from the Australian sun and the use of air conditioning in your car.
However, things are not quite as simple as they seem. You can use a seat mat if you want, but only as long as using it does not compromise your child’s safety. A seat protector can do that if you install an ill-suitable one or, sometimes, any at all. The question is, how to avoid that?
Why and when a seat protector can be dangerous
A car seat mat as such does not contribute to the safety of your child but neither does it affects it negatively. This risk comes from the mat separating the car seat from the surface of the vehicle’s car seat. This is not necessarily dangerous but it has the potential to be.
What could possibly go wrong? A number of things.
The seat protector is not part of any car seat. As such, it is not outside the realm of possibility that it might be shifted either when you install the car seat or when the car accelerates and decelerates. And since the mat is positioned between the car seat and the vehicle’s seat, a properly installed seat may be loosened on accident. Too many people do not install their car seat properly as it is, ill-fitted seat covers only contribute to the problem.
When to use a seat protector
Even though a seat protector may be dangerous to use, that will never be a possibility if you know when and how exactly you should use it. Yes, it is just not possible to use one sometimes, but if that is the case, you will know that thanks this review.
We strongly advise that you read the manual that comes with your car seat. Not only will it help you to find out how to install your car seat properly, you can find a lot of information in there. Information important for using a car seat mat.
The manual will often specify what can be used to protect the vehicle’s seat. Sometimes it might be a very specific car seat mat, typically made by the same manufacturer. We recommend that you follow such recommendations. Sometimes, use of a towel or a blanket is allowed. If that is the case, you can use a car seat cover more or less freely. Alternatively, you can indeed use a blanket or a towel. We do not recommend that, however, it is safe to use them in such a case.
How to choose a seat protector
First of all, we do not recommend using soft mats unless the car seat manufacturer explicitly allows using towels or the mat you are going to use. The reason for that is that soft fabric cannot resist the force of a car crash and will easily give in. The mechanics of such an event is very similar to the behavior of a loosely installed car seat.
In fact, we recommend that you avoid using towels, blankets, and thick car seat protectors entirely. It would be better to go for thinner protectors made of sturdy materials.
Things to do before using a seat protector
A word of warning first. Do not use the mat if you have to adjust the car seat installation to fit it in. It is a sign that this protector will be unsafe to use. Return it to the vendor. For online stores, such as Amazon, it means sending the protector back. Alternatively, you can try using it with another car seat if you have several children or you can give it to someone. Chances are, it will fit. That way you will save some money you would spending on gas or delivery service.
You should check out if the mat is cleared by the car seat manufacturer for using with their seat if you have not done that when purchasing the mat.
Compare how the car seat behaves with and without the protector. To do that, you have to install the car seat over the protector and then remove the latter. This can be done by undoing either a LATCH connector or the seat belt. After the mat is gone, click the belt back in or reattach the LATCH without loosening either. Inspect the car seat. If it moves too freely, the car seat cover is not a good match.
If the car seat does not move more than an inch, the car seat mat is suitable for future use.
Seat protectors and federal safety standards
Car seat mats, otherwise known as car seat protectors, are not regulated by the federal safety standards. That means that any claims as to a mat meeting or exceeding federal safety standards are nothing more than words. Not technically a lie, since it is not hard to comply with non-existing standards, but there is nothing useful in such claims. Learn more about using a products to help maintain your leather seats.
Top 5 Car Seat Protectors
1. ROYAL OXFORD Luxury Car Seat Protector
2. Cheekie Monkie Super Seat Saver Mat
3. Summer Infant DuoMat for Car Seat
4. Kick Mats – BEST Car Seat Protector
5. KHOMO GEAR – Baby Infant Car Seat Cover Protector