What is the Swedish Plus Test?

When looking for a car seat, there are many different factors to consider. . The most important thing to look out for is of course safety, and that means checking the certifications behind a car seat you’re interested in.

While many safety tests conducted are to European standard (R44 or R129 i-Size), Sweden has been far stricter on car seat testing. In 2009 Tommy Pettersson, Head of the VTI Shock Laboratory in Linköping, Sweden created "The Swedish Plus Test" (or Plus Test for short).

This optional test - dubbed the hardest test in the world – aimed to guarantee a little one is never exposed to excessive forces on the neck. To date only rear-facing car seats have ever been given Plus Test approval due to the reduced forces exerted on the head and the neck.

Who conducts the Plus Test?

The National Society for Road Safety (NTF) in Sweden is the organisation that publishes The Plus Test. The test itself is now conducted by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.

What are the requirements for the Plus Test?

The Swedish Plus Test focuses on forces exerted from behind meaning only rear-facing seats have passed so far, although forward facing can be tested. The requirements for the seat must also include a suitable height and size (not exceeding 18kg for ISOFIX and 25kg for belted installation) and be able to install on any seat in a vehicle.

How to pass the Plus Test?

It is an incredibly rigorous test, so much so, many of the car seats that take part are completely destroyed in order to certify it has passed. There are three main factors to passing this test:

  1. Subjected to higher speed compared with speeds used by European standards ECE R44 and R129, also called “i-Size”.
  2. Very short braking distance, which makes the impact on the car seat fierce. The shorter the braking distance, the more violent the forces become.
  3. To make the Plus Test even more difficult, aside from a higher speed and shorter braking distance, it also scrupulously measures the forces in crash test dummy’s neck with sensors.

Who can take part in the Plus Test?

Unlike the European tests, which are a compulsory requirement for car seats to be sold in Europe and many other countries around the world - the Plus Test is not required by law. This means that each manufacturer has their own decision as to whether they want their product tested under this new standard or not.

Which car seats we stock have passed the Plus Test?

  • BeSafe Stretch i-Size (arriving soon) 

Want to know more?

We hope this has cleared up a few things on car seat safety. However, if you still have questions, our friendly and knowledgeable team are on always here to help. Simply connect via one-way video call, click on our live chat icon or email our expert customer service team! Alternatively, you can learn more about other types of car seat safety testing over on our ADAC blog or what to look out for in our car seat buying guide.

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