What is LATCH?

This article explains what LATCH is and why it’s an excellent safety feature

At phil&teds we’re parents too so we understand the challenges parents face during the parenting day. An infant car seat is the first product you have to purchase as a parent. Car seat shopping is overwhelming with confusing technical jargon used to describe features on the seat. This article is intended to decode some of the grey areas and give you insight into the meaning of the acronym LATCH.

latch phil and teds alpha @theashmoresblog

alpha – Photo credit: @theashmoresblog

What exactly is LATCH?

LATCH is an acronym for ‘Lower Anchor and Tether for Children’. It is a safety feature on car seats that adhere to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213, also known as FMVSS213.

LATCH is a clip that secures the car seat directly to the chassis of the vehicle usually without using a seat belt. The points at which car seats attach to the vehicle are called the ‘anchor points’. Today we’re going to focus on ‘lower anchor points’. They are found in most cars built after 2002 and sit between the bottom and the back of the seat. In some cars they are clearly marked and easy to locate. Often, they sit tight in between the seat and the back and can be located by putting your hand in between the seat.

latch lower anchors

LATCH anchor points

Car seats that are tested to the FMVSS213 standard use LATCH connectors instead of Isofix. UK readers, we’re talking about the same lugs that you attach your Isofix to. New Zealand and American readers, Isofix is a similar attachment method that’s used in Europe and the UK. The difference is they call the lower anchor points ‘Isofix lugs’. Read more about Isofix here.

How does LATCH work?

The latch connectors come in 2 forms: rigid and flexible.

Rigid latch connectors are solid arms that extend from the bottom of the car seat to the lower anchor point.

Flexible latch connectors are connected to the car seat with webbing. Unlike the rigid arms previously discussed, it can be easier to attach them to anchor points that are less exposed in the car seat.

LATCH makes a car seat very easy to install

In the USA, alpha comes with a LATCH base giving you added click and go convenience! If you’ve had a child before, you’ll know that every trip in the car has at least two stops. Having a base that can click and go makes travelling with baby significantly easier because you don’t need to thread the seat belt every time.

Here is an instructional video demonstrating our alpha car seat with a LATCH base.

If you’re unsure about installing the car seat, contact a local Car Seat Restraint Technician. They are trained car seat professionals that will teach you how to install your car seat safely.

alpha is available in the USA with a LATCH connector. alpha has flexible connectors making it very easy to connect to just about any car. alpha fits on all phil&teds buggies as a travel system and is super lightweight, making it easy to transfer from buggy, to car and back again!

alpha is available at any phil&teds retailer and also online at our web shop.


Click here to learn more about alpha >

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