Latch vs seat belt which is safer?

Latch and Seat Belt Installation

Latch vs seat belt which is safer

Car seats can be fitted using two popular techniques, the vehicle safety belt or latch. The LATCH means Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Several parents ponder which choice between latch versus seat belt which is safer.

Both seat belts and latch installation are both safe. But whether one is more secure compared to the other is determined by the child, the car vehicle, and the parent. An installation strategy ought to be selected for a child’s seat.

Seat Belt

The vehicle safety belt can be used by moving through the paths of the belt of the car seat and fastened. The safety belt itself is tightened and locked. An integrated bolt off the car seat is included to grip the car seat.

One can also open a section of the car seat like the top of a trunk and ease the safety belt through it. Once done, seal the trunk-type part for a secure installation.


Latch anchors tend to be located more toward the center of the seats in which they are installed. Moreover, most vehicles include only two sets of latch lower anchors, which are built into the outboard seats.

Using the latch on the outboard seats installed toward the center leaves less room for the center seat. As a result, it reduces the odds of a successful installation. It also requires narrower chairs to be used in each position.

Easier installation

The main advantage of the latch system is ease of use. It was designed not to be safer than a seat belt. It was made to simplify car seat installation.

Latch allows installation with the lower anchors. Thus, the car seat is less likely to tilt to the side. Slanting may be due to weight from the shoulder part of the car’s seat belt.

Other car seats provide easy installation with latch. Both connectors are attached to the lower anchors, and then a center strap is pulled to tighten.

Safer installation

If one needs to fit a car seat in a rearmost central position, using the safety belt is advisable, and the central chair is the most suitable.

It is easier for some parents to install the child’s car seat with latch. So, it is acceptable to use one of the outboard seating positions to do so when a latch is not available in the center.

Best installation

Seat belts are the best because they can be used all the time, with no exceptions. Latch systems, however, always have weight limits. The latch system is not considered to be safe if those limits are surpassed.

The limits vary from one vehicle and car seat to the next, and they should be obeyed for a latch installation to count as safe.

In contrast, when one has got a seat belt, they install their seat with it, and that is it. There is no need to look up anything related to weight because seat belts are designed to hold very heavy adults.


  • Most vehicles do not have a set of lower anchors dedicated to the middle seat. However, seat belts do not need anchors at all for installation.
  • Most vehicles do not allow the use of the outboard anchors for installation in the center. Seat belts, nonetheless, allow installation of the car seat in a rear center position.
  • Latch systems always have the weight limit, but seat belts do not need the weight limits
  • Latch systems vary. Moreover, they need to follow both the seat and the vehicle’s limits. Seat belts are the best because they can be used all the time, with no exceptions.
  • If weight limits are exceeded, the Latch system is not rated as safe. Safety belts are designed to hold heavy people thus parents do not need to worry.

Weight limit

Currently, car seats have the greatest child weight limit of up to 90lbs. Also, many of the chairs can weigh over 25lbs. Most vehicle producers state a limit of 65lbs if the car seat and the baby’s weight are combined. Others define a 48lb limit for the child’s weight.

The latch Manual contains the updated lower and tether anchor weight limits which are stated by car manufacturers.

No latching system

Tether anchors can be added to other vehicles made from 1989. Most of these vehicles have holes drilled in the car before. The nut is often in place so that refitting the tether anchor is simple.

Every car seat in the US can be installed using seat belts. Anyone can take a baby home in a car that does not have the latching system. The car seat is fitted using the vehicle’s seat belt.


It is essential to decide on how to install a baby’s car seat. Try out all the possible seating positions with the seat belt and with latch system, first. One must determine between the latch versus seat belt which is safer.

It is important to use the installation every time the baby is in the car. Nonetheless, if a car seat has an extensive weight limit, a parent must adjust to a safety belt installation as soon as possible. Adjusting is necessary even if the parent has used latch before.