If you want the best for your baby, you have to be extremely careful in the car seat that you choose. This page lists only those that have been proven winners – they stand up to the important tests: government crash ratings, parental comfort, baby comfort, and ease of use. They’ve all stood up to the important tests for a long time – nothing too new will appear here just yet. The market for infant car seats, convertible car seats, and booster seats is quite competitive and marketing ploys can convince you that one car seat is better than the other. However, our reviews are completely unbiased.
Each of the infant car seats, convertible car seats, and booster seats listed below are extremely high ranking. They have not received a score of less than 4 stars, and most have received much higher rankings.
When reading through the reviews, make sure to look at the things that matter to you. Some parents won’t mind a seat that is difficult to install because it will stay in the same care for a long time. Others won’t like that an infant car seat is difficult to handle. You have to make the decisions for yourself and for the safety of your child.
Best Seller Car Seat (2016-2017 Moms’ Picks)
Graco 4ever All-in-One
The Graco 4ever All-in-One has been a tried and true favorite of so many people over the last decade or so. It is a true forever car seat in that is really transitions from rear facing car seat (4-40 pounds) to forward facing car seat (20-65 pounds) to booster seat (40-120 pounds). It has easy-to-use parts, a premium LATCH system and dual cup holders.Advantages
Simply put, this is one of the top rated car seats on the market today. There is a lot built into this seat: a steel frame for safety, energy absorbing padding, and a fantastic harness system. The booster is also great, providing the padding that your child needs while giving him or her the height. The cup holders make it easy to travel long distances and everything is machine washable.Disadvantages
In some cars, the booster seat proved to be a bad fit. You may have to adjust the headrest of your seats. The straps also tend to get twisted from time to time.Compilation of customer opinions
At the end of the day, this is one of the car seat that you will be hard pressed to find users that would rather something else. They love how simple it is, how durable the pieces are, and how well it really grows with your child. This is truly a forever seat.
Top Rated Travel System (Editors’ Choice)
Chicco Bravo Trio
The Chicco Bravo Trio is the top rated travel system that has a car seat included. It was designed for the parents who are always on the go and moving around, not for those who want a seat that just sits there. It has an upper weight limit of 50 pounds, but you won’t be able to use it until your child is 6 months old.Advantages
The large storage system within the stroller is the biggest advantage to this one. It also has a large canopy that really protects your child’s face. Setting up the car seat, whether in your car, in the stroller, or as a carrier, is extremely easy. Parents love that it comes with accessories that are typically extra in other options. Finally, the seat is much lighter than other options in this category.Disadvantages
When put into the stroller, this one can be a bit difficult to maneuver until you learn the best ways to play with it.Compilation of customer opinions
The Chicco Bravo LE has some great reviews because of its comfort and versatility. You can move this seat from car to stroller easily, and parents like it. For parents who jog, they really found it one of the easiest to use and maneuver.
Best Rated Convertible Car Seats 2017
A convertible car seat is a great option for parents who don’t have to have to do this research all over again. Instead, it is a seat that starts as a rear-facing car seat and transitions into a front-facing car seat. Some models will even turn into booster seats. They are specifically designed to take you from infancy through elementary school.
Convenience is the main reason people choose a convertible car seat. Still, you do have to do your research. The best seats will meet government safety standards, offer extra accessories, work easily, and be light enough to move around. These seats are usually heavier than your traditional seats, so you might want to look at the weight of each seat.
We chose the best convertible car seats by looking at user reviews, checking the stats, and doing some independent research of our own. These are the seats that we found stood out from the rest of the crowd.
|Britax Advocate G4.1||Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible||Diono Radian R100||Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1||Graco Nautilus 3-in-1||Evenflo Symphony DLX|
Britax Advocate G4.1
The Britax Advocate G4.1 delivers some of the best safety on the road while still giving your child the comfort that he or she wants. It has the highest level of crash protection on the market. The seat converts from a rear-facing position (for babies 5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing position (for children 20-65 pounds).Advantages
Simply put, this is one of the best car seats for people living in an area when it gets warm. The fabric is extremely breathable. It has the highest level of crash protection on the market as well, using extra neck support and energy absorbing foam to really bring the comfort home. Everything within the seat is really easy to use, and parents won’t have any problem setting it up. If they do, the manual that comes with it is extremely helpful.Disadvantages
The biggest complaint is about the weight of the unit.Compilation of customer opinions
Users are absolutely in love with the Britax Advocate G4.1. They applaud the ease of usage, saying that it isn’t nearly as confusing as some other convertible car seats. Many parents also said that the seat itself seemed to be of better quality than other options.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible is one of the newer convertible car seats on the market, but that doesn’t mean it lacks for quality. It has a rear facing capacity that goes both lower and higher than other models, 5-45 pounds, and it has a forward-facing seat that goes from 22-65 pounds. It comes standard with an infant cushion and harness covers.Advantages
The deluxe LATCH straps make this not only safer, but easier to use than other harnesses. It has a 5-point motions which makes it gentler on your baby. The conversion process is easier too, making it a simple snap and twist motion. The 7-year expiration date means that it could last through a few children.Disadvantages
The rear-facing belt path is unique and will take a little while to get used to, it also means that installation takes longer. Initially, tightening the harness is difficult too because of the padding, though that isn’t much of a factor all that often. Oddly enough, there are also some odd typos in the instruction manual.Compilation of customer opinions
Overall, parents do enjoy this convertible car seat. They feel like their children sleep better while in the car seat and that the ride is more comfortable. The typos in the manual do annoy them, but they mentioned that there is an updated version on the website.
Diono Radian R100
While the Diono Radian R100 may look difference from a lot of the other convertible car seats, it performs just as well as, if not better than, the others. Weight limits range from 5-40 pounds for the rear facing car seat, 20-65 pounds for the forward facing car seat, and 50-100 pounds for the booster seat.Advantages
The very high weight and height ratings mean that this will be with your family for a long time. It has a slim design so you will be able to fit it into almost any car. The attractive design is a beautiful cover for an extremely comfortable ride and sturdy frame.Disadvantages
This one is a little more difficult to install than many of the other options on the list. It also is difficult to adjust, as the straps are extremely tight. Finally, the seat itself is extremely heavy so it won’t work well for people who need to move it around a lot.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents are thrilled to have a seat that is so slim-fit that it can work with a smaller car or a larger family. They also said that the sturdiness of the seat makes them feel more comfortable taking the dog on a larger trip.
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 definitely focuses on the “growing” and “going feature.” The seat transitions easily from a rear facing seat (5-40 pounds), forward-facing seat (22-65 pounds), and a booster seat (45-100 pounds). It is a favorite because it transitions easily and is extremely safe. Even better, it is great for a life on the go.Advantages
This affordable option is a favorite because all three of the phrases not only work, but they work extremely well. They are comfortable and they keep your child safe. The slim vertical space means that your car will be able to carry more people and those people will be comfortable.Disadvantages
Unfortunately, this one does not meet FAA safety guidelines. Some parents also expressed distaste for the side cup holders because they did add bulk.Compilation of customer opinions
Reading reviews of this seat, many people commented on their love of the color. They also enjoyed the little details that the company has put into it, including harness clip holders which makes everything easier.
Graco Nautilus 3-in-1
The Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 is the latest version in a highly popular line of the seats. It is one of the first seats in the line, however, that is rear-facing. It does have a higher weight limit toward the bottom end, however, so it won’t work from birth. The rear-facing seat has a weight limit of 20-65 pounds, 30-100 pounds for front facing, and the booster seat has a weight limit of 40-100 pounds.Advantages
If you plan on having children closer together, the 9-year lifespan makes it a great one to pass down. The integrated steel bars make it a safe choice, and the 5-poision headrest makes it a comfortable one. For those traditional cars, installation will be easy. The EPS foam not only makes it comfortable, it also protects your child.Disadvantages
The crotch stap is a bit snug as your child ages. The lack of a no re-thread harness makes it difficult to keep it tight. A bigger problem is the sheer amount of elastics on the cover, which makes it a bit cheap.Compilation of customer opinions
Most parents have found that the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 is a fantastic seat. It might not be able to withstand some of the abuse that other seats can from general use, but it is extremely safe. Parents also did enjoy the wide range of weight limits, which allows your child to have some variation in what is best for him.
Evenflo Symphony DLX
The Evenflo Symphony DLX is an all-in-one convertible car seat with a lot of details that make it a winner. There is a ton of side-impact protection, buckle pockets, FAA approval, 5-position adjustable headrest, 3 recline positions, and so much more. The weight limits are: 5-40 pounds for rear facing, 22-65 pounds for front-facing, and 40-110 pounds in booster mode.Advantages
Coming in at just under 20 pounds, this is one of the lighter options. Still, it goes up to 110 pounds in booster mode, which is a higher number than most. It is also on the smaller side, which means that it will fit into your car. The cover is machine washable and there aren’t as many “nooks and crannies” that can get gross. Finally, there is a good deal of legroom when in rear-mode, great for taller kids.Disadvantages
While there aren’t a lot of problems with this seat, there have been a few issues. The rear-facing weight limit is slightly below others on the higher end. The harness isn’t replaceable either, which means you will have to be extremely careful.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents appreciated that the seat was made in the USA, which means that it is high quality. They also mentioned that the seat has a better harness than many other choices. Of course, the weight of the seat was also a huge bonus.
Britax Roundabout G4.1
The Britax Roundabout G4.1 is another seat from that line that offers superb protection while on the road while still giving the comfort that a baby needs. It has some of the best crash test results on the market today. The seat has similar weight limits, in all models: rear-facing position (for babies 5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing position (for children 20-65 pounds).Advantages
Once again, Britax is great when selecting their fabrics. This model allows for breathing room within the seat itself so you don’t get a sweaty baby. The safety features, like a fantastic harness, extra neck support, and EPS foam means that you can feel comfortable taking your child for longer rides. Britax is also well known for having fantastic manuals so set-up and conversion won’t be difficult.Disadvantages
Britax units are always a bit heavy, and that is the case here. It also has some issues with having a lot of little nooks, so make sure you clean it well.Compilation of customer opinions
Users always love Britax, and the Britax Roundabout G4.1 continues that trend. Many parents have commented on just how easy the car seat is to use, especially during conversions. The seat is continually called “high quality” in that it doesn’t have weak parts that warp or fade.
Disney APT (Mouseketeer Minnie)
The Disney APT is consistently one of the most popular options amongst users. It is easy to adjust as your child ages and has a lot of value. This one is the whole package, acting as a rear-facing car seat up to 40 pounds, and then a forward-facing car seat.Advantages
This one lasts a long time and is made of extremely high-quality materials so that it could even be handed down the line. The cup holders are a favorite because of the convenience. Of course, the décor and the Disney theme is a huge reason that people get these seats. You know that with Disney materials, you are getting something that is extremely well put together and safe. Finally, the seat is extremely light compared to others.Disadvantages
There is no booster seat with this one. The cushioning is a little lacking compared to some other seats. Unfortunately, your child will grow out of this much more quickly because it isn’t made for bigger children.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents love this seat for the Disney theme and the high quality materials. However, there have been some who reported disappointment because their children grew out of it so quickly.
Foldable and easy to store, the Diono Rainier is a bit of a revolution within the convertible car seat industry. It is tall, it is skinny, and it still offers up all of the protection that you could possibly want. That doesn’t mean it won’t protect your child – the side headrests, EPS foam, and fantastic harness makes it one of the safest options around. Memory foam makes it really comfortable. The seat has a rear-facing weight limit of 5-50 pounds, front-facing weight limit of 20-90 pounds, and a booster seat weight limit of 50-120 pounds – all extremely high for seats.Advantages
There is an extremely high rear-facing weight limit here, so your child will be able to stay rear-facing for a longer amount of time. It is still narrow enough that you can fit comfortably in your car. Even though it is narrow, it packs in the EPS foams, 12 position headrest, and 3 crotch strap positions. There is excess leg room so that your child is safe. The best thing is that the seat folds flat for storage.Disadvantages
Coming in at 26 pounds, the seat is quite heavy. It is also a bit difficult to adjust the harness while it is already on your child. Depending on your vehicle, you will have a tough time installing the seat in your car. Still, it will fit in every car.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents have commented on just how easy it is so load and unload your child from the seat. They also love that it keeps your child a seat for an extremely long time, prolonging their safety. Many parents have commented on the extra protection on the side of the head.
Evenflo Tribute LX
The Evenflo Tribute LX is one of the safest convertible car seats for rear- and front- facing. The rear position will keep your child secure up to 40 pounds. The front-facing will support up to 65 pounds.Advantages
The Evenflo Tribute LX is extremely safe in all positions. They have paid attention to making it safe in all modes, adding EPS foam and a secure harness. Even better, the guide has special tips and tricks to making the ride safer. In fact, the manual that comes with the car seat is one of the best you will find. Finally, it is small enough to work for premies.Disadvantages
This one doesn’t come with a stroller option, which is a problem for some people. It is also a bit on the heavier side. Since it lacks a booster, it won’t last as long as some of the other options mentioned on the list. Overall, this just isn’t versatile as some of the other options, which is a huge problem.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents love the safety and comfort built into this seat. Even more, they appreciate the fact that it is extremely easy to clean. Some did complain about the lack of compatibility with other EvenFlo products, however. Overall, they did find that it wasn’t as versatile as they hoped, which is a huge problem.
Best Rated Infant (Rear-Facing) Car Seats 2017
It is a simple thing, but one of the most important purchases you will make when you have a baby is the car seat. It is so critical that the hospital will even go out and check the seat to make sure that it is installed properly. If there is one thing to “splurge” on, it is the car seat. You need to find one that will provide comfort and safety for your child while still fitting into your budget.
Look at the safety ratings, weight limits, sizes, and stylings of each car seat. As technology advances, so does what is possible within the seat itself. Remember that you should not transition your child into a front-facing seat until he or she is 30 pounds and has mastered motor skills.
Some of the basics to look for are a base that will stay in your seat, the detachable carrier, and the accessories. Some seats will come with accessories like cup holders, infant head support, memory foam, stroller attachments, toy bars, and even more. The more you are willing to pay, the more you will get. Do some research to see if you can buy them separately to get what you really want. Some other things you should look at include wash-ability, comfort, ease-of-installation, and how they fit into your vehicle.
|Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic||Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 LX||Evenflo Embrace LX||Disney Light ‘n Comfy Luxe||Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30||Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Special Edition|
Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic
Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic is a member of the Chicco Keyfit line that has been upgraded to work well for people who live in colder environments. It has a snow boot and upgraded materials so that it keeps your baby warm. It fits premies 4 pounds and over all the way up to 30 pounds, which is higher than your traditional seat.Advantages
If you live in a colder environment, the warmth of this car seat is a huge benefit. It makes the ride more comfortable for your child and the temperature of wherever you go won’t matter quite as much. Everything on this seat just feels a little more luxe than other models. Compared to many other seats, it is also more compact.Disadvantages
If you don’t live in the cold weather, you might not use some of the upgrades to this seat. The material can be a bit scratchy on bare skin. It is also a bit difficult to install compared to some of the other models as well.Compilation of customer opinions
Users really love this seat. They found that the warmth keeps their child asleep longer and better. Some parents said that they wished it was a little easier to clean.
Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 LX
The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 LX is an upgraded version of the rear-facing infant seat. It can hold up to 35 pounds. There are over a dozen height positions and an extra comfortable crotch strap. The model comes with a base that can adjust positions, energy absorbing EPS foam for safety, and a lightweight carrier. It is even approved for FAA aircraft usage.Advantages
One of the easiest infant car seats to use, the Graco Snugride collection is made for people who are on the go. The handle can be locked into any position while driving, which makes it easier to fit it into almost any vehicle. Finally, it has a large, machine washable cover that protects your baby’s face.Disadvantages
This is an upgraded version of the car seat, so many of the problems are exacerbated. The only problem is that the release buckle is difficult to use.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents who have babies that are on the small side have approved of this one. They also said that the carrier makes life a lot of easier in many ways: comfort, size, convenience, and protection. Some parents said that larger babies had a bit of a problem with the straps, but there is a replaceable option to get some that are bigger.
Evenflo Embrace LX
For people on a budget, there is nothing better than the Evenflo Embrace LX. The reclining base makes it more comfortable for your baby and the plastic is incredibly thick. It is all surrounded by energy-absorbent foam that protects your baby if you do happen to be in an accident.Advantages
For parents who want to do one stop shopping, this infant car seat works with many other items in the Graco line, including strollers. Especially in younger babies, head support is everything. The Evenflo Embrace LX is an infant car seat with extra head support, making it a great option for people who live somewhere with rough roads. Everything within the seat is machine washable and made of really high quality materials, with some stipulations.Disadvantages
Some people have reported that the material used within the car seat can cause rashes on baby’s skin. It also isn’t that easy to move from one car to the other. Finally, the canopy isn’t the best and you’ll have to be careful to move it into position so that it stays.Compilation of customer opinions
For parents who have a baby with sensitive skin, this seat wasn’t successful. However, many were happy that the seat accommodated babies up to 35 pounds, which is high for a Graco product, even if there are seats that go higher.
Disney Light ‘n Comfy Luxe
Covered in Mickey Mouse, this is a kitschy car seat that your little one will love. As per the Disney standard, everything is well-built and easy to clean for parents. The seats are comfortable and the harness is easy to use. This seat will accommodate infant baby up to 22 pounds. While it doesn’t come with that many accessories, they are available online.Advantages
Neat little compartments that fit wipes or a binky will make travelling a lot easier. The 5-point harness system offers extreme protection and safety in the case of an accident. Adjusting the seat is easy. Finally, the entire seat is light and compact so that it fits into just about any vehicle and it won’t hurt your arms when you are carrying your baby around in the carrier.Disadvantages
There could be a bit more padding within this option. The canopy gets the job done, but it might not be the best quality. If you are on gravel, there have been reports that the seat vibrates a little more than normal.Compilation of customer opinions
Some parents complained about the warning label, which is quite prominent on the seat. Overall, most really liked it and loved the accessories and customer service that they received.
Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30
The Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 is a great infant car seat that holds infants 30 pounds or less. It has a lot of personalization within the seat, including multiple height positions, 2 crotch strap options, and a base that you can reposition. The carrier itself is lightweight and easy to carry. The seat is outfitted with energy absorbing foam that will stop a lot of the jostling that babies deal with. The 7-year lifespan means that you will be able to use it again or sell it. Finally, it is approved for FAA aircraft usage.Advantages
This is one of the easiest car seats to use, making it the premier option for parents who haven’t had a baby before and those who are always on the go. The handle is easy to adjust, making it great for compact cars. The larger canopy is not only machine washable, but you can control it much more than the traditional three-fold canopies.Disadvantages
Some of the options on this seat are a little on the “cheap” side. The lower LATCH connectors can break and the harness isn’t the best.Compilation of customer opinions
For people who have premies, this has proven to be an excellent option. It is sized to truly fit infants,so it does go smaller. Graco is also a great brand for accessories, so you won’t have to go searching for something that fits. Some parent weren’t too thrilled with the sizing if they had larger babies.
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Special Edition
The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Special Edition is a luxe car seat that feels like it should belong to movie stars or A-listers. It is made of the highest quality materials and works well for babies starting at 4 pounds and going all the way up to 30. It has the ultimate comfort thanks to a 5-point safety harness.Advantages
It does start at a lower weight than most seats, which means it can work for a longer amount of time for parents of premies. The reversible Cozi-Dozi insert is great for smaller babies because it offers extra head and neck support. The special edition comes complete with texture fabrics of the highest quality, tailored finishings, and a matching weather boot. Installations is easy and you can even do adjustments easily while the baby is in the seat.Disadvantages
There haven’t been too many complaints about this seat. The biggest problem seems to be that fitting off-brand accessories is difficult.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents are in love with this seat. They love the luxe feel, the protection, and the quality of everything. Some did complain that they didn’t use all of the bells and whistles and just complained that they took up too much room.
For the family on a budget, this infant car seat has the safety features. It supports babies as small as 5 pounds and all the way up to 22 pounds and 29 inches.Advantages
The price is one of the biggest advantages to this, and it still has all of the safety features that you need. The LATCH connectors make it a simple option for cars of almost any make and size. It also comes with a great manual that you will be able to read and understand immediately. For parents who have smaller babies, it supports premies.Disadvantages
There is a strict weight limit of 22 pounds, which eliminates its use for a long time. It does also lack some of the bells and whistles that the other car seats may have. It also lacks a reclining seat or base.Compilation of customer opinions
Parents do appreciate the price of this car seat as well as the safety features. They did comment that it is easy to clean and even easier to install. Finally, parents liked that you could buy the accessories that you wanted instead of wasting money on ones you’ll never use.
Types of Car Seats
In the United States, there are three main types of car seats available on the market. These are the seats that are measured by government standards and meet all of the safety regulations set forward by car manufacturers, hospitals, and parenting groups. They are:
Infant Car Seats: These are used for newborn babies (though not always preemie babies, depending on the weight) and are always rear-facing. Typically, these seats can only work safely up to 22 or 35 pounds and then your child will have to move to a new seat. A benefit of this type of car seat is room for a head positioning pillow and a detachable base and carrier that makes it easy to move your child.
Convertible Car Seats: These seats work with as rear-facing for toddlers and babies in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. The former goes up to about 40 pounds and the latter goes up to 70 pounds. Remember that it is safest to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Also remember to check the lower weight limits.
Booster Seats: Use booster seats for children who are at least four years old and weigh at least 40 pounds. These seats lift your child so that the lap and shoulder belts fall properly. There are backed and backless varieties.
Infant VS Convertible Seat
Convertible car seats or infant car seats? It is a debate that many new parents will make. At the end of the day, the option is yours and your alone. You should note that both types of seats are extremely safe and both meet state and legal standards, or they wouldn’t be for sale. You do have to pay attention to your own child and his or her needs. If your child is going to be tall or it is likely that your child will weigh less than other children his or her age, you have to take that into consideration when you make your purchase.
Convertible car seats tend to be more expensive. They also last longer and are made with higher quality materials than and infant car seat. Infant car seats only last for a few months and then you have to switch, meaning you have to do the research all over again.
Make Sure the CarSeat Fitting With Your Car
When you purchase your first car seat, there are a few things that will go through your mind. If you have a smaller, sporty car, you might worry that a car seat won’t fit into your car. This is a valid worry. Some car seats are bulky and take up a lot of room, making them nearly impossible to fit into smaller cars. Others are made for small cars, but come at a cost of comfort or accessories for the seat.
Other seats work better with the LATCH and ISOFIX systems in your larger car, which is something you should note. If you do have a more expensive or luxury car and are worried about marking the interior, note that you can purchase protectors for your seats so that everything stays nice and clean.
What is LATCH (ISOFIX)?
The best car seats are nothing unless they come with an attachment system that keeps them in place using the anchors in your car. Using seat belts is not enough anymore now that these two systems are in place.
LATCH: For any car made after the year 2003, the tethers and anchors have been installed for the LATCH system. This is somewhat confusing for many people. LATCH, essentially, makes it easier for people to install a car seat properly and safely. It promises to help you install your seat in any position in your car, including in the middle seat.
With the LATCH system, you use a top tether or a top strap and the lower anchors (or the seat belt in older cars). The top tether is a strap located above your car and helps mount the seat into the vehicle, making is less likely to move around if you have to turn or when you are in an accident. It also helps to keep the car seat in place on seats, especially leather seats which are already slippery.
ISOFIX: This is the same thing as LATCH, but it is called ISOFIX in Europe.