When searching for the best for your baby, you must take extreme caution in selecting a fantastic safety seat. This is one of the most important items you will purchase, as we put our children in danger each time we get into the car.
This page lists only the best baby car seats – they stand up to all of the important tests:
- Government crash ratings
- Parental comfort
- Baby comfort
- Ease of use
We have been testing car seats for a long time, and these are the seats that have passed the tests multiple times, which is why nothing too new will appear on our lists just yet. The retail market for infant and convertible safety seats is extremely competitive – marketing ploys and tactics have been able to convince parents can that one car seat is better than the other without having the facts to back themselves up.
However, our reviews are completely unbiased and focus on your child, not bottom lines or sales numbers.
Every one of the infant and convertible seats listed below is extremely high ranking. They have all received a score of 8.0 (out of 10) or above in our testing, and most have received much higher rankings.
When you read through the reviews, make sure to look at the things that matter to you as a parent. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each car seat for yourself, your lifestyle, and your baby.
For example, some parents won’t mind an infant car seat that is difficult to install because it will stay in the same car for a long time. Others, who maybe have to move it from car to car, won’t like that the infant safety seat is too difficult to handle. You must make the decisions for yourself and for the safety of your child – now before it is too late.
Rear-facing then can be switched to a Front-facing position.
Rear-facing position: 0-2 years
Front-facing position: 2+ years
Only Rear-facing position, provide more support for the child’s head.
Age Limit: 0-2 years
Best Seller Seat (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 has stood up to the tests of time and continues to amaze and astonish parents - there are now people who have bought several iterations of this seat for different children.
It is a true forever car seat, meaning that it really transitions from rear facing (4-40 pounds) to forward facing (20-65 pounds) to booster seat (40-120 pounds) easily and stays the car seat that you love and understand.
It has easy-to-use parts, a premium LATCH system and double cup holders. Even better, since it is such a well-known brand, it has quite a few accessories on the market as well.
Simply put, this is one of the top rated car seats on the market today. There is a lot built into this seat from both a safety standpoint and an aesthetics standpoint: a steel frame for safety, energy absorbing padding for comfort, and a fantastic harness system that combines both.
The booster is also great, providing the padding that your child needs while giving him or her the height to sit comfortably using the car’s own safety system.
The cup holders make it easy to travel long distances (just add a drink and some snacks) and everything is machine washable for those inevitable accidents.
In some cars, the booster seat proved to be a bad fit. You may have to adjust the headrest of your seats, if they do adjust. If they don’t, you may just have to delay using the booster. The straps also tend to get twisted from time to time.
At the end of the day, this is one of the car seats that you will be hard pressed to find users that would rather use 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 that will become an institution in your cars.
Best Convertible Car Seats 2017
A convertible car seat is the best option for parents who don’t have to repeatedly research and buy new seat each time their child outgrows a seat. When you see how quickly children grow, you will understand why this takes up quite a large chunk of your time.
Instead, a convertible car seat starts as a rear-facing and transitions into a front-facing seat.
Some convertible models will even turn into booster seats. These models are specifically designed to take your child from infancy through elementary school.
Some convertible models will even turn into booster seats. These models are specifically designed to take your child from infancy through elementary school.
Convenience and ease of use are the main reasons why parents choose convertible models. Still, you do have to do your research so that you can choose the best option for your child. The best baby seats absolutely must meet government safety standards, offer extra accessories, work easily in your vehicle, and be light enough to switch from car to car.
These seats are hardier than your traditional car seats, so you might want to look at the weight of each seat as well – but remember, the more weight, the less jostling your child will feel.
We chose the best convertible car seats by looking at:
- User reviews
- Research of our own
After all of that research, these are the seats that we found stood out from the rest of the crowd.
|Britax USA Advocate ClickTight||Diono Radian R100||Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1||Chicco NextFit||Evenflo Symphony DLX||Graco Nautilus 3-in-1||Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible||Britax Roundabout G4.1||Disney APT (Mouseketeer Minnie)||Diono Rainier||Evenflo Tribute LX|
Britax USA Advocate ClickTight
With a higher weight capacity than most other car seats on the market today, with an upper limit of some 65 pounds, the Britax USA Advocate ClickTight is a convertible car seat that is perfect for the family who doesn’t like to stay at home.
The lowest harness position is 7.5” and the highest is 18.65”, per manufacturer standards - compared to other models, this is quite the range. It has an expiration of ten years, which means that it could last through a few children if you plan to have them close together.
There are quite a few advantages to work through here, especially for parents who intend to use their car seats heavily. The no re-thread harness makes this one of the easiest harnesses to readjust as your child ages or if you have more than one child.
The ClickTight installation makes it a simple seat to put in and out of multiple cars and you can feel safe while driving around, even on leather seats, where other car seats tend to move around.
This has SEVEN recline settings in both the forward and rear-facing modes, which means that it can have micro adjustments for overall comfort – and to better fit into cars. If you travel long distances with your child, this is crucial because you can even more it depending on the day, the sun, or your baby’s mood.
Coming it at almost 30 pounds, this car seat is a bit on the heavy side (which is why it is so stable as well). It also has a short crotch buckle, which makes it difficult to fit around diapers for people who have to double diaper.
Overall, customer who have reviewed the Britax USA Advocate ClickTight have been very, very happy with the long-lasting and efficient convertible car seat.
Some customers found the weight to be difficult, but the ease-of-installation makes up for it. This is a premier option for parents who want to keep their children in rear facing car seats for a longer time in order to keep them as safe as possible while in the car.
While the Diono Radian R100 may look different from many of the other convertible car seats, it performs just as well as, if not better than, the others. This is because of the somewhat strange appearance of the seat - it is made to just work better.
Weight limits on the Diono Radian R100 range from 5-40 pounds for the rear facing, 20-65 pounds for the forward facing, and 50-100 pounds for the booster seat. This is an extremely large range, making it a great investment for parents who truly want to use the same seat throughout their child’s years.
The very high weight and height ratings mean that this will be a long lasting car seat. It has a slim design so you will be able to fit it into almost any car, including compact cars and even sportier models. The attractive design is a beautiful cover for an extremely comfortable ride and sturdy frame.
This seat is a little more difficult to install than many of the other options on the list. It also is difficult to adjust at times, as the safety straps are extremely tight - however, they start to loosen with more use. Some also see this as a positive because it means a better fit for longer car rides.
Finally, the seat itself is extremely heavy so it won’t work well for people who need to move it from car to car.
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. It is certainly for a family that doesn’t want want to stop moving at any point - from the time the baby is born to the time you don’t need a seat anymore.
Grow and Go transitions easily from a rear facing seat (5-40 pounds), forward-facing seat (22-65 pounds), and a booster seat (45-100 pounds). The manual explains everything in great detail, making it the perfect option for those who are first time parents.
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. Sometimes, you have to give and take on which parts of the car seat you want to work the best, but this is not the case here at all.
The slim vertical space means that your car will be able to carry more people and those people will be comfortable. Most car seats are safer in the middle of the back seat anyway, and this makes this a distinct possibility.
Unfortunately, this one does not meet FAA safety guidelines. Some parents also expressed distaste for the side cup holders because they did add bulk to the overall seat when it could have been even smaller.
Reading reviews of this seat, many people commented on their love of the color and the fabric used - a fabric that was breathable and comfortable. They also enjoyed the little details that the company has put into it, including harness clip holders which makes everything easier.
For children up to 45 pounds, the Chicco NextFit is a great convertible seat for parents who prioritize safety. The strength on the inside gives way to a comfortable outside as well - it is truly the best of both worlds.
Overall, this seat is a fantastic choice for parents who want something that is a high-quality car seat for the years through preschool and early elementary school.
The biggest advantage to the Chicco NextFit car seat is that it has a steel frame. This makes it sturdier for multiple children as well as safer in the case of an accident. It also makes the seat sturdier if you move it around or travel with it.
It is also quite easy to clean in case of spills because the material is machine washable. You can even get a guide that shows you how to clean certain stains and spills.
The steel frame does make this a bit heavier (31 pounds) and bigger than your traditional car seat, so it has to be one that is kept within one car, preferably a larger car. It will fit in a sports car, but it won’t leave much room.
Another sticking point for some is that it does not transition into a stroller. When you have this seat facing the rear of the car, it can be difficult to adjust and fit the straps.
Overall, users love the safety features of this seat. For parents who have one car or don’t intend to move it, it has been highly successful. Some users complained that it was too big for smaller cars. For parents who have children close in age, they have commented on the durability of the parts as being excellent.
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 in the eyes of many different types of parents, including those who travel frequently and those who don’t but want something extremely safe.
There is a ton of side-impact protection built into the seat, buckle pockets, FAA approval, a 5-position adjustable headrest, 3 recline positions, and so much more that it is impossible to list all of the features. This is certainly one of the best car seats on the market right now.
The weight limits are: 5-40 pounds for rear facing, 22-65 pounds for front-facing, and 40-110 pounds in booster mode.
Coming in at just under 20 pounds, this is one of the lighter options for those who have smaller children. Still, it goes up to 110 pounds in booster mode, which is a higher number than most others, so you can keep your child safe for just a bit longer.
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 and filled with germs. The cover itself is durable and protects the seat when in storage.
Finally, there is a good deal of legroom when in rear-mode, great for taller kids and for parents who might need a little extra room in the back of their cars.
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 if you tend to be rough on plastic. Still, it is thick plastic so it should be fine.
Parents appreciated that the seat was made in the USA, which means that it is high quality and the customer service is also stationed in the United States. 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 for many parents.
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, but that doesn’t mean it is of any less quality. In fact, it is a shining example of the seat line.
It does have a higher weight limit toward the bottom end, however, so it won’t work from birth. The forward facing car seat has a weight limit of 22-65 pounds, 30-100 pounds for the belt-positioning booster, and the backless booster seat has a weight limit of 40-100 pounds.
If you plan on having children closer together, the 9-year lifespan makes it a great one to pass down. However, you can also glean that the manufacturers put a lot of work and quality into the car seat - they expect it to last that long, and you can tell.The integrated steel bars make it a safe choice, and the 5-position 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.
The crotch strap is a bit snug as your child ages, so be sure to pay attention and adjust it as needed. The lack of a no re-thread harness makes it difficult to keep it tight.
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. Any damage that you do see will be completely aesthetic - the insides will still be tough and ready to protect your child.
Parents also did enjoy the wide range of weight limits, which allows your child to have some variation in what is best for him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 decor 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top Rated Travel System
Chicco Bravo Trio
The Chicco Bravo Trio is the top rated travel system that has a safest 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, so that should be a fine limit.
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 or add-ons in other options. Finally, the seat is much lighter than other options in this category, perfect for parents who plan to take their baby shopping or those who have a long walk from car to home.
When put into the stroller, this one can be a bit difficult to maneuver until you learn the best ways to play with it.
The Chicco Bravo Trio 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. For parents who live in cities, this is one of the top choices.
Best Rated Infant (Rear-Facing) Car Seats 2017
It may seem like a really simple purchase, but one of the most important decisions you will make for your baby is to buy the best infant car seat.
It is so critical to have a quality car seat that the hospital will even send a nurse to your car to check the seat and make sure that it is installed properly. Simply put, if there is one thing to “splurge” on, it isn’t a cute outfit or a fancy crib – it is the safety seat.
You need to find one car seat that will provide extreme comfort and safety for your child while still fitting into your budget. This shouldn’t be hard to do, especially when you do some research.
Look at the:
- Safety ratings
- Weight limits
As technology advances everywhere, so does what is possible within the seat itself. Car seats have really come a long way in the last few years. Still, there are a few rules that you need to follow. Remember that you should never 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 in the seat are: a base that will stay in your seat, the detachable carrier, and the accessories.
Some seats will come with accessories like:
- Infant head support
- Memory foam
- Stroller attachments
- Toy bars
- Cup holders
The more you are willing to pay, the more you will get in your seat, but that doesn’t have to limit your options. Do some research to see if you can buy them separately to get what you really want in your child safety system. Some other things you should look into include wash-ability, comfort, ease-of-installation, and how they fit into your vehicle.
|Britax B-Safe 35||Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35||Chicco Keyfit 30 Magic||Evenflo Embrace LX||Disney Light ‘n Comfy Luxe||Graco SnugRide 30 Click Connect Front Adjust||Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 LX||Evenflo Nurture||Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Special Edition|
Britax B-Safe 35
One of the safest infant car seats on the market right now that also has a wide weight range, the Britax B-Safe 35 is a premier choice for parents of preemies and smaller babies who need some extra support and comfort while on the go.
The weight range goes from 4-35 pounds, meaning that it will keep your child in a rear facing seat for a longer amount of time.
The overall size of this unit is smaller than most other seats, making it a fantastic option for people with compact cars or a lot of people to fit into a car. For a seat, the carrier is also on the lighter side, making it a good choice for grandparents.
The handle locks into position when you are driving, reducing the chance of something happening and making it great for parents who are limited for time. There is also an option for baseless installation, which makes it safer on your car.
There have been very few complaints about the seat itself, though some have said that the fabric choices could be a bit more luxurious instead of the basic fabric that it is. Overall, the complaints have been small and haven’t been numerous enough to create a consensus.
Parents really seem to love how easy this seat is to install and how everything works together to form a cohesive unit. There isn’t much to “figure out” when you are installing the seat, making it easy for parents to move from seat to seat. It is also a great option for those who don’t want to fuss with the seat all the time.
Many also mentioned that they liked that they could buy other bases so that transfer from car to car is easier.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35
For parents who take safety and protection very seriously and it is the most important thing about a car seat, it doesn’t get any better than the Primo Viaggio 4-35. This is a high quality, well put together, and extremely safe seat.
It has a higher weight limit than most other rear facing infant car seats and it is compatible with any Peg Perego stroller. It meets all safety and crash-testing requirements.
This is one of the more secure car seat options out there. It has an extra feature that you won’t find in many other seats: an anti-rebound bar on the base that offers extra protection in case of collision. While none of us want to get into an accident, it is a fact of life.
For a family on the go, it doesn’t get better. It is FAA certified, looks great, and has a unique design that makes it easier to carry than some other models.
The biggest problem is that the cushion isn’t machine washable, which is a problem as the child gets older. You will have to spot clean just about everything that falls, which will actually save you time in the long run and keeps the color and quality of the seat.
Simply put, you won’t hear many complaints about this system from anyone at all - at least not complaints that fall into a type of consensus. Parents love the cool look and the plush features that make it a luxurious ride for their children.
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 for colder climates. It fits preemies who weigh 4 pounds and over all the way up to 30 pounds, which is higher than your traditional seat will work for.
If you live in a colder environment, the warmth of this car seat is a huge benefit by itself - something not many other seats provide to you. It makes the ride more comfortable for your child and the temperature of wherever you go won’t matter quite as much. The fabric also stays cool during the summer months.
Everything on this seat just feels a little more luxe than other models. Compared to many other seats, it is also more compact.
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.
Users really do love this seat. They found that the warmth keeps their child asleep longer and better while the car is moving (never keep your child asleep in the car once you are home). Some parents said that they wished it was a little easier to clean.
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 so it will withstand a lot of abuse and use.
The seat itself is surrounded by energy-absorbent foam that protects your baby if you do happen to be in an accident. It also keeps your child comfortable when you are driving - meaning your rides will be a little quieter.
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 or those who take longer rides in heavy traffic.
Everything within the seat is machine washable and made of really high quality materials, with some stipulations.
If your baby has sensitive skin, you may want to wash the liner of this seat before you use it. 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.
For parents who have a baby with sensitive skin, this seat wasn’t successful. However, many were happy that the seat accommodates 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. Sincerely, Disney is a company that doesn’t make anything “cheap” or poor quality, so you can always trust the mouse.
The seats are comfortable and the harness is extremely easy to use. This one will accommodate an infant up to 22 pounds. While it doesn’t come with that many accessories, they are available online. Truly, you don’t need many accessories when you have a seat like this anyway.
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.
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.
Some parents complained about the warning label, which is quite prominent on the seat but truly doesn’t impact any of the functionality of the seat at all. Overall, most really liked it and loved the accessories and customer service that they received.
Graco SnugRide 30 Click Connect Front Adjust
The Graco SnugRide 30 Click Connect Front Adjust 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 for parents who don’t like the hulking seats. The seat is outfitted with energy absorbing foam that will stop a lot of the jostling that babies deal with when in the car for an extended amount of time.
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.
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. Graco is a trusted name that provides some of the best customer service in the industry. Even more, they have guides that you can use repeatedly to help work your seat.
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.
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 either. However, for the price, you will struggle to find a better seat.
For people who have preemies, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There haven’t been too many complaints about this seat. The biggest problem seems to be that fitting off-brand accessories is difficult.
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.
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: 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: 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 high back and backless varieties.
Infant VS Convertible Seat
Convertible 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 models. Infant safety 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 Car Seat 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 models 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 (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) and ISOFIX?
The best baby 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.