What Are The Best Infant Car Seats? – Let’s Review!
You and your spouse just had a baby. Congratulations! During the pregnancy, your went over and over everything from what diapers to use, to the way their nursery will look by the time they come home for months
But on that day where you and your little one are discharged from the hospital, did you remember one important piece of equipment? An Infant car seat.
Now if you’re not there yet, don’t worry. You may have a lot of questions though if you’re just starting to shop for an infant car seat such as:
How do I know what the best baby car seat is on the market? Is there a difference between infant and convertible car seats? What about the best car seat for a newborn?
Relax. We wanted to help make this process as easy as possible and did some of the shopping for you. From that we came up with our list of the 10 Best Infant Car Seats in 2018.
Hopefully, with our list, we can help your car seat buying decision an easier one.
Ready? Let’s get started!
QUICK ANSWER: THE BEST INFANT CAR SEATS
- 1. Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base by Chicco
- 2. SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat by Graco
- 3. Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat by Graco
- 4. Embrace LX Infant Car Seat by Evenflo
- 5. B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat by Britax USA
- 6. Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat by Peg Perego
- 7. B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax USA
- 8. MESA Infant Car Seat by UPPAbaby
- 9. Onboard 35 Air Infant Car Seat by Safety 1st
- 10. Flex Loc Infant Car Seat by Baby Trend
Baby Infant Car Seats Reviews
1. Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base by Chicco
As one of the top rated infant car seats on the market, the Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base from Chicco makes installing and using their seat extremely easy with its spring-loaded leveling system and one-pull latch tightening system to ensure a tight and secure fit in your vehicle.
With a seat lined with an EPS energy-absorbing foam to improve impact protection, the KeyFit 30 is an optimal choice for children from birth to up to 30 lbs. and even has an infant insert for smaller babies that weigh 4 to 11 pounds.
With a 5-point harness, and conforming to regulations set by FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) 213 which sets the standard for child restraint systems, your child’s safety it paramount of the car seat’s features.
With its ergonomically designed handle, removing the KeyFit 30 from the based is easy to do with just one hand.
Why we love it – With its compatibility with numerous products in the Chicco line, ease of install and removal from the based, the KeyFit 30 is one of our choices for the best infant car seat.
2. SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat by Graco
With its ultra-lightweight design, carrying around your little one puts less stress on your grip or arm as you transport them from the car to their stroller and any place along the way.
With their Click Connect system, Graco offer parents a no-fuss system that can work with a multitude of different stroller options. With EPS, energy absorbing foam that can be very effective in managing impact energy as well as a convenient LATCH-equipped stay-in car base that can help you with a hassle-free installation can help ease concerns of safety when riding around in the vehicle.
To aid in a more comfortable ride, the SnugRide offers a removable head support for newborns that can offer soft, cushioned support for your baby’s head. A rotating canopy offers protection from the sun and provides your little one with shade to help them travel comfortably.
Why we love it – Graco is one of the most well-known brand makers of infant child seats. With its Click Connect system, the SnugRide is not only an affordable option but a dependable one as well.
3. Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat by Graco
The Extend2Fit, a convertible car seat from Graco, offers a different car seat experience when compared to traditional infant car seats. The biggest difference between the two would be that with a cart seat such as the Extend2Fit, it can be both rear and forward-facing in the vehicle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride rear-facing up to 2 years of age while the Extend2Fit has accommodations for seating a child rear-facing that weighs between 4 and 50 pounds.
To help provide more leg room for your little one as they sit rear-facing in the vehicle, the Extend2Fit has a 3-position extension panel that can be adjusted to provide up to 5 inches of additional leg room so that they not only ride safely but also comfortably.
With an innovative harness storage system that holds the buckle out of the way, putting your baby in or taking them out of the car seat is a much simpler process. Graco also offers a simply safe adjust harness system that makes it easy for you to adjust the height of the harness and the headrest in one motion, removing the need to rethread the harness straps
Why we love it – The Graco Extend2Fit is one of the top rated car seats for infants on the market. With its ability to be both a rear-facing and front-facing seat, along with the features that add to the comfort and safety for your little one, it’s easy to see why.
4. Embrace LX Infant Car Seat by Evenflo
The Embrace LX from Evenflo is an example of a good, economical option for those parents where cost is a concern when it comes to purchasing an infant car seat.
Despite its lower price point, the Embrace does not lack in providing your little one with ample safety and comfort features each and every time they take a ride in your vehicle.
An adjustable 3 position harness system that is rated from 4 to 35 pounds and nationally recognized by advocates for the safety of low birth weight babies ensures that the Embrace can have a long life of being used and securely protect your child.
With its lightweight design that is 25% lighter than other comparable options on the market, even though the Embrace is a vehicle specific car seat and doesn’t attach to a stroller, the lighter weight will help you keep your little one close without your arm getting tired.
Why we love it– The Embrace LV from Evenflo is a good option is cost is an issue for you. With its lighter weight and national recognition for its safety options, the Embrace LX is a great option for your little one.
5. B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat by Britax USA
While the B-Safe 35 from Britax USA is at the higher end of the pricing spectrum, the features it offers you and your baby more than make up for the price of the car seat.
With Britax’s exclusive SafeCell Impact Protection and by adding an extra layer of side impact protection, Britax has earned their number 1 rating in safety technology by far. Boasting a steel frame, the SafeCell Impact Protection adds strength as well as featuring a base that compresses to absorb energy during a collision.
The B-Safe 35’s contoured shell takes up very little space in the vehicle, minimizes side to side movement to maximize protection. The plush foam padding in the seat itself, as well as offering premium fabrics help keep your little one comfortable and cozy each and every time that they go for a ride.
Why we love it – The B-Safe 35 Elite from Britax USA is the safest option on our list. With its exclusive safety features that help keep your little one protected while wrapping them in comfort, any parent who purchases this car seat from Britax will not be disappointed.
6. Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat by Peg Perego
Offering a dual-stage cushioning system, the Primo Viaggio from Peg Perego helps to ensure that your child will have the support that they need. For babies that are 4 pounds and up, the first stage offers support for your baby’s neck and bottom. The second stage supports your growing baby correctly by helping to keep their head positioned properly and both are made from a breathable fabric.
The Primo Viaggio’s base makes it easy for you to ensure that the base is securely locked in place making it more stable in the process. With Peg Perego’s Right Tight System, you can easily lock the base in place using either the LATCH system or the vehicle’s seat belt. With a color-coded belt path system, routing the seat belt to secure the base is made much easier.
With compatibility with all of Peg Perego strollers, without the use of any adapters, makes transportation from vehicle, to home or even on strolls in the park a breeze for you and your baby.
Why we love it – While the Primo Viaggio doesn’t offer anything that makes it stand out from the crowd at first glance, the dual cushioning system, Side Impact Protection, and travel system compatibility make this a top rated car seat in our opinion and one you would be very happy to own.
7. B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax USA
The B-Safe 35, the base model for the B-Safe 35 Elite. While the B-Safe 35 still offers some of the best safety options on the market, there are differences between the two models that may make deciding on which one to purchase something to consider.
Unlike the Elite version, the base model B-Safe 35 has only 1 layer of side impact protection foam insulation. While this doesn’t make the cart seat any less safe, for you or some other moms, having that second layer may ease some safety concerns.
Missing are also the quick-adjust headrest and the no-rethread harness. With a more standard fabric that the Elite model and a non-removable cover, the B-Safe may not be as comfortable or easy to clean, but still holds its own as a quality option for your little one.
This doesn’t mean that the two models from Britax USA don’t share some common features. The SafeCenter LATCH Installation system, which makes installation easy and secure is featured on the B-Safe 35 model, as well as their SafeCell Impact Absorbing base and Impact Stabilizing steel frame.
Why we love it – While it can be seen as a lesser version of the Elite option offered by Britax USA, the B-Safe 35 is a quality infant car seat that will allow your child to ride comfortably and safely each time they are in your vehicle.
8. MESA Infant Car Seat by UPPAbaby
Awarded a 5-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Mesa from UPPAbaby is an infant car seat that puts your child’s safety above all else. As the first to pass the NHTSA’s proposed standard for side impact protection, the Mesa has the credibility to make it a smart choice for your little one.
With UPPAbaby’s SmartSecure system, which promises a 10-second accurate installation which uses a tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors to help ensure a quick and accurate installation that is also easy. An indicator window that changes from red to green will offer confirmation that the base has been installed correctly as well.
With an adjustable headrest that is reinforced with EPP foam to provide additional protection for your little one. With its integrated design, it will help keep your baby’s head stationary during a side impact collision. This reinforcement helped the MESA receive 4x better test scores than other infant car seats on the market.
Why we love it – With its documented record of safety and ability to be used in UPPAbaby’s performance travel system, the MESA is a great choice for any parent looking for overall quality and value in an infant car seat.
9. Onboard 35 Air Infant Car Seat by Safety 1st
As one of the more well-known names in child safety, the Onboard 35 by Safety 1st offers you and your child a suitable option for an infant car seat that has a very reputable backing in the industry. While it is an older model, the features provided by this car seat in no way make it a poor choice for your child’s safety.
Much like other car seats, the Onboard 35 meets or exceeds all federal crash-testing requirements. With its energy absorbing foam and side-impact protection that can help to protect your child if there is ever an incident of a side- impact accident. With its LATCH connectors, installing the base into your vehicle is an easy task.
Why we love it – The Onboard 35 Air from Safety 1st is a great choice for any parent. With the backing of a well-established company in the child safety market, the Onboard 35 is a good option when choosing a car seat for a newborn in your life.
10. Flex Loc Infant Car Seat by Baby Trend
With an added boost to provide your little one with extra warmth and comfort when needed, the Flex Loc Infant Car Seat from Baby Trends everything you would want to see in a relatively reasonably priced car seat for your little one.
With a push button, 4-position adjustable height base, an included level indicator and Flex-Lock latch to ensure a proper installation, installing this car seat into your vehicle is in no way the hassle that other car seats may become.
A 5-point safety harness, with no rethread and easy push button release designed for use with one hand along with EPS energy absorbing foam for a stronger side-impact head protection system will leave you at ease, knowing your child is safe and secure in the Flex Loc.
Why we love it – From the outset, the Flex Loc from Baby Trend is a basic infant car seat at a reasonable price and you’d be right. By offering a quality product that not only protects your little one from harm but also wraps them in comfort, Baby Trend puts a very capable product on the market for you.
How We Chose the Top Infant Car Seats in Our List
When we decided to come up with our recommendations for the Best Infant Car Seats in 2018, we wanted to make sure that each seat we recommended met a set of criteria that we looked for in each one we looked at. With that in mind, we could then feel confident in suggesting the car seats on our list, knowing that they met our strict criteria standards. The criteria we looked for are as follows:
Ease of Use
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration maintains a five-star rating system for car seats. The more stars a seat has, the easier it is to use. The ratings from the NHTSA take into account the ease of installation the seat is into your car and securing your child in it. The rating also takes into account the content and clarity of the instruction manual. You can find their listings here.
Most car seats these days come with a plastic base that you install into your car for the seat to sit in while going for a drive. It is a good idea if you purchase a second one if you have more than one car. To get the car seat out of the base the seat may have a handle that you can squeeze to detach it from the base. A lot of bases also have a level guide to ensure your baby is level in your car.
As your child grows, their car seat will need to grow with them. Better quality car seats on the market let you easily adjust the straps and harness height from the front of the seat. Being able to easily change the straps and harness will always ensure a proper fit for your child.
LATCH, otherwise known as Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren has been in effect since 2002, requiring that all car seats and vehicles have to be compatible with the LATCH system. The system allows you to attach the car seat directly to the vehicle instead of just using the vehicles seat belt to secure the car seat. While this can make installation easier, seat belt installation is just as safe when done correctly.
If you have a baby, you know messes. Having a car seat that’s easy to clean is pretty much a necessity. However, there are many out there that do not have a detachable machine-washable cover.
When your baby is in a car seat, whether you’re traveling five or fifty miles, you want to make sure that they are comfortable the entire time. Having a well-padded seat with plenty of support for their head will help your baby have a better ride.
Many new car seats offer special energy-absorbing foam as well as other features to help protect your little one’s head and chest if they happen to be in a side-impact accident.
Benefits of Infant Car Seats
While most parents shopping for a car seat will know that the biggest benefit of a car seat is your baby’s safety, there can be some other benefits that some may not be aware of
If you asked a new parent, they would say safety is the most important benefit of a car seat and they would be right. Safety is very important. A car seat is designed to protect your child and ensure their safety in the case of an accident.
From the enveloping structure that is proportionate to the size of your child to the built in safety harness are designed to ensure the highest levels of safety. Using a car seat allows you to drive confidently and without worrying because your child is safely retained in their seat.
A car seat is designed to put your little one in the most natural position while they travel. By putting padding in spots where your child’s body is contacting the seat the most, such as the seat, backrest and headrest, manufactures use ultra-soft and breathable materials that can turn their car seat into a comfortable place to sleep on every trip they take.
One of the best benefits that come with a new car seats is the ability to not only be used as a cart seat but, with some models, the seat can snap into a baby stroller. This not only makes it convenient but can also save you some money, requiring you to buy less.
Deciding Between a Car Seat and Convertible Car Seat
There is a lot of conversation on the Internet whether buying an infant car seat is best for their baby or if choosing a convertible car seat is the best option.
Some parents and pediatric associations have weighed in on the subject extensively, coming down on either side of the discussion and in some cases, both. For our list of the 10 Best Infant Car Seats in 2018, we wanted to touch on the subject a little and try shed a little bit of light on the subject for you.
Infant Car Seat
An infant car seat is typically used from newborn till your child reaches either the weight or height limits, which can be between 22 and 35 pounds. Always facing the rear seat, when your child outgrows the seat, a convertible car seat will need to be purchased as it is more accustomed to their growing needs.
Convertible Car Seat
A convertible car seat is a bit of both worlds. It can convert from rear-facing to forward facing. A convertible car seat can carry a child from birth to between 40 and 80 pounds and 40 and 57 inches tall depending on manufacturer’s classification. For some parents, having to buy only one seat can make purchasing a convertible car seat a better option.
Which is better?
While which one you choose will come down to preference and price, some experts say that a young baby is safer in an infant car seat while some parents have said that their newborn seems overwhelmed using a convertible car seat from the start.
Whichever you choose, be sure to pick the best option for you and your child and you can’t go wrong with either choice.
Choosing what’s best for you
When it comes time to choose an infant car seat for your child, you have to realize that your choice goes beyond features, price, style or any other factor. Your child’s safety is the most important factor to consider when choosing a cart seat.
There are many infant car seats on the market that may offer very similar safety features and any one of them listed on our list of the 10 Best Infant Car Seats in 2018can be an excellent choice for you and your little one to ride in wherever you may travel.
But, regardless of the products on our list, there is only one overall factor that determines what the best infant car seat is and that’s you. You will always know what is best for them and choosing the best baby car seat will ultimately come down to you and the one which you feel is the best option to keep your little bundle of joy safe.
We really hope that our list of the 10 Best Infant Car Seats in 2018, if not helping you decide on a car seat, gave you some idea of what you’re looking for in one, then we’ve done our job.
Do you have a Infant Car Seats on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
Last Update on the 12th of March 2017