best infant car seat

10 Best Infant Car Seats for Your Lifestyle and Budget




An infant car seat is one of the most crucial components of baby gear you’re going to need as a fresh parent. It’s a must-have thing, and most hospitals won’t discharge you without one. But with so many diverse models and so much pressure to choose the safest ride for your little one, figuring which one to pick can be a tough call.



Our baby gear experts finished the leg work, so you get all the details you need to select the best baby car seat for your lifestyle and budget.

What is an Infant Car Seat?




It’s a seat specifically designed for newborns. It offers extra support for your LO’s head, neck, and spinal cord and face toward the back of the vehicle, an imperative for early childhood safety. Unlike convertible vehicle seats, these seats can be easily removed from the car and carried, and some can even clip onto the stroller.

How to Choose Best Car Seat for Baby

Here are a few key things to make the search easier and ensure you go home with the right seat.

  • Size and shape – Infant seats range in size and shape. Some are a better fit for smaller or larger vehicles;
  • Installation – Many seats can be installed through the regular seat belt or the LATCH system, which is an easier method to secure the seat utilizing built-in anchors and tethers (available in vehicles made after 2002);
  • Safety indicators – Some models come with built-in leveling systems and indicators to show they’ve been properly installed. (Most safety problems with car seats are linked with improper installation);
  • Material – Besides seeking a style of fabric that meets your taste, consider its durability and how easy it’ll be to wash if/when any messes occur;
  • Safety additions – Some versions include additional padding, shock absorption and premium quality materials;
  • Comfort – Check if the baby seat is padded with enough head support for any ride, no matter how short or long;
  • Stroller compatibility – You can snap these seats into many strollers or stroller frames. A stroller and seat that come as a set better known as a travel system. But if there’s a car seat you love that differs from your stroller, check if a separate adapter is available to match the items together.

New vs. Used Infant Car Seats

Used seats might be damaged and may not meet the required standard for current safety regulations. It’s recommended to use a new infant carrier seat, but if you end up choosing a used seat, get it from someone you trust. Make sure to look up the seat’s expiration date and research if that particular model has ever been recalled. If the seat is dirty, follow the manufacturer’s strict rules around cleaning it. Each seat has a specific set of rules for cleaning it while maintaining its integrity and safety.

Best Infant Car Seats

No one seat is ideal for everybody, so go for one that fits your vehicle, kid, budget, and lifestyle. Here are the 10 best baby car seats to keep your baby safe and comfortable on the road.

10. Cybex Sirona S SensorSafe 2.1 – Best for Snoozing ($499.95)

Do you like to wake up a sleeping baby in the back seat? The Cybex Sirona S SensorSafe 2.1 is designed to solve this dilemma. If your LO falls asleep while you’re on the road, this infant top baby car seat can fully recline when outside of the vehicle. It features high safety thanks to its adjustable load leg safety feature and linear side-impact protection. Its SensorSafe technology monitors when unsafe situations occur, and the alert system lets you know if there’s a problem. This model is suitable for babies up to 35 pounds and 30 inches.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 16 x 18 x 31 inches;
  • Weight – 30.4 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 6.61 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 66.1 pounds.
  • Maximum height recommendation – 30 inches.


9. Britax B-Safe 35 – Best for Twins ($199.99)

The Britax B-Safe 35  delivers excellent safety features at a good price point. The deep, narrow seat features sidewalls with energy-absorbing foam for side-impact protection along with a steel frame and an impact-absorbing base. Thanks to its light weight, this model works great for twins and preemies. It’s also a piece of cake to install. If you’re using the LATCH system, you’ll tighten it utilizing straps that extend from the middle of the base, not the sides, a function that parents really like. Still, installation isn’t so simple without the base. So, if you’ll need to use this lightweight car seat in friends’ cars and cabs, the B-Safe 35 may not be your best option.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 26.5 x 17.75 x 25 inches;
  • Weight – 12 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 32 inches.
Britax B-Safe 35


8. Clek liing Infant Car Seat in Chrome – Best Style ($349.99)

Style and safety meet perfectly in this top-quality seat from Clek. There are 3 different and easy ways to install the liing – base with seat belt, no base with seat belt, or base with Rigid-LATCH. There’s also a metal load leg built into the base that delivers added support in the event of an accident. It also features a vast canopy that gives almost full coverage with SPF 100+ protection. Plus, Clek liing Infant Car Seat in Chrome includes a two-stage infant insert providing snug support for newborns, plenty of recline options and 3 eco-friendly fabric options. The liing features a 9-year expiration date, so you can use it for multiple kids.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 27.75 x 16.9 x 27 inches;
  • Weight – 27 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 32 inches.
Clek liing Infant Car Seat in Chrome


7. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 – Best for Cleaning ($199.99)

The Mico-Maxi 30  has a few superb features, including its infant insert and how easy it is to clean. Also, the fabric is self-wicking, which keeps babies dry and comfy, particularly in warmer temperatures. Plus, it’s easy and straightforward to install. When it comes to safety, its perks include an anti-rebound bar and extra side-impact protection. This model also gives a great fit for smaller babies, with a top-of-the-line infant insert and easy-to-operating LATCH connectors. So, If you want a high-quality baby carrier seat at a great price, look no further than the Mico Max 30.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 16 x 18 x 31 inches;
  • Weight – 18.46 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 5 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 30 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 32 inches.
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30


6. UPPAbaby Mesa – Best to Install ($299.99)

Installation is one of the top-selling points of the UPPAbaby Mesa. It’s super easy: simply clip the LATCH connectors and push the base down with your body weight, with no need to pull or tug at straps. Indicators turn green when the seat is tight and level. The seat clips into the UPPAbaby’s Cruz and Vista strollers without the need for any additional adapters and can be applied with lots of other stroller brands, as well. Plus, it has generous padding in the center and sides; also, an adjustable headrest that’s reinforced for extra protection in the event of a side-impact collision.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 16 x 18 x 31 inches;
  • Weight – 20 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 32 inches.
UPPAbaby Mesa


5. Donna Infant Car Seat Stroller – Best for Travel ($449.00)

The Doona’s baby seat is a unique product that can transform into a stroller. The Donna Infant Car Seat Stroller is a simple way for parents to transport their baby from a house to a car to strolling around town. Some parents find this model a little heavy, but the amenity of having a seat that can convert into a stroller still makes it a favorite. While it arguably isn’t the #1 choice for every family, it’s the best infant to toddler car seat for the family on the go. This model is convenient for babies up to 35 pounds and 32 inches tall.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 23.6 x 17.3 x 26 inches;
  • Weight – 16.5 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 32 inches.
Donna Infant Car Seat Stroller


4. Evenflo LiteMax DLX – Best for Safety ($169.99)

The Evenflo LiteMax DLX  is our favorite for a newborn car seat that’s both safe and affordable. The load leg, a safety functionality often found in much more expensive seats like the Cybex Sirona, is an outstanding addition considering the model’s price. Its LATCH with guides gives you the option to use the lower anchors to install this model securely and easily or use the belt-lock off to accomplish the same installation with a vehicle belt. The plush head and body pillow, along with ergonomic handle, deliver on-the-go comfort. Other notable features include an adjustable headrest and no retread harness.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 28 x 17.5 x 26.5 inches;
  • Weight – 19.2 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 32 inches.


3. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX – Best Affordable ($134.99)

One of the biggest advantages of the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX is its price. But while it may be a fancy option, this product still provides a lot of benefits. SnugLock technology provides 3-steps hassle-free installation using either seat belt or LATCH. In 3 easy steps, you can securely install a seat with a simple push. You can use this model until your baby is 35 pounds or 32 inches tall. Its Click Connect technology provides a secure, one-step attachment to all Graco Click Connect strollers, making it easy to make a custom travel system that will fit your lifestyle.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 30.67 x 11.75 x 15.59 inches;
  • Weight – 17.55 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 5.5 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 32 inches.
Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX


2. Chicco Fit2 – Best for Small Cars ($279.99)

This small seat uses only the finest Italian fabrics, which are machine washable. Chicco Fit2 sports an easy one-hand adjustment functionality for the carry handle, harness adjustments, and the headrest. You can attach the body and head support for infants and newborns. This very best infant car seat for small cars model is designed for travel system use with Chicco strollers, providing an extended click-in carrier feature with a reassuring audible click and one-hand release. Also, an integrated stabilizer bar increases surface contact between the base and seat, delivering extra support and leverage for a secure install. And for enhanced impact protection, the carrier shell is supported with EPS energy-absorbing foam.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 28 x 17 x 16 inches;
  • Weight – 20.5 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 35 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 35 inches.


1. Chicco KeyFit 30 – Best Overall ($199.99)

When it comes to reliability and safety, the best infant car seat overall is the Chicco KeyFit 30. It’s uber-easy to install due to the bubble level-indicator, one-pull LATCH tightener, and spring-equipped leveling system. And since it arrives with a carrying handle, this model is easy to get in and out of the car —a big deal for mom on the go. It quickly connects to most Chicco strollers and many other brands too and keeps kid comfortable year-round with a zip mesh panel. Other great extras include the removable, washable cover and the slim profile that works well in smaller vehicles.

Specs

  • Dimensions – 27.5 x 17 x 24 inches;
  • Weight – 17.25 pounds;
  • Minimum weight recommendation – 4 pounds;
  • Maximum weight recommendation – 30 pounds;
  • Maximum height recommendation – 30 inches.