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An infant car seat is one of the most essential items a parent can get. When you own one of the best infant car seats, you can take your baby along for the ride, knowing that you can trust he or she will be comfortable and protected in the event of a collision.
In this article, we will help you navigate the large, daunting market of infant car seats. We will walk you through our reviews of different car seats currently available, sharing the observations we have made throughout our reviewing process. Stay tuned to the end, and we will reveal our pick for the best infant car seat on the market today.
1. What Is an Infant Car Seat?
An infant car seat is a seat that is specifically designed to allow safe automobile transport for babies. They seat babies in a rear-facing position that provides an ideal level of protection against collisions. They can also double as carriers and can often click into strollers for easy mobility.
2. Do I Really Need an Infant Car Seat?
The laws regarding infant car seats vary from state to state and country to country. You should do your research to ensure you are compliant with your local laws. However, the short answer is: yes, you really do need an infant car seat if your infant is under two years of age to ensure your child has the proper protection against collisions.
3. What Qualities Set the Best Infant Car Seats Apart?
The best infant car seats offer protection from multiple sides. Look for seats that offer side-impact protection, especially. Many of the best infant car seats are specifically designed to resist dangerous rotational forces from collisions.
The best infant car seats are also built for convenience. They are compatible with strollers to allow easy mobility. They are often lightweight and equipped with ergonomic handles, so you can have an easy time transporting your baby.
How We Reviewed
The twelve infant car seats we have chosen to review are critically acclaimed products recognized for their superior quality. We selected these car seats because they can each make a strong case for being the best infant car seat on the market. We are confident that among these twelve, you will be able to find a number of car seats that are ideal for your needs. We reviewed these products according to their features, pros and cons, and price, so you can get the full breadth of information about each of them. We have also included direct purchase links for your convenience.
Overall Price Range
The infant car seats on our list range in price from $100 to $500. The main factors accounting for price include the quality of the build and materials, the technologies included in the design, the level of protection offered, the design aesthetics, and the ease of use.
What We Reviewed
- Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat
- Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat, Noir
- 2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat – Jake
- Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat with Base
- Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Infant Car Seat
- Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat, Nico
- Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat
- CYBEX Aton 2 Infant Car Seat
- Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base – Nitro Black
- Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat, Gotham
- Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat, Black
Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat
The Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat is an innovative two-year rear-facing car seat. Its unique design allows infants and toddlers to ride safely in your car in two rear-facing positions for the first two years. It comes with a two-stage base that smoothly converts from an infant position to a toddler position, which provides extended leg room and more upright seating, all without taking up extra room in your car.
Installation is a cinch. With its ReclineSure leveling foot, the Fit2 is easy to set up in the proper base angle. Two RideRight bubble level-indicators let users know the precise base angle in the vehicle seat. On top of that, there is a one-pull latch tightener that ensures a secure fit with minimal effort.
The Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat is compatible for use with Chicco strollers. Just use the click-in attachment, and after a quick one-hand removal process, you can use the base to transport your infant or toddler on foot via stroller.
- Quick and simple installation process
- Can be used with Chicco strollers
- One of the best infant car seats in terms of security
- Can be used for two years
- Comfortable to carry around
- On the pricier side
- May be a bit too narrow for bigger toddlers
Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat
The Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat delivers a multi-pronged approach to infant safety. It features two layers of side impact protection, quick-adjust head protection, a steel frame, and an impact absorbing base, offering a high level of security to put parents and their infants at ease.
Installation of the B-Safe is easy with the included Safe Center Latch and built-in seat belt lock-offs. Its design also comes with a quick-adjust harness and two-position buckles, guaranteeing a comfortable fit while eliminating the need for rethreading.
The Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat is ready for travel, compatible with all Britax Single Strollers with its built-in adapter. It can also be used with all BOB Single and Duallie strollers with an adapter that is sold separately.
- Lightweight yet sturdy design
- Provides an ergonomic fit
- Provides side-impact protection
- Not fully compatible with all cars (better with older cars)
- Fabric prone to getting warm
2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
The 2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is equipped with a unique technology involving a convenient tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors that allow for quick, secure installation. Its indicator window changes from red to green to let you know that the base has been installed correctly.
This infant car seat is made with Merino wool, a material that is exceedingly soft, great at temperature regulation, and resistant to flame, despite being free of fire-retardant chemicals.
Its headrest is fully adjustable and reinforced with EPP foam for optimal protection. It can be paired with the VISTA or CRUZ stroller for easy portability. This car seat fits a wide range of weights, from 4 lbs to 35 lbs.
- No fire-retardant chemicals
- Made with Merino wool
- Weight range of 4 to 35 lbs
- Offers side-impact protection
- Incredibly sturdy
- Material can get warm
- Not the best infant car seat for parents on a budget
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is primed for easy installation and has been rated as the no. 1 infant car seat in America. It comes with a five-point harness that allows adjustments with a single hand, as well as a spring-assisted level foot, bubble levels, and a “Center-Pull” adjustment, making installation a breeze.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is compatible with Chicco strollers, making it the perfect, on-the-go travel system. It is suitable for use with infants between 4 and 30 lbs and up to 30″.
- Easy, one-hand adjustments with a five-point harness
- Quick installation process
- Reliable security
- May not last taller infants very long
- On the heavy side
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat with Base
Made in Italy, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Case Seat with Base provides rear-faction mobility and protection for babies between 4 and 35 lbs and up to 32″ tall. It features a dual stage cushion system, with the first stage for babies 4 lbs and up that offers enhanced neck and bottom support and a second stage that supports growing babies with increased head support.
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio comes with a patent handle and seat design with color coded belt paths to aid in belt routing when the base is not in use. With its short compact handle, it is exceedingly easy to move in and out of your car. On top of that, its innovative shell design provides the perfect balance between baby safety and comfort.
- Has a dual stage cushion system
- Comes with anti-rebound bar for increased protection
- Color-coded seat belt path for easy installation
- Travel system compatible
- Provides side impact protection
- Highly effective sunshade
- Not the most affordable infant car seat
- Takes up a lot of room
- Somewhat thin canopy material
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Infant Car Seat
The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus Infant Car Seat is air-craft certified and exceeds all federal standards. It features Patented Air Protect technology for enhanced side-impact protection. It also comes with a fold-down MaxShade canopy for comprehensive sun protection, as well as a zipper for increased ventilation.
This car seat is made with self-wicking material, so you can rest easy knowing your baby is doing the same.
- Compatible with over 50 strollers
- Air Protect technology for side-impact protection
- Anti-rotation stability leg for limiting back-and-forth movement
- No audible click when seat is placed correctly into base
- Somewhat bulky shoulder pads
Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat
The Evenflo SafeMax Infant Car Seat provides a comfortable and safe rear-facing experience for newborns and babies between 4 and 35 lbs. It features a lightweight design, making it perfect for travel. It also comes with a Sure Safe Latch that guides parents in the installation process, which takes mere seconds.
It is made with temperature regulating fabric, and its design includes a padded, ergonomic handle to make carrying your infant as easy as possible.
- Easy to install
- Comfortable material
- Shoulder pads on straps
- Difficult to find in stock
- Inconvenient handle position
Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat
The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat delivers five layers of safety for infants ranging between 4 lbs and 35 lbs. It has been crash tested from every angle for front, rear, side, and rollover impacts, and it is made of soft foam padding for the perfect compromise between safety and comfort.
This infant car seat uses a five-point harness, making adjustments a quick and easy process. With its stay-in-car base, it provides a customized fit to your car. When you need to remove it, its low weight and its Carry Curve Handle makes for convenient mobility.
- Comes with extra padding
- One of the best infant car seats at regulating temperature
- Incredibly comfortable
- Canopy prone to slipping
- Minor quality control issues
CYBEX Aton 2 Infant Car Seat
The CYBEX Aton 2 Infant Car Seat comes with an energy-absorbing shell for optimal crash protection. With its adjustable load leg, it is designed to prevent the seat from rotating forward in the event of a crash, protecting the spine. It also features secure European belt routing, making it as safe to use without the base as it is with the base.
This infant car seat is made in Germany.
- UV 50+ protection
- High build quality
- Compact design – great for smaller cars
- Somewhat limited in height and weight range
- Straps slightly difficult to tighten
Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base
The Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base can transform from car seat to a stroller in a matter of seconds. It provides superior protection with its five-point harness, adjustable handlebar (which also serves as an anti-rebound bar), and 3 Layer Side Impact Protection design.
The Doona Infant Car Seat is made with heathered patterned textile fabric for a beautiful look and a comfortable riding experience for your baby. Its fabric is removable and washable.
This infant car seat is suitable for babies ranging in weight from 4 lbs to 35 lbs. Its max height is 32 inches. It allows for exclusively rear-facing use. The car seat itself weighs 16.5 lbs, while the base weighs 10.3 lbs.
- Removable and washable fabric
- 3 Layer Side Impact Protection
- Easy to use and install
- Definitely not the best infant car seat in terms of affordability
- Extremely heavy when in the car seat mode
Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat
The Graco SnugRide 35 Infant Car Seat comes in an ultra-lightweight design that makes it easy to transport between car and stroller. This rear-facing newborn car seat accommodates infants from 4 lbs and 35 lbs, with a max height of 32″. It features the Click Connect system for an easy, one-step attachment process.
Graco infant car seats are made with energy absorbing foam and are crash tested to meet or exceed US safety standards to ensure the optimal safety for newborns.
- Superior level of safety
- Thick cushioning
- Lightweight build
- A more affordable option
- Difficult to find in stock
- Extremely heavy when in the car seat mode
Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat
The Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat protects infants between 4 and 35 lbs. It features the patented SafeCell Impact Protection system that is only found in Britax car seats. Its components include a steel frame and a base that compresses to absorb energy in the event of a collision. Its deep shell is lined with energy-absorbing foam that protects babies from front and side impacts.
The Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat has a contoured shell design, which allows it to take up minimal space while reducing the side-to-side movement. With its center-pull straps and push-button, lower Latch connectors, it is exceedingly easy to install.
This infant car seat is made and tested in the US with US and global components.
- Made in the USA
- Easy to click in and out of base or stroller
- Fairly comfortable seating
- On the narrow side
- Somewhat heavy – not the best infant car seat for mobility
The Verdict: The Best Infant Car Seats
After an extensive reviewing process, we have decided that the best infant car seat can be none other than the Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat (price rating: $$$). This car seat provides superior protection and comfort for the first two years of your baby’s life. It comes with a two-stage base that easily converts between two positions. As your baby grows, you can make the switch from the first stage to the second, which offers extended leg room and more upright seating. Best of all, it makes this transformation without taking up any extra room.
The Chicco Fit2 is easy to install and can click into Chicco strollers for increased mobility. It uses bubble level indicators, so you can always know when the base is angled right. This is a fantastic infant car seat, and while it is certainly a substantial investment, it delivers unrivaled quality that merits the steep price tag.