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Cleaning Car Seats Is Now A Cinch With This Secret Weapon

The Only Question Is What You'll Do With All That Free Time...

You've just been driving along, running your errands with your young child in the back seat. You've been rocking your day. Checking things off your to-do list, taking care of business, and feeling super productive.

The sun is shining. The birds are chirping.

Everything is going your way.

Then, out of the blue, you hear those two little words from the young kiddo sitting in the car seat in the back...

"Uh-oh."

Great.

Time to add "cleaning car seats" to your (already too-long) to-do list.

Fortunately, we've got you covered.

We don't know what kind of disaster junior has created this time, but for every mess, there's a solution. No matter what the challenge is, the tips you're about to learn will get you back on the road in no time.

Let's get to it!

Baby, You're Worth It

Car seat cleanliness is important. You already know that. Especially if your baby or young child is spending a lot of time there, you don't want to let this slide for too long.

​Image via Pexels

But often this task can get neglected because it doesn't seem super-urgent. Other things are always much more pressing. So typically this is a job that gets lower priority... until a real doozy of a mess comes along.

Then there's no choice but to tackle it head-on.

In reality, cleaning car seats is something we should be doing on a regular basis. So we'll take a good look at both disaster control and doing our routine maintenance.

What would happen if we didn't adequate attention?

This Is Not Gonna Fix Itself...

Whatever you do, don't pretend the mess isn't there!

very dirty car interior, full of garbage, food containers, boxes and cans

Car needs cleaning Image CC by SA 2.0, by 8one6, via Flickr

If a spill is ignored for too long, it can get worse. It just will. That's how spills are. Even if it just sits there, letting it slide can lead to all sorts of problems.

Stains can set and become much more difficult to remove. Liquid messes that don't dry out can provide a welcome environment for mildew or mold––and you don't want your baby to breathe that stuff (you don't want yourself to breathe that stuff either, for that matter).

Crumbs and food debris can invite critters to see if they can find a way into your car, especially if the spill has a strong odor or an appetizing scent.

So by all means, don't put it off! It's like brushing your teeth or taking out the trash. It's just something that shouldn't get left off the list.

Don't Mess With Me

Depending on what kind of disaster you're facing today, you may need to try a few different methods.

Babies, toddlers, and young children create all kinds of tiny mishaps. Hey, growing up ain't easy! Spit happens, you know?

The approach you use needs to match the specific mess. Whether you're dealing with a few crumbs, a spill, or something bigger like a child being sick, our techniques will help you formulate the proper plan of attack.

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Cleaning Supplies, Assemble!

You don't go into battle without your gear.

So first off: let's make sure we've got the right tools for the job!

Basic Supplies

  • A vacuum that you can bring into your car (or at least bring it close enough to use it on the mess)
  • A bucket or container to hold water
  • Cleaning solution or detergent
  • An absorbent cloth

Advanced Tools

  • A spatula (if the bulk of the mess isn't dry enough to vacuum)
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • And our secret weapon (we'll get to that in a moment)

If you don't have a cleaning solution specifically for fabric or upholstery, you can also use laundry detergent. You'll want to look around for detergents that will be kid-friendly. But presumably, if you use what you've got in your home, you'll already have a brand you trust.

child in car tipping sun glasses down

Image via Pexels

Mrs. Meyers is one company that has made a name for itself, offering a selection of quality products that don't contain chlorine bleach (or test on animals!) Their detergent comes in a variety of scents, so you can find one that works for you. New York magazine also has a quick selection of cleaning supplies that may be helpful in general.

I'll Do It Myself! (A Few DIY Tips...)

What if you can't get a hold of any of these?

Did you suddenly discover that you're all out of laundry detergent? Are there no cleaning solutions left in your cabinet?

No sweat. Just channel your inner MacGyver and make your own.

If you find yourself in a pinch, you can mix baking soda and warm water to make your own cleaning solution. That way you can still address a mess, even if you don't have store-bought cleaner readily available.

You should aim for a 4-to-1 ratio (so a cup of water and 1/4 cup of baking soda). Use a toothbrush in combination with this solution, and you'll still get the job done.

Baking soda is also super useful in another instance, as we'll see shortly...

If the mess is small and you just need to do a quick fix, you can target specific spots with a combo of detergent, warm water, and a toothbrush.

Of course, if you've got a bigger mess on your hands, you'll need a bit more elbow grease (and probably more than a toothbrush) to fix it.

So let's get going. We've got our tools, and our cleaning solution or detergent.

It's time to roll up our sleeves.

Suck It Up

Image via Libreshot

Depending on the size of the mess, you may first need to remove the car seat. Especially if you need to give it a deep clean, this can save time in the long run. It can also give you a chance to vacuum all around the bottom of the seat and get the corners that you can't normally get to when the car seat is installed.

Whether you do this or not, you'll want to start off the process with a vacuum. (If you don't have one readily available, try using a brush, broom, or duster to get rid of any free-floating gunk that hasn't gotten lodged into the fabric.)

Get rid of anything that can't be washed: crumbs, tiny bits of debris, pet hair, whatever. Vacuum or sweep it all away so you can take the next step.

We Had A Little Scrape

You may have a kind of mess that doesn't respond to being vacuumed up. What if your toddler dropped peanut butter on the seat?

This is where your spatula comes into play!

Black spatula on wooden counter

Black and metal spatula, via Wikimedia

This can be a great way of getting rid of gunk like spilled jelly. Anything wet or gooey. (It also helps if someone has been sick, and you don't have a vacuum cleaner that can handle that kind of mess.)

Just use the spatula to scrape it into the garbage.

Now that you've cleared the debris out of the way, the next stage is to wash the seat itself...

Give It a Good Scrub

Sponge shaped like a smiley face, yellow on white background being held by a woman's hand

Smiley Sponge! Image CC by 2.0, by Your Best Digs, via Flickr

If you have a spray bottle cleaner, spray the surface thoroughly, and give it a moment to sink in.

If you're using a do-it-yourself solution of detergent and water, either apply it with a sponge or slowly pour a small amount of the solution directly onto the fabric. Make sure to cover the surface so that you don't miss any spots.

Now, maybe you've got a stain that less "dirt" and more "grease."

Try using a combination that's one part warm water, one part white vinegar. The vinegar will help dissolve the grease and make it easier to mop up.

Scrub the surface with a sponge, paying special attention to any trouble spots. Try to avoid using any sponges that are particularly abrasive, so you don't damage the fabric.

Dirt can get fairly deep down in some fabrics, so you may need to repeat this step a few times.

Dry It Off

Once you've washed the surface, take an absorbent cloth or towel to soak up the dirty water. Wring it out if necessary, but the point is to get all that dirt. It's been dislodged from the fabric but it's still sitting on the seat. You may have to do this a few times to get everything.

Once the seat is clean, just let it air dry, and you should be all set.

Avoid using a blow dryer if you can. A blow dryer won't be as effective at removing dirt, and there is also the potential for the high heat to damage some fabrics.

If you absolutely need to use a blow dryer to get the seat dry super quickly, make sure that you only use the dryer in short bursts. A better method is to use a large room fan to speed up the process. It'll take longer, but it won't hurt the material.

Now you just have to take care of the loose ends.

young child buckling into a car

Image via Pexels

Buckle Down

When it comes to washing car seats, you have to deal with several types of surfaces. The fabric is one thing, the straps and buckles are two others. So you'll need to use different approaches in cleaning those.

Straps should be hand-washed, as they can suffer heat damage more easily than the rest of the seat. A simple baking soda or detergent solution should work just fine.

If the buckles are generally clean, a bit of water should suffice. But if they've gotten grimy or sticky, you might want to use a bit of soap. You definitely want to make sure the buckles haven't gotten so sticky that they no longer work properly.

For instance, if your kid has spilled jam on them, then there's a possibility that they might get... uh... jammed...

Sorry, couldn't resist...

After cleaning the buckles, rinse them in warm water, and let them air dry.

Sick Ride, Yo...

Sometimes, the messes are a little less than appetizing.

If your child is sick in the car, the mess usually something you need to deal with sooner rather than later.

After you've finished taking proper care of the kid, turn your attention to the car seat. Priorities, right? Kid first, cleaning car seats second.

Still has gotta be done, though.

Fortunately, cleaning vomit is something that's easy to take care of, even if it is unpleasant. This is where you need your spatula and your baking soda again (see? We told you it was going to make another appearance! Is there anything baking soda can't do?)

Your Quick 4-Step Guide to Cleaning Up After a Sick Kid:

  1. Use the spatula to scrape off any loose junk and dispose of it.
  2. Use a paper towel to soak up any moisture on the affected area. Get it as dry as you possibly can.
  3. Then use your baking soda. But this time, instead of mixing it with water, cover the surface of the stain with baking soda and let it sit for 30-60 minutes.
  4. After the time has passed, vacuum it up. If there is still anything left, you can wash as normal.

In this case, the baking soda does two things. It absorbs the vomit from the seat, but it also absorbs the odor, which a regular cleaner might not do.

But if you really want to tackle the big disasters, you might need more than even baking soda...

And Now... Your Secret Weapon

What if, despite your best efforts, the main part of your car seat gets hit with a really big spill? One that's extra deep, and isn't coming out with a regular sponge or towel?

Take a cue from other parents and repair experts who have discovered this genius short-cut.

Try using a 3M Doodlebug pad for cleaning large dirt stains on delicate surfaces. There are actually a number of varieties and brands of this basic tool available, but these babies are your ultimate weapon in removing dirt, liquids, or other stains.

  • They are tough on grime. They are designed for cleaning messes made on tile floors, the kitchen or bathroom, and for dislodging dirt.
  • They are gentle on durable surfaces like vinyl and glass.
  • They are resilient. They are designed to last for multiple sessions, so they can be used for cleaning car seats again and again.

Use the same steps in your cleaning approach as above, but this time, follow the "wash" step by scrubbing with one of these little guys.

DON'T FORGET: Always scrub a small, out of sight area first, to be certain that it won't cause any damage first.

Your Quick 4-Step Guide to Removing a Deep Dirt Stain:

  1. Vacuum the surface thoroughly.
  2. Wash the dirty area with water and cleaning solution. (You can use a sponge to help massage the cleaning solution into the fabric.)
  3. Scrub the dirty area.
  4. Then wipe it all away with the absorbent pad.

When it comes to the deepest, nastiest messes, having this ace up your sleeve will save you big time.

Now we just have to take care of the bits we forgot.

The Extra Bits

If your car seat has a plastic base, it can be a good idea to clean that up as well. Vacuum any crumbs that may have fallen down in the cracks (there can be a lot hiding down here!) and then either sanitize it with a spray and a towel. You can also use a baby wipe to clean it.

Maybe you haven't actually had a major disaster. In that case, cleaning up will be a bit easier. If you have the kind of car seat where the cover is removable and machine-washable, take that approach. Let the machine do the work.

washer and dryer under counter with soaps in jars

Image via Pixabay

Just pay attention to any cleaning instructions the covers may have (usually, that means washing them on a low cycle with gentle detergent.) Then let them air-dry. Drying them with too much direct heat could shrink them, and they need to hold their shape in order to fit back onto the seat.

Let's Keep It This Way, Shall We?

Now that you've tackled the worst of the mess, you want to make sure the seats stay nice and shiny on a regular basis!

Cleaning car seats isn't something you need to do constantly, but it is a good idea to vacuum frequently. Vacuuming once a week will help stave off the accumulation of crumbs and other debris. It's also a good way of making sure that a bigger mess didn't slip your notice.

Try doing a deeper clean every month or two. If the car seat has a removable cover, put it in the wash at least once every six weeks (this may vary depending on how much time your family spends in the car.) And don't forget to vacuum the bottom of the car seat once the cover is out of the way. A lot of crumbs can wind up down there!

Don't Even Go There

You know what they say: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

Sometimes the best way to clean up a mess is not to have to deal with one at all. So here are some quick tips to help you dodge the clean-up phase before it even becomes a problem.

Keep Cleaning Supplies in the Car

Cleaning car seats isn't something you should do while you're driving, obviously. But keep your vehicle well-stocked with basic cleaning solution, towels, and wipes. If disaster strikes and you need to pull over (or if you have another set of hands) you can often minimize a spill before it gets too bad.

Cover the Surface

You can minimize the damage by using a car seat protector, which wraps around the seat. A protector keeps liquids and sticky spills from messing up your fabric. You'll still want to check on the car seat now and then to make sure it's staying clean, but the cover will save you a lot of hassle.

Put Your Groceries in the Trunk

Kids are naturally curious. If yours is old enough to grab nearby objects from the car seat, go ahead and put groceries and other items in the trunk. Make sure they're out of reach.

Otherwise, you may get home to find out that junior has quietly opened a bag of chocolate candy... that's now melted all over the back interior of your car.

melted chocolate on sidewalk with Hershey's wrapper

Image via Pixabay

The same goes for anything sharp or otherwise dangerous, of course!

Contain the Mess

If you're on a long trip and your child needs to eat or drink while you're on the move, make sure you use some sort of spill-proof cup. Keep snacks to small amounts and use containers also designed to avoid spillage.

What To Avoid When Cleaning Car Seats

Now that you're an expert on what to do, it's time to cover some of the don'ts.

DON'T: Ignore Your Child's Allergies

Cleaning solutions come in many different shapes and sizes. While most chemicals go through strict testing before they are approved for use for the general public, individual allergies can still pop up, and some children may have their own sets of reactions to them. So make sure that whatever cleanser you use, you're keeping your child's specific needs in mind.

DON'T: Ignore the Directions Regarding Your Car Seat Cover

Cleaning car seats sometimes means removing the entire cover and throwing it in the wash.

hand adjusting washing machine settings

Via ​Pexels

But bear in mind that the fabric of your particular cover may require a different wash setting than your clothes, your bedding, or even a different type of car seat cover.

Same goes for drying. If you have a cover that needs to dry by air, find a time when you won't be driving junior around for a little while, and then let it dry. You don't want to use a hot dryer setting only to find that it's shrunk the cover.

DON'T: Ignore the Directions on Re-Installing the Car Seat

If you have had to take the entire seat out of the car while cleaning it, make sure to put it back in the car properly. Most parents will do this often enough that this is a habit.

But if you haven't taken the car seat out of the car, check anyway to make sure it's in there safe and sound.

It's sometimes easy to forget that all that cleaning and scrubbing can loosen the safety buckles on the seat. Especially if it's a larger-than-normal mess.

DON'T: Ignore the Expiration Dates on the Car Seat

Lastly, there will ultimately be a time when it's time to replace the car seat entirely... even if you take perfect care of it.

You could remove every stain, clean every mess, and brush away every crumb. But even the best equipment gets old and out-of-date. So if you're using a hand-me-down that might be approaching the end of its lifespan, maybe this latest super-mess is a sign from the heavens that it's just time to get yourself a newer model.

On the Road Again...

Congrats! You're now an expert on cleaning car seats. You've taken care of whatever disaster life threw at you and you passed the test with flying colors.

If your life is anything like ours, you know the next mess is just around the corner. Waiting for that perfect moment to strike.

But this time, you'll be ready.

Graco My Ride 65: Car Seat Reviews and Essential Information

graco my ride 65 review (1)

Finding the perfect car seat for your child can be difficult because there are so many on the market today. This article attempts to explain the pros and cons of the Graco My Ride 65 so that parents can determine if it's the right choice for their child.

Graco My Ride 65: Car Seat Reviews and Essential Information

Finding a car seat can be a difficult endeavor, as there are so many on the market. After so much perusing and weighing of pros and cons, it can be tough to differentiate two car seats from each other. The process can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, you’re in the right place. This guide attempts to help ease you through the specifications on a single model: the Graco My Ride 65.

A basic convertible car seat sold at a reasonable price, the Graco My Ride 65 is one of the best-selling car seats on the market today. This car seat is one of the first of its kind on the market to feature a 40 lb rear-facing weight limit, a claim to fame not taken lightly in the car seat community. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s important to keep children rear-facing as long as you can, as it prevents them from receiving injuries should you happen to get into a serious accident. To that end, the car seat is subjected to rigorous crash tests before it goes to market. These safety regulations assure parents of the car seat’s safety quality, giving buyers peace of mind that their children have protection in case of an accident. In terms of forward-facing weight limits, the car seat holds young children up to 65 lbs.

The Graco also offers a number of specific advantages for using the car seat over multiple years, allowing parents to save money by not buying a new car seat after their child’s every growth spurt. To wit, the seat features a tall shell and relatively tall harness slots, giving kids plenty of room to grow and parents plenty of use out of the car seat before children outgrow it. Its dual cup holders also give ample room for multiple bottles of juice, keeping your child’s snack stash fully stocked. The car seat itself features a deep enough seat to be used by all kinds of children, allowing any child from baby to toddler to use the car seat for years. In fact, children as old as 5 or 6 years old can use this seat, allowing parents like you to get your money’s worth out of it.

Selling car seats can be a competitive industry, and it can be difficult to know the ins and outs of what a good car seat needs. This review offers a number of advantages of this Graco car seat, as well as some customer-specified disadvantages, in order to provide a well-rounded analysis of the car seat. That way, you can have all the necessary information you need to make an intelligent and informed decision on whether the Graco My Ride 65 is the right car seat for you and your child.

What Makes the Graco My Ride 65 Unique

On first glance, many parents may think that all car seats are essentially the same. This couldn’t be less true! There are almost as many different types of car seats as there are different types of babies, it seems, and staying in the know about what features set one seat apart from another can be helpful.

The My Ride 65 retains a number of features that separate it from the rest of the car seat pack.

Rear-Facing Weight Limit

First and foremost, the Graco My Ride 65 is the first convertible car seat that has a rear-facing weight limit up to 40 pounds. Rear-facing car seats are the safest and most recommended way that children should travel. As mentioned before, experts recommend that children should sit in rear-facing car seats for as long as they possibly can. In fact, some studies have shown that children under 5 are up to five times safer when traveling rear-facing than traveling in the forward-facing alternative.

Length of Usage

The My Ride 65 gives parents years and years of extended use, especially when compared to its competition. It features a taller shell, deeper seat, and higher weight limit, allowing you get the most you can possibly get out of this car seat. With the My Ride 65, children have the space and room to grow into the seat, giving you an added three or four years over age-specific car seats. The problem most parents encounter with other car seats is that many children outgrow their forward-facing car seat once their shoulders rise above the top harness slot. But at 17 inches, the My Ride 65 has one of the tallest top harness slots available, allowing your child to continue using the convertible car seat for longer.

Infant to Child Timeline

If you decide to start with this car seat immediately in your baby’s life, instead of using an infant seat, this Graco comes with an infant pad. The pad helps younger babies fit into the car seat, as it can be quite big for freshly birthed newborns. That said, the deep seating area serves as a perfect cradle for infants, in addition to offering older children a comfortable ride.

Sturdy Harness Security

This Graco car seat also features a well-made harness that provides the optimum security for your child. The sturdy webbing prevents the harness from twisting easily like many other brands. Additionally, it’s fairly easy to adjust the harness to accommodate your child. Most importantly are the five harness slot heights. In the rear-facing position, the bottom four slots can be used, with the straps in the nearest slot at or below the child’s shoulder level. When in the forward-facing position, you can use the top four harness slots. Again, these should be at or below the child’s shoulder levels.

Side-Impact Protection

It’s standard for car seat manufacturers to boast about their side impact protection. With deep side wings that feature EPS foam linings, the My Ride 65 has undergone testing for resistance in a side-impact crash.

Easy Installation

Installing the car seat is easy as well, in both rear- and forward-facing iterations. Both systems make use of seatbelt and LATCH through a series of separated and color-coded belts. To transform the seat into rear-facing, simply unfold or fold flaps along the car seat’s bottom and change its angle. Many customers noted that putting the seat in rear-facing position was especially easy and comfortable for their child. It features a quality reclining angle, even for an infant child. Depending on the vehicle, putting the seat in rear-facing position may require some bolstering support like a pillow or foam noodle. With the support, you can achieve the best reclining angle for your child no matter what age he or she is.

Forward-facing installation, while still easy, is a bit tougher than its rear-facing counterpart. However, once successfully installed, many customers noted similarly that its natural recline angle makes it a perfect seat for low-activity kids, especially if you do not want to spend a lot of money.

Comfortable Padding

The My Ride 65 offers quality EPS foam padding on its inside lining, bottom and back. However, there is less padding along the sides of the car seat. The padding inserts are gray, made of soft polyester, and are machine washable on the delicate cycle.

Inflatable Seat Belt Compatibility

The Graco company has given its blessing for the My Ride 65 to be used with the inflatable seat belts offered in some Ford vehicles. Other, non-Ford inflatable seat belts are incompatible, however.

Adjustable Crotch Strap

Without the infant pad in place, the car seat offers a single crotch strap slot about 6.5 inches from the seat’s back. This allows children ultimate comfort while riding.

Airplane Safe

This Graco car seat has approval from the FAA for use in an aircraft. However, because the cupholders take up some additional width, the restraint can only really be used with the armrests lifted up.

Specs at a Glance

Seeing the quality specifications of the Graco car seat can be helpful when weighing its pros and cons:

  • 5-40 pounds rear-facing
  • 5-65 pounds forward facing
  • EPS foam lining
  • Infant insert
  • Deep seating for larger children
  • Color-coded and separated latch straps
  • Six years until expiration
  • Dual cup holders

While other car seats may have some of these features, only this Graco model packs them all into a single product.

Pricing

Compared to other car seats, the My Ride 65 is extremely affordable. The seat comes in at about $100, which is inexpensive to begin with, and it offers many years of use. Every year you use it is more money you end up saving and are able to put in other areas of your child’s life. For families with multiple kids, this Graco can become a rite of passage when it comes to riding in the car.  

Public Perception

While most customers enjoyed the My Ride 65 for the features listed above, some disadvantages continued to come up in reviews. Here are a few of them to give a balanced and added perspective to this review.

Size

The car seat weighs about 14.7 pounds. A few ounces shy of 15 pounds, the car seat may not be the heaviest car seat available, but it’s certainly not the lightest. If you travel a lot, transferring the car seat from car to airplane seat to bus to car can be a hassle. Carting the car seat through busy airports can be both physically tiring as well as stressful. Often, people have to use luggage carriers to effectively transport it through busy airports. Additionally, the cupholders can’t be removed and can cause the extended width to be a problem.

Installation Problems

Some reviewers noted having issues installing the car seat in a forward-facing position because of the way the car seat naturally reclines. The base of the restraint may sit a bit too far away from vehicle's seat, causing the car seat not to actually touch the backseat of the car. This can vary widely based on whichever vehicle you own, so be sure to test out the seat in both positions before purchasing.

Fragile Recline Feet

The car seat’s recline feet aren’t as sturdy as some of its competitors. The flimsy appearance is due in part to the single screws that keep them in place under the car seat. If your child is particularly active or strong, don’t be surprised if the recline feet come off sooner rather than later.

What We Think

The Graco My Ride 65 is a great product for any parent who wants to keep a child rear-facing as long as they possibly can, and also want their child to stay in a forward-facing harness past the age of four. While other similarly-sized car seats give you more features that make them easier to use, like seat belt lock-offs and no-rethread harnesses, the low price and high safety features of the My Ride 65 are hard to beat. Also, simply reading the instructions on the Graco car seat can allow you to install it with ease, especially in the rear-facing position. With this car seat, Graco offers you a deal that you can use for years with a single child, or up to 6 years with more than one child.

That said, parents wanting a narrow car seat should look elsewhere. The My Ride 65 features a fairly large 22-inch cup holder area, while the base is 12 inches across, which can be difficult for maneuvering around busy cities or airports, as well as in the back seats of multiple cars. The large cup holder area can cause an awkward fit in smaller cars, but usually isn’t an issue in larger ones.

Ultimately, it’s extremely important to test out the car seat in your car before actually purchasing it. The car seat fits differently in different vehicles and ensuring yours works for your child can keep both of you safe and secure for years to come. For a car seat that protects your child from infancy to early childhood, look no further than the Graco My Ride 65.

Britax Roundabout 55 Covers: Car Seat Reviews And Essential Information

britax roundabout 55 covers

Your Britax Roundabout car seat is as durable as ever, but its cover has seen better days. What do you do? Do you look for a Britax replacement or go with a cover sold by a third party? We took a look at Britax Roundabout 55 covers to determine the best options, and what we found may surprise you.

Review: Britax Roundabout 55 Covers

Car seat covers see a lot of wear and tear. Spit-up, accidents, spills—you name it, your car seat has probably seen it. With multiple washings, your cover may fray, become thin or stretch too much to fit the seat. Since Britax car seats have a life of six to ten years, you’ll probably have to replace the cover long before your car seat expires. But what are your replacement options? We decided to take a look at Britax Roundabout 55 covers to find out.

What Is a Britax Cover?

Britax manufactures both original and replacement covers specifically for its car seat models. This includes covers for the Britax Roundabout 55. The set includes the actual cover, a belly pad, two strap pads, and a body pillow.

Where You Can Find the Britax Roundabout 55

Britax Roundabout 55

Britax’s Roundabout 55 is a convertible car seat that was discontinued in 2013. This model expires seven years from the manufacture date, so there are still some seats in circulation. However, because Britax is no longer producing this car seat, the company no longer offers replacement covers.

How the Cover Works

The cover goes over the hard plastic shell of the seat to provide comfort. It can be taken off and interchanged with relative ease due to the elastic and Velcro components.

Product Specifications

Due to the discontinued production of this item, it’s only available second-hand. This somewhat limits shoppers’ choices regarding where to buy and the quality of the item.

Colors


When this cover was in production, there were several prints available for the fabric. Even with the limited second-hand options, we still found a good range, including green, aqua and black; as well as patterns with florals, polka dots and leopard print.

Fabrics


There is some mixed information regarding the fabric. Some prints, like the polka dots, are listed as 100% nylon, while other colors, like the solid black, are described as 100% polyester. We recommend checking the description of any second-hand cover you’re interested in purchasing or messaging the seller if you need to be sure.

Washing


Many buyers had difficulty washing their Britax Roundabout covers. When sent through the washing machine on a normal cycle, the cover frayed and fell apart. The consensus among customers was that the only safe way to wash this particular cover is either in the delicate cycle or by hand. Buyers who adhered to these washing instructions had no issue with the durability of the product.

Interchangeable


Britax released several versions of the Roundabout car seat models, including the 40, the 55, the G4 and the G4.1. All Roundabout covers are compatible with any generation or model. However, since the Roundabout has been retired for all generations, the accompanying covers have been retired as well. If you can find one of the other generation covers second-hand, however, they should still work with the 55.

Pricing


Prices vary for this particular product based on the condition of the item. However, prices generally fall between $35 and $45

On eBay


At the time of this review, there were several Britax car seat covers up for sale on the online auction site eBay. Keep in mind that product availability may change over time.

Alternative Places


Third-party retailers such as Amazon and Walmart no longer offer Britax Roundabout cover replacements, but there are alternative places you can look. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace may have items available depending on your area. There are also a number of forums for parents to join online communities, and those in need of replacements can post asking if members have covers available to trade, sell or give away.

Comparing the Competition

Car seat manufacturers advise against purchasing third-party accessories like replacement covers as a matter of safety and liability. Covers designed for a specific brand’s car seat have undergone extensive testing to make sure they don’t interfere with the harness system or otherwise compromise a child’s safety. Child safety restraint manufacturing companies cannot attest to the reliability of third-party products and may include language in the car seat user manual stating this.

However, once a seat model is discontinued, it can be difficult to find accessories created and certified by the manufacturer, as they are often discontinued as well. In this case, it’s up to parents to purchase products using their best judgment. The following alternative replacements are third-party accessories which are not certified by any particular manufacturer. They’re advertised as compatible with a variety of car seats, including the Britax Roundabout 55. Some have been tested for safety by their producers, and some have not.

In some cases, using an uncertified car set cover may be considered not following manufacturer instructions, which can void the warranty or be punishable by fines depending on your state laws. Before you purchase third-party accessories, consult your car seat’s user manual to see if any specific instructions are given about what kind of covers may be used with the seat. You may also want to research child safety restraint laws in your state to see if using third-party car seat accessories is legal. With these disclaimers in mind, let’s take a look at alternative car seat covers.

Niko Easy Wash Children's Car Seat Cover & Liner
  • Waterproof bottom with cup-holder openings on both sides that can also be closed.
  • Two extra pockets on each side - to hold toys, drinks or snacks.
  • Universal fit for forward-facing toddler car seats. Double stitching throughout with super strong elastic to hold it in...

The Niko Easy Wash Children’s Car Seat Cover and Liner is touted as a universal car seat cover that will solve your messy problems. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign, this cover is specifically created to endure multiple trips through the washing machine. It sports double stitching and sturdy elastic, as well as two cup holders and additional pockets for convenience.

Buyers had nothing but praise for this product and how it made their busy days easier with its quick-clean design. It fits over the existing seat cushions, and removing the cover is described as a breeze. The fabric is high-quality, with several different patterns available. The Niko cover has also undergone crash-tests to ensure it doesn’t interfere with child safety. The fabric has not been treated with fire retardant, so you don’t have to worry about your kids coming into contact with harmful chemicals.

No warranty information was available on the website, and no return policy was readily available. At the time of this review, the company is advertising a special deal and has dropped the price to around $35.00, though it is normally $40.00. Shipping is free within the United States.

Ease of Use: 5/5

Assembly Time: 5/5

Build Quality: 5/5

Warranty: N/A

Universal CAR SEAT Cover Liner for Children (BRITAX,CHICCO,Safety,...
  • Universal car seat cover liner by Janabebe Made of 98% cotton knit and 2% Lycra.
  • Fits infant carriers / car seats (BRITAX,CHICCO,SAFETY, MICO,ETC)+ for example: Maxi Cosi, Romer, Cibex, Jané, Peg...
  • Quick and easy to fit thanks to the elastic edges. Fits most car seats Group 1+ (9 -18 kg / 9 months - 3.5 years) Your...

Janabebé’s Universal Car Seat Cover is marketed as a stylish accessory that fits a long list of car seats, including those made by Britax. The fabric is 98% cotton, with elastic making up the remaining 2%, and machine washable in cold water. Janabebé offers a dozen different pattern options in a one-size-fits-all cover that goes directly over the existing cushions.

Despite the inclusion of “universal” in the name, some buyers found the cover didn’t fit their car seats. There is a disclaimer on the website stating that due to the universal functionality, the cover may not perfectly fit every car seat shape. Several buyers experienced a complete failure and were unable to use the cover at all. Two customers had trouble with the Velcro straps used to secure the cover to the car seat, and one buyer found it difficult to remove due to the tight fit. There were also positive reviews from customers who had no trouble with the fit and found the fabric breathable and durable. It seems to depend on the car seat model. Unfortunately, there was no mention of the fit for a Britax Roundabout 55 in any reviews we referenced, so it’s impossible to know without trying the actual product.

There is no mention on the producer’s website whether this product has been safety tested. Please note this company is based in Spain, so the particulars of safety standards may differ from those established in other countries. There’s no warranty, but Janabebé does offer a refund so long as the item is returned unused and in perfect condition within 30 days.

Ease of Use: 3/5

Assembly Time: 4/5

Build Quality: 2.5/5

Warranty: 2/5

Pros and Cons

With the limited availability of a used cover and the possible safety or legal implications of a third party option, deciding which to purchase is undoubtedly a tough choice. To simplify the conundrum, here are the major pros and cons of sticking with the manufacturer.

Britax Roundabout covers are specifically made for the Roundabout 55, ensuring that the fit won’t be unmanageable. It may not be perfect due to repeated washings, or the pads may be out of shape, but you are much less likely to run into the issue of a “universal fit” being completely unusable. While not completely washer-safe, Britax Roundabout covers prove quite durable in everyday situations. Buyers had no issues with fraying or wear that affected its function so long as the product was hand washed or sent through the delicate cycle.

As mentioned previously, this cover has been crash-tested extensively. Your child’s safety will not be impeded by the presence of this cover. While using a different cover doesn’t necessarily mean your child will be in danger, Britax as a company cannot, for liability reasons, guarantee their car seat will work as intended with a third-party accessory.

As with all second-hand products, you can’t know the item’s history. Since it’s a car seat cover, it’s probably seen all sorts of child-related accidents. Of course, it’s washable, so you can make sure your child’s seat is hygienic. Since the cover is second-hand, it’s already seen some wear and tear and may not last as long as a brand-new product. Also, Britax only honors warranties if the product is purchased from an authorized retailer, so if your cover falls part, you’re out of luck on that front.

Your fabric choice is going to be influenced by what’s currently available from third-party sellers. The fabric may also be faded, stained or thin.

Pros

  • Fit 
  • Britax Quality 
  • Certified by Manufacturer 

Cons

  • Used 
  • Shorter Use Life 
  • Limited Color Choices 

Conclusion:

Taking into account the discontinued status of this product, we award it two out of five stars. The lack of availability was a big factor, as was the lack of warranty or support from the manufacturer. Though liability may be an issue when using a universal cover, the Niko is a reasonable and safe alternative to a second-hand Roundabout cover. It does offer some additional features like pockets and doesn’t require scouring the internet to purchase. Not to mention that it won’t fall apart in the washing machine.

In the end, however, it’s up to parents to ensure they’re complying with their state’s child restraint laws. Research to see if your state prohibits the use of third-party accessories with car seats. If not, you may be better off with a new cover.

Britax Roundabout Carseat Cover: The Top 10 Alternative Seat Covers

britax roundabout carseat cover

Child car seats collect an overwhelming number of germs, putting them at risk of developing harmful bacteria from frequent mishaps. In our Britax Roundabout car seat cover review, we look at several alternatives to this now-discontinued product, so your child’s seat can be protected from the messiest accidents.

Best Britax Roundabout Car Seat Cover Alternatives

If your child has a Britax car seat that you love, it’s probably gone through a lot in just a couple of short years. Maybe you’re ready to pass it down to your next child, and you realize that the cover needs replacing. Unfortunately, Britax discontinued its line of seat covers for the Roundabout model, as well as several others, so you’ll be hard-pressed to find an exact replacement for your old Britax Roundabout car seat cover. Alternatively, if you just bought your Roundabout seat, you may be disappointed that Britax no longer makes them.

Before you get defeated, consider investing in one or more alternatives to the Britax seat cover. We put together a list of 10 options you can use if you’re in need of this hard-to-find product.  

FAQs

  1. Why Do I Need a Seat Cover?

Children can be messy. Between diaper blowouts, vomit, juice spills and snack crumbs, your car seat can collect more germs than any parent should be comfortable with. A car seat cover is easy to remove and throw in the washing machine, so you’ll have a nice clean car seat without having to buy a whole new one.

Can I Buy a Non-Britax Seat Cover For My Britax Car Seat?

What’s the Average Price For a Seat Cover?

How We Reviewed

We took into consideration the main concerns that parents have when purchasing seat covers. First and foremost, we considered waterproof protection and flexibility. Reviews told us that fit wasn’t necessarily universal for all car seat covers, so we found options that should work well with a Britax Roundabout car seat. Customers rate all the products on our list with an average of 3.5 stars and above, so these are all great options to consider.

Overall Price Range

Prices on our list start at $9.99 and go up to $49. We include a variety of products that meet the needs of a seat cover in a different way, which explains the large price gap.

Top 10 Alternative Seat Covers to the Britax Roundabout

Niko Easy Wash Children's Car Seat Cover & Liner
  • Waterproof bottom with cup-holder openings on both sides that can also be closed.
  • Two extra pockets on each side - to hold toys, drinks or snacks.
  • Universal fit for forward-facing toddler car seats. Double stitching throughout with super strong elastic to hold it in...

NIKO offers the closest thing you’ll find to the original Britax Roundabout seat cover. You’ll see that most of the options on our list only protect the most vulnerable spots of the seat. The NIKO cover stretches across the entire car seat for ultimate coverage. It has openings for cup holders and side pockets to place toys and treats. A waterproof bottom adds an extra layer of protection against diaper accidents.

Though expensive, you can buy this car seat cover through NIKO directly at a discounted price of around $35, with additional discounts if you’re buying more than one.

The ToeToNose brand is certainly not a big name in the baby business, but this seat cover does its job well. Durable, waterproof material protects your expensive car seats from accidents during potty training. The back's non-skid material prevents the liner from sliding all over the place.

You can buy this car seat protector through Amazon for about $15.00. No warranty information is available, but product specs and reviews support that this cover should last you as long as you need it.

Meeno Child Cool Mee Anti Slip Heavy Duty Absorbent Protector Cooling...
  • HIGH QUALITY: Made from state of the art, 3-ply poly-mesh material that promotes airflow between your child's body and...
  • COOLING: Warm air escapes, preventing overheating and perspiring keeping child cool and comfortable.
  • REUSABLE: Removable and easy to wash, Cool Mee Seat Liners protects the seat from stains and blow-outs

The purpose of this seat liner is to protect against diaper mishaps, while also providing extra airflow to prevent perspiration. The thick insulation is comfortable and also offers multiple layers of protection between the child and the car seat. The adjustable headpiece gives it a flexible design, allowing it to fit on any car seat, including a Britax seat.

When shopping through Bed Bath and Beyond, you’ll pay about $40, regardless of the color you choose. Amazon offers different prices depending on the color, ranging from $30.00 to $40.00. Your choices are blue, pink, black and gray.

Sale
Bebenuvo Premium 3D Air Mesh Cool Seat Pad/Cushion/Liner for Stroller...
  • NOTE: AGIBABY IS THE ONLY AUTHENTIC & AUTHORIZED SELLER OF THIS PRODUCT DO NOT BUY FROM OTHER SELLERS. CPSIA (consumer...
  • Agibaby Bebenuvo liners are proven to reduce babies sweat! Genuine hand-made 3D-mesh technology & material on both sides...
  • Protects babies head and neck from wobbling dangerously & provides protection from bacteria with 3D Mesh hypogenic...

If you’re less concerned about accidents related to toilet training, this is a great option whose design maximizes your child’s comfort during the summer. The mesh material allows air to circulate better, so your baby is cooler in warm weather. It is not waterproof, but customers report that it cleans up easily. You can wash it in your machine, but it’s recommended to let it air dry. One wonderful bonus is the variety of fun patterns and color options you can choose.

When you buy through Amazon, pricing varies for this product between $35 and $45, depending on the design you choose. You can also shop through Walmart and get some designs for less than $40.

Sale
Manito Clean Basic 3D Mesh Seat Pad/Cushion/Liner for Stroller and Car...
  • Breathable sequential 3D-mesh construction keeps cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter.
  • Tricot mesh provides smoother surface for baby's sensitive skin while keeping the seat pad breathable.
  • Soft cushion for extra comfort and excellent self recovery to its original shape.

This product is remarkably similar to the Agibaby Bebenuvo option. It has the same mesh material to keep your baby cool, and it does not have waterproof protection for spills or accidents. While the Agibaby Bebenuvo had more color choices to start with, current availability gives the Manito the prize for more options. The main difference between the two is the price. The Manito is much cheaper, but it’s about an inch thinner, and fewer customer reviews make it less popular.

You can shop directly through Manito’s website, or through Amazon. Either way, you’ll pay about the same, but Amazon does take $1 off the full price.

Britax Seat Saver Waterproof Liner
  • Waterproof liner: Capture liquids from diaper leaks, potty training accidents, and wet bathing suits
  • Stay dry and comfortable: Soft EZ-Dry fabric wicks moisture away from your child and seating surface
  • No slip grip: Deep sides fit securely into seating area as the textured bottom grips seat to prevent slipping

While the Roundabout Seat Cover and similar covers are no longer available, Britax continues to offer parents an option to protect their Britax car seats. This liner fits nice and snug, while still being flexible enough to work with other brands of car seats as well.  The sides of the liner are deep, and grips prevent it from slipping. It’s made from a waterproof material that wicks away moisture.

Most major retailers list this product for $15.99, but Amazon gives you a 21% discount off this price. That brings it down to around $12.00.

Sale
Brica Clean Ride Protective Car Seat Saver
  • Child pee pad protects car seat from potty accidents and spills
  • Leak Guard design seals in liquid, protecting seat and strap
  • Absorbent material helps better contain accidents while a second waterproof layer protects against leaks

This seat cover contains two waterproof layers with a leak guard design. It seems to be the best choice for those who frequently deal with potty accidents in the car. It’s machine washable, and it has grips on the bottom to prevent slipping.

Most retailers, including both Amazon and K-mart, offer a discount on this Brica seat cover. Both of these stores sell this product for less than $14. Walmart has a two-pack for $35.16, but you’d still save more by buying two separately from either of the other two stores.

lebogner Car Seat Protector + Kick Mat Auto Seat Back Protector with 3...
  • Our Car Seat Protector Is Made Out Of Durable Material To A Very High Standard Which Gives The Car Seat Protector A...
  • Our Car Seat Protector is designed with super grip vinyl corners to prevent your baby's forward or rear facing car seat...
  • Our Kick Mat Measures 19" wide x 27" long, Has double layered fabric that will keep your Car Seats Clean even with the...

A leak shield on the seat itself protects the car seat harness from being soiled during accidents. The entire seat cover is made of 100% waterproof material and has deep sides to protect the car seat from spills and crumbs. Like all the covers on our list, it’s machine washable and has a non-slip system to keep it in place.

The only store to really shop for this car seat cover is Amazon. Through there, you’ll pay around $20.00

Diono Ultra Dry Seat, Black/Silver
  • Waterproof lining for car seats and strollers protects seats from wetness and damage
  • Soft padding and fabric keeps seat comfortable for child
  • Easy to wipe clean; machine washable

While made specifically for Diono car seats, one customer reported the design fit her Britax Roundabout seat perfectly. The unique feature that makes this car seat cover so well-loved is the raised back and sides for added coverage. While still waterproof, the cover’s fabric is soft and cushy to keep your child comfortable. It’s easy to remove for machine washing, but minor spills wipe clean with little effort.

This product ranks highly for customer satisfaction, availability and affordability. You can find it at several major retailers, including Buy Buy Baby, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond for around $10.  For a good deal, Amazon offers a great discount at just $6.

Universal CAR SEAT Cover Liner for Children (BRITAX,CHICCO,Safety,...
  • Universal car seat cover liner by Janabebe Made of 98% cotton knit and 2% Lycra.
  • Fits infant carriers / car seats (BRITAX,CHICCO,SAFETY, MICO,ETC)+ for example: Maxi Cosi, Romer, Cibex, Jané, Peg...
  • Quick and easy to fit thanks to the elastic edges. Fits most car seats Group 1+ (9 -18 kg / 9 months - 3.5 years) Your...

The Janabebe probably looks the most like the Britax Roundabout seat cover, but it’s much less versatile than the NIKO that we rated as the top pick. The design appears to fit snugger than the NIKO, but it may depend on your particular car seat how good that fit really is. The Janabebe is trickier to put on and take off, and it has no waterproof protection. Regardless, we still include it as a top find due to its full seat coverage.

You’ll shop primarily through Amazon, where prices vary depending on the pattern and color you select. The price range starts as low as $34 and goes as high as $47.

Comparison Table

Product

Detail

Our Rating

Where to Buy

Niko Easy Wash Children's Car Seat Cover & Liner

Waterproof protection: Yes
Mesh air flow: No
Size: N/A
Color choices: Yes

Piddle Pad Car Seat Protector by ToeToNose Waterproof Liner- for...

Waterproof protection: Yes
Mesh air flow: No
Size: N/A
Color choices: No

Meeno Child Cool Mee Anti Slip Heavy Duty Absorbent Protector Cooling...

Waterproof protection: No
Mesh air flow: Yes
Size: 0.2 x 10.6 x 29.6
Color choices: Yes

Bebenuvo Premium 3D Air Mesh Cool Seat Pad/Cushion/Liner for Stroller...

Waterproof protection: No
Mesh air flow: Yes
Size: 25.2 x 13.4 x 1.8
Color choices: Yes

Manito Clean Basic 3D Mesh Seat Pad/Cushion/Liner for Stroller and Car...

Waterproof protection: No
Mesh air flow:
Yes
Size:
15.7 x 28.7 x 0.6
Color choices:
Yes

Britax Seat Saver Waterproof Liner

Waterproof protection: Yes
Mesh air flow:
No
Size:
8.9 x 7.1 x 2.1 inches
Color choices:
No

Brica Clean Ride Protective Car Seat Saver

Waterproof protection: Yes
Mesh air flow:
No
Size:
9.6 x 8.3 x 2 inches
Color choices:
No

lebogner Car Seat Protector + Kick Mat Auto Seat Back Protector with 3...

Waterproof protection: Yes
Mesh air flow:
No
Size:
10 x 10 x 7 inches
Color choices:
No

Diono Ultra Dry Seat, Black/Silver

Waterproof protection: Yes
Mesh air flow:
No
Size:
10 x 12 x 6 inches
Color choices:
No

Universal CAR SEAT Cover Liner for Children (BRITAX,CHICCO,Safety,...

Waterproof protection: No
Mesh air flow:
No
Size:
N/A
Color choices:
Yes

The Verdict

Choose the best seat that’s going to fit your child’s needs. If he or she is a little bit older and is past the potty-training phase, you might opt for one of the mesh options like the Bebenuvo or Manito seat covers. These keep your child cool in the summer so he or she will be nice and happy in the backseat. If you’re concerned with frequent diaper accidents, we like the Lebogner for its abundantly positive customer reviews and seat flexibility. Maybe you prefer something that’s fun and colorful, in which case the Cool Mee and the Janabebe are valid choices.

Ultimately, our favorite all-around is the NIKO. We love that it covers the entire seat and that it’s quick to remove for washing. The cup holder openings and side pockets allow your child to keep important items within easy reach, and the fabric choices let you customize the seat cover to you and your child’s style preferences.

The NIKO cover does contain a waterproof liner in the seat portion, but if you need even more protection, consider buying this one and setting the Lebogner over the top. They could work well together and give you increased layers of protection.

Best Car for Two Car Seats: Know Seats and Their Laws

best car for two car seats

Nothing is more important than protecting your child, especially when you're driving them around town. While car seats are a significant factor of safe driving, the type of car you drive is just as important when you have multiple kids. The best car for two car seats will keep your children safe with peace of mind.

The 3 Best Cars for 2 Car Seats: Know Car Seats and Their Laws

It’s easy to take the safety of a car for granted until you find yourself in an accident or a tragic situation. When children are a part of the equation, the need for safety is even more critical, not just in picking and correctly installing the best car seat for their age and weight, but in choosing the car with the best safety features.  

When you have more than one child, or if you’re planning on having more than one child, picking the best car for two car seats can keep your children safe and bring you peace of mind. This review will go over the most reliable vehicles to own, lease, and drive when you have more than one child who requires a car seat.

Diving Deeper Into the Best Cars for Two Car Seats

What’s More Important – Picking a Safe Car or Buying the Right Car Seat?

What Are the Most Important Aspects of Buying a Safe Car?

How We Reviewed

To ensure our reviews were unbiased and backed by facts and expert opinions, we perused many online reviews and gathered the ratings of leaders in the car safety space. We looked at things like safety ratings from the IIHS, personalized reviews from the foremost experts of car seat safety like TheCarSeatLady.com, and overall reviews from Kelley Blue Book and Carmax.

Utilizing many sources ensured that no potential bias crept into our ratings. This also helped ensure that we kept safety at the forefront of our minds and were not swayed by snazzy advertising or the sleek curves of a fun, fast automobile.

Overall Price Range

The three cars rated here are similarly priced when it comes to their baseline models. The cheapest, the 2018 Honda Odyssey will set you back just under $33,000, while the other two options – the 2018 Toyota Highlander and 2018 Volkswagen Atlas – sit $200 apart at $31,230 and $31,425, respectively.

To re-state, the prices used here are for new, baseline models. Supplemental safety features will add to the cost, sometimes significantly so.

Reviews

The 2018 Honda Odyssey was ranked number one across the board by a number of reviewers, and while any Odyssey model year rates highly, the 2018 model is the one to beat due to its extensive features. Its roomy interior allows for any number of child/adult combinations, and its new Magic Slide second row adds additional flexibility by allowing the seats to move forward, backward, and side-to-side. Basically, however, you want to customize your seating, you’ll be able to, all while keeping your passengers safe.

Rating:

The Odyssey’s third row is another highlight, with enough room to seat three adults and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) accommodations for up to five rear-facing car seats. When it comes to safety and flexibility, that’s tough to beat.

Purchasing a brand new 2018 Odyssey will set you back at least $33,990, per the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Going top notch on all the safety requirements will knock that price a touch higher, however.

The Toyota Highlander is another perennial pick among safest cars for families due to its top-notch safety features, like Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. These features, combined with the ability to comfortably fit two car seats in either the second or third row, make this the best pick for SUVs.

Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is a great way to stay safe when children in the back seat may be aiding in distracted driving (although, please always keep your focus and attention on the road). If your Highlander begins to veer into another lane, a safety alert will start to beep, and if no manual steering correction is made, the car will do it for you.

Rating:

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is another excellent addition to aid the practical realities of driving with children in the backseat. When set to cruise control, this feature will ensure that your car adjusts to the speeds of the vehicle in front of you, meaning there’s little to no possibility of accidentally running into another driver who is changing speeds.

Finally, as the Highlander comes in both seven- and eight-seat capacities, it’s easy to fit in multiple car seats, whether front- or rear-facing, as well as booster seats, even with adults sitting in the back as well. Starting at $36,000, this is a safe car that maintains its resale value well into year five of use.

A newcomer to the SUV market, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas offers safety, flexibility, and nifty features whose resale value means it can keep multiple families safe. The only midsize SUV whose automatic post-collision breaking comes as a standard feature, the Atlas also offers several optional safety features.

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane departure warning and assist
Rating:

The second and third rows are surprisingly spacious, with plenty of ways to fit in multiple car seats and adults at the same time. In fact, if you install two car seats into the second row, you’ll still be able to access the third row unencumbered, due to the second row’s ability to slide forward without needing to remove or adjust the car seats.

Even large adults will find it easy to relax in either the second or third row, as well as get in or get out. Even in the roomy Highlander, larger passengers sometimes struggled to sit down with ease. Overall, seven people can fit into the Atlas easily, while still maintaining copious amounts of cargo space and smart storage.

The Atlas will set you back at least $30,000, the most expensive baseline price on this list by just under $200. Still, its resale value is expected to remain high, even as your kids grow up and move out.

Comparison Table

Product

Detail

Our Rating

Where to buy

2018 Honda Odyssey EX, Automatic Transmission, Deep Scarlet Pearl

IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick
Additional safety features: Adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, collision mitigation braking, cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist, multi-angle backup camera

2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE, V6 All Wheel Drive (GS), Blizzard...

IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick
Additional safety features: Automatic high beams, backup camera (standard), dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, pedestrian and vehicle detection with automatic braking

2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2.0T S, Front Wheel Drive, Kurkuma Yellow...

IIHS rating: Top Safety Pick
Additional safety features: Adaptive cruise control, automatic post-collision breaking (standard), blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and assist

Conclusion

When it comes to keeping your passengers safe, whether they are children or adults, it’s hard to beat the 2018 Honda Odyssey, especially with a maxed-out feature list. You’ll comfortably fit in several car seats and adults in multiple configurations, and its baseline price is the lowest of the cars reviewed here. Although to reiterate, while some safety features are standard, like driver and lane keeping assist, other features are not, which will increase the price.

If you’re looking for an SUV, it’s hard to go wrong with either the 2018 Toyota Highlander or the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas. Either one will allow for easy car seat installation, multiple passenger configurations, and additional, technologically-forward safety additions. Due to its overall spaciousness and cargo capacity, the Atlas edges out the Highlander for us.

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