Researching the best car seat for your baby or toddler can be a bit scary given the vast amount of conflicting information out there. Companies today are more focused on marketing their products than providing customers with accurate information, making it hard to sort through all the fluff and find out which baby car seat really is best.
Long story short, finding the right infant car seat can be incredibly stressful.
Here's the deal:
We here at Faveable firmly believe that as a parent you deserve the best, no-frills information, allowing you to make the best choice in car seats. We want to make things easier for you, so we spent hours researching products to take all the work out of finding the best car seat for your child.
Whether you're looking for a convertible car seat, Britax car seat, infant car seat, or toddler car seat, we promise you will find nothing but the best of the best on this list.
And we're willing to bet that at least one of these will be a perfect fit for you and your child.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 has the highest safety rating of all the infant seats we reviewed and tested. It's easy installation without sacrificing style or comfort makes this the best infant seat hands down. You really can't beat the Chicco KeyFit 30 when it comes to the best rear-facing car seat.
Some people report that it can be challenging to get a secure fit without the included base. And you will need to purchase a forward facing car seat when it's time to turn your baby around.
Chicco claims the KeyFit 30 to be the safest car seat in the US, and it has the crash test ratings to prove it as you can see in this detailed review on Baby Gear Lab. Additionally, the 30lb weight limit means you can keep your baby rear-facing longer. According to this study by the British Medical Journal, the longer your child is rear-facing the better. Swedish law requires children to be rea-facing until age 4, and only 4 deaths to children 4 and under have happened in seven years--all of which were unrelated to the safety of the car seat.
With a 4-star ease of use rating from the NHSTA, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is super easy to install. Reviews from hundreds of parents agree that the One-pull LATCH system is easy enough for anyone to use. This infant seat is compact enough to fit in smaller vehicles, and lightweight for when you're on the go. It's even narrow enough to fit 3 across in cars as small as a Prius.
This infant seat is comfortably padded to absorb shock, although some reviewers have commented that the cover can be a little rough, and less breathable than other brands. The KeyFit features include: easy to read bubble levels, a spring-loaded leveling foot in the base, and a secure 5-point safety harness. What more could you ask for?
The Chicco KeyFit 30 comes at a mid-range price point, but includes all the safety of higher-priced infant seats. Well worth the investment.
The Chicco NextFit is safe for rear facing from 5-40lbs and forward facing 22-65lbs, meaning the NextFitwill grow with your child until they need a booster. This convertible seat also features 9 recline positions to accommodate a variety of vehicles.
The NextFit is a little pricier than some other options, and parents have complained that the car seat is heavier than other seats they've tried.
The Chicco NextFit passes all impact safety tests and has a 4-star ease-of-use rating from the NHTSA.
The NextFit's LATCH system is very easy to install and fits babies and vehicles of all sizes. Users report, however, that installing in vehicles without a LATCH system is a little more difficult. Also, the NextFit is easier to install forward facing than rear facing. Nonetheless, it has a 4-star ease-of-use rating from the NHTSA.
The Chicco NextFit has 9 recline positions, a height adjustable headrest, and a harness that automatically adjusts to your child's height without the need to rethread the straps. Additionally, getting the right angle is made easy with the handy bubble level guides. Other features include a 5-point harness, a 2 position chest clip, infant insert, and thermal insulated cup holder.
Though the NextFit isn't the most budget-friendly option on our list, this car seat will fit nearly any child from birth to preschool, which will easily save you money in the long run.
All-in-one car seats have gotten a lot of criticism since they first hit the market, because while they boast versatility, they never really did any one thing well. The Graco 4ever changed all of that and has parents everywhere taking a closer look at an all-in-one car seat for their babies. With 4 different ways to fit your child from 4lbs to 120lbs, the Graco 4ever gives you the most versatile seat on the market today. Additionally, this is the only car seat your child will ever need, so it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
This car seat isn't made to be portable like click-in infant seats, so it is a little bulky if you will be swapping it in and out of different vehicles on a regular basis.
The Graco meets all the NHTSA's crash safety requirements in all 4 settings. It also has a steel-reinforced frame and energy-absorbing EPS foam under the cover for some serious shock absorption.
This all-in-one seat gets a NHTSA 4-star rating across the board in all 4 settings, from rear-facing infant seat all the way up to the backless booster. This is pretty impressive and surpasses all other all-in-one car seats on the market.
The weight specs for this car seat are an impressive 4-120lbs, and it comes in 4 colors. It also features a no re-thread adjustable harness, a no-fuss infant insert, bubble level indicators, and an impressive 10-year safety lifespan.
Since, most likely, this is the only car seat you will ever need to purchase for your child, this is a very budget-conscious option. The Graco 4ever is even cheaper than many high-end single function seats!
Clek (based in Canada) is an award-winning car seat manufacturer, modeling their designs after high-end, luxury automotive seats. Who says you have to have a minivan when you have three little ones? The super compact Clek Fllo makes it possible to fit 3 seats across in nearly any vehicle.
The Fllo's cover is not removable (although is does claim to be stain, moisture, and odor proof) and to fit infants under 14lbs you have to purchase the Clek Infant-thingy infant insert. Reviewers also mention that the front seat can be a little cramped while the seat is rear facing in smaller cars.
Safety: Clek innovates with its EACT (energy-absorbing crumple technology) designed to muffle the force of a collision and protect your baby or toddler. Aluminium honeycomb cores built into the base take all the abuse of a crash, keeping your child safe.
Ease of Use: The Clek Fllo gets 3 out of 5 stars for ease of use from the NHTSA.
Features: This compact convertible seat features a 9-year expiration, a 14-65lb weight limit, an FAA certification for aircraft travel, and advanced side-impact protection. It also features stain, odor, and moisture proof Crypton super fabric, and a steel anti-rebound bar to increase rear-facing safety and give your child more leg room as they grow.
Cost: With all of its innovations and features the Clek Fllo is a great value for a convertible car seat.
Having a tight budget doesn't mean you have to give up top of the line safety. The Safety 1st Guide 65 is the best option for parents who need to stay frugal. The Guide 65 is easy on the wallet without cutting any corners on safety, style, or comfort. For a car seat under $100, you can't beat this car seat in terms of bang for your buck.
Some parents mentioned that it can be tricky to install securely. And you will have to rethread all the straps to fit as your child grows.
Safety 1st's Guide 65 passes all NHTSA crash tests. It also has added side impact protection.
This is not the most user-friendly option in our list as the NHTSA rates it 2 stars rear facing and 3 stars forward facing for ease of use.
This rear or front facing convertible car seat fits babies and toddlers 5-65 lbs. It also features an adjustable head rest, a detachable cup holder, and a lumbar comfort pillow.
The 2-in-1 Guide 65 is by far the cheapest option on our list, but it is top of the class in car seats under $100.
Seat belts are not designed to fit children, and moving from a safety seat before your child is ready can put your child in danger. The Britax Parkway SGL guarantees that your child will be protected until they pass the 5-Step Test, and are ready to sit in the back seat without a booster. Additionally, this newer version of the Parkway SGL has revamped the side-impact wings since it was first released. Britax also improved the seat belt shoulder guides and added more comfort and protection with EPS foam on the bottom wings.
The LATCH system can be a little tricky to get the hang of.
Safety: The most telling case for the safety of this seat is a real-life incident that happened to a dad of a 3-year old boy who saw first hand how great this seat is at keeping kids safe. A careless driver ran a red light and plowed into the side of their vehicle, but the side impact wings saved his son's life when the side airbags weren't enough.
Ease of Use: The Britax Parkway SGL gets a 3-star rating from the NHTSA for ease of use.
Features: This seat has everything you want in a booster: adjustable simple to use head rest, an ISOFLEX LATCH system to keep the booster secured to the back seat, Secure Guard Belt Positioning Clip to make sure your child can't slide under the lap belt in a collision, and the back detaches into a backless booster to adapt to your child until they pass the 5-Step Test. The Parkway SGL fits children 40-120lbs and 38"-68" tall.
Cost: When you want the absolute best booster seat for the money, the Britax Parkway SGL not only delivers but goes above and beyond other seats in its price range.
The Advocate is Britax's most luxurious and safest seat there is. Your baby or toddler will feel like they are getting special treatment every time you buckle them in. This convertible seat is built like a tank for the absolute best protection from collision. Britax has really outdone themselves and set a new standard for car seats.
Weighing in at 30lbs this car seat is heavy, so switching between vehicles can be a little bit of a workout.
The Britax Advocate goes above and beyond NHTSA safety standards. It's as close as you can get to buying body armor for your baby or toddler.
The NHTSA gives the Advocate a 5-star rating forward facing and a 4-star rating rear-facing, making this one of the easiest car seats on our list to install.
This convertible car seat has 3 super strong, and extremely comfortable, layers of side impact protection. ClickTight makes safe installation a breeze and this seat has a 14 position headrest and harness that adjusts with the push of a button. Additionally, the Click & Safe Harness Indicator tells you exactly when your child's harness is tight enough. The Advocate fits babies 5lbs-65lbs, and is fully convertible from rear facing to forward facing. It also comes in 3 colors.
The Britax Advocate is one of the most expensive seat on our list, but the safety, ease-of-use, and luxury are worth every penny.