This post has detailed reviews of the best infant car seats you can find in the market in 2021. We’ve compared more 23 brands and settled on the ten best based on our ranking criteria with safety contributing significantly to how we ranked them.
What infant car seat is the best?
The best infant car seat has to possess the most essential features. These features are safety and comfort. But it also has to be ideal for your unique situation in terms of do you have a small or large car? Do you need to travel with your baby often, so you have to move the seat between vehicles, on the streets, buses etc.? This would make ease of installation, weight and size of the seat important factors to you. In this review, we have considered all these factors, and if you read through, we hope you will find your infant car seat of choice.
Infant car seat vs convertible car seat safety
An infant seat is designed for infants and small babies and is used in the rear-facing mode. A convertible seat is designed for babies and toddlers and is used rear-facing at first, then forward-facing as your child grows. While both are safe, infant seats have more security and comfort features specifically for infants and preemies. For example, they have a head and body support for a more snug fit, a canopy, etc.
Infant Car Seats Vs Convertible Vs 3-in-1
|Infant Car Seat||Convertible Car Seat||3-in-1 Car Seat|
|Rear-facing||Rear-facing and forward-facing||Rear-facing and forward-facing|
|Recommended for babies until they are 2 years||Recommended for babies until they outgrow the seat||Recommended for babies from infancy to 9 years|
|Recommended for babies with weight up to 35 to 40 pounds||Recommended for babies with weight up to 40 and 80 pounds||Recommended for babies with weight up to 20 to 80 pounds|
|Recommended for babies with a height of up to 32 to 35 inches tall||Recommended for babies with a height of up to 57 inches tall||Recommended for babies with a height of up to 52 to 57 inches|
|Price Range:||Price Range:||Price Range:|
Car Seats and the Law
The 2018 updated guide by the American Academy of Pediatricians(AAP), recommends that your baby should start using a safe infant car seat immediately after birth. In several states, this is already the law and some hospitals now have a policy of ‘no infant car seat, no baby‘. You’ll probably need to have that infant car seat as you check-in at the hospital to deliver your little bundle of joy.
This guide has a general guide on best infant car seats available in the market in 202. If you want small baby car seats that will fit cars with limit space, you can check out our guide here.
Safety and Car Seats
While baby car seats are required for any infant under the age of 2, it was always so. First infant car seats were manufactured in 1930s but car seats specific to infants became popular in the 90s despite several companies and brands such as Chicco and Britax developing and retailing them as early as 1970s.
Where to find reliable crash test results
Test results and research materials on infant car seats safety ratings are very important. I’ve relied on several organizations to give me critical info on crash tests. Fortunately, most materials are available online, safe for a few that we have to access via subscription such as Consumer Report. Regardless, we’ve combined over 2 dozens of crash test results and compared top-rated brands to narrow this list to just 10 safest brands you can pick from.
To come up with our list of the best infant car seats, we ranked each of the car seats using the following 6 ranking factors:
How we picked the best infant car seats
Below are the factors we considered to come up with the best infant car seats:
Safety: the whole essence of buying an infant car seat is to keep your little one safe while travelling. Safety starts by installing the seat properly. We considered seats with built-in indicators to ensure correct installation safer. We also looked out for a sturdy frame, side protection and crash test ratings and other safety features specific to the brand.
Comfort: you want a seat that will ensure your baby is cozy the whole journey and possibly even be able to fall asleep in. We considered the padding and breathability of the material.
Installation: this is where the size of your car comes into play. Your car must have enough room at the back to easily put and remove the seat. Start by measuring how much space you have and compare with the seat dimensions on this list. The good news is that most infant car seats come with a base that is left in the car and you just install the carrier in and out as needed. When installing, we have found the Latch method is very easy and fast.
Stroller compatibility: knowing which strollers your infant car seat is compatible with can be a tough hunting job. We appreciate a car seat that can be attached to several strollers. In this review, we have included the strollers compatible with the car seats. Your job is to decide which pair is convenient for you.
Ease of cleaning: you can escape accidental messes from time to time with a child. And a dirty car seat is not only unhygienic but also unsightly. A good seat should be made of smooth easy to wipe material and even better, an easily removable material that can be tossed into the washing machine. This will keep your seat looking fresh and lengthen durability too.
Portability: if you foresee yourself carrying your child in the carrier by hand or your car is high or for whatever reason, you prefer a lightweight seat we have several suggestions on this review.
Price: infant car seat prices range from less than $100 to $500. But this does not mean that the cheaper models are not safe or comfortable because in the US all car seats must meet the safety threshold set by NHTSA. This difference in price is simply because of extra nice-to-have features, materials and design.
The US government has a list of recommendations on which car seats are suitable for your infant. Manufacturers of infant car seats are also expected to disclose the infant car seat crash test results and we’ve actually rated each of the top 10 infant car seats on the results test. In addition, a number of infant car seats have been approved by the FAA.
How long to use an infant car seat?
You may be wondering why you’d need to get an infant car seat and then trash it after a few months or years for a convertible seat. We also sought to find out how long infant car seats are supposed to be used and what we found out will enlighten you. Infant car seats are recommended for use before your baby reaches 2 years in age or 32 to 35 inches in height.
Top 10 Baby Car Seats in 2021
- Britax B Safe Ultra: Overall Best Infant Car Seat
- Chicco Keyfit 30: Best Infant Car Seat for Small Cars
- UPPAbaby MESA: Best Infant Car Seat in Design & Safety
- Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
- Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat
- Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base
- Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat With Base
- Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
- Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat
- Cybex Cloud Q Infant Car Seat
1. Britax B Safe Ultra: Overall Best Infant Car Seat 2021
Britax B Safe Ultra is our overall best infant car seat and 662 parents who responded to our survey confirmed this. We’ve also spent about 3 weeks compiling data and comparing all the four main models of Britax car seats.
After thorough research, we settled on the Britax B Safe Ultra as our overall best infant car seat. Britax is a well-known and trusted brand with a large collection of all types of infant car seats. Their Britax b safe ultra is one of their premium models and comes at a reasonable price (239.99). It is not just us who love this seat; in Amazon, it has a high rating of 4.7 out of 5 by 1048 customers.
The seat measures 17.75 w x 25 h x 30.62 d inches. It is designed for babies with a weight of 4 to 35 pounds. Once you unpack, you will notice it is a beautiful and high quality seat. It has a cool mesh fabric to keep your little one cool and comfortable. Aside from the airy fabric, the carrier is well padded on the seat and headrest and includes a removable insert to give the preemies and smaller babies a snug and comfortable fitting. When out in the sun or rain, this seat has an extra-large canopy to shield your little one.
Regarding safety, Britax B-Safe Ultra guarantees your child is surrounded in safety. It features two layers of side impact protection and Britax SafeCell Impact Protection. The SafeCell Impact protection is a combination of a steel frame, impact absorbing base, a V-shaped tether to prevent seat rotation and staged release stitches that slow and reduce forward movement in case of a crash.
We also appreciate the user friendly design, which makes the seat so easy to install. Although the seat comes with a base, you can use it without the base as well. To install without the base Britax B-Safe Ultra has a unique feature called the European Belt Guide. To install with the base, the seat has two methods: using the center Latch or seat belt. We love that it has dual bubble indicators to ensure correct installation every time.
Other impressive features include spring-assisted recline to help you get the correct angle and no-rethreading the harness ever! Britax B-Safe Ultra is compatible with Britax single strollers, and BOB single and Duallie strollers with adapters (bought separately).
It is our top choice because it is the whole package in terms of safety, comfort, effortless installation, and it is not too weighty (11 pounds considering there are others over 30 pounds).
Britax B Safe Ultra was released to the market in March 2018 as an upgrade to Britax B Safe Elite and the older Britax B Safe 35. We compared the latest Britax’s latest car seat, Britax Endeavor with all the three earlier versions including the Ultra as shown in the comparison table below:
Britax B Safe Ultra not only took the lead as the best Britax Infant car seat but it also beat other brands. It emerged top compared to other credible brands specifically Graco’s Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 and Chicco’s Chicco Keyfit 30.
Britax B Safe 35 is part of Britax’s series of infant car seats which include Britax B Safe Ultra, Britax Endeavour, and Britax B Safe Elite. The comparison below has all the 11 similarities and over 9 differences between the Britax car seats and demonstrates why we choose Britax B Safe Ultra as our overall infant car seat in 2021.
|Britax B-Safe 35||Britax B-Safe 35 Elite||Britax B Safe Ultra||BRITAX ENDEAVOURS|
|Made in USA||Made in USA||Made in USA||Made in USA|
|Released to market on March 22, 2018||Released to market on March 12, 2018||Released to market on March 12, 2018||Released to market on March 29, 2019|
|Dimensions: 17.75” W x 25” H x 26.5” D||Dimensions: 17.75 x 25 x 30.62 inches||Dimensions: 17.8 x 25 x 26.5 inches||Dimensions: 17.75 ” W x 25 ” H x 30.62 ” D|
|One layer of Side Impact Protection||Two layers of Side Impact Protection||Two layers of Side Impact Protection||Two layers of Side Impact Protection|
|Current Ranking on Amazon: 16 out of top 100||Current Ranking on Amazon: 35 out of 100||Current Ranking on Amazon: 37 out of top 100||Current Ranking on Amazon: 65 out of top 100|
|5-Point Harness||5-Point Harness||5-Point Harness||5-Point Harness|
|11.5 lbs||Weight: 11 lbs||Weight: 12 lbs||11.5 lbs|
|Not easy to remove the cover||Easy to remove the cover||Easy to remove the cover||Easy to remove the cover|
|Does not have an anti-rebound bar||Does not have an anti-rebound bar||Does not have an anti-rebound bar||Has an anti-rebound bar|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Below is a video review of Britax B Safe Ultra:
As shown in the table above, there are few features that differentiate Britax B Safe Ultra but I strongly recommend it because of the following:
- It has European Belt Guide making it rideshare ready unlike Britax B Safe 35 and Elite
- It has a flip-forward belly pad unlike its predecessors, B Safe 35 and Elite.
- It is specifically better than Britax B Safe 35 because it has double impact protection.
- It is cheaper than Britax Endeavour and has better impact test results
- Britax B Safe Ultra has been made with better fabric that is water-resistant and stain-resistant.
- Ultra has a slightly bigger space with dimensions 17.75” W x 25” H x 30.62” D. Although not the most ideal for a small car, Britax Ultra has a contoured shell common in all Britax car seats making it ideal for small cars as it does not take a lot of space. This design also ensures limited side-to-side movements and better safety for your little one.
- In addition to 2 layers of side impact protection, Ultra also has flip-forward belly pad and European Belt Guide which makes it the safest infant car seat for any car type. Whether you use a truck, a van, taxi, SUV, or a small sedan, this Britax B Safe would be suited for all car types. The Flip-forward belly pad and European belt guide features of Britax Ultra are the biggest differentiating features from Britax Elite.
- Britax B Safe Ultra can be used with Britax Ready G2 Stroller and City mini stroller.
- Britax Ultra comes with Britax B Safe base that is compatible with all Britax car seats. You can, however, use this car seat with or without the base as the European belt guide can be used instead of the base.
Like all other Britax Infant car seats, Britax B Safe Ultra is assembled in Fort Mill, a town in South Carolina, USA. This is also the headquarters of Britax.
Now that we’ve determined Britax B Safe Ultra is the best out of all the other Britax car seats, let’s review some of the great features that we like about this seat. Some of the features cut across all Britax seats.
- Can be fit to the car seat using LATCH system or the seat belt making it easy to use in a taxi or rental car
- It does a nice job by safely supporting kids with lightweight, as low as 4 lbs because of its infant padding insert that comes with it.
- Britax B Safe Ultra comes with several color options and it is made right here in the USA.
|Britax Brands||Other Brands|
|Selection from four safe brands highlighted above||27 brands that meet our minimum safety guidelines|
|Cost $200 to $270||Cost $150 to $700|
|Weighs as low as 11 pounds||Most lightweight infant car seat brand weight as low as 7.6 pounds|
- It has a wide range of designs to choose from
- Breathable fabric and well-padded
- The covers are removable for cleaning
- High ratings (# no.2 in infant car seat category on Amazon)
- It is a bit pricier ($239.99)
- Due to the sturdiness, the seat is a bit heavy, but it has an ergonomic handle which makes it a bit easier to carry.
Chicco Keyfit 30 is our second overall best infant but the best for small cars such as sedans. Chicco Keyfit 30 comes in several colors and pattern options and is super portable. Chicco Keyfit 30 has been rated very highly 4.8/5 by over 400 users on Amazon. 80% of those users have given it 5-star reviews which goes to tell us that parents have really had good experiences with this car seat.
Chicco is an Italian brand that has become a household name across America. On Amazon, KeyFit 30 seat it is ranked # no.1 in the infant safety car seat category. It is a beautiful and compactly designed seat measuring 27.50 x 17 x 24. In addition to being the ideal size for small cars has consistently topped in safety and ease of installation. And it offers the best features for an infant car seat within its price range ($199.99).
Chicco KeyFit 30 is designed for babies from birth to up to 30 pounds and has a removable insert for the smaller babies.
Regarding safety, this seat has scored the highest in comparison to other seats for the crash test ratings. This is thanks to the seat’s energy-absorbing foam and a five-point harness, which keeps the baby secure.
As for installation, you are always sure to get it right with the Chicco KeyFit 30. It features a SuperCinch tightener for the latch, dual bubble levels on both sides to verify correct installation every time and spring-loaded leveling foot for proper base angle installation. You also have the option of not installing it without the base using seat belt although this method is not as easy as the Latch method.
For comfort the seat has a removable newborn insert, 5 point harness that grows with your baby, is well padded.
If you are a travelling family, you will be glad to know that the seat weighs just 9 pounds without the base, and also you can release it from the base easily on one hand. It is compatible with Chicco strollers.
In terms of care, the fabric is machine washable, and the plastic hardware and harness are sponge cleanable with warm soapy water and air-dried.
It currently ships about 3000 units per month on Amazon, according to data from Helium This car seat is cheaper than most Britax car seat brands, usually priced at around $199 with Britax B Safe 35.
Similarly, both Britax B Safe 35 and Chicco Keyfit 30 can be fitted to the car seat using a LATCH system or a seat belt. Compared with all Britax and Chicco systems, Chicco Keyfit 30 fits easily. Compared to Chicco Fit 2 and Britax Endeavor which cost as high as $280, Chicco Keyfit 30 is cheaper as it will only cost you about $200 on Amazon. You can check its current price on Amazon here.
Below is a video review of Chicco Keyfit 30:
Its base is 7lbs and the seat itself weighs 9 lbs. It is a favorite for most parents including those with small cars such as sedans with less space at the back. Its width is 16 feet which is considered small and very ideal for cars with limited space at the back.
It is also currently ranking among the top 10 out of the top 100 best-selling infant car seats on Amazon.
Chicco Keyfit30 Vs Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
|Chicco Keyfit 30||Graco Snugride Click Connect 35|
|Has 17 inches width, 24 inches height, and 27.5 inches depth||Has 18.66 inches width,15.59 inches height, and 30.67 inches depth|
|Easy to install||Easy to install|
|Made in China||Made in China|
|Lead-free material||Lead-free material|
|The frame not made of steel||Frame not made of steel|
|Five-point harness||Five-point harness|
|Side impact tested||side-impact tested|
|Some have breathable materials||Non-breathable materials|
|9.6 pounds carrier weight||7.5 pounds carrier weight|
|Machine washable covers||Machine washable covers|
|6 years expiration||7 years expiration|
|4 to 30 pounds recommended baby weight||4 to 35 pounds recommended baby weight|
|Up to 30 inches height of the baby||Up to 32 inches height of the baby|
- Great value for money
- Easily cleaned
- Very easy to install with the help of level indicators
- Lower weight capacity (30 pounds) in comparison
- The canopy is short, so you might consider additional covering
3. UPPAbaby MESA: Best In Style, Design & Safety
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is our third best infant car seat but wins big with its stylish design and advanced safety features. The great safety and design features along with its easy-to-install seat come at a higher price compared to our top 2 infant car seats above. It currently goes for about $300 but the padding in the center and the sides gives your baby comfort making it worth every dollar.
The seat is designed for infants and babies weighing from 4 to 35 pounds. Just like the other seats we have reviewed so far it has a removable insert for preemies and smaller babies.
This is a high-end seat made using premium quality merino wool fabric that is fire resistant. Any parent will appreciate a seat that does not use toxic fire retardant chemicals commonly used in other infant seats. Additionally, the covers are easily removable for washing.
To install, you can use the latch method or seatbelt. For both methods, the Mesa seat features a unique technology which has a tightness indicator (with color change) and self-retracting Latch connectors which makes the process easy, fast and accurate.
The Mesa seat provides safety by using side impact protection and a headrest reinforced with EPP foam. The integrated design keeps the baby’s head stationary during a side collision. When adjusting the headrest, you don’t need to rethread harness; it is just by a single click. The seat comes with an extendable canopy with UPF 25+ to adequately protect your baby when strolling.
Speaking of strolling, UPPA baby Mesa is compatible with both Vista and Cruz without adapters, and releases amazingly fast on just one hand. You can also position it to face you or reverse it to a table without the handle being in the way.
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is very similar to the second best in our list (Chicco Keyfit30) with the following minor differences:
- UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is relatively more expensive compared to Chicco Keyfit30
- UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is heavier than Chicco Keyfit30 by about 2.9 pounds
- UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat lasts longer than Chicco Keyfit30 because it has a higher maximum height and weight limits
- UPPAbaby MESA is easier to use and to install.
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is currently ranked number 6 of the top 100 infant car seats on Amazon and it made it to our list specifically because of advanced safety features and is the easiest to install. In terms of installations, it has an automatically tightening LATCH system and the system has an indicator that tells you when the base is fully secured to the seat. If you choose to use seat belt to install UPPAbaby Mesa, it has lock-off.
To make sure your baby is super comfortable and safe, it comes with a headrest and shoulder straps that adjust easily. You can choose any of its five height positions without having to rethread every time.
Similar to Britax car seats such as Ultra and Elite, UPPAbaby MESA can support infants with weight from 4 pounds to 35 pounds. It can also support infants up to a maximum height of 32 ft. Without the base, UPPAbaby MESA weighs close to 10 pounds and the base adds another 9 pounds. In addition, it is not the widest seat in this list with a width of 15.5 feet.
While it does not have the biggest canopy or large canopy that we’d like, UPPAbaby MESA is great for most types of cars including smaller vehicles.
In addition to the small canopy, we also don’t like the fact that you need to use both of your hands to adjust the handlebar.
Our third reason for this infant car seat not making to be the first in this list is that its fabric is not the most breathable and not very soft.
Our last reason (4th) reason for this infant car seat coming behind Keyfit 30 and Britax Ultra is that it is more expensive. You can check its current price on Amazon here.
- Chemical-free, breathable, and flame retardant fabric
- A base with a finished bottom to prevent damaging your car
- It has storage pockets for the harness buckles
- A wide range of essential and helpful features
- Easy to clean
- It is pricey at ($349.99) in comparison, Chicco KeyFit ($199.99)
- Although the merino wool is a great fabric, it might not be suitable for hot weather
4. Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 is our fourth-best infant car seat that made it to our list because of its reception in the market as an affordable and safe alternative to expensive options.
Graco is among the famous names when it comes to infant car seats. They have been in this infant car seat manufacturing business since 1988. Their car seats are mostly very affordably priced. So if you are looking for a budget option, Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 is a good start. It is also an option if you want the most weightless carrier to transport around. It is the lightest so far on this list at just 7.5 pounds so you know it will be easy on your arm. You can pair it with any Graco Click Connect strollers as part of your travel system.
The seat is designed to accommodate newborns up to 35 pounds with a positioner pillow for head and neck support.
In terms of safety, the seat has passed the rigorous crash test and found to meet or exceed the US FMVSS safety standards, just like all infant seats in the US.
The seat can be installed using the seatbelt or latch system, but it does not have user-friendly features like in the previous infant car seat we have reviewed so installing and adjusting the seat is a difficult task. This could cause the seat to wobble from side to side because it might not be tightly secured. Also, the seat uses the rethread system to adjust the shoulder straps, which is also quite a task.
It has been regarded as the best car seat with the most advanced protection. It has the following features:
- It is 28 inches in length, 18.66 inches in width and 15.59 inches in height. Although not the most ideal for small cars as its width of 18.66, it works with most sedans, SUVs, trucks, vans, and minivans.
- It weighs 7.5 pounds making it easy to turn it into an infant carrier.
- It is made in China, unlike Britax B Safe 35 and Maxi Cosi brands.
- Can support babies from 4 pounds to 35 pounds
- Most ideal for babies that do not exceed 18 months. One of our colleague here at 10BabyGear is actually using the infant car seat and the baby is just 9 months. They’ve used it from when the baby was six months and weighing 20 pounds (9 kgs).
According to data from Helium, Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 11 sellers on Amazon ships about 25,000 units per month on Amazon as shown in the snapshot below:
It is also important to note that this product is currently on sale and many parents are taking advantage of this to save $60 or 33% of its original price.
- Affordably priced
- Click to strollers effortlessly
- Machine washable cover
- No newborn body insert, just a thin head support
- The seat uses flimsy and rough material which feels uncomfortable
- The straps are prone to twisting
- The handle interferes with the shade, such that you have to push down the shade
- It uses the rethread system to adjust the harness
- The latch is difficult to attach, tighten and remove
5. Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat
Safety 1st is a manufacturer of various home safety products, and they believe that parents should have fewer worries and more joyful moments. That is the standard you expect from their Onboard 35 air 360 infant car seat.
The Safety 1st seat is a large (28d x 17w x 24.75h) and heavy seat, but that is due to the sturdy construction. It is designed for babies weighing 4 to 35 pounds with a removable insert for preemies and smaller babies.
Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat is the cheapest but gives you value for your money because of the following superior features:
- 5 layers of safety protection
- Ideal for a newborn weighing 4 pounds to 35 pounds
- Offers the best protection in case of a collision using its patented GCell HX race car foam for crash energy absorption
- Has 5-point harness
- It meets the federal, ASTM, JPMA safety standards as well as the European rollover standard
- Has one year warranty
Safety is the area this seat shines the most. It boasts 5 layers of safety. Side impact protection with Safety 1st Air Protect cushioning against crash and the Gcell HX patented foam for displacing crash energy around the torso. For reassurance, the seat has been crash tested from the front, rear, side and roll over impact.
Your baby can ride in comfort because the seat generously padded with soft foam all over.
The On board 35 Air 360 seat is compatible with Safety 1st, Eddie Bauer and Cosco strollers that have the QuickClick feature on the frame.
- Machine washable and drier safe seat pad
- Reasonably priced ($169.99)
- Great construction and sturdy
- The canopy keeps retracting back which is frustrating and not protective at all
- It is on the heavier side (18.48 pounds)
- You need to rethread to change harness position
6. Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base: Best for Small Cars
This Doona car seat brand is the seat to go for if you are a traveling mom. It is a fully integrated travel system, so you get it from car seat to stroller and vice versa in seconds. A lever on the side releases the carrier from the base, and a button on the back releases the wheels of the stroller. The stroller handle adjusts and angles towards you and you are ready to roll. We also like that this high-end infant car seat comes with a really big canopy to protect your little one from the harsh weather or hot sun.
Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base is currently the 8th best-selling infant car seat brand on Amazon, out of the top 100 and it made it as our 6th best car seat for your infant. This car seat made to our list specifically because of its small size which makes it perfect for a small car.
The seat is designed for babies weighing 4 to 35 pounds and comes with an insert for the smaller babies. It also comes with a seat protector, so you don’t have to worry about anything dripping.
For safety, it has side impact protection and an anti-rebound bar that absorbs impact during a collision and prevents the seat from rotating quickly.
Regarding installation, the Latch base is easily secured in the car, and there is a green button that lets you know it is properly secured.
Not only is the Doona seat convenient for streets, but it is also air travel certified by FAA and TUV as well.
Video Review of Doona Car Seat:
It comes ahead of other top brands such as Graco and Britax infant car seat despite it being relatively more expensive. It cost about $500 which is almost three times the cost of our cheapest best infant car seat, the Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360.
Below are other features of Donna Infant Car Seat and Latch
- Dimensions: 17″ w x 23.6″ H x 26″ L
- Weight: 15.4 lbs
- Weight Capacity: 35 lbs
As mentioned above, Donna is the ideal infant car seat for a small car. The picture below shows Donna fitting perfectly to KIA Sportage. It can also fit VW car models such as VW Golf.
Donna is also the only one in our list which comes with a complete and fully integrated mobility solution which allows parents to convert this car seat into a stroller easily. It comes with award-winning foldable wheels that have been crowned as one of the safest and innovative infant car seats.
- Sleek and stylish design
- Very practical design
- A seat protector so no dirt on your car seat
- Machine washable covers
- Expensive ($499.00) but remember it is two (car seat & stroller) for the price of one and the convenience
- Heavy (16.5 pounds without the base) but you never have to carry it; simply convert it to a stroller and push.
- It is not suitable for tall users even with the handle stretched the furthest
7. Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat With Base
Maxi-cosi Mico 30 was designed for babies weighing from 5 to 30 pounds, but it has an insert for smaller babies. It is a very comfortable seat because it generously padded and the fabric is self-wicking, which channels away body heat and moisture keeping your baby dry and comfortable. This car seat is manufactured here in America in Columbus, Indiana.
It specifically made it to the list and is ranked 7th because of its super soft fabric and has been ranked the most comfortable for your baby.
Maxi-Cosi is currently ranked number 30 of the top 100 best-selling infant car seats on Amazon.
It can support your baby from when weighing just 5 pounds to up to 30 pounds and a maximum height of 32 inches. Without the base, this car seat is also considered among the lightweight with just a gross weight of 9.6 pounds. With the base, the weight increases by 7, making it 16.6 pounds.
It also has inflated air-side protection cushions, very easy to clean fabric, and can actually be washed by machine or dry-cleaner. It has denim-like fabric which is great for breathing.
You can install the seat with the seat belt alone, but it comes with a stay-in-car adjustable base which is convenient.
For safety, it has side protection and an anti-rebound bar. Also, it has an extra-large canopy which is stretchy and extendable with a flip-out visor for fuller coverage.
The seat is compatible with Maxi-cosi, Quinny and other premium strollers. It comes at an affordable price ($199.99).
Below is a comparison of Maxi-Cosi Max Plus and other Maxi-Cosi infant car seat brands available in the market.
You can check its price on Amazon here
- Lightweight with a contoured easy to grip handle
- Easy to remove covers without rethreading for cleaning
- Some customers report difficulty while installing and releasing the seat from the base
- The harnesses are difficult to tighten
8. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
The Graco Seat is for babies from 4 to 35 pounds with a removable newborn insert for a better fit. It is one of the premium Graco infant car seats but at an affordable price (149.99). Unlike the sister seat we had seen earlier, the SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX has level indicators that make the process a breeze whether you install using the seat belt or Latch system. The canopy adjusts easily and silently so as not to awaken the baby.
Graco has 15 models of Snugride line of car seats and one of our favorites is the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat. It is currently the 5th best-selling infant car seat on Amazon as of this update it is our 8th best infant car seat after comparing with other top infant car seats in our list.
For safety, it has side impact protection and energy absorbing foam. The seat has also been tested for frontal, side rear and rollover crashes.
We also love that you can easily adjust the handle, which is convenient when carrying the baby on the other arm. Also, this is a lightweight carrier (7.5 pounds) which makes traveling or switch between cars less cumbersome. SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX is compatible with all Graco Click Connect strollers.
Below is a comparison of Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Vs DLX Vs 30
- Easily removed and machine washable covers
- Easy to install
- Light to carry around (weighs 7.5 pounds without the base)
- The newborn insert is flimsy and doesn’t wrap around a newborn’s head
- Needs rethreading to adjust harness height
9. Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat
If you want another budget option aside from Graco, consider Evenflo car seats. The Evenflo nurture infant car seat has the lowest price tag on this list ($59.99). It might be perfect if you want a simple seat that will deliver safety, and you don’t plan to use it for long.
Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat is our 10th best infant car seat and is co-incidentally, ranking number 9 of the top 100 best-selling infant car seats on Amazon.
Your baby may outgrow this car seat fast at it has a max recommended weight of 22 pounds (the minimum is 5 pounds). It has a canopy which provides great shade for your baby and may be used with and without a base.
The seat accommodates babies weighing 5 to 22 pounds, which is the lowest weight capacity in comparison to the other seats on this list.
It is safe for your child since it has met the threshold laid by NHTSA. It also has a pivoting canopy to shield your little one from the sun.
You can install the car seat with the base or without, but it does not attach to any strollers.
- Beautiful designs
- Lightweight 10 pounds
- Easy to wipe down fabric and machine washable seat pad
- Cheap pricing
- Ergonomic handle for portability
- No recline foot on base for angle adjustment
- Low weight capacity
- Not ideal for newborns and small babies
10. Cybex Cloud Q and Cybex Aton 2
Cybex Cloud is the seat to buy if you want your baby to indulge in luxury. This car seat is the comfortiest for preemies and newborns. Apart from being plush all over, it has a removable insert to keep them snugly held.
Unlike any other infant car seats, Cybex Cloud Q has an innovative feature where it converts to a near-flat recline position outside of the car. This position gives the baby longer leg rest, a comfortable and ergonomic position to lie. You could say it converts to a cot where your baby can nap. And they can enjoy this seat until they reach 35 pounds.
The seat is very safe using the LSP system with an energy absorbing shell which is designed to reduce the energy generated during a side-impact collision. Additionally, the load leg base helps reduce crash energy by half by redirecting the energy to the vehicle floor.
Amazingly, Cloud Q seat has 11 adjustable headrests which are integrated with the harness. So, when the headrest is adjusted, the harness also adjusts without rethreading.
We also find the foldable XXL canopy with UPF 50+ for protection against the sun and winds useful and elegantly designed.
Cloud Q is compatible with Cybex and gb strollers using adapters.
- Great safety features
- Wide range of vibrant colors and different seat styles
- Unique lie-flat capability into an ergonomic position
- Extra-wide straps for comfort
- XXL sunshade
- 11 adjustable headrests positions
- It is the most expensive on the list ($499.95), which is about eight times the price of EvenFlo nurture.
Video review of the top infant car seats:
Infant Guide Buying Guide 2021
Infant Car Seat Bases
Infant car seats come with bases which makes it easy for you to click and fit the seat. You can remove the seat when you want and fit them on the stroller.
How to install infant car seat base
Best Baby Car Seats in Australia
In 2020, we sought to find the best baby car seat in Australia.
Below are the top 10 baby car seats in Australia
Best Baby Car Seats in India 2021
How To Install Infant Car Seat Without Base
Best Baby Car Seat Germany
The best infant car seat for babies in Germany is the Graco Snugridge 35 which is currently leading in sales according to Amazon data.
Best Baby Car Seats for Different Car Models
- Audi Models/Make – Audio series from Audi Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 are best with Chicco Keyfit30, Graco Snugridge 35 and Diono Radian
- Ford Models and Infant Car Seats: Ford have been tested and they work well with Clek Fllo and Chicco Keyfit30.
- Hyundai Models: Hyundai models such as Hyundai Tuscon and Hyundai i30 have been tested with several sets of infant car seats. Hyundai Tuscon works great with Chicco Keyfit30 and Clek Fllo as they are not big seats which fit well to Tuscon’s small spaces. Chicco Keyfit 30 also works well with Hyundai i30, Accent, and Elantra.
- Taxi: If you want a car seat that you can easily use on taxis, you’re better off with a very lightweight infant car seat such as Chicco Fit2, Graco Snugridge 35, Nuna Pipa, Baby Jogger City Go
- Toyota Rav4 model works great with Chicco Keyfit30 and Britax B safe 35
- Tesla Model S and Model 3 have been tested with Maxi-Cosi but also works well with Peg Perego Flex and Chicco Keyfit30
Best Infant Car Seats for Small Cars?
If you have a small car such as VW Golf or sedan/saloon, the following two are our best infant car seats you can use:
- Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat – Chicco Keyfit 30, our second-best infant car seat is our favorite car seat best suited for small cars. Small cars have small space and Chicco Keyfit 30 is 16 inches and can support infants from 4 to 30 pounds. It fits in several car types such as Fiat 500, Honda Element, Toyota Yaris, Toyota RAV4, Honda Civic, Mustang, Honda Jazz and BMW series (1, 2 and 3).
- Baby Trend EX Flex-Loc Convertible Car Seat – Baby Trend EX Flex is another infant car seat great for small cars. Its width is only 15 inches and can support babies from 4 pounds to 30 pounds. The picture below shows Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc fitting nicely into a car seat for a small car.
Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc can fit nicely in car seats of small cars such as Honda Civic, Honda Jazz, Mustang, Toyota Prius, Fiat 500 and Toyota Camry. While these are ideal for Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc, other bigger cars such as SUVs can be suitable for this infant car seat. Parents also have great things to say about it using SUVs, trucks, and vans such as Nissan X-trail, Toyota Yaris, Jeep wrangler, Mini Cooper, and Nissan Qashqai.
Infant Car Seat Safety Tips:
- Try to have your baby rear-facing as long as possible or until they are at least 2 years old. Why do that? According to tests, it is 5 times safer to have the infant rear-facing than forward-facing.
- Consider going for the best infant seats with a 5-point harness until when your baby is at least 4 years or having 40 lbs
- As long as your child cannot pass the five-step test, use a booster.
- Always restrain your baby in the seat, regardless of the distance length.
- Don’t carry your infant in your lap as adults can crash on the baby in case of an accident.
Car Seat Buyer Guide
Best baby car seat brands
Best car seat for hot weather
Car Seats and Ages (0 – 4 years) and Weights
- 6 months: Infant car seats
- 9 months
- 1 year old
- 18 months
- 0-18 kg
- 0-36 kg
- 20 pounds
- 2 year old
- 6months to 8 years
Sales Glossary: Tips and Definitions To Know
Click & Go Travel System Compatible
The video below describes the safe Click and Go travel system in Britax strollers.
Car Seat Safety Precautions
As highlighted in this review, the best car seat to bring the baby home after delivering in the hospital are Chicco Keyfit and Britax B Safe 35 reviewed above. You can also read more about the comparison of the two above.
Graco SnugRide 30 LX Click Connect Infant Car Seat is the best infant car seat for long-distance travel. It meets and exceeds all US safety standards and you can choose to use a seatbelt to secure it if you don’t want to carry the base as you travel. It is also very light and considered among the most lightweight infant car seats. It weighs just 7 pounds without the base and 11 pounds with the base.
Yes, infant car seats and bases do expire and when you purchase them, you’ll find the expiry date on the sticker attached to the infant car seat or at the bottom of the car seat base. Most car seats have an expiry period that does not exceed 6 years. After years of use, car seats and car seat bases become more dangerous and it gets weaker and may not be as safe for you to use it with your baby. If you’re wondering how they expire, just consider that the older a car seat is, the older the materials and their protection does not give you safety guarantee. This is the reason why the car seats expire.
According to consumer reports, the best infant car seats include Britax B Safe 35 and Chicco Keyfit 30, our top 2 infant car seats we’ve reviewed in this article. These rear-facing infant car seats are currently the best selling and Consumer Reports gave them great reviews on safety and comfort.
Considering the safety and comfort of your preemie or small newborn, Cybex Aton and Chicco Keyfit, Britax B Safe 35, Chicco Fit 2, Baby Trend, Peg Perego, and Nuna Pipa are your best options to choose from. I personally prefer Cybex Aton, the most-preferred infant car seat in Germany.
We compared over 12 infant car seats with strollers and Britax brands just outrank most other brands. My top 2 favorites are the Britax B-Lively and the Britax B-Safe 35 travel system. They can support infants with weights of up to 55 pounds and a foldable stroller. Both of them are three-wheel strollers with side-impact protection, a steel frame, and an impact-absorbing base.
I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at 10BabyGear. I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.