Best Infant Car Seats

Before we begin this post about Safe in the Seat’s opinion on the best infant car seats, don’t forget this important reminder: all car seats are safe when they’re installed and used correctly. Yes, even the ones that are on the list of seats we do NOT recommend! Just because you don’t see a car seat below or it’s not one we recommend, it doesn’t mean that it’s not safe. It just means that we like other seats better. If you’re in the market for a new car seat for your little one, read on so you can make the best purchase for your family.

Shop the List:

Evenflo Litemax 35

Graco SnugRide 35 DLX with load leg

Britax Willow S

Chicco KeyFit 35

Nuna Pipa RX

Clek Liing

Evenflo Shyft DualRide

Doona

Nuna Pipa Urbn

WordPress Table of Contents by Topic

Heads up! This is not a comprehensive list of all of our recommended car seats. You can find a complete list with a full database in the Infant Buying Kit. This list contains some of our favorite options. You may find it helpful to use the Notes app on your phone, or you can have some paper and pencil nearby to prioritize what features are important for you to consider when choosing a car seat.

Car Seat Buying Process

Child Fit

Child fit is one of the most important factors when choosing a car seat. This is much easier in the infant car seat stage as most of them will work for your newborn as long as you are not expecting a premature or smaller-than-average baby. We have noted which of the ones below fit small babies well in our experience.

Children use infant car seats for 6-18 months depending on child size, car seat size, and parent preference! Once this type of seat is outgrown, you will need a convertible car seat so that you can rear face as long as possible.

A note of caution: Car seat manufacturers are also really good marketers, and often times the weight and height limits they post will not actually fit a child of that size. For example, some infant car seats state that they will fit a 35-pound baby, but that’s the size of the average 3-year-old.

Vehicle Fit

Your child’s size is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a car seat. But, vehicle fit is equally important. This is why we can’t just tell you a car seat that we recommend without a lot of information. There are a few things you should consider. For vehicles with a smaller back seat and/or tall front passengers, you will want an infant car seat that is compact. If you will need to fit 3 people with comfort in your back seat now or in the foreseeable future (like if you are planning on having more kids), you will want a narrow car seat, ideally 17.5″ or less. The good news is that almost every infant seat meets that criteria! See our YouTube video on 3-across car seats here.

If you have a Ford or Lincoln vehicle that has inflatable seat belts, you have to consider that not many car seats can be installed with those kinds of seat belts, but you are even more limited with infant car seats. Typically, if there is a center seat in the 2nd or 3rd row, it would have a normal seat belt, so you may be able to install the seat there instead. But you can install the car seat with the lower anchors instead of the belt path, which is your easiest option.

Convenience Features

There are a lot of convenience features that are available on car seats now which are often a driver of the higher price points, especially with an infant seat with stroller compatibility.

If you move seats around to different vehicles often, you would want to buy an extra base for each vehicle if possible. But if you cannot do that, we recommend that you choose a car seat that has an ease of installation feature. Some car seats have easy seat belt installations, and some have been designed for easy lower anchor installation. In our list below, we have noted if the car seat has an ease of installation feature.

The weight of a car seat may be a factor you need to consider. For example, if you travel often via airplane, a lightweight seat may be your best option for ease of use. You can find our top picks for airplane travel here. But in general, for domestic travel, any of the infant car seats will work very well. If you travel internationally, vehicles often don’t have locking seatbelts, so a car seat with a built-in lock-off on the base is a must! You can check out our Wheels Up course and private Facebook group for more information about airplane traveling with kids and car seats. In the lists below, we have provided the weight of each seat.

Extras

There are other things to consider as well. If you are interested in a car seat that is free of flame-retardant chemicals, you will have fewer choices as not all car seat manufacturers have seats that meet this criteria.

There are some infant car seats that add extra safety features like anti-rebound bars, load legs, and rigid lower anchors.

If you are someone who plans to wash their car seats a lot, then you would probably want a seat that is machine washable instead of one that is hand wash only. See our YouTube video on cleaning car seats here.

Car seat manufacturers have different crash policies as well that vary from replacing the seat after any crash to contacting the manufacturer, and they will decide on a case-by-case basis. Read more about crash replacement policies here.

Time to shop!

Now that you know your child’s fit information and have taken into consideration your vehicle fit, convenience factors, and added safety features, it’s time to start narrowing down the overwhelming world of infant car seat choices. Below are our top five recommended car seats broken down by child fit information.

The Best Infant Car Seats

Evenflo Litemax 35

Evenflo Litemax 35 | The Best Infant Car Seats

Evenflo LiteMax 35 $139.99

Review

This is one of the least expensive infant seats on the market and one of our favorites for premature babies. It’s easy to install with the seat belt, thanks to the lock-off. It does require 1.5″ between it and the vehicle seat in front of it.

Graco SnugRide 35 DLX with load leg

Graco SnugRide 35 DLX with Load Leg

Graco SnugRide 35 DLX w/load leg $229.99

Review

This seat has a seat belt lock-off for easy installation and it has a load leg, which is an added safety feature. It has a one-hand adjustable handle as well. We do not like the fit for small babies, but it is manageable with a crotch roll.

Britax Willow S

Britax Willow S | The Best Infant Car Seats

Britax Willow S $249.99

My Britax Willow S Review

This is Britax’s newest infant seat. It has an anti-rebound bar. The seat belt installation is very easy thanks to the ClickTight lock-off. We have found that it fits small babies well. All of the fabric options are flame-retardant-free.

Chicco KeyFit 35

Chicco KeyFit 35 | The Best Infant Car Seats

Chicco KeyFit 35 $269.99

Review Coming Soon

This seat has an anti-rebound bar on the base. It’s easy to install with the lower anchors. It’s also one of the narrowest infant seats. The version with ClearTex fabric is free of flame-retardants.

Nuna Pipa RX

Nuna Pipa RX

Nuna Pipa RX $400.00

Review

YouTube

This infant seat has an anti-rebound bar and a load leg. It is easy to install with the rigid lower anchors or with the seat belt, which the base has a lock-off for. It fits small babies well. All of the fabric options are flame-retardant-free.

Clek Liing

Clek Liing $499.99

Review

Clek Liing has rigid lower anchors for an easy installation or you can use the seat belt lock-off if you prefer to install it in the middle seat or if you need to fit 3 across. It has a load leg, which is an added safety feature. It is a great fit for small babies. Some of the fabric options are flame-retardant-free.

Evenflo Shyft DualRide

Evenflo Shyft DualRide

Evenflo Shyft DualRide $549.99

Review

YouTube

This is an infant seat that turns into a stroller so you won’t need a travel system! It has an anti-rebound bar, which is an added safety feature. This seat has an easy seat belt installation. It is a great fit for small babies as well.

Doona

Doona car seat

Doona $549.99

Review

YouTube

This is another car seat that turns into a stroller. The handle has an anti-rebound position. This seat’s base does not have any ease of installation features and this seat does not fit small babies well.

Nuna Pipa Urbn

Nuna Pipa Urbn

Nuna Pipa Urbn $699.00

Review Coming Soon

This infant seat currently only comes as part of a travel system, but there are 4 different stroller options depending on your budget and desires. This is the first infant seat to feature rigid lower anchors attached to the carrier itself. This is a great option for any parent, but especially for those who do not own a car or who travel often.

Shop the car seat sales like a pro!

When you know what you’re looking for, watching for car seat deals can be a low-stress process! We hope this post helps highlight that child fit is a critical component to consider when choosing an infant car seat where you will get the most bang for your buck. For a more detailed process of how to choose a car seat and all of the car seats we recommend, head to the best-selling Car Seat Buying Kits that will lead you to the top recommended car seat for you in under 30 minutes! Once you know what car seats are best for you, shop the deals!

Recommended Car Seats Page
Recommended Car Seats Page

Make sure to check out our Car Seat Reviews and our YouTube Channel for Video Reviews too!

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