top rated infant car seats

Top Rated Infant Car Seats 2018 – The 10 Best Models [Reviewed]

Infant car seats have special features that excite every parent or parent to be. Their convenience and snug fit characteristics make them highly preferable tools. However, the process of finding and shopping for the appropriate car seat for your baby can prove to be very cumbersome.

More often, you will find cases in which parents get confused about which infant car seat they should go for.  To be specific, it is usually hard to choose the models that would meet every parent’s demands in terms of installation, cleaning, ease of use and price while simultaneously meeting the baby’s needs in terms of safety, proper support and comfort.

To help you make the right selection, outlined below is a review of our top 10 infant car seats with factors that you should consider when you are looking to acquire these products.

Our Top Rated Infant Car Seats

Product Name
The Weight Of The Baby It Supports
The Weight Of The Car Seat
Price
Chicco Fit2 Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
11 pounds
Check Price
Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
7.5 pounds
Check Price
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat
4 – 30 pounds
8.2 pounds
Check Price
Chicco Keyfit 30 Instant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
16 pounds
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Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
19 pounds
Check Price
UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
9.9 pounds
Check Price
Safety 1st Onboard Air Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
18 pounds
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Evenflo Litemax 35 Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
8 pounds
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Peg Perego PV 4/35 Infant Car Seat
4 – 35 pounds
10 pounds
Check Price
Baby Trend Lexloc Infant Car Seat
4 – 30 pounds
6 pounds
Check Price

1. Chicco Fit2 Infant Car Seat – Simple Latch Installation

Chicco Fit2 Infant Car Seat is an infant car seat with a flawless score for latch installation. For this reason, no parent will worry about installing the seat correctly. It’s a stylish seat, has featured simple features that are very friendly. The seats also have additional padding for comfort that the baby can enjoy.

Of the Chicco car seats, Chicco Fit2 Infant Car is the recently released product, and it deserves to be on this list. It is the best example of high quality, durable, safe, and versatile seat. All these features make it a high-end product.

The seat has two special rear-facing positions. The first position is relatively reclined for babies of up to about 10 – 12 months (until they can crawl and or walk). The second position, designed specifically for toddlers weighing up to around 35 pounds and 24 months (2 years) old.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Good quality and comfortable
  • Easiest LATCH installation
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Limited compatibility

2. Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 – Most Affordable

Graco Snug Ride Click Connect 35 is one of the most popular infant car seats. They are light in weight, very compatible and safe as well. At a weight of seven and a half pounds, the seat is easily portable and it very easy to move the baby to the car or even the stroller.

It’s a rear-facing infant seat, and it provides protection to babies weighing 4 to 35 pound and measuring a maximum height of up to 32 inches. The seat also features foam that absorbs energy, and it is effective in managing impact during a collision.

The seat also features an amazing click-and-connect form of technology that provides one by one step form of attachment between strollers to the car seat to create a very effective travel system.

For your baby’s comfortability, the seat features head support for your newborn that supports and cushions your baby.

Pros
  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Easy to use
  • Rotating canopy to provide shed
Cons
  • Not for toddlers

3. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat – Most Comfortable

The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 is a truly lovely infant car seat and made of some really soft and plush fabric. The seat not only looks adorable but also is the coziest on the list just as their name suggests (Maxi – Cosi). The plush fabrics are comfortable for the baby and are easy on the eyes as well.

The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 support babies who weigh 4 to 30 pounds. It has a detachable canopy and is very light-weight despite the fact that their height ranges from 32 inches with no higher weight limit.

The seat also uses protection cushions inflated with air, which gives you better safety and security of the baby. The fabrics are quick to remove easily to wash or clean and dry then relaying them back in the seat.

Pros
  • Very comfortable
  • Compatible with other strollers
  • Light to carry around
  • Quick to remove wash and dry the fabric afterwards
Cons
  • Flimsy canopy

4. Chicco Keyfit 30 Instant Car Seat – Highly Popular Model

Chicco KeyFit 30 instant car seat is engineered with one of the best innovative features that make it easy and quick to install. It is designed with a stay-in-car base which helps achieve the coziest sitting angle and best installation process.

It also has premium LATCH connections and together with the SuperCinch one-pull-tightener, and a force multiplying technology that helps achieve an appropriate tight fit without using a lot of effort. This feature makes the seat easy to install and use.

The seat has ergonomic supports for both the body and the head of the baby. You can as well remove the supports with ease when your baby grows to help create more room. The seat is compatible with all strollers from Chicco, and together they can create a very convenient travel system.

Pros
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to adjust straps
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Not ideal for tall babies

5. Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat – Safest Infant Car Seat

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat is the best seat on the market as much as safety is concerned. The seat comes with a base that attaches and detaches (when there is a need to) from your car using the conventional seat belt or their Latch system.

The form and the fit of the seats are also impeccable, and it does a good job of supporting up to small infants of 4+ lbs. The infant padding inserts usually included in the seat provides enough support, and as your baby grows, additional head and body paddings are removed to give the baby more room.

The car seat has multiple shoulder harness strap points and two crotch straps usually rare on other infant car seats. The two makes it easy to make adjustments to and therefore can be suitable as the baby grows.

Pros
  • Offers the best protection to the baby
  • Adjustable to support your baby as it grows.
Cons
  • Heavy

6. UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat – Easiest To Use

UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat has been highly recommended in terms of user-friendly thanks to a smart and secure system that utilizes a self-retracting latch and a tightness indicator. You can quickly, accurately and easily install the seat. An indicator will turn from red to green to notify you when the base is properly installed.

It has a durable headrest reinforced with side impact protection to offer the baby with more protection. Its integrated design helps to keep the baby’s head stationary during both side-to-side movements and collisions.

It can easily be paired with Cruz strollers. Together the two can deliver a stellar performance traveling system in terms of portability and safety.

Pros
  • Highly rated for ease of use and safety
  • Easy and quick to install
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Highly comfortable seat fabric
Cons
  • Expensive
  • No steel reinforced

7.Safety 1st Onboard Air Infant Car Seat – Advanced Protection Technology

Safety 1st Onboard air infant car seat features a unique air protection technology that provides your baby with advanced side protection around the head region in case of any impact or collision. This feature gives parents an ample time and they enjoy every moment of travel with their babies.

The safety harness of this car seat is specially designed and provides smaller babies weighing from 4 pounds to up to 35 pounds with a snug fit and safe drive. The car seat has additional legroom and therefore accommodates your baby as it grows.

The car seat is built with a sunshade that provides sufficient protection to the baby from bright sunlight while on the road. The car seat weighs 18 pounds, and it may fall among heavy car seats, but it is not so difficult to carry around.

Pros
  • Sturdily built
  • Easy to install
  • Advanced side impact protection
Cons
  • Hard to unlatch

8.Evenflo Litemax 35 Infant Car Seat – Lightweight and Easily Portable

Evenflo LiteMax 35 infant car seat is designed for little babies and has extended safety combined with the most lightweight design and hence easy to transport as well as traveling with the baby inside it.

The car seat uses the Sure Safe Latch that provides easy and proper installation in most cars. Additionally, it has a special recline angle indicator which has three colors; blue color to mean babies of 4 up to 20  pounds in weight, red to mean the seat is not installed at an appropriate recline angle and green to mean babies of 20 – 35 pounds.

It has padded ergonomic handles uniquely crafted. This together with lightweight design makes this seat very convenient to schlep the baby.

Pros
  • Light in weight hence easily portable
  • Very safe
  • Easy to install
  • High quality
Cons
  • Lacks compatible strollers

9. Peg Perego PV 4/35 Infant Car Seat – Best Design

Peg Perego PV 4/35 Infant Car Seat is the most expensive seat on the list but comes with features that other seats do not have. It is designed for babies weighing up to 4 – 35 pounds. The design provides the baby with comfort, safety in one package.

It also has an energy absorbing shell that enhances protection in case of impact. The seat is also perforated to make sure there is enough air circulation. This ensures ultimate comfort for the baby.

It has the innovative features, which include a right-tight-system base that securely and easily locks the base to add stability when used with either a vehicle seat belt or a LATCH strap. Additionally, it has a 5-point harness, which enables you to safely fit the baby on the seat.

The adjustable canopy protects the baby from very bright sunlight and also heavy rains.

Pros
  • High quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Adjustable canopy
  • Sturdy and well made
Cons
  • Costly

10. Baby Trend Lexloc Infant Car Seat  – Large Canopy to Provide Shade

The Baby Trend as a brand tends to a number of products that are less expensive but meets the demand of the user because their products work as good as the others. The seat support babies who weigh between 5 to 30 pounds.

They also have an adjustable leveling base, and they have a no- rethread shoulder strap adjustment. The seat has a reasonably huge canopy to provide shade for the baby. The best thing about this seat is that it has a soft multi-grip handle to allow hauling the baby at a lesser angle of alignment to your body. This allows you to easily switch hand position and thus relieve a tired hand during schlepping.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Soft multi-grip handles to allow switch positions easily during longer hauls.
Cons
  • A little bit heavy
  • Difficult to use

Before Choosing the Top Rated Infant Car Seats

Ease of Use

Which car seat is the safest for a child? That is a question expectant parents ask when they go looking for an infant car seat. Every infant car seat sold should always meet the strict safety standards.

However, the key concern should always be whether the design of the car seats makes them user-friendly. Approximately, 90% of users are using their seats improperly. The problem of misuse is that rampant.

There is a range of factors that have caused the problem of rampant misuse of the seat; from failure to clarify the labels of the seats on the layout on the instruction manual to the simplicity of the process of installation. Most users tend to ignore simple details that count eventually.

When you go shopping for an infant car seat, try sampling out the seats that are easy to use. With that said, the question that comes to your mind is probably; how do you test the ease of use of a car seat when you see one? Here is how.

Be ready to get your hands on a variety of seats. First, try buckling and unbuckling the harness. You can then, tighten it and loosen it repeatedly. Adjust the height of the harness. Let the seat go from the base and then snap it back.

It may seem a tiresome process especially if you are going to repeat this on every seat you come across, but at the end of the day, it will help you get an intuitive seat that offers nice and smooth mechanics and very user-friendly.

How Well It Fits Your Baby

You have identified a seat of your intuition in terms of use. What next? The question to follow now is, will it fit your baby? This could be the hardest question to answer of them all especially if you are going to shop for an infant car seat before the baby is born. There is a vast range of weight limits to be considered.

Some seats weigh up to 22 pounds. Some others even weigh up to 35. There is a relatively lower range of height limits though, mostly ranging from 29 to 32’’. For premature-born babies, the starting weight of the infant car seat can be very important. Some infant car seats start at 4, some others at 5 pounds.

Infant car seats that have a lower range of starting weight are suitable for twins two are born or are likely to be born before they reach 9 months (full term). However, if bigger babies run in your family then as an expectant parent give yourself some room by not rushing to get a car infant seat before your baby arrives.

Keep in mind that while it  may seem an enjoyable experience is totting your baby in the infant car seat, the babies get extremely heavy at 20- 25 pounds. Sometimes it gets to an extent where the baby outgrows their infant seats by height even before reaching the weight limit.

Comfortability

When you go shopping for an infant car seat, you should always put in mind that you are going to be schlepping the seat a number of times. Some seats prove to be heavier than the other. Some handles feel more comfortable compared to others.

What you have to do is, put some little weight in the seat, then try carrying it around the shop or store for few minutes. You can as well hold the seat in any of your hands and slide it up your sleeves to the flex of your arm. These tests will definitely show you how comfortable the seat is.

To make sure that your baby is at comfort, you should avoid fabrics that are not breathable. Additionally, the angle of the seat should be set within the right range during installation. When using a stroller, check the uprightness of the seat in the seat adapter.it should always be finely reclined to not only provide good airflow but also keep the baby from rolling down.

Eventually, the car seat should always be comfortable for you and your baby.

How It Fits In Your Car

After you have identified a seat that is comfortable for your baby, the worry will then shift to how well it fits in your car. Compatibility problems between infant car seats and cars are a prevailing factor. Some infant car keys can be so deep that they cannot fit in your car. Sometimes, in smaller cars, there is usually not enough space at the back seat of the car unless the car is closely squeezed in an uncomfortable manner.

Each infant car seat has different measurements and dimensions. The best things to do therefore is to try the seat before buying them. You can ask the store (where you are buying the seats) if you can bring out with you the floor model so try it out in your car to see if it fits.

At the end of the day, just make sure there is enough space between the front car seat and the car seat that to ensure that the infant car seat can rock up and down unimpededly.

If It Can Be Used With A Stroller

Most expectant parents choose their infant car seat first and afterwards choose a compatible stroller for their car seat. If some of your options like the size of the baby, car compatibility, and personal preference are limited for some reason, then you will not be able to invest in a proper stroller until the baby is born. That sounds like a reasonable approach.

However, if you are considering few different seats, and you have the type of stroller you need in your mind, it is sensible to choose the proper stroller first. By this, you will stay hopeful that you will use your stroller for few years while using the infant car seat for at least a year or two.

Price

You have considered every detail you need when shopping for your baby’s car seat; from the ease of use down to compatibility and stroller user-ability.  You will have to dig in your pockets for you to get a seat that suits your baby 100%.

You will realize that different top rated car seats have different prices with each seat having a good reason(s) that justifies their price tag. In general, most expensive infant car seats tend to be more user-friendly, are made of plush materials softer by touch and use high-quality parts.

However, you should note that the cost of the car seat does not have an effect on the safety of the baby. When used correctly all seats are safe as long as they meet the requirements.

About the Author Gail Morrison

Hey there, I'm Gail Morrison, Founder and Editor here at Best Infant Car Seats. Being a mother is hard work, but it’s also full of surprises and laughter. With every month that passes, the joy only gets bigger, watching our kids grow. The journey never ends, and that’s what I love about it the most. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and tips with you.

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