Choosing the right car seat is an important decision all parents face, and you want to make sure you make the right choice. There are many different car seats to choose from, and knowing which type and brand will keep your child safe can make anyone feel overwhelmed. If you’re in the market for a new car seat, there’s no need to look any further. These are some of the best options available, so you can rest easy that you’re making the best decision for your child.
What Are the Different Types of Car Seats?
Before choosing which seat will work best to fit your needs, you need to know the different types available. There are three options: infant, convertible, and booster.
An infant car seat fits infants and babies up to 22-35 pounds. A base installs in your car permanently, and you take the seat in and out by unlatching it. Infant car seats are always rear-facing and will last, on average, a year. The benefit of choosing an infant car seat is its ability to easily transport your baby inside it and latch the seat to a stroller. You don’t have to worry about disturbing a sleeping infant when you go into a store. Many times you can purchase the seat along with a matching stroller in a travel system. However, if you find one you love and already have a stroller, many adapters may allow you to use them together.
A convertible car seat is an excellent option for those wishing to get more mileage out of their purchase. It can face both forward and the rear and usually hold a child up to around 60 pounds. Convertible car seats are not removable when you take your child out and can be bulkier than an infant seat.
Booster seats are for older children ages four and up. They “boost” your child up so the seatbelt will fit on their body correctly. Many boosters come with a removable back which you can use with a harness at first and later remove and utilize the seatbelt.
What To Consider
When choosing any car seat, it’s essential to consider a few things to know which seat will work best for you and your child.
- Does it fit in your car?
- Ease of use and installation
- Safety indicators to ensure the seat installs correctly
- Safety extras like shock absorption and high-quality padding
- Stroller compatibility
Best Infant Car Seats
The Nuna Pipa Car Seat is extremely lightweight at under 8 pounds and has received high safety ratings. It features a modern design, many safety extras, and high-quality easy to clean materials. The canopy offers UPF 50 protection, and the bubble indicator ensures proper installation. Recommended for babies 4 to 32 pounds and up to 32 inches. Available at potterybarnkids.com for $319.95.
The Evenflo Litemax DLX is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable car seat that doesn’t sacrifice safety. It features a load leg that offers extra support when installed in the car, an extra often found on high-end car seats. There is an adjustable headrest and easy latch installation. It is recommended for babies three pounds and up; available at Target.com for $162.99.
Convertible Car Seats
The Britax Marathon ClickTight car seat is easy to install and offers side impact protection and an impact-absorbing base. It includes a 14 position harness, two-position buckle, and seven reclining positions. Recommended for rear-facing 5-40 pounds and forward-facing 20-60 pounds. Available on Target.com for $299.99.
The Graco Extend 2Fit car seat is steel reinforced and available in multiple colors, and is a great budget-friendly option. It features a five-point harness and four-position adjustable extension panel for increased legroom. Recommended for rear-facing 4-50 pounds and forward-facing 22-65 pounds. Available at Best Buy for $190.99.
The Graco Tranzitions Booster Seat is available in multiple colors and offers a 3-in-1 harness that allows it to grow with your child. It is easy to adjust and has a five-position adjustable headrest. There are also seat belt guides and dual cupholders. Recommended with the harness booster 22-65 pounds, the high-back booster 30-100 pounds, and the backless booster 40-100 pounds. Available at Buy Buy Baby for $109.99.
The Britax Grow With You Booster is available in multiple colors and provides an easy transition from a five-point harness to a seat belt. It installs in three easy steps, making it an excellent option for those looking for ease of use. Recommended for 25-120 pounds and is available on Target.com for $299.99.