Best Infant Car Seat For Your Little One

Last Updated March 3, 2021

By  Janice Warren

If you ever plan on taking your baby along with you in your car, then an infant car seat is a baby gear must-have. As a new parent, most hospitals won’t discharge you without one. But with all the different models available, picking the safest ride for your little one is a significant decision that can put pressure on you.

An infant car seat is made specifically for young babies and infants. The seats face the rear of the car and can be used from day one until your baby outgrows it.

The car seat's maximum weight limit is around 22-35 pounds, which is also determined by your car's specifics. Most infants outgrow their infant seats by year one or so.

These infant car seats are designed to attach to a base that you put in your car. You need to install the base, which stays permanently fixed in your car, and the seat clicks in and out. This makes it easy to get the baby in and out of your car.

Other types of car seats include:

  • Convertible car seats - These are grow-with-the-child car seats. They transform from rear-facing seats for toddlers to forward-facing car seats for children as they grow older (about 65 pounds). The major downside is that they’re not designed to be yanked out of your car and can be a little too heavy to carry around
  • Booster seats - Booster car seats are meant for kids who at least four years old and are at least 40 pounds in weight. They do just what the name implies. They boost your toddler higher on the car seat, ensuring that the car’s lap or shoulder belts cross over your little one's body as they should and hold them securely

Spending less on your infant car seat doesn’t mean it’s any less safe. More expensive seats mean extra luxury and materials like easier installation, larger canopies, and additional safety features that are not required by law.

The new age brings a vast selection of infant car seats, with different features specifically designed to meet specific needs. Here are top picks on infant car seats under different categories based on ratings, product reviews, and customer feedback. These baby seats have been tested and certified by a Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Best Infant Car Seat Picks

1. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat and Base with Car Seat, Lilla
  • The easiest infant car seat to install
  • 5-point harness adjusts with one hand
  • Full body inserts for newborns 4-11 pound to protect smaller babies
  • Spring-assisted level foot, bubble levels, and ''Center-Pull'' adjustment for easiest...

Most parents' reviews site the excellent safety features and ease of use. The car's seat base is simple to install. It has just one tightener to pull and hold it securely in place.

It also has a built-in, easy-to-read indicator to show when it’s correctly positioned. Additionally, you'll hear the trusty “click' sound when the carrier is safely inserted into the base.

Other worthy features include the removable and washable cover plus the slender profile. It fits perfectly well in smaller cars or when you need to put three infant car seats across. The Chicco KeyFit adapter works on most strollers, meaning you can move your little one from the car to your stroller without having to wake them up

The KeyFit 30 design includes a spring-loaded levelling foot to help you recline your baby at the correct angle, and the seat provides extra head support since it's very well cushioned. The infant car seat design allows you to unzip the canopy for the extra ventilation needed.

  • Pros
  • You can rear-face longer since it works for babies up to 35 pounds in weight and 32 inches in height
  • Great Super
  • Cinch LATCH system tightened for a secure installation
  • Super affordable
  • Quality make
  • Easy installation
  • Cons
  • The canopy is relatively small
  • You need to press buttons with both your hands to move the handle-bar back and forth

2. Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat

BRITAX B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat - Rear Facing | 4 to 35 Pounds - Reclinable Base, 1 Layer Impact...
  • Surrounded in safety: A layer of side impact protection, steel frame, and impact...
  • Easy installation: Use Safe Center Latch or built-in seat belt lock offs to secure...
  • Relax & Recline: Spring assisted recline and indicators ensure the best vehicle...
  • Travel system ready: Compatible with all Britax Single Strollers using the built in...
  • Fits: Rear facing 4 to 35 pounds, seat area 13D, 8.75 W inches; Dimensions 17.75 W x...

The B-Safe offers outstanding safety features for its price point. Its deep narrow seat has energy-absorbing foam sidewalls, a steel frame, and an impact-absorbing base for side impact protection. It also comes with a cinch which you can easily install.

To use the LATCH system, you’ll need to tighten the straps that extend from the middle of the base and not the sides like in other infant car seats. The installation process, without the base, may not be the easiest, but it's a feature that a lot of parents prefer. That said, the B-Safe may not be your most convenient bet if you’ll need to use a car seat in cabs and your friends’ cars.

It has level indicators and a spring-assisted recline to ensure the safest car installation and most comfortable angle for your baby. Most parents confidently add that the car seat feels very sturdy and are happy to note that it has one of the top safety ratings. The mesh fabric is easy to clean and allows for ventilation to have your baby stay cool.

This infant car seat can carry infants with a weight limit of around 4 to 35 lbs and a height of up to 32 inches.

  • Pros
  • Outperforms in safety features with the soft padding cell to absorb impact for child passenger safety
  • It is easy to install
  • It can be installed without the base
  • Cons
  • Because of the steel frame, it's bulkier than other car seat models
  • Relatively hard installation process

3. Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat

Cybex Aton 2 Sensorsafe, Lavastone Black
  • Smart-tech harness chest clip with SensorSafe technology provides alerts when unsafe...
  • Ultra-lightweight: weighs only 9.5 lbs. For easy carrying and Installation
  • Linear Side-impact Protection system absorbs up to 25% more impact forces in a...
  • Load Leg base stabilizes the car seat and can reduce crash forces by up to 50%
  • European Belt routing provides safe installation without a car seat base

The Cybex Aton 2 uniquely features a side-impact protection system, with arms extending from the side to absorb up to 25% more collision force than regular baby seats. According to the crash tests done, the seat's base's load leg extends to the car floor, giving extra stability reducing the crash forces by up to 50%.

It integrates SensorSafe 2.0 technology into the car seat's chest clip to help parents stay more at ease. It sends alerts to notify parents on instances like when the child unbuckles while the car is moving, when a child has sat for too long, when the back seat becomes too warm or cold, or when the child has been accidentally left in the car. This smart car seat will have your emergency contact receive GPS coordinates of the cars' last known location.

It sends notifications to both the car's receiver and a smartphone. The Aton 2 smart feature helps you avoid unthinkable tragedies. This ultra-lightweight infant car seat weighs only 9.5 lbs, making it easy to carry and for ease of installation. It also has a European belt routing providing safe installation without using a car seat base.

It has an extra-large sun canopy providing UPF 50+ sun protection and can be retracted when not in use.

  • Pros
  • SensorSafe technology alerts parents of unsafe situations
  • Load leg attached to the base to offer extra stability
  • Telescopic linear arms for side-impact protection system to provide the first line of protection
  • 5-point harness that automatically changes when the headrest is adjusted
  • A travel system with Cybex and with many other stroller brands
  • Draw-back Extra-large sun canopy providing UPF 50+ sun protection
  • Using the European belt path routing, it can be installed without the base
  • The emergency contact receives the GPS coordinates of the car's last known position
  • Alerts come in through the car's OBD port and synchronise with the parent's cell phone
  • The app used is available on iOS and Android app platforms
  • It chimes to let the parent know the child is still secured in the infant seat even when the car is turned off
  • Has a 2-year warranty
  • Cons
  • It is a little smaller for a compact car seat carrier
  • It is relatively more expensive

4. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4

Primo Viaggio 4/35, Atmosphere
  • Made In Italy. Rear facing infant car seat for babies 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32...
  • Dual stage cushion system-first stage for 4 pound and up offers extra support on...
  • Car seat dimensions: 25.9 x 17.0 x 23.9 inches and base dimensions: 21.6 x 14.6x 11.5...
  • Patent handle and seat design have color coded belt paths to help in belt routing if...
  • Innovative shell design optimizes baby's safety and comfort, the well fitted...

This sleek, stylish and lightweight infant seat features a breathable fresco jersey fabric. The fabric comes in 14 different colours. The Peg Perego has a slim design that enhances its looks and has it as a perfect fit in small cars.

The adjustable side impact protection, the anti-rebound bar and six harness positions make it incredibly sturdy. Crash tests rate this infant seat as one of the best infant car seats in the market.

  • Pros
  • Rated as one of the most stylish
  • It is easy to install
  • Great crash test performance
  • Cons
  • More expensive than some
  • It is not compatible with many stroller brands

5. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat

Primo Viaggio 4/35, Atmosphere
  • Made In Italy. Rear facing infant car seat for babies 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32...
  • Dual stage cushion system-first stage for 4 pound and up offers extra support on...
  • Car seat dimensions: 25.9 x 17.0 x 23.9 inches and base dimensions: 21.6 x 14.6x 11.5...
  • Patent handle and seat design have color coded belt paths to help in belt routing if...
  • Innovative shell design optimizes baby's safety and comfort, the well fitted...

The Maxi-Cosi is rated as the best designed, easiest to clean, lightweight infant car seat. This car seat can be installed without the base. This makes it a city-friendly option for parents who mostly use ride-sharing services. To signal proper installation, the True Lock safety system uses colour-coded indicators.

The fabric is self-wicking and stain-resistant, which comes in handy since it keeps babies dry and comfortable, especially in warmer and humid temperatures.

This infant car seat has a fold-down stability or load leg, which extends from the seat base to the floor. It is designed to absorb impact by reducing the force on the car seat, helping protect the baby's head and neck from excess movement, and reducing the rebound in the event of a crash.

  • Pros
  • It is easy to installIt is easy to cleanHas an anti-rebound bar
  • Great crash test performance
  • Great design that is easy to use
  • Excellent extra safety features
  • Integrates a Maxi-Cosi adaptor that lets you connect it to different strollers
  • It can be installed without the base
  • Has a sleek design
  • Lightweight
  • Cons
  • Removing the seat cover can be a pain because you have to unthread the harness
  • More expensive

Buying Guide For The Best Infant Car Seats

There are so many infant seats out there with worthy features, but here's a list of other notably great infant car seats worth considering include:

  • Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat
  • Uppababy Mesa infant car seat
  • Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT infant car seat
  • Doona Doona car seat and stroller
  • Chicco Fit2 Infant and toddler seat
  • Clek Liing infant car seat

A. Best Fit

Car seats come in different sizes, and some are better fit for larger cars or smaller cars.

B. Ease of Installation

Some infant car seats can be installed using the seat belt or the LATCH system, which has proved an easier way to secure the infant car seat by using built-in anchors and tethers.

C. Level Safety Indications

The ideal infant car seat should have a built-in level safety indicator to signal it has safely been installed.

D. Fabric

Besides a great looking fabric, consider durability and how easy it’ll be to wash.

E. Stroller Compatibility

Not all car seats can be snapped onto the stroller frames. A stroller and car seat that is bought as a set is a travel system. Consider a separate adapter for that baby seat that you love that doesn't work with your stroller.

Frequently Asked Questions on The Best Infant Car Seat

1. Can I consider getting a used infant car seat?

Most second-hand car seats might not be entirely up to par when it comes to safety regulations. But if you can get it from someone you trust, look up these things:

  • The seat’s expiration date
  • Check if the model has ever been recalled
  • Check for the manufacturers guide on how to clean it while maintaining the integrity and safety of its features

2. Can I get the convertible car seat instead of the infant car seat?

Convertible car seats can be used from day one, but they are not designed to remove from the car, meaning you'll have to wake your little one every time you have to move. On the other hand, an infant car seat works better for you while running your errands because of the travel system.

Janice Warren

Janice is a full-time writer at Infantcore, writing about her experiences as mother of 4.

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