10 Best Infant Car Seats in 2018

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Car seats are absolutely vital. Sadly, even the best drivers can get into accidents on the road – whether they are caused by other drivers, or by the weather. As such, it is absolutely important to make sure that everyone in the car is protected as much as possible. Adults are adequately taken care of by seat belts, but babies and young children need car seats to make sure they are protected in the car.

Not only are these seats necessary for your child’s safety, but they are also a legal requirement. If you are caught with your kid in the car and they do not have a seat, you will face prosecution. Thankfully, there is a great range of seats available on the market at a variety of price points, meaning you are guaranteed to find the right seat for your needs.

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  • Good for newborns
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Easy to set up and go
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  • Merino wool lined
  • No fire retardants necessary
  • Luxurious and comfortable
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  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Crash tested

We consulted experts, bloggers and customer reviews to bring you this list of the top 10 best car seats for infants currently available to buy online.

View the Best Infant Car Seat, Below.

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1. Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

If you are looking for a first car seat to purchase in time for your baby arriving, this is a fantastic option. It is ultra lightweight, so you can easily carry them between the car and your destination without it causing any extra strain. It is designed for babies up to 35 pounds so you will need to upgrade once they are a few months old, but this is a nice comfortable seat that they will almost certainly fall asleep in whilst you are driving the car.

All Graco car seats are thoroughly tested using crash test equipment to make sure they stand up to United States safety standards. It uses their patented Click Connect system, that ensures you can easily attach the car seat in a single step. This means it is quicker for you to get set up, and saves a lot of hassle. It is a rear facing seat, which is great if you are sitting them in the front passenger seat and also means they are fully protected.

See more information on Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35.

Why We Like It
  • Good for newborns
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Easy to set up and go
Dimensions
28 x 18.7 x 15.6 Inches
Weight
7.5 lbs
Our Verdict

Most car seats for newborns will need to be replaced after some time, so you might as well make sure you get as good quality as you can to ensure their complete safety for those first few months. This seat has been thoroughly tested and is very hard wearing.

Editor Rating
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2. UPPAbaby MESA 2018

UPPAbaby MESA 2018

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

Newly released this year, this is a very luxurious option that will keep your infant as comfy as can be. It is lined with merino wool which is not only ultra soft but great at flecking away moisture and keeping them dry and snug. It is so far the only car seat that is able to pass United States safety standards without the use of fire retardants thanks to the Merino wool. It is a pricey car seat, but definitely worth it.

It is suitable for infants from four to 35 lbs, and an infant insert should be used if they are less than eight pounds. The headrest is adjustable to allow you to get them into a comfortable position. The canopy can also be adjusted, and this can help soothe the baby to sleep when they are in the car. It is very lightweight and very durable with excellent customer reviews.

See more information on UPPAbaby MESA 2018.

Why We Like It
  • Merino wool lined
  • No fire retardants necessary
  • Luxurious and comfortable
Dimensions
17 x 17.5 x 31 Inches
Weight
26 lbs
Our Verdict

Though upon first glimpse this may seem a little over the top, it is actually a great option if you want to keep your baby away from car seats that use fire retardants. It is pricey, but worth it if you are worried about the effects of exposure to such chemicals.

Editor Rating
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3. Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30

Graco SnugRide 30

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is a brilliant option if you are on a very strict budget and looking to save a little on their first car seat. It lasts the average child from birth until they are around two years of age, which is a lot more long lasting than many of the more expensive seats. It has been fully crash tested, as have all Graco seats, meaning you can be certain it is effective at protecting your child against car accidents. It is rear facing. This seat also comes with Graco’s unique Click Connect system which makes it easier for you to install the car seat in a single step.

It has been awarded Amazon’s Choice for infant car seats thanks to the excellent customer reviews and wonderful attention to quality displayed by Graco. The interior is very plush and soft, helping to keep baby comfortable whilst riding in the car. It is quite lightweight, making it easy for you to carry them around.

See more information on Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30.

Why We Like It
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to use
  • Crash tested
Dimensions
26.8 x 17.5 x 14 Inches
Weight
11 lbs
Our Verdict

As the cheapest option on this list, we absolutely recommend this if you are on a strict budget. It will need to be replaced once they reach two years old, so this allows you to use a cost-effective, but still 100% safe and comfortable, seat in the meanwhile.

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4. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1

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If you are looking for a truly great investment, this car seat will last kids from 5 to 100 lbs, taking them through most of the time they will need a car seat. It operates as a front facing car seat for babies from 5 to 40 lbs, a forward facing seat for toddlers from 22 to 65 lbs and a regular booster seat from 40 to 100 lbs. This makes it one of the most cost-effective options thanks to the excellent price point and eliminated the need to buy another seat when they get bigger.

It has been awarded Amazon's Choice for car seats thanks to its popularity with buyers and the great reviews they have left. The recline is adjustable in three positions to help you find the best fit with your car, and there are even cup holders once they are old enough to start drinking their own beverages unaided.

Not only does the seat meet all quality and safety standards required within the US, but Safety 1st have also included a one year warranty to help protect you against any damages made to the seat.

See more information on Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1.

Why We Like It
  • Three in one
  • Long lasting
  • One year warranty
Dimensions
24.5 x 19.2 x 24.2 Inches
Weight
18.7 lbs
Our Verdict

If you want to make a smart investment in a good car seat, this is excellent. The warranty, convertibility and huge weight limit means it will last them throughout their infancy and early childhood until they no longer need a car seat.

Editor Rating

5. Graco 4Ever 4-in-1

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1

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Just like the safety first seat, this will last kids their entire infancy and early childhood - with Graco saying it is suitable from birth until ten years old. It also operates as a rear facing, front facing, and booster seat, and is easy to convert. When used as a full car seat, the padding is very comfortable for babies and toddlers. There are also cup holders attached for kids to leave the juice bottles that they can sip on throughout the journey. The weight limit is from four to 120 lbs, the largest range of any car seat on this list.

It is quite a pricey seat, but the convertibility and sturdiness more than justify the cost. It has a simple latch system that, whilst a little more complicated than the other Graco seats, is quite easy to attach after a couple of basic steps. This seat cannot be carried, so you only need to attach it to the car once anyway and it can stay there until you need to convert it to a different kind of seat.

See more information on Graco 4Ever 4-in-1.

Why We Like It
  • High quality
  • Convertible
  • Long lasting
Dimensions
21.5 x 20 x 24 Inches
Weight
23 lbs
Our Verdict

This is probably the best choice if you have a high budget. Though not the only seat that lasts throughout childhood, it is certainly the most luxurious and easiest to use. The inside sections are even machine washable!

Editor Rating

6. Chicco KeyFit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30

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This simple car seat is aimed at newborns and young toddlers as it will carry kids from four to 30 lbs in weight - meaning it will last them until around two years old. Chicco is one of America's top brands for baby accessories, and their dedication to creating high-quality products is clear in this car seat. The padding is incredibly comfortable, and the supports can be removed once they are too big for them.

The car seat is easy to fit any car, simply thread the belt through the slot at the base. It has a simple five-point harness which keeps baby secure in the seat at all times, without causing them any discomfort or harm. It is easy to tighten and loosen in one movement, allowing you to adjust it as they grow. It is also compatible with Chicco strollers, helping to save you money on a chassis.

See more information on Chicco KeyFit 30.

Why We Like It
  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with strollers
  • Comfortable for the baby
Dimensions
27.5 x 17 x 24 Inches
Weight
17 lbs
Our Verdict

Chicco is a great brand with a good reputation across the United States, and their consistent dedication to quality good shines through in this car seat.

Editor Rating

7. Evenflo LiteMax 35

Evenflo LiteMax 35

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

Awarded Amazon's Choice thanks to excellent customer reviews, this is a very popular car seat among new parents and it is easy to see why. It comes in at a reasonable price point for an infant car seat and is still designed with plenty of quality features. The internal padding is all machine washable, making it easy for you to clean. Evenflo also performs extra testing outside of the minimum required by the United States government, showing their dedication to high quality.

The base can be detached or has a special stay-in-car fitting that allows you to keep it fitted into your vehicle at all times for your own convenience. The padding is very comfortable for babies and comes with quality head and body supports. It can carry children up to 35 lbs, which is slightly heavier than a lot of the infant-only car seats. It is very lightweight, and therefore very easy to carry around if you need to. It is also compatible with some strollers.

See more information on Evenflo LiteMax 35.

Why We Like It
  • Popular with parents
  • Extra testing was undertaken
  • High-quality construction
Dimensions
18.3 x 17.8 x 30 Inches
Weight
16 lbs
Our Verdict

Evenflo goes above and beyond to ensure their products don't just fit the minimum requirements - they exceed them! All of this, and they are still able to design a very comfortable and lightweight seat.

Editor Rating

8. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible

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If you are on a budget, but still want to consider a convertible option, this seat is a little more budget friendly, however, will only last kids from five to 85 lbs. This means it works for as long as they need a rear facing or a forward facing car seat. Nevertheless, this can still save you a lot of money in the long run, as often booster seats are the cheapest of the three anyway. This seat is also fitted with extra comfortable padding that will soothe them from birth until their early childhood.

The clip is easy to operate as it uses magnets to attach. This keeps it sturdy against any potential car accidents, but also makes sure it is easy to get the kid in and out of when you need to. There are padded harness holders on the straps that help to keep them comfortable against your child's body. As Maxi-Cosi sell the same seat in the EU, it actually exceeds United States federal safety standards, as well as all state-specific standards. It comes with a one year warranty.

See more information on Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible.

Why We Like It
  • Convertible
  • Easy to use
  • One year warranty
Dimensions
18.5 x 20.8 x 29.6 Inches
Weight
23.7 lbs
Our Verdict

This is an awesome car seat if you want to get something that will last them longer than regular infant-only seats, but also do not quite have the budget for the 3-in-1 options. It is very safe, and the warranty is a great bonus.

Editor Rating

9. Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler

Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is another fantastic option from Chicco, one of the most trusted brands in America. It comes with a two-stage base, which means it can be used in both front facing and rear facing configurations. As babies grow into toddlers, they may prefer to be front facing so they can join in more with the rest of the family in the car - this seat allows that to happen without you having to prematurely buy a new one.

The interior fabrics can be machine washed on a cool setting but are also designed with easy clean materials that mean you can easily perform on the spot touch ups if it is only a small bit of mess. This will last kids from birth to 24 months old and can be turned into the front facing position from as early as nine months old for babies that are average weight.

See more information on Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler.

Why We Like It
  • Trusted brand
  • Easy to clean
  • Can be used front facing
Dimensions
28 x 17 x 16 Inches
Weight
20.5 lbs
Our Verdict

Having kids switch to the front facing mode from as young as possible is always a nice idea to help them feel more included in the family as well as allow them the opportunity to develop their early speaking skills.

Editor Rating

10. Britax B-Safe 35

Britax B-Safe 35

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Read Customer Reviews Here »

This is a great car seat from a relatively new company for infants up to 35 lbs in weight and 32 inches in height. It has plenty of extra safety and comfort features including shock absorbing properties, a sturdy steel frame, and protection against side impacts. It comes in three different color schemes to suit your own tastes and has had a ton of extra safety tests.

It has multiple recline modes allowing you to adjust this based on the shape of your vehicle seats. It is compatible with all of the strollers released by Britax, as well as some of the more generic strollers released by other outlets. It is easy to fit in a single step and has reinforced seatbelts.

See more information on Britax B-Safe 35.

Why We Like It
  • Extra protection
  • Different colors available
  • Easy to install
Dimensions
26.5 x 17.8 x 25 Inches
Weight
10 lbs
Our Verdict

This is a good car seat that comes in at a reasonable price but still provides many of the extras you would usually find in a more expensive seat.

Editor Rating

Buyer’s Guide

 Legal Requirements

It is useful to know what the legal requirements for car seats are before you go ahead and make your purchase. In the United States, children younger than eight who weigh less than 80 lbs and are shorter than 4 feet and 9 inches must have a car seat or booster seat. It is also recommended for children slightly older than eight who weigh and measure less than these.

Infant car seat manufacturers are legally required to undergo rigorous testing with their products before they can sell them. This involves crash testing and ensuring the seats are fire retardant. Any seats that are also sold in Canada, the EU or Australia have to undergo even more rigorous testing so these will be even safer.

infant-car-seat-image-3

Height and weight limit

To be classed as small enough for an infant seat, your baby (or young toddler) has to weigh less than 30 lbs and measure less than 32 inches tall. All of the seats aimed solely at infants will be within these limits. At this point in their growth, you will have to put them in a rear-facing seat to make sure they are completely safe against any car accidents that may occur.

If you want to get a seat that will last them their entire childhood, you should aim for a seat that at the very least ranges from 5 lbs to the minimum legal requirement of 80lbs. Anything over this, whilst not legally necessary, is a great bonus to ensure additional protection until they are definitely over the legal minimum height for sitting without a car seat.

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Ease of use

Most modern infant car seats have a simple mechanism for attaching them to the seat in your car, which usually involves pulling the main seatbelt through their base and attaching it at the other end. Some older models can be more complicated. Check customer reviews, which will often let you know how easy it was to install the seat.

infant-car-seat-image-2Another great factor that makes your life easier is if the seat can be carried and if it is lightweight. This allows you to move your baby around once you get out of the car without disrupting them too much.

Other factors

There are some fantastic additional features included with many of these car seats – ranging from cup holders to machine washable padding – that really depends on your personal preferences. If you would rather keep your baby away from flame retardant chemicals, the only option currently available to you is the 2018 Uppababy MESA. Nevertheless, these chemicals are not harmful to children by the time the car seat is ready to be sold so it is not a big worry.

If you want to save money, try to get a car seat that can also attach to your stroller. This not only means you do not have to spend money on an expensive chassis, but it also gives you even more options to move the child around without disturbing them.

infant-car-seat-image-4

Conclusion

Car seats are absolutely important for children under eight – not just legally, but for their safety. They help provide them with extra protection in the case you do get into an accident, and give you peace of mind that they will be safe as you drive along. The great range available lets you choose the best features according to your preferences.

It is worth keeping in mind that all car seats are legally required to be safety tested before they can be sold in the US – so as long as you buy from a US company and do not import then they will be completely safe for your kid.

This list of the top ten best products currently available is a great guide to what to look for in car seats, and if you decide to do further research we hope you will at least consider the factors we have mentioned.

Expert Tip

Car seats sold in most EU countries legally have to go through extra testing to protect against side impacts. Not all brands advertise this, but if they sell their product in the EU then this is an extra layer of protection that you are guaranteed to get from the seat.