Infant Car Seat Buying Guide

Infant Car Seat Buying Guide

It’s safe to say that there is no purchase more important than your baby’s car seat. If you are a mommy-to-be, you probably have already covered every sharp edge in your home and have installed more safety latches on your cabinets and drawers than you can count.

At the end of the day, no safety measure that you take for your baby is as crucial as choosing the perfect car seat. With so many products on the market, all offering different features and claiming to be “the best,” we understand how overwhelming this purchase can be—especially for first-timers. That is why we are narrowing down the top baby car seats of 2020 and what other moms are saying about them. But before we get into that, we’re going to back up a bit and go over some of the basic information you need to know before purchasing your car seat.

A Little Background Info

Let’s take it from the top: day one of leaving the hospital with your new beautiful baby. While the laws on baby car seat safety may vary slightly depending on which state you live in, you are required to have a car seat if you wish to take your baby home from the hospital in a car. Nation-wide safety regulations state that babies must ride in a car seat until they are at least 7 years old and most states now require children to use booster seats until they are at least 60 pounds.

Regardless of the car seat you select, you can rest assured that all car seats currently on the market meet the U.S. government’s standards. This means that any car seat you purchase is designed to meet safety standards and keep your little one safe in the event of an accident.

There are countless car seat products for you to choose from, but they typically all fall under three categories. The three basic types of car seats are baby car seats, convertible car seats, and belt-positioning booster seats. Baby car seats always face the rear of the vehicle. They have a weight limit of between 22 and 35 pounds. Convertible car seats can face both the rear or the front, depending on the child’s age. These car seats are typically designed to hold a child of up to 40 pounds when rear-facing and up to 70 pounds forward-facing. The booster seat is intended for children who have outgrown the convertible seat but are not yet big enough to be without the additional support.

Top Baby Car Seats of 2021

Now that you have a bit of background information on the safety regulations and the different types of seats out there – both for the car and the dinner table – let’s dive into the top baby car seats of 2020 and what other moms are saying about them!

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco Keyfit 30 Zip Infant Car Seat - Black

They don’t call it the #1-rated infant car seat in America for nothing! This baby car seat is easy to install with a Recline Sure leveling foot and Ride Right bubble level indicators. It offers removable newborn head and body supports and is intended for infants from 4 to 30 pounds and 30 inches in height.

The carrier’s foam design keeps your baby safe with its ability to absorb energy from an impact. The five-point harness keeps your baby in place and the canopy blocks the sun, keeping your baby comfortable at all times.

This car seat’s dimensions are 17” x 27.5” x 24” with a weight of 17 pounds. Although this seat may be too large for those with smaller vehicles, it is an amazing infant car seat and will provide your baby with the utmost comfort and safety.

Maxi-Cosi Pria Max 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Blackened Pearl

The Pria Max converts for each stage of your little one’s life—from rear-facing to front-facing to a booster seat in just a matter of seconds.

The GCell® cushioning system keeps your child safe, while the seat’s structure protects against side impacts. The Out-Of-The-Way harness system keeps straps in place, so your little one doesn’t get tangled up while you’re getting them in and out. Another awesome feature of this seat is the fabric that is designed to channel away heat and moisture, keeping your baby comfortable. And speaking of fabric, it is also machine washable and is dryer-friendly!

The dimensions for this seat are 25.25” x 24” x 19.88” and the weight is 22 pounds. Discover for yourself why other moms are obsessed with this car seat!

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat | Baby Car Seat, Redmond, Amazon Exclusive

This highly-rated infant car seat is complete with wonderful easy installation features to make traveling with your newborn a breeze! You won’t have to wonder if the seat is correctly installed due to the level indicator feature and the ‘click’ sound. The InRight LATCH method takes only seconds to install so that you can be on your way in no time.

The seat offers four different recline positions for your baby’s comfort. The canopy rotates so that you can adjust it to block out the sun. The seat’s SafetyCore technology is designed to absorb any impact shock to keep your baby safe.

The dimensions are 29.1” x 18.3” x 16.2” and the weight is 18.8 pounds. This is one of the lightest seats on the market. So, you don’t need to break a sweat when getting from point A to point B with your little one.

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat -Jordan (Charcoal Melange)Merino Wool Version/Naturally Fire Retardant

This car seat boasts incredibly easy and safe features. But don’t just take our word for it! The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration awarded this car seat a 5-star ease-of-use rating.

Simply clip the latch connectors and push the base down with your body weight to secure it. This seat also includes an adjustable no-rethread headrest to cater to your baby as he or she grows.

This award-winning car seat offers incredible side impact protection and is flame resistant. It weighs 9.9 pounds and is intended for children between 4 and 35 pounds and up to 32” in height.

Chicco Fit4 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Chicco Fit4 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat | Easiest All-in-One from Infant to Booster | 10 Years of Use - Stratosphere

The Chicco Fit4 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is designed to fit your child comfortably from the time they’re born all the way to ten years old. The system has multi-staged construction and removable layers to provide more room for your growing child. It has a 10-position adjustable headrest and 9 recline positions.

It has a ReclineSure leveling system, RideRight bubble levels, a SuperCinch LATCH tightener, and LockSure belt-tightening system for easy installation. The DuoGuard side-impact protections has two layers of protection with a steel-reinforced frame and energy-absorbing foam to keep your child safe.

This seat is intended for children up to 100 pounds. The dimensions are 21.5″ x 19″ x 26.5.”

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 Protection, Ashton (E1A183D)

Featuring a lightweight, ergonomic design with safety features that work together to protect your child beyond established standards, the BRITAX B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat lets you drive assured that baby is comfy and safe for the journeys ahead.

The rear-facing seat features a layer of side impact protection and the patented safe cell impact protection system includes a steel frame and energy-absorbing base. The removable infant head pad cushions your infant while providing additional support. Easy installation using a safe center latch and built-in lock-offs makes it simple to secure the infant car seat base. The B safe 35 car seat is FAA approved without the base. Thanks to the click & go system, you can securely attach the infant car seat to any Britax or bob stroller to make a brilliant travel system that is perfect for your on the go lifestyle.

The B-Safe 35 infant car seat can be used rear-facing up to 35 pounds and fits a child height 32” or less. Infant car seat dimensions 17.75”  x 25” x 26.5.”

NUNA Pipa Infant Car Seat & Base

Easy installation is the main thing you’ll notice (and appreciate) about the Nuna PIPA. Its True Lock system with color-coded indicators (green means installation is complete; red tells you there’s more to do) lets you know when all the buckles are fastened and locks are in place. At less than 8 lbs, the PIPA is also a really light car seat, and considering you’ll have a baby in it, too, the lighter the better.

This seat gets points for safety and comfort. A fold-down stability leg wedges against the car floor, absorbing collision forces in an accident and stabilizing your baby’s ride the rest of the time. The pull-down canopy, called the Dream Drape, creates a shady cocoon for your babe, while the mesh window lets you check in on them. Another callout for its high-end fabrics that make this one of the most luxurious car seats on the market.

The NUNA Pipa fits a child weight range of 4 – 32 lbs and has a child height limit of 32.” Infant car seat dimensions: 21” x 17” x 28.”

Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat With Base, Night Black, One Size

Introducing one of the lightest infant car seats in its class, with an ergonomic handle that provides extra comfort for parents while carrying. Transferring from the stay-in-car base to a Maxi-Cosi, Quinny, or other premium stroller is a breeze, making the Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat a great solution for parents looking for a complete travel system they can use from birth.

The Mico 30’s seat features self-wicking fabric that deodorizes and draws liquids away from the skin to help keep baby dry and comfortable during the ride. The innovative seat pad design allows for removal within seconds; no rethreading of harnesses required. The comfortable premium fabrics and padded 5-point harness covers keep baby secure and cozy during the ride, and the included Cozi-Dozi head insert is perfect for the extra support needed by infants.

Rear-facing from 5-30 pounds and up to 32” and includes a convenient stay-in-car adjustable car seat base. Infant car seat dimensions: 16″ x 18″ x 31.”

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base – Car Seat to Stroller – Nitro Black – US Version

Doona’s infant car seat and stroller combo was designed to provide parents a safe and practical solution for their baby, both in and outside of the car. It is the world’s first infant car seat and stroller in one, providing a complete and fully integrated travel system, allowing you to move from car seat to stroller in seconds.

The sleek and stylish design allows you to navigate the streets at ease, without disturbing your sleeping child when hopping in a car, travelling by bus or walking up the stairs. The revolutionary car seat and stroller provides a safe and practical solution for parents on-the-go. Doona is the only car seat to have been tested and certified as an infant car seat, a stroller, and an infant carrier providing overarching safety for your child in all circumstances. With its unique 3-layer side impact protection, Anti-Rebound Bar crash technology, superior 5-point safety harness, and ergonomic infant insert, Doona is one of the safest car seats available today.

The Doona Infant Insert’s near-flat ergonomic design boosts your newborn’s upper and lower back and ensures that your baby’s neck and back are ergonomically aligned.

Suitable from 4 lbs. to 35 lbs, max. 32 Inches Height, rear-facing only. Folded: 23.6×17.3″ x 26″; Unfolded: 39″ x 17.3″ x 32.2.”

Wrapping It Up

There you have it: the top baby car seats of 2020. All of these car seats offer wonderful benefits and features to get your baby to and from your destination safely.

Remember that just as every baby is different, so is every car seat. Choose the one that meets your specific needs and learn how to properly install it. After that, you and your little one are ready to hit the road!

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  2. I have the Chicco Keyfit 30 which I love!! It fits well in my Camry, but just found out it does not fit in our other car. What car seat would you guys recommend that is smaller?