Babies, Baby Gear

The Best Infant Car Seats for 2018

When you have a baby, preparing for the worst-case scenarios is vital, and car accidents are at the front of the list. Buying the best infant car seat becomes a top priority when you have a baby. Unfortunately, it is also a priority that too many parents do not take seriously.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, between 2010 to 2014, 18,500 fatal accidents involved children under 15. Of the children in those accidents, 15.9 percent died in those accidents. In 2017, a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics found that 43 percent of children who died in the car accidents were not restrained properly or not restrained at all.

best infant car seat

Infants, however, are in less danger than kids four and up because of their car seats. But, to make sure your infant is as safe, you have to buy the best infant car seats and correctly install them.

Best Infant Car Seat FAQs

Before you buy one of the best infant car seats on our list, it is crucial that you know a few basic things about them.

How are infant car seats different than regular car seats?

There are three standard types of car seats: infant car seat, convertible car seat and booster seats. You use an infant car seat for the two years of your baby's life, and it faces the rear of the car. The seat usually has two parts: a base and a seat. The seat snaps into the base of the seat that is in your car and also in and out of strollers.

The second type of car seat is a convertible car seat. This seat is a rear-facing car seat for the time your baby needs to face the back of the car, and then it faces forward afterward. Convertible car seats also include 3-in-1 seats. These seats start off as infant seats, then forward facing seats, and finally, change to booster seats. Or they start as forward facing seats, then convert to a high-back booster and a backless booster. You cannot use the second type of 3-in-1 for infants, so make sure you know what you are buying.

Finally, the last type of car seat is the booster seat. You use a booster seat when your child outgrows the convertible car seat. The booster seat uses your car's seat belts, and your munchkin should use one until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall or 8 years old.

How long should I use an infant car seat?

Pediatricians and other experts used to tell parents to keep their infants in rear-facing seats until they were a year old. However, that has changed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should face the rear until they are two-years-old. According to a 2007 Injury Prevention study, small children are 75 percent less likely to die or be injured if they are in a rear-facing seat until they are two.

How do I install an infant car seat?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of four car seats have not been installed correctly. That means that three of those four children are in danger every single time they are in a car. You have two options when it comes time to install a car seat. First, you can read the instructions that come with the car seat thoroughly and install it yourself. Each car seat is different, so do not assume you know what you are doing.

The second option you have is taking it to your local fire station and asking a first responder for help.

How We Reviewed

To bring you the best infant car seats, we scoured the internet for reviews and consumer reports of each product we have listed. As a result, we are only giving you a list of highly rated car seats.

Overall Price Range of the Best Infant Car Seat

The best infant car seats vary in price. If you have a limited budget, you can find car seats for as low as 50 or 60 dollars. If the price is not a concern, you may spend as much as 350 to 400 dollars. It just depends on what your budget is and what bells and whistles you want.

Best Infant Car Seats of 2018 Comparison Table

product

image

our rating

price

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Safety_1st_Guide_65_Convertible_Car_Seat

Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Maxi_Cosi_Pria_85_Max_Convertible_Car_Seat

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Evenflo_Symphony_Elite_All-In-One_Convertible_Car_Seat

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Chicco_KeyFit_30_Infant_Car_Seat

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: UPPAbaby_MESA_Infant_Car_Seat

Baby Jogger 2016 City Go Infant Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Baby_Jogger_2016_City_Go_Infant_Car_Seat

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

best infant car seat product image: Peg_Perego_Primo_Viaggio

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 Infant Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Graco_SnugRide_Click_Connect_30_Infant_Car_Seat

Graco 4Ever All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Graco_4Ever_All-In-One_Convertible_Car_Seat

Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat

best infant car seat product image: Britax_B-Safe_35_Infant_Car_Seat

10 Best Infant Car Seats of 2018

Without further ado, in no particular order, here is our list of the best infant car seats of 2018.

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Safety_1st_Guide_65_Convertible_Car_Seat

You can use the Safety 1st Guide 65 convertible car seat as both a rear- and forward-facing car seat. It holds kids from 5 pounds to 65 pounds, and you can easily keep your baby rear facing for the recommended two years or up to 40 pounds.

The seat also has side impact protection and an adjustable headrest. It weighs about 15 pounds, and the dimensions are 30 inches high x 18 inches wide x 14 inches long, making it perfect for small and large cars.

Other features include a 5-point harness with up-front adjustment, three buckle locations for proper occupant fit, five harness heights, a removable cup holder, EPP energy absorbing foam, and lumbar body pillows.

Parents who have purchased the Safety 1st seat have rated it 4 out of 5 stars. However, there have been some complaints. Some customers have said that the car seat is not level with their cars and others say it works better as a forward facing seat.

Keep in mind though, the people who have said it is not level may just be installing the seat incorrectly. Despite the complaints, 75 percent of the parents who bought it gave it top ratings.

Pros

  • Slim and portable
  • Comfortable for small and big toddlers
  • Stain and smell fee

Cons

  • Can't be installed properly
  • Buckle is difficult to tighten
  • Hard to clean

Quality

price

our rating

$

Maxi Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Maxi_Cosi_Pria_85_Max_Convertible_Car_Seat

The Maxi Cosi is another convertible car seat, but it is a higher end seat. Like the Safety 1st seat, the Maxi Cosi seat is rear-facing up to 40 pounds.

As a forward facing seat, your child can safely sit in it until they are 85 pounds. It also has side impact protection, with air protect technology that keeps your child's head safe, and all of its paddings are machine washable. The seat weighs 23 pounds, and its dimensions are 18.5 inches high x 20.8 inches wide x 29.6 inches long.

Other features of this seat include a cup holder, ClipQuik auto-magnetic chest clip, removable insert cushions to give infants a snug fit, and Perfect Fit one-hand harness height adjustment.

Parents who have purchased this car seat seem to love it for the most part. It is one of the best infant car seats on Amazon with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating. Some people have complained though.

A few customers said that it tilts to the side and others complained that ClipQuik is extremely difficult to open.

Like we mentioned, this seat is on the higher end and retails for about $250.

Pros

  • Cover is easy to remove for washing
  • Easy to install
  • Head rest and head side cushions are durable

Cons

  • Time-consuming to buckle
  • Magnetic chest clip is difficult to undo
  • Will not properly secure

Quality

price

our rating

$

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Evenflo_Symphony_Elite_All-In-One_Convertible_Car_Seat

This all-in-one convertible car seat holds children from 5 pounds to 110 pounds. For rear-facing, your baby can stay in the seat until they weigh 40 pounds.

The forward facing seat works until they are 65 pounds and the booster seat is good up to 110 pounds. The Evenflo seat has a 5-point harness, auto-retracting SURE latch, side impact protection, and its dimensions are 19.5 inches high x 21.5 inches wide x 28 inches long.

Parents who have purchased the Evenflo seat rated it 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Other parents have had some complaints including that the straps come loose and it does not recline enough.

Pros

  •  Cushy, super plush seat
  • User friendly and fit for small car
  • Plenty of cushion

Cons

  • Straps are hard to tighten
  • Head portion very loose
  • Hard to install

Quality

price

our rating

$

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Safety_1st_Guide_65_Convertible_Car_Seat

The Chicco infant car seat touts itself as the number one rated car seat in America, and it does feature some pretty cool things. First of all, it holds infants from four to 30 pounds.

The car seat has two easy-to-read bubble levels that let you know if you installed it correctly. It also has a spring-loaded leveling foot that helps you out.

Some of the car seat's other features include a newborn positioner, one-pull harness, detachable car seat base, and EPS energy-absorbing foam for impact protection. The dimensions of the seat are 27.5 x 17 x 24 inches, and it weighs 17 pounds.

Parents who bought the Chicco raved about it for the most part, and as a result, it has a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating. Some customers, however, have complained that the chest latch wore out quickly and it is heavy.

Pros

  • The base is easy to install
  • Very sturdy and easy to adjust straps.
  • The infant insert is great

Cons

  • Deep bucket seat gets way too hot

Quality

price

our rating

$

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: UPPAbaby_MESA_Infant_Car_Seat

The MESA car seat is one of the best infant car seats, and while it is a little expensive, it's worth it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given the car seat a 5-star rating.

The seat is the only one that uses a technology that alerts you when the seat is installed properly. An indicator light turns from red to green when you have strapped it in right. It holds infants from four to 35 pounds, weighs 25 pounds, and its dimensions are 17 x 17.5 x 31 inches.

The seat's other features include an adjustable headrest, side impact protection, a 5-point harness, and soft, breathable fabric.

Parents who bought this car seat for their tiny humans are mostly happy with it. Its Amazon rating is 4.3 out of 5 stars. However, some parents complained that the straps are too short and the buckle is hard to use.

Pros

  • Lighter than some less expensive car seats
  • Fits into the car seat base perfectly, and very securely
  • Very well designed car seat

Cons

  • Head support is also too high for newborns 
  • Canopy is flimsy
  • minus-circle
    The inside cushions can not be removed and are very uncomfortable for the baby Element

Quality

price

our rating

$

Baby Jogger 2016 City Go Infant Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Baby_Jogger_2016_City_Go_Infant_Car_Seat

The Baby Jogger City GO baby car seat fits perfectly in Baby Jogger stroller with an adapter that is sold separately. The seat only needs a seat belt to be secure in your vehicle, but it still comes with an easy to install six position base. It also has an adjustable headrest. The car seat is a rear-facing seat that supports between four to 35 pounds.

The Jogger car seat has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, but some parents did say they disliked some things. For example, customers complained their babies were cramped after using it for just a short period. Others said there are two warning labels on the headrest that irritate their infants.

Pros

  • Head support is so nice and comfy
  • Fast and very easy to use
  • Very safe and functional

Cons

  • Straps are also very hard to adjust 
  • The headrests have giant warning labels on them, which are ugly and not a breathable material.

Quality

price

our rating

$

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio


best infant car seat product image: Peg_Perego_Primo_Viaggio

Theis car seat is a convertible seat made in Italy. It can be a rear-facing seat until your baby is 45 pounds and then work as a forward-facing seat until they weigh 65 pounds.

The seat also has side impact protection that will protect your baby's head, neck, and spine in an accident. It adjusts to ten different positions and has energy absorbing foam.

Other features include a contoured steel back plate, contoured base, top hook for extra stability, and the manufacturer makes them with high quality, soft materials.

The car seat was given 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon by parents. The only complaints are that toddlers can loosen the harness and the car seat moves sometimes. Remember though, three out of four car seats are not installed properly.

This car seat retails for roughly $350.

Pros

  • Install is easier and faster
  • Safe, sturdy, comfortable
  • It is easy to clean

Cons

  • Seat is very hard to use if you are using LATCH.
  • Recline is too high 
  • Shoulder pads are very stiff 

Quality

price

our rating

$

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 Infant Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Graco_SnugRide_Click_Connect_30_Infant_Car_Seat

Graco's SnugRide is one of the best infant car seats on the market. It is a rear-facing car seat that will hold your child until they are 30 pounds. It has a 5-point harness, and it has been side-impact tested.

Additional features are a 3-position adjustable base, canopy to keep the sun out of the baby's eyes and adjustable cushions for the head. The car seat is the lightest of those on this list at 11 pounds. Its dimensions are 26.8 x 17.5 x 14 inches.

Parents who have purchased the car seat are happy with it for the most part. It has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. Not everyone is happy with it though. Some parents complained that the base got stuck in their car and others said it's hard to snap into the base.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • It can be removed by pressing the red button and lifting a handle at the back of the seat in one quick motion
  • The straps are also simple to use and fit snugly around baby

Cons

  • Handle is rough to hold
  • Click system is terrible
  • Car seat is unstable

Quality

price

our rating

$

Graco 4Ever All-In-One Convertible Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Graco_4Ever_All-In-One_Convertible_Car_Seat

The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat is the second Graco on our list because it is one of the most trusted brands for baby stuff. This car seat is a lot more expensive than the other one, but it can last up to ten years.

It is a rear-facing car seat from four to forty pounds. The seat then converts into a forward facing car seat until your child is 65 pounds. After they reach that weight, it turns into a high-back booster up to 100 pounds and finally, a backless booster until 120 pounds.

Other features include a 10-position headrest, 6-position recline and it has side-impact protections. It weighs 23 pounds, and its dimensions are 21.5 x 20 x 24 inches.

Parents who bought the car seat rated it 4.7 out of 5 stars. Unfortunately, some customers complained about short straps and others said their kids look uncomfortable.

This car seat retails for about $300.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust no-rethread harness with lots of heights
  • Latch system worked and installed quickly
  • The seat recline nicely

Cons

  • Terrible to install rear facing
  • Bulky and heavy

Quality

price

our rating

$

Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat


best infant car seat product image: Britax_B-Safe_35_Infant_Car_Seat

Our final product on our best infant car seats list is the Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat. This car seat has energy-absorbing foam that shields your child from both front and side impacts.

It supports infants up to 35 pounds, weighs ten pounds, and its dimensions are 17.75x25x26.5 inches. The seat also has built-in lock-offs that ensure it is safely secured in your vehicle, an easy release harness, and an extra large canopy.

The car seat was rated 4.2 out of 5 stars by parents. However, while most reviews were positive, there were some complaints. A few parents complained that the seat is too narrow.

Pros

  • Easily snaps in and out
  • The leveling system on the base is great

Cons

  • Too narrow
  • Not much padding for comfort
  • The latch system loosens up by wiggling the base slightly

Quality

price

our rating

$

See related video:

Our Verdict

All of the car seats on our list are pretty great and would be worth a buy. They are all highly rated by parents just like you and have great features. What you choose depends on how much money you have in your budget and which dimensions you think will be right for your vehicle.

Is there a car seat that you think should be on our list? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured image: CC by NC-ND 2.0, by Will Scott, via Flickr with text overlay

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