A Comprehensive Guide On Best Car Seats for Every Age

It is mandated by law that all infants be secured in a child restraint system at the car’s back seat, and failure to do so constitutes a standard offense.

Best Car Seats For Infants

Best car seats for infants

When expecting, one of the most important things parents have to include in their hospital ride once the baby is on the way is a car seat. An infant car seat is designed to cradle and secure your newborn baby while you’re in a running car to avoid injury or death in the event of a collision.

It usually fits babies up to two years old or just until they need to be transferred onto a forward-facing car seat that is designed for toddlers.

Infant car seats are usually made to be installed in a rear-facing position since this is the safest position for babies who might be more susceptible to serious injuries during an accident due to their size, weight, and lack of motor development and muscle control.

Below are some of the top names when it comes to infant car seats:

1. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT Infant Car Seat

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Graco is a household name for baby products and their SnugRide infant car seats are top-rated my so may parents who swear by the brand and the numerous models that they carry.

The best things about this infant car seat are that it is reasonably priced for its quality, it is so simple and easy to use, it has a larger than average canopy to shield baby from the sun, and the shoulder straps are so easy to adjust.

However, this particular model can be quite hot since the material used is not a breathable fabric. It makes clean-ups and spills a bit more manageable, but if you live in a hot place, your baby might complain.

2. 2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

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This car seat is a bit up there when it comes to pricing, but it does make up for it by being one of the sturdiest and the most stylish of the bunch.

It automatically attaches onto Vista strollers without need for any adapters and it does not need a latch base to attach to your car’s backseat.

Its fire retardant natural material sounds pretty impressive but be wary of it in hot or humid weather since it can be quite insulating.

There also have been several complaints of poor fit, especially for newborns so better do a test before dishing out the dough for this seat.

3. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

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Chicco easily boasts of being the number one rated infant car seat in America and all the rave reviews seem to support that claim.

It is super easy to install and comes with the proper guidance and tools to let you know if you’ve installed it properly such as the level indicators on its base. It also clicks into a stroller and has a canopy and a handle its purpose extends outside of car use.

The canopy is not that all-encompassing though, and the handles do get in the way of it so don’t expect too much in that department.

4. Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

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Imagine not having to transfer your baby from car seat to stroller and vice versa at every stop? Wouldn’t that be divine?

Well, the Doona infant car seat has just made that dream possible for parents around the world. The innovative car seat comes with wheels that you can fold out of the car easily so you won’t have to wake your sleeping baby to get out of the car.

It comes with a hefty price tag though, for so something can only accommodate babies up to a year -and that’s even stretching it!

But hey, if money’s not a problem for you, and ease and comfort are at the top of your list, this is definitely a must-consider purchase.

5. Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat – 4 to 35 Pounds

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From the looks of he deep contoured shell of the Britax alone, you might already think how well-cradled and protected your little bundle of joy is while traveling in a car.

The sides are designed to withstand impact and is an extra dimension of protection for your baby.

The weight of it alone is a testimony as to just how sturdy it is, and this is fairly okay if you don’t plan on taking it in an out of your car often.

Best Car Seats For Toddlers

Best car seats for toddlers

Parents of toddlers know all too well how rowdy and adventurous kids of this age can be.

This is one of the reasons why you can’t trust a toddler with a seatbelt alone and why you definitely still need a car seat for you growing baby.

These car seats are designed with multiple point harnesses that are positioned and made to hold and restrain your toddler during a car ride while keeping them comfortable and safe in case of an accident.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among children and the risk is cut by almost ninety percent in the presence of a properly installed car seat.

Below are some of out top picks for toddler car seats:

1. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

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The best feature of this Graco car seat is its extend to fit feature which allows you to place your child in the rear-facing position for as long as possible.

Safety experts all agree that rear-facing is the safest position for children during a car crash, so keeping your child in this position for as long as possible is the best move.

This extension to fit feature may only be optimized for cars that allow for the extension. If you own a small unit, best to check the fit before making a purchase.

2. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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This car seat is pretty simple and straightforward. It is designed to grow with your child from baby to toddlerhood so you definitely get a bang for your buck with this one.

It also can be positioned front and rear-facing so you can settle your baby in your car appropriately. There are some installation issues with it though.

It may take some effort in strapping it in tightly. Luckily, there are a couple of Youtube videos to help parents out.

3. Britax Pioneer Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

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If your kid is on the bigger or taller side of the spectrum and you’re worried he or she might fast outgrow a toddler car seat and yet you’re sure your kid still does not qualify for a big kid booster, the Britax combination can bridge your child from car seat to booster so that you can get your money’s worth.

Just make sure that you install it according to your child’s weight.

It does go up to 70 pounds but beyond 45, the LATCH system won’t be as effective and you’ll need to use your seatbelts which could be a challenge for some.

4. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Car Seat

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As the brand name implies, this company prides itself on giving your child the comfiest ride of their life through premium fabrics and padding that is only the best of the best.

It can be quite a challenge to install though, but once it’s in all the effort will be definitely worth it.

5. Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat

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This may seem big and bulky since it’s made for bigger kids, but it is super quick and easy to install that it is the perfect toddler car seat for families who often switch cars.

However, this is a mainly forward-facing car seat so if your toddler is still on the smaller side, you might want to consider another model.

Best Car Seats For Big Kiddos

Best car seats for big kiddos

Your child has now outgrown his toddlerhood and maybe even going to school already.

You may be tempted to just strap him onto your back seat with a seatbelt, but before you do that, try to stop and think of how different your built is from your five or six year old.

Their bodies are still not as strong and compact enough to handle the force from a collision and a loose-fitting and improperly positioned seatbelt strap can cause a lifetime of disability or life-threatening injuries.

So instead of preempting the biggest regret of your life, take a look, at these safety booster seats which are total lifesavers for big kids:

1. Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System

You can’t beat the price of this booster for the amount of protection it gives a child during an accident.

Even as a booster seat, it still comes with a Latch system for that extra stability, making it a while lot safer for your big kid.

It’s not the comfiest one of the bunch though, so if you’re going on a long trip, expect some whining somewhere down the road,

2. Britax USA Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

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From harness mode to booster mode, the Britax car seat has the ability to grow with you child as they transition out of their diapers.

Their ClickTight innovation allows you the peace of mind that you have installed you seat correctly ever time and with that, you child is safe with every car ride in this car seat-booster hybrid.

It does take to certain car types and ease of correct installation may depend heavily on how your car’s seats are built and shaped.

Best to try it out first or check out reviews of car owners who find this unit most compatible with.

3. Evenflo Big Kid Sport No Back Booster

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No fuss, super quick and easy to install and with accessible cup holders for sippies and snacks.

What’s not to love about the Evenflo High back? It is truly a big kid’s chair though as it does not have the ability to transition.

It specifies that it is for children above 30 pounds, but they also have to be at least 40 inches for them to get to safely ride in it.

4.) Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat

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Now here’s a seat that’s raved about by parents simply because of how much their kids seem to love it. It is build with high quality and durability and can even be handed down to younger siblings if they’re close enough in age.

It is comfortable enough that you can easily go on long drives and your kids can be content and comfortable in their own seats.

It has cup holders conveniently located at the sides and folds discreetly when not in use or if you need the extra space at the sides.

But since it is built to last with thick fabric, it might be a bit challenging for parents to pull seat belts across.

Plus the shoulder strap booster guides can easily be manipulated by older kids so you might have to keep everyone in order, although this might not be a problem for you if you behave perfectly in the car.

Vanessa is a freelance writer and a two-time certified boy mom to a toddler and a preschooler. She believes that raising happy kids is a delicate balance between doing your best as a parent and seeking help when you need it.

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