The Best Baby Car Seat: Reviews On My Top Pick
As a loving parent, the sheer thought of your child being involved in a vehicle accident is downright frightening and nearly heart-stopping.
Since it is truly impossible to avoid becoming a victim of a car accident, it is imperative to take steps to protect your toddler.
One way you can do this is by investing in a toddler car seat. This product is not only a necessity but also it is required by law! It is also essential to remember that your baby seat could save your toddler’s life! Below, you will learn how to purchase a newborn car seat that will protect your toddler to the fullest.
Buying Guide for Best Baby Car Seat
It should be known that there are several different types of baby seats. There is the infant car seat, convertible seat, and booster seat. While they’re all somewhat similar, they have a few differences. Below, you will learn more about each type.
The infant seat is generally the best newborn car seat money can buy. They’re typically capable of supporting children from 4 pounds to 40, but that will depend on the specific model in question. These seats are different from the others because it is only suitable for rear-facing installations. In many cases, this seat will be equipped with a removable carrier, which connects to a base.
The convertible seat is typically very expensive, but it is also much more versatile than the alternative. Most parents will make the switch to the convertible seat after their child has outgrown their infant seat. The convertible seat will be able to accommodate your child for a much longer duration in the rear and front-facing positions. Typically, these seats will be able to accommodate children from 40 to 50 pounds in the rear-facing possibility. When the seat is switched to forward-facing, it can support even more weight.
The booster seat is specifically designed for children, who have outgrown the two alternatives. As the name suggests, the booster seat will elevate the child in the air, so that the vehicle’s safety belt works effectively. Booster seats are available in backless versions as well. These are much smaller and this makes them more portable.
Finally, there are other types of car seats, which you may want to consider buying. They include the all-in-one car seat and the toddler booster. While the all-in-one models are undeniably more convenient and versatile, they’re slightly less effective at any given task than their competitors. Also, the toddler booster is a good option for parents with children between 20 and 90 pounds. It will allow them to ride in the forward-facing position until they’ve hit at least 90 pounds.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
Now that you’ve learned about the different types of car seats, it is time to delve into the factors that will differentiate one seat from the next. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has implemented a rating system, which is used to analyze car seats. This system will tell you how easy the seat is to use, how hard it is to install, and how secure it is. It is best to choose a seat that has at least 4 or 5 stars with the NHTSA.
Most seats come with a plastic base, which will need to be installed into your automobile. In some rare cases, a seat may come with two bases. This will make it possible to use the seat in two automobiles, without needing to make an additional purchase. Some bases will come with innovative features, such as a bubble leveling instrument. This can be used to help ensure the seat is installed in a level position.
Next, it is important to consider the harness. You will undoubtedly want the best for your children. Therefore, you should opt for a seat with a 5-point harness. Of course, you should also make sure that the harness system is easy to use and even easier to adjust. For maximum ease of use, it is best to choose a model that can be adjusted with a single hand. Nonetheless, make sure you opt for a 5-point harness, so your child will receive the maximum safety!
While you’re at it, you should check to see whether or not the seat’s fabric is removable. A car seat with removable fabric will make your life much easier. Your child is bound to make a mess at some point or another. In all likelihood, that spilled drink will end up on their clothes and their seat. If the fabric is removable and machine-washable, you will save yourself a great deal of time and effort. Just remove the fabric and toss it in the washer. Within seconds, the cover will be as good as new.
Side Impact Protection
Some car seats will offer a greater amount of protection than others. To ensure that your child will be protected to the fullest, it is absolutely pertinent to choose a seat with side-impact protection. The car seat should be equipped with energy-absorbing foam, which will take on the brunt of the impact and protect your child’s chest and head. With the addition of side-impact protection, your child will be protected fully no matter how the accident happens.
When purchasing any product, you should definitely take the time to view the included warranty. Most manufacturers offer a decent warranty for their products, but when it comes to baby gear, parents will need to be assured that they are getting their money’s worth from their investment. Car seats play a huge role in keeping an infant or a child-safe, during short and extended rides. In the event of an accident, you will want to make sure that the baby comes out uninjured. If the car seat is damaged in the accident, you should be able to rely on the manufacturer to replace it.
Quick Comparison Table
1. Graco Nautilus 65LX 3 in 1 Car Seat
Those that are looking for an outstanding car seat, which will serve their child from the very beginning, should check out the Graco Nautilus 65 LX. This product can be utilized in three different fashions and is capable of supporting children from 22 pounds to 120 pounds. While the car seat is slightly more expensive than the alternatives, it is undeniably more versatile and will prove to be well worth the investment. This is true simply because this is the only car seat you will ever need to purchase.
- Integrated harness storage compartment holds unused harness straps while in the belt positioning booster mode
- One-hand, 5-position adjustable headrest is easy to use and adapts for your growing child
The Graco Nautilus 65 LX is equipped with the innovative Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. This feature gives the parent the ability to adjust the headrest and height of the harness with a single motion. This guarantees that your child is always secured tightly into the seat. The headrest can be adjusted to 5 different positions with a single hand. More importantly, the 5-point harness is designed for total secureness and maximum protection.
Weight And Height Limits
Truly, the Graco Nautilus is the only car seat you will ever need! This baby seat is convertible and can be used in three different ways. In total, the seat can accommodate a maximum of 120 pounds. The chair will grow as your child does and will offer maximum protection no matter how it is used. Since it is convertible, it can be used as a traditional booster seat, high-back booster, and even a no-back booster. The possibilities are endless.
Features an integrated cup holder
Capable of supporting weights between 22 and 120 pounds
Equipped with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System
The headrest can be adjusted with a single hand
The seat has sides impact tested
Protected by a 1-year warranty
At the end of the day, the Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Car Seat is definitely impressive. The convertible functionality makes it possible for parents to use this seat for the child’s entire infancy. Once your child hits 22 pounds, the seat will protect your child, while simultaneously keeping him or her safe! And of course, it is also protected by a 1-year warranty. For that, this seat is well worth checking out in greater detail.
2. Evenflo Tribute Infant Car Seat
If you’re looking for an outstanding car seat, which will last your child for many years, you will definitely want to check out the Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat. This product has been manufactured in the United States, so you can guarantee it is safe, built to last and well worth its price. The product has also been sided impact tested. It meets and exceeds all safety standards set forth by the federal government.
- This convertible car seat helps protect rear facing infants from 5-40 lbs. and forward facing toddlers from 22-40 lbs. Age at least two years of age
- The Tribute LX meets or exceeds all applicable Federal Safety Standards, as well as Evenflo's Side Impact Test Standard for Structural Integrity. Forward facing Fit: The top of the child’s ears are at or below the top of child restraint seat back
One of the best aspects of the Evenflo Tribute is the 5-point harness system. The harness is completely adjustable from the front. This makes it very easy for mothers and fathers to strap their children in and take them out. The 5-point harness is the best money can buy and will ultimately provide your toddler with maximum protection. The product is also equipped with 4 harness positions. Therefore, it can grow with your child.
Machine Washable Pad
Babies and toddlers are somewhat clumsy. Therefore, it is almost certain that your toddler will make a mess at some point or another. The good news is that this infant car seat is equipped with a machine-washable pad. The seat’s pad can be removed easily and then can be thrown in the washing machine. This makes it easy to keep the seat in pristine condition.
Machine washable pad
Equipped with a removable head pillow
Has been the side impacted test
Designed, tested and made in the United States
4 Harness positions allow the seat to grow with your child
Reclines in the rear-facing position
5-point harness system for maximum safety
Supports a maximum of 40 pounds
Equipped with an adjustable head support
All in all, the Evenflo Tribute Toddler Car Seat is definitely a great value. Despite the incredible affordability, the product is very safe, easy to install and very durable. If you wish to protect your child without breaking the bank, you cannot lose with the Tribute Car Seat!
3. Safety 1st Infant Car Seat
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 will make the perfect for any child. It is designed for forward-facing and rear-facing installation, which will allow the child to get longer use from the seat. It is suitable for children from 5 to 100 pounds, with the included booster seat. To make it easier for the parent to remove the child from the seat, it is equipped with harness holders. The holders will hole the harness back, so the child can be removed without any interference.
- BUILT TO GROW: The 3 in 1 car seat built to GROW for extended use through 3 stages: Rear facing 5 40 pounds, Forward facing 22 to 65 pounds, and Belt positioning booster 40 to 100 pounds
- SIDE IMPACT PROTECTION: The Grow and Go's side impact protection helps keep your child safe
To offer convenience, when making adjustments to the headrest and harness, the seat is equipped with a QuickFit Harness. This feature will adjust both the harness and headrest simultaneously in one easy step. Plus, it will help you achieve the perfect fit every time.
The Safety 1st Grow and Go Car Seat has a compact design to allow for more legroom. The seat will offer more legroom for the passenger or driver in the front seat. In fact, it will take up 7” less space than the traditional car seat.
To get the longest service life from a newborn car seat, it needs to be designed to grow with the child. The Grow and Go are configurable, which means that it can be transformed into a rear-facing, forward-facing, and a booster seat. The forward-facing installation is suitable for children from 22 to 65 pounds, rear-facing 5 to 40 pounds and the booster 40 to 100 pounds. When the child reaches another milestone, you will be able to alter the seat to suit the child’s needs.
Forward-facing, rear-facing and booster installation
Side impact protection
Suitable for children from 5 to 100 pounds
Equipped with harness holders
Compact design, taking up less legroom
QuickFit harness for easy adjustments
2 Cup holders
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 will make the perfect car seat for any child. The seat has undergone various safety testing procedures and meets all the standards. The installation and adjustment processes are extremely easy, thanks to the embedded features. The price tag is suitable for parents living on a budget, so be sure to keep it in mind, when you are shopping for a new car seat.
4. Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat
Another great baby car seat brand is Graco, which is a huge provider of baby products, ranging from car seats to attire. The Graco SlimFit All-in-One is a great option for any parent on a budget. The car seat features the necessities to keep the baby safe, in the event of a motor vehicle accident. It is constructed out of durable metals and plastic to ensure the baby’s safety on impact. The seat is suitable for babies and children from 5 to 100 pounds, so you are ensured a long service life.
- All in One seat grows with Your child from 5 100 pound, rear to forward facing and becomes a belt positioning booster; save space in Your back seat with Unique rotating cup Holders; metal and plastic parts may be cleaned with mild soap and Cool Water; Buckle may be cleaned with a damp cloth
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of Your harness and headrest; integrated harness storage compartment Holds unused harness straps while seat is a belt positioning booster
While most households have a primary vehicle that is utilized for personal travel, many parents will transport their infants around in several different vehicles. Instead of needing to invest in a car seat for every vehicle you own, you should definitely consider investing in the Graco SlimFit car seat. This car seat is equipped with the LATCH system, which offers quick and easy change outs. You will be able to uninstall and install the car seat into another vehicle within minutes, eliminating the need to invest in multiple units.
Graco SlimFit All-in-One is designed for both rear-facing and forward-facing installation. The seat is equipped with a level indicator to make the rear-facing installation much easier. The level is extremely easy to read, plus it will ensure the seat is positioned correctly. To add more comfort for the older child, you can remove the included body support this will give the child more room to move around.
Easy To Clean Cover And Cushion
Many parents will allow their children to drink and eat in their car seats. While this is a great idea, it always leaves room for mishaps. To ensure the parent that the child is sitting in a sanitary seat, Graco designed the seat cushion and cover machine-washable. When these items get soiled, you can simply remove them from the car seat and toss them in the washer and dryer.
Equipped with a 5-point harness
Cushion and cover is removable and machine-washable
Only weighs 19.7 pounds
Meets or exceeds all safety standards
Product measurements – 26” H X 20” W X 22” D
LATCH system for easy installation
Suitable for both rear-facing and front-facing installations
Graco SlimFit All-in-One convertible car seat is definitely a good option for any child. The seat is designed to meet or exceed the safety standards, plus it will provide the child with many years of service. For the price, you cannot beat this model, so be sure to keep it on your list of prospects.
5. Evenflo Maestro Baby Car Seat
As a parent, your biggest priority is to keep your baby safe at all times. Thousands of babies between the ages of 1 to 3 are injured each year while riding in a vehicle. For this reason, you will need to do whatever is necessary to keep your children safe. The Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat Thunder is a great way to start. This car seat is designed to replicate a genuine race car seat, but this says nothing about its safety features, durability and comfort.
- This 2-in-1 Combination Booster Car Seat fitting children from 22-110 lbs. converts from a 5-point harnessed car seat to belt-positioning booster allowing for extended use as your child grows
- The Maestro Harness Booster Car seat helps protect harnessed children from 22-50 pounds and belt-positioned children from 40-110 pounds
Grows With The Child
Parents desire to get their money’s worth out of a baby product. While this is not always the case, it is true with the Evenflo Maestro Car Seat. This model is configurable, so the baby can utilize it as an infant car seat and a booster car seat. The configurable process is extremely easy and only takes about 3 to 4 minutes to complete. The configurable design will allow the child to get a longer service life out of the Maestro.
The Evenflo Thunder Car Seat is designed to fit children from 22 up to 110 pounds (43 to 57 inches in height), but this range is for both the car seat and booster. The car seat is suitable for children from 22 to 50 pounds, while the booster is designed for children from 50 to 110 pounds. These weight ranges give you an idea of how long you can utilize the product.
Most parents are extremely busy and do not have extra time to spare for installing a car seat, especially when transferring it from one vehicle to another. This will not be an issue with the Evenflo Maestro, because it is designed with a LATCH system. This system allows parents to install the car seat in any vehicle within a matter of minutes. Change-outs will also be extremely easy, so there is no need to purchase an additional car seat for grandma’s vehicle.
Car seat equipped with a 5-point harness
Configurable for a longer service life
Lightweight design (11 pounds)
Suitable for children from 22 to 110 pounds
Available in various styles (Wesley, Easley, Thunder and Taylor)
Meets and exceeds all federal safety standards
Booster is equipped with a 2-in-1 harness
Embedded with extra padding for comfort and safety
Affordable price tag
The Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat is extremely affordable, but there is no need to purchase one for every vehicle you own. The LATCH system will make it extremely easy to transfer the seat from one car to another. The lightweight design will also make the transfer even easier, so be sure to keep the Maestro on your prospect list as you are shopping.
All in all, all parents need to invest in a good car seat for their child. Choosing a car seat might be a lengthy process, but putting in the energy and time will prove to be well worth it in the long run. A car seat could mean the difference between life and death! Therefore, you should use the information provided above and make sure you make the right choice for your toddler!