Choosing the car seat that best fits the needs of your child and vehicle and comes highly rated is an important parental responsibility. Since all car seats have to meet federal safety requirements in order to be sold in the U.S., any one of them could be appropriate.
Some, of course, cost more than others and have more features. There are also different car seats for various developmental stages of your child. Here are the top 10 infant car seats, based on ratings from Consumer Reports and other car seat safety sites.
Chicco KeyFit 30 – One of two infant car seat models from Chicco (the other being KeyFit), the KeyFit 30 is considered the best seat overall for balancing child crash protection, ease-of-use, and vehicle fit. The KeyFit 30 is also one of the best fitting car seats for newborns. This is a 30-pound rear-facing weight capacity seat. Carrier easily locks in place on the base and the handle can be in any locked position during vehicle travel.easy-to-use push-on LATCH connectors and single-pull LATCH tension is easy to adjust. The Chicco KeyFit 30 carries an approximate retail price of $180.
Chicco KeyFit – Like the KeyFit 30, the Chicco KeyFit provides a very good balance of child crash protection, ease-of-use and vehicle fit. The carrier easily locks into the base and the handle can be in any locked position during vehicle travel. The seat is easy to adjust due to single-pull LATCH tension and the KeyFit also has push-on LATCH connectors. Pricing is about $170 retail.
Car seats - Combi ShuttleEnlarge Photo
Combi Shuttle – With an approximate retail price of $180, the Combi Shuttle is a 35-pound rear-facing capacity infant car seat that replaces the Shuttle 33. It is the only infant seat currently available from Combi in the U.S. It is considered one of the easiest seats to install using either LATCH or vehicle belt. Other pluses include easy-to-read dual-range level indicators on both sides of the base, easier to use push-on LATCH connectors, and carrier should be a good fit for newborns as well.
Car seats - Safety 1st onBoard 35Enlarge Photo
Safety 1st onBoard35 – Excellent crash protection ratings, instructions that are easy to understand, dual weight-range level indicators, carrier that should fit newborns well are some highlights. The continuous harness, however, can sometimes be difficult to keep tight and even on the child. The Safety 1st onBoard34 is priced at about $100 retail.
Car seats - Britax B-SafeEnlarge Photo
Britax B-Safe – With its 30-pound rear-facing weight capacity, the Britax B-Safe is a good car seat for small vehicles. In many vehicles, it installs well without the base, which could be attractive for city dwellers that use a taxi. Many safety and ease-of-use features contribute to the retail price range of approximately $120-$230.
Car seats - Evenflo Embrace 35Enlarge Photo
Evenflo Embrace 35 – One of several infant models currently offered by Evenflo (others include Embrace 5, Serenade, and Secure Ride 35), the Embrace 35 carries a retail price of approximately $90. This balanced and reasonably-priced infant car seat fits many different vehicles well with either LATCH or vehicle belts. Embrace 35 has a 35-pound rear-facing weight capacity, lighter weight carrier, adjustable crotch strap, and features instructions and labels considered excellent. Buckle operation may be stiff and handle position and clearance can limit room in some vehicles.