- Car Safety & Safe Driving
Best Infant Car Seat 2014 Reviews
Best Infant Car Seats for Safety
As a mother, nothing is more important than the safety of my baby and I will do everything in my power to keep her safe and protected -- including the car seat she rides in.
There are many different infant car seats available so you want to make sure you get the best one for your budget, your family and your car. There are several discussed here that you can consider and all have pretty high ratings in regards to safety, ease of use, features, help and support.
It is always wise to shop around to ensure you are getting the best seat for your circumstances. Many stores will let you walk out with the model to make sure it will fit comfortably in your car. Newer cars have access for the LATCH system to make installation even better and safer. If your car doesn't have the necessary hardware for the LATCH system, you can still safely install a car seat.
Look for seats that have higher sidewalls that will protect your baby more in side impact collisions. I always like to feel the padding on the bottom since babies spend a lot of time in their car seats and you want to make sure it is as comfortable as possible.
Graco Snugride 35
Best Safe Car Seat for Infants 2013
The first car seat we are looking at here is the Graco Snugride 35. This seat will hold babies up to 35 pounds and 32" tall. For most babies, they will be able to use this car seat for the first year of their life quite comfortably.
It comes with a base that stays installed in your car for easy in and easy out.This also keeps you from having to latch it in with the seatbelt every time you get into the car and you can ensure a very snug fit from the base.
It has a 5 point harness system that is really easy to adjust on the front strap. The carrying handle is cushioned a bit for more comfort on your hand as you cart baby around. I really like that you can adjust the angle with just one hand to ensure a proper fit.
It includes extra padded head support and a canopy that will rotate 180 degrees; I love that it is covered in very durable fabric, and that it has a peekaboo window.
This car seat is compatible with most other Graco strollers so you can use a travel system for convenience. This seat is a bit heavier than I'm used to but I have found it to be a great piece of equipment since the car seat is very sturdy has a convenient design and is so easy to install. This car seat is also LATCH equipped.
Chicco Keyfit 30
Easy-to-Use Infant Car Seat
Next is the Chicco Keyfit 30. This would be a fun purchase because you have six different colors to choose from. However, the color is not the most important part; you want a seat to be safe and this is another highly rated car seat that you might want to consider.
This is also a LATCH equipped seat and features a 5 point harness system, a spring assisted level foot, bubble levels and a center pull LATCH adjustment that makes installation easy and very fast.
The seat on this one is actually quite padded and seems to be very comfortable. You get a removable newborn insert that will help keep you little one snug until they start to grow more. It will hold a child up to 30 pounds.
Adjusting the harness is easy with just one hand if needed. I have noticed that the seat is more narrow than some others but it seems to make a snug fit and hasn't been a problem for us at all.
My baby also gets a bit warm in this seat than others we've tried. The cover is quite easy to remove and wash which is a plus. The rounded handle makes carrying quite comfortable and it's been a great seat overall and this is also highly rated by Consumer Reports.
New Lightweight Baby Car Seat
You can also consider this Britax B-Safe for your precious cargo. The thing I noticed right away about this car seat is that it is a lot lighter than many others. It also has a 5 point harness system and is LATCH equipped if needed.
The canopy is really nice since it is quite large and rotates smoothly. This seat will hold babies up to 30 pounds. I love the push button lower LATCH connectors that make installation a breeze.
It also features a built in lock off and a rounded handle for more comfort while carrying. I also like that this seat is very deep with high side walls for extra protection. The base has five different positions to accommodate any vehicle and make sure you have it at the proper position and angle.
There are level indicators that will help you with this as well. It features a click-and-go integrated adapter system that works with Britax B-Series strollers.
The only downside I noticed with this seat is that it doesn't feature a no thread strap height adjustment; so when you're ready to move the straps up as your baby grows, you have to pull them out and re-thread them. The straps get a bit tangled from time to time, but once you work with them a few times, you know how to best use them to keep them from getting tangled.
This is a really good seat for the price and you have a few different colors to choose from.
Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air
Top Rated Infant / Baby Car Seat
Next up is the Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air. This will accommodate babies from 4-35 pounds and up to 32" in height. The best feature to this seat is the extra leg room that your baby gets in it and lets you use it just a bit longer than some of the others we discussed. This seat also has very tall side walls for more side impact safety.
This seat is actually very highly rated for safety, especially side impact. It features something called Air Protect that lets air out from the headrest so it channels energy away from your baby.
The base included has easy to read levels that will help with installation and it is LATCH equipped as well. The handle is curved as well for more carrying comfort.
The cover is pretty easy to take off to clean; the tag says to wash with a damp rag but I washed mine on gentle cold and dried on low to no air, and it turned out fine. It features a pretty big canopy as well; the canopy fabric is more lightweight than I would like and after my baby figured out how to grab it and pull it down over her, it ripped. So you might want to consider keeping it out of reach when your baby gets old enough to play with it.
Cheap Toddler Car Seat 2013
An even cheaper option is the Evenflo Serenade. It is still a great car seat and is highly rated. It is LATCH equipped and comes with connectors that are pretty easy to undo. The slide harness is easy to use and quite convenient; I feel secure knowing I am installing it right.
It also features dual level indicators so you can see it no matter what side of the car you are installing it on. It's a pretty padded seat and my baby seems to feel comfortable in it.
The canopy fabric is quite durable as well; this is a plus when your child decided to start playing with it! The canopy has mesh sides which are great for air circulation but can often let the sunshine through.
I love that the handle has rounded corners that are thicker than the rest of the handle and padded for comfort. They even have some grippers to make sure you have a good hold on them as well. This seat will accommodate a baby 5-35 pounds.
This seat is a bit heavier and bulkier than some of the others we've discussed but it seems very sturdy and well made. The base is pretty large as well and might be better for parents who drive bigger vehicles like SUV's and crossovers; it can be hard to fit into a small sedan.
First Years Via Car Seat
Top Rated Infant Car Seat Review
The First Years Via car seat is also high on the list of popular infant seats. This seat has been given a 5 star Ease of Use rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It features a base that stays in your car and has built in lock offs and color-coded belt paths, which is so very nice!
If you need to use the car seat without the base, you can do so safely up to 22 pounds. With the base it will hold a child up to 35 pounds. The sidewalls are pretty deep but shallower than some of the others we've discussed.
It too has a rounded handle with extra wide corners that are more comfortable when carrying. The harness can be adjusted without rethreading and is a great seat overall.