Chick Picks: The Best Infant Car Seats - Baby Chick

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Chick Picks: The Best Infant Car Seats

chick picksSeptember 24, 2021
An unrecognizable new dad makes sure his newborn baby boy is strapped securely in an infant car seat.

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Choosing a car seat for your infant is a necessity. Of course, you will want your baby to be as safe and comfortable as possible when they are in it. There are so many different ones out there that it is easy to get overwhelmed! Today, there are lots of different brands and features to choose from. What is an infant car seat? Infant car seats are safety products made to protect newborns and babies from birth until they reach up to 35 pounds riding in a car. (This weight number can vary and is dependant on the model of the car seat.) Typically an infant car seat will be used for at least the first year… Read More

Choosing a car seat for your infant is a necessity. Of course, you will want your baby to be as safe and comfortable as possible when they are in it. There are so many different ones out there that it is easy to get overwhelmed! Today, there are lots of different brands and features to choose from.

What is an infant car seat?

Infant car seats are safety products made to protect newborns and babies from birth until they reach up to 35 pounds riding in a car. (This weight number can vary and is dependant on the model of the car seat.) Typically an infant car seat will be used for at least the first year of the child’s life. Each car seat has a height and weight limit that some babies hit before others, which means you will need to purchase another car seat — a convertible seat — when your baby outgrows their infant car seat.

It is recommended that all infant car seats always be installed rear-facing. A baby or small child is much less likely to be seriously injured or die when riding in the rear-facing position. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight and height limits recommended by the seat’s manufacturer. You can find this information in the car seat’s manual or on a sticker placed on the car seat. It’s important for families to know that this is based on a child’s size and not their age.

What to Look For

Before we start looking at the best infant car seats, what should you consider before choosing one for your baby? Here is our list:

  1. Safety — this is a big one. Thankfully, all car seats sold in the United States must pass the same standardized testing no matter its price tag. If you want the safest car seat for your baby, make sure it accommodates their size and that it fits correctly in your car. You can also research the safety features of the seat.
  2. Size — your baby’s weight and height must be considered when determining which car seat you purchase. You must choose one that accommodates their size and allows them to grow with it.
  3. Comfort — is your little one comfortable in the seat? Does it provide proper cushion and support for safety and comfort? Check the materials it has to ensure your baby will enjoy the ride.
  4. Installation — check on the ease of installation. Does it have a LATCH system? Can it be installed with or without a base? Think of how you will be using your car seat and the easiest and safest way to install your baby’s car seat in your car.
  5. Compatibility — look to see if your infant stroller is a part of a travel system. A travel system is when an infant car seat and a stroller fit together so that you can unclick the car seat from the base in your car and easily click it into a stroller. This is a great convenience that most parents love.
  6. Ease of Cleaning — infant car seats can get gross. Look to see what fabrics that car seat uses and if it has a machine washable cover.
  7. Price — remember that all car seats pass the same minimum safety tests. So spending more doesn’t mean that your baby is any safer on the road. They will have more high-end and convenient features, but all will keep your baby safe if you have installed it correctly and it properly fits your child’s size.

Here are our top ten best infant car seats to bring your new baby home in!

10 Best Infant Car Seats For Your Baby

1. Baby Jogger City GO 2 Infant Seat

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This Baby Jogger® City GO 2™ Infant Car Seat has a SecureStop Anti-Rebound bar with a RAPIDLOCK base technology that has been designed to reduce car seat rotation in case of a collision. Enhanced safety standards make it an excellent choice for peace of mind! It has met all TRUE Test Plus safety standards for maximum security for your little one. And it includes four recline positions for maximum comfort for your baby. We also like how you can easily adjust the adjustable headrest and no-rethread harness with one hand.

This seat easily creates a travel system by clicking into your favorite Baby Jogger stroller. And the TaxiSafe belt path allows you to safely use it in rental cars and taxis using the vehicle’s 3 point seat belt. We also really like that it has a quiet canopy feature which allows babies to continue napping undisturbed while on the go. The seat can safely be used with infants from 4 to 35 lbs and up to 32″.

Features:

  • Three ways to ride, RAPIDLOCK Base, easy safety installation without a base for travel, attaches easily to stroller to create travel system, SecureStop Anti-Rebound Bar, one-hand adjustable headrest with no re-thread harness, protects infants from 4 to 35 lbs, up to 32″.
  • Safety and Security: Meets TRUE Test Plus safety standards that will help protect baby in rollover, side, front, and rear collisions.
  • Care and Cleaning: Machine wash seat and canopy in cold water with mild soap on delicate. Clean harness using a surface wash only; do not machine wash. Base and shell may be surface washed. All pieces should be towel and air-dried.
  • Product Weight: 18.078 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 35 lbs
  • Warranty Description: One year from the date of purchase.

2. Graco Snugride 35 Lite LX

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Consumers highly rate the Snugride. It offers a 4-point base that helps ensure it is installed correctly. Its easy-to-read level indicator can also assist in the installation process. We love that it weighs only 7.2 pounds making it lightweight and easy to carry. It is also ProductPlus engineered to protect in front, side, rear, and rollover collisions. What parent doesn’t want that?! The seat is compatible with all Graco strollers and most other brands of strollers with the proper adapter.

Some other points we like: The handle can be adjusted with one hand for maximum convenience. There are also two ways to install the seat: using SnugLock technology or the InRight LATCH connection. (It also has a convenient compartment that can store both the LATCH connectors and manual when they are not being used.) The seat also includes a Silent Shade Canopy that can be adjusted easily without disturbing a sleeping baby.

Features:

  • SnugLock Technology for an easy 3-step car-seat installation using a seat belt or LATCH, 1-hand adjust handle, SilentShade Canopy, protects infants from 4 to 35 lbs, up to 32″.
  • Safety and Security: Rigorously crash tested, EPS energy-absorbing foam for extra impact protection, Click Connect system that provides 1-step secure attachment to all Graco strollers, removable foam head, and body support.
  • Care and Cleaning: Machine wash seating pad in cold water on delicate cycle. Clean buckle and harness by surface washing. Hard goods may be cleaned using mild soap and cool water. Do not immerse them in water.
  • Product Weight: 7.2 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 35 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 12 months from date of purchase.

3. Britax B-Safe Gen2 Infant Car Seat

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The B-Safe offers a spacious seating area and comfortable fabric for your baby throughout the seat. We love that it works with both Britax strollers and the BOB and Duallie strollers with an adapter for a travel system. The protective shell with foam provides a maximum amount of security for the head to the toes. We also like that the SafeWash Cover is machine washable and flame retardant. It is also free of all harmful chemicals!

The details make this seat special. It has a steel-reinforced base as well as a SafeCell crumple zone to keep your infant safe in the case of a collision. It boasts a tagless, smooth-knot fabric within the seating area. And the seating area provides ample space for your little one to get comfortable. The UPF 50+ extra-large canopy offers protection from both rain and sun.

Features:

  • Travel system ready, SafeCell technology acts as extra energy absorbing during a crash, secure installation in 3 easy steps, made of high strength steel, easy-read level indicators for the safest installation possible, Quick-Push LATCH connectors that can click in and easily release with the push of a button, soft comfort pads to keep your child’s neck from being rubbed, 1-hand buckle harness release, UPF 50+ canopy, full-body protection surrounding head, neck, and torso with foam.
  • Safety and Security: Rigorously crash tested, EPS energy-absorbing foam for extra impact protection, Click Connect system that provides 1-step secure attachment to all Graco strollers, removable foam head, and body support.
  • Care and Cleaning: Seating pad is machine washable and dryer safe.
  • Product Weight: 10.9 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 35 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 1-year limited warranty.

4. Chicco Keyfit 30

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This seat was rated as the #1 infant car seat in the U.S. It is affordable and can support infants up to 30 pounds. The Keyfit is easy to install with the ReclineSure leveling and RideRight bubble levels. It is compatible with all Chicco brand strollers and most other brands with an appropriate adaptor. It is excellent value for a quality seat!

The Keyfit can effortlessly click into the base. The EPS energy-absorbing foam and five-point harness offer extra protection for your baby, and its seat pad can be easily machine washed. It’s a great option for preemies because the removable head and body support allow babies as small as 4 lbs to 11 lbs. It has an extra layer of safety surrounding them. The large canopy can also be removed as desired.

Features:

  • Clicks in and out of the base, stroller compatible and clicks in one-handed, SuperCinch tightener ensures a secure fit, two easy to read ReadRight bubble levels for safe installation, ReclineSure leveling foot helps angle seat properly in-vehicle, removable head and body positioner for newborns weighing 4 to 11 lbs, removable sun canopy, designed for infants 4-30 pounds and 30″ tall.
  • Safety and Security: 5-point harness, carrier shell with EPS energy-absorbing foam, side-impact protection, SuperCinch technology for a secure fit.
  • Care and Cleaning: Machine wash fabrics separately on delicate in cold water and drip dry.
  • Product Weight: 9.5 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 30 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 1-year manufacture warranty.

5. Maxi-Cosi Mico XP Max Pure Infant Seat

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Maxi-Cosi is a popular brand and has many great seats to choose from. This seat comes with an infant insert to support babies as small as 4 pounds. It has a flip-out visor canopy for extra UV protection. And the Mico XP is aircraft certified and ready for traveling! Another cool thing, it has an anti-rotation stability leg to limit movement for maximum protection possible.

We like that it has Air Protect technology which provides an extra layer of security on each side during an impact. The included infant pillow helps protect a smaller baby’s head and neck, and the fabric is premium and provides extra cushioning for your little one. (There are various color combinations of material to choose from.) And for caregivers, the ergonomic handle offers a more comfortable carry, which is an added bonus.

Features:

  • Comfy infant head pillow with head and neck support, ergonomic handle for a comfortable carry, expandable canopy for maximum shade, PureCosi fabrics made without wool, fire retardant fabric that is washer and dryer safe.
  • Safety and Security: AirProtect technology for superior side impact protection, anti-rotation stability leg, MaxiLock secure locking system with LATCH connectors for secure installation, tightness, and level indicators to ensure proper installation.
  • Care and Cleaning: Fabric is both washer and dryer safe.
  • Product Weight: 22.2 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 4-30 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 24-month warranty.

6. UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Seat

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The government awarded the UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat an NHTSA 5-star rating for ease of use. The headrest is reinforced with EPP for extra protection for your child. It also has a no-rethread five-point harness that will grow with your baby without the need to take it apart each time, which every parent can appreciate. It easily snaps into any UPPAbaby stroller and most other brands with an adapter for a perfect travel system.

This is one of our favorite car seats for many reasons. The SMARTSecure System combines auto-retracting connectors and a convenient visual indicator that turns from red to green to ensure an effortless installation that’s completely error-free. And your baby will be so comfortable. It has soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking materials which keep your baby cool and comfortable. I also love that it passes federal flammability standards without the application of chemical flame retardants. The Merino wool fabric used is OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certified. Our Editor-in-Chief has used this infant car seat with both of her kids and loves it!

Features:

  • SMARTSecure System has a tightness indicator, and self-retracting LATCH for accurate installation, NHSTA 5-star rating, low profile base with finished bottom preventing vehicle seat damage, level indicators for easy leveling in multiple positions, Side Impact Protection, EPP foam reinforced headrest for extra protection in the event of a collision, no-rethread harness, hideaway UPF 25+ canopy tucks away when not in use, chemical-free materials, optimized for preemies 4+ pounds, one-handed release from UPPAbaby strollers.
  • Safety and Security: NHSTA 5-star rating, Side Impact Protection, EPP foam headrest, optimal design for preemies, SmartSecure system for correct tightness, chemical-free materials, LATCH for accurate installation.
  • Care and Cleaning: Machine wash fabrics on delicate in cold water and lay flat to dry away from direct sunlight.
  • Product Weight: 9.9 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 4-35 lbs
  • Warranty Description: Limited lifetime warranty.

7. Nuna Pipa Lite LX

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The Pipa Lite is the lightest seat on the market, weighing at 5.70 lbs. It has a 5-second steel-reinforced True lock installation which makes it incredibly safe and easy to install. As for comfort, there are four bubble-free recline positions for your little one. And the Dream drape is a great feature that allows your baby to have uninterrupted slumber while on the go!

This is the car seat we used with my son, so I have personal experience. I had heard only the best things about it from my girlfriends. I love how it looks, and it comes in a few different color configurations. The base is easy to put into your car and take out of. It also looks to be very comfortable for the baby. After using this seat for a year, I highly recommend it to anyone! We have thoroughly enjoyed using it.

Features:

  • 5-second True lock base installation, lightest carrier on the market at 5.70 lbs, connects to all Nuna and select premium strollers, Dream drape, removable UPF 50+ canopy, Merino wool, and TENCEL lyocell fiber blend, Aeroflex foam minimizes force transferred to baby, removable headrest with Tailor tech memory foam, 5-pound harness, and FAA certified for aircraft when used with the base.
  • Safety and Security: Aeroflex foam, Tailor tech memory foam headrest, 5 point harness, FAA certified for aircraft, steel-reinforced, side-impact protection.
  • Care and Cleaning: Machine wash fabric on delicate in cold water and air-dried.
  • Product Weight: 5.70 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 4 to 32 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 2-year warranty.

8. Doona Car Seat & Stroller

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The Doona car seat is probably the coolest one on the market! The sleek design houses both functions of a car seat and stroller seamlessly. It converts to a stroller with wheels that pop out once you are out of the car. It has an adjustable handle that becomes an anti-rebound bar when it is inside the vehicle. And the fabric is made of baby-safe materials for extra protection for your little one.

This seat is TUV and FAA aircraft approved for travel. The seat is suitable for infants 4 to 35 lbs. The stretch canopy comes in various beautiful colors. One of our favorite things is that it can safely be installed with or without the LATCH base. This infant car seat is an excellent choice for families who are always on the go. If we have another baby someday, I will definitely consider using this infant seat due to how easy it makes going places with a baby.

Features:

  • One simple motion to go from car seat to stroller in seconds, 5 point harness, adjustable handlebar acts as an anti-rebound bar inside the car, stretch material canopy, TUV & FAA approved for aircraft travel, suitable for infants 4 to 35 lbs.
  • Safety and Security: 5 point harness, anti-rebound bar, TUV & FAA aircraft approved, removable newborn insert.
  • Care and Cleaning: Handwash seat cover pieces in cold water with mild soap.
  • Product Weight: 16.5 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 4 to 35 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 2-year manufacturer warranty.

9. Cybex Cloud Q Sensorsafe Infant Seat

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This is a truly state-of-the-art infant seat. The SensorSafe chest clip keeps this carrier at the forefront of modern times. It has the technology to send alerts to your smartphone if there is a potentially unsafe situation making it easy for you to correct. The Cybex can alert you if your child is left unattended, is too hot or cold, unbuckles the clip, or has been seated for too long.

It also has a load leg base to help distribute the force of any crash away from your child, which we love. The seat has an 11-position adjustable headrest for optimal comfort for your little one, and it has a full recline position that can be laid completely flat for your baby when outside the car. The Cybex Cloud Q SensorSafe infant seat also includes a foldaway sun canopy with 50 UPF protection. It comes in multiple colors, like a super fun hot pink for all you girl moms!

Features:

  • SensorSafe 4-in-1 Safety Kit connects to your smartphone to alert you in critical situations, full recline position, linear side-impact protection absorbs impact forces away from your child, load leg base with adjustable height distributes force in case of a crash to vehicle’s floor, 11 position height adjustable headrest, XXL sun canopy with UPF 50+, European belt path, use with any CYBEX strollers.
  • Safety and Security: SensorSafe clip alerts if your child is left unattended, temperature becomes too hot or cold, child unbuckles clip, or they’ve been seated too long. Linear side-impact protection, load leg base, adjustable headrest.
  • Care and Cleaning: Handwash in lukewarm water and dry flat.
  • Product Weight: 14 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 4 to 35 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 3 years of purchase.

10. Clek Liing Infant Seat

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This Clek infant car seat has an easy and quick one-handed release. It offers seven different reclining positions that you can adjust to the liking of your baby. The Liing features a mesh peekaboo window which allows for visibility and airflow into the car seat, keeping your baby comfortable and cool. It also has a performance fabric throughout that prevents staining, excess moisture, and unwanted odors from arising. No brominated or chlorinated flame retardants are used in the materials either, which is a huge plus.

We love that this car seat is only 17 inches wide, making it possible to ride three across. It has a metal load leg that reduces crash force by 40%, and the seat can easily be installed using the Rigid-LATCH system. This process will ensure proper installation. Other safety features include side impact protection and a newborn body support system.

Features:

  • Simple and adjustable installation, seven recline positions, made with C-Zero Plus fabric, newborn body support system, Rigid-LATCH installation, 13 position metal load leg, recyclable through Clek, can adapt to numerous popular stroller brands with adaptor.
  • Safety and Security: Energy-absorbing metal load leg, lined with EPP foam, two-stage insert system, side-impact protection.
  • Care and Cleaning: Machine washable on delicate in cold water and laid to dry.
  • Product Weight: 9 lbs
  • Maximum Seat Weight Capacity: 4 to 34 lbs
  • Warranty Description: 2-year extended warranty with product registration.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to an infant car seat! Hopefully, this list will help you narrow down the car seat that best fits your family’s needs. Happy shopping!

This article contains affiliate links. These opinions are our own. However, if you buy something, we may earn a small commission, which helps us keep our content free to our readers. To see more of our recommended products, check out our Chick Picks Shop here. It’s our carefully curated shop of products we love and recommend! ❤️