Top 10 Best Baby Car Seats Reviewed in 2018
By now, every driver in the USA knows that the easiest way to part with between $10 and $500 is failing to comply with Child Passenger Safety rules. You should also be aware that this could win your driving license some points easily. Besides it being a law, ensuring that your kid is safe while in the car should always come first.
It’s very likely that you didn’t use a car seat in your toddlerhood. I didn’t use one too. And we are still alive and kicking. However, we need to understand that our roads are no longer as safe as they were. Unlike a few decades ago, today’s drivers are in more hurry. People are becoming busier and busier. Consequently, they want to spend the least time possible in every activity at hand. This has led to an increase in driving speeds and traffic law breakages.
This means that, no matter what a law-abiding citizen you are on the road, you are still prone to accidents. Well, this isn’t supposed to scare you. Rather, it should sensitize you on the need to have your kiddos’ life protected always.
All things considered, you don’t want your toddler flying through the windscreen due to another reckless driver’s incompetence, do you? That’s where baby car seats come in. According to reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, well-fitting baby seats protect kids from serious injuries by over 67%.
Now, a baby’s car seat isn’t any other seat that is different from your regular vehicle’s seats. You should know that these car must-haves are different. They also offer varying benefits according to your child’s weight and height. In one or two minutes, allow me to highlight on the different baby car seats there are.
- Infant Car Seats: these are newborns’ seat. They are for the kids weighing between 22-35 pounds. They are used facing backward. Most states including California, Alabama, and Alaska recommend them for children aged 4 years and below.
- Convertible Seats: these are used facing either direction. They are ideal for toddlers above 40 pounds and not exceeding 65 lbs.
- Booster Seats: your child will need this before graduating to the regular car seat. You’ll need it when they are between 8 and 12 years. Luckily, most convertible seats later switch to booster seats. For this reason, you won’t have to replace the existing seat with a new one. However, this applies if they have not outgrown it only.
How much does a baby’s car seat cost? It’s ironic that this is always the first question that most parents ask when faced with this need rather than the level of safety offered. But that’s nature. Well, these prices are dynamic. We may not give an exact data since they vary depending on the make, design, craftsmanship, and other several factors. However, a basic seat asks for between 5-100 bucks. Others will go for a whopping 500 dollars. Luckily, all these seats should meet certain standards before being let into the market.
Table of Contents
- Check our top 10 list of baby seat covers
- 10. Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat, with SafeCell Impact Protection
- 9. Baby Trend EZ Ride Car Seat for 5-30 Pounds Children
- 8. Safety 1st Grow-and-Go 3-in-1 Car Seat
- 7. Gracor My Ride Convertible Car Seat- 3 Stages Use
- 6. Evenflo Symphony Convertible Portable Seat
- 5. Graco 4ever All-in-One Car Seat (Convertible)
- 4. Evenflo Maestro Car Seat (Booster) 2-in-1 Combination
- 3. Disney APT Mouseketeer Minnie Convertible Car Seat
- 2. Evenflo Tribute Convertible Car Seat
- 1. Graco Nautilus Harness Booster Car Seat
Check our top 10 list of baby seat covers
10. Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat, with SafeCell Impact Protection
Our first baby car seat comes from Britax Child Safety, a manufacturer based in Fort Mill, South Carolina. In case you didn’t know, this is amongst the leading companies we have in this niche. It’s an innovative brand with a mission to inspire safe family travels. Britax is not only respected in the vehicle industry, but also in the aviation world. It’s a leader in aircraft interiors, seats, and safety belts. That’s too much about Britax.
Now, with over 180 patents in car seats, we have no choice but to flag this as a reliable and dependable brand. Their Britax B-Safe 35 is amongst the most sought for in their line of products. This is a seat for newborns between 4 and 35 pounds. As a result, it’s used facing backward. It has a thoughtfully-welded steel frame. It also has a compressible base featuring centre-pull straps, a push button, and latch connectors. The compressible support works by absorbing impact energy in case of a collision. This protects your baby’s fragile spinal cord, bones, and skull. In addition, the sitting area has a deep shell design. In the shell, the infant is surrounded by incredibly soft yet sturdy energy-absorbing foam.
Even better, this seat fits perfectly well on a stroller. So, you won’t have to spend money buying another unit. It has an easily adjustable canopy that offers great coverage from direct sunrays. It also sports 2 handles to aid getting it to and from the car.
- It has a compact design.
- It’s stroller-compatible
- It installs in a breeze
- It consists of energy-absorbing base and foam
- It has a high-grade steel frame
- Some parents find it a little bit narrow for their kids
9. Baby Trend EZ Ride Car Seat for 5-30 Pounds Children
Our second contender is this amazing travel system combo by Baby Trend. This company boasts a 26-year history in this business. Its headquarters are in Campus Avenue, Ontario. If you are a family safety savvy, you must know that Baby Trend’s Sit N’ Stand and Snap-N-Go were the first ever strollers on our market. Baby Trend is also the producer of the award-winning Diaper Champ and several other nursery accessories including diaper pails, walkers, and potties. Let’s keep these for another time.
Now, going back to the travel safety combo, I need to point out that this package has the best bang for your bucks. Secondly, it offers a high feature-to-cost ratio. Let’s see how. Firstly, you get a stroller and car seat. Isn’t that a good deal? Sure. And how much is this going for? It’s doubtlessly the most amazing offer within your reach now.
Mind you, your kid’s safety isn’t compromised by the low cost. The car seat accommodates newborns weighing between 5 and 30 pounds. Accordingly, your passenger should use facing rearward. In comparison to Britax B-Safe 35 above, Baby Trend EZ Ride is much lighter. In addition, most moms say that this car seat poses fewer battles when installing. It’s fitted with a latch system and can also be secured using the regular car seat belt.
Notably, the car seat offers 5-point harness system. This is enough to provide your kid with maximum safety when she needs it most. It also has a shock-absorbing base and stabilizing frames to withstand considerable amounts of impact. Moreover, you’ll also love its soft head support and canopy.
- You get a car seat and stroller
- It’s inexpensive
- It installs quickly
- The 2 feel safe
- Concern about the carrier not fitting perfectly well on some strollers
8. Safety 1st Grow-and-Go 3-in-1 Car Seat
The most noticeable feature about this car seat is its cute design. Don’t add it to the cart yet before reading this. This seat comes from Safety 1st found in Suffolk, England. For your information, this company has over 76 years of experience in Child Safety accessories.
So, what does this seat has to offer? You remember the 3 types of car seats we discussed above? Now, this seat has all of them in a single unit. This means that your newborn will have his first ride from the hospital in it, of course facing backward. Later, after attaining 22-65 pounds, the toddler will be ready for forward-facing rides. Moreover, this seat will then act as a belt-positioning booster at between 65-100 lbs. How is this possible? The answer lies in its easily adjustable headrest and harness. This will save you the need to go back to the drawing board as your toddler gains height.
There’s much more. Safety 1st car seat has a compact design. It requires less space either when facing rearward or forward. Statistically speaking, it offers 7’’ more room than most of its competitors. This means that the passenger in the front seat will have additional room for his/her legs.
- It has a removable and machine wash safe seat pad
- It’s spacious
- It grows with your kid
- Offers 2 cup holders
- A few parents say that the seat moves around
7. Gracor My Ride Convertible Car Seat- 3 Stages Use
Could you be looking for baby car seat that will cost you below 100 dollars? Lucky you, this Graco My Ride 65 is yours. In case you are wondering whether your baby is safe in this, the answer is yes! In fact, 2 of its users report that it saved their kids in accidents where the vehicles were totaled. Thanks to this seat’s priceless construction, the toddlers were safe and unhurt. This is a convertible car seat. This means that your child will use it in the rear-facing mode from birth to 40 pounds. Later, My Ride offers its protection in the forward-facing position until when the toddler reaches 65 lbs. This will, therefore, offer you and your kid several years of peace of mind.
Comparing this seat to Safety 1st and Baby Trend, I found that it offers fewer features. For instance, you don’t get a canopy with this. This means that it wouldn’t provide much protection from sunlight rays when carrying to and from the house. Secondly, it doesn’t have a carry handle. So ferrying it may a bit tricky, especially with the passenger onboard. However, its price and level of impact protection is still unbeatable. So, if you’re not after bells and wheels, this is yours. For those who need something sleeker, Evenflo Symphony below has something better to offer.
- Tested and is compliant with the legislation
- Easy installation and comfortable rides
- For rear and forward facing
- Big and bulky
6. Evenflo Symphony Convertible Portable Seat
This seat has more to offer in terms of aesthetics and functionality too. There are a few factors that most parents and care givers pay attention to when buying car seats. To begin with, we all need a seat, which offers maximum protection to our kids. Secondly, no one would say no to a seat that installs on/off easily in any car’s seat. Even more, we’re all hunting for a seat that won’t break your back when ferrying it to and from the car.
Surprisingly, these are the main features that Evenflo capitalizes on. For instance, it weighs 14lbs only. This means that you can transfer it with much ease. About safety, Symphony has an upfront harness adjustment. It also uses a high-end side impact protection technology to significantly minimize crash effects.
The only slight flaw with this seat is its bulkiness. You don’t want this if your car is already suffering from lack of space.
- It has the easiest and fast installation
- It has a high-end side impact protection technology
- It has several recline positions for added comfort
- Isolated complaints of the seat’s bulkiness
5. Graco 4ever All-in-One Car Seat (Convertible)
From Graco, this is another marvelous car seat with a 10-year projected lifespan. Graco, a Philadelphia-based company, isn’t a newbie in juvenile products business. As you’ll realize, most of the seats that make up this list come from this brand.
What does Graco 4ever has in store for us? Firstly, this is a 4-in-1 convertible seat. This means that your child will use it from day 1 until when they are 120 pounds. Obviously, this only stands if the seat won’t be involved in an accident. Otherwise, it’s advisable to get a new one in case of a crush. Another feature that will get you loving it more and more is its ease of washing. We know that poops-plosion happen anywhere and at any time. However, the last place you want your infant to deliver their little surprises is on a hard-to-clean car seat. Fortunately, Graco 4ever has your back on this. It has a removable seat cover, which doesn’t require rethreading.
Additionally, this seat offers 6 recline positions. It’s most likely that your toddler will find a comfortable position for optimum comfort. The only downside I found with Graco 4ever is its weight. At 23 pounds, you’ll not find it enjoyable to balance it in your hands for long. Other than that, this is a recommendable unit.
- It offers 10 years of usage
- Its seat cushion is removable and machine washable
- It has 6 recline positions for sleepy kiddos
- It has an effective latch system
- It’s heavy and soaks in hot weather
4. Evenflo Maestro Car Seat (Booster) 2-in-1 Combination
This is a front-facing car seat. It later converts to a belt-positioning booster at 40-110 pounds. At a little over 60 bucks, Evenflo Maestro is amongst the most affordable seats in this list. This booster seat has several features to keep your big young children fully protected. Let’s agree that this seat is aesthetically appealing. Now, the good news is that it’s available in 4 designs. This will help you choose a seat that won’t collide with your car’s interior.
Evenflo Maestro Booster Seat has a superior harness system than most seats here. This is partly because it’s designed to support heavy weight. It uses 4 shoulder harnesses to keep them intact even in heavy impacts. It also boasts dual crutch buckle positions to give your child that ape-like yet comfortable grip. Moreover, in addition to the easy-to-use latch system, this seat weighs 11 pounds only. This makes it easy to switch it from one vehicle to the other.
For kids who are already using the regular seat belt, this seat comes ready for that. It comes fitted with a shoulder strap belt path. This path can be adjusted to offer optimum protection and comforts. This is the reason why the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety refers to it as a safe bet. Another interesting feature about this booster seat is the 2 cup holders. The 2 hold your children’s drinks or toys at a reachable place.
- It weighs less
- It’s available in different designs to suit your car’s interiors
- It’s customizable to the user’s needs
- The price is unbeatable
- It offers longevity of use
- It’s heavier
3. Disney APT Mouseketeer Minnie Convertible Car Seat
Disney Mouseketeer Minnie has several solid features to offer. First and foremost, the price is just unbelievable. At below 60 dollars, no one should fail to treat their kids to those rides. This is a 2-in-1 convertible seat. The toddler will use it facing backwards from 4-22 pounds. Later, the toddler will switch to forward facing until they reach 40 pounds.
Secondly, the mere design of this seat makes rides fun and stylish. The head and ears on the seat’s headrest offer incredible support. On this note, however, you must know that these 2 features can cause a considerable amount of discomfort to your kid. Consequently, it’s important to identify whether the user suffers any irritation due to their presence. Luckily, they are removable without causing damage to the seat.
Its up-front latch system is another thumb up feature. It makes it easy to install it in the correct position and in seconds.
- It has an up-front latch system
- It offers 2 cup holders
- It has 3 buckle locations
- The straps may require regular adjustments for some kids
2. Evenflo Tribute Convertible Car Seat
Coming in at our #2 position is this Evenflo Tribute Convertible Car seat. One thing I should be open to you about this seat is that it doesn’t have anything fancier to boast. However, I should also put it clear that it’s the most functional unit I reviewed here. If we were to compare, Evenflo Tribute equals to Baby Trend and Britax B-Safe seats. Evenflo differs in price being almost 3 times cheaper than the 2. It also lacks several bells and whistles including the canopies.
This seat is a product of USA from designing to engineering. It’s pad is available in 4 prints. Notably, these pads easily come out for machine washing. However, a little rethreading is required. Amongst this champ’s exciting features is its deep seat and raised side walls. These 2 are amongst the best features a baby car seat should have. The kid also benefits from a removable head. This offers the child extra support especially when in the rear-side mode.
- It has a machine washable pad
- It has a removable head pillow
- It offers excellent side impact protection
- It has an in front harness adjustment system
- The cup holder is flimsy and doesn’t offer much help
1. Graco Nautilus Harness Booster Car Seat
It’s not surprising that our #1 in this list comes from Graco, all the way from Philadelphia. If your kids are past the baby car seat’s size and now require a booster, Graco Nautilus is worth considering. This is a multi-featured unit with only a few flaws. Firstly, Nautilus is a 3-in-1 seat with a 5-point harness system. It grows with your child right from 22 pounds to 100 lbs. It switches from a forward-facing seat to a belt-positioning booster. Later, on you can remove the backrest and let the kid use the base as a backless booster.
One thing that you’ll appreciate as a parent is the belt guides that allow the strap to pass well around the shoulder offering a perfect fit. You should also love the removable seat cover, harness, and buckles. It makes it easy to keep the seat always clean and hygienic. Graco Nautilus also boasts a contoured arm rest on our side and a cup holder on the other.
Before buying this seat, you need to know that the straps don’t feel as strong as those with Britax. Again, the clips and buckles offer a love hate relationship at first. However, this stops after a few usages.
- It has a sturdy construction with a sturdy frame
- It’s a versatile booster car seat
- It disassembles easily for cleaning
- Its straps feel a bit cheaper though they work
With these reviews we hope you’re now more enlightened about baby car seats and what to look out for when you’re shopping for these vital accessories. All these models are from leading brands; brands you can trust and count them for quality products. If you are looking to get slippers for your kids check our guide for baby slippers.
Check our recent guide on Best Leg Positioner Pillows .