Drawbacks: Most vehicles don’t have dedicated lower LATCH anchors for the center seating position (although there are some that do). Just be aware that if you plan to install this seat (or any other carseat that has rigid connectors) with LATCH, that you will most likely need to install in an outboard (near the door) seating position. You can still install Pipa in the center position, but most likely you will need to install the base with the center seatbelt. Not a big deal since the Pipa base has a nice lockoff but something consumers should be aware of.
Graco adds another to our list with the Size4Me, an adaptable and well-priced entry to the convertible car seat market. It is incredibly safe, thanks to demanding side-impact testing, energy-absorbing foam, and a five-point harness that earns the seat high safety ratings. We also love that the Size4Me has a low, low weight minimum (just 4 pounds), so even if you’re expecting a premie (or multiples!), this seat will still take you from hospital to elementary school.
Black fabric will hide stains better, but there are a wide variety of colors and patterns depending on the brand of car seat. Even the budget-friendly seats have a nice selection. The premium-priced seats usually have the best quality fabric and padding. They’re less likely to tear, pill and fade. We’ve found that breathability doesn’t depend much on price, however.
If you’re looking for more versatility, along with higher weight and height limits, consider the Diono Radian RXT. Like the Britax and Chicco seats, it features a reinforced steel structure and side impact protection. This is a 3-in-1 seat which can be used rear facing, then front facing, and finally as a booster seat. It supports up to 45 pounds rear facing and 80 pounds / 57” tall forward facing, yet it is narrower than most seats so you can fit up to 3 side by side in most cars.
Though this seat meets or exceeds all safety standards in the US, it is made in China, so there can be some quality control issues. Some parents noted that food can get caught in the harness tension latch, which could hinder proper tightening. Always check the latch and clean any loose debris before using it. There is no backless booster mode, which some parents didn’t like.

Our car seat buying guide will help you find the best car seat for your child at each stage, as well as tips to navigate your way around car seat features and installation. Our ratings reflect how easy seats are to use, how well they fit into challenging vehicles, and how they perform for crash protection in our own specialized testing that challenges seats beyond the federal safety standard.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests all car seats before they are approved to be sold in the United States. Unlike safety testing for cars, ratings on a 5-star scale are not available for comparing overall car seat safety in the event of a crash. Child car seats are basically given a pass/fail safety grading by the NHTSA; if a car seat is available for sale in 2018, then it has passed current crash safety standards.


The infant car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make as a new parent. To help you make the best decision possible, three times a year we pull together new infant car seats and put them through hands-on tests to find the best and safest infant car seats of the year. In our testing, we consider Ease of Use, Flexibility, Baby Weight and Height Ranges, Safety, Car Size, and Stroller Types. Below we list the top 5 infant car seats of the year, followed by full reviews of over a dozen different models.
Our comments: Once you’ve read the directions, have the anti-rebound bar attached and you’ve had some practice installing the seat to master the learning curve – you’re golden. The payoff for your time and effort is that you get one of the most advanced convertible carseats on the market, with unique, high-tech safety features and exceptional rear-facing weight and height limits. See our full review of the Clek Foonf here and our full review of the Clek Fllo here.
Infant car seats protect babies during car rides. Obviously, little babies are not big enough for the factory car seat. Thus, the infant car seat fits right on the factory design. This buying guide has ten of the safest car seats 2019. Furthermore, there is helpful tips and information on car seats. Plus, you can learn about important factors, how size affects car seat purchases, and so much more. Now, without any more waiting, here is our list of the ten best infant car seats.
Our comments: Excellent overall if you are planning to use an infant seat from birth and then transition to a convertible when your baby is bigger/older. The 50 lbs. rear-facing weight limit gives parents the option to keep their kids rear-facing longer but the top harness slots aren’t especially tall (16″) so it will be outgrown by height in the forward-facing position long before the 65 lbs. weight limit is reached. Rava is one of the most expensive convertibles on the market but the quality and features are all top-notch and the styling and fashions are luxurious. LATCH weight limits are 35. lbs in the rear-facing position and 40 lbs. forward-facing but Nuna recommends installation with seatbelt so you don’t have to remember to switch from one installation method to another when your child reaches a certain weight. See our complete Rava review here.

Graco 4ever ​All-in-One Graco Extend2Fit Britax Marathon ClickTight Graco Milestone All-in-One Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Diono Rainier All-In-One Clek Fllo Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Britax USA Boulevard Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Graco Size4Me 65 Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Chicco NextFit Britax Advocate ClickTight Evenflo Triumph LX
The infant car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make as a new parent. To help you make the best decision possible, three times a year we pull together new infant car seats and put them through hands-on tests to find the best and safest infant car seats of the year. In our testing, we consider Ease of Use, Flexibility, Baby Weight and Height Ranges, Safety, Car Size, and Stroller Types. Below we list the top 5 infant car seats of the year, followed by full reviews of over a dozen different models.
Drawbacks: Most vehicles don’t have dedicated lower LATCH anchors for the center seating position (although there are some that do). Just be aware that if you plan to install this seat (or any other carseat that has rigid connectors) with LATCH, that you will most likely need to install in an outboard (near the door) seating position. You can still install Pipa in the center position, but most likely you will need to install the base with the center seatbelt. Not a big deal since the Pipa base has a nice lockoff but something consumers should be aware of.
There is no one set way to install a car seat. You should always thoroughly read the manual before doing anything. Good manuals will have clear directions in many different languages as well as models and diagrams that you can use. If you’re still having trouble installing the seat, look for tips and installation videos on YouTube or the manufacturer’s website.
Our comments: The Aton Q is part of the “Platinum” series lineup from Cybex and has some unique features not found on the other Aton models. The load leg vastly improves crash protection and telescoping L.S.P. enhances protection in side-impacts. The addition of a no re-thread harness and an improved, integrated canopy on this model are nice upgrades. This particular model will fit preemies and small newborns better than the other Cybex Aton models. Like all Aton models, the Aton Q has a compact shell which means it will fit well in small backseats but the drawback is that it will be outgrown by height more quickly than most other infant seats. Since the tensioning plate does not act as a built-in lockoff when installing with seatbelt, you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install this seat. See our full review of the Cybex Aton Q here.
My top pick is the Britax Marathon ClickTight. Ask nearly any owner and they’ll have nothing but praise for this seat. Britax puts a lot of effort into making sure their instructions are clear and their seats are as easy as possible to install and secure your child in. Steel bars are used to reinforce the structure and side impact protection is built in. The Marathon has a large range of adjustment and will fit children up to 40 pounds rear facing, or 65 pounds and 49” front facing. The fabric is easily cleaned and very comfortable for extended trips. While the full Britax convertible car seat line is excellent (including the Advocate and Boulevard) I feel the Marathon is the best value.
The Britax Frontier Clicktight Combination features energy-absorbing foam with deep walls and technology called "True Side Impact Protection," which helps distribute crash force more evenly in the event of a collision. What's more, the base of this seat comes with SafeCell technology that compresses and greatly lowers the center of gravity, reducing the seat's forward movement during an accident.
Car seat safety advocates advise parents to keep their convertible car seat in a rear-facing position until the child is two years old — or at least until he/she has clearly outgrown the height and weight ratings for the seat. But this wasn’t always the case. For years, parents routinely changed the seat from rear-facing to front-facing when the child turned one. Newer studies suggest that rear-facing orientation is much safer through the age of two.
The slim design means that your car will be able to carry more people in the back seat comfortably. Most car seats are safer in the middle of the back seat anyway, and if you have older children, they won’t be cramped on either side. In rear-facing mode, it also provides more front seat legroom than many other seats on the market. Two built-in cup holders come in handy for toddlers and beyond.
For infant car seats, height and weight limits vary greatly, with many of them topping out at about 25 – 30 pounds. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) now recommends that children ride rear-facing for as long as possible (as opposed to 2 years old). So car seat manufacturers are designing more infant seats with higher weight limits of 35 pounds and more. This allows extended rear-facing well past 2 years for most children.
We began by examining online customer reviews and existing media coverage, including BabyGearLab and Car Seats for the Littles. We also spoke with industry representatives at the 2018 Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association baby show in Washington, DC. That left us with a list of over 40 booster models, including those that convert from high-back to backless and those that are high-back or backless only.

The mifold is for kids weighing from 40 to 100 pounds who are 40" to 57" tall. The product folds up into a neat, compact size—10" long, 4.5" wide and 2" tall—that’s easy to stash in a backpack or suitcase, and it is safety tested and meets or exceeds NHTSA standards. While it doesn’t have extra features like many other booster seats, the ​mifold still takes the seatbelt off the stomach and the neck and has a comfortable surface for kids to sit on.​


Britax is known for its high safety ratings and stellar user reviews, but those accolades don’t always come cheap. Enter the Roundabout, which for under $150, delivers on the Britax promise – and represents one of the best deals in convertible car seats today. The Roundabout boasts the same SafeCell Technology, steel bars, and Versa-Tether as other Britax seats, sacrificing only capacity (55 pounds and 46 inches) for the lower price. Be sure to choose the Roundabout G4 model, which is slightly roomier than classic Roundabout 55.
About $200-230 depending on whether you go for the regular B-Safe 35 (usually around $170), the B-Safe Elite (usually around $200), or the newest B-Safe Ultra (usually up to $230 depending on pattern choice). The one pictured is the 35 Ultra with Cool Flow fabric. There's a reason that the Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat is the #1 best-selling infant car seat on the market this year, because moms and dads love it, and you can't beat the Britax safety reputation. The B-Safe 35, B-Safe Elite, and B-Safe Ultra infant car seats come with a seat base that easily attaches into (and detaches from) your car using either the Latch system or the conventional seat belt. Made right here in the USA, moms love the form and fit of these seats, and we found that any of these models do a really nice job supporting even very small (4+ lbs) infants with use of the included infant padding insert. As the baby grows, you can remove the additional body and head padding to give your baby a bit more room. The car seat also has simple to adjust head protection pads, a 35-pound weight limit (which is at the higher end of the range), two crotch strap positions (in the Elite and Ultra), multiple shoulder harness strap positions to fit a growing baby, and we found it very easy with the Elite and Ultra versions to make on-the-fly adjustments to suit different size babies. The B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite have three primary differences: the elite adds quick-adjust head protection, adjustable shoulder straps without rethreading (this is truly worth the cost), and a bit more padding and higher quality fabric. The B-Safe Elite and B-Safe Ultra have a few differences as well: the B-Safe Ultra adds a European belt path and the Cool Flow fabric option. The European style belt guide allows you to secure the seat without the base using the vehicle's seat belts; this is great for people who don't want to spend the extra cash for another base, have multiple cars, or want to be able to travel (and use a ride-sharing or a taxi) without bringing the base along. The Cool Flow fabric is amazing and provides extra ventilation for the warmer months to avoid a sweaty back and discomfort. Overall, we believe the extra $40-50 is worth all of the advantages of the Ultra version. But all those features mean a car seat that weighs about 20 pounds (seat is 11lb + base is 9lb), which we understand may be quite heavy for some parents. All three B-Safe versions use the Britax SafeCell technology, which combines side impact protection, a steel-reinforced frame, and EPS energy-absorbing foam. Those safety features really set this seat apart from the crowd, and we think it's worth the added weight. Relative to the Chicco car seats (see below), the B-Safe Elite and Ultra have slightly plusher and premium-feel fabric, and we found the fabric much easier to clean with wipes, and to remove for machine washing. The B-Safe also has the same weight capacity (35 pounds) as the Chicco Fit2, but a lower maximum baby height of 32" as opposed to the Chicco Fit2's 35". Related to sizing, in our testing we did find that the B-Safe can be a bit tight in the shoulder area for bigger babies, especially after they are about 10-12 months old. That's the only real limitation of this Britax car seat, though it won't impact you if you have a relatively normal-sized baby, or if you're going to switch a convertible car seat around 12-16 months anyway. A final point is that the B-Safe canopy is larger than most others and truly covers a baby during bright sun, rain, snow, or simply for privacy and during a nap. The B-Safe is made in the USA by a company with a stellar reputation for quality and safety, including infant car seats, convertible car seats, and toddler booster seats. As a bonus, it comes in a variety of colors/patterns. Yes, it's expensive, but we believe the quality, features, and safety reputation are well worth the cost. It is definitely one the best infant car seats available this year, and worthy of this spot on our list (and its spot at the top of our best travel systems list). Interested in our top-pick, the B-Safe Ultra? You can check it out here: Britax B-Safe 35 Ultra.
Our comments: Both Nautilus models offer a no-rethread harness. Both are generally easy to install and use correctly although the new Nautilus SnugLock model has a nifty tensioning and locking feature that makes it super easy to achieve a secure installation. Use seatbelt plus tether to install if child weighs more than 45 lbs. Since the original Nautilus models lack a lockoff for seatbelt installations you must read your vehicle owner’s manual to determine how your seatbelts lock in order to properly install that model with seatbelt. The original Nautilus models and the Nautilus SnugLock DLX have a Best Bet rating from the IIHS when used in highback mode.
14 different headrest positions are more than other car seats can handle. A removable infant pillow system is an original Maxi-Cosi concept and provides premier comfort. All the while, the distinct self-wicking fabric removes moisture during the summer. Thus, children do not sweat too much. Cool babies are much less likely to cry during long road trips!

Usually about $300. This is a stylish, simple, sophisticated infant car seat made by Nuna International, a boutique baby gear company based in Amsterdam. They have European styling and simplicity, and some safety features that are very common in the EU but relatively rare in the USA. The Nuna Pipa seat itself is made in China, like most on this list, and can be pretty hard to find. It's generally available at Nordstrom and a few other high-end department stores. In our testing, we really loved this infant car seat. It has super soft and high-quality feel materials, with micro knit fabrics, soft and thick padding where it's needed most (like on the crotch buckle!), and a truly amazing canopy that has a nifty "dream drape" extension that basically covers the entire baby to protect from the elements (UPF 50+). It supports babies as little as 4 pounds with the included infant insert, making it an ideal infant car seat for premature babies. And it supports up to 32 pounds or 32 inches long. All that weight and height range while weighting under 8 pounds! The base is about 14 pounds, but nobody walks around with the seat attached to the base. This is one of the safest infant car seats we've ever tested, for a few reasons. First, it has the basic 5-point harness, but also deep and thick side-impact protection and EPS energy-absorbing foam. Second, it includes a stability leg, which is becoming very common in the EU: the stability leg attaches to the back of the seat and extends down to your car's floor. It limits rotational forces by absorbing impact in the event of a crash. Installation was a breeze using the easy LATCH connectors. Note that the LATCH installation connectors on this seat are stiff and attached to the base. For that reason, they will not allow you to connect to non-traditional LATCH positions (like the center seat), you'll need to use the car's seat belt for that. In our testing, we were really impressed with this infant car seat, and thought that it was quite luxurious with its fabrics and overall fit and finish. And we loved the safety features, which are a welcome addition to the typical US features. Downfalls? Well, it's difficult to find in the online and brick-and-mortar stores you might be used to. It also does not have a quick-adjust harness unlike most others on this list; this means you need to re-thread the harness from the rear every time you need to adjust its height. That issue, combined with the high price (about $300), are the primary factors bring this car seat down on our list. Also, it can be difficult to find a stroller that fits it, unless you also purchase a Nuna stroller (though they do have some great ones!). Finally, no steel-reinforced frame, unlike the Britax B-Safe, and no anti-rebound bar like the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio or the Chicco Fit2. Is it one of the best infant car seats available on the market? Yes, especially if you value the style and lightweight build quality, but you'll need to shell out some extra bucks and possibly be annoyed by having to manually rethread the harness straps and the lack of modern safety features. Interested? You can check out the Nuna Pipa here. 

Graco 4ever ​All-in-One Graco Extend2Fit Britax Marathon ClickTight Graco Milestone All-in-One Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Diono Rainier All-In-One Clek Fllo Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Britax USA Boulevard Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Graco Size4Me 65 Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Chicco NextFit Britax Advocate ClickTight Evenflo Triumph LX
Shopping is not easy for newcomers. However, there are certain factors to focus on while shopping for the safest infant car seats. Start with your lifestyle. Do you live an active lifestyle or a more relaxed lifestyle? Active lifestyles require a travel system for versatility and convenience. That way, you can go from your car to the stroller in an instant. On the other hand, an all-in-one car seat is more than enough for any slow-paced lifestyle!
Features: 4-35 lbs.; up to 32″ tall; no re-thread harness with 6 height positions; single buckle position; adjustable base with anti-rebound bar and load leg; push-on lower LATCH connectors; built-in lockoff for easy seatbelt installations; EPS foam; 2-stage infant insert; has unique anti-rebound handle and European beltpath routing when installed without base; huge canopy.

There is no one set way to install a car seat. You should always thoroughly read the manual before doing anything. Good manuals will have clear directions in many different languages as well as models and diagrams that you can use. If you’re still having trouble installing the seat, look for tips and installation videos on YouTube or the manufacturer’s website.
Infant car seats protect babies during car rides. Obviously, little babies are not big enough for the factory car seat. Thus, the infant car seat fits right on the factory design. This buying guide has ten of the safest car seats 2019. Furthermore, there is helpful tips and information on car seats. Plus, you can learn about important factors, how size affects car seat purchases, and so much more. Now, without any more waiting, here is our list of the ten best infant car seats.

While we fully acknowledge the disparity between the standardized FMVSS213 test bench and some aspects of the real world, the Consumer Reports test bench is not an FMVSS213 approved bench.  All car seats sold today are designed and tested around this FMVSS213 test bench.  They’re not designed around Consumer Reports’ setup or methodology.  Or around any other well-intentioned organization that may choose to develop their own test setup and methodology.  They’re designed around FMVSS213 and they pass or exceed all criteria for FMVSS213.

Features: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 20-65 lbs. forward-facing; Advocate model has “MAX” side-impact protection features including external energy-absorbing cushions. These models have ClickTight installation system which also acts as a built-in lockoff device for the seatbelt; deep headwings with EPP foam and energy-absorbing headrest; no re-thread harness with 14 height positions; 2 buckle positions; non-twist harness straps; energy-absorbing HUGS harness pads; “rip stitch” energy management tether; anti-slip base with impact-absorbing technology and 7 recline positions; optional newborn insert and optional harness strap covers. Optional anti-rebound bar (sold separately).
The Evenflo SureRide™ was developed to keep your child harnessed for longer, with a wide range of harness adjustments and high height/weight limits. This made-in-the-USA seat takes safety seriously, with side impact protection, thick adding, a 5-point harness, LATCH system, and a safety rating 2x the federal crash test standard. And at under $100, there’s no better value out there.
The Diono is recommended by Car Seats for the Littles and is one of BabyGearLab’s Best Value booster seats. Car Seats for the Littles calls the Diono “a dream come true for kids who may not fit into smaller seats and for kids who prefer a more padded booster seat” and Amazon reviewers praised both the look and feel of the fabric and the sturdy nature of the seat.
The upgrade Chicco KidFit Zip and Chicco KidFit Zip Air are the same seat as our runner-up pick but with zip-off covers designed for easy cleaning. The Zip Air also comes with extra padding and a leg rest, which testers didn’t find that useful, and both the Zip and Zip Air include a console attachment with a lid, which our kid testers loved to use as a private toy stash (the console is also available for purchase and fits into the regular Chicco KidFit cupholder, though a representative of the company told us that the console is not intended for use with seats other than the Zip).
Britax is known for its high safety ratings and stellar user reviews, but those accolades don’t always come cheap. Enter the Roundabout, which for under $150, delivers on the Britax promise – and represents one of the best deals in convertible car seats today. The Roundabout boasts the same SafeCell Technology, steel bars, and Versa-Tether as other Britax seats, sacrificing only capacity (55 pounds and 46 inches) for the lower price. Be sure to choose the Roundabout G4 model, which is slightly roomier than classic Roundabout 55.

Remember that all car seats sold today must meet or exceed federal safety standards that involve vigorous crash testing. You’ll see a lot of “side impact protection” features on many models that, while not dangerous, have not been part of any industry standardized testing. So, how much they add to the level of safety is debatable. They will NOT hurt your child, but they could hurt your wallet.
The Chicco Fit2 infant car seat is a step above the top-rated KeyFit in its dual-mode design and added safety features. The unique 2-stage adjustable base allows for a better fit for toddlers who are rear-facing. For those who are worried about lack of legroom for toddlers, this could be a great option. It comes in 3 colors and is designed for babies 4 – 35 pounds.
Our comments: We recommend only for kids over 4 years old who weigh at least 40 lbs. and are mature enough to sit properly in a booster. It’s budget-friendly, LATCHable and tends to fit kids of different ages and sizes well. We only wish it was taller! The Affix has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS in both highback or backless mode. See our review of the Graco Affix here.
This booster car seat from Evenflo is for children weighing between 30 and 110 pounds who are between 38" and 57" ​tall. Additionally, the product can be turned into a backless booster, which can be used with bigger kids between 40 and 110 pounds who are 40 to 57 inches tall. The belt-positioning booster includes a belt path to help you install it properly, and the one-hand height adjustment makes it easy to accommodate growing kids.
Jonas has spent more than half of his life surrounded by children's products. He published a series of baby books called Indestructibles that are designed to take everything a baby can dish out. More recently, Jonas has taken on a role as Marketing Director for ConsumerSafety.org, where he oversees safety campaigns to inform consumers about recalled products. As a father and safety expert, Jonas has a critical eye for analyzing products, and is well-versed in CPSC safety regulations for baby products.
The engineers at Calspan felt that the side-impact testing was best conducted with a dummy of a 3-year-old, because many high-back boosters have a 30-pound weight minimum, and NHTSA uses an identical dummy of a 3-year-old in its crash testing. Although this dummy is significantly smaller than a child that would ideally be relying on a booster seat, the protocol was the best option available for evaluating the relative safety of various booster seats, Calspan’s experts told us. “The 3-year-old dummy is standard,” said engineer Bill Horn, who oversaw the crash testing. We used the crash testing results to confirm our picks, and to help distinguish among them. As we tested only six seats, the results are by definition limited and should not be taken as evidence that any other seat is unsafe or would not perform adequately in a crash.
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