A Very Statistic

The highest deaths among children/infants involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident were caused by the misuse or non-use of a car seat when traveling. 

This is an alarming and nerve-racking statistic that understandably prompts every parent/guardian to do everything possible to make sure their baby is safe. 

Today, I’ll share with you a list of the best, the most affordable, and the not-so-great infant car seats available for your little one right now!

infant car seats

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I’ll also show you the best way to install an infant car seat with step by step instructions to guarantee that your child is safe and comfortable as you go on adventures together.

For a safer and more comfortable ride with your loved ones, we bet that you’ll instantly love this post!

The 10 Best Infant Car Seat to Buy (2020)

“We own four car seats across two cars, and they are all different brands. This Graco Extend2Fit is the lightest of the four and was easy to install. My 3 and 5-year-old will use this seat, so I only had to make two adjustments: Remove the baby padding (which just pulled right out) and adjust the crotch strap forward (which was easy as well). Nice car seat. No major complaints.”

Haze Raid on Amazon

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is perfect for children weighing from four to 65 pounds. It’s the best infant car seat that actually grows as your baby grows. It’s Amazon’s choice and it’s for the best reasons:

  • Made ready for both rear-facing (4 to 50 lbs) and front-facing (22 to 65 lbs) seating.
  • Completely engineered for safety with the Graco ProtectPlus, having strong frames that are guaranteed to survive car crashes. It is also lab tested in accordance to the New Car Assessment Program.
  • Can withstand even the hottest temperatures so even when left in the car during the summer, the frames will not break easily.

This child’s car safety seat from Graco stood out and beat out its competitors due to its high durability and safety features. These two characteristics are definitely something that your child’s car safety seat should have. After all, it is for your baby’s safety.

According to buyer reviews, the Graco Extend2Fit is perfect for any car model or type. Despite having been crash-tested in compact, mid-size, full-size, vans and SUVs, the car seat still fits excellently in a typical sedan without causing any blind spots.

Many buyers found that installation very easy and standard. Some minor drawbacks that the buyer found were the material getting a little too hot for their babes and how the straps required a little bit of an effort.

In addition to what made this an instant fan favorite is how several parents have truly attested to the durability of the product. There were reviews that expressed how grateful they were for this product’s strength and how it was able to help their babies survive a car crash without any harm.

Overall, this baby child’s car safety seat received a total of 5,600 reviews that leaned towards the positive, it’s no wonder that the Graco Extend2Fit was chosen by many Amazon shoppers.

"Great car seat. we have four of these! the only thing I don't like is the seat belt clip between their legs ends up under their bottom every time they get in the seat. making it have a stiff forward facing clip like almost all other car seats of this style would make getting the kids in so much better. this one feature makes me wish we went with another brand. BUT we love the washable cover.”

Aaron S. on Amazon

The next best choice to a Graco Extend2Fit is the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 car seat. It comes in four different designs that include a Mickey Mouse version that you and your baby will surely love. It is another child’s car safety seat built to grow that boosts the following features:

  • Built to cater children from 5 to 100 lbs. Rear-facing (for infants 5 to 40 lbs), front-facing (for toddlers up to 65 pounds), and belt-positioning (for preschoolers up to 100 lbs). 
  • The removable and washable fabric helps families clean up after messes are made because you cannot prevent accidents from happening nor children having fun.
  • Exclusive QuickFit Harness makes it easier for children to be latched safely and leave the seat quickly.

Despite being the second-best infant child’s car safety seat, Safety 1st’s Grow and Go’s material quality was highlighted as its best feature. It’s something that a parent like you would appreciate since children are known to be the world’s number one mess makers. Spilled chocolate drinks? Yogurt? Cheese? No biggie! Easily remove the affected cushion, throw it in the washer, and off you go!

Safety 1st Grow and Go is a tight competitor of the Graco car seats. Obviously, they are a great match against each other and many of the Amazon buyers have done their comparisons. Even though Graco’s car seats were favored more, Safety 1st has a growing fan base as well. It has durability and incredible safety features that earned the respect of many.

Such durability and safety features are what helped families keep their babies safe. There are several reviews on Amazon that confirm just how reliable it is as a car seat. One particular review mentioned how their baby completely slept through a head-on collision that involved a truck and their hybrid.

Although seemingly perfect, some of the buyers were frustrated at how difficult it was to install in their car. Some have mentioned having difficulties installing the child’s car safety seat on a Honda CRV or a smaller and more compact car such as the Chevrolet Bolt. Despite the small population of frustrated buyers, there are more positives in buying this child’s car safety seat than the negative

“Don’t waste money on others. Great buy! Love the bicycle tire, much easier and doesn’t get stuck like others I’ve had in the past. Not for a small car but is very easy to fold down and put in the back of my smaller suv. Car seat clips very easy onto stroller. Love the top compartment. Husband put together in less than 10 mins. Easy to keep clean. Only one con is that head support is too flimsy for newborn in car seat. Purchased an Eddie Bauer one for about $15 to go in it and perfect.”

logansmommy on Amazon

With an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 and having 1,196 ratings on their Amazon page, the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System is another car seat worth considering for a stress-free ride. It’s one of the most remarkable choices in Amazon for the following trademarks:

  • It’s a child’s car safety seat that you can convert into a sturdy stroller for youngsters up to 50 lbs.
  • The stroller has a front-wheel lock system to keep it in place during fast movements.
  • Equipped with an exclusive patented Ez-Flex Lock, a 5-harness fastening for babies in rear-facing position.
  • Furnished with EPS (Expanded Polystyrene foam) energy-absorbing foam for the finest side impact protection.

For a multi-functional infant child’s car safety seat, Amazon shoppers found the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System to be worthy of its price. It was found to be very easy to clean and assemble. Not only that, since it doubles as a stroller, maneuverability was easy to do when it is on stroller mode.

Suffice it to say, Baby Trend Jogger Travel System is one car seat/stroller that you can bring with you anywhere. After all, it was engineered as a travel system to make traveling with infants a whole lot easier.

For its price tag, parents were pretty satisfied. However, what dismayed some was how the stroller’s integrity was lost over time. Some have mentioned that the wheels got wobbly and have labeled this Baby Trend car seat/stroller as a disposable option that will last one child. Although undeniably cheap, the parents who reviewed in this manner all concluded that you’re getting what you pay for.

The Most Affordable Car Seats for Babies

“My daughter loves Minnie Mouse so naturally when I saw this product I thought "oh it's perfect for her!." Well after receiving this product and using it for the past few months I have to agree it is perfect. She fits well in it and she loves it. Only complaint I have is that it is very bulky and the Minnie Mouse head piece seems to get in the way when you need to switch the straps up higher.”

logansmommy on Amazon

A pink infant seat made by Disney? We’re sold… And so is thousands of Amazon buyers. This pink “Mouseketeer” child’s car safety seat is perfect for babies who have a heart for Minnie mouse and for a safe rear-facing and front-facing seating modes. Since you can never truly outgrow Disney, here are the car seat’s highlights that parents found worthwhile:

  • A latch-equipped convertible infant car seat that is great for use for your baby at 5 pounds up to when they reach their toddler age or reach 40 pounds in weight.
  • Equipped with side impact protection to ensure your child’s safety even when they’re in rear-facing or front-facing mode.
  • It comes with two cup holders for your baby’s cups and bottles.

Whenever we buy baby products, the most important factor to consider is how it is safe for our children’s use and how good it can keep our children safe. As such, the Disney APT convertible car seat is one to be considered especially for its price point. 

Right now it’s on a 13% discount with free shipping. You’ll only need to pay less than $100 to get this Minnie Mouse infant child’s car safety seat that has helped keep an Amazon buyer’s child safe during a head-on collision.

In fact, its safety features were one of the best-rated characteristics of this infant car seat along with how much legroom it offers and how easy it is to install.

A drawback that seems to be the common humdrum among the buyers was how the Minnie Mouse pillow doesn’t stay in place. As a solution, several buyers eventually just removed it. They got this car seat for keeping their child safely seated in their seat so the pillow wasn’t much of an issue.

With easy to clean fabric that you can just wipe or throw in your washer, the Disney Minnie Mouse APT 40 is an affordable choice for a baby car seat that you can use from infant age up to toddler.

“Nice for backup csd seats. We got a new car and I was sick of taking our only set in and out these are good for our second car. Wish they had a bit more padding but since they aren't our primary car seats i'm not worried. They are also slimmer car seats so if I needed a third I have 2 now I can easily put a 3rd in the car. We have a Ford Escape for car reference.”

Amazon Customer

Evenflo is among the baby brands that parents often trust for their brand integrity. They are known to make products that meet the US standards of quality and safety. On top of meeting the US standards of quality and safety, it is well-regarded for the following characteristics:

  • Easy-to-remove and machine washable attachments make it an ideal companion for parents/guardians who have playful and adventurous children.
  • Compatible to fit infants weighing 5 to 40 pounds in rear-facing mode and 22 to 40 pounds when in the front-facing position.
  • Light and compact infant car seat that’s perfect for more compact cars and to carry for travel even on planes as it is approved by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).

The Evenflo Tribute LX isn’t only affordable, it is a great candidate for helping you keep your child safe whenever your baby rides in your car. 

It features the LATCH safety system that stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This system is what allows the child seat to fit securely in your car.

It is considerably easy to install and boasts an impressive leg room so that your child is always comfortable and fuss-free. For parents who do not have a high budget, Evenflo products are considerably excellent at doing its job and bringing your child comfort.

The drawback that various buyers have noted is how the straps, despite being a safety measure, could sometimes rub off on their baby’s skin and cause some irritation. 

However, it was also worth noting that this doesn’t happen to everyone who bought the car seat. Some were very impressed and have left very positive reviews on the product.

Overall, the Evenflo Tribute LX is a car seat worth considering if you want to get one that’s packed
with safety features and sits well below the $ 100 price point.

“When facing the rear, you really have to place it in the middle. The driver or front passenger seat, you can't relax it back, for comfort.”

Amazon Customer

The SureRide DLX is another affordable option from Evenflo that would help keep your child safe on every car ride and airplane travel they would go on with you. It has excellent safety features such as:

  • Perfectly made for children from 5 to 65 pounds. Evenflo SureRide DLX is perfectly compatible to cater to your growing child and help keep them in rear-facing seating mode position for longer. Babies from 5 to 40 pounds can be seated comfortably even in rear-facing mode. Once they’re ready, you can easily shift them to front-facing seating mode up to 65 pounds.
  • Evenflo SureRide DLX convertible car seat is tested in various safety standards and has been tested with twice the weight of federal crash tests in Evenflo labs. It is also FAA-approved which means, this is a perfect companion for jet setting babies.
  • It is lightweight and made with removable parts that you can easily clean. Pads that are removable can be easily put in the washer as for the non-removable parts, you can just wipe them clean.

With the SureRide DLX’s design, your child is safely cuddled in their seat in 6 different harness adjustments and two crotch harness adjustments to ensure a snug yet comfortable fit. Despite being in the lower price spectrum, it’s also a considerably durable product despite its lightweight.

Some of the buyers expressed their dismay when despite being called a compact car seat, it didn’t fit their compact vehicles

Most of the buyers, however, expressed their confidence in entrusting their baby’s safety to this car seat. As one buyer has noted, it saved their baby from getting ejected in a car crash.

The Worst Car Seats for Babies

“Not sure how to get ahold of the seller but on the installation it requires you to use something to fill the gap under the seat for rear facing. We haven't been able to get it to stop moving both side to side and towards the back of the seat. Looks like it would work well for forward or booster though just not rear facing.”

Firekid on Amazon

First on this list of car seats that you can be better off not choosing is the Safety 1st Guide 65 car seat. It left more buyers dismayed from buying it despite having these features:

  • Made highly compatible for compact cars and is equipped with the LATCH safety system.
  • It can accommodate babies from 5 to 40 pounds in rear facing mode and toddlers 22 to 65 pounds in front-facing mode.
  • Easily accessible 5-point harness system that you can adjust right in front.
  • Meets Federal, FAA, ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), and JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) safety standards.

The above features are manufacturer claims that seem to have attracted a lot of buyers. Despite being so, these features, were, according to the dismayed buyers only claims and were difficult to align in reality.

Once bought, there were buyers who exclaimed that this was a very hard to install and hard to remove car seat. It was lightweight, but it wasn’t a good fit in rear-facing mode even in a Cadillac Escalade.

On a positive note, the cushions were comfortable for some of the buyers’ babes and the fact that it was lightweight, made it convenient for air travel.

“Awful. Returned immediately. My poor little man would cry every ride because the buckles would pinch his legs or be so tight he would be uncomfortable. Even with the latch system, awful install experience. Couldn't get it tight enough to feel safe. Even after I finally got it fairly tight, it easily flips forward. Went back to a Graco brand seat after a fantastic experience with his first car seat.”

Joshua B. on Amazon

A not-so-favored car seat on Amazon is Evenflo’s Sonus 65. It may not be for a lot of Amazon buyers but it may be for you. Here’s a quick rundown of its highlights:

  • It is made for 2 different seating modes: rear-facing and forward-facing and can fit most of the mid-size vehicles.
  • Wider seat base and has airflow vents to help keep your baby comfortable even during long car rides.
  • 6-position harness adjustments for the perfect fit.
  • Includes harness covers to help protect your child from irritations from the straps.

Even though it only had 10 ratings from its buyers, it only reached an average of 3.5 stars out of the highest possible 5. 

Based on the reviews, the buyers who were dismayed wasn’t very impressed by its installation. For them, the Sonus 65 wasn’t a good fit for their vehicles.

Sadly, these reviews may have left its prospective buyer hesitant in buying this infant car seat.

“The seat looks wonderful, but getting a kid out of it is virtually impossible. The red button you must push takes more strength than I have.”

Gaideb on Amazon

Last one on our not-so-great baby car seat is the Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max All-in-One convertible car seat. This is a pretty extravagant purchase at almost $300 (currently on a 25% off sale price tag). However, it does have these following highlights:

  • A 5-in-1 convertible car seat that is usable from birth up to 10 years of child’s age. Harness and safety modes:
    • Baby rear-facing for 5 to 22 pounds.
    • Toddler rear-facing for 22 to 40 pounds.
    • Toddler front-facing for 22 to 65 pounds.
    • Child forward-facing for 40 to 65 pounds.
    • Belt-positioning booster for 40 to 120 pounds.
  • 7 different positions are easily accessible from a button for easily positioning your children for their comfort.
  • Made with an exclusive Air Protect advanced cushioning system for side protection.
  • Compatible with vehicles using the LATCH system.

Despite the above features, its Amazon consumers disliked how hard it was to get a kid in and out of the car seat. 

There were mentions of how the straps can be quite difficult to adjust. If you’re a parent in a hurry, this may not be the car seat for you.

What really irked the buyers was how difficult it was to install. It’s made from comfortable materials that were durable. For a car seat that is marketed to last for up to 10 years with your child, the price could be highly considered.

How to Install an Infant Car Seat

Once you have found the perfect child’s car safety seat for you, the next part is its installation.

Installing an infant safety seat to your car can be daunting and also confusing. Everyone’s goal in mind is to keep the baby safe, after all. 

Our top advice before installation is to begin consulting your car’s owner manual and so is your baby carriage seat’s instruction manual. 

Also, if you’re not feeling confident with your installation, you can always bring your car to your local fire department/police station for a quick helping hand. In any case, we prepared a quick guide through that you can follow below:

Installing an Infant Car Seat with a Base

Step 1:

For safety purposes, the middle of the back seat or the middle of the middle row are the safest places to install your infant car seat. As such, you will need to pull the seat belt as far as you could without triggering its safety lock.

Step 2:

Once you have pulled the seat belt, make sure to slide in the bottom tongue of the seat belt through the belt hoops where it should go.

Step 3:

After securing the bottom part of the seat belt through these hoops, you can start locking its buckle in place.

Step 4:

Test the integrity of your installation by wriggling the part of the base that you passed through the belt. You should give it a firm wriggle and it should move up to a maximum of one inch only. If it wriggles farther then an inch, you’ll have to do the installation again. Furthermore, do not wriggle the farthest part of the base that is away from the seat belt. You can expect wriggling from that part but not in the nearest area where you passed through the bottom/lap of the belt.

Step 5:

Attach your baby’s actual seat securely in place.

Installing an Infant Car Seat with LATCH/ISOFIX System

Step 1:

Locate the LATCH system hooks/ISOFIX connectors available on your baby car seat and on your actual car seat.

Step 2:

After locating these hooks/slots, make sure to securely hook your baby car seat to the car’s LATCH/ISOFIX system.

Step 3:

Pull the adjusters available in your baby car seat’s base. Pull it in such a way that your infant’s safety seat will not move more than an inch.

Unlike the LATCH system, the ISOFIX provides an indicator that you have pulled the adjustment belts correctly. Pull it until the indicator on the belt is green.

Step 4:

Test for the installation’s integrity by wiggling this base attachment side to side. Again, we don’t want any movement of more than one inch.

Step 5:

If you notice any movement that’s more than our description, reinstall as necessary.

Most Asked Questions on Radar Detectors

What is the age limit for infant car seat?

There is no actual imposed age for use of a car seat. The car seats that we have shown you all work around the weight of your babe. Therefore, as long as your baby is within the car seat’s weight limit, they can still be safely secured in the car seat that you have bought.

Is an infant car seat mandatory in the United States?

There is no one law or ruling regarding the use of car seats across the United States as the Federal government has left this responsibility to each of the state’s lawmakers. For specific ruling, consult your concerned state law.

However, safety guidelines are recommended by the NHTSA are as follows:

  • Children from birth up to 12 months or until the weight limit is reached must remain in Rear-facing seat mode. 
  • Your children are recommended to remain in rear-facing mode until such a time that they have outgrown the car seat’s weight and height limit. You can transition them to a forward-facing car seat once the limit is breached.
  • Booster seat – recommended for children between 4 to 7 years old or for as long as the child has outgrown the maximum height and weight limitations set by your car seat manufacturer
  • Vehicle’s seat belt system – for children between 8-12 years old or until the seat belt fits properly on the child. In order for you to know when it’s time to completely let go of your safety seat, ensure that the shoulder part of the seat belt is lying snugly across your young one’s shoulder and chest. The lap belt or the bottom part of the seat belt should fit across the child’s upper thighs and not on their tummy. If none of these descriptions fit right now, get your child a booster seat.

When should I install my infant car seat?

Installation of your infant car seat or capsule should be right before you expect your baby to come. 

Remember, unrestrained children or the misuse of the infant car seat is the highest cause of children’s fatality/morbidity during a dangerous car accident. 

Always keep your children safe by providing them the necessary safety seats for a stress-free car ride every time.

Wrapping Up

As a parent or a guardian it is automatic to worry about your child’s safety. To prevent further stress on your part, there are instruments that help you make safety ascertain one of which is an infant car seat.

With an infant car seat, your baby is safely snuggled while you drive to your destination. As long as the car seat is right for their height and weight and is properly installed, your worries will easily melt away.

For more safety tips and baby product guides be sure to always drop by our homepage!

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