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Carley Roney

Professional Baby Expert

Best Infant Car Seats & Baby Car Seats

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Safety is the top priority when it comes to baby’s first car seat, but how do you really know which one is the right pick for you? I’ve sorted through the top models to help you find the comfiest, most secure ride for your babe. Sorry, toddler-moms - this one’s all about infant-only seats. I also stuck to those with 5-point safety harnesses, which most experts agree are tops, and all models here include a snap-in base that can stay in your car for easy comings and goings. When you’ve found the seat that seems right for you, be sure to check for any recalls, learn to install it correctly, and keep the receipt until you’ve tried it out - different models work better with different cars.

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When searching for the best infant car seat, turn to our experts who've scanned the Web for the best seats car selections that are easy to use and safest. Always the best price, these best baby car seats are essential for when baby arrives.

Best Infant Car Seats by Carley Roney

The Best You Can Get

  • Britax Companion

    Carley says: Britax has a reputation for safety and quality, and the Companion shows why. The patented anti-rebound bar on the base is made to keep the seat super-stable. The company also developed a True Side Impact Protection system, including deep side walls and super-padded head support for extra defense. Add the EPS foam and tangle-free, 5-point harness, and baby’s very well taken care of. Do beware of the weight, though; at nearly 10 pounds (not including the base), this one will give you a workout.

    • For babies up to 22 pounds & 30 inches
    • Anti-rebound bar
    • Extra protection for side impact crashes
    • Compatible with select Britax strollers
    • Great head support
  • Graco SnugRide

    Carley says: This seat is an old fav. The best features: It’s lightweight (7.5 pounds), performs great in crash tests, is easy to pop in and out of its base, and has a rotating 180-degree canopy to keep baby good and shaded. The carrying handle is also more ergonomic and cushy than some other seats, making it easier to lug around as a carrier. Just be sure to grab a model made in 2007 or later - earlier models didn’t have EPS foam protection.

    • For babies up to 22 pounds & 29 inches
    • 2007+ models have EPS foam
    • Removable infant head support on some models
    • Loads of color and pattern choices
    • Compatible with select Graco strollers
  • Graco Infant SafeSeat

    Carley says: Graco is well known for its reliable seats, and this is the company’s answer to parents who want to get more mileage out of their first car seat. Unlike most infant varieties that hold babies who weigh up to 22 pounds, the SafeSeat stretches the limit up to 30 pounds, meaning at least a year of use for most families.

    • For babies up to 30 pounds & 32 inches
    • EPS foam
    • Lots of color, pattern, and model choices
    • Comfy carrying handle
    • Cushy GracoPedic luxury foam padding on some models
  • Chicco KeyFit 30

    Carley says: Like Graco’s SafeSeat, the Chicco KeyFit is a great option for those who want get a longer usage period out of their infant seat. It’s rated for babies from 4 to 30 pounds - though long, lean infants might outgrow the 30-inch height limit before they outweigh the seat. This one’s super-padded, both for crash protection and baby’s comfort, and its ease-of-use ratings are through the roof.

    • For babies 4 to 30 pounds, up to 30 inches
    • Adjustable recline positions
    • Removable newborn insert
    • Thick cushioning
    • Fits with Chicco Cortina and Trevi strollers
  • Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP

    Carley says: The Viaggio was already a nice option, but now these guys have outdone themselves with updates that make this seat truly top-of-the-line. In 2007, Peg Perego added greater side impact protection that adjusts with baby’s growth, less rigid foam to make the headrest snugglier, a rubberized grip for more comfortable carrying, and best of all, soft, Comfort-dry microfiber fabric on the back and headrest to prevent hot, sweaty babies (which was actually a problem with previous models).

    • Comfort-dry microfiber
    • Adjustable hood
    • Fits with all Peg Perego strollers
    • Adjustable side impact protection

You will be happy with any of these

  • Maxi-Cosi Mico

    Carley says: At 8.65 pounds, the European-designed Mico makes traveling a breeze, and the Cozi-Dozi insert keeps baby’s head from bopping around when you’re on the go. It’s sturdy and has EPP foam to protect baby in case of an accident, and also gets big points for design (and for fitting with the cute Quinny Buzz and Zapp strollers).

    • Canopy with see-through sides
    • Fits with Quinny Buzz and Zapp strollers
    • EPP foam protection
    • 6 color choices
    • Lightweight
  • Combi Connection LX

    Carley says: Another lightweight option (only eight pounds), the Connection LX doesn’t offer a ton of color choices, but the ones available are simple and cute, and the seat comes with great quality padding as well as great EPS foam protection. Installing and removing this one’s a cinch, and the Mommy’s Lap infant insert keeps baby secure when the seat is used as a carrier.

    • For babies up to 22 pounds & 29 inches
    • Lightweight
    • Compatible with select Combi strollers
    • Washable seat cushion
  • Baby Trend Flex-Loc

    Carley says: With its one-hand removal system, the Flex-Loc is great for parents that plan to use the seat as a carrier or stroller attachment on a regular basis. It’s height-adjustable and has EPS foam protection that exceeds safety requirements. And the strange triangle on the handle? That’s to make it easier to easily pick up the carrier from any angle. Another bonus: the seat padding is machine-washable.

    • For babies up to 22 pounds & 28.5 inches
    • Easy one-hand seat release
    • Flexible latch straps
    • Height-adjustable
  • Mia Moda Viva

    Carley says: The Viva seat isn’t the fanciest of the bunch, but it has a decent design, an adjustable canopy, and energy-absorbing foam, and fits with several of the cute Mia Moda strollers. It’s lightweight too - a mere 7.2 pounds!

    • For babies up to 22 pounds
    • Fits with several Mia Moda strollers
    • 7 chic color choices
    • Super-lightweight
  • Safety 1st Starter DX

    Carley says: This Safety 1st seat has no frills and will never be accused of being chic, but it does keep baby strapped in safely and offers head and hip support. The peek-a-boo window keeps the canopy from blocking your view of baby, and you certainly can’t argue with the price.

    • For babies up to 22 pounds & 29 inches
    • 4 harness heights
    • Peek-a-boo window on canopy
    • Comfort carry handle

Related Articles

Check out our best infant car seat recommendations for the safest and most durable picks on the Web. These best baby car seats feature five-point safety harnesses and are designed for babies, not toddlers. Always the best price, our best seats car suggestions also snap in to the car for ease of use.