Even the most seemingly simple products can prove remarkably complex. Especially when you are trying to find the one that is right for you. That’s why we put this article together, we want to use our expertise to guide you towards the best rated car seats for babies.
Infant car seats are one of the first things that new and expecting parents buy when shopping for their baby.
It may not surpass the importance of primary necessities like clothing, feed Bottles, bibs, and other baby stuff. But if you have a car and you are expecting, then an infant car seat is definitely a must for you to have.
In preparing this list we have reviewed literally dozens of products basing our rankings on a number of factors including the features of the product, value for money and the reputation of the manufacturer. We even read countless reviews from others just like you.
The final selected products meet and, in some cases, exceeded our high standards. So, you will definitely be able to find the right product for you saving yourself a lot of time and countless trips to the store in the process. We came up with this list by taking consideration of the price, durability, longevity, safety, and usefulness.
Over 85% of infant car seats in America are installed incorrectly and one of the reasons why you get a little bit of a nicer car seat is they have different installation features that make it easier.
Let’s get started!
Best Rated Car Seats for Babies:
- 1 Best Rated Car Seats for Babies:
- 2 1. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat:
- 3 2. Graco SnugRide 35 – Best for Newborn Babies:
- 4 3. Maxi Cosi Mico 30 – Best Baby Car Seat:
- 5 4. Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360:
- 6 5. Uppababy Mesa – Best Rated Infant Car Seat:
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|Car Seats||Safety Harness||Weight Range||Price|
|Chicco KeyFit 30|
|Yes||4-30 lbs||Check Price|
|Graco SnugRide 35||Yes||4-35 lbs||Check Price|
|Maxi Cosi Mico 30||Yes||4-30 lbs||Check Price|
|Safety 1st onBoard 35||Yes||4-35 lbs||Check Price|
|Uppababy mesa infant car seat||Yes||4-35 lbs||Check Price|
1. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat:
This is a rear-facing car seat for babies from 4 to 30 pounds and up to 30 inches in height.
The Chicco KeyFit comes in two pieces the car seat and a base. The base included in the box so you don’t have to buy the base separately. Though with all infant car seats you can buy extra bases if you have multiple cars or other people want to have their own base.
It comes with easy little buttons on the side which enable you to adjust the level of the base. It also has LATCH Connectors which is an acronym for Lower Anchor and Tether for Children Home.
In America cars after 2002 latches have installed in the back of the car.
As it is a KeyFit 30 so it goes up to 30 pounds. But in terms of the height sometimes the babies will grow from a height before weight. In that case, you don’t want the baby to go more than an inch from above the top of the shell of the seat. Then you want the baby out of the infant car seat and going into a convertible car seat.
There are a number of safety features to this car seat and hopefully, you won’t need to use these. But just in case of an accident it is great to know that they do exist.
- There is an energy-absorbing foam that provides extra impact protection.
- It also has the removable insert for smaller babies so between 4 and 11 pounds which offers them extra support around their head, neck, and back and also makes them more secure in the seat itself.
- The seat pad is thickly cushioned and there is a 5-point harness. So, in addition to safety, these also provide additional comfort for your baby which is great for those long car rides.
- The harness straps have three adjustment heights so you can change it as your baby grows.
To loosen the straps all you do is press the button and then once the baby is secured you pull the strap to tighten it. You also then would adjust the chest bar accordingly and it should be about armpit height.
The infant carrier itself easily detached by lifting the handle in the back and then you can carry your baby around in this. It does weigh under 20 pounds but keeps in mind that it feels a lot heavier once you have an actual baby in it.
There is also a retractable canopy for shade though this one is pretty stiff and it is not the easiest to adjust. I also wish it came out further because as it is now it won’t provide much sun protection.
Installing the seat properly in your car is key to your child safety and like most car seats there are two ways to install the base. There is the latch system or you can always use your car seat belt.
For installation, first, you have to adjust the base of the seat.
Then you have to attach the latches in your car seat by click on both ends of the latches. After that apply some pressure and you will find a loop on the top of the base. You need to pull that loop tight, you need to have less than one inch of movement at the base.
But I like to have basically no movement. Just by applying pressure and pulling the loop, there is a little bubble indicator on the side. So, you know that it is properly fitted. You need to have your baby to be at a 45-degree angle rear-facing when they are in an infant car seat.
- Newborn positioner.
- It comes with the bubble levels on both sides of the base so you can see that it is at the correct angle.
- The fabrics are machine-washable.
- Base is extremely easy to install.
- The sun shade is too small.
- Not suitable for bigger babies.
- Legroom extension cannot be used in forward-facing mode.
The last thing is people ask all the time how long they are going to use this. Are they going to use this to 30 pounds? What happens is this car seat is about 9 or 10 pounds.
And when your baby weighs 20 pounds and the whole thing together like 30 pounds. It gets super heavy. The baby is going to graduate out of this thing and that happens between say 9 months and a year. It’s when babies typically grow out of the infant car seat and move into a convertible car seat.
2. Graco SnugRide 35 – Best for Newborn Babies:
Graco SnugRide 35 infant car seat is the lightest infant car seat for easy carrying. This seat combines the ultimate in safety and comfort to protect your baby from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches.
The Graco SnugRide 35 is top-rated by leading consumer magazines making it one of America’s most popular infant car seats.
It is rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed US safety standards. It keeps your baby safe and secure from that very first ride home.
The SnugRide 35 is designed to help safely transport infants from just 4 pounds all the way up to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall. This lightweight seat is super portable with all of the safety and comfort features that moms love and expect.
Parents love the convenience of its latch equips that stay in car base. The on-base level indicator and 6 position dial adjustment helps eliminate installation guesswork. So, you are sure that the base and the seat are installed properly. You can also purchase an extra-base so you can install it in another car for an easy transition.
There is removable newborn head support and 5-point front-adjust harness that helps you get baby in and out with ease.
Finally, it fits with all grey coat click connect strollers with a one-step secure attachment to create a travel system it connects with a secure click.
- It features side impact protection, EPS energy-absorbing foam for effective impact energy management, a 5-point harness for security and a front adjustment harness making it easier to get baby in and out of the car seat.
- The form-fitting total body protection includes both head and body support that keep infants secure. These features can be removed to make more room as your little one grows all the way up to 35 pounds.
- The SnugRide 35 latch equipped base features a one-hand dial adjustment and visual level indicator to ensure the proper installation angle.
- It also features a belt lock-off for easier belt installation. This seat fits all Graco strollers and lets you easily create a custom-built travel system.
- The SnugRide 35 will keep your little one secure from the start.
- This seat is ideal for smaller babies.
- Easy to use and pretty straight forward.
- Adjustable base with 4 recline positions.
- Light-weight, comfy and secure.
- Release handle is difficult.
- Straps are short for bigger babies.
With excellent safety features, comfort for your little one, and the ability to build your own click connect travel system. The SnugRide 35 is a perfect option in best-rated car seats for babies and it also helps safely transport your baby.
3. Maxi Cosi Mico 30 – Best Baby Car Seat:
Maxi Cosi 30 is a rear-facing infant car seat with lots of fashionable and functional features. This car seat is one of the lightest on the market.
It comes with Air Protect Technology which is embedded for side impact protection. The adjustable base is an easy one-click latch system. The self-wicking fabric keeps baby cool and dry. The fabric can be removed for a quick wash.
The handlebar is curved to make lifting this in and out of the car easier. Additionally, it has a thick layer of energy-absorbing EPP foam and an extra-large canopy all make this very safe for baby.
A round soft infant insert allows this carrier to have babies as little as four pounds. This car seat also includes a lower body wedge for preemies. The wedge is a very thoughtful and useful touch because it boosts the newborn up higher so the shoulder straps can fit exactly right. The wedge is helpful for smaller newborns so parents have to decide if they really need the lower wedge.
This car seat is also compatible with the Maxi Cosi and Quinny strollers. Strollers are sold separately. The Miko max 30 infant car seat is for use from birth with babies weighing 4 pounds up to 30 pounds.
It is also FAA certified to be used on airplanes.
Overall this is a great rear-facing infant car seat that has some very thoughtful details for your child safety, comfort and for the parents.
- It also includes the anti-rebound bar on the base.
- Extremely lightweight.
- Huge canopy and easily removable fabrics.
- This car seat is also approved for air travel.
- Good quality standard car seat.
- 5-points harness with Maxi Cosi.
- Machine washable.
- Comfortable fabric.
- Expensive product.
4. Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360:
Safety 1st onboard 35 is a lightweight and one of the best-rated car seats for babies which has a removable seat pad that is machine washable as well.
It has side impact protection that works with a baby from 4 pounds all the way up to 35 pounds.
As we all know that the infant car seats are always rear-facing and it has a nice thick canopy with an additional pop-out for added shade.
It works seamlessly with the step and goes stroller with no additional adapters.
- The most important feature of the onboard is a revolutionary side impact protection.
- The wings of the seat use air to automatically and immediately reduce impact forces. This car seat is among the safest on the market.
- The onboard also features a customizable insert and a five-point safety harness.
- The base of the seat uses a very secure belt lock system or latch system.
- Although it is recommended that a professional install all car seats to ensure proper installation and safety.
- Finally, this seat has an adjustable canopy and handle for your convenience.
- Strong Construction.
- Extra padding for safety and protection.
- Easy cleanup with washable interior.
- Nice fabric.
- You cannot install the carrier independent of the base.
- Difficult to install.
5. Uppababy Mesa – Best Rated Infant Car Seat:
The Uppababy Mesa comes with an incredible Smart Secure System that installs in seconds. Its fabric is also tailored with really nice stitching.
The wings are made from an EPP foam and the cool thing about this foam is that it absorbs and directs shock and energy from your child. Its base is super easy to install which makes the car seat itself safer. The crab handle is pretty comfortable.
Uppababy mesa also has the standard 5-points harness system. The Mesa specifically has a no-rethread harness which means as your baby gets bigger the headrest and the side impact protection rises without having to rethread the harness.
So, all you do is you take the canopy back. That is important because most parents don’t realize that you need to rethread the harness and put your child’s actually in it so your harness should always be at or below an inch of your child’s shoulders.
It is to ensure that they don’t experience any like sharp upward movement in a car accident. So no-rethread harness is nice because once you have your child in it, you can pull up on that tab and move the headrest up and down, to exactly where you need it to be without removing your child from the car seat.
- Woven wool fiber material and flame retardant.
- Two-panel canopy with very airy and breezy feel.
- Color changing indicator window that confirms the base has been correctly installed.
- This car seat is suitable for infants from 4-35 pounds and up to 35’’ in height.
- It also includes an infant insert which ensures a better fit with small infants.
- The seat and canopy fabric are removable and washable for easy cleaning.
- Super safe.
- Chemical free material and fabric.
- Wonderful color.
- Level indicator on both sides of the base.
- Compatible with all Uppababy strollers.
- The straps are too short.