Best Rear-Facing Car Seats

If you have the same question as us when we have our first baby: what is the best infant car seat for my newborn? The short answer is the Chicco KeyFit 30.

Done. This article ends here 🙂

The Chicco KeyFit 30 was our first choice and it will always be. But different families have different needs on a child safety car seat. So we do this list for first-time parents who are looking for a top-rated and safe newborn car seat for their first child, saving your time to do the paperwork in the research stage.

Being parents is very exciting, I know this feeling as you, ensuring your baby’s safety is the next biggest thing in your mind. The car seat might be the first and most important investment you can make for your newborns. After all, the hospital won’t let you leave if you don’t have a child safety seat in your car.

It’s not easy to find a perfect car seat for newborn babies, especially for new parents who have their first kid. There are so many car seat models, infant car seats, convertibles, booster seat, etc. These are the common car seat types on the market, but today, we focus on the newborn baby car seats.

So we will have some tips and considerations for you later in this buying guide if you are planning to purchase a baby infant car seat for your own little or as a gift for your family’s new member.

The right one makes the perfect one. Both the car seat experts and official US bureau like NHTSA advise parents to purchase an appropriate car seat based on the baby’s weight, height, and age, because all the car seats, including the infant ones, are manufactured with weight and height limitations.

Weight and Height Limits of Infant Car Seats

Most baby car seats’ weight and height limits are ranged between 30-35 pounds for weight and 30-32 inches for height. You should have known that the baby infant car seat can ONLY be used in rear-facing.

According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) new guidelines, it is better to keep your children in rear-facing as long as possible, different to 2 years old age limitation before update in 2018. Luckily, the 30-35 lbs. weight limit or 30-32 inches height limit can allow most children stay in rear-facing for their second or third birthday before they outgrow their baby car seats.

Of course, there are other things for consideration, like the SIP (side impact protection), features and functionality, Amazon reviews, and extras such as lightweight for easy portable, narrow width for small cars. We narrowed our search to 6 of the best infant car seats you can consider to buy.

The 6 Top-rated Infant Car Seats for Newborn Babies

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Best Overall – Chicco KeyFit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
Top Pick – Chicco KeyFit 30

[su_pullquote]Fits: 4-30 lbs. and up to 30 inches[/su_pullquote]

Short review: For newborn infants, we’ve identified the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat as the best bet. While it has an affordable price under $200, this car seat has some excellent features which won’t disappoint you, especially if you have a compact car without much space for a car seat. The Chicco KeyFit 30 is the only car seat on the market recommended for premature infants. That’s why we select it as our best pick of baby car seats.

The Chicco KeyFit 30 can be used for newborns who are weighing from 4 to 30 pounds and up to 30 inches in height. If your baby is born prematurely, a small infant car seat is necessary to ride him/her safely and comfortably. Then you should consider the Chicco KeyFit 30, which is recommended by many neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses for premature infants.

To make the little stay comfortable in the car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 30 includes a removable infant head and body insert. For premature or smaller babies, the infant insert offers extra support and keeps them secure. As they grow large enough, the insert is removable. There is also an adjustable and removable canopy that can provide shade from the sun when taking the little outside with the base in the car.

The Chicco KeyFit 30 comes with many excellent features to be the easiest-to-install infant car seat so that first-time parents will place it in your car simply, properly and securely. A ReclineSure leveling foot and two RideRight bubble level-indicators help you to set up the car seat in proper angle. The base included in the seat is equipped with LATCH connectors and a SuperCinch tightener, ensuring for a secure fit in the cars.

All the car seats are required to pass the crash testing before going to the market, so does the Chicco KeyFit 30. It also meets the Federal Safety standards and offers extra side impact protection by the EPS energy-absorbing foam carrier shell. The five-point harness with one-pull tightening gives more support to keep the baby secure in the cars.

The KeyFit 30 is a lightweight infant car seat, making it very portable and easy to switch between cars. And it’s recommended to get multiple bases that compatible with the KeyFit 30 in different family cars so that you don’t need to purchase several baby car seats. The 2-position carrying handle gives you a comfortable grip when you take the carrier out of the car. The carrier weighs only 9.5 pounds and is compatible with Chicco strollers for travel system use.

This car seat is FAA approved for air travel. So if you’re frequent-flyer families and like to take babies for traveling in different cities or countries, this KeyFit 30 can serve the dual purpose of keeping your baby safe in the car and in the air.

The KeyFit 30 is made of machine-washable fabrics that can be removed separately into the washer with cold water for cleaning, but not use bleach; The plastics and hardware may be sponge cleaned using warm water and mild soap and dried with towel, while the harness is not machine washable and can only be cleaned using warm water and mild soap.

Key Features of Chicco KeyFit 30

* SuperCinch® LATCH tightener for a secure fit
* Removable newborn head and body support and canopy for great comfort
* Compatible with Chicco strollers for travel system use
* 5-point harness with one-pull tightener
* Carrier shell lined with EPS energy-absorbing foam for improved impact protection
* 2-position carry-handle providing a comfortable grip

Specs of Chicco KeyFit 30

* Rear-facing Passenger Weight Range: 4-30 lbs.
* Rear-facing Passenger Height Limit: up to 30 inches
* Seat Weight: Carrier – 9.5 lbs.; Base- 7 lbs.
* Seat Width: 17 inches
* Seat Lifespan: 6 years
* Compliant Strollers: Chicco strollers

The good: Chicco KeyFit 30 is the best option for premature babies. Featuring a compact design, this car seat is suitable for small cars or growing families. Weighing under 10 pounds, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is very lightweight for portable use and make it easier for you to switch it between different cars. It also earns a relatively high score in the crash test ratings based on the babygearlab reports.

The not good: With low weight and height limits, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is not a great preference for families that have tall babies. The cushion is not made of breathable materials, and the babies may feel not that comfortable as in a high-quality-made 2018 UPPAbaby Mesa or Primo Viaggio 4/35.

Runner-up – Britax B-Safe Ultra

Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat
Runner-up: Britx B-Safe Ultra

Fits: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches

Short review: If you are looking for an newborn car seat for the tall babies, the Britax B-Safe Ultra might be a great option, offering both higher weight limit and height limit than the Chicco KeyFit 30. This car seat comes with a safety system to ensure better security for your child. Compliant with the Britax strollers, this B-Safe Ultra car seat can be easily turned to a traveler system on the go.

This Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat can hold babies who are weighing from 4 pounds to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches in height. That means, you can use this car seat for taller babies until they are 1 year of age, as 1-year-old toddlers usually weigh about 31 pounds on average. But for infants who grow faster than common kids, they need a convertible car seat when outgrowing his/her baby car seat.

Like all the infant car seats, the Britax B-Safe Ultra is crash tested and meets or exceeds the Federal Safety requirements. The patented SafeCell Impact Protection safety system includes SafeCell Impact-Absorbing Base and Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame to ensure your child’s safety in case of any crashes. Plus, this car seat also features 2 lays of side protection with the deep foam-lined shell that promises to absorb energy and reduce force to shield your child. The B-Safe Ultra is made in the USA, assuring you with the high quality for safety.

Britax boasts of over twenty baby infant car seats on sale, and all of them are designed for easy installation with simple steps and kind reminders. The SafeCenter LATCH allows you to simply tighten and secure the newborn car seat base in your vehicle. The LATCH Connectors can be easily locked into the fitting place with the help of an audible click and simply released with the push of the button.

You can effortlessly install the car seat with the vehicle’s seat belt by following the European Belt Guide and with the help of built-in lock-offs. To help you install the car seat in a proper angle for your child’s comfortable fit, there is a spring-assisted recline and two level indicators.

The B-Safe Ultra features an adjustable harness, making it easy to change the harness height without rethreading for growing children and provide them a secure snug fit in the car seat. The removable pillow provides extra support and comfort when your baby is small and can be removed as they grow. The plush foam padding and fabrics are machine-washable and also removable for cleaning without having to remove the harness. Its extra-large canopy helps keep your little one cool and comfortable in the big sun, or even in rain.

The Britax B-Safe Ultra is designed to be compatible with the company’s strollers for a travel system use. You can easily press the harness button to loosen the straps and take the seat out of the car. The ergonomic-designed handle allows you to comfortably carry with your hand or forearm, but considering its weight about 11 pounds, you don’t want to hold the carrier for a long time. That’s why you need to connect it with a stroller.

This car seat is also FAA approved for air travel.

Key Features of Britax B-Safe Ultra

* Car seat for tall babies: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches
* SafeCenter LATCH and built-in seat belt lock-offs for easy fitting
* SafeCell Impact Protection including SafeCell Impact-Absorbing Base and Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame to ensure child’s safety
* Quick-adjust harness with no rethreading and 2-position buckle for a comfortable fit for growing children
* 2 layers of side impact protection and quick-adjust head protection for better safety
* Machine-washable cool flow ventilated mesh fabric for extra comfort
* Spring-assisted recline and dual level indicators for the best vehicle setup angle
* Wide compatibility with many Britax strollers for travel system use.
* Ergonomic carry handle for comfortable grip

Specs of Britax B-Safe Ultra

* Rear-facing Passenger Weight Limit: 4-35 lbs.
* Rear-facing Passenger Height Limit: up to 32 inches
* Seat Weight: Carrier – 11 lbs.; Base- 9.5 lbs.
* Seat Width: 17.8 inches
* Seat Lifespan: 6 years
* Compliant Strollers: B-Agile, B-Free, B-Mobile, B-Ready Strollers using the built-in adapters and with all BOB Single and Duallie strollers (Adapter sold separately)

The good: Britax B-Safe Ultra has a higher upper weight and height limit, and it is very suitable for tall babies. It is very easy to set up for use, just like other Britax car seats. It’s compatible with many Britax strollers with the built-in adapters.

The not good: The only disadvantage of the Britax B-Safe Ultra baby car seat is the high price, over $200. If you’re on a budget, you can find the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT for alternative.

Best for Strollers – Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35

Fits: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches

Short review: The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Car Seat is also a great option for the tall babies, just like Britax B-Safe Ultra. It is also one of the most stylish baby car seats combining beauty and functionality. This rear-facing baby car seat can attach directly to all Peg Perego G-Matic System strollers, without the need for adapters or connectors. Compatible with up to 9 strollers, the Primo Viaggio 4/35 is absolutely one the best infant car seats for strollers.

This baby infant car seat uses an infant cushion insert for newborns as light as 4 pounds and can support a child up to 35 pounds or 32 inches in height. For babies growing at a common pace, he or she can stay in this car seat until they reach the weight or height limit at their first year birthday or even at one year and a half. And for those taller babies, the Primo Viaggio 4/35 is also friendly enough until they outgrow the limitations.

The Peg Perego is an Italy company and the Primo Viaggio is an European-style child safety seat, but this does not mean it’s not safe to use. This car seat still meets all federal safety and crash-testing requirements. The EPS energy-absorbing foam fined shell and head panel offer side impact protection. There is also an anti-rebound bar in the base to reduce the force and provide better protection of a front or rear collision. It’s a pity that the bar is not adjustable, so it might not fit well in all vehicles.

The base for the Primo Viaggio 4-35 is equipped with the “Right Tight System,” which easily and securely locks the base in correct place for extra stability with either the LATCH strap or the vehicle seat belt. The LATCH connectors let you set up the car seat effortlessly. Thanks to the infinite recline and Tri-Zone Level Indicator, you can easily and precisely find the proper seat angle to adjust the seat as your child’s growth.

Made of Fresco Jersey soft and breathable fabric, the Primo Viaggio 4/35 offers maximum comfort for your child in the car seat. However, the cushions are not machine washable, this makes it less practical than other best infant car seats that feature machine-washable materials.

Designed and made in Italy, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 car seat looks luxury and premium. It comes with a very large hood to protect little babies from the sun and elements. But there isn’t much space between the carry handle and the canopy after it for protection, making it uncomfortable to use both handle and canopy at the same time. Luckily, it is adjustable and removable, and you can also attach the carrier to a Peg Perego stroller as soon as you take the seat out of the cars.

Weighing at only 9.5 pounds (the carrier), the Primo Viaggio 4/35 is portable and lightweight for easy switch between cars. The car seat is also FAA-certified for airplane usage. That means you can use it to make your baby stay in the same seat for air travel.

Key Features of Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35

* Car seat for tall babies: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches
* “Right Tight System” and LATCH connectors for easy placement
* The base has an anti-rebound bar to reduce the force and enhance the protection
* Dual Stage Cushion System to ensure secure and snug fit for growing children
* EPS energy-absorbing foam fined shell and head panel for better protection
* Infinite Recline and Tri-Zone Level Indicator for the best vehicle installation angle
* Wide compatibility with all Peg Perego G-Matic System strollers for travel system use
* Carry handle for easy switch
* Made in Italy

Specs of Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35

* Rear-facing Passenger Weight Range: 4-35 lbs.
* Rear-facing Passenger Height Limit: up to 32 inches
* Seat Weight: Carrier – 9.5 lbs.; Base- 7.4 lbs.
* Seat Width: 17 inches
* Compliant Strollers: all Peg Perego G-Matic System strollers
* Seat Lifespan: ? years

The good: The Primo Viaggio 4/35 is also a very appealing option for tall babies, with higher weight and height limits. Thanks to the additional anti-rebound bar, this car seat seems to provide a better protection for newborns.

The not good: Cons: However, the car seat cushion is not machine washable, this is really a pain point for busy parents who don’t have much time washing car seat pad in hand. The space between carrying handle and canopy is not big for using forearm to carry the seat.

Best Design – 2018 UPPAbaby MESA

2018 UPPABaby MESA Infant Car Seat
Best Designed – 2018 UPPAbaby MESA

Fits: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches

Short review: If you want to ride your baby in a stylish car seat, the UPPAbaby Mesa won’t disappoint you. It features a sleek design and is made of the look-premium fabrics, making the UPPAbaby Mesa one of the few high-end infant car seats, like the Primo Viaggio, both in price and features.

As a premium newborn car seat with a beautiful design and look, the UPPAbaby Mesa is not a budget item and costs almost $300, with which you can even purchase a great convertible car seat for longer use. However, it is still a good option with some excellent safety and convenience features, if the budget is not your major concern.

Like many baby car seats, the UPPAbaby Mesa can securely fit newborns as small as 4 pounds, thanks to the included infant insert which provides a flatter and safer riding position for preemies and small newborns 4-8 lbs. As babies grow, the MESA supports to accommodate children as large as 35 pounds or 32 inches in height. In other words, you’ll be able to use this seat for your baby until he or she is 15 to 21 months old, according to average growth rates. And if your young grows faster than others, this car seat can also be used for younger tall babies anyway.

Like all car seats on the market, the UPPAbaby Mesa meets or exceeds federal safety requirements. This car seat also features side impact protection, which is incorporated into the shell construction and EPP foam-constructed wings, keeping your child’s head stationary, reducing the forces and minimizing head trauma and whiplash in any event of collision. The adjustable headrest offers extra protection and can be moved up as your child grows.

Most infant car seats use the LATCH connectors for simple fast, accurate installing, so does UPPAbaby MESA. It’s even easier to set up MESA car seat in the vehicles, thanks to the unique tightness indicator that helps to assure you that the seat is installed correctly by turning from red to green.

To keep your little cool and comfortable in the seat, the UPPAbaby MESA is made of soft, breathable and moisture-wicking fabrics that are machine washable for practical use. And the canopy is large enough to protect babies from the sun when you attach the seat to a stroller for outside walking. However, some customers complain about the canopy that could be stained in the rain. This is the biggest disadvantages of the MESA as it can’t hold for all weather conditions.

This car seat is compatible with only two types of strollers coming from the same UPPAbaby company – VISTA and CRUZ. Better less than none. But if you want a car seat with more compatible stroller options, you might want to consider the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio.

The car seat is also FAA-certified for airplane usage. Considering its weight at about 9.9 pounds, the UPPAbaby MESA is quite acceptable for air travel and you can easily take it to the airport.

Key Features of UPPAbaby MESA

* Car seat for tall babies: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches
* Infant insert for preemies and smaller newborns 4–8 lbs
* Soft, breathable and moisture-wicking carrier fabrics keep babies cool and comfortable
* Side Impact Protection with adjustable headrest for enhanced protection for growing child
* No-rethread harness need to adjust with headrest
* Carry handle with stroller release button
* LATCH connectors with unique tightness indicator for an easier and safer setup
* Compatible with VISTA and CRUZ strollers without adapters

Specs of UPPAbaby MESA

* Rear-facing Passenger Age Range: up to 18~21 months old
* Rear-facing Passenger Weight Range: 4-35 lbs.
* Rear-facing Passenger Height Limit: up to 32 inches
* Seat Weight: Carrier – 9.9 lbs.; Base- 9 lbs.
* Seat Width: 17 inches
* Seat Lifespan: ? years
* Compliant Strollers: VISTA and CRUZ strollers

The good: The UPPAbaby MESA can be used for a longer time and is appropriate for tall babies. It’s very easy to set up and use for both your baby and you. The cushion is machine washable for easy cleaning.

The not good: The canopy can be stained with a result that not provides enough protection in the rain weather. As a new brand, the UPPAbaby MESA does not have many compatible strollers, can only be attached to its VISTA and CRUZ strollers.

Ultra Lightweight – Graco SnugRide 30

Graco SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat

Fits: 4-30 lbs. and up to 30 inches

Short review: If you’re frequent-flyer family and love traveling around the world even after you have a kid, the Graco SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat might be a great choice. Weighing at only 7 pounds, the SnugRide 30 is ultra-lightweight, making it easy for you to carry baby from car to stroller and everywhere in between. This car seat is also FAA-certified to be used in the aircraft, meaning that you can even it for air travel with your tiny through different cities.

The Graco SnugRide 30 is a rear-facing car seat for newborn infants as small as 4 pounds. Thanks to the 5-point, front-adjust harness, this car seat will still give small babies secure and snug fit, until he or she outgrows the baby car seat by reaching the weight limit of 30 pounds or height limit of 30 inches. From its weight or height limit, you’ll know that the Graco SnugRide 30 is not good for tall babies who grows beyond the average growth rate.

But Graco SnugRide 30 is still a safe infant car seat, goes through the rigorous crash testing, meets or exceeds the US safety standards FMVSS 213. Featuring side impact protection, along with the EPS energy absorbing foam, this car seat offers great protection for your little in case any crash happens.

Like all newborn infant car seats, the Graco SnugRide 30 also provides shade and sun protection for your baby with a canopy, which is rotatable for more space when you need to carry the handle. This car seat is compatible with all Graco Click Connect strollers, thanks to the Click Connect technology, with which you can easily attach the seat to strollers in one-step for a customized travel system that best fits your lifestyle.

The seat cushion is machine washable and you can simply remove it for cleaning. For the metal and plastic parts, you can clean them with mild soap and water, but for buckle, you’d better use a damp cloth for cleaning.

Key Features of Graco SnugRide 30

* Car seat for infants: 4-30 lbs. and up to 30 inches
* Ultra lightweight infant car seat weighing only 7 pounds
* Machine-washable fabrics keep little ones cool and comfortable
* Side Impact Protection for good protection
* EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management
* Engineered & crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213
* Rotating canopy provides shade and sun protection for babies
* Click Connect technology to connect with all Graco Click Connect strollers

Specs of Graco SnugRide 30

* Rear-facing Passenger Age Range: ??
* Rear-facing Passenger Weight Range: 4-30 lbs.
* Rear-facing Passenger Height Limit: up to 30 inches
* Seat Weight: Carrier – 7 lbs.; Base- 3.7 lbs.
* Seat Width: 17.5  inches
* Seat Lifespan: 7 years for car seat made 2011 or later; 6 years for car seats made prior to 2011
* Compliant Strollers: all Graco Click Connect stroller

The good: Graco SnugRide 30 comes with an ultra lightweight design for portable use. The car seat weighs only 7 pounds without the base. The cushion is machine washable for easy cleaning if you don’t have much time.

The not good: The weight and height limit is not high for tall babies. There are few compatible strollers to work with the Graco SnugRide 30, only the Graco’s strollers.

Best under $100 – Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT

Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat
Cheap – Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT

Fits: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches

Short review: If you don’t want to spend many on an infant car seat as babies grow fast to reach their seats’ weight or height limits, the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT is the best choice. Priced under $100, but it can be used for babies who are weighing from 4 pounds to 35 pounds or 32 inches, which is the weight and height limit for most high-class infant car seats. You absolutely want this seat if you don’t have much budget.

Plus, the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT fits well for smaller babies, with the included head and body inserts, which is removable as your child grows. The seat is also designed for a better-reclined body position for small babies to have a safer ride. The 4 harness heights are spaced decently to provide littles better fit for superior safety. The adjustable buckle also offers extra comfort by letting you customize the length and position for a more comfortable fit.

The Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT exceeds federal safety standards and is a safe infant car seat. The adjustable harness can be easily pulled up or down from the front of the seat for a secure fit for growing child. The base height is also adjustable to fit well in your car while providing safety to your baby.

This cheap baby car seat is compatible with all strollers that feature QuickClick. This allows you to securely attach the car seat to your stroller with one simple click, making it easy to use the car seat and a stroller together as a travel system.

The seat pad is machine washable and can be safely dried with a dryer. This car seat is also FAA-approved for air travel.

Key Features of Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT

* Car seat for infants: 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches
* Machine washable and dryer safe seat pad
* Side Impact Protection for safety
* 4 harness heights spaced right for a better fit from tiny to tall
* Extra newborn support with head and body inserts
* Adjustable base for the great fit to your car * Exceeds Federal Safety Standards * QuickClick® compatible stroller with one simple click LATCH equipped

Specs of Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT

* Rear-facing Passenger Age Range: ??
* Rear-facing Passenger Weight Range: 4-35 lbs.
* Rear-facing Passenger Height Limit: up to 32 inches
* Seat Weight: Carrier – 7 lbs.; Base- 3.7 lbs.
* Seat Width: 17.5  inches
* Seat Lifespan: 7 years for car seat made 2011 or later; 6 years for car seats made prior to 2011
* Compliant Strollers: all Safety 1st QuickClick® strollers

The good: As one of the cheapest car seat, the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT is priced under $100 on Amazon. It is also made of machine washable materials to save your time in cleaning the seat. It’s is easy to switch this car seat between different cars for it’s lightweight design.

The not good: This car seat only works compatibly with its own strollers.

When to Buy a Baby Infant Car Seat

After the exciting news that a new young is coming to your family, it’s time for you to prepare his or her birth. There are many things you need to prepare, and car seat is the most important one.

The hospital won’t let you take your newborn home without a child safety restraint seat in your car. So it’s better to find and buy an infant car seat before the baby’s birth. Generally speaking, the third trimester of pregnancy is the best time to buy a baby car seat.

Car seat is not an easy-to-understand device, especially for novices in parenting. For proper protection, the car seat must be placed and used following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Getting an infant seat in advance not only ensures that you have time to read the guide, but you’ll also need to compare and check if the car seat is compatible with your car or not. Some bulky car seats won’t fit well in small or compact cars.

Plus, you need time to find an excellent infant car seat for your newborn, comparing the seat’s functions, price, safety ratings, made of washable materials or not, and more.

Things to Consider to Look for the Best Infant Car Seats

Okay, it’s time to purchase a baby car seat, now what’s next? Do a search, find some, compare them and pick up the best option. It’s easy to make a list of dozens of car seat, you can find them on Amazon, Target, Walmart, or any other online or offline stores, but the most important and time-consuming part is to compare the car seats’ features, to check if it is the best option for your specific needs.

It’s recommended to keep these five questions in mind when selecting the best infant car seats for the coming little one.

  1. Which infant car seats offer the safest ride?
  2. Which are the most comfortable (for both babies and parents)?
  3. Which are the most user-friendly in terms of installation and daily use?
  4. Which have the highest weight and height limits to allow for extended rear-facing?
  5. Which are the most value for the money?

These questions give you a rough view. Based on the questions, we list some basic but important features to look for when you find a superior baby car seat.

Your budget. It’s absolutely okay that your kid deserves the very best. However, what he or she needs during their upgrowth are quite a lot more than just a car seat. All the baby things can add up quickly. You can always find a great seat whatever your price range, so just focus on those fall into your budget. This will save you both money and time.

Your vehicle. Car seats are available in different sizes. Not all car seats fit well in compact or small cars. Also consider how many car seats you want to place in the back row. Make sure you have measured and known how much room there is for a car seat and how much space will a car seat take up, especially when you need to locate it in a small car.

The Safety. All the car seats on the market are required to meet federal crash-test safety requirements. All best infant car seats in this list are FAA approved to assure you for your baby’s safety in a car seat. Some manufacturers promote their seat about additional safety features like anti-rebound bar, which is not federally regulated or testing proved for better protection.

Easy to install and use. Proper car seat installation increases safety. However, a study revealed that almost 95% of maiden parents made at least one mistake while installing and using baby car seats? Seats that are very easy to set up and intuitive to use are much less likely to be used incorrectly.

You might need special attention on the car seat buckles, clips, and LATCH system. You usually use a harness and chest clip to put the infant seat in your car and make sure you have the straps tightened strongly to secure your baby. Look for buckles, clips, and straps that are simple and require less strength to use and tighten.

The LATCH straps are also a necessity to set up the car seat with your car’s built-in LATCH system. Look for car seats coming with a LATCH that don’t require much strength for setup. Push-on connectors are generally easier than clip-style. The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35, for example, uses the push-on connectors.

Seamless switch. Infant car seats generally come with a separate base that can be left in the car. The separable design allows you to take the seat in or out of the car for easy switch between different cars. Most of the baby car seats can be used with strollers for a travel system. Look for some car seat that can be simply attached and detached to the base and buckled onto a stroller for a travel system, without waking up your little in his/her sleep during the switch.

Easy-to-clean and breathable fabrics. Infant car seats made with a smooth fabric can be wiped for cleaning more easily than a textured fabric such as corduroy. Most car seat covers are machine washable, but not all are dryer safe use, but as long as you’re not in a rush, hanging it with air dry is acceptable.

Car seats made of breathable materials provide the best comfort to your baby. If you can’t check this from the product description, you can check out the customers’ reviews to see what other parents say about their experience.

Grow with your child. Infant car seat is rear-facing only. To keep your young rear-facing as long as possible, the car seat with a higher weight limit is better for longer use, of course. Convertible car seats generally have a higher weight limit than newborn car seats. But for preemies, it’s recommended for parents to use a baby car seat like Chicco KeyFit 30.

What about the car seat brands? Graco and Britax have a few years of experience in the car seat industry, but other new brands found in millennial times are not bad anyway.

Types of Infant Car Seats

You’ll see many models of baby car seats on the market, online or offline. What you buy will depend on your preferences, budget, and child. After comparing the pros and cons of targeted ones, you’ll have the final decision.

Parents who have smaller or taller infants may have specific needs on a car seat. For example, a premature newborn of 4-5 pounds is better to be kept in a seat that fits small babies well, like the Chicco KeyFit 30.

There are four types of infant car seats. These terms explained below help you understand the newborn car seat better and make a better choice for your own little’s need.

1. Rear Facing Only

Rear-facing only seats (or infant car seats) are designed for newborns and infants weighing as little as 4 pounds with an upper weight limit up to 30-35 pounds, depending on the model. They are smaller and much lighter weight, typically have handles for carrying and attach to a base, which is separated and can be left in the car. The base is also available for sale separately, most makers provide additional bases for those families that have several cars.

Infants are put in the “cradle” of the seat and are secured using a five-point harness. Most infant seats come with a head support pillow or system to protect the little’s head and neck. Infant seats can recline and can be adjusted for comfort.

2. Convertible seat

Convertible seats can be used for both rear-facing and forward facing modes. They generally have a higher rear-facing weight limit up to 50 pounds and can be used for a longer time as your baby’s growth.

Many parents start with a convertible car seat because it will save money for this point, and toddlers can stay rear-facing until their second or even third birthday. Families that have taller babies could also use this type of car seat for the first-stage.

However, convertible seats tend to be bigger, heavier and cost more than rear-facing only seats. They don’t have the detachable base or carrying handle for portable use or switch.

3. All-in-One seats (or called 3-in-1 or 4-in-1)

All-in-one seats combine the three usages into one: rear-facing, forward facing, and belt-positioning booster. All-in-one car seats can be used with babies of various sizes, and they allow them to stay in the rear-facing position longer with a higher weight limit up to 50 pounds. They also have the highest forward-facing weight limit, some may ride children up to 120 pounds.

4. Travel Systems

Also called car seat/stroller combos. Most of the infant car seats can either be bought alone or as part of a baby travel system. The seat can simply click onto the stroller. Actually, it’s a money-saving way to buy a baby car seat and stroller so that you don’t have to buy both.

Generally, the newborn car seats can be only compliant with strollers coming from the same company, not fit well in strollers from other manufacturers. Some car seats have great compatibility with many strollers, like the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35; other car seats, like UPPAbaby MESA, only fits the Vista and Cruz strollers.

Different stroller models are available for option, you can pick up to match your lifestyle. 3-wheeled, 4-wheeled, jogging or double strollers, it’s up to your choice!

How to Install an Infant Car Seat

Buying a baby infant car seat is just the first step for your child’s safety, installing it PROPERLY is the second and most important step, because improper installation of a car seat can cause injuries even death to babies. You should always thoroughly read the car seat manual before doing anything. The State laws also suggest to set up and use the car seat following the manufacturer’s guide.

If you have any questions, you can search for tips and video guides on YouTube or the manufacturer’s official website. Or you can ask help from someone at the local police station, a pediatrician, a hospital, or even a baby store, if you still have questions. Do remember to call the manufacturer’s customer service if there is anything not clear.

1) Where

Car seat for newborn babies should be installed in rear-facing position, and the best place for fitting is the center of rear seat row. If you have a van or SUV with more than one backseat, the middle seat in the center row is better. Putting the car seat in the middle of backseat will prevent your child from playing with the window buttons and door locks.

The second best spot is the seat behind the passenger. This allows you to check your child in the child safety seat occasionally more easily without taking your eyes off the road for too long. And it’s much easier for parents to take the little in and out if the car seat places behind the passenger’s seat.

2) When

Just like you’d better buy a car seat in advance before the baby’s birth, you can also locate the seat in your car to test if it is installed properly or not, or if it is stable in the car. You can test by going around some corners to see how the seat moves. If it tips, slides around or rattles too much, you may have to make some adjustments.

For extra security, go to your local car seat technician, pediatrician or police station to have the seat checked by someone who will help to confirm that you’ve set up the seat correctly.

3) How

Let’s take installing a rear-facing infant car seat for example to explain the steps.

Step 1, put the car seat base in the middle seat of the car with a proper angle at a 30-45 degree to ride your baby most comfortable.
Step 2, use the vehicle’s seatbelt to secure the car seat base to the vehicle.
Step 3, lock the seatbelt by pulling the seatbelt all the way out and retracting back. You will hear it retract while it’s retracting.
Step 4, tighten the seatbelt by placing one hand on the car seat base and holding the seat belt shoulder strap with the other hand. Simultaneously pull the seatbelt slack while pushing down on the base.
Step 5, check the base for slack. The base should not move when wiggled more than an inch at the seat belt path.
Step 6, double check to make sure that the car seat base is tight when buckled and does not move more than an inch.
Step 7, install the car seat into the base using the “click connect” system. Different baby car seats may have a different system, but all have one.

These are the basic steps. If your car seat manual have different explanation, follow the manual.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which side is safest for car seat?

This is related to the position where parents need to place the car seat for their babies. The safest position is the centre of backseat or second row. A study showed for children from newborn to 3 years old seated in the center rear seat is 43% safer than sitting in eight of the side in the back.

However, only 28% of parents place their baby’s car seat in this spot. It was found that the rear passenger side is the most common place in the vehicle for a car seat, up to 41% parents in the research mount the child’s car seat here.

How to install more than one seats in the car?

It’s a common case to have two or more babies in a families. Follow the car installation location, the middle of the back seat is the safest place, the seat behind the passenger’s seat is the next and the last is the seat behind the driver’s seat.

If you have to set up two seats in the car, it would be better to put them in the back seat side by side, with the car seat for younger babies placed in the middle, and the other for older behind the passenger’s seat. But make sure the two car seats can be put in the same row.

Can a newborn use a convertible car seat?

Yes, some convertible car seats can ride newborn infants as little as 4 pounds, like the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. But for parents who have premature babies, it’s recommended to start with a baby car seat. Most infant car seats include support insert for the baby’s head and body for better security.

How long can you use infant car seat?

You can’t use a baby infant car seat for life time. They have a lifespan, which is different from usage time. While babies always outgrow their seats during their 1-3 ages, the car seat can be used for a longer time for their following siblings. Generally, most newborn car seats feature about 6 years of lifespan.

Do infant car seats need a base?

Yes. All baby car seats come with a base, and most parents place the car seat on the base, but this doesn’t mean you always need to set up the car seat with the base. Want to know the way to settle a baby car seat without base, just move to next question.

How to install infant car seat without base

Car seats featuring either American-style belt path or European-style belt path can be set up without their base.

This installation video on YouTube demonstrates to locate Chicco KeyFit 30 that features an American-style belt path without its base.

The summarised steps:

  • Recline the seat for an appropriate angle.
  • Pass lap belt through guides and buckle belt.
  • Engage seat belt’s locking mode by pulling slowly to end.
  • Apply pressure & pull shoulder beltCheck for tightness

If you have an infant seat with European-style belt path, it is supposed to Put the seat more securely in a much wider variety of vehicles. Seats with European-style belt path include Doona, Graco Snug Ride 35 Classic Connect, Nuna Pipa, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, UPPAbaby Mesa (older version before 2015), and more.

The installation video shows the steps:

  • Buckle babyPass lap belt through guides and buckle belt
  • Engage seat belt’s locking mode by pulling slowly to the end
  • Pass shoulder belt around carrier and into designated guide
  • Recline seatApply pressure & pull shoulder beltCheck for tightness

Many parents may wonder: Is it safe to use a carrier without a base? The Answer is yes.

Do you need an infant car seat?

That depends. For parents who have prematurely newborn infants, it would be better to use a baby car seat like Chicco KeyFit 30 for the child’s safety. But if your baby can fit a larger car seat well, it is perfectly OK to use a convertible car seat instead of buying an infant-only car seat and then transition to a convertible car seat. Whatever you use, make sure your newborn fits into the height and weight range for rear-facing to ride safely in these car seats.

What car seat is best for a newborn?

Both infant and convertible seats are a great option for newborns. For small babies, the infant car seats may be better, featuring some head and body inserts for better safety. Newborn car seats are also portable with a carrying handle so that you can take the baby in and out without waking them. Convertible car seats will save money for their longer use and lifespan and is better for families that have few budgets on a car seat.

How do I choose a newborn car seat?

It’s time- and energy-consuming to find a suitable car seat, this But there are some basic things you should consider for choosing the seat: your newborns, your car, your budget. A car seat that lets your little stay most comfortable is a more appealing option. Before purchasing a car seat, you should always check with your doctor with the baby’s conditions, like the estimated weight or height range, measure your car interior room for a seat. Then pick up one that falls into your budget.

How do I get my baby to LATCH properly?

To use the LATCH connectors to set up the car seat, make sure your vehicle has lower LATCH anchors. You should always read the car seat’s instruction manual and the vehicle’s owner manual before starting. Then you can follow these steps to mount the car seat with LATCH:

  • Place the baby car seat in the back center seat of your vehicle, in the rear-facing position. Locate the lower anchors in your vehicle.
  • Connect the lower anchor attachments on the car seat to the lower anchors, making sure the straps aren’t twisted across your toddler’s head or body.
  • Press down firmly on the car seat and tighten the straps. Tips to check the tightness: the car seat won’t be moved side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
  • Make sure your car seat is installed at the correct recline angle.
    • 30-45 degree angle: Babies must ride sitting semi-reclined to keep the airway open.
    • Most rear-facing car seats have built-in angle indicators or adjustors to assist you, generally found near to the bottom on the side.
    • The angle may need to be adjusted as your child grows, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

How do you strap a baby in a car seat?

The car seats that can be used in rear-facing generally have 5-point harness to strap and secure the babies. Doctor Alisa from the Car Seat Lady has made this video for parents to strap their babies in a correct way.  The summarized steps:

  • Loosen the straps. You should pull the shoulder straps towards you while pushing/lifting loosening tab to make the straps loose.
  • Slide bottom back. Make sure the baby’s bottom is all the way into the back of the car seat.
  • Buckle between legs on both sides.
  • Buckle chest clip.
  • Tighten the straps by gathering the slack bottom to top. Pull straps up while still keeping chest clip low, then pull the tail of the bottom of the seat to make sure the straps tighten enough.
  • Check for snugnessMove the chest clip to armpits

The video also shows how to put a blanket to swaddle the baby correctly in the car seat.

Will an infant car seat expire?

Yes. All car seats have limited lifespan, about several years. For the infant car seat case, the lifespan is generally 6 years. Convertible and booster seat can be used longer and generally also have a longer lifespan up to 10 years.

When stop using baby infant car seat?

All infant car seats have weight and height limits. Most US State laws recommend you stop using them and move your child to a higher-weight-and-height-limit convertible car seat once your little one has outgrown their infant car seats. The highest weight or height limit is usually reached somewhere between 9 and 18 months. But it’s better to ride your child in rear-facing position until age 2.

Can I take an Infant for air travel?

Yes. Most baby car seats are certified for air travel. Although airlines typically allow infants to ride on a caregiver’s lap during flight, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) recommends that infants ride in properly secured safety seats. You may need to

Best Infant Car Seat - Chicco KeyFit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30

Meet the famous Chicco KeyFit 30, the best baby infant car seat you can buy for newborns.

Other Best Infant Car Seats We Reviewed

We looked at 20 other newborn car seats and related accessories. Even though they didn’t make our 6 best infant car seats list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your child. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

  • Best Infant Car Seats for Baby Boys and Tall Babies
  • Best Infant Car Seats for Small Cars
  • Best Lightweight Infant Car Seats
  • Cheap Baby Car Seats

Best Infant Car Seats for Baby Boys and Tall Babies

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat with Load Leg Base

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat

The Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat can be used for newborn infants who are weighing as little as 4 pounds and up to 35 pounds, along with a height limit up to 35 inches, making this car seat the best option for the baby boys and tall babies. It’s also a lightweight car seat that allows great portability, weighing only 10 pounds. It also comes with a narrow width of about 17.3 inches. So if you have a compact car, the Primo Viaggio is worth consideration.

Current Rating (when updated) : 4.4

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 35”
• Premium base with Load Leg and Anti-Rebound Bar for better protection and more space
• Extendable pagoda canopy made of UPF 50+ fabric for shielding babies from the elements
• Side Impact Protection headrest in 6 different positions with no re-threading ensuring the best and safest fit
• Made up of energy absorbing foams that protect the head and torso from impact forces
• Featuring a “Right Tight System” to securely and stably locks the base with LATCH strap or vehicle’s seat belt
• Dual Stage Cushion System for newborn infants and growing babies
• European belt path for easier and more secure fitting without the base
• Made in Italy
• 7 colors available for choice:

Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35

Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 Infant Car Seat

Another infant car seat from the Graco brand, SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 is also a great option for tall babies and boys, with a wide weight range from 4 to 35 pounds, and with the maximum height up to 35 inches. Thanks to the extension panel that provides 3.5” extra leg room, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 Infant Car Seat allows your tiny to stay in the rear-facing for a longer time until he or she outgrows the weight or height limit.

Current Rating: 4.6

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 35”
• 4-position extension panel offers extra leg room to safely ride kids rear-facing longer
• SnugLock Technology for 3-step easy setup using the vehicle seat belt or LATCH
• Anti-Rebound Bar reduces car seat rotation and provides better protection
• Easy-adjustable harness system for keeping your child secured all the time
• EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management
• Click Connect™ technology provides one-step secure attachment to Graco Click Connect strollers and bases
• More space between the handle and canopy for easy carrying
• Two colors available:

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base

The Doona Infant Car Seat has a unique design with four integrated swivel wheels, making it superior easy to transition from the car seat mode into a convenient stroller. No additional stroller need to walk your toodlers in a supermarket or through an airport, just unfold the wheels in less than five seconds.

Current rating: 4.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• Turn from car seat to stroller in seconds with the help of integrated wheels
• Adjustable handlebar for a comfortable grip and carry and as an anti-rebound bar inside the car
• 3 Layer Side Impact Protection
• Removable and machine-washable fabric seat covers
• TUV and FAA Aircraft Approved for travel
• Made of baby Safe materials & breathable textiles
• 2 years manufacturer’s warranty
• 14 color options available: All Black Patterned Textile Fabric, New Stretch Material Canopy in Nitro Black, New Stretch Material Shoulder Pads in Nitro Black, New and Improved Breathable Inner Foams, Charcoal Aluminum Handle, Dark Grey Bamboo Infant Insert, Dark Gray Bamboo Head Support with Memory Foam

Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus

Maxi-Cos Mico Max Plus Infant Car Seat

Featuring a stylish design, the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus matches the lifestyle for traveling families. The car seat also has great compatibility with over 50 stroller systems, making it more convenient for travel. The zipped canopy can be extended for more coverage and maximum protection.

Current rating: 3.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-30 lbs. and 32”
• Widely compatible with more than 50 stroller systems
• Patented Air Protect technology for superior side-impact protection around your little’s head and body
• Flip-away buckle for easy getting babies into and out of the seat
• Made of plush, premium self-wicking fabric seat pad for kids’ cozy and comfort
• Removable seat pad for easy cleaning in your washing machine and dryer
• Ergonomics-designed carrier handle for soft grip and comfortable carry in your hand and around your waist
• Foldable MaxShade canopy for full-coverage sun protection, with a zipper for ventilation
• Aircraft-certified shell approved for air travel
• 3 color options:

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite

The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite comes with the company’s unique SnugLock technology for simple and secure installing. Supporting to ride newborns as little as 4 pounds and up to 35 pounds, this car seat is also a good option for tall babies up to 32 inches in height. Coming with a stylish black design, the SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite is perfect for a boy use.

Current rating: 4.6

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• SnugLock Technology for 3-step easy installing
• Removable and machine-washable seat cover and canopy
• Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts headrest and harness together to prevent rethreading Safety Core absorbs frontal crash forces
• Adjustable base with 4 recline positions and easy-to-read bubble level indicator
• InRight LATCH system for a one-second LATCH attachment. • Expandable and rotatable canopy for shielding from elements and sun protection
• Click Connect™ technology provides one-step secure attachment to Graco Click Connect(TM) strollers and bases
• EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management and better safety

Best Infant Car Seats for Small Cars

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT Infant Car Seat

Featuring a width of about 16 inches, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT Infant Car Seat may be the best option for small cars. The least width allows you to place more than one car seats in your compact car if there are two or more children in your families, twin newborns for instance. However, you still should measure your vehicle’s inner space of each back seat to make sure two Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT can be put in the back seat row.

Current rating: 4.3

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• Click Connect™ technology for simple one-step secure attachment to all Graco Click Connect strollers and bases
• Removable newborn head and body support for even the littlest of little ones
• Convenient compartment stores both the LATCH connectors and manual when not in use
• Easy to use front adjust 5-point harness helps secure your child
• Rotating canopy provides shade and sun protection for little ones
• Engineered & crash tested for FMVSS 213
• Side impact tested for occupant retention

Baby Trend Secure Snap Tech 35

Baby Trend Secure Snap Tech 35 Infant Car Seat

The Baby Secure Snap Tech 35 is also a great baby car seat for small cars, with dimensions at 16.5 (L) x 16.2 (W) x 28.5 (H) inches. The 16.2 inches width is just 0.2 inches wider than Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT, but it can still be compatible with most compact cars of three back seats. Just a reminder, make sure that you have measured your vehicle’s back seat width before making the final decision.

Current rating: 3.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• EPS energy-absorbing foam for superior side impact head protection
• 5-point safety harness with easy one-hand harness adjustment and push-button release
• Removable 4-piece grow-with-me insert for growing babies
• Extra-large 3-panel canopy for shielding your baby from elements
• Delta multi-grip handle and much space for easy and comfortable carrying
• One-hand easy-access seat release for easy taking in and out of the car
• Two colors available:

Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc

Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc Infant Car Seat

It seems that Baby Trend has considered a lot for families that have small cars and designed several newborn car seats for small cars. The EZ Flex Loc from Baby Trend is also one of the best options for small cars, featuring dimensions at 16.5″ (W) x 26″ (L) x 25″ (H). It’s also a lightweight infant car seat, weighing only 7.7 pounds without the base.

Current rating: 3.9

Key Features:

• Fits: 5-30 lbs. and 30”
• Combine with any Snap Tech™ Stroller for a Travel System
• 5-point safety harness with easy one-hand harness adjustment and push-button release
• 4-position push-button height adjustable base with level indicator for proper mounting
• One-hand easy-access seat release to take it in and out of the car simply
• EPS energy-absorbing foam for superior side impact head protection
• Delta multi-grip handle for comfortable carrying in hand or around the arm.
• Soft head and body support

Best Lightweight Infant Car Seats

Graco SnugRide 30 Click Connect

SnugRide Click Connect 30

The SnugRide Click Connect 30 is an ultra-lightweight infant car seat, making it easy for moms to carry children from car to stroller and everywhere in between. It’s also the lightest weight of these top-rated newborn car seats, only weighs at about 7 pounds without the base, same as the Graco’s SnugRide 30 Infant Car Seat.

Current rating: 4.5

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-30 lbs. and 30”
• Rotating canopy provides shade and sun protection for kids
• EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective and great protection
• Engineered & crash tested FMVSS 213
• Rigorously side-impact tested

Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat

The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 weighs only 8.9 pounds without the base and it’s one of the lightest weight car seat in this list, even it’s not as light as Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT of 7 pounds weight and Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc of 7.7 pounds. But it beats other to be the #1 lightweight infant car seat recommendation.

Current customer rating: 4.2

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-30 lbs. and 32”
• Included infant insert for smaller babies
• Anti-Rebound Bar in the base for better protection
• Air Protect Side Impact Protection for superior safety
• Contoured curve-designed handle for a more comfortable carry
• Extra-large extendable canopy for maximum protection from sun and other elements
• Easily removable fabric for machine washing & drying
• 10 colors available:

Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum

Graco Snug SnugLock 35 Platinum Infant Car Seat

Weighing at only 9.6 pounds, the Graco Snug SnugLock 35 Platinum is one of the lightweight infant car seats without the base. Along with the adjustable carrying handle, you can effortlessly and comfortably carry the car seat before connecting it to a stroller. Thanks to the silent shade canopy, you won’t wake newborns when extending it for maximum protection from sun and other elements.

Current customer rating: 4.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• Snug Lock Technology for 3-step easy monting using the vehicle seat belt or LATCH
• Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest for proper secure
• One-hand adjustable handle for easy and comfortable carrying
• InRight™ LATCH system for a one-second LATCH attachment
• Click Connect™ technology provides one-step secure attachment to Graco Click Connect(TM) strollers and bases
• SafetyCore™ absorbs frontal crash forces
• Silent shade canopy for maximum protection without disturbing babies

Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Air

Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Air Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Air is also an ultra lightweight infant car seat, coming with a weight at about 10.25 pounds. Even it’s not as light as other car seats under 10 pounds, it’s still a great option for newborn infants for its premium materials. The Backrest is made of breathable 3D AirMesh materials, while the seat pad is machine washable for easy cleaning.

Current customer rating: 4.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-30 lbs. and 30”
• Easiest to set up with help of ReclineSure leveling foot and RideRight bubble level
• SuperCinch LATCH tightener for a comfortable and secure fit
• Breathable 3D AirMesh backrest with airflow channels for improved ventilation
• Removable newborn head and body support with reversible knit/mesh fabrics
• Zip-on-and-off canopy for maximum protection
• Quick-remove seat pad for easy machine washing
• Compatible with Chicco strollers for travel system use

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat 2015-2016 model

UPPAbaby MESA 2015-2016 Infant Car Seat

The UPPAbaby MESA 2015-2016 model ranks in the lightweight infant car seats for its 11.2 pounds weight, beating most of the newborn car seats weighing more than 15 pounds. The MESA 2015-2016 mode can’t be found on the UPPAbaby official site, but it’s still available on Amazon.

Current customer rating: 4.2

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• Adjustable headrest with side impact protection
• A red to green tension indicator window for easy reading to locate the seat in an appropriate angle
• No-rethread harness for adjusting with headrest
• One-handed stroller release button on the carry handle
• Easily removable and washable seat fabric
• SPF 50+ hideaway canopy for maximum protection

Britax Endeavours

Britax Endeavours Infant Car Seat

Britax Endeavours is our last recommendation for lightweight infant car seats because its weight of 11.5 pounds is not as light as other baby car seats in the list. But it’s still considerable if you prefer a Britax-brand lightweight infant car seat. After all, Britax has many years of experience in the child safety car seat industry and a great reputation among US customers.

Current customer rating: 3.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• Steel Anti-Rebound Bar for more stability and better protection
• 2 layers of side impact protection
• Steel frame and impact absorbing base for a secure fit
• Made in USA
• SafeCenter LATCH for easy installation and good tightness
• Spring-assisted recline and dual level indicators to ensure the car seat installed in correct angle
• Made of plush foam padding and fabrics for luxurious comfort and easy cleaning
• Ergonomic handle makes carrying comfortable with your hand or forearm
• Extra-large canopy protects your little one from sun and rain
• Compatible with Britax B-Agile, B-Free, B-Mobile, B-Ready Strollers using the built-in adapters and with all BOB Single and Duallie strollers (Adapter sold separately)

Cheap Baby Car Seats under $100

Evenflo Nurture

Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat

The Evenflo Nurture may be the cheapest baby car seat in this list, with an original $59.99 price from the manufacturer. It’s usually on sale at a cheaper price for some special offers. But you should check if it is suitable for your little or not, as it is designed for newborns 5-22 lbs. and between 19 inches and 29 inches in height. It’s also the lightest weight infant car seat, featuring a weight of 6.5 pounds without the base.

Current customer rating: 4.0

Key Features:

• Fits: 5-22 lbs. and 19-29 inches
• Lightweight design for effortless carrying and easy switch between cars
• Ergonomic easy-to-carry handle to provide the convenience for parents
• 5-point harness for a snug and secure fit
• Auto belt guides for easy setup without a base if preferred
• Canopy shields baby from the elements
• Energy absorbing foam liner provides added safety and comfort

Baby Trend Ally 35

Baby Trend Ally 35 Infant Car Seat

Baby Trend designs a few budget baby car seats with premium features. This one, the Ally 35, is priced under $100 but provides superior side impact protection with the EPS energy-absorbing foam, ensuring babies a safe ride in the car. The 2-panel canopy is adjustable and extendable for shielding your baby from the elements.

Current customer rating: 3.8

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• EPS energy-absorbing foam for superior side impact head protection
• Adjustable 5-point safety harness with easy one-hand push-button release
• Adjustable 2-panel canopy for maximum protection from elements
• LATCH equipped base for easy fitting
• One-hand easy-access seat release

Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air

Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air Infnat Car Seat

The Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air is also a budget infant car seat, with a price tag under $100 on Amazon when writing this article. Comparing to the onBoard 35 LT, this car seat features the unique Air Protect Side Impact Protection for better protection. The seat pad is made of machine washable fabrics for easy cleaning. And the Curve carrying handle provides much space from the canopy, ensuring a comfortable grip for you.

Current customer rating: 4.3

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 32”
• Air Protect Side Impact Protection for better protection around your child’s head
• Machine washable seat pad is easy to keep clean and provide luxurious comfort
• Front-adjustable 5-point harness to offer easy adjustments for growing child
• LATCH equipped for easier fitting
• Carry Curve handle for a comfortable move for both you and your baby between the car
• Additional leg room for baby’s comfort
• Included infant inserts for better safety for smaller babies

Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Light ‘n Comfy 22 Luxe

If you’re looking for baby girl car seats, this Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Light ‘n Comfy 22 Luxe is your best choice. This baby car seat is a cooperation product from Disney and Dorel, with Disney designed and Dorel manufactured the seat. The Dorel is a group company that has many well-known brands like Safety 1st, Maxi-Cosi and Cosco. And you’ll find some reflection of Dorel’s products on the Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Light ‘n Comfy 22 Luxe.

Current customer rating: 4.2

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-22 lbs and
• Front-adjustable five-point harness for easy adjustment as your baby grows
• Built-in side-impact protection to keep your little one extra secure
• A Minnie Mouse-shaped infant insert gives little travelers an extra snug fit
• Extra-lightweight design for easy transport

Evenflo LiteMax 35

Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat

The Evenflo LiteMax 35 is the last cheap baby car seat in the list, featuring a price under $100 now when the article is posted. The Evenflo LiteMax 35 has passed the Rollover testing, making it one of the top-rated safe infant car seat.

Current customer rating: 4.6

Key Features:

• Fits: 4-35 lbs. and 17 – 32 inches
• Pass Evenflo’s comprehensive Side Impact and industry-leading Rollover Test Standards
• Ergonomic handle for comfortable carrying and easy switch
• 4 recline options for a snug and secure fit
• Machine washable seat pads for easy cleaning
• Removable head and body pillows for growing child
• Full coverage canopy for protecting your child from the elements

Resources:
• NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) Car Seats and Booster Seats.
• Newborns and Toddlers seating position and injury risk research.