Lightest Infant Car Seat – 4 Best Lightweight Options from 5 lbs

What’s the lightest infant car seat?

If you’re looking for an ultra-lightweight infant car seat, here is the ultimate guide. 

Infant carriers are certainly lighter than other types of car seats (except backless boosters). They are commonly under 10 pounds.

You may not feel heavy when you shop it at the store or just check its weight with the numbers, but I’m sure you’ll wish you had purchased a lighter infant car seat once you use it for a few days, especially when you need to carry it with your baby in it.

Out of a total of 20+ infant car seats that meet the criteria of being lightweight (< 8 pounds), portable, and compact, I’ve hand selected the 4 best models (actually six or more if adding the compared Nuna pipa infant car seats).

All lightest infant car seats should meet these criteria:

  • Under 8 pounds in weight.
  • User-friendly installation with the seat belt
  • Roomy enough for comfort for growing babies
  • FAA approved for airplane use (optional)

Lightest Infant Car Seats

Lightweight Infant Car Seats under 8 pounds

5 lbs

Maxi Cosi Coral XP

$399.99

5.3 lbs

Nuna Pipa Lite
Nuna Pipa Lite / R

$320

7 lbs

Century Carry On - Pink
Century Carry On

$109.99

7.5 lbs

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat
Graco SnugRide SnugLock

$159.99

To make it easy, I’ve split the lightest infant car seats into three categories based on their weight, including the lightest, ultra-light, and lightweight options to accommodate the needs of all families.

Lightest

Lightest Infant Car Seats 5 Pounds

Ultra-light

Lightest Infant Car Seats 7 Pounds

Lightweight

Lightest Infant Car Seats 7.5 Pounds

Or, if you’d rather view the lightest weight infant car seats by weight and height limits, your budget, or by type (e.g. portable, fit 3 across, etc), click on either of the below.

By Weight Limit

See Our Top Picks Organized by Size Limits from 4 to 35 lb

By Height Limit

Best Choices Organized by Height Limits from up to 32 inches

By Price

See Car Seats Organized by Price (Prices Start under $200)

By Bonus

See Car Seats by Bonus features (e.g. for travel etc)

Lightest Infant Car Seats - 5 Pounds

Maxi Cosi Coral XP Review

Maxi Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat

Maxi Cosi Coral XP - 5 pounds

Key Features
The Good
The Bad

$399.99

Maxi Cosi Coral XP is by far the most lightweight infant car seat that we’ve ever encountered. Here we refer to the infant car seat inner carrier. It’s even lighter than the Nuna Pipa Lite (below) at just 5 pounds (slightly better vs 5.3 lbs).

You may have found that we mention the inner carrier. Actually, the Maxi Cosi Coral XP consists of three items that are very different from typical two-part infant car seats. The base remains, but the infant carrier divides into two pieces – inner and outer. The outer carrier can be left at the base and you only need to have the inner carrier with you when you need to carry the baby out of the car. 

There is a unique cross-body strap built-in in the inner carrier. The strap is long enough to cross your shoulder, making it more convenient and effortless than using the handle for moms to carry the infant car seat and baby.

If choosing this way, it frees up your hands to reach for other things you need. Want to have a coffee? No problem. With the shoulder to be a major role to take the weight of the infant car seat and your baby, you have one hand for stability on the outer side while having the other to grip the cup. 

Don’t misunderstand me. If you prefer a way to carry the infant car seat in your hand there are two options. One is the same as carrying a conventional infant car seat – using the handlebar. The other is to grip the adjustable handles on both sides. 

All three ways to carry the infant car seat and baby are very innovative. So does the whole Maxi Cosi Coral XP infant car seat. 

This lightweight car seat is actually a unique 3-part modular nesting system that includes a car seat base, a car seat outer carrier shell, and an inner carrier. The revolutionary keep-close inner carrier can be removed from the car seat’s outer carrier shell with the simple push of a button – without removing the baby. Just pull out the lightweight carrier (5 lbs), put the cross-body flexible strap over your shoulder, and move with ease.

If you want to turn the Maxi Cosi Coral XP infant into a travel system, just get any Maxi Cosi strollers. More than that, this lightest infant car seat is compatible with any stroller using the Maxi Cosi adapters. Here is the list: UPPAbaby, Stokke, Bugaboo, Cybex, Nuna, Veer Wagon, Baby Jogger, Britax, Bob, and Silver Cross.

With one more piece (inner carrier and outer carrier), the Maxi Cosi company pays special attention to the installation. Same as other lightweight infant car seats, it allows LATCH and seat belt installation with or without the base.

If you choose to install it with the base, the Maxi Cosi Coral XP will impress you. The base is equipped with some new technologies: MaxiLock secure locking system with self-retracting one-click LATCH connectors.

It’s the only lightweight infant car seat with a secure locking system which is good for quick and secure installation. Plus, the red-to-green indicators let you know it’s installed correctly, and an anti-rotation stability leg adds extra protection in the event of a crash. 

If you choose to install it without the base, the Coral XP can also be used for ride-sharing. An important reminder is that you only can use the seat belt for installation without the base.

There are multiple color options. Blue and Red are good for girls. It’s a pity that no pink color is available. If you’re interested in any pink-colored car seat, see also the best pink car seats. But this does not affect its position to be the most innovative lightweight infant car seat. 

Innovation needs money. So you should prepare that this lightest infant car seat is on the pricey side. The normal listing sale price is almost $400, but you can get a $100 discount now on Amazon at the price of $299. That’s still a bit expensive for most families.

Another down point is the size limit: 22 lbs/29″. That means some infants may outgrow this limitation before they are 1 year old. According to the WHO infant’s weight and length growth chart from birth to 24 months, the average of 1 year old boy is 21.3 pounds in weight and  29.8″ tall, while the 1 year old girl is 19.7 pounds and 29.1″. Both exceed the 29″ height limit of Maxi Cosi Coral XP.

Nuna Pipa Lite / Lite R Review

Nuna Pipa Lite

Nuna Pipa Lite / Lite R - 5.3 pounds

Key Features
The Good
The Bad

$320

If weight is the only thing you care about in choosing the best infant car seat for your baby, the Nuna Pipa Lite and the Lite R are probably great contenders. They are the second-lightest on this list, weighing the same at 5.3 pounds, just slightly heavier than the lightest Maxi Cosi Coral XP (5 lbs vs 5.3 lbs).

The weight of Pipa Lite and Lite R does not include the canopy and infant insert, if adding these additions, the total weight should be heavier, but this does not affect the Nuna Pipa Lite and the Lite R being the lightest infant car seat. 

The Nuna infant car seats have many amazing features besides the ultra light weight, but this does not mean it’s the best choice for every family. Keep reading this entire review about the Nuna Pipa Lite and its more feature-rich siblings. We’ll also compare all six Nuna infant car seats

Let’s start with the pros of the Nuna Pipa Lite, and the Lite R (both are the same 5.3 lbs weight with a bit of difference in features).

It’s extraordinarily light. You may never encounter another conventional infant car seat (except the Maxi Cosi Coral XP with two different pieces) that’s this light. According to the manufacturer, the Nuna Pipa Lite is actually just 5.3 pounds if you leave the infant inserts at home and take the canopy off.

However, it weighs around 6.7 pounds if you attach those accessories on and is still the highest infant car seat on the list, at least lighter than the Century Carry On 35 and the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35.

You may have noticed that the canopy of Nuna Pipa Lite is removable. So do the other Nuna infant car seats. This is really a smart design, even though most families will have it on. The large canopy is made of UPF 50+ material and provides full coverage to protect your precious from the sun.

What does Nuna Pipa Lite have going for it? So much! For new parents, the base is fool-proof to install thanks to included True lock™ technique. You can easily get a tight and proper base installation in seconds. 

Different from the Nuna Pipa Lite with the basic series base, the Pipa Lite R comes with Nuna’s new RELX base, which has 4 different recline adjustments that allow you to find the perfect fitting angle for growing babies. Also, the Nuna Pipa Lite R has an adjustable and lockable load leg and even an anti-rebound bar for additional stability in an accident.

The downside? All that innovation earns Nuna infant car seats the title of “most expensive infant car seat on the market”. It’s true that all Nuna infant car seats are on the pricey side, the cheapest is the Pipa version, which is still $290. That’s almost triple the price of Century Carry-On and double the price of Graco SnugRide SnugLock.  

This is very similar to the Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller, which is the only car seat with four built-in wheels but priced over $500. This is the only infant car seat we can find more expensive than Nuna infant car seats.  

Other than the high price tag, what’s the hold-up? The Nuna Pipa Lite can only be installed using the included base. That means you always need to have the base with you to use the Nuna Pipa Lite. If you’re using the car seat for rides around the town and for short trips between cities using your family’s cars, that’s not an issue and you’ll still bask in having the lightest car seat for babies that you can buy. 

But what if you want to travel a long distance and take e airplane? You definitely don’t want to bring the base when you travel with an infant car seat, not at least if you want to make the most of a lightweight infant car seat. Also, the included 14-pound Pipa series base or 17-pound Pipa RELX base are extremely bulky to take for travel.

The same situation happens to the other versions – the Nuna Pipa Lite R and the Lite LX. But Nuna heard the parent’s feedback and provided a solution by adding a new family member – the Nuna Pipa Lite RX.

As the latest version in this Lite series, the Nuna Pipa Lite RX infant car seat is a true winner. It is equipped with all the best features that Nuna has to offer: ultra-lightweight infant car seat carrier, lighter easy-to-use RELX base, ability to install baseless, Dream Drape, magnetic buckle holders, and more.

If you take a step moving back by the high price of Nuna Pipa Lite RX, it’s very understandable. The $499.95 price is much higher than other Nuna infant car seats. If you want a cheaper alternative that supports installation without the base, the Pipa (note Lite) series is good; both the Pipa and Pipa RX allow baseless installation. But they’re heavier over 7 pounds.

The Nuna Pipa Lite RX is also about one pound heavier than the other Pipa Lite models (6.9 lbs vs 5.3/ 5.7 lbs), but for many on-the-go families, the ability to install baseless makes the trade-off worthwhile.

One important reminder to note: if there are only sloped seats in your vehicle (like the Subaru, Pacifica, Sienna, etc), you may need to use a rolled towel under the base to get it reclined right for your newborn to ride safely. You can consult with a local CPST to check everything before taking it on road trips. By the way, the instructions in the manual are not as clear and intuitive as other long-history car seat manufacturers.

All six Nuna infant car seats have the same size limit: 32 lbs/ 32″ with a lower weight limit (32 lbs vs 35 lbs) than the other choices on this list. But this small weight gap is not a biggie. It’s very probable that your baby reaches the 32-inch height limit before he or she is 32 pounds. For example, most infants are 32″ tall and weigh just 24 pounds at 18 months.

The entire Nuna Pipa series, including two original and two Lite models, is compatible with all the most popular strollers! No problem with the compatibility with Nuna’s own strollers. In some cases, you’ll need an extra adapter if you want to pair them with offerings from Uppababy, Bugaboo, Baby Jogger, B.O.B., and more.

Nuna Pipa Lite Infant Car Seats < 7 pounds

Car Seats Comparison Pipa Lite Pipa Lite R Pipa Lite LX Pipa Lite RX
Price $350 $299.95 $400 $415
Rear-Facing Harness 4-32 lb/ 32" 4-32 lb/ 32" 4-32 lb/ 32" 4-32 lb/ 32"
Weight 5.3 pounds 5.3 pounds 5.7 pounds 6.9 pounds
True lock™ Base Installation
Installation without Base - - -
Connects with all Nuna Strollers
Full Coverage UPF 50+ canopy
Sky drape - -
Integrated Harness Holders
Side impact protection
Rigid LATCH - 4 position adjustable - 4 position adjustable
Recline - 4 position - 4 position
Merino wool - -
No-rethread harness - - -

Ultra-Light Infant Car Seats

Century Carry On 35 Review

Century Carry On - Pink

Century Carry On 35 - 7lbs

Key Features
The Good
The Bad

$199.99

If you want a low-priced lightweight infant car seat, the Century Carry On is the best option. Priced a bit more than $100, you can’t get it wrong with a cheap price tag like this. However, the performance does not compromise on the price. You can be assured about this because the Century brand is now being managed and manufactured by Graco as a bargain version of its namesake baby gear line. If you have used a Graco SnugRide before, you’ll find plenty of similarities with the Carry On.

What’s the most appealing part about this lightweight infant car seat? It still wins the #1 position for lightest infant car seat + base combination, weighing around 10 pounds in total with the Century Carry On and base coming together. For comparison, the competitive Graco SnugRide SnugLock and its base weigh about 15 pounds.

Does it matter? Not really if you don’t need to carry the base and install it in another family car. Also, you can purchase a second base if you need one. But in most cases, you don’t have to get another one because Century Carry On supports installation without the base. 

Great news on the size limit: the Century Carry On 35 offers a great fit for even small newborns as light as 4 pounds, better than its lightweight Graco cousin. On the upper weight limit end, it has a tall shell, meaning that you can continue using this lightweight infant car seat for travel until your child reaches 35 pounds or 32 inches tall. This is as good as most infant car seats that works normally to protect your child around 1 year old

More than that, the Century Carry On has a few impressive features. First, the fabrics come from recycled materials that are safe to use with a flame-retardant additive and free of harmful chemicals. Second, if you will be mostly using this car seat in taxis or on the plane, you don’t need to take the base with you but instead, use the seat belt for a simple and easy installation.

There is a more expensive version, the Century Carry On 35 LX, with a few improvements. Compared to the cheaper Carry On 35, the LX has a larger canopy with a visor for shade, a plush newborn body insert, and harness covers. All these additional features cost about $50 more (LX is priced at $159.99 vs $109.99) and add one pound weight. The Century Carry On LX weighs 8 pounds.

The Century Carry On 35 LX is as expensive as our mid-range model – Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35. If you’re on a tight budget, the basic Century Carry On 35 is a better option. It’s the cheapest choice of the lightest infant car seats.

Unlike other infant car seats with unisex colors, the Century Carry On 35 (and LX) comes in gorgeous color options! The Berry is good for baby girls, making it one of our best pink car seats.

It’s not surprising that the Century Carry On 35 is just compatible with their own strollers. That’s a common rule between the different car seat brands. Only some brands from the same manufacturer (like Safety 1st and Cosco from Dorel Group) may have better infant car seat and stroller compatibility. Hope one day we can see the Century and Graco infant car seats will be compatible with strollers from both car seat brands.

If stroller compatibility matters to you, there are several singles and a double to choose from, either the Swap On or Stroll On.

Along with its lightest weight, the Century Carry On 35 has a narrow profile as well. The 17.3-inch width (same as the Doona) is slim enough to do three across in most vehicles, including small cars. This lightweight infant car seat comes in a compact size, measuring at a dimension of 27″ D x 24.3″ H x 17.3″ W at the most reclined.

Lightweight Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Review

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 - 7.5 lbs

Key Features
The Good
The Bad

$159.99

Graco has launched many infant car seats and added another solid contender for parents who are finding an affordable lightweight infant car seat – SnugLock SnugRide 35. It weighs around 7.5 lbs without the base. That’s near to our bottom line of 8 pounds used to decide if an infant car seat is lightweight or not. So it’s the ‘heaviest’ on our lightweight infant car seats list.

The 7.5-lb is fairly lightweight anyway if you carry a newborn around 4-6 pounds. The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 is a great pick for families who plan to bring home a full-term newborn since it offers 6″ bottom harness slots when you use the included insert. Along with the 4 positioning reclines, you can always find a perfect fit for newborns and growing babies

This lightest infant car seat is also an awesome choice for small cars since it’s compact enough and won’t take up much room from front to back, measuring a dimension around 29″ H x 16″ D x 18″ W. If you want to travel with the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 and install it without the base, you’ll have the option of European routing by wrapping the shoulder belt around the back of the seat for extra stability.

It’s the smallest of the cheap infant car seats. If you’re installing it without the base for travel or to save even more space, you have the option of European routing (wrapping the shoulder belt around the back of the seat for extra stability).

If you’re interested in an affordable travel system, you can get another Graco stroller with the Click Connect technology to pair with this affordable infant car seat. Luckily, almost all of Graco’s strollers are Click Connect compatible and you can just choose the cheapest stroller to make a travel system, meaning they can accept any Graco® Click Connect Infant Car Seat.

The Graco NimbleLite is probably the cheapest stroller. Also, it’s the lightest one. If choosing it to work with the Graco SnugLock SnugRide 35, the travel system is the lightest as well.

This Graco infant car seat comes with pretty basic points: the bargain price, light weight, and compact size. No additional safety or comfort features include. The base that comes with the SnugRide SnugLock 35 is also ultra-light and very basic but finally gets the job done. 

If you don’t want to pay for an extra base, the SnugRide SnugLock 35 can be installed with the seat belt as well. But if you’re a multi-car family and prefer a LATCH installation between the cars, getting another fancier and easier-to-install SnugLock base is a good idea. 

There are a few upgraded versions for different purposes. If you want a higher-end of the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35, check the below comparison and choose one. Of course, they are more expensive.

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 vs upgraded version

Car Seats Comparison SnugRide SnugLock 35 SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT
Price $179.99 $224.99 $219.99 $229.99
Rear-Facing Harness 4-35 lb 4-35 lb 4-35 lb 4-35 lb
SnugLock® Installation Technology
LATCH LATCH-Equipped InRight LATCH InRight LATCH LATCH-Equipped
Belt Lock-Off
Adjustable Recline
All-Weather Boot - - -
1-Hand Adjustable Handle - - -
Easy-to-Remove Seat Pad - - -
Silent Shade Canopy - - -
No-Rethread Harness - - -
Energy Absorbing Base - - -

Lightest Infant Car Seats by Performance

Weight / Height Limits Infant Car Seat Price Weight
22 lbs/ 29” Maxi Cosi Coral XP $399.99 5 pounds
32 lbs/ 32" Nuna Pipa Lite $319.99 5.3 pounds
35 lbs/ 32” Century Carry On 35 $109.99 7 pounds
35 lbs/ 32” Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 $179.99 7.5 pounds

Lightest Infnat Car Seats by Price

Rank Price Weight / Height Limits Infant Car Seat Weight
1 $109.99 35 lbs/ 32” Century Carry On 35 7 pounds
2 $179.99 35 lbs/ 32” Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 7.5 pounds
3 $319.99 32 lbs/ 32" Nuna Pipa Lite 5.3 pounds
4 $399.99 22 lbs/ 29” Maxi Cosi Coral XP 5 pounds

Lightest Infant Car Seats by Bonus Features

All these lightest infant car seats are good options for travel. 

Cheapest:

Narrow profile

Why infant car seat weight does not matter?

Even though we compile this list of the lightest infant car seats on the market, we don’t think the weight of an infant car seat should be the most important factor when you choose an infant car seat for everyday use or for travel.

While it is nice to have a lightweight infant car sat for your baby, I have to honestly say that, the majority of infant car seats (only refer to the detachable carrier) weigh under 10 pounds. That’s 3-5 pounds heavier than those lightest carseats as you’ve read above. However, by the time you add an entire baby to it, the 3-5 pound difference just doesn’t feel all that significant, even though your newborn baby weighs around 4-5 pounds.

After the baby grows heavier beyond the newborn stage, you probably won’t hand-carry it long-time with the baby inside the infant car seat. It’s much more practical to snap it into a stroller and then wheel the car seat and baby along unless you’re just walking from the car to the house and back.

So the weight shouldn’t be the only factor to consider when you’re picking an infant car seat for travel, even though it’s a factor to look at. There are other things for consideration, size limit, stroller compatibility, and most important price

For example, the Nuna Pipa Lite weighs just 5.3 lbs if you don’t attach the canopy and take out the inserts. That’s crazy lightweight! On the other hand, the Doona infant car seat comes in at a beefy 16.5 pounds. Which will you choose for travel?

If you choose Nuna Pipa Lite because of its lighter weight, you’d be wrong, at least partially! The Nuna Pipa Lite is a lovely car seat for everyday rides and short road trips when you might just need to pop it in and out of your family’s cars (other infant car seats can do this as well). But if you plan on traveling by plane or going in a taxi or a rented car, you’ll find it has one achilles heel: you still have to bring the hulking 14-pound base. 

The Doona, on the other hand, weighs a massive 16.5 pounds – over triple times as much as the Nuna Pipa Lite (5.3 lbs). But the Doona has a hidden trick – it can be transitioned into a stroller in seconds by unfolding the wheels down. You don’t need to carry it with your hands at most times. You ROLL it.

It’s also extremely easy to install without the base. If you want a travel car seat with the best portability, the Doona is unbeatable, and it is more ideal than these lightest infant car seats. But Doona is more expensive, making it not the right choice for every family.

This does not mean that you should entirely ignore the weight of an infant car seat. It’s just the weight gap between infant car seats can be disregarded, especially if you carry a 20-pound baby in it. We made this post to help parents explore more possibilities and new things on the car seats. For example, the innovative Maxi Cosi Coral XP.

Lightest Infant Car Seats Buying Guide

The best infant car seat option is dependable on your family and baby’s needs, not the ratings on the website, nor the product reviews from other parents. That’s not to say you don’t need to read these reviews online. They are much the reference, not the leading factor for you to choose an infant car seat. 

There are three (or four) most important factors you should consider before clicking the ‘buy now’ button. 

  • The infant car seat fits your child correctly (and will last for a few months or years)
  • The infant car seat fits your vehicle
  • You can use it properly 100% of the time
  • The infant car seat is within your budget (optional)

If these sounds a little too “simple”, let me explain more details for you:

Fits your child correctly

The good news is that the vast majority of infant car seats will fit newborns from their birth. So you don’t have to worry too much about this factor.

Even if your baby is a preemie, you can always find a good-fit infant car seat. A lot of infant car seats have a minimum weight requirement of as low as 4 pounds and offer a few harness adjustments and recline positions to fit even the smallest newborns once they’re ready to go home from the hospital. 

As for the upper weight and height limits, most infant car seats go between 30-35 pounds and 30-32 inches, with only some exceptions as the Maxi Cosi Coral XP and Nuna Pipa series on this list.

The Maxi Cosi Coral XP only allows an infant to stay until he or she is 22 pounds or 29 inches tall. That’s much lower than the average line. 

The 32-pound weight limit of Nuna infant car seats seems not a big drawback compared to those infant car seats with the 35-pound weight limit. It’s mostly the case that your baby reaches the 32-inch upper height before 32-pound. 

The average 35-pound and 32-inch size limit would last a few times, typically around your child’s 12 or 18 months old. So do the lightest infant car seats.

If you want to buy an infant car seat that lasts as long as possible, there are some great car seats with extended rear-facing. They aren’t as light as many choices above, but an infant-to-toddler car seat can be a good option for travel because you can keep snapping the car seat into a stroller even when your child hits 2 years or older

The Chicco Fit2 and the Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35 are good options to consider. Both fit kids from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 35″. That extended height is what distinguishes them from typical infant car seats with at most 32 inches height limit. The 3-inch height gap makes a huge difference, making them the best car seats for tall babies.

The Fit2 offers more leg room by rotating to a more upright position, while the Extend2Fit base can be extended to move the car seat further from the car seat back.

Fits your vehicle correctly

Infant car seats have different sizes and shapes while cars have various seating dimensions. What things need your attention to find an appropriate infant car seat to fit in your vehicle?

It’s not an issue if you have large-size cars with spacious seats in the back row (where is the safest position to place the car seat). But if you drive a relatively small car, you don’t generally want the car seat to be pushed against the seatback in front, especially on condition the adults in the front seat are tall and need lots of leg room. 

Compact car seats are the first choice if this is your case. ‘Compact’ means not only the original dimension when you put it in the car but also the space with the most reclined angle after you find the best fitting angle for your child. 

If you’re expecting multiple babies (twins for example), you may want to look for narrow-profile infant car seats that can be installed side-by-side. Luckily, most infant car seats are much narrower than convertible car seats and some booster seats. But not all of them can fit three across.

If you have a growing family and need to install three car seats in a row, make sure the total width of three car seats does not exceed the inner width of the back row. Or you can check our post on the narrowest car seats

All six Nuna Pipa infant car seats have the same 17.5-inch width. That’s not narrow enough to do three across in small cars.

You can use it properly 100% of the time

Before using an infant car seat, we want to let you know that you should 100% properly install it. A proper installation is fundamental to use. So make sure you read the manual first before putting the infant car seat in the car.

The included user manual is always the best place to learn the details for installation! Many of them have become very user-friendly and they’re full of critical information. If you need more tips, some online video tutorials are helpful as well. 

All the lightest infant car seats can be installed with two methods:  LATCH system and seat belt.

Some car seats may need the base for installation, for example, the Nuna Pipa Lite (Lite R and Lite LX). Some allow baseless installation,  for example, other lightweight infant car seats except the previous three models.

LATCH installation is the most common choice because it’s much easier, especially if the infant car seats come with rigid LATCH connectors which can assure a more direct and tight installation. But if you plan to install the infant car seat in the middle of the back seat, be sure that your car has lower anchors in that seating. Otherwise, you should install the infant carseat with a seat belt.

The good news is that nearly all of the lightest infant car seats above have a built-in lock-off. You can also install any of them by locking your seatbelt at the retractor, a feature in every car in the US for decades. That makes seatbelt installation just as simple as LATCH, just be sure to read the manual.

Within your budget (optional)

The baby is much like a ‘money-shredder’. You should prepare lots of baby gear during their growth, diapers, milk powder, toys, car seats, etc. And they generally need more than one car seat. You won’t want to buy an infant car seat that breaks your bank. 

Luckily, the lightest infant car seats come with different price tags. If you don’t have much budget, the cheapest Century Carry On 35 still satisfies your need for a lightweight infant car seat, at just $109.99. If you prefer the lightest infant car seat from an old-style manufacturer, the Graco SnugRie SnugLock 35 and the Century Carry On 35 LX are affordable choices (Century now belongs to Graco), 

Maxi Cosi Coral XP and Nuna Pipa infant car seats are more suitable for those families who have much budget for baby car seats.

Lightest infant car seat FAQs

Are lightweight infant car seats safe?

Absolutely, lightweight infant car seats pass the same testing as every other car seat in the US. While some car seats drop weight by minimizing steel reinforcement or using a plastic frame, some high-end light car seats use high-tech materials to achieve their featherweight status, Nuna Pipa Lite series for example.

Which infant car seat is the lightest weight?

The Maxi Cosi Coral XP and Nuna Pipa Lite (and R) are the lightest infant car seats. While the average infant car seat weight is about 8-10 pounds, these three weigh just around 5 pounds. The Nuna Pipa Lite and Lite R are a bit over 5 pounds (5.3 lbs) without the infant insert or canopy.

Which infant car seat is the lightest to carry?

The Maxi Cosi Cora XP weighs just 5 pounds for the inner carrier (12 pounds with the outer shell). It’s 0.3-pound lighter than the Nuna Pipa Lite and Lite R.

What is the lightest weight Graco infant car seat?

The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 is the lightest weight Graco infant car seat, at just 7.5 pounds, making it easy to carry the baby from car to stroller.

How much does an infant car seat weigh?

The average weight of an infant car seat is around 8-10 pounds. If adding the base, the weight can go up to around 10 to 20 pounds. All the lightest infant car seats are under 8 pounds, even the ‘heaviest’ Graco SnugRide SnugLock is just 7.5 pounds.

How heavy is the Chicco KeyFit 35?

The infant carrier of the Chicco KeyFit 35 is 10 pounds. This weight is not as light as our lightest infant car seats, but not a big problem to carry the baby from car to stroller.

How much does Nuna PIPA weigh?

There are six infant car seats in the Nuna PIPA series. They are in different weights.

Nuna Pipa Lite and Lite R: 5.3 pounds

Nuna Pipa Lite LX: 5.7 pounds

Nuna Pipa Lite RX: 6.9 pounds

Nuna Pipa: 7.6 pounds

Nuna Pipa RX: 7.9 pounds

The weight of all Nuna infant car seats does not include the canopy and infant inserts, which will add about 1-2 pounds.

What is the most compact infant car seat?

If you’re more concerned about space front-to-back, the Cybex Aton 2 is a real space saver! Though it weighs almost 9 pounds, it’s the most compact infant car seat and one of the best infant car seats for small cars. It also comes loaded with great safety features like linear side impact protection and a load leg on the base, plus a tensioning plate for easy seatbelt installations.

Wrapping up

Choosing a new infant car seat can be one of the most confusing decisions for parents. Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down your choices to find the lightest infant car seats for your needs!