The Best Car Seats for Your Child's Safety

Your child means the world to you, and keeping him or her safe is one of your top priorities. While commuting between home, your parents’ place, the grocery store and more, ensure that your child is protected while in tow with a reliable car seat.

 Best Car Seat for Growth With Your Child

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Infant to Toddler Car Seat

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Infant to Toddler Car Seat

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Our Rating

  • Designed for up to 10 years of use
  • Can be positioned in 4 different ways
  • Features the inRight LATCH system for easy securing

 Best Infant Car Seat

Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat

Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat

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  • Features the SafeCenter Latch for easy installation
  • SafeCell Impact Protection helps to shield child in case of an accident
  • Easily removable cover

 Best Car Seat for Smaller Vehicles

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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  • Made to grow with your child from 5 lbs up to 100 lbs
  • Features the inRight LATCH system for easy securing
  • Crash tested for protection during front, rear, side, and rollover accidents

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The 5 Best Car Seats

The 5 Best Car Seats

Child car safety statistics to keep in mind

  • According to the CDC, one of the leading causes of child injury are motor vehicle crashes.
  • The good news: The NHTSA reports that 325 children under the age of 5 were helped kept safe with the use of car seats
  • The bad news: The NHTSA also reports that there are 59% of “cases in which children’s car seats are used incorrectly”
  • “Appropriate child safety seats provide significantly more protection in a crash than seat belts alone” (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and The Highway Loss Data Institute, Dec. 2019)
Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Car Seat

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Car Seat

  • Types of Car Seats Available

    There are a number of different types of car seats on the market today, but the best one for your child will depend on his or her age, weight and the type of vehicle you’re driving. To learn more of what consumers are saying about different car seats, websites like BabyGearLab.com and Consumer Reports share reviews about car seats’ ease of use, installation, comfort, quality and more.

  • Car Seat Meets Federal Standards

    Check to see if the car seat has been crash tested to hit or go beyond federal standards for enhanced safety. Also review how it is engineered and the materials used, like steel and energy-absorbing foam to protect your child in case of an accident.

  • Never Buy a Used Car Seat

    No matter the discount, do not buy used car seats because you do not know their history. Accidents and even sun-exposure can alter a car seat’s safety. If the seat has been in an accident previously, it may shows signs of damage and may not offer the best protection to your child. It’s also a bad idea to buy used because you might not know if there has been a recall on the product. It’s better to buy new for your child’s safety.

10 Best Car Seats of 2019

10 Best Car Seats of 2019

  1. Best Car Seat for Growth With Your Child
    Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Infant to Toddler Car Seat

    1. Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Infant to Toddler Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Created to grow with your child, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Infant to Toddler Car Seat can be adjusted for use a rear-facing harness, forward-facing harness, high-back booster, and a backless booster. This car seat supports 4 lbs up to 120 lbs, allowing your child to ride safely. Additional features include a RapidRemove seat cover and the inRight LATCH system for easier transport.

    Stand-out features include

    • Made to protect your child in front, rear, side, and rollover accidents
    • Can adjust the harness system up to 10 positions
    • Removable seat cover for cleaning
  2. Best Infant Car Seat
    Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat

    2. Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Help your child ride safely and comfortably with the Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat. This car seat has a click & go system for easy installation and removal. The SafeCell Impact protection works to keep your baby safe in the event of accidents. For “whoopsies”, the cover is designed for removal and can be cleaned.

    Stand-out features include

    • Has a sturdy steel frame
    • Made with 2 layers of protection for side impacts
    • Soft fabrics and padding for baby’s comfort
  3. Best Car Seat for Smaller Vehicles
    Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

    3. Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat can be converted to a rear-facing harness, forward-facing harness, and a high-back booster seat. It is built with a steel frame for durability and a features shock-absorbing foam for protection from impact. Soft seating makes riding more comfortable for your baby, while the InRight LATCH System makes it easy to secure.

    Stand-out features include

    • Crash tested to meet safety or exceed safety standards
    • Adjustable harness system
    • Cup holders for your baby’s beverages
  4. Best Car Seat for Easy Installation
    Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT Infant Car Seat

    4. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT Infant Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Keep your baby secure in the Graco SnugRide SnugLock Infant Car Seat. It features SnugLock technology for easy installation with either a seat belt or using the LATCH system. With a lightweight design, this car seat is easy to transport.

    Stand-out features include

    • Built with SnugLock technology for securing
    • 4 reclining positions
    • Lightweight for easy transport
  5. Best Convertible Car Seat
    Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

    5. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Extendable for your growing child, the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat features the Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System for a secure fit. The InRight™ LATCH system allows for quick and easy installation before hitting the road.

    Stand-out features include

    • Designed with the Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System
    • Crash tested to meet or go beyond U.S. safety standards
    • Easy installation with the InRight™ LATCH system
  6. Evenflo LiteMax 25 Infant Car Seat

    6. Evenflo LiteMax 25 Infant Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat is a more budget-friendly option that features easy installation with a belt lock-off design and removable pillows for comfort. This car seat has been tested to meet or exceed two-times the federal crash testing standard. A lightweight build provides effortless transport.

    Stand-out features include

    • Easy installation with a belt lock-off design
    • Meets or exceeds two times the federal crash testing standard
    • Removable pillows
  7. Britax Allegiance 3-Stage Car Seat

    7. Britax Allegiance 3-Stage Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Made to fit newborns and young children, the Britax Allegiance 3-Stage Car Seat can be converted from rear to frontward facing. A steel frame and impact-absorbing foam provides protection. You can also adjust this car seat up to 10 positions, making it great for your baby’s growth.

    Stand-out features include

    • Seat belt lock-off installation
    • Side Impact Protection with foam lining
    • 10-position harness for baby’s growth
  8. Diono Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    8. Diono Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Rated as an Amazon Choice product for child safety, the Diono Radian All-in-One Convertible Car Seat extends for use as your child grows. Designed with aluminum, this car seat offers enhanced protection, and for growing families, you can easily fit three seats together in most vehicles.

    Stand-out features include

    • Slim design allows you to seat 3 in a row in most family cars
    • Features extended rear-facing for your child’s growth
    • Engineered with aluminum reinforcement
  9. Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Car Seat

    9. Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    Bring your “Mickey” or “Minnie Mouse” with you in this Disney Baby car seat. A cute seat design brings either of these cartoon characters to life. This Disney baby car seat can be installed with LATCH connectors and a seat belt. A steel frame, side impact protection, and absorbing base all help to keep baby safe while in tow.

    Stand-out features include

    • LATCH connectors and a seat belt lock-off for installation
    • Side impact protection and absorbing base
    • Can be positioned for front or rear-facing
  10. Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

    10. Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

    Our rating

    Our take

    As a great choice for smaller cars, you can fit three of these Safety 1st convertible car seats in a row. This car seat features Side Impact Protection to help shield your little one in the event of an accident and a 5-point harness for enhanced security.

    Stand-out features include

    • Three can be seated side-by-side in most vehicles
    • Built with Side Impact Protection to keep your child secure
    • Crafted with a 5-point harness for safety

Showing 5 of 10 products

Showing 10 of 10 products

The Appropriate Car Seat Based on Your Child’s Age

The Appropriate Car Seat Based on Your Child’s Age

  • Infant to Toddler: A rear-facing car seat or a convertible, rear-facing car seat
  • Toddler to Kindergartener: Convertible, rear/forward-facing car seat
  • Grade-School Children: Booster seat
  • Pre-Teens and Older: Seat belt

Infant car seats are designed for newborns and babies. Most infant car seats are made to support babies between 4 lbs. and 35 lbs. Typically, this type of car seat is installed with a base and can be removed as a carrier. It’s important to keep newborns and babies rear-facing since their bodies are still developing, and the car seat will help to absorb impact in the event of an accident. Once your baby reaches the weight limit or their head is less than an inch from the top of the car seat, then it’s time to graduate baby to an appropriate car seat.

InfantCarSeat

Convertible car seats are designed to grow with your child. If you have a little one that’s outgrown an infant car seat, this can be your next option. Typically, convertible car seats support babies and small children from around 22 lbs. up to 35 lbs. These car seats tend to be heavier and bulkier, making them suitable for commuting but not carrying around. Generally, once your child is at least two years old or outgrows a convertible car seat, then they can be placed forward-facing. Two years of age is not the age limit for convertible car seats, but just a suggestion. Once your child outgrows a convertible or forward-facing car seat, then you can consider a booster seat.

ToddlerCarSeat

Booster seats are designed to help children sit more properly with an adult seat belt. You’ll find high-back booster seats and backless boosters. These are to be used once a child has exceeded the weight and height limits of their forward-facing car seat and are able to sit still properly on their own. Make sure your child can sit up properly and ride calmly without bending over and playing around. Most children aren’t ready to sit in a booster seat by the age of two, and it’s safer to keep your child in a well-fitting car seat. Booster seats are generally suitable for children who have reached 4 ft. and 9 in. or are 8 to 12 years old. Once a child has outgrown their booster seat, they can transition to riding with an adult seat belt.

ChildBoosterSeat
Car Seat Installation Tips

Car Seat Installation Tips

  • Most car seats can use the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system or a seat belt for securing
  • Using the LATCH system has weight limits – if your child has grown beyond the car seat’s weight limits for LATCH, then you should use a seat belt for securing
  • It’s safer to place the car seat in the of your middle back seat for safety, keeping them away from air bags
  • Remember to test your car seat for proper installation with the 1-inch test. Make sure the seat does not move to the left, right, front, or back more than an inch, and if so, then you’ll need to secure it tighter
  • Ensure that your child’s car seat is placed at the proper reclining angle while rear-facing
  • If you need help with making sure your child’s car seat is properly installed, you can contact a Child Passenger Safety Technician or get in touch with a local fire or police station for assistance

Choose the best car seat for your child’s safety

With so much of our time being spent on the road it’s crucial to ensure that your child is secure in the best car seat. Choose a car seat designed to meet or exceed safety standards and follow the directions for a proper install. Now that you’ve learned about several factors to consider before you purchase a car seat, different types of car seats, and some of the top recommendations, we are confident you’ll make a better choice in protecting your little one.

Car Seat FAQs

Car Seat FAQs

What car seat should my child be in?

This will depend on your child’s age and size. While some car seats are specifically made for infants, there are some that are designed to grow with your child. Look for minimum and maximum weight limits when browsing car seats. Some car seat weight limits may range from as low as 5 lbs up to over 100 lbs.

How long must a child be in a car seat?

In most states, children are required by law to stay in a car seat until age 4, and in a booster seat until age 8. It also varies by state.

Who can help with car seat installation?

If you need assistance with installing your car seat, Safe Kids Worldwide can connect you with a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST). You can also review these car seat installation guides from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Do car seats need to face the rear?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children to remain rear-facing until they weigh at least 40 lbs if not more. There is more support and protection for your child’s head and body when they ride rear-facing.

When can a child stop using a car seat?

It’s good not to rush your child out of a car seat. Typically, you should keep them in a car seat until they have reached the weight and or height limits to use the seat. The next step would be to purchase a booster seat.


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Written by

Jalesa Campbell

Jalesa develops content in the home security space and contributes to Safety's social media efforts.