Automotive Accessories

10 Best Car Seats Consumer Reports 2020 |Reviewed

If you are a new parent or about to become one, you must be in search of a car seat that is suitable for your family and your car. Buying the perfect car seat is crucial to ensure safety of your child. 

A car seat must qualify the safety-testing standards at minimum to protect your child from an accident during a car crash. Parents are usually very excited and picky to choose a car seat that meets all the federal compliance guidelines. 

The right car seat is difficult to find due to the tons of options present in the market which make buying the best car seat an intimidating task. The right car seat must offer easy installation and a comfortable fabric so that both parent and child feel easy and comfortable while installing and using the car seat. 

A car seat should have multi-purpose usability, i.e. as a car seat and as well as a stroller seat. Make sure the car seat fits well with your stroller device. A car seat should be durable and long-lasting so it can be used by your growing family. It should also be able to support a wide range of weight and height. 

Top 10 Best Car Seats Consumer Guide

In simpler words, the best car seat is something that fits the child, the car, and the family. So, to help you get the best car seat, we have narrowed down a list of the top 10 products available in the market. 

Detailed review on each product, a guide to help you choose the right car seat, and some frequently asked questions at the end of this article might be of immense help before investing your money in a car seat. So without any further ado, let’s get started!

1. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car...
  • NEW! 2018 MESA Infant Car Seat
  • SMART Secure system installs in seconds
  • Adjustable no-rethread headrest with...
  • Attaches to VISTA and CRUZ strollers without...

If you are looking for a car seat that is comfortable but also provides extra features, the UPPABaby MESA can be the one for you. This particular car seat has a tightness indicator on the strap that indicates if the straps are too tight or too loose on the baby. 

Furthermore, this car seat has stain-resistant fabric which slides off any liquid spilled mistakenly. The car seat comes with a canopy and washable cushions. This car seat comes in various color combinations that go pretty well with various car interiors.

The downsides to this car seat is its heavy price tag. Also, the car seat is heavy and chunkier which reduces the leg space of the front car seat. 

All in all, the UPPABaby MESA is a sleek and stylish car seat with compatible strollers to save your money. Moreover, this car seat is a perfect pick for parents concerned about chemical exposure. Also, it is pretty easy to install and remove which is a win-win for parents.

PROS
  • Retractable LATCH straps
  • Easy installation
  • Stain-resistant and washable fabric
  • Canopy attached
  • Tightness indicator
  • Adjustable foot on base
  • Flame-retardant material
CONS
  • Heavyweight
  • Pricey

2. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT...
  • Snug Lock Technology features a hassle-free...
  • Grows with and helps protect rear-facing...
  • Adjustable base offers 4 recline positions,...
  • Easy-to-read level indicator helps eliminate...

If you are looking for something to travel in the air with, Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT can be a great choice. This car seat is Federal Aviation Approved (FAA) approved which means it’s safe to travel with. Moreover, this car seat is designed in a manner that it offers easy mobility from stroller to the car. 

This car seat is budget friendly and also provides a great deal of features except the weight range. It has a limited weight limit of only 35 pounds which means your child will outgrow it in a short span of time. However, if you plan to have more kids in the future, this car seat can be of great help.

This car seat from Graco is very comfortable as compared to its previous models. It has a comfortable fabric and stuffed padding which gives the baby the right amount of warmth and comfort. The car seat is easy to install which makes it one of the best sellers. 

Overall, Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 XT is a reasonable priced car seat with premium quality fabric and cushions. It has an average crash test score and fulfills the necessary protocols of safety. Only downside to this product is its limited weight range and canopy handle collision issue.

PROS
  • Reasonable price
  • Lightweight
  • Easy installation
  • FAA-approved design for planes
  • Adjustable foot on base
CONS
  • 35-lb weight limit

3. Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat

Sale
Primo Viaggio Convertible,...
  • Made In Italy. Reversible-can be used rear...
  • Side impact protection protects child's head,...
  • Energy-absorbing foam, EPS throughout the...
  • Contoured steel back plate minimizes flexing...

If you are in search of a car seat that is safe but also pleasantly appealing then the Peg-Pérego Primo Viaggio can be the one for you. This car seat is made in Italy which means it’s classy but also safe at the same time. It can be a perfect fit for those who like to keep the contrast of their car interior pretty. 

Good thing about this car seat is that it has an adjustable side-impact protection, a shaped steel back plate, and prolonged polystyrene that adds another layer of safety and comfort to this product. 

Outstanding feature of this car seat is the equipment of SAFE (shock-absorbing foam element). This element protects the baby from any sudden jerk during a crash.

Altogether, the Peg-Pérego Primo Viaggio is an amazing car seat with washable and comfortable fabric that keeps the baby warm and comfy during long road journeys. Although, this car seat is a bit on the pricier side, but the quality of this product does justice to the price tag.

PROS
  • Machine washable cushion
  • Easy to install
  • FAA –approved design for planes
  • No rethread harness
  • Versatile safety features
  • Rear and forward facing flexibility
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Internal foam crumbles early

4. Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat

Sale
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car...
  • 4 in 1 car seat gives you 10 years of use:...
  • Graco protect Plus engineered helps to...
  • Simply safe adjust harness system adjusts the...
  • 6 position recline helps keep your growing...

If you are looking for a car seat that will last you a very long time, then the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat can be a great choice. This particular car seat has a 10 year lifespan and lasts the complete toddler phase of your child. This car seat has a LATCH system which ensures easy installation and removal from the car.

This car seat is one of the best when it comes to convertible seats mainly because of its easy conversion modes. It has a rubberized harness and a machine washable fabric. This car seat adds extra level of safety with the steel-reinforced frame.

This car seat from Graco is easy to install, mainly because of the installed LATCH system in the car. Overall, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat is one of the best car seats in the market today. 

Undoubtedly, this car seat is quite expensive but also impressive at the same time. Moreover, a 10 year lifespan is more than enough if you plan on having more kids in the future.

PROS
  • Easy to install
  • Machine washable cushions
  • 10-year lifespan
  • Easy conversion
  • Supports a wide weight range
  • LATCH system
  • Steel reinforcement for extra safety
CONS
  • Not budget-friendly
  • Not compatible with strollers

5. Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat

Sale
Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness...
  • 2-in-1 Booster - Forward-facing harness...
  • Dual Cup Holders: Two built-in cup holders...
  • Upfront Harness Adjust: Central, front access...
  • Shoulder Belt Guide: Automatically positions...

If you are looking for a car seat that is budget-friendly but also glamorous at the same time, Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat might be the one for you. This seat comes in a variety of color combinations from which you can choose according to your preferences.

This car seat from Evenflo can serve to be your child’s friend for quite some long. However, its height limit may be a con to this wonderful booster car seat. This car seat meets all the necessary requirements of safety precautions and also comes with a 90 Day limited warranty.

All in all, the Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat accommodates a generous limit of weight. It is easy to install mainly because of the compatible LATCH system in your car. This car seat also has 2 built-in cup holders that can come in handy. Plus, the car seat fabric cleans easily and is machine washable.

PROS
  • Reasonably priced
  • Built in LATCH and harness storage
  • Extremely comfortable
  • 2 cup holders
  • Machine washable fabric
  • Easy to install
CONS
  • Difficult to remove
  • Non-adjustable headrest

6. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Sale
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car...
  • The #1-rated infant car seat in America!
  • Easiest to install with Recline Sure...
  • Designed for travel system use with...
  • Removable new-born head and body supports....

If you are looking for a car seat that supports a wide range of sizes, then the Chicco KeyFit 30 might be the one for you. This car seat provides ectra safety to the baby due to the thick padded cushions. It is user-friendly and easy to install. 

This car seat has a safe lock handle and various lock positions. It can be installed using the LATCH system or the car seat belt, up to you. It is compatible with the stroller device.

All in all, the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is a great option to get your hands on. However, customer reviews say that the smaller canopy is something they struggle with while taking the child to a walk in the sun.

PROS
  • Easy installation
  • Supports flexible limit of weight and height
  • Adjustable harness
  • Reasonable
  • Machine washable fabric
CONS
  • Smaller canopy
  • Heavyweight

7. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30...
  • Snug Lock Technology - A Hassle-Free 3-Step...
  • Infant car seat grows with and helps protect...
  • Adjustable base offers 4 recline positions,...
  • Easy-to-read level indicator helps eliminate...

The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 can be a tough competitor to the Chicco KeyFit 30, just reviewed above, mainly because of the weight and height flexible limits. However, the Graco Snugride features a newborn head support which is lacking in the Chicco Keyfit car seat.

This car seat is quite lightweight which makes it easy to carry. The car seat is also compatible with stroller devices. The fabric is machine-washable and comfortable enough for the baby to seep for prolonged periods of time. 

All in all, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 is a great car seat for everyday use. However, its installation is a bit tricky so it’s better to leave it in the car rather than frequent installation and removal.

PROS
  • Budget-friendly
  • Compatible with strollers
  • Machine-washable fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
CONS
  • A bit difficult to install

8. Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible...
  • Zip-off padding is soft and machine washable...
  • Remarkably easy installation with a...
  • Superior DuoGuard protection with a deep...
  • Accommodates growing children with a...

If you are in search of a convertible for your baby or toddler, the Chicco NextFit Zip might be the right fit for you. It supports a wide limit of weight and height which means it can serve for a long time. Good thing about this car seat is that a newborn insert can be installed that accommodates 5-11 pounds of weight. 

This car seat is super easy to install because of the integrated car’s LATCH system. This car seat has a versatile range of recline positions that caters to all of the babies’ needs. 

Altogether, the Chicco NextFit Zip is a wonderful car seat. Its harness height can be adjusted from the front seat which is super convenient for the parent. One downside to this amazing product is that it is bulky which makes the car seat heavyweight and difficult to carry.

PROS
  • Supports flexible limit of weight and height
  • Provides extra safety
  • Super easy installation
  • Adjustable harness
  • Machine washable fabric and cushions
CONS
  • Pricey
  • Bulky design which makes it heavy

9. Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat

Sale
Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible...
  • This Convertible Car Seat helps protect rear...
  • Evenflo's proprietary e3 Side Impact...
  • Quick Connector Latch System allows you to...
  • The 5-point Infinite Slide harness easily...

This car seat from Evenflo keeps the child safe and comfortable. The Evenflo Triumph LX offers a variety of features at a reasonable price. It supports 5-40 pounds of weight in rear facing and 22-65 pounds of weight in forward facing.

However, it has a limited height range of only 37 inches. This car seat provides extra layer of protection and comfort to the child because of the gel-infused padding. The seat’s fabric is easily removable, machine-washable, and comfortable to the baby. 

Overall, the Evenflo Triumph LX is a great option to consider mainly because of its amazing price tag and multiple features. It also has a good history of crash protection.

PROS
  • Easy installation
  • Reasonably priced
  • Added safety with thick padding
  • Machine-washable fabric
  • Adjustable harness
CONS
  • Strap is not covered
  • Limited height range

10. BRITAX B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat

Sale
BRITAX B-Safe 35 Infant Car...
  • Surrounded in safety: a layer of side impact...
  • Easy installation: use safe center latch or...
  • Relax & recline: spring assisted recline and...
  • Travel system ready: compatible with all...

Last but not the least, we have the Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat. This car seat provides extra protection for side impact. It also has a sturdy steel frame and a compressing base which aid in child’s protection during a crash.

This car seat is compatible with stroller devices. It has a large canopy which keeps the child safe from the sun during long walks in the park or zoo. Furthermore, the seat cover is easily removable, comfortable, and provides the right amount of warmth to keep the baby comfy. 

All in all, the Britax B-Safe 35 is one of the best car seats. It is easy to install because it uses the LATCH system of the vehicle. Moreover, this car seat is FAA-approved which means you can travel with it on an airplane.

PROS
  • Sturdy steel frame
  • Extra protection for side impact
  • FAA approved
  • Large canopy
  • Comfortable fabric and padding
CONS
  • Seat cover not machine-washable
  • Expensive

Best Car Seats Consumer Buyer’s Guide

Before making a choice among multiple car seats available in the market, it is vital to know the factors that must be considered before buying the right car seat. You should keep the following few things in mind before you buy a car seat.

Budget 

The comfort level and exterior of a car seat depends on the factor of budget. There is a vast variety of car seats in different ranges suitable for almost everyone. Also, some car seats are exceptionally expensive which means they cut a considerable chunk of your money. 

So, depending upon the flexibility of your budget, look for options. If your budget is expandable, invest in a car seat that offers a superior level of comfort, extra lifespan, and versatile adjustability options. 

However, if you’re on a tight budget, look for options to save money. Obviously, these car seats won’t be as comfortable and eye-catching as the high-end ones but will definitely provide safety protocols to your child on his car ride. 

Installation 

Before buying a car seat, you should make sure that the installation is easy and effortless. For easy installation, it is vital that the car seat must be lightweight. So, if you commute a lot or are always on the run, this aspect is very important to consider before buying the perfect car seat. 

Every product comes with a book of guidelines and necessary information regarding the installation process. This guide book can come in handy and help you to make sure whether or not the car seat is installed perfectly. You can also search the internet for safety guidelines and compatibility.

If you are still not sure about the right installation of your car seat then you can take your car to a certified Child Passenger Safety technician to help you do the installation in the right way and check off all the necessary safety protocols.

Size 

The size of the car seat that you are opting to buy must be able to fit your baby till the baby completes his/her toddler period. You should know the age and weight of the baby to take the right measurement car seat. It is because a particular car seat has a limit of weight and height. 

If your baby is chunky, look for car seats that have higher size limits. They can consequently be used for longer periods of time. Similarly, if your baby is not that chunky, go for car seats with limited weight and height capacity. This aspect of a car seat also decides the level of comfort the child is going to experience on his/her road journey. 

Compatibility 

LATCH system, as discussed in the following sections, makes installation of car seats easy and proficient. This system wasn’t introduced till late until 2003. Cars before 2003 did not have the LATCH system and car seats were installed with the help of car’s seat belts. Today, each car is compatible to a car seat due to the engineered LATCH system. 

Before buying a car seat, you must be certain about the dimensions of your rear car seat. If it’s wide, go for a bulky car seat. Similarly, if the area is too tight, opt for compact sized car seats. Also, taking recommendations from customers and experts can be of huge help as they can give the most honest piece of advice. 

Lifestyle 

A car seat can give an idea of the kind of lifestyle you have. Car seats go with various types of lifestyles and fit into a specific kind just like a piece of a puzzle.

If you are someone you are always on the go and requires installation and removal of car seats frequently, then you must opt for something that has easy installation and is also lightweight.

Also, look for a car seat that is compatible with your stroller device to save extra bucks on the stroller seat. If you have more than one baby or twins, look for car seats that can accommodate 2 babies easily.

How long should my child ride in a rear-facing seat?

A child can sit in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Moreover, a car seat can be generally used until the child reaches 2 years of age and outgrows the car seat. The car seat can then be used by a new member of the family, if any.

Which is better: leather or cloth car seats?

The choice depends upon your requirements and preferences. A leather car seat definitely looks more eye-catching and pretty in your car as compared to a cloth car seat. However, leather car seats are difficult to maintain and demand higher repair costs as compared to cloth car seats which are pretty easy to maintain and clean.

How do I know if I’ve installed the car seat correctly?

Every product comes with a book of guidelines and necessary information regarding the installation process. This guide book can come in handy and help you to make sure whether or not the car seat is installed perfectly. You can also search the internet for safety guidelines and compatibility.

If you are still not sure about the right installation of your car seat then you can take your car to a certified Child Passenger Safety technician to help you do the installation in the right way and check off all the necessary safety protocols.

What is the LATCH system?

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. The LATCH system is a coordination that is intended to make easy installation of car seats and increase compatibility of the car seat with a vehicle. For the last decade or more, cars are engineered in a manner to provide lower anchors in and on the back seats to aid in easy installation of car seats. This has made installing and removing car seat very easy and time-saving for parents.

Can I take my car seat on an airplane?

It depends on the type of car seat you are planning to travel with. A car seat should be compatible with the FAA standards in order to be taken on an airplane. Also, the car seat must be easy to carry and foldable like a cross-body belt so that it can be easy to travel with.

Are expensive car seats safer?

The answer to this question can be quite controversial. But the reality is that every car seat has to pass particular crash test standards. This means that both cheap and expensive car seats are safe for your child. A high-priced car seat probably offers more comfort and might be a bit more extravagant and luxurious as compared to a low-priced car seat.

Conclusion 

To keep your little bundle of joy safe and secure during a trip, it is crucial to choose the best car seat you possibly can within your budget. Your car seat must be engineered in a way that it fulfills all the necessary safety standards and must be easy to install. 

Some car seats are designed in a way to fit older children only, while others are adjustable and can be used for many years by your child until he/she outgrows it. A car seat should have an easy installation process to save time for the parent and also be safe at the same time. 

This article must have given you a clear insight into the important things to consider before buying a car seat. It has also elaborated some of the best suggestions that are worth checking out. These products are picked in the light of expert reviews and customer feedback.

Join The Discussion