The 10 best infant car seats of 2020

best infant car seat

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When your new baby comes along, an infant car seat is one of the most important baby items you will need. Here are the 10 best infant car seats of 2020.

When your baby arrives, you want to make sure you keep that new precious cargo as safe as possible.

With multiple different brands and models to choose from and different safety features, sizes and functionality to consider, you may feel overwhelmed trying to pick the right infant car seat for your baby.

What is an infant car seat?

An infant car seat is a car seat that is used right from birth all the way up until your baby reaches the height or weight limit.

Depending on the car seat you choose, the weight limit for infant car seats usually varies from 25-35lbs depending on the car seats specifications.

All infant car seats are rear facing in your vehicle and are designed to attach to a “base”.

This makes taking your baby in and out of the car while keeping them in the car seat easy, efficient, and quick.

However most infant car seats can be installed directly into a car without a base if needed.

What should I consider when choosing an infant car seat for my baby?

All car seats sold in the US have to meet the same safety requirements that are required by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

However, even though every car seat has to meet certain safety standards, that does not mean that every car seat is the same.

Different models of infant car seats will vary in their other features, appearance and functionality.

6 things to consider when choosing an infant car seat

  • Size of your car: Depending on the size of your car might help you choose an infant car seat that fits properly in the space you have available. Some car seats are more compact than others, which makes them more suitable for smaller cars.
  • Budget: Make sure you have a budget in mind. Infant car seats can range from $100-$400+ depending on the brand, quality, and style. Usually, the more money you invest in a car seat, it will usually possess higher quality and more longevity. Find a price point and decide what car seat best fits your wallet.
  • Ease of installment: Installing car seats has become much easier and more user friendly in the recent years. However, some infant car seats may offer extra safety checks to ensure your seat is installed correctly. In addition to that, the installation process may be faster and easier on some car seats than others.
  • Stroller compatibility: Some infant car seats are stroller compatible by just simply clicking the car seat into the stroller. This makes taking your baby in and out of the car and into the stroller, simple, quick, and convenient. Many of the infant car seats are compatible with strollers within the same brand. However you can often buy a car seat adapter that can make the car seat compatible with other brands of strollers.
  • Safety extras: Most car seats will feature a built-in leveling system with indicators that signal if your car seat in properly positioned. Some brands of car seats may also offer extra shock absorption fabric or technology that can help improve the overall safety of the car seat.
  • Comfort: Comfort can be an important factor to take into consideration. Your baby is going to use an infant car seat quite regularly and could even be using it up until a year old (depending on the height and weight limits). Making sure you choose an infant car seat that offers optimum comfort for your baby, will ensure the best experience while traveling.
  • Functionality: Consider other aspects that can affect functionality such as ease of cleaning, removable infant insert, and so on.

What is the difference between an infant car seat and a convertible car seat?

Depending on your preference, lifestyle, and everyday needs might help you best decide if you want an infant car seat or a convertible car seat.

Infant car seat

An infant car seat usually has a weight range from 4-35lbs depending on which one you choose. Infant car seats are easy to carry around and are often compatible with strollers.

They are smaller and more compact and often click into a base that is installed into your car. This allows for easy in and out access with your baby still strapped into the car seat.

Convertible car seat

Convertible car seats usually have a larger rear-facing weight limit of around 45+lbs and then convert into forward-facing which increases the weight limit even more.

Some convertible car seats even convert into a booster seat and can accommodate your child up to 100lbs.

Convertible car seats are very versatile and can be used from birth all the way up to grade school years, however, they are big, bulky, and not something you would want to be carrying your infant around in.

A lot of mothers will choose an infant car seat first and then once their baby outgrows the seat they then will transition to a convertible car seat that will grow with their baby for many years to come.

Check out The 13 best convertible car seats of 2020

Why should I consider an infant car seat?

An infant car seat is better suited for newborns- 12 months+ because you can take it in and out of the car while running errands or going into the grocery store.

Most infant car seats are compatible with their same brand of stroller or even can be compatible with other brands of strollers with an adapter.

An infant car seat is going to be more convenient for travelling and everyday use as you can easily remove it from its base without needing to take your baby out of the car seat.

What are the best infant car seats of 2020

Here are the 10 best infant car seats of 2020. Check out each car seats specifications along with the features to best determine what will be the best fit for your family.

1. Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30

Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-30lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 9.5lbs

Features

  • Easy installation
  • Rebound bar for safety
  • Extended Maxi shade with flip-out visor for UV protection and air flow
  • Flip away buckle
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Aircraft certified
  • Infant insert
  • Stroller compatible
  • Very safe
  • Machine washable

Overview

The Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 is a premium choice of infant car seat offering many great benefits to both you and your baby.

Weighing in at just under 10lbs this car seat is relatively lightweight making it less bulky to lug around.

With easy installation and no hassle cleaning, the Mico Max 30 is going to avoid any frustration while installing into your car or cleaning all of those baby messes.

With an easily removable one-piece fabric that is machine washable and dryer safe, cleaning this car seat is so easy.

The fabric is also self-wicking, absorbing any moisture that your baby may have in warmer temperatures.

Regarding safety, the Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 features a safety rebound bar designed to absorb any energy in case of an accident and extra side impact protection.

Lastly, the Mico Max is extremely durable and will last a long time. Boasting high-quality fabric, this car seat is long-lasting and resilient.

The not so good:

Can be a tight fit for bigger babies
Canopy can feel flimsy
A little expensive

2. Chicco KeyFit 35 Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit 35 Infant Car Seat

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 10lbs

Features

  • Intuitive click-in design
  • Recline sure leveling system
  • Super cinch latch tightener
  • Easy to install
  • Premium latch connectors
  • Extendable headrest
  • Infant insert
  • Breathable backrest
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Machine washable
  • Stroller compatible

Overview

The Chicco KeyFit 35 is engineered with optimum safety in mind. Being easy and simple to install, the KeyFit 35 will avoid the headache of wondering if your car seat is installed correctly.

With premium latch connectors and the SuperCinch force-multiplying latch tightener, makes getting the car seat secure and in place easily and with a fraction of the effort.

With recent upgraded features, this car seat comfortably and safely accommodates your baby’s growth, with extra legroom, adjustable no-rethread headrest, and stability for extended rear facing.

Chicco offers a wide variety of models with the “KeyFit” collection. If you are looking to spend a little less, you can save some money by choosing the KeyFit 30 that has some of the similar features, but the maximum weight limit is 30lbs.

If you wanting to experience some additional add ons and don’t mind the lower weight limit, the Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Air offers some additional features such as a cozy zip-around boot for all-season comfort and improved ventilation.

The not so good:

A little heavier
Canopy can be hard to adjust

3. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 9.75lbs

Features

  • Adjustable base with 4 recline positions
  • Leveling indicators
  • True shield technology
  • Quiet sunshade
  • Combatable to all click connect strollers
  • One handed handle adjustment
  • Features SnugLock technology
  • Machine washable

Overview

The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX offers lots of great features, making it a breeze to install, easy to travel with, and budget friendly too.

With the SnugLock technology, this car seat installs in less than one minute.

Advanced True Sheild technology ensures that this car seat offers optimum side impact protection from head to hips.

Another great feature that this car seat has to offer is the one-handed handle adjustment, leaving your other hand free which makes adjusting the handle and getting your baby in and out easy and convenient.

If you are looking for an affordable infant car seat option, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock seems to check all the boxes.

The not so good:

Can take up more space in the car
Handle can be hard to maneuver
Needs more padding for better comfort

4. Britax B- Safe 35 ultra

Britax B- Safe 35 ultra

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 12lbs

Features

  • Easy installation
  • 2 layers of side impact protection
  • Impact-absorbing base
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Integrated steel frame
  • Stroller compatible
  • Auto-level indicators
  • Built-in lock offs
  • Slim profile

Overview

The Britax B Safe 35 Ultra offers outstanding safety features at a fair price.

This car seat has a steel frame with an impact-absorbing base. The safe cell technology is honeycombed shaped and compresses in the event of an accident, diverting energy away from your baby.

Another unique feature that the B Safe carseat boasts is the placement of the harness adjusting button. In many other car seats this button is usually hidden under fabric.

Usually this results in you having to search around for it while trying get your baby securely strapped in.

Britax has placed this button in a convenient open, external location making it easier to tighten the straps securely on your baby.

The not so good:

Heavy
Bigger babies may grow out of this seat quickly
Less comfortable and padded as other options
Doesn’t claim to be machine washable

5. Clek Liing

Clek Liing

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 9lbs

Features

  • Effortless installation
  • Maximum side impact protection
  • Newborn body support system
  • Energy-absorbing metal load leg
  • Aircraft approved
  • Warranty
  • Stroller compatible
  • 3 position adjustable sun canopy
  • Eco-friendly fabric
  • Flame retardant free
  • Machine washable

Overview

The Clek Liing is one of the most superior car seats available on the market.

With its lightweight, sleek and slim profile, and high-end quality, the Liing will meet all of your baby’s needs.

With an innovative design and style, the Clek Liing offers maximum comfort and fool proof installation. The Clek also features a metal load leg that offers superior stability and safety.

With 7 different recline positions, this infant car seat can easily match any vehicle car seat slope.

Another great feature that the Clek Liing proudly stands behind (that many other car seats may not), is that all Liing models are free from brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.

If you don’t mind investing a little bit more into an infant car seat, you can’t go wrong with the Clek Liing and it will be worth every penny.

The not so good:

Expensive

6. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 9.5lbs

Features

  • 2 stage cushion inserts
  • Narrow width
  • Side impact protection
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Extendable canopy
  • Easy installation
  • 3 recline positions
  • Stroller compatible

Overview

The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio has great safety features such as side impact protection and kinetic pods, a premium base load leg, and an anti-rebound bar.

This car seat has a dual stage cushion system offering support for your baby at the newborn stage and as they continue to grow.

You can adjust the headrest while your baby is seated in the car seat to ensure the optimum placement with no re-threading needed.

Along with its stylish appearance and soft padded seat, your baby is sure to love the Primo Viaggio. This car seat also comes in a variety of different color options and price may vary a little depending on your preference to color.

The not so good:

A little expensive (color dependent)
Not machine washable

7. UPPAbaby Mesa

UPPAbaby Mesa

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 9.9lbs

Features

  • Easy installation
  • Smart secure latch system
  • Infant insert
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Side impact protection
  • Stroller compatible
  • One handed handle release
  • Machine washable fabric
  • Chemical and flame retardant free fabric
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Tightness indicators

Overview

The UPPAbaby Mesa is designed with intuitive innovations. Being very user friendly and a breeze to install, this car seat is any mothers dream.

Stylish and safe, the Mesa takes out all of the guesswork and leaves you with a securely installed infant car seat.

The Mesa was actually awarded from NHSTA a 5 star rating for ease of use.

With unique latch connectors this car seat wont ever be installed wrong and the system tightens and secures the base effortlessly.

A low profile, streamlined base with a finished bottom helps prevent any future damage to your vehicle’s seats.

This car seat also has a hassle-free adjustable headrest with a no re-thread harness system. You don’t have to worry about completely taking apart the harness to rethread it when your baby grows.

Overall, the Mesa is a great infant car seat choice and will keep your baby comfortable and safe. Since the material used is free from unwanted chemicals and flame retardants you don’t have to worry about your baby breathing in anything harsh.   

Not to mention the lifetime warranty UPPAbaby offers with this car seat.

The not so good:

Even with an adapter, it is not compatible with many other brands of strollers.
Canopy doesn’t extend very long
Doesn’t have a load leg

8. Doona doona

Doona doona

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 16.5lbs

Features

  • Complete integrated travel system
  • Convenient installation
  • Easy conversion to stroller
  • Adjustable handlebar
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Machine washable
  • Aircraft approved
  • Infant insert
  • Seat protector
  • Breathable fabric

Overview

The Doona Doona is the worlds first complete and fully integrated travel system. Moving between car seat and stroller has never been easier and the Doona converts into a stroller in seconds.

With its sleek and innovative design, this car seat/stroller combo makes running errands and getting in and out of the car so convenient for mom and baby.

This infant car seat is a safe, easy, and an efficient solution that is practical for parents on the go.

Safety comes first with the Doona, and this car seat features side impact protection, fail-safe mechanisms, an anti-rebound bar are just to name a few.

Doona also offers different color options to fit your preferences and keep things stylish and sleek.

This travel system does weigh more than all infant car seats out there but that is because it is a stroller too! There will be no need to carry it around so the weight isn’t a deal breaker.

Even with its high price tag, remember that the Doona is a complete, all in one travel system that is so convenient to use.

You won’t need to purchase another stroller like you would with other infant car seat options.

The not so good:

Expensive
Heavy
Once baby grows out of the car seat the stroller cannot be used separately.

9. Evenflo LiteMax DLX

Evenflo LiteMax DLX

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-35lbs
  • Height limit: 17-32in
  • Weight: 8.7lbs

Features

  • Load leg
  • Adjsutable headrest
  • No-re-thread harness
  • Very lightweight
  • Budget friendly
  • SureSafe intstallation system
  • Machine washable fabrics
  • Infant insert
  • Buckle pockets

Overview

If you are looking for an infant car seat on a budget, the Evenflo LiteMax DLX might be the perfect option for you. At under $200, the Evenflo is simple and user friendly.

The Evenflo does feature an adjustable headrest and a no re-thread harness along with a SureSafe installation system, helping the installation process easier.

Even with its affordable price, this car seat also features a load leg which is quite an impressive addition considering its cheaper price point.

Another additional feature that the Evenflo has it its buckle pockets. This helps keep the buckles and harness open and ready for you to place your baby in the seat.

The not so good:

Not as innovative when it comes to safety
Canopy doesn’t extend very far
Can take up more space in the car
Lacking some extra add ons other seats may offer

10. Nuna Pipa

Nuna Pipa

Specifications

  • Weight limit: 4lbs-32lbs
  • Height limit: 32in
  • Weight: 8lbs

Features

  • Secure and simple install
  • Side impact protection
  • Stability load leg
  • No added fire-retardant chemicals
  • Heavy duty
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Premium micro-knit fabric
  • Aircraft certified
  • Extendable “dream drape” canopy
  • Durable
  • Stroller compatible
  • European belt path

Overview

The Nuna Pipa is one of the lightest infant car seat options out there. Weighing in at just 8lbs, the pipa is sleek, lightweight, and full of great safety features.

A fold down stability leg offers the Pipa optimum support and security absorbing any energy in the event of a crash.

The True Lock safety system uses a color coded system to eliminate any guess work as to whether you have installed the seat correctly.

Another unique feature that the Pipa offers is its quality fabric and materials along with the “dream drape”.

This extended breathable, sun protecting canopy gives your sleeping baby all the privacy they need!

The not so good:

Non-adjustable headrest
Doesn’t feature “no re-thread” harness
Difficult to clean
Higher price point

Summary

Choosing the right infant car seat can seem like a big deal. It is important to pick one that best fits the needs of you and your family.

Weigh up the pros and the cons and i’m sure the perfect pick will be ready and waiting for you and your baby.

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