10 Best Infant Car Seats for 2021

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As moms, baby’s safety is always on our minds. We place dangerous items out of reach, install safety gates, and put safety locks on cabinet doors.

Yes, there definitely are plenty of important ways we need to baby-proof the home. One of the most important places to keep baby safe isn’t actually in our homes, though.

Why, it’s in the car, of course! During trips, you have to adhere to US motor laws by safely placing them in a car seat. 

With this in mind, you’re out to get a car seat that offers the best protection and comfort for your little one, as well. So, I’m sure this guide with reviews of the best infant car seats is welcome!

At A Glance: Our Top Ten Picks for Best Baby Car Seats:

What is the Best Infant Car Seat?

Picking a suitable car seat for your baby, lifestyle, and vehicle can be a challenging task. There are so many options available, and each seat has something unique to offer.

I think that choosing the best car seat for your baby does depend a lot on your needs. However, some seats definitely stand out from the rest.

According to hundreds of customers, the ones I’ve picked to review today are the ten best infant car seats. They tick all the boxes in terms of quality, safety features, and ease of use.

I’m sure you need a bit more information to make a decision, though. That’s why I’ve included detailed info about their pros, cons, and features we love in each review, too.

So, let’s get into them and find the perfect car seat for your little one!

IMAGE PRODUCT
Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Fits all Graco Click Connect strollers
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat
  • Detachable, retractable sun canopy
  • Fits Chicco strollers
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Doona Infant Car Seat to Stroller & Latch Base
  • Car seat weighs 16.5 lbs
  • Quick to clip into the car seat base
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Comfort Cool Infant Car Seat
  • Fits quick-clip equipped strollers
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes detachable infant insert
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
BRITAX B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat
  • Car seat weighs 11.50 lbs
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 10-Year Car Seat with TrueShield Technology
  • No sun canopy
  • Has a non-removable car seat base
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Lounge Car Seat
  • Includes detachable two-stage cushion
  • Car seat weighs 12 lbs
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
  • Has non-removable car seat base
  • Includes infant insert
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →
Diono 2020 Radian 3R 3-in-1 10-year Convertible Car Seat
  • This is a permanent car seat, so it does not clip into a stroller
  • Car seat weighs 25.92 lbs
VIEW ON AMAZON →READ REVIEWS →

1. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Utilitarian design – available in black. Other colors available without TrueShield technology
  • A rear-facing seat that suits a baby/toddler from 4 lbs up to 35 lbs and 32”
  • Car seat weighs 9.75 lbs
  • Retractable UV sun canopy
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes a detachable infant insert
  • Fits all Graco Click Connect strollers
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base

Things We Love!

Graco is one of the most popular car seat brands out there. They offer a wide variety of top-rated car seats, including the SnugLock 35 LX.

This upgraded TrueShield SnugLock 35 LX is a more protective version. TrueShield technology offers improved protection in the event of side-impact accidents.

Apart from this safety aspect, I love that the seat is made out of comfortable, quality fabrics. The extra padding and upmarket look don’t go amiss, either.

Yes, it’s sure to keep baby comfy and safe in style. On top of this, it’s easy to install the base and clip the seat to it or your stroller.

Pros:

  • You can buy the SnugLock base separately if you have multiple vehicles.
  • Built-in TrueShield technology protects your baby from side impact
  • It’s easy to get the car seat level using one hand with the height-adjustable base
  • You can quickly adjust the belt using the no-rethread harness

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a European belt path
  • The baby seat position is static and doesn’t recline

Overall Thoughts

Are you on the market for an affordable seat that’s also safe, comfy, and stylish? If so, I think this car seat is a great choice, as is the SnugLock 35 LX travel system.

2. Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat

Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern, ergonomic design – available in Cienna (brown/black) and Tempo (black/grey)
  • 2-position rear-facing car seat that suits baby/toddler from 4 lbs up to 35 lbs and 35”
  • Car seat weighs 20.5 lbs
  • Detachable, retractable sun canopy
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes a detachable infant insert
  • Fits Chicco strollers
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base

Things We Love!

Chicco has a variety of car seats in its KeyFit range – the Fit2 is a new car seat entirely. It’s a stylish model that compares well to much more expensive seats in terms of looks. 

Additionally, it’s way easier to install than earlier KeyFit models. I love that its unique two-stage function offers baby a more comfortable position to ride in as they grow. 

The first position is a reclining one perfect for newborns and babies up to 1 year. After this, the roomier, upright position suits older babies and toddlers from 9 months up to 2 years.

Most rear-facing car seats do fit children up to this age and weight. However, it’s nice to see one that offers two comfy positions to accommodate their growth. 

Pros:

  • The two-stage base offers maximum comfort for babies as they grow into toddlers.
  • Easy to get the seat level and secure using the RideRight bubble level and RideSure leveling foot.
  • You can adjust the level with one hand, as well as the car seat carry handle.
  • Has a European belt path

Cons:

  • The car seat is heavier than most, so it’s a bit difficult to carry.

Overall Thoughts

I think this car seat is one of the best infant car seats in terms of value thanks to its dual positions. The Fit2’s updated, modern, appealing look is also a welcome update.

3. Doona Infant Car Seat to Stroller & Latch Base

Doona Infant Car Seat to Stroller & Latch Base
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • A striking black design with yellow accents and a Black Nitro hood – GreyhoundBlush PinkRoyal BlueRacing Green, and Flame Red-hooded variants are also available.
  • Rear-facing car-seat-to-stroller that suits a baby/toddler from 4 lbs up to around 15 months or 35 lbs and 32”
  • Car seat weighs 16.5 lbs
  • Retractable sun canopy
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes detachable infant insert and head support
  • 2-in-1 foldable stroller and car seat
  • Quick to clip into the car seat base

Things We Love!

This striking Doona car seat is a lot more than just an infant car seat. You see, it folds out into a lightweight stroller – and it does so in seconds!

Furthermore, you can unfold it without needing to move baby out of the seat – as long as they get strapped in. So, taking your little napper out of the car without waking them is not a problem.

I love the modern, distinctive look of this infant car seat to stroller the most, though. But, I’m also impressed by the unique way it functions.

This infant-seat-to-stroller is also ideal for travel because it’s portable and lightweight. It’s so easy to use, and you won’t need to buy or carry a stroller because it’s built-in!

Pros:

  • Quickly folds out into a lightweight stroller without taking baby out of the seat
  • This set comes with extras – a bamboo infant insert, bamboo head support, and car seat protector.
  • You can buy additional Doona car seat bases separately.
  • The stroller/seat handlebar also acts as an anti-rebound bar to absorb impact in the event of an accident
  • Has a European belt path

Cons:

  • This seat to stroller only fits baby up until they’re around 15 months old
  • The seat only faces backward when in stroller mode
  • Premium price tag

Overall Thoughts

Are you looking for a snazzy car-seat-to-stroller with tons of features? If so, then this is definitely one of the best infant car seats to consider. 

Sure, it’s not the cheapest option; however, I think it’s well worth the money. After all, you’re getting a top-of-the-range seat and a stroller in one.

4. Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Comfort Cool Infant Car Seat

Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Comfort Cool Infant Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern design – available in Pebble Beach (grey), Niagara Mist (grey/blue), and Monument (grey/black).
  • A rear-facing car seat that suits a baby/toddler from 4 lbs up to 35 lbs and 32”
  • Car seat weighs 14.99 lbs
  • Retractable sun canopy
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes detachable infant insert
  • Fits quick-clip equipped strollers
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base

Things We Love!

This affordable car seat comes with everything you need at a good price. I love that it features an extended backrest and four harness heights to suit babies with longer torsos.

It’s also approved for use on airplanes on airlines who approve it. Though it’s not the lightest seat, you can clip it into any matching quick-clip equipped stroller.

Pros:

  • Stylish car seat at an affordable price
  • Four harness heights to suit taller babies
  • Affordable price
  • Soft cushioning and fabric

Cons:

  • No European belt path
  • A big car seat that may not fit all cars

Overall Thoughts

This specific car seat may not come with many extras. However, it looks good and offers plenty of comfort for baby.

Overall, this car seat is good value for money, especially for those with a smaller budget. The onBoard 35 LT travel system available in grey, lavender, blue, and pink is also a good option.

5. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern, stylish design – available in Bryce (marble white), Henry (light grey), and Jake (dark grey), as well as Jordan (merino wool in charcoal).
  • A rear-facing car seat that suits baby/toddler from 4 lbs up to 35 lbs and 32”
  • Car seat weighs 20 lbs
  • Retractable UPF 25+ sun canopy – UPPAbaby sun and rain shade sold separately
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes detachable infant insert
  • Fits UPPAbaby VISTA and CRUZ strollers adapter-free
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base

Things We Love!

This is one of the best infant car seats in terms of safety features. The headrest is reinforced with EPP foam, which generally gets used in the lining safety helmets.

I love the fact that the headrest is adjustable. You can easily pull it up or down to perfectly fit your child. This feature makes the baby seat much more age-versatile, safe, and comfortable.

The two crotch-harness positions are another extra that maximizes the use and comfort of the seat. Simply move the harness to the next position as soon as baby is too big for it.

Besides the car seat functionality, its looks are great, too. It’s a modern car seat available in a few contemporary shades.

Pros:

  • EPP foam reinforcement offers extra side impact protection
  • The seat and travel systems are available in a variety of stylish color palettes
  • Unique SmartSecure function lets you know when you’ve installed the seat correctly
  • It’s easy to adjust the no-rethread harness

Cons:

  • No European belt path
  • Heavy to carry on its own

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I think this car seat is a good buy because of the added security features. Of course, it’s also a plush, premium-quality buy that’s easy on the eye.

If this car seat caught your eye, then be sure to check out the latest UPPAbaby travel system, too. It includes a bassinet, VISTA V2 stroller, and a MESA seat.

6. BRITAX B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat

BRITAX B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern, urban design – available in Otto (grey/black), Circa (black), and Spark (light grey/black)
  • A rear-facing car seat that suits a baby/toddler from 4 lbs up to 35 lbs and 32”
  • Car seat weighs 11.50 lbs
  • Retractable sun canopy – UPF 50+ all-weather cover sold separately
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes detachable infant insert
  • Fits all Britax B-AgileB-FreeB-MobileB-Ready strollers, adapter-free. Also, it fits the BOB Single and BOB Duallie strollers with a separate adapter.
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base

Things We Love!

BRITAX offers three types of car seats in the B-Safe range. The B-Safe Endeavours seat, the B-Safe 35, and B-Safe 35 Ultra.

The Endeavour features a European belt guide and anti-rebound bar. In fact, I love that this car seat has plenty of safety functions built-in. 

These features also include an impact-absorbing base and two layers of side impact protection. It comes with all the things you need to get started, but you can customize it more.

In fact, you can buy a variety of accessories aside from a matching BRITAX stroller. There is a rain/sun cover, a no-slip seat protector, a support cushion, and a car seat mirror available.

Pros:

  • Comes with tons of safety functions built-in
  • BRITAX B-safe car seat base is separately in case you have more than one car.
  • Has European belt path

Cons:

  • Can only adjust the seat handle with two hands

Overall Thoughts

I think this BRITAX seat and its accessories are perfect for those who love matching things. If you have a BRITAX stroller, this is definitely one of the best infant car seats for it. 

For those who haven’t purchased a stroller, be sure to check out the BRITAX travel system. It’s even better value for money as it comes with a B-Free stroller and Endeavors car seat.

7. Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 10-Year Car Seat with TrueShield Technology

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 10-Year Car Seat with TrueShield Technology
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern design in Ion (black/charcoal) – non-TrueShield versions are available in other colors
  • 4-in-1 rear and front-facing car seat that suits baby/toddler/kids/tweens from 4 lbs up to 120 lbs
  • Car seat weighs 24 lbs
  • No sun canopy
  • Has a non-removable car seat base
  • Includes detachable infant insert
  • Permanent car seat – does not unclip or clip to a stroller

Things We Love!

Do you just want to save yourself the time, money, and trouble and just buy one good car seat? If so, the good news is that there are 10-year car seats on the market to fit your needs.

This Graco 4-in1 car seat is rated one of the best infant car seats in this category. It’s a bump up from the Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1, which only fits babies, toddlers, and children up to 100 lbs.

I love that you’re getting a car seat that will fit them much longer. In fact, it’s designed to last even longer than you’re required to keep it.

So, it’s perfect for parents who want to take extra safety precautions during trips. The cupholders, six reclining positions, and no-rethread harness are extra bonuses on top.

Pros:

  • You won’t need to buy another car seat for your baby
  • Includes TrueShield technology, which provides protection from side impact

Cons:

  • You can’t take baby out without waking them as this is a permanent car seat
  • Doesn’t clip into a stroller
  • No retractable canopy

Overall Thoughts

This is one of the best car seats for those looking for a permanent, long-term solution. This seat won’t save you money short-term as it’s a lot pricier than a standard infant car seat.

However, it will save you cash over the next decade as you won’t need to buy another for your child. So, I do think it’s a great investment.

8. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Lounge Car Seat

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Lounge Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern, stylish design – available in Atmosphere (charcoal) and Onyx (black)
  • A rear-facing car seat that suits baby from 4 lbs up to 35 lbs and 32”
  • Car seat weighs 12 lbs
  • Retractable UPF 50+ sun canopy – rain cover sold separately
  • Comes with a car seat base
  • Includes detachable two-stage cushion
  • Fits Peg Perego Booklet 50 stroller and YPSI stroller
  • Quick to clip on to stroller and car seat base

Things We Love!

The Primo Viaggio Lounge is the latest car seat from Peg Perego in Italy. This Italian brand makes the popular YPSI stroller and YPSI travel system.

The YPSI stroller converts into a two-seater that fits a combo of up to two Primo Viaggio car seats, bassinets, or stroller seats. You can achieve this by installing separate adapters.

There’s also a regular clip-in travel set available that fits one seat. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a travel system with the new Lounge car seat yet – I’m sure it will arrive soon.

As far as the Primo Viaggio Lounge seat goes, I absolutely love the fact that it reclines to a lying down position. Yes, you can smoothly recline the seat for nap time in the car or stroller!

Pros:

  • Unique reclining seat with three positions – lying, reclining, and sitting.
  • If required, you can buy an additional Primo Viaggio car seat base separately.
  • Premium base comes with a load leg to reduce rotation in the event of an accident.
  • Peg Perego Igloo car seat cover is available to keep baby warm in cold temperatures.
  • The pagoda-style sun canopy offers a generous amount of cover
  • Built-in kinetic pods and side-impact protection keep baby safe in the event of an accident
  • It has a European belt path

Cons:

  • Premium price tag

Overall Thoughts

This car seat is packed with safety features and European style. After all, the Italians are famous for being a touch more stylish than the rest of us.

However, they’re also well-known for ergonomic and functional designs. The Lounge seat definitely kicks the competition in this area with its voluminous canopy and comfy, reclining seat.

9. Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Modern, chic design – available in Arctic Mist (light blue/grey), Blackened Pearl (cream/grey), Harbor Side (bright blue/charcoal), Moonstone Violet (lavender/grey), Peach Amber (peach/grey), and Silver Charm (light grey)
  • Front and rear-facing 3-in-1 car seat that fits baby/toddler/child from 4 lbs up to 100 lbs and 49”
  • Car seat weighs 17.8 lbs
  • Sun canopy sold separately
  • Has non-removable car seat base
  • Includes infant insert
  • Permanent car seat – does not unclip or clip to a stroller

Things We Love!

The Pria is definitely one of the best infant car seats in terms of looks. It comes in a wide variety of fashionable shades, including peach, lavender, baby blue, sky blue, and grey.

There’s even a new version – the 3-in-1 Pria Max, available in various nude shades. These nude color schemes include nomad black, blue, grey, and sand.

Otherwise, both models are similar in capabilities and features. I love that the Pria 3-in-1 seat is built to last even longer than required.

Plus, it’s a reclining car seat. In fact, both models have three reclining positions, which you can use for baby when the seat is rear-facing.

Pros:

  • GCell patented foam offers cushioning and side-impact protection.
  • Contemporary design available in a rainbow of shades
  • Adapts to your baby as they grow up with an extendable headrest and detachable infant cushions
  • Has two dishwasher-safe cup holders
  • The magnetic lock and out-of-the-way harness make buckling your baby in a breeze

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a real level to measure the position of the seat – there’s just a line

Overall Thoughts

The Pria actually comes in at a similar price range to seats suitable for 1-2-year-olds. So, I think you’re getting your money’s worth with this option.

With so many complementary color options, it will look good in your car, too. Otherwise, the seat offers safety and comfort for your baby, toddler, or child.

10. Diono 2020 Radian 3R 3-in-1 10-year Convertible Car Seat

Diono 2020 Radian 3R 3-in-1 10-year Convertible Car Seat
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

Things We Love!

There are many Diono car seats available, including the new Radian 3QXT. However, the 3R is still the most popular of the bunch and now includes a booster to fit older kids.

Perhaps its popularity is due to the fact that it’s slim, light, and affordable? Or, maybe it’s because you can easily customize it as needed with a variety of Diono accessories?

These extras include window shades, infant inserts, seat protectorsmirrors, and even a smart remote-controlled mirror. I love that Diono also has you covered in the weather department.

This stylish footmuff keeps baby warm, and you can use it in the stroller, too. Plus, there’s a Diono summer cover made from 80% plush cotton toweling and mesh for hot weather.

Pros:

  • Baby can turn their head to see things
  • You can buy separate cup holders to fit this car seat
  • Its slim-fit design allows you to place up to three 3R’s next to each other on your back seat
  • Reclines when rear-facing for baby’s comfort.
  • The frame is made from protective, automotive-grade steel

Cons:

  • No side-impact protection
  • This is the basic model, so it doesn’t come with many accessories

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I like the customizable nature of this car seat. Instead of paying for extras you might not need, you can buy this basic model at a very good price.

Then, you can pick and choose others, depending on your needs. Otherwise, it’s good value as it will last you ten years and also offers safety features, comfort, and looks.

Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Baby Car Seat

Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Baby Car Seat

Choosing one of the best infant car seats for your baby isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. That’s why I’ve written this helpful buyers guide to assist you in this task. 

Why Do I Need an Infant Car Seat?

Most states in the USA and countries worldwide require that babies be in a rear-facing car seat from birth. These safety laws and regulations are in place for very good reasons.

Babies and children don’t have the weight or dexterity we do, so they need to get strapped in safely. A car seat is vital as it reduces injuries in kids by up to 82% compared to seat belts.

Yes, if there’s one baby item that I can categorize as an absolute necessity, it’s a car seat. Finding the best infant car seats in terms of safety features is also a must. 

In fact, you need to invest as much as you can in a good one to ensure their safety. After all, aside from fatality, the last thing you want is for your baby to get badly hurt in an accident.

At What Age Can My Baby Use a Baby Car Seat?

As mentioned before, baby needs to be in a rear-facing car seat from birth. In fact, they even have to be in their seat when you take them home from the hospital!

Your midwife will likely be the one responsible for showing you how to strap baby in. Of course, the best infant car seats for 0-2-year-olds are rear-facing seats. 

Usually, you need to keep baby in a rear-facing position until they’re two years old. When they can sit front-facing, in a booster seat, or stop using a seat depends on your state laws, though. 

So, be sure to check up one these at each milestone or when you plan to take a road trip out of state. These regulations may also include info about weight and height limits. 

Types of Infant Car Seats

There are three main types of car seat suitable for babies:

  • Infant car seat – rear-facing seats only for infants that can get detached and carried or clipped onto a stroller.
  • Convertible car seat – forward and rear-facing seats that adapt to your baby as they grow into a toddler and sit forward-facing.
  • 3-in-1 / 4-in-1 car seat – similar to convertible seats, but these seats also adapt into a booster for children and sometimes tweens.

Each of these seats comes with pros and cons. Which of these is one of the best infant car seats for your baby is up to you to decide.

Things to Consider When Buying an Infant Car Seat

The best infant car seats outperform the rest because they offer certain features and functionalities. However, you may not notice these, especially when shopping online.

Additionally, there are extra car seat accessories you can buy to keep baby safe and comfy. With this in mind, here is a checklist of things to consider.

Privacy & Shade From the Elements

Keeping baby safe from prying eyes, germs, sunlight, and rain is important, too. Most seats come with a sun canopy, but they’re not likely to include a full seat canopy cover.

However, there are many separate options you can buy, including this stylish chevron-patterned cover. This Mickey Mouse cover that doubles as a breastfeeding blanket may also do the trick?

Newborn Comfort & Support

If your babe is a newborn, they will have trouble sitting in the car seat comfortably unsupported. Luckily, most seats come with a detachable infant insert to softly support them.

If not, there are also separate inserts you can buy. I think this Mickey Mouse support cushion is cute! Plus, it’s also available in grey, as well as in Minnie Mouse pink and pink & grey designs. 

Breathable Seat Cover

Another important factor to consider is baby’s comfort during hot days. You’ll want to ask yourself if the cover is made of a soft, breathable fabric. Unfortunately, not all seat covers are. 

However, don’t despair – if not, there are actually plenty of wonderful separate seat covers you can purchase. I love the look of this muslin cotton seat cover though it may not fit on all seats.

Conclusion:

Finding the best infant car seats shouldn’t be difficult or time-consuming. I know how busy you are, either with or prepping for your new bundle. 

So, I do hope this post has helped you to find the perfect seat for both of you!

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