One absolute necessity, whether or not you own a car, before your baby is born, you will need to find a best infant car seat to buy.
This can be an overwhelming task.
So many makes and models from which to choose, you’re going to come across a lot of junk you don’t need.
It’s the most important piece of safety equipment you’re going to buy for your new baby, so it’s worth shopping around and comparing the competing products.
Car seats are notorious for being hard to install and difficult to use, but you might be surprised by the host of features you find in modern infant seats.
Finding the right balance of safety, convenience, and value can be a struggle with all of the different products on the market.
- Top 5 Best Infant Car Seats For A New Born Baby 2016
- Buying Guide
Top 5 Best Infant Car Seats For A New Born Baby 2016
We’ve picked out a few of our favorite rear-facing infant car seats to make your search a little easier.
Let’s take a look at the big sellers on the market right now.
1. Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Pierce
Graco products tend to have multiple names.
In this case, “SnugRide” means car seat and “Click Connect” is the family of Graco products that it falls into.
If you get a Graco Click Connect stroller, this car seat will click right into it for easily moving baby from the car to the stroller. It’s a pretty slick setup if you’re looking for a full baby travel system. They have a wide range of strollers with different styles, colors, and features that this seat effortlessly clicks into.
Graco calls this seat “ultra-lightweight” and at only 7.5 pounds it’s the lightest seat on our list. It has a generous weight range for children from 4-35 pounds making it the only seat on the list about under $200 with a 31 pounds weight range.
Graco didn’t forget about the comfort of the baby.
It features a removable head rest for newborns, a rotating canopy to keep the baby in the shade, and a leg cover.
Video review about Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat. Source: Youtube.com
There are a few points that remind you of the affordable price range that this seat falls into.
- The Graco’s headrest is flat and doesn’t offer much support or comfort compared to the competition. Graco does offer more deluxe headrests you can buy separately and install, but it would have been nice if the good one was included with the seat.
- The leg cover is a nice addition, but there isn’t much to it. It’s thin and doesn’t offer much warmth. If you live in a colder climate, you might want to consider getting a different cover that keeps your baby more out of the cold in the winter.
Bottom line: Flexibility and versatility is where the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 stands out. It’s compatibility with any other Click Connect Graco product gives you a chance to customize a travel system that works for your needs and your budget.
This is a good overall seat abundant with features for the reasonable price of $110.99*. Click the follow link to see more information about Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat on Amazon.
2. Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Sedona
The Chico Keyfit 30 claims to be the easiest car seat to install correctly.
It has an advanced base designed to install easier on either side of any vehicle. The base has three features so distinct that they have their own names!
ReclineSecure is the spring-loaded leveling system to easily provide the correct reclining level in any vehicle. Every automobile seat has its own incline and ReclineSecure makes it easy to adjust to that incline.
In order to check if it’s the correct level, you use the RideRight bubble level indicator. If the bubble is between the lines, you have the correct angle.
It’s that easy to check.
To make it even more convenient, these RideRight indicators are on both sides of the base making it easy to check from either side of the car.
The third special feature in the base of the Chicco is SuperCinch.
SuperCinch is a single strap that you pull to tighten up the LATCH straps anchoring the base into the seat. No more messing around with buckles under or behind the base to tighten it up. Just pull the strap and it’s good to go.
One more bonus of the base is it’s smooth on the bottom so it won’t wreck the back seat of your vehicle.
Video: Review about Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base. Source: Youtube.com
The Chicco might not be a good choice if you’re going to do a lot of shopping with your baby. This seat does not fit well into the upper part of a shopping cart.
You could still bring it with you, but you’ll have to sacrifice the main cargo area of the shopping cart.
Also, the fabric doesn’t breathe very well and you’ll have a sweaty baby on hot days.
The Chicco Keyfit 30 has a weight range of 4-30 pounds. It has the expected features of a canopy and an infant removable headrest.
It’s also compatible with several Chicco strollers so there’s some versatility there. At a price of Currently Not Available*, it’s a good, easy to use seat with a base that anyone can install with confidence.
You can find Chicco Keyfit 30 on Infant Car Seats department on Amazon.com by Click Here.
3. Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat, Black
Britax is the most safety obsessed brand on the list.
They have a special impact protection system called SafeCell. The most notable SafeCell feature is the steel frame inside of the foam padding protecting the child.
Energy absorbing foam shields the child from front and side impacts.
It has a deep, contoured shell that surrounds the baby in pure safety.
The Britax has a base similar to the Chicco with a single strap to tighten up the LATCH straps anchoring it to the car. The base compresses in a collision for an extra level of safety.
It’s like the child has their own crumple zone underneath them.
The base shares the same connection points as several Britax strollers making the B-Safe 35 compatible with different travel systems. The weight range of 4-35 pounds means it can even provide superior safety for premature babies.
Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat Product Video. Source: Youtube.com
While the construction of this seat makes it very safe, it comes with some disadvantages.
It can be kind of a pain to get the baby in and out of the seat due to the deep shell. There’s almost too much material in the way, but it’s there for a reason.
The thickness of the sides can also impact the comfort of the baby.
If you have a bigger baby, they won’t have much wiggle room in this seat.
It’s narrow, bulky, and heavy.
Don’t expect it to be a breeze carrying your baby around in this seat. It’s more designed for staying in the car than it is for traveling outside of the vehicle.
For Currently Not Available*, this is an extremely safety conscious car seat that’s easy to install, but isn’t a good fit for all babies.
4. Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat, Carbon
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something your baby is only going to use for maybe one year, the Baby Trend Flex-Loc is the most budget friendly seat on the list.
There’s nothing fancy here, but it does have the basic features you can expect on just about anything on the market. A five-point harness with one strap adjustment keeps the baby safely in place. A canopy keeps the sun off the child and a headrest keeps the baby comfortable.
The weight range is a little narrow at 5-30 pounds, but 95% of babies are born between 5.5 and 10 pounds. Unless you have a premature child, you probably won’t need the weight range to start at 4 instead of 5.
The most obvious difference between the Baby Trend and the rest of the seats is the base.
It’s noticeably more spartan with few features.
It’s adjustable enough and a little tricky to install just right, but how often do you have to remove the base after it’s installed?
It’ll be a little bit of a pain to get it in right the first time, but once it’s in, it’s in.
It also has some cross compatibility with Baby Trend strollers.
Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Carseat Review. Source: Youtube.com
A big issue with this seat is adjusting the handle. The carrying handle has to move out of the way for putting the baby in and out of the seat. The buttons for moving that handle are sticky and hard to use. It can be a real hassle when you just want the handle out of the way.
Also, it doesn’t come with strap protectors which can result in an uncomfortable baby.
These are easy to find aftermarket; it’s just odd that the seat doesn’t already come with them.
The Baby Trend is the value proposal car seat. At $80.00*, you can save a few bucks while also having confidence in a seat with plenty of features and safety certification.
Just don’t expect anything flashy. See more information about Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat Here.
5. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
I’m not sure how to pronounce it, but boy is it nice.
This car seat is packed with features you had no idea you couldn’t live without.
It has a deep, contoured construction similar to the Britax but without the steel frame. If you liked what you read about the base on the Chicco, UPPAbaby takes it a step further.
They claim you can install the base in just ten seconds with their SmartSecure system.
It has a tightness indicator similar to the Chicco and self-retracting LATCH connectors. When it’s in correctly, a little window switches from red to green. There’s absolutely no guessing or wondering if it’s in right because the base just tells you.
If you keep feeding your child, they will keep getting bigger. As they get bigger, you have to rethread the straps on their car seat to fit their growing bodies properly.
Not so with the UPPAbaby MESA seat.
It has a handy no-rethread harness so you don’t have to take the whole thing apart to adjust the location of the straps.
That’s especially nice to have since this seat has a wide weight range of 4-35 pounds.
If you decide to get one of the compatible UPPAbaby strollers, the MESA seat has a neat feature for removal from the stroller.
When the seat is locked into the stroller, there’s a button on the top of the handle you can push with your thumb to release the seat from the stroller. It can all be easily done with one hand.
For all of the good design packed into this seat, there is one annoying design flaw. When the carrying handle and the sun shade are both up, there is no room between the two. The shade can snag on the handle causing premature wear on the fabric. This can also make it uncomfortable to carry if it’s sunny and you want to keep the sun off your baby.
All of these features don’t come cheap. This is the priciest seat on our list at $299.99* for an intuitively designed higher-end product. Click the follow link to Shop UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat at Amazon.com NOW!
Now that you know a little bit about some of the top sellers in the world of baby car seats, you have to do some thinking and maybe some more homework.
You need to determine what you’re looking for in a car seat and which one suits your wants and needs.
An obvious factor is safety.
As I said in the beginning, any new car seat you buy will meet or exceed federal standards.
Video: How to buy the best car seat for infants. Source: Youtube.
That being said, there’s still a wide range of safety features and some seats are simply safer than others in the same way that some cars are safer than others.
Look up the tests that are conducted on these seats and find specific certifications that are important to you.
A car seat is something you’re going to live with every day. It’s okay to treat yourself a little bit on the features that make your life easier. We parents are fortunate that manufacturers keep us in mind when designing these seats. Don’t be afraid to go to a store and practice carrying some of these around.
It’s worth it to make sure you find one that’s easy to live with.
How often are you going to be removing the base of the seat?
Will it stay in the same spot until the child outgrows the seat or will you regularly be moving it in and out of different vehicles?
Some manufacturers focus heavily on ease of installation of the base. Others just have a simple strap and buckle system.
If you’re going to be moving the seat often, you might want to consider a seat that advertises easy installation.
If you’re planning on getting a full travel system, look at the strollers that are compatible with the seats that you like. You don’t want to get a seat you really like and then be stuck with a bad stroller just because that’s the one that works with the seat.
You should also evaluate how often you’ll actually use the stroller because it will definitely be less than the car seat itself.
Finally, there’s the price tag.
When shopping around for any safety equipment for your precious child, you might be tempted to get the most expensive one you can find because that one must be the best.
Conversely, you might think this is something you’re only going to use temporarily, so you might as well get the cheapest one.
In reality, the right one for you is probably somewhere in the middle. When you get into the really expensive ones, you’re probably just paying for features you don’t need while it’s just as safe as a seat that’s much more affordable.
So Which One Should I Buy?
- If you’re looking for a well-rounded, affordable car seat with good stroller options, go with the Graco SnugRide Click Connect or the Baby Trend Flex-Loc.
- If you want a really nice base that’s easy to move between different vehicles, consider the Chicco Keyfit or the UPPAbaby MESA.
- If safety is your absolute top priority, it’s hard to beat the Britax B-Safe at that price point.
Since your baby isn’t able to provide any input, you’re the only one who can decide which car seat best suits your wants and needs.
Just don’t take too long to make a decision because you will definitely need to buy a car seat before the baby is born!
My recommendation is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect.
Of all the infant car seat we’ve talked about, the Graco offers the most bang for the buck. It’s lightweight, it’s versatile with the whole line of Graco Click Connect products, and it’s easy to live with.
The 4-35 pound weight range gives you maximum longevity of use for a rear-facing seat which gives you more for your dollar.
I love the range of possibilities in customizing your own travel system with different strollers instead of being stuck with just one or two options that you might not like.
Most importantly, it will keep your baby safe and comfortable.
Another good choice you can consider for your baby’s safety is stroller. View here for best double strollers.
Again, Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat is the best infant car seat that our pick, Shop It at Amazon.com NOW!