Infant Seats

Recommended infant seats

Baby Trend Inertia  5-32#, EPS foam, no-rethread harness adjustment, plastic puzzle buckle, rigid LATCH for easy LATCH install (too new to know about seat belt install yet), adjustable base with 4 recline positions (must use most reclined for young babies but otherwise may be in any of the recline positions), controlled motion base allows infant seat to be more reclined but move more upright in a crash (don’t have to worry about how reclined it is when installing with the base), brace on base provides anti-rebound protection and a tighter install, dual recline indicator for smaller and larger babies (for use without the base only), if it follows the shape of other Baby Trend infant seats it may be outgrown by width and height far before weight

Britax B-Safe or Bob B-Safe 4-30#, handle can be left in up position, EPS foam liner, built-in lock-off, easy to read level indicators on base, premium LATCH connectors, easy to adjust 5 position recline on base, two crotch buckle positions

Britax Chaperone 4-30#, handle can be left in up position, EPS foam in side impact wings, infant insert for babies 4-11# (actually makes baby a little more reclined within the seat), built-in lock-off, no-rethread harness height adjustment, bubble levels on infant seat itself, premium LATCH connectors, infinite adjust recline knob, anti-rebound bar on base, base is quite long (there’s a line on the bottom of the base that must be covered, but it allows for quite a bit of overhang) 

Chicco Keyfit/KeyFit 30 4-22/30#, handle can be left in up position, EPS foam, padded infant insert to be used when baby weighs between 4-11 lbs., baby-sized chest clip, built-in lock-off, spring-loaded recline foot, bubble level, easy install, premium LATCH connectors, “magic” version has cold weather boot, slightly different infant insert, harness covers, and larger canopy

Combi Shuttle/Shuttle 33 birth-33/35#, handle must be up in the car, EPS foam, headwings with multiple adjustments, two harness slots (require rethreading) move with headrest (so no-rethreading if moving the headrest rather than from slot to slot), requires use of base after 22#, anti-rebound bar built into seat (not base), plastic puzzle buckle (safe but can be annoying), lock-offs, premium LATCH connectors, and 2 stage bubble level on base

Cybex Aton/Aton 2 4-32#, handle must be up in the car, EPS foam, EPS foam insert for babies 4-11# changes interior recline, fabric infant insert for 4-22#, belt-tensioner on base makes tight install super easy w/ LATCH or seat belt (not a built-in lock-off), premium LATCH connectors, easy to adjust recline on base, skimpy canopy, allows European routing w/ baseless install, Aton 2 also has Linear Side Impact Protection (flips out on handle and improves SIP), load leg on base (improves installation and crash test performance)

Evenflo Embrace 35 /Snugli Infant Car Seat 4-35#, handle must be moved forward to the anti-rebound position or back when in car (with handle in anti-rebound position, takes up less space front-to-back, despite taller shell, than the Discovery/Nurture or original 22# Embrace), EPS foam, easy to read level indicator on base, DLX & Snugli versions have push-on LATCH connectors, Snugli versions have upgraded padding and fabrics

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 4-30#, handle can be in any position in the car, EPS foam, pull-handle to adjust base recline (not infinite like knob, but better than the tabs on the SR22), easier to install than the SR22, harness length adjusts at lap and shoulders, nice infant inserts designed to support smaller babies well, level on base, compatible w/ SR35 base (w/ the nicer recline and lock-offs), a little narrow at top, shell height closer to that of SR22 than SR32/35. (The Aprica A30 is this seat w/ Aprica’s label, available in travel systems w/ Aprica’s strollers.)

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 35  4 or 5-35# (newest versions of the start at 4#), handle can be in any position in the car, EPS foam, built-in lock-off, infinite recline base (turn knob to adjust), harness length adjusts at both lap and shoulders for custom fit as baby grows, some versions have a nicer infant inserts rather than the traditional head roll, 4# versions come w/ special infant insert that improves fit.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30/35 4-30/35#, handle can be in any position in the car, EPS foam liner, LX versions have headwings and no-rethread harness as well as a lock-off on the base, 6 position dial adjust base, two stage level indicator on side of base, 30 version comes only with travel systems at this time

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 4-40#, handle can be in any position in the car, EPS foam headwings, built-in lock-off, 8 position recline that allows for increased leg room for child (adjusts how infant seat is on base rather than adjusting recline of base itself), no-rethread harness, nice infant inserts, base has built-in foot-rest/seat protector, intended to fit small newborns all the way up to an average-sized 2 year old

Learning Curve/First Years/Lamaze/JJ Cole Via I470 5-35#, handle must be moved to anti-rebound position or back when in car, requires base after 22, EPS foam, premium LATCH connectors, lock-offs on base and on seat (for use without base), no-rethread harness, handle has padding for carrying on elbow/arm, easy to remove cover, infant padding

Learning Curve Contigo 5-35#, handle must be moved to anti-rebound position or back when in car, requires base at all times, EPS foam, premium LATCH connectors, no-rethread harness, handle has padding for carrying on elbow/arm, easy to remove cover, infant padding

Maxi-Cosi Prezi 4-30#, handle may be up in car, Air Protect and G-Cell SIP technology, headwings, no-rethread harness, premium LATCH connectors, easy out harness (supposed to make loading easier but may be awkward with smaller babies), 5 position base with anti-rebound bar, European style canopy (stows away at edge of seat, connects to handle when “up”)

Nuna PIPA 4-32#, “dream drape” extends canopy for full coverage, mesh window on canopy, Oeko-Tex® fabric, light weight, comes with infant insert, base has rigid LATCH, load leg, lock-off, and bubble level, green indicators on load leg and LATCH connectors to verify correct install, release is on base rather than carrier, handle may be in any locked position in vehicle, European belt routing for baseless install, neither carrier nor handle can touch vehicle interior when installed on base (handle may not touch when installed without the base).

Safety 1st OnBoard35/OnBoard35 Air/Eddie Bauer Sure Fit 4-35#, handle can be left in up position, EPS foam, built-in lock-off, nicer versions have “customizable” infant insert w/ no weight limit, harness can adjust to very small dimensions for even the smallest babies, designed in conjunction with CPST-Is, NICU nurses, and neonatologists, deep seat will also fit larger babies well, bubble level with two recline ranges for smaller and larger babies. The “air” version has “air protect” technology. The “regular” base lacks a lock-off, has 2 recline positions rather than 3, and flares out at the belt path; the “premium” base has lock-offs, a nicer recline, etc.

Summer Infant Prodigy 4-32#, handle may be in any locked position in vehicle, EPS foam, 4 position recline foot on base adjusts with push buttons, premium LATCH connectors, ratchet tightening mechanism (NOT a lock-off) on base (some CPSTs have concerns about this being too much like the Might Tite), no-rethread one-adjust harness (adjusts height and tension w/ pull of strap), infant inserts, Smart Screen technology (tells you when base is level and installed tightly), 2 position crotch strap

Uppa Baby Mesa 4-35#, no rethread harness, energy absorbing foam in headwings, SPF 50+ hideaway canopy, built-in lock-off on base, tension indicator on base (for LATCH or seat belt install to show when tight enough), infant insert, self-retracting click-on LATCH connectors, multiple recline on base, European belt routing for baseless install

 

Other infant seats

Baby Trend Flex Loc 5-30# (older versions went to 22# as does the Canadian version, the EZ Loc), EPS foam, no-rethread harness adjustment on some models, plastic puzzle buckle, generally easy to install w/ LATCH but can be difficult to install w/ seat belt, dual recline indicator for smaller and larger babies, tends to be narrow and short (outgrown before other seats w/ similar limits)

Evenflo Serenade/SecureRide 5-35#, handle must be down in the car, infinite slide harness height adjustment, SureLATCH LATCH connectors, new “ergonomic” handle, dual level indicators, EPS/EPP foam, harness length is short

 Graco SnugRide Classic Connect (front-adjusting) 5-22#, handle may be up in car, EPS foam

Maxi Cosi Mico/Mico AP 5-22#, handle may be in any locked position, EPS foam, European routing when used w/o base, AP version has Air Protect SIP and multiposition sun canopy with flip-out visor

Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat G2 4-30#, soft handles must be down in car, base installs easily w/ Strong Arm feature, seat docks onto base from any direction, “green” fabrics and flame retardants, easy remove padding, very pricey, preemie insert available for free (may be necessary for proper fit w/ many newborns), new seats have QR code that will load instruction manual when scanned

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30 5-30#, handle must be placed so that it’s even with the top edge of the car seat, EPS foam in side impact head wings, puzzle buckle, no-rethread harness height adjustment, premium LATCH connectors, boxy base can be more difficult to install with some seat belts, expensive for what you get, tends to install pretty upright

Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite/Elite Plus/Eddie Bauer Destination 4-22#, handle may be in any locked position, fits preemies well,  EPS foam, base can be a little tough to install, Plus version has adjustable base, some of the more expensive versions have nicer infant inserts

 

Less recommended seats All seats are “safe”, but these ones tend to be less user friendly and/or provide a poorer fit for the average infant

Cosco Comfy Carry Adjusts from rear, base doesn’t adjust

Evenflo Discovery/Nurture Adjusts from rear, base doesn’t adjust, difficult to get on and off base, handle must be down and 1.5” from front seat, Nurture is slightly better than Discovery as it has a straight handle that may be in the antirebound position.

Rear adjusting Graco SR22 Adjusts from rear, bottom harness height is a little high for some newborns

 

Budget Seats These seats are decent seats that can commonly be found for around $100 or less.

Baby Trend Flex Loc

Evenflo Embrace 35/Snugli Infant Seat

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 22 (front-adjusting)

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30

Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite/Elite Plus/Eddie Bauer Destination

Safety 1st OnBoard 35

Best Choices for Preemies or Small Newborns

Britax B-Safe

Britax Chaperone

Chicco Keyfit 22/30

Cybex Aton

Evenflo Embrace 35/Snugli Infant Seat

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 35 (versions that start at 4#)

Graco Snug Click Connect 35

Graco Snug Click Connect 40

Maxi-Cosi Prezi

Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite/Elite Plus/Eddie Bauer Destination

Safety 1st OnBoard35/Eddie Bauer SureFit

Summer Infant Prodigy

Uppa Baby Mesa

 

Best Choices for Tight Spaces

BabyTrend Flex Loc

Chicco Keyfit

Combi Shuttle

Cybex Aton

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 22

Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30

Learning Curve/First Years Via I470

Maxi Cosi Prezi

Nuna Pipa

Orbit Baby Infant

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 30/30

Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite/Elite Plus

Safety 1st OnBoard

Summer Infant Prodigy

Uppa Baby Mesa

 

Coming Soon or Too New to be Placed in the List Yet…

4Moms self installing infant seat

Cosco/Safety 1st Light N Comfy (will replace Comfy Carry, redesigned base)

Cybex Aton Q (will be like the Aton 2 but with headwings and a no-rethread harness, as harness moves down seat pan moves up to better fit a smaller baby, LSP system is on carrier rather than handle and adjusts/telescopes for proper width adjustment

Kiddy Evolution Pro

Recaro Guardia (prototype specs: 4-35#, no rethread harness, macro and micro base adjustments, headwings, Recaro safety stripe on harness, front adjusting harness)

One thought on “Infant Seats

  1. Pingback: Car Seat Questions Board FAQ | danianniesafety

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