Infant Seats

Recommended infant seats

Britax B-Safe 35 / 35 Elite or Bob B-Safe 35 4-35#, handle can be left in up position, EPS foam liner, built-in lock-off, easy to read level indicators on base, premium LATCH connectors with center pull tightening mechanism, spring assisted recline on base, two crotch buckle positions, safe cell energy absorbing system and steel frame in base, Elite version has no rethread harness with headwings and easy to remove cover, some complaints of the Elite version being especially narrow

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; “zip” version has easy to remove cover, zip off canopy, zip on visor, and zip around boot as well as the insert and covers like the “magic”

Combi Shuttle birth-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/Aton Q/ Cloud Q 4-32#, handle must be up in the car, EPS foam, the Aton and Aton 2  have an EPS foam insert for babies 4-11# changes interior recline and a fabric infant insert for 4-22#, the Aton Q and Cloud Q have headwings with no-rethread harness (seat pan and harness height adjust together, so when the harness goes up, the seat pan goes down, this feature also affects the internal recline so that smaller babies are more reclined), the Cloud Q also has an additonal infant insert, 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 on the Aton and Aton 2 but a decent canopy on the Aton Q and Cloud Q, allows European routing w/ baseless install, all but the basic Aton have Linear Side Impact Protection (flips out on handle and improves SIP) and a load leg on base (improves installation and crash test performance), the Cloud Q allows for almost full recline when used outside the vehicle

Evenflo Embrace 35 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, buckle pockets to keep buckles out of way with loading/unloading and to prevent them from getting hot, versions with SureSafe have push-on LATCH connectors, SensorSafe and ProComfort versions have boot and extra padding as well as extended canopy, SensorSafe version reminds driver of baby is in vehicle

Evenflo Platinum LiteMax 35 4-35#, handle must be back when in car (in US – in Canada it must be up), EPS foam, easy to read level indicator on base, buckle pockets to keep buckles out of way and cool, SureSafe push-on LATCH, lock-off for seat belt install, harness covers and body pillow, zip out panel on canopy, Outlast temperature regulating fabric, very lightweight

GB Asana35 4-35#, handle can be in any locked position, base has adjustable recline foot, push-on LATCH connectors, lock-off, dual recline zone, and load leg, no rethread infinite adjust harness height with headwings (harness height adjusts together with tension with the adjuster strap), infant insert for very small babies, multiple crotch and hip settings for harness, a little on the narrower side

 

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30/30LX/35/35LX  4-30/35#, handle can be in any position in the car, EPS foam liner, the 30LX base has a flip out recline foot whereas the regular 30 does not although some do have a 6 position dial adjusting recline foot on the base (not necessarily indicated in the name – some 30s and some 30LXs have this feature), if you’re looking at a 30 make sure it’s front adjusting, the 35 and 35LX all have the 6 position base and the 35LX has a lock-off on the base, some of the 35 and 35LX bases have click on “in right” lower anchors, all the 35LX seats have a no-rethread harness with headwings (the safety surround versions of this seat have EPS foam and padding in the headwings), level indicators vary by base with the more adjustable bases having a dial type indicator rather than just a line.

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

Hauck PROsafe35 / iCoo Baby IGuard35 4-35#, handle may be in any locked position (does have an antirebound handle position), reversible infant insert and additional wedge for smaller babies, lock-off (recline lever and lock-off are actually the same mechanism), push-on LATCH connectors, EPP foam, dual zone recline indicator can be a little tricky to get exactly lined up, two crotch strap positions

Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 4-30#, handle may be in any locked position, EPS foam, European routing when used w/o base, very light weight, has infant insert to help smaller babies fit better (but some versions still have 19″ minimum), Air Protect SIP, click-on LATCh connectors, easy to remove wicking fabric, can customize own seat with patterns, ARB base available, nice seat but mostly paying for fashion rather than features

Mountain Buggy Protect / Phil & Teds Alpha 4-35#, handle must be up in the vehicle, removable newborn liner and supports as well as preemie insert, EPS foam, allows European style baseless install, lock-off on base, dual recline zones, fairly light weight

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).

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 4-35#, headwings with no-rethread harness, dual stage infant insert, handle must be down in the car, antirebound plate on base, click-on LATCH and easy to read level indicator on base, EPS foam lining, elastic straps to hold harness out of way during loading and unloading, large UPF protectant canopy, right tight system on base to help get tight install whether with seat belt or LATCH, knob recline adjuster on base, allows European style belt install without base

Recaro Performance Coupe 4-30#, memory foam and temperature regulating fabrics, no-rethread harness, twist resistant HERO harness, EPS foam liner, two crotch buckle positions, micro adjust knob and bubble level on base,click on LATCH connectors, easy off cover, removable infant padding, extra large canopy, handle must be forward in antirebound position in the vehicle, European belt routing when used without base (must call Recaro for locking clip if needed)

Safety 1st OnBoard35/Eddie Bauer Sure Fit 4-35#, handle can be left in up position, EPS foam, 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; plus versions have GCell technology, most newer versions have base with several recline adjustments and click on LATCH connectors (but no lock-off anymore)

Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT 4-35#, handle can be left in up position, infant insert (similar to the Comfy Carry/Light N Comfy but has adjustable base and nicer padding)

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

Urbini Petal 4-35#, EPS foam liner, built-in lock-off and level indicator on base, infant insert as well as additional removable insert for 4-6# babies, multiple shoulder, hip, and crotch slots, handle can be in any locked position in the car, is quite narrow internally, (when purchased as travel system, each system comes with a specific version of the Petal that works with that stroller and is not interchangeable)

 

Other infant seats

Baby Trend Flex Loc / EZ Flex Loc 5-30/32#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 or superficial LATCH anchors combined with a flat vehicle seat, dual recline indicator for smaller and larger babies, tends to be narrow and short (outgrown before other seats w/ similar limits), Canadian version has ARB, has higher bottom slots so doesn’t fit small newborns well (some versions do have an insert that helps with fit a little)

Baby Trend Inertia  5-32#, EPS foam, no-rethread harness adjustment, plastic puzzle buckle, rigid LATCH for easy LATCH install, 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), has higher bottom slots so doesn’t fit small newborns well (some versions do have an insert that helps with fit a little), also being marketed as the MUV Kussen

Baby Trend Secure Snap Fit/ Snap Gear 5-32/35#, EPS foam, no-rethread harness adjustment,  plastic puzzle buckle, generally easy to install w/ LATCH but can be difficult to install w/ superficial LATCH anchors combined with a flat vehicle seat, dual recline indicator for smaller and larger babies, built in lock-off for easier seat belt install, has higher bottom slots so doesn’t fit small newborns well (some versions do have an insert that helps with fit a little)

Cosco Light N Comfy DX  4-22#, handle may be in any locked position, fits preemies well,  EPS foam, base doesn’t adjust, very light weight

 

Maxi Cosi Mico NXT/ Mico 30 5-22/30#, handle may be in any locked position, EPS foam, European routing when used w/o base, very light weight, has higher bottom slots and doesn’t fit smaller newborns well, Mico 30 has moisture wicking fabric that is easy to remove, push-on LATCH connectors on base

Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat G3 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

 

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 Light N Comfy Adjusts from rear, base doesn’t adjust (found mainly with travel systems)

Evenflo 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, straight handle that may be in the antirebound position.

Graco Snugride Click Connect 22 or 30 Adjusts from rear, base doesn’t adjust

 

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

Baby Trend Flex Loc/EZ Flex Loc

Cosco Light N Comfy DX

Evenflo Embrace 35

Evenflo Platinum LiteMax 35

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 (front adjusting)

 

Safety 1st OnBoard 35/ 35LT

Urbini Petal

 

Best Choices for Preemies or Small Newborns

Britax B-Safe 35/35 Elite

Chicco Keyfit 22/30

Cosco Light N Comfy DX

Evenflo Embrace 35

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30/30LX/35LX/40

Maxi-Cosi Mico Max

Nuna Pipa

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35

Safety 1st Comfy Carry Elite/Elite Plus/Eddie Bauer Destination/Cosco Light N Comfy Elite or Luxe

Safety 1st OnBoard35/35LT/Air/Air+/Eddie Bauer SureFit

Uppa Baby Mesa

Urbini Petal

 

Best Choices for Tight Spaces

BabyTrend Flex Loc/EZ Flex Loc

Britax B Safe 35/35 Elite

Chicco Keyfit

Combi Shuttle

Cosco Light N Comfy DX/Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT

Cybex Aton/Aton 2/Aton Q/Cloud Q

GB Asana35

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30

Mountain Buggy PROtect/Phil & Teds Alpha

Nuna Pipa

Orbit Baby Infant

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35

Recaro Performance Coupe

Safety 1st OnBoard (all versions)

Uppa Baby Mesa

Urbini Petal

 

Seats that are especially light weight… (About 9# or less)

Chicco Keyfit (9#)

Cosco Light N Comfy DX/Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT (6.6#)

Cybex Aton/Aton 2 (8.8#/9#) (Aton Q and Cloud Q are heavier)

Evenflo Embrace 35 (8#)

Evenflo Platinum LiteMax 35 (8.8#)

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30/30LX/35 (7.4-7.5#) (the 35LX and 40 are heavier)

Mountain Buggy PROtect/Phil & Teds Alpha (8#)

Nuna Pipa (9#)

Safety 1st OnBoard 35/Air, Air+ (8#/9#)

Urbini Petal (8.8#)

 

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

4Moms self installing infant seat

Kiddy Evolution Pro

 

One thought on “Infant Seats

  1. Pingback: Car Seat Questions Board FAQ | danianniesafety

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