🏅Mom’s Picks: Top 10 Best and Safest Infant Car Seats

As you know, I usually do stroller reviews on my site. But, since I’ve been getting so many emails asking how to pick the best and safest infant car seat for each stroller, I decided to post a list of my top 10 favorite infant car seats.

When I rate a car seat, I look at crash ratings, safety features, ease of installation, and overall comfort. The price is a little less important to me since you can find a safe car seat in any price range.

While ALL car seats, even the cheapest, are very safe, more than 70% of them are installed incorrectly. Can you believe it? More than 70%!!! This is a scary number. So, ease of installation is an important feature.

All infant car seats come with a base that can be installed with attached Latch connectors or by using a seat belt. You can also install the seat without the bases using just the seat belt. This is a great option for traveling parents who don’t have the base with them and want to take a cab or airplane.

Keep in mind, that some car seats have easier belt installations than others. On some it’s so hard to get a tight fit, I would recommend using it with the bases ONLY.

Also, all car seats don’t fit in all the cars. Surprised? I was too. So, if you have a compact car, test it first way before you have to put your newborn into it.

I also think it’s more important to choose a great stroller first, and then see what infant car seat works with it. Because while the car seat will last you till around 12 months or so, you will be using a stroller for about 3 years.

Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck with a stroller you don’t like only because you bought the wrong car seat. In case you missed it, here is my top 20 best strollers.

1. Chicco KeyFit 30 – $199

WEIGHT: 9.6 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: Up to 30 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

One of the best-selling infant car seats in the US is the Chicco KeyFit 30. Parents love it for its high quality, ease of installation, and safety features. And this is exactly why I got it when my daughter was born.

The base installation is super easy which is a HUGE plus since over 70% of car seats are installed incorrectly.

The Latch connectors together with the SuperCinch one-pull tightener made it a tight and secure fit. To help you achieve a proper angle there is also a leveling foot with a bubble level indicator. You can also install the base with a seat belt using clear belt routing and integrated lock-offs.

For safety purposes, the car seat shell is lined with EPS, energy-absorbing foam to protect your baby from harmful or fatal impact in case of an accident. Yes, there is no additional Side Impact Protection (SIP) nor anti-rebound bar (ARB), but it has a HIGHER crash test score than many other car seats with SIP and ARB.

While there is a way to install it WITHOUT the base, the installation is very difficult and it’s very hard to get a nice tight fit. I don’t recommend using it without the base.

CONVENIENCE

Aside from easy installation and safety features, it offers a very comfortable seat that can accommodate a newborn as small as 4 lbs. The included removable head and body inserts provide great support for small babies. I also like the softness and quality of all the fabrics.

After the first barf accident, I was happy to find out that all the fabrics are machine washable. And let me tell you, the barf is the hardest to get out. The smell stays forever!

Before having my daughter I thought the poop accidents would be the most disgusting. Nope. It’s not poop. It’s not pee. Because those you can get rid of after the first wash. Vomit takes 2-3 rounds in the washing machine if you did the pre-soaking.

So my point is, when you are buying a car seat, make sure all the fabrics are machine washable! It will save you a lot of time.

Anyways, moving on. While you will need to re-thread the shoulder straps to adjust the height once your baby grows older, it does have one-pull tightening that helps to secure your child in the seat after you put the harness on.

Keep in mind, that the crotch buckle has only one position (some car seats have two). The seat comes with a removable canopy that is on a smaller side. I wish it was larger. It’s also a little heavy at 10 lbs.

After just having my daughter (she was 7.6 lbs), there is no way I could carry that 18 lbs around by myself. My husband had to come to all of the doctor appointments in the beginning.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

Let’s talk about stroller compatibility. Aside from working with all of the Chicco strollers, which are definitely not my top favorites, it works with most popular brands with additional adapters.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Belt installation option
-Latch connectors
-Level indicators
-From 4 lbs
-Adjustable base (for the right angle)
-Built-in lock-off (for seat belt)
-Soft fabrics
-Works with most strollers

CONS

-Small canopy
-Heavy
-Difficult baseless install
-Re-thread harness
-No anti-rebound bar
-No Side Impact Protection (SIP)

Buy Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Â»

2. UPPAbaby Mesa – $299

WEIGHT: 10 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

The UPPAbaby is one of my favorite stroller brands. It makes luxury high-quality strollers that are also very practical and stylish. Their Mesa car seat is amazing as well. Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but you really get what you paid for.

Parents love Mesa for its ease of installation with its unique tightness indicator and self-retracting Latch connectors. The whole installation takes seconds!

Basically, you clip the Latch connectors into the seat of the car, push the base down and you are done! The indicator changes from red to green for visual confirmation. Easy! You can also install the base with the seat belt using a built-in lock-off.

The adjustable headrest is reinforced with EPP foam to keep an infant’s head stationary in cases of side impact collision. It has one of the HIGHEST crash test scores! You can also install it WITHOUT the base using the American seat belt path.

CONVENIENCE

This is a very nice seat made with high-quality, soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics that help keep the baby cool and comfortable. Another great thing about the fabrics is that some fashions are made out of wool that is naturally fire-resistant.

This blend of merino wool is very soft and not scratchy, and it keeps babies cool on a hot day and warm on cool days. This is the ONLY car seat that passed federal safety standards without the use of fire retardant chemicals (brominated and chlorinated chemicals usually used by manufacturers). All the seat fabrics are also removable and machine washable.

I also really like the no re-thread harness which is very easy to adjust once your baby gets older. The included infant insert is perfect for babies between 4 and 8 lbs. The insert’s built-in wedge creates a flatter and safer riding position for preemies and small newborns.

The adjustable UPF 25+ canopy is a nice size. Another plus is that the bottom of the Mesa base is narrow enough to fit even in the center of the back seat (not all car seats can be installed in the middle).

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

Mesa works with UPPAbaby Cruz and Vista models without any additional adapters. A one-hand release button on the top of the car seat easily releases it from the stroller.

You can also reverse Mesa so your child is facing you or the world. Since I love both Cruz and Vista models (which are on my best strollers for 2018 list), both of them would be a great option. As for other stroller brands, unfortunately, the adapters are not widely available.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Side impact protection (SIP)
-Belt installation option
-Baseless install option
-Self-retracting Latch connectors
-Tightness color indicator
-From 4 lbs
-Fire-resistant fabrics
-Crotch buckle w/ 2 positions
-No re-thread harness
-Middle seat install
-Built-in lock-off (for seat belt)

CONS

-Heavy
-Expensive
-Limited compatibility
-No anti-rebound bar

Buy UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat »

3. Nuna Pipa – $299

WEIGHT: 8 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

Nuna is a super popular Dutch brand that entered the US market not that long ago. Right from the start it was a huge success. I absolutely love it! Their strollers and car seats are some of the best on today’s market. Nuna Pipa infant car seat is not only stylish but also very safe and easy to install.

It has rigid Latch connectors that click right into the seat without a need to push it down. The color-coded indicators signal proper installation. Additionally, it has a folding stability leg that goes from the base to the floor of the car and prevents the car seat from moving in case of an impact.

The stability leg is not a requirement but is becoming more and more common in the EU. Other safety features include a 5-point harness, side impact protection (SIP), and EPS energy-absorbing foam.

BTW, you can install PIPA using Latch connectors and the belt at the same time. I don’t think any other car seat has that option. You can also install Pipa WITHOUT the base using a seat belt. 

The drawback of the rigid Latch connectors is that you can’t use them to install it in the middle seat. You would have to use the belt option.

CONVENIENCE

The seat is made out of high-quality micro-knit fabrics with thick padding, especially on the crotch buckle. Unfortunately, it does not have a no-re-thread harness. The included infant insert supports kids from 4 lbs making it ideal for premature babies.

But, the best feature of PIPA is its amazing huge canopy that has a pop-out sunvisor plus a zipped-in “dream drape” that extends all the way to the frame providing full coverage.

The two magnets on the dream drape attach to the side of the frame keeping it secure. There is also a mesh peekaboo window on the top that helps to improve the airflow on a hot summer day. This is by far the BEST car seat canopy I’ve seen!

Finally, it’s lightweight weighing ONLY 8 lbs! But, if you want an even lighter car seat, there is also a Nuna Pipa Lite that weighs under 6 lbs! That is probably the lightest car seat on the market. The downside of Pipa Lite is that it doesn’t have the ‘dream drape” and doesn’t have the belt installation option.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

Pipa works with all the Nuna strollers (of course!) including Pepp, Mixx2, Tavo, IVVI, or Demi Grow. It also works with the Maxi Cosi adapters which are very popular and made by many brands, so finding a great stroller to pair it with shouldn’t be a problem. Nuna makes its own adapters for Bugaboo Cameleon, UPPAbaby Cruz, and Vista.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Side impact protection (SIP)
-Stability leg
-Huge canopy with “dream drape”
-Belt installation option
-Baseless installation with European belt path
-Lightweight
-Rigid Latch connectors
-Installation color indicator
-From 4 lbs
-Crotch buckle w/ 2 positions
-Built-in lock-off (for seat belt)
-Adapters widely available

CONS

-Re-thread harness
-Expensive

Buy Nuna Pipa Infant Car Seat »

4. Cybex Cloud Q – $399

WEIGHT: 13.9 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 30 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

Cybex is a German company that builds next-generation car seats that are safe and cool-looking. As of right now, they have 4 infant car seats that are very similar: Anton, Anton Q,  Anton2, and Could Q. All of them are slightly different, but the Could Q is their most expensive and unique car seat.

Aside from the slick design, it has two additional safety features most car seats don’t have. The first one is a Telescopic Linear Side-Impact Protection (LSP) system which consists of two little pop-out wings that absorb the energy of the side impact during the crash and transfer it to the seat shell.

The second one is the folding Load Leg (just like in Nuna Pipa) that extends from the base to the floor preventing the seat from rotating forward in case of a crash.

It also transfers a lot of impact energy onto the floor protecting the baby’s head, neck, and body. Also, all of the Cybex car seats feature excellent side impact protection. The Cybex Could Q has one of the HIGHEST crash test scores!

The installation is also easy, but not as quick as with other car seats. It has Latch connectors that you click into the seat. Then you need to adjust the Latch straps to make the fit a little tighter. Next, push the tension plate in the middle and turn the knob to completely secure it in place.

By now, you probably know that most cars don’t have Latch hooks in the middle of the back seat, so there is no easy installation there. With Cybex Could Q you just put the seat belt through the tension plate and it secures it in place.

Done! Very easy! You can also install it using the belt WITHOUT the base. A great option for traveling parents.

CONVENIENCE

All the Cybex car seats come in a variety of beautiful colors and fabrics. The XXL UVP 50+ canopy is a great size and folds when not needed. The Cloud Q has 11 position height-adjustable headrests so no re-threading is needed. Love it!

But, the most unique feature that no other car seat has – near FLAT RECLINE! That’s right, this car seat reclines so you don’t need to take your newborn out of the car seat if he falls asleep. How cool is that?

As I’ve said above, all of the Cybex car seats are slightly different. Let’s take a look:

Anton – $249 (SIP, small canopy, 8.8 lbs)
Anton 2 – $299 (SIP, LSP, Load Leg, medium canopy, 9 lbs)
Anton Q – $349 (SIP, telescoping LSP,  Load Leg, 8 position height headrest, large canopy, 11.6 lbs)
Cloud Q – $399 (SIP, telescoping LSP,  Load Leg, 11 position height headrest, FLAT recline, large canopy, 13.9 lbs)

I would pass on the Anton model since it doesn’t have any of the extra safety features.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

Of course, you can use all Cybex car seats with all Cybex strollers which are really great quality. Thankfully, Cybex car seats also work with Maxi-Cosi adapters (which are very popular) so they can be used on the vast majority of strollers.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Side impact protection (SIP)
-Telescopic Linear Side-Impact Protection (LSP) system
-Load leg
-FLAT recline
-Large canopy
-Belt installation option
-Baseless installation with European belt path
-Latch connectors
-From 4 lbs
-Adjustable headrest
-No re-thread harness
-Built-in tension plate
-Adapters widely available
-Easy middle seat install

CONS

-Heavy
-Expensive

Buy Cybex Cloud Q Infant Car Seat »

5. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 – $299

WEIGHT: 9.5 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

Peg Perego is an Italian brand that is known for its great-quality strollers and car seats. The Primo Viaggio 4-35 is their newest rear-facing infant car seat that can be used from 4 to 35 lbs. I think it’s their prettiest and safest car seat.

The installation is very simple with Latch connectors and a tension plate that they call the “Right Tight System”. Each company has its own name, but it does the same thing which is to securely lock the base.

You can install the base using the Latch connectors or a seat belt. Also, you can install the seat WITHOUT the base using a European belt path (it’s when the belt goes around the back of the seat for tighter fit). With baseless installation, the handlebar acts as a natural anti-rebound bar. Perfect for cab or aircraft use.

Choosing the right angle is an easy task thanks to a height-adjustable base and a bubble level indicator. The base is narrow enough to fit three car seats in a row in a compact car. This is a big plus for larger families.

This is a very safe car seat with safety features like the anti-rebound bar on the base (different from the handlebar) that prevents the car seat from rotating during an impact, side impact protection that adjusts to six different positions with no re-thread harness, and energy absorbing EPS lined shell that is is perforated to guarantee maximum air circulation.

CONVENIENCE

The seat comes with a double infant insert. The first insert is designed to offer extra support for a newborn baby from 4 lbs bringing them a little higher in the seat. Once your child reaches 8 lbs, you can remove it and just keep the second one.

The canopy is a good size, but it keeps opening up against the handle when carried around. It’s also a little heavy at 9.5 lbs.

When it comes to style and quality of the materials you can tell it was made in Italy and not in China. I really like how plush and soft the fabrics are. The modern patterns, smooth lines, and quality stitching work around the edges add to the modern look and give it a luxurious feel.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

The Primo Viaggio 4-35 works with all Peg Perego strollers without adapters. No surprise there. Peg Perego has a wide range of strollers including full-size, all-terrain, lightweight, and convertible models.  Some models are better than others. The adapters for other stroller brands are widely available.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Adjustable Side impact protection (SIP)
-Good canopy
-Belt installation option
-Latch connectors
-From 4 lbs
-Baseless installation with European belt path
-Anti-rebound bar
-No re-thread harness
-Level indicators
-Right Tight System tension plate
-Adapters widely available
-Easy middle seat install
-High-quality materials

CONS

-Heavy

Buy Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Car Seat »

6. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 – $239

WEIGHT: 8.5 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-30 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

Maxi-Cosi Mico Max30 is one of the lightest car seats on the market weighing only 8.5 lbs. It can be easily installed with a one-click Latch system, but you will need to do some pulling and pushing to secure the straps.

You can also install the base using the seat belt. Keep in mind, that you can’t use Latch connectors and the belt at the same time. While there is no European path (it’s when the belt goes around the back of the seat) for the belt, Micro Max 30 can still be installed WITHOUT the base using just the seat belt. Great for use in taxis for on-the-go parents.

The Mico Max 30 provides superior safety during a collision with the Air Protect Side Impact Protection and anti-rebound bar which prevents the car seat from rotating in case of an impact.

While it’s great to have an anti-rebound bar, it does add to the size of the base so you might have a problem installing it in a very compact car.

CONVENIENCE

The Mico Max 30 is one of the easiest car seats to clean! You will really appreciate this feature after your first diaper explosion. The seat pad can be easily removed with no unthreading of the harness. It’s machine washable and dryer safe.

The self-wicking fabric draws liquids away from the child and keeps him dry which is perfect for families in warmer climates. A lot of colors to choose from!

The included Cozi-Dozi™ insert provides extra support for the baby so you can use it with babies as small as 4 lbs. The canopy with a pop-out sunvisor is a good size, but a little flimsy and doesn’t protect from the wind.

There is also the Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 model ($200) which is a little simpler and more affordable. It doesn’t have the anti-rebound and air protect side impact protection safety features, just regular side impact protection. It’s also designed for babies starting at 5 lbs.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

I am not a big fan of Maxi-Cosi strollers. I think you can find much better strollers for a better price. Thankfully adapters for Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 and Mico Max 30 are widely available, especially on luxury strollers, so you should have no problem finding a stroller to pair it with.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Air Protect Side impact protection (SIP)
-Good canopy
-Belt installation option
-Baseless installation option
-Latch connectors
-From 4 lbs
-Anti-rebound bar
-Lightweight
-Widely available adapters

CONS

-Re-thread harness
-Wide base

Buy Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat »

7. Chicco Fit2 – $299

WEIGHT: 11 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 35 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

The unique feature of Chicco Fit2 is the ability to accommodate an infant and a toddler up to TWO years. Now, usually, you have to change the infant car seat after the first year because there is not enough legroom for a toddler and the seat position is not upright enough for them to see out of the window.

You are probably wondering why would you keep your toddler in a rear-facing car seat. Well, because rear-facing car seats are the safest.

According to statistics, 75% of children under the age of 2 are less likely to die or get injured in a car accident if they are in a rear-facing seat. So, you want to keep your child in a rear-facing seat as long as possible.

Luckily, Fit2 makes it possible with two stages: Stage 1 from 0 – 12 months (4-35 lbs) and Stage 2 from 9 – 24 months (15-35 lbs). Stage 1, functions like a traditional rear-facing infant car seat, offering more reclined seating with removable head and body support to accommodate newborns and smaller infants from 0 to 12 months.

In Stage 2, the seating position is more upright and there is more legroom for toddlers somehow without taking up extra space in the vehicle! The 7-position no-rethread headrest accommodates a growing child in both stages. You can easily switch between stages using the stage-position lever located on the base.

The installation is very easy with Latch connectors and a SuperCinch® tightener that provides a secure fit. There is also a ReclineSure® leveling foot and two RideRight® bubble level indicators to ensure a proper base angle.

The anti-rebound bar (they call it a stabilizer bar) prevents the car seat from rotating in case of an impact. You can also install the base using a seat belt instead of Latch connectors. The integrated lock-offs for the belt provide a tight fit. It has one of the HIGHEST crash test scores!

BTW, Fit2 has one of the easiest WITHOUT base installations which makes it a great option for on-the-go parents.

CONVENIENCE

The seat and included infant insert are made with premium Italian fabrics that are both comfortable and sophisticated. The seat pad is removable, machine-washable, and lined with dual-density foam cushioning for added comfort.

The canopy is ok size and is also adjustable and removable. The Fit2 is approved for use on aircraft.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

It works with all of the Chicco strollers, which are definitely not my top favorites. The adapters for different brands are widely available.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Good canopy
-Belt installation option
-Baseless installation option
-Latch connectors
-From 4 lbs
-Up to two years
-Anti-rebound bar
-No re-thread harness with 7 positions
-Level bubble indicators
-SuperCinch® tightener
-ReclineSure® leveling foot
-Built-in lock-offs (for seat belt)
-Adapters widely available
-High-quality materials

CONS

-Heavy
-Expensive
-No Side Impact Protection (SIP)

Buy Chicco Fit2 Infant Car Seat »

8. Britax B-Safe 35  – $200

WEIGHT: 10 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

Britax is a US company that makes budget-friendly strollers and car seats. While their design is definitely simpler and the materials are not as plush as on luxury European models, it still offers good quality and a lot of practical features.

Their B-Safe 35 model is currently one of the safest car seats on the market. It’s very easy to install with the attached Latch connectors although you will need to do some pulling and pushing.

The dual-level indicators will help you with the seat angle. The SafeCell impact absorbing base together with side impact protection and steel frame reduces the rough force of the collision and shields your child.

You can also install the base using the seat belt instead of Latch connectors. Built-in lock-offs ensure a snug vehicle seat belt installation with minimal effort. You can install it WITHOUT the base, but it’s not easy so I recommend using the base.

CONVENIENCE

When it comes to comfort, B-Safe 35 has included an infant insert that supports a baby from 4 lbs. The canopy is a decent size and provides enough shade. I did see a lot of complaints from parents saying that the seat is a little narrow and too deep. I have to agree. Some chunkier babies wouldn’t feel comfortable.

It also features a simple-to-adjust head protection pad, two potion crotch buckle, and multiple shoulder strap positions. You will need to re-thread the shoulder straps once your child gets older. All of the features above put B-Safe 35 in a completely different category than Gracos, BabyTrends, and Evenflos.

Britax also has two other models that have everything B-Safe 35 has plus some extra features:

Britax B-Safe 35 Elite – $229 (no re-thread harness, an easy-to-remove seat cover, and two-layer side impact protection, 11.5 lbs). I think that extra $30 is well worth it.

Britax Endeavours – $279 (no re-thread harness, an easy-to-remove seat cover, two-layer side impact protection, anti-rebound bar, European seat belt path, 11.5 lbs).

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

You can easily turn the Britax B-Safe 35 into a travel system with any of the BOB or Britax strollers. There are unfortunately no adapters available to use with any other brands.

That is probably the biggest drawback of Britax car seats. You are kind of stuck with Britax or BOB. Thankfully, both Britax and BOB strollers are great quality, very practical, and affordable.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Side impact protection (SIP)
-Good canopy
-Belt installation option
-Latch connectors
-From 4 lbs
-SafeCell impact-absorbing base
-Steel base
-Level indicators
-Crotch buckle w/ 2 positions
-Built-in lock-off (for seat belt)

CONS

-Heavy
-Narrow/deep seat
-Re-thread harness
-Difficult baseless installation
-No anti-rebound bar
-Works only with Britax/Bob strollers

Buy Britax B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat »

9. Doona – $499

WEIGHT: 16.5 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

The Doona is the most innovative car seat on today’s market. It’s an infant car seat that turns into a STROLLER! Can you believe it? The folded wheels flip out in just a few seconds turning a car seat into a stroller.

The transition from one mode to another is very smooth. And you don’t even need to take your child out of the seat. The telescoping handlebar is used to carry the car seat but can be extended upward when used in stroller mode. The handlebar is not very tall and goes to only about 38″ from the ground. For comparison your average stroller has it around 41″.

When not needed the wheels fold away underneath the car seat. This is a perfect solution for parents who live in a city and need to run errands. You don’t need to carry a stroller with you. How cool is that? Doona comes with the car seat base which you install like any other base using Latch connectors.

It can also be installed using a seat belt WITHOUT the base. There is a European belt path (better than the American one) which is when the seat belt goes around the back of the seat for a tighter fit. This makes it great for traveling parents who fly a lot.

With Doona, you don’t need to worry about safety since it has passed three safety standards including a car seat, stroller, and infant carrier. The handlebar also works as an anti-rebound bar absorbing the impact and preventing the car seat from rotating thus dramatically reducing rebound injuries.

The double wall structure, EPS foam layer in the seat shell, and head support with memory foam offer 3 layers of side-impact protection.

CONVENIENCE

The stroller features a one-step brake, nice size canopy, and swivel wheels.  The included infant insert offers great support for a newborn so you can use it from 4 lbs.

The shoulder straps have three positions but need to be re-threaded. This baby is heavy at 16.5 lbs, but if you think about the amount of time you have to carry it vs. rolling it, it’s not that bad.

The wheels measure 5.11″ in the front and  6.7″ in the back, which makes for great maneuverability. And have you seen those beautiful colors?

The only thing this stroller/car seat is missing in my opinion is a recline. If they could just add the flat recline from Cybex Cloud Q, it would be perfect. You wouldn’t have to worry about your child spending too much time in a car seat.

Of course, the canopy could’ve been larger and there is no storage basket typically found on a regular stroller, but Doona has covered itself well as you can purchase a storage bag and a canopy extender separately.

Actually, there are a bunch of great accessories available like rain cover, bug net, travel bag, wheel covers, etc.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

Since this car seat has a built-in stroller, it doesn’t work with any other strollers.

PROS

-Ease of install
-3 layers of Side impact protection (SIP)
-Good canopy
-Belt installation option
-Latch connectors
-From 4 lbs
-Baseless installation with European belt path
-Built-in stroller
-Anti-rebound bar
-Includes car seat protector

CONS

-Heavy
-Re-thread harness
-Expensive

Buy Doona Infant Car Seat »

10. Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 LX – $189

WEIGHT: 9.7 lbs

WEIGHT LIMIT/HEIGHT LIMIT: 4-35 lbs/up to 32 inches

INSTALLATION & SAFETY

The Graco SnugRide 35 LX is one of the most affordable infant rear-facing car seats that also has a good crash test score. This very basic car seat doesn’t have any bells or whistles found on luxury models.

It has a very simple installation with traditional “hook” Latch connectors that will require some pushing and pulling, but they get the job done.

You can also install the base using a seat belt. The seat belt lock-off located in the middle of the base helps to get a secure fit. Again, some pushing and pulling are required.

To get the right installation angle you can adjust the height of the base using a knob in the back and the level indicator.

This is not the most friendly installation process and it’s even harder to disconnect. You might break a few nails. You can also install the seat WITHOUT the base using American-style belt path which was pretty easy.

While Graco claims that their car seat has been “Side-Impact tested”, there is no additional Side Impact Protection (SIP) like on other car seats. So, I am not sure what they are trying to say. Maybe their car seat is so safe it doesn’t need any extra SIP?

It does have EPS energy-absorbing foam, but no anti-rebound bar or steel-reinforced frame.

CONVENIENCE

The Graco has definitely missed the mark when it comes to the quality and comfort of seat materials. The seat fabrics are coarse and thick. While 35 LX (compared to 35) has thicker head support, the padding on the seat is still thinner than I would like.

The canopy is smaller than average but has a pop-out sunvisor and a medium size dark mesh peekaboo window on top. The SnugRide 35 LX offers no re-thread harness (the SnugRide 35 does not) that can be easily adjusted in the back for a growing baby.

In case you are on a tight budget but still want a safe car seat, take a look at SnugRide 35 which is a simpler model that has a re-thread harness, a small canopy, and less padding on the seat and head support, but weighs only 7.5 lbs.

STROLLER COMPATIBILITY

The SnugRide 35 LX fits all Graco Click Connect strollers with a secure one-step attachment. But, good luck finding adapters for any other brands. You are kind of stuck with Graco strollers which are at the bottom of my list. They are heavy, bulky, plasticky, and usually have horrible canopies.

Despite some of the drawbacks above, parents love this car seat because it’s still safe and very affordable. Many parents don’t want to spend a lot of money on something they will only be using for 1 year.

They get SnugRide 35 LX and one of the cheap Graco strollers for the first year and then downsize to something much nicer that will get them through the toddler years. Makes sense.

PROS

-Ease of install
-Belt installation option
-Baseless installation option
-Latch hooks
-From 4 lbs
-No re-thread harness
-Level indicators
-Built-in lock-off (for seat belt)

CONS

-No Side Impact Protection (SIP)
-No anti-rebound bar
-Limited compatibility

Buy Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 LX »

Phew, this might be my longest post ever. Sorry guys. I wanted to give you as many details as I can. If you still have any questions on how to choose a car seat or a stroller, leave me a comment below and I do my best to answer them as soon as I can.