Looking for the Safest Car Seat/travel System Available...

Updated on February 26, 2008
K.M. asks from Bristol, CT
39 answers

Hello, I have been online and at various sites, I am looking for the safest/easy to use car seat/travel system. I am registering at Babies R Us and having a hard time to pick one...I have here the top 3 are Chicco/Britax and Peg Perego...? does anyone have any input? I am 21 wks pregnant and laughing to my self thinking this was MUCH harder to register for a Baby then for our wedding....;)

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So What Happened?

Well, thank you to everyone that responded!!!! Your input was very helpful, we are currently planning (unless something else changes..which it could.) to go with the Chicco Cortina Travel System.
Thanks for all your help
K. M.

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C.S.

answers from Boston on

I went to my local police dept. and made an appointment with the safety officer. He can suggest the best seat and they also install it for you. My seat needed way more than I knew about. He cut up those tubes for the pool, inserted them where he thought the seat needed more height and installed it correctly. He also informed me about things in the back seats that become deadly projectiles in a small crash. It was all for free too.

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J.S.

answers from Springfield on

K., I am a Child Passenger Safety Technician and I sent you a private message with lots of information in it :)

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A.G.

answers from Boston on

From what I've read, the Chicco KeyFit and the Graco SnugRide are the two infant seats with the highest safety ratings. The Britax seats get good ratings in for their convertible car seats. We have the Graco Metrolite travel system (including a SnugRide) and love it. You could also get a SnugRide on its own and get the Snap 'N Go stroller to go with it. I have a friend with a Graco Mosaic and she says good things about that stroller too. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend reading the book "Baby Bargains." It mixes consumer report reviews with reviews from actual parents for all kinds of baby items from clothes to cribs to bottles and so on. I know! Registering for a baby can be so overwhelming. It feels like every decision is more important than the last. And there's so much research involved. Good luck and have fun! Congratulations, too.

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J.R.

answers from Boston on

We used a system for our two sons when they were infants because it is a necessity to be able to move your child out of the car without waking him or her. We had an evenflo system which survived our two boys and is now being used by my sister's daughter. We then bought the Britax Marathon which is wonderful but is not a travel system. The Britax is very easy to install and use and is very safe. You definately need to install it yourself so that you know how to check on it. As everyone suggested, call your police/fire department because they all have one person qualified to check the seat.

As an aside, one thing we did that I think is really important is to put your child's information on the car seat in the event you are in an accident and you can't respond. We put our child's name, address, our names, phone numbers, two emergency contact names and numbers and the pediatrition's name and address. Believe it or not, that can all fit on a small label that can fit on the car seat. We've never had to rely on it but better safe than sorry. Good luck with labor and enjoy your little one!

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A.S.

answers from Hartford on

Britax car seats are awesome and test very well for safety. We did not have the infant seat/carrier (though I've heard it's great). We moved my daughter to the Britax Marathon around 7 months because she was too tall for her infant carrier and she's still in it at 3 1/2 and has plenty of room to grow. It seemed expensive at the time, but you'll be able to use it much longer than most other seats because of it's size. Time flies, so it's nice to have something your child doesn't grow out of in a few months. Good luck!

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A.O.

answers from Boston on

I've read from Consumer Reports that Chicco and Graco are the best for you buck. I've registered for a Graco travel system since it's the lightest and a little cheaper than the Chicco. Consumer Reports also gave a bad rating to the Peg Perego (I can't remember why) and when we registered at Baby's R Us the associate said she wasn't surprised. However, my best friend had one for her 2 sons and she loved it. Good luck with your decision and enjoy you little one.

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D.L.

answers from Boston on

Kristin - Congratulations on the news. I have two children and through trial and error I can strongly suggest the Peg Perego infant seat and base. You can get an extra base for another vehicle as well.

The Peg Perego is by far the easiest to set up (level indicator built in on the side) and use, very comfortable for the baby with all of its padding and is very safe. It was very durable and easy to carry and snapped into their stroller system like a dream. It saved my daughter's life when I was involved in an automobile accident with a hit and run driver. The seat did everything exactly as it should have. Peg Perego is expensive, but you can't put a price on safety and construction.

When my daughter outgrew the Peg Perego we bought a Britax Marathon and she is 40lbs and still uses it today. I believe it will go up to 60lbs. Beautifully constructed, soft and cushy for her and super easy to adjust the belt system when getting her in and out of it. Also expensive, but once you start comparing them side-by-side in the store you will see the difference. The seat looks just as nice as the day I bought it and it is around two years old. I just wash the cover on the gentle cycle and air dry. Easy to take on and off for cleaning.

The plastic construction in both brands seem more durable and the craftsmanship of the materials and padding are far superior. The only two seats you will ever need to buy.

Oh, and one more thing. I would purchase the infant seat as close to your due date as possible, because the companies are always upgrading their systems. Once your little guy is born, you don't want to end up with the "old" model.

Good luck!

P.S. If the question ever comes up to buy used, NEVER do it. You can't be sure if a seat had ever been in an accident before. So if it had, it would FAIL if ever in one again. This was told to me by my local police after my car accident. I ended up buying my daughter a new seat and base.

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L.L.

answers from Boston on

I have a Chicco car system (eggplant color) that I am more than happy to let you borrow until your little boy grows out of it! It's sitting in my basement. I think I can scrounge up a second base from my mom too. Interested? L. at [email protected]____.com. I live in Haverhill, MA.

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D.B.

answers from New London on

We bought the Britax and love them. Yes the seats cost much more money, but they have a much higher crash test rating speed than the seats made in the USA. I beleive that the USA seats are only crash tested at 45 mph, where the Britax are crash tested at 65 mph. I might be a little off on the mph, as we bought the seats 5 years ago. My boys are "still" in them, the seats will support their weight up to 65 lbs. and with the 5-point harness system, they are much safter at this time than the regular booster seats.

Good Luck,
D.

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L.B.

answers from Barnstable on

Hi K.,
My daughter Kate O'Connell has www.kateoconnell.babyonthego.com

She specializes in baby equipment and has two little boys herself. Kate is full of good info. She's having a big sale right now too.

Good luck..
L. Bavota, Pure Romance by L.
www.lbpureromance.com

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L.

answers from Providence on

Hi K.-I am a mommy of 2 boys ages 3 1/2 and 7.5 months-my baby was born this past July:) As far as the travel systems go, I believe that they are all very safe. It will be more on your personal taste and what will work best with your vehicle...I have friends who have had all different kinds and were happy with them all. I do know that graco makes a system that allows the baby to remain in the infant carrier up to 30lbs-that is an increase from when I got mine with my first son-the weight limit was only 20 lbs....forces you to have to take them out of it sooner....I would look into that type-one that will allow you to use it longer. Good luck! I agree, this is harder than bridal registry-have fun! L.:)

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J.D.

answers from Boston on

graco snug ride infant car seat, I always heard was the safest. You can read consumer reports.

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C.M.

answers from Boston on

I have a Britex. It is a 5 star rating. The seat belt never gets twisted like other carseats. Also try the car seat in your carrear faceing. It was the only one that fit in my car. We hadregistered for another one and ot it as a baby shower gift and could not return it. Babies -R-Us will go to your car with you to try them in your car before you buy one, Hope this was helpfull. Good luck
C. & Adeline Mackensen Temple NH

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L.R.

answers from Boston on

HI. I have the mint green Peg perego stroller. I do not like it at all and it costs a lot of money. My husband does like it. I find it difficult to maneauver, the cup holder did not fit onto the stroller arm so we were never able to use it, and I do not like how the straps attach to the back of the stroller. When my daughter was little, her head always hit it, so we used a head support to cover it up. Now that she's bigger, her head doesn't hit it, but it doesn't stay attached. So much for a 5 point harness. I do like the car seat. very safe and lots of padding. The seat easily fit into the stroller. Good luck with your decision. It's not an easy oe.

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R.B.

answers from Denver on

I really recommend also getting a snap and go. I love the stroller and infant seat we got, it was my big obsession when pregnant and I test drove so many. Looking back we barely used it until she was out of the infant seat. But, the snap and go was one of the best, most used baby things I got. I have since lent it out to 2 friends who also loved it. Its so easy to use and light and fits just about every infant car seat out there. Also, my daughter was very tall, we ended up moving her at 6 months to a convertible seat that could be rear facing until she was heavy enough to be front facing, and she still uses that now at 2.5. The snap and go was honestly a lifesaver, esp for quick trips into grocery stores, its so light and easy to set up that many times shed be asleep as I transfered the infant seat onto the snap and go, getting the travel system all set up wasnt nearly as fast and she would often wake while I was getting it all set.
I now tell all my pregnant friends to register for that and a bjorn, they were the two easiest to use and most useful things I had.
Hope this helps, good luck with your new baby!

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K.M.

answers from Boston on

There are several car seats that are rated high for safety. It depends on what kind of seat you want (infant only or convertible).

I'd recommend picking up a book called Baby Bargains: http://www.windsorpeak.com/babybargains/default.html It will help you make decisions about safe products that are right for you.

Congratulations & good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Providence on

I have the Chicco and love it. It got really high safety ratings in C;onsumer reports.

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D.C.

answers from Boston on

We went with the Britax companion, which last year was rated the top safest seat, according to Consumer Reports. We just used it with a version of the 'snap n go' (Maclaren easy traveler).We didn't go with a travel system because we'd heard from people who used whole travel systems that they didn't end up using them.

Along the way, something got stuck with one of the latches on our seat and we called Britax and they replaced it immediately with a new seat and base. So, the upshot is that we have a brand new Britax companion and base in an unopened box if you're interested ([email protected]____.com) in getting a new one at a great price. We also have an extra base for a second car and the Maclaren easy traveler.

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M.H.

answers from Boston on

Hi K..

You can not go wrong anyway you go. I have an infant seat travel system Peg Perego, that fits into my Peg Perego triple stroller and it has been great. I also have a family of Britax car seats that I love and have been using some for over 8 years. They are great and have really held up in my large family. I have a roundabout, marathon and several boosterseats and they are all great. They fit securely, easy to latch. I have used both the Marathon and the Roundabout rear facing. The Marathon is big, so it can be hard to manipulate in a small car. Go to babies r us and ask them if you can bring them out to your car to get a good feel!

Good luck!

M.

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C.B.

answers from Boston on

That's easy! Britax, hands down. And then, yes - absolutely - put it in as you think it should be installed and how it feels safe to you, and then call and make an appointment at your local police station to have them check it.

You will be floored and amazed...

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J.C.

answers from Lewiston on

I have the Chicco travel system and couldn't be happier with it. It is easy to install and pretty lightweight for a travel system.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

I believe the brands you mention are good. However, I think Graco is supposed to be the highest-rated infant car seat out there -- with the Graco-Snap-in-Go system you can purchase a stroller frame, which the car seat easily snaps right in to and you can also carry the car seat itself. It's very easy!! You can also use this car seat with the Bugaboo stroller (very popular stroller, although it's slightly heavier than the Graco and a lot more expensive!). It might be tempting to leave the baby in the car seat the majority of the time, but I've heard that it's best to not leave them in there too long so that they aren't always in the same position. They should lie flat sometimes and at 6-weeks they're supposed to begin "tummy time." (Check these facts with your pediatrician).

Remember to call the police department in your local town to have the car seat base professionally installed. There might be a wait list so call 1 to 2 months before your due date.

Hope this helps!
D.

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C.H.

answers from Boston on

Hi - We bought our car seats this past summer, so new models are out now, but the Graco Snugride system got the best reviews and we love it. We just bought a second base for Daddy's car.
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2887293

Then we got the Evenflo Triumph my best friend has and LOVES - has for both her children (3 and 1) http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2739371. The new model did not gave the rave reviews the older models did, but I am willing to get used to the dial to tighten my baby in each time if my friend, whom I trust, loves it.

For Daddy's car we got the Britax Boulevard as it got the best reviews for this year. Although I like the Marathon that comes with a cow hide looking cover, very funny. Of course you can pick from different colors and styles for any seat.
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2738091

Hope this helps - try to read reviews too on babiesrus and other sites :)

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L.S.

answers from Boston on

Although the car seat is a necessity I found carrying it almost impossible I would recommend a baby sling as well. Attached to Baby is a good site to find the right sling for you. Baby Bjorn is not comfortable for either of you. Pouches, Ring Slings, or Wraps are the most comfy and none of those can be found at Babies R Us. As far as Travel System I know everyone who used a Car seat with a Baby Trend like Snap and Go where happy.

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K.M.

answers from Boston on

We had the Graco 3 in 1. You get the carseat, base, and stroller. The base is so easy to install and the carseat clicks right into the base and stroller making it really easy to transfer. Our stage 2 car seat was a Britax. Which is more expensive, but we love it! Good Luck!! It is so much fun registering for a new baby.

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P.M.

answers from Boston on

I'm not sure of the best car seats but I know the Britax is good. The one I have goes from newborn to 80 pounds because it can be rear facing and then evetually turn into a booster seat my seat isn't Britax I think it's safety first.
You'll want to have an infant seat too that will fit in a carriage. I got a regular travel system(stroler and matching car seat)
If you want any extra help by an experienced mom to do your registry I can tell you what i wish I had and the thinds I never used.
Oh i agree with other people about not getting used seats unless it's from someone you know and it's for an emergency. I have a backup chair jsut in case that family members can take if needed and my parents have an older seat at their house for emergencies.
When picking the car seat try to stay nuetral because if you have another baby and it's a girl you probably won't be going out and spending a lot on money on a girly car seat.
I agree the baby registry is harder than the bridal registry.

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K.W.

answers from Boston on

have you checked on consumerreports.com ? also, all fire stations have a person who is trained particularly in carseats. we went down to our fire station and talked to that guy -- they actually send someone to a seminar each year to be educated on what the best seats are and how to install them.

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C.R.

answers from Boston on

I have a Chicco travel system and I love it! It is so easy to use, and clean and the carrier is very light compared to other brands. That may not seem like a big deal now, but my son is 7mos old now and 18 llbs, adn it's nice that the carrier is only 8-9lbs added on! Also, the stroller is very lightweight and userfriendly and easy to store in the car etc. Good luck with your baby!!!

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J.M.

answers from Boston on

I don't know what kind of car you drive, but if you have a small car, the britax might not fit, especially rear facing. We drove a Saturn, and the Graco seat fit best, and we always felt it was very safe. We also had to get two carseats, and just couldn't imagine spending the $400 it would cost for 2 Britax.

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K.S.

answers from Barnstable on

Go to your nearest fire station or call & they should know or direct you to the some one who is knowledgable. also the local hospitals or the local WIC offices will have the information. they do deal with small chilren all the time

C.S.

answers from New York on

We've had Graco and Britax. Britax is FAR better. Its safer, sturdier and easier to install.

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T.U.

answers from New London on

We went with the Graceo Safe Seat because it allowed us to use it until our son was 30 lbs and 32 inches. Our son was on the larger side, and we still used it until he was 10 months old. I used the Graco metrolight stroller with it, I bought the stroller at a 2nd hand shop. When other friends with kids the same age were having to switch to a convertible seat at 5 months, I was glad I had the flexibility with the infant seat, even though it was hard on the back. But it was great to be able to come inside and have him sleep; it took a while for me to get a routine down where he stays asleep when I get him out of the convertible seat and into the house, so for about a month I was sitting in the car reading a book. In my decision for a carseat I called the Safe Kids hotline in our area and the worker was very helpful. I hope you find a seat that works well for you.

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J.M.

answers from Boston on

Hi K., congrats on your new baby. I would recommend the Britax carseat. After trying MANY different carseats that I didnt like or didnt work in our car and truck. I bought the Britax carseat. I love it!! It fits so easily in our vehicles and my daughter now three has no complaints. I wish it was the first carseat I bought. I wish you the best of luck.

Jen

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T.N.

answers from Boston on

We have used hte peg perego for both of our kids and we love it! The stroller is easy to use and folds up so nice, it is also easy to put the car seat in the stroller and is really stable once you get it attached. Hope that helps.

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M.W.

answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I am a mother of five(15,7,5,3,1).When I had my 15 year old, I was told to put him to sleep on his side, by the time I had my 7 year old, best advice was "back is best". I buy a lot of my children's clothes used, even when I only had a few kids and could have bought brand new, I figured out quick that they out grow, and don't know or care if someone else wore it first. Car seats however are right up there with underwear, I would never buy used. Any Mom that has ever had to take the darn cover off a car seat thats been thrown up on will tell you that they all look the same when you take the pretty cover off. Many brands are the same maker with a different name sewn on the front. I personally like to use an infant seat for as long as I can (usually 4-5 mo) because they are portable. About the time baby grows out of it you have some strong arms from carrying that infant seat in and out of every stop you make. Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from Boston on

The Graco snugfit travel system has the highest consumer reports safety rating. It is also easy to use.

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A.E.

answers from Springfield on

Hi K.! We really like the Britax Marathon. It is very safe, easy to use, and comfortable for your child!

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D.T.

answers from Burlington on

Hi, I've read that the safest INFANT carseat is the Graco safe seat. Go to graco.com and check them out. Once your baby grows out of it I feel the Britax is the way to go!

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