What Infant Car Seat Should I Invest In?

Updated on July 30, 2011
S.C. asks from Brentwood, TN
19 answers

I am expecting our second daughter in November. I want a good quality car seat and I know Britax are good ones but I really do not want to spend that kind of money on something that will be used for such a short period of time. What are some good brands that are affordable? I know some of you moms out there have done the research to see what has the best ratings. I don't have the best driving history ever so safety is the biggest component I am looking for here! Thanks!
Also, I would really prefer to have one that you can tighten the straps from the front. I looked at some of the Graco Snugrides and they tighten from the back. I dont know if all of the snugrides are like that or just the ones I have seen.

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answers from Provo on

Look around for deal on Britax. It's well worth the investment.
But I had my son in a graco snugride. It has good reviews. Has been around for a long time, many updates to it, good honest company, ect. One of the ONLY American brands of car seats I trust.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am totally happy with the Graco snugride we bought. My DD loves her carseat. I wasn't particular about the adjusting straps being in the back when I bought it, but now I am thankful that it is that way - keeps my DD from grabbing any loose strap and putting it in her mouth! :))

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answers from St. Louis on

I bought a Britax at the Albee Baby website. For about $100 cheaper than babies r us. So check it out and see if that will help :).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

We purchased a Britax for my daughter that she used from the day she came home from the hospital and she is still using it! She will turn 3 tomorrow!

The only downside is that it can't be taken in and out of the car but we solved that by keeping my son's old/"traditional" infant carrier in the back of the car and would transfer her to that if we were eating out or shopping and I wasn't going to be wearing her. Worked very well and we didn't have to be another seat when she was just a few months old.

Her current seat carried her rear-facing until she was about 31 months old (they need to stay rear facing until at least age 2). She sat very comfortably and I don't worry about her safety in the seat. Seems like we live in the car and I wanted both my kids to have great seats.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I just looked this up on consumer reports - they recomend: Chicco KeyFit, Chicco KeyFit 30 , Safety 1st onBoard 35, Combi Shuttle 33. Whichever car seat you buy make sure it fits snuggly in your car. We bought the CR best buy (had to order it online since it wasn't sold anywhere near us) and it didn't fit in our car, the seat was too short for a snug fitting base. I bet if you go to babiesrus or somewhere like that they will let you try the carseat out in your car. Happy shopping!



answers from Johnson City on

The car seat I used for both my son and daughter is the Graco Comfort Sport. We have been very happy with it and have had no problem adjusting it from the front but it is a 5 year old model. You could check out this webpage for more info http://www.consumersearch.com/car-seats/graco-comfortsport. For our booster seat for our son when our daughter got the convertible seat we opted for Graco again with the Nautilus. It is a great seat and has a 5 point harness up to 65 lbs. My son likes it with the harness so we go with that. It is a bit bulky so not easy to carry around and a bit pricey but look for good deals. We got it for $125 and free shipping. It is also difficult to clean. Those are the negatives the positives are that it is comfortable and super safe and can be converted to a high back booster with the seatbelt and just a bottom booster with the seatbelt. We are going to get one for our daughter as well and invest in dramamine for long trips. Good luck!



answers from Lexington on

While its true all seats must pass the same safety ratings (I think it's a head-on at 35 mph?), not all are as safe. The Britax -is- one of the safest seats out there.

we had a Britax with our second and hated it. I also have a poor driving record (total a vehicle every time I'm pregnant....assuming it has something to do with exhaustion and being unable to turn to look to merge properly or something....) so that's actually why we got the britax. Love the concept, hate the execution.

We got a Chicco Keyfit 30 as well with our last one and just love it. At the time it was one of the few that kept baby safe in a 70 mph T-Bone crash per consumer reports. It's lighter than the Britax and my DD still fits in it at 9 mos - we had to switch to a convertible at only 6 mos with our second child bc her legs were just way too long for the shorter Britax. We love it. It's lighter, WAY easy to use, and its cute. The only negative think I could say is the liner is like a tent tarp so that my baby sweats buckets any time she's in it - even in the middle of winter with no coat on! But it doesn't seen to mind her so I don't mind much. :D



answers from Boston on

All seats must pass the same safety tests in order to be sold here. When you buy britax you are paying for the name and the bells and whistles (pretty covers, extra padding, etc)

I like graco.



answers from Philadelphia on

We had a Graco Snugride. Very affordable and very safe.



answers from Los Angeles on

With my first we bought the Chicco Keyfit 30, which got really good safety ratings. It is a bit larger and heavier than other infant carriers, but you can also use it for longer as it fits a child up to 30#s. We didn't buy a convertible carseat (we got Britax Boulevard) until my daughter was about 20 months.



answers from Omaha on

The Britax Marathon goes from 5-70 pounds (RF & FF)! It can be your one and only car seat if you want and the safety ratings are phenominal.

We opted to do both an infant "bucket" and the Britax Marathon. For our infant carrier we chose the Chicco KeyFit 30 and loved it. Our daughter fit in it until she was 14 months old.



answers from Toledo on

I just read this on Babble yesterday: http://www.babble.com/products/baby-products/best-car-sea...

It'll give some good ideas, tips and all the research. :)

We had the Chicco Keyfit 30 as well and LOVED it. We were able to use it with our son until about 10 months and with our daughter until about a year old (we have tall kids).

Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

We purchased a Recaro Car Seat for our son and he can use it from birth - 70 pounds. This will be the only seat he ever needs. We paid $269 for it, but it is one of the safest out there and it will last 7 years unlike some that expire after 5 years. Recaro makes the seats that NASCAR drivers use, so you know that they know how to make safe seats. Google them and read a bit, see what you think.



answers from Jacksonville on

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL! It's a little pricey, but much less than a year ago when we bought ours. We are expecting #2 and will totally "splurge" on this necessity since it will grow with them. VERY easy to install in car too and SUPER SLIM so you can fit 3 carseats easily.



answers from San Francisco on

Graco SnugRide and Chicco KeyFit are both excellent safe easy to use infant seats.
A seat doesn't *have* to be a Britax to be good - other companies have made a lot of progress over the past several years. The certified child passenger safety techs at http://www.car-seat.org forums and http://www.carseatblog.com are a great resource for up to date info on child passenger safety and child safety seats



answers from Albuquerque on

I used baby trend, wasnt too pricey and I have no complaints.



answers from Huntington on

I ADORED my Chico KeyFit 30. I cannot say enough about it, except do not choose a print with the shiny fabric (I hear it holds heat). It was well worth the investment. My daughter is 18 months old and still rides in it in our second car!!!! I splurged on the travel system and the stroller is really good, too. Like any big stroller, it is bulky, but I don't mind, and I can fold it out with one hand.

I passed on Graco SnugRide b/c they did not have the between-the-legs adjustment strap. In the 7 yrs since I had my last one, they got cheap and took it out of all but 1-2 top models. It was a favorite feature of mine.

you cannot go wrong with Chicco and it will resell like hotcakes!




answers from State College on

We have a snugride 35 and it is front adjust. They have some of each style that are front adjust, it does cost a little more. If you go to their website, gracobaby.com (I think) and look under car seats you can select the options you want and it will show the available patterns for that option. So far we have really liked our snugride and have been using it for 4 months. We also knew we wanted an all terrain type stroller and decided on the Bob and this was one of the car seats that you could use and attach to the stroller.



answers from Minneapolis on

We have Chicco Keyfit 30. LOVE it. We really have no complaints about this carseat. It's very safe and also very comfortable for my son. He has slept in it comfortably so many times. Now we are moving up to a convertible seat and I am so sad.Will miss our Chicco.
Yes it's an expensive buy but since you mentioned you concerned about safety , you should consider this carseat. It was best carseat when I looked at the rating last year when I bought it. Our second option was Graco Snugride. That had good ratings as well and wasn't as expensive.

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