The Top 25 Best Car Seats For Children Reviewed
The Top 25 Best Car Seats For Children Reviewed
Sometimes you dont have and SHOULD NOT HAVE TO settle. This is especially pertinent when it comes to safeguarding your children. So when good just is not good enough you have to go – and that is where our list of the top 25 best car seats becomes your handy resourceful guide to finding a car seat that you may spend a little more money on but will keep your mind at ease knowing you did everything not to compromise the safety of your child.
With all of the dangers in the world that you can do nothing about, it helps give a little bit of peace of mind to control the things you can.
And spending just a little more money on a car seat that you are going to be using all the time to safely transport your child is certainly one of those things that is within your control.
Look at it as an investment in your child’s safety (which it ultimately is) and not an expensive car seat that it appears on surface – and you may come to one day be thankful you chose one of these Best Car Seats and not a cheap car seat. The slightly higher price you pay for these Best Car Seats for children is justifiable by the extra features versus a regular brand or the regular cheaper car seat.
Car crashes are the 9th leading cause of death in the world and are only exacerbated when the occupants are not secured in their seat. Despite what is may seem, children do not outgrow forward facing child car seats until they are around 4 years old. Moreover, it can be until a child is up to 8 years old before they outgrow a booster seat.
With this in mind, there is no reason to gamble with your child’s safety. While there are plenty of car seats that fall within the legal standards of safety, cheaper products rarely include as many safety features to ensure that your child is as protected as possible.
For instance, if a car seat does not include a 5-point harness, it simply does not have the best safety restraints.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean that the car seat is not abiding by the law.
That is why we have put together this list of the Best Car Seats for children. We will go through and break down what the cream of the crop has to offer, so you can rest comfortably with the knowledge that your child is as safe as possible. Of course, once safety is accounted for, that does not mean that the Best Car Seats for children have nothing else to offer.
When you pay a price, you expect a product. Beyond safety, considerations such as material, ease of use, and additional features all factor to distinguish one product from the next. Moreover, not all car seats are designed for every stage of child development.
In fact, car seats are generally broken down into three categories in ascending order of child development: infant car seats, [easyazon_link keywords=”convertible car seats” locale=”US” tag=”norge0f-20″] convertible car seats [/easyazon_link], and booster car seats. Each of these categories should be designed with a specific height, weight, and bodily development in mind.
Top 25 Best Car Seats For Children
The number one spot in our Best Car Seats for children goes to the Diono Rainier All-In-One Convertible, because it places the highest priority on safety while still hitting a sweet spot for value.
One of the biggest draws of the Diono Rainier, beyond its standards of safety excellence, if the fact this it can accommodate your child at every stage of development.
At just over $300, the Diono Rainier can be used as a rear-facing child seat for children between 5 to 50 pounds, a front-facing child seat for children between 20 to 90 pounds, and a booster seat for children between 50 to 120 pounds. This allows the Diono Rainier to serve as your child seat from infancy to adolescence, up to the point where you child is large enough to use a seat belt.
Aside from the sheer versatility provided, the Diono Rainier All-In-One Convertible Car Seat, Black Plum makes its bread and butter with safety. The frame is made from 100 percent steel while the sides and head support are reinforced with aluminium. Moreover, the the head support is made from EPS foam to absorb energy in the event of a crash.
•Top of the line safety in pretty much every category
• An excellent value providing a car seat for every stage of development
• With a small profile and the ability to fold flat, this car seat will not hog extra room for other passengers
•Somewhat difficult to install to achieve full safety support
• Taller children may not fit as well
• The rear-facing position takes up a fair amount of space
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 takes our number 2 spot on our list of the Best Car Seats for children, because it understands the reality of parenting while still providing an exceptionally safe product.
The reality in question is that children are messy. They spill things and produce plenty of mess without assistance. That is why the machine washable covers of this car seat are a godsend. Moreover, the Pria 85 also features a cup holder for when your child is old enough to drink for their self. However, the straps will require some work to get adjusted properly.
Moreover, some customers have noted the QuickClip magnetic chest clip to give out over time, though this may be due to an obstruction like food preventing the magnets from snapping together.
Another limitation with the Pria 85 is its maximum weight capacity of 85 pounds. This will often not be big enough for some children who require a booster seat. As such, the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat, Night Black should be seen as a car seat for children aged between 1 to roughly 4 years of age, depending on your child’s development.
•FlexTech construction with advanced air cushions is ideal for multi directional crashes
• The QuickClip magnetic chest slip makes securing your child a snap
• The seat and harness covers are machine washable for easy cleanup
•The safety harness straps are difficult to adjust
• Limited versatility due to a smaller than preferred weight range
• Customer service is cumbersome and slow
Our number three position goes to a specific type of product which does somewhat limit its usefulness as a Best Car Seats for children .
Specifically, the Doona Infant Car Seat & Base, Night is exclusively designed for infants.
However, if you want an infant car seat that focuses on the particular needs of this stage of child development, the Doona provides an excellent value with an additional feature not often found.
This is the only infant car seat that comes with a set of integrated wheel. This allows you to purchase two products for the price of one. With a maximum weight capacity of 35 pounds and a maximum height capacity of 32”, your child will quickly outgrow the Doona. Still, with a stroller and car seat all in one, you might be willing to purchase a larger car seat in future with the money you saved.
•Easy cleanup with machine washable fabric
• The integrated wheels make this product 2-in-1
• A rocking function will help soothe your infant to sleep
•A 35 pound maximum weight capacity is much too small for children beyond infants
• A maximum height capacity of 32” will not suffice nearly as long as other car seats
• The frame does not sport some of the more sophisticated safety features as competitors
Graco is a heavy-hitter in the childcare product market, so it should come as no surprise that they rank within the top ten on our list of the Best Car Seats for children.
However, considering that Graco is generally a mid-tier market manufacturer, it is exciting to see what their top-tier car seat has to offer. To our delight, the Graco 4ever All-in-one Convertible Six-position Recline Car Seat – Cameron did not disappoint. Taking safety seriously, the Graco uses a steel reinforced frame.
While a fully steel frame like the Diono Rainier would have been modestly better, a steel reinforced frame is still on of the safest designs available. To add additional safety, the Graco also uses EPS foam to absorb energy in the event of a crash.
However, this car seat is not suited for the hotter climes as the material is not known to be breathable. Moreover, this car seat is big and will put even more strain if you use it in the rear-facing position.
Another issue with the rear facing position is that it sits somewhat more upright than you would prefer for newborns or small infants.
•A steel reinforced frame is expected at this level of the list
• A 4-in-1 design provides more versatility than most
• Much easier to install than most car seats
•Can be warm to children who run a bit hot
• The top headrest position is not the most stable
• Has a fairly large profile–especially rear-facing
Do not let the Peg Perego’s position on our list fool you. Most of their car seats are and are some of the Best Car Seats for children available on the market.
The Peg Perego USA Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat is no different in terms of Peg’s quality, features and everything we have come to expect from the Peg Perego brand.
This new Primo Viaggio convertible is our car seat features EPS side foam in the shell and in the head panels for superior side impact protection (SIP).
The SIP is easy to adjust, even with your baby in the seat. The wide padded seat includes a specially shaped removable cushion for newborns and a quick release five point safety harness.
The primo viaggio convertible is fastened to the vehicle by means of standard lap or shoulder lap vehicle belts or using latch connector and top tether straps according to FMVSS-213 and CMVSS-213 regulations.
It has a shock absorbing foam element device located below the shell crumples upon impact, reducing stress on child’s neck and shoulders in the event of a crash.
It offers side impact protection with 10 different positions and a sturdy, yet comfortable, 5-point harness. Moreover, the car seat provides EPS energy absorbing foam for additional protection.
However, when deciding between the top spots on our list, value comes into play. Where the Grace and Doona provide a stroller as part of the package, the Peg Perego does not.
Moreover, the Peg Perego is one of the more expensive items on our list but not quite as versatile as the Diono Rainier or Maxi-Cosi.
•Reversible-Can be used rear facing for children 5 to 45 lbs. and forward facing for children 22 to 65 lbs.
• Side Impact Protection protects child’s head, neck and spine; Easily adjusts to 10 different positions ensuring the best and safest fit
• Energy-absorbing foam in shell and head panel protects child’s head and torso from impact forces
• Contoured Steel back plate minimizes flexing and reduces forward movement
• Top tether hook increases stability in forward-facing mode and limits forward movement
•Adjustable Latch connectors add stability and are easy to reposition for rear-facing or forward-facing installation
•The maximum weight capacity of 65 pounds is somewhat limiting
• One of the more expensive products on the list with comparable safety features
• Only a steel backplate, while solid, is not as impressive as the Diono Rainier
This Maxi-Cosi is nearly identical to the previous entry on our list, making it a no-brainer as one of the top Best Car Seats for children. However there are a couple of differences that distinguish it, and potentially decrease the overall value in comparison.
First, this model is more expensive than the previous Pria 85. However, as the number designates, it still comes with the same 85 pound maximum weight capacity, limiting its versatility in the same ways. Moreover, this Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Rachel Zoe Jet Set Special Edition Convertible Car Seat also utilizes the same safety features, improving this regard not one bit.
So what is it that commands the higher price tag? Quite simply, you are paying for the stylized seat cover. Keep in mind, the seat cover is made from the same fabric as the other Pria 85 Car Seats and is also machine washable.
However, it comes in a black and white color scheme with brown accents. As such, we cannot say the additional investment is worth the benefit, though you may.
•The car seat cover would look great in a luxury vehicle
• Though more difficult to use, the chest clip is less prone to obstruction
• Air Protect and FlexTech still provide an excellent degree of safety
•More expensive than a similar product model
• The chest clip is not magnetic, requiring more effort
• The 85 pound maximum weight capacity limits this car seat to toddlers
Chicco makes a couple of appearance on our list, and actually captures back-to-back spots. Their first car seat goes to one designed exclusively for infants. Keep in mind; the Peg Perego just edges this one out while the Doona simply provides a better all-around-value with the integrated wheels.
Still, the Chicco is placed appropriately due to the questionable value of its key defining feature. The KeyFit 30 Zip Air Infant Car Seat – Ventata boasts its use of the new 3D AirMesh fabric which allows the car seat to breathe and prevent your child from sweating.
While the fabric works wonderfully, the issue comes from the competing Chicco infant car seat.
The KeyFit 30 without the 3D AirMesh fabric is almost half the price of this model. Granted, one of the primary concerns of the base KeyFit 30 is that the fabric does not breathe. However, it seems unreasonable that the only addition of breathable fabric should justify almost double the cost.
•Incredibly easy to install, as is a Chicco constant
• Full-body inserts allow you to provide a maximum snugness for your infant
• Can be installed without a seat belt using a belt routing, lock-off system
•An absence of steel reinforcements push this car seat out of the top 5
• The sun canopy has been known to wiggle and change position
• An inability to remove the fabric makes cleanup a pain
The Chicco offers a wide variety of adjustment for Best Car Seats for children, far more than most of its competitors.
It is the ability to be adjusted to suit so many different shapes and sizes of child that pushes this seat so far up our list.
However, this car seat can be seen as both more and less safe for children, depending on the judging metric.
One of the ways the Chicco Next Fit Zip, Lavender is safer for your child than some of the earlier entries on this list is though its sheer breadth of adjustments.
It features 9 levels of reclining, included infant insert, 6 positions for the headrest, 2 positions for the chest clip, and a shoulder strap that widens with the headrest.
This allows the various positions and features to secure your child specifically rather than some general model used in the production design-which may or may not provide as secure a fit in real life.
Unfortunately, the Chicco does not use any of the steel reinforcement or frames that you find on our higher ranking products.
•For the right car designs, the car seat is a breeze to install
• An infant insert is included, free of charge
• A dizzying amount of adjustable features make this a perfect fit for any shape or size child
•Naturally reclined cars will not secure this car seat as well as straight backed
• An absence of reinforced steel is sorely missed
• The seat is fairly large, even among large car seats
Britax is one of the more trusted names in car seats. Its reputation is built on providing an exceptional product at a reasonable price while still continuing to innovate and improve.
However, it seems that Britax has focused so intently on safety that they have forgotten some of the little things that customers desire when selecting between products. As such, the Britax Advocate ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Convertible Car Seat, Circa definitely ranks as one of our Best Car Seats for children , but barely breaks the top 10.
First, the Britax sees a welcome return to a steel frame which provides an additional level of stability in the event your child is involved in a wreck. Moreover, the headrest features 14 different positions–more than even the higher ranked car seats on this list.
To provide even more stability, the anti-rebound bar decreases rebound rotation by up to 40%.
Unfortunately, this product can be a nightmare to get everything situated properly.
First, this car seat is a bit of a behemoth considering it only has a maximum weight capacity of 65 pounds. Furthermore, the securing straps, while stable, are difficult to install and make removing the car seat almost impossible.
•The anti-rebound bar adds a unique layer of protection for rear-facing alignments
• The SafeCell design features a steel frame and v-shaped tether for additional support
• The headrest provides more adjustment positions than almost any other product on this list
•All that safety requires a massive sized seat
• Installation is difficult and removing the seat even more so
• The straps will require time and effort to center on your child
The Pinnacle is only this far down on our list of the top Best Car Seats for children for one reason: versatility.
However, this is also the first car seat which is exclusively intended to be used as a booster seat.
As such, the Britax Pinnacle G1.1 ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat, Manhattan is one of, if not, the best high-end car seats.
That being said, you can still technically use the Pinnacle as a front-facing car seat. However, you will need to be sure your child is heavy enough as the minimum weight capacity is 25 pounds with a minimum height capacity of 30”. Still, it is intended to be a booster and does that exceptionally well.
With 9 headrest positions and the SafeCell frame, security is not an issues with the Pinnacle. Moreover, the ClickTight installation is much easier than some of Britax’s other models.
However, adjusting the shoulder straps requires time. Specifically, you will need to adjust the straps before placing your child in the seat–a process which often requires a fair amount of trial and error.
•Features the same SafeCell as most other high-end Britax models
• Can be used as front-facing car seat for younger children
• A maximum weight capacity of 120 pounds is impressive
•Not appropriate for infants or children under 2 years of age
• The shoulder straps are exceedingly difficult to tighten
• The seat’s design makes the 25 pound weight feel even heavier
This is Peg Perego second entry on our list of the Best Car Seats for children , and it is arguably a better value than the previous Peg Perego.
This is in a large part due to the fact that the convertible model actually allows it to be used for different stages of child development. Unfortunately, that also places this Peg Perego in direct competition with more products, many of which perform better.
Still, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible, Crystal Black offers excellent versatility with a minimum weight capacity of 5 pounds for even the smallest infants. Though, the maximum weight capacity of 65 pounds definitely limits the upper age range of this car seat.
Regardless, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible, Crystal Black provides a headrest that features 10 different positions and EPS foam to absorb energy should your child be involved in a car crash.
Moreover, a steel plate in the back of the seat and a contoured base limit recoil. However, the chest strap is set high and the seat is not designed for infants, so even though the weight capacity is right, the design is not.
•Much lighter than most of its competitors makes installation easier
• A steel plate is pretty solid at this point in the list, though the entire frame would be better
• A smaller profile than most make this ideal for compact cars
•While it technically qualifies, this is not the best car seat for an infant
• Exceptionally tall for a convertible that cannot also be used as a booster seat
• The chest strap is set high, further limiting infant or small toddler use
Whereas the previous Maxi-Cosi’s focused a bit more on utility, able to accommodate infants and adolescents, this Maxi-Cosi is designed to be used exclusively for infants. As such, you will not get the same value from this product as you might from other infant car seats. Even more, this is a somewhat more expensive infant car seat than its competitors.
However, this car seat aim to serve the same purpose as the other Maxi-Cosi special edition: luxury. With a black and white color scheme featuring brown accents, this elegant car seat looks great in any vehicle. Be forewarned that there are leather accents which can get hot-a more relevant issue for infants than adolescents.
Still, the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Rachel Zoe Jet Set Special Edition Infant Car Seat is the lightest infant car seat available, but still features the numerous safety features of the Maxi-Cosi brand.
However, to focus on infant safety, the Max 30 features Superior Side Impact Protection running the entire length of the car seat. It also features an anti rebound bar to prevent recoil, and a carrying handle for easy portability.
•The lightest infant car seat available
• The carrying handle allows this seat to serve as a bassinet as well
• Infant insert is included and features a built in shade cover
•Will not grow with your child, limiting its versatility
• A relatively expensive infant seat priced for appearance
• Leather accents can get hot if exposed to direct sunlight
Britax’s second convertible is incredibly similar to the Advocate model, with just a slightly decreased degree of protection.
However, that should not be blown out of proportion as the Boulevard still features all of the primary safety features you would find on the Advocate. The only difference is that the Advocate offers an additional layer of side impact plastic.
Of course, that additional layer of side impact protection also adds to the Advocate’s overall profile size, making it bigger and less suited for smaller vehicles. As such, the Boulevard is probably a better option if you want the Advocate, but do not have a big car. Still, with all other things being the same, it is not difficult to see why the Boulevard is still one of the Best Car Seats for children.
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Convertible Car Seat, Circa features the SafeCell technology including a steel frame and absorbing base. The headrest likewise offers 14 different adjustable positions.
Of course, some of the difficulties with the Advocate are also problems with the Boulevard, like difficulty adjusting the shoulder straps.
•The anti-rebound bar can cut recoil from crashes by up to 40 percent
• SafeCell continues to be one of the best frame and base designs available
• Like the Advocate, the headrest positions are unchallenged in breadth
•While not quite as big as the Advocate, the Boulevard is still fairly large
• The shoulder strap design will give you fits if adjusted with the child in the seat
• Despite a slightly more svelte profile, installation is still a pain
Peg Perego makes another appearance in our Best Car Seats for children in the infant category.
While it is modestly less expensive than the previous entry, it is also absent a feature or two that seem odd considering the products are nearly identical otherwise.
The first big difference is the anti-recoil bar. It is not a bar, but more a footrest. Moreover, it does not extend nearly as far which will limit its effectiveness when the car seat is in the upright position. Another curious change is the carrying handle.
While both Peg Perego infant car seats feature a carrying handle, allowing the seat to serve double duty as a bassinet, this model’s handle is straighter, which will force a less comfortable carrying position and make the whole package feel heavier-even if they are the same weight.
Furthermore, while the previous Peg Perego infant seat could technically grow with your child up to 65 pounds, this Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat, Licorice model draws a line in the sand beyond infancy with a maximum weight capacity of 35 pounds–even lighter than some other infant car seats.
•The carrying handle could be better designed, but is a nice touch anyway
• The shell design features a clime cover to protect your infant from sunlight
• The fabric is exceptionally breathable, preventing sweating
•The headrest does not adjust well which limits its use for some infants
• The fabric feels a bit flimsy
• The legs and feet are not protected by fabric
The Graco is only the second product on our list to offer a car seat suitable for all stages of your child’s development, thus it can also be considered one of the best high-end car seats. Unfortunately, what it offers in versatility for your child is only limited by the restrictions of its size.
It’s comfortable for your child and convenient for you as it transitions and its Simply Safe Adjust Harness System and 10-position headrest lets you adjust the harness and headrest together, with no rethreading.
The Graco 4ever All-in-one Convertible Six-position Recline Car Seat is massive. Even among the other large car seats like the Britax Advocate, this dwarfs them.
The 6-position recline keeps your child comfortable, while the InRight LATCH system with one-second attachment makes installation easy. It’s the only seat that truly goes from baby to booster!
Not only is it tall, long, and wide, but it is also almost absurdly heavy too. Aside from the vehicle requirements this car seat will demand, all of this bulk makes installation a two-person project–and even then it is still a chore.
That said, the Graco is also one of the most highly rated car seats in regard to safety.
In fact, it has actually won numerous awards for safety due to its design and steel frame. If nothing else, that massive girth does provide an over-abundance of protection.
•One-hand, no re-thread, automatic height adjustments of the harness & headrest One-hand
•10-position adjustable headrest Integrated harness storage
• Compartment for unused harness straps when in belt-positioning mode
• Easy-to-read level indicator
• Washable removable seat cover
• 6-position recline in rear-facing
• Forward-facing modes Plush inserts for comfort SafeSeat Engineering
• Engineered & Crash Tested to meet or exceed US Safety Standards FMVSS 213
• One-second attachment with Graco’s exclusive InRight LATCH system Steel-reinforced frame EPS
• Energy absorbing foam
•One of the biggest car seat profile on our list
• Aside from being large, it is also incredibly heavy
• Even in an appropriately-sized vehicle, installation is difficult
The Britax Advocate makes another appearance on our list of Best Car Seats for children , but this time it is missing something: the anti-rebound bar. While this may not seem like a big deal, when you factor in the height and width of this Advocate, the absence of the anti-rebound bar actually makes it a worse value than the Boulevard.
Of course, how important that feature is will weigh heavily on your car’s dimensions. The Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Circa will fit the car’s length better than the other model, but is still wider than the Boulevard. As such, any benefits in size narrow it to a niche that does not justify the lost 40 percent recoil protection.
However, it still features a steel frame, 14 different headrest positions, and three layers of side impact protection.
Ultimately, this may be the best car seat for you if you really want the advocate but cannot accommodate its length in your vehicle.
Otherwise, get the Britax Boulevard ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar Convertible Car Seat, Circa with the anti-rebound bar instead.
•You cannot go wrong with a steel frame
• Like the other Advocate, the triple side protection is nice
• Britax’s 14 headrest positions still have not been superseded.
•A lack of an anti-rebound bar makes this a tougher sell
• Though length the is shorter, it is still a wide and tall seat
• The shoulder straps still require extensive adjustments to get right
In a sea of Britax car seats, Maxi-Cosi car seats, Peg Perego car seats, and Graco car seats, the Cybex PALLAS M-FIX makes our list as one of the Best Car Seats for children due to a unique feature that we would like to see on more designs in the future: a crossbar protective headrest. This interesting quality offers an additional layer of comfort and support, but it is not without its own kinks that would need to be worked out before it could satisfy all situations.
The main benefit of this cushion is the forward protection it offers in the event of a crash. Other than anti-rebound bars, forward protection is an often overlooked quality in car seats.
Of course, this cushion can also serve as a pillow in other instances, which is nice. The only potential downside of this design is that it can get hot since it covers the child’s lap and lower stomach.
Another limitation of the Cybex is its weight capacity. While the maximum weight capacity of almost 80 pounds is solid and better than most convertibles, its minimum weight capacity is less than 20 pounds.
This means the Cybex PALLAS M-FIX Manhattan Grey, mid grey is not suitable for infants but also too small for larger booster users.
•A reasonable profile allows this car seat to fit in a wide variety of vehicles
• The front cushion offers another layer of protection
• Higher maximum weight capacity than most front-facing seats
•Despite its size, it is not suitable for larger booster users
• The front cushion may make the child too hot
• Not remotely appropriate for infants
Making its first appearance, Recaro is actually an incredibly well-respected brand in the car seat market.
This RECARO ProRIDE Convertible Car SeatBlue , Opal is easily one of the and best high-end car seats.
Unfortunately, Recaro has gotten a little too cute with their attempts to innovate beyond the competition.
One of the big changes involves how the car seat is installed. With a different base design, the seat belt is not longer aligned straight and instead crosses at an angle.
Moreover, the center safety restraint starts at the very base of the seat’s bucket which can be difficult to close and uncomfortable for your child.
That being said, the RECARO ProRIDE Convertible Car Seat Blue still has a lot to offer. First, the seat uses cool mesh air ventilation, and a lock-off mechanism for maximum comfort. Moreover, the fabric is designed for maximum ventilation to prevent overheating, while the buckles use a twist-resistant Hero system to prevent them from tangling with your child.
•Full Body, Racing-Inspired Side Impact Protection designed to protect each of the 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact crash (head, face, neck, torso, pelvis)
•Racing-Inspired Safety Stripe System to alert parents that a twist could occur, or has begun, thus preventing a safety hazard
•EasyAdjust head rest with protective and comfortable PUR foam
•EasyAdjust no re-thread 5-point harness
•Rear-facing: 5 to 40 pounds, under 22.5 inches seated height; Forward-facing: 20- 65 pounds and under 49 inches
•As primarily a booster seat, this is not appropriate for infants
• A lack of steel reinforcements seems odd considering the other safety features
• While not long or wide, it is fairly tall and not ideal for compacts
As the most expensive item on our list of the Best Car Seats for children , the Maxi-Cosi is definitely intended to be a luxury item. While it checks off all of the boxes for safety that you would expect from a product, it is the Pria 70’s leather finish that makes a statement and gives this product a luxury quality that is unmatched.
Quite simply, no other car seat will speak with the same elegance as this one. Moreover, the Pria 70 also features a cup holder for when your child is old enough to drink for their self.
However, keep in mind that while this car seat does meet the minimum specification for some infants, it is designed more for children that are a bit older. Though, you can always purchase the “tiny fit” attachment which allows the Pria 70 to safely secure children as small as 4 pounds.
Another limitation with the Pria 70 is its maximum weight capacity of 70 pounds. This will often not be big enough for some children who require a booster seat. As such, the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat, Brown Leather should be seen as a car seat for children aged between 1 to roughly 4 years of age, depending on your child’s development.
•Looks incredibly elegant with a leather upholstered finish
• FlexTech construction with advanced air cushions is ideal for multi directional crashes
• The PerfectFit harness makes adjusting with one hand easy
•The leather upholstery can get hot if exposed to the sun
• Incredibly expensive meant as a statement for the parents
• A longer profile is not ideal for compact cars
This Britax may seem eerily similar to the other Pinnacle. That is because this is actually the earlier model of the Pinnacle Booster seat. Still, if you are looking for one of the best high-end car seats, but would like to save a few bucks, this is still an amazing product.
The Britax Pinnacle 90 Booster Car Seat, Manhattan offers plenty of safety with Britax’s SafeCell technology that features a steel frame and a broad base to prevent forward motion in the event of a crash.
Of course, like the other Pinnacle, this one comes with the same size limitation. Specifically, this is a big boost seat–especially in regards to height. As such, compact cars need not apply.
Still, the side impact protection is just as impressive as the forward impact, providing 3 layers of protection and deep walls. One thing to note is that both Pinnacles feature armrests.
While this may provide an added degree of comfort to your child, especially as they grow into adolescents, it will ultimately present a minor safety risk.
•Every Britax features SafeCell frames, and they are great everytime
• The side impact protection features three layers and deep walls
• The ClickTight installation is fairly easy for a booster this size
•The height requirements will push this out of some vehicle specifications
• The minimum weight capacity of 25 pounds is larger than most
• The shoulder straps must be adjusted before seating your child
While they perform admirably in regards to safety, Recaro seems to make their name in the category of comfort. While the previous Recaro was more of a Booster, this convertible is an easy choice in the Best Car Seats for children category on the market.
This RECARO Performance SPORT Combination Harness to Booster was included on this list because we felt it’s actually undervalued and bargain considering what it has to offer in terms of regular and safetety features it brings.
First, this Recaro features removable inserts and a minimum weight capacity of 5 pounds which allows it to be used for some infants. However, this car seat is definitely designed for toddlers and small adolescents. Still, this Recaro is not nearly as large as the booster and will more readily accommodate smaller vehicles.
Like the previous Recaro, the RECARO Performance SPORT Combination Harness to Booster uses Cloud Comfort Memory Foam and CoolMesh fabric to provide the most comfortable convertible available.
The RECARO Performance SPORT Combination Harness to Booster features Racing-Inspired Full-Body Side Impact Protection with metal reinforced side wings designed to protect each of the 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact crash: head, neck, face, torso and pelvis.
The side impact protection features EPS foam for energy absorption, while the headrest utilizes PUR foam to deliver a one-two punch with protection and comfort.
•Cloud Comfort Memory Foam
• Luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics & CoolMesh air ventilation keep your child cool, comfortable and happy
• Racing-Inspired Full-Body Side Impact Protection with metal reinforced side wings designed to protect each of the 5 vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact crash: head, neck, face, torso and pelvis
• Twist-resistant HERO harness technology ensures the highest level of protection and comfort
• (Forward-facing only) Harness Mode: 20-65 pounds and 27-49 inches; High Back Booster Mode: 30-120 pounds and 37-59 inches
•While easy to clean, the foam may mold if not maintained
• No steel reinforced frames or plates
• The cup holders are hard plastic presenting a minor safety risk
This Chicco tries to distinguish itself from the convertible with an easier installation. While it does succeed in this regard, the price increase is not justified by that single factor alone–especially when compared to similarly priced competitors.
Still, if you have fallen in love with the Chicco but want an easier installation process, this is probably the Best Car Seats for children dollar price for you.
Keep in mind, pretty much every adjustable feature on the earlier Chicco applies to this model as well. The chest clip, the headrest, the reclining options, all are included in this model too.
However, this model features the NextFit Zip installation, which makes installing and tightening the car seat much easier when compared to previous Chicco. This new installation also allows the Chicco Nextfit Zip, Notte to fit in a wider variety of vehicles, regardless the seat recline.
However, you will still have to adjust the seat’s recline before placing your child in the seat, or you will find making any adjustment exceedingly difficult.
•One of the easiest car seats to install, regardless the car
• Provides the same flexibility in regards to adjustable features as the other Chicco
• A thermal insulated cup holder keeps drinks hot or cold
•Some of the adjustable features must be determined before placing your child in the seat
• Though incredibly safe, steel reinforcements would be better
• The increase in cost may not be justified by simply easier installation
The Clek just squeaks its way into our list because it is one of the Best Car Seats available. However, that is pretty much all it can do. While many convertibles can allow larger infants or growing adolescents to make you and better boosters can serve as front-facing car seats, the Clek should be used as a booster seat exclusively.
Unfortunately, as a boost, the Clek has a narrow window with a paltry 50 pounds maximum weight capacity.
Keep in mind, the Clek may have a minimum weight capacity of only 4 pounds, but its headrest design does not offer the same degree of padding or stability that one generally wants for their infant.
The Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat – Thunder does offer some features as a front-facing car seat for larger toddlers, but it does not provide the wealth of safety features you would want for your child at that stage of development. This is not to suggest the Clek is less safe, simply it has a more defined niche than most of the other car seats on this list.
•The open design allows this convertible to better serve as a booster
• Incredibly secure base will not budge once installed
• Restraint settings stay in place to prevent frequent readjustments
•At 45 pounds, this one of the heaviest car seats on our list
• Not truly intended for use with infants due to headrest constraints
• The padding is not nearly as comfortable compared to competitors
Clek takes another spot on this list providing a similar product as the previous with a bit more focus on what it actually does well, though losing some of its potential versatility. Whereas the Foonf could serve somewhat as a front-facing car seat, the Oobr is explicitly a booster.
However, as a Booster, the Clek Oobr Booster Car Seat – Thunder offers a feature that is not common among the car seat market: a removable back. The ability to remove the back of the booster seat is ideal for children who have exceeded the minimum height and weight requirements but still require a booster for a little while longer.
This not only allows your child to be excited about their growth but can make transferring the booster from one vehicle to the next much easier. By removing the back, the booster’s profile is shrunk by almost 2’. Moreover, the weight of the booster is decreased in half from 20 pounds to 10.
•A solid maximum weight capacity of 100 pounds
• A removable back extends the life of this booster
• GreenGuard fabrics protect the seat from stains and other messes
•There are no safety restraints
• This cannot be used as front-facing car seat
• There is no steel reinforcements, though the foam is energy absorbing
Ultimately, this decision came down to convenience, versatility, and value. For what it is designed to do, the 4moms car seat is the future. However, what it is designed to do is fairly narrow and not user friendly.
First, this is an infant car seat. With a maximum carry capacity of 30 pounds, there is no debating this fact. In the infant car seat category, it is also one of the more expensive models-on par with the “special editions” of the other infant car seats. However, that cost is due to a feature most customers familiar with the 4moms brand expect: connectivity.
This 4moms Self-Installing Infant Car Seat black will sync with your smart device and allow you to make adjustments with the touch of a finger. No longer will you struggle with the straps or adjustments by hand. However, there is a fair amount of familiarizing oneself with the app, and regular user updates make this an occasionally inconvenient feature.
•Connects to your smart device
• Can adjust the seat’s recline positions and other features with the app
• Incredibly stable base will not budge
•As an infant car seat, versatility is limited
• The hefty price tag may not be worth the convenience
• Software updates can be a nightmare during time-crunched schedules
Out of the top Best Car Seats for children, we name the Diono Rainier All-In-One Convertible Car Seat as our best of the best.
In terms of safety, versatility, and value, it checks pretty much every box that any competitor will–and often many more that they do not.
One of the biggest advantages of the Diono Rainier is its full steel frame. Some car seats offer steel plates and some do not use steel at all. This attention to safety is not limited to simply the frame, however. The sides are reinforced with aluminum which provides an extra layer of protection without adding too much more weight.
However, the size of the Diono Rainier will be an issue. Though the width is surprisingly manageable, the weight is heavy and the height as tall as a full grown adult. This may limit some of the vehicles that can accommodate the seat, especially compact.
Of course, the height is a necessary feature as the Diono Rainier’s versatility is nearly unmatched. As one of the few car seats that can support your child from an infant to an adolescent, this should be the only child seat you would need to buy for the entire duration of its use.
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Conclusion: Best Car Seats for children
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