When it comes to car seats, they are the only baby product designed to save your child’s life. Think of them like an insurance policy—one that you hopefully never have to cash in. To me, baby car seats are the most important piece of baby gear you will own, so this is where you want to invest.
There are certain safety features to look for when choosing the best infant car seat for you and your family. For safety, an Anti-Rebound Bar (or ARB), acts to eliminate rebound in a collision, or Load Leg, which acts to eliminate rotation in a collision. By having either an ARB or Load Leg, you’ll help absorb crash forces and keep the child contained and stabilized within the shell of the seat.
The best infant car seats are also incredibly convenient. A built-in lock-off allows parents to install a car seat securely and easily with a seat belt if you’re NOT using LATCH (do not use both combined). They can also be snapped on an approved stroller when you’re on the go—just be aware that infants should not be left in a car seat longer than three hours at a time.
The five seats below are my top picks for the best infant car seats of 2019. They are compatible with a multitude of strollers and allow for a baseless install, so you won’t have to worry about hauling your car seat base around when you travel. These also have a European Belt Path, which means the shoulder belt can go around the back of the car seat for a very secure and consistent installation without the base—and helps to eliminate rotation in a collision.
Nuna PIPA™ Lightweight Infant Car Seat
- Five-point harness
- Side Impact Protection
- Crumple zone within the stability leg absorbs impact and minimizes force to baby
- Steel-reinforced base with True lock™ installation set up
- All-season, UPF 50+ canopy with flip out eyeshade and extendable Dream drape™
Clek Liing Lightweight Infant Car Seat
- Metal load leg provides anti-rotation and energy absorption features and reduces crash forces by more than 40%
- Up to seven recline positions to ensure the perfect angle every time, regardless of how flat or sloped the vehicle seat is
- Lightweight carrier with SPF100+ canopy and 1-handed quick-release
- Compact design that provides more legroom for the front seat passenger
Cybex Cloud Q Plus Lightweight Infant Car Seat
- 11-position height adjustable headrest that automatically positions the no-rethread harness for maximum safety
- Adjustable load leg
- Telescopic Linear Side-impact Protection system
- Reclining backrest with ergonomic full recline position when used outside the car
BRITAX® Endeavours Lightweight Infant Car Seat
- No-rethread harness adjustability
- Steel anti-rebound bar reduces rebound rotation by up to 30%
- SafeCell Impact Protection includes a steel frame for strength and a base that compresses to absorb energy during a collision
- Extra layer of Side Impact Protection
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Nido Lightweight Infant Car Seat
- Five-point adjustable harness with elastic straps
- Load leg base and extendable pagoda hood for full coverage
- Dual Stage Cushion System: two cushions properly position baby's head and shoulders within the protected side wings
- Shell lined with perforated, energy-absorbing EPS foam
- Side Impact Protection adjustable to 6 different positions with no re-threading required
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