20 Safe Car Seats for Parents to Take Their Newborns Home In

Mandy Velez | May 23, 2019 Baby
20 Safe Car Seats for Parents to Take Their Newborns Home In
Image: Augi - Pannathorn Narksook/Wild Sky Media

carseats
Augi - Pannathorn Narksook/Wild Sky Media

Unintentional injury is the most common cause of child death in the US and car accidents are included in that. It's no surprise that proper car seat safety and having an appropriate car seat -- and installing it correctly is a hot button issue in the parenting world. It can be scary for parents to see children not buckled up, or buckled into their car seats incorrectly. 

Moms educate each other and share their own stories and shortcomings in the hopes of helping others prevent injuries that could have been otherwise avoided. And there's plenty more information to pass along: Almost 95 percent of families make at least one mistake when installing a car seat. What's worse is that 86 percent of parents position their infant in the seat incorrectly. As we've written before, that's dangerous for baby even if an accident doesn't occur. Think head or neck injuries. Yikes.

The good news is that parents have the power to keep their kids as safe as possible. And the first step to ensuring their infant's safety in their new world is to get them a car seat that will ensure their safety while traveling. It's one of the first purchases or registry items moms will need unless they don't plan on leaving the house (or hospital.) For that reason, research on the seat that will work best is necessary. And after doing some initial research, there's plenty of suitable seats out there. It's almost as intense as the features in a new car (the name of each sure sound like new cars!) 

The goal is to look for impact protection, whether it's in the form of shell protection, an extra leg for support or strap guidance. Many seat straps can be tricky, so the easier it is to install, the more likely proper installation will happen. Practice makes perfect, but purchasing a car seat that makes this part simple helps. 

The car seats below are considered among the safest available, as compiled by Consumer Reports, parent ratings, and other top parenting outlets. We haven't heard of taking car seats for a test run, but checking ratings and reviews is the next best thing. Check out of picks below. 

Psst: If purchasing an item on this list, CafeMom may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

  • Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat Featuring RapidRemove

    1

    The Graco Extend2Fit car seat is great for safety in that it extends the time a child can sit rear-facing longer with a leg extension panel. Latches can be attached in one second and it includes a "Simply Safe Adjust" that can adjust as a child grows.

    Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat ($129, Walmart)

  • Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat

    2

    The Mico Max 30 infant cat seat is great for parents on-the-go who value both safety and efficiency. It has a one-click LATCH system and "allows babies to stay in the safer, reversible seat position until they reach 30 pounds."

    Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat ($250, Babylist)

  • Graco Reg SnugRide 35

    3

    The Grace Reg SnugRide is a rear-facing-only seat that has been crash tested from multiple angles, including side and front impact. The seat features a five-point harness and comes with an adjustable base that has four recline positions.

    Graco Reg SnugRide 35 ($160, Buy Buy Baby)

  • PIPA Infant Car Seat

    4

    The PIPA car seat takes safety to the next level with a "True Lock system" that features color-coded indicators. According to the product listing, "green means installation is complete; red tells you there’s more to do." It also includes a stability leg that secures the seat against the car floor to help absorb the force of a collision. 

    PIPA Infant Car Seat ($300, Babylist)

  • Cybex Aton Q Plus Infant Car Seat 2015 Hot & Spicy

    5

    The Aton Q infant car seat comes with a height-adjustable headrest that ensures both safety and comfort. It also has an adjustment for baby to lie in the flattest position possible, which "reduces the risk of breathing difficulties for premature babies and very small newborns."

    Cybex Aton Q Plus  ($140, Albee Baby)

  • Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat

    6

    The Evenflo car seat is unique in safety in that it has a adjustable support leg to protect baby in the event of a crash and helps reduce crash impact up to 50%. The harness straps don't require removal for the baby's growth, either.

    Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat ($170, Amazon)

  • Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat

    7

    Steel frame, meet the Britax B-Safe infant car seat. That isn't the only safety feature, either: It has two layers of side-impact protection and has built-in seat belt lock-offs.

    Britax B-Safe Ultra Infant Car Seat ($240, Amazon)

  • Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat

    8

    The Chicco Fit2 is highly praised on car seat safety lists. It comes with a two-stage base that grows with the baby from the infant to toddler phase and a "Super Cinch LATCH."

    Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat ($280, Amazon)

  • UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

    9

    The UPPAbaby MESA car seat has integrated side impact protection and an adjustable no-rethread headrest. It also features storage pockets for harness buckles.

    UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat ($300, Amazon)

  • Peg Perego Primo Viaggo Infant Car Seat

    10

    The Peg Perego Primo Viaggo Infant Car Seat is super popular among parents of newborns and for good reason. The seat comes with a base and an integrated anti-rebound bar. The cushion system protects baby's neck and bottom and it features a seat design that has color-coded belt paths for correct strapping in.

    Peg Perego Primo ($300, Amazon)

  • Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat

    11

    Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat boats "five layers of safety," which include a deep seat structure, side protection, and "racecar foam" to absorb crash impact energy. The base adjusts to fit the car its in.

    Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat ($170, Amazon)

  • Doona Car Seat & Stroller

    12

    The Doona is a high-end stroller, but it does convert from car-use to stroller use. The brand claims, "It is the world’s first infant car seat with a complete and fully integrated travel system, allowing you to move from car seat to stroller in seconds." Great for parents who rely on Ubers or other ride-shares. It has anti-rebound protection, side protection, and its aircraft travel approved. 

    Doona ($499, Shop Doona)

  • Cybex Cloud Q

    13

    The Cybex Cloud Q has an award under its belt for safety (in 2015) as the only car seat in the test group to achieve "Very good" in the safety category. It comes in an "energy-absorbing" shell shape and features an ergonomic lie-flat position for infant comfort. Made specifically for infants from newborn up to 18 months. 

    Cybex Cloud Q (from $399, Cybex)

  • Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

    14

    The Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is touted as "#1-rated infant car seat in America." It comes with removable infant head and body support as well as a five-point harness with one pull tightener. It's also compatible with strollers.  

    Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat ($200, Target)

  • Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

    15

    The Boulevard ClickTight Convertible car seat comes with two layers of side protection along with easy and quick installation. Per Boulevard, as easy as "buckling a seatbelt." Harness safety is ensured with a Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator.

    Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat ($330, Britax)

  • Graco SnugRide SnugLock 

    16

    Another version of Graco's SnugRide line, the Snuglock version comes with technology that allows for secure buckle-in with either LATCH or a seat belt. It also comes with Click Connect technology for easy, one-step buckle-in. 

    Graco SnugRide SnugLock ($230, Buy Buy Baby)

  • Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus

    17

    The Maxi-Cosi Plus seat features patented "Air Protect" technology that helps with side-impact protect protection for baby. It also extends down each side of the seat for extra support. 

    Maxi-Cosi Plus ($300, Amazon)

  • CYBEX Aton 2 Car Seat

    18

    The Cybex Aton 2 features secure European belt routing that is just as safe with or without the base. It has an energy-absorbing shell but is lightweight as well. But wait, there's more: "The lightweight carrier includes a 3-position handle that accommodates carrying, riding, resting, and storage when needed."

    CYBEX Aton 2 Car Seat ($200, Amazon)

  • Britax Marathon Clicktight Convertible Seat

    19

    There's no rethreading harnesses necessary with the Britax Marathon car seat. It comes with a whopping 14-position harness, and "2-position buckle for a comfortable fit." On addition to side protection, the base is also impact-absorbing. 

    Britax Marathon Clicktight ($280, Amazon)

  • Platinum SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat 

    20

    The Platinum SafeMax car seat does appear to do it all. It serves babies from birth to booster mode and touts itself as the first rollover-tested car seat. It also features three layers of energy-absorbing foam on the layer protecting the baby's head. 

    Platinum SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat ($280, Evenflo)

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