Easiest To Use: Uppababy Mesa
The UPPAbaby Mesa is an infant car carrier designed for quick and easy installation. Suitable for infants up to 35.0 pounds, the Mesa features an adjustable headrest and side-impact protection. The lining material is a soft wool blend.
About The Latch System
The lower anchors and tethers for children system is designed to help you fit your child’s car seat safely. Most infant car seats only use the lower anchors, which are located in the crease where the seat cushions meet these anchors should be found in almost all cars made from September 1, 2002 onward. You’ll find two lower anchors, and two lower anchor connectors on your infant car seat or base one on each side both of which must be clipped to the anchors.
While this is a basic explanation of how the LATCH system works, always consult the manual that comes with your infant car seat to learn exactly how to fit your chosen model.
If your car is compatible with the LATCH system, you don’t need to use the seatbelt to secure your baby’s car seat at all. However, it’s still possible to use a seatbelt instead of the LATCH system if you have an older vehicle that doesn’t have anchor points.
How We Rated The Best Car Seat And Stroller Travel Systems
4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best car seat and stroller travel systems we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.
4.5 to 4.7 stars: These best car seat and stroller travel systems are excellentthey might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.
4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great best car seat and stroller travel systems, but others are better.
3.5 to 3.9 stars: These best car seat and stroller travel systems are just average.
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Anatomy Of An Infant Car Seat
What exactly is an infant car seat, and how does it differ from other types of car seat?
The main characteristic of an infant car seat is that it’s rear-facing. In the event of a car accident, children under two are 75% less likely to be killed or injured in a rear-facing seat than in a forward-facing seat.
Most infant car seats have a base that’s anchored into your car, and the main body of the car seat simply clips into the base. This means two-car families just need a second base, rather than a second car seat.
Infant car seats have a carry handle, so you can get your babies in and out of the car without disturbing them a lifesaver if they’ve fallen asleep en route.
Avoid getting a used car seat as it could be a recalled product, could be damaged so its safety features dont work, and will certainly not have any company guarantee.
Be wary of toys. Toys can injure your child in a crash, so be extra careful to choose ones that are soft and will not hurt your child. Secure loose objects and toys to protect everyone in the car.
Your Child’s Age Weight And Height
Make a note of your child’s weight and height, as this will determine what seat youll need to buy. Record the weight in imperial and metric units people often use pounds and ounces, but car seats are approved for weight groups in kilograms. Noting down your child’s weight in both units will prevent mistakes when converting from one to another. Measure their height in centimetres.
If youre changing from one seat group to the next, weight isnt the only factor. Check the position of your child’s head in relation to the top of the seat. You should change from a rear-facing Group 0+ or i-Size baby seat when the crown of your child’s head is level with the top of the seat. A childs delicate head is exposed to more severe injuries in a crash if it pokes up above the top of the seat.
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Britax Boulevard Clicktight Arb
The Britax Boulevard ClickTight is the perfect seat for anyone concerned about installing a seat correctly , which is why we like this choice. This convertible seat earned perfect 10 of 10 scores for installation using both the LATCH system and the vehicle belt, making it a standout choice and a product we believe is almost foolproof. This seat is easy to use and offers impressive comfort and quality construction. We think most parents will love the look, feel, and features of this quality contender.
The ClickTight has a slightly above-average performance for crash test results, but this means it exceeded the Federal requirements. Given that poor installation often translates to more injuries, we think this seat’s top installation performance makes up for the just above average crash-test results to create a seat that is tough to beat.
Weight range: 40-100 lbsBooster weight: 16.1 lbs
The UPPAbaby Alta is a quality, high-backed booster with crash test results and comfortable features. We like the rigid LATCH connection that prevents a free-floating seat, and passengers like the belt retainers and adjustable height headrest. The Alta offers supportive padding, a slight recline, and a handy side cup holder. The cover is also machine washable, something every parent will appreciate.
Read review:UPPAbaby Alta
Read review:Clek Oobr
Our Pick Of The Best Car Seats For Newborns Through To Pre
When it comes to child safety, the stakes can feel high. Youll naturally want to buy the best car seat available for your little one but what that means very much depends on the specifics of your situation.
There are various factors you need to take into account. First, not all car seats fit all cars. Second, some seats come with special safety systems, such as the more universal click-in Isofix system. Seats that use these bases are safer, but not all cars support them.
Weve taken all of these different variables into account for our pick of the best car seats on the market. Ahead of that list, we’ve put together everything you need to know about UK car seat laws, as well as other factors such as price and installation, in our handy buyer’s guide.
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Best Car Seats At A Glance
Our choice of the best car seat is theCybex Cloud Z iSize. It reclines flat outside of the car which means your baby can stay in the optimal, lie-flat position when you attach this car seat to a compatible pushchair frame. This is a brilliant feature for effortlessly moving your baby from the pushchair to the car and back again because you dont need to worry about your baby being scrunched up in a car seat for too long.
That alone makes us love it the lie-flat option is a real standout feature. Its ideal if you have older children and will be nipping in and out of the car frequently to take them to school or nursery. But the base also rotates for easy access to your child, making trips out of the house virtually hassle-free.
Overall, this seat impressed us in terms of both form and function. It has practical design features that truly make a parents life easier, all wrapped up in a seriously stylish package.
Best car seat overall: Cybex Cloud Z iSize John Lewis | £239Best premium car seat: Be Safe iZi Twist B-E iSize Uber Kids | £399Best budget car seat: Cosatto All In All Rotate Cosatto | £259.95Uppababy Mesa iSize Infant Car Seat Mamas & Papas |£199.99Graco Enhance Group 0+/1/2 Car Seat Very | £89.99
How Long Can A Baby Stay In A Car Seat
i-Size baby, Group 0 and 0+ car seats are designed to keep your little one safe in the car, not as somewhere for them to sleep for long periods of time.
They position your baby in a semi-supine position to provide good support for your baby’s head and neck, but it can affect their breathing if they are seated in it for too long.
If your baby is less than a few months old, try not to let them spend longer than 20 or 30 minutes in their car seat without a break. Thats not only when your baby is in a car, but also if the car seat is attached to a travel system pushchair.
Once your baby is over six months old, this can be extended to two hours. Do not keep your baby in their car seat for longer than two hours at a time and try to have regular 10 or 15-minute breaks if youre going on a long road trip.
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Dangers Of Secondhand Car Seats
Second-hand car seats will have wear and tear that could affect the safety protection for your child. The harness, for example, could have been cleaned with harsh chemicals that can make the fabric deteriorate, or the seat could have been involved in a crash and weakened. These are things you can’t tell just by looking at the seat, and it’s not worth the risk.
Older seats may not comply with the latest safety regulations, or have gone through updated safety tests, or might be missing the instruction booklet that tells you how to install and adjust the seat safely.
Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster
Why pick this one? This seat converts from a five-point harness, high-back seat to a booster seat that uses your vehicle seat belt. The five-point harness is adjustable from the front of the seat so itâs easier to get your child in and out of the seat. The LATCH system makes for easy installation.
Keep in mind that the harness straps have to be manually re-threaded each time you need to adjust them to fit your growing child.
Highlights: This seat has four shoulder harness positions and two crotch strap positions. The head pillow and seat cushion are removable and machine washable.
Price*: about $64.99 on
Pampers Parents pros and cons:
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Opt For One With Installation Diagrams As Well As Text
You’re not finished once you walk out of the store. Make use of all the instructions you can those in the instruction booklet , and the diagrams on the seat itself to have the best possible chance of installing the seat correctly.
Although all companies continue to simplify the installation process videos on YouTube supplement some instruction books it’s still recommended that, after you install the car seat, you have your work checked by a professional. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes it easy for you to find an inspector near you: Just enter your location here at NHTSA to search.
The easiest way to ensure correct installation though? Have a Child Passenger Safety technician in your area do it for you. CPS technicians can be found at police stations, fire stations, hospitals, your local AAA, and more.
Things To Consider When Buying The Best Car Seat
All babies need a rear-facing seat, to begin with. These are Group 0+ seats and theyre typically suitable from birth until your baby is around 12-15 months. Some car seats are designed to keep for use beyond this point and keep your child sitting in the rear-facing position right up to around four years old. In general, these are the best car seats to buy because research shows that a rear-facing car seat is safest, giving better protection for your child than a forward-facing seat in the event of a collision.
Weve also included i-Size seats in this buying guide, such as the Cybex Cloud Z iSize car seat. This means the seat meets or exceeds R129, which is the latest European car seat safety regulation. iSize seats offer extra protection to prevent head and neck injuries and are designed to keep babies in a rear-facing position.
If you buy an iSize seat, you must focus on your childs height rather than weight. They are compatible with Isofix, which is the fitting system for child car seats. Most modern cars have Isofix anchor points which make installing a car seat easier, but check your vehicle before you buy a car seat.
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Infant Car Seat Buyers Guide
Every car seat sold in the U.S. must meet federal safety standards. However, its still possible to buy untested car seats online. The best way to determine if a seat meets federal standards is to look for labels that clearly indicate a seat has been properly tested. Dont buy an infant car seat if youre unsure if it meets these standards.
Best Infant Car Seats: Find Your Baby Seat
Discover the top 7 best infant car seats of 2021 to help you and your baby travel safely and comfortably. We tested each model with our kids for several months to give you a real-life review of the best seats available today and help you find the one thats right for you.
We focus on infant car seats in our ranking as these are our favorite models. They are specially designed for newborns and infants until about 18 months old. They are all rear-facing car seats, which is the safest position.
You might also want to take a look at convertible car seats if you want a seat that will grow with your child but you should first read why we think infant car seats are better for young children.
There are no bad options in our top 7 and they all meet the safety regulations to protect your baby in the car.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is overall the best infant car seat of 2021 because of its excellent safety score, easiness to install and value for money. But the UPPAbaby MESA is a better choice if you have the budget because of its natural fabric thats light and breathable without using nasty chemicals as flame retardants.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how we tested each seat and what you should pay attention to when choosing your infant car seat.Without further ado, heres our list of the 7 best infant car seats of 2021.
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Best Car Seats For Toddlers
The car seats above are generally recommended for children between 20.0 and 100.0 pounds and under 60.0 inches tall. Each seat meets federal crash test safety standards and performed well in our in-person testing process. While the best seat will depend on your needs and budget, these are an excellent place to begin searching for the right toddler car seat for your little one.