Finding the right infant car seat for your family is often hard to do. There are so many options out on the market, and so many price points and features available.

Having owned a baby store for over 7 years, being a Child Passenger Safety Tech and a practicing pediatric chiropractor has helped me narrow down a list of TOP 7 BEST INFANT CAR SEATS FOR 2021 to help you on your journey to finding the right seat for your child. I take your child’s safety very seriously and put a lot of thought and research into my top choices. But first things first,…..

A Quick Re-Cap on the Different Types of Car Seats

There are several different types of car seats available and they all serve a unique purpose. Most families start with an infant car seat, then transition to a convertible car seat, then a 5-point combination harness-to-booster, and finally a belt-positioning booster seat. For a full comparison between all the types of seats, see our link below at the end of this article:

What to consider when buying an infant car seat?

There are so many seats to choose from and it can be very overwhelming to narrow down a list of potentials. The list below gives you things to look for, and I recommend prioritizing some over others. That way, your list of seats automatically becomes more streamlined. If safety is the #1 priority or if you want something that is innovative or the lightest on the market, your options drastically reduce. Mind you, we’ve done all this research for you, and based on our “things to look for in a car seat”, we’ve chosen our TOP BABY LOGIC CAR SEAT PICKS OF 2021 for you. Keep reading!

  • SIZE OF THE VEHICLE: This is a huge factor and weighs heavily on your decision making. If you require 2-3 car seats to fit across on a bench seat, you can easily (and quickly eliminate) many car seat styles. If you only require 1 car seat, or you have a large vehicle like a minivan, SUV or truck, more options will be available to you.
  • SAFETY FEATURES: All car seats manufactured these days need to pass multiple safety tests before they hit the market. What sets many seats apart though, is what features are offered. Does the seat offer additional side impact protection? Is there an infant positioner/insert to ensure even the tiniest newborns fit properly? Is there an anti-rebound bar on the base or a stability leg? Are there additional safety features built into the frame of the actual seat and/or base such as SafeCell™️ technology or metal reinforcements? The safety of the seat was very important to me and weighed heavily in my decision making.
  • PRICE: Car seats can range drastically in price from around $59 up to around $500. Lower prices normally mean more basic and the higher price tag car seats will have all the bells and whistles.
  • CONVENIENCE FACTORS: Here is where all the “bells and whistles” come in to make your life with your infant seat a little bit easier and more user friendly. Does the seat feature an ergonomic handle? Does it have padding on the chest straps? Does it have a no-rethread harness system (BIG plus for me)?
  • WEIGHT AND HEIGHT LIMITATIONS: You can determine how long you’ll be able to use your infant car seat based on the height and weight limitations of your seat. Some seats will be suitable for children 5-22 lbs and up to 30″ in height, while others can be used from 4-35 lbs and up to 35″ in height. If you plan on using your infant car seat as long as possible, I’d advise choosing a seat that has the highest height and weight compatibility to really get the most out of your purchase.
  • EASE OF INSTALLATION: The more you install your car seat, the easier it gets…..However, some seats come equipped with extra ease of use factors to make installing your seat an absolute breeze. Things like level indicators, tightness indicators and self-retracting LATCH connectors.
  • FABRIC/QUALITY: There are many fabrics to choose from that can include jersey, polyester, wool or other synthetics. If you have a sensitivity, or want to love what you’re feeling, this may matter to you. Also, the construction of the seats and materials used can vary. Will your seat be made of thin plastic that just meets the safety standards, or do you want a seat made of high quality materials that exceeds all safety collision testing? This does play a factor in your decision making process.
  • NEW VS. USED: I always recommend buying a new car seat for many reasons. Previous crash history, expiration dates, recalls, etc all play a hHUGE factor in the safety of your seat. If you want to learn more about why I prefer new vs. used, check out our blog below:

BABY LOGIC TOP 7 BEST INFANT CAR SEATS OF 2021

  1. SAFEST: Britax B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit+ Infant Car Seat
  2. MOST AFFORDABLE: Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Infant Car Seat
  3. LIGHTEST: Nuna Pipa Lite R Infant Car Seat
  4. FAMILY FAVORITE: Chicco Keyfit35 Infant Car Set
  5. EASIEST TO INSTALL: Uppbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat
  6. MOST INNOVATIVE: Maxi Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat (Honorable Mention: Doona Infant Car Seat/Stroller combo)
  7. BEST FOR SMALL CARS: Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant car seat

SAFEST INFANT CAR SEAT:

Britax B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit+ Infant Car Seat

This is one of my all-time favorite seats. The Britax B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit+ infant car seat wins our TOP PICK for safest infant car seat because year after year, they top the consumer reports for both safety features and ease of use. They are jam packed with safety add-ons, exceed all safety and ease of use testing AND are at mid-range regarding price point. This is what we love about the B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit+:

  • Suitable for children 4 – 35lbs and up to 32″ in height
  • Features anti-rebound bar on base for additional support during a collision
  • Safecell Technology throughout seat (acts as crumple zone)
  • Steel-reinforced frame in base
  • European belt guide
  • Machine washable fabric
  • No-rethread harness
  • Large canopy with UPF 50+
  • Compatible with a variety of car seat brands (adapters sold separately)
  • Makes an easy travel system with Britax strollers using Click + Go technology (no additional adapters needed)
  • 2 layers of side impact protection on headrest
  • Expires in 6 years
  • Easy to install with exclusive SafeCenter LATCH

MOST AFFORDABLE INFANT CAR SEAT:

Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Infant Car Seat

The Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 infant car seat wins our TOP PICK for most affordable. While it isn’t the cheapest car seat available, it hits on many of our “wants” in a seat, at an affordable price. Why do we love this seat?

  • Suitable for infants from 4-35 lbs and up to 32″ tall
  • Removable newborn head and body support
  • Storage for LATCH connectors and manual when not in use
  • Front-adjust harness
  • Rotating canopy
  • Energy absorbing foam to minimize forces during impact
  • Meet or exceeds all safety crash testing
  • Side impact tested
  • “Snuglock Technology” on base installs in less than 1 minute
  • Adjustable base with 4 positions
  • Travel system compatible

LIGHTEST INFANT CAR SEAT:

Nuna Pipa Lite R Infant Car Seat

If you’ve been looking for the lightest seat on the market right now, the Nuna Pipa Lite R infant car seat is the seat for you! This is our TOP PICK for lightest seat and it has much more going for it than just being easy on your back! It’s made of super premium materials – aerospace aluminum and Aeroflex™ foam – which not only provide ultimate safety and protection but it allows the Pipa Lite R to weigh in at ONLY 5.3lbs!!!! The materials are also free of fire retardant additives. The base installs like a dream and features on-the-go recline. What else do we love about the Nuna Pipa Lite R?

  • Full coverage canopy is removable, has a flip out eyeshade and UPF 50+
  • Travel system compatible
  • Suitable for children 4-32 lbs and up to 32″ tall
  • 4 position on-the-go recline
  • Made of aerospace aluminum and Aeroflex™ foam making it ONLY 5.3lbs
  • Free of fire retarding additives
  • Bubble-free base with on-the-go recline
  • RLX base with 3-position adjustable load leg
  • Integrated harness holders
  • 4-position adjustable rigid latch to reduce gaps during install
  • 5-second true lock installation
  • Anti rebound panel
  • Removable headrest with memory foam
  • No-rethread harness
  • Indicators turn green when base is installed correctly
  • So many more things to ❤️

FAMILY FAVORITE INFANT CAR SEAT:

Chicco Keyfit35 Infant Car Seat

  • Suitable for children 4-35lbs and up to 32″ tall
  • More legroom
  • No-rethread harness with additional headrest space
  • Integrated anti-rebound bar for added stability
  • Easy instal with SuperCinch LATCH system
  • Large canopy with UPS 50+
  • Easily connect to Chicco strollers to transform into a travel system
  • Removable head and body positioner for newborns from 4 – 11lbs
  • LockSure®️ steel reinforced belt system
  • European belt path for base-less installation

EASIEST INFANT CAR SEAT TO INSTALL:

Uppbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat

The Uppababy Mesa infant car seat wins our TOP PICK for easiest installation. It is one of the only car seats that uses a tightness indicator and self-retracting LATCH connectors. This allows for quick, easy and accurate installation of your infant car seat base. The indicator changes to green so you know it’s installed correctly, giving you peace of mind. This is one of the reasons the Mesa has a 5 star rating with NHSTA. Other reasons why we love this seat:

  • Auto-retracting LATCH connectors
  • Low profile base with level indicators
  • Adjustable base ensures perfect fit in vehicle
  • Side impact protection in the headrest, minimizing exterior forces during a collision
  • Base with built-in lockoffs
  • No-rethread harness
  • Hideaway canopy with UPF 25+
  • Both Jordan and Henry are FREE of fire retardant chemicals
  • Infant insert optimizes safe travel for premies
  • Suitable for children 4-35lbs and up to 32″ tall
  • Travel system ready

MOST INNOVATIVE INFANT CAR SEAT:

Maxi Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat

The Maxi Cosi Coral XP infant car seat is a super cool seat! It’s innovative and nothing like anything we’ve seen on the market. Its unique 3-part nesting system allows for the inner part of the car seat – the lightweight carrier – to be removed from the outer carrier to significantly lighten the load while out and about. The inner carrier weighs in at ONLY 5lbs and features a one-of-a-kind cross-body strap to allow you to carry this seat like no other seat! For any parent that have ever toted their little one around in an infant car seat, you know how heavy and bulky they are. This is a GAME-CHANGER! Other features of this seat include:

  • Innovative cross-body strap
  • Inner carrier weighs ONLY 5lbs
  • Travel system compatible
  • Exceeds all safety standards
  • 4-ways to carry it (Cross-body carry, Handle carry, Standard carry and Stroller push)
  • Suitable for children 4-22lbs and up to 30″ tall
  • Base features a stability leg to prevent rotation during a crash

BEST FOR SMALL CARS:

Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant car seat

The Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat is one of the narrowest infant car seats on the market now, making it our TOP PICK for small cars. It measures in at only 17″ wide and is also loaded with safety features, which is why we love this seat so much. This seat can easily fit in most vehicles and can fit side by side with other car seats or passengers. Other features of the Keyfit 30 include:

  • Suitable for children 4-30 lbs and up to 30″ tall
  • ReclineSure®️ leveling foot on base
  • ONLY 17″ wide
  • RideRight®️ bubble level indicators
  • SuperCinch®️ latch tightener
  • Travel system compatible
  • Newborn positioner
  • One pull harness
  • Adjustable, removable canopy
  • Energy absorbing foam for impact protection
  • Machine washable

WANT MORE?:


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