What’s the deal with all the seats?
Have you ever wondered why there are so many brands and types of rear facing infant car seats? Have you been feeling super overwhelmed when trying to decide which brand/model is best for your family? Should you buy a Graco or Britax or Nuna or Maxi Cosi or……? We put together an easy to navigate chart to help you compare the best seats (according to Baby Logic) from each brand side by side using a variety of safety and convenience features. Our hope is that you can you use this chart to decide which features are most important to you, and choose your rear facing infant seat appropriately.
Let’s get down to business!
WHAT’S THE SAME?
Before we show you how all these seats vary, let’s point out a few features that are present across the board.
- Belt Lock-Offs: Lock offs are additional features on the base that help secure your LATCH or seat belt to the base. It ensures a tighter install, leading to a safer seat for your child. All the seats below will have some lock-off capability.
- Installation without Base: All seats before can be installed in a vehicle without using a base. It is highly recommended to always install your seat using a base but certain situations like riding in a taxi or ride-share are easier without a base.
- Ergonomic Handle: All seats will feature an ergonomic carry handle to help lessen the burden while carrying your child.
- Click + Go compatible: All seats below are compatible with the stroller line OF THE SAME BRAND AS THE SEAT, and will create a travel system with no additional adapters required. If you want to use a seat that is a different brand than your stroller, you need to make sure there is a compatible adapter for your combination.
- Energy Absorbing/Adjustable Base: All seats will have a base that will reduce the impact to your child during a collision, but the technology will vary. The Baby Trend seat features a higher density plastic to defer forces while the Britax seat has SafeCell™️ Technology (type of honeycomb plastic) to reduce impact. Others, like Nuna utilize a load leg to minimize the impact of a collision. All bases will also be adjustable so that you can make sure the installation angle is spot on for the best install.
- Certified for Aircraft Use: All rear facing infant seats discussed below are certified for aircraft use. See you manual for how to properly install your specific seat during your flight.
To keep things simpler, we created a chart with the most important features that mattered to us, to do a side by side comparison. There may be other differences between the seats, like some may feature a boot, but we focused on safety features, installation tools and innovative technology.
|BRITAX GEN2 FLEXFIT+||DOONA||MAXI COSI CORAL XP||NUNA PIPA RX||UPPABABY MESA||CYBEX CLOUD Q||EVENFLO LITEMAX DLX||CHICCO FIT2 AIR||BABY JOGGER CITY GO AIR||BABYTREND SECURE SNAP TECH 35||GRACO SNUGRIDE SNUGFIT35 ELITE|
|LATCH TYPE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||SEMI RIGID||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE||FLEXIBLE|
|EASY TO REMOVE COVER||*||*||*||*|
|EUROPEAN BELT PATH||*||*||*||*||*||*||*|
|EXTENDED REAR FACING||*|
|REMOVABLE INFANT PILLOW||< 11lbs||< 3mts||< 8lbs||*||4 – 8 lbs||*||*||4 – 11 lbs||< 6lbs||< 8lbs + small infant insert||< 12lbs|
|LAYERS OF SIDE IMPACT PROTECTION||2||2||2||2||2||Linear SIP||1||2||2||1||2|
|CARRIER WEIGHT (WITHOUT BASE)||11.6lbs||16.5lbs||12.3lbs/5.4lbs inner carrier||7.6lbs||9.9lbs||13.9lbs||7.8lbs||11lbs||8lbs||7.8lbs||10lbs|
|TRANSFORMS TO STROLLER||*|
|REMOVABLE INNER CARRIER||*|
|CROSS BODY STRAP||*|
|EXPIRATION (YEARS)||7 years||6 years||8 years||7 years||7 years||6 years||10 years||6 years||7 years||6 years||7 years|
|FIRE RESISTANT OPTIONS||Merino Wool|
|LEVEL INDICATOR TYPE||Bubble||Bubble||Colors||Numbers||Numbers||Hidden||Pendulum||Bubble||Bubble||Colors||Bubble|
A few explanations:
Some terminology or features above might be new to you so here’s a quick breakdown of some of the terms:
- European Belt Path: This is a method of installing your infant car seat without its base. You begin by feeding your vehicle’s lap belt across the child’s lap area (there’s usually guides for this on your seat, then, you feed the shoulder belt across the back of your infant seat through the designated lock offs. This install method minimizes stress and crash forces on your baby’s head and neck in the event of a collision.
- Latch Type: LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren. Lower anchors help you attach your car seat to your vehicle seat INSTEAD of using the vehicle seatbelt. Tethers secure the top of your seat/booster to the vehicle and are used IN ADDITION to lower anchors or the vehicle seat belt. The LATCH system allows you to get a tighter install on your seat, keeping your child safer while riding. There are 2 main types of LATCH: Rigid and Flexible. Rigid LATCH has metal to metal attachments with no straps. They are hard bars that attach to the lower anchors in your vehicle. Flexible LATCH can also be of two types (Push and Hook) but feature a strap that you pull on to tighten the installation. All the car seats we discussed above will feature a push type LATCH (not the Hook version).
- No-Rethread Harness: This just means that you can adjust the height of the shoulder harness and headrest in your car seat with the push/pull of a button, without having to detach the harness straps from the seat. This is SUPER convenient!
- Load Leg: A load leg is an added feature to some infant car seat bases where a support will extend from your base to the floor of your vehicle for added security during a crash.
- Removable Inner Carrier/Cross Body Strap/Modular Base: This is unique to the Maxi Cosi Coral XP seat. It features a soft inner carrier than can be removed from the outer shell while out and about to reduce the overall weight of the infant seat. The cross body strap allows you to carry the seat in a more ergonomic way.
- Canopy Drape: This is a nice added feature. It’s an extension of the canopy that pulls out and secures near your baby’s feet to keep them shaded and give them added privacy while out.
- SensorSafe®️: This safety system is unique to Cybex and gives parents additional peace of mind when in the car with their children. The safety kit connects to your smartphone and will provide with you essential alerts that help you avoid critical situations including: your child unbuckling the clip, if the temperature increased and may pose a risk of heatstroke – especially is child is left in the car, and if your child is seated for too long.
- Extended Rear Facing: This neat feature of the Chicco Fit2 has a 2-stage base which allows for extended leg room so your child car rear face longer. In the toddler position, your child can ride until 35″ and 35lbs. (Most infant car seats are compatible up to 32″.)
Let’s wrap it up!
Phew!! That’s a TON of info! But, it should give you a great basis for comparing the elite seats from each brand so that when you invest in your seat, you invest in what matters to you and your family. Never hesitate to reach out with questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to know which seats we’d choose? Keep reading!