The best car seats you can buy for your baby, toddler, or kid
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- Car seats are one of the most critical pieces of gear parents with young kids need, but they're also one of the most overwhelming items to buy.
- We've cut through the myriad options to find the best ones for kids of all ages.
- Among our picks are the Chicco KeyFit 30, the Chicco NextFit Zip, the Britax Frontier ClickTight, and the Graco Affix, which are seats that are all safe, comfy, and easy to install.
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All car seats sold in the US have to meet the same federal safety standards, but that's where the similarities end. Some are better than others for taller kids, some are more comfortable for long-haul trips, and some are much easier to install. It's crucial to have the right car seat because a poorly installed seat can compromise your child's safety. Add all that to the fact that many car seats are expensive, and choosing the right one can feel impossible.
Few baby and kid products are subject to as much scrutiny as car seats, so we had plenty of expert tests and reviews to look at while making our picks. Of course, it's also important to consider real-world use from parents who aren't lab testers or child passenger safety technicians. That includes my own experiences - I've been through six car seats and counting between two children.
All of that feedback led to our picks: an ultra-easy-to-install infant seat, a similarly easy-to-use convertible for older toddlers and preschoolers, a harness-to-booster that can keep kids safe before they're completely ready for a booster, and a versatile booster that might be the last car seat your child needs. We also chose alternative car seats in each category that are less expensive for parents on a strict budget.
Here are our top picks for the best car seats you can buy:
- Best infant car seat: Chicco KeyFit 30
- Best budget infant car seat: Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30
- Best lightweight infant car seat: Nuna PIPA Lite LX
- Best convertible car seat: Chicco NextFit Zip
- Best budget convertible car seat: Evenflo Triumph LX
- Best harness to booster seat: Britax Frontier ClickTight
- Best budget harness to booster seat: Evenflo Maestro
- Best booster seat: Graco Affix Booster Seat
- Best budget booster seat: Harmony Youth Booster
Updated on 06/25/2019 by Les Shu: Updated selections, prices, links, and formatting.
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
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The best budget infant car seat
The best lightweight car seat for infants
The best convertible car seat
The best budget convertible car seat
The best harness-to-booster seat
The best budget harness-to-booster seat
The best booster seat
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