The Best Infant Car Seat

Last updated on December 11, 2018

We looked at the top 13 Infant Car Seats and dug through the reviews from 96 of the most popular review sites including Lucie's List, Car Seat Blog, The Bump, New York Times Wirecutter, Car Seats For The Littles.org, Baby Gear Lab, Consumer Reports, Reviews.com, Top Ten Reviews, Good Housekeeping, BestReviews, Baby Center, The Nightlight and more. The result is a ranking of the best Infant Car Seats.

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We looked at the top 13 Infant Car Seats and dug through the reviews from 96 of the most popular review sites including Lucie's List, Car Seat Blog, The Bump, New York Times Wirecutter, Car Seats For The Littles.org, Baby Gear Lab, Consumer Reports, Reviews.com, Top Ten Reviews, Good Housekeeping, BestReviews, Baby Center, The Nightlight and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Infant Car Seats.

The Top Infant Car Seats

Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Chicco

KeyFit 30

Overall Take

With versatile installation options, and crash test results that are on par with more expensive options, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is a safe and budget-friendly pick. While it is highly recommended to comfortably cradle preemies, there are some complaints of fabric quality and a small shade causing little ones to sweat in warmer climates.

Experts Included
Consumer Reports, BestReviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Top Ten Reviews, Baby Gear Lab, The Nightlight, The Bump, Car Seat Blog and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
"The Chicco KeyFit 30 is great for premature infants, and many neonatal intensive care unit nurses prefer this car seat."
Cons
"Even though the Chicco Keyfit 30 was our winner, there are a few things about it that we’d like to see changed. The fabric on the Chicco is nice, but it isn’t nearly as breathable as the fabric on the..."

Peg Perego

Primo

Overall Take

Stylish jersey-soft fabric and the perfect design for travelers and city parents with its built-in base design, the Peg Perego Primo delivers on its price tag. It does work with its own brand's travel system, but the small space between the shorter carry handle and shade make toting a little uncomfortable.

Experts Included
Top Ten Reviews, Baby Gear Lab, Consumer Reports, The Bump, Car Seat Blog, Car Seats For The Littles.org, Good Housekeeping and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Target.
Pros
"Meet the triple threat of car seats: The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Infant Car Seat is easy to use, incredibly safe and perfect for travel."
Cons
"The Italian-made upholstery is soft and durable, but you can’t remove the cushions to wash them."

Graco SnugRide

Graco SungRide 35

Overall Take

It's easy-to-use LATCH clips, compatibility with affordable travel systems and lightweight design, make the Graco SungRide 35 well-loved by parents. While the fabric cover is machine-washable and comes with a built-in boot for the winter, the quality and seat comfort have some detractors.

Experts Included
New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, BestReviews, Baby Gear Lab, Car Seat Blog, Good Housekeeping and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
"Graco has the clip style LATCH anchors that are a simple and effective."
Cons
"Canopy is designed to be quiet, but this model has crinkly fabric along grab edges so it may still disturb sensitive infants."
Overall Take

The heavily safety-tested Evenflo LiteMax 35 car seat has the comfort of both parents and babies in mind with an ergonomic carry handle and soft, temp-regulating cushioning. Even though it is rated for little ones up to 35 pounds some parents find it to be a tight fit over 20.

Experts Included
BestReviews, Car Seats For The Littles.org and 5 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
"Parents and caregivers will appreciate the many premium options the Platinum LiteMax 35. From the extended canopy and soft harness pads to the handy buckle pockets, with the Outlast fabric and supportive insert, there are nice little perks from top..."
Cons
"Though rated for babies up to 35 lbs., some parents complain that the fit is a bit snug."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
20

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the infant car seats available to purchase.
13

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most products to score.

View All Product Rankings

96

Expert Reviews & Ratings Included

Expert review and analysis from some of the most respected sources including: Lucie's List, Car Seat Blog, The Bump, New York Times Wirecutter, Car Seats For The Littles.org, Baby Gear Lab, Consumer Reports, Reviews.com, Top Ten Reviews, Good Housekeeping, BestReviews, Baby Center and The Nightlight.

8,449

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Google Express.

DWYM is the #1 product review aggregator. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Chicco KeyFit 30

Expert Summarized Score
9.2
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
298 user reviews
The DWYM Consensus

With versatile installation options, and crash test results that are on par with more expensive options, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is a safe and budget-friendly pick. While it is highly recommended to comfortably cradle preemies, there are some complaints of fabric quality and a small shade causing little ones to sweat in warmer climates.

What experts liked
One of the best seats overall for balancing crash protection, ease-of-use, and vehicle fit.
- Consumer Reports
Superior safety rating and ease of installation. Comes equipped with every safety feature imaginable. Accomodates infants up to 30 lbs.
- BestReviews
The Chicco KeyFit 30 performs as well as or better than pricier seats and is measurably safer and easier to use than less expensive ones. Installation is generally a bigger problem for people than seat safety, and the KeyFit 30 is easier than competitors to install, with or without a...
- New York Times Wirecutter
August 21, 2017 | Full review
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is great for premature infants, and many neonatal intensive care unit nurses prefer this car seat.
- Top Ten Reviews
Crash test results and ease of install with a nice price make it a good choice for most families
- Baby Gear Lab
After extensive test fitting and measuring, our choice for the best infant car seat was the Chicco Keyfit 30. The seat fits children starting at 4 lbs, up to 30 lbs or 30-inches tall with a 7-inch bottom harness height, making it an excellent choice for preemies or low birth...
- The Nightlight
If you’re in search of an easy-to-install infant car seat you don’t have to think about, one that works as a travel system with your stroller and will carry baby through to toddlerhood, the Chicco KeyFit 30 will fit the bill.
- The Bump
Let me preface this review by saying “Finally, something that Consumer Reports and I can agree on!” In case you missed it – they recently rated the KeyFit and KeyFit 30 as the two best overall infant carseats among the models they tested. Now, if you follow this...
- Car Seat Blog
Overall, this is one of the best infant car seats on the market today, and we think it has a lot of great things going for it, at a very reasonable price.
- Mommy Hood 101
I have twins and they were smaller at birth and the Chico KeyFit 30 is good for smaller babies.It’s easy to click in and take out of the base and also clicks in to my stroller. It is comfortable and my babies love being in their car seats for longer...
- Baby List
A top-rated infant seat from a well-known company. Good fit for preemies and very small babies that otherwise might not fit well in other models of car seats. Several features designed specifically for right the first time installation – bubble levels, adjustable recline angles and one-pull latch tightener....
- Best Car Seat Hub
What experts didn't like
Secure installation of carrier without base is difficult to achieve.
- Consumer Reports
Fabric can make babies sweat if they are heavily bundled.
- BestReviews
The cushions do not breathe, so your baby might sweat during prolonged use.
- Top Ten Reviews
Coarse fabric, heavier, hard to install with a belt
- Baby Gear Lab
Even though the Chicco Keyfit 30 was our winner, there are a few things about it that we’d like to see changed. The fabric on the Chicco is nice, but it isn’t nearly as breathable as the fabric on the Nuna or Cybex seats that we tested. In addition, the...
- The Nightlight
On the heavy side.
- The Bump
The canopy is not as big as some other carseat models but the extended visor on the KeyFit 30 model does help. plastic adjuster - cover removal. Removing the cover can be a little cumbersome.
- Car Seat Blog
However, the canopy is much smaller than some others, making it harder to fully cover the baby. This was one of the bigger drawbacks of the Chicco, as we tend to use the canopy quite a bit: for sunny days, for napping, and for rain or snow.
- Mommy Hood 101
The canopy on top is small, it would be nice if it covered a little more, especially when it’s very sunny.
- Baby List
Fabric on interior may not be breathable enough; watch for overheating and excessive sweating, especially in hotter months. Less sun protection – Canopy may not stretch far enough to cover baby for complete sun protection. Strap tightness – Some reports of difficulty tightening the straps.
- Best Car Seat Hub

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Evenflo LiteMax 35

Expert Summarized Score
8.6
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
4.4
241 user reviews
The DWYM Consensus

The heavily safety-tested Evenflo LiteMax 35 car seat has the comfort of both parents and babies in mind with an ergonomic carry handle and soft, temp-regulating cushioning. Even though it is rated for little ones up to 35 pounds some parents find it to be a tight fit over 20.

What experts liked
It has an easy to use sure-safe LATCH system, a full-body infant insert, super soft padded straps, a much larger canopy, and a soft and breathable fabric.
- Mommy Hood 101
The Evenflo LiteMax 35's plush, padded interior keeps even the smallest of infants snug in place. However, its temperature-regulating fabric means your child won't overheat, even if you're in a hot climate, or your little one is bundled up in the winter months.
- BestReviews
Parents and caregivers will appreciate the many premium options the Platinum LiteMax 35. From the extended canopy and soft harness pads to the handy buckle pockets, with the Outlast fabric and supportive insert, there are nice little perks from top to bottom. The base is one of the easiest I’ve...
- Car Seats For The Littles.org
May 8, 2018 | Full review
a canopy will help you protect your baby from sunlight or cover him when he’s asleep.
- Cheek Tummy
the LiteMax 35 is a very comfortable infant car seat. It comes with a seat pad and a body pillow; both of which are full of cushioning and feel very pleasant to the touch.
- My Traveling Baby
December 1, 2017 | Full review
VERSATILE & CONVENIENT: This Rear-Facing Infant Car Seat fitting newborns and babies from 4-35 pounds includes a stay-in-car convenience base that minimizes overall parent effort
- Parental Guide
The car seat I ordered was Advanced lite max 35 sensors saf technology very well made I have a peace of mind that my grandbaby will be very safe
- Baby List
What experts didn't like
First, we found the seat excessively narrow in its seating area. The overall size of the seat is not particularly narrow (about 17.5" wide), but the seat area itself was too narrow for any of our babies over about 20-25 pounds. Second, while the base functioned quite well, the plastic...
- Mommy Hood 101
Though rated for babies up to 35 lbs., some parents complain that the fit is a bit snug.
- BestReviews
The recline level indicator is really easy to read, but some caregivers may have an issue getting the correct recline for babies over 20 pounds.
- Car Seats For The Littles.org
May 8, 2018 | Full review
We would have loved this car seat if it would have been compatible with a stroller. Nevertheless, this is a great car seat to invest in.
- Cheek Tummy
If you’re an owner of a compact car, this seat probably isn’t the best choice for you. The model requires at least 1.5″ of space between its handle and your vehicle’s front seat, which means that it probably won’t fit well inside your small automobile.
- My Traveling Baby
December 1, 2017 | Full review
this seat is quite narrow and unlikely to accommodate babies over 20 pounds, the plastic isn’t as durable as some of its competitors, and the chest buckle doesn’t have the audible “click” to let you know it’s securely fastened, which isn’t good for peace of mind.
- Parental Guide
Way to much padding. Daughter gets to hot and screams in the car seat.
- Baby List

Overall Product Rankings

1. Chicco KeyFit 30
Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 14

2. Peg Perego Primo
Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 13

3. Graco SungRide 35
Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 13

4. UPPAbaby Mesa
Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 12

5. Evenflo LiteMax 35
Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 11

6. Maxi-Cosi Mico NXT
Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 7

7. Baby Trend Inertia
Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 6

8. Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe
Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 8

9. Chicco Fit2
Overall Score: 7.1
Reviews Included: 13

10. Cyber Aton
Overall Score: 6.8
Reviews Included: 10

11. Recaro Performance Coupe
Overall Score: 6.7
Reviews Included: 7

12. Baby Trends EZ Flex-Loc
Overall Score: 6.6
Reviews Included: 10

13. Britax B-Safe 35
Overall Score: 5.9
Reviews Included: 12

An Overview On Infant Car Seats

DWYM Fun Fact

As of 1985, all states finally had laws requiring the use of car seats on the books. But in 1987, only 80% of people were using them. It wasn’t until 2003 that all cars we required by federal regulation to be manufactured with LATCH systems (lower anchors and top tethers) for car seats. This helped promote usage by making it easier and more consistent to install car seats.

Still, according to the CDC, car accidents and related injuries are the leading cause of death among children (ages 0-12) in the United States. They also found that in one year 618,000 children did not use a car seat or booster seat at least some of the time. While there are a number of factors that cause injury in car accidents, the NHTSA did a study that found that 46% of car seats and booster seats are misused in some way. Front-facing car seats are the most misused, at 61% overall misuse.

The CDC still urges the use of car seats as the best way to reduce the risk of injury. In addition to following the recommended stages for car seat use, you can also find a certified child safety technician in your area to get installation instruction and tips one-on-one. The bottom line: it’s better to use a car seat or booster as recommended than not and there are resources to help you install and use your seats correctly.

The Infant Car Seat Buying Guide