So you had a baby and it was greater than you ever imagined, also more difficult and overwhelming too. The choices! The opportunities to mess up! Worse yet, hurt the little one you so love. Fear not, you got this.
Of all the not so necessary baby products, a car seat is non-negotiable. If you want the best, (which of course you do) then the Chicco KeyFit is the only car seat you need to cruise through the first two years.
This is the mother of all infant car seat / base combos. It locks in easy with an assuring sound. The seat can be removed from the base with just one hand, while you hold your bundle of joy in the other. It’s made with a thick durable cushion with energy absorbing foam to protect against side impact, and comes with a 5-point harness.
Other awesome features include a bubble level indicator on both sides of the base. If you ever aren’t sure the car seat is correctly positioned at the right angle this little bubble will align itself between the marked arrows to let you know right away. There’s a springy leveling foot that ensures the seat is reclined exactly how it should be as soon as you pop it in.
It has a special one-pull tightening cinch system with force-multiplying technology for superhuman strength so you can save yours for carrying around more important things like your new little one.
The car seat comes with a removable newborn insert for preemies and smaller babies. If your vehicle is older and doesn’t come with latch attachments this one has an auto belt lock-off option to accommodate with just the base. Chicco also offers extra bases to purchase separately for extra vehicles, the spouse, babysitter, grandparents you name it.
The KeyFit car seat works with most of the stroller brands you can think of, (compatible with Trevi, Cortina, Together, Chicco etc.) which means easy pass off and installation right from the car to stroller in no time.
The only downside to this infant carrier is that it is just that – solely a stand-alone infant car seat. While it does a great job at doing that, it doesn’t offer any of the convertible options other models do.
This is just about infant car seats I don’t want to overwhelm you with the endless add-ons. If you have a new baby and you need to get from point A to point B this carrier and base system combo saves you so much time and effort. It’s very well designed and easy to snap in and out of the car. Happy trails!
First Runner-Up: The LX Evenflo Embrace
If you have an especially tiny new little one or any infant weighing 4 to 35 pounds this car seat is great. This model also has a separate base to stay installed in your vehicle.
- Lightweight and easy on the arms, if you want a model that isn’t heavy to lug around. This simple design does just that so you can carry your new favorite accessory safe and close at all times.
- Marks for safety testing – This car seat is safety tested for structural integrity at energy levels 2X above and beyond the federal crash test government standard.
- Seat material can get hot in warm climates.
- Neck straps are close together and can irritate.
Second Runner-Up: 35 Elite B-Safe Infant Car Seat
This car seat by Britax will keep your little love muffin snug as a bug with an extra system of safety components.
- Features safe-cell impact protection, with complete side impact protection.
- Protection from impact all around with a stabilising steel frame and absorbing base. Not that the other ones aren’t up to snuff. This one just provides that extra peace of mind.
- This car seat has an energy-absorbing head restraint specially designed to keep your infant’s neck and head snug in place.
- This isn’t the most spacious car seat, if you want some wiggle room it’s not the best for that.
- The seat is a little on the heavy side comparatively.
Third Runner-Up: Diono Pacifica 3 in 1
Ok, so this isn’t the first place winner because it’s a whole lot more than an infant car seat. It deserves an honorable mention used solely as an infant car seat.
If you’re looking for a purchase to get you through more than the first two years and want to make a bigger investment this car seat has a 12-year product life.
- Highest rear-facing capacity of any car seat 5-50 pounds
- It’s pretty fancy with memory foam infant body support cushions and even comes complete with a cup holder.
- Flat for easy storing and travel.
- The jury is out on how useful this car seat transitions to a booster with some belt positioning issues.
- Unforeseen costs: extra purchase of an angle adjuster required.
So the truth is, there can’t only be one – there are many quality infant car seats on the market today and deciding factors vary so pay attention to key features that truly matter to you and you can’t go wrong. The reigning champ Chicco KeyFit 30 is a great place to start, it is without a doubt one of the best infant car seats available right now. I say now, because who knows what they’ll come out with next. So if you don’t want to invest in convertible a car seat for years and years and are overwhelmed with all the new necessary things to buy – grab the winner and call it a day. It installs easy as pie and will fit your baby, now you can hit the road!