7 Things to look for in that Best Car Seat: A Buyers Guide

Baby in the beast convertible car seat. This seat will grow with the child as it converts into a seat for an older child.

If you are a first-time mom, you need a lot of things to take care of your new baby.  Are you looking for the best convertible car seats or do you plan to leave the seat in your car for convenience? One of the most important safety items is finding the car seat that suits your needs. There are many on the market from very inexpensive ones to ones that cost over $500. How are you going to make a wise choice? Take a look at some factors that will influence your decision.

Safety Ratings

You are buying a car seat to keep your most precious person safe, so the first criteria you should look for is the safety certification. Look for the NHTSA rating.  And who is behind that certification?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association.  Did you know that “all NHTSA-rated car seats meet Federal Safety Standards and strict crash performance standards?” For your own peace of mind, check to make sure the car seat you are considering meets these regulations. The ratings are from 1 to 5. Further details about the technicalities of car seats can be found at the NHTSA website

5 Star Rating:  If you are considering a 5-star seat, then you can expect that the seat has the required safety aspects as well as superiority in 4 other different categories: clear instructions for installation, ease of installation for various vehicles, labels that are useful for anyone who is taking care of the child and restraints that secure the child effectively

Ease of installation

It might surprise you that more than half of the car seats that are in cars today have been installed incorrectly. Due to this fact, the car seat you purchase must have clear directions for installation. And it is great to know that if you live in the United States, you can have your installation checked at Installation Inspection stations by a certified technician. Most inspections are free. See this website to find a location near you.

Convertibility

As an FTM (first-time mom), you may not realize that many car seats convert to strollers. So, in fact, when you buy a car seat, you may be purchasing 2 devices. Other car seats are suitable for both infants and toddlers. Some even will last from birth to 10 years old, by configuring the seat correctly. One expensive seat may be more cost-efficient than purchasing several different seats for your maturing child. 

Age Range and Weight

Certainly, you need a seat that is suitable for your child. An infant seat can be vastly different from a toddler seat. Maximum weight constraints bear greatly on the safety aspect of every seat.

Durability

The seat you select needs to be made of quality materials so that it will last. You also need to be able to wipe down sections, launder other items and put messy cups into the dishwasher.

Accessories

Some seats come with a range of accessories from sippy cup holders to rain covers. You will want to modify the seat to suit your lifestyle.

Cost

Often the least expensive items are just as safe as more expensive choices as long as they have the certification.  But the more costly items will be more convenient. 

Now it’s time to see what types of car seats are available.

You may decide on the car seat as a result of its capabilities.  Or your decision may rest on your need to stay within a budget at this time.

Take a look at the following  5 examples as a means of comparison. There are many suitable car seats on the market.

BritaxOne4 Life Car Seat 

Britax has many different models of car seats from which to choose. This new seat has the advantage that it is suitable for kids from infants through to school age. It will accommodate from 5 to 120 pounds of weight. So, it is literally the car seat you can use throughout every growth spurt. In the long run, it will save you money and time as you never need to purchase another car seat.

Safety Rating: All of Britax car seats are rated from 3 to 5 stars overall. The rating for this seat is not yet available, but it is based on previous models that have been assessed. It uses the Clicktight technology from previous seats, which have a 4-star rating for ease of use. 

Ease of Installation: There are videos to assist you in the installation. For installation, you can use the car seat belt, but there are also other installation options.

Convertibility: This is one of the best convertible car seats. It can be installed both as a forward or rear-facing car seat.

Age Range and Weight: This seat will accommodate infants to children up to 120 pounds.

Durability:  The seat is made of quality materials that can be washed.

Accessories: This does not convert into a stroller.

Cost: The seat cost is in the moderate range, specifically, just over $300

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller

For any parent who needs to travel every day, this car seat can be very convenient. You can take a sleeping baby from your car to your destination without any fuss. 

Safety Rating:  Doona, with its unique hybrid functionality, has been tested to meet the strictest US standards for Car-Seats, Strollers, and Hand-Held Carriers. It has an exceptional 3-layer side impact protection, Anti-Rebound Bar crash technology, superior 5-point safety harness, and ergonomic infant insert. The handle provides an extra layer of protection as it does not allow the seat to move backward, jolting your baby.

Ease of Installation: The base connects to a bar that is built into your seat for most modern cars, See YouTube videos for detailed instructions. The Bongers is very helpful.

Convertibility: This is a rear-facing car seat. 

Age Range and Weight: It accommodates 4 to 35 pounds. Usually, that means from an infant to a toddler. 

Durability: The seat is made with baby-safe materials. The textiles are all breathable, removable, and washable. 

Accessories: The seat has a built-in sunshade

Cost: This seat is in a higher range, but you do not need to purchase a stroller. The price is over $500.

EvenFlow Every Stage

EvenFlow is a name that has been associated with kids for many years. The EveryStage car seat is a reasonable price with excellent design features that allows it to grow along with your child. It is a buy it and forget it item.

Safety Rating: The exact rating is not available yet. The many Even Flow previous models range from 3 to 5-star ease of use rating.

Ease of Installation:  There is video support or schedule an appointment with a technician for installation. The Easy QuickLatch ratchet strap makes it possible to move the seat from car to car in minutes.

Convertibility: You can adjust the child safety harness without rethreading the base harness. It will change from a rear-facing infant seat to a front-facing booster seat as your child grows.

Age Range and Weight: You can use this seat from when your child is an infant right through to preteen. The weight range is from 5  to 120 pounds – which adds up to 10 years of use.

Durability: It is made with quality materials. The surfaces are wipeable and you can machine-wash the removable car seat pad. The 2 cup holders are removable and dishwasher safe.

Accessories: There are no accessories.

Cost: This is a seat at a good price, under $200.

Baby Trend Easy Ride

You will appreciate the one-hand fold for the stroller as it will make the transition between the car and walking much more relaxed.

Safety Rating: All other Baby Trend products have received ratings of 3 or 4 for ease of use. This one is not yet available. It has been designed with EPS energy-absorbing foam for added protection.

Ease of Installation: There are product instructions on the BabyTrend website.

Convertibility: You will appreciate the swing-away snack tray and cup holders. You can buy additional bases to use in different cars at this manufacturer’s link.

Age Range and Weight: It will accommodate 5 to 30 pounds; that is, infants to preschoolers.

Durability: It is made of quality materials, that can be easily cleaned.

Accessories: This seat comes with a peek-a-boo window on the canopy. 

Cost: It is very affordable at less than $200.

Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat 

One of the advantages of this car seat is that it is lightweight, and with the sturdy handle, it is easy to carry the seat with your infant inside it. The car seat weighs less than 8 pounds.

Safety Rating: Many of the Safety First car seats range from 3 to 4 rating for ease of use. This car seat meets or exceeds federal, ASTM, and JPMA safety standards. 

Ease of Installation: There are videos on YouTube to assist you.

Convertibility: This is rear-facing infant seat but front facing seat for older children.

Age Range and Weight: This will seat infants from 4 pounds to toddlers of 35 pounds. 

Durability: The seat is made with quality materials. The car seat pad is machine washable and dryer safe.

Accessories: No accessories are needed. The hood cover is attached to the seat. 

Cost: It is a reasonable price at just over $100.

Now that you have some critical information,

you will feel more confident in selecting one that is suitable for your needs and budget.

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