We just checked in with our friends over at New York Family to bring you another round up of the best gear for your little one. The old adage of “safety first” rings especially true when picking out the right car seat for your baby or toddler. While industry standards ensure a baseline of safety and security, it’s still important to take stock of a seat’s special features (both in terms of safety and convenient perks) to determine if it will work for your family and your lifestyle. If you’re on the hunt for the best car seat for you, or thinking of it for the future, a great starting to point is this annual guide to the best car seats of the year.
This selective guide to the best car seats on the market for 2018-2019 has every family – and every price point – covered when it comes to this essential item. From every-stage seats (that can be used from when your child is a newborn, all the way up through the toddler years) to high-tech smart car seats (which will alert you if you leave baby in the car accidentally and warn if baby unbuckles themselves), and from newborn seats to boosters (that serve up to 120 lbs in some cases), there’s a seat for every parent and child’s need and stage in life.
All-In-One Car Seats
Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One Car Seat
The new City View is Baby Jogger’s first all-in-one car seat. With its slim design, the City View allows extra space needed for fitting passengers of different ages safely and comfortably. Recommended for children weighing 4-100 lbs, this new seat features a slim design (which allows extra space for fitting passengers across the back seat of any vehicle), an Anti-Rebound Bar, push button LATCH for easy install, a removable cup holder, a 10-position harness and headrest, a 5-point harness, a 4-position recline, and an infant insert. Plus, it grows with your child (rear facing from 4-40 lbs., forward facing from 22-65 lbs., and high back booster from 40-100 lbs.). Available for $349.99, babyjogger.com.
Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One Car Seat
The Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One Car Seat delivers a safe and unrivaled comfort and installation experience. This all-in-one offers 10 years of safe and secure use as an Infant Seat + Convertible + Booster Seat, from 4-120 lbs. Its EasyClick LATCH system outperforms top competitors with a much tighter installation for a wiggle-free seat without having to get into the vehicle (based on consumer research of rear-facing installations with competitive LATCH systems). This seat grows with your child (it’s suitable up to 120 lbs. as a high-back booster); plus, it features 10 positions, five recline positions, an energy absorbing base, and live video installation support. Available for $229.99, evenflo.com.
Safety 1st 3-in-1 Grow and Go EX Air
The 3-in-1 Grow and Go EX Air gives your child a safer and more comfortable ride with extended use at each stage, including up to 50 lbs. in the safer, rear-facing position. This seat is built to grow with baby for extended use through three stages: Rear-facing while baby is 5-50 lbs., forward-facing at 22-65 lbs., and belt-positioning booster at 40-100 lbs. It also offers Air Protect (an advanced cushion system that provides extra protection), a machine-washable and dryer-safe seat pad, a QuickFit Harness for easy adjustment, and a three-position recline. Available for $199.99, target.com.
Comfort Car Seats
Britax Endeavours Cool N Dry Collection Infant Car Seat
The Britax Endeavours infant car seat and Infant Car Seat Base with Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) are designed, engineered, tested, and assembled in the United States and are crafted to complement modern automotive interiors. The Endeavours is also equipped with Click & Go compatibility, featuring a one-handed, quick-release lever to use effortlessly with all Britax strollers while on the go. Plus, the infant seat includes a flip-forward belly pad to keep buckles and straps out of the way when placing children into the seats. The Cool N Dry Collection model is designed to deliver premium seating comfort for baby during short car rides or long road trips thanks to its specially woven high-performance fabric infused with bamboo charcoal to wick away moisture and allow ample air flow. Infant car seat: $299.99; and infant car seat base with ARB: $139.99; both at buybuybaby.com.
Diono Radian 3RXT
Enjoy the journey with the Diono Radian 3RXT all-in-one convertible car seat, lovingly engineered to always protect. At the core of the Radian 3RXT is a unique mechanically engineered dual spine fabricated from automotive-grade high-strength steel that provides an unyielding structure to protect and shield. Aluminum-reinforced side walls, lined with energy-absorbing EPS foam, manage and dissipate energy, while memory foam and luxury padding puts your mind at ease as your little one travels safely in style and comfort. The reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection. And if you want to avoid those bulky car seats, look no further as the sleek, slim design of the Diono Radian 3RXT allows for a three-across fit or plenty of room for passengers. Available for $299.99, us.diono.com.
Safety Oriented Car Seats
Nuna PIPA Lite LX
The PIPA lite lx is ultra-portable, weighing only 5.7 lbs. Its feather-weight design includes Nuna’s exclusive Dream Drape while blending aeroflex foam, Merino wool, and TENCEL lyocell fiber blend for ultimate comfort and protection. It also features a removable UPF 50+ canopy with flip out eyeshade, a customizable and removable headrest, and five point harness. Recommended for babies weighing 4-32 lbs., the PIPA lite lx true lock base installation and high-end details offer an impressive slate of premium safety, convenience, and aesthetic features; it has a supremely secure design that exceeds American safety standards. Available for $399.95, nuna.eu/usa.
Peg-Pérego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Nido
This sleek car seat offers a variety of enviable safety and design features. It comes complete with an Extendable Pagoda Hood (which is UPF 50+ and protects baby from all elements), a base with a Load Leg that protects baby by stabilizing the car seat and reducing rotations by 50 percent in a front collision, an elongated Anti-Rebound Bar that protects baby by minimizing impact forces and reducing rotations by 50 percent in a rear collision, a Dual Stage Cushion System that helps the seat grow with baby, and more. Available for $349.99, us.pegperego.com.
Long-Term Car Seats
Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max
The Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max is an innovative new 5-in-1 convertible car seat that accommodates children from birth to age 10 (about 5-120 lbs.). The Magellan Max easily transitions between five modes of use: Baby Rear-Facing, Toddler Rear-Facing, Toddler Forward-Facing, Child Forward-Facing, and Belt Positioning Booster. Plus, it is the only convertible car seat equipped with Maxi-Cosi’s patented Adjustable Side Impact Protection, which creates a customized fit for all growth stages and ensures maximum protection in the proper position. Finally, this seat provides even more convenience, equipped with premium features including an EZ Out harness system to keep straps and the crotch buckle from getting caught and bunched under your child. Available for $399.99, buybuybaby.com.
Chicco MyFit Harness+Booster Car Seat
Chicco’s MyFit Harness+Booster Car Seat is designed to keep your growing child comfortable and content with the security of a 5-point harness. A nine-position extended headrest and easy transition to a belt-positioning booster accommodate years of growing. For kids weighing 25-65 lbs., the MyFit has a traditional 5-point harness that accommodates growing toddlers; for older children weighing 40-100 lbs., it converts to a belt-positioning booster. Available for $199.99, chiccousa.com.
Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster
The Graco Nautilus SnugLock is equipped with SnugLock Technology for a hassle-free installation using either vehicle seat belt or LATCH. In three easy steps, you can feel confident you’ve got a secure install. The 3-in-1 Harness Booster converts from a 5-point harness booster (22-65 lbs.), to a high back booster (40-100 lbs.) and to a backless booster (40-100 lbs.). The backless booster can also be converted to a slimmer backless booster (40-120 lbs.) by removing the arm rests. The Nautilus SnugLock LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster is also available in a Nautilus SnugLock DLX model that features a RapidRemove cover. Available for $219.99, Gracobaby.com.
Innovative Car Seats
CYBEX Sirona M
The new Sirona M is the only smart-phone synced convertible car seat on the market, with SensorSafe 2.0 technology. It’s suitable from birth to 65 lbs. (about 4 years). The seat features ISOFIX technology, which allows for a one-click installation, thereby reducing risk of an improper install. This car seat also integrates important safety technology into the chest clip of the car seat to alert when unsafe conditions arise (when the driver accidentally leaves the child behind in the car, or a child unbuckles themselves while the car is in motion, for example). Plus, you get magnetic belt holders for easy entry and exit from the seat, a one-pull LATCH removal system, harness pads with anti-slip backing and comfort padded buckle cover, and many more premium features and all the quality that parents expect from CYBEX. Available for $329.95, cybex-online.com.
Doona Infant Car Seat
Doona is the only infant car seat with fully integrated wheels—that means that it converts from car seat into stroller with the easy push of a button! Doona was designed to provide parents with a safe and practical mobility solution for their baby, both in and out of the car. Doona meets the highest quality and safety standards in both the car seat and stroller categories. A great option for both urban and suburban families, Doona is suitable for babies 4-35 lbs. and up to 32 inches tall; it also includes an infant insert which cradles and supports your newborn safely and properly. Available for $499 (base is included), doonausa.com.
UPPAbaby MESA in Jordan (Charcoal Mélange)
The MESA infant car seat is designed with intuitive innovations parents can see and features that remove the guesswork. The SMARTSecure System combines auto-retracting LATCH connectors and a visual indicator that turns from red to green for simple and accurate installation. The adjustable no re-thread five-point harness and SIP ensures a proper fit. The Jordan and Henry fashions are the first and only Naturally Fire Resistant Car Seat on the market. State and federal safety standards still require all car seats meet flame retardant standards; however, the MESA in Jordan and Henry, which are constructed of a merino wool blend bonded to foam, pass government and regulatory guidelines without the application of chemical flame retardants. Available for $349.99, uppababy.com.
Budget-Friendly Car Seats
Cosco Finale 2-in-1
The Cosco Finale 2-in-1 DX Booster Car Seat features extended use in both of its two modes. It starts by keeping kids securely in a five-point safety harness all the way up to 65 lbs. In its second mode, as a belt-positioning booster, it has them covered up to 100 lbs. In both modes, the deluxe fabric offers prime comfort and style. Plus, this car seat is American-made and super lightweight, and features a dishwasher-safe and detachable cup holder, machine washable and dryable fabrics, and more. Available for $59.99, target.com.
The Sonti is an easy-to-install and super-lightweight infant car seat. It has been rigorously crash and side-impact tested, and it offers increased side impact protection with deep sidewalls and an extended layer of energy-absorbing foam. Additionally, the Sonti features an extra grip belt lock-off on car seat base to achieve a snug installation, a four-position adjustable base with level indicator, a special infant body support to properly position babies 4-6 lbs., multiple harness and buckle slots to achieve snug fit, and more. This car seat is suitable for babies weighing 4-35 lbs. Available for $69.99, walmart.com.
Want to see more gear round-ups and recommended top picks for you and baby? Let us know what you’d like to see more of in the comments below!