There is more to choosing a car seat to meet your needs and your child’s needs. Here is one infographic by Chicco, a shop for baby gear. Chicco car seats are rated #1 because they’re easy to install, safe and secure.
These were our primary areas of focus when considering the best baby car seats:
Safety: Safety is the most important consideration by far when it comes to baby car seats. All car seats we reviewed are thoroughly crash tested and certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), although neither the NHTSA nor the manufacturer are required to publish the crash test results. A rear-facing car seat is safest for your baby, so you’ll want to keep your child in this position for as long as possible. Look for a rear-facing car seat with a high weight and height limit to account for your growing child. Convertible car seats switch to front-facing car seats when your child is grown enough, so you can get a few more years out of these seats.
Adjustability: Look for a reclining seat that you can adjust for your child’s weight. Also, a center-pull adjustment gives you a strap you can tighten with one hand. Adjustable head support allows the car seat to grow with your baby. Infant car seats usually have a canopy to shield your baby from the elements. Baby car seat features are fairly consistent across the different models.
Durability: Baby car seats are designed to be secured in a car or a stroller for maximum safety. The only time its durability will be significantly tested in the real world is in the event of an accident, which is why crash testing and NHTSA certification is so important. But you also want a seat that is sturdy and versatile so you can keep your baby in the seat if you go shopping or secure the seat to a stroller for physical activity. The more the stroller is used in its various roles, the more its durability will be tested. The seats in our lineup are built to last through all types of use.
Ease of Use & Convenience: Along with its adjustability we assessed the car seat’s overall ease of use. A car seat should be easy to install and allow you use it without a hassle. Look for a model that will quickly snap in and out of its base. Most car seats have a stay-in-car base that make it considerably more convenient and multipurpose than the few models without a base. Maintenance is another consideration with regards to ease of use. Removable cushions that are machine washable will make it easy to keep the seat clean.