Finding the Best Infant Car Seats
No matter how long you search for “the best” infant car seat on the US market for your baby in 2023 and onwards, the truth of the matter is that there is no such thing. No single infant car seat can legitimately claim to be the absolute best product for every baby. Instead, what you are faced with is a long list of very good infant car seats, most (if not all) of which will be perfectly suitable for use with your baby.
In short, there is no “best infant car seat in 2023”, but there are some seats that are more highly regarded than others by car seat safety technicians. So, give yourself a bit of a break and try not to stress out too much about this decision – you are in a much happier position than parents 20 years ago when it comes to buying child car seats!
Of course, not all infant car seats are created equal and in order to get the full range of safety, comfort, and convenience features, you need to look towards the premium end of the market. As in most things in life, you get what you pay for, and child car seats are generally no exception to this rule.
The purpose of this post is to try and make your decision a little easier by highlighting a few of my favorite infant car seats and briefly explain what specific features set them apart from the rest of the market. Although they don’t all have the same maximum child weight limits, they are all suitable for use from 4 or 5 lbs upwards.
All of the seats mentioned within this post have passed the relevant federal safety tests and all of them come fitted with premium safety and convenience features that exceed the minimum requirements. I would be delighted to use any one of them if I was ever fortunate enough to have another baby to drive around.
Best Infant Car Seats 2023 – My Choices
Here is my list of the best infant car seats available to buy in the USA and Canada in 2023:
#1 Britax B-Safe Gen2 Series
The Britax B-Safe model of car seats has been on the market for a number of years now.
Every few years, Britax upgrades the B-Safe seat and re-brands it slightly. Initially, we had the basic Britax B-Safe seat, which then became the Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe Elite seats.
These Britax B-Safe infant seat have always been a popular choice and should certainly be on your shortlist.
Britax has recently released its latest range of the B-Safe seats, which are branded as Britax B-Safe Gen2.
There are 3 different Britax B-Safe Gen2 Infant Car Seats to choose from and each one comes with slightly different safety and convenience features.
The entry level model is the standard B-Safe Gen2 and the top-of-the-range seat is the B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit Plus seat.
All of the Britax B-Safe Gen2 seats come with many shared features, but the Flexfit and Flexfit Plus seats boast some enhancements that you can read about in my previous comparison reviews (see below).
The shared features on all of the Britax B-Safe Gen2 seats include:
- Weight limits of 4 to 35 lbs
- Height limit of 32 inches
- Britax Safecell Crumple Zone
- LATCH connectors
- Steel base
- Side Impact Protection (some differences)
Here are a couple of video reviews of the Britax B-Safe Gen2 and B-Safe Gen2 Flexfit Plus seats.
Here is the “Snuggle Bugz” video review of the B-Safe Gen 2 Flexfit Plus model
You can read my in-depth comparison reviews here:
Check Best Prices of Britax B-Safe Gen2 Seats
Read User Reviews of B-Safe Gen2 Seats
Find Britax B-Safe Gen2 Seats in Canada
#2 Chicco Keyfit 35
The Chicco Keyfit 30 was the number 1 rated infant car seat on the US market for many years.
At 30 lbs, it had a lower maximum weight limit than the B-Safe 35 series and the Peg Perego 4-35.
There is now a Chicco Keyfit 35 infant seat which, as the model name suggests, has a higher weight limit than the Keyfit 30.
Just like the Chicco Keyfit 30 seat, the Keyfit 35 is packed full of high-end safety and convenience features, including:
- Energy-absorbing foam for improved side-impact protection
- Removable newborn insert for smaller babies
- Adjustable load leg
- Thickly cushioned seat pad and five-point harness for maximum comfort
- Spring-assisted level foot, bubble levels, and “Center-Pull” adjustment for easiest installation
- Compatible with the Chicco Cortina, Together, Liteway Plus, and Caddy Frame Strollers
Here is a video review of the Chicco Keyfit 35 infant seat.
Check Best Price of the Chicco Keyfit 35
Read User Reviews of the Chicco Keyfit 35
#3 Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
Peg Perego is another company with an excellent reputation for manufacturing stylish premium car seats.
Like many of their competitors they have sought to increase the maximum weight limit on their infant car seats and the 4-35 seat (as the name suggests) is suitable for use up to 35 lbs.
I have previously written an in-depth review of the Peg Perego 4-35 seat and, rather than repeat myself here by lasting all of its great features, I suggest that you read my full review instead.
Watch the “Baby Gizmo” YouTube Video Demonstration below:
Here is a more detailed video review by “Baby Gizmo”:
Check Best Price of the Peg Perego 4-35
Find Peg Perego Infant Seats in Canada
#4 Chicco Fit2 Seat
The Chicco Fit 2 seat is a truly unique type of infant car seat because it is designed to be used by toddlers as well as babies.
All of the other infant car seats mentioned within this post need to be replaced by the time your child reaches 35 lbs in weight or about 32 inches in height.
The Chicco Fit 2 seat, however, can be used as a standard infant car seat and also as a toddler car seat. So, the average child ought to be able to use it from birth right up until about 2 years of age.
So, it is a 2-stage seat and is the first of its kind in the USA and Canada.
Here are some its impressive specifications:
- 5-35 lbs weight limit
- 35-inch height limit
- Quick-adjust no re-thread harness
- 7-position integrated adjustable headrest and harness
- More reclined seating in Stage 1 and infant insert
- Premium LATCH connectors
- Side impact protection with EPS foam
- Compatible with Chicco Stroller Units
Here is a video review of the Chicco Fit 2 car seat.
Check Best Price of the Chicco Fit 2
Read User Reviews of the Chicco Fit 2
#5 The Lightweight Options
One of the benefits of an infant “bucket style” seat rather than a convertible seat is that it can be carried around and easily installed in a vehicle without disturbing your sleeping baby.
Obviously, if you are going to be spending a lot of time carrying around an infant car seat containing a baby, the weight of that seat is going to be a very relevant factor to consider.
For many, it won’t be a big deal and they will find it easy to manage any of the premium seats mentioned above. However, there will be some carers that lack the strength to carry some of the heavier seats around and who will need to find out more about the lighter infant seats on the market.
- Clek Liing – 9 lbs
- Evenflo Lite Max 35 – 8.17 lbs
- Graco SnugRide Lite LX – 7.2 lbs
If you want to read more about the 3 lightest infant car seats available in the USA and Canada at the time of writing this post, you can read my “Best Lightweight Infant Car Seats” post.
Though not the lightest, the Clek Liing is probably the lightest infant seat to be considered a truly premium model.
Here is a video review of the Clek Liing infant seat.
Check Price of Clek Liing
#6 The Doona Infant Seat – A Unique Idea
The Doona Infant Car seat is another unique product that was recently introduced onto the US and Canadian markets.
Other infant car seat can be used as part of a stroller travel system, but they require you to buy a separate stroller unit onto which the infant car seat is fitted as and when required.
With those other seats, you need to click the car seat out of the base that has been installed in your vehicle, carry it to the stroller unit and click it onto that.
The Doona is very different. There is no need to buy a separate stroller unit because it already has one built into the seat itself!
If you look closely at the image of the Doona above, you will see that the wheels are neatly folded behind the seat when it is being used inside your vehicle and the anti-rebound bar actually becomes the stroller handlebar when used in stroller mode.
This is a really neat feature. It is particularly useful for anyone that needs to take a lot of Ubers or taxis with their baby. With a normal infant seat and stroller travel system, you would need to pack the stroller unit in the trunk of the Uber or taxi (if there is space) and then unfold it and set it all up on the sidewalk at your destination, possibly in the rain or snow. But, with the Doona, you would simply remove the seat from the Uber or taxi and then simply unfold the seat itself into the stroller.
Much simpler and much quicker!
You really need to take a look at the Doon Car Seat Stroller Unit in action to really appreciate how it works.
So, here is a video review of the Doona Car Seat Stroller Unit.
Read User Reviews of the Doona
After purchasing any child car seat, you should always read the User Manual thoroughly before using it. It is also advisable to visit your local Fire Department or NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Centre to ensure that the seat is definitely suitable for your child’s specific requirements and that you have installed it correctly. These services are usually provided free of charge.
You can find your nearest NHTSA Centre here.
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