With so many baby car seat models being sold, many new parents feel overwhelmed and stressed out about which one is the best choice. It’s such an important decision! The last thing you’d want is to have your child in a baby car seat that does not provide the maximum amount of protection for your child in the event that you have a car crash.
One of the great things about the Internet is that you can research virtually anything in the comfort of your own home. Sure, there’s a lot of trivial, useless information available, but there’s also a lot of practical information we can use. When it comes to researching something like a baby car seat, consumer protection organizations often have elaborate websites that are the perfect places to get what you need.
Consumer Reports is a well known organization devoted to giving consumers detailed information about products of all kinds – including your baby car seat. Consumer Reports conducts a detailed test of several brands of car seats. They want to find the best (and worst) baby car seat being sold, based on crash protection, ease of use, and proper vehicle fit. Here are the results for both infant car seats and convertible car seats.
Best & Worst Infant Baby Car Seat
An infant baby car seat is made for babies up to about 20 lbs. (birth to 9 months). In this category, the best baby car seat was the Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat. It rated ‘basic’ on crash protection, ‘Very Good’ on ease of use’ and excellent’ on vehicle fit. The only drawback for some people with this model of baby car seat was price. At about $180, it was among the higher priced seats.
The baby car seat that scored lowest (of those tested) was the Snugli Infant Car Seat. It rated ‘best’ on crash protection, ‘Very Good’ on ease of use, and ‘very good’ on vehicle fit. While it scored well, the primary concern was poor labels and instructions and harness height adjustment which has multiple configurations and loops which can be confusing. With a price of about $100, this seat might work for those with a limited budget.
Best & Worst Convertible Baby Car Seat
A convertible baby car seat is designed for children up to about 35 lbs. in rear-facing models and up to 40 lbs. for front-facing seats. Among these child seats, the Chicco NextFit scored an impressive ‘Excellent’ rating in both crash protection and vehicle fit. It rated ‘Very Good’ on ease of use. Overall, this is an excellent baby car seat and received the ‘recommended’ from Consumer Reports.
The lowest score in this category was given to the Cosco Scenera baby car seat. The only real problem with this model is that it is not loaded with the latest-and-greatest features, but is still a reasonably priced seat that’s straightforward to use.. It’s still rated ‘Excellent’ in several categories, so even this baby car seat isn’t a bad buy.
Just because a particular seat is rated lower than others does not necessarily mean it is not a safe car seat. They all must meet certain standards of safety. The higher rated car seats usually have a more features. The Graco SnugRide 30
car seat was rated a ‘best buy’ although it was not the highest rated seat overall.