A leisurely read

The Best Infant Car Seat for 2023

Ensure your precious baby’s utmost safety and comfort while driving

On your path to parenting, you’ll find that one of the most important purchases you need to make is an infant car seat. Needless to say, your most precious cargo deserves nothing but the best seat. This purchase could appear straightforward until you discover just how many options are available in the market, and how many features are stated in the product information.

Generally, all infant car seats sold in the U.S. need to satisfy the same safety requirements. However, with over 60 models to select from, making the right decision might be a tad difficult. Well, that’s exactly why we’re here, to make your choice so much easier!

We have compiled this list to guarantee that you make the best possible choice when purchasing an infant car seat.

How We Picked

  • Comfort and Support

    Your new baby will need the most comfortable experience while you drive. This is why you should choose infant car seats with features that are guaranteed to support your baby while providing the utmost comfort.

  • Security and Durability

    Infant car seats should unarguably be safe for the baby to use while driving. At the same time, you should be able to use a good infant car seat for a reasonable length of period.

  • Ease of Installation

    Since a proper fit is critical for your baby's safety, it is important to choose car seats that are simple and stress-free to install. Ideally, its installation process should not require excessive force.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    You shouldn’t have to break the bank to guarantee your infant’s utmost safety. This is why our top picks are an incredible bargain; so much value for a reasonable cost!

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Clek Liing

This may be a pricey choice, but it is entirely worth it!

The Clek Liing creates a new benchmark in infant seat safety. It also provides the ultimate comfort with its innovative safety features. You can also count on a simple installation year after year. This is a worthwhile investment.

Buy Now for $489.99

Long-lasting choice, incredible value, and utmost comfort

Runner Up

GRACO, SnugFit 35 DLX

This is a fantastic choice to make for your baby’s guaranteed comfort

For your darling little one, the GRACO SnugFit 35 DLX infant car seat combines safety innovations with fast installation (less than one minute) and comfort features. This product has an anti-rebound bar, guaranteed to ensure your baby is safe and snug. The headrest and harness can both be adjusted while your child is in the seat.

Buy Now

Guaranteed comfort and easy installation

Most cost-effective

Chicco KeyFit 30

Spend much less on this seat and get the same great value!

The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat has amazing quality and great features for a very reasonable price. It also comes with an easy installation process for your baby’s comfortable experience. This car seat is also compatible with Chicco strollers. A must-have item for your baby!

Buy Now for $183.99

An affordable choice that offers great value

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Clek Liing

This may be a pricey choice, but it is entirely worth it!

$489.99

Buy Now

Runner Up

GRACO, SnugFit 35 DLX

This is a fantastic choice to make for your baby’s guaranteed comfort

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Chicco KeyFit 30

Spend much less on this seat and get the same great value!

$183.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This is not exactly up for debate; if you’ll be riding in your car with your precious baby, then an infant car seat is a must-have for you!

 

Car Seat Safety and Legality based on Location

Child safety seat rules exist in every state in the U.S., mandating the use of car seats for children under a specific age. A rear-facing car seat is required for infants under the age of one year. Thankfully specialized infant car seats are only meant to be used facing backward. For younger children, however, you can use convertible car seats facing backward and then change them around to be front-facing later.  Regarding the size and age at which kids can lawfully transition to a front-facing seat, legislation typically differs by state. Many states have however mandated the use of a rear-facing car seat for all children under the age of two.

 

Evidence from research has shown that it is safer to keep children in rear-facing seats. Due to this fact, parents and caregivers are more often found keeping their children rear-facing, even past the age of two. Policy experts are also of the opinion that the longer a young child is positioned rear-facing, the safer the child is. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (A.A.P.) are also in support of this rule. Ideally, they should be kept in this rear-facing position during rides until they exceed the rear-facing height or weight restriction of their car seat. (Before 2018, the A.A.P. advised that turning a child around at the age of two was fine.)

 

The strict regulations governing infant car seats are, in truth, well-deserved. Car crash mortality has decreased since the 1970s, but despite this fact, they remain a significant cause of death and injury for children in the U.S. The widespread adoption of child-restraint seats has contributed to the decrease in vehicle-crash fatalities, and cars, as well as car seats, have become far safer during the last 15 years. Tennessee passed the nation’s first child restraint law in 1978, and in the space of four years, the rate of motor vehicle-related deaths among children below four years of age had dropped by more than half in the state. Child restraint laws had been passed in all 50 states by 1985. Choosing the right car seat for your child’s age and stage, and properly installing it, could be one of the most important decisions you make for their safety.

 

Infant Car Seat vs Convertible Car Seat

Infant car seats have several characteristics that set them apart from convertible car seats. Many convertible car seats are typically designed to cater to different weights as well as heights (from newborns upwards). Furthermore, convertible car seats (unlike infant car seats) start in a rear-facing position for younger riders before being turned around. Infant seats, on the other hand, are only designed to be rear-facing. The reason for this design is valid because the rear-facing position is the safest for tiny infants and affords the most protection.

 

Infant seats, unlike convertible car seats, are typically bucket-shaped with a removable base and handle. As a result of this configuration, parents can click the seat effortlessly into and out of the vehicle, as well as carry the infant in the seat (the seat can also be attached this way to a compatible stroller). This is convenient since it eliminates the hassle of removing a baby from the infant seat every time there’s a need to make a transition. However, it’s important to note that, while newborns are known to sleep a lot and are prone to doze off during outings, using car seats as major sleeping gear or allowing your baby to sleep in infant car seats for an extended duration is not recommended.

Why You Should Trust Us

There are so many options to choose from when choosing infant car seats. We know how confusing purchases like this can be, especially since you have to make sure you’re buying the best and safest choice for your baby.

This is why we examined studies from industry experts and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.), the government agency in charge of vehicle and car seat safety when researching this guide. We also read countless reviews and articles from credible sources, as well as scanning hundreds of internet user reviews.

How We Picked

In the United States, there are over 60 types of baby car seats available for purchase. We looked at online consumer reviews and news from various media outlets to narrow down the options. We also looked at the research and safety ratings that were available.

 

After our extensive research, we concluded that the ideal infant car seat should have the following qualities:

 

Ease of installation

We prioritized ease of installation because it is so important to an infant car seat’s safety. We looked for seats that a responsible adult (following instructions) could install appropriately in a matter of minutes without the need for professional assistance.

 

Safety

We took note of crash-testing reports and ease-of-use statistics from the N.H.T.S.A. and other media reviews whenever possible. We also regarded additional safety measures, such as an anti-rebound base or a load leg to be positive, even though they may not be required.

 

Reasonably sized

You don’t want your baby to outgrow his or her infant seat before you’re ready to upgrade to a convertible seat. As such, we’ve suggested infant car seats that could fit newborns of ordinary to above-average size for over a year, at the very least.

 

Style/Design

We looked for infant car seats that are readily available, preferably in a variety of colors or styles, and can be purchased from several large outlets.

 

Price vs Quality

Even though we considered a wide range of pricing points, we made sure to give extra credit to infant car seats that offer exceptional value.

 

The comfort of the seat

With a newborn, life can be hectic; and an infant car seat should not be adding to the stress. As a result, we recommended baby car seats that provide the most comfort for babies while causing the least amount of stress for parents and caregivers.

 

Durability

We have ensured to recommend infant car seats that are long-lasting and may be used and maintained for many years. We recognize that, barring incidents, changing car seats numerous times before a baby outgrows them is not feasible, thus this is one of the characteristics we highlighted. 

 

Material

Better materials can make the installation process go more smoothly and provide your youngster with a more comfortable ride. We chose car seats that are manufactured from durable materials and provide additional impact protection. The car seat’s fabric cover should be easy to clean as well. 

 

Weight

If the seat feels excessively heavy before you’ve even put in the passenger, it’s failing to fulfill one of its primary functions. This is why we put weight into consideration when suggesting options for you.

 

Portability

Carrying an infant seat ought to be simple or manageable at the very least. The weight of the infant car seat contributes immensely to its portability, so we kept this in mind when suggesting options for you. The grip on the seat should be simple to grasp and adjust between settings.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Clek Liing

Best Pick

Clek Liing

This may be a pricey choice, but it is entirely worth it!

The Clek Liing creates a new benchmark in infant seat safety. It also provides the ultimate comfort with its innovative safety features. You can also count on a simple installation year after year. This is a worthwhile investment.

Buy Now for $489.99

Who it is for

If you do not mind splurging on an infant car seat, and are looking to get the best value possible, then the Clek Liing infant car seat is for you. It possesses features that you and your beloved infant will love, especially for the maximum comfort and safety it provides for your baby.

Why it is great

The Clek Liing baby car seat has simple installation choices that prioritize safety while allowing for the necessary flexibility to achieve a great fit in your vehicle. This infant car seat also has up to seven reclining modes and a helpful bubble indicator that shows you precisely where your baby should be to maintain the right angle.
The best part is that the recline can be adjusted while the base is installed, making it simple to find the ideal angle. You and your baby can also ride comfortably and worry-free, thanks to the newborn body support system.

Potential flaws

There isn't anything wrong with the Clek Liing infant car seat in and of itself. However, when you spend as much as it costs for an infant car seat, it's natural to start concentrating on specific features and looking out for minor flaws. For instance, you'll need to modify the Liing's harness as your baby develops by removing and rethreading the straps. The process is not a difficult one, and the lack of a no-rethread harness keeps the seat lighter, as that feature adds some weight. Even so, once you've experienced the simplicity of a no-rethread harness (like the one on our runner-up pick, Graco), you'll miss it when it's absent. The same can be said about a seat cover that is easy to remove and a handle that is adjustable with one hand.

More importantly, even using top-pick standards, the Liing's price is somewhat exorbitant. This seat is nearly twice as expensive as our other (pretty excellent) choices, and the Liing (as far as we know) is the most pricey infant car seat on the market. Spending this much money on a product you might only use for about a year could seem rather excessive. Given the expense, this product will also most likely be inaccessible to a large number of people, especially given that it is intended to save children's lives.

Other features

The Liing is small and compact, measuring just 16.9 inches across and 27.7 inches deep (it is a fraction of an inch bigger than the Chicco, the smallest of our suggested picks). The Liing is a solid option for fitting three across, just like our other picks. The bucket carrier weighs nine pounds, which is somewhat less than the Chicco KeyFit 30 but over a pound lighter than Graco (without the base). Once more, the weight variations between the three chairs don't seem particularly obvious. However, as your child grows and you approach the weight limit of how much you can comfortably carry, that extra pound may start to matter.

Despite its modest front-to-back size, the Liing can accommodate infants up to 35 pounds, 32 inches, and as little as four pounds, making it a viable alternative for some preemies. Baby weights under 11 pounds should utilize the removable support cushions that the Liing comes with. This padding is referred to as "two-stage" because it consists of a headrest and a supporting cushion in two separate parts. You can use the bottom support cushion until your child's shoulders can reach the top harness slot, and the headrest can also be used until your child outgrows the seat.

The Liing has a classy appearance. It is slimmer than many baby chairs and has an elegant, fitted design. Three different fabric options are offered for this seat: a jersey knit, which is slightly less expensive than the remaining two but more difficult to spot-clean; an odor, stain, and moisture-resistant option, which is more expensive but is simple to wipe clean (and is Greenguard Gold–certified for fewer added chemicals and lower emissions); and a wool blend. The entire cover may be taken off, hand-washed, or machine-washed on the gentle cycle in a front-loading washer before being air-dried.

In comparison to the sunshade on other infant seats, the Liing's sun canopy is constructed of an elastic cloth that unzips to expand. A peek-a-boo flap at the back of the shade opens to a mesh window so that you can observe your child through the canopy. It is noteworthy that the Clek Liing was recalled in 2021 due to a canopy stay that might be forcibly broken and provide a choking hazard. Since that defect in the design has been fixed, seats sold now have a different, more adaptable stay. If you already possess a Clek Liing, you can inquire about the status of your specific seat and request a new canopy stay.

The Liing is the most hand-me-down-worthy option we suggested in this article because it lasts nine years before it expires, two years longer than our runner up-pick, the Graco, and three years longer than our most cost-effective pick, the Chicco. Additionally, if you register a Liing car seat within 90 days of purchase, it comes with a three-year warranty; otherwise, it comes with a one-year warranty. A one-year guarantee is provided by both Graco and Chicco.

Although the Clek Liing seat's instruction manual is extensive, don't let it scare you: It is really easy to install the Liing with the base. We don't doubt that a five-year-old could manage it (with some adult supervision of course); it has been said to be so simple. Additional instructions and guidelines are printed on the seat of the Liing.

The on-seat instructions for the Liing are among the most comprehensive and they reiterate some of the most important details from the manual on the specific area of the seat that it applies to. At the first attempt, testers reported that installing the seat only took a few minutes; after that, it took approximately a minute. The Liing also received a four-star rating from the N.H.T.S.A. for its easy usage.

As previously stated, a good car seat is measured in terms of its safety, comfort, and ease of use. The Liing scores good points for its comfort, and parents can testify to that. In terms of safety, it is also a great pick. Although the N.H.T.S.A. testing was carried out without the load leg (which could have further improved its scores), crash-test data from the N.H.T.S.A. revealed that the Liing has significantly below government standards for head-injury criteria. In addition, Clek releases its own crash-test results.

Product specifications

Height: 26.8 in.
Depth: 27.7 in.
Width: 16.9 in.
Depth Of The Base: 22.6 in.
Width Of The Base: 13.2 in.
Weight Of The Base: 17 lb
Weight Of The Carrier (when the newborn insert is detached): 9 lb

Runner Up - GRACO, SnugFit 35 DLX

Runner Up

GRACO, SnugFit 35 DLX

This is a fantastic choice to make for your baby’s guaranteed comfort

For your darling little one, the GRACO SnugFit 35 DLX infant car seat combines safety innovations with fast installation (less than one minute) and comfort features. This product has an anti-rebound bar, guaranteed to ensure your baby is safe and snug. The headrest and harness can both be adjusted while your child is in the seat.

Buy Now

Who it is for

The GRACO, SnugFit 35 DLX infant car seat is for parents who prioritize the comfort and safety of their babies while driving. It's a wonderful choice for infants weighing four to 35 lbs and approximately 32", parents looking for a great infant car seat to pair with their Graco stroller, and parents looking for a car seat with advanced safety features like an anti-rebound bar.

Why it is great

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX infant car seat is very easily installed, convenient to move about, and is reasonably appealing aesthetically. It includes a lot of tiny additions that make it easier to use, and the height and weight restrictions are considerably generous. The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX also has an anti-rebound base, which is a pleasant (if not necessary) safety feature. Despite this, it is still less expensive than a lot of other infant seats.

Potential flaws

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX's major flaw is that if you don't use the base, it's difficult to create a tight, snug fit. This issue, however, is not exclusive to this seat alone; there are similar problems with other infant car seat models that use the typical American belt path design.

This shouldn't be a problem if you want to use the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX mostly with its base. However, families that frequently use taxis — or who plan to travel often and leave the base at home — might benefit from a seat that has a European belt path, which allows for a more secure no-base installation.

Also, unlike our other recommendations, the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is not very compatible with many stroller models, including the renowned Uppababy brand. If you absolutely have to use an Uppababy stroller with your infant car seat, you may need to opt for other picks; such as the Chicco KeyFit 30 or the Clek Liing, which are both compatible with Uppababy.

Other features

The Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is also a rather incredible bargain. Honestly, it could go for a much higher price considering its many benefits, but it's great not to have to pay more than it costs.

From front to back, the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX measures 29 inches. It's the longest of the infant car seats we've suggested in this guide, but just by an inch, so it should fit into even the smallest vehicle. This seat is also really wide, at roughly 17½ inches broad. It may be possible to fit three car seats across in a row, depending on the type of vehicle in question, as well as the other car seats in the mix. This seat weighs around 10.5 pounds without the base, about one to 1.5 pounds heavier than the other suggested brands. This extra pound is not noticeable, but considering the fact that babies tend to get heavier as they grow, opting for lighter seats at the beginning may be quite the advantage.

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is made to fit babies weighing as little as four pounds, making it a viable alternative, especially for some preemies. A newborn insert, an extra support cushion that helps offer a better harness fit for smaller babies up to 12 pounds, is included with the seat. The seat's maximum weight capacity is 35 pounds and its length is 32 inches, which is at the higher end of the infant seat range. You will most likely get tired of carrying your kid around in this seat before he or she outgrows it.

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX's sun canopy offers adequate coverage and may be detached at the back if necessary. So if the sun is shining in on your infant, they can be shielded from the front. The canopy, according to Graco, is made to be silently adjusted so as not to wake a sleeping infant.

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is stylish, and it comes in a variety of color schemes. The car seat cover is constructed of polyester fabric that feels somewhat like a wet suit and is a little abrasive to the touch. It can be spot cleaned or removed and machine-washed using a gentle setting before air drying. The Graco SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX has a "quick detach" seat pad, which means you don't have to disassemble and unthread the harness to remove the cover for washing. The section of the cover most likely to be messed up during a typical diaper blowout is a separate piece that can be detached, cleaned, and reinstalled without removing the remainder of the cover.

This seat has a seven-year lifespan before it needs to be replaced, and it comes with a one-year limited warranty that covers malfunctions (this warranty however does not include misuse by the purchaser, or damage caused by regular wear and tear).

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX's base is easy to put together, with guidelines and instructions built right in. A liquid-filled bubble level indication (similar to a carpenter's level) is one such guide, which shows you how far to adjust the base's foot once it's on your vehicle seat.

The base installation (using either LATCH or the seat belt) should take less than a minute, according to Graco. That wasn't far off based on our analysis of user feedback. The manual's instructions are detailed and easy to understand. Also, as previously remarked, the seat's indicators and instructions are really useful.

It's simple to use the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX once it's been installed. To adjust the handle position on many infant car seats, you'll need two hands. The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX, on the other hand, has a button conveniently situated at the top of the handle, which you just press while moving the handle with one hand. By elevating a handle at the rear of the seat, you may also remove the bucket from the base with one hand.

The anti-rebound bar (at the foot of the base), which lies flush on the seat back, anchors the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX, ensuring a secure fit. The anti-rebound base is an added safety element that helps to decrease secondary motion induced by a front-impact collision. The car seat can surge forward in the automobile after a collision and then rebound back, potentially throwing a baby face-first into the vehicle seat back; the anti-rebound bar can reduce this rebound effect, saving the baby. However, the N.H.T.S.A. ease-of-use rating and crash-testing data are not currently available for the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX because it is a relatively new addition to Graco's inventory.

The SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX is also super comfy, besides offering a great deal of protection for infants. It is also very durable and has added features that make it easy to clean.

Product specifications

Color: Spencer
Model#: 2120493
Product Width: 17.5 in
Product Height: 25.5 in
Product Depth: 29 in

Most cost-effective - Chicco KeyFit 30

Most cost-effective

Chicco KeyFit 30

Spend much less on this seat and get the same great value!

The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat has amazing quality and great features for a very reasonable price. It also comes with an easy installation process for your baby’s comfortable experience. This car seat is also compatible with Chicco strollers. A must-have item for your baby!

Buy Now for $183.99

Who it is for

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is a great option for parents who are looking for a quality infant car seat, for a much cheaper price. It’s as easy to install as our runner-up pick but has the advantage of being less pricey.

Why it is great

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is designed with unique features that make it among the most simple and secure infant car seats to install and use. This infant car seat is a particular favorite among parents because of its amazing features and reasonable price. It's a model that parents, family caregivers, and friends frequently suggest and share. Parents who have now used this infant car seat for several babies over many years continue to attest to its high quality.

Potential flaws

Since it employs an American belt path design, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is difficult to install tightly without its base, just like our runner-up option, the Graco seat. Therefore, however disappointing this may be, if no-base installations are important to your family, the KeyFit 30 isn't the seat for you. Also, while installing the KeyFit 30 with the base by using a seat belt (instead of the LATCH technique) is neither difficult nor complicated, it does necessitate some force.

Of our top three options, the KeyFit 30 has the smallest child height and weight limit (about five pounds and two inches below that of the Graco and Clek respectively). Although this is rarely a problem, it is something to consider, especially if your child is very tall. Car seat professionals have established that a youngster will most likely exceed the height limit of an infant seat before reaching the weight limit. Even so, many parents opt for a convertible car seat well before their child achieves either of these milestones, simply because carrying a larger baby in a bucket seat is no longer pleasant or easy.

Another thing to keep in mind if you plan on having more children in the future and want to maintain your infant car seat for the following round(s), is that the KeyFit 30 is only good for six years. As a result, it has a shorter life expectancy than the Graco (which typically lasts for seven years) or the Clek (nine years).

Other features

The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat is the cheapest of the top picks we suggested in this article. Granted, it may not have some of the elite features of our top pick, but it does offer great value considering its less expensive price.

With dimensions of 16.5 inches wide and 27.5 inches front to back, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is the smallest and narrowest of the seats we suggest. Like our other options, it would work well in a three-across seating arrangement. It weighs 9.5 pounds, making it our second-lightest baby car seat, after the Clek.

Babies weighing four to 30 pounds and 30 inches in height can conveniently utilize this seat. The KeyFit 30 can therefore accommodate the majority of preemies who can be carried in a car seat, just like our other top options. (It has a two-part newborn insert cushion for babies weighing four to 11 pounds, which provides additional body and head support.) The KeyFit 30 however has the lowest lifespan of our selections, lasting six years, and it is covered by a one-year warranty. Additionally, this seat did well in the N.H.T.S.A's crash tests.

The sun canopy on the KeyFit 30 is average; it is smaller than the canopies on our top-pick Clek or runner-up-pick Graco, but it is still acceptable. It may be removed from the seat's back and moved forward to keep the sun from entering at the front, just like the canopy on the Graco.

The KeyFit 30 doesn't have a particularly striking appearance. It's not an attractive seat; you'll find that both the Clek and the Graco are generally more appealing. However, it isn't offensive either. The KeyFit 30 is available in a variety of subdued color schemes. The seat cover is composed of a polyester material with a slippery feel; very simple to clean with a damp cloth. If necessary, you can also remove the seat cover and machine-wash it on the mild cycle before air-drying it. With the KeyFit 30, unlike the Graco, you must disassemble the harness system to take out the cover for cleaning; this adds a little extra time to the process.

The KeyFit 30 comes with explicit guidance (a comprehensive booklet, as well as extra instructions and drawings printed on the seat), and the manual is stored in a handy little drawer within the seat between usage. When using the base and LATCH technique, this was one of the simplest infant seats to install; there is a liquid-filled bubble level indicator on both sides of the base that offers a simple, intuitive measure for achieving the right seat angle.

To the best of our knowledge, there is no ease-of-use rating for this seat by the N.H.T.S.A., but going by the four out of five stars the Chicco KeyFit 30 Magic (a seat with the same base as the KeyFit 30 but was discontinued) got from the N.H.T.S.A., we can safely assume that the KeyFit 30 should get similar ratings.

The Chicco KeyFit 30 meets all the criteria for a great infant car seat; it is easy to install and use, comfortable and safe for your baby. Additionally, the N.H.T.S.A's crash tests carried out to determine safety showed that this seat functioned effectively.

Product specifications

Assembled Dimensions (L x W x H): 27.5" x 16.5" x 24"
Assembled Product Weight: 16.5 lbs
Carton Dimensions (L x W x H): 17.5" x 15.25" x 28.25"
Carton Ship Weight: 20 lbs
Product Weight: Base - 7 lbs/ Carrier - 9.5 lbs
Product Total Width: 16.5 in
Product Total Height: 24 in
Product Depth (Footprint): 27 in
Max Harness Slot Height: 9 in
Product Interior Width (Shoulder): 10 in
Product Interior Width (Hips): 10.5 in
Product Interior Seat Depth: 14 in
Product Max Seated Height: 19.5 in
Height Adjust Positions: 3
Crotch Positions: 1

Almost made the cut - Doona Infant Car Seat

Almost made the cut

Doona Infant Car Seat

The Doona supports your baby's posture during the first crucial months because it was created in collaboration with international engineering, medical and safety specialists.

Doona is an infant car seat that can handle babies as small as four pounds and as large as 35 pounds. Children up to 32 inches tall can fit comfortably. Along with a superior five-point safety harness, anti-rebound bar crash technology, and an ergonomic newborn insert, it has protective sides that keep your child safe.

Buy Now for $550.00

Who it is for

For parents who are constantly on the go, the Doona cutting-edge car seat and stroller offers a secure and useful option. It provides great comfort for babies and also boasts convenience and ease of use.

Why it is great

The Doona infant car seat is the first comprehensive and fully integrated travel solution in the world, enabling quick transitions from the car seat to the stroller. The modern and fashionable design enables you to move freely through the city without waking up your sleeping child when you board a bus, climb a flight of stairs, or get into a car.

Potential flaws

You could enjoy using the Doona infant car seat if you travel regularly or depend heavily on cabs. It has a distinctive form that may be more practical for city inhabitants without cars or for those without enough room for a standard stroller.

One thing to note is that your baby will most likely outgrow the Doona long before they outgrow a typical stroller, therefore for the majority of families, a separate car seat and stroller are a preferable option. The Doona, however, might be your best bet if you're seeking the most practical choice for when your child is young.

The Doona infant car seat is also really expensive, more so that all the other options we’ve suggested in this review. This means it may not be readily accessible to the general public, only a selected few.

Other features

The Doona infant car seat is the most expensive car seat suggested in this review. This is most likely because it is an infant car seat and stroller combo. However, it offers great value for its price so feel free to choose this if you can afford to spend a few extra hundred bucks.

By establishing a nearly flat ergonomic position, the infant insert offers the greatest standards of safety and comfort. Specifically created for newborn babies, the head support offers additional side impact protection by employing energy-absorbing materials.

The Doona is built to last because of its use of superior-grade fiber-reinforced polymers, rust-free metal, and highly durable wheels that reduce erosion. The all-in-one travel system can help save trunk room by removing the need to stow a stroller thanks to its special hybrid performance capabilities. Additionally, the canopy is made from water-repellent material and has U.P.F. 50+ sun protection which helps to keep your baby comfortable in all kinds of weather.

In addition to these features, the Doona is fashionable and aesthetically appealing. With seven vibrant hues, a redesigned all-black inner seat cover, and a svelte charcoal aluminum frame, the most recent collection makes a striking and fashionable statement. Families that care about fashion will find everything they need in this infant car seat assortment.

The Doona infant car seat can be used right out of the box since it comes fully installed. delivering simplicity and ease of use from the very beginning. You can also easily get in and out of the car thanks to the Doona’s smart design. Families on the go may move around with ease thanks to its secure click mechanism, which guarantees accurate installation every time. The N.H.T.S.A. rated this seat five out of five stars for usability.

The Doona fulfills all the purposes a good infant car seat should, and then more, thanks to its innovative hybrid functionality. Apart from being very easy and intuitive to use (as confirmed by N.H.T.S.A. ratings), it is very convenient, comfortable, and safe for babies. Some users have reported that it saved the lives of their babies in a crash, and we’re not exactly surprised by this testimony. The Doona infant car seat has been tested to meet the strictest requirements for car seats, strollers, and hand-held carriers in the U.S. as well as the E.U. region.

In frontal collision tests, Doona received an excellent five-star rating. Numerous crash tests in renowned international labs were conducted on it, including ones in adverse weather, crashes at very high speeds, etc. To regularly carry out more than 20 different tests to guarantee safety and durability, Doona also created a fully automated, internal testing center.

Product specifications

Folded: 23.6 x 17.3 x 26 inches
Unfolded: 40 x 17.3 x 32.3 inches
Weight: 16.5 lbs.
LATCH Base Dimensions:
9.6 x 15.7 x 20.9 inches
Weight: 10 lbs

Care and maintenance

Ideally, you should familiarize yourself with the manual if it is your first time cleaning an infant car seat. You don’t want to overlook any special cleaning recommendations from the manufacturer, even if the majority of car seats will have identical materials.

 

A list of all the cleaning techniques and materials you can use should be included in the car seat instructions. If you can’t find the instruction manual for your infant car seat, you can check online; the majority of manufacturers have what you need available on the internet. Simply look for  the model of your car seat on their website (check the sticker on it if you’re unsure), and the manual should be accessible somewhere.

 

How to wash an infant car seat

To get started, you’ll need the same essentials for most infant car seats:

  • warm water in a small bucket
  • a mild soap, like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Wash or Dawn Dish Soap
  • a sponge for wiping wet spills
  • a soft towel and baby wipes for cleaning up debris
  • a compact handheld vacuum.

 

Take note of the following when cleaning your infant car seat:

Get rid of solid waste first

Pick up as much solid waste as you can before starting to clean the nooks and crannies. Even though it may seem like you are picking for hours, when you do this, cleaning the seat will be a lot simpler.

For this stage, you can either use baby wipes or a plain cleaning towel. It’s even better if you happen to have a handheld vacuum.

 

Take off covers and paddings

For simpler cleaning, remove the seat’s cover and any detachable padding. The majority of infant car seats have covers that can be simply removed. Loosen any buttons or clips that were employed to hold it in place, starting at the top.

 

Many cloth coverings can be washed in cold water on the delicate cycle of your washer. Make sure this is allowed by double-checking your manual. Also, be sure to completely rinse it after using a light detergent. Never use the dryer if you use a washing machine. Any car seat component that is put in the dryer risks losing its integrity.

Use warm water to wash your cover by hand if it cannot be put in the washing machine. Clean the blemishes and stains with the sponge until they disappear. Rub carefully in a circular motion after applying the mild soap to any visible stains.

 

Clean the buckles and harness

Clean up the harness as much as possible using warm water and mild soap. It is not advisable to use stronger cleaning agents.  The harness’s webbing could be harmed and the seat compromised by abrasive cleaners. They might also irritate your baby’s skin. Use mild soap instead of any other cleaners on your car seats, not even natural ones like vinegar.

 

Cleaning the buckles is not too difficult. To remove any debris that could be lodged in the grooves and tiny corners, you should typically be able to swirl them around in the water.  Typically, each manufacturer will have various guidelines on how to wipe the buckles, so consult your manual for more detailed instructions.

 

Clean the frame

The easiest components to clean in an infant car seat are the base and frame. A vacuum cleaner is your best option in this situation if you are faced with a dry mess. After cleaning the entire frame with soap and warm water, wipe it down using a clean towel to eliminate any soap residue.

 

Reassemble the seat

 

Before reattaching the straps, make sure they are in their original, untwisted state from before cleaning. The crotch strap should then be positioned appropriately for your child if there are multiple slots available (according to the manufacturer’s instructions for fit requirements).

 

When it’s time to replace the (completely dry) cover, go to the manufacturer’s video for guidance on how to do it correctly. Finally, make sure the straps are correctly adjusted by having your child sit in the seat before reinstalling it. You could also take it to a professional for assistance with the installation process. For seats facing the back, the straps should be at shoulder level or below it; for seats facing the front, they should be at or above the shoulder.

 

How to dry

Place the infant car seat where it can thoroughly air dry after cleaning. Any stink that remains will be eliminated and the car seat will smell fresh after air drying in the sun. If the cover is detachable, hang it outside and leave it to dry.

 

Alternatively, you can put the entire car seat out in the sun to dry, that’s if the cover won’t come off. It will certainly take longer than if it were disassembled, but it will be better than allowing mold or mildew to grow on it. To ensure complete drying, it is advised to let the car seat sit outside for a few hours, perhaps the entire day if possible.

 

Where to store an infant car seat when not in use

The easiest way to store your infant car seat is to clean it first, following the instructions we’ve provided above. Afterward, wrap the seat first in a blanket, then repeat the wrapping with a large piece of bubble or plastic wrap, once the clean coverings have been restored. 

 

At this point, you can place the car seat in a cabinet. A garage, attic, outhouse, or any location where the temperature can drastically change, should generally not be used to store infant car seats.

 

How to prevent damage

Whatever car seat you decide on, there are various ways to be sure you’re using and maintaining it appropriately. To protect your infant car seat from harm and to ensure your baby’s optimal safety, keep the following advice in mind:

 

Ensure a correct installation

The use or installation of infant car seats is wrong in close to 49% of cases. A properly installed infant car seat should have its base tightly secured to the vehicle. A professional’s assistance is always recommended in addition to your owner’s manual and online instructional videos. The installation of a car seat can sometimes be completed entirely for free in many children’s hospitals, fire departments, and police departments by trained personnel.

 

Maintain proper strap adjustment

The child’s harness straps should be secured such that no extra webbing can be pinched. The chest clip of an infant seat should rest around the infant’s armpits and nipples. Also please remember that a baby grows rapidly, so the harness height adjustments that were effective on your previous journey might not be effective on subsequent ones.

 

Ensure proper positioning

For best safety, place the seat in the middle of the back seat, if at all possible. An infant car seat should always be installed in the rear seat of the automobile. The center seat, instead of the driver or passenger-side “sideboard” seat, is often regarded as the safest area for children to ride. Any car seat positioned in the middle of the back seat has the least likelihood of suffering from the consequences of the side impact, according to C.P.S.T. experts.

 

Clean carefully

Ensure that you don’t deviate from the cleaning guidelines provided for your infant car seat. Depending on the specific make and model you have, the proper cleaning procedure for your car seat will vary. The recommendations for machine washing, drying, and the right kinds of detergent and soap differ greatly from seat to seat.  The safety of the seat and/or its fabrics may thus be jeopardized if you don’t properly follow the directions, as we explained above.

 

When to buy a new infant car seat

Manufacturers generally advise against reusing infant car seats that are over five years old. This is because the seat might not be able to compete based on safety that a brand-new child seat can.

 

Consider the fact that since you’ve used that car seat for five years, car seat safety would have significantly increased. The main reason to replace your seat is that new technology and innovations are making modern car seats much safer.

 

Note that the suggestion to change infant car seats after five years is merely that — a suggestion. This does not indicate that an infant car seat is hazardous after five years, it just may not function to the same standards as a new car seat.

 

Durability of seat

Barring accidents, our top picks for infant car seats should last from five years upwards. Our cost-effective pick lasts for six years, and our top pick lasts for nine years, so it really depends on the brand you decide on.