Differences between Pria 70 and Pria 85: Both seats are rated up to 40 lbs. and 40″ tall in the rear-facing position but the minimum weight limits are different. The Pria 70 model starts at 9 lbs. and the Pria 85 models start at 14 lbs. The 70 model is rated to 70 lbs. forward-facing and the 85 model is rated to 85 lbs. Both seats have Air Protect cushions on the headwings for enhanced SIP. The Pria 85 model offers harness holders (clips on the sides of the seat that can hold the harness out of the way while loading/unloading).
Our comments: We appreciate the rigid lower LATCH connectors, a “true” recline feature and the Crypton fabrics (on all fashions except for Drift). We recommend only for kids over 4 years old who weigh at least 40 lbs. and are mature enough to sit properly in a booster. The Oobr has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS when used in highback mode. See our Oobr review here.
Some car seats can be installed easily with the seat belt alone while some seats install easier with the LATCH and ISOFIX systems in your car. Check out our notes on installation in each of our detailed reviews to see which installation method works best. If you have a more expensive or luxury car and are worried about marking the interior, you can purchase protectors for your seats so that the upholstery stays clean and undamaged.
You might already know that the backseat is safer than the front, but just how much safer required some investigation. Enter the researchers from University of Buffalo who studied crash-related fatalities in relation to seat location. It turns out the backseat is 59 to 86 percent safer than the front seat. More astounding (at least to us) is that the middle seat is 25 percent safer than the window seats in the back.
The Britax Boulevard is an excellent car seat that will accommodate your newborn (5+ pounds) through her preschool and elementary years (up to 65 pounds). The Boulevard sports all the standard Britax safety characteristics, like the energy-absorbing Versa-Tether, true side-impact protection, SafeCell technology, and steel bars, and has additional comfort features, including a tangle-free five-point harness that never needs to be re-threaded.
This award goes to our favorite carseats in each category. Where possible, we separate categories by cost and limit the choices to one or two carseats at each price point.  If you want to narrow down your choices quickly, this is the place to start!  You can find many of our top picks at our Amazon Storefront: https://www.amazon.com/shop/carseatblog
What’s the safest convertible car seat? All car seats sold in the US must meet Federal and ASTM safety regulations. Most seats exceed those standards, so pretty much any seat you buy will be “safe”, but ONLY if used correctly. A whopping 70% or more of seats aren’t used correctly. So, we strongly feel that the safest seats are those that are the EASIEST to install and use daily.
The Britax Boulevard is an excellent car seat that will accommodate your newborn (5+ pounds) through her preschool and elementary years (up to 65 pounds). The Boulevard sports all the standard Britax safety characteristics, like the energy-absorbing Versa-Tether, true side-impact protection, SafeCell technology, and steel bars, and has additional comfort features, including a tangle-free five-point harness that never needs to be re-threaded.
Our comments: We recommend only for kids over 4 years old who weigh at least 40 lbs. and are mature enough to sit properly in a booster. It’s budget-friendly, LATCHable and tends to fit kids of different ages and sizes well. We only wish it was taller! The Affix has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS in both highback or backless mode. See our review of the Graco Affix here.
One is the Diono Radian R100 All-in-One convertible, which fits children from 5-40 pounds rear-facing, 20-65 pounds forward-facing and 50-100 pounds as a convertible. It’s a slim-fitting seat that fold flat for easy portability and storage. What’s good about this one is the low profile / short sides that make loading and unloading easier so you’re not straining as much or hitting your baby’s head on the ceiling to get her in and out.
The most important thing is to follow all the proper installation and weight limit guidelines so you’ll know when it’s time to change seats (or convert to a different mode). Keep your user manual handy (preferably in the car) so you can refer to it quickly. Some seats even have special compartments just to store the manual so you’ll always have it on hand, even if you’re traveling in a different vehicle.

About $200-230 depending on whether you go for the regular B-Safe 35 (usually around $170), the B-Safe Elite (usually around $200), or the newest B-Safe Ultra (usually up to $230 depending on pattern choice). The one pictured is the 35 Ultra with Cool Flow fabric. There's a reason that the Britax B-Safe Infant Car Seat is the #1 best-selling infant car seat on the market this year, because moms and dads love it, and you can't beat the Britax safety reputation. The B-Safe 35, B-Safe Elite, and B-Safe Ultra infant car seats come with a seat base that easily attaches into (and detaches from) your car using either the Latch system or the conventional seat belt. Made right here in the USA, moms love the form and fit of these seats, and we found that any of these models do a really nice job supporting even very small (4+ lbs) infants with use of the included infant padding insert. As the baby grows, you can remove the additional body and head padding to give your baby a bit more room. The car seat also has simple to adjust head protection pads, a 35-pound weight limit (which is at the higher end of the range), two crotch strap positions (in the Elite and Ultra), multiple shoulder harness strap positions to fit a growing baby, and we found it very easy with the Elite and Ultra versions to make on-the-fly adjustments to suit different size babies. The B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite have three primary differences: the elite adds quick-adjust head protection, adjustable shoulder straps without rethreading (this is truly worth the cost), and a bit more padding and higher quality fabric. The B-Safe Elite and B-Safe Ultra have a few differences as well: the B-Safe Ultra adds a European belt path and the Cool Flow fabric option. The European style belt guide allows you to secure the seat without the base using the vehicle's seat belts; this is great for people who don't want to spend the extra cash for another base, have multiple cars, or want to be able to travel (and use a ride-sharing or a taxi) without bringing the base along. The Cool Flow fabric is amazing and provides extra ventilation for the warmer months to avoid a sweaty back and discomfort. Overall, we believe the extra $40-50 is worth all of the advantages of the Ultra version. But all those features mean a car seat that weighs about 20 pounds (seat is 11lb + base is 9lb), which we understand may be quite heavy for some parents. All three B-Safe versions use the Britax SafeCell technology, which combines side impact protection, a steel-reinforced frame, and EPS energy-absorbing foam. Those safety features really set this seat apart from the crowd, and we think it's worth the added weight. Relative to the Chicco car seats (see below), the B-Safe Elite and Ultra have slightly plusher and premium-feel fabric, and we found the fabric much easier to clean with wipes, and to remove for machine washing. The B-Safe also has the same weight capacity (35 pounds) as the Chicco Fit2, but a lower maximum baby height of 32" as opposed to the Chicco Fit2's 35". Related to sizing, in our testing we did find that the B-Safe can be a bit tight in the shoulder area for bigger babies, especially after they are about 10-12 months old. That's the only real limitation of this Britax car seat, though it won't impact you if you have a relatively normal-sized baby, or if you're going to switch a convertible car seat around 12-16 months anyway. A final point is that the B-Safe canopy is larger than most others and truly covers a baby during bright sun, rain, snow, or simply for privacy and during a nap. The B-Safe is made in the USA by a company with a stellar reputation for quality and safety, including infant car seats, convertible car seats, and toddler booster seats. As a bonus, it comes in a variety of colors/patterns. Yes, it's expensive, but we believe the quality, features, and safety reputation are well worth the cost. It is definitely one the best infant car seats available this year, and worthy of this spot on our list (and its spot at the top of our best travel systems list). Interested in our top-pick, the B-Safe Ultra? You can check it out here: Britax B-Safe 35 Ultra.


Today’s baby car seats come with an attachment system that keeps them in place using built-in anchors and tethers in your car. However, most seats can still be used with the vehicle belt alone. Car seat manufacturers usually recommend using one or the other (with the exception of a booster seat). So always read your user manual or consult a local car seat technician to make sure you’re using the correct attachments.
Features: 5-50 lbs. rear-facing; 22-65 lbs. forward-facing and at least 1 year old (2 years old is suggested); 10-position headrest with no-rethread harness; 2 buckle positions; innovative “true tension doors” for ease of installation with seatbelt (preferred installation method); 10-position base; energy-absorbing EPS foam & side impact protection (SIP) pods; smooth harness adjustment; extension panel that can be used rear-facing for increased legroom or forward-facing for additional thigh support.
The infant car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make as a new parent. To help you make the best decision possible, three times a year we pull together new infant car seats and put them through hands-on tests to find the best and safest infant car seats of the year. In our testing, we consider Ease of Use, Flexibility, Baby Weight and Height Ranges, Safety, Car Size, and Stroller Types. Below we list the top 5 infant car seats of the year, followed by full reviews of over a dozen different models.
We researched over 40 booster car seats, had five families try the top contenders to see how they performed in real life, crash-tested six finalists at a top lab—and determined that the Diono Monterey XT both performed the best and was a favorite with our kid testers. It was the only seat that prevented head contact with the car’s interior in side-impact testing, and with higher height and weight limits and more adjustability than the others it should last you and your growing kid longer.
Except, when you try to install it, you discover it barely fits. The LATCH straps won’t reach the hooks in the seat. It’s impossible to get the seat angled properly so baby’s head won’t slump. And no matter how hard you try, you cannot get it strapped tightly enough, so the seat is flopping around everywhere. There’s no way you can bring baby home in a car seat that just won’t work.
×