Convertible seats can be used either rear-facing or forward-facing. They are generally the next step after the infant seat. However, many models will fit average-sized full term newborns well and many parents choose to skip the infant seat altogether and use a convertible right from the start. For optimal crash protection, use a convertible seat in the rear-facing position until the child reaches either the rear-facing weight or height limit. With a few exceptions for the smallest convertibles and/or the largest toddlers, most kids can remain safely rear-facing until they are 2 or 3 years old. Weight and height limits vary depending on the specific model. Convertible seats are more permanent in the vehicle, so you lose the convenience features of the infant seat.
In many states, it is required by law for children below 1 year of age to be in a rear-facing car seat. Further, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents keep their toddlers in rear-facing seats until at least 2 years of age. It’s safest for children to remain in that seating position until the rear-facing weight limit of your convertible car seat is reached, which can be anywhere from 2 to 5 years of age depending on your child’s growth and the seat you choose.
Usually about $300. This is a stylish, simple, sophisticated infant car seat made by Nuna International, a boutique baby gear company based in Amsterdam. They have European styling and simplicity, and some safety features that are very common in the EU but relatively rare in the USA. The Nuna Pipa seat itself is made in China, like most on this list, and can be pretty hard to find. It's generally available at Nordstrom and a few other high-end department stores. In our testing, we really loved this infant car seat. It has super soft and high-quality feel materials, with micro knit fabrics, soft and thick padding where it's needed most (like on the crotch buckle!), and a truly amazing canopy that has a nifty "dream drape" extension that basically covers the entire baby to protect from the elements (UPF 50+). It supports babies as little as 4 pounds with the included infant insert, making it an ideal infant car seat for premature babies. And it supports up to 32 pounds or 32 inches long. All that weight and height range while weighting under 8 pounds! The base is about 14 pounds, but nobody walks around with the seat attached to the base. This is one of the safest infant car seats we've ever tested, for a few reasons. First, it has the basic 5-point harness, but also deep and thick side-impact protection and EPS energy-absorbing foam. Second, it includes a stability leg, which is becoming very common in the EU: the stability leg attaches to the back of the seat and extends down to your car's floor. It limits rotational forces by absorbing impact in the event of a crash. Installation was a breeze using the easy LATCH connectors. Note that the LATCH installation connectors on this seat are stiff and attached to the base. For that reason, they will not allow you to connect to non-traditional LATCH positions (like the center seat), you'll need to use the car's seat belt for that. In our testing, we were really impressed with this infant car seat, and thought that it was quite luxurious with its fabrics and overall fit and finish. And we loved the safety features, which are a welcome addition to the typical US features. Downfalls? Well, it's difficult to find in the online and brick-and-mortar stores you might be used to. It also does not have a quick-adjust harness unlike most others on this list; this means you need to re-thread the harness from the rear every time you need to adjust its height. That issue, combined with the high price (about $300), are the primary factors bring this car seat down on our list. Also, it can be difficult to find a stroller that fits it, unless you also purchase a Nuna stroller (though they do have some great ones!). Finally, no steel-reinforced frame, unlike the Britax B-Safe, and no anti-rebound bar like the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio or the Chicco Fit2. Is it one of the best infant car seats available on the market? Yes, especially if you value the style and lightweight build quality, but you'll need to shell out some extra bucks and possibly be annoyed by having to manually rethread the harness straps and the lack of modern safety features. Interested? You can check out the Nuna Pipa here. 

Differences Between 4Ever & Milestone: 4Ever is rated from 4 lbs. because of its infant insert cushion and fits smaller newborns better than Milestone, which doesn’t have the same insert and starts at 5 lbs. 4Ever base has 6 recline positions (3 for rear-facing), Milestone base has 4 recline positions (2 can be used for rear-facing). 4Ever can be used as a highback or a backless booster, Milestone can only be used as highback booster.
Police can and will enforce car seat laws as a secondary offense. Harried parents and other caregivers may decide that a quick trip to the grocery store or local park doesn't require bundling the child in a rear-facing car seat and harness. But in the eyes of the law, there are very few excuses for putting a child at such risk. Drivers pulled over for minor traffic infractions can also be ticketed for violating child seat laws if the officer notices an improperly restrained child.
Now, as mentioned earlier there are a number of different riding positions. The three most popular include rear-facing, forward-facing, and belt-positioning boost. So which position is the safest? Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that children should ride in the rear-dfacing position. As a matter of fact, the AAP recommends children stay in this position for as long as possible. So why buy an all-in-one car seat? The answer is simple.

Some parents have complained that the seat is uncomfortable to carry when the canopy is fully extended. Several noted that the material is a bit more difficult to clean, so if you plan on feeding your child in the car, this might not be a great option. (But feeding them in the car isn’t recommended anyway!) It may also not leave a lot of legroom for taller front seat passengers.
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.

The Extend2Fit is the best overall car seat for one reason. The 10-position headrest and extra legroom provide longevity. Your child will grow. Thus, this car seat lets them grow. You do not need to buy another car seat after a year. Instead, buy the safest car seats 2019 and enjoy the car seat for a long time. Check the specifications for the proper sizing!
The Extend2Fit is the best overall car seat for one reason. The 10-position headrest and extra legroom provide longevity. Your child will grow. Thus, this car seat lets them grow. You do not need to buy another car seat after a year. Instead, buy the safest car seats 2019 and enjoy the car seat for a long time. Check the specifications for the proper sizing!

Also called car seat / stroller combos. Several infant car seats you’ll see here can either be bought alone or as part of a travel system. The seat will simply click onto the stroller. You may already have a stroller. But keep in mind that not all infant seats are compatible with all strollers, as is the case with the UPPAbaby MESA, which only fits the Vista and Cruz UPPAbaby strollers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests all car seats before they are approved to be sold in the United States. Unlike safety testing for cars, ratings on a 5-star scale are not available for comparing overall car seat safety in the event of a crash. Child car seats are basically given a pass/fail safety grading by the NHTSA; if a car seat is available for sale in 2018, then it has passed current crash safety standards.
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.

If you’re a tall parent, the front to back length of a rear-facing seat could seriously decrease your front seat legroom. Some models are compact and slim to fit perfectly in small cars, but they may not have as much cushioning or accessories. Before buying, always measure your car interior and compare it to the car seat’s dimensions just to be sure it’ll fit.

Rear-facing only seats (or infant car seats) are designed for infants weighing as little as 4 pounds up to 30-40 pounds, depending on the model. These seats are smaller, typically attach to a base and have handles for carrying. This base can be moved from car to car, but the carrier is the selling point – it allows you to carry your child around without disturbing her.
While there aren’t a lot of problems with this seat, there have been a few issues. Some parents noted a lot of wear and tear on the straps after several months of use. Other parents had difficulty getting their child at the proper recline position in rear-facing mode, so their child’s head fell forward when sleeping. Adjusting the angle with a pool noodle or towel is recommended.
A cup holder, comfy cushions and premium fabric ensure a great ride for those long road trips. Parents will also appreciate the added leg room for front seat passengers. FlexTech construction works well to distribute forces during a crash. With Air Protect side impact protection and thick padding, the Maxi-Cosi Pria meets or exceeds all US safety standards.
Features: 4-35 lbs.; up to 32″ tall; no re-thread harness with 6 height positions; single buckle position; adjustable base with anti-rebound bar and load leg; push-on lower LATCH connectors; built-in lockoff for easy seatbelt installations; EPS foam; 2-stage infant insert; has unique anti-rebound handle and European beltpath routing when installed without base; huge canopy.
The mifold is for kids weighing from 40 to 100 pounds who are 40" to 57" tall. The product folds up into a neat, compact size—10" long, 4.5" wide and 2" tall—that’s easy to stash in a backpack or suitcase, and it is safety tested and meets or exceeds NHTSA standards. While it doesn’t have extra features like many other booster seats, the ​mifold still takes the seatbelt off the stomach and the neck and has a comfortable surface for kids to sit on.​

Drawbacks: Both seats are heavy and there is a learning curve involved with both Foonf and Fllo. Cannot be used for newborns or small babies unless you purchase the “Infant Thingy” insert (sold separately) which modifies the seat to fit smaller babies. Make sure you understand the LATCH weight limits for both rear-facing and forward-facing. The initial rear-facing setup can be complicated.
The Cosco Juvenile Top Side is a backless booster with an extra-plush pad for added comfort. This seat fits children between 40 and 100 pounds with heights that range from 43 to 57 inches. Cosco's unique "seat-safe" design ensures that vehicle seats remain unmarked by the presence and use of the booster. Many customers tell us this product's narrow seat makes it a great choice for smaller cars, comfortably fitting children without tipping over. The combination car seat is a special category in that it is a forward facing car seat that includes a booster seat along with a high-back chair and harness. The combination car seat can be easily converted to a booster seat when the time is right. It is very important to check the weight limit of the harness. The concept is to allow for shoulder/lap belt use one your child reaches the right height.
I have been on the hunt for the best car seat for my situation. I need a car seat that either has a detachable base (like infant car seat) so I can have multiple bases in cars and just have to switch the seat part or I need an extremely simple car seat to be able to remove daily. Having multiple car seats really isn’t an option in the situation so please don’t offer that suggestion. Also, I am not too concerned on price if it meets my needs. Thanks!