Best Toddler Car Seat Reviews 2016
Choosing a good baby car seat for your new born child, infant or toddler certainly is no easy task, especially for new parents or parents to be. The multitude of different manufactures, types of baby seat and endless feature lists can leave you confused and unsure of what the best toddler car seat is in the current market.
At baby car seat reviews, we monitor a wide range of marketplaces in order to keep abreast with current trends, enabling us to choose which products to compare. Within the baby car seats sector, we research hundreds of products in order to short list the best and most relevant for our readers which in turn are evaluated, scored and then ranked within our site to deliver easy, informative car seat comparisons regarding infant car seat safety, durability, price and ease of use.
If you are currently looking to buy a seat online, read through our guide here to get the best prices, car seat safety ratings, most up to date reviews, comparisons and sound expert advice to help you make a more informed decision. We aim to help you through the tough and important decision of finding the ideal seat for you and your new family. Start off by reviewing our top picks so far of 2016..........
Top Baby Car Seat Reviews of 2016
|Name/Image||Learn More||Brand||Rating||Age Range||Style||Weight||Product Dimensions|
Graco SnugRide 35 LX Click Connect
|View PriceFull Review||Graco||0 -18 Months||Rear Facing||7.5 Lbs||28 x 18.7 x 15.6"|
Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat
|View PriceFull Review||Chicco||0 - 18 Months||Rear Facing||21 Lbs||28.4 x 17.3 x 15.5"|
Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc 30 Infant Car Seat Review 2016
|View PriceFull Review||Baby Trend||0 - 18 month||Rear Facing||21.2 Lbs||27.2 x 17 x 16"|
Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Baby Car Seat
|View PriceFull Review||Britax||0 - 2 Years||Convertible||24.9 Lbs||26.5 x 17.8 x 25"|
Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
|View PriceFull Review||Britax USA||0 - 5 Years||Convertible||30.2 Lbs||23 x 20.5 x 23.5"|
Baby Jogger City Go 2016 Car Seat
|View PriceFull Review||Baby Jogger||0 - 2 Years||Rear Facing||7.2 Lbs||18.1 x 27.7 x 17.3"|
Why are baby car seats so important?
As a new mother (or father) you will already feel and understand that nothing is more important than your child’s safety. So, unless you are not planning on having your child in a vehicle ever, you will need to make comparisons and invest in a baby infant car seat for your new arrival. As you will probably already know searching and finding the correct seat is quite an undertaking, and not one to be taken lightly so its important to get sound reviews for top rated baby car seats. It is, however, an essential task and one worth doing right. Continue reading to find out why securing your child in your car is so important …
Firstly and quite possibly most important to some, it is the law. All states in the US, UK and Europe have a law that says you must have your baby, infant or toddler properly secured in a baby car restraint of some description. Most States say you have to keep your baby/child restrained up to the age of 7 or until they weigh at least 60 pounds. Obviously, the laws do vary from State to State so it is worth double checking your State’s laws to be 100% sure or refer to the governing body, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA for short for further reading on this subject.
Secondly and equally, if not more important is of course your child’s safety. It is an upsetting, but unfortunately true fact, that many children are injured and even killed on American roads each and every year. The highest percentage of injuries and deaths on the roads are caused because babies/children are either not secured properly in their seat or because they are simply not secured at all. This makes it absolutely paramount that you take the time and effort to ensure you purchase a good quality and safe carseat for your baby to travel in and reviewing car seat safety ratings is extremely important.
Many parents are under the misconception that road traffic injuries and deaths are only caused to children at high speeds. This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, around 75 percent of all road traffic accidents occur at relatively low speeds (under 44 MPH) and on small local roads, not large highways. So, even if you think you’ll only be travelling short distances at low speeds, it is still extremely important for you to invest in a good seat and read plenty of the best Infant car seats 2016 reviews and comparisons guides. Its important that all child carseats conform to regulations. Check out the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials or AASHTO for short for further reading on the standards that have to be met when is comes to Car seats for toddlers.
Best Baby Car Seats 2016 Buyers Guide
When you begin the search for a perfect Car Seat for Baby, there are a number of factors that you will need to consider. One thing you can be sure of though is that if your purchase a brand new seat from a US store (online or high street) you can be confident it meets all US and Federal safety regulations and has been rigorously crash tested to ensure it is safe. Despite this, a babies restraint is only at its optimum if it has been fitted properly into your car, so makes sure that you follow the instructions exactly or ask the store to help you fit the seat.
Good Infant car seat Safety should be right at the top of your list when buying a vehicle seat for your child or toddler. This is undoubtedly one purchase in your life where you really should not be looking to get a “bargain”. As with most things in life, you really do get what you pay for. This does not mean that you cannot get a good value car seat, but you should definitely not simply go for the cheapest or cheap car seats option.
We think the 4 key safety features to look out for are:
- The isofix base unit and how securely it connects/fits into your vehicle.
- The harnessing and the unit that connects all the different harness points. Most seats have multiple harness points for extra comfort and safety so the connector needs to be strong and secure.
- Side impact protection. Nearly ALL good baby car seats have this but NOT ALL are high quality so read up before you purchase.
- Neck/head support for newborns/infants. Most seats will have an attachment for this (if it is not built in) but not all.
Will the car seat fit into your car?
This may seem a little obvious but most parents will overlook the dimensions of the actual seat. Not all the best toddler car seats will fit easily into all cars, some are simply too bulky to allow your front seat to come back far enough for both your baby and your front passenger to be comfortable. It is very important to measure the width, depth and height of the space you have available in your vehicle before you purchase and reading the top rated Infant car seats reviews online can help speed up this process. Remember to have the front seat in the normal travelling position before you measure. It’s actually best if you can try a few different models before you take the plunge, so if you have friends with small babies, ask if you can give theirs a try first.
Pick the right kind of car seat for infants
If you have already started researching the ideal car seat for a child, you will know, just trying to get your head around the different names, models and types of seat is an absolute nightmare. To clarify this, our baby car seat reviews 2016 are split into 4 main categories. These are basically 5 main types of seat you need to be familiar with, which we have listed below with a brief explanation for each.
Rear-Facing Newborn Baby Car Seats
As the title suggests this will be the first seat most parents will purchase and to start with, will have to be a rear-facing infant car seat. Travelling in a rear facing position is far safer than any other method so keep your baby in this seat until they are at the very least 1 year old or when they weigh more than 30 lbs (depending on manufacturers recommendations of course). The majority of newborn infant car seats will also double up as a handy carrier that can be taken out of the car and placed back in securely (fixing to the accompanying isofix base unit) very easily. Many newborn car seats will have the option of purchasing a buggy/stroller that the carrier can connect into too, and in our opinion are the best baby car seat you can buy for a new baby and recommended for ease. ALL newborn baby carseats will be rear-facing only.
Forward Facing Car Seats
Typically, these types of seat will be suitable for children aged between 2 and 5 years old depending on their weight. Once your infant has outgrown their rear facing seat, they should be buckled into a forward-facing seat until they reach the upper specified weight limit for the seat specified by the manufacturer. A seat that is only forward-facing will not be suitable for a new born infant, nor can its position be changed. It will however come with adjustable harnesses and straps to allow for maximum adjustability and comfort as your child grows.
Convertible Infant Car Seats
Convertible infant seats for the car are seats that allow fixing in both the rear and forward facing positions. These seats are designed to adjust to your child’s growth ensuring safety and comfort whilst eliminating the need for additional seat purchases, a popular choice for new parents where money saving is a primary objective. You will find the harnessing function and other safety features are similar to the infant seats, however, everything is of course a little larger to accommodate your child as they grow. The main difference will be the higher back part of the seat and of course much more depth to ensure the legs are supported. You will probably find that most infant car seat reviews centre around the best convertible car seat as they tend to be the most popular choice for parents and in particular, Baby Trend models are among the most popular in the US.
In most US States you are required to have your baby rear-facing up to the age of 2 and most manufacturers will build to accommodate this. You will see the weight limit for rear-facing will be around 40 to 50 pounds. Most of the best convertible car seats will then allow your child to travel forward facing up to around 60 to 70 pounds. Again, the weight and height restrictions do vary from brand to brand so please check before purchasing which manufacturer suits your family’s needs the best.
All-in-one Travel Systems
As the name suggests, these are the car seats that claim to “do it all”. Most All-in-one travel systems will be able to accommodate your baby from newborn up to around 3 to 4 years old or possibly older depending on the brand/model. As with the separate versions that you can buy you will be able to place your child rear-facing from 5 up to around 40 pounds and then front or forward facing from 20 to around 70 pounds forward facing (however, most experts recommend leaving rear-facing up to 40 pounds.
When you initially start searching for the ideal car seat you may think that an all-in-one is the obvious way to go, as they provide the most usage and will come with handy extras such as the crib and baby stroller along with other accessories. We find that these types of products can certainly be good value for money however, not every part of the package will conform to your exact requirements so sometimes its better to buy separately. Read our review or the concord system and other travel system baby car seats reviews for more information.
Child Booster Seat
It will not be long before you little bundle of joy has outgrown their car seat and you will need to checkout other car seat comparisons. Once this happens, rather than just having your child placed in the seat next to you, you will want to buy a child booster seat so they can not only be on a level with you and see more easily out of the window, but they will be safer too.
A booster car seat lifts your child up from the vehicles standard seating and makes sure the safety belt fits correctly and secures your child in the event of a collision. You can purchase two different types of infant booster seat, the high back versions or the back-less ones. We recommend the back-less ones as they are much lighter and far easier to carry/transport. It is important to remember that most States have a law in place that requires the use of a toddler booster seat up to a certain age, so please check this when you are thinking about buying.
When the time comes to remove your childs booster car seat or restraint all together, its worth while noting that you should keep them in the back seat until at least the age of 12. In some states, this may even be the law but above all else, its down to travelling safely at all times and taking into consideration that the effects of an accident are going to be far worse off if your child is in the front seat. If your child cannot sit comfortably in the back, you should keep them in or on a booster car seat. never let you child travel with the seat belt tucked under their arm as this is dangerous and could cause a serious injury if an accident was to occur.