Convertible Car Seat Ratings: Expert and User Reviews Ratings

In this report

Car Seat Rating Sources

1. Baby Bargains Car Seats: Picking the Right Child Safety Seat, Baby Bargains, 2015, 11th edition
Credibility:
"Baby Bargains" covers all major infant car seats in-depth, both by brand and by individual model. Authors Denise and Alan Fields consider performance, ease of use and the brand's track record to come up with their overall rating for each seat. Reviews are comparative, thorough and unbiased. The website reviews require a subscription.
2. ConsumerReports.org Infant Car Seat Ratings, ConsumerReports.org
Credibility:
Editors of ConsumerReports.org test more than two dozen infant car seats on crash protection, ease of use and fit to vehicle. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and they include editors' "highs" and "lows" for each seat -- helpful for parents who want a quick summary of each seat. It can be unclear when the tests were performed.
3. ConsumerReports.org Convertible Car Seat Ratings, ConsumerReports.org
Credibility:
Editors of ConsumerReports.org test several dozen convertible car seats on crash protection, ease of use and fit to vehicle. Each seat is comparatively ranked to the others. Included in the car seat tests are a helpful buying guide and consumer ratings as well.
4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings: Infant, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Credibility:
NHTSA testers evaluate most infant car seats currently on the market for overall ease of use. Evaluations of a seat's labels, instructions, ease of use and installation features contribute to the overall one-to-five-star ranking. The rankings are unbiased, but they do not account for safety features or owners' opinions.
5. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings: Convertible, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Credibility:
NHTSA testers evaluate nearly all convertible car seats for overall ease of use. Evaluations of a seat's labels, instructions, ease of use and installation features contribute to the overall one-to-five-star ranking. The rankings are unbiased, but they do not account for safety features or owners' opinions.
6. CarSeatBlog.com Recommended Car Seats, CarSeatBlog.com, February 2015
Credibility:
This website, run by professional child passenger safety technicians and instructors, names a number of infant and convertible car seats to its recommended list based on technicians' experiences with a wide range of seats. Short reviews note key features as well as drawbacks, and the page links to longer, more detailed reviews.
7. CarSeatsForTheLittles.org Recommended Seats, CarSeatsForTheLittles.org, Sept. 21, 2015
Credibility:
This website, run by professional child passenger safety technicians and instructors, names a number of infant and convertible car seats to its recommended list based on technicians' experiences with a wide range of seats. Short reviews note pros and cons, and the page links to longer, more detailed reviews.
8. BabyCenter.com 2015 Moms' Picks: Best Infant Car Seats, BabyCenter.com
Credibility:
BabyCenter.com's Moms' Picks are based on a survey of more than 8,000 parents. This page lists the top five infant car seats from that survey. Aside from an overall winner, there are also picks for best space-saving seat, best looking seat, easiest to use seat, best value seat, and best quality seat.
9. BabyCenter.com 2015 Moms' Picks: Best Convertible Car Seats, BabyCenter.com
Credibility:
BabyCenter.com's Moms' Picks are based on a survey of more than 8,000 parents. This page lists the top five convertible car seats from that survey. In addition to naming an overall winner, winners in additional categories are named, including best space-saving seat, best looking seat, easiest to use seat, best value seat, and best quality seat.
10. LuciesList.com Infant Car Seats, LuciesList.com, April 14, 2015
Credibility:
LuciesList.com is a site devoted to recommending the best baby gear for new parents. Founder Meg Collins is a former Child Passenger Safety Technician who recommends six infant seats at a variety of price points. She also provides a helpful overview of infant car seats and recommends certain models for parents who value stroller compatibility.
11. LuciesList.com Best Convertible Car Seats, LuciesList.com, June 2015
Credibility:
LuciesList.com editors recommend 10 convertible seats at a variety of price points. She also recommends seats according to special situations like best for small cars, seats for three across, best for newborns, and best for flying. Each seat is given a good overview. The founder of LuciesList.com, Meg Collins is a former Child Passenger Safety Technician.
12. TheNightLight.com The Best Infant Car Seat, TheNightLight.com
Credibility:
Matthew Lee is a Child Passenger Safety Technician who spent 33 hours testing 14 infant car seats, including four new models for 2015. He also considered expert and owner reviews for his recommendations. Testing included installations in three vehicles, an evaluation of each seat's instructions, and measurements to assess how much room seats took up in back seats.
13. TheNightLight.com The Best Convertible Car Seat, TheNightLight.com
Credibility:
Child Passenger Safety Technician Matthew Lee tested 14 convertible car seats over 32 hours, as well as doing other research and considering expert and owner reviews. Testing included installations in three vehicles, an evaluation of each seat's instructions, and fit to child using an infant doll and a 4-year-old child.
14. Babble.com Expert-Tested: The Best Infant Car Seats of 2015, Babble.com
Credibility:
Loeb is a Child Passenger Safety Technician who tested a range of infant seats using her own children. Reviews are thorough, including specs, safety features, installation notes, and pros/cons for all seats. Picks are for a variety of categories, including best all-around seat, best budget seat, and best luxury seat.
15. Amazon.com Infant Car Seats, Amazon.com, As of October 2015
Credibility:
Amazon.com is one of a parent's best resources for real-world reviews of infant car seats. Reviews are often quite detailed and even-handed. Prospective buyers should read carefully, since reviewers sometimes wrongly fault a product for bad experiences with the seller or shipping. Readers should also beware of older reviews, which might discuss an older version of a product with flaws that have been addressed. Convertible car seats and combination seats are also reviewed on this site.
16. Walmart.com Infant Car Seats, Walmart.com, As of October 2015
Credibility:
Walmart.com is a solid source for customer reviews of infant and convertible car seats, particularly budget models. Owners rate seats on a one-to-five-star scale, and reviews can be sorted by "most helpful" and "newest" among other criteria. There are a good number of reviews, but the information generally isn't as detailed as it is at some other sites.
17. Babies 'R' Us Infant Car Seats, Babies 'R' Us, As of October 2015
Credibility:
Babies "R" Us is another good source for customer reviews of infant car seats, particularly popular seats and those exclusively sold at Babies "R" Us. Owners rate seats on a one-to-five-star scale, and the site offers a helpful snapshot of reviewers' pros and cons. However, information generally isn't as detailed as it is at some other online consumer sites that sell infant car seats, and there tend to be not as many reviewers overall. This site also has reviews for convertible car seats.