Car Seat Rating Sources
This website by the authors of "Baby Bargains" covers major infant and convertible car seats in-depth. 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 editors of BabyGearLab.com review 15 popular infant car seats, rating them on factors including ease of installation, ease of use, comfort and quality. Product reviews are highly descriptive and detailed, going through each car seat feature by feature and discussing how it fared during testing. Separate pages offer reviews and rankings of 11 convertible car seats.
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. Elsewhere on the site, editors test several dozen convertible car seats with the same methods.
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.
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.
NHTSA testers evaluate most infant and convertible 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.
Matthew Lee is a Child Passenger Safety Technician who tested 14 infant car seats. 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. He reviews convertible seats in a similar fashion elsewhere on the site.
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, but convertible car seat rankings are also available. 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.
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 here; another page focuses on convertible seats. She also provides a helpful overview of infant car seats and recommends certain models for parents who value stroller compatibility.
Amazon.com is one of a parent's best resources for real-world reviews of 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.
Walmart.com is a solid source for customer reviews of 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.
Babies "R" Us is another good source for customer reviews of 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.