What every best Car Seats has:
- Adequate height and weight limits.
- LATCH system for easy installation.
- Adjustable harness heights.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is still the infant car seat to beat because it's the easiest to use, reviewers say. Installation is a dream with an easily adjustable base and push-button LATCH connectors, and the car seat cover is easy to pop off and toss into the washing machine. Moreover, the KeyFit 30 is safe -- it scores the highest possible marks in experts' independent crash tests even without some of the fancy safety extras that other seats boast.Buy for $182.40
Graco's SnugRide infant car seats have long been among parents' favorites, and the Click Connect 30 is one of the best values in the SnugRide line. The seat earns solid marks for ease of installation, and parents say the ample padding and large sun canopy keep their babies comfortable. At 7½ pounds, the SnugRide Click Connect 30 is also one of the lightest infant car seats on the market, making it easier to carry even when it's filled with a growing baby.Buy for $76.49
The Diono RadianRXT is a longtime standout that continues to fill an important niche: It's a very narrow car seat that can fit three across without sacrificing height or weight capacity. In fact, children as heavy as 80 pounds can still fit in the seat forward-facing, and then they can use it up to 120 pounds as a booster. Though it has a tall frame, an optional angle adjuster can help parents install the RadianRXT at a more upright angle, saving front-to-back space, too.Buy for $233.99
Parents with a smaller car or smaller budget appreciate the Safety 1st Guide 65 for its small footprint and modest price. Unlike some other inexpensive convertibles, the Guide 65 still can accommodate children as heavy as 65 pounds forward-facing, and it gets good marks in independent crash tests. Not only is the Guide 65 narrow enough to fit three across, it's short-shelled enough to be a good candidate for compact cars without a lot of space behind the front seats.Buy for $78.88
Bulky convertible car seats can be beasts to install properly, but reviewers say the Chicco NextFit bucks that trend. SuperCinch LATCH straps and nine built-in recline positions are among the features that make getting a rock-solid installation no problem. The seat also boasts a no-rethread harness and machine-washable cover. All this ease of use doesn't sacrifice safety -- deep head wings and a steel-reinforced frame help make the NextFit a standout there, too. The NextFit is also long-lived, accommodating kids up to 65 pounds.Buy for $299.99
Cheaper convertible car seats sometimes have lower height and weight limits, but the Evenflo SureRide DLX can keep big kids safe up to 65 pounds and 54 inches. At 14 pounds, it's lighter than many convertible car seats – a nice bonus for parents who may have to move it from car to car – and fairly easy to install despite basic features in that category. The SureRide also receives the highest possible safety ratings from independent testing organizations.Buy for $89.99