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Best Infant Car Seats of 2023

Infant car seats are essential. These are the top models.

Are you seeking the best car seat for your little bundle of joy? We’ve taken a look at some things you’ll want to consider while shopping for this important purchase.

We have spent hours researching, evaluating, and asked other parents for their opinions and experience.

These are the best infant car seats that are safe, easy to use, and budget-friendly.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat (Discontinued by...
Best for Limited Space
Diono Radian 3RXT
  • Capable of sitting three across
  • Extremely customizable
  • SuperLATCH system
Product Image of the Safety 1st® Onboard 35 LT Infant Car Seat, Monument
Great for Small Babies
Safety 1st 35 LT
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Includes approved inserts
  • Compatible with quickclick system
Product Image of the Evenflo Platinum Symphony Elite All-in-One Car Seat
Best One-Time Purchase
Evenflo Symphony DLX
  • Precise fit
  • One piece
  • Great safety features
Product Image of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base | Rear-Facing Seat for Infants 4-30...
Easiest to Install
Chicco KeyFit 30
  • Super cinch LATCH system
  • Easy to install
  • Travel system compatible
Product Image of the Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System With SafeMax Car Seat, 2 Piece Set (Pack of...
Best for Travel
Evenflo Pivot Modular
  • Features the safezone base
  • Certified for use in airplanes
  • Includes an anti-rebound bar
Product Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Stroller, Phantom, 50 Pounds
For Active Moms & Babies
Baby Trend Expedition
  • Great for walking and errands
  • One-hand adjustment
  • Side impact protection
Product Image of the Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds,...
Easiest to Fasten
Safety 1st Grow & Go
  • With harness holder
  • Reduced footprint
  • Quickfit harness

The Best Infant Car Seats of 2023

Here are our top seven infant seats for you to consider.

1. Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat

Best Infant Car Seat for Limited Space

If you have multiple children close together in age, you know the struggle of finding car seats that will fit your space. This is especially true if you’re working with a smaller car or rear-facing car seats.

This model from Diono is designed to fit in tight spaces. It’s a great option for three across in a back seat and can be used with kids who are 5 to 120 pounds. It can keep working for your child year after year as they grow.

It’s available in multiple colors and is approved for use on airplanes. A 12-position headrest provides great head support while the seat is reinforced for complete side impact protection.

This unit can fold flat for storage when needed and has an extra long lifespan of 10 years.

What We Like

Capable of Sitting Three Across

Even car seats touting their small footprint can take up a tremendous amount of space. We love that bulky car seats help keep our kids safe. We don’t love the hassle that comes along with installing three across.

Fortunately, Diono has made that a thing of the past. A narrow base helps ensure you can get three seats across a backseat while keeping your kids safe.

Extremely Customizable

This unit gives you additional customization options besides the 12 different positions for the headrest. The shoulder straps can be placed in five positions while there are three different buckle options. The incline angle can also be adjusted, which is great for younger children who are still rear-facing.

SuperLATCH System for Easy Install

The SuperLATCH system is designed to make LATCH use even easier. Even a space-saving unit like this can be difficult to install when you’re dealing with three across. The SuperLATCH system provides an audible click and gives you a visual confirmation that your seat is properly in place.

What We Don't Like

This Unit Is Heavy

There is nothing lightweight about this car seat. It is designed around a steel alloy frame to provide your child with a safe place while in the car. That frame comes at a cost, though, which means this car seat is heavier than usual.

This seat is heavy along the upper portion and cannot sit up on its own. Be aware of that when swapping out seats or changing your vehicle. At nearly 30 pounds, if you plan to fly with this car seat, you’ll want to have a travel plan in place.

There Are No Armrests or Sides

No armrests and low sides help give this car seat its streamlined look and narrow base. However, it can mean your child is less supported when in the car, especially while front-facing and sleeping. It also means there will be fewer barriers between your children during journeys.

Product Specs

Weight 28 pounds
Dimensions 16.14 inches by 16.93 inches by 28.35 inches
Child Weight Minimum 5 pounds
Child Weight Maximum 120 pounds when used as a booster seat
Extra Features SuperLATCH system, airplane approved, adjustable settings

2. Safety 1st 35 LT Car Seat

Best Infant Car Seat for Small Babies

This seat is equipped with the LATCH system. It’s suitable for children who weigh between 4 and 35 pounds. Head and body inserts are included and can be used for small babies, like preemies, who need additional support.

To keep up with your quickly growing child, this unit comes with an adjustable harness. It has four heights it can be set at to accommodate your little one properly. The harness is easy and quick to adjust with a single pull.

Though this unit is not part of a travel system, it is QuickClick compatible. Any stroller that features the QuickClick system can work safely with this unit.

What We Like

Lightweight and Easy to Carry

We love how easy this car seat is to get in and out of the car. This car seat features ultra-lightweight materials and cutting-edge engineering.

It’s not too heavy, and that makes it a great choice for an infant’s seat. Even when not using a compatible stroller, it’s not difficult to get in and out of the house and other destinations.

Includes Approved Inserts for Your Newborn

Small babies can shift around a lot in car seats, and they sometimes need more support. Having approved inserts can help make your baby more comfortable. We love that this car seat comes with inserts designed to keep small infants safe and cozy.

LATCH Compatible

This car seat can be installed using a seat belt or the LATCH system. Not all vehicles are equipped with LATCH tether points (especially older models). The car seat will keep your child safe whether you use the LATCH attachment system or the seat belt.

Whenever possible, I like to use the LATCH system. I find it keeps the seat in place better and creates more stability. Whether you choose to use the LATCH system or the seatbelt, remember you should use only one at a time.

Compatible With QuickClick System

This seat is designed to snap securely into compatible strollers. Unlike travel system sets, you can choose your preferred stroller. As long as the selected stroller is also part of the QuickClick system, it will easily work with this car seat.

What We Don't Like

The Canopy Is Hard to Move

Both the canopy and the handle can be resistant to being moved. Even when depressing the lock mechanism, it can be hard to get the canopy and handle to the desired position. This can make it more challenging than necessary to get your infant situated in the car or stroller.

Harness Buckle Is Large

This car seat features a five-point harness. The buckle designed to sit between the thighs is large. This can cause the buckle to press uncomfortably into a child’s inner thighs when they’re in the car seat.

It’s possible this discomfort could build an early dislike for both car seats and travel. If your child objects to the car seat’s buckle, you may want to consider another option.

Product Specs

Weight 15 pounds
Dimensions 15.8 inches by 18 inches by 30.5 inches
Child Weight Minimum 4 pounds
Child Weight Maximum 35 pounds
Extra Features LATCH system, QuickClick system, ASTM International and Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association approved, infant inserts

3. Evenflo Symphony DLX Convertible Car Seat

Best One-Time Purchase

This car seat from Evenflo can be the only one you ever need to purchase. It’s suitable for children who weigh as little as 5 pounds. It can be used safely until your child is up to 110 pounds.

This is a convertible car seat and is made to be used as a rear-facing unit for younger children, up to 40 pounds. Once your child is older and larger, the unit can be safely used while facing forward.

This seat features the LATCH system and is designed for easy, one-hand use. It has a five-point safety harness and double structural integrity tested. A single unit, this car seat is easy to transfer between vehicles.

What We Like

Takes Your Child From Infancy Through Childhood

This seat is capable of bringing your child home from the hospital — and then home from preschool. We love how we can invest our time in learning how to use just one car seat. The money savings are great as well.

The straps of this unit can be adjusted to give the best fit possible. The angle of the incline can also be changed. As your child ages, the height of the headrest can be adjusted as well.

One Piece

There’s no need to drag an additional base around with you or worry about having one in each vehicle. This unit is a single, self-contained car seat your child can continue to use for years to come.

Great Safety Features

This car seat offers extra side impact protection. This can reduce side impact forces by up to 50 percent, and in turn, keeps your infant safe in the event of an accident.

In addition to the side impact protection, this unit has a harness that offers infinite slide. This helps give you an accurate and custom fit every time. The five-point harness is rated to protect your growing child.

What We Don't Like


This unit is large and may not be suitable for a smaller car. The car seat offers multiple reclining positions. Like other car seats, this one takes up even more room when rear-facing.

You’ll likely want your young child in a more reclined position. This increases the depth needed to use the car seat easily. Ensure your back seat can accommodate the car seat in the configuration you need — while still allowing people upfront.

Product Specs

Weight Not specified
Dimensions 21 inches by 21 inches by 25.5 inches
Child Weight Minimum 5 pounds
Child Weight 110 pounds
Extra Features LATCH system, adjustable harness and headrest, side-impact protection, integrated cup holders

4. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Easiest to Install

This infant-only car seat is straightforward to install. It includes features like a sure leveling foot and a bubble level, so you know when your seat is installed correctly. There’s a LATCH system integrated with an easy-to-reach cinch to create a tight fit every time.

Though this is for the car seat only, it is made to work with Chicco strollers that are sold separately. The car seat has an insert for newborns and can be used with babies as small as 4 pounds.

The carry handle offers two preset positions and includes a comfortable grip. It’s available in multiple colors and will suit children up to 30 pounds.

What We Like

Super Cinch LATCH System

The LATCH system on this unit is designed to keep installation fast and simple. You can keep the strap long while you fasten the LATCH clips into place. This lets you see what you’re doing more easily and gives you space to work in.

Once your LATCH system is ready to go, a midpoint cinch lets you get the tight, custom installation you’re looking for.

Easy to Install Correctly

A lot of thought has gone into making this unit easy to install. A spring-loaded leveling foot allows you to get the perfect angle for your car seat. The base slides into this foot during installation.

To confirm your unit is properly installed, two bubble levels are built-in to the car seat. When the bubble is in the designated space, you know you’ve installed it correctly — no second-guessing necessary.

Travel System Compatible

Though this unit is sold alone (with just the car seat and the base), there is a compatible Chicco stroller. If you purchase the KeyFit stroller, you have an easy-to-use travel system. It’s a lightweight stroller model that can make for a good travel system even when space is limited.

What We Don't Like

The Sunshade Doesn’t Stay Put

The sunshade doesn’t always stay where it’s been positioned. This means you may need to rely on backup sun protection when your child is buckled in. The sunshade may also get in the way when the car seat is being moved from one location to the next.

Uncomfortable Fabric Choice

The material used on the seat is easy to clean. However, this comes with some compromises. It isn’t breathable, which means your little one may get sweaty and uncomfortable, even on short journeys.

Product Specs

Weight 17 pounds
Dimensions 27.5 inches by 17 inches by 24 inches
Child Weight Minimum 4 pounds
Child Weight Maximum 30 pounds
Extra Features LATCH system, Super Cinch LATCH fastening, travel system compatible, leveling foot, bubble levels

5. Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System

Best Infant Car Seat for Travel

This Evenflo seat offers a unique design for a travel system car seat. It’s designed for use in the accompanying base, both in the car and in the stroller.

The base is equipped with its own carrying handle to help make transferring a little easier. Installation takes a matter of moments, and the guesswork that goes with getting the right angle is a thing of the past.

This unit is safe for children who weigh between 4 and 35 pounds and 32 inches or less in height. This car seat is available in multiple colors.

What We Like

Features the SafeZone Base

The SafeZone base allows you to more easily get your baby’s car seat where you need it to be. Instead of worrying about slipping the unit back in the base, you’re essentially left with a one-piece car seat. This is a great feature if you frequently need to move the car seat from one car to another.

Certified for Use in Airplanes

If you’re planning on traveling with a young child, you may want to bring your car seat along with you. You’ll need one when you get where you’re going. Their normal seat can also give your child something comforting in a new experience.

Not all seats are approved for use in an airplane. Additional standards and safety testing are applied to ones approved for flights. Purchasing a unit that’s for use both in cars and planes can keep you from needing to make an additional purchase.

Includes an Anti-Rebound Bar

The anti-rebound bar functions as an additional holding point when the seat is latched into its base. It sits at the back of the base near your baby’s feet.

While the additional handle space can be helpful, the intended purpose is much more significant than just convenience. This bar serves to help absorb and dissipate any impact the car seat experiences during a crash. This helps keep your little one safe.

What We Don't Like

Car Seat Is Heavy and Bulky

Though the attached base and rebound bar can be convenient and safe, it adds a lot of weight and bulk. This can make short trips where you’re carrying the car seat more uncomfortable and difficult. If you don’t need the base and aren’t planning on using the stroller, you may want to detach it.

Removing the Base From the Car Seat Is Hard

There may be times you want to detach the base from the seat. Though it’s designed to stay together and function as a single-piece unit, its bulk may be problematic.

Unfortunately, the base doesn’t unlock easily from the car seat. This can make detaching frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you’re juggling the baby at the same time.

Product Specs

Weight 20 pounds
Dimensions 31.4 inches by 16.7 inches by 17.7 inches
Child Weight Minimum 4 pounds
Child Weight Maximum 35 pounds
Extra Features LATCH system, anti-rebound bar, airplane-approved, travel system

6. Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System

Best for Active Moms and Babies

This travel system and infant car seat are a great choice for the mom who wants to be active. The car seat is suitable for infants who weigh up to 30 pounds, and the accompanying stroller is a three-wheel jogging stroller.

This seat is suitable for babies who weigh at least 4 pounds. It features a five-point safety harness and has a level indicator to help you identify when the unit is properly installed. The seat is for use with children who are less than 30 inches in height.

It’s top-rated and features head support for infants. It also offers a preset base height adjustment that can be used through a simple push-button operation.

It does need a base, which is included with this travel system, and additional bases are available to be purchased separately.

What We Like

Great for Walking and Errands

This product is a great option if you need to go places. The stroller is narrow, and real rubber wheels allow you to go anywhere easily. The car seat is easy to remove from the base and snaps into place on the stroller quickly and securely.

One-Hand Adjustment

The five-point safety harness is designed for quick and easy adjustment. This helps you create the perfect fit each time you fasten your baby in. This unit also features a push-button height-adjustable base with four different presets for a great installation fit.

Side Impact Protection

This top-rated seat features EPS energy-absorbing foam in its construction. This foam helps absorb side-impact and reduces transfer to your child in the event of an accident.

What We Don't Like

This Unit Is Heavy

Both the car seat and the stroller in this travel system are on the heavy side. Planning to do a lot with just the car seat piece, or think you’ll struggle with a heavy stroller? You may want to consider a different option.

Car Seat Can Be Awkward to Carry

It features a triangular grasp on the middle of the handle. This can be a great feature if you plan to hold it by the grasp. However, if you put your arm through the handle and support the seat with your arm instead, it can be awkward.

The handle is designed not to scratch the carrier, and the triangular grasp is wrapped in foam for additional comfort. Especially if you’re on the shorter side, it’s unlikely you’ll want to rely on the grasp for carrying the seat.

Product Specs

Weight 15.5 pounds
Dimensions 16.5 inches by 26 inches by 25 inches
Child Weight Minimum 4 pounds
Child Weight Maximum 30 pounds
Extra Features LATCH system, side-impact protection, travel system

7. Safety 1st Grow and Go Convertible Car Seat

Easiest to Fasten

This unit can be used with newborns who weigh as little as 5 pounds and with children who weigh up to 100 pounds. The seat features three recline positions to make sure your child is comfortable. It can also help you get a great fit for your car.

The padding in this seat can be removed easily when needed without disassembling the harness. Two integrated cup holders help keep items and drinks within your child’s reach.

It has a harness-holding feature that helps get even resistant children quickly into place. The unit is designed to have a small footprint, even when rear-facing. The car seat is available in multiple colorways and meets all ASTM and JPMA safety standards.

What We Like

Features a Harness Holder

Each side of the car seat is equipped with a small harness holder. Before putting your child in the seat, pull the harness to the appropriate side and slide it into place. Fasten as usual, without needing to pull the harness out from underneath them or struggle with them for cooperation.

Reduced Footprint

Special attention has been paid to the size of this car seat. Finding car ones that can work well in a limited space — especially when rear-facing — can be challenging. This seat allows front seat users up to 7 inches more space to increase comfort and usability.

QuickFit Harness

The QuickFit harness is designed to make harness adjustments fast and painless. The headrest and the harness can be adjusted together at once.

You may not need this feature until your child is older. However, it can be used throughout the life of the seat, even when in booster mode.

What We Don't Like

Can Be Difficult to Tighten During Install

It can be challenging getting this seat to install tightly, especially when in rear-facing mode. This is as likely to happen when using the LATCH system when using the seat belt to secure the seat. You’ll want to dedicate extra time to make sure the installation is correct.

Can Be Noisy

This unit is not any noisier than other car seats when the child is in place. If you do a lot of driving without your child, though, be prepared to notice the headrest rattles. If you find the noise to be a problem, you may want to consider another model.

Product Specs

Weight 18.7 pounds
Dimensions 24 inches by 19 inches by 23.75 inches
Child Weight Minimum 5 pounds
Child Weight Maximum 100 pounds
Extra Features LATCH system, QuickFit harness system, ASTM and JPMA approved, harness holders, integrated cup holders

Product Comparison Chart

Product Award Weight Dimensions Min. Weight Max. Weight
Diono Radian 3RXT Best for Limited Space 28 lbs 16.14″ x 16.93″ x 28.35″ 5 lbs 120 lbs
Safety 1st 35LT Great for Small Babies 15 lbs 15.8″ x 18″ x 30.5″ 4 lbs 35 lbs
Evenflo Symphony LX Best One-Time Purchase N/A 21″ x 21″ x 25.5″ 5 lbs 110 lbs
Chicco KeyFit 30 Easiest to Install 17 lbs 27.5″ x 17″ x 24″ 4 lbs 30 lbs
Evenflo Pivot Modular Best for Travel 20 lbs 31.4″x 16.7″ x 17.7″ 4 lbs 35 lbs
Baby Trend Expedition For Active Moms & Babies 15.5 lbs 16.5″ x 26″ x 25″ 4 lbs 30 lbs
Safety 1st Grow & Go Easiest to Fasten 18.7 lbs 24″ x 19″ x 23.75″ 5 lbs 100 lbs

What Is an Infant Car Seat?

An infant car seat is a seat designed specifically to protect a young baby. They are always rear-facing. Car seats help prevent serious injuries and are required by law for the first several years of life (1).

The ones designed specifically for infants usually have a weight limit. They may also have a height limit. They don’t usually offer much adjustability to the seat’s body, but you can customize strap placement.

They usually feature a detachable base. This base affixes to the car seat through the LATCH system or with proper use of the seat belt (2). This allows you to remove your child from the car while keeping them in the car seat.

If you’re dealing with bad weather conditions, running errands, or have a sleeping baby, this can be a real asset. Many infant car seats are part of a travel system, which helps make it easier to get your new baby in more places.

How to Choose the Best Infant Car Seat

Have a better idea about what you need in a car seat for your infant? Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping.

Safety Approval

In the U.S., car seats are put through rigorous testing. Always choose a car seat that’s been stamped with safety approval.

Click Connect

Check to see if there’s a visual cue for when your car seat is properly in place. This can help you know for sure it is at an appropriate angle.

Easy to Install

You want a car seat you can confidently take in and out. There’s always the possibility you’ll be using your car seat in a different vehicle. You need to make sure you can install it properly in whatever vehicle you’re using.

Easy to Clean

Your car seat will likely experience a multitude of dirty events. Whether it’s spit-up, formula, food, or an explosive diaper, you may need to clean your car seat. Choose a car seat you can clean and sanitize easily.


Recalls are generally voluntary and put in place to help protect your baby. If your seat has been recalled, turn it in or pick up your replacement part.

Expiration Date

Expect to use your car seat for several years? Make sure you know when your car seat is set to expire. This way, you won’t overbuy for something you won’t be able to use.


Car seats can be reasonably priced. They can also be expensive. Know that all approved car seats are held to the same safety standards, and plan your budget ahead of time.

Extra Features

Many car seats come with features like stroller compatibility, cup holders, and even approval for use on airplanes. Make sure you know what you want out of your car seat before you start shopping.

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Reviewed by

Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC

Katelyn Holt RN, BSN, BC is a cardiology nurse and freelance medical writer. Katelyn has 8 years of nursing experience inpatient and outpatient, primarily medical-surgical and cardiac. After having two children she has a passion for Women’s Health and Lactation teaching and support.