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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Post 2017 Recommended Car Seats List: Community Top Rated Picks

    Updated November 1, 2016.

    When I created my first recommended seats list years ago, things were very different. Gone are the days of shield boosters and combo seats with adjusters that couldn't be accessed when the seat was installed and t-shield convertibles with 20 lb rear facing limits. There are few if any truly bad choices out there these days. When I asked for nominations for this year's list, there were ~50 suggestions! That's too many "recommended" seats to be useful, so I put it to a vote. The seats recommended below were the top vote-getters in each category. I've also listed the other nominees below the winners.

    Experts know that the "best" seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, fits your budget, and will be used properly every single trip. This means there's no single best seat for every situation, and it also means that *your* best seat might not be on this list. That's OK! The list below contains seats which are generally found to be easy to use and to fit a fair variety of children and vehicles well. There are inexpensive and pricey seats on the list. While all seats have to meet the same basic safety standards, some seats may have features which make them more comfortable or easier to use.

    Speaking of safety, it's not unusual to hear a parent say they purchased this seat or that one because "it was the safest." While some seats may have features which could improve their performance in a crash, there aren't any reliable, comprehensive crash test comparisons for US and Canadian seats. This means that there's no way to tell if one seat is actually safer than another in the real world. Fortunately, a properly used seat provides excellent protection in most crashes. I hope the below list aids you in your search, and if you have any questions, please ask them on our forums!

    Within each category, seats are listed roughly in order of increasing price. Price ratings are based on typical retail prices as of April 8, 2015, with the following key for all seats except boosters:
    $: Less than $100
    $$: $101-$150
    $$$: $151-$200
    $$$$: $201-$300
    $$$$$: Over $300

    Rear Facing Only Seats (rear facing with a carrying handle, also known as "infant seats")
    • Graco Snugride Click Connect 30/35/35LX ($$-$$$): 4-30/35 pounds; some variation in features between models. Look for a base with a seatbelt lockoff.
    • Britax B Safe 35/35 elite ($$$): 4-35 pounds. Built in lockoffs, good ease of use. Compatible with all Britax strollers.
    • Chicco Keyfit 30 ($$$): 4-30 pounds. Easy to install with LATCH or seatbelt, compatible with a number of Chicco strollers. A perennial favorite.
    • Nuna Pipa ($$$$): 4-32 pounds. Rigid lower LATCH, load leg ("stability leg"), seatbelt lockoffs on base, extra large canopy, compatible with several high-end strollers.
    • Cybex Aton 2 ($$$$) and Aton Q ($$$$$): 4-32/35 pounds, load leg, linear side impact protection, easy installation and use.

    Other community picks: Cosco Light n Comfy Elite ($), Safety 1st Onboard 35 ($), GB Asana 35 ($$$$)

    Convertibles (rear or forward facing)
    • Cosco Scenera NEXT ($): RF 5-40 pounds, FF 22-40 pounds; a good choice for an inexpensive seat.
    • Evenflo Sureride ($): RF 5-40 pounds, FF 22-65 pounds; inexpensive seat with extremely high top harness setting so that it lasts a long time.
    • Graco Head Wise/Size4Me/MySize ($$$): RF 4-40 pounds, FF 20-65/70 pounds; nice tall harness and very tall shell. If using for a newborn, look for a model with an infant insert.
    • Maxi Cosi Pria 70/85 ($$$): 70 model is RF 9-40 pounds, FF 22-70 pounds; 85 model is RF 14-40 pounds, FF 22-85 pounds; for use with a newborn buy the Pria 70 with TinyFit; no-rethread harness and air protect head cushions.
    • Britax Boulevard Click Tight ($$$$): RF 5-40 pounds, FF 22-65 pounds; nearly foolproof seatbelt installation, very tall shell.
    • Chicco Nextfit ($$$$): RF 5-40 pounds, FF 22-65 pounds; "SuperCinch" tightening system for installation, good ease of use, long-lasting.
    • Clek Fllo ($$$$$): RF 14-50 pounds, FF 22-65 pounds; for use with an infant must purchase the (not yet for sale) infant insert; the "little sister" to Clek's high-end Foonf; Crypton fabrics, easy seatbelt installation, narrow footprint makes it good for 3 across.

    Other community picks: Britax Roundabout G4.1 ($$$), Combi Coccoro ($$$), Britax Marathon G4.1 ($$$$), Graco Milestone (all in one) ($$$$), Britax Boulevard G4.1 ($$$$), Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible ($$$$$), Graco 4Ever (all in one) ($$$$$)

    Combinations/Harnessed Boosters (forward facing with harness or as a booster without harness)
    • Evenflo Securekid ($$): 22-65 pounds harnessed; Booster to 110 pounds. Reasonable price, good for cars with LATCH.
    • Graco Nautilus Elite ($$$) or Argos ($$$): 20-65/80 pounds harnessed; Booster to 100 pounds. Tall seats available in many colors, can also be used as backless.
    • Recaro Performance Sport ($$$$): 20-90 pounds harnessed; booster to 120 pounds. Tall seat with unusual (but not difficult) seatbelt installation, very deep sides.
    • Britax Frontier ClickTight G1.1 ($$$$): 25 lb - 90 pounds harnessed; Booster to 120 pounds. Highest harness of any seat currently available, nearly foolproof seatbelt installation.

    Other community picks: Evenflo Maestro ($), Harmony Defender ($$)

    Dedicated Boosters (positions the seatbelt properly)
    Since boosters tend to be less expensive than harnessed seats, the price rating has been adjusted as follows:
    $: Less than $20
    $$: $21-$50
    $$$: $51-100
    $$$$: $101-150
    $$$$$: Over $150

    High-backed Boosters

    Other community picks: Safety 1st Store n Go ($$), Safety 1st Boost Air Protect ($$$), Maxi Cos Rodi Fix ($$$$$)

    Backless Boosters

    Other community picks: Harmony Youth ($), Cosco Ambassador ($), Evenflo Backless Amp ($$)
    Last edited by jjordan; 04-09-2015 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Updated list - jjordan

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