Category Archives: Car Seats

Best Car Seats 2018

If you are looking for the best car seats 2018, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you need an infant, convertible, combination, or booster car seat for your child, choosing the best car seats are vital for your children’s safety.

Car Seat Reviews

Below is a list of the 2018 top car seats. Read our car seat reviews for infant car seats and convertible car seats.

Best Infant Car Seats

Infant safety seats are designed for newborns and need to be installed in a rear-facing position. Here are the best infant car seats for 2018.

1) Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base

This is one of the best car seats that you can find. Features: 4-30 pounds; up to 30 inches tall; 5-point harness adjusts with one-pull tightener for easy adjustments; Removable infant insert used for smaller babies 4-11 lbs;  Adjustable, multi-position canopy; easy removal from adjustable base; one-pull LATCH tightener for secure fit; built-in lockoff system for easy seatbelt installations; indicators to determine accurate seat angle; lined with energy-absorbing foam for increased safety and comfort.

Chicco KeyFit 30 is packed with features that make them one of the easiest car seats to install using either the LATCH system or the vehicle’s safety belts. These car seats can also fit in dozens of Chicco’s KeyFit compatible strollers. For further information, read our Chicco Keyfit 30 review.

2) Combi Shuttle Car Seat

This is another top car seat for 2017. Features: birth-35 pounds; up to 33 inches tall; adjustable head restraint; 4 position height adjustment for proper seat angle and positioning; anti rebound bar stabilizes seat by minimizing rotational forces in front and rear collisions; one-pull harness adjustment; lined with energy-absorbing foam; easy installation using LATCH system or vehicle seat belts.

The combi shuttle infant car seats are lightweight and compatible with all Combi Cosmo, Cabria, Catalyst and Twin Cosmo strollers to help you create a complete travel system. Read our Combi Shuttle review.

3) Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air

Features: 4-35 pounds; up to 32 inches tall; advanced air cushion system protecting your child’s head; additional leg room; extra padding for impact protection; one click LATCH installation system; base belt lock easily secures your vehicle seat belt; customizable insert and low harness slots

Read our Safety 1st OnBoard 35 Air car seat review.

4) Britax B-Safe 35

Features: 4-35 pounds; up to 32 inches tall; 4 sets of harness slots; 2 buckle positions; complete side impact protection; impact-absorbing base; center-pull straps for easy LATCH installation; built-in lockoffs for seatbelt installations; extra-large canopy

Britax’s Click and Go System makes transferring the B-Safe 35 to a stroller easy and convenient. A simple click assures that your child’s car seat is securely attached and ready to go. Read Britax 35 infant car seat review.

5) Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 LX Infant Car Seat

Features: 4-35 pounds; up to 32 inches tall; 5-point harness; no re-thread harness; energy-absorbing EPS foam; level indicator; 6 base recline positions; 3-panel canopy with lining and visor; 1-second LATCH attachment; built-in lockoff for seatbelt installation

This Graco LX model car seat also provides 1-step secure attachment to all Graco Click Connect Strollers for a convenient travel system. Read Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seat review.

6) Peg Perego Viaggio 4-35

Features: 4-35 pounds; up to 32 inches tall; 5-point harness; no re-thread harness with 6 height positions; energy absorbing EPS lined shell; includes 2 cushions to keep babies head properly positioned; adjustable hood;  push-on lower LATCH connectors; built-in lockoff for seat belt installation

7) UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

Features: 5-55 pounds; up to 32 inches tall; no re-thread harness; Adjustable headrest with side impact protection; energy absorbing EPS lined shell;  infant insert used for smaller babies 4-8 lbs; auto-retracting latch connectors; built-in lockoff for seatbelt installation

Best Convertible Car Seat

Once your child outgrows the infant car seat, he will need to switch to a convertible child safety seat. This versatile seat can be installed in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions. Here are the best convertible car seat 2018.

1) Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 20-65 lbs. forward-facing; no-rethread harness removable with 6 height positions; automatic harness adjustment; removable infant insert with extra padding for smaller babies starting from 5 lbs; 9 recline positions for a better fit in vehicles; RideRight Dual level indicators for correct seat angle in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes; SuperCinch LATCH tightener; built-in lock-offs for vehicle belt installation

2) Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 20-55 lbs. forward-facing; 3 recline positions; adjustable 2-position buckle; angle-free, 5-point harness prevents the straps from twisting; premium push-button LATCH connectors;  built-in lockoffs for seatbelt installation; impact absorbing base and complete side impact protection

3) Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 20-65 lbs. forward-facing; 7 recline positions; no-rethread harness; Quick-adjust 12-position harness and 2-position buckle; SafeCell Impact Protection only available with Britax car seats; steel frame; foam-lined shell; impact-absorbing tether; energy-absorbing base; ClickTight makes installation easy with one click

4) Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat

Features: 14-50 lbs. rear-facing, 20-65 lbs. forward-facing; REACT safety system; steel anti-rebound; advanced side-impact protection; dual layers of energy absorbing foam; adjustable structural headrest; secure rigid-latch installation; lockoffs with seatbelt installation

Also check out Clek Fllo convertible car seat, which is the newer, more affordable seat that has regular LATCH connectors and an optional anti-rebound bar. Both seats are designed for  extended rear-facing use (up to 50 pounds).

5) Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-45 lbs. rear-facing, 20-80 lbs. forward-facing in 5-point harness; converts to booster for children up to 120 lbs; steel alloy frame; adjustable head support; SafeStop energy absorbing harness; infant body support cushions and memory foam; includes one cup holder

This Diono all-in-one convertible car seat is one of the easiest car seats to install. Its narrow width of 17 inches means it is possible to install 3 across in a number of smaller vehicles. You can read the Narrow Booster Seats post to see a list of the narrowest booster seats on the market.

6) Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 22-65 lbs. forward-facing; 6 shoulder strap positions; removable body pillow; up-front harness adjustment; removable cup holder; budget-friendly

7) Evenflo Symphony Elite Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-40 lbs. rear-facing, 28-50 lbs. forward-facing; 40-110 lbs. booster; sureLATCH for a secure, quick installation; upfront harness adjustment; upfront multi-position recline; e3 side impact protection

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Car Seat provides extended use from birth to booster mode up to 110 lbs. It installs to the vehicle in only 60 seconds with no pulling necessary.

8) Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat

Features: 4-40 lbs. rear-facing, 25-65 lbs. forward-facing; 1-Second InRight LATCH System; no re-thread harness; side impact tested; energy-absorbing EPS foam; front-adjust 5-point harness; removable and adjustable infant head support; 3 base recline positions; easy-to-read level indicator; one cup holder

9) Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat

Features: 9-40 lbs. rear-facing, 22-70 lbs. forward-facing; no re-thread harness; advanced air cushion system; Air Protect technology for enhanced side impact protection; 3 position base; integrated cup holder

Also check out Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Car Seat, which has a higher minimum and maximum weight than the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 limits are 14-40 pounds for rear-facing and 22-85 pounds for forward-facing.

10) Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Infant Convertible Car Seat

Features: 5-45 lbs. rear-facing, 22-65 lbs. forward-facing; no re-thread harness; EPS energy-absorbing foam; side impact protection (SIP); removable cushion for newborns; adjustable latch connectors that can be easily repositioned for forward or rearward installation

Best Booster Car Seat

Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seats, he will need to sit in a booster safety seat in the back seat. A booster seat has a three-point belt system to keep your child restrained and is the best way to keep your child safe until he is big enough to fit a vehicle’s seat belt. Below are the best booster car seats 2018.

There are 2 types of booster seats:  booster seat with high back and backless booster seat

Top High Back Booster Seats

1) Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat

Features: 30-100 lbs.; 40-100 lbs. as a backless booster; multi-layer, one-hand adjustable head rest; EPS energy absorbing foam, padded height adjustable armrests; dual retractable cup holders

2) Clek Oobr Full Back Booster Seat

Features: 33-100 lbs.; 40-100 lbs. as a backless booster; rigid lower LATCH connectors; EPS foam; tall armrests; recline feature; Crypton fabric provide stain, moisture and bacteria resistance

3) Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System

Features: 30-100 lbs.; 40-100 lbs. as a backless booster; EPS foam in head rest; dual cup holders; one-hand adjustable headrest

Best Backless Booster Seats

1) Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat

Features: 40-100 lbs; comfortable, contoured padding, elastic dual cup holders; tall armrests; machine-washable car seat pad

2) Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat

Features: 40-100 lbs and up to 57 inches tall; padded, height-adjustable armrests; one-hand adjustable headrest; hide-away cup holders;

3) Clek Olli Booster Car Seat

Features: 40-100 lbs and up to 57 inches tall; Crypton fabric provide stain, moisture and bacteria resistance; Confirms that latches are locked with an audible “Click”

Can You Rent a Car Seat?

If you will be traveling with your child, you may be wondering whether you should lug your heavy car seat, stroller, or other baby gear from home. Is there a place where you can rent all these items? Yes! You can rent these items from a number of companies specializing in baby gear rentals.

Renting Baby Gear

Baby’s Away is the largest baby and child equipment rental company with over 80 locations throughout the country.  They provide clean, quality baby gear including car seats, strollers, cribs, high chairs, and even toys for your children so that you can enjoy your stay while traveling away from home. They have been providing quality baby equipment rentals for over 25 years with an office in most major resort and metropolitan locations.

Many family-friendly attractions such as theme parks, zoos, and some cruise ships will have strollers for rent. You can rent car seats at most car rental agencies. Some hotels will have cribs on hand.

How much does it cost to rent a car seat?

Many major companies charge between $10 to $15 per seat per day. After a few days of renting, you may spend as much as the cost of a brand new car seat. If you are a member of AAA, you can get a free car seat rental with every rental through Hertz.

Many rentals may not be worth the expense. You can consider purchasing a lightweight, fold up umbrella stroller or a lightweight car seat that’s convenient to travel around with.

Should you rent a car seat?

There’s some disadvantages with baby car seat rentals. There’s no guarantee that a rented car seat will be clean or in a safe condition. Almost all car rental companies guarantee the safety of car seats they offer. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against using previously owned car seats since there is no way to tell if a car seat has been in a serious accident. If you use your own car seat, safety is never a question.

Major car rental agencies have an installation manual that comes with each seat, but if you rent from a smaller company, they may not have an instruction manual on how to install the car seat.

Some parents arrive at the car rental agency only to find out that demand has exceeded the supply of children car seats. Make sure you plan ahead and have a back-up plan, should you need it.

Sometimes, it makes sense to bring your own car seat, especially if you are flying and your baby should sit in a car seat on the plane. Bringing your own car seat ensures that it is the right fit for your child, rather than a generic model offered by a rental car company.


Narrow Booster Seats

If you are looking for a narrow booster seat, you have come to the right place. Are you wondering which is the narrowest booster seat for 2017 that can fit 3 across in the back? It can be a challenge to fit multiple car seats in the back, even if you have a large SUV or minivan.

Below are some of the narrowest booster seat on the market:

Narrow High Back Booster Seat

Maxi-Cosi RodiFix Booster Car Seat

The RodiFix Booster by MaxiCosi fits children from 40-120 pounds. It’s a slim booster seat, and one of the narrowest booster seats measuring 12 inches wide at its base  and 19.5 inches at its widest point, so you can fit 3 across in the back of your vehicle. It features Air Protect for superior side impact protection around your kid’s head. The RodiFix Booster has no arm rests, which make it easier to get your child buckled in, and it fits well next to wider seats. Its belt routing system is easy enough to learn that children can buckle themselves in. RodiFix has LATCH connectors that hold the seat in place when the seat is not in use. This prevents the seat from turning into a projectile in the event of a collision. The LATCH is just to hold the seat in place; your child will be secured by a seatbelt.

The seat features front-access recline system, which allows seat and seatback to recline for comfort and better fit to vehicle. This belt-positioning booster also features a multi-height headrest and expanding side wings that grow with your child. The stylish, premium fabrics are plush, comfortable, and self-wicking to help deodorize and draw liquids away from the skin. The RodiFix is quite expensive compared to many other boosters, but its premium features may be worth the price!

Diono Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

The Diono RadianRXT  is an all-in-one convertible car seat that accommodates your child in the rear-facing position from 5-45 lbs, in the forward-facing position with a 5-point harness from 20-80 lbs, and in booster mode up to 120 lbs. They are the only all-in-one car seats with a full steel frame, making them one of the safest and narrowest car seat on the market today. The seat is only 17 inches wide, so you can fit 3 of these car seats across in most mid-sized vehicles. It is narrower than Diono’s other convertible/boosters. The Pacificia, Rainier and Cambria are all 18 inches wide. If you are parents of triplets or 3 children, you might want to try this seat out.

Britax Parkway SGL G1.1 Belt-Positioning Booster

The 18-inch-wide Parkway SGL fits children from 40 to 120 pounds and is Britax’s safest belt- positioning booster seat with SafeCell Impact Protection and an extra layer of side impact protection. This narrow car seat features ISOFLEX Latch connection system that secures the booster to your vehicle when it’s not in use so it doesn’t go flying during a collision. The Parkway SGL has a deep energy-absorbing shell and foam-lined headrest that make up 2 layers of protection to protect your child from side impacts. Another smart feature is its SecureGuard Belt-Positioning Clip that keeps children from sliding under the lap portion of the seatbelt in the event of a crash.

Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat

The Graco High Back TurboBooster child car seat is one of the narrowest high back booster that fits children from 30 to 100 pounds. It easily converts to a backless booster so that you can use it for longer as your child grows. At just 16.5 inches wide, it can easily fit into small spaces. The cup holders fold into the seat when you need extra room. This toddler car seat booster features a multi-layer head rest and wide, padded armrests for extra support and comfort. The open-loops belt guides help to position your car’s seatbelt, making it easier for your little one to self-buckle. It is one of the most popular booster seats and is very affordable.

CYBEX Solution X-Fix Infant Booster Car Seat

This 18.5 inch wide booster fits riders from 33 to 100 pounds and from 38 to 60 inches tall. it has LATCH connectors that keep it secured to the vehicle when it’s not in use. The seat can also be used in vehicles without LATCH. It features a patented three-position reclining headrest that prevents the child’s head from tipping forward during sleep. It also keeps the child’s head in the Safety Zone in the event of a side impact collision. There’s 11 position height adjustments, perfect for your growing child. Its padded arm rests allow your child to sit comfortably and help keeping the lap belt in a low and secure position. The seat’s back cannot be removed so it can only be used as a highback booster seat, not a backless seat.

Narrow Backless Booster Seat

Following are three narrow backless booster seats.

BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat

Bubblebum is one of the slimmest car seat on the market. This inflatable booster seat is only 13 inches wide so you can easily fit three car seats across the back seat. It fits children from 40 to 100 pounds. In less than a minute, this blow-up booster transforms from a small pouch to a booster seat for kids. It is foldable and portable, making it great for travel, car rentals, taxis, carpools, and caregivers. When it is deflated, it easily fits into a handbag or backpack. Bubblebum booster seat can fit in the center seat of your 3-across installation even when nothing else seems to fit.

Graco Affix Backless Booster

The Graco Affix Youth Booster is a slim backless booster seat that fits children from 40 to 100 pounds and up to 57 inches tall. There is a front adjustment that allows you to easily and quickly tighten the booster to the vehicle seat. There is a secure LATCH connection system that keeps the booster seat steadily in place when the seat is not in use and helps facilitate independent buckling. Keep in mind that the LATH is to secure the booster to the vehicle seat while the booster is unoccupied and you will need to secure your child in the booster seat with the car’s lap/shoulder belt.

Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat

As mentioned above, the Graco Backless TurboBooster is a narrow car seat. You can purchase the High Back TurboBooster seat and convert it to a backless booster so that you can use it for longer as your child grows. In the backless mode, it fits children from 40 to 100 pounds and up to 57 inches tall. It features padded, height-adjustable armrests and hide-away cup holders.

These are some of the top narrow car booster seats.

Cheap Car Seats 2017

Sometimes, buying used items are a good way to save money. However, there are a few reasons why buying a used car seat is not recommended. If you are looking to save some money, buying a new, cheap car seat may be a better option than buying a used car seat.

Cheap Infant Car Seats

Evenflo Embrace LX Infant Car Seat, Penelope $69.88

This car seat fits the tiniest of newborns, starting from 4 pounds. The weight limit goes up to 35 pounds. The Evenflo Embrace has a soft head pillow that helps cradle your baby as she develops. Evenflo has gone above safety standards and tested all of their baby car seats at energy levels about twice the federal crash test standard. They also sell a separate car seat base, which is helpful if you have more than one car and want to switch between them.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 infant Car Seat, Zuba $77.06

The Graco Snugride Click Connect 30 fits infants from 4 – 30 pounds. The Click Connect system provides a 1-step secure attachment between infant car seats and all Graco Click Connect Strollers to create your own custom travel system. This car seat has comfort features, including a removable newborn head support, which offers soft cushioning and support for your baby’s head. Safety features include EPS, energy absorbing foam and 5-point harness. It is also lightweight, which makes it easy to transport from the car to the stroller and everywhere else.

Check out our review for a similar infant car seat, Graco Snugride 35 LX Click Connect, which is available in tangerine color for $107.99.

Evenflo LiteMax 35 Platinum Infant Car Seat, Moonlight $128

This rear-facing infant car seat fits babies from 4 to 35 pounds. The LiteMax features Sure Safe Latch guides to make proper installation easy in vehicles equipped with lower latch anchors. There is also a central pendulum level indicator that lets you know whether the seat has been installed at a proper recline. The LiteMax also has a temperature regulating fabric that keeps your baby comfortable during cold or hot weather. Other features include removable head and body pillows, buckle pockets, machine washable pads, and full coverage canopy with zip out panel.

Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air and Infant Car Seat, Twist of Citrus $99.99

The Safety 1st Onboard car seat fits infants from 4-35 pounds. Safety features include Air Protect +, which combines the advanced protection of its Air Protect cushion system for better head protection with its Cell HX foam designed with hexagonal shapes for superior protection around your baby’s torso. Together, they provide full body side protection. Its harness is specially designed to fit smaller babies and it has additional leg room to accommodate your growing baby in a rear-facing position. This seat is also available in a pretty pink color for $123.29 and black color for $112.50 on Amazon. Check out our Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air Review.

Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat, Carbon $76.49

This Baby Trend car seat fits babies from 5-30 pounds. It features an easy one hand front adjust 5-point safety harness so that you can easily adjust and ensure proper fit for your child. Other safety features include the EPS energy-absorbing foam for side impact head protection. It is easy to install with their exclusive Flex-Lock latch system and height adjustment.

Check out more affordable infant car seats.

Cheap Convertible Car Seats

Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat, Maxwell $51.60

The Evenflo Tribute Sport convertible car seat fits infants in the rear-facing position from 5-30 lbs and toddlers in the forward-facing position from 22-40 lbs. It has 4 shoulder strap positions and up-front harness adjustment, allowing you to easily accommodate your growing children longer. Safety features include energy absorbing foam liner and a 5-point harness system that provides a secure fit.

Amazon has this car seat available in Maxwell for $38.88 for Prime members only (30-Day Free Trial). It is available in grey color for all members for $59.99.

Cosco Apt 50, Kimba Giraffe $49.50

The Cosco Apt 50 convertible seat fits babies in the rear-facing position from 5-40 lbs and in the forward-facing position from 22-50 lbs. The seat comes with 6 harness heights and 3 buckle locations so that you can easily adjust it to fit your kid as he grows.
It comes with 2 cup holders so that your child can keep a drink or snack closeby. The Cosco Apt 50 is also certified to use on aircraft.

Amazon has this car seat available in Kimba Giraffe for $49.50 for Prime members only (30-Day Free Trial). It is available in black color for all members for $65.98.

Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat, Go Green $89.97

Graco My Ride 65 Convertible car seat protects babies in the rear-facing position from 4-40 pounds and in the forward-facing position from 20-65 pounds. Its rear-facing mode has a higher weight rating than many infant car seats, which allows you to keep your baby in the rear-facing position for longer.

Amazon has this car seat available in Go Green for $89.97 for Prime members only (30-Day Free Trial). It is available to all members in pink and grey for $109.97 and in blue and grey for $119.99.

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, Chambers $82.88

Safety 1st Guide 65 allows your baby to sit in the rear facing position from 5-40 lbs and in the forward-facing position from 22-65 lbs. Its compact design is perfect for smaller cars. There are 5 harness heights and 3 buckle locations to ensure proper fit. It has a multi-position adjustable head rest, perfect for growing children. There is also a removable cup holder.

Cheap Booster Car Seats

There are 2 kinds of belt-positioning booster car seats: booster seat with high back and backless booster seat.

Backless Booster Seats

Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat, Realtree/Pink

The Cosco Topside Booster Seat is designed for children 40 to 100 pounds. It features an extra-plush pad and gives children the extra height they need to keep seatbelts properly positioned. It is also lightweight, making it easy for us to move it from car to car.

Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat, Blue

This Evenflo No Back Booster Car Seat fits children from 40 to 110 pounds. Its contoured padding is great for long journeys. It features elastic dual cup holders so your child can easily access his drink. The pad can also be removed to be machine washed.

High Back Booster Seats

Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat, Sprocket

This Evenflo Big Kid Booster Car Seat fits children from 30 pounds to 110 pounds. It’s 2 seats in 1, meaning that it also transitions into a no-back booster. There are 6 height positions and the back adjusts as your child grows. There are elastic cup holders so your kid can easily access a drink or a snack.

Graco Highback TurboBooster Car Seat, Mosaic $40.49

The Graco Highback TurboBooster Car Seat fits children from 30 pounds to 100 pounds. It’s a 2 in 1 seat and converts into a no-back booster. It features a multi-layer, adjustable headrest and full coverage back support in highback mode. Safety features include EPS, energy absorbing foam, and open loop belt guides to help ensure proper seat belt positioning. This Graco TurboBooster also has wide, padded armrests and cup holders to store drinks, snacks, and toys.

Car Seat Inspection NY

Installing a baby car seat correctly is vital for your child’s safety. Some people may think that it’s easy as long as you can read the instruction book and follow directions. In reality, it is not so easy. It is helpful to get your child car seat inspected by a licensed technician. Lucky for us, there are free car seat inspection events that we can attend to get our car seat checked.

Free Car Seat Inspection 2017

For the month of February, the New York State DMV is offering free child car seat inspections for Clinton and Essex counties.

If you are near these counties and need to get your car seat checked, you should take advantage of this opportunity. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you may have. This initiative is to help keep children buckled safely in cars. Ensuring that your car seat is checked and installed properly is a lifesaving event.

Below is the information for the free car seat checks:

February 8, 2017 Child Safety Seat Check – Essex County
4:00 p.m – 7:00 p.m.
New York State Police – Troop B Headquarters, 1097 NYS Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977
Agency: New York State Police
Contact: T/Sgt. Brian J. Goetz at (518) 897-2023.

February 18, 2017 Child Safety Seat Check – Clinton County
10:00 a.m – 1:30 p.m.
Bill McBride Chevrolet, 5101 U.S. Avenue, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Agency: Clinton County Sheriff’s Office
Contact: William Bush at (518) 565-4397

If you can’t make any of these times, you can still make an appointment for a free car seat check.

Read more about the importance of car seat safety.

Used Car Seats

We all know that there are a lot of expenses when a new baby is on the way. One of those expenses include purchasing a car seat, as required by car seat safety laws. In many cases, used items are a good way to save some money. However, car seats may not be an area you should skimp on. When shopping for any car seat, the safety of the car seat should be your first priority. Instead of buying used car seats, consider purchasing new inexpensive car seats.

Are Used Car Seats Safe?

There are many reasons why safety advocates do not recommend buying used child safety seats. Below are some of the top reasons why:

Car seats expire

Yes, car seats actually expire. This isn’t just a marketing ploy by the manufacturers to get you to spend more money. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend that we need to pay attention to car seat expiration dates. Car seats expire with good reason. It’s about keeping your baby safe.

Why do car seats expire? Materials break down over time. Most car seats have a plastic shell and plastic wears and breaks down over time. If the plastic is becoming brittle, it could fail to serve its purpose of keeping a child safe and uninjured in an accident. Most car seats also have metal parts that degrades over time. Metal can rust in unseen areas, causing the seat to not function properly in a crash and reducing its ability to protect a child. The seat base can also develop fractures which may shatter in a crash. Many times, you won’t be able to see the breakdown with the naked eye. Thus, it is very dangerous to use an expired seat since it may not keep your child safe. Taking this risk defeats the purpose of having a car seat.

Where do you find your car seat’s expiration date? The expiration information should be available on the car seat itself. Most car seats have a date of manufacture or expiration on a sticker located at the side or bottom of the car seat. Most car seats last between 5-7 years after they were manufactured, not when they were bought. You can also check the car seat manual to see how long the seat can be used for. Each car seat model is different and it is important to check and make note of the car seat expiration date so that you know when to stop using it.

Even if you are buying a new car seat, you still need to pay attention to the date of manufacture. If you are purchasing a previous year’s model, understand that the seat has a shorter life expectancy compared to the newest release. Also, just because a seat is more expensive doesn’t mean that it will have a longer lifespan.

Damaged car seats

Car seats may not be safe to use if they’ve been in a previous car accident, especially since not all damages are visible. This doesn’t mean that you need to automatically replace your car seat if your vehicle was in an accident. NHTSA advises to replace all car seats involved in moderate to severe crashes in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for your child. You do not necessarily need to replace your seat if your car was in a minor crash. What defines a minor crash? A crash is considered minor if it follows all of the below:

  • The vehicle was able to be driven away from the accident
  • The car door nearest to the safety seat was not damaged
  • None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injures in the accident
  • No air bags deployed
  • There is no visible damage to the car seat.

NEVER use a car seat that has been involved in a moderate to severe crash as the seat will not offer a high level of crash protection for your child. Not knowing the car seat accident history is a huge reason for not buying used car seats. It’s never safe to use a car seat if you don’t know its history.

New car seat safety standards

Child passenger safety is an advancing field. The industry is constantly making improvements and requirements for safety. Car seat manufacturers work very hard to manufacture seats that keep up with the current standards. People who use expired secondhand seats are missing out on those improvements, Federal safety standards are always changing and older seats may not meet the new safety standards.

Even if an older car looks like it’s in great condition, it may not be utilizing the newer lifesaving technologies. For example, in 2012, car seats were not equipped with Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children (LATCH). Now, they are a standard feature in nearly all car seats. Expiration dates ensure that seats being used follow current safety standards.

Using Secondhand Car Seats

There is no safety guarantee when purchasing a used car seat at a garage sale, thrift store, or flea market. These seats may be expired, damaged, have missing parts, or may have been recalled.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t use an older sibling’s seat or one from a relative or trusted friend. If you are going to use a secondhand car seat, make sure you the car seat has:

  • not expired
  • not been recalled
  • no defects, such as cracks on the plastic
  • never been in a moderate or severe crash

Tips for buying used car seats

  • Only buy a used car seat from someone you know and whom you trust to give you facts about the seat. Avoid purchasing a car seat from a stranger. A person selling a used car may only care about getting rid of it and making some money and not so much about the safety of your child. He may tell you that an expired car seat is fine, that it’s never been in an accident, and that there’s nothing wrong with it. Not all damages to a car seat can be seen with the naked eye. Some sellers are honest but do not know that they are selling a product that could be dangerous. It is up to buyers to be aware and take precaution.
  • If you are getting the car seats from someone else, make sure you install the car seat properly and are using it correctly. Ask them for a detailed car seat manual or order it from the manufacturer if they do not have it.
  • Make sure the car seat is not missing any parts. Check that it has all its parts including harness and tether straps, restraining clips, and the car seat instruction book.
  • Check for any evidence of craps, chips, or stress lines in the shell. Check for any rust, cuts, frayed edges, or broken buckles. If there’s any visible damage, don’t use the car seat.
  • A new affordable seat is better than a used name brand seat.
  • Double check the expiration date.
  • Double check to make sure the seat has not been recalled. You can find out by calling the manufacturer or contacting the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 or checking this car seat recall list.
  • Check the weight and height limits of the car seat to ensure that it is an appropriate fit for your child.
  • Once you install the seat, take it to a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to have it inspected.

When in doubt, don’t borrow, buy or sell a used car seat! It’s not worth the risk!

Best car seats 2017

Best Car Seats

Car seats are important for your child’s safety and it is one of the most valuable things that you can buy for your kid. Good car seats can save kids from car accidents. We’ve research different car seat brands and identified the top rated car seats for 2015.

1. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix

Graco Nautilus is simply one of the best forward facing car seats. Below is a list of the features of the Garco Natilus Car Seat.

  • 3 in 1 multi-mode Car Seat for longer use 20 pounds to 100 pounds
  • Converts to High back belt positioning booster for child 30 pounds to 100 pounds
  • Steel reinforced frame for durability
  • Converts to High-back belt positioning booster for child 30 pounds to 100 pounds
  • Extended 5-point harness for children 20-65 pounds
  • Extended 5-point harness for children 20 to 65 pounds
  • Converts to backless booster for child 40 pounds to 100 pounds

Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix is on sale for $124.99 on Amazon, regular price is $189.99. This car seat is currently selling for $139 on Walmart and $179 in Target.

2. Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat, Saturn

  • Upfront harness adjustment and buckle release allows easy and convenient adjusting
  • Multiple-shoulder harness positions for better fit and longer use
  • Integrated body cushion gives added comfort to baby and an easily removable head pillow for older children
 Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat, Saturn is on sale for $59.98 on Amazon, regular price is $199.99. Walmart and Target sells it for the same price.

3. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Valerie

  • Transforms from a rear-facing infant car seat to a forward-facing baby car seat to a backless booster seat.
  • 3-in-1 car seat with multiple modes for longer use
  • Suits children from 20 – 100 lbs. and from 27 – 57 inches
  • Convertible seat grows with your child

Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Valerie is on sale for $139.00, regular price is $189.99. This car seat sells for $158 at Walmart and currently not available in Target.

4. Diono RadianRXT Convertible Car Seat, Plum

  • Convertible from rear facing to forward facing. Rear facing 5 to 45 pounds. Forward facing 20-80 pounds (up to 57″). Booster to 120 pounds.
  • Convertible+booster seats with a full steel frame
  • Adjustable headrest with reinforced sidewalls
  • Infant body support cushions and memory foam for added comfort

Diono RadianRXT Convertible Car Seat, Plum is on sale for $237.99, regular price is $339.99. Walmart sells it for $238 and Target sells it for $269.99.

5. Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat, Maxwell

  • Convertible car seat from rear facing to forward-facing.
  • Rear-facing for a child from 5 to 40 lbs and at least 19″ tall
  • Forward-facing for a child from 22 to 40 lbs and less than 40″ tall
  • Up-front harness adjustment for easy access
  • 5-point harness system provides a secure fit

Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat, Maxwell costs $55 on Amazon. Walmart also sells it for $55.

6. Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat, Coda

  • 2-in-1 convertible car seat with generous comfort and safety features.
  • Rear-facing from 5 to 40 pounds; forward-facing from 20 to 65 pounds.
  • My Ride 65 measures 26 by 20.5 by 27 inches (H x W x D) and weighs 15.7 pounds.

Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat, Coda is on sale for $109.99, regular price is $139.99. This car seat sells for $155 at Walmart and not available in Target.

7. Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Sedona

  • Easy to install infant car seat
  • #1 rated infant car seat in America
  • Full body inserts for newborns 4-11 pounds to protect smaller babies

Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base, Sedona sells for $189.99. Target also sells this car seat for $189.99. The car seat is currently not available in Walmart.

8. Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat, Bromley

  • 3 mode convertible, Rear-Facing, Forward-Facing and Booster Mode.
  • Rear-Facing from 5 to 35 pounds, Forward-Facing from 22 to 50 pounds and Booster Mode from 40 to 100 pounds
  • Side impact protection, 3-position recline that adjusts with one hand, removable infant head support, pillow and EPP energy absorbing foam

Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat, Bromley is on sale for $95.40 on Amazon, regular price is $149.99. Walmart has this car seat for $99.95. Target doesn’t have this car seat at the moment.

9. Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat, Nyssa

  • Convertible toddler car seat keeps your forward-facing toddlers harnessed from 20 – 65 lbs.
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System a one hand, no re-thread harness that automatically adjusts, making it a great transition car seat
  • Rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed U.S. safety standards

Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat, Nyssa is on sale for $139.99, regular price is $179.99.

10. Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat, Mystique

  • Convertable from Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing.
  • Two RideRight bubble levels indicate correct seat angle in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes
  • ReclineSure 9-position Leveling System provides the most recline options of any convertible seat for an accurate fit in a wider range of vehicles

Amazon has Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat, Mystique for $279.99. Target sells it for the same price. This car seat is not available in Walmart at the moment.