A car seat is one of the very first items you need to purchase when expecting a new baby. But with so many options out there and so many safety rules, how do you know which one is best? How do you wade through the hundreds of brands and features to narrow down the good ones? Well, lucky for you, we’ve taken the hard work out of it and reviewed the very best baby car seats on the market for you to choose from.

BEST OVERALL | Graco Contender 65

Graco Contender 65 Car Seat - Top Safety Rating

Graco Contender 65 Car Seat – Top Safety Rating

The Graco Contender 65 car seat is big on safety with SafeSeat Engineering. It was tested with side impact simulations, wherein the vehicle in testing received force on either side and the car seat withstood the outside damage to the car. The harness system, in addition to the safety it provides at every stage of infancy up until around two years old, is also a factor in comfort with the Graco Contender 65. The energy-absorbing foam built into the car seat, under the cushion, not only makes the seat more comfortable for your baby but also adds an added layer of protection. One of the best aspects about the Graco Contender 65 is its price, which sits at about $140 for an MSRP. And since it is made to last your baby up to 65 pounds and remain forward-facing, that’s a price well below market value for its type. The Graco MSRP is $140, but check the current Graco Contender 65 – Amazon price.

Read the full review for the Graco Contender 65 car seat.

BEST DESIGN | Evenflo Sureride DLX

Evenflo Sureride DLX review Full View

Evenflo Sureride DLX Full View

Another convertible car seat that switches from rear to forward-facing, the Evenflo Sureride DLX car seat features plenty of safety testing. Not only is it tested for rollover simulations, where the test emulates a roof-to-ground car accident, but it also undergoes tests for extreme temperature conditions. The installation of the Evenflo Sureride DLX is also easier, as it can be done with either the LATCH system or a seat belt, instead of any fancy hookups or a car seat base to try and secure to each car and remove and repeat. It also has two different buckle positions and six different harness adjustments. And right now, it’s available for an MSRP of $85.88, much lower than most convertible car seats, but in its safety bracket of intense simulation testing, that’s a bargain. But click here to find the current Evenflo Sureride DLX – Amazon price.

Read the full review for the Evenflo Sureride DLX car seat.

BARGAIN BUY | Evenflo Tribute LX

Evenflo Tribute LX review Full View

Evenflo Tribute LX Full View

With the Evenflo Tribute LX car seat, safety standards are the top priority. It is impact tested with E3 zone of protection and three layers of padded protection on the sides to add to the safety of the car seat. The SureLATCH system of the Evenflo Tribute LX also makes it so you don’t have to worry about installing the car seat safely enough with a seat belt and can give you more peace of mind in that regard. And because of the safety testing that the car seat undergoes, it claims to be twice as secure as what federal safety standards require. It’s also reasonably light at 23 pounds, enabling you to take it in and out of the car and use for more than just one car in the household. The Evenflo Tribute LX has an MSRP of just $49.88 and is the most economically priced on this list of the best car seats. But check out the Evenflo Tribute LX – Amazon price right now.

Read the full review of the Evenflo Tribute LX.

MOST VERSATILE | Britax Boulevard Clicktight

Britax Boulevard ClickTight review Full View

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Full View

The Britax Boulevard ClickTight car seat might come with a higher price tag than some others, but it also comes with what it calls SafeCell Impact Protection. The safety technology covers the car seat’s impact-absorbing base, steel frame, and impact absorbing tether attached to the back. It also has its ClickTight Installation System that allows you to lift a portion of the seat with the turn of a key and run the seat belt across that in order to get to the other side and lock it into place. And because of all of its added cushion that lays on top of the impact-absorbing frame and seat, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight car seat is extra comfortable for babies and toddlers. And being a convertible car seat, it’s designed to grow with your baby from infancy up to two or three years old. Right now, you can find it with an MSRP of $379.99 but check the Britax Boulevard ClickTight – Amazon price here.

Read the full review for the Britax Boulevard ClickTight car seat.

EASIEST TO USE | Chicco Nextfit

Chicco NextFit review Full View

Chicco NextFit Full View

The SuperCinch latch tightener of the Chicco NextFit car seat is what helps in securing it safely to the back seat of a car. To use it, you simply pull on one strap already latched to your car and can tighten it with just one hand, as opposed to using two to maneuver your way into the crevices. The Chicco NextFit car seat also has nine different reclining positions, making it so your toddler who is still rear-facing can sit comfortable and your baby who isn’t quite big enough to hold his head up can lay comfortable and securely. And being a convertible car seat, it has a headrest that adjusts upward at six different positions. And at the same time, it automatically adjusts the shoulder straps according to the headrest position. The big focus with the Chicco Next Fit car seat is that it is designed to make installing and adjusting it for your baby’s comfort and safety easier than most other car seats. You can find it with an MSRP of $299.99 but check the Chicco Nextfit – Amazon price here.

Read the full review for the Chicco NextFit car seat.

BOTTOM LINE

There’s no getting around the car seat safety requirements. So make sure you invest in one that complies with all of the current guidelines but also one that meets your own specific needs like weight, budget, and style. Hopefully, these five great car seats have given you the answer you need. You really can’t go wrong with any one.