Choosing a car seat is something that every parent has to go through, and probably one of the more important choices you will make. After all, it will need to keep your newborn baby safe whenever they take a ride in the car. I remember the endless trips to many different shops to look at all the different models, then back home to read all the reviews before we finally decided on one. Below, I’ve put together a list of 5 car seats, ranging from rear facing ones that are ideal for newborns, to the more traditional front facing seats that are designed for the older children. Hopefully this will give you a few useful pointers on where to start.
1. Graco Snugride Classic Connect – $79.99
ff you’ve got a newborn baby, a rear facing seat will normally be the first seat you buy. This particular seat is designed for children weighing between 5 and 22 pounds. The average child this means you shouldn’t need to get another seat until they are around 18 months old. Apart from being safer, the advantage of this rear facing design is that it can be easily taken out of the car and attached to a stroller while the is still asleep. Another nice little touch with this one is the large canopy that you can use to protect your little one’s eyes.
2. Britax Roundabout G4 Convertible Car Seat – $144.00
Now that they is not so little any more, you are going to need a seat that is more suited to a growing child. The thing I like about this one, is that you get the option to fit it as rear, or front facing. So you can use it from pretty much newborn (rear facing with the include infant insert), all the way up to 55 pounds. It’s easy to fit and the 5 point harness is designed to be tangle-free.
3. Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat – $101.38
This could be the perfect car seat if you are on a budget being only slightly above $100, while being suitable for children from 5 pounds all the way up to 100 pounds (normally around 9 or 10 years old). It goes from rear facing, to front facing and finally when your child is old enough, the back comes off all together to leave you with a booster seat. With arm rests, energy absorbing foam and 3 reclining positions, there aren’t many seats out there that will beat this one in terms of price and features.
4. Recaro ProRIDE Comvertible Car Seat – $219.99
If you know anything about racing, you’ve probably heard about the company Recaro. They build arguably the best racing seats out there, so it was only a matter of time before they used that knowledge and started making child car seats. Again it’s a rear and front facing seat, but what sets this one apart is the racing inspired protection. It is designed to protect the most vunerable areas of a child in the event of a crash. Like the Britax seat, it can’t be used as a booster, so once they reach 65 pounds (or 49 inches tall) you’ll have to look for a seperate booster seat.
5. Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat – $42.79
Although this seat can be used from 30 pounds (around 2 years old), I would say it’s better to use one of the more protective seats for as long as you can before moving onto one like this. Generally booster seats have a more simple construction, which allows them to be much lighter, but sometimes the padding on the cheaper seats can be thin or non-existant, so check before you buy. Another great feature of this seat, is that it’s obviously aimed at ‘older’ children. With it’s funky design, and hideaway cup-holders it will keep your child safe, without making them feel like they are still in the same ‘baby’ seat.
Written by Rob L. a Dad freelance writer.