Babies love car seats mostly for the smooth drive, the lush feel of comfort, and the privacy (yea, children love privacy too) that such little space avails them. Choosing the right infant car seat for your child just by strolling through the avalanche of products on Amazon can be a daunting task.
This is especially true when you take notice of the factors that make up a great car seat such as durability, weight, safety, size, and ease of use. Here our best infant car seat review considers all of these factors and more in the selection process.
In this post, you’ll find a variety of infant car seats from different competitors. This is to provide a comprehensive review that helps you choose the best infant car seat with all of the features you may need. And you don’t have to break the bank to buy one. Here are the best infant car seats you can get for a $200 or less in 2020.
Best Infant Car Seat Under $200 (Top 5 Curated List)
1. Chicco Car Seat
- The #1-rated infant car seat in America!
- Easiest to install with Recline Sure levelling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened
- Designed for travel system use with compatible Chicco strollers (sold separately)
- Removable new-born head and body supports. For infants from 4 to 30 lbs and up to 30 inches in height
- 5-point harness with easy-pull tightened. 2-position carry-handle with comfortable grip
Among many other factors, safety is key in selecting the most appropriate car seat for your baby. Also important in this review is the protective feature of the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion for babies with a very active lifestyle. Its side-impact protection system creates a cushioning effect that protects your baby’s head even during movement.
We understand how important the ease of installation is, and that’s why we checked to see if this car seat measured to standard. Its latch compatibility serves as a replacement for vehicle seat belt which makes it easy to integrate into your latch- equipped car. A Carry Curve handle also adds extra comfort for you and your baby while on the move. In order to ease the process of cleaning, Onboard 35 features a machine-washable seat that makes cleaning easy for you should your child make a mess of it.
On the negative, this product is heavier than it appears. It can also be difficult to unlatch from the base which can be really distressful if you’re transferring the seat often. You may also have to purchase a spare insert as the durability of that of this product after washing it a few times cannot be guaranteed. If you prioritize safety above everything else, alongside ease of installation and movement, we recommend that you buy this particular brand of the infant car seat.
2. Safety 1st Car Seat
- Give your baby a safe and secure fit for travel with this LATCH-equipped Safety 1st car seat that fits infants from four pounds to toddlers of 35 pounds in rear-facing mode
- Featuring ultra-lightweight construction using next-generation engineering, this easy-to-carry seat includes side-impact protection. Head and body inserts give newborns added comfort and support
- Adjust your child's fit in the seat with four harness heights, spaced for a better fit whether your child is tiny or tall. Adjust the harness with a single pull for a secure fit
- When travel takes you away from home, this seat is ready to use on an aircraft. Compatible with any QuickClick-equipped stroller, the seat attaches with one simple click
- Easy to clean, the seat pad removes easily and is ready to go into the washing machine and dryer
This is another work of genius on the list of best toddlers car seats we strongly believe will be suitable for your baby’s needs. Unlike the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat (Monument), the first noticeable trait about this product is its ultra-lightweight feature that eases mobility as well as maneuverability both indoors and while on the move. It attaches to all Safety 1st Click Connect strollers (sold separately) with a secure one-step attachment to create that travel system perfect for every moment. Having passed a rigorous crash test to comply with US safety standards, we can confidently say that Safety 1st offers your child adequate protection in the likeness of apex infant car seats. This car seat is suitable for children up to 2 years old weighing between 4-30 pounds and not with more than 32 inches in height.
The product’s fabric we observed appeared too coarse for a newborn. The straps also lack padding and may result in some discomfort especially in the neck area of your child. You can get this solved by purchasing any suitable infant insert to give your baby that soothing feel. We think the goodness this economically feasible car seat brings to you far outweigh its cons and that going for it will be one of the best decisions you can make in grooming your baby with ease.
3. Graco Baby Car Seat
- Snug Lock Technology features a hassle Free 3 step installation rear facing car seat helps protect infants from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 Inches quick and Easy clean up with the Rapid Remove cover; Head must be more than 1 inch from the Top of the headrest Infant car seats Made 2011 or after
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts headrest and harness together to prevent rethreading Safety Core absorbs frontal crash forces
- Adjustable base with 4 recline positions and Easy to read bubble level indicator In Right Latch system for a one second Latch attachment
- Rotating canopy with window and visor provides shade and sun Protection for baby removable newborn head and body Support cushions baby
- Check Your local and state laws, as well as AAP and NHTSA recommendations, for car seat usage Engineered & rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed US Standard FMVSS 213; Machine washable seat cushion and canopy; metal and plastic parts may be cleaned with mild soap and Cool Water; Buckle may be cleaned with a damp cloth; Harness straps may be cleaned with a damp cloth
Our best infant car seat reviews’ list of products within the $200 purchase price will be largely incomplete if we ignore Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat. It is a powerful car seat encapsulating a rich array of features that place it in the ivy league category.
Its ergonomic design makes it a formidable car seat for all kinds of surfaces including rocky and snowy surfaces. It makes our list of safest car seats for infants due to its superior side impact performance feature with air protect the technology that prevents excessive air access to your child.
The premium padding fabrics also provide a soothing feel that makes every ride enjoyable. Equipped with adapters for travel system with compatible Maxi-Cosi and Quinny strollers which put it among the best infant car seat stroller combos if you would go for the stroller too. Maxi Cosi can also be attached to other feature-rich inserts readily available from the manufacturer.
Please check that your baby weighs not more than 22 pounds before buying this infant car seat. Most infant car seats can hold up to 35 pounds. However, this negation makes the Maxi-Cosi unlike the Graco Snugride and Safety First Onboard 35 Air suitable for only babies that weigh less and definitely not more than a year old.
We also observe that this car seat does not work with the ‘snap and go’ carrier from the baby trend as erroneously stated in the manufacturers answered questions. We assume the manufacturer didn’t perform a test before ascribing such feature but looking into the light, this infant car seat is resplendent in a plethora of good qualities. This made it an excellent choice for the baby weighing not more than 22 pounds.
4. Graco SnugRide 35 LX Car Seat
- Adjust handle with one hand, leaving other hand free
- Silent Shade canopy easily and quietly adjusts without disturbing baby
- InRight LATCH system for a one second LATCH attachment
- 4 position adjustable base lets you customize fit to your vehicle
- Easy to read level indicator helps eliminate installation guesswork
If you desire an infant car seat that blends efficiency with convenience, Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat | Baby Car Seat Featuring TrueShield Side Impact Technology could be the best match for you Its versatility and durability make it the right choice for those on the search for long-lasting baby car seats. The easy to install base is equipped with a 2-step vehicle belt lock-off for quick and easy installation.
Moreover, its seamless design features a well-padded seat beautiful crafted to maximize your child’s comfort alongside a 4-recline option that enables you to adjust the car seat in the best dimension that soothes your baby. This product’s lightweight feature eases carriage. For easy cleaning, the seat of the EvenFlow LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat is machine washable. You may also remove the head and body when it is necessary for cleaning or replacement.
For snowy and rainy weather, this is probably not the best for you. Its canopy has a diminutive coverage that doesn’t properly protect the baby if it should rain. You should also check that this car seat fits properly for your baby.
Among other things, the close-fitting structure might make it unsuitable for babies with big bodies. We think the versatility of this seat makes it perfect for a sunny afternoon stroll and that every great parent would love this infant car seat in the garage of their lovely child.
5. Doona Car Seat
- PRODUCT FEATURES & BENEFITS: One simple motion operation – From car seat to stroller in seconds, 5-point harness, adjustable handlebar - also acts as an anti-rebound bar inside the car, 3 Layer Side Impact Protection, removable and washable fabric, highest safety & quality standards, TUV and FAA Aircraft Approved for travel, baby Safe materials & breathable textiles, 2 years manufacturer's warranty.
- COLOR: All Black Patterned Textile Fabric, New Stretch Material Canopy in Flame Red, New Stretch Material Shoulder Pads in Flame Red, New and Improved Breathable Inner Foams, Charcoal Aluminum Handle, Dark Grey Bamboo Infant Insert, Dark Gray Bamboo Head Support with Memory Foam.
- USAGE: Suitable from 4 lbs. to 35 lbs, Max. 32 Inches Height, Rear facing only, Car Seat weighs 16.5 lbs, Base weighs 10.3 lbs.
- INCLUDED IN THE BOX: Doona Infant Car Seat, Doona Bamboo Infant Insert, Doona Bamboo Head Support, Doona Vehicle Seat Protector, Doona Base
- PRODUCT DIMENSIONS: Folded: 23.6x17.3x26 Inches; Unfolded: 39x17.3x32.2 Inches; Weight: 16.5 Lbs.
One of the many reasons why you should consider the Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base – Nitro Black – US Version is the ease of installation even without a base when you’re on the go in your car.
It comes with a simple latch button (saving you the stress of having to tie or clip) that quickens your installation if you decide to attach a base. This product also makes a good travel system when combined with your favorite baby stroller. Based on our research, everything about this blueprint rows towards giving you superior ease of access engineered with enviable durability and maneuverability.
Adjusting the strap is easy, so is the recline. The head support is also nice and comfortable you may have no problem lulling your child to sleep in it.
As you would expect, not many of these infant car seats come without their cons. You cannot attach a baby jogger car seat to a baby jogger stroller without buying an additional (extra cost) baby jogger attachment. We also think the pads around the straps are not really soft.
But you’ll still find it worth more than the money especially when you consider the size of its canopy and how it covers your baby from sunlight, rain, and snow whether you’re outdoors on in transit. The parents will love it because besides its aesthetically attractive. One outstanding thing is that the efficiency leaves not a lot more to desire in an infant car seat.
How To Find the Best Toddler Car Seat
Finding the best toddler car seat for your baby may require much research as you have envisaged. Actually, not many car seats are suitable for your baby’s needs. Some babies are small, others weigh more and therefore would require different infant seats for the best of childhood experience. Here are a few factors we think should influence your choice when you want to buy toddler seat online:
- Budget: Your purse should influence your spending but having a low budget does not have to result in choosing low-quality products. There are a variety of quality products we think (see best infant car seat reviews above) you can choose from within the $200.
- Pricing: Some toddler’s car seats also come with strollers for easy movement making them a better choice if you move around with your baby a lot. However, the quality ones would cost more than a toddler car seat.
- Ease Of Installation: If you need help installing the appurtenances of your baby’s car seat, then we strongly advise you don’t buy it. Easy installation eases usage and disassembling should you need to be on the move or fold your infant car seat while on transit.
- Strength Of Material: Quality infant car seats are sourced from globally available materials that ensure durability and efficiency. All of the products we reviewed have been made to pass through certain tests to be sure they measure up to standard.
Whether you’re looking for the infant car seat designed to serve generations or one that is just right for everyday use, only your baby’s need can define what is perfect for you.
Since there’s no perfect infant car seat for every baby, we recommend that you write down what you think your baby needs for an infant car seat, then voyage into the straps and rollers realm to find the excellent infant car seat with features streamlined to take care of all your baby’s needs.