15 Best infant car seat for small cars in 2019

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For those who don’t know, an infant car seat is a seat designed for babies below two years who weigh 4 pounds up to 35-40 pounds and has a height up to 35 inches tall. It is the first seat every parent must use when transporting their newborn from hospital to home. You do have to start with infant car seat no matter the case. There is a variety of infant car seat and can be confusing knowing the right one mostly if you have a small car. We have researched and reviewed 15 Best infant car seat for small cars in 2019.

Best infant car seat for small cars


Comparison table of 15 Best infant car seat for small cars in 2019

namefeaturesWhere to buy
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible 4-120 pounds
5-point harness seat
goes from infant to booster
6-position recline
InRight LATCH system
no rethread harness
Buy from Amazon
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant 4-35lb
6-position recline
no rethread harness
Buy from Amazon
Graco My Ride 65 LX ConvertibleBuy from Amazon
Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat5 to 22 pounds
has three shoulder harness positions
two crotch buckles
Buy from Amazon
Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible 5-110lbs
goes from infant to booster
auto-retracting sure latch connectors
superior e3 impact test
energy absorbing foam liner
1-hand adjustable headrest
removable head and body pillow
up-front multi-position recline easy-off
machine-washable car seat pad
integrated cup holder
Buy from Amazon
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat5-40lbs
4-shoulder harness position
5-point harness
2 crotch buckle positions
easy-off machine-washable car seat pad
removable head pillow.
Buy from Amazon
Chicco NextFit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat5-65lbs
rear facing-forward
9 headrest heights
9 recline positions
Belt tightening system
removable and washable seat pads
Buy from Amazon
Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit30 Infant4- 30 pounds
RideRight bubble level indicator
SuperCinch one-pull latch tightener
Buy from Amazon
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible ClickTight Installation System
federal safety standards with SafeCell Impact Protection shields
removable body pillow
10 harness position and 2-position buckle
Buy from Amazon
Britax B Safe-35 Infantrear facing position
4-35 pounds
SafeCell Impact Protection
deep shell lined
Buy from Amazon

Most infant car seats on the market are 17 inches and above, which is a challenge if you want to fit more than one at the back of your car seat. Given that most car seats are larger to fit small cars there are few companies that have manufactured small seats that will fit your small car, maybe 3-in -1 row or 2-in-1 row leaving space for other passengers.

Before you read unbiased review and buyer’s guide of our 15 best infant car seat, 2018 learn what you need to know about infant car.

I know most parents do ask themselves why I need an infant car seat

According to the AAP updates recommendation on the infant car seat, parents are advised to keep their infant and toddler in the rear-facing car seat until age two. This rear-facing car seat is the one we call infant car seat.

Also According to an investigation done by Kristy Arbogast, Ph.D., engineering director at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Our investigations of real-world crashes over the past ten years found infants in rear-facing car seats had an extremely low risk of injury in a crash. Of the crashes studied, very few infants in rear-facing seats were injured.”

The answer is simple every parent need an infant car seat if you love the safety of your baby.

Infant car seats are:

  • Rear-facing only
  • Attached to the base of the car seat- this base can be moved in and out of the car allows carrying your baby without waking him/her up.
  • They have handles for carrying
  • Some of the infant pillows come with a head support pillow (baby flat head pillow) to protect the delicate head of your newborn.

infant car seat

What you need to consider when buying the best infant car seats

Knowing the right infant car seats can be the most difficult decision especially if you are a first-time parent. Here is what to consider when buying an infant car seat

You might like:

Baby car seat safety guidelines and tips

Baby car seat buying guide

  • Meets safety standards

The car seat must have passed current safety standards. Some brands have gone beyond regular safety standard and added more security features such as:

Anti-rebound back that helps limit movement during the crash. Not all infant car seat has this feature.

Large pad or cushion on the shoulder and head which help protect impact around the areas.

Load leg that extends from the back of the car seat down to the floor of your vehicle. It helps reduce rotational forces.

No rethreaded harness

It allows adjusting the car seat without rerouting the strap.

Seat belt lock off

It holds the car seat in place even in the emergency stop.

Linear side impact protection

Protect your baby from side impact or absorb impact force in case of a side impact collision.

Make sure the infant car seat is easy to remove from the base and have the handle for carrying a sleeping baby everywhere that you go.

  • Adjustable

As you all know babies grow fast so you will need a car seat that has adjustable straps as your child ages.

  • Easy to clean

Babies are messy and have sensitive skin so their products should be cleaned regularly to avoid contamination. When buying a car seat make sure it is easy to remove things like pads or tray for cleaning. Also, choose the car seat that has an easy to clean fabric.

  • Lightweight

When you are buying a car seat remember you will add another weight of your baby your load will much heavier. Avoid buying heavy seats because you will be taking this seat out of the car and use it to carry your baby to the stores or everywhere else that you go.

  • Easy to use

You don’t need to buy a car seat that has a complicated closing mechanism, not easy to buckle or unbuckle, hurts your hand or fingers every time you are removing or attaching the pads for washing or seat to carry your baby. Such a seat can be annoying and frustrating choose the seat that you can easily unbuckle, attach and detach to the base, adjust, buckle and remove the pads or cover for washing.

  • Weight and height

The most infant car seat can handle the minimum weight of 4 pounds or 1.8kg up to 30-35 pounds (13.6-15.9 kg) and a height of 35 inches. There are some brands that don’t accommodate babies with less 7 or 9 pounds they include an insert to offer support to their small baby and give then comfy fit not to feel like they are swimming in a car seat.

In most cases, babies will grow taller than the way they add weight. Such case is expected their feet push against the car seat and legs bend down. If your baby exceeds the infant car seat maximum height or weight consider buying an infant convertible car seat which supports small babies from 4 pounds to toddle up to 120 pounds.

Note most infant-convertible car seat does not detach from the base and don’t have a handle for carrying your sleeping baby everywhere you go like an infant car seat.

So make sure you check the car seat label for weight and height specification.

  • Car size

Every car seat is different; make sure you buy an infant car seat that fits in your car.

Also, if you have multiple babies, you need more than one infant seat to consider buying the seat that you will be able to fit three in a row comfortably and safely, especially in small-sized cars.

In addition to multiple babies, there is an infant seat meant for twins.

  • Compatibility

When you detach your car seat from the base make sure it can fit well with a variety of strollers in the market or whichever stroller you have.

  • Price

The price of the infant car seat depends on the features. The more modern features the seat has the costly the seat. Some of these modern features include load leg, large cushioned, anti-rebound back, stylish designs, patterns and colors, quality parts like handles, fabric, and others. All these extra features contribute to the price of the car seat. But price should not determine the safety of the seat make sure the seat meets and passed a regular safety standard.

When buying a car seat don’t concentrate so much on price considering what features you need and what you don’t.

  • Additional features

Some seats have more features like the cover, toy bars, head pillow, canopies, soft and removable fabric.

  • Different types of infant car seats available in the market

There are three different types of infant car seat available in the market

Infant car seat

This is the seat specifically designed for infants from the first month to 14 months. It supports the minimum weight of 4 pounds or 1.8kg up to 30-35 pounds (13.6-15.9 kg) and a height of 35inches.

Rear-facing convertible car seat

It is also called infant convertible car seat

The seat is specifically designed for infants until the toddler stage. They are used up to years when your child can transform into the booster seat. The seat handles weight limit up to 50 lbs and height up to 49 inches.

The seat cannot be used tote baby when moving from one place to another.

3-in-1 newborn car seat

The seat is also called all in one and specifically designed for infancy until the baby is ready to use a car seat belt.

Review of the 15 Best infant car seat for small cars 2018

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UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

infant car seat for small cars

Where to buy and latest price
  • Car seat type: Rear-facing only infant seat
  • Seat Dimensions: 21.2 x 14.2 x 10.2 in
  • Car seat weight: 11.2lbs
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-35 pounds
  • Available colors: 2

A lighter carrier under 10 pounds, making it easier to tote around your growing child.

The UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat is easier to install with a smart security system and self-retracting Latch connectors ensure it is installed within 10 seconds. Also, the system has an indicator window which changes from red to green for visual confirmation the seat has been installed correctly.

The Mesa infant car seat is compatible with a most performance travel system with direct attachment no adapters necessary.

The seat is adjustable headrest with side impact protection provided added safety for your child.

It is made of softer, breathable, moisture-wicking material, quick and easy to remove spills.

Features infant insert which makes the seat ideal for preemies between 4-8 pounds and accommodate the baby up to 35 pounds.

Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat

infant car seat for small cars

Where to buy and latest price
  • Car seat type: Rear-facing only infant seat
  • Seat Dimensions: 26 x 16.5 x 25 inches
  • Car seat weight: 7.7 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-30 pounds
  • Available colors: 5

The seat is ideal for babies weighing from 5 and 30 pounds (2.2 and 13.6kg.) heights of 30″ or less (76.2cm).

It features easy one hand, no rethread 5-point safety harness, and the EPS energy-absorbing foam for superior side impact head protection.

This car seat has a height adjustable seat back with no rethread safety simple harness and allows the car seat to grow with your baby

With the seat, exclusive Flex-Lock latch system and standard 4-position push-button height adjustment with a level indicator, both assist in simple, trouble-free installation.

The seat comes with a boot that will shield your infant and provide extra warmth in the cool car and a smooth carry handle that won’t scratch your arms when carrying your infant in and out of your car.

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 Infant Car Seat

Where to buy and latest price
  • Car seat type: Rear-facing only infant seat
  • Seat Dimensions: 13.2 x 16.55 x 18.17 in
  • Car seat weight: 13.2 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-30 lbs
  • Available colors: 4

Disney Light ‘n Comfy Luxe Infant Car Seat 

Where to buy and latest price
  • Car seat type: Rear-facing only infant seat
  • Seat Dimensions: with base: 24.75″H x 16.75″W x 27.75″D and without base: 22.75″H x 16.75″W x 26.25″D
  • Car seat weight: 14.4 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-22 pounds
  • Available colors: 2
Rear-facing infant car seat

Rear-facing infant car seat

Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat, Jungle Safari

infant care seat

Where to buy and latest price

Evenflo car seat can be used rear-facing for babies weighing 5 to 22 pounds.

With a separate stay in car base, allows transfer of the career from car to home via easy to carry handle 

and a pivoting canopy to shade your baby.

This infant car seat has three shoulder harness positions and two crotch buckles for better fitting.

The car seat pad is easy off and machine washable.

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat, Pierce

Best infant car seat

Where to buy and latest price

It is an excellent rear facing infant car seat that protects infant weighing between 4-35 pounds and up to 32 inches.

With click connect technology. The technology provides secure attachment of infant car seat to all Graco click connect stroller or at the infant car seat base. To make sure the seat is securely attached you will hear ‘click’ sound.

The seat has a stay-in-car base and the top line of the infant car seat which makes it easy to transport your child from the house or anywhere in between to the car.

It comes with a baby head support which has a soft cushion for the support on the newborn head. The head support is removable as your infant grows. It also comes with a rotating canopy which provides sun protection and shade for your newborn. Also, has a leg cover

Machine-washable seat cushion, Metal, and plastic parts may be cleaned with mild soap and water, Buckle may be cleaned with a damp cloth thus makes Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat easy to clean.

This seat expires after 7 years from the manufacturing date. You can check the manufacturer date on the label back on the car seat.

The seat comes with 5- point harnesses which adjust from the front and makes your child in and out of the car seat easy.

Besides meeting USA safety standards, the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 boosts other safety features such as EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management.

Britax B Safe-35 Infant Seat

best rear- facing infant car seat

Where to buy and latest price

Britax B Safe-35 Infant is a Rear facing seat for infants 4-35 pounds.

It is easy to install the seat base by using the center-pull straps and quick, push-button, lower Latch connectors

Features SafeCell Impact Protection which is an integrated system of safety components found only in Britax car seats. The components include a steel frame for strength and a base that compresses to absorb energy during a collision.

Also, the seat features a deep shell lined with energy-absorbing foam shields your child from front and side impacts and the contoured shell takes up little space in your vehicle and minimizes side-to-side movement to maximize protection

Others infant car seat

Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat

Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat

Cosco Light N Comfy Dx

Disney Light ‘n’ Comfy Luxe Infant Car Seat

CYBEX Aton 2 Infant Car Seat

Rear-facing convertible car seat

Best Rear-facing convertible car seat

Disney APT Convertible Car Seat

 infant convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

The seat is designed for children weighing 5- 40 pounds. Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and forward facing 22-40 pounds

Equipped with side impact protection to help your kid safer in a side impact crash and latch which makes it easier to install the seat quickly and correct.

Features 5-point harness with up-front adjustment and three buckle locations easily accommodate the child.

It has two cup holder for either Sippy cups or bottle for easy access to drinks

Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat, Coda

rear-facing convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

The seat is designed to accommodate children from 5 -40 pounds in the rear facing position and 20-65 pounds in the forward-facing position.

It features 5- point harness with an upfront adjustment that secures your child in the seat and makes removing child safe. Also, comes with an easy to read level indicator for hassle free rear-facing installation.

The My Ride 65 seat cushion and covers are machines washable, metal and plastic parts are easily washed with soap and water, and buckle and harness straps clean easily with a damp cloth.

It comes with an integrated two cup holder makes it easy for young ones access to drinks.

Except meeting USA safety standard, the seat is impacting for occupant retention by the harness system, features EPS energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management in the event of a collision and tested for structural integrity at both high and low temperatures.

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat

rear-facing convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat supports a rear-facing infant from a 5-30lbs height of 19 – 37 inches and a forward-facing toddler from 22 – 40 lbs. (height: 28 – 40 inches).

It meets and goes beyond all applicable Federal Safety Standards, as well as Evenflo’ s Side Impact Test Standard for Structural Integrity, which uses energy levels approximately 2 times the Federal Crash Test Standard for multiple-shoulder harness positions. Also, energy foam liner provides added safety and comfort

4-shoulder harness position makes the seat accommodate growing child longer.

Features easily 5-point harness from the front of the car seat making it easier to get your baby in and out.

It also features 2 crotch buckle positions, easy-off machine-washable car seat pad, and a removable head pillow.

Chicco NextFit iX Zip Convertible Car Seat

infant convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

The seat is designed to accommodate growing children from 5-65lbs includes a rear-facing 5-40lbs and forward facing 22-65lbs.

You can adjust the seat 9 headrest heights which accommodate your growing child and 9 recline positions that fit the wider car.

For easier installation with latch and super cinch, tightener help achieve a tight a secure fit.

Belt tightening system helps position, tighten and installation of belt easy and into place.

The seat pad is easy to remove and machine washable.

Padded comfort flex-out harness system holds both sides of the waist belt out of the way for easy in out.

For side impact protection the seat is Steel-reinforced frame and EPS energy-absorbing foam are designed for superior protection

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

rear-facing convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

The seat holds the baby from a rear-facing position for baby weighing 5-40lbs to forward facing position for toddler weighing 20-65 lbs.

Featuring the revolutionary ClickTight Installation System, making installation Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat as simple as buckling a seat belt.

When it comes to safety the seat protects your child beyond the established federal safety standards with SafeCell Impact Protection shields your little one in a deep foam-line shell designed to absorb crash forces.

You can adjust the seat 10 harness position and 2-position buckle allows easy move buckles outward and harnesses upward.

It also has a removable body pillow which enhances your child comfort and relaxation.

Other types of rear-facing Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat

Baby Trend Protect Series Elite Convertible Car Seat

Cosco Apt 40 RF Convertible Car Seat, Teardrop

All-in-one infant car seat
All-in-one infant car seat

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

all-in-one convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

Graco 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat provides you 10 years of use from four up to 120 pounds. The seat can be used as a rear-facing car seat for babies weighing four to 40 pounds, Forward-facing car seat for toddler weighing from 20 to 65 pounds, Booster seats in high back belt-positioning mode from 30 to 100 pounds and Booster seats in backless belt-positioning mode from 40 to 120 pounds.

With safe adjust harness system; the Graco 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is easy to change the height of your harness and headrest. You can adjust the seat 10-position headrest makes easier to give your growing child a proper fit. The seat can be adjusted easily with one hand.

For your newborn comfort, the seat features plush inserts to keep your infant comfortable for many travels.

The seat has 2-integrated cup holders keep your child’s drinks and snacks close at hand.

In addition to meeting all applicable USA safety standards, Graco has gone further mile to make sure your child safe with these great safety features:

  • Side Impact Tested with the built-in 5-point harness system
  • Engineered & crash tested to meet or go beyond the US standard FMVSS 213.
  • New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) – peak crash force approximately 2X Car Seat Standard.
  • Extreme Car Interior Temperatures.
  • EPS, energy absorbing foam for effective impact energy management.
  • The steel-reinforced frame offers sturdiness and stability for years of smart utility.

The 6-recline position easily adjusts to fit and takes your little one from infancy to grade school in style and comfort.

Installing an infant car seat has never been easy, but Graco 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat exclusive InRight latch attachment provides an uncomplicated 1-second attachment with an audio click cue to help ensure a secure installation.

This seat has several features to make the life of parent easier, starting with a removable washable seat cover which does not require rethreading the harness strap. It also has an integrated harness storage compartment which holds the harness straps for the belt-positioning booster seat mode. The easy read indicator helps get the correct location for perfect installation and optimum safety, giving you a safe and secure feeling.

How to install Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

all-in-one convertible car seat

Where to buy and latest price

The seat provides your child rear facing, forward facing and booster facilities.

It supports rear-facing infants from 5-40lbs, forward facing toddlers from 22-65lbs, and high back booster for 40-110lbs.

With auto-retracting sure latch connectors with no pulling necessary makes easy to install the seat within 60 seconds.

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is equipped with an expandable cup holder for all sizes.

This seat exceeds all federal safety guidelines, Evenflo all-in-one convertible car seat has a superior e3 impact test to significantly reduce the force in the event of an accident and foam liner provides added safety and comfort.

It also features 5-point infinite slide harness that allows accurate fitting as your child grows, hand adjustable headrest, easy off the machine washable pad, up-front multi-position recline for child’s comfort while asleep or awake, removable head and body pillow for additional comfort and support.

Other types of all-in-one convertible cars seat

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Baby Trend Hybrid LX 3 -in-1 Car Seat

Cosco Easy Elite 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Disney Baby Mickey Mouse 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat 

How to install an infant car seat

There are no specific guidelines to install an infant car seat. Each car seat brand comes with manual guiding on how to install. The manual comes in different languages and diagrams instructing how to install.

You can visit the manufacturer website or call customer care if you are confused on how to install. You can also visit the hospital or baby store, they have specialized staff on how to install a car seat.

Where to install an infant car seat

The best place for your infant car seat is in the backseat preferably in the middle.

Why in the center are the majority of car crashes in frontal collisions?

When the front of the car makes crash everyone in the car continues to move in the direction of impact until something stops them. For passengers, the safety belt is what hold them and keep them safely in the car seat.

Young children who are sitting on forward facing seat like convertible or booster seat their car seat 5-point harness is what holds them safely and tightly to the seat.

Infant sitting in a rear-facing seat, the entire infant car seat which is positioned behind the child protected from moving forward.

In case of a side impact crash, this crash is likely to cause injury or death but can be prevented if there is protection or distance between the infant or passenger and the point of impact. So if you have placed your car seat in the middle there is a great distance by either side of the car seat thus reduces pose to injury.

In addition to side-impact crash modern car seat has an added security feature called linear side impact protection. This security feature prevents your child from side impact collisions

In incidences where your infant seats do not securely fasten at the center seat, it would be safer to place on either side of the backseat.

Make sure the infant car seat face backward or rear-facing position and base securely tightened.

An infant car seat should not shift, wobbles, slide and tilt as you drive. If the seat wobble or moves as you drive, it’s loosely fixed.

Commonly asked question

Buying an old seat or new

Most parents ask whether they can buy a used seat. The answer is yes, as long as the seat is not expired most seats expire six years after the manufacture date, check the expiration date or manufacture date on the car seat manufacturer label.

Also, make sure the seat has never been involved in the crash because it has ever been involved in an accident makes the seat less safe than it was before.

Car seat bases

Most infant seat come with car seat bases.  Most of the bases can fit different types of car seat models others are meant for a specific type.

Make sure the base fits your car seat

What to do if your infant car seat has expired

Expired can seat can be recycled you can donate to recycling centers for a small fee.

Accessories for infant car seat/ car seat accessories

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One Comment

  1. Jack Reacher May 17, 2018 Reply

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