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Car seats

What's behind our car seat Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 122 models in car seats to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score is based on crash protection, scores for ease of use and fit to vehicle, in LATCH and belt modes, using the car seat with its base. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Crash protection
    Evaluation of a seat’s potential for providing an additional margin of safety in simulated 35mph frontal crashes when compared to the performance of similar models. Evaluation is based on injury criteria measured on standardized child-size dummies, head contact with the back of a simulated front seat, and the car seat’s ability to remain intact during the course of testing.
  • Ease of use
    Includes the clarity of instructions, installing the seat, adjusting harness positions, placing a child in the seat, securing the harness, and removing the child.
  • Fit to vehicle LATCH
    A rating of how easy it is to securely and correctly install each seat using the LATCH system in a variety of vehicles and how well the seats fit each vehicle once installed.
  • Fit to vehicle BELT
    A rating of how easy it is to securely and correctly install each seat using the vehicle belts in a variety of vehicles and how well the seats fit each vehicle once installed.

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Car seat user reviews

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Recommended car seats

Recommended car seats are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
A child should be restrained in a car seat from the moment you take your baby home from the hospital until she grows into adult seat belts, typically around the age of 7 or 8. Every state requires that kids up to 4 years old ride in car seats; most require booster seats for older children. If you're looking for information about car seats, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ car seat reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our car seat buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and car seat reviews to help you choose the best car seat for your needs.

Recently reviewed car seats

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Ambassador
One of multiple boosters offered under the Cosco name. Cosco is a brand offered by the Dorel Juvenile Group.

Car seat buying guide

Of all the things you'll buy for your baby, a car seat should be at the top of your list. As the child grows, you'll need to buy new ones to maintain a consistently safe and comfortable fit.

Selecting a car seat isn't as simple as just grabbing a discounted model off a shelf. There are a number of things you'll need to get familiar with to choose and successfully install a child seat in your car. Although you may be tempted to put off some of that homework, don't. You may be surprised to find that some child seats can be difficult to install securely and others may not fit at all. It's best to not put it off until your baby is ready to arrive.

Here are some important things you'll need to know:

Babies & Kids News

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