Before the big day arrives, you want to choose the safest, easiest-to-install infant car seat—and through its testing, Consumer Reports has identified the five best.
These models performed well in our new crash tests. Plus, these models also score well for ease-of-use and fit-to-vehicle ratings, thereby increasing your chances of installing and using them correctly.
The newly developed crash test is designed to provide a more realistic carlike environment and is conducted at a higher test speed. This test is intended to differentiate those seats that could provide a higher margin of safety in crashes similar to those simulated by our tests. (Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests child car seats.)
Each of these seats includes technologies and features that help to reduce the motion or crash forces transferred to a baby’s head—the most vulnerable spot. But we recognize that high levels of performance in real crashes are also influenced by how well the seat is secured to the vehicle and the child to the seat. The seats below performed well in those areas, as well.
Rear-facing-only seats, commonly known as infant seats, are typically the first seat for most parents. They not only provide the best fit for newborns, but the infant seats offer the convenience of a detachable carrier for toting little ones around. Each has a base that gets installed in a vehicle and remains when the carrier gets taken out. Some, but not all, can also be installed using the carrier only, but our technicians often find that results in a less secure installation.
Each of the seats featured below achieves its higher overall scores through their performance in each of our tests. Full details and ratings can be found on their individual model pages.