If you switch a lot between vehicles or your child spends a lot of time at grandparents', I suggest you buy an extra car seat base.
Additional car seat base can make the transfer of the car seat between the vehicles a breeze since you don't have to detach the entire system every time, but simply take the seat out and put it in the base of the other vehicle.
I have composed a list of the seven best car seat bases that are compatible with the market's most popular infant car seats, so check it out!
Table of Contents
- Best Infant Car Seat Bases Money Can Buy: My Top 7 Favorites
- #1. Graco SnugRide Lite - Top Pick Infant Car Seat Base
- #2. Chicco KeyFit Infant - Top-Rated Infant Car Seat Base
- #3. Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base - The Most Reliable Brand
- #4. BRITAX Car Seat Base - High-Quality Infant Car Seat Base
- #5. Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32 - Great for Non-Latch Vehicles
- #6. Safety 1st OnBoard 35 - The Best Budget-Pick
- #7. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 - The Best Base with an Anti-Rebound Bar
- Buyer's Guide for Extra Car Seat Base
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Best Infant Car Seat Bases Money Can Buy: My Top 7 Favorites
Since Graco is one of the market's favored brands, their car seat base naturally lived up to the same glory. Graco SnugRide Lite is the best-selling car seat base on Amazon with more than 1400 customer ratings, predominantly 5-stars.
This base measures 21 x 14 x 8 inches and perfectly fits Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 and 35 LX infant car seats. It is made of a combination of metal and plastic parts; therefore, it is very durable and non-toxic.
What I find very convenient about this infant car seat base is the LATCH system that allows easy attachment. At the same time, level indicators help you determine the perfect angle to set the seat base up.
Also, the integrated belt lock-off certainly assists the seat belt installation along with the 4-position adjustment.
This model comes in black color, it weighs 5.84 pounds and allows the car seat to perform all the integrated functions into its design.
The only negative comment I came upon is that some customers received the base without the red snap that is crucial for belt-tightening. However, when summed up, these customers don't make 1% of the total reviews, so make sure you order the seat from a reliable provider.
For years now, an inconclusive battle has been going on between the Graco SnugRide Lite base and the Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base for the title of the market's top-seller.
While the Graco base has more customer ratings, Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat is generally more popular. All I can say is that whichever base you choose, you can't go wrong, but let's see what Chicco has to offer.
This infant car seat base is adjustable with Chicco KeyFit, KeyFit 30, KeyFit 30 Zip, KeyFit 30 Air, and KeyFit 30 Magic. All these seats are rear-facing only, also compatible with Chicco Strollers.
Chicco infant car seat base has two bubble level indicators and a spring-assisted leveling foot that enable perfect installation with minimum effort. Graco base also has the level indicators but no leveling foot.
One innovative feature that makes this base truly exquisite is the Center-Pull Latch Adjustment that guarantees effortless and 100% accurate installation from either side of the car.
The only detail that could stop you from buying this base is the price tag, given that this is the most expensive mainstream car seat base on the market.
When you're in search of a reliable product, you are usually relying on brands with a long history on the market, right? Well, Evenflo is more than one hundred years in the industry, improving and changing to provide only the safest child restraint systems for your baby.
Take this LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base, for example. It not only exceeded the federal safety standards but was additionally tested for side-impact protection, making sure your seat, and consequently, your baby remain intact.
In addition to this, the seat base includes a set of safety features such as SureSafe installation with a QuickConnector for accurate LATCH installation and latch guides.
The base measures 23 x 14 x 7 inches and weighs 5.7 pounds, but it was built and tested for structural integrity at energy levels higher than the federal crash standards.
Finally, it is only compatible with Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seats, but if you own more than one vehicle or your child spends a lot of time with grandparents, it's smart to have two bases for the most convenient transfer of the seat.
Britax is another superstar on the car seat market with high-quality, durable, and indisputably safe products. With that in mind, choosing an infant car seat from their offer will help you sleep peacefully, knowing you bought the best for your little one.
This BRITAX infant car seat base is suitable for Britax B Safe 35, B Safe 35 Elite, B Safe Ultra, and B Safe Endeavours.
It weighs 9.4 pounds, which puts it on the heavier end of the market, and measures 21.5 x 13.75 x 7.5 inches. However, before you walk away from this car seat base, let me assure you it exhibits a tone of super-functional features that compensate for the heavyweight design.
For example, the base has impact-absorbing properties, push-button LATCH connectors, and built-in belt lock-offs for effortless installation.
Additionally, there are two level indicators and a recline system that is spring-loaded to make sure you installed the base at the perfect angle.
The base is made of steel and plastic, being thus durable and impact-resistant.
If you happen to own the Baby Trend EZ Flec-Loc 32 infant car seat, here is an additional base you can buy to make the transfer of the car seat from one car to another easier.
This infant car seat base is a height-adjustable, easy to install base with an extended foot for easier angle adjustment. You can adjust the height between four positions simply by pushing a button, which is a feature unseen by now.
Next off, this base is compliant with the LATCH connection system, but it can also be used in vehicles that are NON-LATCH compliant. In these vehicles, you can install the car seat base with a seat belt.
When it comes to the specifications, the base measures 22.8 x 15.2 x 7.5 inches and weighs 6.5 pounds, being a mid-ranger weight-wise. However, this product is also a mid-ranger when it comes to the price, which is probably the reason why it gained such a high number of positive customer ratings. (750+)
The only complaint I was able to find is that the manufacturer did not provide a manual for the installment, even though the instructions on the base say to refer to the manual.
Safety 1st is my go-to brand when I'm looking for budget-friendly car seat models. Their infant car seat is extremely popular among the savers, and it's not a surprise given that they make high-quality seats for more than affordable prices.
If you happen to have their rear-facing Onboard 35 infant car seat, don't hesitate to buy an extra base for a convenient switch between the vehicles.
What makes this base fantastic are the two recline positions that put you in control of the position your little one will be driving in. Many adjustable car seats don't have an adjustable base; therefore, while you can recline the seat, the base remains at the same position creating an overall uncomfortable angle.
The base is LATCH-equipped and takes no more than a couple of minutes to install and connect with the suitable car seat. It weighs 6 pounds, but the seat is very lightweight, so the entire construction is below the average weight for an infant car seat.
Another contestant in the race for the most popular infant car seat is the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30. This car seat is extremely popular for its high-quality design, unmatched safety features, and functional system.
This base from Maxi-Cosi is suitable for Mico Max 30, Mico 30, Mico NXT, and Mico AP infant car seats. It measures 22.8 x 16.8 x 8 inches and weighs 9.9 pounds, being on the heavier side of the market along with the Britax B Safe 35 base.
It includes integrated LATCH connectors for easy installation and an anti-rebound bar for additional safety. Plus, the base is adjustable, so you can create a customized fit every time and perfectly install it in any vehicle.
While the seat is available in many color combinations, the base comes only in black, so if you care about aesthetic details, make sure you choose the color that goes well with black.
Overall, this base is very expensive. I personally find it a bit overpriced, yet when we take the entire seat into consideration, I can see the logic behind the price tag.
As for the negative reviews, customers complained about the cumbersome design of the base, claiming it doesn't fit every car and makes the installation complicated.
Buyer's Guide for Extra Car Seat Base
As a parent buying an infant car seat for the first time, you might be wondering why do you need a car seat base in the first place.
Well, infant car seats were designed to facilitate the everyday routine for the new parents. Instead of buying an infant carrier, stroller, and car seat, you can buy baby car seats that come with detachable car seat bases and have three products in one: an infant seat, a carrier, and a cradle for your travel system/stroller.
The whole point of the car seat base is to enable you to quickly install the seat and just as easily detach it when you're not driving so that you can carry your baby around. So what are the features your base should have to allow such functioning?
1. ISOFIX System
A concept often heard in the world of car seat bases is the ISOFIX SYSTEM, but not every parent knows what this means.
Long story short, the ISOFIX system is the unique, internationally-approved standard for the installation of the car seat that allows you to lock the car seat between the two metal clips of your vehicle's seat.
So, it is great for your base to have the ISOFIX system.
Next off, your base should have the LATCH clips so as to enable the installation with the LATCH. On the other hand, if you happen to own a vehicle that does not support the LATCH system, carefully check if you can install the seat or the base without it.
One great model of the car seat base, in this case, is the Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32.
The integral feature you need to pay attention to is the safety features. The base, just like the car seat, needs to comply with federal safety standards and also needs to have side-impact protective properties.
The best car seat base is additionally tested for impact absorption.
4. Easy to Install
To install the base perfectly every time, look for a base with a bubble indicator or some other form of level indicators to help you set the base up at the right angle.
Some bases have the belt guide, a stability leg, multiple recline positions, but these are not essential. They are only additions that definitely make the installation easier, yet, you will be able to install the seat correctly without them.
5. Weight Limit
Finally, check the base for a weight limit; it should be as high as possible (usually up to 30-40 pounds), while the base itself shouldn't weigh more than 9 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are car seat bases good for?
Basically, you need a car seat base only while your child is restrained in an infant car seat. The convertible car seats do not have bases, as well as other systems that children use as they grow older.
Therefore, the estimated use of the car seat base is approximately one, eventually two years, if you manage to keep your child rear-facing longer.
What is the best Graco car seat base?
The best Graco car seat base is the Graco SnugRide Lite base.
Is there a universal car seat base?
Unfortunately NO. Even If you happen to find a base that fits multiple models of infant car seats, I would never use it because it has not been tested with that model, in particular.
Each model of infant car seat is tested with a specific base; using some other base that is not federally approved for that seat is dangerous and against recommendations.
Do all infant car seats come with a base?
YES, infant car seats include a base, unless it's a convertible that comes with a newborn insert so it can accommodate an inborn.
Can you put a car seat in without the base?
Yes, you CAN. Car seats either use a LATCH system or a car seatbelt for installment; either way, a seat base is not mandatory for the correct installation. The LATCH system is more popular nowadays for it's less effort-consuming.
To sum everything up, before choosing the best car seat bases, make sure it has a bubble indicator, the LATCH system, easy installation, and potentially useful additions such as multiple recline positions or the stability leg.
In this article, I singled out the most popular bases from Evenflo, Baby Trend, Chicco, Britax, Graco, etc. I don't deny there are other popular brands such as Primo Viaggio, UppaBaby Mesa, or Nuna Pipa, yet the statistics say Chicco's KeyFit 30, Britax B Safe, and Graco SnugRide SnugLock are Amazon's bestsellers.
My favorite is the Graco SnugRide Lite for it's effortless to install, safe to use, and high-rated.
- 4-position adjustable base helps ensure an accurate install and helps keep baby comfortable as he or she grows
- Easy-to-read level indicator helps eliminate guesswork from the installation process, so you can feel confident it’s installed correctly
- Easy installation of stay-in-car base using LATCH system
- Graco ProtectPlus Engineered: a combination of the most rigorous crash tests that helps to protect your child in frontal, side, rear & rollover crashes; additional testing based on the New Car...
- Create your own travel system with any Graco stroller through a one-step secure attachment