How to Select Best Car Seat Brands 2021? Complete Guide for Clever Parents

If you're parents or parents-to-be, selecting the best car seat brands might be a tough task for you. There are various factors to consider, and there are hundreds of car seats on the market. 

You need to look for safety, of course; however, other key factors include size, installation process, weight, price, travel system, and other benefits.

That’s why you can find all about the best car seat brands currently on the market since they offer various car seats that feature only the best properties and benefits so that you could examine them thoroughly and pick your brand wisely.

So, what are the best car seat brands, and how to select them? Stay tuned and find more! 

How to Select a Good Brand?

As a newbie, you must be prepared in advance when searching for car seat brands since they might be similar yet have variations when it comes to their major benefits and features. Luckily, you can focus precisely on what to look for, as the guide provides the key factors to look for.

1. Safety Features

best car seat brands for toddlers

As your children mean the world to you, the first property to look for will, of course, be compliant with safety standards and regulations. Thus, you need to select only the car seat brands that meet and exceed NHTSA and FMVSS safety tests and regulations. Hence, you won’t violate the car seat law, and your child will have maximum protection when in a car seat.

However, safety doesn’t include only compliance with the law. There are other benefits that the car seat brands offer to be ready for use. What are they? Find below.

One of the greatest benefits is the side-impact protection. No matter whether you choose infant, convertible, or booster seats, the side-impact plays a crucial role when it comes to the child’s protection.

Here, you can refer to the energy-absorbing foam in the car seat base or shell. As you might find, in the case of a car accident, the foam will absorb and dispose of the external energy and force and keep your little one safe and untouchable. Of course, the car seat won’t break apart and hurt your kiddo, so you can be confident they will be safe.

Another property is the so-called walls. If your car seats contain the headrest with the "wings" that offer additional support for your little one’s upper body parts and full support of the spine and legs, then you can call that car seat brand safe.

When in a car collision, these walls will protect your children’s heads and necks, providing an extra safeguard, keeping them properly restrained and unharmed. So, check the design features, their benefits, and possibilities since these belong to safety standards as well, and then choose your brands.

Of course, when it comes to safety, consider whether the brands meet and exceed all crash tests for safety regulations. Make sure you only select the brands that verify and certify crash tests and standards. Otherwise, it might be challenging to pick car seat brands that aren’t crash-tested.

2. Stability: LATCH, Harness System

When it comes to stability, no matter whether you choose infant, convertible, or booster car seats, you want your child to be stable in the motor vehicle. How do you achieve that?

You can select the car seat brands that provide both the LATCH system and harness system.

Concerning the LATCH system, almost all car seat brands provide the LATCH attachment technology to offer a more stable ride. Therefore, your car seat won’t move around, fall, or slip off. Once you find the right angle and place the seat, the LATCH won’t allow any movement, and your seat will be immovable.

Additionally, when selecting the brands, consider the car seats with the 5-point harness system. Namely, the system will buckle up your children correctly and offer free movement; However, they’ll be restricted from getting out of the seat and moving around. Therefore, the kids are more stable and secure in your vehicle.

what are the best car seat brands

3. Durability & Sturdiness

Regarding these factors, choose the brands that provide seats for wear-and-tear and last for an ample time. Luckily, all brands produce seats that are reliable, strong, and durable enough to endure all the potential misuses and high risks. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the material and design since these are the key properties to enable seats’ longer life.

4. Quick installation

I’m confident you’d like to have seat brands that allow you an effortless setup. Once you place the seat into the correct position, you’d like to avoid complications.

So, check the brands that offer car seats with simple yet correct installation properties since it might be hard for you to correct the installation if you plan to travel.

5. Comfort

Naturally, you don’t want grumpy and cranky kids when traveling and need car seats that will provide maximum comfort so that they can enjoy themselves. So, pay attention to:

what are the best baby car seat brands
  • Reclining options - if your kids can recline and fall asleep in the vehicle - a point for you! The more reclining options the seats offer, the better positions your kids can find and relax.
  • Ventilation system - if your kids sweat a lot and are hot, select the brands with ventilated car seats. This system will increase the cooling effect and keep them cold and calm during the voyage.
  • Support - you can find many brands that provide pads for better body posture. Your kiddos will have soft-touch skin yet enough firmness to relax and enjoy.

6. Travel-friendly Brands

Of course, you want the car seats that you can use in your cars and other vehicles, but on planes as well. So, look for those that are lightweight enough to enable you to use them for car travel or FAA-approved seats to use for aircraft. If they are lightweight, you can easily move them in more vehicles or carry them at airports.

Best Car Seat Brands 2021: Choose Your Fighter!

Below, you can find all you must know about the best brands currently on the market. Make sure you examine them and choose afterward!

1. Diono

As a car seat brand, Diono has a long tradition. Founded in 1999 in Seattle, Diono as a brand is dedicated to creating child passenger restraint systems that both meet and exceed safety standards and provide comfortable rides for the youngest ones.

Regarding the outstanding advantages, Diono offers the Diono Radian line of car seats - convertible, booster, and all-in-one that you can use in a rear-facing mode. They are perfect for kids between 5 and 120 pounds, which is the greatest option on the market. Moreover, the brands offer slim-fit car seats, fitting three across, so it’s perfect for carpooling.

Concerning the installation process, the Diono brand includes the LATCH system for better setup and both child and seat stability. Of course, the eight layers of the side-impact protection along with the steel-reinforced base will add more to the safety measures and ultimate protection of your little ones.

Although the ALL Diono seats are FAA-approved and suitable for ALL types of travel, there’s a small inconvenience regarding the seats’ weight. Thus, parents complain that seats might be bulky and a bit heavy; however, the design allows durability and sturdiness. Therefore the seats will last longer.

Will you choose Diono?


2. Graco

The story began in 1953 when the Graco engineer Rex Thomas created the first automatic baby swing - Swyngomatic. The rest is history - after the first 10,000 models were sold, they estimated more than a million sales!

Since that moment, Graco has become one of the leading baby gear companies worldwide! Not only do they provide car seats and strollers, but Pack n Play playards with various properties, such as bedside bassinets, baby diapers, etc.

In collaboration with Safe Kids Worldwide, Graco includes more than ninety safety technicians that examine, test, secure and install car seats in vehicles. Furthermore, parents can be confident in terms of safety since Graco has a specific crash-testing center in Atlanta. Thus, all Graco seats have an FMVSS certificate for security and protection.

Parents adore the Graco brand since their seats are easy to use and install due to their system technology and flexibility. This is crucial for busy parents who need to install or deinstall seats quickly, so Graco offers them more possibilities.

You will find happy customers and their reviews regarding travel and comfort, and you can choose among a wide variety of options and choose the right for your kids!


3. Britax

When you think of Britax, think of a well-known, multi-generational brand that provides the finest child passenger restraint systems, including various infant, convertible, all-in-one harness, and seat belt-positioning booster car seats for children from 5, up to 120 pounds.

The brand originates from 1938, firstly as an automotive company, and later transformed to the children’s safety and car seats. They are famous for their cooperation with Volkswagen to create ISOFIX (LATCH) system for European standards; however, they expanded the production, and today, all car seats have the LATCH system for more stability and quickest setup.

As the brand company, Britax has a team of various experts and CPTs, that ensure the best quality of the seats and maximum safety standards. Thus, they apply various crash and safety tests so that the seats meet and exceed all NHTSA, FMVSS, IIHS, and Ecology Center regulations.

Naturally, the Britax brand provides the seats with the SafeCell side-impact protection and energy-absorbing foam for superior protection. Moreover, you can find the ClickTight installation system for an effortless setup process and car travel.

If you want Britax seats, you might select your top choice among B-Safe, One4Life, Boulevard, Marathon, Endeavours, Advocate, and other amazing options!


4. Maxi Cosi

Concerning Maxi Cosi, the brand travels back to 1984 in the Netherlands, when the company created the first infant car seat for European standards. Nowadays, they are most popular for convertible car seats.

Maxi Cosi car seats are trustworthy and reliable thanks to ASTM safety standards and FAA-approved, so you can use them for aircraft. Thus, Maxi Cosi is convenient for all travel types, and you can carry them wherever you go!

The innovations relate to infant car seats since they can convert into strollers thanks to their system technology, but convertible and booster seats also offer multiple possibilities and advantages.

Regarding material, the seats have machine-washable content, suitable for busy parents since they can prepare the seat and keep it clean instantly! This refers to the simplest installation as well, as you don’t need any additional tools to set them up if you’re in a hurry.

Parents might complain about the weight since the seats may be bulkier and harder to carry; however, the material is of premium-quality heavy-duty features, so they will last for an extended period.

When you want an ideal car seat, you can choose among various Maxi Cosi options, and whatever seat you select, you won’t regret it!


5. Safety 1st

I bet you have seen the sign "Baby on Board" in motor vehicles. Well, the Safety 1st company established it first.

In 1984, in the US, the creator Michael Lerner realized that children’s safety became the most important value in households. So, he established a company related to baby gear - car seats, strollers, baby care, hygiene, and home equipment.

Safety 1st is special for its non-toxic elements and content. They use a minimal amount of fire-retardant particles in their materials; thus, they obey the current car seat laws. However, since NHTSA’s policy relates to flammability standards, Safety 1st is the best player!

You can believe their trustworthy seats since they all provide the ultimate comfort, regardless of the seat type. Hence, if you select a three-in-one car seat, you’ll be satisfied and see the amazing power of the design system technology.

Compared to other brands that offer luxurious style yet inefficient quality, Safety 1st brand includes strong side-impact protection and more extended use.

We won’t skip safety; hence, Safety 1st offers a 5-point harness system for more stability and a QuickFit harness.

Why don’t you select onBoard, Continuum, Smooth Ride, Grow and Go, or other impressive Safety 1st seats and see yourself?


6. Evenflo

With more than 100 years long tradition, Evenflo goes beyond expectations when it comes to baby gear. Namely, the first product for babies was a feeding nipple for babies to eat easily and parents to attach it.

However, the company expanded its policy, and today we have reliable and trustworthy full baby gear, including rear and forward-facing, convertible and booster seats. Moreover, you can find seat-stroller combos as well.

As you can see, the products' diversity responds to the market needs, but the best seats are definitely the all-in-one convertible car seats for kids between 4 and 120 pounds. Of course, the seats contain the EasyClick LATCH system so that you could install them easily.

The greatest benefit is certainly the SmartSafe system, where you can follow your kid’s comfort level on your phone and react immediately in case of an emergency. However, Evenflo uses only high-quality content for ultimate comfort and ride.

Additionally, the brand offers accessible prices and, although it has multiple innovative benefits and a super-easy and handy system, the seats remain approachable to everyone!

Thus, you can select between various DLX and other car seat types to obtain the right one for your children and keep them safe.


7. Baby Trend

Being on the market for more than 30 years, Baby Trend has gained parents’ trust regarding the best quality products!

As you might find, the brand strives to achieve all parents’ requirements regarding safety standards, comfort, design, and effortless installation. To accomplish this task, they create various car seats, stroller options, and all other following baby gear.

If you’re a new parent, inexperienced, and in lack of a car seat for your little one, Baby Trend is a perfect option for you for various reasons!

First of all, they have inexpensive car seats, suitable for all parents; however, they offer the ultimate quality. You’ll also find, their main goal relates to safety, price, and usage.

According to the reviews, this brand offers the best safety standards in terms of crash tests and side-impact protection. Moreover, the adjustable base and positions and the travel-friendly features make Baby Trend worth every penny!

Additionally, you can select a stroller for harsher terrains or lock-in systems suitable for jogging areas. The adjustable handle system offers the proper hold.

And, the two terrific options are undoubtedly Baby Trend EZ Ride 35 and Baby Trend Ally 35 for the travel system and safety features. Don’t be indecisive!


8. Cosco

As a brand, Cosco has been present in the car seat market for more than 70 years. Founded in Columbus, Indiana, the brand has focused on family life and how to improve it.

Nowadays, you can find various Cosco seats that are simple yet lightweight; therefore, they’re perfect for on-the-road families, especially if they change cars often. The brand includes all car seats - from infants to teenagers, so they’re suitable for all customers.

The reviews show that Cosco offers the LATCH system combined with three buckles, offering more extended use and following your kids’ height and growth.

According to the slim design, you might install two or three across in the back seat of your vehicle, and the lightweight system is perfect for airplanes. Thus, Cosco car seats are FAA-approved, and you can travel worldwide! Perfect!

The real convenience for parents is that Cosco seats meet all FMVSS and NHTSA safety standards and regulations. However, the inconvenience might be comfort and clumsiness since some parents complain about these two and point to better durability and sturdiness.

The most famous car seat is naturally Cosco APT 50 Convertible Car Seat, but you have other impressive options to find as well.


9. Chicco

Chicco was founded in 1958, and until now, it has spread in more than 120 countries as a leading company on the baby gear market. They pay much attention to parents’ needs and demands; therefore, they create new and trendy products that all parents will adore!

Many love Chicco for its simple design and convenience - you get what you paid for, and the safety comes first, naturally.

Did you know that all infant, convertible, and booster car seats pass crash tests? They include side-impact protection, adjustable neck and headrest pillows, and a one-hand LATCH safety system for additional support and security.

Additionally, the Chicco seats provide only durable and reliable content, so they will last for an extended period, and the high-manufacturing standards will serve you better.

Regarding the reclining options and comfort, Chicco offers RideRight and ReclineSure adjustable systems. Both of them have nine reclining positions, and your kids can select the right one to enjoy in a cozy ride.

Chicco seats provide FAA approval, so they’re great for airplane travel. You might find some of them bulky; however, they are perfect for travel options, and you don’t have to bother about whether your car seat will pass the baggage claim.


10. Peg Perego

This is an Italian brand that has existed since 1949, with additional headquarters in Canada, the USA, and Brasil. Parents trust Peg Perego for their flawless performance and unmatching safety features!

Due to their practicality, ease of use, and functionality, the Peg Perego car seats are the jewel in the crown on the market. Not only will you find car seats, but strollers, riding toys, and high chairs for kids too.

The greatest benefit Peg Perego provides is the movable side-impact protection. Namely, as your kiddo grows, you can adjust the protection according to their needs and moderate the shield as you like.

You can find the anti-rebound bar for the extended rear-facing service, and the non-rethread harness system offers various adjustable options.

Don’t worry about safety standards since the brand meets all European Safety Standards, which are more strict than the American. So, be at ease when it comes to security.

Additionally, the design is elegant and fashionable; however, strong and reliable enough to withstand external force and pressure. Plus, the seats fit all children of different ages and development.

Negative features? Well, they relate to high costs and the non-existence of all-in-one car seats that would cover all three modes of use.

In addition, the world of the child car seat includes a series of other names like Clek, Doona, BubbleBum, mifold, WAYB, ....  They are not mentioned here not because they are bad (the fact is Doona Infant Car Seat is one of the top-notch in the industry :D), but because they are less popular than the top 10 brands above.

Below are detailed reviews of those brands, which you'll love to read more about:

FAQs About Car Seat Brands

What is the best car seat brand?

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Frankly speaking, I would go with Diono as the best car seat brand. You will find all the benefits a brand should feature: travel-friendly benefits, maximum safety features, and stability and security regarding the LATCH system.

Moreover, you can find all-in-one car seats for prolonged service, so you don’t need to carry more seats if you travel by plane.


What is the best infant car seat brand?

That would be Safety 1st with their Safety 1st Onboard 35 LT car seat.

You might observe, the car seat is FAA-approved, provides additional support and infant insert for more comfortable rides and coziness. Moreover, the car seat meets all JPMA and ASTM safety standards, so it’s most convenient for instants.


What is the best car seat brand for travel?

Again, we can refer to Diono since it contains the FAA approval, and you can travel worldwide. However, you might find it bulkier and heavier than the regular travel car seats; however, when you think of airports and control, these seats are still ideal options since you can bring all-in-one car seats for all ages.

best car seat brand for travel

Which car seat brand is the safest?

You can consider Britax as the safest car seat brand currently on the market. With its Britax B-Safe 35 Infant car seat, it shows outstanding power in LATCH and installation system, steel frame, reclining options, and side-impact protection.

It will provide the ultimate protection for your child if an accident occurs.


Is Chicco better than Graco?

My preference would be Graco due to its lightweight design - more lightweight than Chicco’s, and it means it will serve better your growing child.

There comes the installation process as well, and the Click Connect system makes it super-easy. Finally, I’d choose Graco since it’s not as pricey as Chicco is.


Is Britax better than Graco?

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Yes, in terms of design, safety features, and installation process. They offer more quality and innovations regarding these features and benefits, so your kid will have maximum comfort and protection.

However, they’re more expensive than Graco seats, so Graco is a good alternative if you want a budget-friendly yet high-quality option.


Why are Britax car seats so expensive?

Because Britax provides the best side-impact protection, ease of use and installation, ultimate comfort and reclining options, best stability, and security, as well as premium quality content.

When you sum it up, although you must pay the price, you’ll get what you pay for - only the best quality car seats.

Summary

Finally, there are various car seat brands that might be similar yet different in some benefits and features. I recommend you examine them thoroughly and afterward decide which one is the best brand for you.

Pay attention to safety features, design and installation process, and travel options. Of course, check the price; however, make the price comes the last since you must focus on the quality above all.

What is your choice?

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here