Best Cheap Car Seat Under $100: Top 12 Travel and Backup Car Seats for All Parents

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If you're a family in need and worried about whether you could afford the right car seat for your little one, this article is the right one for you!

Low-income families can find all they need since the article reviews and offers various infant, convertible, and booster car seats that deliver within budget because they cost less than $100

Moreover, these are travel and backup car seats instead of the regular ones you're used to, so you'll get more benefits.

Of course, they also deliver safety, comfort, and high-quality content, so don't be afraid of the low cost.

That is why you'll find three groups of the best cheap car seat to help you with your decision.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned.

Table of Contents

Top 3 Recommendations
Editor's Choices
Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat, Hailey*
Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65...*
Best Selling
Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 Harness Booster Seat, Proof*
Price not available
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Best For Safety Standards
Best For Durability
Editor's Choices
Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat, Hailey*
Price not available
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Best For Safety Standards
Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65...*
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Best Selling
Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 Harness Booster Seat, Proof*
Customer's Rating
Best Feature
Best For Durability

Best Cheap Infant Car Seats

What to expect when choosing these car seats?

You should pay attention to the straightforward and effortless installation process, the easy-to-use factors, and whether the toddler car seats suit your children.

Various infant car seats cannot match your little ones appropriately.

So, pay attention to the matching factor, and look for the infant car seat that offers easy installation and use process since the bulky seats can create many issues.

Below you'll read about the infant seats that match your children between 4 and 35 pounds of the weight range and up to 32 inches tall and offer effortless setup.

Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat - Best For Safety Standards

The best cheap toddler car seat is terrific for protection!

Namely, the rear-facing position car seat offers the adjustable rotation canopy keeping your baby protected and safe from all weather conditions.

This budget car seat offers excellent proportions; therefore, you can install the rear-facing car seat correctly.

Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX rear-facing infant car seat weighs only 7.2 pounds; thus, it's perfect for stroller mode and travel-friendly.

It provides the handlebar to carry it around until you attach the car seat to the stroller.

Concerning the protection part, the car seat offers excellent safety standards!

Parents can see the 2-piece infant head and body support that will keep your baby safe even in a car accident. Those additional "walls" will keep their head and spine correctly, and they will remain untouchable.

Moreover, you can find the 5-point harness system, which will keep the baby stable when in the car seat not to move around or slip away.

Regarding the material part, the lightweight infant car seat has the protect-plus engineered materials that offer the best protection while using it.

Thus, even if something goes wrong, the base will endure and refuse the external pressure and save your baby.

Finally, the adjustable base with four positions and the LATCH system offers an impressive setup process and adds more security to your baby in the car seat.

The same procedure will keep the rear-facing car seat stable while in the back of the motor vehicle so that you can focus on the road.

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent safety standards
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • No padding

Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Light' n Comfy 22 Luxe - Best for LATCH Installation

What's so unique about the Disney infant car seat?

Firstly, the inexpensive car seat is extra lightweight, effortless to carry, highly portable, and manageable. Also, it fits all babies between 4 and 22 pounds; therefore, it won't add more load to your hands.

With the three buckle locations, the 5-point harness system easily adjusts to your baby's needs and offers five different height positions. Therefore, it follows your growing baby's needs, and you can tighten or loosen it as your kid needs.

Thanks to the LATCH installation process, attachment points, the inexpensive car seat provides stability, safety, and security and keeps your baby stable while in the back of the vehicle.

However, for extra protection and stability, the car seat also has layers of side-impact protection along the base and shell; hence, the energy-absorbing materials are built-in and protect your baby's head, neck, and spine.

Due to the infant insert, your baby will have ideal support for better body posture and more comfortable and cozy rides. So, the snug fit will keep them balanced and soft.

So, your baby can move freely and feel pleasant and soft-touch skin. The support will keep them fixed and balanced, and the harness won't rub them, nor will they feel pressure or pain.

As the inexpensive car seat meets and exceeds all FMVSS and regulations, ASTM standards and features, and includes a one-year warranty period, it guarantees the best protection, safety, and security benefits for your little ones.

  • Easy to setup
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Safe
  • Straps issues

Safety 1st onboard 35 LT Infant Car Seat - Best For Protection

The safety ratings show that the Safety 1st onboard 35 LT rear-facing car seat presents the best budget product for all parents!

You'll find excellent proportions for your baby - enough room, cozy atmosphere, and the ultimate security features for less than $100! Wow, amazing!

The Safety 1st onboard 35 LT rear-facing car seat provides side-impact protection, the next-generation engineered materials, and the maximum lightweight benefit.

Thus, even if external forces attack your baby, they will be safe since the base absorbs the outside pressure and keeps your little one untouchable.

Of course, the head and body paddings offer the maximum comfort and impressive support when using the rear-facing car seat.

The 5-point harness system includes four heights if your baby is thinner or taller. Thus, you can moderate the measurements according to your baby's needs and development. This way, the rear-facing car seat will best fit them!

When you want to use it in a stroller mode, you need to adjust it with one click due to the QuickClick design technology.

Thus, the Safety 1st onboard 35 LT rear-facing car seat contains the FAA approval, and you can use it for the airports and aircraft before you board on the plane.

To keep the padding safe, remove it from the base and wash it in the machine. You can even dry clean it since the content won't lose its shape or quality; plus, it will save your time and energy.

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Travel-friendly
  • Adjustable base
  • Easy to install
  • Loose stripes

Baby Trend Secure Snap Tech 35 - Best Shell and Base Protection

The Baby Trend inexpensive infant car seat contains the most comfortable benefits, both for you and your little one.

As you will notice, the car seat comes with the removable four-piece grow-with-me infant insert, so your baby will have enough space for complete stretching and mobility.

Moreover, the infant car seat comes with the Delta multi-group carrying handle; therefore, it adjusts to your hands, and the handle won't cause additional pressure or pain to your hands.

So, the ergonomic design reduces stress and increases comfort to your hands.

For your baby's protection, safety and security, you will find the 5-point safety harness, and you can adjust it to your growing baby's needs, as the safety harness has quick push-button release features. And, you can manage it with one hand.

With the energy-absorbing EPS foam that fills all shell parts, and headrest, your little one will have the ultimate side-impact protection.

Hence, the materials and frame will protect them from all types of car accidents and make them stable, secure, fixed, and immovable in the back seat of your motor vehicle.

So, even if the hell cracks, your baby won't be hurt.

Due to the dimensions, the inexpensive infant car seat is excellent for all babies between zero and 24 months old.

However, the car seat is unique since it also provides a stay-in-the-car base; hence, it will offer effortless installation with vehicle seat belts, but you have to follow the instructions.

  • Comfort
  • Sturdiness
  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • Uneven straps

Best Cheap Convertible Car Seats

What to expect when you're expecting a budget convertible car seat?

Every child passenger safety technician will tell you the same: you need to consider your little one's growth and development.

You need to know that convertible car seats should keep and protect children between one and six years old.

However, you MUST check your kid's height limit and weight limit since the rear-facing or forward-facing position might depend on that factor.

But, below you have some fantastic convertible car seats, so I'm sure you'll find what you need.

Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Travel-friendly

Why is this 2-in-1 convertible car seat interesting?

Well, it offers two modes of use: rear-facing method for children between 5 and 40 pounds of the weight limit, and forward-facing plan for children between 22 and 65 pounds of maximum weight limit.

Parents adore this convertible car seat since it fits three across most vehicles and doesn't occupy too much space in your back seat.

Of course, the maximum safety standards are possible due to the five-point harness system that offers additional stability and safety for your kid when in front-facing mode.

The safety system provides adjustable straps for better front adjustment so that the kid won't feel any pressure.

The head and body pillows are removable; thus, you can remove or add them for full head and body support.

If your kid doesn't need them since they outgrew the front-facing mode, you can remove the insert and provide extra space for a more comfortable atmosphere and pleasant feeling.

The Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 convertible car seat is the ultimate affordable car seat due to the FAA approval.

The convertible car seat offers its lightweight ease of use in the airports and control and effortless installation on the plane.

On each side, you can find a cup holder, serving as a perfect storage space for snacks and beverages for your kid. Remove them when they're dirty, take off the machine-washable upholstery, and clean it.

  • Easy to install/clean
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Not suitable for rear-facing

Cosco Onlook 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Best for FAA approval

The new Cosco car seat is upgraded, offering a better overall design. In addition, it supports and accommodates kiddos between 5 and 40 pounds.

It’s an excellent model for your infants and toddlers. But, it would help if you used it correctly.

Due to its specific 2-in-1 system, the Cosco convertible seat supports infants 5-40 pounds in the rear-facing mode.

And it accommodates toddlers up to 40 pounds in the forward-facing mode.

So, ensure your kids are ready for the second level of use if you want to place them forward-facing.

Thanks to the 5-point harness, the kiddos will have maximum safety and stability while in the seat.

The model offers six heights and three buckle locations. Thus, it quickly adjusts to the front of the seat.

Your children cannot escape or slip away and will be fixed while sitting. However, the adjustable harness won’t cause pressure or tightness.

The seat is also advanced in terms of protection and support. In addition, the new generation has improved side-impact security.

Your little ones will have extra security in potential car accidents. For example, the car seat might be damaged, yet your little angels remain intact in the side, rear, or frontal crashes.

Besides, the LATCH installation only adds more support and stability when installing the seat in your vehicle’s back, regardless of the mode.

You can quickly remove the seat pad for machine-washing and dryer-safe cleaning. It’s always fresh for subsequent uses.

Finally, it’s FAA-approved, perfect for all travel types.

  • comfort
  • sturdiness
  • quick setup
  • no neck support

Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat - Follows Children's Growth

The best convertible car seat holds kids up to 65 pounds.

Don't worry about the height limit since the Evenflo Sonus 65 best cheap convertible car seat provides the exceeding harness system that follows your child's development and growth.

Your little one will always have enough space when using the Evenflo 2-in-1 convertible car seat.

Of course, the harness provides the snug and correct fit due to the up-front and central adjustment. You need to fasten the harness belts and make sure your little one buckles up correctly.

But since the harness contains adjustable straps, you don't need to bother whether the straps can cause harm or repress the child.

Moreover, the Evenflo harness contains six various adjustable positions for your growing kid, so keep in mind to select the right one and restrain them properly.

The cup holders on both sides of the Evenflo convertible car seat are crucial since your kiddos can store away their food and drinks while in the car seat, and you can better focus on the road.

You will find the machine-washable pads for ease of use and the effortless cleaning part. You can dry clean it since the content is durable and won't lose its quality or shape. So, feel free to save your time and energy.

Naturally, the Evenflo cheap convertible car seats provide supreme comfort.

Namely, the seats offer pads that adjust and follow your kids' bodies and don't create unpleasant feelings.

  • Comfortable
  • Stable
  • Durable
  • /

Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Best For Comfort

The Baby Trend best convertible car seat is excellent for every family! Place it in your back seat and let the magic begin!

The all-in-one convertible car seat follows your kids' development; thus, it offers:

  • rear-facing mode for infants between 4 and 18 pounds
  • rear-facing for toddlers between 18 and 40 pounds, and
  • forward-facing for kiddos from 22 to 65 pounds.

Thus, there is no height limit, and your kids can use the all-in-one car seat for quite an extended period.

Your family will adore this all-in-one affordable car seat because it provides easy installation.

You'll find the bubble-level indicator that helps you choose the correct angle, along with the flip-foot reclining option. Thus, choose the right angle, adjust the car seat, and install it quickly.

Of course, the Baby Trend Trooper all-in-one car seat fits three across most motor vehicles; hence your little ones will have the space they need for a more comfortable ride and pressure-free atmosphere.

Moreover, the side-impact protection ensures and adds additional wall sides for keeping your little one's head, neck, and spine.

The crotch and shoulder adjustments are critical since there are three buckle adjusting positions and five adjustment heights of the shoulder part; thus, you can moderate them and find the most appropriate for your kiddo to make them comfortable.

The comfort is unquestionable since the soft pads follow the body line, and they will adjust to your kid's sitting positions.

  • Easy to install
  • Load leg
  • Excellent safety features
  • Hard to adjust

Best Cheap Booster Seats

Concerning the booster seats, you must pay attention to the age, size, and development of your children, as well as the safety recommendations the manufacturer provides.

Namely, these seats are the best car seat options for all parents since they are inexpensive; hence, they will restrain all children.

But, bear in mind that not all kiddos can use them if they're not developed enough, but once they outgrow convertible car seats, they can freely use boosters.

Follow their development, and ask experts to confirm you when the time comes.

According to car seat laws, your kiddos must be between 8 and 12 years old to use them, but in some cases, 6 or 7 years old kids may use them too.

Graco Tranzitions 3 In 1 Harness Booster Seat - Best For Durability

Graco 3-in-1 booster seat is an ideal choice for your family if you want an affordable seat when you're in need.

The booster seat offers three modes of use:

Your little ones will have maximum safety standards due to the safe adjusting harness system, which also a non-rethreading one; hence, it will easily adjust with the headrest to adjust securely, in one motion.

What your family will mostly like is the lightweight and portability of the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness booster seat.

The booster seat is convenient for even longer journeys since it's compact and portable; thus, you can easily install and place it in your motor vehicle.

The headrest contains the eight positions to follow your child's body and ensure an easy adjustment. Therefore, you can choose the right one and moderate for the best fit.

The easy setting process is now possible due to the open-loop seat belt guides that will help you place and install the booster seat correctly in the back of your car.

Of course, your child will have superior comfort since the soft pads serve as a body and head support and adjust to their bodies and spines; thus, they can recline back and enjoy the ride.

For a more convenient ride, your child can place their favorite snacks and beverages in the cup holders and let you focus more on the driving.

  • Easy to install
  • Comfortable
  • Excellent safety features
  • Fitting issues

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat - Highest-quality Content

Your child will love this Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 seat due to the supreme content!

Namely, the Chicco seat contains the DuoZone shoulder and head side-impact protection with ten various recline positions for all growing kids, and they will have the ultimate comfort when using the seat.

There are two options to install or remove the seat when you don't use Kid Fit and Kid Ready.

Thanks to the LATCH attachments and one-pull tightener, the installation process and the ease of use are at their maximum since the system technology enables you to operate upon the seat as you like.

You'll find fantastic body support in the form of ErgoBoost dual foam paddings and the contoured seat design technology. They keep your child safe and comfortable when using the seat and won't create any additional pressure.

For a more stable ride without your child distracting your attention, you will see the removable cup holders on each side of the car seat. They are foldable, and you can easily clean them if your child gets them dirty.

Concerning the cleaning part, you may also remove the armrests and seat pads since they're machine washable; therefore, they will save you time and energy. You can wash and dry them; the content won't lose its quality.

Use it as a backless booster, remove the upper part, and place your kid in the back seat with only the belt-positioning booster.

  • Easy to install/use
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
  • Seat belt issues

Britax Skyline 2-Stage Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat - Best For Convenience

This Britax Skyline 2-Stage car seat option is the right one for you if you want your child secure and protected regardless of the journey's length.

The belt-positioning booster holds a child between 40 pounds and 120 pounds and up to 63 inches tall.

Moreover, the car seat quickly transforms from the high back booster to the backless form in one motion when you remove the upper part.

Of course, you can rest assured your child will have superior comfort since there are plush foam paddings in the armrests and upper part; hence, the car seat will follow their bodies, and they can lean back correctly.

When you drive, your child can place the snacks and drink in the removable cup holders. You can clean the cup holders and keep them ready for the next use.

Of course, the seat pads are also removable, and you can clean them between the rides as well.

Naturally, the Britax Skyline 2-Stage car seat exceeds safety standards.

It includes two layers of impact protection with the foam-lined headrest and the energy-absorbing foam shell.

Thus, even if a car accident occurs, the base and surface will absorb and reduce the external forces and pressure, keeping your child secure.

  • Quick setting
  • Comfortable
  • Security features
  • Lightweight
  • Not FAA approved

Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster - Best For Harness System

The Evenflo 2-in-1 car seat with the 5-point harness booster car seat offers perfect accommodation to all kiddos between 22 pounds and 110 pounds.

Your child can use it longer since the harness system quickly transforms to the belt-positioning system in seconds. To use this booster car seat, your child must be at least four years old.

For more comfortable use, you have the car seat setting. You can freely install it in various vehicles due to the LATCH attachments.

Thus, the installation part is effortless, and you can use it even for more extended vacations.

Naturally, the base includes the four height harness positions, keeping your child fit for more extended use. Adjust the harness to match your child, and be sure that the car seat meets their needs.

You can clean them with mild soap and water and dry it safely since the content won't harm easily; they will endure the external pressure.

However, you shouldn't use any solvents or abrasive cleaners to clean the car seat.

The Evenflo Chase Harnessed car seat also provides supreme protection as it meets all FCTS and structural integrity tests; thus, you can place your child there and be confident the car seat will offer the best protection.

Additionally, the cup holders have an increased position so that you can install the car seat along with other seats in the car.

Of course, they have an upgraded design for ease of use and cleaning part.

  • Safety features
  • Easy to install/use
  • Versatile
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Not enough padding

What to Look for When Choosing Cheap Car Seats?

1. Security & Protection

No matter whether you need rear or forward-facing, convertible car seats or booster all-in-one car seats, they must be safe and protect your child in a car collision.

The car seats must have a sturdy and strong base, with impact protection and absorbing content to reduce and eliminate the external forces.

The harness plays a crucial role here since it offers additional stability for kiddos, and LATCH connectors the most straightforward setup and stability of the car seats.

2. Content

best and cheap car seat

Of course, the content must be of the highest quality. Thus, you can wash the car seats in the washing machine and dry clean them; nothing will happen to the seat cover

Moreover, the seat cover will always be ready even for more extended use, and your kiddo is prepared for travel.

3. Comfort

Naturally, you need to select only comfortable car seats. The comfort depends on various factors, such as high-quality content, reclining options, breathable material, cup holders for a relaxing atmosphere, etc.

So, if your car seat benefits from all these factors, it will be the most comfortable for your kiddos.

4. Strength & Durability

This factor links to security and safety.

The intertwine since the durable and robust base provides the extended periods of use.

It also includes better protection since the frame and shell serve as the fundamental protection that will keep your children safe.

Even if they break, the car seats will protect your kiddos and keep them untouchable and undamaged.


Are cheap car seats safe?

YES, they are. These car seats provide the maximum safety features as any other car seat would do.

You just need to check all the benefits before obtaining the right car seat for you.

Are second-hand car seats legal?

best car seat back support

Overall, they are legal. However, safety experts and CPST do not recommend second-hand seats for extended uses.

The only exception when you can use the second-hand seats is when:

  • you certainly know through the labels that it hasn't been recalled
  • know it is not beyond its expiration date,
  • and, most vitally, it has never been in a car accident, and you know complete history of the second-hand car seat.

How much is a decent car seat?

The price depends on numerous factors, but on average, you can find decent models for a range between $100 and $300.

Also, there are some excellent models under and around $100 and specific higher-end models for approximately $300.

Why are some car seats more expensive?

They are all bells and whistles. They have higher-quality and premium materials to make your baby comfortable while in the seats.

Another reason is that the seats support more weight and height limits, so they have a higher price tag.

But, all seats meet and exceed the same safety standards and tests for use. 

What is the best inexpensive car seat?

Those are the top 3 picks: Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat, Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, and Graco Tranzitions 3 In 1 Harness Booster Seat, as the best rear-facing, convertible car seat, and booster seat.

All of them are inexpensive.

What is the best cheap car seat stroller combo?

The Baby Trend EZ Ride 35 Travel System is the best inexpensive car seat stroller combo. It costs around $140, and there’s no less expensive model than this. You can check other models here.

It is a good choice, but it may not offer all benefits the more expensive models have. So, examine the list for the best solution.

Can a newborn baby use a car seat?

Yes, your baby should ride in an infant car seat. However, the car seat must be rear-facing oriented and in the backseat of your motor vehicle.

Also, your baby should remain inside the rear-facing position until they outgrow the size and are at least two years old.

And, never place rear-facing seats in front since the airbag system will crash them.

Why are Cosco car seats so cheap?

Well, it’s mostly because they are excellent, but not so perfect.

If you compare Cosco seats generally with other competitors, you’ll see that they perform and undergo the same safety standards and tests. So they are exceptional, but there are better models.

However, their overall design seems to lack that full design benefits, so you can find a lack of neck support, shorter shells, lack of padding, or even lack of EPS foam (for instance, in Scenera models.)

But, you’ll still get high-quality seats for the money, so you can still go for Cosco.

What are the cheap cars that can fit three car seats?

Here’s the list of the top 5 cars fitting three across:

- 2018 Mazda3 Neo

- 2019 Ford Focus Active

- 2019 KIA Seltos

- Suzuki S-Cross

- 2019 Haval H2

However, you can find the complete list of all vehicles supporting narrow seats for three kids on the official Cars website.

Where can I find booster seat deals?

There are various options for you to search and find on Amazon; however, the best booster deals you can find here.

Where can I rent a cheap car in Seattle?

You can find multiple car seat rental agencies, including Budget Car Rental, SIXT Rent A Car, Dollar Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent A Car, Avis Car Center, etc.

However, you can always refer to the official SafeKids websites and their safety technicians to help you find the best cheap rental car companies if you need them for the specific car seats.

They will provide detailed guidelines to find the best solution.

Where can I get a free car seat near me?

There are various possibilities; however, you need to fulfill specific conditions to apply for open car seats.

You need verification that your family is a low income one; you need to apply for Medicaid or any other organization and social service to help you obtain a car seat.

You can try with local CPSTs, local Safe Kids Coalitions, police and fire departments, women and children's services, local hospitals, etc., depending on your area.


As you could see, there are many cheap car seats for your little ones. All of them are as safe and great as any other more expensive car seat.

So, dig up a little bit before you rush and obtain a more costly car seat.

Finally, the best 3 seats are Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car SeatSafety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, and Graco Tranzitions 3 In 1 Harness Booster Seat for infants, medium, and grown children, but check the measures before you choose the best option.

You won't regret them!

Avatar of Kathy Warner

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