When shopping for car seats for your infants, it may be tempting to look just for the best car seats for under $100. There are a few of them out there, and we’ve listed several here. Just be sure to thoroughly check out whatever car seat you’re considering, regardless of price, to ensure that it has high safety ratings, is easy to use, and you understand completely how to install it correctly.
Check Consumer Reports (subscription required) for ratings on car seats. Go to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to look up your car seat in their Ease of Use Rating System. This is a five-star rating ease-of-use in four basic categories: evaluation of labels, evaluation of instructions, securing the child, and installation features.
Keep in mind that all car seats rated by NHTSA meet Federal Safety Standards as well as strict crash performance standards. But not all are the same when it comes to how easy they are to use.
Now, if you’re ready to shop for the best car seats under $100, check out the following:
- Graco SnugRide – For consumers looking for a safe and secure car seat that’s reasonably priced, the Graco SnugRide may fit the bill. Expect to pay somewhere between $80 and $150, depending on model. The Graco SnugRide is lightweight, performs well in car seat safety tests, comes in many colors and patterns, and is widely available. The lower-priced SnugRide fits babies up to 22 pounds. Another plus is that the SnugRide is compatible with most Graco strollers, so it allows parents to create custom-built travel systems for their babies.
- Baby Trend Flex-Loc – Able to accommodate babies up to 30 pounds and 30 inches tall, the Baby Trend Flex-Loc may prove useful longer than the Graco SnugRide. It’s also reasonably priced at about $100 to $115. This car seat performs well overall in expert, user reviews and in safety tests. Consumers say it’s easy to use and highly adjustable. Parents love the triangular handle and say this feature makes the Flex-Loc easy to hold.
- Evenflo Embrace – The Evenflo Embrace LX infant car seat offers great benefits for parents and infants. With its ergonomically-designed CarryRight handle and lightweight design, the Evenflo Embrace LX infant car seat accommodates infants from five to 22 pounds and at least 19 inches tall. It’s also affordably priced at just under $100.
- Safety 1st onBoard 35 – This infant car seat is a little beyond the $100 price bogey, although you may be able to find it on sale at some retailers. It is, however, well worth the extra cost. Priced from $141 to $175, the Safety 1st onboard 35 features more leg room than most competitive infant car seats and has a harness specially designed to fit preemies. The Safety 1st onboard 35 can easily accommodate tiny infants and babies up to a tall 35 pounds. With its CarryCurve handle, it’s also easy to transport from the car to wherever you are going.
Another site to check out for a great deal of information on car seats is Car-Safety.org. Gaining a thorough understanding of what you need in a car seat should definitely be on your agenda, even before you start looking for the best car seats under $100.