Monday, September 16, 2013

Babble Blogger Favorites: The Best Car Seats of 2013!

Babble Blogger Favorites: The Best Car Seats of 2013!

By Katie |

I’ve made no secret of my passion for car seat safety in the past few months, but I wasn’t always as much of a fanatic as I am now. We chose Eli’s infant seat basically at random, without almost any research, because I liked that it had high height/weight limits and a good gender-neutral pattern, but that was it. Not even a Google search to speak of before making such an important decision.
When it came time to choose a convertible car seat, I did tons of research, but I still felt so confused about what seat was best for my child and for my car. So when I was asked to test as many car seats as I could get my hands on, I jumped at the chance. This was a dream project for us, and it was one that really opened my eyes to car seat safety and the incredible number of options available on the market today.

Over the past 2 months, we have tried 15 different convertible car seats. All but 2 of these were sent to us by the companies to test, and we tried each one of them for between 10 days and 2 weeks (the total number of hours in use was roughly the same for all the seats), in at least two different vehicles with both the seatbelt and the LATCH, the system of lower anchors and tethers for children. Virtually all cars made after  2002 have a LATCH system that consists of small metal hooks in the lower part of the back seat (usually identified with a tag or a button picturing a child in a car seat) and tether hooks on the top or back of the back seat, to allow car seats to be installed with a special belt with hooks (which comes with your car seat!) instead of a seatbelt. Both LATCH and the seat belt are equally safe when used correctly, but often LATCH is an easier way to install the seat.

We also installed each seat both rear- and forward-facing to check the fit. However, we only had Eli and my niece ride rear-facing, meaning his car seat faces the back of my car, which is in line with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation to keep children rear-facing until age 2 and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommendation to continue rear-facing as close to age 4 as possible, within the height and weight limits of the car seat. After the experiment, we passed each seat along to my sister, who tried them out with my niece, who is about 5 months younger than Eli.

One quick note before we get into the list: All these seats, from the least to the most expensive, passed the same crash testing. There is no evidence that any brand or specific seat is “safer” than any other. The safest car seat is whichever seat you can install in your car, fits your child well, and that you can use correctly every single time.

Without further ado, here are the best car seats of 2013!
Babble Blogger Favorites: The Best Car Seats of 2013!


This seat was another one that caught me completely off guard in a great way. It was a breeze to install, fit beautifully in my small car, has an awesome air side-impact protection system, and, most of all, Eli was incredibly happy and comfortable in the seat. It doesn’t have a ton of frills like some of the other seats, but it nails the important stuff.

Pros: It has top-notch side-impact protection via GCell HX technology along the sides and headrest; it offers multiple recline options for both rear- and forward-facing, depending upon the child's weight; and it has a no-rethread harness.

Cons: It doesn't have strap covers, so you'll have to pull clothing up if your child has sensitive skin/is prone to red marks; its wide design means passengers likely won't be able to fit comfortably next to it; there's no anti-rebound bar or rear-facing tethering; and it has old-style latch hooks instead of the seatbelt-like hooks with easy-to-release buttons, meaning that they're easy enough to hook on but a pain to unhook.

Rear-facing limits: 5-40 pounds or 40 inches.
Forward-facing limits: 22-70 pounds or 52 inches.

Get it at Amazon for $189.99 

1 comment:

Kate said...

thanks for your 2013 favorite car seats! you should check out choose car seat's top seats for 2014! they have the best car seat reviews and also lowest prices on the net. thanks again!