Best Car Seats for New York City 2022
For parents, a car seat is a necessary purchase. Parents look for a seat that is within their budget but most importantly fits their child’s safety and comfort needs. Topher McGibbon, founder of Kidcar (the only vetted driver car service with properly installed, age, and weight-appropriate car seats) offers wise advice when shopping for a car seat, “EVERY car seat at our store has passed NHTSA’s safety standards. The BEST car seat is the one that fits your vehicle, the one that fits your child, and the one that you can properly install EVERY time.
And what about car seat safety and when a child is ready to move to the next car seat? Expert Alisa Baer, MD Pediatrician & Co-Founder of The Car Seat Lady shared these helpful tips for parents:
Top Car Safety Tips
- Rear-facing to Forward-facing: Keep kids rear-facing in their convertible seats until they are too tall (usually head 1 inch below the top of the seat) or too heavy. NY state law requires rear-facing until at least 24 months, but this is a bare minimum.
- Forward-facing to Booster Seat: Car Seats are seats where the child uses a five-point harness as their restraint. Boosters are seats where the child wears the vehicle’s seat belt across them as their restraint. To use a booster seat, kids should be AT LEAST 5 years old AND at least 40 pounds AND mature enough to sit properly during the ride (no slouching, no leaning over, no messing with the seat belt).
- Booster to Seat Belt: Kids need boosters until their body fits properly on the vehicle seat and the seat belt fits properly on their body without the help of a booster. Most kids are at least 10 years old before they can ride safely without a booster (NY state law requires boosters until the 8th birthday… but injury data shows that most kids need boosters a lot longer than this). The 5 Step Test is how to know if your kid can ride safely without a booster,
An upgrade from the Britax B-Safe 35 this Gen 2 has added designs to the seat as well as safety technologies. This seat is a well-made car seat with a steel reinforced base with two side impact protection layers surrounding the head, neck, and torso. At 26.5 pounds -this is a stay in the car style of seat. The installation is easy with a SafeCenter LATCH. The Britax B Safe Gen 2 Car Seat is a 6-position, quick-adjust 5-point harness & headrest that are great as your baby grows or needs to be moved around for comfort. Parents will appreciate the 1-Hand Harness Buckle Release that unbuckles the baby without any hassle. $199.
This car seat is still our pick for an easy-to-install (a big plus for on-the-go New Yorkers) infant car seat. A seat such as this is ideal for those rushed early mornings daycare drop-offs or when the last thing you want is for the car seat to not fit efficiently. The Latch-equipped Safety 1st Onboard 35 LT Infant Car Seat Monument is our pick for both an affordable and well-designed car seat. The seat is designed with an ultra-lightweight construction and weighs almost 15 pounds (7.3 without the base), it is bulky, so keep this in mind. Extra points if your child care allows you to keep the seat at their space for the day. The seat includes side-impact protection, head and body inserts that give newborns added comfort and support—an accessible seat with four harness heights that can be adjusted with a single pull for a secure fit. $99.
The Liingo from Clek is a baseless infant car seat (the only one in North America) and is ideal for parents on the go especially ones who hop in an Uber/Lyft as it can be installed using the European belt-path method (this video is super helpful on this method) or using the LATCH connectors (in a removable LATCH bin house) for an alternative method of installation.
The Liingo works with the Baby Jogger, BabyZen, Bugaboo, Bumbleride, Silver Cross, Stokke, Thule, and Uppababy, using the Maxi-Cosi car seat adapter made by each stroller brand stroller base. $269.99
Parents love 4 in 1 car seats as they can last up to a decade (depending on weight and height), and this Graco 4 in 1 car seat is an excellent choice if you’re looking for that ‘one’ seat. This car seat transforms from rear-facing harness car seat to forward-facing harness car seat to high back belt-positioning booster pounds), to backless belt-positioning booster. And while we do not like to think of any sorts of crashes when choosing a car seat, we must consider safety. The safety designs in the GRACO 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat include the Graco protect Plus engineered, which helps safeguard frontal, side, rear, and rollover in crashes. And as a parent of tall children, I appreciate the Simply safe adjusted harness system that adjusts to the height of the harness and headrest to ten positions (!) in one motion. This car seat is not super heavy; it is a little over 22 pounds, but with seat and child in tow, it may not be the sort of seat to travel around within the city from uber to Taxi. We suggest this car seat be perfect if you own a car or rent a car for long day trips. $299.99
Another all-in-one we love is the Maxi-Cosi Magellan. While this is considered an investment piece at $500 plus change- this is the sort of car seat to choose when looking for a non-bulky and more practical style seat that is also plush. The seat fits as early as the newborn stage, going up to a booster seat. There is a seven-position recline with an adjustable torso side-impact protection, the only car seat with a design featured such as this. There are three height positions at the torso (not something you see in many car seats) and 14 headrest heights, a big plus if your child is fast growing. Cool design add ons we love are the patented air Protect built into the headrest that helps cushion. The seat weighs 25 pounds and will fit your child until the booster seat reaches 120 pounds or 57 inches. $349.99
While most parents know it’s nearly impossible to keep gear clean — yet with COVID, many of us are taking extra precautions. The soft zip-off padding can easily be removed from the steel-reinforced frame and thrown in the machine, which is extra because it doesn’t hurt to keep a piece that is frequently used clean. Your little one can start using this seat from infancy (with a newborn positioner) to early toddler years. The change-up from the rear to forward-facing is a smooth transition, and the nine-position headrest is a thoughtful design that parents will appreciate. Zip-off padding is soft and machine washable for comfort and convenience. $329.99
If you often travel or enjoy weekend getaways — carrying a car seat, especially for a toddler, can be rough since most are heavy and burdensome. We tested the Way B Pico Travel Car Seat, which weighs about eight pounds and is surprisingly durable. The Pico works as a forward-facing portable car seat and can be installed with the latch in all modern cars or an airplane belt. It can be stored in the Pico Travel Backpack Bag, which can be purchased separately and makes for easy carrying.
I will admit, it took about 45 minutes to install it the first time, about 30 minutes longer than most tutorials. Still, once we got going on our trip, this car seat was a game-changer; it fits snug and securely.
The seat is recommended for ages 2 and up, for kids 22-50 lbs and 30-45 inches tall. $330
Best Alerting Car Seat – Evenflo Gold EveryStage with SensorSafe and Easy-Click Install All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
Our pick if looking for a car seat that is roomy yet safe. Offering three stages of use that can last up to a decade. The Evenflo Gold EveryStage with SensorSafe and Easy-Click Install All-in-One Convertible Car Seat can start from the infant stage and is convertible to the last stage of a booster seat. Installation is straightforward and, once installed, it sits in place. The seat weighs 25 pounds, so while sturdy — for us city folk, this is a car seat perhaps better to live in the car. The car seat prices at about $300, impressive as it features SensorSafe technology to alert you of unsafe conditions such as unbuckling (my child does this), dangerous temperatures, staying in the seat too long, and if the child is left unattended. And of course, we do not mean to leave our child in a car, but we have many alarms and ring tones in our lives to remind us of important meetings; having one that chimes for our most precious human is nothing short of a brand having your back. $299.99
Psst…check out the 10 Best Baby Swings for Infants and Toddlers!