Everything in this slideshow
RECARO Performance RIDE
The lounge-worthy RECARO Performance RIDE has memory foam for a cushy commute. And the seat's side-impact protection safeguards a child's five most vulnerable areas— head, neck, face, torso and pelvis—in the event of a crash. Rear-facing 5 to 40 pounds; forward-facing 20 to 65 pounds. ($300)
Now in leather, the Clek Foonf reduces the force of a head-on collision on a forward-facing baby by up to 40 percent using the same technology as your car. A narrow footprint means you can fit up to three seats in a row as your brood grows. Rear-facing 14 to 40 pounds; forward-facing 22 to 65 pounds. ($800)
You may never see the car seat aisle again after purchasing the Diono RadianRXT. It converts from a rear- to forward-facing seat and later to a booster, and it boasts a full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides for top-notch safety, along with 12 adjustable height positions. Rear-facing 5 to 45 pounds; forward-facing 20 to 80 pounds; booster up to 120 pounds. ($340)
Perfect if: You like to jet—the travel-friendly seat folds flat.
The 9.8-pound Britax B-SAFE is a tried-and-true fave with an ergonomic handle and a large canopy to block sunlight. It's compatible with certain Britax strollers. 4 to 30 pounds. ($180)
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 locks your buddy in for a luxurious ride with a foam ventilation system to keep her cool. At 8.8 pounds, it's available in 18 colors and has six height positions, plus the scallop-shaped base makes it easier to fit in your car's backseat. It works with Peg Perego travel systems, as well as other major stroller brands. 4 to 35 pounds. ($280)
Chicco NextFit Zip
The Chicco NextFit Zip's padded seat is machine-washable and zips out for easy cleaning. Trust us, this will save you from afternoons spent scrubbing away smashed-in backseat snacks. Rear-facing 5 to 40 pounds; forward-facing 22 to 65 pounds. ($329)
Use your smartphone to scan a code on the side of the Britax BOULEVARD to access helpful online videos for proper installation. Another cool feature: energy absorbing webbing to slow forward movement in an accident. Rearfacing 5 to 40 pounds; forward-facing up to 65 pounds. ($320)
The 7.7-pound Nuna Pipa has a heavy-duty shell to cocoon Baby in a crash. It pairs with the Nuna Pepp stroller, in addition to other major brands, including Bugaboo and Stokke. 4 to 32 pounds. ($300)
UPPA baby MESA
UPPAbaby MESA's SmartSecure system turns green when the 11.1-pound perch is installed correctly, and a European-style belt path means you can use it without a base. It latches into the UPPA baby Vista and Cruz strollers, as well as certain Baby Jogger models. 4 to 35 pounds. ($280)
Cybex Aton Q
The snazzy Cybex Aton Q has eight adjustable positions, including a headrest that modifies the recline, seat size and harness position. Nice and light at 10 pounds, it still packs a safety punch with a Load Leg to stablize the seat and Linear Side-impact protectors to channel crash energy away from your fragile cargo. It's compatible with Cybex Callisto and Onyx strollers, in addition to other major brands, including Baby Jogger, Quinny, and Stokke. Newborn to 35 pounds. ($349)
Car seat IQ
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old or until they meet the car seat's maximum height or weight specifications. Once met, the child should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he outgrows it (usually around 4 years old) before moving up to a booster seat.
Infant car seats Rear-facing infant car seats click into a preinstalled base, which allows you to take the seat in and out of the car without disturbing a slumbering baby. The seats also click into compatible strollers.
Convertible car seats Convertibles can be installed as rear- or forward-facing, extending the longevity of the seat, but they remain fixed in the car; they're not designed to be portable.
Cosco Apt 40RF
The side-impact protection built into the Cosco Apt 40RF prevents injury in accidents, while two cup holders guarantee a spot for water and snacks.
5 to 40 pounds rear-facing; 22 to 40 pounds for forward-facing. $55.
Peg Pérego Primo Viaggio SIP 5-70
The shock- and energy-absorbing foam of the Peg Pérego Primo Viaggio SIP 5-70 combined with its side-impact protection minimize collision injuries.
For comfort, the wide seat and recline options give extra legroom.
5 to 45 pounds rear-facing; 22 to 70 pounds forward-facing. $380.
RECARO Performance Series Performance RIDE
The cushy RECARO Performance Series Performance RIDE comes with a padded head restraint that can be raised or lowered with the turn of a knob.
Side-impact protection guards your baby's most vulnerable spots, including her head, neck, face, torso and pelvis.
5 to 40 pounds rear-facing; 20 to 70 pounds forward-facing. $300.
NCAP-crash tested, the Diono RadianRXT has reinforced sidewalls with memory foam padding for safety and comfort.
It sits low on the seat for easy in-and-out, folds flat for travel and storage, and is the only seat rated for LATCH use with a child up to 80 pounds and 57 inches tall.
5 to 45 pounds rear-facing; 20 to 80 pounds forward-facing. Booster, up to 120 pounds. $340.
The First Years IAlert True Fit Convertible Car Seat
The First Years I-Alert True Fit Convertible Car Seat alerts parents and caregivers via smartphone if their child is in danger.
The mobile app lets parents know if the seat is not installed properly in the rear-facing position or if the child is left unattended in the car.
5 to 35 pounds rear-facing; 23 to 65 pounds forward-facing. $399.
A height-adjustable load leg on the CYBEX Aton2 extends from the base of the seat to the floor, adding stability and extra protection in a car accident, while retractable wings on the sides of the carrying handle extend to the car door, allowing the seat shell to absorb side impact.
Compatible with the CYBEX Callista, Onyx, Ruby and other brand strollers.
4 to 32 pounds and 30 inches. $299.
A simple touch helps you determine if the UPPAbaby MESA is secure: Apply pressure to the seat base and its self-retracting LATCH connectors tighten up with a red-to-green tightness indicator that lets you know when it's snug.
What's more, an SPF 50-plus canopy protects sensitive skin from the sun. Fits the VISTA and CRUZ strollers.
4 to 35 pounds and 32 inches. $280.
An anti-rebound bar on the base of the BRITAX CHAPERONE nestles up against the back of the seat to minimize movement in a front or rear fender bender. Foam walls help align your baby's position and protect her vulnerable areas from side impacts.
Adjust the five-point harness height without rethreading it for a safe and quick fit. Fits BRITAX B-READY, B-NIMBLE, B-SCENE and B-AGILE strollers, and other brands with an adaptor.
4 to 30 pounds and 32 inches. $230.
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
Installing the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is foolproof, thanks to a bubble level on either side of the seat to help adjust the recline angle.
It also features an option to secure the base via seat belt or LATCH, easy pull straps to secure your baby, plus a simple click-in, click-out system.
Compatible with the Chicco Cortina, Cortina Together, KeyFit Caddy, Liteway Plus and S3 strollers.
4 to 30 pounds and 30 inches. $180.