01 of 05
The Lamaze Via is a lesser-known hero in the infant car seat world. It has tons of awesome features, for both safety and convenience, and can often be found for about $115. This car seat has a no-rethread harness, built-in seat belt lock-offs, an easy to wash removable cover, and an Energy Rebound Management handle that helps protect baby in a crash. The color-coded pieces on this car seat make it very easy to see where the belts and LATCH pieces are supposed to go. Fits babies from 5 pounds to... 30 pounds.
02 of 05
Graco SnugRide 30
This versatile infant car seat can hold babies from 4 pounds to 30 pounds, which lets you use the seat for a good long time before you need to shell out for another one. The adjustable foot on the base, plus the wide belt path for the seat belt or LATCH belt, make the SnugRide 30 easy to install in a wide range of vehicles. A front adjust harness helps you buckle baby up properly every time, and is an improvement over other budget infant seats, even within the Graco SnugRide line. The average... price is about $110.
03 of 05
Safety 1st OnBoard 35There are two versions of this car seat that both cost less than $150. The regular OnBoard 35 can be found for $80 to $110, depending on patterns and accessories. The OnBoard 35 Air, which has additional air-filled cells that protect baby in a side-impact crash, costs about $120 to $140. With both versions, you get a very deep car seat shell, which cradles a tiny 4-pound newborn nicely, but also offers lots of space for larger babies, up to 35 pounds. Lots of colors and patterns are available in... both styles.
04 of 05
The Britax B-Safe infant car seat can sometimes be difficult to find under $150, but when you can, it's a fantastic deal. This seat provides amazing impact protection for babies from 4 pounds to 30 pounds, and can be used with any of the Britax B-Series strollers to create a travel system. Built-in lockoffs make seat belt installs easier, too. I love the Britax tangle-free webbing, since it means you don't have to un-twist the harness straps very often. The ergonomic carrying handle is... also a nice feature on this car seat. It's made to fit along your forearm to help you comfortably carry your baby in the car seat. About $125.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
This classic version of the popular Graco SnugRide is always a good choice. It has a 22-pound weight limit, but that may be just what you need if you're planning to move to a convertible car seat after about a year. You can find the 22-pound version of the SnugRide for about $90 to $100, but you should be careful to get a version with a front-adjust harness. I do not recommend the less expensive models that require you to adjust the harness behind baby's back, as these are inconvenient... and easier to mess up. The classic SnugRide installs easily in a wide range of vehicles, and can be used with many different stroller brands to create a travel system.
In the car seat aisle, there are always several brands and styles of infant car seats available, and the prices can vary considerably. Which infant car seat should you choose? Does it matter how much you spend? Actually, you can find some really awesome infant car seats, with plenty of convenience features, cute patterns, and safety features to keep you and baby happy.