Where To Buy Cheap Baby Car Seats
Another beneficial resource, some hospitals offer car seats at a significantly reduced price, but not for free. However, they will help you find somewhere that may offer free car seats or brands with inexpensive options.
When reviewing car seats for Baby Gear Essentials, we always use the NHTSA crash test scores as part of our overall rating. The best performing car seats in terms of safety in our tests are the Chicco KeyFit 30 and the UPPAbaby MESA.
This Baby Trend car seat isn't the most attractive or stylish on the list, but it has some great things going for it, and an extremely good price. For starters, we love the carry handle that allows you to carry the seat in a bunch of different positions. Rather than forcing you to carry it with your arm parallel to your body, you can also hold it at a bunch of other angles, which is perfect for when your baby gets a little heavier and your arm gets sore from lugging her around! Second, this seat has an adjustable 5-point harness that requires minimal re-threading from the back. What does this mean exactly? This car seat is very rare as it only has two harness height slots that you need to manually rethread. However, you can adjust up and down within a height position by using a knob on the back of the car seat. It's the only hybrid harness height adjustment we've tested, and it's an interesting concept. Basically, you will only have to rethread the harness once in the life of the car seat, which is a nice touch. Other seats will require 3-4 rethreadings to move across the 4 or 5 harness height positions. For a car seat under $125, this is a pretty nice feature. Third, the fabric is soft, easy to clean, and surprisingly breathable. We found that it clicks easily into and out of the base without any issues.
This Evenflo option is the cheapest infant car seat on our list! Coming in usually under $80 or so, this car seat has some great features, but also some big limitations. Let's start with the positives. The Nurture has a great safety record, and uses a 5-point harness with 3 shoulder height adjustments and 2 crotch position adjustments (both with re-threading). The cushion was soft and breathable, and machine washable (and we thought it was pretty easy to get on and off). Finally, we were surprised that it was both lightweight (about 6 pounds), and felt pretty sturdy and decently constructed. Installation was straight-forward and we were able to get a decent install after a few minutes wrestling with the vehicle's belts. The advantages stop there. The canopy is small, there is no infant insert, the shoulder strap adjustment is difficult, there is no LATCH system, and attaching to the base was nowhere as easy as with the others on this list. Finally, its very limited in weight range, supporting babies from 5 to 22 pounds. It was a tough call figuring out which car seat would be in this position, or the last position. But given the great low price point of this car seat, it's a good option for people on a very tight budget looking for a safe, reasonable car seat without frills. Interested? You can check out the Evenflo Nurture here.
This adorable car seat definitely compromises flexibility for the cute factor! The Mickey ears and the pink polka dot versions got our test moms excited about this car seat, but after reviewing some of the options their excitement tapered off. Let's be clear that there are some great features here, especially for a cheap infant car seat. First, its 5-point harness is adjustable across 4 heights (with re-threading), and the crotch buckle is adjustable across 3 settings. Second, it was reasonably lightweight, making carrying around time quite a bit easier. Third, we thought the positioning of the shoulder strap adjustment was quite good, being high up enough to make adjustment possible even when the seat was attached to the base. Finally, let's comment again on how darn cute this thing is! But the positives end there. The weight range is extremely low