Having a baby is expensive. The car seat is one of many expenses that is important for safety reasons but can also make a big dent if your budget.
Although it is not uncommon to see baby car seats creep up over $100, there are a number of budget friendly options which are just as safe. For the infant car seat stage, there are a number of options from top notch brands that give the more expensive options a run for their money.
Without further ado, out of the hundreds of baby car seats under $100, here are five options that came out on top.
The Evenflo Embrace LX Infant Car Seat
The first seat is the Evenflo Embrace LX infant car seat. The seat is rated for children from 4 to 35 pounds in weight, so it will take your infant all the way up to the next stage.
One of the best features about this seat in particular is that it is nationally recognized for safety with premature babies. The multi-position harness and adjustable headrest make the seat comfortable for all sized infants.
Another nice feature of the Embrace LX is that it only weighs 13 pounds, which makes it more portable than many options. Although it is light weight, the handle is awkwardly shaped which can make the seat uncomfortable to carry for long periods of time.
The seat also has been fully tested to Evenflo safety standards. This means that it has been tested at two times the governmental requirement, according to their website. Even though the seat is under $100, Evenflo’s standards were all met with this seat.
The Graco SnugRide 30 Click Connect, Front Adjust Car Seat
The next seat is the Graco SnugRide 30 Click Connect, Front Adjust Car Seat. This seat is rated from 4 to 30 pounds, which is slightly less than the Embrace LX, but it will still accommodate growing infants.
According to their website, the SnugRide car seat was the best-selling infant car seat from 2012-2014. This really does say something about the quality.
As far as weight goes, the SnugRide actually beats out the Embrace LX, weighing in at only 11 pounds. That weight makes it very portable and allows you to carry the car seat one-handed if needed.
The padding and comfortability are another great aspect of the SnugRide 30. The sun visor, however, could use some work. It sticks easily and clicks when opened which can wake up a sleeping baby.
Much like the Embrace LX, this seat also meets all Graco’s safety requirements. With all the other features, this car seat is a safe, comfortable, and affordable option.
The Evenflo Nurture DLX Infant Car Seat
The Evenflo Nurture DLX infant car seat is rated for smaller children than the Embrace and SnugRide seats. This seat is rated for children from 5 to 22 pounds, making it a shorter use car seat in general.
What it lacks in weight limits, it makes up for in convenience, safety, and usability. At only 6.5 pounds, this car seat is easily the most portable on the list. Even at its low weight, it still passes all of Evenflo’s vigorous safety testing, including side impact testing.
Similarly to the SnugRide, the Nurture DLX has excellent padding and cushions which keeps your baby comfortable. As an added bonus, all the padding is removable to account for growth.
The Nurture DLX is also simple to adjust and install. Since the base can stay in the car at all times, you only have to worry about installing it once. As far as the straps are concerned, they are simple and fast to adjust between their three settings.
Overall, although it has a slightly lower upper weight limit, this car seat is a viable car seat option for under $100.
The Safety 1st Light ‘n Comfy Lux Infant Car Seat
Much like the Nurture, the Safety 1st Light ‘n Comfy Lux infant car seat is also weighted for babies from 4 to 22 pounds. Although it is made for small infants only, the under $100 category still makes it a viable option as an excellent car seat.
One of the top features of this seat is that the harness adjusts to four different heights easily to allow for growth. This way, your baby will be snug in their car seat from the first day you bring them home.
An additional feature of the Light ‘n Comfy Lux is the removable infant insert. The padded insert serves as added support and comfort for extremely young babies and can be removed when they have grown some.
Like all the smaller options, the Light ‘n Comfy Lux is also very portable and will fit in most every vehicle. It does all this without sacrificing safety too.
The Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat
The Baby Trend Flex Loc infant seat remains one of the most light weight options (7.7 pounds) and is rated for children from 4 to 30 pounds. It has a few additional features, however, that make it stand out from the crowd.
The first feature is the no rethread adjustable harness which allows for simple tightening. While some more affordable seats can be less sophisticated, the Flex Loc does not sacrifice for the sake of price.
Another great feature is the boot which covers the baby’s feet and legs to keep them warm when needed. Although all the other options have sun visors, this is the only one with a boot for warmth.
As with the other options on this list, the seat is side-impact tested, well padded, and easily transportable. Overall, it is another excellent option for a baby car seat under $100.
Although you can easily splurge on an extremely expensive baby car seat, there is really no need with so many excellent options on the market for under $100. Some of the best brands available now make more affordable seats, so it is a good time to be in the market.
Overall, the main thing to look out for when selecting an infant car seat for under $100 is that all the safety features are adequate. Additionally, the comfort level for the baby is also important to promote good posture, sleeping, and breathing.