people's choice

The Best Car Seats on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: 2010 Getty Images

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing.

We’ve done comprehensive guides to the best stuff for kids and babies, including mom- and nanny-approved strollers, five-star baby mobiles, and an exhaustive list of baby-shower gifts. Here, we’re buckling up to find the best car seats and booster seats for babies, toddlers, and young kids currently available for purchase on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

“I can’t imagine that there is a better car seat out there. This Graco is strong and durable. It has some weight, but you know your baby is safe inside. I love everything about it. How simply it locks into the base in our car is more than I could have expected. It is so simple to get in and out of the vehicle. It is the perfect car seat and baby carrier. A must-buy.”

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
$160

“Seriously, my child slept through a pretty significant fender bender tucked safely in this car seat. We are running around taking care of errands, and I am stopped at a stop sign when BAM, a truck smashes into our tiny hybrid HARD, and I mean HARD — it’s been determined that the driver was going between 30 to 45 miles per hour … and I was completely STOPPED. I jarred both of my legs into the floor, bruised my shoulder area (where the buckle was), and had some pretty serious whiplash. My daughter (rear-facing in this car seat) SLEPT through the crash and sustained no injuries … not a single bruise, not a hair out of place. I find that impressive.”

$240

“After trying many car seats (cheap and expensive), I’ll be keeping this one because it’s not outrageous, yet has all the qualities I love about the top brands … and more! Very easy installation, pretty lightweight, keeps my baby cool in a hot car, and is not insanely huge like some of the others we have tried. But best of all, the reclining feature is PERFECT. It moves the whole seat rather than just the back, so that it takes up less room, but also keeps baby in a cozy V-like position and seems much more comfy to sleep in. Haven’t used it many times yet, but so far this is my favorite car seat of all!”

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
$240

“I LOVE this seat and so does my son! I bought this seat to replace one that I had and hated because I could never get it installed tight enough by myself. I had this seat installed in under a minute, and it is in tight! It does not budge! I no longer have to have anxiety every time I need to move it and reinstall my car seat. I wish I would have bought this seat from the start and saved myself a lot of hassle. This is truly the only seat I have ever been able to install correctly by myself. My son seems a lot more comfortable in it as well. Wish I could give it 100 stars!”

“I bought this car seat for use on a plane, so that we didn’t have to lug our much heavier Britax through an airport or risk damaging it. After using this, I’m not convinced our Britax seat was worth the extra $200. This seat is easy to install, easy to uninstall, and easy to carry. The harness does not have the same padding as more expensive seats, but my child did not seem to notice. Ditto for the cushioning of the seat; my child seemed perfectly comfortable, even if the Evenflo didn’t have as much cushioning as the Britax.”

Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System
$220

“This stroller has been a dream. It is by far the easiest assembly I’ve ever had for a stroller (it took just minutes to set up, and everything was extremely intuitive). It collapses down, so it’s easy to store in a closet or fit in a relatively small trunk. And the storage space! It’s huge! I can fit a jumbo diaper bag, and my purse, and a snack bag, and shopping bags, and … I could go on.”

“We just replaced the last car seat like this that we had, after being in an accident. Our car flipped three times on the highway and my son emerged without a scratch. As soon as we were safe at home, I came here to order the same seat again because I was so impressed with how well it kept him safe. It’s also very easy to install and not too wide. Wish we hadn’t had the opportunity to test it out in such awful circumstances, but now I will tell everyone we know how grateful we are to this car seat.”

$37

“We purchased this car seat for a plane trip from LAX to Florida in the summer. Our son is 4 years old and 30 pounds. Great, because it is narrow, light, not bulky, AND affordable. His regular car seats are heavy and BIG, so this one is perfect for plane rides … My personal recommendation for kids on an airplane is a car seat … at least for my little guy because it reminds him of being in a car where he needs to stay in his car seat. Then when you get to your destination, you already have a car seat and do not need to rent one from a car-rental agency (who knows where that car seat has been).”