Choosing a good car seat for your infant can be a daunting task. There are many features and factors to consider. However, when you want to get the best lightweight car seat, things can be even more challenging.
Fortunately, we’re here to help make this task somewhat easier for you. We have compiled a list of top 5 best lightweight car seats that your baby can feel comfortable in, and that you’ll be able to carry around with you.
If this is something that interests you, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!
Best Lightweight Car Seat – Top 5 Products Reviewed
There are many great lightweight car seats on the market, but not all can be considered the best of the best. We’ve chosen 5 products that might be just what you’re looking for. Here’s what they are:
1. Century Carry On 35
This is a lightweight infant car seat option that won’t break your budget. In fact, it is one of the lightest models out there, weighing just under 7 lbs! This is just around the weight of a newborn! However, it can hold up to five times its weight, with a maximum weight capacity of 35 lbs.
As you’ve probably guessed, this is a rear-facing model that is great for small babies until they are toddlers. It is rather safe, keeping your child protected in the case of an accident – but, of course, we hope no one would have to test that. It has great side-impact protection, no matter if you’re using it with or without the base.
The seat uses the LATCH system, ensuring easy installation with all compatible car seats. Unfortunately, it might not fit some older models without the LATCH.
At the same time, this car seat is compatible with all Century strollers. This can help you create a perfect travel system that you can carry with you no matter where you go.
|+ Very lightweight|
|+ Easy to install|
|+ Fabrics are made from recycled materials|
|+ KeepSafe protection|
|– Limited child weight range|
|– Difficult to tell if base is correctly installed|
|– Handle design may make it sore on your wrist|
2. Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX
This is yet another amazingly lightweight option for your infant. In fact, chances are your newborn will weigh more than this car seat! Standing at 7.2 lbs, this is one of the lightest models you can find.
This is one of the best lightweight car seats for people looking for a seat they can bring their full-term newborn in, as it comes with 6-inch bottom harness slots. However, this might not make it a great choice for smaller babies, or babies who were born pre-term.
Also, this is a great car seat for compact cars as it’s rather narrow and doesn’t take up too much space from front to back. When you compare it to other models of a similar price range, this might easily be the most compact one.
You can purchase a stroller that will go with this car seat. This way, you can have a system that you’ll be able to use throughout your child’s toddler years. Also, compared to a regular Graco SnugRide, this version has a better infant insert and some upgraded fabrics. Other than that, the two models are more or less the same.
|+ Great for newborns|
|+ Can fit in compact cars|
|+ Base is adjustable|
|+ Indicator to show correct installation|
|– Not too different to the original SnugRide 35|
|– Doesn’t fit to many strollers|
|– Can be tricky to remove from base|
|– Limited padding reduced comfort|
3. LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat
This is likely one of the best lightweight car seats designed by the big brand Evenflo. Many parents have reported falling in love with this seat, and it isn’t hard to see why. It weighs approximately 8 lbs.
First off, it has an adjustable headrest that helps you adjust it as your child grows older. This will provide more space and help you have a great product even as your kid becomes taller and heavier. Next, the seat has a great harness system that doesn’t require re-threading, and the seat will provide your child with enough space.
The installation process is effortless thanks to the LATCH system. It also comes with pendulum level indicators that will let you know whether the installation has been successful. This also makes it easier to change it from one car to another one.
These indicators also tell you whether the car has been stabilized or not. This can help you reduce the crash forces up to 50%, ensuring your child is safe all the time.
|+ Easy installation|
|+ Easily adjustable no rethread harness|
|+ Mesh fabric to prevent over heating|
|+ Ergonomic handle|
|– Some canopy issues reported|
|– Bit heavier than other models|
4. Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 Infant Car Seat
While this isn’t as well-known a product as a few of the other ones from our list, it is equally high-quality and weighs just 8.7 lbs. In fact, the Maxi-Cosi Mico has some rather unique features that make it stand out from the rest.
It comes with removable seat pads that are machine-washable. As you probably know, spilling accidents can happen with kids, and you’ll probably feel much better when you know everything is easy to clean. Not to mention the self-wicking fabric that will keep your baby dry and comfortable!
The seat is easy to install, and you can use it even without the base. It is narrow enough to fit most compact cars. Unfortunately, this might make it a bit too narrow for larger babies.
At the same time, this is a comfortable and safe seat that has passed all the safety tests. It comes with additional side-impact protection, as well as the anti-rebound bar. This makes it among the safer seats on our list.
|+ Self wicking fabric|
|+ Easy installation|
|+ Machine washable seating pads|
|+ Wide color range|
|– Quite narrow so may feel restricting for some babies|
|– Handle and canopy design could be better|
|– Feels cheap compared to Mico Max Plus version|
5. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
First and foremost, this car seat comes with an effortless installation thanks to the LATCH system and connectors. It weighs in at 9.6 lbs. It also comes with ReclineSure leveling foot and RideRight bubble levels. Thanks to this, you can install it into most cars without any problems.
The 3D air-mesh is breathable, allowing airflow and circulation so the baby doesn’t sweat too much during the ride. It can help your child stay cool and comfortable, even in summer.
The machine-washable covers are easy to remove thanks to quick zippers. This will help you maintain everything with very little effort – and when you have an infant, you know the value of every spare minute.
Not just that, but you can purchase Chicco strollers that this car seat will fit, as well as many other travel systems. In other words, this might easily be one of the best car seats for travel.
|+ Useful installation indicators|
|+ Machine washable covers|
|+ Breathable fabrics|
|+ Can fit into compact cars|
|– Heavier than its rivals|
|– Canopy is not the best|
|– Low weight limit|
What to Look for in the Best Lightweight Car Seat?
There are a few things you need to look for when picking the best lightweight car seat. While we could go into details, such as price or individual features, it all comes down to answering these three questions:
- Does it fit your child correctly, and will it be able to fit them for a while?
- Does it fit your car?
- Can you use it correctly all the time?
Does It Fit Your Child?
This one can be either very easy or very challenging, depending on your needs and expectations. If you have a newborn, then you don’t have too many worries. Most babies are of similar sizes, so an average infant car seat will be able to accommodate them effortlessly.
However, if you are expecting a pre-term baby or several babies, you should already look into the specifics of the car seats that interest you. For example, can the car fit a very small baby? Can it fit several tiny infants, and is there a way to use it with a pre-term child? Fortunately, most infant car seats have the lowest capacity of 4 lbs, which should be low enough for most newborns.
On the other hand, you might want to purchase a car seat that will last you for a very long time. Suppose that’s the case; you’d want to get a convertible car seat that will fit children of several ages. However, these are rarely lightweight, as they need to have additional features that will help them convert between two modes.
Still, convertible car seats have some advantages that can make up for their somewhat higher weight. Most notably, they can be used with your stroller frame, which in return means your stroller can be more lightweight. This makes it an excellent choice for travel.
Does It Fit Your Car?
The next thing you need to think about is whether it can fit your car. Some car seats simply won’t fit some cars. If this is the case with your car seat and car, then everything else might be useless.
The most common issue is when a car is rather small and the car seat is rather big. If the adults in the front need lots of legroom, things become even more complicated! When this happens, the car seat will push against the front seatback. This isn’t just a problem for your child’s legs. Some car seats simply demand a certain distance.
Fortunately, this can be avoided if you install your car seat in the middle, between the two car seats – but this might not be the safest option. Not to mention that this might not be possible with all cars, such as cars with a rigid LATCH system.
Can You Use It Correctly?
When looking for the best lightweight car seat, you’d want to get one that is easy to install and to use. If it isn’t, chances are you won’t install it properly, or that you’ll forget to push some buttons while in a hurry. All of this can lead to you unintentionally risking your child’s life in the case of an accident.
Good manuals are of huge help with this. If a car seat doesn’t have a proper manual, everything is much more challenging to use and to understand. Fortunately, most modern models have user-friendly manuals that can tell you all you need to know about the product, so you won’t have an issue using it.
This also depends on the type of car seat you plan on using. For example, infant car seats tend to be rather straightforward when it comes to installation and usage. However, the more features the car seat has, the more challenging it will be when it comes to using or adjusting it.
Are Lightweight Seats Safe?
One thing many people looking for the best lightweight car seat hear is that these seats aren’t as safe as some bulkier models. However, this simply isn’t the case.
All car seats need to pass the same testing, no matter their weight or model. U.S. standards are pretty strict, and all units need to meet it before they are approved for sale. Sure, some models decide to get rid of certain safety features in order to be lightweight, but they still wouldn’t be approved if they aren’t considered safe.
The Final Word
The truth is, there isn’t THE BEST lightweight car seat out there. It only goes down to what is the best for you and your family. Some people might prefer one model over another one because it has the features they require and that they need.
Still, choosing the best lightweight car seat can be a challenge, and it is a decision you shouldn’t make lightly. The safety of your child depends on it, and you should read as many reviews as possible and look for testimonials that will guarantee the quality of the product.
All car seats we’ve listed are safe and approved. The only thing that’s left is for you to pick the one that can fit your requirements.