Preparing for a new member of your family is a daunting enough task. Between choosing a doctor, buying the necessary supplies, there is always something on your mind. But one of the most important purchases you can make should also involve the most consideration – the car seat. With a plethora of styles, manufacturers, and prices, choosing the right car seat for your child can be overwhelming for new parents. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a wide range of information on various types of car seats, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten rated car seats according to the NHTSA to make your decision just a little easier.
All of the seats featured on this list and the NHTSA website have been tested for safety to Federal Safety Standards: the rankings below are based on ease of use, from labels, instructions, and features to how easy it is to secure the child. Each model is a convertible, which can switch from rear-facing to front-facing -- for more information on car beds and booster seats, refer to the NHTSA website.
While you can see that no single car seat is perfect as far as ease of use, they are all tested to the highest standards for safety - their faults are comparably minor and some are easier to deal with than others. They often make up for their shortcomings in affordability, if you’re willing to cut convenience for the sake of cost. Regardless, once you’ve chosen the perfect car seat, be sure to check out an NHTSA Child Car Seat Inspection Station, where you can make certain that your chosen car seat is installed correctly – a good car seat is useless if not properly installed.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Top 10 Car Seat Models According to the NHTSA and was authored by Michelle Ballestrasse.