Best Car Seats and Booster Seats in Canada
When it comes to choosing a new car seat for your child, or you’re expecting and need to start from the beginning, it can be daunting to figure out what you need to get or what’s needed throughout the entirety of your child growing up until they don’t need it anymore.
A big part of that decision making includes booster seats and car seats for babies and kids. Whether you have a newborn or a 4-year-old, you probably spend plenty of time in your car, and having such car accessories is essential if you need to want your child with you, especially during Canadian winters.
Our list below and information should help you get a better idea and be less stressed about what car seats or booster seats suit your families goals and costs.
Best Car Seats
What to look for in a car seat or booster seat
When it comes to looking for a car seat or booster seat for your newborn or children, keep these features in mind:
While most car seats and booster seats can look the same, their size limits for height and weigh vary. They aren’t all built equally. Keep an eye out on their minimum and maximum weight and height limits to ensure that your child or baby will fit. If you’re getting a convertible car seat that will last for years as your child grows, be sure it can accommodate your child’s size.
Front vs Rear vs Convertible seats
Up until a certain height/weight, it is highly recommended as safest to have your child rear-facing in their car seat. Once they get over 50lbs, you can switch to front-facing car seats. Convertible car seats are able to switch between how they sit in your vehicle and last for years without needing to get a new car seat to adjust as such.
Having your car seat be compatible with strollers for example are recommended and can take some stress out of everything, without having to fight with incompatible fits going to and from the car. Check if the brand you’re wanting to go with has matching strollers or if size wise they will work with what you have already.
Ease of installation
One of the most important features of car seats (besides the safety, of course) is how easy it is to install and uninstall. Car seats and booster seats have gotten easier over the years, but not all are created equal in that regard. Some such as the Britax ClickTight are specially designed to simply work by threading the seatbelt through a channel, putting the seat cushion back down, and it does all the work for you without any fuss, sweat, or tears.
Going to and from the car, having to change the car seat from one vehicle to another, or even installing/uninstalling can take time and become a headache. Keep in mind how heavy and portable your car seat will be.
Best Convertible Car Seat
The Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat is one of the best, if not top-tier for having a fairly easy install process, thoughtful features, and the price isn’t too bad for what you’re getting. Most importantly for the Graco Extend2Fit is how comfortable it is for longer periods of time for children, especially once they start getting bigger/taller and may feel squished. Exten2Fit has a extension panel in the seat that adds an additional 5-inches of legroom in the rear-facing position.
Children can remain in the rear-facing position in this convertible cart seat up to 50lbs, which is one of the highest capacities available. The seat is lightweight and the way it’s designed – you don’t need to uninstall it to adjust the straps as your child grows, you just do so freely.
- Easy install.
- Most comfortable rear-facing seat.
- Cover is machine washable.
- Lighter colours are prone to staining.
Best Newborn/Infant Car Seat
UppaBaby Mesa V2
Touted as one of the best newborn/infant car seats available, the UppaBaby Mesa V2 is an updated version of their first car seat, improving upon their already sturdy base. It works for babies 4lbs up to 35lbs, and it’s easy to install. Even as your baby grows, you don’t have to re-thread the harness when your child gets bigger. Just pull the tabs to tighten it and the harness slides down until it’s at your child’s shoulder.
If you have the UppaBaby Vista or Cruz stroller, it easily snaps into place and as well as the Minu with adapters. Having the car seat that matches the stroller is always a good idea.
- Easy to install and adjust as your baby grows.
- Works up to 35lbs.
Best Quick Install Car Seat
The Britax ClickTight line is designed and known for being some of the easiest installs on the market. You simply thread the seatbelt through a channel under the seat cushion, close it up, and it automatically tightens everything into place for you. No sweating and fighting with the car seat again!
This model is forward facing only, though there is the Boulevard as well that does support rear-facing up to 40lbs. If your child is already at the point where they need to be front-facing, this is an easy to install choice and pick. It’s durable, the cover is machine washable, and it’s stylish.
- Easy install.
- Cool n Dry feature for hot/cold days and comfort.
- Only forward facing.
Best Budget Car Seat
Safety 1st Grow and Go
Finding an all-in-one car seat that can go from being a rear-facing, front-facing, and then booster seat at an affordable price while not sacrificing safety features does exist. The Safety 1st Grow and Go makes for a wonderful car seat that will last throughout your child growing up.
It’s durable, keep clean, and has proper safety features and rating. The headrest and harness can be adjusted in one movement and the built-in harness holders make it easy to take out and put in your baby or child without having to fight with straps or wayward harnesses. This is also a great purchase as a secondary car seat to have around for travel, giving to grandparents, or other situations where you may need more than one car seat or if you’re needing to give it to a caregiver.
- All-in-one for a good price.
- Fits a wide range of sizes for children.
- Can be difficult to install.
- Head rest may not go as high as users like.
Best Booster Seat
Booster seats are the last stage of car seats and the weight limit for most brands is around 110lbs. This booster seat from Oobr has some wonderful perks such as a convertible high and low back for whatever you need and it also reclines so that your child can still take naps comfortably while in the car without being rigidly in one place.
It has a rigid latch system that makes it safe, secure, and easy to install. It has lower anchors that attaches to the car.
- Converts between high and low back.
- Easy install.
- Great safety rating.
For this particular article we took account of reviews from other trusted websites, customer comments and reviews, and costs to compile our list into what should work best for most families and users that are looking for new car seats or are expecting.
Questions and answers about booster and car seats
Where is the best place to put car seat?
The rear-middle of your vehicle the best place to put a car seat, as it’s the furthest from passenger side airbags and impact points from all sides of the vehicle. If it isn’t possible to do the middle, either side passenger or driver side in the backseat will work just as well. Always put a car seat or booster seat in the backseats of the car.
What is a convertible car seat?
A convertible car seat is a type of car seat that will allow you to mount it as a rear-facing and as a forward-facing seat as your child grows older. They are generally more expensive, but they also will last for years and are a better investment than having to get a rear-facing car seat and then another different one later on when your child is too big to do so.
A lot of car seats nowadays are designed as convertible, but keep an eye on what the model says that you’re interested in purchasing to be sure.
Which Nuna car seat is best?
The NUNA PIPA and PIPA Lite are both rated very highly for ease of use, weight, and crash safety test rating all around. The RAVA is also very popular. The downside to NUNA car seats are the price and the availability, as they can be very hard to find.
How to install a car seat?
Installing car seats varies by brand, some are as easy as threading the seatbelt through a channel and the car seat will tighten everything for you without any blood, sweat, or tears – while others need a LATCH system, or require you to use their own adapters.
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