Are Baby Car Seats Universal

No, not all car seat bases are universal. When choosing a car seat base, it is vital to check and double-check that the base is compatible with your car seat make and model. It’s important to know that even when you choose a safe brand, models can be made from different materials and have slightly different safety features.

When choosing a car seat base, it is vital to check and double-check that the base is compatible with your car seat make and model.

New parents often think that all car seat bases are universal. This is generally not true. It is important to check and double-check that the base is compatible with your car seat make and model. In general, the car seat base for a particular brand of car seats will only fit that brand.

A car seat base, which is sometimes referred to as a car seat stroller, is a unique accessory that adds convenience to your car seat. There are all sorts of great features found on a car seat base. One of the most important questions is – are all car seat bases universal? The short answer is no, a car seat base is not universal. For it to work, the base must be compatible with the model of the car seat you have.

The base of your baby’s car seat can be a vital accessory for making your child’s car journey safer and more convenient. Some car seat bases are universal and compatible with all or most models of car seats, while others are only suitable for certain makes and models. When choosing a base, it is important to check carefully to make sure it will fit your seat as well as the type of vehicle you drive.

Many of today’s car seats are designed to fit into multiple vehicles, yet not all car seat bases are universal. This means a car seat base made for one brand will not necessarily accommodate a different brand.

If your baby is traveling in different vehicles, you have three options. You can buy multiple car seats, remove and swap the base every time you move between cars, or buy an extra car seat base for each set of wheels.

An extra car seat base is both the easiest and the most cost-effective of these choices.

We looked at all the top car set bases to determine which ones are safe, simple to use, and easy on the budget, so you won’t get stuck with a model that causes you frustration. Plus, we have the answers to all your car seat base questions.

Favorites

#1. Chicco KeyFit Infant – Top-Rated Infant Car Seat Base

Chicco KeyFit Infant - Top-Rated Infant Car Seat Base

For years now, an inconclusive battle has been going on between the Graco SnugRide Lite base and the Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base for the title of the market’s top-seller.

While the Graco base has more customer ratings, Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat is generally more popular.

All I can say is that whichever base you choose, you can’t go wrong, but let’s see what Chicco has to offer.

This infant car seat base is adjustable with Chicco KeyFit, KeyFit 30, KeyFit 30 Zip, KeyFit 30 Air, and KeyFit 30 Magic. All these seats are rear-facing only, also compatible with Chicco strollers.

Chicco infant car seat base has two bubble level indicators and a spring-assisted leveling foot that enable perfect installation with minimum effort. Graco base also has the level indicators but no leveling foot.

One innovative feature that makes this base truly exquisite is the Center-Pull Latch Adjustment that guarantees effortless and 100% accurate installation from either side of the car.

The only detail that could stop you from buying this base is the price tag, given that this is the most expensive mainstream car seat base on the market.Pros

  • Center-Pull Latch System
  • Leveling Foot
  • Bubble Indicators
  • Compatible with many models
  • Safe

Cons

  • Ultra-expensive

BUY ON AMAZON


#2. BRITAX Car Seat Base – High-Quality Infant Car Seat Base

BRITAX Car Seat Base - High-Quality Infant Car Seat Base

Britax is another superstar on the car seat market with high-quality, durable, and indisputably safe products.

With that in mind, choosing an infant car seat from their offer will help you sleep peacefully, knowing you bought the best for your little one.

This BRITAX infant car seat base is suitable for Britax B Safe 35, B Safe 35 Elite, B Safe Ultra, and B Safe Endeavours.

It weighs 9.4 pounds, which puts it on the heavier end of the market, and measures 21.5 x 13.75 x 7.5 inches.

However, before you walk away from this car seat base, let me assure you it exhibits a tone of super-functional features that compensate for the heavyweight design.

For example, the base has impact-absorbing properties, push-button LATCH connectors, and built-in belt lock-offs for effortless installation.

Additionally, there are two level indicators and a recline system that is spring-loaded to make sure you installed the base at the perfect angle.

The base is made of steel and plastic, being thus durable and impact-resistant.Pros

  • Compatible with 4models
  • Durable
  • Safe
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • A bit heavy

BUY ON AMAZON


#3. Graco SnugRide Lite – Best for Performance

Graco SnugRide Lite - Best for Performance

Since Graco is one of the market’s favored brands, their car seat base naturally lived up to the same glory.

Graco SnugRide Lite is the best-selling car seat base on Amazon with more than 1400 customer ratings, predominantly 5-stars.

This base measures 21 x 14 x 8 inches and perfectly fits Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 and 35 LX infant car seats. It is made of a combination of metal and plastic parts; therefore, it is very durable and non-toxic.

What I find very convenient about this infant car seat base is the LATCH system that allows easy attachment.

At the same time, level indicators help you determine the perfect angle to set the seat base up.

Also, the integrated belt lock-off certainly assists the seat belt installation along with the 4-position adjustment.

This model comes in black color, it weighs 5.84 pounds and allows the car seat to perform all the integrated functions into its design.

The only negative comment I came upon is that some customers received the base without the red snap that is crucial for belt-tightening.

However, when summed up, these customers don’t make 1% of the total reviews, so make sure you order the seat from a reliable provider.Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Level indicators
  • LATCH (easy attachment)

Cons

  • It fits only two car seat, models

BUY ON AMAZON


#4. Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base – The Most Reliable Brand

Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base - The Most Reliable Brand

When you’re in search of a reliable product, you are usually relying on brands with a long history on the market, right?

Well, Evenflo is more than one hundred years in the industry, improving and changing to provide only the safest child restraint systems for your baby. Take this LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base, for example.

It not only exceeded the federal safety standards but was additionally tested for side-impact protection, making sure your seat, and consequently, your baby remain intact.

In addition to this, the seat base includes a set of safety features such as SureSafe installation with a QuickConnector for accurate LATCH installation and latch guides.

The base measures 23 x 14 x 7 inches and weighs 5.7 pounds, but it was built and tested for structural integrity at energy levels higher than the federal crash standards.

Finally, it is only compatible with Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seats, but if you own more than one vehicle or your child spends a lot of time with grandparents, it’s smart to have two bases for the most convenient transfer of the seat.Pros

  • Reliable manufacturer
  • A set of safety features
  • Side impact protection
  • Latch connectors
  • Latch guides

Cons

  • It fits only one car seat, model

BUY ON AMAZON


#5. UPPAbaby MESA Base – Best Stability & Installation

UPPAbaby MESA Base - Best Stability & Installation

Why should you choose the UPPAbaby MESA car seat base?

Well, I find it exceptional as the car seat base has an innovative and secure installation system.

As you might see, the base includes the auto-retracted mini LATCH connectors. These are combined with a green or red tension, indicating parents whether you install it correctly or you have to start over.

You will also love it, and it has a specific, smooth and soft bottom part so that it won’t damage your vehicle’s seat or car interior. So, you can use it more robustly, and it will be a perfect travel companion.

Moreover, I like it due to its durable and sturdy materials.

The seat provides metal construction and frame with certain plastic parts. So, it won’t crack or break too soon, even in car accidents. Thus, it will be reliable.

Of course, the infant car seat base is universal, and it fits all MESA infant car seats. And, you will find 21.3 x 14.5 x 10.3 inches of its proportions. So, it will match your car interior.

However, the base does not come with the infant carrier, and you have to obtain it separately.Pros

  • Easy to use and install
  • Durable
  • Safe

Cons

  • /

BUY ON AMAZON


#6. Doona Latch Car Seat Base – Maximum Safety Features

Doona Latch Car Seat Base - Maximum Safety Features

You know how Doona never lets us down, right? The same goes this time with its car seat base.

Honestly, it’s one of the best models due to its safety system.

You know that the Doona car seat has maximum safety features. Well, the base meets and exceeds all FMVSS and other safety regulations too. So nothing wrong can happen to your kid.

In addition, the car seat base is promising since it includes a one-click tight installation system.

Its LATCH attachment points signal that you placed and set it up correctly. But, you can easily reinstall or uninstall it when moving it around or maneuver as you like, which is a big plus.

Another great benefit is the height adjustment mechanism.

Again, it works for you, offering an easy-to-read level indicator with a proper installation angle and an easy releasing process. So, you can keep your baby’s correct body posture, as both seat and base follow their needs.

However, I’m also fond of it due to the integrated belt locking clips for a snug and stable vehicle belt installation and proper placement.

Besides, the indicator will show you if you have installed it adequately.Pros

  • Quick setup
  • Durable
  • Flexible

Cons

  • /

BUY ON AMAZON


#7. Britax Gen2 Infant Car Seat Base – Best Protection Technology

Britax Gen2 Infant Car Seat Base - Best Protection Technology

The advanced generation of Britax infant car seat bases will win your heart, and it offers an extraordinary setup process.

You’ll be thrilled to know that the ground has the famous SafeCenter LATCH installation options.

So, you can install and place it correctly in three easy steps.

First, you just have to attach the lower anchors, pull the straps and tighten them properly, and finally, click the carrier into the base. Once you hear a click sound, you’ll know the setup is finished correctly.

Of course, same as with the car seat, the Britax car seat base offers maximum safety benefits and the best protection for your little one.

I adore it due to its SafeCell crumple zone and reinforced high-strength steel frame. So, the base cannot crack or break, regardless of car accident types and crashes. As a result, your baby will be intact, which is perfect.

For more comfort and better body posture, the base offers an easy-to-read level indicator with a spring recline system for proper angle placement and better installation. So, it will adjust to your baby’s growth.

Finally, we love it, as the base fits all Britax infant car seats.Pros

  • Durable
  • Reliable
  • Easy to install
  • Stable

Cons

  • Might be heavy

BUY ON AMAZON


#8. Safety 1st OnBoard 35 – The Best Budget-Pick

Safety 1st OnBoard 35 - The Best Budget-Pick

Safety 1st is my go-to brand when I’m looking for budget-friendly car seat models.

Their infant car seat is extremely popular among the savers, and it’s not a surprise given that they make high-quality seats for more than affordable prices.

If you happen to have their rear-facing Onboard 35 infant car seat, don’t hesitate to buy an extra base for a convenient switch between the vehicles.

What makes this base fantastic are the two recline positions that put you in control of the position your little one will be driving in.

Many adjustable car seats don’t have an adjustable base; therefore, while you can recline the seat, the base remains at the same position creating an overall uncomfortable angle.

The base is LATCH-equipped and takes no more than a couple of minutes to install and connect with the suitable car seat.

It weighs 6 pounds, but the seat is very lightweight, so the entire construction is below the average weight for an infant car seat.Pros

  • Affordable
  • Two recline positions
  • LATCH-equipped
  • Overall lightweight

Cons

  • The bottom buckle is oversized

BUY ON AMAZON


#9. Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32 – Great for Non-Latch Vehicles

Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32 - Great for Non-Latch Vehicles

If you happen to own the Baby Trend EZ Flec-Loc 32 infant car seat, here is an additional base you can buy to make the transfer of the car seat from one car to another easier.

This infant car seat base is a height-adjustable, easy to install base with an extended foot for easier angle adjustment.

You can adjust the height between four positions simply by pushing a button, which is a feature unseen by now.

Next off, this base is compliant with the LATCH connection system, but it can also be used in vehicles that are NON-LATCH compliant. In these vehicles, you can install the car seat base with a seat belt.

When it comes to the specifications, the base measures 22.8 x 15.2 x 7.5 inches and weighs 6.5 pounds, being a mid-ranger weight-wise.

However, this product is also a mid-ranger when it comes to the price, which is probably the reason why it gained such a high number of positive customer ratings. (750+)

The only complaint I was able to find is that the manufacturer did not provide a manual for the installment, even though the instructions on the base say to refer to the manual.Pros

  • Mid-range price
  • Compliant with the non-LATCH vehicles
  • Easy installment
  • Not too heavy

Cons

  • Could arrive without the manual

BUY ON AMAZON


#10. Peg Perego Base Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat – Best Flexibility and Versatility

Peg Perego Base Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat - Best Flexibility and Versatility

Don’t skip the outstanding Peg Perego model if you want an ideal car seat base.

Firstly, it will astonish you since it provides maximum stability once you place and install it in your vehicle.

You will see the right-tight system technology that offers secure and easy locking benefits, so the base and seat won’t move around while on the road.

In addition, we love the base as it offers a perfect travel system.

The base is universal, fitting your Peg Perego stroller, and it comes without adapters. So you don’t need them, and you can find the attachment points for installation.

Another big plus is the upgraded and reinforced anti-rebound bar, which works exceptionally well in a car collision and offers supreme protection and security.

Also, you can install it correctly with the color-coded seat belt paths and rout the belts properly.

However, the three-zone level indicator and infinite recline options add better angles and follow your kid’s growth better.

Additionally, the car seat base will be smooth and gentle to your car interior and car seat cover or upholstery.

Its bottom part is made of modern design with a rounded-shaped bottom part.Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to use
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Tricky setup process

BUY ON AMAZON


#11. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 – The Best Base with an Anti-Rebound Bar

Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 - The Best Base with an Anti-Rebound Bar

Another contestant in the race for the most popular infant car seat is the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30.

This car seat is extremely popular for its high-quality design, unmatched safety features, and functional system.

This base from Maxi-Cosi is suitable for Mico Max 30, Mico 30, Mico NXT, and Mico AP infant car seats. It measures 22.8 x 16.8 x 8 inches and weighs 9.9 pounds, being on the heavier side of the market along with the Britax B Safe 35 base.

It includes integrated LATCH connectors for easy installation and an anti-rebound bar for additional safety.

Plus, the base is adjustable, so you can create a customized fit every time and perfectly install it in any vehicle.

While the seat is available in many color combinations, the base comes only in black, so if you care about aesthetic details, make sure you choose the color that goes well with black.

Overall, this base is very expensive. I personally find it a bit overpriced, yet when we take the entire seat into consideration, I can see the logic behind the price tag.

As for the negative reviews, customers complained about the cumbersome design of the base, claiming it doesn’t fit every car and makes the installation complicated.Pros

  • Adjustable
  • LATCH connectors
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Safety features

Cons

  • Enormous
  • Expensive

BUY ON AMAZON


Buyer’s Guide for Extra Car Seat Base

As a parent buying an infant car seat for the first time, you might be wondering why do you need a car seat base in the first place.

Well, infant car seats were designed to facilitate the everyday routine for the new parents.

Instead of buying an infant carrier, stroller, and car seat, you can buy baby car seats that come with detachable car seat bases and have three products in one: an infant seat, a carrier, and a cradle for your travel system/stroller.

The whole point of the car seat base is to enable you to quickly install the seat and just as easily detach it when you’re not driving so that you can carry your baby around.

So what are the features your base should have to allow such functioning?

1. ISOFIX System

best graco car seat base

A concept often heard in the world of car seat bases is the ISOFIX system, but not every parent knows what this means.

Long story short, the ISOFIX system is the unique, internationally-approved standard for the installation of the car seat that allows you to lock the car seat between the two metal clips of your vehicle’s seat.

So, it is great for your base to have the ISOFIX system.


2. LATCH

Next off, your base should have the LATCH clips so as to enable the installation with the LATCH.

On the other hand, if you happen to own a vehicle that does not support the LATCH system, carefully check if you can install the seat or the base without it.

One great model of the car seat base, in this case, is the Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32.


3. Safety

The integral feature you need to pay attention to is the safety features.

The base, just like the car seat, needs to comply with federal safety standards and also needs to have side-impact protective properties.

The best car seat base is additionally tested for impact absorption.

best car seat without base

4. Easy to Install

To install the base perfectly every time, look for a base with a bubble indicator or some other form of level indicators to help you set the base up at the right angle.

Some bases have the belt guide, a stability leg, multiple recline positions, but these are not essential.

They are only additions that definitely make the installation easier, yet, you will be able to install the seat correctly without them.


5. Weight Limit

Finally, check the base for a weight limit; it should be as high as possible (usually up to 30-40 pounds), while the base itself shouldn’t weigh more than 9 pounds.

PreviewProductRatingPrice
Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base – Anthracite*$99.99Buy on Amazon
Britax Infant Car Seat Base*$129.99Buy on Amazon
Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base, Black*$59.99Buy on Amazon
Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base, Easy to Install, Versatile and Convenient, Meets All…$71.99$50.49Buy on Amazon
UPPAbaby MESA Base*$139.00Buy on Amazon
Doona Latch Car Seat Base*$149.00Buy on Amazon
Britax Gen2 Infant Car Seat Base with SafeCenter Latch Install – Compatible with All Britax…$129.99Buy on Amazon
Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Adjustable Infant Car Seat Base, Black*$49.99Buy on Amazon
Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32 Infant Car Seat Base, Black*$49.99Buy on Amazon
Peg Perego Base Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat, Grey*$119.99Buy on Amazon
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Stand-Alone Additional Infant Car Seat Base, Black, One Size*$99.99Buy on Amazon

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are car seat bases good for?

Basically, you need a car seat base only while your child is restrained in an infant car seat.

The convertible car seats do not have bases, as well as other systems that children use as they grow older.

Therefore, the estimated use of the car seat base is approximately one, eventually two years, if you manage to keep your child rear-facing longer.


What is the best Graco car seat base?

The best Graco car seat base is the Graco SnugRide Lite base.


Is there a universal car seat base?

Unfortunately NO. Even If you happen to find a base that fits multiple models of infant car seats, I would never use it because it has not been tested with that model, in particular. 

Each model of infant car seat is tested with a specific base; using some other base that is not federally approved for that seat is dangerous and against recommendations.


Are car seats with bases safer?

Yes, they are, no matter whether you’re using regular seat belts or LATCH (ISOFIX) systems.

They provide more stability, and the indicators show whether you installed them correctly for balanced and immovable rides.


Do all infant car seats come with a base?

best baby car seat base

YES, infant car seats include a base, unless it’s a convertible that comes with a newborn insert so it can accommodate an inborn.


Can you put a car seat in without the base?

Yes, you CAN. Car seats either use a LATCH system or a car seatbelt for installment; either way, a seat base is not mandatory for the correct installation.

The LATCH system is more popular nowadays for it’s less effort-consuming.


Can you use KeyFit 30 without the base?

Yes, you can use it without the base as well.

But, you have to follow the secure installation process and check the LATCH or vehicle seat belt connectors for maximum stability and fixation.


Do you use a seatbelt with a car seat base?

Yes, if you don’t have LATCH connectors. Some bases offer both options, while others might provide only one.

So, you can use either regular car seat belts or lower anchors and tethers for children.

Final Thoughts

To sum everything up, before choosing the best car seat bases, make sure it has a bubble indicator, the LATCH system, easy installation, and potentially useful additions such as multiple recline positions or the stability leg.

In this article, I singled out the most popular bases from Evenflo, Baby Trend, Chicco, Britax, Graco, etc.

I don’t deny there are other popular brands such as Primo Viaggio, UppaBaby Mesa, or Nuna Pipa, yet the statistics say Chicco’s KeyFit 30, Britax B Safe, and Graco SnugRide SnugLock are Amazon’s bestsellers.

If you want the best base for your car seat, you should definitely opt for the Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base as the best overall.

It shows top safety benefits, maximum strength, and the best installation for maximum stability. Finally, it will keep your little one intact in car collisions.

It’s superb, and you shouldn’t skip it!

Are All Car Seat Bases The Same

If you switch a lot between vehicles or your child spends a lot of time at grandparents’, I suggest you buy an extra car seat base.

Additional car seat base can make the transfer of the car seat between the vehicles a breeze since you don’t have to detach the entire system every time, but simply take the seat out and put it in the base of the other vehicle.

I have composed a list of the 11 best car seat bases that are compatible with the market’s most popular infant car seatsso check it out!

Table of Contents [show]Top 3 RecommendationsEditor’s Choices

Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base - Anthracite*

Britax Infant Car Seat Base*

Best Selling

Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base, Black*

Product NameChicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base – Anthracite*Britax Infant Car Seat Base*Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base, Black*Price$99.99$129.99$59.99PrimeCustomer’s RatingBest FeatureTop-Rated Infant Car Seat BaseHigh-Quality Infant Car Seat BaseBest for PerformanceBuy on AmazonBuy on Amazon

we have the answers to all your car seat base questions.

Our Top Picks

We love honesty! Mom Loves Best earns a commission through the following hand-picked links at no extra cost to you.ImageModelFeatures

Product Image of the Clek Liing Infant Car Seat Base

Best for Narrow VehiclesClek Liing Infant Car Seat Base

  • Reduces crash forces by 40%
  • Space-saving design
  • Seatbelt or latch system installation

Check Price

Product Image of the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat Base with Load Leg, Black

Best AdjustablePeg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat Base

  • Adjustable to child’s weight
  • Correct seat attachment indicators
  • Can be installed with a seatbelt

Check Price

Product Image of the Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base, Black

Most DurableGraco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base

  • Graco infant car seats compatible
  • Affordable for multiple vehicles
  • Seatbelt or lap belt installation

Check Price

Product Image of the Stokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat Base, Black - Effortless Installation - for Babies...

Best for Non-Vehicle OwnersStokke PIPA By Nuna Car Seat Base

  • Correct installation indicators
  • Less than 10 sec installation
  • Safer than no base car seat

Check Price

Product Image of the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Stand-Alone Additional Infant Car Seat Base, Black, One...

Easiest to CleanMaxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Stand-Alone Car Seat Base

  • Easy cleaning
  • Three angles of adjustment
  • Integrated latch belts

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Product Image of the Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Adjustable Infant Car Seat Base, Black

Most AffordableSafety 1st OnBoard Adjustable 35 LT Car Seat Base

  • Adjustable to five positions
  • Fits a range of car seats
  • Easy to install

Check Price

Product Image of the Cybex SafeLock Base, Black

Safest Car Seat BaseCybex Safelock Car Seat Base

  • Height adjustable load leg
  • Reduces rebound & crash forces
  • Correct reclining level indicator

Check PriceTable of Contents

How to Choose the Best Car Seat Bases

This is a list of things to consider when choosing a car seat base. We checked each car seat against this list for our reviews.

Safety Icon

Safety

Compatibility Icon

Compatibility

Budget Icon

Budget

Ease of Cleaning Icon

Ease of Cleaning

Ease of Installation Icon

Ease of Installation

Latch System Icon

Latch System

Durability Icon

Durability

Weight Limit Icon

Weight Limit

https://5c5c638b0a93211b01777c8e17daed63.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The Best Car Seat Bases of 2022

Considering these criteria, online reviews, and our own experiences, these are our top seven choices for car seat bases.

1. Clek Liing Infant Car Seat Base

Best for Narrow Vehicles

Product Image of the Clek Liing Infant Car Seat BaseCheck Price

Compatible with both Clek infant seats, the Liing and the Liingo models, this car seat base has seven recline positions. This allows you to angle the car seat in a position that’s safest for your baby’s airways, no matter the angle of your vehicle’s seat.

A rigid LATCH system makes it easier to make the connections between base and car, and a bubble level on the base lets you see when it is in the correct, safe position.

For those who do not have a vehicle with LATCH or find it challenging to use, you can also install the base using a regular seatbelt. For this installation, the base has a belt tensioning system that’s especially easy for those with limited hand strength.

Then you can adjust the seat within the base to ensure younger babies are reclined at an optimal 40 to 45-degree angle.

The narrow design is ideal for smaller cars, maximizing the room available for other passengers. If your family needs more than one infant seat, the Clek base is small enough that you can fit three in a row across the back seat.

Pros

  • Metal load leg reduces crash forces by up to 40%.
  • Space-saving design for narrow vehicles.
  • Installs with seatbelt or LATCH system.

Cons

  • Budget busting — the most expensive seat on our list.

Additional Specs

Compatible withClek Liing or Liingo car seats
Size22.6 x 13.2 x 8 inches
Installation aidsRigid LATCH and self-tensioning seatbelt system
Child SpecsWeight: 4–35 pounds Length: Up to 32 inches
https://5c5c638b0a93211b01777c8e17daed63.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

2. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat Base

Best Adjustable

Product Image of the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat Base with Load Leg, BlackCheck Price

The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido car seat base has a built-in anti-rebound bar designed for additional safety in the event of a crash. In addition, the base has a load leg that folds out from under it. The leg extends until its foot sits on the car floor.

This load leg and anti-rebound bar combo provide extra reassurance that your child will be safer, no matter what vehicle they are riding in.

On the upper face of the Peg Perego base, you will see a level with an air bubble next to a sticker. The sticker lists three weight ranges:

  • 4 to 11 pounds
  • 12 to 22 pounds
  • 23 to 32 pounds

At the opposite end of the base to the sticker and level, there’s a large grey plastic knob.

To set the base, choose your child’s weight range. Then twist the knob until the level’s bubble sits next to the correct weight range on the sticker. You will then have the base at the right angle for your baby’s weight, minimizing the chances of them sitting too upright.

Pros

  • Easy to adjust according to your child’s weight.
  • Indicators show when the seat is correctly attached to the base.
  • Can be installed with a vehicle’s seatbelt.

Cons

  • At the longer end of the base size range.

Additional Specs

Compatible withPrimo Viaggio 4/35 and Primo Viaggio 4/35 Nido
Size21 x 14.75 x 7 inches
Installation aidsTwist knob and level
Child SpecsWeight: 4–35 pounds Length: Up to 32 inches

3. Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base

Best Durable

Product Image of the Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat Base, BlackCheck Price

Like most car seat bases, it’s easier to install the Graco SnugRide Lite base with the seatbelt in some vehicle makes and the LATCH system in others.

Even with the same car manufacturer, you may find that different models or trimmer levels of the same model are easier to install using the LATCH system, while others are easier to install using the seatbelt.

Consequently, if you find yourself struggling with the LATCH install, consider trying out the seatbelt install and visa-versa.

The downside of this affordable, easy-to-install car seat base is that it can be tricky to remove. This isn’t a big deal if you intend for the base to sit permanently in a vehicle. However, if you remove the base on a regular or semi-regular basis, it is a real pain to detach from the LATCH system.

Pros

  • Compatible with all Graco infant car seats.
  • Affordable option for multiple vehicles.
  • Easy to install with seatbelt or lap belt.

Cons

  • It can be tricky to remove from the LATCH system.
  • Car seats have a looser feel in this base than in the original base.

Additional Specs

Compatible withAny Graco infant car seat model
Size21 x 14 x 8 inches
Installation aidsLevel indicator
Child SpecsWeight: 4–35 pounds Length: Up to 32 inches

4. Stokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat Base

Best Non-Vehicle Owners

Product Image of the Stokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat Base, Black - Effortless Installation - for Babies...Check Price

Not everyone owns a vehicle. Some of us choose to use co-op cars, Uber, or taxicabs, or we hire cars when the need arises. The downside to this is that when you do use a vehicle, you need a safe way of transporting your baby.

If you don’t own a car but spend a reasonable amount of time in various vehicles, this car seat base is one of the best options for you.

The Stokke Pipa by Nuna car seat base uses their True Lock installation system. This system consists of a small arm that unfolds on each side of the base. When extended, the arms click quickly into a vehicle’s LATCH system, and you’re good to go.

Removing the base is just as easy, with the press of a button on each True Lock arm.

Although you can use the Stokke Pipa by Nuna car seat without the base, you have an additional layer of safety when using the base because it has a stability leg that minimizes rotation in the event of a crash.

Pros

  • Side indicators turn green when installation is correct.
  • Super quick installation — less than 10 seconds.
  • Safer than using the car seat without a base.

Cons

  • More expensive than most bases.
  • Fits with only one car seat model.

Additional Specs

Compatible withStokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat
Size25.8 x 13.5 x 8.6 inches
Installation aidsDual bubble level indicators and a “Green for Go” indicator
Child SpecsWeight: 4–32 pounds

5. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Stand-Alone Car Seat Base

Best Easy to Clean

Product Image of the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Stand-Alone Additional Infant Car Seat Base, Black, One...Check Price

This model from Maxi-Cosi is a good, solid option for a spare car seat base. It has few dips, nooks, and crannies in which dirt and detritus can hide. This is especially helpful if you have other kids riding in the back when the baby’s car seat is not in place.

You would be amazed at the amount of food, snacks, sand, mud, tiny toys, and other items your older kids can lose or deposit in a car seat base when the car seat is not there!

When the car seat base does get dirty, you can wipe it down with a soft cloth and warm, soapy water. If you have time, dry the base off, but if you don’t, no worries, the base will quickly air dry.

There are three angles at which you can set the base, which is installed with integrated LATCH belts or your vehicle’s seatbelts. If you use the LATCH belts, they come out of the base, thread through the belt loops, and into your vehicle’s anchor points.

Pros

  • Smooth contours for easy cleaning.
  • Three angles of adjustment.
  • Integrated LATCH belts.

Cons

  • Only two hooks hold the seat in the base.
  • There are no installation aids such as built-in levels.

Additional Specs

Compatible withMico Max 30, Mico 30, Mico Nxt, and Mico AP car seats
Size22.8 x 16.8 x 8 inches
Installation aidsNone
Child SpecsWeight: 4–30 pounds Height: 19 to 30 inches

6. Safety 1st OnBoard Adjustable 35 LT Car Seat Base

Best Affordable

Product Image of the Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT Adjustable Infant Car Seat Base, BlackCheck Price

Before buying an item for our kids, we like to ensure it is compatible with the other baby equipment we own. This could be an issue when considering the Safety 1st OnBoard 35LT car seat base. The information on the internet is not consistent.

It took a great deal of research, but after contacting the manufacturer, we can confirm this car seat base is compatible with Safety 1st OnBoard 22, OnBoard 35 LT, Light n Comfy 22, Light n Comfy 35, SureFit 35 LT, and the OnBoard 35 FLX.

While we know the anchor system meets federal standards, it still appears to be more flimsy than the anchor systems on other seat bases. However, apart from that, we like this car seat base as it is the most affordable on our list, easy to install, and sturdy.

Pros

  • Base adjustable to five positions.
  • Fits a range of car seats.

Cons

  • The anchor system looks flimsy.
  • No installation aids.

Additional Specs

Compatible withSafety 1st OnBoard 22, OnBoard 35 LT, Light n Comfy 22, Light n Comfy 35, SureFit 35 LT, OnBoard 35 FLX, and the Cosco Light N Comfy Elite
Size23.7 x 8.5 x 16 inches
Installation aidsNone
Child SpecsWeight: 4–30 pounds Length: up to 30 inches

7. Cybex Safelock Car Seat Base

Safest Car Seat Base

Product Image of the Cybex SafeLock Base, BlackCheck Price

The anti-rebound design of the Cybex car seat base reduces the distance your car seat can move toward the back of the vehicle if you are unfortunate enough to crash.

There are two indicators on the front of the base, the end nearest to the front seats. One changes to green when the car seat has been appropriately locked into the base, and the other turns green when the load leg is correctly installed.

The height-adjustable load leg moves crash forces away from your baby by carrying them — the forces, not your baby — to the floor of the car. However, one piece of information that isn’t clearly listed is that you cannot use the load leg on a floor with a hollow space under it.

Consequently, if you have, for example, a minivan with stow-and-go seats or other storage in front of the rear seats, the load leg cannot be used.

The dual-level indicator shows you if you have the correct reclining angle, and a belt tension system makes safe, secure installation a breeze.

Pros

  • Height adjustable load leg.
  • Reduces car seat rebound and crash forces.

Cons

  • Expensive — as costly as some car seat and base combos.
  • Only compatible with one car seat.
  • The load leg cannot be used above hollow floors.

Additional Specs

Compatible withCybex Anton M
Size26 x 17.3 x 22.25 inches
Installation aidsDual-level indicators, load leg installation indicator.
Child SpecsWeight: 4–35 pounds Length: up to 30 inches

Car Seat Base Comparison Chart

ProductBestCompatible withSizeInstallation aidsChild Specs
Clek Liing Infant Car Seat BaseBest for Narrow VehiclesClek Liing or Liingo car seats22.6 x 13.2 x 8″Rigid LATCH & self-tensioning seatbelt systemWt: 4–35 lbs Lgth: < 32″
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Nido Car Seat BaseBest AdjustablePrimo Viaggio 4/35 & Primo Viaggio 4/35 Nido21 x 14.75 x 7″Twist knob & levelWt: 4–35 lbs Lgth: < 32″
Graco SnugRide Lite Infant Car Seat BaseBest DurableAny Graco infant car seat model21 x 14 x 8″Level indicatorWt: 4–35 lbs Lgth: < 32″
Stokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat BaseBest Non-Vehicle OwnersStokke PIPA x Nuna Car Seat25.8 x 13.5 x 8.6″Dual bubble level indicators & a “Green for Go” indicatorWt: 4–32 lbs
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Stand-Alone Car Seat BaseBest Easy to CleanMico Max 30, Mico 30, Mico Nxt, & Mico AP car seats22.8 x 16.8 x 8″NoneWt: 4–30 lbs Ht: 19–30″
Safety 1st OnBoard Adjustable 35 LT Car Seat BaseBest AffordableSafety 1st OnBoard 22, OnBoard 35 LT, Light n Comfy 22, Light n Comfy 35, SureFit 35 LT, OnBoard 35 FLX, & the Cosco Light N Comfy Elite23.7 x 8.5 x 16″NoneWt: 4–30 lbs Lgth: < 30″
Cybex Safelock Car Seat BaseSafest Car Seat BaseCybex Anton M26 x 17.3 x 22.25″Dual-level indicators, load leg installation indicator.Wt: 4–35 lbs Lgth: < 30″

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