Rear-Facing Only (Infant) Seats

Infant seats, also called bucket seats or rear-facing only seats, have a stay-in-car base with a removable ‘bucket’ that allows for quick in and out of the vehicle. Most seats can also be installed baseless. Additional bases can be purchased for other vehicles, and multiple strollers are designed to accommodate infant seats.

Infant seats are installed rear facing only, and can fit babies up to 22lbs, 30lbs, 32lbs, or 35lbs depending on the model. The higher weight seats typically also last longer by height. It depends very much on the child whether they will outgrow a seat first by height or by weight. Taller or heavier babies may very well be out of the 22lb seats by as early as 4 or 5 months; shorter and lighter children may still fit in the 35lb seats at 2 years. If that seems like a long time to you – well, current recommendations are to rear face as long as possible, well beyond age 2 if you can. This article explains the how and why of that!

Some seats come with the harness adjuster at the baby’s feet (called front adjust) and a few with the harness adjuster at the back of the seat (called rear adjust). If you can source a front adjust model — and there’s one on this list for around $100 — you will be glad you did. Rear adjust seats, when used properly, are just as safe as front adjust, but because it’s harder to use properly every time, it increases the chance of misuse.

It is not necessary to use an infant seat from birth – some infant/child seats do fit newborns well. If you are expecting a small baby, especially a preemie, an infant seat is preferred as it does tend to fit better. More information on infant/child seats, and which ones fit newborns, here.

Please note that the in-car handle position varies from model to model, and for different years of the same seat. Always consult your manual to be sure.

If you are buying online consider purchasing from Amazon.ca; a small portion of the purchase cost is directed to our donation fund at no extra cost to you.

In no particular order…

Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 – read our review here

  • ~$280 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca
  • 4-35 lbs or 32″ tall
  • very light weight
  • narrow base with straight sides making it a good choice for tight seating situations
  • some ‘trim levels’ come with a lock-off on the base, harness pads, and other padding
  • fits small babies very well
  • expires 7 years from date of manufacture
  • NOTE: Many other SnugRide-labelled seats are available with a variety of trim levels and slight variations in features. In most cases any currently available Graco seat with SnugRide in the name will be a good option. One exception is a 30lb limit rear-adjust SnugRide 30 seat; not unsafe, but significantly harder to use than front-adjust seats.

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 / SnugRide SnugLock 35 DLXGraco SnugRide Snuglock 35

  • ~$280 – $330 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca
  • 4-35 lbs or 32″ tall
  • very light weight
  • narrow base with straight sides making it a good choice for tight seating situations
  • SnugLock arm on the base makes for a simple install
  • all ‘trim levels’ come with harness pads, and infant body support padding; DLX also comes with head support padding and premium push on UAS connectors
  • fits small babies very well
  • expires 7 years from date of manufacture
  • Note: Also available is the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 which has a weight limit of 30 lbs and a height limit of 30″ (~$240 at Babies R Us). The SnugLock 30 comes with harness pads and newborn head & body support padding.

Safety 1st OnBoard 35 LT / OnBoard 35 AirSafety 1st OnBoard 35 Air

  • ~$140 – 220 at Walmart, BestBuy, Babies R Us, Amazon
  • 4-35 lbs or 29″ tall
  • light weight
  • narrow base with straight sides making it a good choice for tight seating situations
  • fits small babies very well
  • weight based recline indicator; the seat must be installed more upright for a child weighing 11 lbs +
  • expires in 6 years
  • Note: The Safety 1st OnBoard is also available as part of a travel system paired with a stroller. Some of those travel systems come with the OnBoard 22 NOT the 35 LT or 35 Air. The OnBoard 22 has a weight limit of 22 lbs and a height limit of 29″. 

Cosco Light N Comfy Elicosco light n comfyte

  • ~$115 at Walmart, BestBuy, Amazon.ca
  • 4-22 lbs or 29″ tall
  • light weight
  • most user-friendly front-adjust seat around $100 (others in this price range are rear-adjust – avoid a rear-adjust seat if at all possible)
  • narrow base with straight sides making it a good choice for tight seating situations
  • fits small babies very well
  • expires in 6 years

Chicco KeyFit 30chicco keyfit 30

  • ~$330 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Best Buy, and specialty stores
  • 4-30 lbs or 30″ tall
  • very simple base installation with UAS (latch) design
  • built in lock-off for lap/shoulder belts
  • very narrow base with straight sides making it a good choice for tight seating situations
  • fits small babies very well
  • lock-off for seat belt installations
  • expires 6 years from date of manufacture or date of purchase (with original receipt)

Evenflo LiteMax

  • ~$170-$230 at Walmart, Best Buy, Babies R Us, Amazon.ca
  • 4-35 lbs and 32″ tall
  • fits small babies well
  • requires 1.5″ clearance between top edge of seat shell and front vehicle seat
  • lock-off for seat belt installation
  • variety of models include Platinum and SensorSafe options
  • some versions have a load leg
  • expires 6 years from date of manufacture

 

Clek Liing

  • ~$400-$580 at boutique retailers, directly from Clek, or Amazon.ca
  • 4-35 lbs and 32″ tall
  • fits small babies well
  • rigid UAS and load leg
  • lock-off for seat belt installation
  • recline adjusts after base is installed
  • very narrow and compact front to back
  • expires 9 years from date of manufacture