A lightweight car seat is any car seat that weighs less than 25 pounds.
With infant car seats that snap out of the base for easy movement, it is important that they aren’t too heavy for carrying. A lightweight infant car seat carrier is anything that’s less than 12 pounds without the base. The average lightweight infant car seat is around 8 pounds, with the lightest on our list being just 6.5 pounds.
Convertible car seats can be especially heavy due to their design. Although they stay in the vehicle, a good lightweight convertible car seat should be less than 25 pounds. The average weight of convertible car seats is around 18 pounds, but you can find lightweight convertible car seats as light as 11 pounds.
|Best Lightweight Car Seat||Why It's Best||Mom Rating|
|Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat||Weighs 9 lbs; travel system ready; top rated||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Evenflo Nurture DLX Infant Car Seat||Weighs 6.5 lbs; low price; tested for safety||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Maxi-Cosi Mico AP Infant Car Seat||Weighs 8.6 lbs; premium quality; Air Protect cushions||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat||Weighs 21 lbs; stylish design; EPS foam for protection and comfort||♥♥♥♥♥|
|Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat||Weighs 11 lbs; safe; perfect for travel||♥♥♥♥♥|
Best Lightweight Infant Car Seat
My top pick for lightweight infant car seat is the Chicco KeyFit 30. This is the number one rated infant car seat in America according to the Amazon product description. At only nine pounds without the base, this infant seat is easy to maneuver from your vehicle to your stroller. Also, this infant car seat is compatible with Chicco strollers and may be purchased individually or as part of a travel system.
The Chicco infant car seat I purchased for my first child made it through three children before it reached its expiration date. The Chicco brand offers a variety of infant car seat styles to help you pick the right one for your taste and budget. This product is quality, cute and easy to use.
- ReclineSure leveling foot
- RideRight bubble level indicator
- SuperCinch LATCH tightener
- 5 point safety harness
- Fits infants 4 to 30 pounds
Best Lightweight Convertible Car Seat
The Italian brand, Peg Perego, makes fashionable, quality baby products. The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat tops my list for best lightweight convertible car seats. At 21 pounds it weighs less than most other convertible car seats without sacrificing safety or style. Plus, it’s a number one rated convertible car seat!
This child safety seat works from birth up to 65 pounds. This should be the only car seat you will need until your baby becomes a child ready for a booster seat. The Viaggio comes in ten different fabrics to match your personal tastes.
- Can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing
- LATCH attachment
- FAA-Approved for use in airplanes
- EPS head and torso protection
- Removable, washable cover
- Fits children 4 to 65 pounds
Best Lightweight Car Seat by Manufacturer
Evenflo Lightweight Infant and Convertible Car Seats
Evenflo is the top choice for affordability with lightweight child safety seats. Both the infant car seats and convertible car seats are lightweight and reasonability priced. Plus, they’re made in the USA. Evenflo is a great option as a backup car seat or travel car seat. When my children were babies, I frequently traveled to visit family. Instead of flying with a car seat, my mom bought a budget car seat for us to use while we visited. This is a great solution for a parent traveling alone with multiple children.
The carrier is only 6.5 pounds making this a super lightweight choice. The Evenflo Nurture DLX infant car seat fits infants from five to 22 pounds. Don’t let the low price worry you on safety, it meets or exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and Evenflo’s side impact test standard. My only concern would be quality over time with daily use. However, this is the perfect option for occasional use.
The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat is so budget friendly that you could easily purchase this online and have it waiting for you at your travel destination. However, at only 12.1 pounds, this seat is easy to transport. It’s a great backup car seat. Just like with the Evenflo infant car seat, the Tribute LX meets or exceeds all safety standards and has all the standard features of the more expensive brands.
Maxi-Cosi Lightweight Infant and Convertible Car Seat
I like the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP Infant Car Seat because it’s reasonability priced but still ranks well for safety and quality. Unlike the Evenflo child safety seats that I recommend as a travel or second seat option, the Maxi-Cosi Mico AP works for daily use. They even claim to be the lightest premium infant car seat at 8.6lbs.
The seat fits infants 5 to 22 pounds and up to 29 inches in length. The carrier is compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Maxi-Taxi Stroller Frame. Also, the seat has side impact protection and a patented Air Protect cushion system to protect the baby’s head.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat is designed to fit well in your vehicle while offering safety and comfort for your child. And, at just barely over 19 pounds, it qualifies as lightweight. The seat fits children from 9 to 70 pounds. It features side impact protection, three reclining positions, removable seat cover and is LATCH equipped. If you love the Maxi-Cosi infant seat, this is a great next step up.
Baby Trend Lightweight Infant and Convertible Car Seats
Baby Trend offers a selection of lightweight child safety seats. The Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat is a very light option at only 7.7 pounds. The carrier is easy to handle and includes a boot for added comfort. The seat is designed for infants 5 to 30 pounds. This infant seat offers the same quality and safety standard features of the other infant seat brands. The Baby Trend Flex-Loc is compatible with all Baby Trend strollers.
Not only is the Baby Trend Protect Sport Convertible Car Seat lightweight at around 21 pounds, but it looks stylish. I like the color options available, like the pink or the trendy black and white stripe. This car seat is designed for safety with patented side impact head control tested to the strictest international standards. In addition to being lightweight, the headrest is removable to fit better in smaller vehicles.
Best Lightweight Car Seat by Category
Lightweight Infant Car Seats
Graco SnugRide Click Connect Infant Car Seat is described by the manufacturer as ultra-lightweight. As with other infant car seats, this is true of the carrier. It’s only 7 pounds and makes it easy for parents to transition the seat from the car to stroller or home. This child safety seat has all the features we expect from Graco including those for safety, comfort and quality.
Britax is the standard in child safety seats; however, Britax doesn’t usually focus on minimizing the weight or size of their products. Safety is their key component. Britax also offers a high quality standard which means you can expect their products to last. The Britax B Safe-35 infant car seat is not the lightest infant car seat available with the carrier weighing 10 pounds, but it isn’t that much heavier than the eight-pound carriers offered by other brands. This is a solid choice for safety and quality.
With the carrier weighing only 7.9 pounds, the Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air 360 infant car seat offers a solid lightweight option. This highly rated infant seat offers side impact protection and 360 Protect for 5 layers of safety. This model is also designed to fit babies up to 35 pounds where many infant car seats weight limit is lower.
Lightweight Convertible Car Seats
At just 14 pounds, the Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seatis one of the lightest convertible car seats on our list. You can use this car seat in 2 modes: rear facing car seat for babies 5 to 40 pounds, or forward facing car seat for kids 22 to 65 pounds. The best part of this car seat? It’s also a narrow car seat, so you can fit 3 car seat across. That’s thanks to the 19 inch width and the detachable cup holder. Although it’s inexpensive and super light, you still get nice features like plush body pillows, adjustable headrest, and latch connectors.
The Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seatonly weighs 11 pounds. That is very lightweight for a convertible car seat. Cosco is a low-cost brand for child safety seats and doesn’t always offer the longevity of higher end brands. But, this seat is rated for safety and you can feel confident letting your child use this seat. Another feature is the seat allows children to sit rear-facing up to 40 pounds. I recommend this seat for a second vehicle or travel.
It’s no secret that I love Chicco! The Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat only weighs 25 pounds and offers the safety, reliability, quality and style I love about Chicco. Chicco’s are made for quick and easy installation using LATCH technology and dual RideRight bubble indicators. The ReclineSure 9-position leveling system offers an accurate fit in a wider range of vehicles which makes this car seat perfect for travel or use in multiple vehicles.
How to Decide Which Seat is Right for You
Purchasing big ticket items always stresses me out. You want to make the best choice for quality, comfort and safety without totally breaking the bank. However, most people use their car seat multiple times per day for years. For this reason, I think it’s actually smart to spend more on a highly reliable and quality child safety seat.
Also, I think lightweight matters more for infant car seats. You want a carrier that you can confidently carry with your baby inside. I always felt safer moving my baby inside the carrier. This was especially true when I had my dog or other child present along with an armful of shopping bags or baby supplies.
For the convertible car seat, weight shouldn’t matter as much unless you are using it for travel or multiple vehicles. I actually recommend buying a top quality, high-end convertible car seat for your primary vehicle. Then, purchase a budget-friendly convertible car seat for your second vehicle, childcare provider’s vehicle or for travel.
When deciding which car seat to pick, find the one that fits your budget, style and needs. Many options are available in a variety of brands, styles, features and budgets to help you select the perfect lightweight car seat for your child.
We’ve covered other choices in this best infant car seat roundup.
FAQ’s About the Lightest Weight Car Seats
What is the safest infant car seat in 2020?
Again, opinions vary, but there are four that seem to fall near the top of every list. They are:
- Graco Snugride Click Connect 35
- Chicco Keyfit 30
- Chicco Fit2 35
- Britax B-Safe 35 Ultra
What brand of car seat has the best safety rating?
Car seats are made for safety, so most any new car seat, if installed properly, is safe. Though opinions (as to which are the best brands for safety) vary, Chicco, Graco, and Britax seem to fare well in this category.
Is my infant car seat FAA approved?
First, check the car seat for a sticker that reads: This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft. The presence of this sticker is a sure indication that your car seat is FAA approved. While several brands market an FAA approved seat, the following are among the best of them.
- Chicco Keyfit 30 (5)
- Costco Scenera Next (4.5 stars)
- Evenflo Tribute (4.5 stars)
- Graco Snugride 35 (4.5)
Which convertible car seat is best for small cars?
There are a number of good options. Among the narrowest of the convertible car seats is Baby Trend EX Flex-Loc Convertible Car seat. Graco milestone convertible (17 wide) is among the shortest, with maximum height of only 21. Costco Scenera Next is 17 wide and 23.5 tall, a very budget-friendly choice.
What is the highest-rated infant car seat?
There are so many that are very highly rated; you will want to compare the features of some of the top-rated seats to find the one that is right for you. But the Graco Snugride Click Connect 30 and Chicco Keyfit 30 seem to top many lists, and are very highly rated by buyers.
What’s the next car seat after infant?
When your child reaches about two years or around 25 pounds (check the weight limit on your particular seat), he/she will move from a rear-facing infant seat to a forward-facing toddler seat (unless, of course, he/she is in a convertible seat – infant and toddler in one).