Every modern family that has its own car thinks about the safe and comfortable transportation of their kids – especially infants.
Needless to say, the market offers a wide variety of children’s car seats you can use from birth. Most importantly, all car seat models are annually tested to ensure the highest level of safety, convenience, reliability, and comfort.
Plus, the crash test results from independent organizations to determine the best restraints.
In today’s guide for the lightest car seat for infant, we will cover:
- The best lightest Car Seat For Infants.
- The hospital car seat policy.
- The different stages of car seats.
- ..and a lot More!
Besides the car seat safety features, it is very convenient to consider the car seat weight and choose one that suits everyday use.
Let’s walk you through a selection of lightweight car seats for babies now…
- Car Seat Requirements To Leave The Hospital
- Different Stages Of Car Seats
- 1 – Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base
- 2 – Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat
- 3 – Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
- 4 – Maxi Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat
- 5 – CYBEX Aton 2 with SensorSafe, Convertible Car Seat
- Our Verdict: Best Lighweight Infant Car Seat
- Conclusion: Lightweight Car Seats
Car Seat Requirements To Leave The Hospital
It’s a day you’ll never forget! The day you bring your baby home for the first time! You will have made a lot of things and plans to do and are looking forward to introducing your new family addition to everyone.
But before, some basic rules will help you make your child’s first car trip happy and safe.
Do not forget that it is mandatory to use an approved car seat for your child, even if they are babies, and it has to be installed in the opposite direction of the travel way.
Tip: It is a good idea to try installing the car seat or carrycot before the baby is born, so you can be sure you can quickly and correctly fit it for your particular passenger when the big day finally arrives!
Hospital Car Seat Policy
As per the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants must sit in a rear-facing car seat or rear-facing convertible car seat ONLY from the moment they leave the hospital until they turn 2 years old.
Hospital car seats policy varies from one hospital to another.
Thus, calling the hospital before and getting a better idea about their policy is the best thing to do to keep your baby on the safe side.
Undoubtedly, car seat safety is the first and most crucial point to consider. Once it is time to go home with your baby, the hospital staff will ask you to bring the car seat to the baby’s room to be inspected by one of the nurses. Here, they will look at the overall car seat status, expiration date (usually within six years of the manufacturing date), and other features to ensure the baby is safe and comfortable.
They will teach you how to place your little baby inside securely and comfortably. Then you will get a better idea of correctly installing the car seat in the car, which position is suitable for the baby’s age, and when to switch.
What kind of car seat is required?
Your infant must be seated in a newborn-compitable car seat or convertible car seat, have a 5-point harness and be in a rear-facing position.
Different Stages Of Car Seats
Stage 1 Car Seat
This is the infants and newborn stage, where you must place the car seat in a rear-facing position. You must keep this position until your kid is around two years old.
Stage 2 Car Seat
In this stage, you can place your kid in a forward-facing car seat and continue to do this until your child is around five years old. This is the favorite position for most kids, as they enjoy the ride while seeing you always, keeping them happy and safe!
Stage 3 Car Seat
At this stage, your kid moves into a booster seat to support his entire body. These boosters are placed at the top of the car’s seat and secured with straps into the hooks. You can find different models in the market; some come with a back suppose, and some don’t only have the bottom part of the seat.
Stage 4 Car Seat
It is also called the Seatbelt stage. As the name suggests, your child can sit like any other adult passenger in the car using the car’s actual seat – without any support- but with the seatbelt around to keep him secured and in place all the way long.
Car Seat Parts
The main parts of children’s car seats are:
Car Seat Armrests
This part of the car seat will add extra comfort to the kid, giving him good arm support all the way long.
Car Seat Harness
The harness is the belt that secures the baby and keeps him in place while the car moves. Usually, it comes with an adjustable strap and lever to tighten based on the baby’s size and reach the proper comfort level.
Car Seat Buckle and crotch pad
The primary function of this part is to secure the baby and keep him in place all the time.
Car Seat Chest pad
The chest pad offers the car seat harness an additional layer to avoid discomfort as much as possible.
Car Seat Backrest
Keeping your kid comfortable is essential, and a car seat with good backrest support will make sitting there a good experience for your child. Usually, they come with lumbar support for extra comfort.
Car Seat Headrest
This piece gives your infant head support, especially during the first few weeks when he cannot support his head and body.
Car Seat Handle
The handlebar is usually adjustable to help you carry the car seat differently and goes both ways. The handle is practical to support some kinds of car seat covers and toys to give your kid extra joy!
Car Seat Base
This part sticks to the vehicle seat and stays there all the time. It attaches to the baby seat with built-in clutches that cannot be easily unattached – unless you press the button assigned to it.
These are the parts that make out any child’s car seat. However, additional parts might be found in some models to keep your kid comfortable. For example, a car seat cover or shade canopy, which you can always purchase separately if the model you have doesn’t support them.
1 – Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base
Thinnest Infant Car Seat
Doona Infant Car Seat
Bottom Line: This Doona infant car seat stroller is a unique combo that helps new parents perform everyday activities with their baby.
Easy transforming system.
It has a five-point harness design.
The handlebar is adjustable.
There are three layers of side-impact protection.
You get a 2 -years warranty.
The material is baby-safe and breathable.
Most of the parts are removable and washable. There is an adjustable canopy to protect the baby from the sun.
It works with rear-facing orientation only.
It is expensive.
This doona infant car seat & stroller combo is a fantastic, super practical, and convenient product.
Besides the car seat, you get everything you need in this purchase, including the doona infant car seat base, head support piece, infant insert, and vehicle car seat protector.
The car seat works for the average capacity of 4 lbs. to 35 lbs. and a maximum of 32 inches in height. However, only for rear-facing orientation only.
The best part of this car seat is the material..
..the Bamboo material makes the car seat super soft and gentle on the baby’s skin and is super easy to clean, making it a win-win for both babies and parents!
Like other baby items, the Doona infant car seat has advanced features to keep the baby safe, comfy, and happy. For example, there are three layers of side-impact protection, a 5-points harness and an anti-rebound bar (the handlebar).
This compact car seat for infants weighs 16.5 lbs without the base, which is around 10.3 lbs, by itself. The overall size is small; when it is folded, it has the dimensions 23.6 x 17.3 x 26 inches, and when unfolded, it becomes 39 x 17.3 x 32.2 inches.
2 – Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat
Skinniest Infant Car Seat
Cosco Car Seat
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a compact car seat that grows with your child, this one is right for you.
It grows with your kid – from 4lbs to 65lbs.
It works as Forward & Rear Facing
It comes with a five-point harness.
The fabric is machine washable and dryer safe.
Super affordable price!
You get a limited 1-year warranty only.
When it comes to parents, getting a baby car seat that is safe, comfortable, and at the same time affordable is the best.
The Cosco convertible car seat is excellent for growing with your kid. It is suitable for infants from 4 to 40 lbs on the rear-facing and up to 65lbs on the forward-facing orientation. It is skinny enough to fit in any small car!
The best part is the padding and fabric..
..this car seat is comfortable for kids of different ages, and it features an easy-to-clean fabric that is machine washable and dryer safe.
This car seat also has a 5-point harness system to secure the kid all the time.
3 – Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
Narrow Infant Seat
Graco SnuGride SnugLock 35
Bottom Line: This Graco SnugRide SnugLock car seat is narrow and comfortable, keeping your infant happy and safe all the way long.
Well-made and has perfect quality.
5-Point harness type.
It is made with TrueShield Side Impact Technology.
The base is adjustable to 4 positions to comfort the baby.
The handle is adjustable.
It has an adjustable canopy to protect the baby from the sun.
It comes with an installation indicator.
A lightweight, narrow baby car seat that is easy to carry around.
Available for “open-box” deals on Amazon.com
Adjusting the handle needs two hands – not with one click.
Installing the base and the seat might be challenging for some parents.
The seat is not cushiony enough.
The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat is a well-made seat with TrueShield Side Impact Technology that offers your infant the utmost protection.
Plus, the 5-point harness supports the baby’s body and keeps it in place no matter how he moves.
The design is convenient!
It is a narrow car seat that fits in any car and any seat, with an adjustable base that offers four positions to comfort the baby as much as possible.
Furthermore, an InRight LATCH system secures the seat with the base and comes with an indicator to ensure proper installation before moving the car.
Not only that, the handle is also adjustable with a single click, where you can move it back or forward for easy carrying.
While we go out with kids during the day more than at night, it is good to mention that the Graco SnuGride 35 lite car seat has an adjustable canopy that keeps the sun away from the baby!
It supports kids up to 35 pounds and 32 inches.
Last but not least, this Graco SnuGride 35 car seat is manufactured and crash-tested to meet (or even exceed) US standard FMVSS 213
4 – Maxi Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat
Lightest Infant Car Seat
Maxi Cosi Coral XP
Bottom Line: This Maxi Cosi coral XP is a small, lightweight car seat that is practical and comfortable to carry around.
The Maxi Cosi car seat cross body design is efficient.
It comes with a 5-Point harness system.
Lightweight and easy to carry around.
The Wool fabric is machine washable and dryer safe.
Only compatible with the Maxi-Cosi strollers.
It doesn’t lay flat in the stroller carry mode.
The crossbody style is not for all mams – especially petite ones!
It doesn’t offer the highest support compared to other seats.
The seat base is not robust and moves up and down while the car is moving.
Maxi-Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat comes in a new, renovative, and unique 3-piece modular nesting style that allows you to carry your infant around comfortably and happily.
But this is not the only way of using it!
You can carry this small car seat as a cross-body style, carry it with the handle or by holding the whole seat, or place it in a stroller.
The best part?
If you are interested in carrying it as a crossbody, you can use the shoulder-padded flex strap and adjust its length to reach your comfort position.
Interestingly, this tiny car seat comes with a removable carrier on the inner side of the seat that weighs only 5lbs, making it super easy to use and carry!
Besides, the material used to make the Maxi Cosi crossbody seat is the PureCosi fabrics, free of any fire-retardant treatment, machine washable, and dryer-safe.
Last but not least, the maxi Cosi infant car seat weight limit is 22 Pounds and a height of 29 Inches.
5 – CYBEX Aton 2 with SensorSafe, Convertible Car Seat
Smallest Infant Car Seat
Cybex Aton 2
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a small, lightweight, and safe infant car seat, look NO further.
It is a small and lightweight car seat.
It has a linear Side Impact Protection design.
It has a load leg base to protect the baby in case of a crash.
It is compatible with all CYBEX strollers.
It has a 5-point harness system with SensorSafe technology.
Works with and without the base – perfect for traveling.
It works only with a rear-facing orientation.
The seat padding is not the best.
The fabric is less comfortable for babies – it makes them sweaty.
On the expensive side.
The CYBEX Aton 2 car seat has a practical design that is small, lightweight, and easy to use. It weighs around 9lbs, which is a perfect weight to transport the seat quickly and easily from one place or car to another.
The best part?
The inner newborn insert is removable so that the car seat can hold infants of 4-11 lbs, and the overall capacity is 35 lbs – 30 inches.
Like most baby car seats, there is a five-point harness to secure the baby and keep him in place. But the CYBEX Aton 2 harness comes with SensorSafe technology to alert the parents if it got unbuckled, if the seat temperature is too hot or too cold, if the time spent inside the seat exceeded the limits, or if you left the child behind.
Safety is always first…!
Interestingly, this car seat has (L.S.P.): a linear side-impact protection system that ensures 25% extra child protection in case of a car crash. Plus, the Cybex Aton 2 base has a height-adjustable load leg that makes the seat robust and can minimize the crash forces up to %50.
Furthermore, you can install the car seat and use it with or without the base, making it a suitable option for traveling! Plus, it is compatible with all CYBEX strollers.
Keep in mind, though, that the seat works only with the rear-facing orientation.
Q1: How much does a car seat cost?
Children’s car seat prices differ based on the brand and features you are looking for. You might find basic car seats that offer the same safety as the most advanced ones. However, having extras make the ride more fun and comfortable for your kid. Usually, car seats price ranges between ~ $80 and $300, and some brands go beyond this price, offering a combo of car seat and stroller with some fancy finishings.
Q2: Are built in car seats safe?
Like Dodge and Volvo, some car brands and models consider having built-in car seats in their designs to offer parents a more convenient design. They are all safe for kids of different ages. However, they have some cons to consider, like the lack of mobility, their location, and seat orientation.
Q3: Do hospitals provide car seats?
No. Hospitals don’t provide you with a car seat to take it home with your baby. However, they might sell you some brands – if they have such offers, or they might give you some recommendations for local programs that offer car seats. To make bringing a newborn home from hospital a happy experience, we recommend you call the hospital before making any assumptions and be prepared to have one before leaving the hospital.
Q4: What are the different stages of car seats?
There are four main stages for children’s car seats, including rear-facing, forward-facing, booster car seats, and seatbelts using the standard car seat.
Our Verdict: Best Lighweight Infant Car Seat
Finding a lightweight car seat for infants might sound hard…
But the good part is that, nowadays, the market offers various brands and models to meet your needs and expectations.
We conducted deep research to see which brands offer lightweight car seats that save space in the car and are easy to carry around. We presented the Top-Selling ones and compared them based on their Installation process, Ease of cleaning, Durability, and Support.
Below are the comparison results, take a look and choose the one that matches your budget and requirements.
The lightest baby car seat is one click away…
Related: The Best Baby Carriers And Slings
|Product||Rating out of 5|
|Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base||⭐4.5|
|Coco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat||⭐4.2|
|Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat||⭐4.0|
|Maxi Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat||⭐4.0|
|CYBEX Aton 2 with SensorSafe Convertible Car Seat||⭐3.5|
Conclusion: Lightweight Car Seats
This is the final part of the review..
We reviewed the lightweight and slim car seats that you can get for your baby and use from day one. They are all safe and comfortable, but each offers unique features that are convenient for both users, and your choice is based on your needs and budget.
It is time to present our Top Pick, Best Value, and Editor’s Choice options.
- The Top Pick goes to: Doona Infant Car Seat & Latch Base
- The Best Value goes to: Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat
- The Editor’s Choice goes to: Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
We hope you find this review helpful for making the right purchasing decision.
Best of luck & Drive Safely!