Moreover, the right car seat will make sure that your children are safe, comfortable and that you won’t have to fumble with buckles and latches located in hard to reach areas.
But, with hundreds of slim car seats on the market with varying features and price points, it can be difficult to choose one that fits your needs. To make this decision easier for you, we have done the research and compiled a list of the best and narrowest car seats available right now.
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
Our number one pick on this list, the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat is a well-designed, functional and most importantly, safe car seat. At 16.75 inches, it falls on the slimmer side (although it does not hold a candle to the UppaBaby Mesa at 15.5 inches, more on that later). This infant seat has earned the top spot among multiple reviewers including Wirecutter and is the top rated car seat in the US.
It includes a base that fastens to the car through a latch mechanism, weighs a mere 15 pounds and is available in a range of pleasing colors and designs. It accommodates babies from four pounds to thirty pounds and comes with several shoulder straps to ensure a secure fit. However, it offers just one crotch buckle position which might make for a tight fit if it is a larger baby. The Chicco KeyFit 30 is available for $200.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat
The Primo Viaggio infant car seat is an excellent all round car seat, narrowly losing out to the Chicco KeyFit 30. It measures just 17 inches at its widest area with a base that stretches only 14.5 inches. The seat has a number of other features we liked, such as a high weight range of 4 to 45 pounds (rear facing). On the side of safety, users will find an anti-rebound bar that reduces rotational force during an accident, a 5 point harness and great results during crash tests.
However, it does have downfalls that need to be considered. The harness straps are thin and flimsy which causes them to twist more frequently when not in use while the lack of a steel reinforced frame affects the structural integrity. If you can look past these faults, this infant seat is a great option that costs $300.
Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat
This car seat from Diono is 17 inches wide and allows for rear and front facing usage as well as booster usage. Priced at $259, it is quite comfortable due to the memory foam padding and body support cushions. Furthermore, we liked that the seat provided ample protection thanks to a steel alloy frame, EPS energy absorbing panels that provided protection against impacts from the side, and a 5 point harness that for a strong fit.
Environment conscious consumers will be pleased to know that this Diono Radian seat is GREENGUARD certified. In rear facing mode, the seat can hold a baby of 5 to 45 pounds, 20 to 65 pounds on forward facing use and 50 to 120 pounds on booster mode. This is a favorite slim car seat for many parents.
UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat
With a base that comes to just under 15 inches at the bottom – where it matters – and 17 inches at its widest point, the UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat is an excellent option for those in need of a narrow car seat. The slim dimensions make it possible to squeeze in three at the back, even if your vehicle is on the smaller side of the scale. However, it should be noted that its slim size comes at the cost of length, making it stick out from the seat. The seat fits toddlers of 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches in height. The seat itself weighs less than 10 pounds, has a comfortable handle and is easy to attach and remove. As proof of the latter, it was given an NHTSA 5-Star award for its ease of use.
The seat is quite pricey at $300 but if space and ease of use are important, you will not go wrong with the UppaBaby Mesa Infant Car Seat.
Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat
If you are looking for a lightweight and portable baby car seat with great safety features and a stylish design, the Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat is worth a look. Weighing just 8.8 pounds and 17 inches in width, it accommodates toddlers of 4 to 35 pounds and places a major emphasis on safety. The seat offers protection against side impacts, comes with LATCH capability and a load leg that reduces rotational force in the event of an accident. The portable size does have one drawback. The small canopy means it is harder to get it into the base and out when compared with the Chicco KeyFit 30.
The Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat is priced at around $300 while the base is an additional $160. If a slim car seat is what you need don’t look passed this seat!
Graco SlimFit Convertible Car Seat
The narrowest of Graco’s offerings, this car seat has a width of 18 inches. While this might not be ideal if you are looking to fit 3 car seats in an average sized vehicle, it is ideal for a larger vehicle like an SUV or a truck. If you are able to squeeze an inch, the Graco SlimFit Convertible Car Seat is a solid option, especially when you consider its relatively cheap price of $175. The seat does not skimp safety with features like crash and side impact protection, a five point harness and EPS energy absorbing foam.
Graco has also built this seat with convenience in mind. You will find an adjustable harness and headrest, two swing in cup holders, and a four position recline. The soft-touch material on the seat is easy to wipe clean and removable for machine washing. One of the best slim car seats on the market.