Best Infant Rear Facing Car Seats

Best Infant Rear Facing Car Seats for 2021

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Parents naturally want the best that money can buy when it comes to the safety of their newborns. Infant car seats are an essential item for protecting infants in the event of a collision. These are rear facing only seats and do not convert to forward facing unlike convertible car seats.

The advantage to these seats is that they are extremely lightweight for easy portability in and out of the car. In addition they can also be fitted to stroller frames and can be purchased as part of a car seat stroller combo.

Below you will find our top picks for the best infant car seats for 2021. Our selections have been made across the low-mid-high price ranges to identify the best infant car seat to suit a range of budgets.

1. Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base | Rear-Facing Seat for Infants 4-30 lbs.| Infant Head and Body Support | Compatible with Chicco Strollers | Baby Travel Gear

The Chicco KeyFit30 infant car seat base is a nice seat and base that is ultra convenient for parents on the go. The advantage with this seat is that you get an easy installation car seat base that can be used on more than one vehicle (additional car seat bases can be purchased separately here. It is designed to accommodate your baby from four to thirty pounds.

It should be noted that Chicco released an updated infant seat, the Chicco Fit2 in 2017, with an increased baby weight limit up to 35lbs. Whilst we do love the updated version, we still think the Chicco KeyFit30 is one of the best value for money infant car seats in 2021. It has stood the test of time and remains highly rated by our trusted car seat experts.

Consumer Reports

the best overall pick for balancing crash protection, ease of use, and vehicle fit for infant seats with greater than 22-pound capacity. It's perfect for driving baby around in style.


  • Secures baby from 4 to 30 lbs
  • Energy-absorbing foam for improved side-impact protection
  • Removable newborn insert for smaller babies
  • Thickly cushioned seat pad and five-point harness for maximum comfort
  • One click installation gives you assurance once you have properly installed it.
  • Option to buy multiple seat bases for easy installation in all your cars.
  • LATCH system comes with push-on latch connectors for easy installation.
  • Can be used in conjunction with the Chicco Keyfit Caddy Stroller Frame
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base | Rear-Facing Seat for Infants 4-30 lbs.| Infant Head and Body Support | Compatible with Chicco Strollers | Baby Travel Gear
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base | Rear-Facing Seat for Infants 4-30 lbs.| Infant Head and Body Support | Compatible with Chicco Strollers | Baby Travel Gear


  • No.1 rated infant car seat in America
  • Transition from your old car to the new one is very easy.
  • By just pulling the button located near the base, you can get it to install in the base level in any style car.
  • It has an effective LATCH system which tightens the car seat to the vehicle with only one pull.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It fits small babies snugly.
  • It provides excellent safety and security. It is also convenient to use and very comfortable.
  • It works seamlessly with two base stations. If you have two cars, you install a stay-in-car base for each one and then use this car seat between them.
  • It has garnered very little user complaints and has been the top selling infant car seat for several years.


  • Some users actually complained that it is heavy to carry, although at only 9lbs it is one of the lightest seats on the market!
  • Only suitable for infants up to 30lbs so you will need to purchase a new car seat once your child grows. Check out some of the seats below or the Chicco Fit2.


The Chicco KeyFit30 is safe to use and versatile to install in any car. A perfect choice for any parent. If you're interested in this seat, you can see how the latest "Zip" version of it fares against the latest infant car seat from Britax (B-Safe 35 Elite) in our Britax vs Chicco comparison.

Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat

is available at a discount price on Amazon

2. UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat -Jordan

The UPPAbaby Mesa is our recommended choice if you want to splash out on some luxury for your loved one. This premium seat offers the best combination of comfort, style, convenience and safety.

The SmartSecure system allows the seat to be installed accurately and safely within just 10 seconds using the LATCH Connectors! A visual indicator changes from red to green to confirm proper installation for your peace of mind. This seat achieved a NHTSA ease of use rating of 5 stars and was the first to pass the NHTSA's new proposed standard for side impact protection. 

The UPPAbaby MESA is available in 5 colours. Featured above is the Jake (Black), other options are: Denny (Red), Georgie (Marine Blue), Pascal (Grey), Lindsey (Wheat). 


  • Compatible with the UPPAbaby Vista & Cruz travel systems
  • Adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection
  • SMARTSecure™ system features auto-retracting lower anchor LATCH attachments
  • Built-in lockoff for seatbelt installations
  • Apdated breathable & washable fabric
  • Suitable for infants from 4 to 35 lbs and 32 inches or less
  • No-rethread harness with 5-position front-adjustable headrest
  • Includes Infant insert for when your baby is between 4 and 8 pounds
  • Includes car seat base


  • An absolute breeze to ensure safe installation - super quick & fool proof! The 10 seconds install has been confirmed as accurate by user feedback and independent tests that we have reviewed. A great advantage if you will be regularly taking the seat in and out of the car.
  • Works really well with the UPPAbaby travel systems - no adapters required.
  • Users love the ease of use and particularly the no-rethread harness
  • The carrier is lightweight at under 10lbs


  • When the sunshade is down, you cannot put the handle into the down locked position without the handle hitting the sunshade.
  • Expensive, but many users have remarked that the price is worth it.

Video Review

The video below provides a full demonstration of the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat. This shows how easy and quick it is to install using either the seat belt or LATCH connectors with or without the car seat base.

Uppababy Mesa

is currently available at a discount price on Amazon

3. Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat

Cybex Aton 2 Sensorsafe, Lavastone Black

The Cybex Aton 2 is a top pick because it has outstanding safety features as well as luxurious comfort. The most important of which is the seat's load leg, which we highlighted the benefits of in our Cybex Car Seat Reviews.

The Aton 2 also features linear side-impact protection to transfer the initial impact of a side impact to the seat's shell. The optimized structure of the shell absorbs the forces and channels the forces away from your baby. The L.S.P. devices, in combination with the flexible energy absorbing shell, thick EPS foam and extra thick padded covers, absorb and distribute crash forces away from your child, especially during a side impact collision. 

Furthermore, the car seat installation using either the car seat belt or using the LATCH installation of the car seat base is rated as excellent by Child Passenger Safety Technicians.


  • Weight limits: from 4 to 35 lbs
  • Height limits: 30" or less with a minimum of 1" above the head
  • Dimensions: 25 L x 17.25 W x 15.25 - 21 H inches
  • Infant Car Seat weight: 9 lbs; weight with base 21.2lbs
  • FAA Approved (to be used without the base)
  • Included base comes with push-on LATCH connections, level indicators, Load Leg and Tensioning Plate Technology for a secure fit.
  • 3 position handle (must be in up position when in the vehicle for rebound)
  • Energy absorbing shell absorbs the forces of an impact and protectively covers the baby
  • Linear side-impact protection (L.S.P. System)
  • EPS Foam
  • 5 point harness with soft shoulders and buckle pads for safety and comfort
  • 3 harness slots and 1 buckle slot
  • Integrated foldaway canopy provides sun and wind protection with UVP50+ in two positions
  • Infant insert for up to 22lbs to provide a better harness fit and stability for the torso
  • Removable newborn inlay for up to 11lbs positions smaller babies properly
  • Shoulder belt guide on back of carrier for European method of baseless install
  • NHTSA Ease of Use Rating 


  • Excellent side-impact protection and other safety features ;
  • Ultra-lightweight ;
  • Super easy installation by clipping into the base;
  • Tensioning plate helps to ensure a secure connection;
  • Recline positions for 2 weight ranges;
  • Compatible with a large range of strollers.


  • The "tensioning plate" technology helps to provide a secure fit, however it can also make some installations more difficult;
  • The sunshade canopy, although really cool, only has small coverage.

Video Review

Cybex Aton 2

is currently available at a discount price on Amazon

4. Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air Infant Car Seat

Safety 1st onBoard 35 Air 360 Infant Car Seat (Raven HX)

This Top Rated Infant Car Seat from Safety 1st has all the essential features required to protect your baby. The Air Protect® technology in this seat provides advanced side impact protection around your little one's head.

Furthermore the car seat base provides 5 different angles so you can find the perfect fit for your car.


  • Weight without base: 9 lbs; weight with base: 16 lbs
  • Dimensions: Base width 15 inches; carrier width 17 inches; length 28 inches; height 21 inches .
  • Suitable for infants rear-facing from 4-35 pounds and 32 inches or less in height.
  • Air Protect® Side Impact Protection: advanced air cushion system protects your child’s head in a side impact crash.
  • One Click™ LATCH equipped with LATCH storage
  • Machine washable seat pad.
  • 5-position base for best fit to car
  • Infant insert for newborns
  • Additional leg room for baby's comfort.
  • 4 harness heights and 3 buckle locations to accommodate your growing child
  • 5-point harness with up front adjustment


  • Excellent padding throughout. Particularly the side impact padding.
  • Easy to remove and install on the base.
  • Compatible with several Safety 1st Strollers.


  • Cannot install this seat without the base. So if you plan to install in more than one car, it would be a good idea to buy an additional base.

Safety 1st Onboard 35 Air Infant Car Seat

is currently available at a discount price on Amazon


An infant car seat is a popular choice for many parents due to the compatibility of these seats with stroller systems. All of these top car seats have a number of strollers that they fit onto quickly and easily.

However the drawback with infant car seats is that they have only a short life-span. The maximum weight limit for most of these seats is 35lbs and some babies will reach that weight before they are 1 years old.

It's important to note the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics that you should keep your child rear facing until at least the age of two.

A convertible car seat is a good choice to move onto after your baby has outgrown their infant car seat. Although most of the top rated convertible car seats can be used for infants from 4lbs in weight, they are not compatible with strollers. This is why most people opt for an infant car seat in the first instance for their newborns.

The ability to move baby from car to stroller seamlessly without having to remove them from their seat is a huge benefit. The other major difference is that the top rated infant car seats are much lighter than convertible car seats.

They are much more versatile and really handy to have around when your baby is small enabling you to move them around with ease while keeping them safe and comfortable.


Robert is a father of a young daughter and has developed an expertise in child car seat safety. He is a keen supporter of the use of child safety systems having seen his daughter come away from a side impact collision unscathed due to the use of a child car seat. When he's not spending time reviewing child safety systems he works as a Technical Manager on major construction projects.

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