Cheap Infant Car Seats | The Safest Seats To Choose From For Your Child

If you’re after a safe, comfortable, and quality-made infant car seat that will suit your family budget, then read on as we take a closer look at the best cheap infant car seats currently available on the market.

We know that parents want an infant car seat that not only prioritizes their child’s safety, protection, and security but also offers comfort, convenience, and quality. However, quality does not have to be sacrificed when choosing a budget-friendly infant car seat and this list proves it. 

We provide you with detailed and honest reviews of each infant car seat on this list, including not only the pros and cons of each car seat but also our final verdict, which is directly informed by consumer ratings.

Short on time? We’ve created a list below of the cheapest infant car seats for your convenience (best to worst). Keep reading a detailed review for each model.

Cheap Infant Car Seat Ratings (Unbiased)
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    Note: If you would like to see the best infant car seats regardless of price, be sure to check out our round-up here.

    As you’re reading the reviews below, here are the top things to consider before purchasing an infant car seat:

    1. Ease of use – Regardless of whether you are experienced with child car seats or not, every parent needs an infant car seat that is user-friendly, particularly when it comes to set up, installation, and adjustment.
    2. Value for money – This list specifically focuses on value for money, highlighting what affordable infant car seats offer compared to luxury brand models.
    3. Stroller compatibility – It is ideal to purchase an infant car seat that is compatible with a stroller that does not require an adapter as this will ensure a seamless transition from car to stroller.
    4. Car compatibility – Infant car seats tend to be quite large and bulky so we recommend that you compare your backseat dimensions to ensure the infant car seat is compatible with your vehicle.
    5. Lifestyle – If you’re a family that’s always on the go, you will want to look for an infant car seat that is easily transferable and portable for extended carrying.

    List Of The Cheapest Infant Car Seats Reviewed With Ratings

    Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT (Best Seller)

    4.9/5
    4.9/5

    The Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat is a LATCH-equipped car seat that offers safety, convenience, protection, and comfort for a fraction of the cost of luxury infant car seats. Safety 1st is a leading brand in child safety so you can have peace of mind with their infant car seats that offer a superior fit for superior safety each and every time.

    This infant car seat accommodates children in the rear-facing mode between 4 and 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall. It is available in 3 different colors and designs, including ‘Monument’, ‘Niagara Mist’, and ‘Pebble Beach’.

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • This is a lightweight infant car seat thanks to next-generation engineering that is ideal for extended carrying and transferring between vehicles.
    • Features side-impact protection with deep sides and energy-absorbing materials to keep your little one safe.
    • Includes newborn head and body inserts to provide extra support to infants, particularly smaller and premature babies.
    • Designed for easy cleaning with machine-washable and dryer safe seat pads.
    • Compatible with any Safety 1st QuickClick-equipped stroller that attaches the carrier to your stroller in a single click.
    • An 8-year expiration date, meaning this infant car seat can be passed down to other children.
    • FAA approved for use on an aircraft.
    • The Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT has four harness heights that can be adjusted with a single pull to provide your child with a secure and comfortable fit regardless if they are short or tall.
    • Includes a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
    • Meets or exceeds Federal, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) safety standards.
    • Includes a height-adjustable car seat base to ensure a user-friendly design, making life with kids that little bit easier.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Parents reported that they had difficulty with installation, particularly securing and tightening the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT. If you experience any difficulties we recommend contacting Safety 1st’s handy Consumer Care Team by either texting or calling them.
    • Some parents found that the bottom buckle was too big, which caused it to dig into their child’s thighs, causing pain and discomfort and sometimes leaving red marks.
    • There were various quality control issues pointed out by consumers, including the canopy being flimsy and falling off in windy weather, leaving children exposed to cold weather.
    • Some parents had difficulty with removing the carrier from the stay-in-car base where the button was difficult to push and release. 
    • Once the infant pillow inserts were removed, parents found that their child’s head was not supported properly.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Parents love the Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat for the safety and ease of use it offers at a very reasonable price point. They also love how lightweight this car seat is (7.9 pounds!), perfect for families on the go. However, keep in mind, that some parents did experience installation and tightening issues while others reported quality control issues.

    Evenflo LiteMax 35

    4.8/5
    4.8/5

    The Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat comes from a trusted brand that has been designing and manufacturing quality child safety systems for almost 100 years. The Evenflo LiteMax 35 reflects this reputation as a safe, user-friendly, and convenient car seat that is both trusted and loved by reviewers and parents.

    This infant car seat accommodates infants within a 4 to 35-pound weight range and between 17 to 32-inches tall. It is available in three different colors and designs, including ‘Azalea’, ‘Bamboo Leaf’, and ‘Riverstone’.

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • Exceptionally affordable, this infant car seat is one of the least expensive car seats on the market and will suit most family budgets. Keep an eye out for discounts and deals, such as free shipping.
    • Engineered and tested to meet or exceed 2 times the US Federal Safety Standards.
    • Easy to install base with a one-step vehicle belt lock-off that for secure and quick installation.
    • Families on the go will love how lightweight the Evenflo LiteMax 35 is, making it perfect for extended carrying and regularly transferring between vehicles. 
    • Includes a full-coverage canopy to protect your child in all weather.
    • The stay-in-car base features an easy to read pendulum level indicator that shows when the seat is properly leveled for secure installation with 4 reclining options to keep your child comfortable.
    • Includes an exclusive ergonomic handle that makes it ideal for extended carrying and comfort.
    • All Evenflo car seats and strollers include ParentLink customer-service, which includes real-time chat and free live video installation support. This is super helpful if you experience any issues and require assistance. 
    • The Evenflo LiteMax 35 is designed with parents in mind with buckle pockets that tuck buckles away, making it easier to get your child in and out of the car seat.
    • Removable and machine washable seat pads for no-fuss cleaning.
    • Includes removable head and body pillows for improved comfort and support, particularly for smaller and premature babies.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Some parents found that the Evenflo LiteMax 35 was too narrow and restrictive for some children, particularly those on higher on the growth chart. This may mean that you are only able to get a couple of months of usage out of this seat.
    • Parents found the Evenflo LiteMax 35 difficult to detach from the stay-in-car base, we recommend contacting Evenflo’s ParentLink customer-service for assistance with this.
    • There are two large warning labels not pictured in product images of this infant car seat that unfortunately take away from its overall aesthetics and sleek design.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat is easy to install, use, carry and adjust thanks to its durable and quality design that offers babies maximum comfort, safety, and security while also giving parents peace of mind. However, the Evenflo LiteMax 35 may only be suitable for smaller babies so if your child is bigger in size you may only get minimal usage out of this infant car seat.

    Cosco Light N Comfy DX

    4.8/5
    4.8/5

    The Cosco Light N Comfy DX Infant Car Seat is an easy to carry and lightweight infant car seat that comes at a very affordable price. It is designed to keep your baby snug and secure as they grow with adjustable harness heights, giving you peace of mind.

    This infant car seat accommodates children weighing between 4 and 22 pounds and is available in 2 cute and fun colors and designs, including ‘Blue Elephant Puzzle’, and ‘Pink Poppy Field’, which are loved by both parents and children.

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    Why We Love It

    • FAA approved for use on an aircraft.
    • With 4 harness heights and 3 buckle locations, you can adjust the harness to keep your growing child comfortable and secure.
    • As the name suggests, the Cosco Light N Comfy DX is extremely lightweight (10.43 pounds!), making it ideal for parents on the go as it is easier to remove from the base and the vehicle.
    • Features LATCH storage.
    • Includes a retractable canopy to keep your child sheltered from the weather.
    • This infant car seat is designed for no-fuss cleaning with its machine-washable and dryer safe seat pad.
    • With a 5-point harness and side-impact protection, this car seat is designed to keep children safe while also reassure parents.
    • Engineered and tested to meet or exceed all federal US safety standards.
    • While the Cosco Light N Comfy DX is not a part of a travel system, it is compatible with many Cosco strollers with the QuickClick feature. 
    • This infant car seat is loved for its easy to use carrier, including getting your child in and out, making life with kids a bit easier.
    • Features an infant insert that provides a snug and secure fit for smaller babies.
    Sad-baby

    Keep In Mind

    • Some parents found that the padding and cushioning of this infant car seat was not thick or plush enough for their children, rendering some children uncomfortable on long road trips
    • Parents found that it felt and looked a bit cheap, particularly the handle.
    • Unfortunately, the Cosco Light N Comfy DX has a smaller weight range than other infant car seats on the market, with many others accommodating children up until 35 pounds. This means you may only get a brief period of usage out of the Cosco Light N Comfy DX before you are forced to purchase another infant car seat.
    • Some parents noted that there is a hard plastic seam on the carrying handle, which made it uncomfortable to carry for extended periods of time.
    • This infant car seat does not have breathable fabric, with many parents complaining over the lack of ventilation it offers, leaving children sweaty.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Cosco Light N Comfy DX Infant Car Seat is a solid choice from fun designs and no-fuss cleaning to being lightweight and easy to use. While it may not offer the same quality and eye for detail as more expensive models, it does get the job done.

    Disney Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe

    4.7/5
    4.7/5

    The Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Light ‘n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat is a car seat that offers exceptional style, safety, and quality for a fraction of the cost of luxury brand car seats. 

    Disney is a brand that is trusted and loved by American families for the security and protection it provides, keeping your child safe on each and every ride. It really is no wonder why this Disney infant car seat is so highly rated among consumers.

    This infant car seat accommodates infants within a weight range of 4 to 22 pounds and is available in two different designs, including ‘Minnie Dot’ (pink, black, and white) and ‘Mickey Silhouette’ (red, black, and white).

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • Parents love the cute and vibrant designs that are bound to suit anyone’s taste.
    • This infant car seat is exceptionally affordable and perfect for all family budgets, we recommend looking out for additional savings and offers, such as free shipping.
    • Includes a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
    • Features a number of adjustable features, including a 5-position, 5-point harness with up-front adjustment and 3 buckle locations.
    • Parents love how easy the Disney Baby Minnie Mouse is to use, particularly when attaching and detaching it to the car seat base.
    • FAA approved for use on an aircraft.
    • Extra-lightweight, meaning it is not only perfect for families on the go who plan on transferring it between vehicles but also for extended carrying.
    • Includes a Minnie Mouse-shaped infant pillow insert to ensure a snug and secure ride for your baby.
    • Engineered and tested to meet or exceed both federal and ASTM safety standards.
    • This is a LATCH-equipped infant car seat with LATCH storage, ensuring simple and secure installation.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Parents found that this infant car seat could use more padding, particularly in the cradle area.
    • The Disney Baby Minnie Mouse has a smaller weight range compared to other infant car seats on the market that accommodate children up to 35 pounds. This means you may only get a brief period of usage out of this infant car seat before you are forced to purchase another infant car seat. This was a major complaint among parents.
    • Parents found that this infant car seat was too narrow and restrictive for some children, particularly those higher on the growth chart. 
    • Some parents reported quality control issues, including both the handle and canopy being flimsy and difficult to adjust.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Light ‘n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat has a lot to love and little to hate thanks to the quality, comfort, and convenience it offers. It is really no surprise why this is such a highly rated infant car seat among consumers. However, keep in mind that parents did highlight the issues that arose as a result of the smaller weight range as well as quality control issues with the handle and canopy.

    Baby Trend Ally 35

    4.6/5
    4.6/5

    The Baby Trend Ally 35 Infant Car Seat is a great option for families on a budget and delivers when it comes to safety, quality, convenience, and comfort, giving you peace of mind while keeping your baby snug and secure.

    This infant car seat accommodates infants weighing between 5 and 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall in height. It is available in 3 different colors and styles, including ‘Stormy’, ‘Carbon’, and ‘Magnolia’.

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • Features a 5-point harness with one-hand adjustment and push-button release, perfect for parents on the run.
    • Parents love its sturdy handle with angled grip options that makes extended carrying easy.
    • An adjustable 2-panel canopy. 
    • The Baby Trend Ally 35 has a narrow and slim frame, meaning it is perfect for those 3-across car seat configurations, even if small or compact vehicles. 
    • Parents love the quality of this infant car seat and many commented on how it gave them peace of mind knowing that their child is safe and snug. 
    • Includes a 4-position height-adjustable base with a push-button and level indicator to ensure you have achieved a secure and safe installation.
    • Features a height-adjustable seat back with no harness rethreading, to keep your child snug and securely fitted.
    • It is engineered with higher, deeper side wings with EPS foam for maximum side-impact protection, keeping your little one protected in the event of a collision. 
    • A 6-position crotch belt adjustment to ensure your child is comfortable and secure.
    • Parents love the Baby Trend Ally 35 boot that ensures your child is shielded from the weather.
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    Keep In Mind

    • The biggest complaint from consumers was regarding the tedious work of strap tightening. The straps are actually a single continuous belt that snakes through the car seat, which is designed to allow you to tighten both straps simultaneously. However, parents found it often tightened one more than the other and they had to continuously and carefully adjust until both were even. Parents also reported that the straps tended to twist due to constant adjustment. 
    • While this infant car seat’s narrow frame is great for smaller vehicles and 3-across car seat configurations, it can be too narrow for some children who are higher on the height and weight charts. This means that you may only get a few months of usage out of the Baby Trend Ally 35 before you have to begin your search for another car seat.
    • Some parents found that adjusting the handlebar was difficult as it involves simultaneously pushing 2 red buttons that are located on either side of the seat, which is often tricky to do so.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Overall, the Baby Trend Ally 35 Infant Car Seat is a fantastic affordable option that offers many adjustable features and exceptional safety technology that keeps your child safe and secure. However, the biggest complaint from consumers was the tedious work involved in strap tightening, which may be a deal-breaker for some parents.

    Evenflo Nurture

    4.5/5
    4.5/5

    The Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat is both exceptionally lightweight and affordable, making it a good choice for many families. Consumers love how user-friendly it is and how its many adjustable features mean you can achieve a secure fit for your child every time.

    This infant car seat is suitable for children within a 5 to 22-pound weight range and measuring between 19 and 29 inches tall. It is available in 5 different colors and designs, including, ‘Sabrina’, ‘Pink Bloom’, and ‘Teal Confetti’.

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • One of the most, if not the most, affordable infant car seats on the market, which makes it a great option for families on a budget. We recommend keeping an eye out for further discounts and deals, including free shipping.
    • Features a pivoting canopy to keep your child shielded from all the elements. 
    • Engineered and tested to meet and exceed US Federal Safety Standards thanks to its safety technology, including an energy-absorbing foam liner that ensures added safety and protection.
    • The Evenflo Nurture is lightweight that makes it not only ideal for families on the go who plan on constantly transferring this infant car seat between vehicles but also for extended carrying, particularly with its ergonomic easy-to-carry handle.
    • Parents love how easy it is to take this infant car seat in and out of the stay-in-car base, making transferring from home to vehicle simple and quick.
    • Features a 5-point harness with a 3 shoulder harness and 2 crotch buckle positions to ensure your child is securely and comfortably fitted on each and every ride. 
    • There are integrated belt guides if you decide to install the Evenflo Nurture without a base and instead, with the vehicle seat belt.
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    Keep In Mind

    • One of the biggest complaints among consumers was the Evenflo Nurture’s smaller weight range when compared to other infant car seats on the market that can accommodate infants up to 35 pounds. This often means that you will only get minimal usage out of it before your child reaches the weight and height limit and you have to look for another infant car seat.
    • Some parents reported that the canopy was too short and often fell down under the seat while they were carrying it.
    • This is a fairly basic infant car seat and this is expected with such a low price tag, however, some parents found that the car seat overall felt cheap. 
    • Parents did not particularly like that the adjustment straps were located on the back of the car seat, making adjustment even more difficult.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Despite being quite a basic infant car seat, it certainly gets the job done and at a fraction of the cost of luxury brand infant car seat models, it is a great option for families on a tight budget. However, keep in mind that with its smaller weight range you may be looking for another car seat for your child sooner than you think.

    FAQs: Here Are Some Questions Parents Have About Cheap Infant Car Seats

    An infant car seat is the very first step in your child’s car seat journey. Regardless if you’re a new parent or not, it’s still very important to have all the necessary background information prior to making a decision so you can make an informed choice that suits both yours and your child’s needs.

    But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve made it super easy by compiling and answering parent’s frequently asked questions, which covers everything you need to know about infant car seats.

    1. What is an infant car seat?

      With so many types of car seats on the market these days, we’re glad you asked! An infant car seat typically accommodates infants from birth up until their second birthday or until they reach the weight and/or height limit of the car seat. They are designed for use in the rear-facing mode and usually double as a carrier.

      Here we talk about the different types of infant car seats:

      Rear-facing car seats
      Rear-facing infant car seats accommodate infants between 4 and 30-40 pounds (depending on the model). This type of car seat has a stay-in-car base and the rear-facing car seat/carrier attaches to this base. It is also transferable between vehicles and typically has a handle for carrying.

      In a rear-facing car seat, your child will be secured by a five-point harness and supported by a removable infant head and neck support pillow or system that prevents their head from slumping while they sleep.

      Convertible car seats
      An infant car seat will typically be one of the seating modes within a convertible car seat. A convertible car seat transitions from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat, with some models also converting into a booster seat(s) (sometimes marketed as an all-in-one, 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 car seat).

      Convertible car seats tend to be larger and heavier than infant car seats and will likely cost more. While many parents start off with an infant rear-facing car seat and switch to a convertible car seat as their child grows, you can also start off with a convertible car seat, which will save you both time and money in the long-term.

      If you do decide to start your car seat journey with a convertible car seat, we recommend choosing one that has a removable infant pillow insert and multiple recline options to ensure your child is secure and comfortable. Keep in mind, that convertible car seats don’t have a detachable base or a handle for easy carrying.

      Travel Systems
      A travel system is a car seat and stroller combination. Many infant car seats can be purchased separately or as part of a travel system, meaning that the infant car seat simply clicks into the stroller for an easy car to stroller transition.

      There are also some infant car seats that are a complete travel system integrated within a single unit. These will save you from purchasing a separate infant car seat and stroller, ultimately saving you money in the long run. However, these tend to have a high price tag.

    2. How do you install an infant car seat?

      There is no one way to install an infant car seat so we recommend following your user manual. However, if you experience any hiccups, be sure to contact the company directly for assistance or watch installation videos on YouTube or the manufacturer’s website.

      However, here are our top tips for installing an infant car seat:

      • The safest place to install an infant car seat is the middle back seat as this will protect your child from many side-impact related injuries.
      • If your vehicle is not compatible with middle back seat installation, the next best position is behind the passenger’s seat. This will also enable the driver to easily check on the child.

    3. What should I avoid in an infant car seat?

      Regardless of what type of car seat you have, whether it’s convertible, booster or an infant car seat, there are a few key things you should avoid in a car seat, including:

      • Avoid secondhand car seats entirely, even if it was given to you by someone you know. This is because small tears and cracks can appear with continual use over time, which makes the seat less safe than it originally was. 
      • Avoid car seats that have been involved in an accident. Even if it looks okay, there could be unseen damage that could render it unsafe.
      • Avoid toxic flame retardants. All car seats need to be treated with flame retardants, however, some are unsafe and toxic. It’s best to avoid flame retardants that are brominated, instead choosing an infant car seat that has naturally flame retardant fabric.

    4. How and when should I dispose of an infant car seat?
      An infant car seat should be disposed of once it reaches its expiration date. However, when you’re disposing of it keep in mind that stores like Target will have trade-in days where you can bring your expired car seat to dispose of and they may provide a discount for your next car seat purchase. Some car seat manufacturers also offer similar trade-in schemes.

      Your booster car seat should also be disposed of once it’s been involved in a collision unless it’s a minor collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a minor collision as a collision that meets ALL of the following criteria:

      • You can drive your vehicle from the crash site.
      • The door closest to the child safety car seat was undamaged.
      • None of the vehicle occupants were injured.
      • The airbags didn’t deploy.
      • No visible damage to the child safety car seat.
      • If something on the car seat breaks, contact the seller for a refund or an exchange.

    5. What is the safest infant car seat?

      All child safety car seats must meet or exceed Federal US and ASTM Safety Standards in order to be sold on the market.

      However, most infant car seats these days exceed such safety standards due to their innovative safety features and technology. This means that any infant car seat you buy will be safe for your child (hooray!). Keep in mind that while some infant car seats have added safety features, such as anti-rebound bars, there is actually no standardized testing to prove that these additional safety features offer more protection or security than an infant car seat without these additional features.

      Remember, that an infant car seat is only safe if it is used and installed correctly. We recommend choosing an infant car seat that is easy to install and secure properly, which we highlight throughout our reviews.

    6. What is the LATCH system?

      LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Most infant car seats will have this attachment system, which ensures it is kept in place with built-in anchors and tethers located in your vehicle. However, most car seats can also be installed via the vehicle seat belt system.

      Car seat manufacturers will normally state their recommended installation system so be sure to follow your user manual to ensure you’re using the recommended system.

      If you’re installing your child’s infant car seat via the LATCH system make sure you tuck away your vehicle’s seat belt in order to prevent it from interfering with the LATCH system.

      If you’re wondering what ISOFIX means, this is the same system as LATCH but called ISOFIX in Europe.

    7. How do I keep my kids from overheating and sweating while riding in their car seat?

      Unfortunately, your child sweating will most likely be unavoidable, particularly if you live in an area with a warmer climate or hot summers. We recommend that you constantly monitor your child for overheating and sweating. However, we do have a few tips to assist with this:

      • Look for and choose an infant car seat that has breathable and ventilated mesh fabric. These types of fabrics promote ventilation and airflow while increasing cooling, keeping your child comfortable.
      • While this may seem obvious for some parents, it is important not to overdress your child, particularly in the summer months. Be sure to always remove any outer layers, such as coats, before placing them in their car seat. Overdressing will not only contribute to sweating and overheating but also acts as a potential safety hazard by preventing the harness from working properly.
      • Sunshades seem simple but they can make a significant difference not only to the temperature of your vehicle but also to the temperature of your baby’s infant car seat. Sunshades are designed to block out some of the sun’s heat by blocking out UV rays. They are not difficult to find with thousands available for purchase on Amazon at very cheap prices. This is definitely a wise investment.
      • This is an oldie but a goodie, turning your vehicle on with the AC running for a few minutes prior to placing your child in their car seat can reduce their chances of overheating and sweating on those warmer days by cooling down your vehicle’s interior.
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    Brenda Williams

    Brenda Williams

    Hi, I'm the founder of Car Safety Hub, Brenda Williams. I'm a happily married mother and have 2 of the sweetest children you could imagine.

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