Comparing car seats is a tough task, especially with so many awesome products on the market. While all car seats are highly tested for safety, some rank better than others. Some offer unique safety technology or are lightweight and easy to carry. Others may be compatible with lots of strollers but difficult to install in the car. And each price range has different features.
Below, we’ve taken a closer look at some car seats in the $200 price range - the Britax B-Safe 35 and its variation B-Safe 35 Elite, and the Chicco Keyfit and its variation Keyfit 30. Check out the pros and cons for each, and see for yourself which is the best option for your baby.
Britax B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 EliteBritax offers two options for this car seat: the Britax B-Safe 35 and the B-Safe 35 Elite. They are extremely safe and comes with lots of color and style options. These two carseats are essentially the same except for a few very small differences (extra padded head support, easier harness adjustment, and easier-to-remove seat cover for the Elite). Here’s our product breakdown for these two car seats.
- The B-Safe 35 and B-Safe 35 Elite have the highest safety ratings for car seats in their price range.
- It has Safe-Cell Technology, which is the honeycomb structure in the car seat’s base. In a car accident it crumples, slowing down the impact, and decreasing the center of gravity (in other words, moves your child down) to prevent the backwards motion that causes neck injuries.
- The base is slim, which allows most cars to fit three carseats across - great for families with multiple kids.
- For parents concerned with style, there are lots of fabric options including Black, Meadow, Red, and Sapphire for the B-Safe 35, and Aqua, Concord, CowMooflage, Domino, Red Pepper, and Vibe (all in upgraded fabric) for the B-Safe 35 Elite.
- Compatible with the Britax B-Ready and Britax B-Agile single and double strollers. No adapter is needed for the B-Ready, and the adapter is included with the B-Agile. Other compatible strollers (adapter sold separately) include Baby Jogger City Mini and City Mini GT, Baby Jogger City Premier, Baby Jogger City Select, BOB 2016 Revolution Flex Jogging Stroller, Bumbleride Speed, and Bumbleride Indie.
- This car seat is heavier, weighing 10 pounds for the B-Safe 35, and 11.5 pounds for the B-Safe 35 Elite (although generally heavier also means safer, so you decide whether this is a drawback).
Some parents have said it’s more difficult to install because of the tightening strap placement in the center of the base, as opposed to closest to the seat of the car like on the Chicco.
Chicco Keyfit 30Chicco’s Keyfit 30 is an updated version of the Keyfit. The main difference is that the weight capacity was increased from 22 pounds for the Keyfit to 30 pounds for the Keyfit 30. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of the Keyfit 30.
- #1 Consumer Report Rated Infant Car Seat.
- The Keyfit 30 is a lighter weight than the Britax (9.5 pounds) but still has very high safety ratings. This makes it easier to carry, which is great for tired moms and dads.
- It’s incredibly easy to install correctly, unlike many car seats.
- Lots of color and style options, including Papyrus, Lilla, Polaris, and Rainfall.
- Compatible with more strollers than the Britax. Without an adapter, it’s compatible with the Chicco Cortina and the Chicco Liteway Plus. With a separately sold adapter, it’s compatible with the Baby Jogger City Mini Single and Double stroller, Baby Jogger City Mini GT Single and Double, Baby Jogger City Select, Baby Jogger City Elite, Baby Jogger Vue, Baby Jogger City Premier, BOB Revolution Flex and Duallie Flex, Britax B-Agile Single and Double, Bumbleride Indie and Indie Twin, Bumbleride Speed, Stokke Scoot, and UPPAbaby Vista.
- On some models/colors the canopy is quite small.
- It has a wider base, which takes up more room in the car, and may not allow multiple car seats to be installed side-by-side.