Everything You Need to Know About Lightweight Car Seats
Finding a car seat you love can be a difficult task. There are so many factors to consider and there are many car seats to choose from. For these reasons, car seat shopping can become overwhelming very quickly. In an effort to ease some of the overwhelm, this article will focus on the car seat weight: what to look for, what is safer, and how to decide. Specifically for infant car seats and convertible car seats.
Is it necessary to have a lightweight car seat?
No. Parents are usually conscious of weight in infant car seats because they will likely be hauling it around quite a bit. But when it comes to convertible car seats, weight isn’t as high of a factor because of the low amount of carrying it will need. However, some families may be extra picky about convertible car seats due to the amount of traveling they do (flying, car rentals, taxi cab/Uber use), so lightweight really does become an important feature to consider. So it really depends on the family’s needs. But having a lightweight car seat is definitely not a necessity for all families.
Does heavier = safer?
Not really. There isn’t much evidence to suggest that heavier car seats are safer than lighter car seats, but in contrast, there honestly isn’t much to say that lighter weight car seats are safer than heavier car seats either. So no, heavier does not mean safer, but lighter doesn’t necessarily mean safer either. The car seats you see on the market are approved and safe: their materials, their functions, and their safety features. But weight isn’t really a factor that deems a car seat safe or not safe.
When it comes to convertible car seats, the lighter options tend to have less “bells and whistles” like cupholders, so it truly just depends on priorities.
What exactly qualifies as a “lightweight” car seat?
Infant car seat: less than 9.5 lbs.
Convertible car seat: less than 25 lbs.
Which car seats are the lightest?
Infant car seat:
These two car seats are legitimately the lightest car seats of all time. Without the canopy and inserts, the Lite weighs 5.3lbs. But let’s be honest, almost every single parent (especially to newborns) is going to to want the canopy and inserts in place! Even with those included, these are still the very lightest car seats, weighing in at 6.7 lbs (7.1 lbs. for the LX). It is important to mention, however, that these two Lite infant car seats are definitely not “travel friendly” because there isn’t a way to buckle these car seats into a car without the use of their base. BUT if the car seat is routinely in one vehicle only, then these lightweight car seats are hands down a fantastic option.
- Nuna Pipa
Unsurprisingly, the Pipa is also one of the very lightest of its class. This car seat weighs in around 7.9 lbs, not including the canopy and inserts. And it can be used without the base if needed. Let’s just say there’s a reason why this car seat is so popular!
This infant car seat is another great choice. It weighs only 8.9 lbs.
This car seat weighs 9.6 lbs. This one is borderline lightweight/average weight, but since it’s also the number one selling car seat, it deserves a mention here.
Convertible Car Seat:
This convertible car seat only weighs 20 lbs!
- Diono Radian 3 RXT
This car seat weighs around 23 lbs, but keep in mind what was mentioned above about the loss of features being a factor. This seat is an especially great travel seat because it can fold up!
This also measures in at 23 lbs, but the loss of features isn’t a problem here.
Just like the infant car seat, this Chicco convertible seat is right on the border of lightweight/average weight. It weighs 25.1 lbs.
Hopefully narrowing these down and using this little breakdown of lightweight car seats makes a good aid for future purchases! Good luck, and happy travels, friends!