A good-quality car seat is one baby item that needs careful consideration before purchase. So, we have brought some of the best budget car seats to help you choose the right one. These car seats are affordable, foldable, and have a compact design for your convenience. They are designed with long-lasting and safe materials that ensure the complete protection of your child. Some even come with practical features, including reclining positions and height adjustment. So, browse through our list of car seats to ensure a comfortable and secure ride for your child.
Our Top Picks
7 Best Budget Car Seats
1. Best Adjustable: Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Car Seat
Graco’s three-in-one car seat is a long-lasting and durable product. It is slim and fits well in small spaces. The comfortable design is convenient for your kid, and the seat structure saves the back seat space and makes sufficient room without crowding.
- Adjustable seat capacity
- Convertible into rear-facing, forward-facing, and high-back booster harness
- Rotatable dual integrated cup holders for 10% slimmer seating
- Graco Protect Plus-engineered for high safety standards
- Easy one-motion headrest and harness adjustment
- Ten adjustable headrest positions
- Comfortable four-position recline for better installation
- One-second attachment with push-button In Right Latch
- Inclination may not be comfortable once adjusted
- May not be suitable for small car spaces
2. Best Parent-Friendly: Safety 1st Grow And Go All-In-One Car Seat
The three-in-one convertible car seat from Safety 1stweighs 18.7lb and measures 23.8x19x24in. It can accommodate a growing kid with weight ranges of five to 40lb, 22 to 65lb, and 40 to 100lb. It adjusts without fuss and comes with removable, machine-washable seat pads.
- Multiple comfort adjustments, from the headrest to harness straps
- Multiple reclining options
- Parent-friendly design
- Harness holders make it easy to seat and pick kids
- One-step harness and headrest adjustment
- Adjustable into rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster positions
- Complies with safety standards
- Installation may need high precision
- Seat belt may be difficult to fit
3. Best Easy To Clean: Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat
The Safety 1st Guide 65 seat is convertible with forward and rear-facing positions for easy seating adjustments. It is designed meticulously to ensure maximum comfort and safety for your child. With a sturdy build and convenient design, this compact car seat fits well in small cars. Three such seats adjust in the rear seat of most vehicles, making it a great option for growing families.
- Two size adjustments each for rear and forward seating
- Five separate harness height adjustments
- Comes with three buckle locations
- Ensures proper fit with adjustable headrest
- Improved side impact protection
- Removable cup holder
- Easy clean-up with removable pillows
- Straps may not fit well
- Installation may be difficult
4. Best Lightweight: Evenflo Big Kid AMP High Back Booster Car Seat
The Evenflo high back booster car seat comes in static black shade and measures 16x28x18in. It is easy to transition from no back to a high back booster. With a proper vehicle belt fit, it also provides optimum safety for older kids. One of the best budget car seats, it has an easy height adjustment feature and dual built-in cup holders.
- Six height adjustment positions
- Removable and easy-to-clean seat pad
- Lightweight and portable
- Available in multiple colors
- Two-size adjustments
- Might be uncomfortable
- Not suitable for cars without bucket seats
5. Best Impact Protection: Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat comes with easy Super Cinch Latch installation and fits well in small cars with its compact dimensions of 27.5x17x24in. It is convenient to install with its Recline Sure leveling and Ride Right bubble levels. This seat provides maximum safety and comfort to infants. The spring-loaded leveling foot allows you to verify the proper base angle when installing the car seat. It is designed to click in and out of Chicco strollers without discomfort, allowing you to make your travel system for the newborn.
- Removable body and head support for newborns
- Easy sunshine shading with removable canopy
- Five-point harness
- Improved impact protection with EPS energy-absorbing foam lining on the carrier shell
- Smooth underside for vehicle seat protection
- Weight capacity of four to 30lb
- Release handle may not be well placed
- May be difficult to release the seat from the base
6. Best Weight Capacity: Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat
With three-step quick installation, the Graco infant car seat is comfortable and affordable. All you need to do is attach the Latch system with the seat’s base and find the right angle with the level indicator for instant installation. It is lightweight at 15lb and has a compact dimension of 27.72×18.07×16.03in for a comfortable fit in the car’s back. The detachable seat also fits into a Graco Click Connect stroller, making it convenient to travel with your newborn.
- Weight capacity between 4 and 30lb
- Height limit up to 32in
- Four reclining positions with an adjustable base
- One-step secure attachment with Click Connect technology
- Sun and shade protection with a rotating canopy
- Removable body and head support cushions
- Side impact-tested
- Meets US standard FMVSS 213
- No small infant insert
- May not have head support for infants
7. Best Machine Washable: Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat
The Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DC car seat is convertible and long-lasting. It comes with rear-facing seating for infants to toddlers and forward-facing seating for kids.
With a simple Latch installation feature, it is easy to fit in small cars. The two modes can accommodate kids weighing between five and 65lb. Three such seats can fit in the back of a standard-sized vehicle. With three buckle locations and a five-point harness, it is safe for kids.
- Easily manageable through airport security checks
- Five height adjustments for a growing kid
- Built-in side impact protection
- Small size allows extra legroom for parents
- Made of premium fabric with plush padding for added comfort
- Machine-washable and dryer–safe car seat cover
- Meets JPMA, ASTM, and federal safety standards
- Comes with a one-year limited warranty
- Buckles and straps may be stiff
- May be inconvenient for long-distance travel
How To Choose The Right Budget Car Seat?
Consider the following aspects before buying a budget car seat for your kid.
- Age: Detachable car seats are designed to accommodate children of specific age groups. Make sure you choose a car seat suitable for your kid’s age.
- Weight capacity: Check the seat’s weight capacity for safety and comfort as it differs for infant car seats and the standard ones.
- Comfort: The seat cover should be made of comfortable fabric with suitable height adjustments for the seat.
- Safety: Make sure the car seat meets the necessary safety standards to ensure your kid’s protection.
- Height adjustment: As kids tend to grow up quickly in their developing years, selecting a car seat with sufficient height adjustment options is ideal.
- Convertibility: The convertibility features can include rear-facing, front-facing, and booster-positioned car seat adjustments to suit your growing kid.
- Portability: Portability is vital when you need to shift between cars or carry an infant.
The best budget car seat should include ease of installation and safety. Make sure to look for these features to find the right option available in the market. We hope our list of the best budget car seats can help you make an informed decision.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Purchasing an economical and durable car seat is no longer a tricky task with this list made by our writer Wedetso Chirhah. These car seats are economical due to their multipurpose build. Furthermore, they do not compromise on comfort and safety since most of them have adjustable backs and headrests. They also have a firm safety harness for optimal protection. Wedetso has included a few additional tips under the buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.