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Baby Car Seats
With so many baby car seat models being sold, many new parents feel overwhelmed and stressed out about which one is the best choice. It’s such an important decision! The last thing you’d want is to have your child in a baby car seat that does not provide the maximum amount of protection for your child in the event that you have a car crash.
One of the great things about the Internet is that you can research virtually anything in the comfort of your own home. Sure, there’s a lot of trivial, useless stuff out there, but there’s also a lot of practical information we can use in our everyday lives. When it comes to researching something like a baby car seat, consumer protection organizations often have elaborate websites that are the perfect places to get what you need.
Consumer Reports is a famous organization devoted to giving consumers detailed information about products of all kinds – including your next baby car seat. In May, 2005, the good people at Consumer Reports conducted a detailed test of several brands of car seats. They wanted to find the best (and worst) baby car seat being sold, based on crash protection, ease of use, and proper vehicle fit. Here are the results for both infant car seats and convertible car seats.
Best & Worst Infant Baby Car Seat
An infant baby car seat is made for babies up to about 20 lbs. (birth to 9 months). In this category, the best baby car seat was the Britax Companion. It rated ‘Very Good to Excellent’ on crash protection, ‘Very Good’ on ease of use, and ‘Excellent’ on vehicle fit. The only drawback with this model of baby car seat was price. At $170, it was among the highest priced seats on the market.
The baby car seat that scored lowest (of those tested) was the Evenflo PortAbout 5 (Premier Comfort Touch). It rated only ‘Fair to Good’ on crash protection, ‘Very Good’ on ease of use, and ‘Excellent’ on vehicle fit. While it scored among the highest in the latter two categories, the primary concern with any baby car seat is protection, and this one just doesn’t pass muster.
Best & Worst Convertible Baby Car Seat
A convertible baby car seat is designed for children up to about 35 lbs. in rear-facing models and up to 40 lbs. for front-facing seats. Among these child seats, the Evenflo Titan 5 scored an impressive ‘Excellent’ rating in both crash protection and vehicle fit. It rated ‘Very Good’ on ease of use. Overall, this is an excellent baby car seat!
The worst score in this category was given to the Britax Marathon baby car seat. The only real problem with this model is the latch, which had some problems and drove the ratings down for crash protection and vehicle fit. It’s still rated ‘Excellent’ in several categories, so even this baby car seat isn’t a bad buy. You just want to be sure that the latch works properly in your particular vehicle.
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