Which car seat is right for you?

Searching for the right car seat for you and your family? From crash testing to flame retardants to accessories, these are the things you need to consider.

Choosing a car seat is one of those decisions that new parents take very seriously. There are so many options to choose from that it’s easy to be overwhelmed.  It gets even more complicated when you consider what materials car seats are made of.  ‘What is my baby sitting in?’ is the question that comes to mind for many parents.  Once you start investigating further, it can be quite tricky to know what’s best. But first, it’s important to understand what’s required by law.

 

What to look for when choosing a car seat

 

Whether choosing a seat for an infant or a more mature baby or toddler, here are some simple starter guidelines:

  • Crash Testing: It goes without saying that knowing a seat will survive a crash with flying colors is a must-have. All the car seat brands offered at The Tot are thoroughly crash-tested by the manufacturers to provide the best impact protection and not only meet the U.S. criteria but exceed them.
  • Flame Retardants: In a perfect world, we wouldn’t be strapping our kids into car seats laden with chemicals but laws dictate that they must be flame-retardant. However, the brands we stock at The Tot have chosen to remove the most harmful flame-retardant chemicals from their car seat products or are naturally free of them. Many, like Nuna, have also found flame-retardant free materials by using options like wool.
  • Rear-Facing Options: It is recommended that you rear-face your child for as long as possible and some infant car seats accommodate that longer than others. Whether you are buying an infant seat or a convertible, consider that you will want to have the option to continue to rear-face your child for a time.  If your budget is limited, choosing a seat that will last you past infancy is a wise investment as it will allow you to safely rear-face your infant and you won’t need a new seat for a while.
  • Extra Accessories: It might sound like a smart workaround to add an organic seat cover or barrier between your child and a car seat, but it’s a dangerous gamble to take. Car seats are not safety crash tested with extra covers or padding that are not provided with the seat. So altering a car seat is potentially putting your child at a risk.

 

Flame Retardants and US Car Seat Requirements

 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires that all materials inside a vehicle in the US meet anti-inflammability standards in the event of a crash.  This includes car seats.  So regardless of what seat you choose, it will need to meet this regulation.

According to non-profit environmental organization The Ecology Center’s 2016 report on toxic chemicals in car seats, two classes of flame retardants – brominated and phosphorus-based – are still widely used in car seats in the U.S. But for the first time since they started testing car seats, chlorinated flame retardants weren’t present in any of the seats.  Given that brominated and chlorinated flame retardants (also called halogenated) are the types that are most harmful to developing children, the lack of chlorinated flame retardants is an improvement – but there’s still a long way to go.

Since then, Nuna has developed seats that are free of flame retardant like the Nuna Pipa Lite LX. Clek has also launched a naturally flame-resistant car-seat fabric made of 100% Australian Merino wool.

When it comes to selecting a seat, there are several other important things to consider, and of course there are variables such as car safety, car size, size of the child and budget.  Despite the regulations, we do have options, but overall being safe in the event of a car crash is most important.

 

Scroll down to see which car seats we approve of and why!

 

Cybex Car Seats with SensorSafe 2.0

 

Cybex’s SensorSafe technologically was originally developed to prevent the rising number of infant hot car deaths. Today, it goes a step further to monitor the well being of the child while the vehicle is in motion. Designed to work with your smartphone, it will alert you if a dangerous situation arises. Available in their Sirona, M, Cloud Q,Aton 2, Aton M and Eternis S seats, it provides safety, as well as peace of mind.

 

Cybex Sirona Car Seat

Cybex Sirona M Car Seat with SensorSafe 2.0

 

$329.95

Available in more colors

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Cybex Cloud Q Car Seat in Dark Spring Blossom

 

Cybex Cloud Q Infant Car Seat with SensorSafe

 

$499.95

Available in more colors

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Cybex Aton 2 Car Seat in Lavastone Black

Cybex Aton 2 Infant Car Seat with SensorSafe

 

$280

Available in more colors

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Cybex Aton M with Sensor Safe in Manhattan Grey

 

Cybex Aton M with SensorSafe & SafeLock Base

 

$349.95

Available in more colors

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CYBEX Eternis S with Sensor Safe in Manhattan Grey

 

Cybex Eternis S Car Seat with SensorSafe

 

$379.95

Available in more colors

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Clek Mammoth Wool Foonf Car Seat 

 

Clek recently launched a first-of-its-kind car-seat fabric called Mammoth, which is made of 100% Australian Merino wool and is naturally flame-resistant. No added flame retardants necessary! The high-quality fabric is made from ethically sourced, 100% non-museled wool, which is breathable, resistant to odors and naturally hypoallergenic. And the seat itself comes with all the advanced safety features of Clek’s original Foonf car seat, so you can rest easy knowing that your child is protected from all angles.

 Clek Foonf Mammoth Car Seat

 

Clek Mammoth Wool Foonf Car Seat 

 

Price ranges from $449.99- $479.99

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Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat 

 

The fabric, foam and harness in the Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat are free from brominated and chlorinated flame retardants. The GREENGUARD Select Certified Crypton fabric not only meets stringent chemical emissions requirements, it also provides permanent protection against stains, moisture and odor-causing bacteria. If you have more than one child or you’re planning to expand your family, you’ll love the best-in-class 17-inch width that allows you to fit three car seats across your back seat. And it’s super-safe too: the Anti-Rebound Bar and aluminum honeycomb safety system protect your child from impact in the event of a collision.

 

Clek Fllo Slate

 

Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat 

 

Price ranges from $379.99 – $399.99

Available in more colors

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Clek Mammoth Wool Oobr Toddler Booster Seat

 

Just like the Clek Fllo car seat, the Oobr booster seat is tailored 100% Australian Merino wool, with no-added flame retardant and affords superior protection against stains and odors. Clek’s Oobr is a full-back booster seat that is built just like the seat in your car but sized for a child. Its metal sub-structure, Rigid-LATCH system and unique recline feature bring new “firsts” to booster seating. Featuring an energy-absorbing foam layer that helps absorb energy in a side impact collision, resulting in less force transferred directly to your child.

 

Cleck Oobr Booster Seat in Thunder

Clek Mammoth Wool Oobr Toddler Booster Seat

 

$319.99

Available in more colors

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Nuna PIPA Lite LX Car Seat

 

The Nuna PIPA Lite LX seat is entirely free of flame retardants – hooray! How is this so? The smartly sourced elements are actually flame resistant so they contain no added retardant chemicals. And at 5.7 pounds, it’s one of the lightest car seats on the market. You’ll also love the slick new design, cushy micro-knit fabric and comfortable carry handle. But most importantly, the five-point safety harness, True Lock installation system and side impact protection ensure every car trip is a safe and secure one for your baby.

 

Nuna Pipa Lite LX Aspen

 

Nuna PIPA Lite LX Car Seat

 

$399.95

Available in more colors

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Nuna PIPA 2019 Car Seat and Base 

 

Style and safety should never have to be sacrificed. Thanks to the clever and fashionable PIPA infant car seat, both of these essentials are combined; providing ultimate comfort and protection for little lives. Its sleekly styled and revolutionary dream drape™ creates a shelter that harbors baby from the elements, making it a must have safe haven. Some of the fantastic features include flame retardant free fabric, a heavy duty shell is resilient yet ultra lightweight, a removable, full coverage two position & protective UPF 50+ canopy with flip out eyeshade and the crumple zone within the stability leg absorbs impact and minimizes force to baby.

 

 

Nuna PIPA lite LX Birch Nuna PIPA lite LX Birch

 

Nuna PIPA 2019 Car Seat and Base 

 

$299.95

Available in more colors

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Nuna Rava 2019 Car Seat

 

The Nuna Rava is a fantastic convertible car seat option because it’s suitable for use from 5 lb. It’s also been recently updated with flame-retardant free fabrics, can be used rear or forward facing and comes in a range of colors. Designed to provide up to two additional inches of legroom when rear facing and extra support for forward-facing riders, it’s a seat that will grow with your tot.

 

 

Nuna Rava Lake

 

Nuna Rava 2019 Car Seat

 

$449.95

Available in more colors

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Nuna Aace 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

 

The Nuna Aace Car Seat provides a safe car seat for your pre-schooler right up to your independent pre-teen. The customizable side impact protection pods and belt-path indicators make riding in the car super secure. Some of the great features include a removable & machine washable micro-knit fabric and 9 position adjustable headrest, and an extendible, expandable seat with eight recline positions.

 

Nuna Aace in CharcoalNuna Aace in Charcoal

 

Nuna Aace 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

 

$199.95

Available in more colors

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Doona Car Seat Stroller 

 

All materials used are carefully tested and approved under the strictest European standards and the REACH regulation, including SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern). Doona states that not only are the materials used free of hazardous chemicals, they are also tested for their durability and quality to ensure the safe and continuous use of the products. What we love about this seat is that it converts from an infant car seat into a compact stroller! It’s ideal for nipping out and about with baby, and it means that there’s no need for a stroller or car seat carrier in the trunk of the car. Amazing!

 

 

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller Doona Infant Car Seat Capsule

 

Doona Car Seat Stroller 

 

$499.99

Available in more colors

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