Best Car Seat for Small Cars Reviews (2017)

One factor that many parents often don’t consider when shopping for a car seat is if the seat is going to fit in their vehicle. Cars vary quite a bit so while a car seat may fit well in one vehicle, it may not be the best car seat for small cars. Narrow car seats for small cars make it possible to safely transport a child or multiple children. Some car seats are wide and bulky, however, there are some that are the best car seats for small cars. These seats offer comfort, protection, and a narrow width which is more compatible with small cars. The best rear facing car seat for small car spaces may be an infant seat or a convertible seat, for example. With multiple styles, car seat shopping for a small car can be tedious and frustrating.

Best Car Seats For Small Cars
Name Image Orientation Width (inches) My Rating
Diono Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat Rear facing/Forward facing/High back booster 17 5
Clek Foonf 2017 Convertible Car Seat Rear facing/Forward facing 17.0 5
Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat Rear facing/Forward facing/High back booster 19.75 4.8
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat Rear facing/Forward facing 18 4.7
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Rear facing 17 5

What is Considered a Small Car Seat?

A small car seat is a car seat that takes up less room in a back seat when compared to other available seats. Some car seats may measure 21 inches wide while others can be as little as 17 inches wide. Small car seats typically have narrow armrests, an integrated cup holder (if any) and a narrow frame that takes up little space in the car. A small car may have only two doors so the bulkiness of the seat should be considered as it could be difficult to take in and out. Some small car seats offer a reclining option which allows the seat to be adjusted, making the seat fit better in a smaller car.

Different Types of Car Seats for Small Cars

As your child ages, they will require various car seats during different stages of their life. This is because as children get bigger, they need different car seats to accommodate their growing body. All car seats have a weight range of which they cater to. Car seats come in various styles that are built to accommodate different aged children. Parents have to typically purchase the following styles:

  1. An infant car seat such as the Baby Jogger 2016 City which has a weight range of 4-35 pounds
  2. A forward facing car seat like the Evenflo SureRide DLX which has a weight limit of 65 pounds
  3. A booster seat such as the Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat which has a weight limit of 100 pounds

Car seats that fit in small cars are narrow and compact.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Car Seat for a Small Car

The best car seat for small car spaces will take up less room without sacrificing comfort, style and most importantly, safety. It may seem impossible but it is possible to find narrow car seats for small cars and with some searching, you can find the best small car seat for your needs. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a car seat. The first thing to consider is the age and weight of your child as that will determine what style car seat to purchase. Also, consider the following:

  1. The width of your vehicle seat. Use a measuring tape and measure the space you have available. If you have multiple car seats, measure the width available with all the seats installed.
  2. Also, consider the car seat design as many car seats are narrow at the base but bow out into a wide curve at the middle. If looking for an infant seat, consider the handle width as well.
  3. Try to avoid buying a seat that has a cup holder that is not integrated into the base of the seat. A cup holder that exists on the outside of the dimensions just makes the seat wider. A cup holder that is built into the design of the seat will not take up extra space and will still be usable even if you have three car seats in a row.

With the measurements made and the style chosen, you will be ready to shop for a car seat for your little one. There are great car seats that fit in small cars and there is one for every budget. The best car seats for a small car is out there, so let’s see if we can find them.

Top Rated Car Seats for Small Cars

Diono Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

At only 17 inches wide, this may be the best convertible car seat for small cars. This seat features aluminum reinforced side walls and head support lined with foam providing excellent side impact protection. A SafeStop energy absorbing harness provides extra protection for children 20 to 40 pounds in the forward-facing position. With a higher weight range for forward facing harness, this allows your child to remain in a five point harness for a longer period of time. The weight limit for the booster is 120 pounds making it truly the only car seat you will ever need.

Weight Range

Rear Facing Harness: 5-45 pounds

Forward Facing Harness: 20-80 pounds

Booster: 50-120 pounds

Pros

  1. This seat has a full steel frame.
  2. With SuperLATCH system this seat’s installation is quick and easy.
  3. You can easily fit three in a row in most mid-sized vehicles.
  4. The seat folds flat for travel and is FAA certified.
  5. Infant body support cushions are included.
  6. SafeStop energy absorbing harness is included to protect your little one.
  7. This seat comes with a 12-position adjustable headrest providing your child with comfort and protection.
  8. This seat has a unique feature: rear facing tethering capability.
  9. The seat has a ten-year life from the date of purchase.

Cons

  1. It does not come in prints or designs, only solid colors are available.
  2. This seat has an expensive price tag which may not be feasible for those on a budget.

>> Click HERE to check the latest price of this car seat <<

Clek Foonf 2017 Convertible Car Seat

Only 17.0 inches wide, this convertible car seat is also in the running for the best convertible car seat for small car spaces. The narrow design of this seat allows for it to fit in a small back seat or in a row with other car seats. This seat allows for rear facing up to 50 pounds which is higher than most other rear facing car seats. Full of padding, this comfortable seat is both stylish and safe.

Weight Range

Rear Facing Harness: 14-50 pounds

Forward Facing Harness: 20-65 pounds

Pros

  1. This seat allows for extended rear facing up to 50 pounds.
  2. This seat includes REACT (Rigid-LATCH Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) which is a honeycomb design that absorbs the energy of a collision causing the force to be reduced.
  3. Rigid-LATCH makes installing the seat in forward facing orientation simple and easy.
  4. Advanced side-impact protection for your child in the event of a side-impact collision.
  5. Made with GREENGUARD, a material that is water repellent and stain resistant as well as protects from moisture and odor causing bacteria.
  6. This seat comes with a steel anti-rebound bar furthering the safety of the child.

Cons

  1. This seat is too large for a baby under 14 pounds so it may not be the best infant car seat for small car spaces. In order to use this seat for small infants, you have to purchase the Infant-Thingy separately.
  2. This car seat is very expensive especially considering the low weight limit and that it does not convert to a booster seat.
  3. Weighing 33 pounds, this seat is heavier than other available seats.

>> Click HERE to check the latest price of this car seat <<

Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

This seat is 19.75 inches wide making it a slim fit car seat. Accommodating children 5 pounds to 100 pounds, this seat may be the only seat you ever buy. A removable insert is used for infants and the adjustable harness grows with your child. The multi-position headrest offers even more comfort for your child and the seat comes with two cup holders, perfect for a snack or drink. This seat is not only narrow but also stylish, comfortable, and safe. With all the different orientations available, this seat may be the best rear facing convertible car seat for small cars as well as the best toddler car seat for small car spaces.

Weight Range

Rear Facing Harness: 5-40 pounds

Forward Facing Harness: 20-65 pounds

High Back Booster: 30-100 pounds

Pros

  1. The width of this seat is 19.75 which will fit in most small cars.
  2. This seat converts from an infant seat to a forward facing harness seat and then to a booster seat.
  3. The cupholders have a unique rotating design which allows them to rotate away making the seat 10% slimmer.
  4. Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows you to adjust the headrest and the harness at the same time.
  5. This seat has four recline positions which may improve the fit in a smaller car.
  6. InRight LATCH system makes installation simple and easy.
  7. Side-impact tested and Safe Seat Engineered, this seat cuts no corners when it comes to safety.

Cons

  1. At nearly 20 inches wide, this seat is wider than other slim fitting seats.
  2. The weight limit of the booster seat is 100 pounds which is 10-20 pounds less than other available seats.
  3. Rear facing only goes up to 40 pounds while other seats go up to 65 pounds.

>> Click HERE to check the latest price of this car seat <<

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

This narrow lightweight car seat is ideal for small cars. As a rear facing car seat and a forward facing car seat, this convertible car seat can serve a child during two car seat stages. The padding is removable and machine washable making keeping the seat clean easy. The seat comes with a removable cup holder that can be taken off to give even more room. At 18 inches wide this could be the best convertible car seat for a small car. The best convertible car seats for small cars always accommodate growing children while not sacrificing safety, and this seat does just that.

Weight Range

Rear Facing Harness: 5-40 pounds

Forward Facing Harness: Up to 65 pounds

Pros

  1. This narrow design car seat makes it one of the best convertible car seat for a small car.
  2. This seat converts from an infant seat to a forward facing harness seat so it’s like two seats in one.
  3. This seat meets or exceeds all federal safety standards.
  4. The five point harness has a center front adjust making it easy to adjust the harness.
  5. A multi-position headrest makes it so the seat grows with your child.
  6. Weighing 13.8 pounds, this seat is lightweight and easy to transfer between vehicles.
  7. The low price of this seat makes it affordable for those on a budget.

Cons

  1. With a weight limit of 40 pounds, this seat does not really include the extended rear facing option.
  2. This seat does not convert to a booster seat.

>> Click HERE to check the latest price of this car seat <<

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Only 17 inches wide, this infant car seat is perfect for small cars and puts it in the running for the best rear facing car seat for small cars. It comes with an easy clip on base that stays in the car which makes errands easier. The seat also comes with a level indicator that helps you get the perfect angle when installing the seat. This seat provides comfort to your baby while also maintaining a narrow design and the highest safety standards.

Weight Range

Rear Facing Harness: 4-30 pounds

Pros

  1. This seat is only 17 inches wide which makes it ideal for small cars.
  2. Padding gives your baby comfort as well as safety.
  3. A canopy can be used to block the sun or tucked away nicely when not in use.
  4. This seat comes with the LATCH system as well as a level indicator giving you the right fit every time you install it.
  5. An enclosed underside protects your vehicle seats from being damaged.
  6. This car seat is compatible with Chicco strollers which makes traveling convenient and easy.

Cons

  1. With a weight limit of 40 pounds, this seat does not really include the extended rear facing option.
  2. This seat has a high price which may not be possible for some families.

>> Click HERE to check the latest price of this car seat <<

Which Car Seat is Right for Your Small Car?

Each seat varies so it is important that you measure your available space before shopping for a car seat. When you have chosen a car seat, immediately install it in your car so you can return it if you need to. Consider the size of your child as they may be approaching the weight limit to some of the available seats. The safest car seat is the seat that you use properly and consistently, so whatever you choose, be sure that it is a seat that you will always use safely. Car seat shopping can be frustrating and confusing but with the right information, you can easily narrow down your options.


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