Traveling on the road with your children can be naturally intimidating as we are concerned about their safety and the possibility of a car accident. Therefore, one of the most important decisions any new parent has to make is finding and buying the right car seat for your newborn.
While simultaneously asking questions such as “how tight should the harness be?”, “front-facing or rear-facing?”, “cheap or expensive car seat?” After all, it is a matter of your child’s life and health.
To answer those questions, I researched a wide variety of different car seats. With that being said, you may be delighted to find that this article will educate you on the best cheap car seat according to your preferences and needs. So keep on reading to find out.
7 Top Best Cheap & Budget Friendly Newborn Car Seats Comparisons – Under $100
1. Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat
To kick start this list, I would like to discuss the Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat, one of the more basic and affordable car seats that, although it does not come with many bells and whistles, actually provides the most important feature and that is protection for your child.
It comes at a steady price, which is comparatively cheaper than most other car seats currently available on the market.
In terms of weight limits, it has a rear-facing weight range that falls between 5 to 65 pounds, while the forward-facing weight range is up to 65 pounds.
One of the convenient features of this car seat is that its closely packed frame allows for an easy fit of 3 across most vehicles. Thus it can be a great option for parents looking for a spare or additional car seat to hold on to.
In addition to that, parents will not need to worry about changing the car seat to accommodate their growing child as this car seat can be used as a rear-facing seat for your infant up until they grow the age in which they will be seated forward-facing, thanks to its broad range of harness adjustments.
Apart from that, I would also like to shed light on its comfort-oriented features, such as the built-in ventilation system that ensures traveling comfort for your child throughout all seasons!
Moreover, the seats integrated cup holders ensure that your child has access to drinks and snacks within a reachable distance that also functions to prevent any spillage in the car. And in the case that there was a mess made, the machine-washable seat pads allow for easier cleaning of the seat that will be inevitable from time to time.
- Easy to install
- Very durable
- It easily fits in most vehicles
- Extra padding for more comfort
- Reclining issues
Overall, this is a great option for new parents looking to purchase good quality and affordable car seats to keep things under budget while simultaneously providing the utmost protection to their children. Most feedbacks online claim that it is easy to install, offers comfort, and lasts long term, thus giving great value for its price.
2. Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat
Up next is the Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat, which successfully combines safety, comfort, ease of use, and affordability to provide the best child restraint product.
From its dimensions of 29.8 x 17.5 x 16 inches, it is a compact built car seat that can easily adjust into most vehicles without sacrificing any space for other passengers. It weighs roughly 10 pounds, and the infant mode can withstand rear-facing child weights between 5 to 40 pounds.
In contrast, the toddler mode with forward-facing orientation can accommodate children weighing 22 to 40 pounds. Furthermore, the 5 point harness offers comfortable covers and easily front adjustable straps for the ultimate convenience of parents and comfort and protection for children.
The seat also provides an adjustable head pillow to keep your baby as comfortable as possible while also being removable to accommodate toddlers’ additional cushions for comfort. It is also worth mentioning that the seat pad can also be removed and is safe for you to clean it in the washing machine.
Similarly, the seat also comes with a removable cup holder to entertain your child with snacks and drinks, which can be cleaned in a dishwasher, thus allowing parents a more easy cleaning process.
As for the most important feature, the safety standards exceeded by this product include side impact protection, dynamic rollover tests, and high energy level protection for the maximum safety of your child.
- Easy to install
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Great for travel
- Air travel
- Lack of padding
- Plastic may feel cheap
This is yet another great option for a car seat for parents looking to try something more on the inexpensive side while enjoying the safety standards to keep their children protected and comfortable during journeys.
3. Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat
The Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat is yet another wonderful car seat that is equally lightweight, durable, and affordable for new parents looking for a new car seat for their child. It offers a forward-facing harness up to reasonable height limits and a high back booster mode with spacious room.
Its weight of 9 pounds allows parents to easily carry it around, especially during traveling and at airports, thus being a great harness booster seat and a backup car seat.
Moreover, it offers two front-facing uses, the first being the front-facing harness that can carry weights between the range of 22 to 50 pounds, and the next use allows you to use the vehicle belt as a high back booster for children the age of 4 years old minimum carrying weight limits of between 40 to 110 pounds.
In addition to that, the upfront harness adjustment allows for a much more easy way of properly tightening the harness. At the same time, the shoulder belt guide helps you position the vehicle’s belt around your child, ensuring maximum safety.
Another great feature is the dual integrated cup holders that provide easy access to snacks and drinks to the child while the parent focuses on the road.
The removable seat pad can be machine washed, which allows for a more convenient cleaning process. As for the safety standards, this car seat has been tested rigorously in the United States and has exceeded all safety standards, including side-impact and rollover tests.
- Easy to carry
- Excellent safety measures
- Easy to install
- Compact and fits easily
- Lightweight materials may be cheap quality
- Cup holders difficult to manage
In essence, this car seat is a great option for parents with children around the age of 2 as it can be used for a forward-facing harness until the child grows into the high back booster mode. Overall, the features that it comes with justifying the reasonable price.
4. Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat
The next car seat on my list is the Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat, and one of the reasons is its extremely lightweight characteristic.
This is especially great for parents that are constantly traveling and need a lighter and easier-to-carry car seat, particularly at airports where luggage weight can add to your costs.
Furthermore, it is yet another compact-sized seat which means that it easily fits with other car seats in most vehicles without compromising any space or comfort of other passengers.
It offers four shoulder strap positions that will accommodate your growing child. And as its name suggests, being a convertible car seat, it will provide rear-facing and forward-facing options for your child.
Moreover, the most important reason why I love this car seat is the safety standards met and exceeded thanks to the manufacturers. It was designed and engineered to withhold twice the levels of energy produced in a car crash which essentially means it tremendously exceeds the safety standards set by the US government.
To add to that, this car seat also meets other safety standards that include flammability of interior materials, side-impact protection, and child restrain systems.
In terms of weight limits, it can hold a rear-facing child weight of between 5 to 40 pounds and a forward-facing weight range of 22 to 40 pounds. Another neat feature about this car seat is its 5 point harness that offers multiple shoulder harness positions for various fits for longer use and comfort.
Parents will find it quite easy to use owing to its upfront harness adjustment and easy buckle release for convenient and easy adjusting.
It offers an integrated body cushion for the ultimate comfort for babies, which can be easily removed and used as a head pillow for older children. A cup holder to accommodate your child with drinks and snacks can be folded to allow for extra space room for passengers.
- Excellent safety measures
- A great option for frequent traveling parents
- Convertible so can be used for longer
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Thin padding
- Difficulty in leveling
In general, I believe this car seat can be seen as a great option for parents that are always on the go and travel frequently. The fact that it’s a convertible seat at such an affordable price makes it difficult to exclude it from my list.
5. Cosco MightyFit 65 Convertible Car Seat
The Cosco MightyFit 65 Convertible Car Seat will keep your little one safe and comfortable in the car from the time of being a baby up till it grows into a toddler.
This car seat is designed to be the right size for any child. It will accommodate rear-facing seating positions up to 40 pounds of weight before transitioning into the forward-facing orientation that can withhold weights of up to 65 pounds.
Parents may be excited to know that this car seat barely takes up any space in the rear-facing orientation, which allows for more legroom for the parents sitting in passenger and driving seats.
And if your family has more than one child, you can easily fit 3 of these seats across in any vehicle so that every child is protected and comfortable during the car rides.
In addition to that, with built-in side protection technology, the MightyFit 65 has met every safety standard set by the federal government; thus, parents can remain assured of their child’s safety and focus solely on the road.
It offers 5 point harness system that can be easily adjusted from the front seat and features five heights and three buckle locations to be sure to tuck in your child as safely and firmly as possible.
Parents often worry about their child making a mess on the seat, which can be difficult to clean. This problem is eliminated, and parents may be alleviated from their worries as the fabric of this seat is machine washable and dryer safe.
- Inexpensive and durable
- Good safety standards
- Easily cleanable
- Convertible seat
- Difficult to carry
- Difficult to install
In conclusion, the MightyFit is an extra comfortable and safe seat for your child to enjoy their car rides with you while you remain assured of their safety, enjoy the free legroom and stress-free driving experience with your child.
6. Evenflo AMP High Back Car Seat Booster
The Evenflo AMP High Back Car Seat Booster is designed to give an elevated seat and six height settings and upper belt guides, allowing parents to be certain about the vehicle’s seat belt being properly strapped across their child’s upper and lower body.
Furthermore, the backrest on the car seat can be removed as your child grows bigger to accommodate a backless booster seat.
As far as safety standards are concerned, the AMP meets and exceeds all federal safety standards and Evenflo’s side impact standards, deeming it a safe and reliable child restraint product that parents can trust.
As for the rest of the features, the high back booster seat supports 30 to 110 pounds of weight and 38 to 57 inches of height, whereas the no back booster seat can retain weights between 40 to 110 pounds and support heights of 40 to 57 inches tall. It offers six height options and a one-hand easy-adjust system that can accommodate growing children for a longer period.
It also provides a dual cup holder for juice boxes or snacks for your child and a machine-washable seat pad that makes cleaning more convenient and easy.
The seat’s narrow and compactly designed frame allows for a more comfortable fit of additional seats in one vehicle, thus catering to families with more than one child. It is also quite lightweight and easy to carry, allowing mothers and elderly parents to easily carry and manage it.
- Good safety standards
- Long term investment
- Easy to operate
- The material composition may be unsatisfactory
The AMP booster seat will have your child excited to get in the car and buckle up on this seat to tie it all up. You will appreciate the stress-free driving experiences while your child enjoys riding around with you comfortably and safely. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, this seat will make for a great investment.
7. Cosco Finale DX 2-In-1 Booster Car Seat
As its name suggests, the Cosco Finale DX 2-In-1 Booster Car Seat offers long term extended use by providing two modes of usage; first, it features a forward-facing car seat that accommodates children weighing 30 to 65 pounds and are roughly 30 to 40 inches tall while being no younger than one year old.
Secondly, it features a belt-positioning booster that protects children weighing 40 to 100 pounds and between 40 to 50 inches in height.
Furthermore, this seat is perfect for families growing with more children as the 18 inches width of the seat can accommodate up to 3 seats across most vehicles. It is also very lightweight and is easy to carry, which means elderly parents should have no trouble installing and removing the seats themselves.
Parents can also benefit from the lightweight factor, especially if they frequently travel and are always on the go. The manufacturers of the Finale DX kept in mind the importance of the child’s comfort and hence used a deluxe fabric for the seat pads that are designed for comfort and can be easy as it is removable and washing machine safe, after all, a mess from time to time is bound to happen that is why providing parents with convenient cleaning processes is essential.
The manufacturers also made sure to incorporate a detachable cup holder to cater to the child’s needs, including snacks and beverages, which can also be safely cleaned in a dishwasher.
Lastly, to keep parents assured of their child’s safety with this car seat, I have to mention the multiple crash tests this product has undergone, has successfully exceeded all federal safety standards, and is an IHSS best bet rating for use in booster mode.
- Easy to clean
- For frequent traveling
- Great price
- Lack of padding
- Problems with straps
Overall, this is a great option for parents looking for an everyday use car seat that comes at an affordable price. It offers great durability and can be used for long-term purposes.
The seat pad and cup holders are easy to clean, and the lightweight and slim size allow for better and easier handling for mothers or elderly parents while providing their children with safe and comfortable car rides.
What Is The Most Ideal And Cheap Car Seat?
Generally speaking, there is a car seat for every family and their specific needs, but overall, you need a car seat that will appropriately accommodate your child’s age. The seat should keep your child rear-facing until the age of 2 years, forward-facing till five years minimum, and in a booster seat until at least 10 years.
Are Cheap Cars Seats Safe As The Expensive Ones?
Yes, the safety of a car seat does not depend on its affordability and the right car seat does not mean it has to be the expensive one. Regardless of the price differences in car seats, they are all equally safe because in US, all car seats have to meet the same safety and crash standards.
What Is The Most Common Problem With Cheap Car Seats?
One of the most important issues with cheap car seats is that although federal traffic safety standards have approved them, they have only been approved for old regulations, which do not include side-impact crash tests.
So even if the company advertises side-impact crash protection, there is not much guarantee that the car seat has been approved and does provide side-impact crash safety measures.
Therefore, the only option left for parents and customers is to thoroughly inquire with the seller and ensure that the car seat has been approved for the latest regulations, including side-impact crash protection.
What Is The Difference Between A Cheap And An Expensive Car Seat?
Typically, the most common difference tends to be the quality of materials used for, say, the seating pad and the fabrics, extra cushions, and padding, among other bells and whistles.
Generally speaking, the only important feature about these car seats is the safety measures, and all car seats have to meet and satisfy the same safety standards.
In simpler words, paying a higher price for a car seat does not mean getting extra safety and protection features. Hence buying an affordable one is a great option.
If you have made it this far, I applaud you and hope that this article was helpful to you in finding the ideal car seat for your child. As for my personal opinion, I would recommend the Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat as the best cheap car seat that generally covers and provides most of the important and key features for a car seat.
The majority of its online ratings by users are positive, with barely any bad feedback. Regardless of the car seat that you choose, it is imperative to analyze and test their safety standards and measures, as this is simply a matter of your child’s safety and comfort.