Recommended Seats: Canada

recommended seats Canada

Types of Seats

Choosing a car seat is tough! There are so many options, and one look at the car seat aisle can make your head swim with weight limits and bells and whistles. So how do you know what the best seat is for your child? The safest seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, and can be used correctly 100% of the time. It’s important to look at the height and weight limits printed on the box, but they often do not tell the whole story. It is also important to note things like the height of the shell, and height of the harness positions, which will factor into when the child will outgrow the seat.

If you’re not sure which type your child should be in, start with our best practice guide through the four steps of car seat safety.

If your seat isn’t on the list, don’t worry! That doesn’t mean it isn’t safe or isn’t recommended. All seats pass the same safety standards and are safe when used correctly. Our list is a short guide to seats that we find easy to use, long lasting, or fit a specific niche.

Seats are generally listed from least to most expensive, but prices do fluctuate often so please check your retailer for the current price.  Check out our reviews section to find in depth reviews of many of the seats listed, although reviews are done based on US models so please note Canadian versions may have slightly different limits.


Rear Facing Only (also known as infant seats)

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Last modified at February 8, 2017 10:41 am.


Evenflo Embrace Select
EvenfloEmbraceCA
Bottom Harness Slot: 5.5″
Height Limit: 17-30" or head 1" below the top of the shell
Weight Limit: 4-35 lbs
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Fits small infants well, front adjust harness, lightweight, price, and 3 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Handle cannot be left up in the vehicle and requires 1.5" clearance between vehicle seat and car seat. Seat does allow handle in ARB position to help with space.
Retail Price: CDN$140
Graco Snugride Click Connect 30
Read CSFTL Reviewgracosnugridecc30
Bottom Harness Slot: 5″
Height Limit: Up to 30″ or head 1" below the top of the shell
Weight Limit: 4-30 lbs
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: Available with recommended front adjust harness, fits small infants well, has specific handle position, large canopy, lightweight, and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Most models have a rear adjust harness (front adjust are hard to find, but try to look for front adjust model). Some models do not have adjustable bases or separate pieces that may be lost and can usually only be found in a travel system. Snugride22 Classic Connect is not recommended due to bottom harness position being too high.
Retail Price: CDN$196
Chicco Keyfit
Read CSFTL Reviewkeyfit
Bottom Harness Slot: 7" with insert
Height Limit: Up to 30″ or head 1" below the top of the shell
Weight Limit:4-22 lbs
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Fits small infants well and front adjust harness.
Cons: Has specific handle requirements, must remember to remove infant insert at 11 pounds, and seat is not as lightweight as other options.
Features: Harness pads, lockoff, and premium lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$300
Britax B-Safe 35 and 35 Elite
Read CSFTL Reviewbsafe35
Bottom Harness Slot: 5.5″
Height Limit: Up to 32″ or head 1" below the top of the shell
Weight Limit: 4-35 lbs
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Easily accessible belt path for baseless installation, fits small infants well, front adjust harness, and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Has specific handle requirements, must remember to change harness positions and remove insert at 11 pounds, not as lightweight as other options, and seat is narrow inside making it seem outgrown earlier.
Features: Harness pads, lockoff, no-rethread harness on Elite model, and premium lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$300-350

Convertible and Multimode Car Seats

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Convertible Car Seats (Rear and Forward Facing)

Last modified at March 8, 2017 9:56 am.

Cosco Scenera Next
Read CSFTL ReviewCoscoSceneraNext
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs, 19-40″, or head 1" below the top of the 23″ shell
Forward Facing Limits: 22-40 lbs, 29-43″, with 13" top harness slots
Expiration: 8 years
Pros:Inexpensive, fits newborns, allows rear facing until at least 2 years for a budget price, does not require pool noodles to achieve proper recline
Cons:Will be outgrown forward facing before it’s outgrown rear facing
Retail Price: CDN$99
Evenflo SureRide
Read CSFTL ReviewEvenfloSureride
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs, 19-40", or head 1" below the top of the 25" shell
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs, 29-54", with 19" top harness slots
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Budget friendly, high harness slots make it possible for most children to use the seat until booster age, lightweight, fits newborns well, not extremely bulky, can fit comfortably in most cars, harness covers are available for purchase
Cons: Narrow set harness straps, and lack of strap covers may irritate child’s neck, children near the 65 pound harness limit may find there is not enough harness slack to buckle up. Limits rear facing to the bottom three harness positions.
Retail Price: Sureride CDN$169
Titan65 CDN$130
Graco Contender/Dimensions
Read CSFTL ReviewGracoContender
Rear Facing Limits: 5-35 lbs, 18-43", or head 1" below the adjuster of the fully extended 28" headrest
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs, 27-49", with 17.5" top harness slots
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: Tall shell for rear facing, no re-thread harness, fits average sized newborns, two crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Standard lower anchor connectors, Recline block to switch between rear and forward-facing modes, Some parents have experienced issues with tightening and loosening the harness properly.
Retail Price: CDN$280
Contender available at Canadian Tire.
CDN$310 Dimensions available at Babies R Us.
Britax Marathon G4.1/Boulevard G4.1
Read CSFTL ReviewBritaxBoulevardG4.1
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs, up to 49", or head 1" below the adjuster of the fully extended headrest
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs, up to 49", with 16.75" top harness slots
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: Easy to use and install, no re-thread harness, seat belt lockoffs, push button lower anchor connectors, takes up a small amount of front to back space, anti-rebound bar
Cons: Small interior doesn’t provide much leg room, and is outgrown in height earlier than some other seats.
Retail Price: CDN$399
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
Read CSFTL ReviewPegPerego5-70
Rear Facing Limits: 5-45 lbs, up to 49", 1″ below the head rest in the 7th position
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs, up to 49", with 17" top harness slots
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: No rethread harness, anti rebound bar, fits average sized newborns, adjustable crotch strap.
Cons: Low top harness slots for forward facing will not get most children to booster age, difficult to install with LATCH and seatbelt, bulky strap covers.
Retail Price: CDN$400
Britax ClickTight Boulevard/Advocate
Read CSFTL ReviewBritaxBoulevardClickTight
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs, up to 49", or head 1" below the top of the fully extended 29" headrest
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs, up to 49", with 18.65" top harness slots
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: ClickTight installation makes installation simple, high rear facing weight and height limits, no-rethread harness.
Cons: High price tag, seat is fairly heavy, short crotch buckle.
Retail Price: CDN$450
Clek Fllo
Read CSFTL Review
ClekFllo-1
Rear Facing Limits: 14-40 lbs, 25″ through 43″, sitting unassisted, with the head 1" below the top of the fully extended 26" headrest
(*5-22 lbs. and 19-33" with the infant-thingy)
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs, 30-49", with 17" top harness slots
Expiration: 9 years
Pros: High rear facing weight limit, water-resistant fabric, narrow enough for 3-across, anti-rebound bar, dual length crotch strap.
Cons: Crotch buckle is uncomfortable for some kids, must purchase the Infant thingy to fit a newborn.
Retail Price: CDN$449
Clek Foonf
Read CSFTL Review
ClekFoonf2
Rear Facing Limits: 14-40 lbs, 25″ through 43″, sitting unassisted, with the head 1" below the top of the fully extended 26" headrest
(*5-22 lbs. and 19-33" with the infant-thingy)
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs, 30-49", with 17" top harness slots
Expiration: 9 years
Pros: Water and stain resistant fabric, rigid forward facing LATCH connectors, narrow, anti-rebound bar, built in lock-offs.
Cons: Very heavy, can only be used in recline position 3 rear facing, sits up high in vehicle, making it difficult for some to load and unload children, can be difficult to assemble, must purchase the Infant thingy to fit a newborn.
Retail Price: CDN$599

Multimode Car Seats (rear and forward facing with an additional booster mode)

Last modified at February 11, 2017 9:55 am.

Diono Radian R120/RXT
Read CSFTL ReviewDionoRadianRXT
Rear Facing Limits: 45 pounds , up to 44", or head 1.5" below the top of the shell
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs, up to 57", with 17.5" top harness slots
Booster Limits: 50-120 lbs, up to 57", with 18" top belt guide
(does not become backless)
Expiration: 8 years harness and 10 years booster from purchase
Pros: Narrow, high rear facing weight limits, low profile sides makes it easy to load and unload children, folds up as a back pack for travel
Cons: Booster function has a 50 lb weight minimum and it does not adjust in height and will be outgrown shortly after the harness in height. It can be difficult to install both rear and forward facing. Rear facing will need an angle adjuster (sold separately) to fit in many compact vehicles.
Retail Price:
R120 CDN$340
RXT CDN$380
Graco 4Ever
Read CSFTL Review
Graco4Ever
Rear Facing Limits: 4-40 lbs, 43", or head 1" below the top of the fully extended headrest
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs, up to 49", with 18" top harness slots
Booster Limits: 40-100 lbs, 38-57", with 19" top belt guide (backless: 40-120 lbs, 40-57")
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Easy to install, fits newborns well, compact, tall shell for rear facing, and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Cannot use lower anchors in backless booster mode, converts to a backless booster, does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat in booster mode, heavy, and will most likely expire before child is ready to safely travel without booster.
Features: Can use lower anchors in high back booster mode, converts to a backless booster, dual cupholders, harness pads, hideaway harness for switching to booster mode, no re-thread harness, and premium lower anchor connectors.
Price: CDN$450

Combination Seats (forward facing harness to booster)

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Last modified at March 8, 2017 10:14 am.


Evenflo Maestro
Read CSFTL ReviewMaestro
Harness Limits: 22-50 lbs, 28-50", with 18″ top harness slots
Booster Limits: 40-110 lbs, 43-57″, with 19" top belt guide (does not become backless)
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Easy to install, lightweight, price, and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Booster function is outgrown in height very quickly after the harness is outgrown by height, does not convert to backless, harness must be fully removed when switching to booster mode, lower weight limit than other combination seats, must remember to move crotch buckle out when child reaches 40 lbs, and narrow set harness straps may dig into child's neck.
Features: Allows use of lower anchors in booster mode, dual cupholders, and some models do not have harness covers but they can be ordered from Evenflo.
Retail Price: CDN$140
Harmony Defender
Read CSFTL ReviewHarmonyDefender
Harness Limits: 22–65 lbs, 27-57″
Booster Limits: 40-110 lbs, 34-57″ , with 20" top belt guide (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Narrow, price, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat in booster mode, harness must be fully removed when switching to booster mode, only allows 2” of overhang in harness mode when seat is tethered, and requires assembly.
Features: Ability to attach single cupholder, harness pads, and may allow use of lower anchors in booster mode if you call Harmony.
Retail Price: CDN$170
Evenflo Evolve
Read CSFTL Review
evenflo_evolve
Harness Limits: 22-65 lbs, 28-50", with 18″ top harness slots
Booster Limits: 40-120 lbs, 44-57″, with 20.5" top belt guide
(backless: same limits)
Expiration: 8 years
Pros: Well padded, and 2 crotch buckle positions
Cons: Harness covers are required until 40 lbs and narrow set harness.
Features: Allows use of lower anchors in high back booster mode, buckle tongue holders, dual cupholders, harness pads, hideaway harness when switching to booster mode, premium lower anchor connectors, and 2 recline positions.
Retail Price: CDN$230
Graco Tranzitions
Read CSFTL Review
Graco-Tranzitions-3-in-1-Harness-Booster--
Harness Limits: 22-65 lbs, 27-49″, with 18.25″ top harness slots
Booster Limits: 40-100 lbs, 38-57", with 19.5″ top belt guide
(backless: 40-110 lbs, 40-57")
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: Lightweight, narrow, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat in booster mode, harness must be fully removed when switching to booster mode, and high, narrow belt path can make installation a challenge in some vehicles.
Features: Allows use of lower anchors in booster mode and harness pads and dual cupholders (not usable in very narrow mode).
Price: CDN$240
Graco Nautilus
Read CSFTL Reviewnautilus
Harness Limits: 22-65 lbs, 27-49″
Booster Limits: 40 lbs-100 lbs, 38-57", with 21" top belt guide
(backless: 40-100 lbs, 40-57")
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Easy to install, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and 3 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Can cause head slump in some models, does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat in booster mode, harness must be fully removed when switching to booster mode, and not easily switched from high back to backless modes.
Features: Allows use of lower anchors in high back booster mode, harness pads, no-rethread harness, single cupholder, and 1 recline position.
Retail Price: CDN$300
Britax Pioneer
Read CSFTL Reviewpioneer
Harness Limits: 25-65 lbs, 30-56″, with 20.5" top slots
Booster Limits: 40-110 lbs, 45-60″, with 23" top belt guide
(does not become backless)
Expiration: 9 years
Pros: Easy to remove cover for cleaning, highest harness and booster height capacity available (same as Frontier), and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat in booster mode, does not become backless, installation is more difficult than the Frontier, seat is large and heavy, using the booster with smaller children may result is the seat belt not moving properly in the seat belt guide.
Features: Allows use of lower anchors in high back booster mode, dual cupholders, EZ buckle holds the buckle forward when buckling/unbuckling, hideaway harness when switching to booster mode, no-rethread harness, premium lower anchor connectors, and 1 recline position.
Retail Price: CDN$300
Britax Frontier CT/Pinnacle
Read Frontier Review
Read Pinnacle Review
frontier
Harness Limits: 25-65 lbs; 30-58″, with 20.5" harness slots
Booster Limits: 40-120 lbs, 45-62″, with 23" top belt guide
(does not become backless)
Expiration: 9 years
Pros: Easy to remove cover for cleaning, highest harness and booster height capacity available
(same as Pioneer), and 2 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Does not allow the seat to overhang the vehicle seat in booster mode, does not become backless, seat is large and heavy, and using the booster with smaller children may result is the seat belt not moving properly in the seat belt guide.
Features: Allows use of lower anchors in high back booster mode, dual cupholders, EZ buckle holds the buckle forward when buckling/unbuckling, hideaway harness when switching to booster mode, no-rethread harness, premium lower anchor connectors, and 1 recline position.
Retail Price: Frontier CDN$449
Pinnacle CDN$499

High Back Boosters

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Last modified at March 7, 2017 6:55 am.


Evenflo Big Kid
Read CSFTL ReviewEvenfloBigKid
Top Belt Guide: 19"
Booster Limit: 40-110 lbs; 40-57″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Converts to backless, does not require vehicle head support, high armrests are easy to route seat belt under, lightweight, narrow, price, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Lacks padding and head/torso support.
Retail Price: CDN$70
Cosco Pronto Booster
Read CSFTL Review
CoscoPronto
Top Belt Guide: 23"
Booster Limit: 40-100 lbs, 40-57″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Converts to backless, price, and 23" top shoulder belt guide.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, lacks padding, requires vehicle head support, and no shoulder belt guide when used backless.
Features: Single cupholder.
Retail Price: CDN$70
Graco TurboBooster
Read CSFTL ReviewGracoTurboboosterHBB
Top Belt Guide: 19.5"
Booster Limit: 40–100 lbs; 40–57″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Converts to backless, does not require vehicle head support, price, and shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless.
Cons: Does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat, lacks padding, and requires assembly, specifically screws in the armrests.
Features: Dual cupholders.
Retail Price: CDN$66-100
Diono Cambria
Read CSFTL Review
DionoCambria
Top Belt Guide: 21.5"
Booster Limit: 40–120 lbs; 38–63″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Converts to backless, deep head support and seating area, price, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat, lacks padding, and requires a vehicle head restraint.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$99
RECARO Performance Booster
Read CSFTL ReviewRecaroPerformanceBooster
Top Belt Guide: 21"
Booster Limit: 40-120 lbs; 37-61″
Expiration: 6 years
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat, does not convert to backless, lower anchors don't tighten so they only secure the seat when unoccupied, and very wide seat which can make it hard to buckle.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$120
Graco Affix
Read CSFTL ReviewGracoAffix
Top Belt Guide: 20"
Booster Limit: 40-100 lbs ; 40-57" (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Converts to backless, does not require vehicle head support, and shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless.
Cons: Does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat, lower anchors can limit three across seating, and a wider seat make it a less viable option for three across seating.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$122-150
Diono Monterey
Read CSFTL ReviewDionoMonterey
Top Belt Guide: 21"
Booster Limit: 40–100 lbs; 38–63″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 8 years
Pros: Converts to backless, deep head/torso support and seating area, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat., and requires a vehicle head restraint.
Features: Adjustable width back support, dual cupholders, and lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$140
Britax Parkway SG/SGL
Read CSFTL ReviewBritaxParkway
Top Belt Guide: 21.5"
Booster Limit: 40-120 lbs; 38-63″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Converts to backless, deep head support, and does not require vehicle head support.
Cons: Does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat.
Features: Dual cupholders, lower anchor connectors, and optional SG clip.
Retail Price: CDN$220

Backless Boosters

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Last modified at February 7, 2017 10:55 am.


Harmony Youth Booster
Read CSFTL Reviewharmonyyouth
Booster Limits: 40–100 lbs; 34-57″
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Lightweight, narrow, price, and shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit.
Cons: Lacks padding, shallow seating area, and short armrests can be difficult to route seat belt under.
Retail Price: CDN$20
Diono Hip No-Back Booster (previously Little Tikes)
Read CSFTL Review
LittleTikesBackless-1
Booster Limits: 40–120 lbs; 38-60″
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Price, shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat, and lacks padding.
Features: Dual cupholders.
Retail Price: CDN$25-35
Evenflo Amp
Read CSFTL Reviewamp
Booster Limits: 40–110 lbs; 38-57″
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: High armrests are easy to route seat belt under, lightweight, narrow, price, shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Lacks padding.
Features: Dual cupholders.
Retail Price: CDN$30
Graco TurboBooster
Read CSFTL Reviewturbobooster
Booster Limits: 40–100 lbs; 40-57”
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Lightweight, price, and shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit.
Cons: Does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat and lacks padding.
Features: Dual cupholders.
Retail Price: CDN$40-50
Safety 1st Incognito
Read CSFTL Review
incognito
Booster Limits: 60-120 lbs, up to 60″
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Deep seating area, no armrests help in three across seating, price, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: 60 lb minimum does not allow small but appropriately mature older kids to use the seat, does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat, lacks padding, must be ordered online, and no shoulder belt guide available.
Price: CDN$45
Graco Affix
Read CSFTL Reviewaffix
Booster Limits: 40–100 lbs; 40-57”
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Lightweight and shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit.
Cons: Does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat and lower anchors can limit three across seating.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$65-70
Diono Solana
Read CSFTL Reviewsolana
Booster Limits: 40-120 lbs; 38-63″
Expirarion: 10 years
Pros: Deep seating area, lightweight, shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally and does not allow the booster to overhang the vehicle seat.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$50
Clek Ozzi or Olli
Read CSFTL Reviewolli-1
Booster Limits: 40–120 lbs; 40-57″
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: High armrests are easy to route seat belt under and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, no shoulder belt guide available, rigid lower anchors may not sit nicely in some vehicle seats and can limit three across seating.
Features: No numb-bum padding, rigid lower anchor connectors, and stain resistant Crypton fabric.
Retail Price: Ozzi CDN$75; Olli CDN$100