Recommended Seats: Canada

recommended seats Canada

Last modified: Nov 16, 2016 @ 1:39 pm

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)

Helpful Related Links:

Evenflo Embrace Select
EvenfloEmbraceCA
Bottom Harness Slot: 5.5″
Height Limit: 17-30"
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: 30″
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: Some models have a rear adjust harness, 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 is not recommended due to bottom harness position being too high.
Retail Price: CDN$196
Safety 1st OnBoard Air 35
Read CSFTL Reviewonboard35
Bottom Harness Slot: 5.5″
Height Limit: 29″
Weight Limit:4- 35 lbs
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Allows handle in any position, fits small infants well, front adjust harness, large canopy, lightweight, and 3 crotch buckle positions.
Cons: Handle cannot be left up in the vehicle, harness material is thin and prone to twisting and seat is larger front to back.
Features: Lockoff and premium lower anchor connectors.
Retail Price: CDN$230
Chicco Keyfit
Read CSFTL Reviewkeyfit
Bottom Harness Slot: 7" with insert
Height Limit: 30″
Weight Limit:4-22 lbs
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Fits small infants well, and front adjust harness.
Cons: Must remember to remove infant insert at 11 pounds and not as lightweight as other options.
Features: Has specific handle requirements, 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: 32″
Weight Limit: 4-35 lbs
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Allows handle in any position, fits small infants well, front adjust harness, 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.
Retail Price: CDN$300-350

Convertible and Multimode Car Seats

Helpful Related Links:

Convertible Car Seats (Rear and Forward Facing)

Cosco Scenera Next
Read CSFTL ReviewCoscoSceneraNext
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs; 19-40″
Forward Facing Limits: 2 year old minimum, 22-40 lbs; up to 43″
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″
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs; 29-54"
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"
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs; 27-49"
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 G4.1 Convertibles: Marathon/Boulevard/Advocate
Read CSFTL ReviewBritaxBoulevardG4.1
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs; child’s head 1″ from the top of the fully extended head restraint
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs; up to 49″
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, as of June 2014, models come with anti-rebound bar
Cons: Small interior doesn’t provide much leg room, and is outgrown in height earlier than some other seats.
**Note** Britax G4 convertible seats all offer the same growing room but have slightly different features. For a comparison chart check out their website.
Retail Price: CDN$399
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
Read CSFTL ReviewPegPerego5-70
Rear Facing Limits: 5-45 lbs; 1″ below the head rest in the 7th position
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs; under 49"
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
Read CSFTL ReviewBritaxBoulevardClickTight
Rear Facing Limits: 5-40 lbs; 1″ from the top of the fully extended headrest
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs; up to 49″
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 at 29.4 lbs., short crotch buckle.
Retail Price: CDN$450
Clek Foonf
Read CSFTL Review
ClekFoonf2
Rear Facing Limits: 14-40 lbs; 25″ through 43″ ** Unless you purchase the Infant thingy separately.
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs; 30-49″
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, short crotch buckle can be uncomfortable for some children (This has been remedied on 2014 versions and those with 2013 seats are able to call and order a longer crotch buckle), must purchase the Infant thingy to fit a newborn.
Retail Price: CDN$599
Clek Fllo
Read CSFTL Review
ClekFllo-1
Rear Facing Limits: 14-40 lbs; 25″ through 43″ ** Unless you purchase the Infant thingy separately.
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs; 30-49″
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, high price, must purchase the Infant thingy to fit a newborn.
Retail Price: CDN$449

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

Diono Radian R100/R120/RXT
Read CSFTL ReviewDionoRadianRXT
Rear Facing Limits: 40 pounds (R100) or 45 pounds (R120/RXT/GTX); up to 44"
Forward Facing Limits: 22-65 lbs; up to 57"
Booster Limits: 50-120 lbs; up to 57" (does not become backless)
Expiration: 8 years harness, 10 years booster
Pros: Narrow – Great for 3 across, high rear facing height and weight limits will take most children to four rear facing, rear facing tether, 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:
Radian R100: CDN$300
Radian R120: CDN$340
RXT: CDN$380
Graco 4Ever
Read CSFTL Review
Graco4Ever
Rear-Facing Limits: 4-40 lbs, 43" or head 1" from the top of the 28" shell
Forward Facing Limits: 20-65 lbs, up to 49", with 18" top harness slots
High Back Booster: 30-100 lbs, 38-57" with 19" top belt guide
Backless Booster: 40-120 lbs, 40-57" (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Fits newborns and children through booster age
Fairly compact — good in small spaces, two buckle positions, push button lower anchor connectors, can use LATCH in high back booster mode, hideaway harness for switching to booster mode, no re-thread harness.
Cons: Cannot use LATCH in backless booster mode, will most likely expire before child is truly ready to travel without booster, high price
Price: CDN$450

Combination Seats (forward facing harness to booster)

Helpful Related Links:

Evenflo Maestro
Read CSFTL ReviewMaestro
Harness Limit: 22-50 lbs; 28-50″
Booster Limit: 40-110 lbs; 43-57″ (does not become backless)
Expiration: 8 years
Pros: Lightweight, narrow – Good bet for a 3 across situation, harness covers available for purchase
Cons: Booster does not adjust in height and is outgrown shortly after the harness, low harness weight limit
Retail Price: CDN$155
Harmony Defender
Read CSFTL ReviewHarmonyDefender
Harness Limit: 22–65 lbs; 27-57″
Booster Limit: 40-110 lbs; 34-57″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Inexpensive, easy to install, narrow enough for 3-across.
Cons: Requires assembly, short crotch strap that can be uncomfortable (a longer strap is available at no charge from Harmony).
Retail Price: CDN$160
Evenflo Securekid
Read CSFTL Reviewsecurekid
Harness Limit: 22-65 lbs; 28-50″
Booster Limit: 40-110 lbs; 43.3-57″ (does not become backless)
Expiration: 6 years
Pros: Easy to install, Deluxe version comes with SureLATCH self tightening LATCH system, harness covers available for purchase
Cons: Narrow set harness straps
Retail Price: CDN$220
Graco Tranzitions
Read CSFTL Review
Graco-Tranzitions-3-in-1-Harness-Booster--
Harness Limit: 22-65 lbs, 27-49″, with 18.25″ top harness slots
High Back Booster: 40-100 lbs, 38-57", with 19.5″ top guide (backless: 40-110lbs, 40-57")
Expiration: 7 years
Pros: Narrow enough to work in many 3 across situations, inexpensive, easy to install, lightweight, easy to convert between harnessed and booster mode, can use LATCH in booster mode
Cons: High, narrow belt path can make installation a challenge in some vehicles, no dedicated storage location for manual or harness (when seat is in booster mode)
Price: CDN$240
Evenflo Evolve Platinum
Read CSFTL Review
evenflo_evolve
Harness Limit: 22-65 lbs; 28-50″
High Back Booster Limit: 40-120 lbs; 44-57″ (backless: same limits)
Expiration: 6 years
Pros:OUTLAST temperature control fabric, buckle pockets to keep buckle tongs out of the way when loading
Cons: Narrow set harness straps
Retail Price: CDN$250
Britax Pioneer
Read CSFTL Reviewpioneer
Harness Limit: 25-65 lbs; 30-56″
Booster Limit: 40-110 lbs; 45-60″ (does not become backless)
Expiration: 9 years
Pros: No rethread harness, easy to use and install, front adjust recline
Cons: This seat is basically a stripped down version of the Frontier with slightly lower harness heights and none of the fancy features like the ClickTight installation and EZ buckle pad.
Retail Price: CDN$300
Graco Nautilus
Read CSFTL Reviewnautilus
Harness Limit: 22-65 lbs; 27-49″
Booster Limit: 40 lbs-100lbs; 38-57" (backless: 40-100lbs; 40-57")
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Converts to a backless booster (in addition to high back), easy to install.
Cons: Crotch buckle is not very deep and can be uncomfortable for bigger kids, does not have great head support for sleeping.
Retail Price: CDN$300
Britax Frontier CT/Pinnacle
Read Frontier Review
Read Pinnacle Review
frontier
Harness Limit: 25-65 lbs; 30-58″
Booster Limit: 40-120 lbs; 45-62″ (does not become backless)
Expiration: 9 years
Pros: Highest harness slots on the market make it a great choice for taller children, ClickTight technology provides an easy installation in under a minute, no re-thread harness, front adjust recline, EZ buckle holds the buckle forward when buckling/unbuckling, converts from harness to booster without removing harness straps, makes a long lasting high back booster
Cons: High price, wide
Retail Price: CDN$449-499

High Back Boosters

Helpful Related Links

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: 23" top shoulder belt guide and converts to backless.
Cons: Can be difficult to find locally, lacks padding, requires vehicle head support, and no shoulder belt guide when used backless.
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, lightweight, 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, cupholders on both sides, deep head 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: Does not allow overhang, lacks padding, not easily available, and requires a vehicle head restraint.
Features: Lower anchors.
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 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 anchors.
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, lightweight, and shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless.
Cons: Lower anchors can limit three across seating, and wider seat make it a less viable option for three across seating.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchors.
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 overhang, and requires a vehicle head restraint.
Features: Adjustable width back support, dual cupholders, and lower anchors.
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.
Features: Dual cupholders, lower anchors, and optional SG clip.
Retail Price: CDN$220

Backless Boosters

Helpful Related Links

Harmony Youth Booster
Read CSFTL Reviewharmonyyouth
Booster Limit: 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 Limit: 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 and does not allow overhang and lacks padding.
Retail Price: CDN$25-35
Evenflo Amp
Read CSFTL Reviewamp
Booster Limit: 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 Limit: 40–100 lbs; 40-57”
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Lightweight, price, and shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit.
Cons: 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 overhang, lacks padding, must be ordered online, and no shoulder belt guide available.
Price: CDN$45
Graco Affix
Read CSFTL Reviewaffix
Booster Limit: 40–100 lbs; 40-57”
Expiration: 10 years
Pros: Lightweight and shoulder belt guide to assist with seat belt fit.
Cons: Lower anchors can limit three across seating.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchors.
Retail Price: CDN$65-70
Diono Solana
Read CSFTL Reviewsolana
Booster Limit: 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 overhang.
Features: Dual cupholders and lower anchors.
Retail Price: CDN$50
Clek Ozzi or Olli
Read CSFTL Reviewolli-1
Booster Limit: 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 anchors, and stain resistant Crypton fabric.
Retail Price: Ozzi CDN$75; Olli CDN$100