Lightest Car Seat: 5 Best Lightweight Car Seats Reviewed

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    The Graco SnugRide 35 LX is one of the best options for lightweight car seats. It weighs 9.7 pounds and costs only $200. The Graco Click Connect system in the SnugRide 35 LX  makes it easy to move your baby from the car to the stroller for on-the-go napping. Also, Graco is a well-known brand that does not skimp on safety features.

    If you’re hunting for the lightest car seat, you likely get stuck between practicality and gold-standard safety. I remember when my second born had just turned one, and I needed a seat I could easily carry while solo wrangling a toddler at the other side whenever we needed to get a taxi. 

    Finding a suitable model was a hassle because recommendations from several online communities pointed to options that either lagged in safety features or sacrificed affordability for a light feel. After extensive research, I eventually went with the Graco SnugRide 35 LX. It was a blissful experience when my daughter used the seat. 

    Still, it will be a long shot to hastily recommend the SnugRide 35 LX to every parent looking for a lightweight car seat because there are a few factors to consider. You must consider your budget, the features you’re willing to let go for that lightweight feel, and the ease of usage.

    Impressively, after filtering through the lightest infant car seats on the market, the Graco SnugRide 35 LX consistently ticked all the boxes. But I went further to test and review four other worthy alternatives, including the Century Carry On 35 LX  and Nuna Pipa Lite R,  which I will share later in this article. So I encourage you to read to the end. 

    Graco SnugRide 35 LX Lightweight Car Seat Specifications

    Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat
    4.9
    $229.99

    The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat is a high-quality and reliable car seat designed to keep your baby safe and comfortable during car rides. This car seat is FAA-approved, making it perfect for air travel. With a weight limit of up to 35 pounds, it can be used for infants and small toddlers, and it has a rear-facing limit of up to 35 inches, ensuring that your baby can use it for a long time.

    The SnugLock technology makes it easy to install, and it has been rigorously tested to ensure its safety. It also comes with a 5-point harness system and a removable head and body support to keep your baby secure and comfortable.

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
    09/29/2023 05:57 pm GMT

    Here are the specifications of the Graco SnugRidge 35 LX: 

    Harness type‎5-Point
    Item weight‎9.75 pounds
    Material type‎Polyester
    StyleTrueShield technology
    Number of reclining positions4
    Size‎19.96 x 30.87 x 15.51 inches
    Highest weight limit (as well as for rear-facing)‎35 pounds
    Lowest weight limit  (as well as for rear-facing)4 pounds 
    Baby’s height limit‎32 inches
    Price$200 on Graco Website; $230 on Amazon

    Graco SnugRide 35 LX Lightweight Car Seat Features

    The Graco SnugRide 35 is my recommendation for the best overall lightweight car seat. At 9.7 pounds, it falls under the lightweight category.

    Though inexpensive, it has excellent safety features and has been tested at 2X the Federal Crash Test Standard. It also has EPS foam, which improves safety if a side-impact crash occurs.

    Here are the salient features of this lightweight seat: 

    FeaturesWhat It MeansBenefit
    In Right latch systemThe car seat doesn’t require re-threading for adjustment. Easy adjustment of the harnesses saves time. 
    Adjustable handle using one hand
    You only have to use one hand to adjust the handle, unlike in many other options where you use both.The other hand is free so that it can tend to your baby.
    Silent shade canopy The car seat doesn’t require re-threading for adjustment. You can adjust the shade without disturbing your baby.
    Four-position adjustable base You can customize the car seat to fit your vehicle.The shade canopy connectors are snugly fit but not too tight such that it doesn’t make noise. 
    Adjustable recline foot and  level indicator It helps eliminate installation guessworkIdeal for first-time users or new moms. 

    Who Is Graco SnugRide 35 LX Lightweight Car Seat For? 

    The idea is simple. Graco made the SnugRide 35 LX for mothers who need something practical. If you’re looking for the lightest infant car seat for moving your baby around, the SnugRide 35 LX is a perfect fit. It is also an ideal option if you’re:

    • Searching for a car seat with robust safety features, like an anti-rebound bar 
    • Looking for an infant car seat to use with a Graco stroller

    Many on-the-go mothers have decorated review sites with testimonies of how this product helped their daily commute, especially when they hook it up with the Click Connect stroller. 

    How Compatible Is Graco Infant Car Seat with Click Connect Stroller?

    With my three girls, I only used the Graco Click Connect. I loved how easy it was to move them from car base to car base or from car base to stroller. I used a Graco single stroller and a Graco double stroller. All the systems worked wonderfully together.

    Graco has a beautiful variety of affordable strollers in the Click Connect line. This allows you to snap the car seat in the stroller and go on your way without hassle. The padding is machine-washable, making it easier to deal with unpleasant messes.

    The minimum weight is 4 pounds, and the maximum is 35 pounds. This size range is excellent for those preemies and even your growing one-year-old.

    This car seat has seat belt loops, which would make this car seat easy to use if you did not have a base.

    The seat belt loops can sometimes get caught when taking it in and out of the base, which could cause the baby to wake up. This is a struggle in a tall car like a pickup truck. 

    You need a lot of upward pressure to get it out of the base. I didn’t have much of an issue with this, but it’s something to consider.

    What Comes With The Graco SnugRide 35 LX Lightweight Car Seat?

    When you purchase the Graco SnugRide 35 LX, it comes with the following items: 

    • Owner’s manual 
    • Car seat base
    • Car seat assembly

    Graco SnugRide 35 LX Lightweight Car Seat Pros And Cons

    The Graco SnugRide 35 LX may have a profound reputation in the market for being the lightest infant car seat, but it also has highs and lows. These were the benefits and disadvantages I noticed while using this car seat: 

    Pros Cons
    Since it’s under 10 pounds carrier weight, it’s genuinely lightweight even when you put a baby of 10 pounds in it. If you need a car seat that has a high-end feel, the plastic material of this car seat could seem disappointing.
    The car seat features an easy-to-adjust and quiet canopy.Sometimes has issues when taking it off the base.
    For the value, this is an incredibly inexpensive lightweight car seat.
    Since it’s under 10 pounds carrier weight, it’s genuinely lightweight even when you put a baby of 10 pounds in it. 

    How To Install Graco SnugRide 35 LX Lightweight Car Seat 

    Like most other car seats with a harness system, the Graco SnugRide 35 LX installation process is straightforward. In the video below, Graco demonstrates the recommended step-by-step procedures:

    You can also download a PDF copy of the owner’s instructional manual.

    Alternative Best Lightweight Car Seats To Consider

    The Graco SnugRide 35 LX may not be every mother’s cup of tea. So, I have listed the best alternatives I could find below. 

    1. Century Carry On 35 LX Infant Car Seat  – Best Budget Option

    Lightest Car Seat: 5 Best Lightweight Car Seats Reviewed 1

    PRICE: $160

    ProsCons
    Affordable price pointNo twin stroller options
    The locking mechanism to install the base could be easier to useThe carry handle is a bit awkward to use
    Incredibly lightweight at just below 8 poundsCarry handle is a bit awkward to use

    The Century Carry-On is my best budget choice, but it’s also straightforward and has outstanding safety features. This car seat is compact so that it can fit almost any car.

    Even though this car seat is compact, it does not skimp on the sizing requirements. It still meets the standard of 4 to 35 pounds. 

    Like the Graco SnugRide, the Century Carry-On can easily click into a Century stroller. The harness is also adjustable with one hand.

    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
    09/29/2023 02:54 pm GMT

    2. Evenflo LiteMax DLX Infant Car Seat – Safest Lightweight Infant Car Seat

    Lightest Car Seat: 5 Best Lightweight Car Seats Reviewed 2

    PRICE: $192

    ProsCons
    Bulkier than other seats, it may not be suitable for smaller carsMore expensive than other options
    Tested at twice the federal safety impact standardBulkier than other seats, it may not be good for smaller cars
    7.3-pound carrier weight

    The Evenflo Litemax is the top-of-the-line for safety features. It equally meets industry standards for keeping kids safe. The materials are mesh and breathable. This can keep your baby cool.

    The car seat comes with ParentLink customer service to help you install the base if you are struggling. The Evenflo Litemax features the SafeZone Load Leg technology, which stabilizes the car seat base and can protect your precious cargo in a collision. 

    While the base is heavier due to the extra safety features, the carrier is light at under 8 pounds. Those safety features add some bulk to the base installation, so check that it works well for your car. Overall, added size is worth the trade-off. 

    3. Nuna Pipa Lite R – Best Premium Infant Seat

    Lightest Car Seat: 5 Best Lightweight Car Seats Reviewed 3

    PRICE: $300

    ProsCons
    Advanced side-impact safety featuresVery expensive
    Machine-washable paddingIt cannot be installed without the base
    StylishThe car seat base is deeper than most
    UV 50+ canopy

    The Nuna Pipe Lite R is another fantastic model to categorize under the lightest car seat for travel. Many premium car seats are heavier because extra features add extra weight. At 5.3 pounds, the Nuna Pipa Lite R gives you superior padding. 

    The newborn insert has good head support. The padding is not only comfortable, it’s also functional as it is machine washable. There are compatible strollers that make toting your baby easier.

    One thing to consider is that this car seat is the same price as most travel seats that come with a stroller. The Nuna Pipa Lite R also can only be installed with its base. No belt loops are to be installed in the back seat if necessary. This could be a big issue if you take the car seat on a trip or regularly use ride-hailing services and want to avoid lugging around the base.

    4. Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat – Very Safe & Durable    

    Lightest Car Seat: 5 Best Lightweight Car Seats Reviewed 4

    PRICE: $202

    ProsCons
    9.5-pound carrier weightMore challenging to install (especially without the base)
    Chicco brand offers many compatible stroller optionsHeavier than other lightweight options
    Very well-built, durable construction

    The Keyfit 30 has an easy-click lock system for both the base and the stroller. This car seat is machine washable. It has excellent crash test results and is easy to use. However, some reviewers confess that installation is more complicated than other car seats, especially without the base. 

    Editor's Choice
    Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and Base
    4.9
    $229.99 $217.11

    The Chicco Keyfit 30 is an excellent baby car seat with simple installation, soft materials, and adjustable features. The Keyfit 30 is one of the most accessible baby car seats to install, with a one-pull LATCH fastening system and a bubble-level indication. 

    Its adjustable canopy and easy-to-clean textiles make it a practical choice for parents. At the same time, its ability to fit developing babies and deliver a comfortable ride elevates it to the top of the list. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is not the cheapest choice, but it is well worth the money for parents searching for a safe, secure, high-quality car seat for their infant.

    What We Liked:
    • Available with Visor Option
    • Removable Head and Body Support
    • Available with Breathable Backrest
    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
    09/30/2023 03:07 am GMT

    How does the weight of a car seat affect its portability and ease of travel?

    A lighter car seat is easier to carry and maneuver. This will be more convenient when moving between vehicles. It also helps in navigating airports and other transport hubs. 

    On the other hand, if you have a heavier car seat, you can quickly become tired. 

    What are the key features when choosing the lightest infant car seat?

    While the car seat’s weight is the central focus when picking a light infant car seat, look out for features like a sturdy frame, ergonomic carrying handle, and compatibility with your vehicle. 

    The right product should have a secure harness system, decent padding, and a convenient installation procedure. 

    Wrapping up

    There are many options to pick from when it comes to lightweight car seats. Some models snap right into strollers of the same brand, like the Graco. It makes it easy to shop or take a walk without waking your baby up.

    No matter the option listed in this guide that you eventually settle for, you won’t regret it. Let me also reiterate that lower-cost car seats do not mean the car seat is unsafe. 

    Like baby formula, car seats must meet strict regulations before hitting the market. Any car seat on this list will keep your baby safe.

    While you’re here, you should check out my recent article, where I’ve reviewed safe and convenient alternatives to bulky car seats for travel.

    FAQs

    What is the weight of the lightest car seat available on the market?

    The 5-pound weight of the Nuna Pipa Lite R without the infant insert or canopy is the lightest I have ever observed on the market. However, this model is relatively more expensive than most other models of its class.

    Can a lightweight convertible car seat compromise on safety features compared to heavier models?

    Lightweight convertible car seats do not necessarily compromise on safety features compared to heavier models. Regardless of the weight, all car seats from reputable brands must meet rigorous safety standards before hitting the market. 

    However, some heavier models might offer additional features or higher weight limits, while lighter ones focus on portability.

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of opting for a lightweight car seat for travel purposes?

    If you buy a lightweight car seat for travel, you enjoy the ease of carrying and maneuvering it. It is also easy to install. However, in some cases, you have to sacrifice some safety features or limited cushioning for reduced weight. 

    Avatar of Keren Simanova

    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren
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    Keren Simanova

    Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren