The 5 Best Car Seats in Canada

Best car seats in Canada

Researching the best car seats in Canada can feel overwhelming. However, we’ve simplified the process by gathering the top choices that prioritize your child’s safety and comfort in one comprehensive list. When buying a car seat, you walk a tightrope to make sure it complies with Canadian regulations and your budget. The last thing you want is to take a chance with a poor-quality car seat. After all, your child’s safety ranks as your number-one priority, so you’ll want to find the best product.

Car Seat
Value for Money
For Robustness
For Weight and Affordability

Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat – Best value for money

Best Convertible Car Seats in Canada: Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat

Price: $149.97
Weight: 5 to 50 lbs
Amazon Rating: 4.4/5

The Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat offers an exceptional blend of safety, convenience, and comfort. As a result, it’s a wise investment that will serve your child throughout their early years. It has gained widespread acclaim among parents across Canada, allowing them to get a good product without sacrificing their savings account or their child’s safety.

What size infant and child does it accommodate?

The Evenflo Sonus is a convertible car seat, meaning it’s designed to grow with your child. In its rear-facing mode, it accommodates little ones weighing between 5 to 40 pounds. When it’s time to switch, it can be transformed into a forward-facing seat, suitable for toddlers weighing from 22 to 50 pounds. This longevity makes it a versatile choice, from your child’s early days through to the preschool years.

Safety compliance and recalls

Safety is a key priority for the Evenflo Sonus, and it shows. This car seat meets or surpasses all applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, offering parents peace of mind on every journey. Evenflo’s track record for safety is commendable, with no significant recalls or safety issues for this model to date.

Ease of use

Ease of use is a standout feature of this car seat. Its simple installation process, coupled with an up-front harness adjustment system, takes the hassle out of setting up. The seat also includes a five-position adjustable headrest to accommodate your growing child with a proper fit, and the machine-washable seat pad makes cleanup a breeze.

This convertible car seat is ideal for parents of multiple. Its compact size allows you to safely install three of them in most mid-sized vehicles.

How much does the seat weigh?

The Evenflo Sonus weighs 13 pounds, making it a lightweight option that doesn’t compromise on safety. This portability simplifies the process of transferring it between vehicles or carrying it through airports.

Is it comfortable for babies & children?

When it comes to comfort, the Evenflo Sonus has it covered. The seat boasts a breathable, ventilated design, ensuring your child stays cool even during longer journeys. Additionally, it comes with a removable body pillow for the added comfort of younger children. Not to mention, the buckles are in a convenient spot to make securing your child quick and easy.

Diono Radian 3RXT – Best 4-in-1 seat

Best Car Seats in Canada or Small Cars: Diono Radian 3RXT

Price: $469.99
Weight: 5-120 lbs
Amazon rating: 4.5/5

Next, we have the Diono Radian 3QXT Car Seat, offering a perfect blend of safety, convenience, and a compact footprint, ensuring that your child can ride comfortably and securely, no matter how small your vehicle is. Its all-in-one adaptability means this could be the only car seat you’ll ever need, offering peace of mind for many years to come.

What size baby and child does it accommodate?

The Diono Radian 3QXT is an all-in-one convertible car seat that caters to your child’s seating needs from birth to booster. First, it starts as a rear-facing seat for infants weighing 5 to 45 pounds. Next, it switches to a forward-facing seat for children from 20 up to 65 pounds. Eventually, it transitions into a high-back booster for kids up to 120 pounds.

Safety compliance and recalls

This car seat meets or exceeds all Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, with its full steel frame and aluminum reinforced sides providing top-notch safety. However, in 2014 a limited number of 3RQT (its predecessor) seats were missing the memory foam necessary to absorb the shock of a collision.

The company responded by contacting registered product owners with information on how to get the missing foam insert. They also provided replacement foam in the event of wear and tear.

Other than that, there have been no major recalls or safety issues associated with this current model, showcasing Diono’s commitment to child safety.

Ease of use

The Radian 3QXT truly stands out with its slim design that allows for a three-across fit in most mid-size vehicles, a feature small-car owners will love. Despite its compact size, the car seat doesn’t compromise on convenience. Simply utilize one of the 12 built-in recliner positions to find the best fit and configuration for your child. Such a wide range of positions allows you to accommodate numerous cars and children’s ages.

The SuperLATCH system (UAS Compatible) simplifies installation while ensuring maximum security. Further, its foldable design makes it great for easy transport and storage. Even better, a steel-reinforced cup holder keeps road trip essentials within reach.

How much does this seat weigh?

At 32 pounds, the Radian 3QXT weighs a bit heavier due to its steel frame. However, the weight contributes to its exceptional safety profile and robustness. Naturally, this makes it a reliable choice for your child’s safety. Ideal for small cars, it would create a major hassle if you have to switch it back and forth between vehicles frequently.

Is it comfortable for babies and kids?

Diono has meticulously designed the Radian 3QXT to prioritize your child’s comfort. It features plush, memory foam padding, an adjustable headrest and expandable sides. As a result, it ensures your little one enjoys a cozy ride, regardless of size or age.

The 2-in-1 infant positioning liner with the integrated high wedge ensures an ergonomic, lie-flat position for your newborn. So, this helps prevent head slumps and keeps airways open. As your baby grows, you can remove the wedge since the liner offers added comfort and support. With an adjustable headrest that provides 12 different positions, this car seat ensures a cozy ride for your child up to 57 inches in height.

Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat – Most robust seat

Price: $629.99
Weight: 5-120 lbs
Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

The Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat delivers on its promise – a reliable, high-quality seat that provides enduring safety and comfort for your child’s entire journey for years. Beloved for its incredible versatility and advanced safety features, it has won the hearts of countless parents. Consequently, that makes it one of the best car seats in Canada.

What size infant and child does it accommodate?

The Britax One4Life stands true to its name as an all-in-one car seat, taking your child from infancy all the way up to booster seat age. In its rear-facing mode, it can hold children from 5 to 50 pounds, while its forward-facing mode can accommodate toddlers from 22 to 65 pounds. Further, when your child is ready, it converts into a high-back booster seat for kids 40 to 120 pounds. Talk about a one-time investment!

Safety compliance and recalls

When it comes to safety, Britax One4Life stays ahead of the curve. It exceeds the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, offering superior protection with its patented SafeCell Technology and two layers of side impact protection.

This model comes with an anti-rebound bar to keep your little one steady in case of a crash. It reduces movement, but it’s only available in the rear-facing configuration. The car seat also enhances safety with many other features, including side layers. In particular, there are two robust side layers to reduce the risk of severe head, neck, and torso injuries.

Britax’s strong commitment to safety is evident, with no significant recalls or safety issues involving this particular model. However, a quick Google search reveals that the Britax manufacturer has had several issues with various car seat models in the past. So you’ll need to stay on top of your safety research and register your car seat in case any future issues arise.

Ease of use

Thanks to Britax’s unique ClickTight Installation System, installing this car seat is a cinch. It offers a secure install with a simple click, reducing the stress of setup. Plus, the 15-position, quick-adjust headrest and harness ensure a perfect fit as your child grows.

Even better, this car seat is also designed with convenience in mind. The paths for seat belt installation are completely unobstructed, ensuring a quick and easy installation process you can trust, and the built-in tensioner automatically handles the tightening for you.

How much does the seat weigh?

Weighing approximately 30 pounds, the Britax One4Life is a sturdy piece of equipment. Though not the lightest on the market, its all-in-one functionality and robust safety features more than compensate for the added weight.

Having said that, this car seat doesn’t help if you need to move it between multiple vehicles frequently or if you plan to fly with it. Due to the weight alone, you’ll want to install in your vehicle and leave it there.

Is it comfortable for babies and children?

Primarily, comfort is key in the Britax One4Life. It offers nine recline positions, so you can find the perfect angle for your child, regardless of the vehicle or seat mode. Plus, the plush foam padding ensures a cozy ride, even on those long road trips.

Safety 1st Grow and Go – Best 3-in-1 car seat

Price: $229.97
Weight: 5 to 100 lbs
Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

Meet the Safety 1st Grow and Go Arb 3-In-1 Car Seat – a great choice for your child’s safety on the road. This compact car seat is designed with attention to detail that small car owners in Canada will certainly appreciate. Above all, investing in this seat means an investment in a hassle-free driving experience for you.

What size infant and child does it accommodate?

Safety 1st Grow and Go Arb is an all-in-one car seat that is truly meant to ‘grow’ with your child. It starts as a rear-facing car seat for infants from 5 to 40 pounds. Later, it transforms into a forward-facing car seat for toddlers between 22 and 65 pounds. Finally, it morphs into a belt-positioning booster for children from 40 to 100 pounds.

Safety compliance and recalls

There’s no compromise on safety with this seat. It meets or even exceeds all Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Furthermore, it features Advanced Air Protect Side Impact Protection and an Anti-Rebound Bar to limit the force of a crash reaching your child.

You may have heard there is currently a recall in effect for certain models of Safety 1st car seats. But that only applies to certain infant bucket seats and stroller systems. Thankfully, the 3-in-1 Grow and Go Arb Car Seat is not affected by these recalls.

Ease of use

When it comes to ease of use, the Safety 1st Grow and Go Arb Car Seat does not disappoint. Installation goes simply with easy-in/easy-out harness holders that keep straps out of the way when buckling.

Additionally, it comes with an adaptable 3-position recline and QuickFit Harness for easy adjustment of both harness and headrest in one simple step. Best of all, this seat can fit three across in the back seat of most vehicles, providing a compact solution for growing families.

How much does this seat weigh?

Weighing in at 18.66 pounds, this car seat manages to be sturdy without being too heavy. While it doesn’t rank as the lightest car seat on the market, its robustness and advanced safety features justify the extra weight. Keep the weight in mind if you need to switch the car seat between vehicles regularly.

Is it comfortable for babies and kids?

The Safety 1st Grow and Go Arb is packed with features that ensure your child’s ride is comfortable and safe. Thanks to its compact design, it provides up to seven inches of additional legroom for anyone sitting in the front seat. That way, kids go without cramping in the back seat. Plus, two cup holders keep drinks and snacks within easy reach and are easy to clean in case of spills.

Cosco Scenera Next Convertible – A lightweight and affordable car seat

Best Car Seats in Canada for traveling: Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat

Price: $129.98
Weight: 5-40 lbs
Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

Not surprisingly, Cosco stands as many people’s go-to brand for travel car seats. One of the best items in their collection is the Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat. This lightweight model is a favourite among travelling families and those looking for a budget-friendly option.

What size infant and child does it accommodate?

For starters, the Cosco Scenera Next provides a safe journey for children from their early days until toddlerhood. In its rear-facing position, it can hold babies from 5 to 40 pounds. Meanwhile, its forward-facing mod supports toddlers from 22 to 40 pounds.

Safety compliance and recalls

When it comes to safety, the Scenera Next doesn’t compromise. Meeting or exceeding all Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, this car seat comes equipped with a 5-point harness system that easily adjusts from the front. To date, there have been no significant recalls or safety issues associated with this model, reinforcing Cosco’s commitment to child safety.

Ease of use

The Scenera Next makes it easy to use. First, its compact design allows easy installation, even in smaller vehicles. The seat pad is machine-washable and dryer-safe, ensuring a clean ride for your little one.

The Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat is a godsend for parents who frequently travel by air with their children. Providing a familiar and comfortable spot for your child throughout the flight by reducing stress and promoting relaxation for both you and your little one.

Further, this practical, minimalist model doesn’t get in the way of other passengers, making it a perfect travel companion. Its compact and lightweight design means you can navigate airports without any added strain, turning potential travel headaches into a breeze.

Plus, the car seat features a removable pad which means unexpected spills or dirt aren’t a worry. Simply toss the pad in the washer and dryer and it’s as good as new. Even the built-in cup holder saves parents a hassle since the dishwasher-safe status avoids tedious hand-scrubbing.

Finally, the padded seat absorbs shock in the head, neck, back, bottom and hand areas to keep your kid unharmed and comfortable.

How much does this seat weigh?

Weighing a mere seven pounds, the Scenera Next makes for a lightweight option that doesn’t sacrifice safety or comfort. Combined with its compact design, this ideal choice for travel quickly transfers between vehicles.

Is it comfortable for babies and children?

The Scenera Next ensures comfort with its multiple shoulder harness positions and two buckle locations, accommodating your child’s growth. Also, it offers three buckle positions to help you find the right fit for your children every time. This, coupled with a thoughtfully padded seat, promises a comfortable journey for your little one – by land and air!

Car Seat Regulations in Canada

To facilitate road safety, the government of Canada has introduced several car seat regulations that govern how we use them:

  • Use rear-facing seats for young kids and infants.
  • Don’t use forward-facing seats for children who weigh less than 22 pounds.
  • Don’t use booster seats for kids who weigh under 40 pounds.

Also, make sure your seat has Canada’s National Safety Mark to avoid legal issues and verify you can safely use your product. As with any vehicle accessory, finding the ideal car seat takes time. Therefore, consider your children’s age and stature carefully when making your pick. Depending on these factors, you’ll know which above product fits your child perfectly.

Heidi Unrau is a senior finance journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she kicked-off her financial career in retail banking as a teller. She quickly progressed to become a Credit Analyst and then Private Lender. This hands-on industry experience uniquely positions her to provide expert insight on loans, credit scores, credit cards, debt, and banking services. She has been featured in publications such as WealthRocket, Scary Mommy, Credello, and Plooto. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to the Freakonomics podcast, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a bowl of ice cream. Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada and her blood type is coffee.