2020 Car Seat Update: What’s New, What’s Next!
Published: Having a baby in 2020? Here’s a round-up of what’s new and what’s next for car seats for infants, toddlers and older kiddos—some of these seats are out now and others are coming down the pike in coming months. Bottom line: they should all be out by the end of 2019, just in time for 2020 babies! .
Is the world ready for a $650 car seat?
Yep, Nuna plans to launch the most expensive ever car seat just in time for 2020: the Nuna Exec is the company’s first all-in-one car seat. (What is an all-in-one car seat? Basically, it is a seat that can used from birth to booster mode—see our in-depth report and best picks in the all-in-one car seat category here).
Nuna is known for its pricey car seats that are only sold at fancy-pants boutiques and Nordstrom—hell, Nuna’s infant only car seat runs up to $350. So is it not too terribly surprising they would push the boundaries here. But $650? You can buy an entire used car for that price.
So is it worth the $650? Well, the Nuna Exec does have an impressive set of features, including a telescoping/adjustable footrest that doubles as rebound panel for extra safety. There’s also a one-touch push button recline, fancy-shmancy Merino wool blend covers (no added fire retardant chemicals), and even a slip cover to keep that nice Merino wool footrest safe from muddy little feet.
But is the seat three times safer than all-in-one seats that cost, well, one-third as much? Jury’s out on that one—we will have to wait to see third-party crash test data before we know if the Nuna Exec is worth it. Nuna’s track record here is mixed, with the company’s convertible car seat (the Rava) failing to score at the top of Consumer Reports last crash tests (it came in with a runner-up “better” ranking).
FYI: As of this writing, the Nuna Exec is sold out at Nordstrom; we’ve also see it listed as backordered on other sites until September 29, 2019. We assume Nuna is making small quantities of this seat, but we expect it to be fully in stock at stores by the start of 2020.
Here’s what the Nuna Exec looks like:
Britax debuts first all-in-one-seat, the One4Life
Speaking of all-in-one car seats, Britax has been late to the party in this category but hopes to play catch up with the Britax One4Life. Set to debut in October 2019, the One4Life brings all of Britax’s ease-of-use goodness (ClickTight installation) and safety features (SafeCell energy absorption) to a seat that can be used from birth to booster years. Like Nuna’s Exec, the Britax One4Life will have a footrest (for extended rear-facing use) that also doubles as a safety feature (an anti-rebound bar).
At $379, the Britax One4Life is still pricey (it will be Britax’s most expensive offering), but compared to the $649 Nuna Exec, it looks like such a deal. No, you won’t be getting any of Nuna’s fancy super-soft Merino wool covers here . . . but the fabrics will be nice enough, to be sure.
Britax has had a difficult year—the Washington Post roughed up the company for an alleged sweetheart deal it got from Trump-appointed safety regulators; then, the company did a faceplant when they shipped defective parts to fix a recalled stroller. Oy!
So the company desperately needs a win here. It’s hard to say whether the One4Life will be a home run—will parents forgive the company’s past sins and flock to the new seat? Stay tuned.
Here’s a couple of snaps of the Britax One4Life we took earlier this year at a trade show:
Graco spiffs up the 4Ever for a deluxe edition!
Graco, the market leader for sales in the all-in-one car seat category, isn’t going to take new luxe offerings from Britax and Nuna sitting down. Graco is spiffing up their 4Ever car seat with a DLX edition—the official title is the Graco 4Ever Platinum DLX car seat.
The Graco 4Ever is our top pick for best all-in-one car seat. Whenever a car seat maker has a hit seat, they can’t resist the effort to come up with premium or deluxe versions of the seat to sell at a higher price. And with the competition nipping at Graco’s heels, this new deluxe 4Ever is well-timed.
This seat is basically the same as the 4Ever with some added goodies:
- Rapid remove cover for easier washing.
- Seat belt lock-offs for an easier forward-facing install
- And, of course, fancier fabrics
The new Graco 4Ever Platinum DLX car seat has just debuted as of this writing and runs $319.99 This compares with the regular 4Ever model that is about $100 or so less. Here’s what the seat looks like:
Having twins? New infant car seats work down to three pounds!
If you are having multiples, odds are you will need a preemie-compatible car seat. Some infant car seats work down to five pounds, but Evenflo has just announced two of its infant car seats are now certified to start at just THREE pounds. (You still need approval from your doctor for your preemie before you can use any infant seat when leaving the hospital, however.)
Specifically, the Evenflo LiteMax and SafeMax are now both approved to start at just three pounds. The company made this announcement in August 2019.
We’ll keep updating this thread as new seats for 2020 are announced! Is there a seat you are looking forward to?