If you’re planning on traveling a lot, hauling baby around by yourself, or are just plain curious…
… it can really help to know the approximate weight of a car seat or the weight of a booster seat.
The answer really depends on what kind of car seat you’re talking about.
- The average weight of an infant car seat and carrier is around 10 to 20 pounds, and that often includes the base which also weighs a few pounds.
- The average weight of a convertible car seat is around 15 to 30 pounds.
- The average weight of a booster seat is around 11 to 25 pounds.
There’s obviously a HUGE range of possible weights depending on which brand you shop, which style and design you choose, and the overall quality of the seat.
Below, I’ll go into a little more detail and give you some real-world examples to help you get a better idea of what to expect.
What’s the difference between different kinds of car seats?
There are three basic kinds of car seats, and they’re all a little different and serve slightly different purposes:
- Infant car seat
- Convertible car seat
- Booster seat
Infant car seats: This is what most people buy for their newborn. These are usually full travel systems where a detachable carrier fits into a secure base that stays in the car at all times. When you travel, you pop the carrier out and carry it, or it may sometimes connect to a stroller from the same brand.
Infant car seats are often rear-facing only and your child will usually outgrow them within a year or so.
Infant car seat carriers can be bulky. Manufacturers try their best to keep them lightweight and portable, but they tend to take up a lot of space and they need to be extremely solid and secure for safety reasons. You can expect a newborn car seat to weigh anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds, plus the weight of your baby.
Convertible car seats: Convertibles have a few advantages and a few disadvantages. Essentially, these are seats that can switch from rear facing to front facing, accommodating your newborn baby and giving him room to grow into the seat when he gets bigger.
This saves you the need to buy another car seat for your baby when he becomes a toddler! The downside is that convertible car seats usually don’t work as carriers, so they need to stay in the car at all times and you’ll usually need a separate travel system or stroller for your newborn.
Convertible car seats are quite heavy, weighing up to 30 pounds or more. But they’re not meant to be carried around on a day to day basis. They should stay secured in the car unless you’re bringing the seat with you on an airplane or other form of travel.
Booster seats: A booster seat is a front-facing, stripped down car seat that simply elevates your child and sometimes straps them in securely. Unlike infant car seats and most convertible car seats, booster seats often don’t recline. They simply give your toddler or young child a few inches of padding beneath their bottom for added safety.
Most booster seats start off with a 5-point harness that straps your kid in, and then transition to letting them simply use the car’s own seat belt.
Booster seats will usually weigh somewhere between 11-25 pounds.
Alright! Now that we’ve covered infant car seat vs convertible car seat vs booster seat, let’s dive into some examples of actual products you can buy to give you a better idea of the weight range.
Real Infant Car Seat Weight Examples
Most infant car seats and carriers weigh somewhere between 10 and 20 pounds, usually including the base. The carrier itself is often a few pounds lighter (though it’s difficult to find exact numbers on this).
Here are the listed weights according to the manufacturers of 5 top selling infant car seats on Amazon:
- Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat – 17 lbs
- Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat – 7.5lbs
- Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat – 16lbs
- Evenflo Nurture Infant Car Seat – 10lbs
- Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat – 11.5lbs
Based on these 5 top sellers, the average weight of an infant car seat is around 12.4 pounds.
Real Convertible Car Seat Weight Examples
Most convertible car seats weight somewhere between 15 and 30 pounds, however, there’s really an extremely wide range.
Here are the weights listed by the manufacturer of 5 top selling convertible car seats, according to Amazon.com:
- Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat – 20lbs
- Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat – 28.4lbs
- Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Sea- 9.1lbs
- Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat – 18.7lbs
- Eddie Bauer XRS 65 Convertible Car Seat – 14.37lbs
Just for fun, these 5 top sellers average out to 18.11 pounds.
Real Booster Seat Weight Examples
Booster sides have a huge range of possible weights, but in general, you can expect a booster seat to weight between 11 and 25 pounds.
Here are the weights I was able to find for 5 of the top selling booster seats on Amazon, according to their manufacturers:
- Britax Frontier Clicktight Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat – 24.9lbs
- Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat – 16.6lbs
- Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster – 11lbs
- Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster – 22.75lbs
- Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat – 11lbs
If you’re interested, these 5 top sellers average out to 17.25lbs.
How to Find the Weight of a Car Seat on Amazon
When you’re shopping online, particularly on Amazon, it can sometimes be tricky to find the exact product spec you’re looking for.
Often, car seat weight is advertised very clearly on the page. Other times it’s buried. And other times still, it’s hard to tell exactly what the weight includes.
(This is also true of product dimensions like height, depth, and width. Sometimes it’s easy to find these numbers, sometimes it’s not. And sometimes a product will give you dimensions without telling you which number is which!)
My favorite under-utilized hack for Amazon comparison shopping is the Product Questions & Answers section.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for anywhere else on the product page, or want more information, go here.
You’ll see a link for “Answered Questions” at the top of almost every Amazon product page.
Or simply scroll down until you see the “Have a question?” section.
Type in keywords like “weight,” “pounds,” “heavy,” “light,” etc. in the search bar to find insights from the manufacturer or real customers.
In this example, an Amazon user asked if the listed car seat weight included the base, because it wasn’t clear on the page. Britax Customer Service responded with a super helpful response!
This is a really helpful feature that will save you a ton of time and help you get accurate information when you’re comparing car seats and their weights online.
Are There Any Laws About Car Seats and Weight I Should Know About?
In the United States, there are state-level regulations about who has to be secured by what while traveling in a vehicle.
Most states regulate which weights and heights are OK for rear-facing, front-facing, and booster seat usage.
In most states, children under the age of 8 must be in a forward-facing car seat or booster seat. Also, in most states, any child under 20lbs has to be in a rear-facing car seat.
I’d check your local state laws right here if you have any questions about this.
Unfortunately, car seats tend to be on the bulky side, no matter what kind you’re using.
With some smart shopping, you can find lightweight options (especially if you’re looking for infant carriers that won’t throw out your back!), but the primary concern with car seats is safety and durability in the case of a crash.
In general, convertible car seats are the heaviest, followed by booster seats. Infant car seats and carriers are often just a hair lighter, but can be bulky in terms of the space they take up.
I’d also caution you to be very wary of extremely lightweight car seats and carriers! Read the reviews carefully, try to get a feel for the quality and safety of the piece, and when in doubt, go with a brand you can trust like Graco, Britax, or Evenflo.
I hope this helps, parents!