Consumer Reports’ tested four infant seats with a safety feature that’s common in Europe but is only now becoming available in the U.S.
It’s called the load leg. It’s a support that extends from the base of the infant seat to the vehicle floor, making the seat more stable and safer for the baby.
The four tested seats with load legs received Consumer Reports’ highest crash performance rating in a simulated 35-mile-per-hour crash test. They are:
GB Asana 35 DLX ($250)
Nuna Pipa ($300)
Cybex Aton 2 ($320)
Cybex Aton Q ($370)
In crash tests, seats with the load leg had less forward motion than those without it, and it resulted in almost a 50 percent decrease in head injury risk to the dummy compared with seats without it.
Even though the load leg adds a step to the installation, Consumer Reports found it easy to use. But you will pay a premium for this new feature.
Consumer Reports says that all seats are safe when used and installed correctly, but seats with the load leg feature offer an additional margin of safety.
Consumer Reports warns that not all American cars are designed to work with this new style of car seat. If you’re interested in getting an infant seat with a load leg, be sure to check your vehicle manual for any restrictions.