by: Meg Collins, former CPST

Updated December 2017

Expecting multiples? Here are our Lucie’s List approved recommendations of the best car seats for twins and preemies. We highly recommend you pick from seats on this list in case you do have preemies.

If you are having triplets, please read here.

best car seats for twins

There are two main features we look for in car seats for preemies and/or underweight babies.

  1. Minimum weight rating. All the seats on this list start at 4 lbs. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be discharged with a baby weighing less than this. Tip: *If your babies spend time in the NICU, many times they will be required to pass the “car seat test” before they can be sent home. Not a bad idea to read up on that.
  2. Low harness slots. The rule for rear-facing seats is that your baby’s shoulders should be at — or slightly above — the nearest harness slot; thus, it’s imperative that the car seat’s lowest harness slots are… sufficiently low for a smaller baby. If the lowest harness slot is too tall, the seat will not work.

Thus, all the seats on this list have a low or very low “preemie” position (that’s what I’m calling it, humor me). Tip: *Please remove the strap covers that come with most infant car seats, as they will only get in the way of checking the harness height and tightening the harness itself. If you’d like, you can put them back on later [for comfort] when baby(s) are bigger.

All of that said, there are plenty of other infant seats out there that *can* work for smaller babies, but these are the ones that are tried and true.

Installation

When installing two rear-facing seats in your vehicle, you’ll likely be installing them in the two side or “outboard” positions. The main reason for this is that it’s highly unlikely that your car is wide enough to fit a rear-facing seat in the middle — next to another rear-facing seat. You see, the seats tend to be widest at the handle area and, with two seats adjacent to each other, they will hit each other at their widest points.

It may be possible to achieve this [a side and middle installation] if you have an extremely wide car (a minivan, a large SUV or the like) and one of the narrower infant seats, like the Chicco KeyFit, but please check to confirm. If you can pull this off, you can – in theory – leave the other side seat open for another child or adult.

If you have an older child who is already in a forward-facing seat or booster, put the forward-facing child in the middle, as these tend to “puzzle” nicely with rear-facing seats on either side.

For general tips on installing your infant seats, please go here.

Economy Seats

A good economy pick; this seat, which fits babies 4-35 lbs, offers a great preemie fit. Nice and lightweight, the Evenflo Embrace Select has three harness slots and four crotch straps/buckles, energy-absorbing EPS foam and an adjustable base. It’s also nationally recognized by Safety Advocates as a good car seat for low birth-weight babies.

Evenflo also offers the Evenflo Advanced Embrace DLX (not an economy pick at $179), which, in addition to all that’s mentioned above, includes SensorSafe Technology (a “smart chest clip” and wireless receiver auto-sync to communicate with the driver when the chest clip is unbuckled during transit, and also alerts driver if baby is still in seat after arrival at destination) and Comfort Tech padding.

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    • Safety 1st onBoard 35 & onBoard 35 Air ~ $92 & $110

      Safety 1st is made by the Dorel Group, who also makes Maxi Cosi (both tried and true). This seat has four sets of harness slots, four crotch buckle positions, EPS foam and an adjustable base. Unfortunately, this seat is not compatible with many of our fave twin strollers, so that’s something to consider.

Safety 1st onBoard 35 - best car seats for twins

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Mid-Range Seats

    • Britax B-Safe 35 & Britax B-Safe 35 Elite ~ $168, 10 lbs & $199, 11.5 lbs

      If you’re not familiar with Britax, they are one of the best car seat companies in the world. Their bread and butter infant seat is the B-Safe 35 (and Elite). While this seat works well for preemies, it’s not compatible with many of our favorite twin strollers, so I would personally look elsewhere, unless you plan on using it with a BOB Duallie or another Britax or BOB stroller.

Britax B-Safe 35

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    • Chicco KeyFit 30 ~ $199, 9 lbs – EDITOR’S CHOICE

      Ok, now we’re talking. The Chicco KeyFit 30 is a “best bet” infant seat for twins. Several reasons: it fits preemies very well (a hospital favorite, in fact), it’s fairly affordable (cuz you’re buying two!), it’s narrow, it’s super easy to install and best of all — because of its wide appeal in the US and in Europe, it’s compatible with nearly every stroller on the market. It was also voted Consumer Reports top infant seat for 2014. If you’re a real fancy pants, you could pay the extra $100 [each] and get one of the Euro seats, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary.

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    • Graco SnugRide 35 LX ~ $214, 9.6 lbs

      Remember there are seven (or so) different SnugRide models and the LX is the “Cadillac,” if you will. These are all the newer “Click Connect” models (Classic Connect models were discontinued in 2015). They’re mainly designed to be used with other Graco Click Connect strollers.

      For twins and preemies, this is the favorite for a few reasons: a no re-thread harness with 15 height positions will make it easy to adjust the harness height as your babes get taller; there are three crotch buckle positions; there’s a built-in lockoff for seatbelt installations (vs. locking the seatbelts manually); the seat comes with a lower body positioning insert, which is very helpful for preemies. Again, the perk of this seat is the adjustable harness, which doesn’t require you to remove your seats and rethread the harnesses manually, especially since you have to do it x2 (I’ve got your back, MOMS and DOMS ;-)).

      This car seat takes up a lot of space in the back seat, so I don’t recommend it for compact cars. Again, this seat will go seamlessly with Graco Click Connect strollers. It’s also compatible with the Baby Jogger City Select (one of my faves) — and some (but not all) others. Bottom line: For about $10 more than the KeyFit, I’ll admit, it’s nice to have the nicer adjusting harnesses (what we call a “no re-thread harness” in the CPST world).

Graco Snugride 35 LX best car seats for twins

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    • UPPAbaby Mesa ~ $299 – 9.9 lbs (2017 version)

      The UPPAbaby Mesa is not to be overlooked. I recommend this seat especially for people who plan on using it with the UPPAbaby Vista, one of our favorite strollers for twins. In the $300 range, you’ll also get the nicer “no re-thread harness” with five harness height positions and two buckle positions. The Mesa goes one step further and gives you an adjustable base with tension indicator and self-ratcheting lower LATCH connectors (which are AWESOMMMME).  You will really appreciate the ease of installation, the awesome canopy, high-end fabrics, etc. See my full review here.

UPPAbaby Mesa best car seats for twins

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“Euro” Seats

Please read about the different types of infant seats here.

    • Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 ~ $249 – “Euro” Favorite #1

      Four sets of harness slots; three buckle positions, including one for newborns; easy to use “push-on” LATCH connectors; AirProtect cushions for enhanced side-impact protection; *low birth weight wedge insert required for babies 4-5 lbs. Like most Euro seats, it has an anti-rebound bar, which prevents it from flipping up in a crash.

      Maxi-Cosi car seats are widely compatible with lottttts of strollers out there — second only behind the KeyFit — and usually for the more upscale [and European] strollers. This seat will go nicely with nearly all of our favorite twin strollers, including the Bumbleride Indie Twin, the Baby Jogger City Select, the Bugaboo Donkey and the UPPAbaby Vista. The Maxi-Cosi/Bumbleride combo is super sweet for twins, not gonna lie.

    • ALSO!! (Breaking news)…. this car seat was made to go with the only double umbrella stroller on the market that takes 2 infant car seats, the Maxi Cosi Dana for 2

Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30 best car seats for twins

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    • Nuna PIPA ~ $299, 7.9 lbs – “Euro” Favorite #2

      Our Dutch friends at Nuna bring you modern, well-designed baby gear for the high-end market. The Pipa is another favorite seat for twins/preemies. What sets it apart from the others is the rigid LATCH connectors (not so much for the middle seat), which make for a SUPER easy installation. If you are installing the seats in the outboard positions, the rigid LATCH connectors are ideal. Like the Maxi-Cosi, it too has an anti-rebound feature called the “load leg” (read the full review and see my demo video here).

      This seat is lightweight at 7.9 lbs, which your arms will appreciate. It’s also one of the few seats with a “European belt path,” which means it’s super easy to install without a base into taxis and such, or while traveling via airplane. The Pipa has the “dream drape,” which is great for napping on the go. With a “Maxi-Cosi style” design, it too is compatible with the higher-end strollers, such as the Bugaboo Donkey, the UPPAbaby Vista and the Baby Jogger City Select. Please see full review here. Bottom line: If this is compatible with the stroller of your choice, get it!

Nuna PIPA best car seats for twins

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    • Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 ~ $299, 9.5 lbs

      The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio is another favorite upscale/European style infant seat. It too has a no re-thread harness, an anti-rebound bar (built into the base) and a two stage newborn insert, which is great for preemies. Although, I prefer the installation on the Mesa (self-ratcheting) or Pipa (rigid LATCH) over this one (for money, I’m saying). As a practical matter, the big downside to the Peg is that it’s not widely compatible with most of our favorite twin strollers (in America, at least), so please keep that in mind.

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio best car seats for twins

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