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Best Car Seats for Twins and Preemies

by: Meg Collins, former CPST

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 and preemies

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 (in the beginning, at least).

Thus, all the seats on this list have a low or very low “preemie” position (that’s what I’m calling it, humor me).

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.

If you’re planning on using your twins’ car seats in conjunction with a double stroller for twins, play special attention to stroller compatibility, otherwise you might be in for a nasty surprise, especially with the economy seats!


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 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. Like Tetris.

If your car has three rows, sometimes people ask if they can put one seat in the back row. Sure, you can do this, but it’s a HUGE pain to get them in and out. I think you will find it’s not worth the trouble.

Best Car Seats for Twins and Preemies

Here are our favorite picks for twins and preemies in each budget category, including our favorite Euro seats….


$ — Evenflo LiteMax 35 ~ $125 (Economy Pick) — Rear-facing infant car seat fits babies from 4 to 35 pounds and 17 to 32-inches tall; comes with base that offers 4 reclining options.

$ — Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite ~ $125— Great value, easy to install with a seatbelt OR LATCH, and a “no re-thread harness”!!

$ — Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT ~ $129 — Lightweight, easy to carry, and great for preemies. Babies can ride rear-facing from 4-35 lbs.

$$ — Chicco KeyFit 30 ~ $299 — Great mainstream value, compatible with most strollers. Solid pick.


$$$ — UPPAbaby Mesa ~ $319 — Top notch “American” luxury seat, pairs beautifully with UPPAbaby Vista double stroller; very easy to install; premium wool version has no flame retardants.

$$$ — Clek Liing ~ $469— Luxury seat with loads of safety features. Easy to install and narrow. Downside: doesn’t have a no re-thread harness.


$$ — Maxi Cosi Mico Luxe ~ $199 (“Euro” Favorite #1) — Low birth weight wedge insert required for babies 4-5 lbs. Has anti-rebound bar, which prevents it from flipping up in a crash. Downside: Complaints about canopy.

$$$ — Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 ~ $299 — Luxury seat, a “no re-thread harness”, an anti-rebound bar (built into the base) and a two-stage newborn insert, which is great for preemies.

$$$$ — Nuna Pipa Lite Rx ~ $400 (“Euro” Favorite #2) — Lightweight luxury seat, great safety features, pairs with Nuna strollers; 5 second installation process and new RELX base.

Economy Seats

Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat ~ $125, ECONOMY PICK

The Evenflo LiteMax 35, which can accommodate babies from 4-35 lbs, is a highly affordable, safe and lightweight car seat option (8.2 lbs without the base) for twins and preemies.

A couple of standout features on this seat are that it has a comfortable, ergonomic carry handle, which matters a lot when you’re holding two of them!; it has an integrated belt lock-off system which essentially means that you can be sure the seat will be tightly and securely installed in your vehicle (a lock-off clamps the seat belt, which ensures the seat stays solidly in place); it has removable head and body pillows to create a safer and more snug fit for your smaller babies or preemies and the fabrics are removable and machine-washable (diaper blow-outs and spit-ups are a b*tch!).

Note that while this seat is pretty highly-reviewed, some users complain that the base is too long to fit well in smaller cars, and that it doesn’t lock into shopping carts like some other car seats do.

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite ~ $125, 8.4 lbs

best car seats for twins and preemies_graco

The Graco SnugRide is one of the all-time most popular infant car seats — and one of our favorites as well. For multiples, we are loving the “SnugLock” version of the tried-and-true SnugRide 35 Elite.


“SnugLock” is a self-tightening mechanism — an easy way for you to install the base with a seatbelt without having to wrestle it in place to tighten it. It’s basically a giant clasp for the seatbelt. It’s user-friendly — especially if you don’t want to mess with LATCH. Check out our video review here (and see below).

Please note that there are still a zillion different Graco SnugRide models (just kidding, there are only 11) — I picked the “SnugRide SnugLock 35 Elite” (above) for a few different reasons: this model is actually a really great value — you get the SnugLock feature, the higher-end LATCH connectors that won’t break your nails (they’re called “InRight Connectors”). Basically, no matter how you install it, it will be easy. You also get a no re-thread harness, which is a HUGE perk for parents of multiples. Why? Because you don’t have to remove your seats and re-thread the harness manually (x2) as your kiddos grow (I’ve got your back MoMs and DoMs! ;-)). It’s easy(ish) for grandparents too!

This car seat takes up a lot of space in the back seat, so I don’t recommend it for compact cars.

Bottom line: Even though it takes up back seat space and it’s a bit heavier than some other car seats/bases, it’s nice to have the SnugLock installation option and the easier adjusting harnesses (what we call a “no re-thread harness” in the CPST world), especially when dealing with two!

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Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT ~ $129, 7.9lbs

best car seats for twins and preemies_ safety 1st

Safety 1st is made by the Dorel Group, who also makes Maxi Cosi (both tried and true). In the economy category, this seat offers decent protection and allows babies to ride rear-facing from 4-35 lbs. The onBoard 35 LT is super lightweight (about 7.9lbs!), which parents of multiples (or anyone who has to lug more than one car seat around) will certainly appreciate it. In fact, according to Safety 1st, the onBoard 35 LT is the “lightest infant car seat that can accommodate a baby up to 35 pounds.”

The seat comes with head and body inserts for smaller babies (good for preemies) and has four harness heights for easy adjustments as your babies grow.

This car seat is FAA-approved for use on airplane (for those brave enough to travel with twins!), and is also compatible with any Safety 1st strollers that have the QuickClick attachment.

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Chicco KeyFit 30 ~ $229, 9 lbs — Editor’s Choice

best carseats for twins and preemies_chicco

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. You could pay the extra $100 [each] and get one of the Euro seats, but I personally don’t think it’s necessary.

best car seats for twins and preemies
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If you live in a city and are looking for a car seat to use in a taxi or Uber, or to easily click into a Chicco stroller, check out the Chicco Fit2 (~ $319). The key here is that you can use this car seat WITH a twin stroller, like the Joovy TwinRoo+, for up to 24 months (2 years, hence the “fit2”), whereas with other infant car seats, the babies will outgrow with infant seat around 12 months. Then you’ll have to switch up to a convertible seat that cannot be used with a stroller.

Think about the situation where you are out and about in Manhattan with twin one-year-olds taking taxis and such. You’ll need car seats… then you’ll need somewhere to put them/transport the car seats when you arrive at your destination. You feel me?

If you don’t need this capability (you drive your own car everywhere), then this seat is overkill, IMO.

Mid-Range Seats

UPPAbaby Mesa ~ $319, 9.9 lbs

The UPPAbaby Mesa is not to be overlooked. I recommend this seat, especially for people who plan on using it with the UPPAbaby Vista. 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 a 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. It also has a low birth weight insert for babies 4-8 lbs.

The newer version of this seat has a traditional American belt path, whereas previous versions had the Euro belt path. If you are looking for a seat with a European belt path, this one no longer has it — sorry!

Clek Liing ~ $469, 9 lbs

The Clek Liing is a beautiful, luxe and extremely safe car seat that fits babies as small as 4 lbs up to 35 lbs. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have a no-rethread harness (boo!), this seat is still an awesome pick for your babies.

“Euro” Seats

Maxi Cosi Mico Luxe ~ $199, 9 lbs — “Euro” Favorite #1

 The Maxi Cosi Mico Luxe is an upgrade from its predecessor the Mico Max, and its safety features, easy installation, low weight and small footprint make it a compelling pick for a preemie infant car seat.  

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

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio best car seats for twins and preemies
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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.

Nuna PIPA Lite RX ~ $400, 7.6 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 makes 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”.

This seat is lightweight at 7.6 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 full-coverage canopy protects little ones from the sun, but it also has a mesh window so you can keep your eye on your little one. Big bonus (especially if you have twins): installation only takes five seconds, with indicators that turn green when the base is connected correctly. Also, Nuna recently introduced a new RELX base, which will make the carseat fit better into a variety of different cars — and in the middle seat. Yay!

Bottom line: If this is compatible with the stroller of your choice, get it!

Ok wow; that was a lot. But we hope you found a seat that will work for your budget — and your babies.

Cheers! Meg and Marissa

Back to: Twins!


  1. Avatar of India Meyers

    Hi I’m writing you from NICU. I’m a FTM and I typed in “best strollers and car seats for preemies.” Thank you for providing this information that I will use as guidance to purchase as stroller/car seat for my baby daughter. Congratulations on your twins and it’s nice to know you can relate to having smaller babies.

  2. Avatar of Jackie

    Thank you for this information. Now I need to figure out what car will fit car seats for twin newborns and highball booster for 5 year old. Any tips there? I dont think our prius is going to work!

    1. I know how hard this can be! Fitting all the car seats and boosters in your car is like trying to piece together a tough puzzle! 🙂 Check out the Car Seat Lady for tips on this — she has some awesome info. Good luck!

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