In general, I’m really not a fan of “Best” and “Worst” lists. We all have opinions on what we love and what we can’t stand and just because I don’t care for something doesn’t mean you won’t love it. I’ve also been around this field long enough to have some perspective on the issues. I can clearly recall the not-so-good-ol’-days when there was a lot more to hate in the wonderful world of child restraints. Things like shield boosters and rear-facing convertible seats that only went to 22 lbs and forward-facing seats with rear harness adjusters (you actually had to uninstall the seat just to tighten and loosen the harness straps – insane, huh?) And seats that were literally impossible to install correctly in almost any vehicle with straps so twisty that they looked like ropes after just a few months of use and there was very little that could be done to stop the process or correct it.
Point is, there’s a lot less to truly hate nowadays. But there are still some legitimate poor choices currently available for purchase on store shelves right now. Many are designs that have been around for a decade or longer but still manage to sell for various reason (price, styling, cute covers). These seats are all throw-backs to the past and there are definitely much better options currently available in each category. Of course any child restraint is better than nothing at all, but if you’re shopping for something new, you’d be doing yourself a favor if you bought something that wasn’t on this list.
Here are my nominations for the Worst Carseats of 2010: