Baseless Car Seat Installation: How to Keep Baby Safe In Taxis and Ubers

Traveling with baby in an Uber or taxi? Learn how to properly install a baseless car seat and get a line on some of our favorites. And travel happy–and safely!

Baseless Car Seat Featured Image

Choosing the correct car seat for your baby is one of the first big decisions parents make.

Before your baby is even born, you likely spent hours researching which car seat to buy. You chose one you believe will be easy to use and will keep your baby safe and secure. But did you think about how much time you will spend in other people’s cars?

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If you live in a city where you will use taxis or rideshare services like Uber and Lyft or you travel to areas where you will use them, you’ll want to consider buying an infant car seat you can install without a base.

Installing a baseless car seat is simple, but you need to be sure you have it right before letting the driver know you’re ready to roll. These tips will turn you into a pro.

Baby In Car Seat. Photo: Canva

Baby in car seat. Photo: Canva

Pick the right seat for baseless car seat installation

When it comes to bucket-style infant seats there are three major types: standard, with a base that install with a seatbelt or to LATCH anchors; baseless or European belt path style that use only the seatbelt to install; and LATCH installed infant carriers which use rigid guides to clip onto LATCH anchors. Most infant carriers come with bases for convenience sake; these not only make it easier to install the baby bucket – just drop the seat into the base and listen for the click.

All child passenger car seats require seat belt installation since not every seat has LATCH anchors and tethers, and some older cars don’t have them at all.

And, some parents prefer an infant carrier with a base for the ease of installing the seat into the base, and other features such as anti-rebound bars and swivel bases that make installation easy.

But if you will use rideshares and taxis regularly, infant seats that install using the European belt path method may be best. This allows you to stretch the shoulder part of the seat belt behind the infant car seat and secure it through a special “belt path” on the back. That gives the car seat two spots where the seat belt holds it in rather than just one.

Read More: What You Need to Know About Car Seat Safety

Baseless Car Seats Are A Convenient Way To Enjoy Traveling With Your Family.

Baseless car seats are a convenient way to enjoy traveling with your family. Photo: Nuna

Practice makes perfect when it comes to baseless car seat installation

Don’t let the first time you install a car seat with no base be when you need to. Practice makes perfect. Try installing the seat — both with and without the baby in it — before you travel. Practice before you go, more than once.

Practice installing the seat on both the center of the back seat and the sides. Studies have shown that the center position in the back seat can be up to 43 percent safer for baby. But some center seats bump out a bit, which can make installation tricky.

What is the right installation? One that you feel confident is secure. So go with what you feel most comfortable.

Read More: 5 Important Car Seat Safety Tips

How to Install a Car Seat with No Base

Installing A Baseless Car Seat In A Rideshare Or Taxi Is As Easy As Step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!

Installing a baseless car seat in a rideshare or taxi is as easy as Step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5! Photo: Nasreen Stump

Here are the steps to baseless car seat installation:

  • Place your car seat, rear-facing, on the vehicle seat.
  • Pull out the seat belt; thread the lap section across the seat and across baby’s feet; secure the belt to the car seat using the the lap belt guides on either side of the car seat; push the buckle into receptor on the vehicle’s seat.
  • Pull the shoulder belt portion around the back of the car seat, making sure it lies flat. Seats with a European belt path have an additional belt guide on the back of the seat; secure the shoulder belt in to the guide.
  • Pull down on the shoulder belt to activate the locking mechanism.
  • Push on the car seat and pull on the safety belt to tighten your installation. The seat should not move more than one inch if you try to wiggle it.
  • Double-check that the seat is level.

Read More: Best Family Cars to Buy When Baby Makes 3

Some of Our Favorite Baseless Infant Car Seats

There are four we really like: Doona, Nuna Pipa Urbn, Chico KeyFit 35 and Britax B-Safe Gen2. The Chicco KeyFit 35 stands out for its reliability and ease of use. The Doona car seat impresses with its all-in-one design, seamlessly transforming into a stroller. Finally, the Nuna Pipa urbn offers a lightweight and stylish option with top-notch safety features.

The Chicco Keyfit Car Seat.

The Chicco Keyfit car seat offers user-friendly baseless car seat installation. Photo: Amazon

Chicco KeyFit 35

The Chicco KeyFit35 is an outstanding baseless infant car seat that offers a range of impressive features. One of its notable strengths lies in its easy installation process, ensuring a secure fit in your vehicle every time. Additionally, the Chicco KeyFit35 is compatible with a wide range of strollers, allowing for seamless transitions between car rides and strolling adventures. Safety is paramount, and this car seat delivers with its included base is a rebound bar, providing an extra layer of protection.

We know how heavy infant seats can get, but the Chicco KeyFit wins in this category, coming in at a mere 10 lbs. It is notably lightweight, making it a breeze to carry and handle. It’s important to note that the Chicco KeyFit35 has a weight limit of 4-35 lbs. and a height limit of 32″. The Chicco KeyFit35 remains a popular choice due to its user-friendly installation, compatibility, safety features, and lightweight design.

Find it here for $245.

The Doona Baseless Car Seat Brilliantly Converts Into A Stroller.

The Doona baseless car seat brilliantly converts into a stroller.

Doona Car Seat & Stroller

The Doona Car Seat and Stroller is an incredibly popular all-in-one travel system that has captured the hearts of many new parents. Its popularity often leads to high demand, making it challenging to acquire at times. Trust this as someone who tried to get one for my baby when she was little. However, its exceptional features make it well worth the effort.

Installing the Doona is a breeze in various vehicle types, ensuring convenience and peace of mind. Despite its compact size as a travel system, it doesn’t compromise on impact protection, offering robust safety features. It’s important to note that the Doona has weight and height limits of 4-35 lbs. and 32″, respectively. It is relatively heavier at 17 lbs. compared to other options, but the Doona’s versatility and convenience outweigh this factor for many parents.

It’s worth noting that the Doona falls into a higher price range ($550), making it a more expensive choice. However, its popularity, ease of installation, compact design, and impressive safety features make it a top contender among all-in-one travel systems for parents.

Find it here for $550.

Nuna Stokke Infant Car Seat

Nuna Stokke infant car seat, a nice alternative to the Nuna Urbn. Photo: Nuna

Nuna Pipa Urbn

The Nuna Pipa Urbn is another highly sought-after infant car seat known for its exceptional safety features. Installing the Nuna Pipa Urbn using just the LATCH connectors is a breeze, thanks to its anchor guides that provide easy and secure installation in any vehicle. But it can also be installed using a seat belt if you don’t want to stick your fingers into the seat bight of a taxi or Uber to find out where the LATCH anchors are.

What sets this infant car seat apart is its incredibly lightweight design, making it effortless to carry and handle. The built-in latch system adds an extra layer of convenience. It’s important to note that the Nuna Pipa Urbn has a height limit of less than 29 inches and a weight limit of 4-22 lbs, which may be a consideration for families looking for a seat that will grow with their child.

Even though it falls in a higher price range, its safety features, easy installation, lightweight design, and the brand’s reputation make it an appealing choice for parents who prioritize the utmost protection for their little ones.

Find it here for $900, and other Nuna baseless infant car seats here.

Britax B Safe Gen 2Infant Car Seat

Britax B-safe Gen 2 infant car seat. Photo: Britax

Britax B-Safe Gen 2

We’ve long been Britax fans for the brand’s dedication to safety. And the B-Safe infant seat also works in tandem with Britax’s strollers and other gear. Add to that the washable covers and multiple fabric designs, and you have a lot of options to fit your lifestyle.

It’s worth noting that the B-Safe accommodates babies 4 – 35 lbs, and up to 32″ in height.

Also worth noting is that all that the B-Safe infant car seat weighs in at just over 11 lbs., something to consider for parents traveling without a stroller (the base weighs 9 lbs.).

Get it here for $269.

Checklist for a Baseless Car Seat Installation

You’ve practiced installation and you’re ready for your first trip. Here are a few last-minute hints to be sure the baseless car seat installation goes smoothly.

  • Have your infant buckled into the car seat and ready to go. Remember that the same rules apply as in your own car, so be sure the child is securely strapped in without any poofy coats or unsafe car seat add-ons.
  • Going in a taxi? Tell the driver to start the meter while you install. This will relieve some of the “rushed” feeling and allow you to put your full attention on the install without the driver getting frustrated.
  • Perform the above mentioned installation instructions.
  • Before you shut the door to the car make sure the seat is tight (no more than one inch of wiggle in any direction), level (check your car seat manual to see what the visual on the car seat should look like), and that the seat belt is locked.
  • Never shut the door until the car seat is fully installed. This signals to the driver that you are ready to go!

We are big believers in traveling with babies, and raising kids who travel well. Happy travels with your baby!

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Kim Smith is a 30-something-year-old wife and do-it-all mom of two beautiful daughters; her rainbow babies. As if working... More about Kim S.