Have you decided to buy a car seat that will not only be for the first year of your baby’s life? Or has your baby outgrown the infant carrier that you bought around a year ago? Then you are on the right spot here because we have reviewed the best convertible car seats that will fit all your needs.
The car seat that we bought right before our first baby was born was an infant carrier with stroller combo. It was until after a year that we found out that we could have bought a convertible car seat from the beginning. Although that has a few cons, it would have saved us some money upfront.
It is always good though that you can hand these down to the next baby, especially when they only a few years apart. We bought a convertible car seat when our oldest was around 13 months. Soon after that, we were expecting our second child, so we did not have to buy a new car seat immediately when our second was born.
Convertible Car Seats Vs Infant Carriers
We have mentioned that you can choose between infant carriers and convertible car seats. However, is it necessary to buy both, or is it enough to buy only the convertible car seat? We will go a bit in detail.
We love infant carriers because they offer the comfort of carrying your baby around in the car seat. Your baby can even sleep comfortably in the car seat when you have to go shopping. You do not need to wake her because you carry her with convenient handles where ever you go.
Bad weather can be among the most important reasons to buy an infant carrier. You do not want to expose your newborn to freezing weather, snow, rain, winds, and other weather conditions that can make her sick. You want to protect her as much as possible during those first few months of life.
Also, when you have a doctor’s appointment, you cannot always carry your baby in your arms. Infant carriers can be very convenient for putting your babies down when you need your hands free.
However, there is a reason why we do not like the infant carries because babies outgrow them so quickly and that the kids have to be in the rear-facing position. Our youngest son was soon too small for the infant carrier and was screaming all the time when he had to go into that car seat. Until we were able to buy a convertible car seat where he had more room, he finally settled and now he has more fun riding the car.
Convertible Car Seats
As your baby grows, you will be looking for a car seat that will serve for multiple stages. Buying car seats is not cheap, especially if you think that you will have to buy at least 3 different car seats before your child is finally ready to sit in the vehicle’s seat.
A convertible car seat is a money-saving option because you can put your newborn baby into one of those, then face the car seat forward once your baby grows into a toddler and lastly, getting rid of the back and just use the bottom of that car seat when your child is not a toddler anymore.
We do not like convertible car seats for newborns because you cannot carry them around. Whenever it rains, you will likely be dripping all over before you get that newborn out of its seat, wrapped into blankets, and finally safely in the house.
Also, shopping with a baby is not fun if you do not have an infant carrier, even though some stores offer the convenience of car seats on their shopping carts. However, that gives you the hassle to deal with cart covers. With convertible car seats, you are not able to use your own when shopping.
It all comes down to your preference when choosing convertible car seats over infant carriers or vice versa.
Check out this great video where the difference between convertible and infant carriers is explained in detail.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Convertible Car Seat
Before you buy a convertible car seat, it is best to look at some features to get the best out of that purchase.
1) Size and Safety
Size is important because it depends on the vehicle that your car seat will be used. In small cars, you can hardly fit large car seats because your children cannot extend their legs, except when you move the front seats forward. The rear-facing position for convertible car seats is particularly challenging in small vehicles.
Size is also important when planning how long your child will be in that particular car seat. There are different types of convertible car seats available: Some will be for newborn to the toddler stage (which is a fairly small car seat), then you will have the ones that are from newborn up to 12 years old (which is a very large car seat).
Buying a car seat is all because of safety. You will definitely look for a new car seat and not used ones. Car seats have expiry dates. The plastic brittles over time and makes them unsafe.
Never buy a used car seat where you do not have a complete history. Only from well-known and trusted people should you agree to use a second-hand car seat. Car seats that have been in accidents should be replaced immediately, regardless of the impact they received.
2) Easy to Wash
Children like to eat in their car seats. That is a great way to keep them busy and entertained. However, that can be a total mess, but so worthy. We prefer that our kids eat while riding, instead of having a clean vehicle. Trying to keep them from snacking can often provoke unnecessary tantrums.
Also, children occasionally throw up or have diaper leaks during the ride. The convertible car seat model that we have is easy to wash and clean. And that is something that you will be looking for when choosing a car seat.
Your child should be comfortable at the least. If you travel a lot, you can do your baby a favor by having a comfortable car seat where she will not cry all the time. As we said before, our youngest was screaming all the time in the small car seat. He felt too tight in that infant carrier.
Choose the ones that are made of fabric that will feel good to your child. Also, pick the ones where your child will be able to rest her feet properly. That depends a lot on your children’s size. For instance, our boys are very tall and they needed a car seat where their knees would not be dangling around, which was the case for some smaller-sized car seats that we tried.
There are skinny-profiled car seats that are ideal for smaller children. There are also those that are great for chubbier children.
It is very important to weigh out what you can and what you want to spend on a car seat. We did go for car seats that were a little more expensive because we want them to fit our kids until they are around 10 years old, which is great. Also, since our kids were rather young when they did not fit into infant carriers anymore, we were looking for a rear-facing option.
There are convertible car seats that are cheap and others that are very expensive. It is not that one is so much better than the other. It comes down to the features because they all have to pass federal safety regulations. Some will last until your child is 3 years old, others will last until they are around 10. Some have cup holders, others don’t. You also have to know how often your children will be riding in car seats and the distance. It is unnecessary to buy an expensive car seat if your child will be sitting in it for short city drives. However, a car seat with many features is definitely worth it when you travel long distances quite often. It is all about preferences and budget allowance.
Best Convertible Car Seats
Britax Marathon Click Tight
If you are looking for a safe option, you cannot go wrong with this amazing convertible car seat that performed best in side-impact when it was crash-tested, compared to its competitors. With a built-in reinforced steel frame, you have more stability and safety, as you can imagine. However, this feature makes this car seat very heavy: It weighs over 28 pounds.
For even more safety, you can buy the world famous anti-rebound bar that attaches to this model. The anti-rebound bar is a piece that you install at the end where your baby’s feet are. That bar pushes against the seatback (its only used in rear-facing car seats) in the event of an accident to prevent excessive car seat movement.
Installing this car seat is very easy, which is a feature that we absolutely love. Sometimes you are in a hurry and you need to move your car seat to another vehicle or take it out for cleaning. If the installation is easy, you can do that in a breeze. With the ClickTight Technology, the seat belt straps are locked in with a single click. The LATCH makes for a common feature for both safety and easy installation. The process is very straight-forward and easy for both, rear-facing and forward-facing.
This 2-stage car seat holds your rear-facing baby when it weighs between 5 and 40 pounds. After that, in the forward-facing position, it will hold a baby between 20-65 pounds. You have 14 positions for the headrest to make sure the harness fits your baby/toddler well and she is as comfortable as possible.
Added to the 14 positions for the headrest, you have 7 reclining positions. That is among the most-needed feature for a convertible car seat. Kids so often doze away during the ride and we have experienced with our kids that they need an adjustment from a chiropractor because their head tends to fall forward when you don’t have the car seat reclined. It also seems that our kids love to ride more in the reclined position than the non-reclined position.
No rethreading of the harness is needed in this car seat, which makes it a great choice. It saves you lots of time because babies and toddlers grow so quickly and you do not want to re-thread every time the harness is below their shoulder.
Because of its weight, you will consider buying this car only if you do not plan to move the car seat from one vehicle to another vehicle too often. However, the Britax Marathon ClickTight convertible car seat is a lovely, comfortable, and convenient, yet expensive car seat.
A considerably light car seat with its 22 pounds, this is a 2-stage car seat that is easier to move from one vehicle to another one. It is not as bulky as many other car seats on the market, yet it is too large to be able to fit 3 car seats in one row of your vehicle. Although putting 3 convertible car seats does not come into question for most families, there are those cases where the children are close in age, which makes it a requirement. If you combine this option with other smaller ones, you would be able to do that.
Graco, a company that started back in the 1920s, has established its positive reputation over the years by building quality products for accessible prices. They also crash-test their car seats for superior safety. This car seat, although not very expensive, does not compromise safety in any way. Equipped with a reinforced steel frame, side-impact tested, an easy-to-use LATCH system, this car seat makes for a safe ride for your small one.
The 2 cup holders on each side of the car seat are something that we looked for when buying a car seat. Since our boys ride quite a bit in their car seats, we always bring sippy-cups along. However, that is not all. Those cup holders are great for small toys that kids want to bring on every trip. That way, they have a place to store their stuff, without asking the co-driver all the time to pass or take their things.
No rethreading of the harness is needed for your baby or toddler as she grows. The 10 position-headrest is adjusted with only one click at the top of the car seat. There are also 6 reclining positions that provide extra comfort for long rides.
As stated before, this 2-stage car seat is for your baby that weighs between 4 and 50 pounds in the rear-facing position, and between 22 and 65 pounds in the forward-facing position. Did you notice the 50 pounds in the rear-facing position? Not many car seats have this option. However, since some states have passed a law that requires babies to sit rearward-facing until they are 2 years of age, Graco took that into account and made it large enough for your babies to fit into this position more time. This comes with the downside that it is almost not snug enough for very tiny and skinny babies, especially preemies but the inserts help to make it as snug as possible.
Regardless of the downsides, when you buy this product, you get a comfortable, easy to use, safe, moderately-priced, and convenient baby/toddler essential all packed into the Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat.
Graco 4ever 4-in-One
Probably the best-selling and all-time-favorite convertible car seats for most parents is the Graco 4ever 4-in One. We own 2 of these and they are amazing.
What makes these car seats so special? The 4-in-One feature is what makes it appealing. Buying car seats is expensive, but it is the single most important baby essential that you will buy the first years of your baby’s life. Before you buy a car seat, you are aware that your baby will be growing out of it very soon. However, you do not expect it to be that soon.
After we bought the infant car seat for our oldest, we thought we were good for a while. But it did not take long until we realized that we needed to buy a convertible car seat so our son would be more comfortable. As we looked through the options, our eyes fell on this car seat and we immediately knew that we would buy it. It sounds appealing that you will not have to buy another car seat until your child transitions into the vehicle seat.
2-3-stage car seats are designed for children between 0 and 6-8 years old. After that, you will have to buy a booster seat until your child is big enough to sit in the seat with a seat belt securely fastened. The Graco 4ever is a 4-stage car seat. It starts at the rearward-facing position for babies between 4-40 pounds, it goes to the forward-facing position for babies between 20-65 pounds. Next, it transitions into a high back booster for children between 30-100 pounds, and lastly, you have the backless booster for children up to 120 pounds. By that time, children are tall enough to transition into the seat of your vehicle.
This super safe car seat that has a steel frame, and meets federal requirements of car seat safety, provides for a comfortable place to ride for all children. Although we would not recommend using this car seat for newborns, they can be fit in snuggly if they weigh over 7 pounds. Regardless of the inserts that make for a snug place for newborns, you cannot really say a preemie that weighs 4 pounds would be safe enough in there. We highly recommend that you buy an infant car seat just for the convenience of not having to unbuckle and buckle your baby up every time you leave or enter the car.
Fitting this car seat into compact cars is a challenge. However, we were able to properly and comfortably install one of these in our car in the center of the back seat. Yet, as your child grows, you soon realize that it will not last for long. And even more when baby #2 needs a convertible car seat. The problem is not that much the space that the car seat requires, it is the legroom for your growing child.
Although this car seat does not have more than 10 headrest positions and 6 reclining positions, what you would expect of a car seat this size, it has proven to be more than enough for our boys. They can rest comfortably with these options.
And lastly, the large bottom is fantastic for long-legged kids like ours. We tried other car seats before buying this one and we found that our boys’ legs would not be as comfortable in other car seats as in this one and we were right when making that decision.
Considering the features and the time this car seat will last, this is not an expensive car seat. You get 4 stages, 2 cupholders, no rethreading of the harness, LATCH system and many other awesome features that will make you love this car seat from the moment you buy it.
Graco Milestone All-In-One
Another one of Graco’s best-selling car seat is the Milestone All-in-one that is a great option for city dwellers that make mostly short rides with their kids. Although this is an all-in-one, compared to the Graco 4ever, this one has only 3 stages: 4-40 pounds rear-facing, 20-65 pounds forward-facing, and the 30-100 booster seat. It lacks the high back booster which provides extra safety for your child during the fine line between needing a forward-facing car seat and the backless booster. However, it is not a must have and most children will do just fine in this car seat until they transition out of the booster into the vehicle seat.
Nonetheless, this strong and sturdy car seat with a reinforced steel frame, containing EPS (energy absorbing foam) is voted for by many happy parents who are happy with the choice they have made. Hassle-free installation stands out in this particular model. The LATCH connectors make everything very easily done. Parents that have bought this car seat have also noted how convenient it is to not have to rethread the harness as your baby grows.
Because of its lower price, compared to other 3-stage car seats, it is a great option for all those that are on a tight budget but in desperate need for a car seat.
What we love about the Graco car seats is that they are so easy to clean. The fabric is easily removed. We throw them into the washer and let them air dry every once in a while and clean the rest of the car seat with a power washer to remove all food rests and debris that finds its way into every corner.
We also love the cup holder, which is fairly small in this car seat but gives your child the extra freedom to play with toys, put them away, put in food containers or drinking cups. It is always convenient to be able to store things in that fashion instead of having the co-driver (if you have one) to give and take all your children want or do not want.
This car seat has 4 recline positions, which makes it recline a little less than other car seats from Graco. However, that is not a problem, especially if your kids will not sit in the car seat for extended periods, or if you have a child that rarely every dozes off when on the road.
Although most things on this car seat can be done with one hand (which is not always convenient as your child grows because it will start to it on its own, even opening the harness or loosening the seat belt), this car seat offers safety, comfort, and all basic features that you will expect from a quality convertible car seat.
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
You would expect that an all-in-one car seat would be heavy, but the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 is a lightweight car seat and parents love it because of that because it makes it easier to transfer it from one vehicle to the other.
This model is made for babies between 5-40 pounds in the rear-facing position, toddlers between 22 and 65 pounds in the forward-facing position, and young children in a booster position until they weigh up to 100 pounds.
You will also like the size of this car seat. It is not too bulky, neither too small. It will fit into small cars and larger vehicles just fine. Although you will not be able to put 3 car seats of these across in your compact car, this car seat has a slim design, so if your vehicle is a bit spacier, you might even be able to tuck them in in that position.
What we love about this car seat is that the fabric can be so easily removed and washed. Also, the material that this car seat is made of makes it a very comfortable option for your child. As you can see in the image, there are plenty of inserts and cushions that are there for side-impact protection, but also for your baby to sleep comfortably. In most car seats that do not have as many inserts, you will find that your baby’s head easily tilts sideways. That is not so much this problem with this car seat.
The QuickFit technology present in this car seat makes the adjustment of the harness and headrest height easily done in a single click. Note also that you will not have to rethread the harness as your baby grows.
Did you notice the 2 cup holders? What a lovely feature. Bring stuff along for your children and they will decide when to put it away and when to take it. Our children want to bring toys on trips, but then they want a few, and then they do not want them on their laps, etc. So, the cupholders are good for holding all that stuff.
Ths Safety 1st Grow and Go has 3 recline positions, and it exceeds federal safety regulations, which gives you peace of mind. Owners of this particular car seat that have been involved in car wrecks have said that nothing happened to their babies. Although that has to do with the impact and many other things, you can rest assured that this car seat provides for a safe place for your baby and toddler to be in.
Diono Radian 3RXT All-In-One
If you are looking for a convertible car seat that has additional features that most other car seats lack, you will definitely love the Diono Radian 3RXT All-in-one. The absolutely best feature is that you can put three of these across in a vehicle seat. So, if you are one that is looking to provide room and safety for a larger family where kids are close in age, this is the one that you will go for. Although it has the profile for skinny and tall children, your children will have to compromise a little comfort for being able to sit together in the backseat of your vehicle.
Made of ultra-soft and comfortable memory foam materials, this car seat is definitely one that your children will love to sit in for extended periods. Although it lacks cup holders, it also has a longer seat bottom for long-legged children.
Regarding safety, it is a sturdy 3-stage convertible car seat that has extra deep sidewalls for more impact protection. Children can be rear-facing between 5 and 50 pounds, which is fairly more than other car seats. In the forward-facing position, you will have children between 20 and 65 pounds, and lastly, you have the booster seat which can be used for children between 50 and 120 pounds.
This car seat is really an all-in-one option because your children can stay in it until they are ready to transition in the seat of your vehicle, because of the maximum weight of 120 pounds, which the vast majority of children will not reach before the age of 10 or 12.
A favorite feature that is liked by frequent plane travelers is that you can fold this car seat up and carry it into the plane and install it easily in there, although this car seat is not lightweight, considering that it weighs almost 30 pounds. Nevertheless, for more safety in the air, you definitely would consider this because of its size and features.
The super LATCH system lets you install this car seat in a breeze. It comes with a visual and audible indicator that it has been installed correctly, which is definitely useful to be completely sure that you have done it correctly.
This car seat may not be so convenient for newborn babies because it lacks options for reclining and finding the correct and appropriate angle. The right angle is very important so your newborn will have a consistent flow of oxygen. The correct angle for newborns in this car seat depends mostly on the slope of the seat where you are going to install it, which will not be best in many vehicles. However, you have a few reclining positions available in the forward-facing position, which compensates for the uncomfortable first stage, where you will most likely want an infant car seat.
The no-rethreading of the harness is another awesome feature. And there are 12 headrest positions available, which is more than in many other convertible car seats as well.
The Diono Radian 3RXT all-in-one has features that you will not find in most car seats. Being able to install 3 car seats across in one vehicle seat and to be able to fold it up and take it into the plane, plus many other great features make out of this highly-priced convertible car seat one that fits your needs.
The Clek Fllo is unique in its design and its safety features of which most cannot be found in other car seats. At the first look, this cheaper-looking car seat would not seem to be fit for this list of best convertible car seats, but you are about to be impressed with this one of a kind car seat and one that might even make it to your home very soon.
Being among the smallest convertible car seats found in the market, it can hold your baby rear-facing up to 50 pounds, which is impressing with its only 17-inch width. Although it is only a 2-stage car seat fit for babies between 4 and 65 pounds between rear- and forward-facing, you cannot go wrong with all the safety features that we will describe next.
The anti-rebound bar makes a very good feature for car seats because, in the event of an accident, the rear-facing car seat will avoid excessive car seat movements. This car seat also has advanced impact protection: A sturdy and high-quality steel frame, with deep side wings, cushioned with the unique EACT (Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology), which is a honeycomb design that absorbs the impact through the deformable cores. This is something we have not found on other car seats but makes complete sense because the impact in a collision is absorbed by these cores. And suddenly this simple-looking car seat converts into a chick-looking car seat that is totally worth the price because you know that your baby has even more protection than in other car seats.
Rethreading of the harness can become a hassle, but the high-quality fabric which has a stain guard compensates because a wet wipe will easily clean all mess that your baby makes by either throwing up, making a mess with food or even diaper leaks. Not having to wash and clean the car seat every time these messy accidents happen makes this car seat phenomenal.
Because of the narrow and compact size, you can easily fit 3 car seats across which is not common in convertible car seats, and it will fit nicely into the smallest cars very well. That makes it a great choice ofr twins of triplets. And people living in cities drive mostly compact cars, which makes this car seat a perfect choice.
As you can imagine and see on the image, this car seat does not have the adjustable harness by the click of a button; rethreading is required as your baby grows. Nevertheless, the headrest is adjustable. We would love to see a cup holder or some type of storage in this car seat, but that is only a feature for travelers and not so much for city dwellers.
Buying one of the safest, stylish, compact, and convenient convertible car seats is an asset because you get all you need for your child in one item.
Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One
With its headquarters located in Ohio and a history of almost a century, Evenflo knows the how’s and why’s of products. Car seats are no exception. With the highest quality products and best-sellers for many years, they continue to be leaders in the market of car seats.
This particular model is an all-in-one because of the three stages that it will hold your child: between 4 and 110 pounds, from rear-facing to forward-facing to high-back booster seat, and all that in less than 25 pounds, which is considered a light-weight convertible car seat.
Even though it is lightweight, this car has a reinforced steel frame, is very sturdy, and easy to install with the SureLATCH system. We love the fact that this car seat has extra side impact protection to provide for a very safe and comfortable ride for your little one. The inserts for the rear-facing position are great for snuggling your small baby nicely.
Although we would love to see more than only 3 reclining positions and more than 5 adjustable headrest positions, we think it is fair enough and gives you the tranquility that your newborn in the rear-facing position will get enough oxygen because of the correct car seat angle, and your growing child will have enough room to grow. The few headrest positions are inconvenient because you cannot adjust the harness to the exact height that your child needs it. But it is not that much of a problem because you do not compromise safety if you install it as close to shoulder height as possible.
The fabric used in this car seat is comfortable and high quality and since you can wash it easily, there is no need to worry about children making a mess during the ride.
This particular moderately-priced car seat has a special cupholder, which is even expandable for different types of cups.
Did you know that buckles can heat up in those hot summer days? You are going to like that this car seat has buckle pockets so you can store them nicely when leaving your vehicle. Whenever you come back, you can securely fasten the harness without having to deal with burns on your fingers. Most car seats do not have this feature and we think it is necessary, especially if the buckles are not equipped or covered in some kind of plastic.
As with most other car seats, this one is too big to be able to fit 3 across in your vehicle. Nevertheless, buying an all-in-one car seat is a once-per-lifetime acquisition for your child, which makes it totally worth it. And besides, buying one that is easy to install, “grows” with your child, is very safe, of good value, and comfortable, makes that decision even easier. The Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One combines all these features and many more with a medium-price-tag.
Britax Boulevard Clicktight
When looking for a smaller temporary car seat, the 2-staged Britax Boulevard Clicktight continues to be among the favorite for parents. Why temporary? If you bought your first rear-facing infant car seat that attaches to a base and your baby has outgrown that one, you will be looking for a forward-facing car seat to be able to fit your baby back into a car seat. You will come across many options, from 2, 3, and 4 stage car seats that all have different features.
A 2-stage car seat serves as a rear-facing infant car seat that is not removable from the base and holds babies up to 40 pounds in that position. And it also serves as a forward-facing car seat for your baby up to 65 pounds. If you were to buy a 2-stage car seat for a newborn baby, it would roughly work for your baby until it was 3-4 years old, depending on size and weight. Therefore, buying a 2-stage car seat is only recommendable if you will use it for a newborn baby as well. Else, you will make an investment that will not last very long. If you are on a budget, you will definitely be looking for a 3 or 4 stage car seat.
In any case, if you are looking for a 2-stage car seat, regardless of the reason, the Britax Boulevard Clightight is a super safe and comfortable car seat for any baby and toddler and so well worth the high price tag.
The ClickTight technology, which has gained popularity in recent years, helps you to secure your car seat with the click of a button or knob. This car seat has the LATCH system, which makes it very easy to install. The manual is very straightforward and written for everybody to interpret easily. In our research, we found that many car seat manuals are difficult to read and for someone who is not very familiar with English or with reading, might find it difficult to install the car seat with a manual. Parents have noted that this manual is pretty easy to understand and makes installation hassle-free.
Although Britax car seats are known for reduced space and great for skinnier babies, you can rest assured that your baby or toddler will be just fine in this car seat. Enough room is provided, yet snug enough for maximum safety. The 14 position headrest with a no-rethread harness is what makes this car seat a best-seller. You can extend the harness to make your baby comfortable without compromising safety.
Top notch fabrics are used in Britax car seats, which explains the high price tags. Since they are washable and easy to remove, parents prefer these car seats over others that are not as easy to remove.
We would love to see this car seat with a cup holder, but for those who do not make long rides, it is not a must-have. In any case, you can use the cup holders provided in your vehicle to hold sippy cups, toys and whatever your toddlers bring along.
While this car seat does not have the world-famous anti-rebound bar, it is available for purchase. This feature that is intended for the rear-facing position provides more stability in the case of an accident, preventing the car seat from excessive movements.
Beware, as stated above, when you buy this car seat, you will need a booster car seat for the next stage when your child does not fit into the car seat anymore.
Nevertheless, a fully equipped car seat with the newest safety features, providing comfort for the baby and tranquility for parents, the Britax Boulevard Clicktight with its 3 reclining positions is your perfect choice to give your baby a safe ride.
Chicco Nextfit Sport
Chicco is an Italian family business that started all with a dad that wanted to celebrate his son Enrico, whom he affectionately called “Chicco”. Ever since its founding, this now world-famous company has managed to branch out their business and extend into around 120 countries. Chicco is committed to society by partnering with various charity groups.
The products, aka car seats, made by Chicco are durable, safe, and easy to install. Their reinforced steel frames make them slightly heavier (this one weighs 25 pounds), but obviously that gives your baby more safety because of its sturdy frame.
This particular model, the Chicco Nextfit Sport is a 2 stage car seat that will hold your baby and toddler between 5 and 65 pounds, in both rear- and forward-facing positions. Although this makes you buy a new car seat a few times as your baby/toddler grows, this might just be the perfect option for you.
You will love the 9 recline positions on this seat. It makes for your baby to sit up higher so it can look out of the vehicle and enjoy the ride, or to lay down into a very comfortable position to sleep. Both are important aspects of car seats. Children will want both positions during the ride. And your baby is soon going to show or tell you that.
The awesome feature of not having to rethread the harness and the extendable headrest will make you like this car seat immediately. Rethreading can be a hassle itself because you have to take the whole thing out of your vehicle more often. With only a lift of a button, you can release the straps and by pulling the strap, you tighten it easily.
Happy customers have noted that this car seat is super easy to clean. It is also easy to detach the fabric from the frame to throw it into the washer and dryer.
The downside of this product is that you lack the 3rd stage which will make you buy another car seat very soon. We also would love some sort of closed cup holder so things will not fall through.
Safety is an important aspect of Chicco. The SuperCinch Latch technology not only makes installation a breeze but also fasten the car seat securely into your vehicle.
Convenience, comfort, safety, along with a high price tag and awesome features are all packed into this 2-stage car seat that makes a perfect option for parents in search of a new car seat.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible
The authenticity and innovation of Peg Perego products, an Italian company that was founded in 1949 by a dad that needed a carriage for his baby, has gained a positive reputation over the years. Although they have gone more into well-known toys for children, they keep making top rated and best-selling infant carriages and car seats that are well-known for its high price tags but safe and sturdy products for those who are not tight on a budget.
When it comes to safety, the Peg Perego convertible car seat has more than you will ask for. It has side-impact protection, which guarantees your child’s head, neck and spine to be safe. It also has the EPS (energy-absorbing foam, that protects the baby’s head and torso. This car seat also has the SAFE (Shock Absorbing Foam Element), a device that is below the shell. And lastly, there is the top tether anchor that you can hook onto the seat of your vehicle for more stability and less backward and forward movements. In the event of a wreck, the whole thing crumples up, thus absorbing the impact and reducing stress on your baby’s body. All absolutely awesome features to make this among the safest, but also most expensive car seats.
With a 7-year expiration date, this convertible 2 stage car seat works just long enough for your baby to outgrow it and maybe even your a second child can make use of it. It will hold your baby in the forward- and rear-facing positions between 5 and 65 pounds. Compared to other car seats, this one holds your baby in the rear-facing position a bit longer (up to 45 pounds).
Installation with the LATCH straps is easily done. And superior quality Fresco Jersey fabric that is both washable and moisture-wicking, provides for a fresh and cool ride.
As expected from an expensive car seat, you do not have to rethread this car seat. The adjustable headrest and harness are adjusted manually. You can be done while your baby is safely tucked into the car seat.
One last feature that you will like is that the buckles can be protected from the heat. No hot burns on fingers to fear.
This highly-rated car seat has not lost its reputation because happy parents and babies have loved this baby essential so much that they can’t but recommend it.
Evenflo Triumph LX
The feature that stands out in the Evenflo Triumph LX 2-stage convertible car seat is that you can fit even the tiniest baby nice and snug into it. Most convertible car seats claim that they can fit a baby as small as 5 pounds nicely in it. Even though this might be true to some extent, you will worry about the safety of your baby if you cannot snug it tightly into the car seat.
If you are worried about spending money for multiple car seats that will not last long because your baby grows so quickly, this one would be a good option for you because it is a 2-staged car seat. However, we highly suggest that you buy an infant car seat for a newborn baby. It is more convenient. But you get to choose.
As said, this car seat has 2 stages, one in the rear-facing position up to 40 pounds and the forward-facing position up to 65 pounds. Because it is not so bulky, you can fit this car seat easier into compact cars than most other convertible car seats.
Car seat safety has been a major component for Evenflo. They know the risk a fiery crash can have on your child, which is why they test their car seats in state-of-the-art facilities following rigorous protocols to ensure superior safety. Their car seats are tested 2x the Federal standard requirements. All the components of each car seat are tested to make sure the impact is absorbed by the car seat and less force is applied to your baby.
Installing a car seat has been easy ever since the LATCH system was required to be in all cars. With a single click into the hooks provided in your vehicle seat, the car seat is securely fastened. This particular car seat needs no rethreading of the harness since it has the InfiniteSlide 5-point harness.
If you observed the image, you will see a knob that you can turn to adjust the harness to get the tension just right for your baby or toddler.
Equipped with comfortable fabric and many cushions to provide safety for your baby, this car seat stands out because of its high-quality fabric that is washable.
As you already know, we love cup holders for the convenience of storing things. Well, this car seat has 2 cup holders which do their job just fine.
Finding a moderately-priced car seat that is super safe and has many handy features like the no-rethreading feature is not as easy to find. The Evenflo Triumph LX is just the right option if you are looking for a smaller car seat that fits nicely into your compact car, this is the one for you.
Evenflo Every Stage DLX All in One
If you are looking for one of those car seats that will fit your baby from the time it is born until it is old enough to sit in the vehicle seat (which is around 10-12 years of age), you are looking at a very good option: The Evenflo Every Stage DLX All-in-one convertible car seat. This car seat will hold your baby from 5-50 pounds in the rear-facing position, which is quite a bit longer than most car seats. With new car seat laws, some states require your baby to rear-face up to 2 years of age. That is why this car seat comes in handy. Next is the forward-facing position and lastly the high back booster, in which your child can stay until she weighs 120 pounds or is big enough to sit in the vehicle seat.
This car seat also features the most up-to-date installation technology. In less than 60 seconds you can have this car seat tightly installed. With the ClickTight technology, you can make this car seat 3 times tighter than other car seats that tend to be wiggly after installation, which makes the child prone to a worse impact than if the car seat is very tightly installed. And you will absolutely love this feature so you can have peace of mind over the safety of your child.
With an expiration date of 10 years, this car seat will last as long as you need for your child to transition into the vehicle seat, and if you bought it when your baby was already in the forward-facing position, you might have a chance to use it for a second child.
Equipped with 10 headrest positions that do not require rethreading, multiple reclining positions, and a cupholder, this car seat is absolutely comfortable and convenient for you. If you travel a lot, this car seat is just what you need to provide for a safe and comfortable ride.
Don’t worry about spills or messes; the fabrics are washable and easily detachable.
Our sons are rather tall for their age, so they require extra leg room. This car seat is large and has extra legroom. As you can also see in the image, the car seat is formed in a way that the legs can rest nicely, which is a great feature. We tried multiple car seats before buying ours and that was one thing that we noted immediately. Tall kids need to be comfortable in their car seats, else they do not want to sit in them.
You can tell that this is a very large, bulky car seat that will not fit very well into compact cars. Although you can fit it in the center, without reclining it, it is not very comfortable as your child grows. Before you choose this one, make sure you have enough space in your vehicle, or at least that you will not be traveling for long hours very often with your child. Long rides in compact cars with extra large car seats are not fun. We have done that and kids get tired. In a larger vehicle, they do enjoy the ride more.
As stated before, Evenflo takes the safety of their car seats seriously. This car seat is no exception. It has been tested to multiple federal standards and it by far exceeds those standards. You do not have to worry about the safety of your child when you buy this car seat.
Although this car seat comes with a high price tag, you must consider that it is a one-time purchase as it lasts for 10 years before it expires. Comfort, convenience, easy installation, washable fabrics, top-notch technology, and the all-in-one feature all come packed in this convertible car seat that has been a favorite for thousands of happy parents. And you will love this car seat from the moment you get it.
Buying a convertible car seat can be a bit tricky because there is so much to choose from and you sometimes feel unsure whether you should buy an infant car seat up front and wait for a convertible one, or if you should buy the convertible car seat when you are expecting a baby.
Nevertheless, times flies fast and before you know it, you will need a convertible car seat, because your child is not ready for a booster seat at the age of 3, and it will not fit into an infant car seat anymore. That is why you have to make a wise decision and base that upon your budget and how you will use it. If you are a city dweller, you might want to look for a cheaper option, but if you are on the road quite often and on longer trips, you will highly benefit from buying a larger convertible car seat to provide for more room and comfort. And those car seats could be considered safer, even though all car seats have to pass federal regulation standards.
Frequently Asked Questions About Convertible Car Seats
1. What is a convertible car seat?
A convertible car seat is one that you can use for all stages before your child is ready to ride in the vehicle’s seat.
Convertible car seats are for children between 4-120 pounds and 0-12 years of age, which all depends on the model, make and features.
In the first stage, you will use it rear-facing for your newborn up to around 23 months of age. In the next stage, you will have the child forward-facing. You will be able to extend the car seat to adjust to needed length and size of your child. And in the last stage, you will be removing the back (in most cases) and just leave a booster, which bridges the gap between the time when your child is not old enough to ride in the vehicle’s seat, neither small enough to fit into the car seat.
2. How can I recline the car seat a little more for more comfort to sleep?
When we bought our first convertible car seat, we soon found out that our son wasn’t able to sleep comfortably because his head always fell down as soon as he was asleep. That made him wake up soon and we later found out that he needed adjustments in his spine, which we were able to fix in time by a pediatric chiropractor. image
There is a simple solution to the problem. Just put a pool noodle or a towel behind the car seat before securing it into the car. That helps you to recline the car seat a little more (without compromising safety) and help your child enjoy nap times in the car seat a bit more.
Check out this great tutorial.
3. How long does my child have to rear-face?
Some states have passed a new law recently that requires children to be rear faced until they are 2 years old.
Most infant carriers are made for children up to 35 pounds. However, convertible car seats have more space for children because they are much larger, so you should not have a problem to rear-face your child up to 2 years of age.
The challenge is to keep babies and toddlers happy in that position. There are a few things that you can do to ease this process, like always rear-facing your child, no matter in what vehicle they ride, give them entertainment for the trip (snacks and toys almost always do), plan your trip for a moment when your baby will likely fall asleep.
If at all possible, we avoid making longer trips when babies are just awake from their nap at home because they are so full of energy and all they want is to play.
4. When has my child outgrown car seats and boosters?
Your child outgrows the car seat and booster as soon as the seat belt from your vehicle can be securely fastened around him like in an adult. The upper part of the seat belt has to come right above the shoulder and should not trouble his neck.
5. How can I find out if my car seat has been recalled?
By registering your car seat right after purchase, you will find out when the product is recalled since the company contacts you directly.
6. Which car seats are compatible with my vehicle?
There is no standard of which car seat should go into which car. If you read about each of the car seats, you will find out which one is smaller and which one is larger. (image)
As a rule of thumb, most infant car seats fit into small vehicles. Also, convertible car seats that are for children up to 65 pounds fit ok. Car seats like the Graco 4-in-1 do not fit into small cars, for example.
Make sure that you know the size of the car seat before you purchase it.
7. Can I use my car seat after it was in a crash?
Car seats that have been in a crash should not be used anymore because they have been strained too much by the energy of the impact. Donate them to medical institutions or training centers that can use them to demonstrate or teach how to use a car seat properly.
8. My child doesn’t want to go into the car seat, what can I do?
One of the most common battles with car seats is that children do not want to be in them. Our oldest has always been more compliant because he loves to travel. He even enjoys long trips. We have made 3-hour-long trips without him complaining once.
The story is different with our second baby boy. He dislikes traveling and even more the car seat. He screams very often all he can for miles. And nothing can soothe him. We have found a few things for longer trips that have helped us deal with this stressing factor. Most kids tolerate 10-15 minutes well, so short trips are not that much of a problem.
First of all, we try not to travel when our children have just slept. For instance, we avoid traveling at 8:00 in the morning. After breakfast, they want to play for a while and we respect that as much as possible with our schedules. We will travel after some play time, or when we know they will nap in their car seats.
Second, we will take their favorite toys along. We even have some special toys that are just for traveling time. Although this does not stop all fussing, it helps somewhat. Our oldest has always enjoyed traveling, but he loved his pacifier so much. Since we let him use it only to fall asleep, he found it very comforting to suck on it while traveling. Often their teddy bears and favorite night toys are the best soothers in their car seats.
And lastly, provide entertainment. From their favorite music to a snack, to playing games, singing with them, telling them stories, and many other things, you can make riding time in your car enjoyable. Please understand that many of these entertainment strategies only work if you have a partner along. As the driver, you should NEVER entertain your child while driving.
9. Why do car seats have latches and what are they for?
Since 2003, all vehicles come with latches in their seats. (See image) They make installing car seats less of a hassle and makes car seats safer.
Note, not all car seats have latches, but in recent years, most car seat makers (especially infant carriers) have added this feature to their product.
10. Where should I place my car seat in the vehicle?
The safest place for your child is in the center of the rear seat. That is the spot where the energy of an impact is the least. If you have multiple children it does not work, but as much as possible, your child should be placed in that position.
11. How tight should the harness straps be?
When our midwife first saw how we put our baby into the car seat, she told us that we needed to tighten the harness quite a bit more than what we did. She helped us and we couldn’t believe how snug that child really has to be in there. (Image)
As a rule of thumb, you should be able to put only 2 fingers between your child’s collar bone and the straps.