When you’re having your first child, trying to buy a car seat can be a confusing adventure. Several types are on the market, from systems with removable infant carriers to car seats only for infants to others that grow with your child. However, the first consideration should always be your child’s safety. With that in mind, this review can help you select the best convertible car seat for your child.
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Safety Considerations for Car Seats
When selecting a car seat for your child, whether they are a newborn or just learning to walk, consider the safety features that they offer. From the time your child is at least four to five pounds up to the time they are two-years-old, their chair should face the rear of the vehicle as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
However, if your child exceeds the height and weight of the rear-facing car seat, then they can face forward. Many car seats, including convertible ones, have weight limits of 30 to 40 pounds for facing the rear. Then, the parent can convert the seat into a forward facing one until the child exceeds that weight limit, which is usually 60 pounds or more.
A good car seat will also have a safety harness to hold your child in place from the time they are infants until they are ready to use a booster seat. Most seats use a five-point harness that buckles in a child at their waist, between their legs, across their chest and both shoulders. The harness permits minimal movement if the vehicle is in an accident to avoid injuries.
The headrest of most car seats also adjusts with the harness, so the headrest is always at the correct size for the child’s safety and comfort. While some car seats convert into booster seats with high backs, including a headrest, many do not, but they have a seatbelt to secure your child in the back seat of your car.
When selecting a car seat, pick one that has undergone crash testing, especially side impact tests. The information about the testing should be in the description of the seat if you research them online before buying one. It may also mention that the car seat meets or exceeds federal safety standards for testing.
Buying a safe car seat is important whether you buy one only for an infant or a convertible one that you can use for years.
How We Chose Our Ratings
After researching car seats, their manufacturers, and safety features, we found 10 of the safest options for our readers to consider. We assigned them a star rating from one to five stars, with five being the best, to help readers quickly find the best car seat for their needs.
Top 10 Convertible Car Seats
Here are the 10 car seats selected for this review.
- All-in-1 convertible car seat grows with your child, enjoy 10 years of use from 4 - 120 lb
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of harness and headrest (10 positions) in one motion
- The 4Ever convertible car seat has been side impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built-in 5-point...
Graco, which is one of the most top companies in the manufacturing of baby furniture, offers many convertible car seats, including the 4Ever. It grows with a child from infancy as it can securely hold a baby as small as four pounds up to 40 pounds when it faces the rear. When it faces forward, it holds kids from 22 to 65 pounds.
Parents can also convert it into a high back booster seat for kids up to 100 pounds. or a backless booster for children up to 120 pounds. It has a six-position recline to make children comfortable while riding it in. The safety harness system easily adjusts according to the child's height, so the 10-position headrest is in the proper position.
The Graco uses a LATCH system to secure the car seat, and it has an audible "click" to let parents know the installation was successful. It comes in seven colors and fabric styles, and the Graco 4Ever DLX model is also available in four additional colors and styles.
The design for the Diono Radian 3R allows three car seats to be set up on the backseat of most mid-size cars if you have small children of various ages, twins or triplets. The seat has a steel frame with thick plastic surrounding it that can withstand a severe crash. The additional EPS foam padding and sidewalls will also protect your child in case of an accident.
It provides rear seating capabilities for infants from five pounds up to 40-pound toddlers. Its tether system prevents seat rotation in case of a car accident. When children are ready to sit facing the front, it can accommodate those from 20 to 65 pounds. Then, as they grow, the booster seat can hold kids from 50 to 100 pounds.
It has a five-point harness to keep children of any size securely in their seats, whether they are facing the rear, front, or in the booster seat. The seat is suitable for use on an airplane in harness mode, and it can fold flat to store in a closet when it’s not in use. This car seat is available in four colors: black, blue, light grey, and pink.
- 3 in 1 harness booster helps protect your child, from toddler to youth; harness booster (22 to 65 pounds), high back...
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest in one motion; one hand, 5 position...
- Engineered and rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213; the Nautilus 65 has been side impact...
Graco’s Tranzitions car seat is a three in one system that grows with children from the time they are a toddler to a youth size. The booster seat design holds toddlers with a harness system from 22 to 65 pounds, then it has a high-back mode for kids 30 to 100 pounds., and a backless booster for children from 40 to 100 pounds.
The harness system adjusts with one hand, so it and the headrest height changes with the same motion. It has a five-position headrest that adjusts to your child’s height to make sure they are both safe and comfortable. It has a five-point harness system, and the car seat has undergone a side impact and crash tests.
The seat is lightweight and portable, so it is easy to move from one car to another. For the child's convenience, there are two cup holders to keep their water or juice nearby on long trips. The booster comes in two colors: Basin and Kyte.
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The Maxi-Cost Pria 85 is a car seat suitable to place infants from five pounds in a rear-facing position until they grow to be 40 pounds. Then, by converting it into a forward-facing car seat, it can hold kids from 22 to 85 pounds. It has a LATCH system to install it into your car easily.
The harness system features a magnetic chest clip that parents can open or close with one hand. The extra side protection keeps your child safe and comfortable while riding in the car seat and it meets or exceeds federal safety standards, as well as those from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association that certifies car seats.
The car seat is available in five colors, and the company offers a one-year limited warranty on this car seat.
- Built to Grow: The 3 in 1 car seat built to grow for extended use through 3 stages: rear facing 5 40 pounds, forward...
- SIDE IMPACT PROTECTION: The Grow and Go's side impact protection helps keep your child safe. 2 integrated cup holders....
- Easy In, Easy Out: Harness holders keep the harness in an open position so it’s easy to get your child in and out of...
The Safety First Grow and Go car seat has three stages for children starting in infancy. As a rear-facing car seat, it can hold babies from five pounds up to 40 pounds. Then, when they are ready to face forward, it holds kids from 22 to 65 pounds, and finally, it acts as a booster seat for kids from 40 to 100 pounds.
To help get your child in and out of the car seat, it has harness holders to keep it out of the way. The seat height is adjustable, so when facing the rear, it can go from 19 to 40-inches, and facing forward, it can adjust from 29 to 52-inches.
The height of the harness and headrest are adjustable in one-step, so you don’t need to do them separately. Also, it can recline in one of three positions, and the car seat cover is removable and machine washable. It is available in eight colors.
- Extended Use 3-in-1 Car Seat: Rear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing harness 22-50 pounds, and Belt-positioning 40-80...
- Side Impact Protection
- Harness holders: with the harness held back, it's easy to get your child in and out of the seat
The Safety First Continuum car seat goes from being a rear-facing car seat for infants starting at five pounds up to 40 pounds, a front-facing seat for babies from 22 to 50 pounds., and finally, a belted booster seat for older kids from 40 to 80 pounds.
It comes with a QuickFit safety harness for smaller children that adjusts the harness and headrest height in one-step. The harness holders also keep the harness out of the way when putting a child in or taking them out of the seat. It has a three-position recline to make your child comfortable.
The cover of the car seat is removable, and it is machine washable and dryable. It also has a dishwasher-safe cup holder for your child's bottle or juice. The car seat is available in four colors: Grey, Chili Pepper, Hollyhock and Wind Chime.
- Recline Sure 9-position leveling system provides the most recline options of any convertible seat for an accurate fit in...
- Two Ride Right bubble levels indicate correct seat angle in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes
- Exclusive Super Cinch LATCH Tightener uses force-multiplying technology to help achieve a tight and secure fit with a...
The Chicco NextFit car seat has nine reclining positions to help it fit into a larger variety of vehicles than most other car seats. To help you know whether it is at the right angle, it has two bubble levels that tell if its set correctly in the rear- and front-facing modes. There is a belt slide path to help parents quickly convert the seat from rear to front-facing.
It uses the LATCH system to install the seat easily, and it has a tightener that helps you make it more secure. There is an infant insert for babies from five to 11 pounds that is removable once baby outgrows it. The headrest has six adjustments to accommodate a growing child's height, and the harness system has five adjustments too.
- Easy installation: Patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
- No rethreading, ever: 14 position harness, 2 position buckle for a comfortable fit as your child grows
- Relax and recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle
The Britax USA Marathon car seat has a ClickTight system that helps parents quickly install the seat into their car. The car seat reclines in seven positions to make sure it is at the correct angle for the seat. The harness has 14-positions, and the chest clip has two positions to ensure it is the correct height for a growing child.
The car seat has a steel frame that has impact resistant materials surrounding it, along with a base that is impact resistant for a child’s safety. As a rear-facing seat, it holds children from five to 40 pounds, and for front-facing, it holds babies from 20 to 65 pounds. This car seat is made in the USA and comes in eight colors.
- This All-In-One Convertible Car Seat fitting children from 5-110 pounds is the only car seat you'll ever need providing...
- The Symphony LX helps protect rear facing infants from 5-40 pounds, forward facing toddlers from 22-65 pounds and high...
- Quick Connector LATCH system safely attaches and detaches to car with one hand, making movement between multiple cars...
Evenflo, a leader in the manufacture and sale of baby products, has the Symphony LX car seat that converts from an infant seat for babies starting at five pounds up to 40 pounds. when it is rear-facing. For front-facing, it is suitable for babies from 22 to 65 pounds., and as a high back booster seat, it fits kids from 40 to 110 pounds.
Its five-point harness system easily adjusts to the child as they grow and helps them get in and out of the seat quickly. The LATCH system makes moving it from car to car quick and easy. The seat uses three layers of side impact protection that reduces the effects of a crash by up to 50 percent. The harness can be worn by children up to 65 pounds.
The car seat comes in three colors: Crete, Harrison, and Kronus. It also comes as only the car seat, with a car backseat, seat accessory kit, or an undermat and protector to keep the car’s backseat clean.
- Side Impact Tested, Meets or Exceeds All Applicable Federal Safety Standards and Evenflo's Side Impact Test Standard
- Designed and Tested for Structural Integrity at Energy Levels Approximately 2x the Federal Crash Test Standard. Rear...
- Multiple Shoulder Harness Positions for Better Fit and Longer Use. Age at Least Two Years of Age
Evenflo’s Tribute LX car seat is washable since it is 100 percent polyester, so it is easy to keep clean. It adjusts from rear to front-facing seat as your child grows, and the five-point harness system has a front adjustment that helps to remove a child from the seat quickly. It also has four height adjustments to keep a growing child safe and comfortable.
The buckle has two crotch positions to ensure the seat can accommodate toddlers up to two years of age. The car seat meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and Evenflo puts their seats through a side impact test at two times the federal standard. The car seat has cushioning to ensure a child is comfortable, and safe when riding in it. It is available in seven colors.
The car seat can be bought alone, with a car accessory kit, travel, and storage bag, or window cling shades to block the sun.
The best way to ensure that you're selecting the best convertible car seat for your needs is to research them. Find out how if they've been tested by the company, which safety features they have, and what size children they can accommodate in the rear- and front-facing modes, as well as in the booster seat.
Doing some research on baby products, especially those that affect the safety of your child is vital to picking the best car seat, furniture, and toys for them.
product images source: www.amazon.com
Last update on 2021-10-22 at 03:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API