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bed pillow covers Best Convertible Car Seats- Buyers Guide & Reviews personalized newborn baby gifts
Views: 85 Updated: :2020-03-05

Your baby’s safety is at the top of your mind, and with innumerable options available on the market, feeling confident that you’re choosing the best convertible car seat may become challenging. With the leading cause of injury or death for children resulting from motor vehicle crashes, it’s no surprise that making any child car seat purchase can become a huge endeavor for parents that almost feels akin to life or death.

We’ve sorted through the plethora of the top convertible car seats currently being sold and have listed our top 15 options here.

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Follow along to determine if one of these seats will fit your needs, and check out our convertible car seats reviews to determine your own top pick.

Deciphering between the functions of convertible car seats, as well as different types of seats available, can be headache-inducing. Refer to these frequently asked questions to get the answers you need.

The safest spot in a vehicle to install a car seat is in the rear middle seat. If this isn’t an option, I would recommend placing the child seat in the rear on the passenger side. This would keep it on the side away from the road in the event that you park on the street.

These seats can be used beginning from birth as an infant convertible car seat and can continue to be used as your child grows. The seats can be converted to fit your child’s needs at every stage.

Convertible car seats allow for use in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions, providing growing toddlers the ability to ride in the recommended rear-facing direction for an extended period of time. They generally accommodate children from the time they’re born until they reach between 40 to 65 pounds, or even up to 120 pounds for some all-in-one models.

Standing for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, the LATCH system is an alternative to securing car seats using the vehicle’s seat belts. The system uses buckles and tethers to secure the seat directly to the vehicle’s frame and was designed to make children’s seat installation simpler. It’s required on every car seat and most vehicles produced after September 1, 2002.

Stroller systems do not generally support the attachment of convertible car seats. These seats tend to be larger, bulkier and heavier than the infant carrier seats you’re accustomed to seeing parents push on their strollers.

There are three different types of convertible children’s seats currently available, and one of them may better suit your needs than the rest.

There is a huge selection of these types of seats available, so you’ll notice a wide range of prices from as low as $50 to as high as $500 or more. There are a number of models that fall within a mid-price range of $120 to $250. These seats allow for use in a rear-facing position and can later be turned around for forward-facing rides once the child is large enough. Most of these seats allow for your little one to ride rear-facing until they reach about 40 pounds, with some extending that limit up to 50 pounds. A couple of examples of this type of seat are the Graco Extend2Fit and the Chicco NextFit.

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Because these seats, also known as all-in-one car seats, have extended functions, expect that their price may run a bit higher than their toddler convertible car seat counterparts. On the low end of the price spectrumbed pillow covers, you’ll find options available for around $75 to $100. Those falling in the range of average prices can be purchased for around $175 to $250, with higher-cost models priced around $300 and up. These seats can be used as a baby convertible car seat and for toddlers in rear-facing positions, and then forward-facing when the time is right. The added advantage is these seats can also be used as booster seats, meaning many models support use for children up to 100 pounds. A couple of examples of these are the Evenflo Symphony and the Graco Milestone.

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Oftentimes referred to as combination seats, you’ll find many of these available for $80 to $320, with average mid-range pricing around $120 to $200.

These forward-facing car seats sit more upright than the convertible seats that are appropriate for both babies and toddlers, yet they are equipped with a five-point harness for added safety. As your child grows, the back can usually be removed so that the seat can be utilized as a backless booster with your vehicle’s seat belt. Examples of this type of seat include the Evenflo Transitions and the Britax Pioneer.

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There are several reasons why committing to a convertible-type child seat is worth considering.

You could, of course, choose to purchase an infant carrier seat, then a rear-facing car seat, followed by a forward-facing seat before needing to spring for a booster. The alternative is a cost-saving convertible car seat that can grow and transition with your child through those first several years.

Sometimes just taking a look at some of these car seat models make us wish that we could snuggle up in one and go for a ride. The top options have comfort padding that not only provide a plush ride, but add extra safety and protection in the case of a vehicle collision. Adjustable harnesses and headrests ensure your child fits well in the seat for safe and pleasant journeys.

All of our picks meet standard safety requirements, but you’ll also notice that some offer their own advanced safety technology. Look for options including side impact protection, energy-absorbing foam and steel reinforced frames.

Much of your decision making comes down to personal preference and needs. Things to keep in mind when purchasing are if you will be using it for rear-facing, and if you will have your child in this position for an extended period of time.

Both Britax and Graco offer excellent options on that front. If you own a compact and space is precious, pay particular attention to dimensions, and use a tape measure to ensure your choice fits where you need it to go. Also, always keep your budget in mind.

Several brands currently offer quality convertible car seats. Here are the top five brands, and why consumers love them so.

Graco offers both convertible seats and all-in-one options. Their models include convenience options such as cup holders, no re-thread harnesses and seat pads that are easy to remove for cleaning.

A perennial favorite, Britax offers several convertible car seat options that are often praised for their ease of use and added safety and comfort features.

Chicco offers very well-received convertible car seat options with impressive features. Examples of available upgrades include thermal-insulated cup holders, breathable mesh backrests and padded comfort harnesses.

Evenflo produces both convertible seats and all-in-one models. Their offerings boast convenient features such as knobs allowing for single-handed harness tightening.

Owners of Diono all-in-one convertible seats rave about their slim profiles, which allow for fitting three of their seats across a row in many vehicles. They also fold flat for convenient carrying and travel.

Now it’s time to get on to the good stuff! These 10 models are impressive enough to deserve their own shout-outs. While these ones stand out for various reasons, all 15 that we’ve highlighted and compared down below are excellent choices to get your favorite people from point A to point B safely.

As an all-around great buy, theBritax Marathon takes the cake. What sets it apart from the pack is a mix of impressive safety features and incredibly easy installation. Continually a No. 1-rated safety pick, owners of this seat rave about the quality of this convertible choice.

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The Marathon is my number one pick because you simply can’t go wrong with this seat. The model performs marvelously year after year in rigorous crash testing. Featuring Britax’s SafeCell Impact Protection, this convertible seat is packed full of safety features. These include an energy-absorbing base, minimized seat rotation thanks to a special V-shaped tether and an integrated steel frame.

One of the most important aspects to using any car seat is installing it correctly, so that all of those safety features can do what they’re meant to. Few models offer as many features as theChicco NextFit to help parents feel confident that they’ve gotten the installation right.

Pros

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If you want to save yourself from struggling with installation and seat adjustments, then purchasing the NextFit is a no-brainer. We love that, with this model, Chicco has crafted an undeniably user-friendly seat.

Not only does the ReclineSure nine-position leveling system allow for the most reclining options, but the easy to read RideRight bubble levels make it simple to decipher if the seat is at the correct angle.

The brand’s SuperCinch technology, a force-multiplying LATCH tightener, means an easy-as-pie one-handed pull ensures your seat fits nice and snug in your vehicle.

Few convertible car seat models can compete with theDiono Radian rXT when it comes to cutting a slim profile and still maintaining an impressive line-up of features.

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The aluminum reinforced side walls of the rXT, coupled with a head support cushioned with energy absorbing EPS foam, keep your precious cargo protected in the event of a crash.

Users of this model love that it serves as a buy-one-and-done product. It’s suitable for infant and toddler use in rear-facing position up to 45 pounds, forward-facing up to 65 pounds and as a booster for children up to 120 pounds.

Parents short on space enjoy the slim profile of the model, and that multiple of these seats can even easily fit in small rear rows. It can be folded flat, which makes it highly recommended for easy transport and travel.

For extended rear-facing, there’s few that can beat the features that theGraco Extend2Fit boasts.

Pros

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If extended rear-facing is on your agenda, then the Extend2Fit is a wonderful option. While many convertible seats have rear-facing weight limits of 40 pounds, this one raises that number to 50.

While it’s not the only model to offer that higher limit, it’s one of only a few you’ll notice at such a great price point. The rear extension panel is adjustable to give rear-facing riders additional leg space.

If perusing convertible car seat prices has left you fretting due to budget concerns, look no further than theEvenflo Tribute. This seat proves you can still transport little ones safely without busting the bank.

Pros

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Very few convertible seats can beat the value of the Tribute. While it may lack the extra bells and whistles found on pricier models, rest assured the seat is side-impact tested and required to meet all federal safety standards.

If you only want to purchase one seat, then make theGraco 4Ever four-in-one convertible seat your go-to. If you think of this model as literally being four seats compacted into one, it should be no surprise that this option made the cut.

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The largest feature that sells me on this all-in-one option is its ability to transition with children from the infant stage all the way through the time that they require a seatbelt-adjusting backless booster. It may feel like you’re creeping toward the higher end cost-wise, but just imagine the savings when you don’t have to purchase multiple seats over time.

If you feel like splurging then theClek Foonf won’t disappoint. The Foonf is packed with a multitude of innovative safety and design features you won’t find in most convertible seats.

Pros

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The brand boasts that the Foonf can deliver rear-facing levels of safety even when your child rides forward-facing, thanks to their patented REACT system. This technology reduces the transfer of forces to the child in the event of a front-end collision. Outside of its impressive safety additions, I especially like that its upholstery permanently protects against stains and odor-causing bacteria.

When it comes to safety, Britax models always come in at the top of the pack, and the case is no different with theBritax Boulevard. This one ranks highest for safety on my list due to its impressive features.

Pros

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The Boulevard’s SafeCell Impact Protection features an impact-absorbing base, impact-stabilizing steel frame and a special V-shaped tether. A deep foam-lined shell and head protection provides small vulnerable travelers added safety with two layers of side-impact protection. These combined features provide impressive safety for your littlest passengers.

The Graco Size4Me is a wonderful option to consider for the great price point alone. Throw in the fact that it’s a compact size allowing little ones to rear-face up to 40 pounds and forward-face up to 65, and it looks like a bargain.

If, like us, you highly value the opinions of fellow parents who’ve already tested a product, then knowing the Graco Milestone is widely-purchased and highly-reviewed make this option worth exploring. Owners of the Milestone attest to the fact that this seat is easy to install and adjust.

The seat transitions from infant and toddler use in rear-facing mode, to forward-facing and then into a booster.

After reading my glowing review of theBritax Marathon above, it’s probably no surprise this is our top choice. When you combine the Marathon’s impressive list of added safety features, the ease of which it can be installed and adjusted to continuously grow with your child, this model is a tough one to beat.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find an owner of this model that doesn’t rave about it, and it continuously tops numerous best car seat lists year after year.

Just like you, we are parents who care deeply about the safety and security of our little ones. We’ve been in the position of trying to choose a car seat, and we understand how overwhelming all of the information out there can be. We made our decision based off our own experiences and research, as well as the reviews of countless other users.

While you’ll find a plethora of accessories to consider purchasing for your convertible car seat, here are some we think are worth looking at.

Placed in the seat, your child sits on these liners. They are great for making clean-up a cinch in the event of diaper leaks or if you have a potty-training toddler. There are options available to fit most car seat models.

You may not need one of these right away, but it’s nice to know they exist in the event yours becomes damaged or incredibly stained. Most brands offer replacements to fit their different models.

If you begin your newborn in a convertible car seat, then an insert to ensure proper fit is essential. Most seats with appropriate weight limits for small babies automatically include these. In the event that you don’t have one, or need a new one, this is definitely something you will need to make a convertible seat safe for an infant.

While it’s true that any convertible car seat currently being sold has to meet minimum federal safety requirements, it’s likely you’re interested in a product going above and beyond the minimum standard.

Opt for a model with high crash test ratings, and when possible, choose a seat that provides side-impact protection and is manufactured with energy-absorbing materials and technology.

Keep your car seat in tip-top shape to ensure years of continued use. Keep these suggestions in mind:

When it comes down to making your final decision, you’re the one who best knows your needs, so keep them in mind when choosing a seat that will leave you feeling confident that your littlest passengers are safe and protected.

It may seem overwhelming, but know that with the requirement of minimum federal safety standards, there is no “bad” decision.

Pick the convertible car seat that falls within your budget while providing the highest level of safety and adjustability features, thus ensuring you end up with a seat to keep your child secure for years to come.

Jess Miller is a loving mother that wants to help other parents by giving them helpful parenting tips and reviewing the best products for their children to save them time, money, and hassle.

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