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Trying to decide on the best car seat for your baby can be a tough challenge. When you are in the market for a convertible car seat (that will last the ages) you want to make sure you choose the right one that will fit you and your baby’s needs. Check out the best convertible car seats below.
What is a convertible car seat?
A convertible car seat is a car seat that is versatile and long-lasting. They can be used from newborn to infant and beyond. Some convertible car seats even convert into a booster seat.
This type of car seat can start as a rear facing seat and then is turned around to a forward facing car seat.
Why should you consider purchasing a convertible car seat?
Babies are constantly growing out of things. You find yourself buying new clothes before your baby had a chance to wear everything in the newborn size. That baby bouncer is now too small for your active little one.
The great thing about a convertible car seat is that it is something that will take years for your child to outgrow.
Convertible car seats can be used right from birth all the way up to preschool years and even beyond.
They really make parenting so much easier and give you one less thing to buy once your child needs to sit more upright or face forward.
When should I purchase a convertible car seat?
Well, this is totally up to you.
Essentially you can actually use a convertible car seat from day one, however typically most mothers choose to switch over to a convertible car seat once their baby has grown out of the small infant ones.
Unlike infant car seats, convertible car seats don’t have a base that they click into like a small infant car seat.
Convertible car seats are installed directly into your vehicle by hooking straps or a seatbelt in place.
A lot of the infant car seats make taking the car seat in and out of the car quick, easy, and convenient.
Unfortunately, that is not the case when it comes to a convertible car seat.
They are often heavy, bulky and certainly cannot be carried around the grocery store like a small car seat can.
With that being said, it is important to decide when a convertible car seat makes the most sense to you.
When you have a newborn or young baby, leaving them in their car seat and taking it in to the store with you or clicking into your convertible stroller makes life so much easier and hassle-free.
You are not going to be able to carry your baby around in a convertible car seat.
So, in my personal opinion, I wouldn’t choose a convertible car seat for my newborn, it just isn’t as practical.
A lot of mothers switch over to a convertible car seat once their baby reaches the height and weight limit for the infant car seat.
Or like me, if their baby just gets too big and heavy to lug around in the infant car seat. (That is why mothers are so strong!)
You have to realize that your convertible car seat usually stays put in your vehicle and does get taken out all too often.
Unless you are riding in Grandma’s car that is.
A convertible car seat is meant to grow with your child, but isn’t designed for taking in and out of the car multiple times a day and carrying it around the grocery store.
What things should I consider when purchasing a convertible car seat?
All car seats have to meet certain requirements in order to be sold, so they should already be checking off the box for safety.
Having said that there are other “bells and whistles” you might consider and might enjoy having when dealing with a car seat.
Quality of fabric, durability, ease of installment and so forth.
Every convertible car seat will be different, but there may be certain aspects you prefer and would want over some others.
Ease of installment:
I am all about having a product that is quick, easy and simple.
Some convertible car seats offer an easier installment than others.
Depending if that is something that is high on your list or not, it is important to take note of how installment works.
A lot of car seats have built in safety indicators that have a leveling system telling you in the car seat has been installed correctly or not.
This eliminates any guess work when installing a car seat and makes you feel confident your baby will be safe.
How much space your vehicle offers:
You may not initially think of this as being a deal breaker, but it really can be.
Depending on the size and layout of your car, can greatly impact the convertible car seat you choose.
Some car seats require more space than others. You can find wider ones and ones that are more narrow.
Thankfully the market is full of many different options and there are plenty of compact car seat designs that work well in smaller cars.
Every car seat will have a different appearance, color and fabric texture.
Something to consider is the quality of fabric, durability, along with convenience of washing.
Some car seats will have different add ons and features such as cup holders, inserts, different types of buckles ect.
It can be helpful to know what features you like and will find useful.
The convertible carseat that my toddler has, includes built in cup holders which he really likes to put his drink and snacks in.
Just take into consideration the additional features each car seat has to offer.
All car seats will meet the base requirements of safety, but some car seat may offer better shock absorption along with better padding and fabric quality.
Used car seat:
Saving money is always a good thing and used items can often do the trick.
Although, having said that, a used car seat may not always be the best option for a convertible car seat.
Used car seats can be damaged and not meet the safety requirements as a result.
If you do end up buying a second hand car seat make sure you know if it has been in any accidents and check the expiration date to confirm if that particular model has ever been recalled.
What are the best convertible car seats in 2020?
- Graco 4ever
- Britax Boulevard ClickTight
- Graco Extend2fit
- Maxi Cosi Pria 85
- Chicco Nextfit
- Evenflo Tribute LX
- Graco Slim Fit
- Nuna Rava
- Cosco Scenara
- Peg perego
- Diono Radian
- Clek Foonf
- Cybex Sirona
The most popular convertible car seat
The Graco 4Ever car seat really claims its name “4 ever” for a reason. From 4 pounds all the way up to 120 lbs.
It offers 4 modes that allow you to use it forever (well, almost..)
- Rear-facing harness (4lbs-40lbs)
- Forward-facing harness (22lbs-65lbs)
- Highback booster (40lbs-100lb)
- Backless booster (40lbs-120lbs)
This car seat really can serve you from newborn all the way to grade school years.
Featuring 6 different recline positions and 10 different headrest heights, Graco 4Ever has plenty of adjustability.
The 4Ever car seat also comes in a variety of different colors along with a very easy “rapid remove” cover to make cleaning simple and easy.
Also included in the Graco 4Ever convertible car seat is an integrated belt lock-off making installation less of a hassle.
There is also fuss-free harness storage to allow getting baby in and out quicker and easier.
Not only that, but the 4Ever offers a harness storage compartment when the harness isn’t in use and the car seat is in belt-positioning booster seat mode.
Overall the Graco 4Ever is a great choice that covers most of your bases. It meets all the safety requirements and would last you many years.
Not to mention the Graco 4ever convertible car seat is one of the more popular choices amongst moms.
The most user friendly convertible car seat
If you are looking for a convertible car seat that is completely hassle-free when it comes to installation, the Britax Boulevard Clicktight is going to be exactly what you are looking for.
Making sure your car seat is installed correctly is one thing but making the installation process quick and foolproof just seals the deal.
Not only is this the simplest convertible car seat to install in your car, it also boasts great comfort for your baby.
Unfortunately, these features come with a price (literally), and a high price at that.
The Britax Boulevard Clicktight is definitely on the pricier end of convertible car seats.
If having a car seat that has the easiest installation, it might be worth the money for you.
Britax also offers a quick adjust 14-position harness and 2-position buckle, along with a 7 different recline positions.
The best convertible car seat for extended rear facing
Nowadays, parents are choosing to rear face their child for even longer.
The Graco Extend2Fit is a great option if extended rear facing is something you want to do.
The Graco Extend2fit features a 4-postion extension panel that provides your child with 5” of extra legroom.
This special feature allows your child to rear face for longer and be more comfortable.
Graco Extend2Fit has 6 different recline positions and a 10-position headrest.
It also features fuss free harness storage along with a one-second LATCH attachment.
Not only is this convertible car seat relatively lightweight, it also has pretty impressive crash test results, with a steel reinforced frame ensuring strength and durability.
Wrapping it up, the Extend2Fit is budget friendly, while offering great protection and also has integrated, easy to access cup holders.
The most comfortable convertible car seat
If you are looking for the BEST comfort for your baby you have come to the right place.
The Maxi Cosi Pria 85 MAX is definitely the coziest (no pun intended), most plush and comfortable seat out there.
The Maxi Cosi car seat consists of generous padding, along with moisture wicking fabric, making sure your baby has the best comfort during every car ride.
When it comes to spills and stains, the cover can be easily snapped off and thrown into the washer AND dryer.
It also has removable and dishwasher safe cup holders to ensure you avoid all the nasty leftover snacks that accumulate.
Not to mention the in and out harness holders to keep the straps out of the way when getting your baby in and out of the car seat.
Not only does the Maxi Cosi Pria offer the utmost comfort, but it also has an easy to use magnetic chest clip along with adjustable reclining settings and headrest positions.
Another really unique feature that this car seat has is the flip away crotch buckle.
This seriously is amazing and I wish all carseats had this headache free feature.
Instead of you having to fish for that buckle because your toddler is sitting on it, the Maxi Cosi’s flip away buckle ensures that it will always stay clear from your child sitting on it and be right at your fingertips to easily grab.
This car seat can be used from birth all the way up to 100lbs, so will be able to last your child for many years to come.
If the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 MAX is a little too pricey for your, Maxi Cosi offers another model that is more affordable and very comparable.
The MAX model is just the newest and most improved version.
The easiest convertible car seat to clean
The Chicco NextFit Zip offers ample safety, comfort and is also quick and easy to install.
This car seat will grow with your child from 5lbs to 65lbs.
It is not only easy to install but it has great adaptability with 9 different reclining positions.
One of the best features the NextFit has to offer is it’s zip-off seat pad for ease of washing.
The seat cover is machine washable and the cup holder is dishwasher safe too!
Featuring the SuperCinch tightener, the Chicco NextFit Zip is a breeze to install.
I think it is pretty common for mothers to find themselves practically kneeling in the seat of the car seat and putting all of their weight and strength into tightening the car seat for proper installation.
With the SuperCinch tightener, there are numbered straps (telling you which ones to pull) and a belt tightening system that makes it extremely easy to tighten and lock into place.
All in all, the Chicco NextFit Zip stands to be a great convertible car seat option and has plenty of adjustability for your growing baby.
The most budget-friendly convertible car seat
As mothers I think we are always on the lookout for the best bang for our buck and options that are affordable, because let’s be honest, babies aren’t necessarily the cheapest things.
The Evenflo Tribute LX is a great budget-friendly option along with good crash test results and is smaller and lightweight in size.
This car seat can accommodate infants between the 5 and 40lbs and featuring a 2 in 1 car seat.
Both rear facing and forward facing are the 2 modes this seat offers, adapting to your baby as they grow.
Being compact in size, this car seat choice is great for smaller cars or vehicles with limited space, and or multiple car seats on the back row.
Being one of the cheapest convertible car seat option out there, the Evenflo Tribute LX may be lacking in some other areas.
However, those parents who are seeking the most affordable, budget-friendly option, this convertible car seat really will meet their needs.
The best convertible car seat for small cars
The Graco Slim Fit 3 in 1 convertible car seat saves a ton of space in your back seat making it the perfect option for small car owners or parents who want to avoid the bigger and bulkier car seats.
This car seat allows plenty of extra space in the back of your car for other car seats to be installed or extra passengers.
With its unique rotating cup holder, they can simply rotate away freeing up extra space.
It accommodates infants from 5lbs all the way to 100lbs, featuring rear facing and front facing positions along with a highback booster seat for older children.
Not only is it slim and convenient, it also has an easy to remove cover that is machine washable and you don’t need to remove the harness in the process aswell.
The highest end convertible car seat
You can spend a fortune on baby gear so if that isn’t your style this car seat might not be the best choice for you.
Having said that, if you are looking for the high end option of convertible car seats, this is your pick!
The Nuna Rava offers a lot for its high price and will provide your baby with ample safety, comfort, and will also grow with your child.
It also offers extra legroom, making extended rear facing extra comfortable and can accommodate up to 50lbs.
The seats depth is also on the shorter side, which allows for the person riding in the passenger seat to have extra leg room.
With 5 rear facing and 5 forward facing reclining positions there is plenty of adjustability to ensure the best possible comfort and fit for your baby.
Not only is the Nuna Rava very luxurious and the highest of quality, it is has flame retardant free fabric.
Your little one isn’t going to be breathing in any bad chemicals, plus the fabric is gentle on their skin.
The best convertible car seat for travelling
The Cosco Scenara is not only affordable but this convertible car seat make travling a piece of cake. It is lightweight, simple to use and also easy to clean.
If you are wanting to be spending well under $100 and are in the market for a travel friendly car seat, the Cosco will no doubt check off all of the boxes.
This car seat can also be the perfect 2nd car seat if you need a cheaper and more affordable option to keep in Grandma’s car or the nanny’s.
Even though the Cosco Scenara may not have all the bells and whistles that plenty of the other car seats out they acquire if you are needing a good car seat for traveling this really is one of the best options.
The convertible car seat with the longest warranty
Most convertible car seats offer a 1 year warranty, some are even less, but the Peg Perego offers a 2 year warranty.
Made in Italy, these car seats are created by Peg Perego from concept to the end product.
This car seat also allows the child to rear face longer and up to 45lbs.
Peg Perego also offers the harness holders to make getting your child into the seat hassle-free.
With 10 different headrest height positions and recline adjustability, this car seat is able to change as your child gets bigger.
The most space efficient convertible car seat
The Diono Radian is a great car seat option if you are looking for something that is sleek, thin and won’t take up a lot of room in your car.
It offers 12 different headrest positions, extendable leg rests and a memory foam seat.
Not to mention it easy fold up feature that makes traveling with it super convenient.
For families with a smaller, compact car but lots of kids, you can fit 3 Diono’s in the back seat of a car! Pretty impressive.
It is made up of a steel alloy frame and passes all of the safety requirements.
It also includes a removable infant insert making it safe and comfortable for the tiniest of babies.
The most heavy duty convertible car seat
If a car seat could be stylish, the Clek Foonf has it in the bag.
Not only does this car seat boast impressive safety features, and a very easy installation process, it is built like a tank.
The Clek Foonf is engineered with a steel and magnesium sub-structure.
Fabric is free from chlorinated and brominated flame retardants.
Along with the extra safety features that the Foonf has, it is also a great option for those parents who want to rear face for an extended time.
The Foonf rear facing mode starts at 14lbs and 25in.
If you purchase the infant newborn setting it can then be compatible with a baby that is 5lbs and 19in.
The rear facing potions accommodates children up to 50lbs!
This car seat is a great option because of its extra safety features along with quality, sustainability, and car seat that will last the ages.
The most high tech convertible car seat
There are quite a few things that really set the Cybex Sirona car seat apart from all other convertible car seats out there.
This is the only car seat in the US that actually swivels 360 degrees, making getting your child in and out completely pain free.
The Sirona also carries some really cool smart features such as sensor safe technology in the chest clip that pair with your phone.
With the same lever you can roate and recline the whole entire seat making it very user friendly and adjsutable to fit your baby’s needs.
A load leg is another additional feature that this carseat has to offer.
This ensure maximum safety in case of a collision.
In the rear facing mode the base of the car seat acts as a rebound panel to further prevent any movement.
Another great feature this car seat has is a one time installation.
You do not need to uninstall and reinstall the car seat to change to forward facing.
Since the car seat can rotate a complete 360 degrees you can install it in the rear facing mode and then easily rotate to forward facing when needed.
As you baby grows, the infant insert is easily removed, and the adjustable headrest offers different positions depending on the height of your baby.
Choose what is right for you
When choosing a convertible car seat it is important to weigh up all of the pros and cons and choose the seat that makes the most sense to you.
Figure out what features you can’t live without and what extra features don’t really matter to you and then decide which car seat fits the bill best.
Convertible car seats are a great money saving baby gear option that will see many years through with your child and can make your life more hassle-free.
What convertible car seat do you like? What are some of your favorite features some of these car seats had to offer?
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