Road trips can be quite challenging if there’s a cute, little one on board, so you need the best convertible car seat to keep him cozy.
There are lots of car seat products available in the market now a days. These car seats are available in different styles, designs and models.
Basically, that’s good news, but what makes it a disadvantage sometimes is that, it gets quite confusing as to which will meet your standards. Also, it is mind boggling deciding which one really assures optimum quality, functionality and safety for your baby.
If these are your concerns, we’ve certainly got you covered! In this article, we will provide you with a list options that will make choosing the best convertible car seat easy for you. Of course, we want to help parents like you get the best and the safest convertible car seat for your child.
Convertible Car Seat Buying Guide
The products featured will make it easier to choose the best convertible car seat for you. However, we are not indicating that they are your only options. At this point, you should know the things you need to take into consideration when choosing a car seat for your baby. Of course, this is essential so that you won’t waste your money on a substandard product. We know you don’t want that to happen!
Technology of Convertible Car Seats
- The LATCH or the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children are essential. This feature aids in the tight and secure fitting of the seat in your car. Specifically, the LATCH comes into hook-style, rigid lower anchor, or push-on connectors. All of these connects to the lower anchors that are affixed on the ridge of the seat of your vehicle. Your car should have LATCH anchors. After all, all cars manufactured after 2002 were already compelled to have this component installed on their seats.
- You should also consider the weight limit of each LATCH connectors. When the combined weight of the car seat and your child is over 65 pounds, try another installment method. One of these is installing the convertible car seat using the seat belt of your vehicle.
Top Tether Strap
It is important for a convertible car seat to have a top tether strap. This feature is essential if you will put the car seat in forward-facing position. Specifically, this component anchors the forward-facing harness in the seat of your vehicle. This way, the shell of the child seat will always be secured. Such ergonomic will play a major role during crashes and collisions. It can efficiently minimize the risk of head injuries, which is indeed fatal. Therefore, in choosing a car seat, you should always look for one with a quality top tether strap!
- All types of convertible car seats have an integrated adjustable harness system built in them. Your baby will inevitably grow. Therefore, there’ll be a need for you to always adjust the harness to keep up with their growing bodies. For your child to be fully secured in the seat, you should put the harness on their proper locations.
- When the car seat is facing rear, the straps of the harness should be below the shoulders of your baby. On the other hand, the harness straps should be above the shoulders when the car seat is facing forward.
- Most of the harness systems can be adjusted by re-threading the straps through the slots between the seat shell and fabric. However, some are using some simple external adjustment system. Regardless of the design, you should always pay attention to the location of the chest clip. Specifically, it should be at the armpit level. Moreover, you will know that the harness is already tight when you can’t pinch any fabric of the strap.
- A rear-facing convertible car seat should have a recline feature. This is important so that you can find the most comfortable sitting position for your baby. Of course, this aspect won’t be complete without having an accurate recline indicator. Specifically, it tells you to place the recline position in the right angle.
- The reclining angles for each car seat is different. Babies will have to be placed on a much reclined angle to support their breathing. You should only switch to an upright position when your baby is big enough.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the weight limit of convertible car seats?
A: A typical seat can carry a baby up to 80 pounds.
Q: Are all car seats ideal for small cars?
A: No. Some models are too bulky to fit inside a small family vehicle. Therefore, you need to buy the appropriate size car seat that will fit comfortably in your car.
Q: How safe is this kind of car seat?
A: This is a subjective question, as some car seats do not possess any safety features. When choosing a car seat, you should make sure that it has side-impact protection. Passing the Federal Safety Standards is essential, too, for a car seat.
Q: Are convertible car seats ideal for air travel?
A: Yes. As long as they have the right design and dimension, using them on air travels would not be a problem. Just make sure your unit is lightweight so that you won’t get burdened in the airport.
Advantages Of Modern Convertible Car Seats
- The first advantage that modern convertible car seats have is the level of their comfort. Because of the presence of cushions and padding layers, car seats today can keep your baby relaxed and cozy. You will not also worry about irritations because there are no BPAs or harmful chemicals that were used in the production of these products.
- Also, the new car seats have improved ergonomics. As you can notice, most of the models today have built-in cup holders, and they feature a lot of support, too, such as removable headrests and soft cushion systems. There are even some that are collapsible. Therefore, they are easy to store and transport. These types of baby seats are ideal for long-distance travels.
- The biggest advantage of car seats today is the safety they can offer. Specifically, they offer different protective features to ensure the security of your child. The most prominent among them is the side impact protection system. Before a convertible car seat is released into the market, it has to pass the Federal Safety Standards. If not, it is quickly rejected.Most of the modern ones are machine-washable. That means, cleaning your child’s mess in the seat won’t be a problem at all.
|Product||Child Comfort||Weight (lb)||Best Price|
|Chicco KeyFit (Our Pick)||Excellent||22|
|Graco Size4Me 65||Excellent||23|
|Evenflo Tribute LX||Excellent||9.1|
|Safety 1st Guide 65||Good||11.6|
|Britax B Safe-35||Excellent||9.1|
|Cosco Apt 50||Good||11|
|Disney APT 40RF||Good||12|
|Britax Roundabout G4.1||Excellent||21|
|Diono Radian RXT||Excellent||22|
Most Recommended Car Seats
Best Convertible Car Seats 2018
After a series of assessments, we have finally come up with 10 models of the best ones! So, check this article out to know the best infant car seats that makes your baby’s welfare a 1st and foremost priority.
The Best and the Worst
For us, the best convertible seat is the Chicco KeyFit Infant. There is a thorough explanation about why it is the best car seat in the next section of this article. It’s our top pick because it was constructed to ensure maximum comfort.
On the other hand, we do not recommend you to buy the Peg Perego USA Primo Viaggio Car Seat. Its reclining lever is difficult to adjust and use. You will also notice a pungent smell coming from its fabric, which can be harmful to your baby. Also its crotch buckle is very sticky, which is not suitable for emergency situations.
1. Chicco Keyfit – Best of Infants (Our Pick)
If you are searching for an infant car seat, then it is likely that you have come across the Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat. The KeyFit is a beautifully designed, high-quality, infant car seat that is a leading choice for most parents today.
This car seat is popular thanks to the many exceptional features that it has to offer, especially the ease of installation. Let us look at this car seat into detail to help you make the verdict of whether it is worth purchasing or not.
Design, Performance, and Feature
- Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat scores excellently in all crash tests, which gives it an excellent safety rating. It meets and exceeds all the standards outlined by the Federal safety authorities.
- The interior of the seat features an EPS energy-absorbing foam and a thickly cushioned seat pad that offers excellent side impact protection.
- The seat is excellent for preemies and small babies thanks to its excellent performance in the NICU car seat test performance.
- It has the lowest harness height of 6.5 inches, which makes it perfect for newborns.
- This popular car seat is compatible with a wide range of top rated strollers such as Chicco Bravo, Cortina, TRE, Neuvo, Activ3, Liteway Plus, Cortina Together, and KeyFit Caddy.
- It is Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved, which makes it ideal for use on an aircraft.
- The car seat has a 5-point harness with a one-pull tightener, which makes adjustment easy.
- It is easy to secure onto the base with an audible click for reassurance.
- Besides, you can easily remove the car seat from the base with just one hand.
- The car seat also features a multi-position canopy that is easy to adjust.
2. Graco Size4Me 65 – Crash-Tested Car Seat For Infants
Graco convertible car seats are built to uphold the safety of your child more than anything else. That’s why when you’re traveling with your baby, you must exercise the necessary precautions at all times. Nevertheless, some unlikely things may happen, no matter how careful you are. This is the reason why you need to purchase the Graco Size4Me 65 for newborns and super delicate babies. It is a reliable car seat and it is currently one of the top infant car seats on the market!
Design, Performance and Features
- Solid rear-facing position: When it comes to safety features, you can trust the Graco Size4ME 65. It can protect your child from any damage because of its strong rear-facing position.
- Specifically, it can cater for babies that are up to 40 pounds, which is obviously less than the Graco Extend2Fit.
- The Graco Size4Me 65 is a rear and front facing car seat. This design is ideal if you are on a budget and don’t want to change car seats from time to time.
- When facing front, this seat can accommodate weight that ranges from 22 pounds to 65 pounds.
- The weight rating of this product is very versatile. Therefore, you can guarantee that it can accommodate the growth of your baby. As long as you take care of this car seat correctly, it will serve your child for a long time.
- It is uniquely and reliably built and it has undergone several crash tests to ensure its durability.
- Right now, it belongs to the few car seats that exceed the U.S. safety standards.
- This car seat also took the “Side Impact testing” in order to examine the strength of its built-in harness system.
- Parents like you will surely love that this car seat comes with an EPS energy-absorbing foam. This technology effectively absorbs the energy that comes from an impact or collision. With all of these features, you won’t worry about the safety of your baby anymore!
- Some of you may have specific preferences about the materials being used in a car seat. Specifically, the material used in Graco Size4Me 65 may be uncomfortable for your child.
- Also, if you put it in a tight car, your baby might not get enough leg room.
- There are occasional rattling issues found in this seat because of the lever in the head area.
3. Evenflo Tribute LX – Best Budget Pick
Of course, it is evident that many of us don’t want to spend too much on an infant convertible car seat, but it does not mean we should settle for cheap baby car seats. Even though our babies will grow out of the seat fast and not need to use them for very long, you still need a quality car seat that will not rip your budget. The Evenflo Tribute LX convertible car seat is definitely a good choice for a smaller budget.
Design, Performance and Features
- The Evenflo Tribute LX is one of the top convertible car seats too. It was tested and surpassed all of the federal safety standards, which makes it very safe to use.
- Its structural integrity and rigidity were also tested for impacts which are two times stronger than the federal crash test standards. And the result? This car seat was still completely intact!
- The Evenflo Tribute LX has a compact and lightweight design. It is a narrow car seat that can fit inside small cars with ease! Apart from that, this feature makes this seat compatible with multiple vehicles, too!
- On the other hand, the five-point harness is easy to setup. Specifically, the harness is located at the front of the car seat. Therefore, you can easily access it every time you put or take out your baby!
- This seat also includes a four-position shoulder harness. This feature accommodates the growth of a child up to two years old! Its rear-facing recline also gives your little angel the comfort he/she deserves!
- You will also appreciate that this car seat has two crotch buckle positions; a feature that is very useful during long travels. With this, you can adjust your baby’s position in order to keep him/her comfortable all the way!
- Overall, we like the performance of the seat belt buckle.
- Although you may not like its awkward placement, and you may not also see a difference in the reclining position of the car seat when you use it in a minivan.
- However, you may find the cushioning of this product is less compared to other rear facing car seats.
4. Graco 4Ever – The Best Booster Car Seat For Toddlers
When your child is a toddler, a booster seat would give the comfort he/she needs while travelling. If you are looking for a good booster seat, then you should opt for the Graco 4Ever!
Apart from being a quality booster, the Graco 4Ever is one of the best front facing car seats in the market today. It is extremely comfortable and comes with a lot of ergonomic features that makes it ideal for long-distance travels!
Design, Performance, and Features
- The Graco 4Ever does not require rethreading the harness due to its Simply Safe Adjust Harness technology. With this, you can augment the height of the headrest and harness in just one pass!
- Its headrest comes with 10-position adjustment, which enables a proper fitting for your baby and a fool-proof safety!
- This seat is versatile as it can accommodate newborns. All thanks to its plush insert feature!
- It has built-in cup holders for a hassle-free baby snack time.
- It comes with a six-position recline. This feature assures the repose of your child while he/she is growing!
- When facing rear, this car seat can accommodate 40 pounds of weight. When it’s forward facing, it can support a maximum weight of 65 pounds.
- Once you adjust it to become a booster seat in back belt position, it can carry a weight of up to 30 to 100 pounds. If you do a backless belt-positioning, the weight it can cater is from 40 to 120 pounds.
- The fabric used by the Graco 4Ever is not breathable, making it quite uneasy to rest on during humid weather conditions.
- Also, installing the seat belt might be inconvenient, since there’s a need for you to take out the cushion of the car seat.
- Lastly, your one year old might find the seat’s cup holders hard to reach.
5. Safety 1st Guide 65 – Safest Car Seat For Infants And Toddlers
The Safety 1st Guide 65 is a trusted and well constructed car seat for infants. It comes with side-impact protection which is optimal for your child’s safety. Also, its impact absorption and management is enough to save your kid from critical conditions. Therefore, your little one remains safe and secure, even on long road trips.
Design, Performance and Features
- When in the rear facing position, this car seat can support weight from 5 to 40 pounds. When your baby reaches 22 pounds, you can switch to the front facing position. You can continuously use this position until your little angel reaches 65 pounds or around eight years old.
- Moreover, the up-front adjustment features a five-point harness. In this way, you can secure the perfect fit and comfort of your baby.
- The headrest of this car seat is also adjustable. It can do multi-positions, which is ideal for long travels.
- It uses several steel frames that amplify its support and rigidity.
- Moreover, you will love the fact that this car seat is very spacious. It offers a lot of legroom for your kid to move and play!
- On the other hand, the fabrics used in this car seat are truly child-friendly. They are very smooth and do not cause irritation, which is common to most standard car seats.
- The cup holder and the body pillows are all removable and washable!
- This seat does not recline, which could be a minor drawback. If you want to recline the position of your child, you will need to insert padding layers under the seat.
- This car seat’s cushions aren’t machine-washable, so it’s quite hard to clean spills and dirt on it.
6. Britax B Safe-35 Infant Seat – Best for Children up to 35 lbs.
Britax B-Safe infant car seats are very popular, with the most modern brand being the Britax B-Safe 35. This car seat features the amazing features of the old B-Safe while adding more convenience and safety features.
This review goes into detail about the B-Safe 35 with the aim of guiding you through your purchasing process.
Design, Performance, and Features
- The B-Safe 35 has a maximum weight limit of 35 lbs., which allows you to use the seat longer before transitioning to a booster seat.
- The maximum child height limit is 32 inches, which makes the B-Safe 35 one of the best infant car seat in the market.
- The car seat can use both LATCH connectors and built-in lock-offs during installation. These two facilitate an easy and secure installation to the car base.
- The B-Safe 35 features integrated steel bars that facilitate a secure connection between the seat and the vehicle.
- It also has dual level indicators that make it easy to set the correct and accurate seat angle.
- The car seat meets and exceeds the federal safety standards thanks to the premium side impact protection feature.
- Besides, the seat weighs only ten lbs., and it is one of the lightest infant car seats you will find around.
- It features a 5-point harness system for maximum safety.
- It is FAA certified for air travel.
7. Cosco Apt 50 – Quality Rear Facing Toddler Car Seat
The Cosco Apt 50 can accommodate weight of upto 40lbs or more, when it is in a rear-facing position. It can cater a weight of 50lbs when facing forward. These Cosco Apt 50’s capabilities are greater than most standard car seats today. However, it is still packed with distinct and functional features:
Design, Performance, and Features
- The Cosco Apt 50 has an easy to clean feature. Specifically, its seat pad is removable, which makes it easy to clean. It is machine and dryer safe too, so getting this product clean will be a breeze.
- This seat is ideal for air travel. It is easy to install on airplane seats, even if your baby is already in place.
- Moreover, its lightweight and compact construction will also give you the benefit of transporting it without being bothered by overweight!
- The Cosco Apt 50 is one of the best extended rear facing car seats. This means that it can recline on different angles to give your child the utmost comfort he/she deserves. During long distance travels, a reclining seat is truly remarkable. This can prevent your baby from feeling any discomfort from sitting in a single position for long.
- It comes with three buckle locations and six harness heights. These ergonomics allow the Cosco Apt 50 to give your baby a perfect fit as he/ she grows!
- It also includes a five-point harness system, which you can easily adjust through its up-front access.
- The safety of your child is also guaranteed in this seat as it possesses an optimal side-impact protection and it passed the Federal and ASTM Safety Standards.
On the other hand, we wouldn’t deny that this car seat is not cushioned enough for your baby’s extra comfort. If your baby is quite sensitive, then this rear facing car seat is not an ideal choice.
Yes, the padding is durable. However, they may not be comfortable to sit on during extended travels and also, the head and side supports are not that comfortable either.
You might need to provide extra padding if baby becomes fussy.
8. Disney APT 40RF – Best Car Seat for Girls
If you a want a car seat for your little princess, then, you should choose the Disney Baby Minnie Mouse Apt 40RF. It is more of a girl convertible car seat because of its dainty design! It can provide optimal safety for your child through its rear and forward facing positions. It can effectively support up to 40 pounds of weight and 40 inches in height when facing the rear. Also, when facing forward, it can support toddlers up to 40 pounds of weight and 43 inches in height.
Design, Performance, and Features
- The Disney APT Car Seat has a dainty mouse-ear headrest for the comfort and style of your baby.
- It also uses a fabric that contains premium layers of cushions that provides support and relaxation for your baby! Because of its appealing look, you are guaranteed that your child will have fun in this seat!
- The Disney APT comes with three buckle positions and five harness heights to accommodate the growth of your angel. You can easily access the five-point harness, thanks to its up-front adjustment. The harness is very comfortable, too. Therefore, you won’t hear your baby complaining!
- It has baby-friendly ergonomics that will provide comfort and satisfaction to your baby. The integrated cup holders are also easy to reach, even for small hands.
- The back seat and side support also provide the necessary protection for your child. Needless to say, this car seat comes with a side-impact protection. It also uses the LATCH technology so that you can easily install it!
We said that this product is very lightweight. However, we should tell you that it is quite bulky, too! Installing this in small vehicles might consume too much space at the back.
The Disney APT car seat also has no reclining capabilities so you may need to insert some padding to find the right angle for your baby.
9. Britax Roundabout G4.1 – Ideal For Large Vehicles
One of the best Britax Car Seats is the Britax Roundabout G4.1. It is a car seat that is the perfect fit for bulky vehicles. A small car seat may work well for small-size vehicles. However, when you put them in family cars like BMW 5 Series and Kia Optima, they might not provide the protection and comfort that you are expecting. Therefore, you have to choose this britax convertible car seat if you are in this predicament.
Design, Performance, and Features
- The size of the Britax Roundabout G4.1 is meant for the protection of your baby. Its side support acts as energy-absorbing shields so that they can survive during side impacts and collisions.
- This car seat also uses the patented SafeCell Impact Protection of Britax. It is a safety system that consists of a steel frame, impact-absorbing tether, and energy-absorbing base to ensure that your baby is protected all the time.
- It also includes stage release stitches that decrease the sudden forward motion of the car seat when a crash happens. With all of these features, the Roundabout is one of the safest convertible car seats on the market today!
- Installing this car seat in your vehicle is easy. Specifically, this product uses a set of on/off lower anchors that lock quickly to the anchors of the back seat of your car. You can easily detach it just by pushing a button.
- The Roundabout also comes with a three-position recline so that you can put your baby in the most comfortable position.
- On the other hand, its two-position buckle is efficient in adapting to the growth of your child. It also has a quick-to-adjust feature that lets you move it easily to accommodate the needs of your growing baby!
- We like the Roundabout G4.1 because it is perfect for large cars. However, you may find the straps very hard to tighten.
- It will probably take some time for you to find the snugly fit for your baby. Apart from that, there are several occasions where loosening the straps is quite problematic, too.
- Since it is a large car seat, you may find it quite difficult to move in and out of your vehicle.
10.Diono Radian RXT – Best For 1-Year Old Babies
The Diono Radian RXT is the best carseat for 1 year old baby. It offers a lot of features that will keep your infant safe and relaxed even on long road trips. Moreover, you will love the full steel frame construction of this car seat. It is a way of assuring parents like you that your baby will always be safe here!
Design, Performance, and Features
- The Diono Radian RXT is arguably the best baby car seat on the market today. It is also one of the safest, thanks to its protection-studded construction. It comes with reinforced sidewalls that are made from aluminum to cover your infant from side collisions.
- On the other hand, its side support has a thick layer of EPS foam that can efficiently diffuse shock coming from crashes.
- You can never ignore the comfort that this car seat has. This particular unit has a deep shell so that your baby can have a comfortable ride while in a rear-facing position. This design also allows more space for your baby to sit while on the similar setup.
- The sides of this car seat are expendable, which provides additional support and comfort to your child.
- Moreover, you will also love that the bottom seat of Radian RXT is longer than most conventional convertible car seats. This means that it has a great leg support, which is essential to keep your little angel cozy and comfortable.
- The ergonomic design of the Radian RXT also helps in the development of proper posture of your child. Specifically, the head and body cushions are there to give a snugly fit for your baby.
- Furthermore, this product can also keep up with the growth of your baby. It accommodates weight from 5 to 45 pounds on a rear-facing position. Meanwhile, it can hold toddlers weighing 20 to 60 pounds when facing forward.
- This car seat can convert into a booster seat, too. When in this position, it can support children up to 120 pounds!
- One of the drawbacks of this car seat is that, it is not ideal for use in small cars. Even medium-sized family cars have trouble fitting this one in.
- Aside from this, tightening the straps is quite tricky when this car seat is rear-facing.
- This is because you have to take out the strap from the bottom in a horizontal motion. Despite these, the Radian RXT is still among the best baby car seats!
There are different brands and prices of car seats for babies. This is the reason why choosing the best one is pretty difficult. We are hoping that our buying guide will give you some basic knowledge on choosing the safest infant car seat for your baby.
The best convertible car seat is now within your reach, you can make an informed choice based our recommendations above. We are absolutely not bluffing when we say that they are the best in the market today! Each of them has functional ergonomics that provide comfort and safety for your child. They are also a worthy investment built to last long!