What Are The Best Convertible Car Seats? – Let’s Review!
One of the most truthful things about having a child is that, eventually, they will grow up. When they are first born, using an infant child seat can be enough to keep them safe each time they take a trip in your vehicle.
However, when they get to be too big for their first car seat, what’s your next step?
A convertible car seat will likely be your child’s next seat. As with an infant car seat, there can be many questions that you will have before you decide on which one to purchase. You want to get the best convertible car seat for your child to ensure that they are comfortable and safe each and every time they ride in your vehicle.
To help, we did a lot of shopping for you to narrow down all of the options out there into our 10 Best Convertible Car Seats in 2018.
We hope that our list will help you make an informed decision to keep your little one safe for a long time.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
QUICK ANSWER: THE BEST CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
- 1. Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat by Diono
- 2. 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat by Graco
- 3. Nextfit Convertible Carseat by Chicco
- 4. My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat by Graco
- 5. Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat by Maxi-Cosi
- 6. Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat by Evenflo
- 7. Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat by Graco
- 8. Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat by Britax USA
- 9. Boulevard G4.1 Convertible Car Seat by Britax USA
- 10. SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat by Evenflo
Convertible Car Seats Reviews
1. Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat by Diono
Made with a full steel frame and with reinforced sides made from aluminum, along with energy absorbing EPS foam, which all work together to provide unmatched strength and safety for your child.
With 3 usage options, from an extended rear-facing seat for children weighing between 5 and 45 pounds, to a forward-facing seat for children from 20 to 80 pounds and finally as a booster seat for children between 52 and 120 pounds. this is secured safely by using a 5-point harness.
A good choice for parents of twins, the Radian RXT’s slim design and profile can help it fit exceptionally well in mid-size vehicles and with its fold-flat feature, storing or transporting the car is easy.
Why we love it – The Radian RXT is a top rated convertible car seat and it’s easy to see why. With its usability across many ages and weights, plus its ability to fold flat for storage makes it a good choice for any parent.
2. 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat by Graco
The name of Graco’s convertible car seat fits their product perfectly. An all in one option, you can use as an infant car seat all the way to a booster seat for your young child.
With their Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, adjusting the height of the harness and headrest to ensure a proper, secured fit for your child is easily accomplished in one motion. With a headrest that can be put into 10 different positions, your child will always have a safe and secure fit as they grow up.
The 4ever All-in-One ensures your child’s comfort while using the car seat never waivers no matter what age they are. With plush inserts to keep your newborn comfortable as they ride in the back seat of your vehicle, to the integrated cup holders that can keep their drinks and snacks close by as the grow with their car seat.
Safety is first and foremost the number one feature that Graco has put into their car seat. With a sturdy steel frame to provide strength and durability to the All-in-One as well as EPS, an energy absorbing foam designed to improve the effectiveness of the car seat during a side impact accident, keeping your child safe is not a concern when using this product.
Why we love it – Graco is one of the most well-known brand makers of convertible car seats. With an InRight latch system that ensures an easy 1-second attachment system to ensure correct installation, any parent will not go wrong in choosing this seat for their child.
3. Nextfit Convertible Carseat by Chicco
Designed to be the simplest, most accurate and secure convertible car seat to install, the Nextfit from Chicco is a car seat that you be able to easily adjust as your child grows from infant to preschooler.
The safety features on this convertible car seat seem as though they have no limit. From 5-point harness that can be tightened with a single pull to a 2-position chest clip to accommodate your growing child. Included is a SuperCinch Latch Tightener which makes it easy to tighten the latches holding the seat in place with a simple strap pull, regardless of whether it is front or rear-facing.
With all this safety, Chicco hasn’t forgotten to extend the features to how comfortable the car seat is for your little one. With 9 recline positions, it not only helps ensure a proper fit, but can also help your little one be more comfortable in your vehicle.
As an added bonus, the Nextfit also includes a removable cup holder that can be used on either side of the seat. Not normally a bonus, but a lot of car seats on the market don’t offer a removable cup holder.
Why we love it – The Nextfit Convertible Carseat from Chicco is one of the safest options that we have on our list. By putting your child’s safety first and foremost, we can easily recommend this as one of the best car seats for infants and for toddlers.
4. My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat by Graco
Built to be your all in one option to keep your little one safe as they grow from infancy to toddlerhood, the My Ride 65 from Graco shows the company’s commitment to safety through this product.
With the seat being engineered and also crash tested to not only meet, but exceed the US standard FMVSS 213, along with side-impact testing of occupant retention by the 5-point harness system, Graco, a name synonymous with baby products and safety, continues to show why they are one of the biggest names in this market.
With an included cup holder to keep your child’s drinks and snacks within arm’s reach, the ability to remove the cover and cushion and machine wash both is a good feature to have in the event of a mess being made.
Why we love it– The My Ride 65 continues Graco’s long line of quality car seats for children. Designed for the optimal safety of your child, any parent would have a hard time finding a better option for the very reasonable price.
5. Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat by Maxi-Cosi
Looking more like a comfortable recliner than a convertible car seat, the Pria 70 from Maxi-Cosi is a quality option for those not only looking for safety and support, but also looking to provide their child with optimum comfort.
Using premium fabrics, the Pria 70 features an advanced air cushion system to protect your little one’s head in the event of a side-impact crash. For a better fit, the Pria 70 comes with a one-hand harness height adjustment system, with the option to make smaller adjustments to ensure that your little one is secured in their seat perfectly.
Being able to fit children rear-facing at 9 pounds may be a deterrent to some new parents of infants who may be below the manufacturers’ recommendation. The rear-facing seats will keep your little one cozy till they reach 40 pounds. Once the seat is turned front-facing, it will safely fit your child up to 70 pounds and keep them safe and secure throughout.
Why we love it – The Pria 70 offers a very comfortable option for parents who are looking for style and safety. While not designed for smaller newborns, a tiny fit insert can be purchased to help the seat accommodate them.
6. Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat by Evenflo
As an economical option for those parents who may be on a budget, but still want to provide their child the safest option they can, the Tribute LX from Evenflo offers a superior product at an affordable price.
Even though it comes at a more affordable price point than some of the other options on our list, which does not mean that it is a limited product in terms of keeping your child safe while they are riding in the car.
Meeting or exceeding all applicable Federal Safety Standards for safety as well as their own Side Impact Testing Standard for Structural Integrity, the Tribute LX comes with a 5-point harness system that includes up to 4-position shoulder straps that allow the seat to grow along with your child.
Boasting a lighter and more compact weight, the Tribute LX can be a perfect option for a parent that may have a smaller vehicle, and much easier to transport from the car, to the house or anywhere else you may need to carry it.
Why we love it –While the Tribute LX is a more affordable model than some other options on our list, in no way, does it feel like a lesser quality product. With the safety features to keep your little one safe and it’s lighter construction and ability to fit into smaller vehicles, selecting this convertible car seat would be a good idea for any parent.
7. Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat by Graco
The Extend2Fit, a convertible car seat from Graco, offers a different car seat experience when compared to traditional infant car seats. The biggest difference between the two would be that with a cart seat such as the Extend2Fit, it can be both rear and forward-facing in the vehicle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ride rear-facing up to 2 years of age while the Extend2Fit has accommodations for seating a child rear-facing that weighs between 4 and 50 pounds.
To help provide more leg room for your little one as they sit rear-facing in the vehicle, the Extend2Fit has a 3-position extension panel that can be adjusted to provide up to 5 inches of additional leg room so that they not only ride safely but also comfortably.
With an innovative harness storage system that holds the buckle out of the way, putting your baby in or taking them out of the car seat is a much simpler process. Graco also offers a simply safe adjust harness system that makes it easy for you to adjust the height of the harness and the headrest in one motion, removing the need to rethread the harness straps
Why we love it – The Graco Extend2Fit is one of the top rated car seats for infants on the market. With its ability to be both a rear-facing and front-facing seat, along with the features that add to the comfort and safety for your little one, it’s easy to see why.
8. Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat by Britax USA
The Advocate, while being the highest priced convertible car seat on our list, the features that the seat include for your child’s safety put it far above other products on the market.
Britax USA’s ClickTight Installation System is not only the safest, but the simplest technology on the market for installing a car seat. It doesn’t get easier than lifting up the front of the car seat, buckling the seat belt across and then click the seat shut. It’s that easy.
Like other Britax USA seats, the Advocate is made from a stabilizing steel frame and their SafeCell Impact Absorbing Base to help make this seat as strong as possible. With 3 layers of side impact protection and impact absorbing harness pads, your baby couldn’t be in a safer convertible car seat.
Comfort for your little one doesn’t take a back seat on the Advocate. With an easy to adjust 14-position harness, making sure your little fits in their seat couldn’t be easier than changing the height with just a push of a button.
Why we love it – The Advocate from Britax USA is by far one of the top rated convertible car seats on the market today. Between its standard safety features and added features make this a perfect choice for any parent.
9. Boulevard G4.1 Convertible Car Seat by Britax USA
Another model offered by Britax USA, the Boulevard may not boast all the features that the Advocate, Britax’s top of the line model has, but that doesn’t mean that the Boulevard is any less impressive.
Sharing the same SafeCell Impact Protection system that spans Britax USA’s entire line of convertible car seats, including a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, side impact protection and snug harness system will ensure the safety of your little one each and every time they are in it.
With a 10-postion harness, the Boulevard can easily grow right along with your little one and be assured of a perfect fit and comfort from start to finish. Making sure your child is tightly secured while they’re using the car seat is Britax USA’s Click & Safe Snug system.
Why we love it – The Boulevard from Britax USA may be another model that can compare to the Advocate in terms of features. But even if the Advocate offers more for the price, the Boulevard can hold its own against any convertible car seat on the market.
10. SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat by Evenflo
With 6 shoulder straps to ensure a proper fit each and every time your child uses it, the SureRide DLX from Evenflo is a great choice for parents looking for a quality convertible car seat from a manufacturer that is known for putting quality products on the market.
With a removable head and body pillow that can help keep your baby comfortable during long trips and a removable cover for easy cleaning are features that parents will enjoy having in a car seat that may get a lot of use.
Along with some of the broadest range of harness adjustments, the 6 height positions, 2 crotch buckle positions and 65 pound harness weight rating, this car seat will continue to provide ample room to your child as they grow up.
Why we love it – It’s not surprising that the SureRide is becoming a favorite among parents. With its ability to grow with your child and its ability to fit into a compact car, the praise given this car seat is well deserved.
How We Chose the Top Convertible Car Seats in Our List
When we started to create out recommendations for the 10 Best Convertible Car Seats in 2018, we wanted to make sure that our choices met a high standard of criteria. After all, we’re talking about the safety of your little bundle of joy. By holding each item to such a strict list of criteria, we can feel confident with our choices that appear on the list of recommended convertible car seats. Here is some of the criteria we used.
Ease of Use
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-star system rates the ease of use for any convertible car seat sold on the market. The higher number of stars the seat has, the simpler it is to use. These ratings account for how easy it is to install the seat as well as securing your little one in it. The rating system goes as far as accounting for the content and clarity of the instruction manual. You can see their ratings here.
One of the main reasons you need to purchase a convertible car seat is safety. When it comes to their safety, you want to make sure that the 5-point harness, which is found on all car seats works correctly in protecting your little one.
While you want to make sure it works correctly, you also want to be sure that they are comfortable in it. With adjustable straps, you can make sure that your child is comfortable and secure each and every time they use it.
While not present on all convertible car seats, having one with side-impact protection is a feature made from special energy-absorbing foam that is designed to protect your child’s head and chest in a side-impact accident.
The LATCH system, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, has been in place since 2002 requiring all car seats and vehicles to allow car seats to be attached directly to the vehicle’s frame instead of just using the seat belts to secure them.
All convertible car seats come with lower anchor connectors and a top tether strap. However, the seat manufacturer may recommend not using the top tether while the seat is rear-facing.
Other than safety, you want your child to be as comfortable on car rides. If your child has to sit in an uncomfortable car seat, it could make any trip unpleasant. A car seat with quality padding and ample head support can provide your little one with more than enough comfort for any trip.
Kids are messy. Period. Nothing can be harder than trying to get a stain out of a car seat cover that you can’t detach. Many newer seats come with removable and machine-washable covers to help make keeping them cleaner much easier.
Benefits of a convertible car seat
Owning a convertible car seat to help transport your baby from place to place is a major benefit in itself. There can be some other benefits that at first glance, may not be wholly apparent. Some that can benefit you, as well as your baby
For some parents, choosing a cart seat for their child will come down to infant car seat or convertible car seat. With the former, once your child reaches a certain size or weight, you would then need to “upgrade” and buy a new car seat, most likely a convertible car seat. Buying a convertible car seat for the start avoids that hassle.
Touching on our previous point, having to buy only one car seat if you buy a convertible cart seat for your little one will save you some money. Especially in regards to the money you’d have to spend on an infant car seat and then a convertible one.
As your child grows up, you are going to want to make sure that the seat they are using on trips can fit them correctly over time. With a convertible car seat, it will change as your child does. From newborn to toddler, a convertible car seat can accommodate them for a long period of time.
With safety being the most important benefit of owning or even using a convertible cart seat, convertible car seats can be used as rear-facing or front-facing once your child is old enough. With the LATCH system and harness to keep your baby in the seat, a convertible car seat can provide an excellent amount of safety.
When is it time to switch?
When you have a child, it is likely that they will go through numerous car seats. They’ll go from an infant car seat, a convertible car seat, a front-facing only car seat and then ultimately to a booster seat before being ready for the regular vehicle belt seats on their own.
But before they get there, a lot of parents ask when the right time to switch from one car seat to another is. With that in mind, we wanted to offer a bit of help to give you a bit of a guide to help you determine when the right time to switch is.
Infant Car Seat – It’s recommended that a rear-facing infant car seat is used from birth until your little one reaches the listed height and weight limits listed on the seat itself. Typically, the weight limit is around 22 pounds, but can be higher depending on the model.
Once they are anywhere between 6 and 9 months of age, you will need to switch to a convertible car seat to use rear facing until they reach their first birthday.
Convertible Car Seat – Until your little one is a year in age, with a weight of 22 pounds, you will want to seat them in a convertible car seat rear-facing. While there are some convertible seats that have a rear-facing weight limit between 30 and 35 pounds, and there has been research to show that keeping a child rear-facing is the safest position they can be in and should be kept in for as long as possible. The weight limit on a convertible car seat is typically 40 pounds, although some seats have limits up to 65 pounds or more.
Forward-facing only seat – Seen as an alternative to a front-facing convertible seat, there are some seats that are forward-facing only. Using an internal harness for toddlers from 20 to 40 pounds, even though there some models that can be used with an internal harness at higher weight limits. Once the weight limit has been reached, the seat can then be used as a belt-positioning booster seat for weights between 60 and 80 pounds, depending on the model.
Booster Seat – Eventually, your child will grow to exceed the listed limits on their convertible car seat or forward-facing only seat. Once they do, the use of a booster seat can help raise your child up in the vehicle seat so that the vehicle belt system can correctly secure them in the seat. Some booster seats will use a belt guide to help parents secure their children in their seat correctly and comfortably.
Your car’s seat belts – Once they have reached a height where they can comfortably sit and use the safety belts comfortably, they can then move to sitting in the regular vehicle seat./
Which position is correct? Rear of Front-facing?
One of the main topics of concern when parents purchase a convertible cart seat for their baby is whether or not they should be putting the car seat in a front-facing or rear-facing position. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that convertible car seats should be rear-facing until the child is at least 2 years of age.
Even with this recommendation, there are some concerns and questions from parents about using a convertible car seat in a rear-facing manner and we wanted to address some of those questions to help:
Why is rear-facing safer?
With the car seat rear-facing, in an accident, your baby has the support of the chair to surround them keeping their head and spine safe, unlike with a front-facing seat, where the baby could be flung forward, making it possible to severely hurt their chest, head or neck.
What about their legs?
As your child grows their legs are inevitably going to touch the back of the vehicle seat. This, in fact is both comfortable and safe. Why? When a child naps, they can comfortably rest his chin downward and wake up not in any pain from a sore neck. This is because their joints aren’t fully yet which gives them the ability to sit in positions that for you or I, would be uncomfortable.
Some parents think that if they put the car in rear-facing, it will lead to more injuries for their baby’s legs, but the opposite is actually true. When the seat faces forward, in an accident, their legs can fly up and hit the back of the front seat. The front seat can then compress the child’s legs, causing injury.
Choosing what’s best for you
Choosing the right convertible car seat for your little one is one of the biggest purchases that you can make for them. It can get a bit confusing when it comes to choosing one, whether it be safety features, or price.
While at the end of the day, the final decision will come down to your own preferences, one preference that should take precedent is your child’s safety and while all of the options on our list will keep your baby safe, not all of the safety features are the same.
When you decide to start the process of choosing the best convertible car seat for your child, we certainly hope that our list of the 10 best convertible car seats in 2018 has helped you make an informed decision.
Not just for your benefit, but for your child’s as well.
Do you have a Convertible Car Seats on our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.
Last Update on the 10th of March 2017