10 Safest Convertible Car Seats in 2020 | Reviews & Guide
Did you know car crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 13? Well, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of not only death but also child injury. Nevertheless, there’s a reason to celebrate as the agency reports that properly installed car seats reduce the fatality of injuries by a whopping 71%.
For parents, especially first-time buyers, buying the best car seat for your child is the most crucial step you’ll ever take in enhancing their safety. And if you’re like most of us who use the car seat multiple times in a day, there’s a lot to worry about. From the safety, comfort, pricing, durability, and ease of installation. Remember, picking and using the right car seat can be a matter of life and death. And with the horrifying statistics on car accidents and preventable deaths and injuries, you can’t afford to take chances and compromise on the safety and quality of the seat.
The ideal car seats are determined by the features that complement your existence and demystify your day to day life. Whether it’s commuting to work, vacation, soccer practice, or grocery, a regular family spends a lot of time in the car. For this reason, it’s only fair to develop and maintain a safe and comfortable space for your kids by installing a car seat.
My Ultimate Convertible Car Seat Reviews
Now, I’ll shed light on some of the best and safest convertible car seats on the market. I have done my best to be thorough and unbiased with my car seat reviews to give you a first-hand experience of what it feels to have one of these gems as a haven for your child. And considering I had to give you only the best in this guide, here’s what you should check out;
Safest Convertible Car Seat: Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
Versatile Convertible Car Seat. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat gives you up to 10 years of a comfortable and safe haven for your child. This amazing car seat is very versatile as it can be used in 4 different modes. From rear-facing car seat (4-40lbs), to forward-facing 5-point harness seat (22-65lbs), to high-back belt-positioning booster (30-100lbs), and backless belt-positioning booster (40-120lbs).
Impeccable, World-Class Design. This car seat features innovative design tweaks that are directed towards making life easier for the parent. While still enhancing the safety and comfort of the child. To start with, the car seat has a one-hand, 10-position headrest which gives your growing child a proper fit. It also features a steel-reinforced frame to provide strength and durability as well as plush inserts to keep your child comfortable and relaxed at all times.
Improved Safety Standards. To keep up with the main goal of enhancing your child’s safety, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat features the renowned InRight LATCH system which offers for an easy, one-second LATCH attachment. In addition to meeting and exceeding all the set US safety standards, this magnificent car seat has been side-impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built-in 5-point harness system.
Harness Storage. This car seat comes equipped with an integrated harness storage compartment that holds unused harness straps while in the belt-positioning booster mode. The seat also comes with 2 integrated cup holders to keep the drinks close to the baby.
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat features an easy-to-read level indicator to help the parent to know whether the car seat is reclined in the best and most comfortable angle for the little one.
Why The Graco 4Ever 4-In-1 Is The Best Convertible Car Seat?
To start with, this amazing convertible car seat features 4 different installation modes. Rear-facing, forward-facing, high back booster, and backless booster. The car seat is built in full compliance with the US safety standards and has been crash tested for occupancy retention to make sure your kid’s always safe in the car seat. The renowned 5-point harness system enhances the stability and firmness of the car seat to improve the safety and well-being of your little one.
Best Budget Pick: Evenflo Symphony Elite
The Ultimate All-In-One Convertible Car Seat. The Evenflo Symphony Elite is an all-in-one car seat with a unique design that’s meant to serve you as the only car seat you’ll ever need. This 3-in-1 seat allows you to secure your child in a rear-facing position, front-facing position, and also plays the role of a booster seat impeccably. With this chair, you only need to make a few adjustments as the child grows to ensure he/she fits perfectly.
Renowned LATCH Technology. This car seat is engineered to enhance its stability and firmness to improve the safety of your child while on the road. The renowned SureLatch system easily ratchets for a tighter and proper installation. Not only does this system make it easy to use the car seat but it also promotes a wiggle-free seat which is a plus as it enhances the kid’s safety in a crash.
Safety Beyond Your Imagination. The Evenflo Symphony Elite car seat is designed with your infant/toddler’s safety in mind. The patented 5-point Infinite Slide harness has been in use for long now and has delivered utmost safety and crash protection for kids over the years. This system allows you to adjust the straps accordingly for an accurate fit every time. The adjustable straps also make in and out movements of your child exemplarily easy.
FAA Approved Car Seat. The car seat has been in use for nearly 100 years with innovative, steel-reinforced designs being developed every now and then to meet your everyday child travel needs. This amazing seat’s inner padding is machine-washable which makes cleaning and maintenance a bliss. It has a lifespan of 8 years which means it can be passed down and is available in 6 color options.
It’s important to note that the Ocala and Porter color options are slightly older versions and do not come with buckle pockets.
Also Worth Mentioning #1: Britax Marathon ClickTight
Easy and Tight Installation. One of the nicest features of the Britax Marathon ClickTight car seat is the easiness of installation and how tight the seat ratchets in just a few minutes. If you’re using the traditional seatbelt routing, just slide the seat belt through the lock-off, tighten, and close the lock-off. For the LATCH system, just slide the straps on their metal bar to switch between rear and forward-facing positions.
Surrounded in Safety. The Britax Marathon is designed with your kid’s safety in mind. The easy-to-use straps are adjustable to make sure you fit your child perfectly and securely. The thick straps do not twist like the ones on cheap car seats, which makes the seat click tight in seconds. Also, the car seat features a layer of side-impact protection, a sturdy steel frame, and an impact-absorbing base.
Versatile Car Seat. This car seat is convenient as it offers both rear (4-40 pounds) and front-facing (22-65 pounds) installation modes. This feature coupled with the fact that it’s a durable seat makes it a great option to consider as it might be the only car seat you buy. Seatbelt installation is easy and straightforward for both modes which is a great relief, especially for first-time parents.
Comfortable Fit for Your Child. Just like you’d expect, the Britax Marathon ClickTight car seat features 14 position harness, 2 position buckle, and 7 recline positions to make sure your child is not only secure in the seat but also very comfortable throughout the journey.
So, why not let your kid relax and recline comfortably with one of the best steel frame car seats that will be with him/her throughout the growth cycle?
Also Worth Mentioning #2: Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1
Versatile 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. The Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seat provides your child with a comfortable and safe haven to relax while on the road. This amazing car seat is very versatile as it can be used in 3 different modes; rear-facing car seat (4-40 pounds), to forward-facing seat (22-65 pounds), to high-back belt-positioning booster (40-120 pounds). This makes it an all-encompassing seat that will grow with your kid as he/she develops.
Flexible and Convenient Design. Built with precision, this all in one car seat features world-class design tweaks which are meant to enhance the comfort and safety of your child. To start with, the 4-position extension panel adjusts easily to provide 5 extra inches of additional legroom, allowing your child to ride safely in the rear-facing position. Additionally, the car seat offers up to 6 different recline positions to help keep your child comfortable, especially over long journeys.
Enhanced Safety Standards. The Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seat uses the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System that easily adjusts your headrest and harness in one motion to ensure your child is well secured at all times. In addition to meeting and exceeding all the US safety standards, this best 3 in 1 car seat is Graco protectPlus engineered which means it has been subjected to a combination of rigorous crash testing that helps to protect your child from all angles.
This magnificent car seat has been side-impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built-in 5-point harness system.
The Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 car seat also offers 10-position headrest to maintain your kid’s head balance and open the airway, especially in rear-facing installation mode.
Also Worth Mentioning #3: Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat
Compact, Convertible Car Seat. Complete with world-class safety features, the Clek Fllo convertible car seat offers advanced side impact protection with deep side wings, energy-absorbing foam layers, and an adjustable structural headrest. Other features like the extended rear-facing use up to 50 pounds, patented Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology, and a steel anti-rebound bar enhance your kid’s safety in the seat.
Hassle-Free Green Car Seat. This convertible car seat is designed to international best practices and tailored in GREENGUARD Select Certified Crypton Super Fabrics, which provides long-lasting protection against moisture, stains, and bacteria. The Fabric is free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants. Additionally, you can recycle the car seat once your child has outgrown it through Clek’s car seat recycling program.
Automotive Inspired Safety. On the heart of every Clek car seat design lies a sturdy metal reinforced substructure which is cushioned with energy-absorbing foam layers for maximum protection. The seat also has an adjustable structural headrest with deep side wings for maximum side impact protection. All these amazing features coupled with the patented EACT safety technology which reduces the effect of a collision make this convertible car seat a force to reckon with.
Open to Clek’s world of Accessories. Clek Fllo is one of the top safety rated car seats, and allows you to add Clek’s many accessories to enhance the comfort and safety of your child. From the infant thingy that allows for a better fit for your newborn, to the drink-thingy that gives your growing child a spot for their favorite drink, there’s so much to add to this safest car seat.
This rear facing car seat uses aluminum honeycomb deformable cores integrated into the car base to reduce the forces transmitted to the child in a crash.
Also Worth Mentioning #4: Diono Radian 3RXT
Maximum Safety and Easy Installation. The Diono Radian 3RXT all-in-one convertible car seat is lovingly engineered and meticulously built by hand to always overprotect. It utilizes the SuperLATCH audible click and visual-locking indicator connector system to inspire a secure installation. This incredible seat also features 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions, a nonslip rubber base, and expandable leg rests.
Ultra-Modern Design. This car seat is built to demystify how you travel with kids by enhancing the ease and safety aspects. It is FAA approved for air travel and allows for easy fitting of 3 radians across in most family-size vehicles. Other design tweaks like the inclusion of a powerful integrated steel frame and an adjustable body make this car seat ideal for rear-facing position (4-40 pounds), forward-facing position (22-65 pounds, and booster seat (40-120 pounds).
Enhanced Comfort. Designed to harmonize style and snug, this all in one car seat makes traveling with kids a bliss. It features a removable premium plush-knit machine-washable fabric, tailored infant support cushions, an easy-to-climb seat for your little one. This seat also folds flat for easy storage.
Dynamic Side Impact Protection. This incredible car seat is reinforced with an adjustable 12-position headrest, memory foam seat, and aluminum side-impact walls lined with energy-absorbing EPS foam to provide cushiony protective comfort for your kid. The steel alloy frame also enhances the safety and stability of the car seat in the vehicle.
Also Worth Mentioning #5: Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max
Dynamic Convertible Car Seat. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max lets your baby ride on every adventure hassle-free. The car seat offers your child a first-class ride from 5-85 pounds and features premium innovations meant to enhance the comfort, in and out movements, and safety of your little one. The characteristic extended weight range keeps the child safely and comfortably harnessed for long.
Machine-Washable Inner Padding. This will come as a relief for parents who use their car more often and would like a clean and fresh haven for their kids every time they’re traveling. The seat pad and harness covers are removable in simple snaps, without the need to rethread the harness to get the pad on and off. The machine-washable pad not only makes cleaning the car seat easy but also guarantees you long-standing service.
Fully Adjustable Design. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max allows for one-hand harness height adjustment with micro-adjustments for a customized fit and better safety. It features deep rear-facing adjustment and recline which makes for a faster and comfortable rear-facing installation. Additionally, the handy harness holders keep the harness straps out of the way for easy boarding.
Enhanced Comfort. The patented Advanced Air Cushion System protects your child where it’s needed the most; around the head. Whether you’re using the car seat in the rear-facing or forward-facing mode, you can be sure that your kid is safe with the Side Impact Air Protect Technology. Other features like the magnetic chest clip and flip away buckle enhances the seat’s safety without compromising the ease of in and out movements.
Also Worth Mentioning #6: Safety 1st Grow and Go
Versatile Car Seat. The Safety 1st Grow and Go car seat is a 3-in-1 convertible car seat that’s ready to take your child home from the hospital and grow with him or her to the time you take him to soccer practice. And being fully aware of how parenting can be hectic at times, the designers of this incredible car seat built it to allows for the kid to grow and you to be on the Go. It is ideal for both rear-facing position (5-40 pounds), forward-facing position (22-65 pounds), and as a belt-positioning booster (40-100 pounds).
Adjustable Design. The adjustable 3-position recline makes it easy to get a good fit for the seat in your car while the QuickFit harness allows you to adjust the height of the headrest and harness in one easy step.
Enhanced Safety. Not only does the Safety 1st Grow and Go car seat meet federal, ASTM, and JPMA safety standards, but it also exceeds them. It features industry-best design tweaks that are meant to give the parent peace of mind and more joyful moments when traveling. As a champion in safety enhancement, this incredible car seat delivers a world-class blend of comfort and safety.
Ease of Use. True to its goal of giving you the peace of mind an allowing you to enjoy every experience with your child, this car seat features harness holders which keep the harness open, making it easier to get into and out of the seat. It also features a reduced footprint for the rear-facing infant seat which provides front-facing passengers with an additional seven inches of legroom.
This top 10 convertible car seat has two integrated cup holders to keep snacks and drinks close. The removable seat pad is also machine-washable and dryer safe.
Also Worth Mentioning #7: Chicco NextFit Sport
Easy Installation and Use. The Chicco NextFit Sport car seat lives up to the brand’s promise to parents of making their lives easier and demystifying how you travel with your little ones. With a 9-position ReclineSure leveling system and SuperCinch LATCH Tightener, installing your car seat has never been much easier. The car seat also employs the LockSure seat belt-tightening system.
Superior, Unmatched Protection. This car seat stays true to the value of providing a safe and comfortable haven for your kids to enjoy while on the road. With the patented DuoGuard protection with a deep rigid shell and EPS energy-absorbing foam plus a steel-reinforced frame, the seat saves you from the constant fear for your child’s safety.
Enhanced Comfort. Away from the world-class, enhanced protection, the Chicco NextFit Sport is one of the highest-rated car seat, and provides your kid with a comfortable bed to relax regardless of the duration of the journey. The padded, no-rethread harness and 9 position headrest provide your growing child with a safe and perfect fit accommodation. It also offers for easy transition from rear-facing to forward-facing modes.
Easy to Clean and Maintain. The soft and resilient padding is removable and machine-washable for comfort and convenience. Also, the cup holder is removable and dishwasher-safe.
Also Worth Mentioning #8: Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
Resilient, Italian Design. The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio car seat features a resilient and durable design that’s centered around providing safe and comfortable accommodation for your kid. The contoured steel back plate minimizes flexing and reduces forward movement in the event of a crash. Additionally, the contoured base provides extra stability in both seating positions.
Enhanced Side Impact Protection. This flexible and sturdy car seat adjusts up to 10 different positions, which ensures the best and safest fit for your child. The integrated Side Impact Protection shields your kid from the sides, further living up to the brand’s promise of offering a safe haven and demystify how you travel with your kid.
Unmatched Comfort. Away from the safety features, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio car seat comes equipped with energy-absorbing EPS foam throughout the body to protect the child’s torso and head impact forces. This car seat has a shock-absorbing foam element device slotted below the shell crumples which works to reduce the impact of a crash on the child’s neck and shoulders.
Enhanced Stability. Stability of a car seat in the vehicle is very important in safeguarding your little one’s life. This toddler car seat boasts of a sturdy top tether hook that increases stability in forward-facing mode and limits forward movement. Also, the seat has adjustable LATCH connectors that add stability while allowing for easy transition from rear-facing to forward-facing modes.
What is a Convertible Car Seat?
To put it this way, a convertible car seat is a versatile car seat that can be used rear-facing when your baby is an infant and forward-facing when the child grows into a toddler. Unlike the regular infant car seat, this one features two different belt-routing paths for the car’s seat belt. One is used when the car seat is front-facing and the other one when it’s rear-facing. Depending on your budget and taste, you can even get a convertible car seat that converts to a booster seat as your child grows.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look into every bit of information that you need to pick and buy the best convertible car seat for your kid. Remember, the main goal is to harmonize safety, comfort, and protection into a spectacular seat. So, why should you buy a convertible car seat? Well, there are a million ways to answer the question but I’ll go with this one- convenience.
Why you need a Convertible Car Seat
Convertible car seats are part of the incredible collection that includes infant car seats and booster seats. And since all these seats are designed uniquely to fit and accommodate kids of different sizes, weight, and age, it surely would be expensive for parents to buy a new one every time the kid’s transition period beckons.
For this reason, there are car seat models which are 3-in-1 car seats. This way, the same seat can be adjusted to different modes of use like forward-facing, rear-facing, and booster seats to cater for the different developmental stages as your kid continues to grow. This makes this type of car seat very common among parents. Because they are cost-effective in the long run.
And just like any other product on the market, a million and one brands are designing convertible car seats. This makes the process of choosing the ideal one for your kid overwhelming. Especially if you’re a new parent. This process involves finding the right fit for your kid while still considering important aspects like safety and comfort.
A good convertible car seat should not be a burden to the parent. But instead convenient in terms of ease of use, cleaning, and installing. With this in mind and fully aware of how tasking this can be to the parent, I have put up this guide which includes important buying advice, safety tips, important features to consider, and everything else you need to know about the safest car seats.
Infant vs Convertible Car Seat
Infant car seats are designed to fit an infant from the time you’re taking him home from the hospital up to their first birthday and beyond (12-18 months). These car seats are relatively easy to install and less bulky which makes them popular among parents.
However, you’ll have to discard it and transition to a convertible car seat as your baby continues to grow. Though bulkier, convertible car seats function as a 3-in-1 addition which can be adjusted to different modes of use like forward-facing, rear-facing, and booster seats to cater for the different developmental stages of your kid.
Convertible car seats give you the advantage of both rear-facing and front-facing positions. This car seat model works well with newborns and will keep your little one in a rear-facing position until they’re ready to face forward (1-2 years). The main advantage of a convertible car seat is the fact that it could be the only car seat you buy.
Unlike Infant seats, convertible seats are bulky and can’t be transferred out of the car and carried around like an infant car seat. However, the baby will eventually outgrow the infant car seat and you’ll have to buy a convertible seat. So, if you opt to go with the convertible option from the time your little one is born and you’ll be riding around in more than one vehicle, you might want to have multiple car seats. Transferring a convertible car seat from one vehicle to the other can be a headache you don’t want to deal with daily.
The Benefits of a Convertible Car Seat
Other than enhancing your kid’s comfort, convertible car seats also offer optimum safety, if chosen and used correctly. And due to their growing importance, these car seats are available in different designs to meet the ever-changing needs of the market. So, here are some of the benefits of convertible car seats;
- Versatility. The main advantage of a convertible car seat is the fact that it could be the only car seat you buy. Unlike an infant car seat, this model offers your kid the rear-facing and front-facing positions. This means you’ll use the seat from the time your newborn leaves the hospital to the time they no longer need a child safety seat.
- The Seat can be Passed Down. A convertible car seat usually has a long lifespan. Mostly around 10 years. This means you can pass down the sit to younger siblings or a kid you babysit.
- Saves Money. While a convertible car seat might cost more than an infant or booster seat, it certainly costs less than buying multiple car seats as your child grows.
- Higher Weight Limit. Unlike infant car seats, convertible car seats have a higher rear-facing weight limit which allows for the AAP recommended Extended Rear-Facing (ERF).
Conclusions and Final Words
In conclusion, convertible car seats are incredibly resourceful in enhancing your child’s safety in the car. And with the shocking statistics on the number of child injuries and deaths from motor vehicle crashes, strapping your little one in the safest convertible car seats is a MUST!
And while there are different types of car seats, the convertible options are more popular among parents because of their versatility and unmatched safety features. These safety rated car seats allow you to switch between rear-facing and forward-facing positions seamlessly. This means that the seat will grow with your kid from the time you pick him/her from the hospital up until the time you take him/her to football practice.
Depending on your budget and taste, you can even get a car seat that converts to a booster seat as your child grows. And with an average lifespan of 10 years, you can be sure that the seat may be the only car seat you ever buy. The versatility, ease of use, and enhanced comfort and security in convertible car seats makes them more popular, cost-effective. And certainly more secure than the other car seats.
This guide is aimed at dispensing useful information to help you pick the safest convertible car seat to make the child travel blissful and fun. In this all in one car seat reviews I picked the 10 best convertible car seats based on comfort, convenience, and durability. And while the pricing might vary, all these car seats have one thing in common. They’re all top-quality pieces that will enhance how you enjoy traveling with your little ones.
I hope the information helps you to make an informed decision.
PS, please check out my site for other baby product reviews! 🙂