The Safest Convertible Car Seat in 2019

The Safest Convertible Car Seat in 2019

August 14, 2019 0 By Kim

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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 lot to worry about. From the safety, comfort, pricing, durability, and ease of installation. Remember, picking and using the right convertible 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 convertible car seat.

 

Table: The 10 Best & Safest Convertible Car Seats in 2019

Note: If you use a small screen you may have to scroll right in order to see all the columns.

 

What is a Convertible Car Seat?

To put it this way, a convertible car seat is a versatile car seat which 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 safest 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 convertible 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 seats very common among parents. Because they are cost-effective over the long run.

And just like any other product on the market, there are a million and one brands 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 burdening to the parent as well. 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.

safest convertible car seat

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 car 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 on a daily basis.

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 froing-facing positions. This means you’ll use the seat from the time your new born 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 Limits. Unlike infant car seats, convertible car seats have a higher rear-facing weight limit which allows for the AAP recommended Extended Rear-Facing (ERF).

My Ultimate Convertible Car Seat Reviews

Having looked into what a convertible car seat is, the differences with other car seats, the benefits, and a car seat comparison, I’ll now shed light on some of the best and safest convertible car seats on the market.  I have done our best to be thorough and unbiased with my childrens 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 2019: Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 4.6 out of 5 stars

This image shows Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 which is the safest convertible car seat in my reviewVersatile 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 convertible car seat features innovative design tweaks which 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 as 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 convertible 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 in close proximity 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 Safest 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 of 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.

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Best Budget Pick: Evenflo Symphony Elite 4 out of 5 stars

This image shows Evenflo Symphony Elite which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewThe 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 so as to ensure he/she fits perfectly.

Renowned LATCH Technology. This car seat is engineered to enhance its stability and firmness so as to improve the safety of your child while on the road. The renowned SureLatch system easily ratchets for a tighter and secure 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.

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Also Worth Mentioning #1: Britax Marathon ClickTight 4.4 out of 5 stars

This image shows Britax Marathon ClickTight which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewEasy 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 convertible 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. 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?

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Also Worth Mentioning #2: Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 4.4 out of 5 stars

This image shows Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewVersatile 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 tests that help 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.

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Also Worth Mentioning #3: Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat 4.2 out of 5 stars

This image shows Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewCompact, 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 convertible 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 makes 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 2019.

This rear facing convertible car seat uses aluminum honeycomb deformable cores integrated into the car base to reduce the forces transmitted to the child in a crash.

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Also Worth Mentioning #4: Diono Radian 3RXT 4.2 out of 5 stars

This image shows Diono Radian 3RXT which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewMaximum 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 convertible 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 travelling 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 safety and stability of the car seat in the vehicle.

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Also Worth Mentioning #5: Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max 4.1 out of 5 stars

This image shows Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewDynamic 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 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 kid every time they’re travelling. 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.

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Also Worth Mentioning #6: Safety 1st Grow and Go 4.1 out of 5 stars

This image shows Safety 1st Grow and Go which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewVersatile Convertible 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 a 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. Regardless of the installation mode you’re using the height adjustments are demystified to ensure the best fit for your child and enhance his/her safety.

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 which are meant to give the parent peace of mind and more joyful moments when travelling. 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 holder to keep snacks and drinks close. The removable seat pad is also machine-washable and dryer safe.

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Also Worth Mentioning #7: Chicco NextFit Sport 4 out of 5 stars

This image shows Chicco NextFit Sport which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewEasy 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 levelling system and SuperCinch LATCH Tightener, installing your safest convertible car seat has never been much easier. The car seat also employs the LockSure seat belt-tightening system.

Superior, Unmatched Protection. This best toddler 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 convertible 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.

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Also Worth Mentioning #8: Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4 out of 5 stars

This image shows Peg Perego Primo Viaggio which is one of the safest convertible car seat in my reviewResilient, 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 safest convertible 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 best 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.

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Convertible Car Seat Safety Regulations

Note: The following are general guidelines. You should always consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual, car seat installation guide, a Child Safety Technician and your state’s laws before buying and installing a car seat.

Depending on the country or state you live in, there are different safety regulations that guide parents on the standards to uphold when buying and installing a car seat. The best safety practice is to ensure the seat is properly installed and used whenever a child is in the car. When it comes to convertible car seats, there have been many changes in recommendations for the use of LATCH system in vehicles. With questions arising on the maximum weight limits allowed for installation using the lower anchors.

And while it’s unclear on the effectiveness of the system, especially for the newer, heavier car seats designed to accommodate larger, heavier children, You should always consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual, car seat installation guide, and a Child Safety Technician for assistance. Most vehicle manufacturers are going for the 65lb limit (minus the car seat’s weight).

Pro Tip; You can also install the safest convertible car seat with a locked vehicle seat belt. However, make sure you store the LATCH straps if you’re not using them to prevent them from causing injury.

It’s also a good thing to use the rear/top tether strap regardless of installation with lower anchors or seat belt to enhance the safety of your child. Using the top tether together with the seat belt limits head movement in a crash, which ultimately decreases head and neck injuries. If you’re not sure about the location of the anchors, you can consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual. And get your seat inspected at your nearest seat check station.

Having said that, let’s look into the convertible car seat safety regulations for;

Infants

The standard rule for infants is they must ride in a rear-facing position! Most expert recommend carrying your infant in a rear-facing position as long as possible (at least 2 years) as it offers unmatched crash protection. Here are some of the guidelines;

  • When picking a convertible car seat, go for the one that fits your baby by weight and height.
  • The convertible seat must fit in the back seat of your car. Never should it be placed in the front seat in the way of passenger-side air bags.
  • Secure the chest clip at armpit level and the harness straps slightly below the shoulders in one of the lowest slots
  • Make sure your car has enough room in the back for the seat to be reclined at the proper angle (refer to your car seat’s manual). Most convertible car seats have multiple recline angles. But the 45-degree angle is recommended by most experts.
  • Once your baby outgrows the rear-facing position, you can change the seat to face the front. Outgrowing the position is determined by the weight and height limit and not necessarily the age.

Toddlers

Once your kid is past the age of 2 years, they can ride in a forward-facing position on the convertible car seat. Here are some of the guidelines for toddlers riding in a forward-facing convertible car seat;

  • Go for the safest convertible car seat with a harness system up to 65-90 pounds
  • When installing a forward-facing convertible car seat, secure the harness retainer clip at the armpit level. And the harness at the slots above the shoulders.
  • If the seat was initially used for your infant, ensure you make all the necessary adjustments before moving him to the forward-facing mode.
  • Refer to the car seat’s manual when adjusting the recline to a more upright position, changing the harness slots to a forward-facing position. And installing the seat using the belt path or LATCH in the forward-facing path.

Pro Tip; Failure to make the recommended adjustments in the car seat when shifting from rear-facing to forward-facing position can prevent the seat from providing adequate protection in a crash.

Convertible Car Seat Safety Tips

Note: The following are general guidelines. You should always consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual, car seat installation guide, a Child Safety Technician and your state’s laws before buying and installing a car seat.

Even for parents who are on their fourth kid, car seat installation is a skill that people tend not to get better at. And being fully aware that this can be a matter of life and death. Hence it important that we look into important convertible car seat safety tips;

  • Understand your state’s laws. Laws vary by state. The exact law on the age, height, and weight restrictions for convertible car seats vary from one country/state to the other. So, make sure you educate yourself on the set laws on car seats in your state before you buy and use one.
  • Do not let the baby sleep in a car seat. Regardless of how tempting this might be, it’s always safer to have the baby sleeping in his/her back in the house, rather than at the back of your car with blankets and stuffed animals.
  • Always buy a new car seat. Avoid buying second-hand car seats to save a few dollars. Remember, just like any other car seat, even the safest convertible car seat has a date of expiration. And can become defective with improper use or past experience of an accident.
  • Avoid placing the car seat on top of a grocery cart. I get it; your safest car seat clicks into position on top of the grocery cart. However, it is not designed to be secure there. Tucking in the grocery cart under the car seat puts the baby at risk of falling off of the cart.
  • Use the appropriate seat covers or blankets. Keeping your baby warm in the car, especially when the temperatures drop is an essential step of making the convertible car seat safe and comfortable. Normally, parents fit the baby with a coat to keep him/her warm while in the seat. The extra padding may lead you to loose of the car seat straps to the point that it’s not fitted well and therefore provide adequate protection. Instead, you should use the appropriate seat covers or blankets for warmth.

Pro Tip; Remember to tuck in the car seat cover, so it doesn’t become loose and pose a strangulation hazard to your kid.

Useful Tips When Buying the Safest Convertible Car Seat

Note: The following are general guidelines and I am not responsible for any damages or injuries if you decide to use and follow any information in this article. You should always consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual, car seat installation guide, a Child Safety Technician and your state’s laws before buying and installing a car seat. In addition, I recommend to have a specialist install your car seat.

Just like any other product on the market, there are a number of features that you should consider before buying the safest convertible car seat. Most, if not all of these features are all geared towards enhancing the comfort, safety, and secure positioning of your child in the car.

Ease of Use.

An ideal convertible car seat should not be an added headache to the parent, especially if it’s their first time using it. It must provide for easy and hassle-free installation on top of world-class comfort and protection. The accompanying instruction manual should also be well-articulated and easy to understand. Make sure you check the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s car seat safety ratings. Because the convertible car seats with a higher safety rating are also simpler to use.

Side Impact Protection

This is an important aspect that’s often overlooked by subpar convertible car seat models. Side Impact Protection encompasses energy-absorbing foam, EPS, among other features that are designed to provide maximum protection in the pelvic, head, and torso areas in the event of a crash. Depending on the model of the car seat and your budget, some convertible car seats come with up to 3 layers of side impact protection while others only feature a single layer. And as obvious as this might be, the more the layers of protection there are in a convertible car seat the more protection it will provide for your baby during a collision.

Easy Adjustments

The main advantage of a convertible car seat is that it grows with your kid and might be the only car seat you buy. To accommodate and adjust accordingly to the physical growth of your baby, the car seat ought to be easily adjustable. Away from the harness, the head rest also needs to be adjustable so that it can grow together with your kid. Most convertible car seats on the market have adjustable harness and head rest but the number of adjustments vary from one model to the other.

A 5-point Harness

The 5-point harness is a set of comfortable and adjustable straps that help you secure your child safely and comfortably in the car seat. To enhance your baby’s safety, make sure the convertible car seat you buy has enough of these straps. One for each shoulder, one for each hip, and one that goes between your baby’s legs. Luckily, the most of the best car seat models available come with a 5-point harness system.

Comfort

The main values of a convertible car seat are safety and comfort. So, an ideal model should be well padded with plenty of body support and additional features to ensure your baby’s head and entire body is supported and cushioned for a comfortable ride. The angle of recline determines how comfortable the safest convertible car seat is. Make sure the car seat you go for can be reclined to different levels when used in the rear-facing and forward-facing positions.

LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)

The LATCH system was introduced to all cars manufactured from 2002 to replace the conventional seat belts system. It allows you to securely attach the car seat directly to a vehicle’s frame. Without the need of using the seat belts. Today, all cars come equipped with lower anchor connectors and top tether straps.

Pro Tip; Check the manufacturer’s manual to know whether they recommend using the top tether strap in the rear-facing position.

Ease of Cleaning.

The inner padding of the safest convertible car seat should be removable and easy to clean to ensure your kid’s little haven is always clean. The fabric should also be machine-washable and dryer safe to make cleaning and drying a bliss.

Storage

Having extra room on your car seat is surely a bonus you wouldn’t want to enjoy. Most top rated car seats come with integrated cup holders where you can put the drinks in close proximity to the baby. Others also come with storage compartments for the harness and straps and where you can store additional essentials.

Convertible Car Seat Installation Instructions

Note: The following are general guidelines and I am not responsible for any damages or injuries if you decide to use and follow any information in this article. You should always consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual, car seat installation guide, a Child Safety Technician and your state’s laws before buying and installing a car seat. In addition, I recommend to have a specialist install your car seat.

A car seat that’s not properly installed poses great danger and scraps off the essential shield from your child in the event of a crash. So, why not go through the installation instructions to help you enhance your little one’s safety?

Installing the Car Seat with a Seat Belt (Rear-Facing)

  1. Start off by reading your car seat’s instruction manual and your vehicle’s owner manual. Focus on the information about your car’s seat belt system and how to securely lock the seat belt. Every seat and vehicle is unique in its own right, which affects how you install the car seat.
  2. Place your convertible car seat in the back seat of your vehicle- in a rear-facing position
  3. Thread the seat belt through the belt path and make sure there are no twists in the seat belt.
  4. Buckle the seat belt
  5. Lock the seat belt
  6. Press down the car seat firmly and tighten the seat belt (check to make sure the car seat cannot move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch)
  7. Ensure the convertible car seat is positioned at the correct recline angle

Pro Tips;

  • Ensure the seat is installed in a semi-reclined position for infants as it helps to keep the airway open
  • As your little one grows, the angle may need to be adjusted accordingly (refer to the car seat’s manufacturer instructions)

Installing the Car Seat with Lower Anchors (Rear-Facing)

  1. Read you convertible car seat’s instruction guide and the vehicle’s manufacturer manual, paying attention to the position of the lower anchors and directions on how to use the anchors
  2. Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle, in a rear-facing position
  3. Locate the position of the lower anchors in your car
  4. Carefully connect the lower anchor attachments on the car seat to the lower anchors while ensuring you don’t twist the straps.
  5. Press the car seat down firmly as you tighten the straps. (check to make sure the car seat cannot move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch)
  6. Ensure the convertible car seat is positioned at the correct recline angle

Pro Tips;

  • Ensure the seat is installed in a semi-reclined position for infants as it helps to keep the airway open
  • As your little one grows, the angle may need to be adjusted accordingly (refer to the manufacturer’s instructions)

Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat

  1. Carefully place your little one in the car seat with his/her back flat against the seat
  2. Place the harness straps over the kid’s shoulders. While ensuring the straps remain flat (not twisted) and are placed through the slots located at or below your child’s shoulders.
  3. Firmly buckle the harness and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you can’t pinch any fabric on the straps of your child’s shoulders.
  4. For infants, you may notice a gap between the buckle and your child’s groin. Try placing a diaper or a rolled washcloth in the gap for a more secure fit
  5. Avoid bulky clothing or blankets as they can prevent a snug harness fit. Always start with buckling the baby. And then place the blankets and car seat covers over the harness
  6. If your baby needs extra support, fill the empty spaces with small, rolled blankets on each side of their head and shoulder
  7. Avoid sneaking a thick padding under the baby in the car seat unless it’s recommended by the car seat manufacturer.
  8. Place the chest clip at the armpit level to hold the harness straps in place on the child’s chest and shoulders.

Installing the Car Seat with a Seat Belt and Tether (Forward-Facing)

  1. Read your car seat’s instruction manual and your vehicle’s owner manual. While paying attention to the seat belt system and how to go about locking the seat belt.
  2. Check for the position of the tether anchors and directions on how to use them
  3. Carefully place the car seat in the back of your car in a forward-facing position
  4. Thread the seat belt through the belt path and make sure there are no twists in the seat belt.
  5. Buckle the seat belt
  6. Lock the seat belt
  7. Press down the car seat firmly and tighten the seat belt. Check to make sure the car seat cannot move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
  8. Connect the tether on your convertible car seat to the tether anchor on your vehicle and tighten. This limits forward movement in the event of a crash.

Installing the Car Seat with Lower Anchors and Tether (Forward-Facing)

  1. Read your instruction guide and the vehicle manufacturer’s manual. Paying attention to the position of the lower anchors and directions on how to use the anchors
  2. Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle, in a rear-facing position
  3. Locate the position of the lower anchors in your car
  4. Carefully connect the lower anchor attachments on the car seat to the lower anchors while ensuring you don’t twist the straps.
  5. Press the car seat down firmly as you tighten the straps. Check to make sure your safest toddler car seat cannot move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
  6. Connect the tether on your safest convertible car seat to the tether anchor on your vehicle and tighten. This limits forward movement in the event of a crash.

Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat

  1. Carefully place your little one in your best 4 in 1 car seat with his/her back flat against the seat
  2. Place the harness straps over the kid’s shoulders. While ensuring the straps remain flat (not twisted) and are placed through the slots located at or below your child’s shoulders.
  3. Read your car seat’s manual. Some cars require use of the top-most slot for the forward-facing position. These slots are reinforced to enhance the seat’s stability and resilience in a crash.
  4. Firmly buckle the harness and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you can’t pinch any fabric on the straps of your child’s shoulders.
  5. For infants, you may notice a gap between the buckle and your child’s groin. Try placing a diaper or a rolled washcloth in the gap for a more secure fit
  6. Avoid bulky clothing or blankets as they can prevent a snug harness fit. Always start with buckling the baby. And then place the blankets and car seat covers over the harness.
  7. If your baby needs extra support, fill the empty spaces with small, rolled blankets on each side of their head and shoulder
  8. Avoid sneaking a thick padding under the baby in your best toddler car seat. Unless it’s recommended by the car seat manufacturer.
  9. Place the chest clip at the armpit level to hold the harness straps in place on the child’s chest and shoulders

How to Know Whether the Convertible Car Seat Has Been Installed Correctly.

Note: The following are general guidelines and I am not responsible for any damages or injuries if you decide to use and follow any information in this article. You should always consult your vehicle manufacturer’s manual, car seat installation guide, a Child Safety Technician and your state’s laws before buying and installing a car seat. In addition, I recommend to have a specialist install your car seat.

While this might come as a surprise, research shows that most car seats are not installed correctly. Even by parents who have been using them for the longest time. A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that misuse of small car seats and seat belts vary from 74 to 90 percent. So, with these shocking statistics, let’s look into how to ensure your vehicle is well and ready to for your little one.

The Right Seat.

It’s important to adhere to the height and weight limits recommended by the car seat’s manufacturer. Also, consider your kid’s age as it’s reflective of his/her skeletal development and will certainly affect the levels of comfort in the safest convertible car seat.

Harness height

When installing your convertible car seat, consider the harness height depending on the position the best toddler car seat is facing. For rear-facing position (infants), the harness straps should be at or below the baby’s shoulders. In addition, for forward-facing position, the harness straps should be at or above the baby’s shoulders. For both modes of installation, the chest clip should be positioned at the armpit level

Harness tight

Firmly buckle the harness and the chest clip, and tighten until snug. The harness is snug enough when you can’t pinch any fabric on the straps of your child’s shoulders).

Seat tight

During installation of your convertible car seat, make sure it’s tight enough that you cannot move it side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch. And while it might be difficult to install the sit tightly and have it click well. Refer to the car seat’s manual and ensure it’s fixed properly.

Recline right and tether tight

Remember to check the recline angle. Especially for rear-facing installation to maintain your kid’s head balance and open the airway. Most best car seats 2019 come equipped with a level indicator that enables parents to know whether the safest convertible car seat is reclined in the best and most comfortable angle for the little one. Also, remember to connect the top tether on your best car seat to the tether anchor on your vehicle and tighten, for seats installed in a forward-facing position. This limits forward movement in the event of a crash.

Safest Convertible Car Seat 2019: 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 seat 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 best safety rated car seats allow you to switch between rear-facing and forward-facing positions seamlessly. Which 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 convertible 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 child travel blissful and fun. In this all in one car seat reviews I picked the 10 best on the market 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 travelling with your little ones.

I hope the information helps you to make an informed decision.

Ciao,

/Kim

PS: If you enjoyed my safest convertible car seat reviews and my best convertible car seat 2019 pick, I recommend you look around my site to learn about other useful baby products. For example our Best Baby Walker and Best Pack N Play articles.

Who is Kim?

This image shows Kim who wrote this safest convertible car seat reviewHi I am Kim, and this blog is about my life raising my little birdy Olivia. I know. Now you’re probably thinking I am just one of those hundreds of mommy bloggers who writes about her very special life and her very special kids. Well, you’re probably right. There are a lot of mommy bloggers who do what I do. However, my blog is not about my daily routine, or about the food we’re eating, clothes we’re wearing, the toys we like etc.

The purpose of my blog is to share my very special story. An honest tale of being a mother and everything that comes with it. And if my blog will inspire or encourage at least one person, I will be very happy to know my sleepless nights with the laptop weren’t for nothing.