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Best Convertible Car Seats- Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Convertible Car Seats- Reviews and Buying Guide

How to Choose the Best Convertible Car Seats (+which are safest)

Choosing the best car seat for your baby or toddler is a big decision. This is even more true when shopping for a convertible car seat, as you’ll want your new infant car seat to last for many years to come.

Factors to consider when choosing a convertible car seat include safety, price, size, weight, comfort and ease of installation. Which of these is most important to you will depend on your own circumstances such as your budget, the size of your car and how often you’ll be taking the seat out.

All of the car seats featured in this review of the best convertible car seats are suitable for newborn babies, infants and toddlers in a rear-facing position, as well as older children in a forward-facing position.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see the disclosure at the bottom of the page.

Reader Top Pick
Chicco NextFit Zip Max Convertible Car Seat - Q Collection
  • 25% more legroom in rear-facing mode; extended calf support in forward-facing mode
  • Breathable 3d air mesh backrest, soft zip-off seat pad, and comfort flex waist belt for comfort and convenience
  • Remarkably easy installation with a 9-position recline sure leveling system, super cinch latch tightened and lock sure seat belt locking system
  • Superior duo guard protection with a deep rigid shell and eps energy-absorbing foam, plus a steel-reinforced frame
  • Includes 2 dishwasher-safe, space-saving cup folders
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Our Top Picks

Safest convertible car seat: Chicco NextFit Zip Max 

Best budget convertible car seat: Evenflo Tribute LX

Best convertible car seat for small cars: Graco SlimFit 3 in 1

Most comfortable convertible car seat: Britax Marathon ClickTight

Easiest convertible car seat to install: Britax Boulevard ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar

Best lightweight convertible car seat: Cosco Scenera Next

Reader Top Pick
Chicco NextFit Zip Max Convertible Car Seat - Q Collection
  • 25% more legroom in rear-facing mode; extended calf support in forward-facing mode
  • Breathable 3d air mesh backrest, soft zip-off seat pad, and comfort flex waist belt for comfort and convenience
  • Remarkably easy installation with a 9-position recline sure leveling system, super cinch latch tightened and lock sure seat belt locking system
  • Superior duo guard protection with a deep rigid shell and eps energy-absorbing foam, plus a steel-reinforced frame
  • Includes 2 dishwasher-safe, space-saving cup folders
Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat, Saturn
$79.99
  • Side Impact Tested, Meets or Exceeds All Applicable Federal Safety Standards and Evenflo's Side Impact Test Standard
  • Designed and Tested for Structural Integrity at Energy Levels Approximately 2x the Federal Crash Test Standard. Rear Facing Fit Tip is Top of Child Head is at Least 1 Inch Below the Top of the Child Restraint Seat Back
  • Multiple Shoulder Harness Positions for Better Fit and Longer Use. Age at Least Two Years of Age
  • Upfront Harness Adjustment and Buckle Release Allows Easy and Convenient Adjusting
  • Integrated Body Cushion Gives Added Comfort to Baby and an Easily Removable Head Pillow for Older Children
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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 08/20/2022 05:41 am GMT
Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat with Cup Holder (Moon Mist Grey)
  • With 2 modes of use, this LATCH equipped Cosco car seat accommodates infants from 5 pounds up to toddlers weighing 40 pounds in rear facing mode and kids up to 50 pounds in forward facing mode
  • The 5 point harness adjusts easily from the front of the seat and features 6 heights and 3 buckle locations
  • In both the rear facing and forward facing modes, built in side impact protection keeps your little 1 extra secure
  • Easily remove the machine washable and dryer safe car seat pad to clean
  • Perfect for travel, the seat is certified for use on aircraft and gives your child a familiar seat during a flight
  • This car seat meets or exceeds federal and ASTM safety standards and includes a 1 year limited warranty
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Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat | Infant to Toddler Car Seat, Saves Space in your Back Seat, Darcie
$219.99
  • All in One seat grows with Your child from 5 100 pound, rear to forward facing and becomes a belt positioning booster; save space in Your back seat with Unique rotating cup Holders; metal and plastic parts may be cleaned with mild soap and Cool Water; Buckle may be cleaned with a damp cloth
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of Your harness and headrest; integrated harness storage compartment Holds unused harness straps while seat is a belt positioning booster
  • Engineered & crash tested to meet or exceed US Standard FMVSS 213; the Slim Fit car seat has been side impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built in 5 Point harness system; features EPS foam
  • In Right Latch system for an Easy, one second Latch attachment; 4 position recline helps keep Your growing child comfy, in rear and forward facing modes


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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 08/20/2022 05:41 am GMT
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 1 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Verve
$339.99
  • Easy installation: patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: 14 position harness, 2 position buckle for a comfortable Fit as your child grows
  • Relax and recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle
  • Surrounded in safety: a layer of side impact protection, steel frame and impact absorbing base
  • Fits: rear facing 5 to 40 pounds and forward facing 20 to 65 pounds; dimensions: 23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches
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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 08/19/2022 11:41 pm GMT
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 2 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Circa
$369.99
  • Easy installation: patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: quick adjust 14 position harness with click and safe snug indicator gives a click sound when the harness is tight
  • Adjust accurately: harness indicator gives an audible click when you’ve pulled to the proper tightness
  • Surrounded in safety: 2 layers of side impact protection, steel frame and impact absorbing base
  • Fits: rear facing 5 to 40 pounds and forward facing 20 to 65 pounds; dimensions: 23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches
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We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. 08/19/2022 09:41 pm GMT


What is a convertible car seat?

A convertible car seat is one which converts from a rear-facing to a forward-facing position.

Young babies must face backwards in a car, but for older children it’s generally more practical for them to face forwards. The main advantage of a convertible car seat is that it adjusts to suit your child as they grow.

What are the rules on forward and rear facing?

The laws on car seats depend on where you live and where you’re driving. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your home-state regulations as well as those of the states that you plan to visit.

Although the state laws are good to use as a guide, many parents choose to go beyond those requirements when choosing a car seat. Many states only require that infants stay in a rear-facing car seat until they’re 12 months old and weigh 20 pounds. However, crash test research and real-world data tells us that toddlers are five times safer if they stay rear facing until at least two years old.

This video helps to explain why rear-facing is the safest option:


Why choose a convertible car seat instead of a regular one?

A rear-facing only infant car seat will usually only last until your baby is 12 to 15 months old.

Convertible car seats last much longer than this and depending on the seat you choose they could last up to twelve years. 

Choosing a car seat that will grow with your child will not only save you money, but it will also benefit the environment as old car seats are notoriously hard to recycle.

How do I choose a convertible car seat?

When choosing a car seat for your child, you’ll want to look for features that match your lifestyle. Think about the size of your car, how often the car seat will be used, whether you’ll be putting it in and out of the car a lot and what your budget is.

It’s a good idea to choose the best convertible car seat that you can afford. After all, as long as you don’t have an accident you’ll be using it for many years to come. And if you do have an accident, even a very minor one, you may be able to claim for the cost of a new car seat on your car insurance.


Safety

Which brand of car seat is the safest?

All child restraints sold in the USA are required to comply with the dynamic testing requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 213). These regulations mean that if you buy a car seat, you know that it’s safe. 

In addition to this, Consumer Reports has implemented even more rigorous crash tests and released their data on car seat safety to subscribers. This data has shown that there isn’t one particular brand of car seat which is safer than the others. The safest convertible car seats on the market in 2020 belong to various brands including Chicco, Graco and