If you have a baby and you have a car, you need a car seat — that much is a given. What kind, style and model, however, there is a world full of options of that can be overwhelming at times as you try to figure out which ones work at which stages and when it’s time to get a new one. One breed of car seat that makes things a bit easier is the convertible car seat.
Typically used after the infant car seat (though it can be used as an infant car seat, but it is not removable from the base) these... seats are typically meant to last through several stages, from rear-facing to forward facing and beyond. This is generally the car seat you will use for the longest amount of time, so finding one that is easy to clean, comfortable and has lots of positions to suit your little one are important. Here are eight of the best convertible car seats on the market.
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A tried and true favorite, this seat is built to last. You can start using it as a rear-facing infant car seat for kids from 4–40 pounds, then transition it to a to forward-facing 5-point harness seat (for kids 22–65 pounds). When it’s time to move to a booster, you can use it as a high back belt-positioning booster for kids 30–100 pounds and eventually as a backless belt-positioning booster for kids 40–120 pounds. In all, this car seat provides up to 10 years of use.
It comes with Graco’s... InRight LATCH system that promises a one-second attachment, so it’s easy to install and move between cars. It also has a special harness system (no need for rethreading), a six-position recline and a 10-position headrest, providing a comfortable and safe fit as your child grows. Bonus: two cup holders keep snacks and drinks handy. This car seat is the only one you may ever need, and parents rave about it.
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If you have a small car or are trying to get three car seats across one seat, then every inch counts. This one is just 17" wide, but it has all of the safety and comfort features of bigger seats.
It’s designed for extended rear-facing use for kids from 14-50 pounds, which is higher than the rear-facing limit for most models on the market. You can use it for smaller infants too, but it requires the use of a separate insert, or you’ll have to use a separate infant seat until they grow into this... one.
Once you’re ready for them to turn around, it can be used as a forward-facing car seat for kids from 22-65 pounds. Features like a steel anti-rebound bar and Clek's patented Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology keep baby safe while the GREENGUARD Select Certified Crypton Super Fabrics keep the seat safe from stains and odor.
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If you’re on a budget, this car seat comes in well below $100. While that’s relatively cheap when it comes to car seats that doesn’t mean it’s skimpy on safety. It’s side-impact tested, meets all federal safety standards and is designed and tested at levels that are about two times the federal crash test standard.
It can be used as a rear-facing car seat for kids from 5-30 pounds, then as a forward-facing car seat for kids from 22-40 pounds. Compact and lightweight (just over nine pounds), it’s... convenient for travel. It’s also a great seat to buy for grandparents’ cars, carpools or other times you need an extra car seat without shelling out hundreds of dollars.
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Car seats can be challenging to install correctly, no matter how times you’ve done it, but this one features Britax’s ClickTight Installation System that changes the game. It’s as easy as 1-2-3: You simply open the front of the car seat, buckle the seat belt across it, then click the seat shut. That’s it. Safe, easy, done.
It can be used both as a rear-facing car seat for children 5-40 pounds and as a forward-facing car seat for kids 20-65 pounds. It has a 12-position harness that can be changed... with just the push of a button to ensure the proper fit and a relaxing ride as your child grows.
Its safety system includes a steel frame, an energy-absorbing base and side-impact protection among other features to keep your little ones as safe as possible.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Traveling with kids can be difficult enough without worrying about your car seat. This one from Cosco is easy to travel with as it’s lightweight, weighing just 7.6 pounds, and is airplane-seat friendly with a width of just over 17". It’s been certified for safe air travel, but it’s also great for cars when you want to fit three car seats across.
It can be used as a rear-facing seat for kids from 5-40 pounds and as a forward-facing seat for kids from 22-40 pounds. It features five harness... heights and three buckle locations to provide the best fit as the grow.
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If your child is tending toward the tall side, you want a convertible car seat that will be able to keep up with them. This one from Evenflo does just that. It has one of the highest height limits on the market (up to 54" in the front-facing position), but it’s also quite affordable compared to other brands that offer this kind of room.
There are six shoulder positions, a removable body pillow and cup holder for comfort and convenience. It’s rigorously tested for safety (it has two times the... federal standard for side-impact protection) and has energy-absorbing padding to absorb the impact in case of an accident. It’s a solid choice for kids of any height.
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If you’ve outgrown the need for an infant seat, this one is designed for toddlers and older kids. It starts as a harness booster for kids 22-65 pounds, then as a high-back booster for kids 30-100 pounds, and finally as a backless booster for kids 40-100 pounds.
It features Graco’s special harness system that lets you adjust both the headrest and the harness to eight different positions with no need to rethread the straps. Kids love the dual (removable) cup holders, and it’s relatively lightweight... (17.8 pounds) making it easy to transfer between cars for playdates, carpools and more.
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Getting kids into a car seat can be a struggle sometimes, so a little help from the beloved mouse can only help. This adorable Disney-themed convertible car seat is as functional as it is fun.
It works for kids from 4 pounds all the way up to 40 pounds as a rear-facing car seat and for those from 22-40 pounds in the forward-facing position. It features five harness heights and three buckle locations that can be adjusted as they grow. Two cup holders keep snacks and drinks nearby. It’s pretty much... the happiest car seat on earth.
Beyond the cute factor, however, it’s built for safety first and comes with side impact protection. It’s lightweight too (just 8.5) pounds so it’s a good one for transferring and travel as well, especially for that trip to Disney.
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