Every mom wants the best for their baby, whether it’s buying the best diapers, finding the comfiest bed, or simply making sure they are given enough love day in and day out. And while there are lots to be bought for your precious bundle of joy, one item that should never be overlooked is the right car seat.

What is a convertible car seat?

A convertible car seat is simply a larger, somewhat bulkier car seat that can transition from rear-facing to front-facing when the child is the right age and size (it is recommended AND the law in several states that children rear face until they are 2 years of age). Convertible car seats are able to hold children from birth up to 40-80 pounds and 40-47 inches tall depending on the seat (check the height/weight limits before purchasing your seat).

Some convertible car seats known as ‘3-in-1s’ or ‘all-in-ones’ actually convert to booster seats as well. Although pricier, these models will able to last with your child until they are around 120 pounds.

When should I buy a convertible car seat?

Some moms will start off with a convertible car seat right from the beginning; however, infant car seats are recommended for children under 1 years old as they are more secure and comforting for the newborn baby. Also, some convertible car seats are not designed to rear-face, so this cannot be used for newborns.

Infant car seats are also made with a handy locking system that allows the car seat to be removed from the base, which means transporting your precious baby from car to stroller or inside is a cinch.

When your child has outgrown their infant car seat, it is time to buy a convertible car seat. Your child should not be older than 1 years old.

What should I look for when purchasing a convertible car seat?

There are several things moms should look for before making their final purchase. These include the following:

Safety: As always, safety is a major concern with every mom no matter what they are purchasing, whether it’s food, a toy, and especially a car seat. While ALL car seats are designed with a 5-point harness to protect your child, other seats are made with special energy-absorbing foam (side impact protection) as well as other unique features to protect your child further. Look for car seats that have these added safety features.

Size: Please make sure the car seat will fit in your car before purchasing. Even if you have the safest, comfiest convertible car seat on the market, installing it into a car where it does not fit will completely detract from the safety and actually make it a danger for your child.

Ease of Use: Let’s face it: we all know how some car seats can be a complete pain to install, and trying to make the straps longer to suit your child’s growing body is an even bigger dilemma. If you want to completely avoid these struggles and find something you can work with quickly and easily (without skimping on safety and protection), you can visit the NHTSA website for a full list of car seats and their ease of use. The more stars the car seat is given, the simpler it is to use. This makes it easy to find an easy-to-use and safe convertible car seat!

Comfort and Style: This probably is not your MAIN concern when buying a new car seat, but it definitely is something to consider. A car seat with plenty of padding will ensure your child stays cozy and their head stays put in a comfortable position, even when they fall asleep. As far as style goes, I’m sure we can all admit that the right colors and patterns really seal the deal.

Machine Washable Cover: This is a BIG one! Babies and toddlers are naturally messy, and even if you don’t give your child food or drink in the car, there’s still plenty of room for poopy explosions or a stomach illness that couldn’t make it to the toilet. For these reasons, it’s really important to find a car seat with a detachable cover that can be washed in your washing machine. (And you would be surprised how many car seats do NOT have this option).

 

Finding the best convertible car seat for your child will come down to you and your personal needs. Make sure you do your own personal research on potential car seats before making a final decision!

Here is our list of the best convertible car seats for 2017.

Model Image Our Rating Child Weight Min – Rear Facing Child Weight Max- Rear Facing Child Weight Max- Forward Facing Full Specs
Britax Advocate ClickTight
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-65 lbs See Specs
Britax Boulevard ClickTight
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-65 lbs See Specs
Britax Boulevard G4.1
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-65 lbs See Specs
Britax Marathon ClickTight
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-65 lbs See Specs
Britax Marathon G4.1
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-65 lbs See Specs
Britax Roundabout G4.1
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-55 lbs See Specs
Chicco NextFit
5 lbs
40 lbs
22-65 lbs See Specs
Chicco NextFit CX
5 lbs
40 lbs
22-65 lbs See Specs
Chicco Nextfit Zip
5 lbs
40 lbs
22-65 lbs See Specs
Clek Fllo 2017
5 lbs with infant-thingy
50 lbs
22-65 lbs See Specs
Diono Radian R120
5 lbs
45 lbs
20-80 lbs See Specs
Diono Radian RXT
5 lbs
45 lbs
20-80 lbs See Specs
Diono Rainier
5 lbs
50 lbs
20-90 lbs See Specs
Evenflo SafeMax Platinum
5 lbs
40 lbs
22-65 lbs See Specs
Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
4 lbs
40 lbs
22-65 lbs See Specs
Maxi-Cosi Pria 70
4 lbs
40 lbs
22-70 lbs See Specs
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85
4 lbs with insert, 14 lbs with no insert
40 lbs
22-85 lbs See Specs
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
5 lbs
45 lbs
22-70 lbs See Specs
RECARO Performance Racer
5 lbs
35 lbs
22-70 lbs See Specs
RECARO ProRIDE
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-70 lbs See Specs
RECARO Roadster XL
5 lbs
40 lbs
20-65 lbs See Specs