The Best Lightweight Convertible Car Seats? (All You Need to Know)

One of the most frequent questions nowadays for on-the-go families is what to do with car seats.

Parents' central enigma is how to keep their little ones safe if they're old for a rear-facing seat, and yet they're not ready for the booster seat.

I can solve your puzzle by advising you to choose the best lightweight convertible car seats! They are lightweight, work well with all children and all budget types!

Want to learn more? Read below

Our Lightweight Convertible Car Seats - Overview

$Graco Sequence 65 ~ 15 pounds - Easy to install thanks to the LATCH system, includes removable car seat cover and an adjustable harness to fit the growth of the child. Customer service is not the best. Suitable for: baby, toddler (from 4-65 pounds).

$Cosco Apt 50 ~ 11 pounds - Dual cup holders and narrow design for traveling, FAA approved and user-friendly. Neglectable designer flaws. Suitable for: baby, toddler (from 5-50 pounds).

$$ — Safety 1st Guide 65 ~ 14 pounds - Great choice for smaller cars, includes anti-rebound bars that protect your little one in crashes and offers them extra legroom difficult to clean. Suitable for: baby, toddler (from 5-65 pounds).

$ — Evenflo Sonus ~ 13 pounds - One of the best quality materials with thermoregulatory properties, suitable for seasonal traveling. Challenging installation. Suitable for: baby, toddler (From 5-50 pounds).

$ — Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 ~ 14.25 pounds - Suitable for carpooling as its narrow frame fits three across installations, FAA approved and includes cupholders. Not the best support system for infants. Suitable for: baby, toddler (From 5-65 pounds).

$ — Cosco Finale Dx 2-In-1 Combination Booster ~ 11.7 pounds - The most affordable convertible car seat has a narrow frame and a removable car seat cover for easy maintenance. Difficult to install. Suitable for: toddler, a preschooler (40-100 pounds).

$ — Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 ~ 14.2 pounds - The car seat accommodates three installation modes and fits three across for traveling and carpooling. Safe rides are guaranteed with deep wings with side impact protection. Challenging installation. Suitable for: infants, toddlers (from 5-65 pounds).

$ — Disney Baby Apt 50 ~ 11 pounds - Best design for Disney fans! This car seat includes a removable insert and cupholders and up to 6 adjustable heights in harness to fit growing children. However, it has shorter harness straps. Suitable for: baby, toddler (from 5-50 pounds).

$ — Century Drive On 3-in-1 ~ 18 pounds - Slim fit design that offers up to 10 years of use. This multi-stage car seat accommodates rear-facing, forward-facing, and highback boosters for big kids. The straps are somewhat short. Suitable for: baby, toddler, preschoolers (from 5-100 pounds).

$ — Evenflo SureRide DLX ~ 9.8 pounds - A 2-in-1 convertible car seat that has up to six adjustable harness points to fit as your child grows. This is the lightest car seat model on the list, so traveling-difficult should install. Suitable for: baby, toddler (from 0-6 years).

$ — Tribute 5 2-in-1 ~ 9.3 pounds - This car seat is FAA approved and super-lightweight, so it’s suitable for air travel. It has a plastic frame and side-impact protection that keeps kiddos safe in traffic. However, it lacks energy-absorbing foam and is not the best pick for everyday use. Suitable for: baby, toddler (up to 4 years).

Remarkable Lightweight Convertible Car Seats: My Top 12 Favorites

Graco Sequence 65 Convertible Car Seat - Best Overall

Do you have the struggle to find the best lightweight convertible car seat? You don't have to worry anymore!

You will adore this Graco lightweight convertible car seat since it helps protect your children between 4 and 40 pounds in a rear-facing mode and forward-facing toddlers between 22 pounds and 65 pounds.

The seat follows the children's growth and development; it has six different reclining positions, keeping your kids comfortable.

Its harness system - entirely safe and adjustable quickly matches your babies' body postures in the headrest and harness part. Thus, you can try ten various height positions of the car seat and provide your kiddos a more convenient ride.

The easy installation is now possible thanks to the LATCH attachments and locking clips. You can read the level indicator on the seat and eliminate the installation puzzles, which is another big plus.

To keep the convertible car seat clean, you can wash the removable seat cover in the machine without removing the harness, and you can clean the two cup holders with soap and water.

When babies use the cup holders, the driver can focus more on the road without the disturbance.

Of course, the content consists of the protection plus engineered particles that passed the FMVSS test, New Car Assessment Program tests, and US standard tests for rollover, frontal, side, and rear car crashes.

Thus, the seat provides the best protection!

Pros
  • Thick
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Quick installation
  • Excellent safety features
Cons
  • Poor customer service

Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat - Travel-friendly

Has Cosco failed you? Me, never! And this time, you're going to love them!

The Cosco lightweight convertible car seat has the ultimate side-impact protection that keeps your babies intangible and safe in all types of car crashes - frontal side, rear, rollover, and all others.

Thus, your kids won't get hurt since the walls will protect their heads and upper body parts.

It has two modes of using: rear-facing lightweight car seat for infants from 5 pounds to 40 pounds; forward-facing lightweight car seat for kiddos from 22 to 65 pounds of maximum weight limit.

Concerning stability, this lightweight convertible car seat contains the 5-point harness system that keeps the kiddo stable and secure; however, it allows them to move freely and doesn't restrain them too tightly.

Moreover, there are dual cup holders, which serve as the ideal storage for snacks and drinks when you set off on a journey. You could focus better on the road and have a comfortable ride.

Speaking of cup holders, you can clean them with water and soap and wash the seat pad in your washing machine. Hence, the lightweight car seat will always be ready for the next round.

The most significant advantage is the FAA approval, and the best convenience during the flight as the car seat has the six height positions of the harness and three buckle locations.

Pros
  • Easy to install and clean
  • Load leg
  • Excellent support
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
Cons
  • Minor design flaws

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat - The Most Stable Seat

And now, I'm sure the next lightweight car seat will wow you!

The Safety 1st guide 65 car seat is your perfect choice for small motor vehicles since it protects your kids in two options: as a rear-facing car seat, it secures the infants of 5 to 40 pounds of the weight limit, and as a forward-facing car seat, it fits the kiddos from 22 pounds up to 65 pounds.

Another advantage is the growing space - Safety 1st guide 65 follows the ever-increasing children and provides the necessary load leg for their coziness and safety.

Speaking of coziness, you can find the removable cup holder attached to the base, and your baby can store the food or beverage there.

Your little ones will have the maximum stability due to the 5-point harness system so that they won't slip away. More vitally, the three buckle locations will make the installation effortless, in a few seconds.

The next benefit is the anti-rebound bolsters. Namely, the children can freely move, but the convertible car seat won't "jump" around and cause injuries to your baby.

The side-impact protection and removable pillows add more comfort and security during the ride, keeping your little ones maximally safe.

Thus, Safety 1st guide 65 convertible car seat provides the best security features and convenience for all travel types.

You will have to wash the seat pad manually since the content may harm while in the machine.

Pros
  • Excellent security features
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to install
  • Load leg
Cons
  • Cleaning issues

Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat - The Highest Quality Material

The following lightweight convertible car seat will take your breath away, and I will tell you why!

I have to mention its versatility.

The convertible car seat serves as a rear-facing infant car seat for babies of 4 pounds to 40 pounds and a forward-facing car seat for toddlers between 22 pounds and 50 pounds of maximum weight limit.

Regarding security, the convertible car seat passed all federal safety standards and tests; however, it gave the Evenflo extra rollover tests for more protection.

Since the content contains the air ventilation system, the convertible car seat is convenient for all travel and year seasons.

As the seat reduces the sweating, your kid will always be relaxed, and the temperature regulation will provide a more comfortable travel experience.

Because it has the FAA approval, you can use this convertible car seat as your travel body even across the ocean, which is fantastic!

Further, the side-impact protection will keep your little ones safe in all types of car collisions, and nothing will go wrong with them.

Additionally, the head pillow support will provide a more relaxing atmosphere and a more convenient journey.

The removable pads make the cleaning straightforward in the washing machine and save your time and energy; you can clean the cup holders and prepare the lightweight car seat for the next use.

Finally, the 5-point harness system contains the up-front adjustment for better installation and fits your growing children.

Pros
  • Easy to clean
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Security features
Cons
  • Installation problems

Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat - The Most Comfortable Seat

Another Cosco lightweight car seat has impressive benefits, and I'm going to show them to you!

If you want to pass the airport security checks, this is the perfect lightweight car seat for you!

It's convenient since you can use it as a rear-facing car seat for your babies between 5 pounds and 40 pounds and as a forward-facing seat for kiddos up to 65 pounds.

The 5-point harness system has three buckle options and locations, five different height options, and the LATCH attachments for more stability and convenience.

The child won't slip away or drop during the ride; however, they can move freely and enjoy every moment of the trip!

As the lightweight car seat has side-impact protection, it offers the best security for your little one. You can also find more space when using it as a rear-facing infant car seat. So, it's perfect for growing families.

Concerning the cleaning, the seat cover is machine-washable and saves your energy. It's also dryer-safe and won't damage on that occasion.

If you want your little children to have the most comfortable and cozy ride and the soft skin-touch, this is a fantastic opportunity since the lightweight car seat has premium seat fabrics and plush padding.

And, regarding the safety standards, the car seat meets all JPMA and ASTM regulations and includes a one year warranty period. Great car seat, do you agree?

Pros
  • Easy to install/clean
  • Load leg
  • Durable
  • Excellent safety features
Cons
  • Doesn’t fit three across

Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Best Seat For "3 Across Installation"

With this lightweight car seat, you're going to have a remarkably comfortable feeling that will last for an extended period!

The 2-in-1 convertible car seat fits infants from 4 pounds to 40 pounds when you use it in the rear-facing mode and toddlers from 22 pounds to 65 pounds when you use it in a forward-facing manner.

Regarding the protection, I must tell you that the side-impact protection will provide the best safety possible since the lightweight car seat passed various tests referring to the side, rear, rollover, frontal, and many other crashes.

Besides, the walls will prevent possible head injuries and keep the upper body parts safe.

This is an impressive lightweight car seat for mothers of three, as it fits three across in almost all motor vehicles and their back seats.

On both sides of the car seat, you can find the two removable cup holders, perfectly well designed for your children's favorite snacks and beverages. If they get dirty, you can quickly clean them with water and soap.

For better stability, and injury prevention, you can thank the 5-point harness system that allows your little ones to move freely, and it doesn't restrain them too tightly; however, they won't slip away.

The easy-up front adjustment provides the effortless and quick installation and buckling with the motor vehicle's locking clips.

Additionally, this lightweight car seat is FAA approved and compact for airports and controls.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Legroom
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not suitable for infant car seat mode

Cosco Finale Dx 2-In-1 Combination Booster Car Seat - Best Affordable Model

Up next, we have the Cosco Finale DX. This 2-in-1 convertible car seat is by far the most affordable one on our list!

I had reviewed one more Cosco car seat, so I thought there was no way I could find a cheaper car seat.

Surprise, surprise, I was proved wrong!

The Cosco Finale convertible car seat features two modes of installation-a forward-facing one that supports kids between 30-65 and a highback booster for kids between 40-100 pounds!

For this kind of lightweight design and price, you will be getting a couple of years of use which is fantastic if you plan on using this car seat solely for traveling!

That being said, the Cosco Finale is super slim at only 18 inches! Of course, it’s no Graco SlimFit, but this one is a great alternative, considering how heavy that car seat is.

You can easily install three across and manage to carpool easily. This car seat would not get the hype if it weren’t for the washable seat cover.

As a mom of messy kiddo, I take every chance I get when I find an item that is easy to clean and maintain in the long run!

This one comes with a soft and removable cover that is both dryer and machine safe!

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Slim
  • Great weight range
  • Fits three across
  • Great for families on the go
  • Reversible cup holder
Cons
  • Difficult to install
  • Lacks padding

Baby Trend Trooper 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - 3 Modes of Use

You're going to worship the penultimate car seat since it has so many benefits! Your kids will enjoy every moment they use it. Let's see!

Regarding this flawless seat, let me tell you that it has three modes of using: rear-facing infant car seat for kiddos from 4 to 18 pounds; rear-facing toddler car seat for little ones between 18 pounds and 40 pounds; and forward-facing toddler seat for youngsters of minimum 25 pounds to maximum 65.

The same design provides a quick setup since the rear-facing reclining flip foot fits all installation angles, and the level indicator helps you find the correct angle for your little ones.

In addition to that, parents of three should not skip this car seat as it fits all motor vehicles and three across. The children will have enough space, and they won't feel any pressure during the ride.

When we talk about car crashes and accidents, you need to know that absolutely nothing terrible will happen to your little ones since the side-impact protection and the "side-wings" will keep their heads and shoulders.

When you want to adjust the car seat to your motor vehicle's back seat, you can use the 3-position buckle attachment and the 5-position shoulder height adjustment.

Thus, your kiddo will take the right body posture, and the car seat won't slip away.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Excellent safety features
  • Quick and easy use
  • Legroom
Cons
  • Adjustment issues
  • Tricky installation

Disney Baby Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat - Best Kid-friendly Design

To be honest now, how cute is the Disney Baby Apt car seat?

This is one of my favorite fashionable designs I have ever seen in car seats, and trust me, I had my share of experience.

The only thing that comes even close to the kid-friendly design is the Kids Embrace that offers loads of Marvel, DC, and Disney characters. However, considering we are picking from the lightweight category, this is a true winner.

For starters, the car seat accommodates both rear-facing and forward-facing installation. The best thing about the seat is that it allows toddlers to ride in the rear-facing mode for longer by supporting kids between 5-40 pounds.

It also includes an infant insert, offering proper support for the smaller babies.

The Disney baby car seat is not only here to serve good looks but also good protection. The car seat includes side-impact protection that absorbs all the crash force during a collision.

In addition, it includes a OneClick Latch that makes the car seat easy to install in every vehicle.

With the 5-point harness, your kid will be properly restrained. However, although the harness includes up-front adjustment, many parents complain about the adjustability.

The straps are too short on some children, so it’s impossible to get a proper fit. I would advise you to take measurements before ordering, especially if you want to use both installation modes.

Pros
  • Includes a removable insert
  • Includes cup holders
  • Extended rear-face riding
Cons
  • Not so easy to install
  • Shorter harness straps

Century Drive On 3-in-1 Car Seat - Best All-in-one Design

The Century Drive car seat is the perfect model if you are trying to stick to the budget and want a seat that grows with your child!

With this one, you will not have to buy another car seat for at least ten years! Sounds amazing.

Let’s see how it performs.

You should know that this is a 3-in-1 car seat that supports rear-facing, forward-facing, and a highback booster. It is suitable for kids between 5-100 pounds, so you can use it for many years until it’s time for a backless booster!

Now, although it says it has a slim-fit design, I have to admit I have seen better. The dimensions for this one are 24.1 x 20 x 19.1 inches, so it promises three across installations.

However, there are many slimmer models, such as Cosco Finale Dx 2-In-1 Combination Booster Car Seat and Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat.

Nonetheless, it’s still a great car seat. You want something lightweight and compact; you can take on your travels as well as everyday rides.

Plus, it offers a super-comfy fit for the little ones. It has a six-position recline you can easily adjust both in rear-facing mode and forward-facing.

Bottom line, this is a great car seat if you want an all-in-one design you don’t have to break the bank for.

Pros
  • Three modes of use
  • Easy to install
  • Slim
  • Follows the growth of the kid
  • Six position recline
Cons
  • The straps are a bit short

Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat - Master of Lightweightness

When picking out a backup car seat you would occasionally use for traveling, you need to make sure you get something lightweight but don’t sacrifice safety.

The Evenflo SureRide is a true example of how a lightweight convertible car seat can be just as safe, stable, and easy to use as a regular everyday car seat.

It converts from rear-facing to forward-facing mode and supports children between 5-65 pounds up to 54 inches tall. With that in mind, you can use the car seat for at least six years due to the expiration date.

The narrow frame measures 19 inches, so it’s possible to fit three across in some vehicles. This is excellent, especially if you are traveling with more than one child!

Adjustments are key in convertible car seats, especially those with bigger weight limits. This one includes the adjustable harness with up to 6 different positions, fitting correctly to the growing child.

The only thing I did not like was the installation.

Even though the process uses a LATCH, it was still challenging to understand the instruction manual. It’s incredibly confusing, even for someone who has installed a car seat a million times by now!

The LATCH storage area is not clearly labeled, so it’s not exactly user-friendly. Nonetheless, this is one of the lightest car seats weighing less than 10 pounds!

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • FAA approved
  • Adjustable harness points
Cons
  • Challenging to install

Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat - Best FAA Approved Car Seat

We have another pick from Evenflo! It’s lightweight, compact, and easy on the budget!

What more can you want from a travel-friendly car seat? Ah, but the Tribute 5 has a few tricks up its sleeve.

For starters, the Tribute 5 convertible car seat is FAA approved, so it’s amazing for parents who are adventure enthusiasts!

If you do like to travel a lot, I recommend you get this car seat as a backup option you would use solely for traveling but invest in a heavy-duty option for everyday use.

By that, I don’t mean anything bad about this car seat; it’s just that it has a plastic frame that adds to the lightweight aspect. For everyday rides, please get a car seat with a steel-reinforced frame.

It has side impact protection, but it lacks the energy-absorbing layer we all love in car seats. This is another reason you should only occasionally use the car seat.

Nonetheless, it does have a 10-year expiration date, so it will last you for many holidays that come!

Furthermore, it includes an integrated body cushion that adds to the comfort of the baby and safety as well.

It keeps the younger children snug, but the pillow is easy to remove once your little one grows older.

Pros
  • FAA approved
  • Lightweight
  • Side impact protection
  • Easy to adjust the harness
  • Removable cup holder
  • Easy to clean
Cons
  • Only good for occasional use

How to Choose the Right Lightweight Convertible Car Seats for You?

It can be tiresome to find the best travel convertible car seat for your family.

After all, we all have different needs! And when you add the travel part, the situation may become even more challenging.

So how can you purchase the best seat? I'll guide you.

1. Is It Important for the Seat to Be Lightweight?

The imperative feature of the best travel car seats must have is lightweight.

Since you will have to take it out of the car, move it around the airport, pass the control, on and off the airplane, again through the airport, and also into another car - things might go wrong if the convertible car seats are bulky. All that can change when you get the best lightweight car seats.

Ideally, these car seats should weigh between 8 and 15 pounds (plus-minus a pound or two), but when you add the baby's weight, they shouldn't cause problems to you.

The only time when you don't have to consider the matter is if you'll use them in the cars.

However, it's better to select the all-in-one since you never know where you will travel.

2. Choose the Right Size!

best lightweight convertible car seat for travel

The right size is also vital since you need to find convertible car seats that provide enough space for the children's backs and heads.

For the rear-facing modes, the head must be one inch above the shell, and for the forward-facing ways, the heads must be inside the body.

Since there is no ideal size, you'll need to choose according to your needs.

The shells play a critical role, as in the cars, the taller surfaces will accommodate taller kids; and shorter shots are lighter and better fit rental car seats or airplane seats.

3. Proper Installation is the Key

The installation is undoubtedly critical since you'll have to install these convertible car seats in and out of unfamiliar cars.

The last thing you want is crying, huffing, swearing, puffing with your cranky and crying kiddo after a long flight (this was me two years ago in NYC). Believe me - you don't want that

Traveling by the best convertible car seat - in an infant car seat mode - it might require reclined installation. Some car seats might contain the curved base or a flip-down foot; however, others may require a pool noodle.

Almost all American car seats have the LATCH attachments and connectors for quicker installation or classic seat belt system.

Some LATCH locking clips need more maneuvering while others are simpler; however, they will work in the end!

4. Don't Overlook the Comfort

best lightweight convertible car seat 2020

Another imperative factor is comfort.

As I was in LA with my cranky little one in 2016 (the flight was too long and the travel almost ruined), I learned that I should have considered this as the first benefit!!!

Some car seats don't have any padding over the plastic shells. It's not such a great problem if you use the car seats for one time use. But, if you're using them on a regular basis, these car seats MUST be comfortable.

That's how you'll avoid complaining every five minutes (again, my experience).

If you're planning an oversea trip, or you want to travel by plane in general, you need to obtain FAA approved car seats. Thus, you can take them on the flight and install them correctly.

These convertible car seats have the label saying that you can use them in motor vehicles and aircraft. As I have listed all the best car seats, you can find which car seats are FAA approved so that you could use them.

When you ask yourself whether you should obtain the travel lightweight convertible car seats, you should also respond positively. Why?

Because you never know where you will travel.

Even if you don't travel too often, you may set off on a journey overseas. As nearly all USA seats have the FAA approval, some are cumbersome; therefore, you should pick a lightweight car seat to pass the airport control and the plane.

But if you don't like planes, you don't have to select these ones. However, I highly recommend these since you may transport the car seat from one car to another, and it's going to be an issue when the seat is bulky.

Concerning your budget, I think that you should concentrate more on the quality than the price. However, I made the offer diverse, for everyone's pocket, so that you could pick the best seat.

FAQs

What is the lightest convertible car seat?

The lightest convertible car seat is Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat.

Weighing only 11 pounds, it's a perfect choice for aircraft and all other journeys since the weight provides the portability convenience and various options regarding your travel.


How much do convertible car seats weigh?

The weight of the convertible car seats does vary from model to model.

You can find convertible car seats that weigh from 15 to even 35 pounds! It all depends on their construction, built, design, and how many modes of installation they include.

All-in-one convertible car seats will be significantly heavier than those with only two installation modes.


Why do you need a lightweight convertible car seat?

best lightweight compact convertible car seat

You need a lightweight convertible car seat if you plan a family vacay!

Of course, it’s best to invest in an everyday car seat and maybe even splurge a little bit. However, when traveling with kids, keep it budget and weight-friendly by picking up a lightweight convertible car seat.

It’s less likely you will have trouble using it in air travel, not only because of its weight but the size as well.

In addition, lightweight convertible car seats are often narrow and short, so they do not take too much aisle space.

Plus, convertible car seats that are lightweight are so much easier for portability wherever you go!


Can I travel by a convertible car seat?

Yes, you can travel by convertible car seat. These seats are manufactured for air travel, but not all of them, so you need to check for the label beforehand.

The label is usually located on the bottom shell of the car seat. However, you can only use a convertible car seat with the harness, not the seat belt.

Final Thoughts

And here we are!

As you could see, lightweight is an imperative factor, especially if you like to travel a lot. It doesn't matter whether parents want to travel by plane or by car; a lightweight seat offers various possibilities.

Hence, the best lightweight convertible car seat is Graco Sequence 65 Convertible Car Seat!

As the seat offers the best protection, your children will always have maximum safety and stability. The installation is easy, thanks to the LATCH system, and the kids can take the right body positions!

What else do you need?

Graco Sequence 65 Convertible Car Seat, Malibu*
  • One of the best convertible car seats helps protect rear-facing infants from 4-40 lb., and forward-facing toddlers from 22-65 lb.; 6-position recline helps keep your growing child comfy
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest in one motion; one-hand, 10-position adjustable headrest easily adapts for your growing child
  • LATCH equipped for hassle-free installation; easy-to-read level indicator helps eliminate installation guesswork
  • Washable seat cover is easy to access without removing the harness ; integrated, dual cup holders help keep your child's drinks close
  • Safe Seat Engineering- Engineered & crash tested to meet US standard FMVSS 213

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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