Are you tirelessly searching for the best convertible car seats for your kids?
If you are, you've come to the right place. We've been there ourselves and hence decided to make it easy for the new parents, sharing the acquired knowledge and experience on our journey!
The truth is that today's market is overflown with products. They vary in brand, size, but quality as well.
For every parent, buying the safest products is the number one priority, yet finding the one that complies with the Federal Safety Standards is by no means an easy task. Car seats are a vital segment of the baby equipment because if properly selected and installed, they can prevent injuries and fatalities in the case of an accident.
That is why we have prepared a comprehensive list of the best convertible car seats on the market you can buy, selected through the process of careful comparison and analysis.
Check out the models we found, and buy without worries!
Table of Contents
- Best Convertible Car Seats On The Market: My Top 8 Choices
- #1. Graco Extend2Fit 3 In 1 Car Seat - Top Pick Convertible Car Seat
- #2. Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat - The Best Convertible Car Seat For All Stages
- #3. Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car - Budget-Friendly Best Car Seat Convertible
- #4. Safety 1st Grow and Go - The Best Compact Convertible Car Seat
- #5. Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One - The Most Affordable High-Quality All Stages Convertible Car Seat
- #6. Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible - Excellent Two-Stage Convertible Car Seat
- #7. Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible - Reinforced Technology
- #8. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Car - Extended Use in Forward Facing Mode
- How to Select the Best Convertible Car Seat?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Before we get all technical and dive deep into the details, you should check our short overview table to get familiar with the prices and customer ratings of the 3 most reliable convertible car seats we found.
Best Convertible Car Seats On The Market: My Top 8 Choices
You might be wondering what makes this convertible car seat so unique that it has more than twenty thousand customer ratings with 90% positive reviews on Amazon. Well, first of all, it comes from one of the most reliable and popular car seat brands, known for its durability and high quality - Graco.
I find it essential to mention that this convertible car seat complies with all federal requirements and can be used on aircraft. You will learn to appreciate these privileges the first time you decide to travel with your little one and realize how strict are the car seat laws in other countries.
Buying this car seat is an excellent investment. It features a three-in-one design, incorporating a rear facing car seat (kids from four to fifty pounds), forward facing seat for toddlers (kids from twenty-two to sixty-five pounds), and a high-back booster seat (for kids from thirty to one hundred pounds).
Since kids are the safest in the rear facing position, this convertible seat has a four-position extension panel to provide five inches of additional leg space for your kid in a rear facing position.
Moreover, it reclines in six positions, while the headrest can be adjusted between ten different positions. What is more, the adjustment takes no more than seconds thanks to the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, specially designed to enable harness and headrest adjustment in one motion.
Graco Extend2Fit 3 In 1 Car Seat passed rigorous crash testing and temperature resistance to ensure your child is always perfectly safe in this convertible seat, no matter the circumstances.
Bear in mind that all Graco seats are designed to be practical and dependable so that you can focus on your child instead of on the installment.
Another car seat from Graco found its way to our list! What can we do? They're honestly the best!
Yet, one superpower makes this seat genuinely unique on the car seat market-It follows all the stages in a kid's growth. As crazy as it sounds, this seat is all you'll need until your child is old enough to use a safety belt.
This 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 car seat features a four-in-one design transforming from a rear facing harness infant seat (for kids from five to forty pounds) to forward facing harness seat (for kids from 22 to 65 pounds), high back belt booster seat (from 40 pounds to 100 pounds) and a backless booster (from 40 pounds to 120 pounds).
Importantly, this car seat is also federally approved and safe for use on the aircraft. Like other Graco convertible car seats, it is Protect Plus certified, which means that it protects the child in case of frontal, side, or rollover crashes.
This seat's exclusive feature is the InRight Latch attachment that provides a super-easy extension in a second, including an audio click cue to ensure you really attached it.
Additionally, it has an integrated belt lock-off for more convenience in safety belt attachment.
You might be wondering how does this seat follow your child's growth?
Well, it has six reclining positions, ten different headrest positions, and a SimplySafeAdjust harness system to enable effortless adjustment, so your child is always super comfy and protected.
Also, the seat cover can be removed and washed in the washing machine, so that your Graco seat remains clean and safe for use in years. It is honestly functional, more than 6000 satisfied parents on Amazon can confirm!
Next off, we selected one budget-friendly option that could prove quite convenient for savers. The seat in question comes from Cosco, and it can be used for the first two stages in a child's growth: rear facing and forward facing.
This Cosco convertible car seat can be used to accommodate infants from 5 to 40 pounds in rear facing position, and toddlers up to fifty pounds in forward facing position. Whatever mode you will be using the car seat in, the built-in side impact protection provides additional safety to your child.
Moreover, the five-point harness has three buckle positions and can be adjusted among six height positions. It comfortably adjusts on the front side of the seat.
Additionally, the seat includes two cup holders, so you can conveniently pack the water bottle or your kid's favorite beverage to be accessible. Also, the seat cover can be removed and washed for consistent cleanliness.
The most important thing to mention is that the Cosco convertible seat in question meets and even exceeds the federal and ASTM safety standards, thus being perfectly safe for traffic use. However, it is also aircraft certified so you can use it on the airplane, likewise.
Even though highly economical, this seat is very durable and reliable, given that Cosco keeps the customers satisfied for more than seventy years.
Finally, I would personally recommend this seat for families that already have a booster seat or need a more cost-efficient seat to get through the first two stages in a child's growth.
However, I believe that 3-in-1 seats are better investments in the long run as you won't need to buy additional harnesses or seats once your child overgrows the forward facing position.
Now we proceed to another three-in-one convertible car seat, Amazon's choice, coming from Safety 1st with more than eleven thousand positive customer ratings.
This incredible seat is available in two designs, original and Disney baby, giving you the freedom to choose between a subtle traditional look and fun design your kid will love.
First things first, this convertible car seat is FAA-approved and meets the federal standard, which means you can use it in traffic perfectly safely, and on aircraft when used with the internal harness. You cannot use it on an airplane as a booster seat.
The seat follows three stages in kid's growth, accommodating infants from 5 to 40 pounds in a rear facing position, toddlers from 22 to 65 pounds in a forward facing mode, and kids from 40 to 100 pounds as a belt-positioning booster.
Furthermore, this car seat's Grow and Go system includes a side impact protection keeping your child protected with special baby pillows for additional comfort. Also, the Grow and Go system allows seven inches of extra space to parents in the front when placed in a rear facing mode.
One extra convenient feature is the harness holders, making it super-easy to fit your kid in the seat every time. Also, QuickFit Harness allows the adjustments of the seat and headrest in one motion. The seat reclines in three positions.
When it comes to hygiene, you can take off the seat pads easily and wash them in the washing machine to keep your child's driving home clean and germs-free.
Additionally, for extra convenience, the manufacturer integrated two cup holders so that your little one can have his/her favorite beverage on disposal at all times.
Here we have another trusted manufacturer, present on the market for more than 100 years, often chosen by parents who care about their baby equipment quality.
The seat we reviewed is one all-stages model that features quite a reasonable price when compared to Graco all-in-one, but let's see how good it is.
Like the Graco all-in-one seat, this Evenflo convertible car seat follows the child's growth, accommodating children from 4 pounds up to 120 pounds. Also, the seat is specially designed to accommodate a kid in a rear facing mode longer, up to two years and 50 pounds, without having to extend it, which parents sitting in the front will love.
The innovative EasyClick system enables three times tighter installation, wiggle-free, and rock-solid using unique ratchets. Also, a specific in-seat reclining feature that follows your child's physique minimizes the head slump and opens his/her airways.
Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One does not feature a rethread harness, but a unique system that allows easy adjustments of the harness fit.
For additional convenience and prolonged cleanliness, you can take off the seat pads and wash them in the washing machine and, as well as two cup holders that can be washed in a dishwasher.
The seat features only high-quality materials and a scientifically engineered design.
As for the safety, Evenflo tests their seats to exceed the federal standards, providing thus incomparable security in crushes. It is FAA-approved, so you can use it in the airplane with a five-point harness.
Now, this seat is about 40 dollars cheaper than the Graco all-stages model, yet I can't notice any disadvantages when comparing these two. The only additional feature that the Graco model has is the backless booster mode, yet the weight limit is the same.
Britax is another leading car seat manufacturer, yet it sort of lost the customers' trust after its massive recall of the rear facing infant car seat in 2017.
However, recalls are pretty standard, and if one car seat is recalled, it does not mean that other models are faulty. This convertible car seat, for example, meets all the federal standards perfectly and can be used on aircraft.
Namely, the Britax Marathon is the combination of the rear facing infant car seat, built to accommodate children from 5 to 40 pounds, and a forward facing toddler seat for children 20- 65 pounds in weight.
Parents are mostly concerned about the installation. Hence, I guess you'll be excited to know that this convertible car seat features a unique patented ClickTight system that makes the installation a piece of cake.
Furthermore, it does not have a rethread harness. On the contrary, the harness features fourteen positions with two buckle positions so that you can perfectly accommodate your children as they grow.
Plus, the seat reclines in seven positions to ensure the ultimate comfort for your little one.
As for safety, the side impact protection guards your child's torso, neck, and head, while the SafeCell technology absorbs the energy in a crash. Additionally, the steel frame and V-shaped tether limit the movement in an accident keeping the structure stable.
Finally, the seat cover can be removed and washed so that you always keep your child's car surroundings perfectly clean and germless. That's what we care for, right?
The price is entirely in the range of the Graco products, but in the case of car seats, the more expensive, the better.
I believe that every parent has heard of Chicco; their baby equipment is sold worldwide and keeps its supremacy on the market list.
Why? Well, the quality of their products is at the highest level, while innovative technology makes them honestly functional and safe.
The car seat we will talk about is the best convertible car seat from Chicco, Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible. It features two different modes, a rear facing infant car seat for kids from 4 to 40 pounds in weight and a forward facing toddler seat with a weight limit from 22 to 65 pounds.
What makes this model unique on the market is the breathable, high-quality material with a double guard, LockSure belt system, and nine reclining positions.
Namely, NextZip padding is soft and comfortable, enabling the air ventilation to better convenience your little one and heat regulation.
Moreover, a unique SuperCinch Tightener makes the installments super comfortable and genuinely tight for maximum protection during bumpy drives. Additionally, with a unique belt lock system, you simply slide and lock the belt without any hassle.
The safety system consists of a reinforced steel frame, duo guard with a deep ridged shell, and the energy absorbing EPS foam. You will easily fit your child in the system because you can adjust the headrest among nine different reclines.
Plus, it does not have a rethread harness and quickly transforms from a rear facing to the forward facing seat.
A cup holder that is also included can be washed in the dishwasher and proves perfectly safe for use, toxin-free, and functional.
At last, the seats meet the federal standard and can be used on an airplane safely.
At last, the final item on our list of convertible car seats is this low key yet remarkable Maxi-Cosi convertible car seat with two modes. Namely, this model can support children in rear facing and forward facing mode, with extended use.
Your children can drive in a rear facing direction if they weigh from fourteen to forty pounds, while the use in forward facing direction is allowed for kids from twenty-two to eighty-five pounds.
This is quite extraordinary because usually forward facing car seats can support children up to 65 pounds.
What I like about his convertible car seat is the five-point harness system with harness holders that keep the straps off your way and make it easier to place your child in the system. The harness adjusts from the front of the seat with one-hand harness height and adjustable headrest.
What is more, this seat includes the innovative FLETCH system that manages energy multi-directionally while the Air Protect includes safe side impact protection. This guarantees that your child will drive safely every time.
Importantly the seat meets ASTM and JPMA standards and can be used on aircraft. It is also easy to clean with the removable and washable pads.
What I don't like about this seat is the bottom limit for the use, which is eleven pounds, way higher than other infant rear facing car seats with the bottom limit four pounds.
This means that you won't be able to accommodate your newborn right out of the hospital in this seat, which is by no means practical. Also, the seat does not have a booster car seat mode, so once your child exceeds 85 pounds, you'll have to figure it out.
Still, it does have a higher limit for the front facing stage, instead of 65 pounds, it allows twenty pounds heavier children to be accommodated.
Read more about the Maxi Cosi Pria 85 in our detailed review below
What if your car is small and doesn't have enough space for larger-sized car seats? Read the detailed article below to find the convertible seat for small car that suits you best.
How to Select the Best Convertible Car Seat?
Parenting is not at all a holiday. So many worries on our mind make even the basic tasks seem undoable.
Hence, when the car seats enter the agenda, we get stressed and confused about the entire process of selection. This is entirely normal; no one is born ready to be a parent or choose the best car seat on the market.
Luckily, I've been through the hassle, so I have a few tips to share. Some are of my own, some I picked from professionals, but this guide is virtually all you should know.
Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
1. Make Sure Your Car Seat Follows All the Stages of Growth Your Baby Goes Through
The best car seats follow all the stages in your child’s growth. What does this mean?
Well, if you're buying a convertible car seat, make sure it can be used in a rear facing, forward facing, and booster seat mode. In this way, one car seat will be all you'll need for your baby.
2. Check the Weight Limits
The best convertible car seat has an honestly wide weight limit.
This is important because you want to accommodate your baby as soon as it gets out of the hospital to the point when he/she can use a safety belt.
Therefore, your convertible car seat should support your child in a rear facing mode from at least 4 pounds to somewhere around 50 pounds, and in booster mode until 120 pounds.
3. Make Sure Your Car Seat is Federally Approved and Faa-approved
Your car seat will be useless if it does not meet the federal standards. It is also a handy addition if you can use it on aircraft, as the recommendations say it is best to keep a baby in a rear-facing car seat during the flight.
Therefore, the best convertible car seat is FAA-approved and meets the ASTM and JPMA standards.
4. Check the Safety Measures
The reason why you should use the best car seats is the fact that they protect your child in crashes.
So, when you're choosing the best car seats, check if they passed the crash tests if they have impact protection and energy-absorbing foam.
5. Additional Features
Innovative technology always comes handy, mainly when it includes easy installment, harness holders, LATCH system, no-rethreading harness, adjustable backrest and headrest, and many new additions that will make your life easier.
So always opt for advanced options.
6. The Price
I know that many families are on a tight budget, yet you really should not save on baby equipment.
Options below $100 are questionably reliable and usually include only two modes, rear facing and forward facing. Hence, you can always apply for the BuckleUp program, where they can provide you with a reliable car seat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are convertible car seats?
Convertible car seats are essentially car seats that can be used in more than one position. Their system allows you to use the car seat in a rear facing, forward facing, and booster mode with slight adjustments.
Is it smart to get a convertible car seat?
It is DEFINITELY more cost-efficient to get one of the convertible car seats available because they will follow your child's growth, and you can hold them in the child restraint system for as long as possible.
When to use a convertible car seat?
I recommend using a convertible car seat always, except when you need a specific car seat for traveling to another state.
If your car seat does not comply with another country's regulations, it is more functional to buy an affordable car seat for the occasion.
What is the most risk-free convertible car seat in 2021?
According to the BabyGearLab, the best convertible car seat with outstanding crash results is, believe it or not, our top pick - Graco Extend2Fit 3 In 1 Car Seat.
How to install a convertible car seat?
There we go, we brought our convertible car seats saga to an end.
As you can see, the market is honestly versatile with many high-quality models, each unique in its way. When it comes to the convertible car seats, it is always the best to choose a 3-in-1 option as it covers all stages in your child's growth.
We recommend buying this Graco Extend2Fit 3 In 1 Car Seat as it comes from a reliable manufacturer, has more than 20000 positive reviews, and accommodates your child until it weighs 100 pounds, which is excellent!
- 3-in-1 car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness (4-50 lb) to forward-facing harness (22-65 lb) to highback booster (40-100 lb)
- Extend2Fit 4-position adjustable extension panel provides up to 5" additional legroom, allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer
- Up to 50 lb rear-facing, allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer
- Graco ProtectPlus Engineered: a combination of the most rigorous crash tests that helps to protect your little one in frontal, side, rear & rollover crashes
- No-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows the headrest and harness to adjust together in one motion