7 Best Convertible Car Seat to Keep Your Child Safe Throughout the Journey
If you’re anything like me, there is nothing you wouldn’t do to assure that your child is safe and secure. This is especially true when they are in the car. I know I would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to them because I didn’t have the proper car seat for them installed. That’s why I made sure that I had the best convertible car seat in my vehicle.
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List of Best Convertible Car Seats
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*For more information about NCS (Net Customer Satisfaction) grade, click here. (Price range: $ = $1 - $75 / $$ = $76 - $150 / $$$ = $151 - $250 / $$$$ = $251 - $350 / $$$$$ = $351 - $500 / $$$$$$ = Above $500)
But, you ask, how did I know that I was buying the top of the line convertible car seat? What features did I look for?
Well, I am thrilled that you asked! I have put together a list of all of the most important features that you need to keep in mind when buying a convertible car seat, as well as an in-depth review of the top three on the market today.
Sounds good? Thought so! Let’s get started!
Why Choose Convertible Car Seats?
Plain and simple, it comes down to value and safety. A convertible car seat is a great value only because you can use it for so long. Most seats come with an infant insert, making it possible to start using it right after your little bundle is born.
From there, it will allow you to use the same seat in different configurations for as long as your child needs a car seat.
These different configurations allow you to keep you little one as safe as possible, which is the most important goal. Since the seat can change to fit your kid’s physical safety requirements with a minor adjustment, convertible car seats are extremely safe.
Rear Facing is Best
I am so happy that more and more people are beginning to understand how important it is to keep your child in a rear facing position for as long as possible. Notice there; I didn’t say until one or two years of age? The newest research has shown that children are more likely to suffer injury or even die if they are turned around too soon.
Plain and straightforward, their small bodies are not yet strong enough to endure the forces that they will encounter in a crash in a forward facing position. This is why I, and many others, highly recommend, and beg, that you keep your baby rear facing for as long as you are able.
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Key Features to Look for in the Best Convertible Car Seat
Now that we got that little PSA out of the way let’s get down to the business of what important features you need to be aware of when you are looking to buy the best convertible car seat.
There are two basic methods to install any car seat. You can utilize the LATCH system, (which will only work with newer cars), or you can use a seatbelt. You should never install a car seat with both installation systems, as they will work against each other.
Before you install with either system, read your vehicle’s owner manual to be sure that you can install them correctly. The LATCH system is much easier to use than a seatbelt, but will not work in every vehicle.
You also need to think about how big the seat is and if it will fit in your vehicle. If for instance, you have a smaller car, you would need to be sure that you have the best convertible car seat for a compact car, which would allow you to install the seat in a smaller amount of space safely.
Rear Facing Limits
As I said before, you want to keep your little one rear facing as long as you possibly can. That’s why you need to be aware of your seat’s weight and height limits. Cheaper seats will usually have lower limits, which means you’ll have to turn the car seat around sooner than you would hope.
Ideally, it would be best if you could find a seat that allows your little one to be rear facing until they are at three and a half or four years old.
Ease of Use
Are the straps easy to adjust? Can you clean the seat quickly if your baby makes a mess? Or perhaps you need to transfer between cars or even take the car seat on an airplane for vacation. You need to take all of these things into consideration before you purchase the seat.
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider is whether or not the car seat is safe for your child. You should be sure that it includes side impact protection and a five-point harness to assure that your baby will be exceptionally safe. Luckily, all of the car seats that I have reviewed have been safety tested and proven to keep kids safe.
The Top 3 Convertible Car Seat Reviews
Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
If you are looking for a quick and easy to install car seat that will allow you to use it for as long as your child needs it, then look no further. The 4ever lets you keep your little one in the rear facing position until weight 40 pounds, forward facing till 65 lbs, and then can be used as a booster seat all the way up to 120 lbs.
This car seat is also really easy to install, as it has level indicators on the sides and uses the LATCH system to perfection, although this installation method has a weight limit. It also includes an easy to adjust and use five point harness and has been side impact tested.
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Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
This is the car seat that I currently have installed for my son. It has a much higher weight limit for its rear facing orientation than other models, allowing you to have your child in that position all the way up to 50 pounds! This allows you to keep your baby and toddler much safer than other models, which is a huge plus!
Along with the added safety of extended rear facing time, this seat also can be installed very quickly, is side impact tested, and features an easy to use five point harness.
The only real issue you might have with this seat is the fact that it is a bit oversized, making it difficult to fit into smaller cars.
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Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat
Of all the car seats I looked into, this one has, by far, the smallest profile (18.5" W x 26" H x 21" D) and weight only 19.5 lbs. It could easily be installed in any type of vehicle, either with the seatbelt or anchor system.
I also really liked the harness adjustment system, as it made it a cinch to get the straps to the correct height for my little guy to be safe and secure.
It was also the most comfortable feeling of all the seats I looked into. My son usually complains a little bit about the way the straps feel once he is strapped in, but he didn’t have any issue with the Marathon.
The Marathon converts from rear-facing position (for babies 5-40 lbs.) to a forward-facing position (for children 20-65 lbs.) to keep your child safe.
Rating / Grade
We go through hundreds of products listing at Amazon and also study the ratings left by previous buyers to find the best convertible car seat for you. Besides that, we also calculate the overall net customer satisfaction (NCS) grade because we want to see how happy is the previous buyers with their purchase of the product.
From our finding, we can say that Graco and Britax are the best convertible car seat brands. These brands are popular and received many excellent ratings for their products.
Also, the Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat and Britax Marathon G4.1 Convertible Car Seat score favorably for the ratings as well as the NCS grade compare to the rest. We believe that you would find these convertible car seats a good buy too.
The Best Convertible Car Seat
After looking into many different convertible car seats, I have the pleasure to announce that the very best one on the market today is the Graco 4ever All-in-One Convertible Car Seat! It is easy to install, simple to adjust, and best of all, really comfortable and safe.
This seat can be easily adjusted to meet your child’s changing safety needs until they are old enough and big enough to use the regular seatbelt. It is an awesome value, and I highly recommend checking it out!
The Best Compact Convertible Car Seat
The only reason that I could see anyone not wanting the Graco I mentioned above is if they have a smaller car. It is a bit oversized, and might not be the best compact convertible car seat out there.
I would, however, highly recommend the Britax Marathon in this instance. It has a much smaller profile and can be reclined or sat up to better fit inside of a smaller vehicle, while also being extremely comfortable and safe for your child.