The Best Cheap Convertible Car Seats | Safe & Affordable

If you’re after a safe, comfortable and practical convertible car seat that won’t break the bank, then look no further than the car seats included on our Best Cheap Convertible Car Seat list below!

Short on time? We’ve created a list below of the cheapest convertible car seats for your convenience (best to worst). Keep reading a detailed review for each model.

Cheapest Convertible Car Seats Ratings (Unbiased)
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    While cheap convertible car seats may not have the extra features or accessories included in a luxury model, they will get the job done, sometimes at half the price.

    However, purchasing a cheap convertible car seat does not mean sacrificing quality, safety or comfort. We have chosen the following models not only because they run at a low price but because they meet or exceed US Federal Safety Standards and have received high customer ratings.

    This article looks at safety, convenience, security, practicality, and comfort as well as value for money. We not only provide you with the pros and cons of each car seat but also our final verdict, which is based on consumer ratings.

    When browsing our reviews, here are the top things to consider before purchasing a convertible car seat, regardless if it is a basic or luxury model:

    1. Expiration dates – Ideally you want an expiration date of 10+ years, which allows the car seat to grow with your child. 
    2. Ease of use – A convertible car seat should always be easy to install and convert between its seating modes.
    3. Weight and height limits – Choose a convertible car seat that has higher rear-facing weight limits as this allows for extended rear-facing (ERF), which is recommended by various child car seat safety experts.
    4. Car compatibility – Compare your back seat dimensions to ensure that the car seat works for your vehicle.
    5. Lifestyle – If you’re a family on the go that is constantly transferring car seats between vehicles and taking them on airplanes, look for a convertible car seat that is lightweight.

    List Of The Cheapest Convertible Car Seats Reviewed With Ratings

    Evenflo Tribute LX (Best Seller)

    4.9/5
    4.9/5

    The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat combines safety, comfort, ease of use and quality, making it a car seat that screams out value for money. This is no surprise as American families have always loved Evenflo, a company that is often leading in safety and innovation.

    This convertible car seat includes a rear-facing mode, which is suitable for children weighing between 5 and 40 pounds and measuring between 19 and 37 inches in height. 

    A forward-facing mode is also included, which accommodates children within a 22 to 40-pound weight range and between 28 and 40 inches tall. There is no booster seat included.

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    Why We Love It

    • Meets or exceeds all applicable US Federal Safety Standards thanks to its impressive safety features as well as Evenflo’s Side Impact Test Standard for Structural Integrity.
    • The Evenflo Tribute LX is designed, engineered, tested, molded and assembled in the United States.
    • Includes energy-absorbing foam, which not only protects your child in the event of a collision but also adds comfort. 
    • Designed to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for your child as they grow with its 5-point harness system with up-front adjustment and 4 shoulder strap positions. 
    • The Evenflo Tribute LX is lightweight (12 pounds) and has a slim design, which is ideal for small or compact vehicles and 3-across car seat configurations as well as for use on airplanes and for families who are constantly transferring their car seats between vehicles.
    • Designed for no-fuss cleaning with easy to remove machine-washable seat pads as well as a removable cup holder that can be attached to either side of the seat.
    • Parents love the Evenflo Tribute LX for its value for money and affordability that is bound to fit any family budget.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Smaller weight range compared to other convertible car seats.
    • Unfortunately, with no booster mode, you will need to invest in a booster seat once your child exceeds either the weight or height limit.
    • Parents have expressed difficulty with ensuring a tight and secure fit with installation via either the LATCH system or the vehicle seat belt, be sure to read the user manual. 
    • Some parents found that the harness straps often became stuck or twisted and were difficult to adjust. There are removable neck and shoulder pads, which are not included but can be bought separately for a small price. Parents recommended purchasing these as they solved these strap adjustment issues.
    • While the seat pad is machine-washable for easy cleaning, the plastic and metal parts of the car seat can only be wiped clean with mild soap and water.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat is a winner when it comes to ease of use, safety and no-fuss cleaning all at a very affordable price! However, the car seat is lacking when it comes to a booster mode and parents have found it difficult to both ensure a secure install and to adjust the harness.

    Graco My Ride 65

    4.8/5
    4.8/5

    The Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat is a fantastic car seat that offers the whole package at an affordable price. Parents often say that they cannot recommend this car seat enough, particularly when it comes to safety, easy and quick installation, comfort, no-fuss cleaning, quality, and of course, value for money!

    This convertible car seat transitions from a rear-facing car seat (4-40 pounds with head at least 1 inch below the handle) to a forward-facing car seat (20-65 pounds and height up to 49 inches). 

    It is available in 3 different colors and designs, including ‘Sylvia’, ‘Go Green’ and ‘Sully’.

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    Why We Love It

    • Keeps your child in the rear-facing mode up to 40 pounds, with extended rear-facing (ERF) recommended by various child car seat safety experts, including The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as the safest way to ride.
    • The Graco My Ride has been rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed US Federal Safety Standards, including standard FMVSS 213 and has also been side-impact tested, specifically for occupant retention by the 5-point harness system.
    • Features EPS energy-absorbing foam for impact energy management in the event of a collision.
    • Relatively lightweight, which means it is still portable and transferable to some degree for families on the go but also its weight also ensures stability and security by keeping it in place.
    • 2 integrated cup holders.
    • Designed to keep your child comfortable with removable infant insert and toddler headrest.
    • Easily adjustable with a 5-point front-adjust harness to help you get your child in and out with ease.
    • Designed for easy cleaning with a machine-washable seat cushion in cold water with mild detergent. Note that it is not dryer friendly and must be hung out to dry.
    • Simple and quick installation with the LATCH system and an easy-to-read level indicator to ensure a secure fit.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Parents found that in some vehicles it was more difficult to secure the seat to get a tight enough fit.
    • As seems to be the case with a lot of other car seats, parents experienced difficulties in getting the harness straps tight enough for their child to be secure.
    • While relatively lightweight, the Graco My Ride 65 is quite bulky and wide due to the integrated dual cup holders. If you have a small or compact vehicle you may find that this car seat is not the best choice for you, likewise, if you intend on having this convertible car seat installed alongside 2 other car seats you may find it a bit tight.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Overall, parents love this convertible car seat and for good reasons. The Graco My Ride 65 is safe, comfortable, affordable, user-friendly and easy to install, factors that are high priorities for families. Keep in mind that this may not be the best option if you have a small or compact vehicle or if you are planning on a 3-across car seat configuration.

    Cosco Apt 50

    4.7/5
    4.7/5

    The Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat is a great car seat that offers safety, security, ease of use, and no-fuss cleaning at a fraction of the cost of your standard convertible car seat. Cosco has also been a leading brand for over 70 years, recognized for its commitment to safety and quality when it comes to their products, including child car seats.

    This car seat has 2 seating modes, converting from a rear-facing car seat (5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing car seat (22-50 pounds). It is available in 3 different colors, including ‘Black Arrows’, ‘Very Berry’ and ‘Vibrant Blue’.

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    Why We Love It

    • Easy and quick installation either via the LATCH system or the vehicle’s seat belt.
    • The 5-point harness easily adjusts from the front of the car seat, featuring 6 adjustable heights and 3 different buckle locations, allowing the car seat to adjust to your child as they grow.
    • Meets or exceeds both the US Federal and American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Safety Standards.
    • Exceptionally easy to clean thanks to the removable seat pad that is machine-washable and dryer friendly.
    • 2 integrated cup holders.
    • Features built-in side-impact protection to keep your little one safe and secure.
    • 1-year limited warranty.
    • FAA certified for use on an aircraft.
    • Easy to uninstall thanks to the tension release button on the LATCH straps.
    • One of the most affordable convertible car seats on the market.
    • At 11 pounds, this convertible car seat is lightweight and perfect for families on the go. Whether it’s transferring between vehicles, hopping in taxis or taking it through the airport and on an airplane, this car seat is perfect for all of these.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Parents found the Cosco Apt 50 difficult to secure and tighten enough. If you have issues with installation, we recommend reaching out to the Cosco team as they have Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who are happy to help either via text or phone.
    • Some parents found that it was not adequately padded enough, which may cause your child to be uncomfortable, particularly on long road trips.
    • Parents had some difficulty with both tightening the harness and undoing the buckle.
    • Due to the low height limit, if you’re a parent of a taller baby or toddler, you may find that they outgrow the height limit long before reaching the weight limit, thus requiring you to look for and purchase another car seat.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    As one of the most affordable convertible car seats on the market today, the Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat definitely deserves a spot on this list. Parents love it for it’s adjustable and easy to clean features as well as the safety and security it provides. 

    However, no car seat is perfect and parents dislike this one for its low height limit, difficulties in tightening and securing and inadequate padding. These factors can be deal-breakers for some parents so definitely keep them in mind.

    Evenflo SureRide DLX

    4.6/5
    4.6/5

    The Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat is another fantastic car seat that offers the whole package when it comes to safety, security, durability, ease of use, quality, comfort, and affordability. It is designed to keep your child in a harnessed car seat for longer with 6 harness height positions, 2 crotch buckle positions and a weight limit of 65 pounds.

    This is a 2-in-1 convertible car seat that easily transitions between two modes, including a rear-facing car seat (5-40 pounds) and a forward-facing car seat (22-65 pounds). It is available in 2 different stylish designs/colors, ‘Harper’ and ‘Carson’.

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    Why We Love It

    • Designed for easy cleaning with a removable seat pad that is machine-washable and dryer friendly.
    • Impressive safety testing, ratings, and features, here are some highlights:
        • Features e3 Expanded Zone of Protection with 3 layers of energy-absorbing foam protecting your child in the event of a collision by reducing side-impact crash forces up to 50%.
        • Tested at 2x the Federal Crash Test Standard.
        • Meets or exceeds all applicable US Federal Safety Standards and Evenflo’s side-impact standards.
    • Made with specialized fabrics that are designed to keep kids comfy and cleaning easy. 
    • Designed to be adjustable to ensure your growing child has the support they need with up-front harness adjust that ensures an accurate and snug fit with 6 positions.
    • Lightweight (9.8 pounds), meaning it is easy to transport and transfer between vehicles.
    • Fold-Down cup holder that folds out of the way when no longer needed.
    • A 6-year expiration date and a 90-day warranty.
    • Parents love the extended lower anchor limits for installation via the LATCH system. Most other convertible car seats on the market have a 45-pound lower anchor limit, however, the Evenflo SureRide has a 55-pound limit.
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    Keep In Mind

    • The user manual does not thoroughly explain or show how to transition from a rear-facing to a forward-facing seat. We recommend watching the installation videos found on Evenflo’s website or calling Evenflo direct for assistance.
    • Given how padded this convertible car seat is for your child’s comfort, it is bound to be bulky and large. For some parents this isn’t an issue, however, for parents with small or compact vehicles it will either be too large for the vehicle all together or you may not be able to fit 2 other car seats alongside it. We highly recommend comparing measurements prior to purchasing.
    • Some parents noted that harness adjustment was a hassle simply due to its design as you can loosen one strap while the other remains tight. This means its a bit tricky to keep the straps at the same length for buckling.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat is definitely a winning car seat that is loved for a number of reasons, including how it is a big and comfy seat with a large weight range but is also lightweight, easy-to-clean features and materials and its ability to be installed quickly with ease.

    Safety 1st Guide 65

    4.5/5
    4.5/5

    The Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat stands out from other convertible car seats on the market not only because of its sleek and stylish design but also its size as it is ideal for use in smaller vehicles and alongside other car seats, something that most convertible car seats can’t offer.

    This convertible car seat includes a rear-facing car seat that is suitable for children weighing between 5-40 pounds and 19-40 inches in height as well as a forward-facing car seat is ideal for children within a 22 to 65-pound weight range. 

    And between 34-52 inches tall. It is also available in 6 different designs/styles to suit your child.

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    Why We Love It

    • The Safety 1st Guide 65 has a slim design, allowing it to fit comfortably in smaller vehicles and is ideal for 3-across car seat configurations.
    • It is equipped with easy-to-use adjustable features to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for your growing child, including 5 harness heights, 3 buckle locations, and a multi-position adjustable headrest.
    • Includes a number of safety features, such as a 5-point harness with up-front adjustment and side-impact protection. It also meets or exceeds all relevant US Federal Safety Standards, giving you peace of mind.
    • Removable cup holder.
    • Designed to keep your child in a harnessed car seat for longer, up to 65 pounds!
    • Features removable body pillows, which not only ensure smaller children are more comfortable but also safer. 
    • At 14 pounds, the Safety 1st Guide 65 is a good weight as it is heavy enough to ensure it is kept in place and secure while driving but also light enough for it to be easily transferred between vehicles.
    • Exceptional value for money – luxury features and quality for a fraction of the price!
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    Keep In Mind

    • Some parents noted that even with the removable body pillow inserts, they found that this car seat was not suitable for newborns or small babies and recommended this as a car seat for older babies, toddlers, and young children instead.
    • Parents initially had some difficulty with installing properly, but once they consulted a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician or watched installation videos, they were able to get a secure and tight install.
    • Parents did not like the lack of recline options for the Safety 1st Guide 65, which meant that their child’s head was not supported while sleeping.
    • Some parents noted that this car seat was difficult to maintain and keep clean.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Like many parents, we are extremely impressed with the Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat as a budget car seat that offers luxury design and features. However, keep in mind that parents found that this wasn’t a suitable car seat for newborns and small babies due to lacking a snug fit and recline options, so if you have a newborn or small baby it may be best to consider a different convertible car seat or an infant seat.

    Evenflo Sonus

    4.4/5
    4.4/5

    The Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat is a relatively new car seat on the market and has been received well by child car seat safety experts and parents. If you’re after a lightweight option that is also ideal for 3-across car seat configurations and has breathable, temperature-regulated material then this is the car seat for you. The Evenflo Sonus is also an extremely affordable option that will not break your budget!

    This convertible car seat includes a rear-facing car seat that is suitable for children weighing between 5-40 pounds and 19-40 inches in height.

    As a forward-facing car seat, it is ideal for children within a 22 to 50-pound weight range and between 28-50 inches tall. It is available in 6 different colors and designs, including ‘Amethyst’, ‘Deerfield’, and ‘Boomerang Blue’.

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    Why We Love It

    • It stands out amongst its competition as one of the most affordable convertible car seats on the market.
    • Meets or exceeds all applicable US Federal Safety Standards and passes Evenflo’s comprehensive side-impact and rollover test standards.
    • Families who live in warmer areas love this car seat for its industry-leading airflow ventilation system that ensures a temperature-regulated and comfortable ride for your child.
    • Wider seat base that is ergonomically designed to fit a wider range of children.
    • Relatively lightweight, meaning that it is heavy enough to provide stability and security but light enough so it’s easily transferable between vehicles and portable for travel.
    • Its compact and slim design makes it ideal for 3-across car seat configurations.
    • FAA approved for use on an aircraft.
    • 90-day warranty.
    • Includes a number of adjustable features, including an easy access harness with up-front adjustment and 5 shoulder strap positions to ensure a secure and comfortable fit.
    • Designed for easy cleaning with removable machine-washable pads.
    • 2 removable cup holders.
    • Features a head pillow for added support and comfort.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Some parents experienced difficulty with installation, particularly in tightening the tether strap enough to ensure a secure fit. If you encounter any issues with installation, we strongly recommend watching the installation videos found on Evenflo’s website or calling Evenflo direct for assistance.
    • When reclined in the rear-facing mode, this may reduce the available legroom for tall front-seat passengers.
    • Some parents found that the maximum recline position was not enough for newborns and smaller children where they were left in a vertical position, which did not support their head while sleeping.
    • Parents would have preferred if the shoulder straps had cushions or padding as they rubbed against their child’s neck, causing discomfort.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    When weighing up the pros and cons of the Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. We love its compact and lightweight design as well as its airflow ventilation system for comfort. However, it is important to keep in mind the difficulties with installation some parents had as well as the lack of recline positions and lack of shoulder strap cushions or padding.

    Disney Baby Apt 40RF

    4.3/5
    4.3/5

    The Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat is one of the most popular convertible car seats on the market as it offers luxury model quality for a fraction of the cost! While its low price definitely grabs attention, it also ticks the boxes when it comes to safety, style, quality, and versatility, hence why it is an all-round family favorite.

    It is a built-to-last car seat, meaning it grows with your child as it transitions from a rear-facing car seat (5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing car seat (22-40 pounds). 

    And of course, you can’t talk about the Disney Baby Apt without mentioning its stylish and eye-pleasing aesthetics, which is one of the main reasons kids absolutely love this convertible car seat.

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    Why We Love It

    • A 2-in-1 convertible car seat that converts from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat.
    • Made with high-quality materials, meaning that you can use it again and again for younger children as it holds up well to wear and tear.
    • 2 built-in cup holders.
    • Designed to provide your child with a secure and comfortable fit as they grow thanks to its adjustable features, such as the 3-position buckle and the front-adjustable 5-point harness. 
    • Lightweight (11 pounds) – meaning it is easy to transfer between vehicles and can be easily transported for families on the go.
    • Has been precision-designed with side impact protection so you know that your child is always safe. 
    • Designed for easy and quick installation, which is as simple as clipping the Disney Baby Apt 40RF into your LATCH-equipped vehicle.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Parents did not like that there is no booster mode with the Disney Baby Apt 40RF. Unfortunately, you will need to purchase a booster seat once your child exceeds either the weight or height limit.
    • Smaller weight range compared to other convertible car seats.
    • There is a lack of cushioning and padding when you compare the Disney Baby Apt 40RF to other convertible car seats on the market and some parents reported their children were uncomfortable.
    • Parents noted that the seat fabric fades after a while, particularly if you park your vehicle in the sun for long periods of time so keep a note of this.
    • While Disney market the Baby Apt 40RF convertible car seat as having an easy-adjust harness, some parents had difficulties in adjusting and tightening the harness straps.
    • There are no recline positions, meaning that some parents found their child’s head was not supported while sleeping.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat is a great choice if you want a high-quality car seat at a low cost that is also highly rated by consumers for its safety, quality, and durability. However, there may be some deal breakers for families, including no booster mode and no recline positions as well as a lack of cushioning, so make sure that this convertible car seat matches your needs prior to purchasing.

    FAQs: Here Are Some Questions Parents Have Cheap Convertible Car Seats

    1. What is a convertible car seat?

      With so many different kinds of car seats on the market, it’s easy to become confused! A convertible car seat can be used from the moment your child is born up until they no longer require a car seat. This is because convertible car seats are designed to transition between several different seating modes to accommodate your growing child depending on their weight and height.

      Convertible car seats are marketed in a variety of different ways, with some being marketed as 2-in-1, 3-in-1, 4-in-1 or all-in-one models. All convertible car seats will start out as an infant car seat that is rear-facing and then once your child has reached the weight limit, the seat will convert into a forward-facing harnessed seat. The 3-in-1, 4-in-1 and all-in-one models will tend to also convert into a type of booster, including a belt-positioning or harnessed high back booster and/or a backless booster.

      The main downside to a convertible car seat is that they are not portable and cannot be used as an infant carrier.

    2. When should I switch to a convertible car seat?

      If you’re using an infant car seat, your child will be ready for the switch to a convertible car seat once they have reached the weight or height limit of their infant car seat. By making the switch to a convertible car seat you can allow for extended rear-facing (ERF) use, which is recommended by various child car seat safety experts. Alternatively, if your child is ready, they can ride in the forward-facing harnessed seat.

      Keep in mind that some of the convertible car seats available on the market (normally 4-in-1 and all-in-one) are specifically designed for your child to ride in them from birth up until they can ride unassisted in your vehicle. So if you’re purchasing one of these convertible car seats from you will ultimately save money in the long-term with only one car seat required as there is no need to switch to a booster seat. This is welcome news for families with a tight budget!

    3. How and when should I dispose of a car seat?

      We’re glad you asked as knowing the answer to this question is crucial for your child’s safety.

      Once it meets the expiration date (normally 7-10 years for most car seats), it’s time to dispose of your convertible car seat. When it comes to disposing you’ve got a few options other than just chucking it in the bin or placing it on the curb. Some stores like Target often host trade-in days where you can bring your expired car seat to hand over so they can dispose of it properly and they will normally give you a discount for your next car seat purchase. Some car seat brands themselves also offer similar trade-in schemes and recycling programs.

      Your convertible car seat should always be disposed of once its been involved in a collision unless it’s only a minor collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Admission (NHTSA) defines a minor crash as a crash that meets ALL of the following criteria:

      1. You can still drive your vehicle from the crash site.
      2. The door closest to the child safety car seat was undamaged.
      3. None of the vehicle occupants were injured.
      4. Airbags did not deploy.
      5. There is no visible damage to the child safety car seat.
      6. If something on the car seat breaks, contact the seller and request a refund or an exchange.

    4. What is the safest convertible car seat?

      All car seats, regardless of their type (infant, convertible or booster), must meet or exceed Federal US and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Safety Standards in order to be sold on the market.

      Remember that car seat manufacturers’ first priority is your child’s safety, which means that most convertible car seats actually exceed federal safety standards due to their integrated safety features and technology that is designed to protect your little one in the event of a collision. This means that any convertible car seat you buy will be safe for your child, which gives you peace of mind.

      However, it is important to keep in mind that a car seat is only safe if it is used and installed correctly, so be sure to refer to your user manual.

      Another way to ensure your child’s car seat is safe is to keep updated with manufacturer recalls. While some recalls may only be due to updates in federal regulations rather than actual threats to your child’s safety, it’s always best to be on top of this and be safe rather than sorry. We recommend registering your car seat with the NHTSA who can update you on any recalls concerning your car seat model.

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    Brenda Williams

    Brenda Williams

    Hi, I'm the founder of Car Safety Hub, Brenda Williams. I'm a happily married mother and have 2 of the sweetest children you could imagine.

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