Best Convertible Car Seats | What Is The Safest Model?

The best convertible car seats are car seats that should work for you and your family, making life with kids that little bit easier while also giving you peace of mind. 

For families on the go, a safe, comfortable and user-friendly car seat is an absolute must-have.

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

Best Convertible Car Seats Ratings (Unbiased)
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    Note: If you would like to see the best value for money convertible car seats, be sure to check out our round-up here.

    With so many different kinds of car seats on the market, including infant, convertible and booster seats it can be hard to determine which car seat is best for you and your child. The question is obvious, why choose a convertible car seat?

    The answer is convenience and value for money.

    This article will look at the best of the best when it comes to convertible car seats and provide you with both the advantages and disadvantages of each car seat.

    When browsing our reviews, here are the top  6 things to consider before purchasing a convertible car seat:

    1. Ease of use – A car seat should be user-friendly when it comes to installation and conversion between seating modes.
    2. Value for money – While a convertible car seat can seem pricey when compared to non-convertible car seats, keep in mind that this saves you from buying two or more car seats as your child grows.
    3. Weight and height limits – Higher rear-facing weight limits allow for extended rear-facing (ERF) well past 2 years of age, which is recommended by various child car seat safety experts.
    4. Expiration dates – An expiration date of 10+ years is ideal, providing you with plenty of usage and allowing you to pass down the convertible car seat through the family. 
    5. Car compatibility – Measure your backseat dimensions to make sure the convertible car seat works for your vehicle.
    6. Lifestyle – Families on the go often require a car seat that is lightweight, making it easily transferable between vehicles and for use in taxis and airplanes.

    List Of The Best Convertible Car Seats Reviewed With Ratings

    Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 (Best Seller)

    4.9/5
    4.9/5

    The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat certainly stands out amongst its competition as one of the highest-rated products within the car seat market.

    The Graco 4Ever is as close as you can get to a perfect car seat, which is why it is a favorite car seat amongst many American families. It’s the type of car seat that ticks all the boxes, including safety, security, durability, versatility, comfort, and value for money.

    It is a built-to-last car seat with 10 years of usage, meaning it grows with your child as it fully transitions from a rear-facing (4-40 pounds) to forward-facing (22-65 pounds) as well as a highback booster (30-100 pounds) to finally, a backless booster (40-120 pounds). 

    With many built-in features and accessories, the Graco 4Ever is certainly convenient and makes life a lot easier, which is why it is a top favorite of ours.

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    Why We Love It

    • One of the highest-rated car seats on the market.
    • 4 different seating modes, including rear-facing, forward-facing, high back belt-positioning booster and backless belt-positioning booster.
    • 10-year expiration date.
    • 6 recline positions, 10-position headrest, Simply Safe Adjust 5-point Harness System and steel-reinforced frame and exterior have made it a favorite for ease of use, comfort, and safety.
    • Includes the exclusive InRight LATCH system with an easy-to-read bubble level indicator and click cue for simple and secure installation.
    • Meets and exceeds the NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213 and is tested using the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) standards, with crash forces that are approximately 2 times the federal standard.
    • Designed for day-to-day convenience with 2 built-in cup holders, a built-in harness storage compartment and a machine-washable seat cushion and cover.
    • The seat is FAA approved for airplane travel.
    • Available in several different colors and styles.
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    Keep In Mind

    • One major complaint from parents involved a rattling sound of the headrest. They noted how the higher the headrest was positioned the more it rattled, particularly when the car seat was not in use. However, this does not pose a safety risk nor does it compromise your child’s safety. 
    • Several parents commented on the lack of breathability of the car seat material, causing their little ones to sweat, particularly in the warmer months. 
    • Due to the larger size of the car seat, some parents had some difficulty in fitting the Graco 4Eever in their vehicle, particularly vehicles with bucket seats.
    • When fully reclined in the rear-facing mode, legroom for front passengers may be reduced.
    • The straps cannot be removed for machine washing and parents reported difficulty in tightening the safety harness in the rear-facing mode.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Ultimately, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 is one of the best convertible car seats on the market and it’s no wonder it is a favorite due to its ease of use, durability, practicality, safety, comfort, and affordability. A convertible car seat like this will provide you with years of usage as it grows with your child.

    Looking For An Alternative To The Best Seller?

    Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1

    4.8/5
    4.8/5

    The DLX is a specialized edition of the original Graco 4Ever 4-in-1. While they are similar, the DLX offers 3 additional features:

    1. Fuss Free harness storage – Pockets on each side of the car seat hold the harness in place so you can get your child in and out easier.
    2. Integrated seat belt lock-off system – Making installation with the vehicle seat belt easier and ensuring a proper and secure belt fit.
    3. RapidRemove cover – The cover is in one piece and can be removed in less than a minute.

    Graco Extend2Fit

    4.7/5
    4.7/5

    The Graco Extend2Fit definitely belongs on this list as it is not only a favorite of ours but a favorite of parents. It is a convertible car seat that offers practicality, safety, comfort, and durability, making it a strong contender in the car seat market. 

    The Graco Extend2Fit is a winner when it comes to ensuring your child is kept in a rear-facing car seat past 2 years old. The 50-pound rear-facing weight limit is one of the highest weight limits not only within the Graco family but also amongst other convertible car seats on the market.

    Extended rear-facing is recommended by various child car seat safety experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that your child is positioned in a rear-facing car seat for longer.

    To sum up the Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat using one word, it would be versatile!

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    Why We Love It

    • 2-in-1 convertible car seat with both rear-facing and forward-facing modes.
    • Suitable for infants, toddlers and young children weighing up to 65lbs.
    • 6 recline positions, 10 headrest positions, and a 4-position leg extension feature all ensure your child is comfortable and secure.
    • The 10-year expiration date for years of usage.
    • The seat is Graco ProtectPlus Engineered, which means it has been crash tested to meet or exceed US safety standards and tested using the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) standards, with crash forces that are approximately 2 times the federal standard.
    • Features Graco’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, which ensures your child’s comfort and safety and requires no rethreading.
    • Designed for convenience with dual removable cup holders, machine washable seat cushion and a Fuss-Free Harness Storage compartment.
    • The seat is FAA approved for airplane travel.
    • Includes the exclusive InRight LATCH system for easy and quick installation.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Being quite bulky in terms of its width, the Extend2Fit may not be the best choice for 3-across car seat configurations.
    • The fit may not be snug or secure enough for newborns under 7 pounds.
    • While the seat cover is machine washable it can be difficult to remove and replace.
    • Some parents had difficulty in tightening the harness straps while others found seat belt installation in the rear-facing mode tricky.
    • It is important to remember that there are some rules about weight, recline and use of some features that differ depending on which mode the seat is in so keep the car seat manual handy.
    • Parents have reported a tight fit in small or compact cars, particularly when in the rear-facing position with the leg extension out, resulting in less legroom for front-seat passengers.
    • Parents had some trouble with the square-shaped cup holders.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat certainly delivers when it comes to safety, security, affordability, ease of installation and setup as well as comfort. This is a loved car seat among families, with parents particularly loving its ability to keep their child in a rear-facing seating mode well past their 2nd birthday.

    Graco SlimFit 3-in-1

    4.6/5
    4.6/5

    The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible car seat is another impressive and highly rated Graco product and what makes it stand out from its competition is its space-saving design and features that will solve a lot of space-related issues for families.

    With its slim and compact design as well as space-saving features, including rotating cup holders that rotate away to reduce its width by 10%, the SlimFit 3-in-1 is an ideal choice for a 3-across car seat configuration so perfect for families with 2 or more children who require car seats.

    However, its focus on space-saving does not jeopardize its first-class safety and comfort that is universal across the Graco car seat brand.

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    Why We Love It

    • 3 different easily convertible seating modes, including a rear-facing mode, a forward-facing mode, and a belt-positioning booster.
    • Suitable for children within a weight range of 5 to 100 pounds.
    • The SlimFit has 2 rotating cup holders that when rotated away the car seat becomes 10% slimmer than other Graco models and smaller than the average car seat.
    • It is rated as a ‘Best Bet Booster’ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), meaning the Graco SlimFit provides a good belt fit for 4 to 8-year-old children in almost any car, minivan or SUV. 
    • 4 recline positions (2 for rear-facing, 2 for forward-facing) and 10 headrest positions to keep your growing child comfortable.
    • Includes the exclusive Graco InRight LATCH system for a simple and secure one-second installation.
    • Graco ProtectPlus Engineered to meet or exceed the NHTSA’s Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 213 and tested against the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) standards, with crash forces that are approximately 2 times the federal standard.
    • 10-year expiration date.
    • The seat is FAA approved for airplane travel.
    • Removable body support and headrest pillows as well as removable harness strap covers.
    • Convenient design including a removable, machine washable seat cover and a built-in harness storage compartment for when the harness is not in use. 
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    Keep In Mind

    • While the SlimFit is certainly ideal when it comes to 3-across car seat configurations we recommend comparing the SlimFit’s measurements to the other car seats you plan on placing alongside it.
    • The SlimFit is compatible with inflatable seat belts found within some Ford vehicles. However, other types of inflatable seat belts may be incompatible. 
    • The SlimFit does not convert into a backless booster.
    • Many parents noted that they would have preferred more recline positions.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Overall, the Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 is a winning compact and versatile seat that also offers exceptional safety, comfort, durability, and practicality. With its sleek and space-saving design, the SlimFit offers versatility and is ideal for families with small or compact cars or for those who need to fit more than one car seat in the back seat. We believe the Graco SlimFit is a solid investment as it is designed to grow with your child from infancy up until they are a young child.

    Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1

    4.6/5
    4.6/5

    The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 car seat certainly lives up to its name as it is designed to grow with your child until they no longer require a car seat while also being extremely convenient and user-friendly.

    This is reflected in its built-in features including machine washable and dryer friendly seat and headrest pads, integrated harness holders and integrated cup holders. Features such as these not only make life a lot easier but make the Safety 1st Grow and Go stand out amongst its competition.

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    Why We Love It

    • 3-in-1 convertible car seat, providing you with 3 different seating modes, including rear-facing, forward-facing, and a belt-positioning high back booster, providing you with years of usage.
    • 10-year expiration date.
    • Features the Safety 1st QuickFit Harness, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust both the harness and headrest in a single movement.
    • Integrated harness clip holders making it easier to get your child in and out of the car seat.
    • Features energy-absorbing foam.
    • Large weight range, making it suitable for children weighing 5 to 100lbs.
    • Removable infant padding and a shoulder belt positioner to ensure comfort and safety for younger babies and children.
    • Slim and sleek design, making the Grow and Go an ideal car seat for 3-across car seat configurations.
    • Features designed for convenience and everyday use including easy to remove machine washable and dryer friendly seat and headrest pads for no-fuss cleaning and 2 integrated cup holders.
    • 3 recline positions, ensuring a proper and secure fit in your vehicle.
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    Keep In Mind

    • Parents found the amount of padding to be quite thick for younger children.
    • The cup holders are not removable for easy cleaning.
    • The LATCH anchor has a weight limit of up to 40lbs. Once your child exceeds 40lbs, the Safety 1st Grow and Go must be installed via the seat belt.
    • While the Grow and Go is designed to take up less room in the rear-facing mode it still may be a struggle to fit in small or compact vehicles when in the rear-facing position.
    • Parents reported difficulty in tightening the harness straps.
    • While the Grow and Go has a 5-point no-rethread harness, these harness slots are only for older babies, toddlers, and young children. For infants and newborns, there are separate harness shoulder slots, which require rethreading.
    • Some parents with infants reported difficulty in trying to get a proper incline angle to support their baby’s head when sleeping.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 convertible car seat may not be the best option for parents with young babies. We recommend beginning with an infant car seat and switching to this one later.

    However, the Safety 1st Grow and Go is a fantastic option for toddlers and up and has definitely earned its spot on this list. It is designed for extended use in the rear-facing position, which is recommended as the safest position by various child car seat safety experts.

    Britax Marathon ClickTight

    4.5/5
    4.5/5

    The Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is one of the best car seats in its class and is not only highly rated for the safety and security it provides but is also a comfortable, user-friendly, durable and affordable convertible car seat.

    The Britax Marathon definitely stands out amongst its car seat competition when it comes to safety and security as it has exceptional safety ratings due to a number of built-in safety features, keeping your little one safe.

    This convertible car seat transitions from a rear-facing seat (5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing seat (20-65 pounds) and does not have a booster mode. The Britax Marathon is also available in several different color and pattern options.

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    Why We Love It

    • 2 different easily convertible seating modes, including a rear-facing mode and a forward-facing mode.
    • Designed for children weighing between 5 and 65 pounds until they are ready for a booster seat.
    • Features a unique patented ClickTight Installation System for simple and secure installation.
    • Various adjustable features to ensure your child’s comfort and security, including 14 harness positions (no rethreading required!) and 2 crotch/buckle positions.
    • With 7 recline positions and a bubble level indicator, getting a secure and proper installation is foolproof! 
    • Plush foam padding and fabrics to keep your child comfy.
    • First-class safety features including 1 layer of deep side impact protection, SafeCell impacting absorbing base, impact stabilizing steel-reinforced frame and a patented v-shaped tether. All of these features work to protect your child in the event of a collision.
    • Tested to meet and exceed US safety standards.
    • Available in several different colors and patterns to suit your child’s taste.
    • 1-year warranty.
    • 10-year expiration date.
    • FAA approved for use on airplanes.
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    Keep In Mind

    • The Marathon does not feature a booster mode so once your child exceeds either the height or weight limit of the Marathon they will need to switch to a booster seat but don’t worry as Britax have plenty of booster seats on offer!
    • The Britax Marathon is a fairly large and bulky convertible car seat so be prepared as it will take up some space in your rear interior. 
    • Parents have noted that when the Marathon is in the rear-facing mode, the legroom is reduced for tall front-seat passengers. 
    • Some parents reported that the 2 crotch strap/buckle positions were tight on their child’s legs. However, other parents commented on how comfortable their child was in the strap/buckle. We recommend double-checking the crotch/buckle position before each trip and adjusting it to properly fit your child.
    • It is important to note that if your child is under 12 months, the recline position must be in the light blue range as displayed with the bubble level indicator.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    With plenty to love, the Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is an absolute favorite amongst parents and families. With exceptional features and accessories, especially when it comes to safety and security, the Britax Marathon is well worth the investment.

    Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One

    4.4/5
    4.4/5

    The Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat is the ultimate car seat that can be used from the time your child is born up until they no longer require a booster seat.

    As a company, Evenflo focuses on creating products that are accessible and practical for everyday use, making life as a parent that little bit easier. This is reflected in the Evenflo Symphony Elite’s user-friendly design and 60-second installation, making it a great choice for busy families. However, its focus on practicality does not compromise the exceptional safety and security provided for your little one.

    This all-in-one convertible car seat transitions from a rear-facing seat (5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing seat (22-65 pounds) and finally, to a high back booster seat (40-110 pounds).

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    Why We Love It

    • 3 different seating modes, including rear-facing, forward-facing, and a highback booster.
    • The Evenflo Symphony’s booster mode is rated as a ‘Best Bet Booster’ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
    • 8-year lifespan.
    • Wide weight range (5-110lbs) compared to other car seats on the market, which helps to keep your child secure longer and allows for extended rear-facing use.
    • Includes handy accessories and features, including 2 elastic cup holders and buckle pockets (included in 4 of the 6 color options).
    • The seat cover is made with high-quality fabric that is very comfortable with the thick padding underneath, which is also machine washable and dryer friendly (on low heat) for easy cleaning.
    • Lined with energy-absorbing foam, which provides extra security and comfort.
    • Parents love the exclusive SureLATCH installation system with self-ratcheting LATCH connectors for installation in 60 seconds. 
    • Designed to grow with your child with the five-point no-rethread infinite slide harness and a 5-position adjustable headrest.
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    Keep In Mind

    • At 25 pounds, the Evenflo Symphony certainly isn’t lightweight, instead, it is rather bulky and heavy, which makes it difficult to transfer between vehicles. This is best used as an install and leave type of car seat.
    • Its size also impacts the ability to fit 2 or more car seats in the rear seat alongside the Evenflo Symphony so be sure to compare measurements before purchasing. 
    • When installing in the rear-facing position, the required recline angle may reduce the amount of legroom available for front riding passengers, particularly in small or compact cars.
    • Parents noted that with the 1 recline position in the rear-facing mode a pool noodle or towel may be required in order to achieve a proper recline angle.
    • The 2 elastic cup holders will not hold loose snacks or toys.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible car seat is a great choice as it is designed to grow with your child and has a user-friendly design. However, parents have highlighted a few aspects that ultimately comes down to personal preference. For example, if you plan on having 3 car seats in the back seat then the Evenflo Symphony probably isn’t the right car seat for you.

    Britax Boulevard ClickTight

    4.3/5
    4.3/5

    The Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is certainly a car seat that ticks all the boxes when it comes to safety, protection, durability, comfort, ease of use, convenience and value for money. As a company, Britax is an internationally recognized brand that has become one of the most loved and trusted brands by American families. 

    The Britax Boulevard has a stylish yet practical design with plenty of adjustable features to ensure a safe and secure ride for your child that is also comfortable, such as the Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator. 

    This convertible car seat transitions from a rear-facing seat (5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing seat (20-60 pounds).

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    Why We Love It

    • 2 different seating modes, including a rear-facing and forward-facing seat.
    • This convertible car seat will provide a safe, secure and comfortable ride to infants, toddlers and young children weighing between 5 and 65 pounds.
    • Outstanding safety and security ratings due to extensive safety features, including 2 layers of deep side-impact protection, deep foam-lined shell, impact-absorbing base, and integrated steel frame.
    • 10-year expiration.
    • Includes Britax’s patented ClickTight Installation System for simple and secure installation.
    • Available in 7 different colors and styles.
    • Features Britax’s Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator, ensuring your child has a proper harness fit each and every time.
    • Highly rated by parents for its comfortable and breathable material made with Cool Flow ventilated mesh fabric.
    • Multiple adjustable features, including 7 recline positions and 2 buckle positions, providing your child with a secure and comfortable fit. 
    • 1-year warranty.
    • Features a 14 position quick-adjust harness that involves no re-threading.
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    Keep In Mind

    • The Britax Boulevard has similar flaws to the Britax Marathon, which are outlined below.
    • The Boulevard is quite long when installed in the rear-facing position, which may reduce the amount of legroom available for tall front-seat passengers, especially in small or compact cars.
    • It does not have a booster seating mode, which means once your child exceeds the weight and height limits of the Boulevard they will need to switch to a booster seat.
    • The Boulevard is quite a bulky car seat, meaning that it may not be ideal for 3-across car seat configurations.
    • Parents reported that the 2 crotch strap/buckle positions were tight on their child’s legs. We recommend double-checking the crotch/buckle position and adjusting it to properly fit your child.
    • It is important to note that if your child is under 12 months, the recline position must be in the light blue range as displayed with the bubble level indicator.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is a well-rounded convertible car seat that stands out from its competition. It is highly rated by parents and families and for all the right reasons. The main thing to keep in mind is its size and weight, which may be difficult to install with 2 or more car seats and reduce legroom for tall front-seat passengers, especially in smaller vehicles.

    Graco Milestone All-in-1

    4.3/5
    4.3/5

    The Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is one of the highest-rated products both on the car seat market and amongst customers. While the Milestone is a relatively new release it has received an overwhelmingly positive response. 

    This all-in-one convertible car seat easily transitions from a rear-facing mode (5-40 pounds) to a harnessed forward-facing mode (20-65 pounds) and finally, to a high back belt-positioning booster mode (30-100 pounds). The Graco Milestone is available in 2 different colors/styles to suit your child, including ‘Ayla’ (pink/white) and ‘Gotham’ (black with white trim).

    Graco is an American company that is known for designing and manufacturing practical, safe, durable and comfortable car seats and the Milestone All-in-1 is no exception with plenty of user-friendly features geared towards your child’s safety, comfort, and security. 

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    Why We Love It

    • This convertible car seat caters to infants, toddlers, and young children, providing you with years of usage as it grows with your child.
    • A 3-in-1 convertible car seat that transitions between a rear-facing seat, a harnessed forward-facing seat and a high back belt-positioning booster seat.
    • Designed for everyday use and convenience with a machine-washable seat cover, a removable and adjustable cup holder as well as a built-in harness storage compartment for when the harness is no longer in use.
    • 10-year expiration date.
    • Includes comprehensive safety features, such as a steel-reinforced frame and energy-absorbing material as well as being side-impact tested and Safe Seat Engineered, thus the Milestone meets or exceeds US Federal Safety Standards.
    • Designed for your child’s comfort and security with cushion inserts, 4 recline positions, and the Simply Safe Adjust™ 5-point Harness System, which works by ensuring an easy and secure one-second attachment indicated by an audio click cue.
    • Features Graco’s exclusive InRight LATCH attachment for simple and secure installation.
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    Keep In Mind

    • The Milestone does not convert into a backless booster, meaning that if your child exceeds either the weight or height limit of the highback booster mode, a backless booster will be required.
    • In terms of the 4 recline positions, please note that reclining positions 1 and 2 are for rear-facing modes while positions 3 and 4 are for forward-facing modes only. Parents noted that they would prefer more recline settings for the rear-facing mode.
    • The Graco Milestone cannot be installed in a center rear seat with a lap-only seat belt in the belt-positioning booster mode.
    • While this car seat can be installed using either the vehicle’s seat belt or the LATCH system, Graco recommends using the LATCH system for a more secure fit. 

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    You can see why many parents and families choose the Graco Milestone All-In-One Convertible Car Seat over its competition, including both within the Graco family and other car seat brands. The main aspects to keep in mind when looking at the Milestone is the lack of recline positions in the rear-facing mode and that it does not transition into a backless booster. Overall, it is a fantastic option.

    Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 2-in-1

    4.2/5
    4.2/5

    The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is an impressive car seat that caters to a wide range of children. This convertible car seat is also designed for everyday use and convenience, making life with kids easier, especially for families who are on the go. 

    Parents love the level of comfort the Maxi-Cosi provides their little one with the plush cushions and premium fabric, making it an ideal car seat for long car trips. It easily transitions from a rear-facing car seat (5-40 pounds) to a forward-facing car seat (22-85 pounds), however, there is no booster mode. 

    It is available in 6 different colors/patterns to suit your child’s preferences.

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    Why We Love It

    • Includes 2 infant inserts to accommodate newborns.
    • Multiple adjustment settings to ensure a proper fit as your child grows, including 3 crotch strap positions, 3 recline settings, and a no-rethread adjustable hardness.
    • Equipped with a seat pad and harness covers that snap on and off without having to unthread the straps or remove the seat. Both of these are also machine washable and dryer friendly for easy and quick cleaning.
    • The Maxi-Cosi has handy features, including a cup holder, a flip-away buckle, a ClipQuik chest clip and handy harness holders that keep the straps out of the way, all of these features make it easier and quicker to get your child in and out of the car seat.
    • Premium safety features that meet or exceed US Federal Safety Standards, including FlexTech construction, which works to distribute forces in the event of a collision, Air Protect side impact protection and thick padding.
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    Keep In Mind

    • The Maxi-Cosi does not have a booster mode, so once your child exceeds either the weight or height limit of the car seat, you will need to purchase a booster seat.
    • It is an expensive convertible car seat, meaning it may or may not be an ideal choice depending on your budget.
    • Parents pointed out that the back of the seat is not covered by any material, meaning the stickers and model information is visible.
    • Instead of a bubble level indicator, which is included in many convertible car seats on the market, the Maxi-Cosi includes a line guide for leveling, which may cause difficulty regarding installation.
    • Some parents had difficulty in getting a tight and secure installation.
    • Due to its width, the Maxi-Cosi is probably not ideal for 3-across car seat configurations and may be a tight fit for small or compact vehicles so we recommend comparing measurements with your vehicle’s backseat.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    While there is no doubt that the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is a great car seat with many great features that make life with kids that little bit easier. However, parents did have doubts about whether it is worth the high price tag. When you compare the Maxi-Cosi to other cheaper models on the market, there is not that much difference.

    Chicco NextFit Zip

    4.2/5
    4.2/5

    The Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat can be described as an all-round fantastic car seat that is designed to grow with your child through preschool to early elementary. 

    It is equipped with a number of impressive safety features, meaning it is definitely a good choice for parents who prioritize their children’s safety. However, safety isn’t all the Chicco NextFit is known for, parents love how simple and quick it is to install and transition between the different seating modes.

    This convertible car seat easily transitions from a rear-facing mode, which is suitable for children weighing between 5 and 40 pounds and up to 43 inches in height to a forward-facing mode, which accommodates children within a 22 to 65-pound weight range and up to 49 inches tall. There is no booster seat included. 

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    Why We Love It

    • Designed to fit a wider range of vehicles in both its rear-facing and forward-facing seating modes with its 9-position ReclineSure leveling system.
    • Equipped with a SuperCinch force-multiplying tightener for installation via the LATCH system.
    • LockSure Belt System with clear route paths and integrated belt lock-offs for installation via the seat belt.
    • There is a removable newborn positioner, which allows the Chicco NextFit to accommodate newborns and premature babies from 5-11 pounds.
    • Equipped with a number of exceptional safety features, including DuoGuard side-impact protection and a steel-reinforced frame.
    • 9-position easy-adjust padded headrest.
    • Zip-off and machine-washable seat pad for no-fuss cleaning.
    • Includes a dishwasher safe cup holder that is thermal-insulated and can be placed on either side of the car seat.
    • Designed for your child’s comfort with padded harness pads and headrest.
    • Available in several colors.
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    Keep In Mind

    • It is always important to note cleaning instructions, the Chicco NextFit Zip fabrics are suitable for spot clean, hand washing or machine wash in cold water on the delicate cycle. The cover must be hung to dry only, it is not dryer friendly. For other parts of the car seat, including the harness, sponge clean using warm water.
    • With no booster mode, you will need to purchase a booster seat once your child exceeds either the weight or height limit of the Chicco NextFit.
    • At 25 pounds, the Chicco NextFit Zip can’t be described as lightweight, so it is best used as an install and leave type of car seat and it may not be a great choice if you plan on regularly transferring between vehicles.
    • This convertible car seat retails at a higher price compared to other convertible car seats on the market, so it may or may not be a good choice depending on your budget.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    The Chicco Nextfit Zip is a great choice when it comes to safety and ease of install and use as well as comfort. However, when comparing the Chicco Nextfit Zip to other convertible car seats, it does not offer more than other car seat brands and thus, does not seem worth the higher price tag.

    Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

    4.1/5
    4.1/5

    The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat is an Italian-made car seat that has been on the market for quite some time. What separates the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio from other convertible car seats is its use of industry-leading, time-tested safety technology that is specifically designed to focus on head, neck, and spine stability, which is crucial in the event of a collision.

    This convertible car seat easily transitions from its rear-facing mode (5-45 pounds) to a forward-facing mode (22-65 pounds), however, there is no booster mode. Your child also has 7 different fun colors to choose from.

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • Designed to grow with your child from infancy through to their toddler years.
    • Made in Italy.
    • FAA approved for use on airplanes.
    • 7-year expiration date.
    • Adjustable side impact protection that easily adjusts to 10 different positions, even when your child is in the seat.
    • Provides maximum safety with first-class safety features, including:
        • Adjustable Side Impact Protection (SIP) to protect your child’s head, neck, and spine.
        • Expanded Poly Styrene (EPS) energy-absorbing foam throughout the shell and in the head panels, which protects your child’s head and torso from impact forces in the event of a collision.
        • A Shock Absorbing Foam Element (SAFE) device.
        • Energy Management System, which comprises of a contoured steel backplate, which minimizes flexing and forward movement while also providing extra stability for your child.
        • Top tether hook, which increases stability in forward-facing mode and reduces forward movement.
    • Lightweight – meaning it is easy to transfer between vehicles and can be easily transported for families on the go.
    • Features Fresco Jersey performance fabric, which provides added comfort for your child by ensuring quick moisture absorption and ventilation.
    • Quick-release five-point safety harness with shoulder pads, chest clip and deluxe LATCH straps that are safer and easier to use than other harnesses.
    • Designed for convenience with a removable and machine-washable cover.
    Sad-baby

    Keep In Mind

    • The expiration date of 7 years is shorter compared to most other convertible car seats.
    • The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio has a higher price tag compared to other convertible car seats on the market so it may not be a great option for families on a budget.
    • The rear-facing belt path is unique and can take some time to get used to so don’t be hard on yourself! Set aside some time for installation, which can take a bit longer as tightening the harness can also be difficult due to the extra padding.
    • Some parents noted that their child could easily unbuckle the harness.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    Negative reviews of the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat are rare. Overall, it is a well-rounded convertible car seat that essentially ticks all the boxes that you’re looking out for, such as ease of use, safety, security, practicality, durability, and comfort. While the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio does have a higher price tag, we think it’s worth the investment if your budget can accommodate it.

    Clek Fllo

    4.1/5
    4.1/5

    The Clek Fllo Convertible Baby and Toddler Car Seat is the stylish and sleek solution to saving you much-needed space in your backseat as it one of the most narrow and compact car seats on the market. 

    However, Clek’s focus on space-saving does not compromise the safety, comfort, convenience, and durability of the Clek Fllo. This convertible car seat is packed full of industry-leading, world-class safety features, making it one of the safest car seats on the market. This is one of the many reasons why the Clek Fllo has become a favorite among American families.

    This convertible car seat transitions from a rear-facing car seat (14-50 pounds) to a forward-facing car seat (22-65 pounds). It is available in 7 different colors and depending on the color you choose, there will be different fabrics available also.

    Happy-baby

    Why We Love It

    • 2-in-1 convertible car seat, meaning there are two different seating modes, including a rear-facing car seat and a forward-facing car seat.
    • 9-year lifespan.
    • Parents love its compact and narrow design, which makes it ideal for big families and 3-across car seat configurations.
    • FAA certified for use on an aircraft.
    • Ideal for extended rear-facing with a 50lb weight limit.
    • Exceptional safety features including a steel anti-rebound bar, advanced side-impact protection comprising of an adjustable headrest with deep side wings and energy-absorbing foam layers as well as Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology (EACT).
    • Integrated flip foot for easy and quick rear-facing installation.
    • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, with an additional 2 years warranty if you register your car seat with Clek.
    • LATCH connectors can be stored under the bottom of the seat.
    Sad-baby

    Keep In Mind

    • If used with Clek’s infant insert, called an ‘infant-thingy’ (sold separately) the Fllo can accommodate infants within a 5-19 pound weight range. This insert is also required for any child who is unable to sit upright in the car seat. 
    • Installation via the LATCH system may be a bit more difficult and require a bit of elbow grease and muscle. 
    • No cup holders included but can be purchased separately.
    • The Clek Fllo is not designed for easy cleaning unfortunately as both the seat cover and pads are non-removable for cleaning but for spot clean only.
    • The material and fabric of the seat itself depend on what color you select, the fabrics available include Noire Crypton (Noire), Standard Z-Zero Plus (Shadow, Flamingo, Capri), Tailored C-Zero Plus (Slate and Thunder) and 100% Merino Wool (Mammoth).
    • The Clek Fllo is quite pricey compared with other convertible car seats on the market and may not be an option for families on a budget.

    Our Verdict & Customer Opinions

    There is no denying that the Clek Fllo is one of the first in its class with industry-leading safety features and mechanisms as well as a sleek and stylish design, solving many space problems for families. However, it does have a high price so you will need to determine if the price is worth it for your family.

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

    The type of car seat you choose will depend on your child’s age, height, and height and we know that as parents, you’re going to have plenty of questions about convertible car seats, especially if you’re a new parent! 

    Luckily, we’ve got you covered and have answered parent’s top questions below, providing you with up to date information and tips to help guide your decision on which convertible car seat will be the best choice for your family.

    1. What is a convertible car seat?

      We’re glad you asked! A convertible car seat can be used from birth up until your child outgrows a car seat as they convert to several different seating modes to accommodate your growing child depending on their weight and height.

      Some convertible car seats are marketed as 2-in-1, 3-in-1, 4-in-1 or all-in-one models. However, all convertible car seats will have a rear-facing infant mode and a forward-facing harnessed seat. 3-in-1, 4-in-1 and all-in-one models will tend to also convert to a type of booster, including a belt-positioning or harnessed high back booster and/or a backless booster.

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

    2. Can I take a convertible car seat on an airplane?

      Taking a convertible car seat on an airplane depends on if it is Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved for use on an aircraft. While some convertible car seats are definitely FAA approved, others are not so it is best to read your user manual or visit the car seat manufacturer website to find out.

      If you’re still not sure, contact the car seat manufacturer directly prior to taking your convertible car seat on an airplane.

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

      Knowing the answer to this question is undeniably important and often crucial for your child’s safety.

      The most obvious is your convertible car seat’s expiration date (around 10 years for most car seats), once it reaches this date, it’s time to dispose of it. Rather than just chucking it in the bin or on the curb, there are other options! Some stores like Target will have trade-in days where you can bring your expired car seat 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 also offer a similar trade-in scheme, such as Clek’s Product Recycling Program.

      Your convertible car seat should also be thrown out once its been involved in a crash unless it’s only a minor crash. 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 if they are infant, convertible or booster, must meet or exceed Federal US and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) Safety Standards to be sold on the market.

      Most convertible car seats exceed these safety standards thanks to their innovative safety features and technology. This means that any convertible car seat you buy will be safe for your child.

      However, it is important to keep in mind that a car seat is only safe if it is used and installed correctly. We recommend the convertible car seats that are easy to install and secure properly.

    5. Are convertible car seats suitable for newborns?

      There are many convertible car seats on the market that can accommodate newborns, with some including removable infant pillow inserts to ensure a snug and secure fit for newborns.

      Keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other child car seat safety experts recommend a separate infant car seat for newborns up to 8 pounds or more. As convertible car seats tend to offer more room than infant seats, without a dedicated infant pillow, the car seat may not be secure and snug enough for a small newborn or premature baby.

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

      Your child is ready for a convertible car seat if they have exceeded the weight or height limit of their infant car seat. By switching to a convertible car seat you can allow for extended rear-facing use or if your child is ready, they can ride in a forward-facing seating mode.

      It’s important to note that some of the convertible car seats on the market (normally 4-in-1 and all-in-one) are specifically designed so your child can ride in them from the moment they are born up until they can ride unassisted in your vehicle. This ultimately saves you money in the long-term as only one car seat is required, great for families on a budget.

    7. How do I know if our car seat is installed correctly?

      If you have followed all of the installation steps as outlined in your car seat user manual and you are still unsure if your car seat is correctly installed, here are some tips:

      1. We recommend reading reviews written by other customers and parents, specifically reviews that relate to setup and installation, which can be filled with handy tips for a secure installation.
      2. You can find plenty of installation videos on YouTube or the manufacturer’s website, these can be a lifesaver when it comes to ensuring a proper install.
      3. Fire stations, pediatricians and certified car seat technicians are specifically trained to know what to look for in a properly installed car seat. We recommend taking it to one of these experts if you’re unsure.

    8. Do any convertible car seats have bases?

      No, convertible car seats do not have bases, meaning they cannot be removed. Convertible car seats are designed to stay in the car once they are installed so their base is built into the seat, allowing them to recline to a specific angle.

      That’s not to say that convertible car seats did not ever have bases. You may be able to still find the Graco SmartSeat or the Orbit Baby G3, which did have bases but have since been discontinued. However, we do not recommend purchasing discontinued models as the manufacturer may not be able to update you about recalls or have available placement parts.

    9. What is LATCH?

      LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Today’s child safety car seats are equipped with an attachment system that ensures they are kept in place by using built-in anchors and tethers in your vehicle. However, most convertible car seats can also still be installed and used with the vehicle seat belt.
      Car seat manufacturers normally recommend using one or the other (LATCH system or vehicle seat belt) for convertible car seats so be sure to read your user manual to ensure you’re using the correct attachments.

      It is important to note that when installing your child’s car seat via the LATCH system, tuck your vehicle’s seat belt out of the way to avoid it interfering with the LATCH system.

      When looking at car seats, chances are, you’ve probably heard of ISOFIX, which is the same system as LATCH but is called ISOFIX in Europe.

    10. How do I keep my kids from overheating and sweating while riding in their car seat?

      If you live in an area that has a hot climate or has particularly hot summers, unfortunately, your child sweating will be unavoidable. However, there are few things you can look out for and implement to assist with this, here are our tips below:

      1. Look for car seat models that have breathable fabrics and if this is a priority for you, we recommend purchasing a car seat with breathable fabrics to keep your child comfortable.
      2. Sunshades can make a dramatic difference to not only the temperature of your car but also the temperature of your child’s car seat. They are specifically designed to block some of the sun’s heat and they are not hard to find as there are literally thousands available online on Amazon for very reasonable prices. This is a wise investment if you’re living in a hot climate!
      3. In the warmer months, refrain from over-dressing your child, always remove your child’s coat before buckling them in. Keeping your child’s coat on will not only contribute to sweating and overheating but will also compromise your child’s safety as a coat may prevent the harness from working properly.
      4. This is an oldie but a goodie, but turning your car on with the AC for a few minutes prior to buckling your child in the car seat can reduce the chance of overheating and sweating on those warm days by cooling down your car’s interior.

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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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