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Finding the best convertible car seats in 2020

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Last Updated: 13 April 2020
Infant car seats

The purpose of convertible car seats is first to keep your child safe during car trips. They are versatile and can be used for long periods of time. A convertible car seat starts out as a rear-facing car seat for toddlers and babies. As your child grows it can be switched to a front-facing position.

If you are the proud parent of a toddler, you are already noticing how gadgets and trinkets are starting to pile up. Now imagine what will happen two years from now. You will have so many gadgets that are obsolete because your baby does not fit in them or because your baby does not want to keep playing with them. A convertible car seat can save you not only money but can also lower clutter. And they are designed with safety in mind so overall it is a great choice for a purchase. Keep reading our article to find out which convertible car seat you should purchase. We have tested and reviewed the convertible car seats on the market that we consider are offering the best value for money and compiled our findings in this article.

TOP 9 best convertible car seats: Comparison Chart

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat | Ride Rear Facing Longer with Extend2Fit, Davis
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat, Everest Pink
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat - Neptune
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Circa
$142.87
$128.79
$61.74
Price not available
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Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat | Ride Rear Facing Longer with Extend2Fit, Davis
$142.87
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Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat, Everest Pink
$128.79
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Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat - Neptune
$61.74
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Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Circa
Price not available
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Chicco NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat
Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat
Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat
Chicco NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat, Black
Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat | 1 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Static
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Charcoal Sky
Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat - Carbon
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat (Seaport)
$223.24
$180.49
$64.77
Price not available
Price not available
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Chicco NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat
Chicco NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat, Black
$223.24
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Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat
Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat | 1 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Static
$180.49
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Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat
Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Charcoal Sky
$64.77
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Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat
Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat - Carbon
Price not available
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Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat (Seaport)
Price not available
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Best Overall Convertible Car Seat: Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat Review

Most infant car seats have an extended rear-facing capacity of 25 to 30 pounds. The Graco Extend2Fit convertible boasts one of the highest rear-facing limits on the market at 50 pounds. Considering that the average 4-year-old tends to weigh close to 40 pounds, the Graco Extend2Fit will enable most children to ride rear-facing at ages well past two years old. The innovative model from Graco takes cramped legs very seriously and offers enough space so that this will not be an issue.

The LATCH installation is very simple and straightforward. You can easily connect the straps to the vehicle’s anchors with the push of one button and the whole process takes just a few seconds.

Why We Like It

  • Leg extension with four different settings that adds 5 extra inches of legroom
  • 6 different recline positions
  • Two cupholders that can be removed as needed
  • InRight LATCH system with connectors
Sale
Most Comfortable Convertible Car Seat: Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat Review

We know for a fact that you have noticed the yellow diamond sign with 'Baby on Board'. In 1984 Safety 1st has introduced that sign and just as the name suggests they have been dealing with baby safety with the utmost attention. By purchasing this convertible car seat and making sure that you perform the installation as intended you will be able to offer one of the safest car rides for your child. Daily use and cleaning are to be performed without much effort.

Why We Like It

  • The harness can be placed in 5 separate positions
  • Head and neck support are greatly improved
  • The cover can be easily removed and is machine-washable
  • 3 recline angles
Sale
Best Value for Money: Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat Review

If high-quality convertible car seats that can be acquired for a fraction of the cost are your thing then you should consider Evenflo Tribute LX. It is an incredibly lightweight convertible car seat for the features it has and can be installed with the click of a button. Cleaning it and lifting it is also a breeze. It has great safety reviews and even better crash-test results. The 5-point harness is just another feature that will make car rides with your child that much more enjoyable.

The Evenflo Tribute LX comes in a wide variety of colors that you can select from. The color schemes come in handy if you would like to match the car seat to your car’s interior or even get your child’s favorite color.

Why We Like It

  • Tested for side impact
  • Weight capacity of 40 pounds
  • A cup holder is included
  • LATCH system incorporated
Best for Safety: Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Review

The Britax Advocate is well known on the market for offering the best possible safety features and having the best safety results on the market. If you follow the instructions that come with the product you cannot install it wrong. Having a baby girl convertible car seat installed properly boosts the safety features considerably. You must pull the harness until you hear an audible click – this way you can be certain that the seat is installed properly and is well fitted. Side impact is properly taken care of by using three layers of protection.

The Britax Advocate is a high-end convertible car seat that is built to last for a good ten years. In the unfortunate event of an accident, your child will be left without a scratch.

Pros

  • 14-position harness so that your child will not outgrow the car seat anytime soon
  • Designed, tested and built in the US
  • Very comfortable and tightly secured in place
  • Removable anti-rebound bar when rear-facing

Cons

  • The only real downside we could find to the Evenflo Tribute LX is the high price tag. However, we strongly believe that the price is well worth it given the safety features it boosts.
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Best for Larger Children: Chicco NextFit Sport Convertible Car Seat Review

The purpose of the Chicco NextFit forward facing convertible car seat for a newborn is to make sure that your child has both safety and comfort at the highest levels possible. The installation is very straightforward, and anyone should be able to install the seat when needed. Your toddler or infant can use the car seat facing the rear and when they grow up the car seat can be used in the forward-facing mode. The SuperCinch tightener and the LockSure belt-tightening system will keep your mind at ease when it comes to having the car seat move out of position.

Because of the proven safety features, the Chicco NextFit is a great purchase if you are in the market for a long-term convertible car seat.

Pros

  • The reinforced frame and exterior are made from steel
  • The perfect installation angle can be reached using the bubble level
  • 5-point Harness
  • 9 different recline positions available

Cons

  • It’s a little on the heavier side and could prove to be bulky if you are driving a sedan
Sale
Best for Ease of Installation: Britax Allegiance 3 Stage Convertible Car Seat Review

The Britax Allegiance can be used rear-facing if your child is an infant and as they grow up you can turn it around and have it front-facing. The seat can accommodate children who weigh up to 65 pounds. The Allegiance comes equipped with the Safe Cell protection against the impact that the Britax brand is renowned for. Seat stability is provided by a steel frame that is also designed to absorb the impact of a crash. You can also find a tether that is V-shaped whose role is to stop the best convertible car seat for travel from rotating and to make moving the seat forward more stable.

If you are already familiar with the security and great features that the Britax brand has to offer, then considering the Allegiance for your next purchase could be a good move.

Pros

  • Easy-on Latch connectors
  • Lock-off system to make installing the car seat a breeze
  • The harness can be adjusted on 10 different positions
  • Side-impact safety features

Cons

  • The seat cannot be cleaned using water
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Best with Built-In Ventilation: Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat Review

The installation is very simple for both rear and forward facing convertible cars for kids. When rear-facing you can opt between four different harness slots – the highest will be at almost 13 inches. The convertible car seat can be installed rear-facing using the Universal Anchorage System. The Evenflo Sonus comes with a fixed recline and this means that you will have to install the seat while it is parallel to the ground by following the arrow that can be found at the base of the seat. The Evenflo Sonus might just be the best car seat for a 3 year old.

If you are on the market for a convertible car seat with an affordable price tag that offers high durability than you should consider the Evenflo Sonus.

Pros

  • It can be used up to a maximum weight of 50 lbs
  • It is small enough to be taken on an airplane
  • You do not need to perform any assembly tasks
  • Six different slots available for the harness

Cons

  • Limited recline options
Best with Washing Machine Option: Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat Review

The NextFit Zip boasts the SuperCinch LATCH technology that will make it far easier to keep the convertible car seat in place. The seat’s harness can be widened to make room for larger toddlers. The harness has a no-rethread feature while also offering great side impact protection. The materials they have used are top quality and very soft when touched. The Zip version of the baby convertible car seats features a Zip&Wash feature that always allows you to remove the cover and place it inside a washing machine to keep it clean and smelling good.

The Chicco NextFit is a very successful convertible car seat that has caused quite a few spinoffs from the initial model.

Pros

  • Side impact protection due to its deep side wings
  • Very easy to install
  • LATCH connectors
  • Cover can be removed and machine washed

Cons

  • The side walls are quite tall, and this will make placing and removing your toddler more challenging than with other convertible car seats
Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars: Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat Review

Keeping your child safe while they are inside your car is paramount to any parent. The Safety 1st Guide 65 is a great choice to provide much-needed safety if you happen to drive a smaller car. Extra security coming from the fact that the reclining convertible car seat has side impact protection. Safety standards are met and exceeded for federal, ASTM and JPMA while also having a 1-year warranty included. Safety 1st will do a great job of keeping your worries away and offering your child a safe car ride.

If safety is the first thing that you are looking for in a convertible car seat then look no further.

Pros

  • 5-point harness starting from the front of the seat
  • Removable body pillows
  • Removable cup holder
  • LATCH system available

Cons

  • It is quite difficult to install compared to the other entries on our list

Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About the Best Convertible Car Seats

What is a convertible car seat

What is a Convertible Car Seat?

The best convertible car seats are car seats that are meant to be used from the moment your child was born until they outgrow the seat. This means that investing in a convertible car seat is a wise decision. They start off as rear-facing when your child is a toddler and can be upgraded to rear-facing as your child grows.

Do you Need a Convertible Car Seat?

You could technically purchase two different car seats. One for when your child is still an infant and upgrade to a larger car seat as they grow. But from an economic point of view, that would not be the best decision. Purchasing a convertible car seat with base can save you money and can perform the same tasks that you would want to have performed by two different car seats.

When should you Buy a Convertible Car Seat?

We recommend that you swap to a boy convertible car seat when your infant is about 9 to 12 months old. You can also swap to a convertible car seat if your baby does not fit in their infant car seat. Convertible car seats have more features so buying one as soon as your baby is born can be the best decision.

Can I install a Convertible Car Seat on my own?

Can I install a convertible car seat on my own

All the convertible car seats we have featured on this list have been designed having a simple installation in mind. Anyone should be able to place and remove the convertible car seat without having many issues if they consult the convertible car seat instruction manual.


How to Choose the Best Convertible Car Seats

Size

When it comes to convertible car seat size can be a blessing and a curse. Size can offer great advantages in safety and comfort but can also cause issues if you plan or removing the convertible car seat with cup holder frequently. Depending on your daily needs you can investigate purchasing a small convertible car seat or top rated convertible car seats.

convertible car seat with cup holder

Weight limits

You can expect a front-facing weight limit of 40 pounds on average for a baby car seat. However, we have only featured convertible car seats that have higher weight limits – up to 65 pounds.

Easy to clean

All convertible car seats are easy to clean and are made from materials that are easy to clean. The convertible car seat with a detachable base has covers that can be removed and placed in the washing machine. This way you can keep the best infant car seat clean at all times.

Easy to install

All camo convertible car seats we have featured on this list are easy to install. The question that comes to mind after the installation is if we have installed the convertible car seat correctly. The LATCH feature coupled with adjustable head and shoulder straps make for an easy and safe installation.

Best Convertible Car Seat Types

Infant car seats

The best infant car seat is a removable car seat that can come in handy when your child is still an infant. When the child starts to grow you will need to upgrade to a convertible car seat. You can also purchase a convertible car seat from the get-go if you do not plan to move the best forward facing car seat around too much.

Rear facing car seats

Rear-facing car seats

Rear-facing convertible car seats are designed with infants and toddlers in mind. A Rear-facing convertible car seat should be used up until the point your child is two years old. After that, they can be upgraded to the front-facing best toddler car seat.

Booster seats

Booster seats are a seat cushion that will elevate the child in order to have the seat belt fit correctly. Booster seats should be used as soon as your child is 4 years of age and too large to fit in a convertible booster seat. You can expect to use the booster car seats until your child is 12 years old or 60 inches tall and after that, you can purchase the best all in one car seat available on the market. For the best booster car seats, you can consult our site.

Verdict and Our Recommendation for 2020

Our editors at top-mom.com strongly believe that the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is currently the best choice on the market for convertible car seats. It has very high safety results while also being comfortable and very easy to install. You should give the Graco Extend2Fit a try and you will not be disappointed.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Yes, you can use the best front-facing car seat for your newborn. The best newborn car seat is designed to accommodate children from birth up to 4 years of age. Just make sure that your baby is fit snug in the convertible car seat.

As far as we are concerned you can skip infant car seats altogether. A convertible car seat can do the exact same job and you won’t need to purchase two different car seats. This will save you money and you will be able to afford a convertible car seat with better safety standards and more features.

Yes, you can take your convertible car seat on an airplane trip. And you should take it with you. All you need to consider is that you will need to use the safety harness to make sure that the convertible car seat is installed correctly to the plane seat. Make sure that you also take a car seat protector on your airplane journey.

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PRODUCTS TESTED BY Top-Mom.com
How We Tested

With the help of our editors, we have made sure to properly test the convertible car seats and give you an unbiased opinion. We have found ten different editors that have kids between the ages of 1 and four and provided them with the convertible car seats that we have featured in this article. We allocated two weeks for them to be able to properly test all the features and the safety standards. The results have been compiled in a way that the relevant information is easy to stop. We hope that the information about convertible car seat reviews will aid you when it comes to making your next convertible car seat purchase.

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