There are many ways to improve car safety. When it comes to younger passengers, there are a few choices you have that will keep them safe in the unfortunate event of a collision. Accidents do not have to be of the catastrophic sort that you see in movies to result in injuries. Even slow collisions can cause major injuries, and this is doubly so for younger children.
If you want to take all precautions necessary when you have children in the car, it is highly encouraged that you invest in methods to ensure their safety. One of the best ways to ensure child safety in your automobile is to find the best convertible car seat that is available on the market.
A convertible car seat is no ordinary children’s seat. It allows you a much greater degree of versatility by being usable by children of different ages. This allows you to use the same seat as both a baby seat and a toddler seat without having to worry about purchasing a new model when your young one grows.
The crucial aspect to convertible car seats is that they can be positioned in both forward facing positions and rearward facing positions. This is vital because baby seats must be placed in a rearward facing position out of necessity. This ensures that your baby will remain safe in the event of a collision.
Over the course of this buying guide, we will take a look at some of the best convertible car seats that are available for purchase. Before we get into our in-depth reviews, we will go over the reasons why it is important to choose the best convertible car seat, followed by some of the most crucial characteristics to search for in the ideal seat.
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When you are buying your new convertible car seat, it is important to ensure that you get the best product possible for a variety of reasons. The first reason is the most obvious: if you are entrusting your child’s safety to a product, it better be the best product possible.
In the unfortunate event of a collision, you will want to make sure that your child’s car seat is qualified to deal with the forces involved. No parent wants to cut corners when it comes to their child’s safety. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, without enough information, you may end up purchasing a subpar product.
With other products, this is not so much of an issue, as you can return it within the 30 day return period. When it comes to convertible car seats, you will not have that luxury as the seat will only be able to prove itself in the unlikely outcome of an accident.
There is another crucial reason why you will want to get the best convertible car seat possible for your money, and it is directly related to the nature of convertible car seats. Since convertible car seats are meant to last for years, you will find that it would be a waste to invest in a low-quality model which will break after a few months.
Invest is the proper terms, as the best convertible car seat will certainly be an investment. Even when your eldest gets past the age of using a convertible car seat, it can still be utilized for any more children that you may have on the way. This is why it is important to purchase a product that will last you a long time.
Nobody wants to have to keep repurchasing cheap models of car seats. This is both a waste of your time and your money. You may end up spending more on several cheaper seats than you would by investing in the best convertible car seat possible.
We will now move on to the last section before our convertible car seat reviews: the aspects to pay attention to.
The single most important aspect to take into consideration when choosing the best convertible car seat is the age of your child. If your child is a baby, you will very likely need to purchase a convertible car seat with either an insert or a specially designed interior so they can be more comfortably accommodated.
You would not want to invest in a convertible car seat which is not ideal for your child's age, so there is a good reason to pay close attention to the recommended age ranges of products. Some convertible car seats are essentially a hybrid between toddler seats and booster seats, whereas others are more optimized for smaller children, ranging from newborns to larger babies.
You must also pay attention to your car seat convertible’s compatibility with certain car models. This will often depend on your car’s year of manufacture due to most if not all cars after the year of 2002 being constructed with the LATCH system already implemented.
The LATCH system is a universal system which is designed to make it easier to anchor car seats into your vehicle with less effort securely. Before this system, you would either have to use tools to install a car seat or attach it in various complicated ways that left open the possibility of a mistake in the installation process.
The last thing you would want to do is to make an error while installing your child's rear-facing convertible car seat. This could result in your child being injured in the unfortunate event of an automobile collision. This is why a universal anchoring method like the LATCH system is such an important inclusion.
The size of the seat is an aspect which is similar to the recommended age range of a seat, but it is also an important characteristic to account for when considering your vehicle and space within it. If your child is young, you will naturally want a smaller seat, but it is important not to choose a model which is too small, as convertible car seats are meant to be grown into.
You will also want to ensure that the seat is not too large to fit in the rear of your vehicle. You may have to opt for a narrow convertible car seat in this event, so you will still have sufficient room for other passengers in the rear of your car. Even if you have a vehicle with an excess of space, it is important to consider the seat size.
It is important to check if a seat is easy to use before purchasing it. This aspect can mean several things. The first is that the seat is easy to install in the first place. A seat which takes a long time to install will be a bit of a nuisance to you and may present a danger if it is improperly anchored.
Besides the ease of installation, there is also the ease of adjusting the seat. This can range from just changing inserts and cushions or turning the whole convertible car seat around. The best convertible car seats will be both easy to install and easy to adjust after the installation has been completed.
There are several aspects which would fall underneath the category of added features so that we will be taking a look at them over the next few paragraphs.
A comfortable convertible car seat is an excellent choice if your child is a little bit rowdy or not a fan of car rides. There are several aspects which could make the seat more comfortable for your child, but the most common ones are typically added cushioning or inserts for babies and smaller children to fit in the seat more comfortably.
Another important characteristic to account for is whether or not your seat is washable. Since smaller children have the unfortunate tendency to experience accidents or vomiting over the course of a car ride, you will probably wish to opt for a seat which is easily washable.
Even if your child is rather in control of their bodily functions, it would be a smart decision to choose a seat which can be washed easily due to the amount of dust and dirt which may accumulate. A seat which is easy to wash is a seat which is easy to maintain, and this reduces the amount of effort you will have to put into keeping your car clean and smelling good.
Here is our recommendation for the best car seats on the market.
If you are looking for the best convertible car seat regarding ease of access, the Britax Advocate ClickTight convertible car seat is an excellent choice. The inclusion of the ClickTight system makes it far easier to attach to your vehicle. All you must do is run the seatbelt through the seat and ensure that it clicks tightly.
There are even helpful guides to ensure that all of the parts of this seat are tightened, so you do not have to rely solely on manually testing it out. The inclusion of 14 different positions allows your child to be comfortable no matter how small or big they may be. All you must do is adjust the seat until they are comfortable.
The inclusion of the SafeCell system and a sturdy steel frame also ensures that this is one of the more resilient models of convertible car seat that you will find. This makes this model of the seat a very safe option in case a collision occurs. This is what you want out of the best convertible car seat as it would be pointless if it did not protect your child in the event of an accident.
As with most other convertible car seats, you can choose between a rearward facing position for babies and toddlers and a forward facing position for older children. While this may be a relatively common feature, not all convertible car seats are necessarily easy to convert in such a manner. This seat, for instance, is basic to turn around.
The Chicco NextFit convertible car seat is one of the more user-friendly types of car seat that you will find available. Featuring an intuitive and simple installation process thanks to compatibility with the LATCH system, this is one of the easier models of the seat that you can fit into your car. It only takes about 15 minutes to be fully installed.
The option of 9 adjustable positions for reclining allows you to ensure that this convertible seat will fit in almost any type of car, granted you have a reasonable amount of space in the back. The inclusion of washable fabric also makes this a good car seat model in the unfortunate event that your child suffers from road sickness.
The inclusion of a cup holder may seem like a cute addition, but it is also rather functional. While babies and younger toddlers may not get a good deal of use out of it, you will find that it is ideal for children who are old enough to take advantage of it. This may also prevent any unfortunate spillage due to the secure position in which the cup is held.
This model of the seat is also elementary to switch from forward facing to rearwards facing. The inclusion of a path for the belt to take as you rotate the seat means that you only have to unhook a relatively small number of belts to turn it around. As you can see, user accessibility was the main concern of Chicco when they designed this seat.
If you want the best convertible car seat that combines both safety and ease of use, the Graco 4Ever all-in-one convertible car seat is a perfect choice. When it comes to installing this model of seat, it is rivaled by few models due to the simple InRight LATCH system which is both intuitive and reliable when it comes to impact resistance.
The option of six reclining positions ensures that it will fit in a good variety of vehicles, though this is one of the larger models of convertible car seats due to its all-in-one functionality. There are also ten headrest positions to choose from, and the Simply Safe Harness System ensures that the harness rises to remain even with the headrest.
Unlike other models of convertible car seat that we have reviewed, this model will work for your child throughout approximately ten years of their childhood. This is due to its functionality as a rearwards facing infant and toddler seat, a forward facing children's seat and then a booster seat which is designed for older children.
Another feature that we enjoyed on this model of convertible child seat was the washable seat cover. Unlike other models of the seat, you do not even have to unhook the seat to clean the cover. It simply comes off around the restraints so you can throw it in the washing machine and reattach it with a minimum of effort.
The Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat is one of the more rigorously tested models that you will find in regards to safety. While all convertible car seats can boast that they are designed for maximum security, the Extend2Fit is specially engineered to comply with Graco's in-house SafeSeat standards. These standards are meant to ensure maximum possible safety.
The inclusion of Extend2Fit technology is another one of the main reasons why you would prefer this model of convertible car seat over some of the competition.
Extend2Fit technology ensures that your child has enough leg room while in a rearwards facing position by providing five extra inches of legroom. This means that you can keep even taller children in a safer rear-facing position, provided that they are within the weight limits.
The inclusion of Graco's InRight LATCH system ensures that you can anchor this model of the seat with a minimum of effort, even when compared to other types of LATCH compatible seats. As with other models of Graco seats, it also features the Simply Safe Harness System to adjust the headrest and the harness simultaneously.
When it comes to finding a convertible car seat that is both safe and easy to use, this model from Graco is one of the best products that you can purchase. The inclusion of Extend2Fit technology is a unique aspect of this convertible car seat, allowing you to use it as a rear facing seat for longer than most other models.
If you are looking for a convertible car seat which is both affordable and reliable, there are few better choices than the Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat. While it may be less expensive than much of the competition, this does not mean that it makes any sacrifices regarding important features such as safety and comfort.
While this model may not feature the bevy of extra features that you will find on pricier alternatives, it provides the excellent build quality we have come to expect from Graco. Being one of the best child's car seat manufacturers, they have a reputation to uphold, and this model does an excellent job of it.
The Simply Safe harness adjustment system allows you to adjust your child's harness easily, even with one hand. This is a good feature for the confined interior of a car where it may be difficult to reach the seat with both arms.
This model is also still rather adjustable, even for a less expensive model, featuring an eight-position adjustable headrest. It also features EPS foam for better crash resistance, ensuring that it is still well within safety standards for children's seats. All in all, this is a great choice if you are looking for the best convertible car seat on a budget.
We hope that this guide has helped you decide on the best convertible car seat for your needs. While it may be difficult to find a model without help, these reviews should help clear things up. If there are any questions, do not hesitate to ask us in the comments.