Best Convertible Car Seats for Toddlers
You must have heard stories from your mother or grandmother about how you used to be a sweet, quiet, and ‘half-asleep’ munchkin during your childhood.
Well, if that was the way you were as a kid, and then your parents were highly fortunate because such a thing called a “quiet baby” (especially when you are outside for long periods) does not exist anymore!
Today’s babies have become cuter, noisier, and not-so-submissive, which is why keeping them strapped calmly to the car seat while you drive to the supermarket has become a myth!
We know exactly how exhausted you feel!
But if not your car seat’s strap, then what?
A convertible car seat for your squirmy toddler is the answer.
It gets tiresome and boring, and you also might want to leave everything and run away for a while to get your peace of mind while you are a new parent, but then, just one innocent and pure smile of your baby melts your heart away!
Therefore, now that you’re in no position to leave your cute little toddler behind, it’s time that you get a comfortable convertible car seat for your munchkin.
But how do you choose the best one?
Worry not, for we have got you covered. This article is dedicated to making you and your baby’s life easier and safer. Read on to find out the top 5 convertible car seats that will be apt for your kid.
What is a convertible car seat?
A convertible car seat is an extra seat used to make your kid sit comfortably and safely, either in rear-facing or front-facing position while driving the car.
Rear-facing seats are used for babies, and if your munchkin has grown up a little bigger, keep the convertible car seat in the front-facing position.
Wondering how safe a convertible seat will be for your child?
According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Office of Homeland Security, the convertible car seats need to be manufactured with the same federal safety requirements that are applicable for any other car seat. Therefore, if you use the convertible seat properly and your kid's height and weight are within the recommended limits, those seats are completely safe.
Did you know that even car seats have an expiration date? The chances are that you haven’t. Well, even we were astonished at first when we read that even car seats can expire!
The National Safety Council has clearly mentioned that car seats do have an expiry date, and hence, it is crucial for you to check the expiration date before you purchase any, so that the date matches the time duration for which you intend you use the seat.
Why do toddlers need car seats?
We would answer this question with another question – Why do you need to wear a seat belt?
Obviously, for safety reasons, right? A seat belt is designed for an adult that straps diagonally from your shoulder to your waist and prevents avoidable injury during any sort of car accident. In other words, it is safety gear.
Similarly, the convertible car seats are designed to keep your toddler safe and comfortable during the ride. The best car seat for your toddler would be matching his or her age, size, weight, and height.
But how will you know if the seat matches your requirement?
Always look for the label of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 on the seat before purchasing any. All the information would be mentioned on that label.
Should you buy a used/secondhand car seat? We would suggest not to.
Why? Let’s see the plausible reasons:
- If the seat has been in a car crash before, then the chances are that it can be damaged in places that are not visible from outside.
- If the seat’s manufacturer’s label is torn, then you wouldn’t be able to figure out its expiry date.
- If the seat is missing any minor parts, then that can lead to major safety issues.
Best convertible car seats for toddlers –Our best 5 picks
It is only natural to feel overwhelmed to choose the best car seat for your munchkin when the market is flooded with a plethora of car seats for toddlers. Although it is not as difficult as finding a needle from a haystack, the job isn’t less cumbersome either.
Therefore, after comprehensive research, we have shortlisted the top 5 convertible car seats for your child that will ensure both comfort and safety.
- All-in-one seat
- InRight LATCH system that makes installation a piece of cake
- Passed rigorous testing hence provides peace of mind
- Aesthetically designed for more comfort and safety
- A few customers reported some missing products like a harness cover
The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 convertible car seat brings all the features under a single roof. Whether you want a seat for your infant or toddler, this seat works well in both cases. The all-in-one seat comes with both front and rear-facing, which makes it even more convenient to use.
The advisable weight limits for rear-facing are 5 to 40 lb, whereas, for forward-facing, the limit goes up from 22 to 65 lb, along with a belt-positioning booster of 30 to 100 lb. Thanks to the unique design of the Graco SlimFit seat, which makes it possible to have enough room in your backseat while providing enough space for your child to sit comfortably.
The Graco SlimFit convertible car seat for toddlers comes with the Simply Safe Adjust harness system that lets you seamlessly adjust the headrest and the harness together to better the safety and comfort of your little one.
To further ensure that your kid is comfortably sitting while you drive through town, the Graco SlimFit offers 4 recline positions. It also comes equipped with the InRight LATCH system that makes installing this convertible car seat a breeze!
The seat is Graco ProtectPlus Engineered, which means that it has passed through the most rigorous crash tests and provides ultimate protection to your child. The Graco SlimFIt car seat has also been specially tested for side-impact, thanks to the 5-Point harness system that this seat is equipped with.
The Graco SlimFit seat features an EPS foam for more comfort while the seat cover can be easily removed and washed without having to remove the harness every time.
Overall, this is one of the best 3-in-1 convertible car seats that you will get at this price point. Moreover, the Graco SlimFIt car seat is Graco ProtectPlus Engineered, which further gives you peace of mind.
- 4-in-1 convertible car seat
- 6-position recline for more comfort
- 10 years of use
- RapidRemove cover for easy removal and washing of seat cover
- InRight LATCH system for seamless installation
- A wide spectrum of colors to choose from
- Straps might feel a little difficult to loosen
The Graco 4Ever DLX 4 comes with the protection of Graco ProtectPlus Engineered that ensures that your munchkin is safe and secure, lest there be any frontal, side, rear, or even rollover crash. This all-new 4-in-1 car seat features the following:
- A 6-way position recline, so you can choose the perfect angle at which your kid feels most comfortable.
- Plush head and body inserts keep your little one comfortably in place during the ride.
- Comes equipped with 2 integrated cup holders – Now, your kid can enjoy her or his drink conveniently during the ride without spilling it all over the place.
- Simple Safe Adjust harness system that lets you easily adjust the harness and headrest together for more comfort.
The seat comes with a life span of 10 long years, which means that it is like a one-time investment. You wouldn’t have to worry about changing the car seat for your child every second year. The Graco 4Ever DLX 4 car seat also comes with RapidRemove seat covers that lets you conveniently remove and wash the seat cover without removing the harness.
The rubberized Fuss Free harness system is another highlight of the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 car seat, which allows you to get your little one in and out of the seat easily.
The Graco 4Ever DLX 4 car seat can have the following transitions:
- Forward-facing harness for weighing limit of 22 to 65 lb (for toddlers)
- Rear-facing harness for a weight limit of 4 to 40 lb (for babies)
- Highback belt-positioning booster for a weight limit of 40 to 100 lb
- Backless belt-positioning booster for a weight limit of 40 to 120 lb
To sum up, if you want to get a safe and comfortable car seat without the same mundane colors, then the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 will fulfill your need as it comes with a variety of color options to choose from.
Maxi-Cosi is a well-renowned brand that leads in the manufacture of best-in-class toddler car seats and strollers. In terms of safety and ease of use, Maxi-Cosi leads the industry with not many worthy counterparts.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria Max is a 3-in-1 car seat for your toddler that comes only in 3 color variants – black, grey, and sand. The manufacturer understands that kids grow up very fast, and hence, purchasing a car seat every two years is not a feasible option.
This convertible car seat supports the weight from 4 to 100 lbs optimally, and with the GCell patented foam, the protection of your child is increased manifold compared to the other counterparts. These air protected cushion foam is effective in protecting the head of your little one from any side impact.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria Max car seat's harness system comes with ClipQuick auto-magnetic chest clip for better safety. The Flip Away buckle comes equipped with a fast and easy buckle with spring assist that makes putting in and taking out your little one feel effortless.
Unlike the other toddler car seats, the Maxi-Cosi Pria Max doesn’t entangle your kid with the straps. The Out-Of-The-Way spring assist harness system helps to keep the straps in order and, thus, prevents the messy tangling of the straps with your kid.
The cushions of this seat are both washer and dryer safe; therefore, you do not have to line dry them. The cushion fabric is of premium quality that not only adds comfort for your child but also stays fresh like new, even after numerous spills and washes.
In a nutshell, the ClipQuik magnetic clip is a huge hassle-reliever that frees you of the frustration to free your baby out of the strangles of the straps. The cushion fabric also stays fresh, so you can wash and reuse it without worrying about losing its shine or fading away.
- ClipQuik magnetic chest clip for struggle-free buckling and more safety
- GCell foam in the cushions provides safety from any side impact
- Flip Away buckle for easy getting in and out of the car seat
- Premium quality cushion fabric that stays like new after numerous spills and washes
- The convertible car seat might feel a little bulky due to its large size
- All-in-one car seat that supports babies and toddlers from 5 to 120 lbs
- EasyClick LATCH system that offers 3x tighter installation
- 10-positions including 5 recline positions for more comfort
- Machine washable pads
- Dishwasher-safe cup holders
- Some customers reported the colors to be different from the pictures
When it comes to rating the best brand that manufactures children’s products, Evenflo is the name that always ranks among the top 5. Evenflo has been in the market for almost a century now and has earned the trust of thousands across the globe for its premium quality children's products.
Evenflo is the name that manufactures state-of-the-art children's products for everyday usage, with real-life designs that are not only comfortable to use but also rank high while providing safety.
The EveryStage DLX convertible car seat from Evenflo is one of those seats that offer all the features under one roof with a safe and secure life span of 10 years. This all-in-one car seat for toddlers is manufactured to give unmatchable comfort and safety with a seamless installation experience.
You can conveniently use the Evenflo EveryStage DLX car seat as an infant seat, convertible seat, and even as a booster seat. The seat can be further adjusted in 10 different positions for more comfort; thus, it provides the apt fit for your fast-growing munchkin.
One of the most highlighted features of Evenflo EveryStage DLX is that it comes with a custom cradled fit that features an in-seat reclining feature that provides enhanced support to your kid in the proper angle that reduces the head slump and helps him or her to breathe comfortably.
The Evenflo EveryStage DLX features a no-rethread harness that makes this convertible car seat to adjust in 10 different convenient positions. You can seamlessly adjust the seat according to your child's convenience without eating up space for other passengers.
You do not have to worry about cleaning the Evenflo EveryStage DLX car seat either because the seat pad can be completely washed or dried in your washing machine. The two cup holders in front are dishwasher-safe, and hence, you can clean them without worry.
To conclude, if you always find yourself adjusting your squirmy toddler's seat now and then, then the Evenflo EveryStage DLX would solve your problem as it comes with 10 different positions to sit more comfortably and comfortably peacefully.
- Easy on your wallet if you’re on a tight budget
- Fits perfectly in smaller cars
- 5-point harness system for enhanced safety
- Anti-rebound bolsters for peace of mind
- Meets with the requirements of the Federal Safety Standards
- Some customers have reported that the seat is difficult to clean
If you are on a tight budget and need a good quality convertible car seat for your little one without burning a hole in your wallet, then the Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport convertible car seat is the one for you. Along with keeping the price of the car seats within the budget range, the manufacturer has not compromised on the quality of the product.
The Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport is the car seat that would be a perfect choice if you have a comparatively smaller car. This car seat conveniently fits your car's back seat without eating up much space or cramming other passengers. It can easily fit 3 seats across in the back of your car, which will provide enough room for everyone.
The motto of this brand is that parenting should be more joyful and less worrisome, and keeping its vision in mind, the Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport has been crafted with due diligence to safety. The car seat comes with 2 modes – Front-facing of weight limit 22 to 65 pounds and rear-facing of weight limit 5 to 40 pounds.
The Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport car seat meets the Federal Safety Standards, which undoubtedly gives peace of mind. The side-impact protection, along with the 5-point harness that comes coupled with up-front adjustments, also adds up to the overall safety that this car seat provides.
In a nutshell, if you are looking for a convertible car seat for your kid that comes within an affordable price range without negotiating on safety, then the Safety 1st Guide 65 Sport car seat would be your best choice.
While choosing a convertible car seat for your toddler, it is crucial for you to pay close attention to safety and comfort. Since every child is different, there cannot be a single car seat that will fit everyone, and therefore, you shouldn’t look for one-size-fits-all when it comes to purchasing a convertible car seat.
Irrespective of what your requirements are, the 5 car seats that have been mentioned above cover up every aspect of your need. Therefore, you need to shortlist your priorities first and then match them with the list to find the car seat that will suit you perfectly.