A car seat is an essential part of a parent’s life from the moment they bring their baby home from the hospital. As children grow, their car seat needs change. Once an infant carrier is too small, your child needs a rear-facing car seat. They’ll outgrow that and will eventually need to move into a forward-facing car seat.
When that seat gets too small, then you need a booster seat. Many booster seats have a back that is removable for kids who are almost ready to sit in a seat like an adult. That’s a lot of car seats. Rather than buying multiple car seats, you can instead get a convertible car seat. This goes from rear-facing to forward-facing and sometimes to a booster, eliminating the need to buy multiple car seats.
There are lots of choices when it comes to convertible car seats. How do you know which one is right for you? We looked at the current crop of convertible car seats to find those with high customer ratings, versatility and ease of use. These car seats suit a variety of lifestyles and fit easily in most cars. We also aimed to keep our picks affordable with pricing under $400.
This convertible car seat goes from rear-facing to forward-facing. It has grey and black fabric that resists stains and is easy to clean. There’s a rebound bar to provide extra stability in a crash when used as a rear-facing car seat and it has a high strength steel frame with crumple zones. The anchors snap into place with one click, and once installed, the seat can be reclined to fit flush with the vehicle seat back.
As a three-in-one convertible car seat, this one starts as rear-facing, converts to front-facing and then becomes a high back booster seat. It has a slimmer design than some other convertible car seats, which makes this one more suited to smaller vehicles or situations where you may need to fit three seats across. It also has removable cup holders that rotate in making the seat even narrower.
If you never want to worry about buying a car seat again, then this is the car seat for you. It starts out as rear-facing and then converts to forward-facing. When your child is large enough, it then morphs into a hig hback booster before finally becoming a backless booster seat. Fabric covers remove easily for cleaning as do the dual cupholders, which older kids will love for storing drinks and snacks.
Recommendations from safety experts call for keeping your toddler in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. This convertible car seat accommodates toddlers up to 50 pounds while rear-facing. Most are rated up to 40 pounds, which means you can keep this one rear-facing for longer. It even includes an extendable leg rest to make the seat comfortable for larger kids. The straps also automatically adjust as you raise or lower the headrest as your child grows.
This two-in-one convertible car seat can be installed rear-facing for infants and smaller toddlers and then forward-facing for toddlers up to 40 pounds. It is easy to adjust with a nine-position headrest and easy to install with a bubble level so you can be sure you have it properly positioned. What we love about this car seat is its zip-off padding. There’s no need to unhook little elastic loops or pop out a series of clips. All you do is unzip the cover and you can toss it in the wash. The cupholder is also removable for easy cleaning.
Best-selling Convertible Car Seats on Amazon Sponsored Bestseller No. 1 77 Reviews Graco Contender Slim Convertible Car Seat, West Point Convertible car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness (5-40 lb) to forward-facing harness (22-65 lb)Slim car seat design saves space in your back seatCompact and lightweight to easily transfer from car to car $159.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 2 2,012 Reviews Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat (Heather Onyx Gray) With 2 modes of use, this extra comfortable LATCH equipped Cosco car seat accommodates infants from 5 pounds up to toddlers weighing 40 pounds in rear facing mode and kids up to 65 pounds in forward facing mode. Its compact design also makes it easier to manage through airport security checksThe 5 point harness adjusts easily from the front of the seat and features 5 heights and 3 buckle locationsBuilt in side impact protection keeps your little 1 extra secure; Designed to be just the right size, the seat takes up less space while rear facing so parents can have more leg room $89.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Sale Bestseller No. 3 369 Reviews Baby Trend Trooper 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Moondust (CV01C87B) 3 modes of use: rear facing infant mode (4-18lbs), rear facing toddler mode (18-40lbs), and forward facing toddler mode (22-65lbs)Immediate right installation angle: rear-facing recline flip foot allows for great installation angles with ease; The built-in bubble level indicator helps find the correct angleFits three across: at its widest, the Trooper is 16.75" Allowing it to fit 3 ACROSS in most vehicle $119.99 −$20.00 $99.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 4 1,731 Reviews Baby Trend Cover Me 4 in 1 Convertible Car Seat, Vespa , 18.25 Inch (Pack of 1) Integrated Adjustable Canopy for UV Protection: Integrated height and angle adjustable canopy for in-car UV protection. Flip-out side visors provide additional shade protection for either side of the car seat.4-in-1 Seating System: Built for extended use including 1) Rear Facing Infant mode from 4 to 18lbs 2) Rear Facing Toddler mode from 18 to 40lbs 3) Forward Facing with Harness mode from 22 to 65 lbs 4) Belt Positioning Booster mode from 40 to 100lbsComfort & Convenience for Kiddos: Child can quickly adjust the canopy when car is in motion and sun is coming from multiple directions. The CoverMe's exclusive Comfort Cabin offers extra padding to keep child comfortable on long rides. $149.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 5 1,812 Reviews Graco TriRide 3 in 1 Car Seat | 3 Modes of Use from Rear Facing to Highback Booster Car Seat, Cadence 3-in-1 car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness (5-40 lb) to forward-facing harness (22-65 lb) to highback booster (40-100 lb)Graco ProtectPlus Engineered: a combination of the most rigorous crash tests that help to protect your child in frontal, side, rear & rollover crashesNo-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows the headrest and harness to adjust together in one motion $189.97 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 6 2,092 Reviews Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65 pounds, Harvest Moon An extra-comfortable ride that lasts for years: Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and forward-facing 22-65 poundsSide impact protectionFits 3 across in the back seat of most vehicles Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 7 23,861 Reviews Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Rear-facing 5-40 pounds, Forward-facing 22-65 pounds, and Belt-positioning booster 40-100 pounds, Harvest Moon Built to grow: The 3 in 1 car seat built to grow for extended use through 3 stages: Rear facing 5 to 40 pounds, forward facing 22 to 65 pounds, and belt positioning booster 40 to 100 poundsSide impact protection: The grow and go’s side impact protection helps keep your child safeEasy in, easy out: Harness holders keep the harness in an open position so it is easy to get your child in and out of the seat. Rear facing height is 19 to 40 inches. Forward facing height is 29 to 52 inches $179.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 8 1,459 Reviews Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Verve Easy installation: Patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat beltNo rethreading, ever: 14 position harness, 2 position buckle for a comfortable fit as your child growsRelax and recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle $319.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Sale Bestseller No. 9 1,145 Reviews Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational AllinOne Convertible Car Seat Swivel Car Seat Rotating Car Seat for All Ages Swivel Baby Car Seat ModeChanging 4120lb Car Seat and Booster Car Seat, Moonstone BOLD MOVES: Innovative rotating car seat makes it easier than ever to get your child in and out of the car—no matter what kind of vehicle you haveGROW WITH GOLD: Offers 10 years of use and 3 modes—Rear Facing (4 – 40 lb), Forward Facing (22 – 65 lb), and Booster (40 – 120 lb)ACE THE INSTALL: Bead Level Indicator makes it easy to level the Revolve360 to achieve the safest, most accurate installation in all vehicle types $399.99 −$20.00 $379.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer Bestseller No. 10 2,417 Reviews Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Circa Easy installation: Patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat beltNo rethreading, ever: Quick adjust 14 position harness with click and safe, snug indicator gives a click sound when the harness is tightAdjust accurately: Harness indicator gives an audible click when you’ve pulled to the proper tightness. Shoulder Width:16 inch $349.99 Buy on Amazon Partner Offer
In order to determine the best booster seats for your vehicle, we considered the products most accessible to the widest swath of consumers in the U.S., which also includes performance, price and value. We also considered a broad range of end-user ratings and evaluations by multiple testers.
The same convertible car seat isn’t right for everyone, so we chose a variety to suit different lifestyles and budgets. Since convertible car seats are designed to last longer than booster seats or infant carriers, they are more expensive. We chose car seats that are easy to use, easy to adjust and easy to clean throughout their life.
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