best-convertible-car-seat

The Best Convertible Car Seat For Your Baby To Cruise in Comfort

Preparing for the arrival of your child can be a stressful process, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You need to equip yourself with as much information as you can regarding the baby products that will prove to come in handy. Parents have usually already bought a variety of baby clothes, toys, bottles, and nursery items before the mother gives birth. One thing parents often forget about is a product that’s very important: a car seat.

After you give birth at the hospital and sign yourself out with your newborn baby, you’ll start to walk over to your vehicle. For those who forgot to buy a car seat, they’ll have no way of safely securing their baby in the car. Parents who do think ahead usually end up buying a car seat that will accommodate to their child for many years to come; something that will be hard to outgrow too quickly. The standard age in which you can transfer your child from a car seat to an adult seat belt rests around the age of eight. That’s a lot of years spent using a car seat.

Baby Car Seats

Infant car seats are installed in a rear-facing manner. Sometimes they effectively transition between a car seat and a baby carrier. These are referred to as travel systems. Usually there is a base that you install in the car, and the seat can be easily removed and added. As far as price goes, infant car seats cost anywhere between $80 to $500. However, these seats usually become useless after a year or two as your child grows. Be careful how much you spend on a car seat that will be useless rather quickly. 

Convertible Car Seats

Instead of buying an infant car seat, a car seat for toddlers, and a booster seat (during the first few years), you should consider investing in a convertible car seat. You’ll end up saving money using a car seat that will grow with your child. Convertible car seats are typically more bulky and cannot be efficiently moved in and out of your vehicle. This eliminates the possibility of carrying your baby around in the car seat. However, some parents actually recommend using a convertible car seat straight from the baby’s birth. That way the baby doesn’t have to get used to the feeling of sitting on a new car seat after just one year.

Convertible car seats have a unique design that gives you the freedom to install the car seat rear-facing or forward-facing. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees that installing a convertible car seat rear-facing is your baby’s safest option. You should only install car seats in the back seat. Consumer Reports go on to say that only after your child reaches the age of two can you install convertible car seats in a forward facing manner. Some states in America require you to install your convertible car seat rear-facing until your child reaches the age of two. This complies with safer pediatric standards.

Depending on the convertible car seat you buy, they can hold a baby weighing between 20 and 65 pounds. This is an exceptionally large range for the price. Convertible car seats end up costing less than infant car seats since they are suitable for more sizes.

What Makes a Car Seat Safe?

If you’re worried about some car seats being ineffective for carrying your child, you shouldn’t be: The Federal government has created a list of requirements that all car seats sold in the USA have to comply to. On top of reaching the Federal requirements, car seat manufacturers usually perform extra crash tests as well.

The Federal standard for a crash test says the car should be moving at 30 miles per hour. Sometimes more expensive brands even perform crash tests at 35 mph. You’ll notice that a car seat with a five-point harness will have straps for both sides of your baby’s hips and shoulders and one for in between his or her legs. The newest car seat models all utilize this harness.

Furthermore, this safety feature will maintain the alignment of your child’s spine, head, and neck, and will protect its chest. The padded foam works to distribute the force resulting from a car crash in an even matter, which keeps your child protected. Incorrectly installing car seats is more common than you would think since over 80% of car seats are reported to be setup incorrectly. You must ensure that your child is correctly harnessed into the carseat and falls within the weight and height range of the seat.

A car seat that isn’t securely fastened will not work as effectively to protect your child whenever there’s an accident of some sort, which defeats the purpose of the car seat.

Carefully read the instructions:

Car seat installation can be especially tricky. Make sure you thoroughly read the manual provided by the car seat manufacturer before installing the seat. This ensures that the car seat is securely fastened and suitable to hold your baby. Keep in mind that a securely tightened car seat shouldn’t move lengths surpassing one-inch in all directions. Pediatricians and parents alike rave about convertible car seats. Keep reading for detailed reviews of the best convertible car seat available on the market. 

Best Convertible Car Seat Winner Under $100: Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat

For those who value safety above all other features, you should consider the manufacturer Evenflo. It's known for adhering to rigorous safety test guidelines that most car seat manufacturers don't even bother with.

The particular Evenflo car seat being discussed is Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat. It's the brand's most lightweight, safe, and portable model that is guaranteed to fit inside multiple vehicles. Parent's love the fact that it's easy to carry while still being snug and sturdy enough to support their baby.

On top of this convertible seat satisfying the federal car seat safety standards, the convertible car seat is built to withstand twice the amount of energy levels exhibited during a crash test following Federal standards.

Instead of having a car drive at speeds reaching 30 miles per hour for a crash test, Evenflo performed a crash test with a car reaching speeds of 60 mph to prove it can keep your child safe.

Features

  • Material: 100% Polyester
  • Meets & Exceeds all Federal Safety Standards
  • Integrated Body Cushion
  • Two Crotch Buckle Positions
  • Machine Washable Outer Pad
  • LATCH System
  • Forward Facing Weight Limit: 22 pounds to 40 pounds
  • Forward Facing Height Limit: 28 inches to 40 inches
  • Made in the USA
  • 5 Point Harness System
  • Recline for Rear-facing
  • Included: Removable Head Pillow
  • Foam Liner
  • Rear Facing Weight Limit: 5 pounds to 30 pounds
  • Rear Facing Height Limit: 19 inches to 37 inches
  • Cup Holder Option

What’s the design?

Easy to Install

Since Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat costs less than $100, most parents mistakenly think that it’ll be difficult to install and will consist of cheap materials. Neither one of those assumptions regarding the build of convertible car seat is true. You don’t have to worry about sacrificing high-quality features over a low price tag. Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat requires little work on your part for the installation process. You have two installation options to choose from which includes both the seatbelt and the LATCH system installation. Most parents prefer the LATCH system since it doesn’t use the car’s seat belts.

However, some parents find fastening seat belts a more simple process, so the decision is up to you. The LATCH system present in the Tribute LX allows you to directly attach the car seat to your car’s frame rather than using the seat belts to achieve the same security. Once again, make sure you read the manual before installation. As a side note, Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat does not come with level adjustment features.

Best Convertible Car Seat Runner Up Under $100: Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat

Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat

This Disney car seat is great when it comes to having a themed car seat option.

In fact, Disney set itself apart when it refused to adhere to the traditional convertible car seat design and instead released Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat to offer a fashion-forward car seat that your baby will gladly sit in.

Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat is built with Mouseketeer Minnie fashion. It includes a mouse ear head rest as well as high-quality fabric build that helps to hold your baby in a happy and comfortable state.

The additional design of the Minnie signature located at the lower right-hand side of Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat adds the perfect touch to an already visually appealing convertible car seat.

Features

  • Meets all Federal Safety Standards
  • Side Impact Protection
  • Five Different Harness Heights
  • Included: Two cup holders
  • Rear-facing Weight limit: 5 pounds to 40 pounds
  • Rear Facing Height Limit: 19 inches to 40 inches
  • LATCH System
  • Five-point harness
  • Three Buckle Locations
  • Available in Five Colors
  • Forward facing Weight Limit 22 pounds to 40 pounds
  • Forward facing Height Limit: 34 inches to 43 inches

What’s the design?

Easy to Adjust

Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat is built with the five-point harness system. This means your baby will have straps going along both sides of its shoulders and hips as well as through the middle of its legs.

Disney included up-front adjustment features to work with the five-point harness system, so your baby is seated in the back with comfort and ease. If Disney Baby Apt 40RF Convertible Car Seat is the first car seat you buy, you’re in luck since it comes with five harness heights along with three buckle locations that function to conveniently accommodate to the constant growing your baby will be going through.

Best Convertible Car Seat Winner Over $100: Graco Milestone All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Graco Milestone All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

For those who aren’t interested in a car seat unless it contains an all-in-one design, the best convertible car seat to consist of an all-in-one design comes from the factories of Graco Milestone.

Parents all rave about three in one car seats since they guarantee that your baby won't need another car seat for a really long time. This makes this car seat style the ideal investment. If you don’t mind spending a bit of money on a car seat, this seat will satisfy your priorities since it includes notable designs that will make your life easier when compared to other convertible car seats.

Graco Milestone All-in-One Convertible Car Seat features three different car seat positions that include rear-facing, forward facing, and a high-back booster that will support your baby through all of its growth stages. In regards to safety, Graco Milestone follows the New Car Assessment Program on top of the Federal safety standards. This means that this car seat has gone through crash tests that are performed at energy levels twice as much as the Federal standard requires.

Parents find it hard to believe there is a car seat that combines all the best features and safety standards. Graco Milestone made the impossible possible with its All-in-One Convertible Car Seat.

Features

  • Side Impact Protection
  • Frame Built: Reinforced Steel
  • Adjustable recline: Four positions (two forward and two rear)
  • Five-point Harness restraint system
  • Belt-Positioning Booster Weight Limit: 30 pounds to 100 pounds
  • EPS Foam
  • Comes with Safe Adjust Harness System
  • InRight LATCH system
  • Rear-facing Weight Limit: 5 pounds to 40 pounds
  • Forward-facing Weight Limit: 20 pounds to 65 pounds

What’s the design?

User-Friendly Installation System

Graco Milestone has built Graco Milestone All-in-One Convertible Car Seat to include its exclusive InRight Latch system. It comes with an attachment that emits a click sound when you've correctly installed the car seat.

This incredibly effortless installation process will take you one-second to complete. Plus, you'll be sure it's secured in its place.

Best Convertible Car Seat Runner Up Over $100: Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

If you’re a parent who prioritizes a car seat with adaptable qualities that ensure your baby can make use of the same car seat till childhood, you should stop searching for your ideal car seat because Safety 1st has already produced it. Safety 1st recently released a Grow and Go series of car seat models whose purpose is to hold your baby from the time of its birth to the time he or she starts elementary school. This car seat series prevents the awkward transition period that babies hate to endure when they have to accommodate from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat.

The best-selling car seat in the Grow and Go series is hands down Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, which offers similar features as the car seat reviewed above but costs approximately $50 cheaper.

For those who still want an all-in-one car seat design but find the previously reviewed car seat to be too expensive, Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is your next-best option.

Features

  • Impact absorbing side protection
  • Padding is Machine Washable & Dryer Safe
  • Extra Leg Room Design
  • Head Comfort Pillow Headrest
  • Three Recline Options
  • Three Stage Use: Rear-facing, Forward-facing, & Belt-positioning Booster
  • Rear-facing Weight Limit: 5 pounds to 40 pounds
  • Made in the USA
  • QuickFit Harness
  • Built-in Harness Holders
  • Two Included Cup Holders
  • LATCH system
  • Comes in Ten colors
  • Belt-positioning booster Weight Limit: 40 pounds to 100 pounds
  • Forward-facing Weight Limit: 22 pounds to 65 pounds

What’s the design?

Easy Installation & Adaptable Design

In regards to the installation process associated with Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, this car seat primarily depends on the LATCH system for rear-facing and forward facing car seat positions. A harness will no longer be necessary when your child reaches the age that the only suitable position for his or her height and weight would be the belt-positioning booster mode. This means your car's seat belt will function as the primary form of protection and support.

The installation involved with Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is one of the easiest reviewed here because Safety 1st specially color-coded parts of the car seat so you can't make any mistakes during the setup process. Safety 1st manufactures a car seat that features a worry-free installation and multifunctional use, so your baby won't  have to change car seats in the first years of his/her life.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you now have a thorough understanding of what to look for when buying a convertible car seat, so you don't make a mistake and purchase a model that won't fit your car or your child. Out of all the four convertible car seats reviewed above, one must have caught your eye and helped in narrowing down your list to the final car seat you’ll eventually end up buying.

I would highly recommend buying either Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat or Graco Milestone All-in-One Convertible Car Seat. The main difference between the two options is that one will cost you under $100 while the other has a price on the opposite end with a value costing over $100. If you don't think a convertible car seat is for you, check out our list of the top travel system to make getting in and out of the car a breeze.

Sources

http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/install-child-seat.php

http://www.chop.edu/pages/what-latch

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-report-recommends-babies-switch-to-convertible-car-seats-by-age-1_us_56950bd0e4b09dbb4bac83a5

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