• Home  / 
    • Baby
    •  /  Top 5 Convertible Baby Car Seats | 2017 Reviews

    Top 5 Convertible Baby Car Seats | 2017 Reviews

    January 12, 2017

    Top 5 Best Convertible Baby Car Seats | 2017 Reviews

    Life used to be so easy – and so unsafe. When our parents and grandparents had their children, they simply put them in flimsy aluminum “car seats” next to the driver’s seat, and when the kids outgrew those “safety” seats, they were old enough to ride in the back with everyone else.

    Today, parents have to deal with laws (which are different in every state) mandating different types of child car seats for different ages, and buy a succession of infant, rear-facing, front-facing and booster seats as their children grow older. There are very good reasons for those laws, and few would argue their wisdom. That doesn’t lessen the financial burden on parents, though.

    One smart way to at least avoid some of the expense of continual car seat purchases is with the use of convertible baby car seats. These versatile products install initially as the required rear-facing seat for children under the age of 2 (at least, that’s the age requirement in most states). They can then be turned around to become a front-facing car seat for toddlers, suitable for use until the children grow too big for the convertible seat and need a booster seat.

    Today’s convertible seats can be confusing or difficult to install, particularly in small cars, because they can be installed either by attaching a vehicle’s seat belt to them or via the government-mandated LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers) system straps and hooks. But these seats make up for it in versatility since once they’re in your car, they can stay there for years. They’re also designed and built for child safety our parents and grandparents never dreamed of being possible.

    With prices ranging from $50 to $500 and their children’s well-being at stake, parents often lay out enormous money, assuming that the most expensive models must also be the safest and best-designed. That’s not always the case; there are some terrific seats that aren’t budget-busters.

    We know that you are excited with our top 5 list, but you may want to check first our Best Convertible Baby Car Seat Buying Guide here.

    Done? Now, here’s our list of the top 5 convertible baby car seats on the market.

    Quick Comparison Table

    Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat

    Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Car Seat

    Chicco NextFit CS Convertible Car Seat

    Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Safety 1st Complete Air 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat
    Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat
    Chicco NextFit CS Convertible Car Seat
    Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat
    Slight Touch Wrist Digital Blood Pressure Monitor

    $$$

    $$$

    $$$

    $$$

    $$$

    10.5 pounds

    29.4 pounds

    31.5 pounds

    15.7 pounds

    21 pounds

    6 Harness Positions

    7 Harness Positions

    9 Harness Positions

    5 Harness Positions

    4 Harness Positions

    Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat

    Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat

    We’ve ranked this seat at #1 on our list because safety tests done by Consumer Reports show it to be the safest convertible car seat available – but it also proves that you don’t have to spend an enormous amount of money for safety, because the Evenflo SureRide only costs about $75-$100 depending on where you buy it. (It’s also a Mom’s Pick award winner at BabyCenter.com.)

    This lightweight seat, completely manufactured in America, is not only safe but is built to accommodate children as they grow older. The height and weight limitations are 5-40 pounds and 19-40 inches for rear-facing, and 22-65 pounds and 28-54 inches for front-facing. This means the DLX can be used for as long as six years before it’s necessary to transition a child to a booster seat.

    As with all modern car seats, the Evenflo can be connected either with the LATCH system or a rear seat belt. Installing the Evenflo SureRide isn’t quite as easy as it is with a few of the models lower down on our list; it’s one of many car seats that require you to fiddle with a lower plastic recline foot to get the correct incline angle, and also one of many that can require some struggles to get the LATCH connectors hooked up. But once it’s in your car you’ll appreciate its versatility. There are six different height positions for the 5-point harness and two for the crotch buckle, and the harness adjustments can be made easily from the front of the car seat. There’s plenty of room for a child inside, but this is a narrower model than some of its competitors, so it fits easily inside compact cars with smaller back seats. There are removable cup holders and body pillows, too.

    You may be wondering, understandably, if this is the safest seat and it’s made in America yet is much less expensive than many others – what corners are being cut? It’s a legitimate question. The DLX doesn’t have the same amount of padding as higher-priced seats, and the fabric used is definitely cheaper material. Also, the straps are also more prone to getting twisted up (requiring time to untwist them before you can start the car and head off). Neither of those, to our minds, are deal-breakers, though; if the padding isn’t necessary for this seat to get the highest safety rating, and we have to spend an extra minute or two untwisting straps, we’ll gladly make that tradeoff to save hundreds of dollars and get the safest seat for our child.

    Details of the Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat

    Weight Limit

    40 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds front-facing

    Height Limit

    40 inches rear facing, 54 inches front-facing

    Harness

    5-point

    Harness Positions

    6

    FAA approved

    Yes

    Weight

    10.5 pounds

    Height/Width

    30 inches/18.5 inches

    Warranty

    90 days

    Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

    Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

    You’d rather spend high-end money for a high-end car convertible car seat that also has a high safety rating? This Britax model is for you. It’s a premium car seat that also ranked extremely highly on the Consumer Reports safety tests, and comes with several proprietary systems developed by the company: the Click and Snug Harness Indicator, HUGS chest pads with safe cell technology, and True Side Impact Protection.

    Without going into a ton of specifics on each one, Click and Snug gives you an audio signal when the child harness is properly adjusted, the HUGS chest pads have cells designed to compress upon impact and reduce the force that would be felt by the child, and the True Side Impact system lines the head restraint with special, energy-absorbing foam to make sure the child’s spine remains straight in the event of an accident. There are also three layers of side protection. Are they all absolutely necessary? Possibly not, but they definitely provide a level of reassurance for parents.

    The ClickTight is named after the Britax simplified system to attach their convertible car seats with a seat belt. Instead of having to manually thread the belt through a number of hooks or holes, you just push a button to open the ClickTight, run the belt through the designated path, close the ClickTight and the system grabs it and tightens it all by itself. Trust us, it’s a time- and frustration-saver. There are also lower LATCH connectors, of course. The tether on this seat can (and should) also be used in both front- and rear-facing modes, which is not always the case with some convertibles. One other nice feature: the harness straps are twist-resistant.

    There are seven recline positions available, with a very nice color-coded indicator making it easy to see when you’ve chosen the right selection for the size of your child, another plus. The weight limitations of the Britax are identical to the Evenflo, while the height limitations are slightly more restrictive but still in keeping with the heights of most toddlers and older children. The seat is heavier and wider than the SureRide DLX, which may either be a pro or a con for you.

    We can hear you holding your breath, waiting for the price. It’s a little over $300 – quite pricey if you’re on a budget, but quite possibly a price you’re willing to pay for a safe convertible seat your child will be using for years.

    Details of the Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

    Weight Limit

    40 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds front-facing

    Height Limit

    Variable rear facing (one inch from the top of the head restraing), 49 inches front-facing

    Harness

    5-point

    Harness Positions

    7

    FAA approved

    Yes

    Weight

    29.4 pounds

    Height/Width

    23.5 inches/20.5 inches

    Warranty

    1 year, limited

    Chicco NextFit CS Convertible Car Seat

    Chicco NextFit CS Convertible Car Seat

    Chicco has a reputation for making technologically advanced high-end car seats, and the NextFit CS is their latest and greatest model. One of the aspects of the NextFit that we liked is that there’s more headroom when a child is sitting in the rear-facing installation of the seat, up to 49 inches; it’s likely your child will already be exceeding the weight limitation for a rear-facing seat before he or she reaches 49 inches, but there are some families for whom this will be an important feature. Other size and weight limitations are similar to our first two reviewed models.

    We think this is the easiest model to install and remove of all the top 5 convertible baby car seats on our list, thanks to its patented SuperCinch system. Push-button anchor connectors connect to the car’s LATCH connectors, and then you just pull the straps on each side of the seat and you’re done. Clamp-type seat belt lockoffs make it just as simple to attach using a car’s seat belt.

    The harness is easy to secure and doesn’t get tangled up easily, thanks to a ComfortFlex harness management system, there are nine recline positions and two positions for both the chest clip and crotch buckle, and there’s extra side padding as well as a cup holder. This is another convertible seat which ranked high on Consumer Report’s safety tests, and it’s easy to see why. We probably don’t have to tell you it’s also expensive, in the same price range as the Britax, but it’s worth it.

    Details of the Chicco NextFit CS Convertible Car Seat

    Weight Limit

    40 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds front-facing

    Height Limit

    40 inches rear facing, 54 inches front-facing

    Harness

    5-point

    Harness Positions

    9

    FAA approved

    Yes

    Weight

    31.5 pounds

    Height/Width

    27 inches/21 inches

    Warranty

    1 year

    Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Graco is a respected name in baby furniture and products; if you’ve had a baby in the last 15-20 years, you’ve undoubtedly had at least one Graco in your child’s nursery. Their convertible car seats are solid products, and while this car seat is a bit more expensive than the Evenflo that topped our list, it’s still only going to run you a little over $100.

    For that money, you get a safe and versatile convertible seat. We’d rank it as moderately easy to install, with different anchor straps for rear- and front-facing installation and hook hardware instead of push button releases for LATCH attachments. There’s some tugging and squeezing necessary, but it’s not arduous. It also does take a bit of muscle to adjust the five-point harness, though, which has five positions from which to select.

    The My Ride has been extensively safety-tested and surpasses all standards. Although there are no proprietary systems with fancy names, there is energy-absorbing EPS side foam to absorb the impact of a crash – not as plush or extensive as higher-priced models, but definitely more than sufficient. There’s only one crotch position, but there are two cupholders if that matters to you. The one big negative when the Graco is front-facing is that the seat is deep and leans back, something that may not suit antsy toddlers or older children who want to sit up straight.

    This is a good price for a good reversible car seat, and while we prefer the Evenflo at this cost level, the Graco is worth a long look.

    Details of the Graco My Ride 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Weight Limit

    40 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds front-facing

    Height Limit

    49 inches, rear- and front-facing

    Harness

    5-point

    Harness Positions

    5

    FAA approved

    Yes

    Weight

    15.7 pounds

    Height/Width

    26 inches/20.5 inches

    Warranty

    1 year, limited

    Safety 1st Complete Air 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Safety 1st Complete Air 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    We’re always skeptical when a company chooses a name like “Safety 1st,” which makes it seem that there’s some reassurance needed for consumers. In this case, though, you can tell by looking at the construction of this convertible car seat that it’s built with safety in mind, from its large size and generous foam padding to its huge head wings with “Air Protect” technology.

    What really attracted us, though, is the color-coded installation system which makes putting the Air 65 into your car a relative breeze (you still have to deal with LATCH attachments and seat belt threading, never an easy task). But if you’re a bit mechanically challenged, as we are, and have spent half-an-hour wrestling to install a car seat, as we have, the Safety 1st system that essentially walks you through the process will be a welcome relief.

    There is an anti-tangle harness, three crotch positions, and a four recline positions which can be adjusted with just the pull of a lever. The one major drawback for some people will be the Air 65’s large footprint, making it a much better choice for big cars than for smaller ones. It falls into the medium-price range on our list, at around $175.

    Details of the Safety 1st Complete Air 65 LX Convertible Car Seat

    Weight Limit

    40 pounds rear-facing, 65 pounds front-facing

    Height Limit

    40 inches rear facing, 49 inches front-facing

    Harness

    5-point

    Harness Positions

    4

    FAA approved

    Yes

    Weight

    21 pounds

    Height/Width

    27 inches/22 inches

    Warranty

    2 years, limited

    FAQ ( From Our Ardent Fans)

    • How long are the car seats good for? This varies from company to company and the quality of the material used by the manufacturer. Its worth to check the expiration date at the bottom of the seat to understand your seat's durability. As a rule of thumb, if you are wondering how long is the car seat good for, we recommend to use car seats no longer than 6 years from the date of manufacture and/or purchase. If you are planning to make use the same seat for your little one from his elder sibling, it is highly advised you check the expiration date from the manufacture/purchase and not the actual usage of the seat
    • Why do car seats expire? Mostly due to the quality of the materials used and the actual material itself. Car seats are made of lot of harnesses, latches, as well as material that is conducive enough to withhold stress and impact. Over a period time, these wear out and become less durable from a lifetime perspective.
    • When do car seats expire? Please see question 1 above. This depends on manufacturer to manufacturer as well as the quality of the material used
    • How do I find the car seat expiration date? All manufacturers have to follow regulatory & consumer watchdog guidelines and are legally obliged to display expiration date of car seats so finding the expiration date is not onerous. Most of the time this is displayed under the seat itself or in rare circumstances, if you manage not to find one, check the owner's manual
    • How long until my seat expires? The typical lifespan of a very well built car seat from a reputed manufacturer lasts for 6 years but there are some robust recent models that can last as long as 9.
    • How do i dispose off my car seat? After expiration, please recycle them to dispose off
    • How do I recycle my old car seat? With all the manufacturers swaying towards sustainability and aim to be more greener, thankfully, most of the car seat parts are recyclable.  Most US cities now have car seat recycling programs like ReSEAT, where its just as easy as dropping your old seat off. You could also drop it in your local recycle centres or mail your to a recycling program like BabyEarthRenew
    • Are there any new car seats that are fully and 100% recyclable?  A variant of Clek, Foonf claims to be manufactured with all recyclable materials and adhere to sustainability guidelines, however, we haven't checked their particular model. The manufacturer also offers a loyalty discount of twenty dollars on the new seat when the old one is sent back, so worth checking it!

    Originally posted 2016-05-09 15:01:40.


    Leave a comment:


    error: Alert: Content is protected !!
    More in Baby, Reviews
    Top 5 Best Sunscreens for Babies
    Top 5 Best Sunscreens for Babies | 2017 Reviews

    Close