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The Best Convertible Car Seat for 2023

Ensure your child’s safety with the best convertible car seats for 2022

From baby-proofing your home to installing security systems, there are numerous ways to ensure a child’s physical safety. However, a car seat is one of the very first child safety equipment every parent should have.

Car seats are rear-facing seats with designs that allow you to secure them to a passenger seat in the car. You can’t leave the hospital with a newborn if you don’t have a car seat installed. This shows how important car seats are. Most parents start with infant car seats for their babies. Eventually, the parents will replace the infant car seat with a convertible one.

Convertible car seats differ from infant car seats because they can change from a rear-facing to a forward-facing seat and offer a larger size and weight limit. You can’t afford to skimp on a convertible car if you have a kid. However, the wide range of car seats on the market can make it challenging to pick a particular one. Therefore, we will help you make the right choice with our list of the best convertible car seats available.

How We Picked

  • Safety/Security/Support

    You need a car seat because of your child’s safety and security. Therefore, we cannot overemphasize our picks' security and support features.

  • Material & Comfort

    The car seat you get has to be made from quality materials to ensure your child’s comfort. We have selected picks that will ensure your child enjoys every second of the ride.

  • Style/Design

    Buying a beautiful seat is one thing; using it is another. A beautiful seat with suitable features for easy installation and use is always preferred.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    It is always better to spend good money on a quality seat than to get a cheap one that doesn’t last. Our picks offer essential functions and more at great prices.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

The best 4-in-1 and most durable convertible car seat.

Ever heard of the saying “4-in-1 convertible cars are better than 3-in-1 ones?” Well, you’re hearing it now. While it may not be accurate in all cases because of knockoffs, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat graciously holds. It can be a rear-facing seat for babies with a minimum four pounds weight limit. It can also be a forward-facing harness for your young kids with a minimum of 22 pounds to a maximum 65 pounds weight limit. Alternatively, it converts to a high-back or backless booster for kids between 40 to 120 pounds.

Buy Now for $247.49

A car seat with everything for your kid’s safety.

Runner Up

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat

The best convertible car seat for small cars.

Car seat companies are constantly producing and upgrading their products without giving smaller cars much thought. However, this car seat fixes this narrative. More than being an excellent 3-in-1 seat, it features a space-saving design. This design is such that you can tuck away the seat's cup holders to make the seat about 10% slimmer. This will take up less space at the back of your car, and you can even fit in up to three of these seats. With a steel-reinforced frame, F.A.A. approval, and Graco ProtectPlus Engineering, you never have to worry about your kid's safety.

Buy Now

The perfect car seat for smaller vehicles.

Most cost-effective

Safety 1st Grow & Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

The most comfortable 3-in-1 convertible car seat.

The Safety 1st Grow & Go is an affordable car seat that offers a lot of exciting features. For one, it features side impact protection, so your child’s sides are as protected as the front and back in case of a crash. The seat is easy to use with a QuickFit harness that lets you adjust the headrest and harness in one step. The rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seat positions can take up to 40, 65, and 100 pounds, respectively. This offers a wide range of sizes and weights for kids. Cleaning this seat with its removable cup holders and seat pads is also easy.

Buy Now

An affordable, secure, and plush 3-in-1.

Almost made the cut

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Car Seat

The easiest-to-install convertible car seat

Britax’s ClickTight series have car seats that are the easiest-to-install choices in the market. The Britax Boulevard is the best yet of this series. The installation system of the Boulevard is such that you only need to pass your car’s seat belt through a path underneath the car seat’s cushion and close the seat cushion. Everything that happens after this is automatic; no extra effort is required. Like many convertible car seats, you can only use the Britax Boulevard ClickTight in the rear-facing position for kids weighing no more than 40 pounds.

Buy Now for $319.99

The hassle-free car seat choice.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

The best 4-in-1 and most durable convertible car seat.

$247.49

Buy Now

Runner Up

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat

The best convertible car seat for small cars.

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Safety 1st Grow & Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

The most comfortable 3-in-1 convertible car seat.

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Car Seat

The easiest-to-install convertible car seat

$319.99

Buy Now

Who This Is For

Road safety rules and regulations demand you buckle your young kids in an appropriate car seat fitting for their age and size each time they’re on the road. They’re the surest safety bet against car crashes and other harmful impacts. Therefore, convertible car seats are for all parents and caretakers responsible for kids and care about their safety while on the road.

What Age Should My Child Be In A Car Seat For?

Before using a convertible car seat, you must have used an infant car seat. You can replace your infant car seat with a convertible one when your baby clocks six months. Therefore convertible car seats are suitable for kids between six months old and whatever age they outgrow the seat (usually 10 years old).

How Do I Know The Right Size Car Seat For My Child?

The right car seat should fit your car, child, and budget and be easy to install. For the right size for your child, read the labeling on the car seat. All car seats have labeling on them showing their limits of stage, weight, and height. Your child should fall within all the requirements of your choice.

Why You Should Trust Us

We reviewed the N.H.T.S.A. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) available database of results for the performance of car seats. They have a list of car seats that have passed crash tests and met safety standards. We cross-checked their list with an extensive range of car seats available to consolidate our picks. We paid attention to reviews online and focused on essential factors such as quality of material, safety, security, design, and cost.

How We Picked

We started by looking at the safety of our picks, ensuring that they all have key safety features. Those key features include a five-point harness, easy harness adjustment, side-impact protection, and a higher rear-facing weight limit. Our picks have all passed the N.H.T.S.A. crash tests and safety standards. The higher rear-facing weight limit ensures that kids are comfortably rear-facing for the recommended four years.

We also chose car seats with built-in leveling systems, additional shock absorption, and a signaling system to show when they’ve been correctly installed. Our picks include seats that can fit a wide range of sizes, so you don’t have to worry about replacing them soon.
We considered the user-friendliness of the seats for the kids and parents. Based on that, we selected seats that are easy to install, simple to adjust, clean, and offer the best support and comfort for kids.

To cement support, comfort, and safety, we selected car seats made from metal and alloy steel, both strong materials. We ensured the seats also had quality foam and more plush padding for some. Buying a more expensive car seat doesn’t guarantee the most safety for your kids. Therefore we selected seats with great prices for the function they provide.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

Best Pick

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

The best 4-in-1 and most durable convertible car seat.

Ever heard of the saying “4-in-1 convertible cars are better than 3-in-1 ones?” Well, you’re hearing it now. While it may not be accurate in all cases because of knockoffs, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat graciously holds. It can be a rear-facing seat for babies with a minimum four pounds weight limit. It can also be a forward-facing harness for your young kids with a minimum of 22 pounds to a maximum 65 pounds weight limit. Alternatively, it converts to a high-back or backless booster for kids between 40 to 120 pounds.

Buy Now for $247.49

Who it is for

The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 is for people who want more car seat functions and sophistication for the average market price of convertible car seats. It is the most durable seat we reviewed. So, if you want something long-lasting to see your kids through, from the baby to the big kid phase, this seat is for you. It is suitable for a wide range of kids' sizes and weights. So go for it if you worry about your kid putting on weight rapidly.

Why it is great

The Graco 4Ever DLX is a 4-in-1 car seat; with this design, you don’t lack any function. The seat can accommodate up to 40 pounds in the rear-facing, 65 pounds in the forward-facing, 100 pounds in the high-back booster, and 120 pounds in the backless booster positions. In addition, the car seat has quality material which we found to be the most durable of our picks. Furthermore, the Graco 4Ever has a four-position extension panel. This panel gives your children enough legroom in the rear position, so their legs don't get cramped.

Potential flaws

The Graco 4Ever DLX is very tricky to install correctly. You'll have to thoroughly read the car seat's manual before attempting installation to prevent issues. Sometimes, you may have to call on an expert to double-check that you installed it correctly. In addition, this car seat may be heavy and tough to fit in smaller vehicles.

Other features

This versatile car seat also has integrated cup holders, a six-position recline, a steel-reinforced frame, a five-point harness, and a 10-position headrest. These features work together to allow great comfort while providing the utmost safety. It is good to note that the car seat is also machine-washable.

Product specifications

Dimensions: 20 × 21.5 × 24 inches
Product weight: 22.8 pounds
Function: 4-in-1
Weight Capacity: 4 to 120 pounds
Height Capacity: Up to 27 inches
Material: Metal
Number of Recline Positions: 6
Orientation: Rear-facing
Harness Type: LATCH
Installation Type: Manual

Runner Up - Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat

Runner Up

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat

The best convertible car seat for small cars.

Car seat companies are constantly producing and upgrading their products without giving smaller cars much thought. However, this car seat fixes this narrative. More than being an excellent 3-in-1 seat, it features a space-saving design. This design is such that you can tuck away the seat's cup holders to make the seat about 10% slimmer. This will take up less space at the back of your car, and you can even fit in up to three of these seats. With a steel-reinforced frame, F.A.A. approval, and Graco ProtectPlus Engineering, you never have to worry about your kid's safety.

Buy Now

Who it is for

The space-saving design of the Graco SlimFit makes it suitable for small car owners struggling to find a fitting car seat. The seat is also great for people who prioritize the headrest features of car seats. It is equally perfect for parents looking for a 3-in-1 car seat.

Why it is great

It has a space-saving design; its dual integrated cup holders rotate away to make the seat 10% slimmer. Therefore, it takes up less back seat space. With a steel-reinforced frame, you never have to worry about the support and safety of your child. You can adjust the headrest to 10 positions, making it one of the most comfortable car seats on the market. This seat is relatively easy to install with a four-position recline, an easy-to-read level indicator, and a LATCH system.

Potential flaws

In online reviews, customers have complained that the straps are too hard to tighten. In addition, you cannot remove the straps to clean. The cup holders are also smaller than many cups can fit into.

Other features

The Graco SlimFit’s seat cover is machine-washable. It has a non-rethread harness system and a harness storage compartment, which increases its ease of use. It is also available in five colors that you can choose from. It is Graco ProtectPlus Engineered, meaning it has successfully gone through the most rigorous crash tests to ensure it’s safe for your kids.

Product specifications

Dimensions: 21.5 × 19.9 × 25.5 inches
Product weight: 19.47 pounds
Function: 3-in-1
Weight Capacity: 5 to 100 pounds
Height Capacity: Up to 57 inches
Material: Foam & Alloy Steel
Number of Recline Positions: 4
Orientation: Rear-Facing and Forward-Facing
Harness Type: 5-point
Installation Type: LATCH

Most cost-effective - Safety 1st Grow & Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

Most cost-effective

Safety 1st Grow & Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

The most comfortable 3-in-1 convertible car seat.

The Safety 1st Grow & Go is an affordable car seat that offers a lot of exciting features. For one, it features side impact protection, so your child’s sides are as protected as the front and back in case of a crash. The seat is easy to use with a QuickFit harness that lets you adjust the headrest and harness in one step. The rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seat positions can take up to 40, 65, and 100 pounds, respectively. This offers a wide range of sizes and weights for kids. Cleaning this seat with its removable cup holders and seat pads is also easy.

Buy Now

Who it is for

If you love a 3-in-1 car seat and are looking for one at a great price, the Safety 1st Grow & Go is for you. At just over 18 pounds, it’s the lightest of our picks and one of the lightest on the market. Therefore if you love more lightweight car seats, this one's for you too. If you are looking for a 3-in-1 seat that offers excellent comfort, you should go for this.

Why it is great

The seat has the three most fundamental modes of use — rear-facing, forward-facing, and a booster seat. It features a quick-fit system that lets you adjust the harness and headrest in one simple step to ensure your child’s comfort. It also has side impact protection to keep kids well-protected. It has removable seat pads that are machine-washable. Therefore, it is easy to clean.

Potential flaws

The headrest isn't as high up as most car seats. Three is good, but a minimal number of recline positions to have. Customers online also complained that the seat is difficult to install despite its promise of easy installation.

Other features

It features two harness holders on each side of the car seat. These harness holders come into play most importantly when you’re buckling in a resistant child because they’ll hold the harness in place. The harness holders also ensure no straps are getting in the way when taking your child out of the seat. The seat can fit a wide range of babies and kids too.

Product specifications

Dimensions: 31.75 × 19.25 × 28.75 inches
Product weight: 18.66 pounds
Mode of Use: 3-in-1
Weight Capacity: 5 to 100 pounds
Height Capacity: Up to 52 inches
Material: Metal
Number of Recline Positions: 3
Orientation: Rear-Facing and Forward-Facing
Harness Type: 5-point
Installation Type: Snaps

Almost made the cut - Britax Boulevard ClickTight Car Seat

Almost made the cut

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Car Seat

The easiest-to-install convertible car seat

Britax’s ClickTight series have car seats that are the easiest-to-install choices in the market. The Britax Boulevard is the best yet of this series. The installation system of the Boulevard is such that you only need to pass your car’s seat belt through a path underneath the car seat’s cushion and close the seat cushion. Everything that happens after this is automatic; no extra effort is required. Like many convertible car seats, you can only use the Britax Boulevard ClickTight in the rear-facing position for kids weighing no more than 40 pounds.

Buy Now for $319.99

Who it is for

The Britax Boulevard ClickTight car seat requires no extra effort to install and so is suitable for people who prioritize a fast and convenient installation. If you're always in a hurry, go for this. The seat is also great if you're not looking for more than a 2-in-1 convertible car seat.

Why it is great

The Britax Boulevard is famous for its ease of installation. Its patented installation system is the innovative design behind this unique feature. The click tightness is audible and acts as an indicator of correct installation. In addition, the seat doesn’t require you to rethread, which means a hassle-free strap adjustment. The seat has an alloy steel frame which makes it strong, supportive, and safe. This car seat also has a seven-position recline to ensure comfort.

Potential flaws

The Britax Boulevard ClickTight’s car seat doesn’t give much rear-facing legroom. Therefore, it won’t be comfortable for your kids if you prioritize keeping them rear-facing for as long as possible. The seat can only take a maximum of 65 pounds, which is far lower than the weight capacities of most convertible car seats. Also, the seat weighs over 29 pounds, making it one of the heaviest car seats on the market and the heaviest of our picks.

Other features

The seat cover is machine-washable. It also allows for LATCH installation should you not wish to use the ClickTight system or if the ClickTight system stops working.

Product specifications

Dimensions: 23 × 18.5 × 23.5 inches
Product weight: 29.4 pounds
Function: 2-in-1
Weight Capacity: 5 to 65 pounds
Height Capacity: Up to 49 inches
Material: Alloy Steel
Number of Recline Positions: 7
Orientation: Rear-Facing and Forward-Facing
Harness Type: 5-point
Installation Type: ClickTight

Care and maintenance

Convertible car seats can be a bit pricey. Given how much you’re likely to spend, you don’t want to buy a convertible car seat only to lose it to misuse and lack of care. Caring for and maintaining a convertible car seat does not go beyond using it correctly and cleaning it when you should. 

 

Car Seat Use and Maintenance

According to N.H.T.S.A. safety facts, 46% of people misuse car seats and booster seats in a way that could reduce their effectiveness and durability. Therefore, if you don’t use convertible seats correctly, you’re endangering your child’s life. 

  • All car seats come with an instructions manual you should refer to for correct installation.
  • Ensure that you strap the seat in correctly to ensure security before driving. 
  • You should practice installing and uninstalling the car seat before your baby comes. 
  • Ask an expert to check the seat if you have any doubts about installing it. However, you can’t always call an expert whenever you need to be on the road with your child. Therefore, you need to become an expert yourself. Take installation classes or teach yourself through online guides and the seat manual. 

 

Car Seat Cleaning

Kids are constantly changing and growing, but if there’s something you can count on, it’s that they make a lot of mess. It’s not even a debate; whether it’s muddy shoe prints or party snacks, they will mess up their seats. In addition to that, everything gets dirty at some point. Dirt reduces the durability of a convertible car seat drastically. You want to make sure to keep the seat clean. How often you clean a car seat will depend on your unique circumstances, but once every week or two weeks is ideal. You’ll need to go over your instructions manual, but here are a few tips you can employ.

 

  1. The Seat Cover 
  • Vacuum up the debris from the seat’s cover. 
  • With a mixture of soap and water, scrub the stains with a small brush. Avoid getting soap on the buckles.
  • Use a damp cloth to mop up excess soap from the cover. You can stop at this point if you’re only spot-cleaning easy messes.
  • For bigger messes, you’ll need to wash the cover. First, check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if the seat is machine-washable. Also, check to see what detergents are okay or bad for the cover.
  • If it’s machine-washable, follow the instructions provided in the manual on how to wash it.
  • If it’s not machine-washable, put in a mix of warm water and soap. Swirl it around or stomp on it, whichever works best for the mess. Then leave it to soak for 10 minutes and rinse afterward.
  • Even if the cover is machine-washable, it can’t go in the dryer. You can make use of a drying rack to dry it. Make sure it’s completely dry before putting it back on the seat.

 

  1. The Shoulder Straps 
  • Remove the shoulder straps but take a picture first so that you don’t find it challenging to put them back.
  • Dry-brush the shoulder straps.
  • If you must use water, never soak the shoulder straps. Instead, dip the brush in the water and use it. Avoid detergents too. 

 

  1. The Frame
  • After you’ve removed the cover, vacuum up any debris on the seat frame.
  • Use a moist cloth to wipe any mess on the frame’s surfaces.

 

You’ll often need to uninstall and disassemble the car seat to do all the necessary cleaning. It would help to make a video of how you disassembled the seat your first few times. This way, you get to handle the intricacies of reassembly quickly. If in the course of cleaning you notice that the seat is broken, do not use the seat again. Ask around if you can repair it; you’ll need to buy a new one if not. Your child’s safety matters most.