- Car Safety & Safe Driving
Convertible Car Seat for Baby 2014
Review of the Best and Safest Convertible Car Seats
As a mother, the safety of my baby while riding in my car is my #1 priority and I have discovered that convertible car seats are the most convenient seat you can buy. This is because they grow with your child so you don't end up having to buy a car seat for every stage of their childhood.
A convertible car seat will pair as a rear facing infant seat, to a forward facing toddler seat. Most of them usually have a weight limit of about 35 pounds for rear facing, and a height and weight limit for forward facing, which is most often 53 inches and 80 pounds.
Probably the most important thing you can look for are the weight limits. If you want a seat that will last your child for a longer period of time, then look for a higher weight limit. There are some things you are going to want to look for if you are in the market for a convertible car seat.
First, you want to make sure that it has a 5 point harness system; this will keep your child strapped in, in 5 different places.
You will also want to pay attention for how many loops there are for adjusting the straps; as your child grows you will want to take the shoulder straps and move them up. If you do not think that a car seat has enough loops then look for another.
Many stores that sell car seats will let you take the model out to your car to see if it fits in your vehicle. This is a very nice thing because many car seats are too big for smaller type cars.
Britax Marathon 70
The first car seat we are looking at is the Britax Marathon 70 convertible car seat. It features safe cell technology which compresses in an accident, lowers the center of gravity, and counteracts the forward rotation of the seat which usually is what propels your child forward in an accident.
This car seat will hold a child in the rear facing position from 5 to 40 pounds. The forward facing position will hold a child starting at 1 year old and 20 pounds, up to a total of 70 pounds.
The car seat is made with integrated steel bars which actually reduce the amount of flexing that happens in the car seat upon an accident. I am actually very happy that this car seat reclines in both the forward facing and rear facing positions.
I am also impressed with the fact that there are 2 different buckle positions, so this means you can move the buckle forward as your child gets taller.
The car seat comes LATCH equipped, and is actually made with a very easy lock off system so you can get it in and out with ease. This car seat is a little bit on the heavier side at 21 pounds. However, it has a lot of padding which seems very comfortable and the cover is quite durable; mine has withstood several washings.
Not only is this car seat very highly rated for safety, it is also highly rated by consumers. You can't go wrong with this one.
Diono Radian RXT
Take a look at the Diono Radian RXT convertible booster car seat. This seat will accommodate a child 5 to 45 pounds in the rear facing position, and 22 to 80 pounds in the forward facing position.
An extra feature to this car seat that the others don't have is the fact that it converts to a booster seat for children up to 120 pounds. This car seat has the highest weight limit that we are discussing here, so if you are looking for a seat to last through a longer period of time for your child, then consider this one.
This car seat was also made with a steel alloy frame for much more durability in an accident. It has aluminum reinforced side walls, and a really good head support that is covered in EPS foam.
I like that the seat comes with a very deep shell which gives more side impact protection. The cover can be taken off to be washed in the washing machine.
It also reclines for more comfort. The longer seat bottom allows your child to have more leg support as they grow. This was a beneficial feature to me since my baby is so very tall for his age. This is also LATCH equipped, like the others.
At 24 pounds, this is on the heavier side. It is a bit heavy and a bit bulky but if size does not matter to you, then this car seat would work very well for bigger vehicles. The cup holder that comes with the seat has different points to be placed. This is convenient depending on the size of your child, the side of car they are sitting in and their own preferences.
Graco My Ride 65
Next, we are talking about the Graco My Ride 65 convertible car seat. This car seat will hold a baby in the rear facing position up to 40 pounds and forward facing up to 65 pounds.
This car seat is a little bit lighter at about 18.4 pounds and it's nice to know that this car seat was tested for extreme car interior temperatures. Often your car will be a lot hotter or colder, and that can affect the integrity of the car seat.
This device is also a LATCH equipped and features a 5 point harness system.I love the fact that it comes with cup holders that can be removed and washed with soap and water; the buckle and harness strap also clean very easily and the entire cover can come off for machine washing.
I did notice that this car seat is a little bit taller and a little bit wider than some others, so you may want to try to find a store that will let you put the model in your car in the parking lot to see if it fits.
I like that the straps are not part of a continuous harness. Car seats that have this feature often have straps to get tangled easily. But that doesn't seem to be the problem at all with this car seat.
It also comes with strap covers for the shoulder straps, which helps keep them clean from spells and drool. If size is not an issue for you then this car seat would be a very great option.
Peg Perego Combi Zeus 360
The Combi Zeus 360 convertible car seat is also another popular option among parents. This car seat accommodates a child 5 to 33 pounds in the rear facing position, and 20 to 40 pounds in the forward facing position.
This car seat comes with a 360 degree turn which makes flipping it around a piece of cake. When you're ready to install from rear to forward facing, you simply pull the latches and swing it around. I love not having to do anything else!
This car seat also features a 5 point harness system, but it comes with a lot of extra padding on the straps than on other car seats. With the padded straps and extra cushy seat, this feels like a very comfortable car seat to me.
At 28.4 pounds, this car seat is the heaviest out of all that we've discussed. This is a seat that works better in larger vehicles. It reclines for comfort and also has a removable cover for easier washing. This seat is also LATCH equipped.
Graco SmartSeat All-In-One
The last car seat we are reviewing is the Graco SmartSeat All-In-One car seat. It will accommodate a baby up from 5 to 40 pounds in the rear facing position, a toddler 20 to 65 pounds in the forward facing position, and a youth 30 to 100 pounds in the belt positioning booster position.
This car seat has a base that stays in the car, an adjustable 6 position headrest a no rethread harness system, it has 5 different recline settings, the armrests flip up and it comes with a child cup holder as well. It is also made with a steel reinforced frame and has been tested well for all US standards.
When you install the car seat either for the first time, or when you are switching it to a forward facing, the seat has very easy to read level indicators which will help you determine if you have installed it correctly.
The car seat is also LATCH equipped like all the others. This seat isn't quite as big or bulky as some of the others we've discussed. Installation is actually quite easy, and I like that the buckles are firm enough that my child can't slowly learn how to undo them.
I also noticed that the mechanism for tightening the straps is not as user friendly as others I've used. However this seat feels very sturdy, is easy to install, and my son seems to be very comfortable in it. Out of all the car seats discussed here, you are sure to find one that fits your needs perfectly.