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Best Rear & Forward Facing Convertible Car Seat 2015

Updated on May 5, 2015
The Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat is a great option because it's easy to use and it has all the feature you need to make sure your baby is safe in their car seat.
The Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat is a great option because it's easy to use and it has all the feature you need to make sure your baby is safe in their car seat.

A car seat is the most essential piece of baby equipment that you can buy.

If you buy nothing else, make sure you invest good money into a car seat that will keep your child safe.

What is a Convertible Car Seat?

A convertible car seat is one that can be converted from a rear facing to forward facing, and then even as a booster.

I was a single mom with my first child and after spending money on an infant seat, and then having to turn around several months later to buy another car seat was a financial strain for me.

So, with my next two children convertible car seats were a must.

It saved me money in the long run because I could use the same seat as they grew.

Safety and Convenience Features Car Seats Need

If you truly want your car seat to last through many years, look for a car seat that can finish your child off as a booster as well.

Car seats like this will allow you to remove the 5 point harness system so you can use the cars safety belt instead.

This will go over your childs shoulder with adjustments so it is at the right height and then buckle into the seat of your car.

Also, if you want your car seat to last for a long time, check the height and weight limits.

Those that have bigger maximums will last you a lot longer.

Side impact protection became important to me after I was in a side auto collision.

Luckily, my baby was not with me that day, but it got me thinking about it.

Basic car seats have more shallow shells without a whole lot of side protection.

However, more and more car seat manufacturers are making deeper shells and bigger wings on the sides of car seats to help protect in the event of a side auto collision.

Sometimes these can inhibit how much your child gets to see out of the window, but when it comes to safety, that has never bothered me.

Look for a car seat that gives you removable infant headrests as well as snugglers, and one that can be adjusted at different angles.

I liked finding car seats that had a few different positions of recline.

This makes it much more comfortable for your baby to nap in while you're driving.

Most car seats don't require you to rethread the straps when you need to adjust them as a child grows.

However, there still are some that require you to do this when you need to make adjustments.

There are plenty on the market that don't require it though, so I suggest just finding one with a no rethreading feature.

You won't be able to tell by looking at a car seat, but research reviews about the breathability of material that the car seat cover is made with.

Nothing is more uncomfortable for baby than to have their back sweating profusely while in the car.

I also suggest finding out if the car seat cover can easily be removed for washing.

Though it is not a necessary feature, having a cup holder can be convenient as your child gets older.

Others can also be folded for a more compact storage and travel option.

Do you think that a convertible car seat will last you longer than a standard one?

See results

Important Considerations When Buying a Convertible Car Seat

Will this car seat fit in your car? Make sure you take measurements of your car before you go shopping.

I advise going to local stores to check out each car seat you are considering then purchasing online since you can usually find cheaper prices.

Many stores will accompany you with the floor model to see if it actually fits in your car. This saved me a huge hassle with a car seat I bought.

The one that I wanted was much too large and would not have been safe. I never would have known until I got it home otherwise.

Can you install it easily? Usually, car seats are fairly easy to install by threading the car seat safety belt through a designated area, or attaching to a latch system.

Every car made since 2002 is made to be compatible with the LATCH system. This allows you to attach the seat directly to your car instead of using the seat belt.

Installation this way is much easier and it is often safer. Test it out by installing it both forward facing and rear facing to make sure that it is easy for you.

Convertible car seats are meant to remain in your vehicle. They are also much heavier.

If you will be transferring a car seat back and forth between vehicles I suggest looking for one with the lightest weights you can get.

5 stars for Graco Nautilus 3-in-1

2. Evenflo Tribute LX

I actually own this Evenflo Triumph 65LX Convertible Car Seat for my youngest.

I like how deep the shell is and I feel it has good side impact protection.

The shoulder straps do not need to be removed or rethreaded at all; you simply slide them up for a good fit.

It has three different reclining positions and it is well padded for comfort.

It will accommodate a child rear-facing up to 40 pounds and forward-facing up to 65 pounds.

3. Britax Roundabout G4.1

A company with a good reputation, Britax offers this very affordable Roundabout 55 Convertible Car Seat.

This seat weighs 20.9 pounds by itself.

It will also hold a child 5 pounds up to 55 pounds.

I like the reclining positions as well as the comfort pads that it comes with.

4. Britax Marathon

Coming up on price is the Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat.

This one will last you a little bit longer since it will accommodate a child from 5 pounds up to a total of 70 pounds.

One of the biggest benefits to this car seat is the buckle system which keeps it in a forward position so you don't have to dig it out from underneath your child's bottom every time you get into the car.

You might also like the Britax Boulevard 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat for the same safety standards that Britax puts into all their car seats, as well as the easy buckle system and deep shell.

It too will hold a child from 5 pounds to 70 pounds.

© 2013 Brandon Hart

What other convertible car seats would you recommend?

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