5 Top Rated Convertible Car Seats 2018 Reviewed
I believe you’ll agree with me when I say:
The most important thing for your child during travel is a comfortable and safe Car Seat?
Well, there is only ONE problem. Finding that “Good” car seat is tough
That is why I have created a list of Best Convertible Car Seats 2018. After researching online and spending hours in testing these baby seats, I have shortlisted the top 5 baby seats which you can buy right now.
Best Convertible Car Seat Reviews
To make the best decision on what are the best baby car seats to buy calls for us to consider the pros and cons of the products available in the market. Believe me I have been buying car seats for my kids and I can confidently say that there are no car seats that will be 100% perfect though there will be some that will be a close fit for your needs.
While we strive to offer you the best reviews on the best baby car seats for 2018, there may come a time when you need a quick guide. The table below offers you a guide on the five best car seats rated according to price, rating, ease of use, warranty and safety.
Best Convertible Car Seat: Britax Clicktight
The Britax is the best convertible car seat with clicktight installation, safecell impact protection, and optimum fit and comfort
Best Convertible Car Seats 2018 Compared
Chicco Nextfit Zip
9 Harness Positions
Britax Advocate Clicktight
14 Position harness
Evenflo Tribute LX
4 Position Harness
Graco Size4Me 65
5 Position harness
Diono Radian RXT
5 Harness Positions
Chicco Nextfit Zip - Best Car Seat to Buy in 2018
The Chicco Next Fit car seat is a great car seat particularly with regard to anchoring the baby safely in the seat. Expanded polystyrene which lines the deep head wings serve to protect the child from impact from the sides.
Furthermore, an insert that is conveniently removable offers more protection. Nevertheless, as compared to the Britax, this car seat needs more dexterity in the installation process particularly when installed in the rear facing position
However,thus car seat earns high marks for the safety and stability it offers. I strongly recommend the Chicco Nextfit Zip as the best car seats for 3 year olds.
Ease of Use
Parents love the ease of installation of the Chicco NextFit since it makes use of the SuperCinch Latch technology that makes installation relatively easy. It is important to note that the manufacturers of the NextFit recommend that children weighing more than 40 pounds are additionally protected by seat belts.
The Chicco NextFit dimensions mean that it does not take as much space as other car seat models and I believe it is one of the best rear facing car seat. This I believe makes it suitable choice particular for households with standard size cars.
The seat has a sophisticated and stylish look and can also be easily cleaned whenever necessary.
Baby Gear Lab gave it high praise for its sophisticated LATCH system, saying, “The Chicco convertible car seat earned a high score of 9 out of 10 for ease of installation.” Moreover Gear Patrol also had a lot of good things to say about the car seat especially when you are a parent that changes cars a lot. Gear Patrol says that “The ability to remove and install a car seat base safely and quickly is particularly convenient if you’re chauffeuring your baby in more than one vehicle.”
It is fit for carrying children weighing 5 to 40 lbs as a rear facing car seat and 22 to 65 lbs in the forward facing position. Newborns are protected by a removable insert which will keep you at ease if you are driving alone with the child in the backseat.
While some parents have complained that the strap pads seem to be over-sized for kids below the age of two, the pads can be easily removed since they have a Velcro strip allowing for instant removal if needed. The Chicco NextFit comes equipped with an add on cup holder that can be affixed on either the left or right side of the seat giving it great toddler car seat ratings.
However, the holders are not tight enough and there have been complaints about its inability to hold cups larger than 12 ounces. The ReclineSure 9-position Leveling System ensures this seat scores highly since it offers the best fit for any type of backseat while ensuring best comfort for your child.
It costs a mid range price and for a car seat with such stability and reliability this is great value for the Chicco NextFit car seat. I do believe that if the few issues such as the small capacity of the cup holder were fixed, this car seat should cost even more.
Lastly the need for seat belts in the front facing mode is a negative. Nevertheless I do believe that for greater security the child should ride in the rear facing position and hence this aspect is not of so much importance.
The Chicco car seat expiration time is six years which is a very long time for a fair price of on Amazon.com, the Chicco Nextfit is the best Chicco car seats you may buy anywhere.
Chicco Nextfit Zip Video Installation
Britax Advocate - Safest Convertible Car Seat
The Advocate is brilliantly engineered to compress in the event of a crash, lowering the child’s center of gravity making it one of the safest baby seats. Side impact cushions reduce crash impact by up to 45 percent. This model is lined with durable, eco-friendly EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam. With all its features, it is one of the top safety rated car seats in its class.
An Energy-Absorbing Versa Tether further restricts movement during a sudden stop. One satisfied customer remarked that using the Britax is like “surrounding your kid with airbags.”
Ease of Use
One of the easier seats to install the Britax Carseat convertible scores highly on my scale of ease of use. The process of installation is made quick since it makes use of Latch connectors that make it possible to uninstall the seat simply by pushing a button.
It is however important to note that since the Britax Advocate Clicktight is a relatively large seat, parents ought to check the size of their backseat before purchase in order to avoid surprises. Nevertheless after installation the Britax usa is one of the best for seat stability when it has been locked in.
A reviewer was pleasantly surprised when she was able to easily remove her child from the firmly anchored seat after a rollover accident.
The Britax car seat manual and instructions are also one of the easiest and most comprehensive among car seats that I have tested. The folks at Carseatblog raved about this car seat asserting that the Clicktight system is a game changer for baby convertible car seats. Withe the Clicktight system, the seat basically installs itself in the rear and forward facing positions when using a seat belt.
The Britax Advocate ClickTight is suitable for kids weighing in at between 5 to 40 lbs when installed facing the rear and 20 to 65 lbs when installed in a forward facing position. The new Britax convertible car seat has added an extra two inches of support strap that makes it easier to strap in adolescents safely as compared to its predecessor the G3. It is one of the best rear facing car seat that offers some of the most robust protection.
However, unlike other car seats in the same range the Britax lacks an in built cup holder though it makes up for this by having a clip on cup. The Britax car seat insert cup is just one of many accessories you can easily find on Amazon
I have found that children love this seat which I believe is due to its being more comfortable. This aspect makes it invaluable especially during long family trips.
The Britax goes for only Check on Amazon which is fair price given the product’s value. Its easy installation through the Clicktight Installation Latch system enhances the convenience even for first time car seat users.
Its manufacture through the environmentally conscious EPP foam technology as opposed to EPS makes this suitable for the environmentally conscious parent. It is also a bonus that it makes use of the SafeCell Technology for lowering the child’s center of gravity during an accident. I do believe the Britax Advocate ClickTight is the best britax car seats in the market.
Britax Advocate Clicktight Video Installation
Diono Radian RXT - Best Car Seat for Small Car
The Diono Radian RXT is one of the best 3 in 1/combination car seat that are made from a full steel frame making it remarkably sturdy. The safety car seat is made with aluminium reinforced sides which make use of shock absorbent EPS foam as padding. According to the Car Crash Detective, the biggest draw of the Diono apart from being the best choice for compact cars is that it has a top tether for the rear facing mode which further enhances its safety.
Some reviews have complained of some gassy odor from the padding even as one parent asserted that their babies had managed to rip off the padding. However I believe that the Diono Radian scores top marks for impact protection which is it’s best quality by far.
It is not surprising that an emergency responder I interviewed asserted that the seat looked like it was designed for NASCAR.
Ease of Use
Newer vehicles making use of the LATCH system will make for easy installation of the Diono Radian RXT even as older models making use of seat belts tend to be a little bit more complex. Many parents have said that the RXT being so low that any kid four years and above can easily clamber into the vehicle.
In some instances the seat has been reported to have a faulty harness that fails to tighten to its maximum. Nevertheless there is a solution in making use of a factory-issued harness that will work fine after uninstalling and reinstalling the seat.
The weight and bulk of the seat is relatively higher as compared to other similar seats and hence may present a problem of where to install car seat for parents with small backseats. Being one of the smallest convertible car seats it has a small footprint which means that you can have other passengers in the backseat without them getting too cramped up. Nonetheless despite its small footprint it is one of the taller car seats and oneof the best convertible car seats for a tall baby.
Diono Radian is one of the best Diono convertible car seats and makes for a good bargain as it can seat children from birth to 120 lbs and is usable for up to ten years. In the rear facing mode the child safety carseat accommodates children weighing 5 to 45 lbs. In the front facing mode, the seat can accommodate children weighing 20 to 80 lbs higher than that it becomes a booster seat accommodating children up to 120 lbs and hence all the car seat stages are covered by this car seat.
The one cup holder can be expanded to a four cup holder though reviewers warn that the holder is prone to spills and is not toddler proof. While a relatively bulkier seat, one of the biggest positives is that during travel it can fold flat and can comfortably fit three across for a mid size car.
As one of the narrowest seats this is one of the the best toddler car seats for small cars and travel as several children may travel safely on three seats fitted in the back.
At $299.99 the Diono Radian RXT convertible seat is a little bit pricey given some of its negatives. Nevertheless the steel frame of the seat and EPS foam offers top rank impact protection which will give any parent peace of mind when traveling with children thus making this one of the best car seat you could buy.
The fact that it is a 3 in one car seat more than makes us for its relatively higher price.
Diono Radian RXT Installation Video
Graco Size4Me - Best Affordable Baby Car Seat
For a fairly low price of I quite like the Graco Size4Me. It has the environmental friendly EPS foam that will protect your child from impact during a crash. While there were some issues with the buckle on some of the Graco convertible car seat models, all models sold post 2013 have been declared safe for use.
Similar to the Evenflo some consumers say that the car seat is wiggly even when employing the LATCH system. However, the Graco Size4Me is one of the top FAA approved car seats in the market.
Coming with a range of recline positions and a removable insert your child’s head will not slump. The child will thus travel in greater comfort with this seat.
CSFTL asserts that the Graco Size4Me allows rear facing until the child is 40 lbs or their head is 1″ from the top of the shell (which measures 24″ tall), there is no standing height limit. With bigger limits than most seats, the baby can grow up to 3 years in the rear facing mode which is awesome!!
Ease of Use
For newer cars installation of the Graco Size4Me is through the LATCH system unlike older models which makes this one of the best Graco convertible car seats on the market.
Some complained that the graco rear facing seat presented some difficulty in terms of access to the harness difficult making it hard to tighten. Nevertheless, the Graco safety ratings, comfortable padding and relatively fair price more than make up for installation issues. A graco car seat comparison conducted by our experts found that the graco size4me 65 is one of the best of car seats for small car.
This baby seat is suitable for children ranging from 20-65 pounds in the rear facing position and 5-40 pounds in the front facing position. The body support is an insert that is easily removable thus it is suitable for a growing child.
It has a choice of covering with the Asbury being a vinyl fabric while the Sonata has a microfiber fabric. With dual cup holders and straps out of the child’s reach and sight this is one of the best car seats for over active children.
The graco car seat manual comes with easy to read and understand instructions.
At a fair price of just $149.99 it is more comfortable car seat than the Evenflo. It requires a a bit more energy for the strap and harness though the customer satisfaction is higher despite of the instillation issues.
Moreover, this is one of the most durable of car seats in the market at the moment due to its mix of plastic and metal frame.
Graco Size4Me Installation Video
Evenflo Tribute LX - Best Car Seat Under $100
The Evenflo Tribute LX comes with energy absorbent foam as padding. It is also federal tested for crash and side impact stability and robustness.
Some owners assert that the car seat tends to wiggle from side to side to some extent even when using the LATCH System. However tests by the federal authorities give the Evenflo convertible car seat on of the highest safety ratings for its class.
Ease of Use
Some evenflo car seat reviews by users assert that is one of the easiest of seats to install since it offers either the seat belt system for older car models and the federal recommended LATCH for newer vehicle models. While there have been some complaints regarding the thinness of the padding most parents assert that the seat is comfortable enough that their children fall asleep during travel.
As opposed to other bulky convertible seats which we have rated, this is one the best car seats for a compact car and for travel. Nevertheless, with a lower weight limit of 40 pounds it may not be suitable for some of your needs.
Still we do find that parents that go for the Tribute due to its relatively lower price of only $59.99 which for the features it offers is quite a good deal.
The Evenflo Tribute is built to carry between 22-40 pounds in the forwards facing position and 5-40 pounds in the rear facing position. While this cap, is lower as compared to other models such as the Britax and the Diono, the top ratings and relatively low price makes this a great seat.
It has a clip on cup holder which reviewers assert is flimsy and not of much use. Nevertheless, there are many cup holders on Amazon.com that may be attached to deal with the issue.It comes with fewer recline possibilities in comparison to other top rated carseats like the Chicco Keyfit or the Britax Marathon even though it has similar levels of recline in the rear facing position.
With relatively thinner padding the car seat can be said to be more functional than a luxury baby car seat. It is still a great choice if you are looking for a bargain or are on a low budget.
It sells for a relatively low price of $59.99 yet offers sufficient safety regardless of its functional nature. If you are looking for the best convertible carseat on the cheap or are on a budget then the Evenflo LX Tribute is one of the best Evenflo car seats to take into consideration. However, it may be suitable only for short or occasional travel that does not require utmost comfort.
Evenflo Tribute LX Installation Video
What is a Convertible Car Seat?
It is a car seat that can be used in both the forward facing and rear facing mode. Depending on the car seat you buy children ranging from birth to two years may travel in a car seat.
On the other hand, a 3-in-1/combination car seat is a seat which can be converted from the rear facing to forward facing and lastly into a booster seat for children above two years of age.
At What Age Should I Switch to Convertible Car Seats?
Newborn weighing in at less than five pounds and up to two years can be carried in an infant car seat. While there are different weight recommendations for different car seats, it is best to keep your child in a bucket seat until they are two years old regardless of weight or height.
Children above two years can switch to a booster or 3-in-1 seat, combination or the convertible.
How to Install Car Seats
You may install the car either with LATCH system or with seat belts.
Installing with LATCH
LATCH is an anchoring system for car seats that is used in place of seat belts when you install the seat. Many parents prefer LATCH to seat belts as they find them to be easier to install. It usually comes with two tethers, the top one and the lower ones. It is important o make use of the top anchor in all forward facing child car seats even if you are using seat belts since doing so offers the most safety for your child. Both seat belts and LATCH are equally safe but there are instances when it is more convenient to simply opt for one.
Newer vehicle models usually come with lower LATCH anchors that are found between the seat cushions. The anchors for the tether will usually be on the backside of the seat, in a sedan, on the floor in hatchbacks, SUVs and minivans or on the ceiling. The best car seats will come with attachments to attach to these anchors and almost all family vehicles that were manufactured post 2002 come with LATCH capability.
The maximum weight limit for lower anchors is 65 pounds including the weight of the child and the car seat. You should always check the recommendations of your baby car seat manufacturer for the maximum weight that your lower anchors can take. Check the label on the baby car seat for the maximum weight allowed for your anchors.
Installing Using a Seat Belt
For utmost safety in the installation of the car seat, you need to ensure that your seat is installed as tight as possible. If you have a new model of car, you can tighten the seat belt by pulling it then letting it retract for optimum fit on the car seat. Moreover, most newer models of car seats come with lock-offs that snap the belt into the anchors without you needing to lock it in. Your vehicle manual will give you details on the installation instructions of your seat belts.
The safest position is always the back seat for all children younger than 13. It is always preferable that the child rides in the middle of the backseat. However some cars do not have back seats that are suitable for installing a car seat in the middle since they lack lower anchors at that position or are not flat. It is always advisable to install the car seat in the position from which you can get the tightest fit with either seat belts or LATCH even if this is not necessarily the middle. You could consult with a child passenger safety technician (CPST) to assist you on the best position to install the car seat.
How to Buy the Best Car Seats
You do not necessarily need to take my word regarding the 2016s most trusted car seat reviews for your kid . You can very easily find your top infant car seats by making use of the criteria that I employed in creating this list. Employing this strategy will enable you to find the top rated car seats in whatever online store you decide to shop at.
The most important aspects that you would need to take into consideration include the following:
- Ease of Use
I do believe that the most important aspects in the selection of the top quality seats in 2017, 2018 and beyond are price, safety, features, ease of use and customer reviews.
In terms of how much is a car seat, people tend to look for products that is the best affordable seats. In my opinion, this is not the best way of finding the best quality car seats given that there are cheap car seats for babies out there but whose real value is very low on the above indicators. Nonetheless, this does not mean that you cannot cheap baby car seats such as the Diono that do offer good value with a relatively low price.
As most people would agree you get what you pay for and hence for every dollar in price you pay you are like to get more value for your buck.
When it comes to what is the safest car seats for your baby in 2018, it is important that you select the car seat that offers the most stability and protection features during crash situations. It is not enough to just look at a car seat to determine its safety credentials.
Looking at the materials is especially critical if you are to find the safest baby seat. Materials such as a solid frame and EPS foam make for the sturdiest car seat that will withstand crash conditions.
I do believe the Britax USA Advocate ClickTight baby Car Seat is a safety first seat having durable, eco-friendly EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam and An Energy-Absorbing Versa Tether. The Diono Radian RXT Shadow also scores highly in this regard with its sturdy aluminum frame and EPS foam padded sides.
Organization such as safecar.gov offer baby car seat safety ratings for every car seat in the market and would be worthwhile to check out before purchase.
Features such as having a cup holder and ease of installation through features such as the LATCH system are also critical. A good car seat for your baby is a seat that is easy to install and are good for children of all ages.
Easy to install car seats such as the Britax Clicktight make it easy for new parents to operate thus reducing frustration. Best Carseats for older kids such as the Chicco Nextfit allow for affixing of cup holders which prevents messy car situations.
Customer satisfaction should be an important criteria as well regardless of which type of car seat you are purchasing. A look at the customer reviews on Amazon.com will give you a better understanding of the car seat features including its positives and negatives enabling you to make a better decision on what to buy.
What fellow parents say will be critical even after purchase as they may offer tips on how to deal with problems as they arise.
Nevertheless an analysis of only the rating of a car seat might not be the best strategy for selecting the best rated convertible car seats in 2018. Sometimes you might need to look at the reviews left by users. It is also important to check out convertible seat safety ratings before you buy.
However in instances in which you do not have the time to analyze all the seat reviews, the best strategy is to look at the 5 star reviews only. However when looking at reviews be sure to look at how many of them there are to find the nominal rating of the seat.
The Britax Advocate Clicktight gets my vote for the top rated and safest car seat 2018. Britax gets a high rating for many of its features including the SafeCell technology which in the event of a crash lowers the child’s center of gravity and a tether system that secures the seat in the case of a sudden stop.
Moreover it is one of the larger seats that come with sturdy anchoring and safety thus offering peace of mind to the parent and offering comfort to the infants, toddlers and older kids alike. In terms of its quality it is priced relatively lower than similar high quality seats in the market.
It is a top convertible car seat for its fair price, scientifically advanced safety features and its durability.
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