The 9 Best Convertible Car Seats You Can Buy Now

You don’t need a new car seat for every stage in baby’s life. These are the best convertible car seats that adjust as baby grows.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
August 6, 2020
Baby in the best convertible car seat
Image: Shutterstock
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When it comes to buying a car seat, infants need an infant car seat, right? Not necessarily. While an infant car seat is great for portability, most convertible car seats can be used right from birth with the help of a newborn insert—and they’ll last for years. Convertible car seats can convert, so to speak, from rear-facing to forward-facing and accommodate toddlers well past the 30- to 40-pound mark. Some even turn into booster seats. Not only do they have a long shelf-life, providing great value, but Consumer Reports encourages the use of a convertible car seat from baby’s first birthday onward, since they’ve proven to be safer in crash tests.

So what’s the best convertible car seat? That depends on what you’re looking for. This list can get you started.

Best Convertible Car Seat for Easy Install: Britax Advocate ClickTight ARB

The Advocate, complete with external side-impact cushions not found on other Britax models, allows for both latch and seatbelt installation, which is great if you often find yourself in taxis or friend’s cars. Plus, this convertible car seat comes with an anti-rebound bar (ARB), a U-shaped metal bar that attaches to the foot area in rear-facing mode. In the event of a crash, this bar would prevent the car seat from bouncing backward.

Standout feature: The ClickTight button won us over. With a press and a twist, you can lift up a seat panel and access the belt paths. Thread the belt through, buckle up and press the compartment back down to hear a click that tells you everything’s correctly in place.

Weight range: 5 to 65 pounds

Price: $350,

Best Affordable Convertible Car Seat: Evenflo Advanced SensorSafe Titan 65

Evenflo created the first infant car seat featuring sensor technology to remind parents their littlest passenger is in the backseat upon arrival at their destination. Now the sensor is back—this time for their convertible car seat. And it’s surprisingly affordable.

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Standout feature: A sensor chest clip on the five-point harness works together with a plug-in receiver for your car. When you turn off the ignition, an alert sounds twice to remind you about your child. The goal is to prevent the roughly 37 accidental hot car deaths that occur each year.

Weight range: 5 to 65 pounds

Price: $130,

Best Rear-facing Convertible Car Seat: Graco Extend2Fit

You probably don’t associate convertible car seats with a rear-facing seating position. But in light of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to keep infants rear-facing until they’re at least 2 years old, it’s a feature you’re going to want to utilize. This convertible car seat by Graco makes it especially easy.

Standout feature: An extension panel provides adds 5 inches of legroom when the seat is tilted back in one of its six recline positions. This way parents don’t have to worry about a toddler’s legs getting squished while keeping them in a rear-facing position. Plus, this seat accommodates rear-facing through 50 pounds, compared to the standard 40 pounds.

Weight range: 4 to 65 pounds

Price: $170,

Best All-in-one Convertible Car Seat: Diono Radian RXT

Considering investing in something that will grow with your child and last you for years? We’d point you in the direction of Diono. The Radian RXT, in particular, packs a ton of features into an attractive, strong steel frame. And while we’re highlighting it for its ability to transition from the newborn stage to a booster seat, it’s also great for transitioning from car to car, thanks to the carry straps that let you carry it like a backpack.

Standout features: Special infant support cushions accommodate babies as small as 5 pounds, while a 12-position headrest and expandable sides turn it into a booster seat for big kids.

Weight range: 5 to 120 pounds

Price: $300,

Most Versatile Convertible Car Seat: Chicco NextFit iX Zip

Image: Courtesy Chicco

With nine headrest positions and nine recline positions, you’re bound to find a configuration best suited to your child, even as she grows. But multiple configurations do more than keep baby comfy—they facilitate a better (and safer) fit in a wide variety of vehicles.

Standout feature: The kid-ready harness is another example of how this convertible car seat adapts to your child. The outward-flex design keeps the harness and buckles out of the way, so getting baby in and out is as easy as possible—a time-saver you probably wouldn’t think about when making your purchase.

Weight range: 5 to 65 pounds

Price: $280,

Best Convertible Car Seat for Big Kids: Maxi-Cosi Pria 85

More arm chair than car seat, the Pria 85 is an ultra-comfy solution that will last well past your child’s baby days. That ”85” number in the title? That’s the weight this seat can accommodate—the most of all convertible car seats out there (not including convertible/booster combinations). It also comes with some big padding, with AirProtect cushions around the head area for extra side-impact protection.

Standout feature: Not only is the fabric padded, but it can also be snapped off the frame without having to uninstall the car seat. Because it is washer and dryer safe, this is one of the easiest seats to keep clean.
Weight range: 14 to 85 pounds

Price: $330,

Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars: Clek Fllo

Image: Courtesy Clek

You’ve made a lot of changes to your lifestyle since having a baby— but thanks to Clek, upgrading to a bigger car doesn’t have to be one of them. At 17-inches wide (most convertible car seats are about 19- or 20-inches wide), Fllo’s narrow frame was created to be compact enough to seat three across in most mid-size vehicles.

Standout feature: A smaller frame doesn’t mean fewer safety features. This convertible car seat uses something called energy-absorbing crumple technology to direct force away from your child in the event of a crash, sending it through collapsable aluminum honeycomb-shaped cores in the seat’s base.

Weight range: 14 to 64 pounds

Price: $300,

Best Convertible Car Seat for Style: Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Admittedly, Italian craftsmanship and a double-stitched trim shouldn’t be your first priorities in a car seat. But it’s this attention to detail that consistently earns Peg Perego praise. Their breathable Fresco Jersey fabric (washable!) is equal parts stylish and comfortable. And underneath are supreme safety features, like a contoured steel back plate, adjustable side-impact protection and energy-absorbing foam.

Standout feature: All of these elements combined add up to a seriously well-made car seat. That durability is enough to earn the Primo Viaggio Convertible a two-year warranty. And that’s a pretty big deal; almost every car seat’s warranty lasts for just a year.

Weight range: 22 to 65 pounds

Price: $350,

Best Convertible Car Seat for Advanced Safety Technology: Cybex Sirona M with SensorSafe 2.0

Image: Courtesy Cybex

The Cybex Sirona M—which earned a Best of Baby 2018 award from The Bump for best convertible car seat—is currently the only car seat on the market to incorporate the latest iteration of SensorSafe technology, making it one of the safest (and most high-tech) options available right now. Thanks to the car seat’s smart chest clip, the 2.0 app not only alerts you if you’ve accidentally left your little one in the car, but also pings you if your child unbuckles themselves while the vehicle is in motion, the backseat temperature is too hot or cold or your child has been sitting for too long.

Standout feature: The Sirona is designed to keep your little safe for years on end. On top of the latest safety tech, the Sirona offers an adjustable Linear Side Impact Protection System, plus a headrest with a whopping 12 different heights to keep pace with your growing child.

Weight range: 5 to 65 pounds

Price: $330,

The Bump’s Car Seat Types infographic:

Image: Smart Up Visuals

Updated June 2018

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