If you have a car and you’ve got a baby, you obviously need to get a child car seat!
However, given the huge number of options out there – different makes, models, and brands – choosing the one that will fit your child at each stage of his development can be pretty overwhelming.
Luckily, there’s a breed of safety car seat that makes things easier, and that is the convertible car seat.
With the best convertible car seat for small cars, you don’t have to worry about shopping for a new car seat when your little one outgrows infancy because it can change to meet your baby’s growing needs.
In other words, it can be installed rear-face as an infant car seat for a newborn until he’s up to two years of age or at least, above the weight or height limit of the seat. And when he reaches this stage, you can easily switch from rear-face to forward-face. Isn’t that cool?
This is why a convertible seat is such a great catch. But it doesn’t end there.
- 1 Quick Answer – The Best Convertible Car Seats for Small Cars: Infant, Toddler, Booster Picks
- 2 Reason Why We’ve Put Our Efforts in This Article
- 3 Benefits of A Convertible Car Seat for Compact Cars
- 4 3 Best Car Seat For Small Cars- Our Top Picks
- 5 Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars Review
- 5.1 1. Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
- 5.2 2. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Carbon Ink
- 5.3 3. Evenflo Symphony Elite All-in-One Car Seat
- 5.4 4. Britax Advocate ClickTight Car Seat For Small Cars
- 5.5 5. Graco Extend2Fit Platinum Car Seat
- 5.6 6. Britax Boulevard ClickTight Cool Flow Car Seat
- 5.7 7. Chicco NextFit Car Seat for Small Cars
- 5.8 8. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Infant Car Seat
- 5.9 9. Britax Marathon ClickTight Car Seat
- 5.10 10. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Car Seat
- 5.11 11. Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat
- 6 Things to Consider Before Buying A convertible car seats that fit in small cars
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
Quick Answer – The Best Convertible Car Seats for Small Cars: Infant, Toddler, Booster Picks
|Remarks||Best Car Seats for Small Cars||Dimension||Weight|
|Best overall convertible car seat for compact cars||Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat||20 x 21.5 x 24 inches||22.8 lbs|
|Best value convertible car seat||Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat||24.50 x 19.25 x 24.25 inches||18.66 lbs|
|Best infant car seat for small cars||Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Infant Car Seat||18.70 x 21.20 x 26.00 inches||11.00 lbs|
|Best toddler car seat for small cars||Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat||23.00 x 18.50 x 23.50 inches||27.00 lbs|
|Best rear facing car seat for small car||Graco Extend2Fit Platinum Convertible Car Seat||22.10 x 19.20 x 25.20 inches||22.75 lbs|
|Best forward facing car seat for small car||Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Car Seat||21.00 x 23.00 x 29.00 inches||23.00 lbs|
|Best easy to install convertible car seat||Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat||23.00 x 18.50 x 23.50 inches||27.00 lbs|
|Best all in one car seat for small cars||Evenflo Platinum Symphony Elite all in one Car Seat||28 x 21.5 x 19.5 inches||24.00 lbs|
Reason Why We’ve Put Our Efforts in This Article
Although a convertible seat might not be as portable as a normal infant car seat, it still provides more value for your money. In fact, on a closer look, the extra weight of a convertible seat can be a big plus because you want to take it in and out of the car often. You will definitely find this to be more convenient.
This simply implies that convertible seats generally perform better when it comes to convenience, flexibility and overall value. This explains why it’s the most preferred choice for many parents.
However, given how large the market for safety car seats is, finding the best model that will suit your car and child can be a daunting task. This is why a review of the best convertible car seats for compact cars is extremely important.
Benefits of A Convertible Car Seat for Compact Cars
Apart from meeting the basic safety requirement (which is expected of all child car seats), purchasing a convertible car seat offers you some interesting benefits which you will not likely get when using any other type of safety seat.
The most obvious one is that it saves you money.
One of the easiest ways to save yourself the extra cost of purchasing a new seat when your baby outgrows an infant safety seat is to go for the convertible option.
This is because a convertible car seat usually configures in a rear-face for babies when starting out.
Later when your kid gets older, you can switch it to a front-facing position. In fact, there are some models of convertible car seats that come with booster seats for older kids. So even if you start out with an infant seat, you are likely going to transit to a convertible model as your kid gets older.
As earlier indicated, convertible seats offer a lot of conveniences if you don’t plan to switch them between cars very often. Due to their sizes, they are considerably heavier than infant seats and so are not as portable as the latter.
But the lack of portability has truly worth it since you are less likely to worry about moving and installing the seat all over again; a common problem with infant car seats.
Overall, convertible seats provide great value for your money in the long run.
Since they have expiry dates, we strongly advise purchasing a brand new product. Even if you have to purchase a used one, make sure you buy from someone you can trust. And always keep the installation manual in a safe place in case you have to refer to it sometime.
3 Best Car Seat For Small Cars- Our Top Picks
Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars Review
After considering the top rated products in the market, we’ve come up with a list you can rely on to make an informed buying decision.
In choosing these models, we looked into things like customer reports, product performance in areas such as ease of installation and usage, crash testing, safety and so on. In other words, this review is in-depth and represents an unbiased opinion on each one of these products.
- 4 in 1 Graco car seat gives you 10 years of use from four to 120 pounds
- Rear facing baby car seat from 4 to 40 pounds
- Forward facing toddler car seat from 22 to 65 pounds
If you’re looking for a convertible seat that you won’t be replacing anytime sooner, then the Graco 4ever All-in-1 should be your first target. With this model, you can forget about buying a separate infant car seat and a toddler seat when your baby gets older. For its current price, you might not find a better deal.
There are so many reasons why Graco 4ever is one of the best selling convertible car seats out there. First, it’s super safe, which isn’t really a big deal considering the fact it’s a safety seat.
But then it’s always a good idea to know that your kid is well protected even though they don’t get to ride in a Rolls Royce type of child car seat. This Graco seat did pretty well in several crash tests.
Secondly, it’s long-lasting (which is closely linked to its high quality). Thirdly, this seat is machine washable. This saves you a lot of stress and worry as long as you don’t have a problem getting it out of the car.
In addition, this restraint is fairly easy to install; you shouldn’t have a difficult time as long as you follow the installation instructions carefully. This convertible seat features a Simply Safe Adjust Harness System which allows you to adjust the harness height and headrest with just a simple move.
It has up to 10-position headrest which you can fit accordingly to accommodate your growing kid. The features make it possible to give your child a proper fit at every point in his growth transition while ensuring his safety.
Apart from the safety of your kid, this seat also guarantees comfort – thanks to its plush inserts which ensures a comfy experience throughout your journey. Another interesting feature of this Graco seat includes its 6-position recline for proper fit and its two integrated cup holders for keeping snacks and drinks.
The restraint can support up to 120 pounds weight – isn’t that incredible? When used in rear face, it can accommodate 4 – 40 pounds weigh while in forward-facing; it will support 20 – 65 pounds weight.
Its booster seat will accommodate 30 – 100 pounds in the high back belt-positioning mode, and 40 – 120 pounds in the backless mode.
While this model might not be known for bells and whistles, it does a pretty good job at securing your child and making him comfortable on the road. Once you purchase it, you may not need to get another one in 10 years (now, that’s a lot of value for its price).
- Tested and trusted
- Machine washable
- Comes with EPS foam for absorbing impact
- Comes with booster seat
- Sweaty fabric
- Built to grow: the 3 in 1 car seat built to grow for extended use through 3 stages: Rear facing 5 to 40 pounds, forward facing 22 to 65 pounds, and belt positioning booster 40 to 100 pounds
- Side impact protection: The grow and go's side impact protection helps keep your child safe
- Easy in, easy out: Harness holders keep the harness in an open position so it's easy to get your child in and out of the seat; Rear facing height is 19 to 40 inches; Forward facing height is 29 to 52 inches
If you are looking for a best value convertible car seat that will make a smooth transition for your child and grow with the pumpkin, then you might want to invest in a brand like the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat.
This seat will not only shorten your shopping list but also ensure that your child feels safer and more comfortable anytime you hit the road. The car seat arrives with all the great features you can look forward to in a high end convertible car seat. This is why it’s one of the most rated models in the market at the moment.
The first thing you will notice about the seat is its elegant design and easy installation, which is a huge plus when compared with many brands in the same category. It features 2 comfy grow-with-baby pillows which are meant to give your baby snug and comfy fit as you travel the road.
These pillows can be removed as your kids get older. Its adaptable design also makes the transition from rear-face to forward-face to booster seat easy and smooth. This simply implies that your little pumpkin can use the seat from infancy till he’s an older kid or weights up to 100 pounds. This gives you a lot of use out of one car seat.
You will also be impressed by the number of recline options this convertible seat offers, which you can easily adjust in one motion to give your child a snug fit. The same also applies to the height of the harness strap and headrest position; you can adjust both painlessly to make sure your kid is secure and comfortable.
When used in the rear-facing position, this seat can accommodate 5 to 40 pounds weight; in the forward-facing position, the limit is up to 65 pounds weight.
The harness is maintained in an open position regardless of the mode, making it easier for you to move your kid in and out of the restraint without worrying about sorting the harness straps.
The Safety 1st Grow also converts to a belt-positioning booster seat with a weight limit of 100 pounds, which is quite incredible. To be more exact, it supports kids with 40 – 100 pounds weight in this mode.
This seat also features the Grow and Go side impact protection to secure your child against collision. The QuickFit Harness means you can adjust both the headrest and harness in just one step.
It will also interest you to know that this seat is machine washable which makes cleaning and maintenance less of a hassle.
- Super comfortable
- Very easy to install
- Comes with cup holders
- Machine Washable
- No sunshade
- This All-In-One Convertible Car Seat fitting children from 5-110 lbs. is the only car seat you'll ever need providing rear-facing, forward facing and booster capabilities
- The Symphony Elite helps protect rear facing infants from 5-40 lbs., forward facing toddlers from 22-65 lbs. and high back booster mode supports children 40-110 lbs.
- Easy to install in vehicles in only 60 seconds using Evenflo's exclusive, auto-retracting Sure LATCH connectors with no pulling necessary
If you are looking for a convertible seat that won’t be a pain to install, the Symphony Elite All-in-One Convertible Car Seat by Evenflo will make a great choice. This safety car seat is not only easy to install but also comfortable for kids in both warm and cool conditions – thanks to its temperature regulating fabric.
The restraint is outfitted with a lot of interesting features that makes it a great take for its price. It is designed to provide your kid with the best of comfort and security in one single package that’s simple to install and super easy to use.
The Symphony Elite works great for kids that weigh between 5 to 110 pounds, and as earlier indicated, comes equipped with cool features. You will be impressed to learn that it allows you to adjust harness without rethreading.
This makes it super convenient as you can move your child in and out of the seat without worrying about sorting the straps every time; a common problem with many safety seats.
Like many other Evenflo models, this seat comes with a patented LATCH system which enables fast and easy installation. When attached to your car’s anchors, the system automatically tightens. This saves you from the painless setup process common with universal anchor systems.
The restraint also offers enough plush padding to make your baby comfortable throughout your travel. While it meets the standard safety requirements like any other child car seat, the Symphony Elite goes a little further to provide a safe haven for your little one.
Diligent testing aims to assess the usability of a car seat based on the quality of materials used. And, it performed pretty well in various safety tests including crash tests and diligent tests. This makes the Symphony Elite not only secure but also reliable. It is one product that provides great value for your money.
The seat also features the proprietary E3 Side Impact Protection by Evenflo, which helps to significantly reduce the side impact of crashes caused by collisions. With 3-layer foam protection which ensures advanced energy absorption, leads to the reduction of the impact force by up to 50%.
This convertible car seat can be used for in rear-face for babies weighing between 5 to 40 pounds. It can also be converted to forward-face and booster seats for kids weighing between 22 – 40 pounds and 40 -110 pounds respectively.
It also features a 5-point harness that allows you to achieve a snug fit at every stage in your child’s growth. Overall, this is a reliable convertible seat; one that will definitely give you great value for your money.
- Super easy to install
- Adjustable harness accurate fit every time
- Machine washable
- Comes with cup holder
- No sunshades
- Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
- No rethreading, ever: Quick adjust 14 position harness with Click & Safe Snug Indicator gives a click sound when the harness is tight
- Adjust accurately: Harness indicator gives an audible click when you’ve pulled to the proper tightness
It’s always a big deal when you have to make the switch from a mere infant restraint to a convertible seat. Even the kids might feel long overdue for the change. But then, there’s a lot that comes into play to make the switch truly worth your time and money.
Things like the seat brand, the model, and the year the car was manufactured are all things you need to look into.
Although there is such thing as a “perfect” convertible car seat, there are few models that are close. One of the products you will find in this class is the Britax Advocate, which boasts of some amazing features that will make life easier for you and your precious little one.
Top on the list of what you get with the Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is premium comfort and safety, and of course, the innovative ClickTight Installation system which makes set-up quite convenient and less of a hassle.
In fact, for most parents, the ClickTight technology is the major win. It makes it possible to secure the child’s seat using your car’s belt. Unlike a LATCH system, it offers a pretty easy set-up that is as simple as buckling a seat beat and usually comes with fewer restrictions.
It will also interest you to know that the ClickTight hardly wobbles after installation; which is a common problem with the LATCH proponents.
The seat also comes with some cool safety features that make it super secure and safe for your kid. This includes adjustable head protection, deep energy absorbing shell, and some external cushions, which together forms 3-layer side protection.
However, it’s not even the noticeable layers of protection that makes this Britax seat safe to the core, but the fact that it comes with a special rubber base for absorbing impact. Also, even though it’s not obvious, the V-shaped design of the harness tether is there to prevent the seat from a forward thrust during any possible collision.
These two features are extremely helpful for protecting your kid or reducing the extent of damage by accident. In addition, the body construction of the car seat consists of several rubber parts intertwined with a steel frame. This is to offer stability and ensure the longevity of the seat.
The harness pads are also there to ensure the comfort of your kid and also absorb impact. This convertible seat can only be used in the rear-facing and forward-facing positions. It doesn’t include a booster.
In the rear-facing mode, it can support kids that weigh between 5 to 40 pounds while for the forward-face, the weight limit is 20 to 65 pounds.
There are up to 14 different positions for the straps for easy adjustment and fit, and two locations for the bottom buckle. All these features help to ensure kid’s comfort
- Safe and comfortable
- Great padding and cover
- Great price
- Highly flexible
- Straps may be difficult to buckle
- EZ Tight Latch provides a secure and simple installation with 3 easy steps: Release and attach latch, retract the EZ Tight Latch and push on center of seat to tighten
- Convertible Car Seat is designed to help protect your rear-facing infant from 4-50 pounds and your forward facing toddler from 22-65 pounds
- Extend2Fit 4-position extension panel adjusts to provide 5 inch additional leg room allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer
The Graco Extend2Fit Platinum Convertible Car Seat is a great option for a dedicated car seat for your kiddo. Although there are various models of infant car seats out there, the convertible car seat happens to be one of the most popular options that have proven to be safe and reliable.
And for this model, you can expect a comfortable experience for your little one. When it comes to kids’ stuff, Graco is a well-known brand. And their product line includes some of the best child car seats in the market, as well as strollers and other accessories specially designed for infants.
If you are not a new mom or dad, chances are that you’ve probably heard about them. They’ve been in the business for over 60 years now, and they are well known for designs that are rooted in comfort, durability, and safety.
For several years now, Graco has delivered a lot of products that truly reflects high industrial standard along with the company’s commitment to ensuring safety and comfort of kids. The Extend2Fit is a prime example of such products.
This seat offers pretty easy installation in three steps – thanks to its EZ Tight LATCH system. It allows your kid ride in the rear-face position for a longer time, which is not only safer but more comfortable for the little pumpkin.
The Simple Safe Adjust feature allows you to easily adjust the height of the headrest and harness to meet the growing needs of your child. This ensures a snug fit and comfy experience for your child all the time.
A 4-position extension panel is also included to provide enough space for your child’s growing legs; there are very few safety seats that have this feature. You can set this seat as rear-face for kids weighing 4 – 50 pounds or forward-face for kids weighing 22 – 65 pounds.
Cleaning is easy because the seat is machine washable. The RapidRemove cover can be taken off for washing without disassembling the seat. This takes away a lot of stress for you. There are up to 6 recline positions which help to ensure the comfort of your kid on the road.
In terms of safety, you can have absolute confidence in the Graco Extend2Fit. Like other Graco makes, it has a great ability to survive a crash than many convertible seats in its category. In fact, it doesn’t only meet all the safety requirements required for child car seat but also exceeds them.
- Highly durable and sturdy
- Multiple recline positions
- Adjustable leg feature
- Super safe
- Machine washable
- Harness may be a bit loose
- Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
- No rethreading, ever: Quick adjust 14 position harness with Click and Safe Snug Indicator gives a click sound when the harness is tight
- Ride comfortably: Cool flow ventilated mesh fabric improves air flow to ensure added comfort
Just like other Britax models on the list, the Boulevard Grey is another convertible seat that uses a ClickTight system. In other words, it’s one of those child car seats that prioritize installation.
So you can look forward to a hassle-free installation when purchasing this seat. Simply put – fitting this restraint into your car seat is like buckling the seat belt. Believe it or not, it doesn’t get easier than that.
This simply implies that the seat is easier to set-up in any one of the two different facing positions using the seat belt instead of the LATCH. So whether you want to install rear-face or front-face, you won’t have a hard time doing it.
The restraint has only seven recline positions which might be a little too upright for younger kids like babies who are not yet able to control their head and neck. In this case, you might want to use a pool noodle to make it more recline, though we recommend opting for a more dedicated infant car seat instead of doing this.
In terms of safety, the Boulevard ClickTight offers a more secure ride than most convertible seats in its category. Unlike the Marathon ClickTight which features 1-layer protection against impact, the ClickTight comes with two side protection for even more impact absorption.
This will greatly reduce the extent of damage or bruises often caused by collisions. The seat also comes with BritaxClightTight Anti Rebound Bar Accessory which can be used to ensure more protection against forward impacts when the restrain is installed in the rear-facing position.
You will also be impressed by its rich padding which provides more comfort for your kid. This is extremely important when going for a long ride with the kid. There are up to 14 positions for the harness and headrest which makes adjustment easy and affords even more flexibility.
No rethreading means you can easily strap your child in and out without sorting the straps. Getting the seat recline is very smooth and easy, especially when compared to similar models. All you need to do is to pull the lever and then slightly move to the desired position.
The only aspect of this seat which you may not like very much is its lack of portability, which can be attributed to its bulky weight. This can be a big problem if you plan to move the seat from one car to another too often.
Besides this, the Graco Extend2Fit is a good quality convertible seat that will provide great value for your money.
- No rethreading
- Highly flexible and adjustable
- Great fit
- Very comfortable
- Reasonable price
- A bit expensive
- Remarkably easy installation with a 9-position ReclineSure leveling system, SuperCinch LATCH Tightener, and LockSure seat belt tightening system
- Superior DuoGuard protection with a deep rigid shell and EPS energy-absorbing foam, plus a steel-reinforced frame
- Accommodates growing children with a padded no-rethread harness, 9-position headrest, and easy transition from rear-facing to forward-facing
The search for the “perfect” infant safety seat can be unending given the wide array of brands and models in the market. While the larger part of the crowd is mainly average car seats with decent pricing, there are still few that are close to a parent’s dream infant car seat.
You will find the Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat in this category. A first glance at this restraint would definitely win you over. There are so many things you are probably going to find impressive – its easy installation, reinforced steel frame, extensive recline, LATCH system, and other interesting features.
On a closer look, you would discover that the NextFit Matrix is not only a nearly complete convertible seat in terms of the feature it possesses, but it’s also one of the easiest to clean out there. In fact, you might not find a better alternative when it comes to the best easy-to-clean convertible seats available at the moment.
So this should be your prime target if you are looking for a seat that won’t give you a hard time cleaning. This seat weights about 25 pounds, which might be a problem if you plan to move it often. However, given the fact that this is a convertible seat, it would be staying in your car most of the time.
You don’t have to bother much about the size and weight. This convertible seat is truly versatile, so you can expect to get the best out of it. Depending on the age or weight limit of your kid, you can either use the restraint as a front-facing seat or a rear-facing seat.
It would support newborn babies weighing 5 – 11 pounds using the insert that comes along with it. In the rear-facing mode, the weight limit is set at 40 pounds (which is pretty high for kids under 2 years of age), while in its front-facing mode, the weight limit can be as much as 65 pounds.
In other words, this convertible seat will work well for newborns, toddlers, and even older kids. You will also be impressed by the recline indicators which consist of an intuitive number system for moving between various recline levels in both modes.
- Easy install
- Comfortable fabric
- Comes with cup holders
- Very safe
- Harness might be a bit difficult to adjust
- Made In Italy. Reversible-can be used rear facing for children 5 to 45 pound and forward facing for children 22 to 65 pound. Only the lower seven positions can be used in rear-facing mode
- Side impact protection protects child's head, neck and spine, easily adjusts to 10 different positions, even with child in the seat, ensuring the best and safest fit
- Energy-absorbing foam, EPS throughout the seat protects child's head and torso from impact forces, a shock absorbing foam element device located below the shell crumples upon impact, reducing stress on child's neck and shoulders in the event of a crash
It’s always a terrifying experience to drive your first child in a car; which is why infant safety seats like the convertible car seat are extremely important. These seats are designed to provide the huge security needed to keep the little ones safe and comfortable as they ride with you.
In other words, apart from purchasing a safe car and driving safely, you should also be concerned about choosing an infant car seat that is safe for your little pumpkin.
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio is one that has gathered a lot of attention since it was first introduced to the market in 2012. This is evident in the huge number of positive reviews it has received so far, with the most important highlights based on its excellent fabric, easy installation, easy usage, and remarkable quality.
It will interest you to know that this is not one of those “made in China” convertible seats. Like all Perego products, the PrmpViaggio is manufactured in Italy, so you have nothing to worry about its uniqueness and quality.
The greatest perks of this convertible car seat is the fact that it can support kids that weigh up to 45 pounds in the rear-facing position. This is pretty rare and obviously a great take.
It is usually safer to rear-face a child for as long as possible; hopefully, with the Primo Viaggio, you can achieve this. This is the core reason you shouldn’t miss out on this product.
It will also interest you to know that this seat is padded with a lot of EPS foam on both sides of the restraint. This helps to protect your kid from side impacts arising from collisions. The cover fit and finish is also impressive, which is no surprise considering the fact its Italian.
Cleaning is also very easy as the cover pulls off easily without the need to uninstalling the seat. The fabric then provides a comfortable experience for your kiddo. It is designed in such a way that allows you kid to be cool during the hot summer months and warm when the winter cold is everywhere.
- Excellent padding
- Great quality
- Easy cleaning
- Easy installation
- A bit pricey
- Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
- No rethreading, ever: 14 position harness, 2 position buckle for a comfortable fit as your child grows
- Relax and Recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle
Are you in search of a convertible seat that will not give you a hard time installing? If so, then you might want to check out the Marathon ClickTight.This safety car seat does not only offer an easy installation that meets the current safety standard, but also boasts of the best of quality, usability, and safety.
This is why it’s one of the top rated convertible seats in its category even though it’s still relatively new in the market.If you are already familiar with seats like the Advocate ClickTight or the Frontier 90, then you would probably agree that the Marathon ClickTight is just a hybrid of either one of these seats.
Furthermore, it also hoards the ClickTight technology, and of course, some little tweaks to upgrade safety and height limit. And like any other convertible seats, you can expect to get a lot of use out of it.
It works for babies that need to be strapped in a rear-facing seat, as well as children who are older than two years and need to seat in the forward-face position. This convertible seat basically comes with 12 harness positions and seven recline positions. The harness also includes two buckle positions for easy adjustment.
What makes it incredibly easy to install is the fact that it relies on your car’s seat belt instead of the built-in LATCH system. This saves you a lot of time and effort in trying to sort things and locate hardware.
It has a weight limit of 40 pounds in the rear-face, which is quite a lot considering the fact that most kids aged two don’t weigh as much.
As earlier indicated, this seat is designed with the safety of your kid as the topmost priority, which is actually worth more than all the bells and whistles of the most sophisticated convertible car seats. In fact, you will find very few or no rival in this area.
The safety seat is designed to ensure minimum damage in the face of a collision. In other words, your kid will come out with very few injuries if a collision was ever to occur. And all these can be attributed to its side-impact feature which offers 3-layer protection.
Apart from the side impact features, this restraint also comes with a shock absorbing base and a set of cool straps that are double ditched. All these features help to protect your kid against accidents, especially frontal clashes.
The only downside with this car seat is that it can be a bit difficult to clean. You might need to take the whole seat apart for washing
- Easy to install
- Multiple recline and harness positions
- Provides a snug fit for your child
- Fabric is washable
- Super safe
- Cleaning can be a hassle
- Crotch strap may be a bit difficult to adjust
- Extended weight range keeps children safely harnessed longer: 14-40 pounds rear facing 22-85 pounds forward-facing
- The only harnessed convertible car seat rated to 85 pounds (as of November 2016)
- Premium fabrics and padding provide the most comfort for your child
If you are looking for a convertible seat that seems to have everything you will ever need in a restraint, then the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 is your brand. This model is loaded with a lot of interesting features that makes a good bargain for its price.
One of the first things you will notice about it is its cool design. It doesn’t only fit well into your vehicle but also looks great with your little one strapped in. Like any other safety seat, it keeps your kid safe on the road while providing a comfortable experience. It’s easily installable which saves you a lot of pain and worry.
This safety seat is not only safe but very reliable. When compared to the average convertible car seats out there, it performs far better. This is because it meets the standard safety requirements and even more. When subjected to crash testing and side-impact testing, it does pretty well. This makes it one of the safest models in the market at the moment.
For a convertible seat of this quality, we cannot expect less given the fact it’s coming from Maxi-Cosi, who are not only popular but also one of the leading brands in the car seat market. It comes in 3 color options – devoted black, brilliant blue and passionate pink.
Just like its predecessor, the Cosi Pria 70; it provides incredible comfort – thanks to its premium fabrics and padding.
There are other features you will definitely love in this restraint. A good example is the in-built cup holder which allows you to put snacks and drinks for your precious little one.
Also, the fabrics including the harness covers and seat pad can be easily removed without uninstalling the whole seat. This makes cleaning very easy and less of a hassle. As earlier indicated, this is a 2-in-1 seat – rear-face and forward face.
In the rear-facing mode, the seat can support kids weighing 14 – 40 pounds, while the forward facing position is 22 – 85 pounds. In other words, the Pria 85 has a weight limit of 85 lbs. which is 20 more than the average 65 lbs. for most convertible car seats.
- Very safe
- Very comfortable
- Easy to clean
- Comes with in-built cup holders
- Easy installation
- Not suitable for newborns
- Designed to help protect your rear-facing infant from 4-40 lbs. and your forward-facing toddler from 22-65 lbs.
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest to 8 positions, in one motion, to ensure that your child is always properly secured
- Side-impact tested-in addition to meeting or exceeding all applicable U.S. safety standards, the Size4Me car seat has been side-impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built-in 5 point harness system
When buying a car seat, it’s always a good idea to buy one your baby won’t outgrow in a year. This will ensure you don’t get to make the same expenses the next year. It is generally advised to start out with your kids facing the rear, then later switch to a forward-facing as they get older. In this case, what you need is a convertible car seat.
Convertible seats are not only safe and comfortable, but they are also within your pocket’s reach. This is why they are popular among parents.If you need a convertible seat that is budget-friendly, yet doesn’t compromise on safety and quality, then the Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Seat is a great option.
The Size4Me is actually one of the four kinds of convertible seats in Graco’s product lineup; the others being Head Wise, MySize and Fit4Me. While these products come with the same basic design, the features peculiar to each one is unique.
Apart from its great price tag, one of the first things you will notice about the Size4Me 65 is its beautiful color options which you would definitely find interesting if you’re the stylish type. But it’s not really the looks that set this product apart from the park. Its high quality and value are definitely what should catch your attention.
With a dimension of 23.5 x 18.5 x 22 inches, you will agree that this restraint has just the perfect size. It will easily fit into the back of your vehicle. The harness height at the lower position is around 8 inches; though this might reduce after setting up the restraint.
In addition to its compact size, the Size4Me 65 also comes with some interesting safety features which make it secure and safe for your little one. A good example is the EPS energy absorbing foam which acts as impact energy absorber in the event of a crash.
More so, the seat has been tested for various crash situations and has confirmed by the US safety standards to have met its requirement. In other words, you can be rest assured that your child is well protected when using this car seat.
Adjusting the harness and headrest can be done with only one hand – thanks to the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System. The seat comes with three recline positions altogether, which might not be enough to achieve a comfortable position.
Thankfully, the fabric is machine washable, and you don’t have to disassemble the whole seat to remove the cover.
The weight limit of the Size4Me is 40 pounds in the rear-facing and 65 pounds in the forward facing position. The height limit is 49 inches which is long enough for you to get a lot of use out of the restraint before your kid is old enough to graduate to a booster.
- Good height limit
- Very safe
- Fabric is machine washable
- Comes with cup holder
- A bit expensive
Things to Consider Before Buying A convertible car seats that fit in small cars
As earlier indicated, finding the best convertible seat for your child can be a daunting task, especially if it’s the first time you are looking. Most of the time, it’s either a product costs too much, or it goes overboard with expensive features that are not required.
Sometimes, it may even be that parents are yet to make up their mind about opting for a convertible car seat as opposed to other infant restraints. As a result, they might not have an idea of what to look for in a product.
However, buying a convertible car seat doesn’t have to be confusing anymore. Although all car seats are expected to meet the basic safety standards, there are still some important factors to consider if you want to find the right fit for your car and kid.
Whether you are a parent or caregiver, below are the key things you should look out for when purchasing a convertible car seat.
Height and Weight Limit
One of the most important things to look out for when purchasing a convertible car seat is the weight and height limit. This is what will determine whether the seat will be suitable for your child or not.
No matter how equipped or sophisticated a restraint is, if it cannot support your child’s size, then it will be a waste of money.
The best restraints usually have adequate weight and height limits. Higher weight limits are usually desirable because it allows you to seat your child rear-faced for a longer time, which is actually safer.
And even when they are using the forward-facing seat, most kids might not be ready to switch to a booster seat until they are at least up to 5 years of age.
So to be on the safe side, make sure the weight and height limit of your convertible seat is up to 40 pounds and 35 inches respectively. Anything lower might not be worth the investment.
Adjustable Harness and Recline
The next thing you might want to consider when shopping for a child car seat is whether the harness and recline are adjustable.
An adjustable harness is extremely important to meet the growing needs of your child. Five-point harness is great for convertible seats, especially when they have a lot of slots. However, a harness with no rethread is much better as long as it allows adjustment from the front.
An adjustable recline is also important especially if the convertible seat is used in the rear-facing position. You should be able to recline the seat at specific angles or with a certain range.
Some convertible seats may also allow more than one recline setting in forward-face.
Installation and Usage
Ease of installation and use are two other key areas to look into when buying a convertible car seat. This is extremely important especially if you plan to install the seat on your own. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a restraint that is very difficult to setup in your car seat.
Usually, it’s best to have some professional do the job for you, especially if it’s your first child safety seat.
Luckily, all the convertible car seats on the list are pretty easy to install even for a first-time parent. All you need to do is to closely follow the instruction manual that comes with the restraint.
Also, there are some seats that feature innovative technologies for quick and hassle-free setup. A good example is the ClickTight installation system that is as easy as buckling your car seat belt.
In addition to easy installation, it’s also important for a restraint to be easy to use. This usually revolves around issues such as – how easy it is to switch from rear to front seat, or if it’s possible to adjust the harnesses and whether you are comfortable doing that.
Pricing is always an important aspect of purchasing any product. Given how the cost of car seats varies, it is always a good idea to make up your mind on how much you want to spend.This will help you focus on those models that are within your budget thereby reducing the number of options you have to choose from.
The secret is not in paying for an expensive seat that comes with a lot of sophisticated features. What if the seat doesn’t fit well in your car or doesn’t secure your child tight enough?
Obviously, it would be a total waste of money and time.
In the same manner, purchasing a cheap model may look good for your budget, but it might not be the best option. Many of such seats don’t score well in crash tests; so they might not be the safest choice for your kid.
In order to strike a balance, try to focus more on quality. There are many decently priced convertible seats that do really well. A few examples are the ones listed above.
In addition to price, it is also important not to overlook the car seat return policy, so you don’t end up wasting your money. In a situation where the convertible seat doesn’t fit well in your vehicle, you want to return it for your money or some other model.
So make sure you check the return policy of the manufacturer before putting out your money for the seat. Don’t be in a hurry!
We felt reluctant to include this because most of the time parents using this type of seats install it with no intention of moving it until their kids outgrow it. And this is understandable considering their sizes.
Compared to infant-only car seats, convertible seats are generally heavier due to their flexibility and versatility. As a result, most parents tend to install theirs and leave it in their car throughout the period their kids will be using it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you know if your seat has been properly installed?
You can perform the “inch-test” to check how tight the seat is. This involves pulling the seat from any one of the sides to see how far it will shift. If it moves beyond an inch, then it means the seat is not properly fit in, so you need to repeat the installation again.
Alternatively, you can seek help from professionals (such as pediatricians or car seat technicians) who know how to check if a child seat has been safely installed. They can show you how to do it right.
In addition, if you find the written manual too complex to follow, then you can watch videos online on places like YouTube or directly on the manufacturer’s website (if available). But make sure the video is about the particular model you have.
What can I do to stop my kids from sweating when riding in a convertible seat?
Overheating is a common occurrence with children when using a convertible seat or any other type of safety seat. And most of the time, this can be attributed to the weather conditions. For instance, your baby is likely to sweat more often in the summer months, especially if you park or travel in the sun for long.
However, there are still things you can do to reduce the heat.
You can turn on the car AC to cool the place before you strap in your little one. In the same manner, you can use sunshades to block some of the heat entering through the passenger’s windows where your child is located. Don’t overdress your child.
In addition, ensure you buy a convertible seat that has breathable fabric. This will greatly reduce the amount of heat retained by the seat.
When is a convertible car seat due for disposal?
For most seats, this is usually around ten years, which is a long time. Some seats may have different expiry dates. We strongly advise disposing of a safety seat that has undergone a crash, except, of course, the crash is minor.
Why do these seats have an expiry date?
Expiry dates are normal for all car seats, not only safety seats. This is because the material used in constructing them usually contracts over time due to temperature changes causing them to crack. Most of the time, this material is usually plastic or metal.
Finding the right convertible car seat for your kid doesn’t have to be rocket science. Hopefully, you can settle with a product from the best convertible car seat for small cars list that fits your budget and baby needs. Let us know if you have any more questions.