3 out of 4 car seats are used and installed incorrectly, leading to thousands of injuries or deaths. Protect your loved one and make your own life easier with a quality car seat. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know which is the best car seat for you and your family. Compare some convertible seats using our reviews of the best car seats.
Best Car Seats
The Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is our favorite. Installing the seat into your car is as easy as buckling the seat belt. With SafeCell impact protection that encloses the child in a protective shell, you can rest assured knowing that your child is out of harm’s way. In the event of an accident, the seat is designed to absorb shock forces due to crashes and to guard your child from any debris.
Let your child relax in his or her seat with seven reclining positions. And with fourteen quick-adjust harness positions and two buckle positions, it is a breeze to move the harness up and the buckle out as your child grows. Just listen out for the “click” of the safe snug harness indicator to determine the perfect tightening of your child’s harness.
The durable, easy-to-clean material combined with solid construction and maximum comfort cannot be beat. Use the Britax ClickTight from infancy until your kid no longer needs a seat. The convertible seat faces the rear when the child weighs 5 to 40 pounds and easily converts to face forwards when he or she reaches 20 to 65 pounds.
What we like: The installation is so easy, you won’t need to buy two for both parents’ cars- just switch it between the two automobiles as needed.
Top Car Seats Comparison
The below table offers a simple feature comparison of each car seat.
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Car Seat Reviews
If you’re still not convinced that you’ve found your car seat, please read our reviews of other great car seats.
Diono Radian RXT
You’ll never have to buy another car seat again. The Diono lasts 10 years and seats children 5 to 45 pounds in the rear-facing position and 20 to 80 pounds in the forward-facing position. It even converts to a booster for children up to 120 pounds, or folds flat for easy storage. The thick, steel alloy frame combines with shock absorbing EPS foam on the sides to create a sturdy car seat that will not buckle in the face of an accident.
What we like: The big buckle never gets lost in the harness and is easy to use one-handed.
Graco Size4Me 65
This top rated seat has all the makings of a U.S. safety approved product. Whether your infant of 4 to 40 pounds is facing the rear or your toddler of 20 to 65 pounds is facing forwards, rest assured that EPS energy absorbing foam will take the blow of any impact. The harness automatically adjusts with the use of just one hand to your child’s growth spurt. Machine-washable pads make any mess a quick fix.
What we like: The built-in cup holder for your thirsty boy or girl.
Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite
While a bit larger than other car seats on the market, this one is recommended for its unrivaled safety. This convertible car seat with a detachable cup holder accommodates 5 to 35 pound rear-facing babies with removable infant support and front-facing toddlers of 22 to 50 pounds. It then converts to a high-backed booster for children of up to 100 pounds. Your child can get in and out of the seat easily with the moveable armrests.
What we like: Adjust the headrest and 5-point harness with one hand and from the front seat.
Evenflo Tribute LX
By far one of the cheapest buys on the market, the Evenflo is so narrow and light, you might even be able to fit two or three in the back of your car. There are a variety of shoulder harness positions to adjust as your child grows, as well as a removable head pillow for infant support. Rear-facing children 5 to 35 pounds and front-facing children 20 to 40 pounds are protected on both sides from impact.
What we like: This seat has all the necessities to keep your little one safe at a bargain price.
These car seat reviews should help you pick the right choice for you, your family and your car.
Types of Car Seats
- Infant Car Seat: These car seats are rear-facing and can be used from infancy until your child is a toddler, anywhere from 6 months to 24 months, depending on how fast the child grows. They often double as a baby carrier if you want to move your comfortable child from the car to, say, the grocery store. Government regulations urge parents to leave children in rear-facing seats until they meet the maximum height and weight requirements.
- Front-Facing Car Seat: Children should meet the required height and weight limits and should be at least 2 years old before using a front-facing car seat.
- Convertible Car Seat: These seats can face the rear or face forward, depending on your child’s weight and height. They are a bigger investment because they can be used past infancy, but are less mobile and cannot be doubled as a carrier. Government regulations urge parents to keep children in forward-facing harness and tether at least until they are 3 years old and at most 7 years old.
- Booster Seat: The minimum weight requirement for most booster seats is usually around 40 pounds and can often hold up to 100 pounds. Many convertible car seats accommodate this growth, so you can use the same seat from infancy to childhood. The government urges parents to continue fastening their children into booster seats until they are big enough to use a seat belt in the back seat, earliest at 4 years and latest at 12 years.
How to Select a Car Seat
- Keep in mind your child’s weight, age and height. There are different types of car seats for different needs. The most important thing is knowing that your child is properly secured in his or her seat. Do not, for example, buy a front-facing car seat for an infant because he or she may not meet the weight requirements.
- Do you have other children? Will anyone be joining the baby in the back row? Make sure you find a seat that fits in your car, allows any other passengers to fit as well, and doesn’t hinder movement of the front seat (for drivers with long legs).
- Read your car’s owner manual. Especially if you use LATCH products, which are ever popular, it is important to know how to find the LATCH attachments in your car. Sometimes they aren’t in the safest spot in your car, the rear middle, which is a good thing to know when shopping.
- Look up reviews for installation. If another parent is complaining on an online forum about difficult installation, you don’t need the headache. Find a seat that boasts being easy to install and perhaps comes with step-by-step directions or a diagram.
- Look for a machine-washable seat. Cleaning up after your children is difficult enough without the added stress of trying to clean a cumbersome seat. Many seats now come with removable pads that you can just throw in the laundry with the towels.
- Don’t underestimate big buckles. If it takes you a second to unfasten, it will take your toddler a lot longer with those little hands. Deter them from becoming an escape artist by not making it easy for them.
Find easily adjustable harnesses. Children go through growth spurts all of the time. Don’t let their sudden change in size get the better of you during an accident. Look for a seat with a harness that adjusts easily and without having to rethread.