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The Best Convertible Car Seat - 2020

Last updated on October 5, 2020

We looked at the top 16 Convertible Car Seats and dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Convertible Car Seats.

Best Convertible Car Seat

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Our Picks For The Top Convertible Car Seats

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Graco

SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Overall Take

Adjusts With One HandThanks to the durable steel-reinforced frame, this convertible car seat is designed to last for years.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Choose Your Color

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi

Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Overall Take

Side Impact Protection You'll find this convertible car seat in six attractive colors, including arctic mist, peach amber and moonstone violet.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Great for Active Little Legs

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

Graco

Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

Overall Take

Lots of Leg RoomLots of leg room and a footrest to keep legs from dangling make this convertible car seat a top pick.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, Baby Gear Lab, Car Seats For The Littles.org, Car Seat Blog and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
" The Graco Extend2Fit performed second to the Britax in our crash-testing."
Cons
"Rear-facing to forward-facing transition using LATCH can be difficult."
  Best Basic

Safety 1st Grow Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st

Grow Convertible Car Seat

Overall Take

No-Fuss PickThis convertible car seat will take some of the stress out of car seat management and maintenance.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
26

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the convertible car seats available to purchase.
16

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

88

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, Baby Gear Lab, Car Seats For The Littles.org, Car Seat Blog.

68,710

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 16 Convertible Car Seats and also dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Convertible Car Seats.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

User Summarized Score

9.8
7,475 user reviews

Our Take

Created with a the 4-position recline, this convertible car seat can be adjusted to make your child more comfortable. The car seat itself is easy to install and even comes with harness storage. Kids will love the dual cup holders, while parents appreciate the washable cover.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

Our Expert Score

8.2
6 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
3,767 user reviews

Our Take

Taking into account safety recommendations for keeping children rear-facing for longer, this convertible car seat offers better leg room and a nifty footrest to keep legs from dangling. We like the fact that it also has excellent crash test results.

What other experts liked

The Graco Extend2Fit performed second to the Britax in our crash-testing.
- New York Times Wirecutter
A very good performing seat in all modes of use that offers increased leg room for rear-facing children.
- Consumer Reports
The Graco Extend2Fit is a higher-end Graco option with impressive crash test results. This seat is relatively lightweight and easy to use, with dual cup holders, harness retainer, and a cool footrest to prevent dangling legs.
- Baby Gear Lab
Dual cupholders, always a fan favorite, the easy to adjust harness, the Fuss Free pockets, and the rather revolutionary extender have really made this a spectacular seat.
- Car Seats For The Littles.org
In a carseat universe increasingly dominated by All-In-One carseats, the standard Graco Extend2Fit is a great convertible carseat that is also a tremendous value when on sale.
- Car Seat Blog
This convertible car seat is one of the best on the market. The Graco Extend2Fit offers so many different user-friendly features...
- Happy Baby Reviews

What other experts didn't like

It’s not nearly as easy to install as the Britax ClickTight system.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Rear-facing to forward-facing transition using LATCH can be difficult.
- Consumer Reports
Not the best quality, harder belt installation.
- Baby Gear Lab
Some parents have noted that the headpiece pushes their child head too far forward.
- Happy Baby Reviews

Overall Product Rankings

Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

1. Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 1

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

2. Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 1

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

3. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 9

Safety 1st Grow Convertible Car Seat

4. Safety 1st Grow Convertible Car Seat

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Seat

5. Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Seat

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 9

Britax Marathon ClickTight

6. Britax Marathon ClickTight

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 12

Graco 4Ever Convertible Seat Matrix

7. Graco 4Ever Convertible Seat Matrix

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

Chico NextFit Zip

8. Chico NextFit Zip

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 12

Britax Boulevard ClickTight

9. Britax Boulevard ClickTight

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 12

Graco Contender 65

10. Graco Contender 65

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 11

Evenflo Titan

11. Evenflo Titan

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 5

Britax Advocate ClickTight

12. Britax Advocate ClickTight

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

Evenflo Sure Ride

13. Evenflo Sure Ride

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 10

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85

14. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85

Overall Score: 7.6
Reviews Included: 7

Peg Perego Primo Convertible

15. Peg Perego Primo Convertible

Overall Score: 7.5
Reviews Included: 11

Clek Fllo

16. Clek Fllo

Overall Score: 6.7
Reviews Included: 11

Our Convertible Car Seat Findings


Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

Best Overall

What We Liked: Created with a the 4-position recline, this convertible car seat can be adjusted to make your child more comfortable. The car seat itself is easy to install and even comes with harness storage. Kids will love the dual cup holders, while parents appreciate the washable cover.


Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat

What We Liked: This convertible car seat is designed to grow with your child. It can be switched from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster mode as your baby gets older. The premium fabric and padding also make the seat comfortable for your child, while the two cup holders provide a place to store drinks and snacks.


Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Seat

Great for Active Little Legs

What We Liked: Taking into account safety recommendations for keeping children rear-facing for longer, this convertible car seat offers better leg room and a nifty footrest to keep legs from dangling. We like the fact that it also has excellent crash test results.


Safety 1st Grow Convertible Car Seat

What We Liked: This beloved convertible car seat is intended to stay with your child as she grows through three phases – rear-facing, forward-facing and booster. It’s easy to get your child in and out of this model, which has harness holders to keep the harness in an open position. The seat pad is machine washable and dryer safe.


Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Seat

What We Liked: The smaller profile and lighter weight of this convertible car seat make it ideal for traveling, parents with smaller cars or people who need to take the seat in and out more often. It’s budget friendly, but still performs well in crash tests and has similar safety features to higher-end models.

Our Convertible Car Seat Buying Guide

Maybe your baby has outgrown his or her infant car seat. Or perhaps you don’t like the idea of having to buy several different types of seats or boosters. Either way, it feels like the time to consider purchasing a convertible car seat.

All children ages 8 and younger — depending on their height and weight — are generally required by law to use some form of car seat or booster. You are probably familiar with the infant car seat, also called the bucket or pumpkin seat. It’s a rear-facing seat that is detachable and clicks into a base that stays in the car. Infant car seats typically have a carrying handle, may have an adjustable shade and can usually be used with a stroller.

It is hard to beat the convenience factor of the infant car seat for taking a sleeping baby in and out of the car easily — and for transporting them in general.  But they are generally only considered safe until your child is 35 to 40 pounds at most. Hence, the convertible car seat, which typically starts as a rear-facing car seat up to around 40 pounds, and in some cases, can then convert to a front-facing toddler seat and, later, to a booster seat around 120 pounds. Just remember, convertible car seats are bulkier, heavier and are typically meant to remain in the car. This means you will need to consider having a separate stroller or baby carrier when your child is young.

Convertible car seats attach to the car using either a LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system, which is part of your car, a seatbelt or a combination of the two. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat, for example, has easy-to-use latch connectors to make installation a breeze.

From a safety perspective, each convertible car seat uses different materials and construction to bolster safety. The Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat features a steel-reinforced frame. Convertible car seats also typically have a 5-point harness system that can be adjusted in various ways as your child grows.

Most importantly, convertible car seats allow kids to be rear-facing for longer and can accommodate children of various sizes. The National Highway Traffic Saftey Administration advises keeping a child rear-facing and in a car seat in general as long as possible, based on height and weight requirements for the seat. Car seats like the Graco Extend2Fit, for example, are being built to allow rear-facing for up to 50 pounds and include an extendable panel that provides more leg room. This combination of safety and maximized comfort is truly only available with convertible car seats.

Cost is an obvious final deciding factor for purchasing a convertible car seat. Instead of purchasing three or even four separate car seats and a booster, you are able to use one unit throughout childhood. This also lessens the impact on the environment since car seats expire and are only partially recyclable. While convertible car seats can be on the pricey side, you will hopefully only be shelling out money for them once or twice, depending on whether you have multiple drivers or caregivers.

DWYM Fun Fact

The very first car seats were created in the 1930s with the sole purpose of keeping kids from moving around in the car. In the 1970s, the NHTSA began to put regulations in place. The first laws requiring parents to use car seats for children under a certain age weren’t passed until 1985. We’ve certainly come a long way!

Did you know that car seats expire? While they don’t necessarily spoil like old milk, they do become less safe due to a variety of factors. Materials like plastic can become brittle due to constant exposure to heat, cold and sun in your car, metal parts can rust and other parts could go missing or be discontinued. Everyone’s car seat looks a little battered from everyday use. Even so, hairline cracks or reduced elasticity in the straps might be harder to notice, but can really matter in a crash. Because the top concern for car seats is safety, you should always check a seat’s expiration date before buying or resuing. You can typically find this information on the car seat itself, in the manual or through the manufacturer. Most car seats expire in 5 to 10 years, and convertible car seats tend to fall somewhere on the higher end of that range. But what do you do with an expired car seat? Unfortunately, the best thing to do is completely dismantle it and recycle the plastic parts so that no one tries to reuse it. If you don’t want to go through all that trouble, try a car seat trade-in event at a local store that sells baby gear.

The Convertible Car Seat Tips and Advice

  • You will need a car seat starting on the first day you drive your bundle of joy home. All 50 states have laws requiring the use of a car seat until your child is at least 7 years old. Also, most states require the use of a booster seat until your child is a certain weight and height (usually between the age of 8 and 10). Since you will need some form of car seat or booster for a large portion of your son or daughter’s childhood, it’s not a bad idea to consider convertible car seats since they last longer.
  • Anyone who has seen how gross a car seat can get knows how important it is to take into account how easy it is to clean. Many car seats come fitted with covers that you can’t remove and can only spot clean. Ideally, all fabric should be able to be removed for cleaning. Better yet, look for machine washable covers.
  • It may seem minor, but when buying a car seat, consider whether or not a cup holder is important to you. Sometimes it’s better to have at least one so you aren’t distracted by handing your child water or a snack while driving. On the other hand, you may want to keep food and drink away from the seat. The Graco SlimFit 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat and Graco Extend2Fit car seats both have two cup holders.
  • Lugging a car seat around is no fun for anyone. If you plan to switch your car seat between cars a lot or will be taking it with you while traveling frequently, you’ll want to consider the overall weight. For instance, the Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-In-1 Convertible Car Seat weighs in at 25 pounds, while the Safety 1st Grow Convertible Car Seat is only 18 pounds.
  • Even if you think you’re an old pro at installing a car seat, it may be worth getting it checked out after the first time you do it. Car seat designs change from year to year and each model can be a little different. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers locations where you can have your car seat and installation expertly inspected.
  • The straps of a car seat should always be snug, even if your child protests. You should only be able to fit one finger between the strap and your child’s shoulder and you should not be able to pinch any excess harness fabric between your fingers. Also make sure not to put your child in a car seat wearing a bulky coat, which could require you to make the straps looser than is safe.
  • In addition to the straps being too loose, another common mistake many parents make is placing the chest clip — sometimes called the retainer clip — too low or too high, which is actually a pretty serious safety concern. If it’s placed too high, it could cause choking or a neck injury. When placed too low, your child could be ejected from the seat in the event of an accident. The ideal placement of the clip is the middle of the sternum, lined up with the top of the child’s armpits. It’s worth reminding grandparents or other caregivers of this placement as well.
  • According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a car seat should be installed facing the rear until your child turns 4 or outgrows the seat (based on the individual seat’s safety requirements for height and weight). Even if your child’s legs look cramped, they are still safer facing backward. The Graco Extend2Fit car seat is designed with rear-facing placement in mind and offers a little more space for taller kids.
  • It’s important that you use the LATCH system (lower anchors and tethers for children) in your car that your car seat is designed to work with. All cars manufactured after 2003 are required by the U.S. government to have at least two seats with lower anchors — usually positioned near the seat belts — and three spots with tether anchors, typically behind the headrests or seats. Even if your car seat model uses a seatbelt rather than the lower anchors, you should still use the tether when the car seat is front-facing.
  • Consider including “in case of emergency” information on your car seat for EMTs or other first responders. In the event that a parent or caregiver is injured or can’t talk, having the child’s name, contact information, allergies, medical conditions and pediatrician listed on the car seat can be a lifesaver. Simply attach a luggage tag with the necessary details or tape a note card securely to the seat in an easy-to-find area.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer and mother of two. As an aunt to countless nieces and nephews, Alicia spends her free time researching the latest toys and educational products to purchase the best gifts for her favorite little ones. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading baby and parenting publications.