23 answers

What Is the Best Convertible Carseat for a 1 Year Old?

I am looking at the Britax carseats and wondered if they are the best? I am confused because some of them run in the $300 and some in the $100. I am looking for a carseat for a 1 year old +. I have seen some at Costco as well and wondered if anyone has any thoughts on those. Thanks for your help!!

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Hello there! I just bought the Britax Advocate, it was one of the more expensive ones but I have had multiple friends who have used the Britax over the last few years and swear by them. My daughter is only 6 months old and she absolutely loves sitting in it. She is still rear facing, but was getting frustrated in the infant seat as she kept wanting to sit up more. This seat allows her to sleep comfortably and also to see out the window which she loves. I liked it because we can use it until she no longer needs a seat, it has one of the higher weight limits.

This seat also rated very high in safety, the real beauty of this seat.

I hope this helps.

The Britax Marathon is a great car seat. My son will be 3 in November and still uses it. It's a great size, easy to clean and is just very nice.

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We have a Britax Blvd click and save in my car since my daughter is with me the majority of the time and we bought a less expensisve model from Costco for my husbands car! HUGE difference. The Britax has way more cushion and safety features! If my husband didn't throw the box and receipt away, I would be taking it back and getting a Britax for his car too! My daughter is 13months and 19 lbs-she loves her convertible car seat!
Regarding the price, I don't feel you can put a price on your childs safety-so you have to purchase what you want! Good luck! Diapers.com has good deals and Babies R Us has coupons 15-20% off carseats!

Hello M.! I understand your dilemma, I was in the same situation a few months ago. There was all this hoopla surrounding the Britax car seats, but when I did my own research, I found that none of the moms I interviewed were using them. I decided against getting one, seemed too trendy for me and I'm a go-against-the-grain type of person, lol, but seriously, I read a report a few weeks ago, maybe a month ago, and Britax was not number one, which surprised me. I don't think it was Consumer Reports, although it might have been. I don't remember, and of course, I don't remember what the top 5 were, but Britax was not on there. The report was based on manufacturer, price, safety, and a few other things that made up the rating. Good luck to you, and remember, just because something is expensive, doesn't mean it's the best! (I should be clear and state that I'm not trying to dissuade you in any way, even if it seems that way! lol).

P.S. - just wanted to add, after reading all of the other comments - that a previous post mentioned getting a second hand one via Craigslist.com. I thought to myself "what an awesome idea!" until I remembered (and this is what I actually wanted to pass along) that I read (I do a lot of reading lol) that you shoud not buy a car seat if it is 3 years old or older. I don't remember the specifics, but I do remember there being a mention of the plastic (if it has that) wearing down (normal wear and tear plus sun damage) issue. You definitely do not want to put your baby in anything that could lead them into harm's way, so by all means, if you go that route, don't be afraid to ask how old the car seat is :) I also wanted to reiterate what another mom said - ALL carseats have to pass safety inspections and follow safety rules etc etc so there is not going to be any car seat that you purchase (in the US of A from a store) that is not regulated by the safety laws. Again, good luck to you :) I know how hard it is to choose :(

Let me first say that I am very saddened to hear about the death of your child. That always changes life in ways we cannot begin to imagine unless in that same circumstance.

Now as to your car seat question...I will begin by letting you know I am a child passenger safety technician and instructor so this is coming from that point of view as opposed to the Mommy point of view :) Britax seats are usually more costly because their harnesses go up to higher weights and heights compared to other seats. If you look closely, convertible seats made by most other manufacturers will only allow your child to sit harnessed in them up to 40 lbs. Britax (and some other manufacturers) have gone the extra mile to make their seats go up to 50-80 lbs in a harness. Keeping your child harnessed as long as possible (this is known at 5 point harnessing)is much safer. Putting children in booster seats too early can cause serious injuries if a collision does happen. I will also say that keeping your child in a rear-facing position for as long as possible is much, much safer too. She sould be facing rear at a minimum of 1 year AND 20 lbs...though as safety professionals we suggest keeping them in that position as long as their car seat will allow...if you have any other questions, you can private message me:) Take good care and be safe...M.


This website helped me to choose which car seats to get for my little ones. If you watch the video at the bottom, be prepared to cry. It is really heartbreaking, but really informative.

The whole website has an abundance of information and is a great resource. There is a section on car seat info and it even gives their recommendations.

I ended up getting a Brittax Regent for my daughter (3 at the time) and a Brittax Boulevard for my son (10 months at the time) and have peace of mind about my purchases.

M. - we love our Britax Boulevard. I was reluctant to purchase something so expensive, but we went to five stories to check out the cheaper alternatives and Britax won the day. My 18-mo. old daughter loves it - its comfortable (she fells asleep on it and her head is not flailing around or bent sideways), garners best safety rating (including side impact). It's worth the investment, I wish we had gotten it when she was an infant. Best of luck!

Also not sure where you are located at, but we purchased ours at USA Baby in Torrance and their price is very competitive. However, unlike Target or Babies R Us, you won't be able to return the car seat if you change your mind.

p.s. one of the moms here gave me a great tip - have your child sit in it and see if he/she likes it (even though you'll make the final decision!).

Hi M.,
I have a 2 year old, she was 20 months and 20 lbs when we bought the car seats (for 2 cars). We bought then from Costco. It was on the list of car seats that the hospital gave us that compared the different car seats and it also sold at Babies R Us. It was the best for the bucks and it was a lot less expensive then at Babies R Us. My husband and I are perfectly happy with it and it has lots of growing room for future years as well. My opinion is to go with Costco. It's the same brand that is sold in baby stores and is less expensive. Hope this helps.

Both of my kids are in Britax Marathon convertible carseats. DS has been in his since he was 6 months old (he is now 4.5 years old and 37 lbs). DD has been in hers since she was 3 months old (she is now 2 and 27 lbs). My DS will outgrow the Marathon in height in the next year, so we will move him into a 5 point harness booster seat probably in the next 6 months or so.

I love the Marathon. I feel very safe and secure putting my kids into it. They are heavier than most convertible carseats and when installed properly, they don't budge at all. Installation is pretty easy, especially if you have the LATCH system in your car. Just plug in both sides, lean your leg on top of the carseat, then pull both sides and it's in secure and tight.

Check consumerreports.org and the CHP website for the safety ratings on current carseats. I think they rated some of the cheaper carseats and they did well safety wise. When I was in the market for our carseats, I went to the store and tested a bunch out. Even though the other carseats rated high in safety, I just really liked the solid and secure feeling that I got from the Britax carseats.

I am a mother of three..1,2,and 4.5. I had a britax and could not stand it for my daughter, a friend gave it to me, because we had a different care seat for my 1st daughter (can't remember) We just bought our 1 and 2 year olds the radian XT by sunshine kids. I love it had better ratings than the britax, has a metal frame instead of the plastic. Just awesome. My husband did the research. We have all three in the back of the yukon. Hope this helps and good luck

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