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.

http://kyledavidmiller.org/

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.

M.
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

We use the Costco Alpha Omega Elite. It was more in our price range. I also asked my sons Dr. what she recommended and that was the one. It is also the one she has used for her kids. I hope this helps.

Britax is consistantly rated the safest.

I recommend going for a higher weight. 40 lbs may not work long enough. I have bought the 40 lb'er and then had to get the 65 pounder (sorry, i don't remember the model names) I am not even sure what the latest law is for car seats. is it 6 and 60 lbs? My 8 yr old isn't 60 lbs yet, but my 5 yr old is.

I have a Britax I think it was around $200 the difference from the most expensive once was it didn't have the extra padding around the head I choose not to get it because my son is a sweater and I just didn't want to make him even more hot. He seems to like the car seat alot, never complains at all falls asleep very easy. He absouletly hated his infant one it was not cheap ether it was a pegpergo so it makes me very happy to know that he is comfy now in the car. I do not regret my purchase of the Britax at all and your lucky because they have so super cute girly ones, the boys ones not so great = )
God Bless you guys!

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.

We researched several and ended up with the Radian 65 which had great reviews on Baby Bargains. It also has a floor tether which is considered safer for rear facing (in case your baby isn't 20 lbs yet). A couple of nice features- it folds for storage and travel, it's approved for the airplane, and it's narrow enough to fit 3 side by side in the seat. We have a civic and it fits our car very well. Take your car to the store- we tried a few others first and they didn't install very well into our car.

Hope this helps!

Both my kids' carseats are Britax Marathon. We got them for the high safety ratings. We looked at Britax Roundabout, which is cheaper, but decided against it because my son would outgrow it very quickly. My son is almost 5 and he is still in his Marathon. So yes it is more expensive, but for us it is worth it and it lasts a long time. Its resale value is pretty high too, so you could possiby resell yours in a few years for $100. Now, if you don't mind second hand ones, check out Craigslist and they usually have people selling theirs. Or you could ask your friends or family. Buying a second hand one is sort of a leap of faith, because you have to believe that it has never been in an accident and it's from a smoke free family, etc. Talk to the seller first and you might get a sense whether she/he is trustworthy.. Good luck.

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.

I bought a Britax Marathon for my 11 month old son a few weeks ago (his infant seat had been an accident). We chose the Marathon because it can go rear facing longer than most (only other one non Britax that may go longer is the new Graco seat), and it has a 5 point harness up to 65 pounds (again, only other non Britax is that Graco seat). It's now suggested that you keep your child rear facing up to 2 years of age, and I am all about safety. It is expensive, but those features are worth it to me. I also won't have to buy a booster seat, he has to be in a seat until 8 in Utah, for a longer period of time.

I had also heard that britax was the "best" but didn't want to cough up so much money on a carseat. After doing tons of research I found out that really ALL carseats have to meet stringent safety standards. I also found out that in the consumer reports the Evenflo Triumph lx was rated just as high and even higher than the Britax in some areas. It was also WAY cheaper and by combining coupons (did you know at Babies R Us you can use TWO coupons at once? I had one for $20 off any carseat and one for 20% off any item, I could use both!) anyway, after that I got it for quite a deal! They also have a cuter pattern at Target (same carseat, just different colors). Its definitely not the cutest but it seems really comfortable and safe and it didn't cost us an arm and a leg.

I think the other thing to decide is if you really need a convertible seat at this point. We got a convertible one that could face forward or backward but if you plan on turning your baby forward at this point you might just want to get a forward facing one which will save money too. Although I also want to throw in that its safer to keep them rear facing as long as possible.

Good luck with your decision. I think it sucks that as moms we sometimes get suckered into spending tons of money in the name of safety when really its just a brand we're paying for.

Try the True Fit by First Years. It's well-rated and not so pricey! We love ours.

Hey M.,
I had the same question a few months ago and then after doing some research I realized that the more expensive car seats were rated for side impact. If you notice they have a double head head rest. From everything I have read on consumer reports they have the highest crash test rating of all the car seats.

Hi M.,

My pediatrician, who has a one year old himself suggested Britax. My nine month old daughter is very long for her age so we got her the Roundabout since she's still rear facing. My girlfriend swears by the Britax Triumph. We got ours at a deal through diapers.com, you even get a deal if it's your first time buying from them. I've ordered several items from them and it's great!

Im so sorry for your loss. You're baby girl will always have a guardian angel beside her.

Hi M.,
Britax is excellent. I bought the Roundabout. It is about $190. You can shop around on line to see who has the best prices on the model and color you want.

Also check out Consumerreports.com. They give the latest safety ratings and prices on all the car seats. Britax has several models at different prices. You don't want to go cheap on a car seat but you don't have to spend $300 either. There are also other brands with certain models that rate high with lower prices.

Hope this helps.

I have the Britax Marathon for my son and really love it. It has one of the highest safety ratings. I believe the roundabout is their cheapest option, but also has really great ratings (just lower weight limits).

I bough the combi corocco for my daughter and like it a lot as well.

I've heard the best things about Britax Marathon. I just bought it for my 1 year old. I did a lot of price shopping and diapers.com has an incredible sale right now!!! $50 off! You won't find it cheaper anywhere else. Free shipping and no sales tax. I ordered mine around 10am and actually got it the very next morning!!!
It takes awhile to install but the reviews are overwhelmingly positive!!!

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