Convertable Car Seat Suggestions

Updated on December 11, 2009
C.S. asks from Minnetonka, MN
8 answers

I am needing to move my son into a convertable car seat and can't decide which one to buy. He is our third, so I really don't want to spend an arm and a leg, but am willing to pay for something that will keep him safe. I guess my biggest problem is that I know what I want and can't find it. I would like to have something that isn't huge. We do have a SUV, but all three kids sit together. I will have this carseat and also a booster seat in the same row. I would also like something that isn't too ugly. I really don't like the velvety fabrics. I would love something that is easier to clean. I have been looking online and found good reviews about maxi-cosi. I don't know anything about the brand or safety ratings for them. Any ideas?

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answers from Madison on


in the Rio fabric, which is more of a mesh.

This is one of (if not THE) safest seat on the market. Yes it is expensive...but it will last you for a VERY long time.

They are trim seats...easy to get three across.

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answers from Minneapolis on

We just bought The First Years True Fit for our 3rd baby and LOVE it!!!
Someone else asked this recently. Here are the responses they got:



answers from Minneapolis on

IF your son is ready to face forward then I would suggest the Graco Nautilus. We have one and we love it. We have been able to get 3 across the back seat of our Impala (2 car seats and a booster). It is easy to clean, install, and use. It is comfortable for our sone and gets very good safety ratings. We got ours online from Wal-mart. Right now it is $144 with 97 cent shipping.
It is rated to 65 pounds front facing in the harness and 100 pounds in the booster (either high back or backless).
We also have a Britax Marathon in my husband's truck. We really like that one too, however the weight rating is not as high and it is not convertible to a booster. However it is rated to 65# forward facing in the harness. It is also rear facing if your son is still able to. It is about $200-$250 but you can find it onsale online. It is a bit wider than the Graco and we have never tried to get it in the car 3 across.
Good luck with your search. I am not sure you will find any car seats without at least a small amount of the velvety fabric.



answers from Minneapolis on

I had a Maxi Cosi but if you have a bigger baby it doesn't work so well. I ended up selling mine because it was too cramped for my son who is at the top of the charts. We use the Britax Roundabout and it has been great! It is compact so might fit your needs and is very easy to clean (I have the onyx, not velvety).



answers from Des Moines on

i vote for the graco my ride 160 bucks and very worth it. my son is 21 months and his still rear facing comfortably. we have the evenflo titan for my husbands car and he has to forward face in that. my son likes the my ride and it is not a bad size for what you get.



answers from Cedar Rapids on

We have a Fisher-Price Safe Voyage (made by Britax and a clone of the roundabout) and a Sunshine Kids Radian65. We like both of them. The Radian will last us slightly longer according to height and weight limits. It also is nice and narrow. still sells both, even though the Fisher Price isn't manufactured anymore:


answers from Minneapolis on

A rear facing car seat (infant carrier too) is outgrown when the child goes over the weight limit or there is less than 1 inch of hard shell above the childs head. Until either of these happens, the seat is not outgrown. Legs over the end of the infant seat is not a problem, and not a danger, and not an indication of the seat being outgrown. While rear facing the harness should come from below or just at the shoulders. It is best to remain rear facing as long as possible, but the bare minimums are 1yr and 20lbs.

Now, that being said, most infant seats (the lower weight ones, 22lbs) are outgrown around 5/6mos of age. What you want to purchase is a CONVERTIBLE car seat so he can remain rear facing as long as possible. The AAP (and NHTSA and SafeKids) recommends children remain rear facing in a convertible car seat until at least 2yrs and 30lbs, or until the child outgrows the seat rear facing. Convertible car seats on the market today will rear face until 35lbs, a few to 40lbs, and one to 45lbs. Most children can remain rear facing until their 3rd birthdays in the US. In Sweden, children ride rear facing until 50lbs, and they have had less children die in 10yrs in auto accidents than the US has daily. That speaks volumes!

There are many many car seats on the market that will rear face your child, then forward face, and last your baby until he needs a simple booster around 6yrs of age. A child should remain rear facing as long as possible, and then in a harness as long as possible, and in a booster seat until the child is 4'9" tall, or around age 8.

First Years TruFit, $150 will rear face to 35lbs and has a super high shell, and will then forward face to 65lbs. This seat will harness most kids to age 6/7yrs old. GREAT value and highly recommended, but may not fit with 3 across.

Graco MyRide, $150 will rear face to 40lbs and forward face to 65lbs. Will fit most kids to age 5/6 in the harness and is a GREAT seat for extended rear facing. Its super plush too, very comfy. I really like this seat.

Sunshine Kids Radian65 is a narrow seat and will easily allow you to fit 3 across. It will rear face to 45lbs and forward face to 65lbs, and fits most kids until age 6/7 in the harness. They run around $250.

Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE (make sure its the ADVANCE, not the regular triumph)- will rear face to 35lbs and forward face to 50lbs, fits most kids to age 5 in the harness. $150. Easy to adjust with no rethread harness, just a twist knob on the side.

Britax Marathon/Boulevard- Will rear face to 35lbs and forward face to 65lbs. Most kids can use this harness until 6yrs old. We had one of these andit was by far my favorite car seat. $280.

Those seats are what I would recommend. Steer clear of the '3-in-1' seats like the Cosco Alpha Omega Elite or the Eddie bauer 3 in 1. They are ok for rear facing, but they are generally outgrown forward facing before a child is mentally and physically ready for the booster portion, and the seats are so wide that they hold the seatbelt away from the child too far in booster mode and make very bad booster seats. They aren't worth the money, you are better off buying one listed above and using it to the limits and then purchasing a dedicated booster that will fit your child better when she is older.

So the seats I listed above are the ones I would recommend, you get the biggest bang for your buck, the seats are both comfy and easy to use, an both will last your son until he is at least 5/6yrs old in the harness. However any convertible car seat will work for him... but just beware of the 3 in 1 seats, you can get way more for your money with the other seats.

A few things for you to google while researching car seats- Extended Rear facing, internal decapitation, seatbelt syndrome. Go to the website, and visit too. The best time to be informed about car seats is right now.
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answers from Des Moines on

we have a cosco brand one and love it.

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