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7 Best Convertible Car Seats That Are Built to Last

If you want your car seat to grow with your kiddo, here's your guide! These convertible car seats are safe, sleek, and easy to install.

mom buckling kid into convertible car seat
Getty Images

We all want our kids to be as safe and as comfortable as possible when they're riding in our cars and trucks. Choosing the right car seat plays a big role in that. But with so many options on the market, deciding on the right one that checks all of the boxes for your needs can be a tough decision. While the car seat market is vast, one of the best options out there remains the convertible car seat. But why are they so great, and where do you even begin to figure out which one is best for your family? Don't worry — I'm here to help.

What to Consider

Convertible car seats have the longest duration of use of all of the car seats available on the market, which makes them an instant winner in our book. Most of them can be used from birth, and many go all the way up to 50 or 65 pounds, or about 10 years old. However, unlike infant car seats, convertible car seats are not transportable because they click directly into your car's latch system (as opposed to a base.) Translation? You can't easily take the seat out of the car to transport it with your child in it. For that reason, many parents choose to start with an infant car seat and switch to a convertible car seat when their baby is around 8 to 12 months old.

The main things you'll need to consider are materials, weight and height limits, how it fits in your car, and what safety indicators they are equipped with.


Convertible car seats can cost up to $600 or more, so understanding what you're dropping all those dollars on is key. Not only do the materials determine the price of the car seat, but they can also help make the car seat safer. Steel-reinforced rolling cages with extra cushioning and high-density foam may perform better in the event of a collision, but you do pay for it. And as for the seats themselves, there is a wide range of materials used on the covers. Some are machine-washable, and some are not. This can be a deal-breaker for families who want that ease of cleaning, especially if your little one is prone to car sickness (or refuses to leave the house without at least three different snacks.)

Weight and Height Limits

Rear-facing and forward-facing height and weight limits vary greatly. Some can be used all the way to elementary school, while others are good only for the first four years or so. Most convertible car seats come with inserts that are needed for younger babies, which get removed as your child grows. So if you're planning on using this seat for more than one child, remember where you put those inserts (and don't say we didn't warn you!)

How it Fits in Your Car

If you have more than one car seat in your car or have limited space between your back seat and your front seat, knowing how big a car seat will be is pretty important. Some of the convertible car seats are pretty bulky and even have an extended length for rear-facing. If your car is considered "compact," this might not be an ideal fit for you.

Safety Indicators

Some car seats are equipped with safety indicators to let you know if it's installed properly like a leveling system or bubble indicator. Having your car seat leveled properly is one of the harder things to accomplish in a car seat, which makes these indicators a big help. They also give you peace of mind as a parent, knowing that your child's car seat is as safe as it can possibly be.

Best Convertible Car Seats

How We Chose

I did a deep dive into the research of both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Consumer Reports to learn which car seats are rated the highest for collision protection, ease of use, and ease of installation. I personally have either tried and tested out every car seat on this list or have spoken to parents who use the seats in their everyday lives with their children. I've also read countless reviews, compared prices, examined materials, shipping times, sizes, and safety indicators available to determine the very best car seats in a wide range of prices and sizes. Learn more about the best convertible car seats below.

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Best Overall
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
BRITAX amazon.com

Key Features

• Rear-facing 5 to 40 pounds
• Forward-facing 20 to 65 pounds
• Dimensions 23x20.5x23.5 inches (LxWxH)
• Airline-certified

This car seat gets extremely high marks from the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and parents alike. It's safe, it's easy to get into your car and it's easy to clean.

What Makes it So Special

Britax's ClickTight system makes it hands-down the easiest to install on the market. The entire installation process takes just 45 seconds and bubble level indicators let you know it's been installed properly.

It's also one of the easiest convertible car seats to clean, the simplest to use, and parents feel safe knowing the quality is top-notch.The Britax's seven-position recline is the ultimate in comfort for your baby and the cover is machine-washable and dryable. The frame is steel-reinforced coated in a hard poly cover, with dense foam padding and premium fabrics designed to breathe, so your baby won't overheat.

There's a 14-point quick-adjust harness and headrest, which can be raised easily as your child grows. This is the convertible seat I used for my children, and I will tell you that it is as durable as it is easy to use, and my kids put that durability to the test.

More: Ready for the Next Seat? Check Out These Toddler Car Seats

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Great safety indicators
  • Multiple positions
  • Threadless harness

  • Doesn't go on sale often
  • Heavy
Best Cover
Chicco NextFit Max Zip Air Convertible Car Seat
Chicco amazon.com

Key Features

• Rear-facing 4 to 50 pounds and 43 inches tall
• Forward-facing 22 to 65 pounds and up to 49 inches tall
• 22.75x19x29.2 inches (LxWxH)
• Airline-certified

This is a fairly new car seat on the market, but it shows a ton of promise. It builds off the trusted safety and structure of its previous model but has some major upgrades.

What Makes it So Special

The big deal with this car seat is that the cover zips right off and is machine-washable, with no need to detach a thing if you need to clean it. And the cupholder? Dishwasher-safe. Plus, it has improved mesh technology in the backrest that makes it super breathable and very comfortable for your baby.

This car seat offers 25% more legroom than your standard convertible car seat, meaning your child can be rear-facing for a longer period of time. The frame is alloy steel, and the headrest is made of a type of expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is incredibly safe in the event of a collision.

It uses premium latch connectors and a SuperCinch force-multiplying tightener with RideRight bubbles levels and a nine-position leveling system to help you get your child in properly, and lets you know they're as safe as they can be. 

  • Washable
  • Easy-to-remove cover
  • Extra legroom
  • Breathable

  • Takes a bit to install
  • Quite large
Chemical Free
nuna RAVA™ Convertible Car Seat
nuna nordstrom.com

Key Features

• Rear-facing 5 to 50 pounds
• Forward-facing 25 to 65 pounds and up to 49 inches tall
• 25x16x9 inches (LxWxH)
• Airline-certified 

Parents love the Nuna Rava because it's comfortable and chic at the same time, despite its hefty price tag. The design is almost space-age, and the parents I spoke with who own it say this high-end convertible car seat is decidedly low-maintenance.

What Makes it So Special

The Nuna line boasts a cover that is flame-retardant, as all car seats are required to be, but it does so by using a specific tightly-woven fabric as opposed to a chemical that is applied to the fabric. Your baby can also ride rear-facing until 50 pounds, which is quite amazing.

This car seat boasts a unique harness design that can be adjusted with one hand, and its threadless adjust makes the whole thing simple and easy to adjust once it is installed. The Rava has a 10-position recline that gives ample legroom — a real boon for rear-facing tots.

This car seat offers maximum side-impact protection using a mix of foam and a steel frame, with an easy-to-install belt path design and reclines angle guides to make sure the car seat is installed properly.

The flip-open cupholders are super simple to clean, and the cover is, once again, machine-washable.

  • Chic
  • Multiple safety indicators
  • Long rear-facing window

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
Best All-in-One
Maxi-Cosi Magellan XP Convertible Car Seat
Baby Jogger albeebaby.com

Key Features

• Rear-facing 5 to 40 pounds and 40 inches
• Forward-facing (multiple modes) 40 to 120 pounds and 57 inches
• 25x25x20 inches (LxWxH)
• Airline-certified in harness mode only

BestProducts’ very own executive director, Christine Anderson, uses this car seat and absolutely loves it. She says choosing the Magellan was a no-brainer because “With the Magellan, you’re purchasing a 5-in-1 convertible car seat (no extra infant seat or booster seat required). They’re all in there.”

What Makes it So Special

As Anderson said, this is an infant seat, a toddler seat, and a booster all-in-one. This car seat has adjustable side-impact protection, with an easy-to-adjust harness and buckle. The cover itself zips off with ease (in a manner similar to the Chicco), and it's also machine-washable and dryer-safe. 

The headrest has an astonishing 14-position adjustability, and it reclines in seven positions. It also features their patented Air-Protect technology that provides superior cushion protection and comfort, while the material of the cover is silky and breathable. 

Last but not least, the Magellan has a unique design feature that sets it apart from the rest: the hideaway harness. If you're buying a car seat with the intention of using it for more than one child, losing the harness is a big concern. With this feature, you no longer need to worry about that when transitioning from a five-point harness to a booster with a belt. 

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to clean
  • Adjustable head-to-torso side-impact protection

  • Heavy
  • Huge
  • Small cupholders
Most popular
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat
Graco amazon.com
$278.99 (10% off)

Key Features

• Rear-facing 4 to 40 pounds
• Forward-facing (multiple modes) 40 to 120 pounds
• 20x22x24 inches (LxWxH)
• Airline-certified 

This is, hands-down, the most popular car seat on this list. With over 5,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, it is a great seat. No fewer than 10 parents I spoke with have this very model, which says a lot given how many options are on the market.

What Makes it So Special

Like the Magellan, this car seat can be used from infancy to the time your child no longer needs a car seat. It goes from a rear-facing baby seat to a backless booster. It has everything you expect from a Graco seat — affordability, convenience, ease of installation, and ease of cleaning.

While it's every parent's worst nightmare to think about, this car seat is designed to keep your baby safe in front, side, and rollover crashes. The car seat boasts 10 height positions, six recline positions, and an integrated belt lock-off for easy vehicle seat belt installation. The machine-washable, rapid-remove cover removes in under a minute without uninstalling the seat for easy cleaning.

It's a slimmer design than the Maxi Cosi, so if you're in a smaller vehicle, or you have multiple car seats, this may be a better choice for your family.

  • Reasonably priced
  • Slim
  • Two cupholders

  • Not dryer-safe
  • Cupholders not removable
Safest Slim Model
Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat with Anti-Rebound Bar
Baby Jogger albeebaby.com

Key Features

• Rear-facing 14 to 50 pounds
• Front-facing 22 to 65 pounds
• 17x7x28 inches (LxWxH)
• Airline-certified

The Clek Foonf is an absolute beast of a car seat. It's built like a tank and has a ton of added safety features, like an anti-rebound bar and adjustable structural headrest.

What Makes it So Special

Clek has always gone above and beyond to make their car seats one of the safest in the event of a collision, which warrants the hefty price tag. On top of that, they have developed a coating for seat fabric that is both antimicrobial and Greenguard-certified. The Clek Foonf has extended rear-facing capability, with a limit of 50 pounds. 

Its patented REACT (Rigid-Latch Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) safety system makes forward-facing safer by significantly reducing the forces transmitted to the child in a collision providing a rear-facing-like performance. And its easy-to-install latch system allows for installation in under a minute.

It has a smooth recline function and an easily adjustable no-rethread harness. It's covered in Greenguard Select Certified Crypton Super Fabrics, which gives the fabric permanent protection against stains, moisture, and smelly bacteria while being free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants. And at just 17 inches across, it's the slimmest on the list.

  • Tons of safety features
  • Almost stainproof
  • Easy to install
  • Narrow

  • Not as comfortable as others
  • Very pricey
  • Not machine-washable
  • Not suitable for newborns
Most Convenient
Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational Convertible Car Seat
Evenflo amazon.com

Key Features

• Rear-facing 4 to 40 pounds
• Forward-facing 22 to 120 pounds (in different modes)
• 30x30x24 inches (LxWxH)

This car seat absolutely blew my mind when I first saw it. It's designed with parents in mind, allowing them to easily access their kid without having to break their backs to unstrap their child and pull them out.

What Makes it So Special

First off, this is an all-in-one seat. It's rear-facing, forward-facing, and a booster. Not only that, but Evenflo has made the base with the ability to turn the car seat to face the door, making taking your child out of the seat or putting them into it a million times easier.

It has a 14-position one-hand adjustable headrest. It has a tether, latch storage, a seat lock on the base. a bubble level indicator, four recline positions, and it is side-impact, temperature, and rollover tested. One feature that is of note is the LockStrong bar, which pulls down to lock the car seat base into place to the tether, which helps keep the seat positioned and secure in the car.

The Evenflo Evolve360 will last the entire 10 years your child needs it, but if something does go wrong, it's backed up with Evenflo's lifetime guarantee. The cover is machine-washable and dryer-safe.

  • Easy to put baby into and take out of
  • Machine-washable cover
  • All-in-one

  • Not airline-certified
  • Hard to clean
  • Huge
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