The 8 Best Convertible Car Seats for 2019

February 16th, 2018

One of the most nerve-wracking parts of caring for a child is the responsibility of keeping them safe in a moving car.

After all, they’re your most precious cargo and you want to take every precaution to keep them safe without sacrificing their comfort. Amongst your strollers, bassinets, and diapers, a safe car seat is yet another necessity for your everyday adventures with kids.

What is a Convertible Car Seat?

The type of car seat you buy will depend on several factors, including your baby’s age, their weight, height, portability, compatibility with your car and other baby products—the list goes on. Convertible car seats are unique in that they can be placed rear-facing for the beginning of baby’s life, and then converted to front-facing when your kids are old enough—and experts say a child should stay rear-facing until at least 2 years of age, or as long as possible.

Many convertible car seats come with adjustable harnesses, straps, headrests, and padding to accommodate a growing child. All-in-one convertible car seats will even include a booster seat option for when your child is old enough. Convertible car seats are a solution loved by many parents because they grow alongside your kids, from infancy to as long as 10 years. If you have the option to invest in a car seat that will last for years—rather than months—why wouldn’t you do it?

When shopping for a convertible car seat, you’ll want to remember that their primary function is to keep your child safe while sitting in a car. That being said, convertible car seats can be heavy, bulky, and not super easy to carry an infant around in outside of the car. In fact, many models don’t come with detachable carriers or handles and are meant to stay in the car.

Convertible Car Seat Safety

Convertible car seats are also made to attach to the frame of the car through with the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). Since 2002, all car seats are made with LATCH capabilities, and most cars are manufactured with LATCH, as well. Experts overwhelmingly recommend that car seats be attached with the metal anchor connectors within the car’s seat, rather than with the car’s seat belt or “tether”. Many convertible car seats have at least one LATCH option, but great car seats have both.

Our Favorites

We rounded up the best convertible car seats for 2019 into a one-stop-shopping guide for parents and guardians looking for the best and safest way to transport your most precious cargo. We analyzed Consumer Report testing, and evaluated real parent choices and Amazon reviews and chose our favorites. We assigned our own Blueprint score to get you an overall score for each product.

Best Convertible Car Seats: Score Sheet

Convertible Car Seat Amazon Score Consumer Reports Blueprint Score Overall Score
Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat 4.5 82 / 100 4.5 4.3
Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat 4.5 73 / 100 4.2 4.1
Maxi-Cosi® Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat 4.5 63 / 100 4.1 3.9
BRITAX USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat 4.5 81 / 100 4.4 4.3
Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat 4.5 79 / 100 4.2 4.3
BRITAX Roundabout XE (G4.1) Convertible Car Seat 4.5 62 / 100 4.1 3.9
Evenflo® SureRide™ DLX All-In-One Convertible Car Seat 4.0 74 / 100 4.2 3.9
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat 4.5 75 / 100 4.5 4.2

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

I got in a car accident. My 17 month old daughter was in this car seat. We were “T-boned,” hit on her side, on her door. She was 100% fine. Best damn money I have ever spent.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • This sturdy convertible car seat weighs in at 25 pounds
  • Rear-facing is for children between 5-40 pounds, and forward-facing is for 22-65 pounds
  • The Chicco NextFit Convertible car seat has Chicco’s Recline Sure 9-position levelling system to adjust to child’s growth
  • LATCH compatible with easy to install connectors and a Super Cinch tether to tighten the seat easily and securely
  • Includes removable infant support padding and side impact protection made with energy-absorbing foam
  • The seat pad is removable with a handy zipper and machine washable

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Some reviewers have noted a slight struggle adjusting the belts on the harness
  • Cup holder may be too small for some sippy cups
  • Does not come with a handle to pick up and move around

Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

We like this a lot. Comfortable for my child. Nice construction. Easy to adjust. Easy to install.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Another sturdy option, weighing 24 pounds
  • Has 14 headrest positions to accommodate a growing child
  • Uses Britax’s ClickTight V-shaped tether technology to install the car seat—lift the seat of the car seat and pull seat belt through. Lower the seat and hear an audible click to ensure it’s locked tight
  • Rear-facing from 5-40 pounds, and front-facing from 20-65 pounds
  • Two layers of side impact protection to absorb impact during a collision

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Does not come with LATCH connectors, but includes LATCH approved ClickTight seat belt feature
  • Reviewers have noted a slight learning curve with installation
  • Harness adjuster may require a couple extra clicks to ensure proper tightness

Maxi-Cosi® Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat

Bought this for our 1 year old and he loves it. He seems extremely comfortable in it, he takes longer naps in the car than he ever has before, and the seat itself is great looking and seems very well made/safe.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Lighter weight compared to other convertible car seats at 18.4 pounds
  • Rear-facing is from 9-40 pounds, and front-facing is from 22-70 pounds
  • Harness covers and seat pad are made with self-wicking fabric (to keep baby cool), can be removed and machine-washed, and are dryer safe
  • Patented side impact protection called Air Protect®
  • Car seat is LATCH compatible in both front-facing and rear-facing positions
  • Deep recline adjustments to accommodate your growing baby
  • Includes handy cup colder

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Minimum weight is 9 pounds, whereas other convertible car seats begin at 5
  • Does not include infant support pillow
  • May be a little wide for smaller vehicles
  • Reviewers have noted slight difficulty tightening the straps at first, but gets easier with use

BRITAX USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

I’m a mom of 6 with another baby on the way. Over the years I have installed so many car seats that I’ve lost count. This seat is by far the easiest convertible seat to install.” -Lauren, Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Weighs 28.4 pounds
  • Like the Britax Boulevard, the Marathon Convertible Car Seat uses Britax’s ClickTight technology to securely fasten the car seat
  • Rear-facing is from 5-40 pounds, and front-facing is from 20-60 pounds
  • Made with steel frame, energy-absorbing base, and deep foam-lined shell for side impact protection (SafeCell Impact Protection)
  • Harness adjusts to 12 positions, and the 7 position recline includes a level indicator to assist with proper installation in your car when reclined
  • Includes removable seat cushion

CONSIDERATIONS

  • A recall notice was issued on some 2014 and 2015 models, however those were taken off the market. All current models surpass minimum safety standards
  • ClickTight installation can prove bit tricky, and you’ll need to make sure the seat belt is not twisted
  • On the heavier side of the convertible car seat spectrum
  • Some reviewers noted a slight struggle adjusting the straps in the harness

Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

“Great product at a reasonable price. Large strap covers, more narrow than many other seats, and seems to be very comfortable for my baby. After trying several other seats, this one was impressive.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Mid-level total weight at 19 pounds
  • Rear-facing weight is between 5-40 pounds, front-facing is between 20-65 pounds, booster weight range is between 30-100 pounds
  • 3-in-1 convertible car seat—rear-facing, front-facing, and booster mode
  • Harness and headrest available in 10 position adjust
  • 4 recline positions to accommodate your growing child
  • Click connect and tether LATCH capabilities, with audible click to know installation is successful
  • Plenty of removable plush inserts are included to accommodate an infant and keep them snug
  • Includes removable cup holder
  • Use the locking clip for rear-facing installation on an airplane

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Height restrictions indicate that child’s head should reach no higher than one inch below the headrest handle
  • Car seat will need to be completely uninstalled to remove the harness before using booster seat mode
  • Although the seat cover is machine-washable on the gently cycle, Graco recommends only air drying

BRITAX Roundabout XE (G4.1) Convertible Car Seat

“Easy to install, easy to use, easy to adjust straps, my child appears comfortable in it, and it is not as heavy as some others in case you need to transfer it between cars.” -Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • Weighs 17 pounds, so it’s on the lighter side of most convertible car seats and great for travel
  • Rear-facing is between 5-40 pounds, and forward-facing is between 20-55 pounds
  • Includes push-on lower LATCH connectors
  • Multiple recline positions in both rear-facing and front-facing positions
  • 5-point harness adjusts through threaded slots to avoid tangling
  • Britax also uses their SafeCell Impact Protection technology, like the Boulevard and Marathon ClickTight Convertible car seat models
  • Side impact protection through deep foam-lined sides to absorb crash impact
  • Roundabout includes a two-position buckle to accommodate your growing child, and foam padding to keep them comfortable

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Reviewers have noted a bit of a learning curve when switching the seat back and forth from back-facing to front-facing
  • Does not include an adjustable headrest like the Britax Marathon and Boulevard models
  • Velcro patches to hold back harness as you seat your child can get caught on other things that brush against them

Evenflo® SureRide™ DLX All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

“Love this carseat. Great value without sacrificing safety.” -Lisa, Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • This ultra-light convertible car seat weighs in at just 10 pounds, making transferring and traveling simple
  • Rear-facing weight is between 5-40 pounds, and front-facing is between 22-65 pounds
  • Height range for the seat is anywhere between 19 and 54 inches
  • Includes a removable cup holder and machine-washable, removable seat pad, head, and body pillow to keep your little one comfortable
  • Harness has a total of 6 positions and two crotch buckle positions to fit your growing child
  • Harness adjusts with an upfront pull tab to secure
  • Hook installation to meet LATCH system requirements are easy to install correctly
  • A great option for shoppers looking for a budget option with a good amount of bells and whistles

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Does not include multiple recline positions
  • Reviewers noted that the included anchor strap can be difficult to remove, but there is the option to use the seat belt to anchor the seat down instead
  • This model convertible car seat is bigger than most on our list

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

“Very comfortable car seat, fit my newborn well and now that he’s growing it still fits him great. Love that it’s an all in one car seat. Well worth the money spent.” -MV, Amazon Reviewer

BLUEPRINT SUMMARY

  • The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible car seat weighs in at 22 pounds, including all its components
  • The car seat and its booster seat can be used up to 10 years of age or 120 pounds
  • Rear-facing weight ranges between 4-40 pounds, and front-facing is between 20-65
  • Booster seat can be used from 30-100 pounds with the high-back belt adjustment, and the backless booster seat setting can be used between 40-120 pounds
  • Includes 6-position recline, plush inserts to comfortably cradle an infant, and two cup holders for snacks and drinks
  • Uses their InRight latch technology for simple, one-click installation and level indicator to make sure the seat is in the right position
  • Tested vigorously for side impact, and made with energy absorbing foam
  • Removable, machine-washable seat cover

CONSIDERATIONS

  • Consumer Reports claims that it can be difficult to install the seat in the forward-facing position with a seat belt
  • Reviewers noted that their children can get a little warm in the seat

If you’re looking for practical and safe car transportation for your kids that will last more than just a few months, a convertible car seat is the way to go. Convertible car seats can seem expensive upfront (our priciest pick is $349.99) and will understandably scare some shoppers. If you think about the intended longevity of the seat, however, you’re getting quite a bit of bang for your buck. Plus, you can’t put a price on your child’s safety.

All our favorite convertible car seats are available to add to your Blueprint baby registry with just a few simple clicks. Do you know of any great convertible car seats we should consider for our list? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram!