Infant car seats are of many types, including non-convertible, booster, and convertible. Talking of the topic in this blog, convertible car seats, it is the variety of car seats that can transition from rear-facing to front-facing and even to a booster seat; taking the word ‘convertible’ rather seriously. By virtue of the possibility of these transitions, convertible car seats can suit the needs of a newborn baby, infant, toddler, and young kids alike. Also by virtue of this versatility and cost-effectiveness, convertible car seats are the most sought after by parents. To make your job of picking the absolute best and safest car seat for your little ones, here we are to help you!
Read on to find the top best, recommended convertible car seats to pick from-
1. Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat- Various options, ranging from $300-$500
Only 17 inches in width at the top and 15inches in width at the base, as many as three of these car seats can comfortably be fitted in even the smallest of cars. Most of the other car seats, especially the booster seats, tend to be really wide in the center portion and have huge side impact wings on the top to reduce the impact on accidents. However, this feature also makes it difficult to adjust more than two seats on the backseat. The Diono Radian, on the other hand, since it is 15” at the base and 17” only towards the top with a removable cup holder, makes it possible for you to fit in up to three seats at once. The safety features of this car seat include side impact protection, a top tether, and the Diono Super LATCH system.
Another commendable feature of this car seat is that it gives you the option to secure the entire seat as a whole to the vehicle with either the latch option or with the shoulder and the lap belt option. The five-point harness system integration, besides, goes a long way to guarantee the security and safety of your kids. As for its use; A) It can be used as a narrow, rear-facing infant seat for kids between the weight range of 5-54 pounds the convertible. B) It can be used then as a front-facing car seat for kids in the weight range of 20-65 pounds using the 5 point harness. C) it can be used finally as a booster car seat for kids between 50-120 pounds along with the car’s shoulder belt. While it converts to all three types of car seats, it should be known that it does not operate as a backless booster.
This really well-engineered and stylishly built car seat is also very durable and it can even be folded flat for easy transportation. The only flaw, however, that should be noted is that when used as a rear-facing car seat, in its reclined position, it sticks out from the back seat which makes it unsafe for infants, especially for carriage in small cars.
2. Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat- Various options, ranging from $350-$400
This particular Peg Perego seat measures only 14” in width at its base and is about 18” at the upper, torso region. This 18” figure might get you thinking as it is wider than most seats that come at 17” but since the base is only 14”, it makes fitting of three seats possible. As for its uses and directions, as a rear-facing seat, it can be used with babies as less as 5 pounds until the weight of 45 pounds. This weight limit really is like a revolutionary, welcome engineering since the American Academy of Pediatrics anyway recommends that kids should be rear-facing in cars at least up until their second birthday.
As for when used as a forward-facing car seat, it is recommended for the weight range of 22-65 pounds. Unlike the Diono Radian aforementioned in the list, this one does not further convert into a booster seat.
As for its other features, this seat really should be your choice if you are particularly looking for a seat that is a rear-facing seat by virtue of its contouring and the overall build, support system. Ideal for toddlers, this car seat uses shock-absorbing foam for side impact protection and also under the seat which helps take care of protecting the head, neck, spine region in an unfortunate event of an accident. Parents also love this seat because it is so easy to install and to take the baby in and out of the seat. For the material, the fabric is reviewed to be rather breathable and very easy to clean. We do not have any other point-worthy cons for this seat, apart from the one that it cannot be converted into a booster seat.
3. Clek Foonf and Clek Fllo Car Seats- $480 and $380 respectively
Modern in its styling and looks, this convertible car seat measured 16.9” in width and is also very comfortable, safe, secure, well constructed so to say. Talking of safety first, this car seat is constructed in steel and magnesium reinforced frame along with a super energy-absorbing foam, a standard European anti-rebound bar that reduces the whiplash risk, and also a 5 point harness system. Both, the Clek Foonf and the Clek Fllo are constructed in soft, premium-quality green guard certified fabrics that come from an eco-friendly, low-emission manufacturing plant.
While the seat measures 16.9” in width, the base, at the point where the seat is raised off the vehicle, measures only 13” in width. As a bonus, the Fllo’s base rises even higher up than the Foonf which further works to the goal of fitting it in narrower car spaces. Foonf is a more expensive version, perhaps, because of this feature and also, possibly, because it uses the latch system for quicker, easier installation and has a recline function that contributes to greater comfort and is ideal for use even in an aircraft. More or less, however, both of these car seats are similar in terms of height, compactness and weight. As for the weight regulations and recommendations, the rear-facing seat can hold a baby between the weight range of 14-50 pounds; while, the front-facing narrow convertible seat can hold a baby between 22-65 pounds. For newborns and infants, it separately sells expanding support that can hold a baby as light as 5 pounds.
4. Graco SlimFit Convertible Car Seat- $175
Garco has a lot of car seat variants but this one made it to our list because this one, by far, is the narrowest car seat they have made. At about 18” in width, it is not, for sure, as narrow as the other mentioned and listed car seats but definitely is narrow enough for you to be able to fit three seats very comfortably on the back seat of full-sized cars; but for full disclaimer, maybe not more than two in narrow, smaller cars.
At a reasonable price point when compared to the other seats on the list, this particular car seat is recommended because it has not compromised on safety to lower the price. It is integrated with a crash and side-impact reducing double-layered protection system; a 5-point harness, an EPS energy-absorbing foam, and also an InRight latch system. Talking of other features that add to the convenience, it has an adjustable harness, an adjustable headrest, an included infant support that can hold babies as light as 5 pounds, two cup holders and 4-reclining options. As for the weight range, it can be used as an infant car seat for babies between 5-40 pounds; as a convertible car seat with a harness for babies between 20-65 pounds; and finally as a booster seat for babies between 30-100 pounds. The fabric also is rather soft, can be cleaned by just wiping, and above all, is also removable and machine washable!
5. Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat- $250
The Combi Coccoro Convertible car seat is European made and very comfortable for even the smallest of cars. Besides, at 15.5 inches, it also is the narrowest car seat on our list! Apart from being a narrow and comfortable car seat, it also is stylish, of premium-quality, and very safe so to say. Talking of the safety features, it offers some serious side impact protection with its deep side walls, EPS energy-absorbing foam, a 5-point harness (with a visual lock/unlock indicator), and also a tether connection for rear-facing tethering. This seat is loved by most parents also because it is very easy to install with its second-generation latch connectors.
As for the weight recommendations for usage, it can hold babies as light as 3 pounds (when used with the included infant insert) up until as big as 33 pounds when as a rear-facing seat. For when used as a front-facing, it can hold babies between 20-40 pounds. It also sports a 4-height adjustable harness; but for the downside, since it cannot be converted to a booster, you will need to buy another booster seat when your baby grows beyond 40 pounds, typically by the age of 4-5.
Apart from this quick reference/cheat sheet, if you still want to look out for other narrow convertible car seat purchase options, you might be wondering what features you should specifically look out for. To help you through that, as a thumb of rule, we would advise that you primarily and essentially look for the durability, convenience, comfort and safety aspects of a car seat prior to purchasing.
In terms of longevity, look for a seat that can be used right from when the baby is an infant, up until they are young kids. To measure convenience, look for seats that are easy to install, have preferable a removable and machine-washable fabric, and also is easy to put your child in and out of. For ensuring safety, look for the material, the impact protection system, the elements that have gone behind the build, and also factors like the shape of the seat and the harness system. Lastly, for the