Top Rated Convertible Car Seats

family on plane toddler in cosco scenera car seat
Our first flight as a family of 4! Our daughter is in the window seat in the Cosco Scenera car seat.
Overall, convertible car seats are a great buy, as they easily grow with your child and can last for several years.   

They are also completely safe and start out rear-facing, and then are able to switch to forward-facing.

We currently have two Britax models, the Marathon and the Boulevard.

The one big drawback we’ve found is that you can’t pop it in and out of the car easily, like you can with most infant car seats.

We actually just purchased the Cosco Scenera convertible car seat, which we took as an extra car seat for a flight for my toddler.  

It was super lightweight, great for travel, and we’re happy that we have an extra carseat in case of an emergency.

My daughter also slept great in it on the flight, and I really like that it’s a no-fuss, no-frills option at a great price.

(You can read more about our love affair with the Cosco Scenera here!)

Here are some considerations before purchasing a convertible car seat for your family:

  • Think about the number of children you’ll have and how many cars you have – what can you use over again, and what car will be primarily used?
  • Be sure to check all the reviews carefully, and be sure there are no recalls on the model you choose. Most companies let you register the model that you purchase so that you can receive information from them if it is recalled.
  • Check the material and other reviews to be sure that it’s breathable and easily cleaned – your toddler will likely be eating in it and sometimes spill food or liquids.
  • Check for whether or not it has cup holders – something that can be invaluable on road trips or in cases where you can’t easily reach dropped sippy cups.
  • Check websites like consumerreports.com to see in-depth reviews of the latest models, and the top brands that are consistently ranking well over the years.
  • Make sure that you understand how the car seat will fit into your car, especially if you have multiple car seats. Can someone fit comfortable next to it? Can you fit three across.
  • Resources like the Car Seat Lady are also super helpful.

HERE ARE FIVE OF THE TOP RATED CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS WITH SUMMARIZED REVIEWS:


Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

PROS review summary:

  • Rated #1 out of the many top rated convertible car seats by a leading consumer magazine
  • Recline Sure offers 9 positions, the most of any convertible seat
  • Six-position headrest to accommodate growing children
  • Easy bubble levels indicate correct forward-facing and rear-facing angles
  • For use of children 5-40 lbs rear-facing, and 22-65 lbs forward-facing

CONS review summary: 

  • Written instructions are reportedly more confusing, better to watch Chicco’s video instructions
  • Some report adjusting headrests and harnesses can be difficult

 


Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

PROS review summary: 

  • Highly versatile with 7 position recline, 12 position harness and 2 position buckle features
  • ClickTight Installation System is noted to be one of the safest and easiest technologies on market
  • Reviewers note easy installation
  • Holds children from 5-65 lbs safely
  • Steel frame and energy-absorbing base, with staged release stitches that can slow forward movement during a crash

CONS review summary:

  • Heavy and not easily moved around a ton
  • Straps/buckles were noted as difficult to adjust by some reviewers

 


Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat

PROS review summary:

  • 6 shoulder strap position and 2 crotch buckle positions
  • Removable cup holder and body pillow
  • Holds children safely from 5-65 lbs
  • Lightweight to carry at 14 lbs and reviewers noted easy installation in multiple places

CONS review summary:

  • Some reviewers note that it can bulky in smaller cars

 


Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat

PROS review summary: 

  • Said to fit three across in most backseats
  • Holds children safely from 5-40lbs
  • 5 point harness with easy adjustment
  • Extremely lightweight at 7.6 lbs
  • Lots of reviewers mention that it’s excellent for airplane travel or they bought as a spare

CONS review summary:

  • Not as much padding as other car seats
  • Some reviewers noted difficulty in keeping car in more upright positions, better in reclined positions for rear-facing

 


Graco My Ride 65 Convertible Car Seat

PROS review summary:

  • Holds children safely from 5-65 lbs
  • 5 point harness and infant insert included with easy to read level indicator
  • Side-impact tested
  • Fairly light-weight at 15 lbs

CONS review summary: 

  • Some reviewers noted this was wider than other car seats
  • Straps were noted by some to have less padding than other car seats

 


Be sure to check out our top rated infant car seat and booster car seat pages!