Convertible Car Seats

Recommended Convertibles

Britax Roundabout 50 Classic, 5-35# RF, 20-50/65# FF, 16.5″ top slots, RF tethering, energy-absorbing rip-stitch tether, one-hand recline mechanism, premium LATCH connectors, EPS foam, doesn’t fit small babies well (Britax convertible comparison)

Britax Roundabout, Highway, Marathon , Boulevard , Pavilion , Advocate  5-40# RF, 20-55/65# FF, 16″ top slots for RA and Highway -, 17″ top harness position w/ no-rethread harness for remainder, 2 crotch strap positions, RF tethering, energy-absorbing rip-stitch tether, 3 positions recline (1 RF, 2 FF), RF and FF lock-offs, anti-slip base, Safe-cell technology in base, premium non-handed (no switching between RF and FF) LATCH connectors on LATCH bar, generally easy to install, HUGS, EPP foam, shoulder and crotch pads, infant padding, lower bottom slots than previous convertibles and available infant positioning insert ($15) may allow smaller babies to fit (Britax convertible comparison), G4 versions (65# FF limit, new LATCH limit, no # in name) come with different infant insert that is required until 22#, shorter shell than other 40# RF seats, Pavilion and Advocate have click n safe indicator, G3 & G4 versions have Safe Cell technology in the HUGS (except for the Marathons) as well as EZ Buckle crotch buckle, Highway comes with accessories (normally sold separately) and a 7 year warranty

Britax Marathon CT, Boulevard CT, Advocate CT 5-40# RF, 20-65# FF, almost 17″ top harness position for Marathon CT, almost 19″ top harness position for Boulevard CT and Advocate CT, integrated steel bars, click tight install (super easy, also takes place of locking clip or lock off), multiple recline positions with bubble indicator, click n safe harness tension indicator (not on Marathon CT), HUGS, Safe Cell in base, energy absorbing versa tether, no-rethread harness, headwings on Boulevard CT and Advocate CT reinforced (can measure RF height by headwing room rather than shell), Advocate CT has SICT/SafeCell Max, EZ Buckle crotch pad, multiple buckle postions, easy remove cover, infant support and plush padding (comparison tool on Britax’s site shows click on LATCH connectors but manual shows traditional LATCH hooks)

 Chicco NextFit 5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, no-rethread harness with energy absorbing foam in headwings, 2 crotch strap positions, 2 position chest clip, 9 position one-hand adjust recline, bubble levels for RF and FF recline, RF and FF lock-offs, integrated slide path for moving LATCH from RF to FF, premium LATCH connectors with SuperCinch tightener, integrated LATCH storage, infant insert (should fit small babies well), removable cup holder, machine washable cover, Zip version has zip off cover

Clek Fllo 14-50# RF. 20-65# FF, 17″ harness height, anti-rebound bar and/or RF tethering, premium LATCH connectors for RF and FF, flip foot for recline, GreenGuard certified Crypton fabrics, headwings, steel and magnesium substructure, REACT safety system, 2014 versions will come with 2 different length crotch straps, no brominated or chlorinated fire retardants, pricey but more affordable than the Foonf

Clek Foonf 14-50# RF, 20-65# FF, 17.5” harness height, anti-rebound bar and/or RF tethering, premium LATCH connectors for RF, rigid LATCH for FF, multiple recline positions, GreenGuard certified Crypton fabrics, headwings, steel and magnesium substructure, REACT safety system, 2014 versions will come with 2 different length crotch straps, no brominated or chlorinated fire retardants, pricey

Diono Olympia, Pacifica, and Rainier 5-45# (Olympia) or 50# (Pacifica, Rainier) RF, 20-70# (Olympia) or 90# (Pacifica, Rainier) FF, 50-110-120# in booster mode, top slots about 18″, allows RF tethering, 12 year expiration (in booster mode, less in harness), difficult to get more upright without angle adjuster (sold separately) in some vehicles), narrow (not as narrow as the Radians), deeper side wings in shoulder area than Radians, SuperLATCH connectors, 3 buckle positions, FF recline feature, adjusts for width at hips, rubber grips on bottom, Pacifica and Rainier have headwings (only adjust down to the third slots), cupholders, folds for travel and has straps that can attach for carrying, booster mode is short-lived due to relatively high minimum weight combined with no height adjustments

Diono Radian R100, R120, RXT and GTX 5-40#( R100) or 45#(R120, RXT, GTX) RF, 20-65# (R100) or 80# (R120, RXT, GTX) FF, 50-100# (R100) or 120# (R120, RXT, GTX) in booster mode, top slots just under 18″, compatibility issues with some vehicles (may be tougher to install), allows RF tethering, 8 year expiration as harnessed seat, 10 year expiration as booster, difficult to get more upright than 45 degrees when RF w/o angle adjuster (sold separately), fairly narrow (good for 3 across), SuperLATCH connectors allows use of LATCH for entire harness weight limit (according to Diono; however, no vehicle manufacturers agree at this time) in vehicles made after Sept 2005 (MY 2006 and newer), 3 buckle positions, steel frame, FF recline feature, adjusts for width at hips, rubber grips on bottom, RXT and GTX versions have headwings (only adjust down to the third slots), cupholders (some come with one, additional sold separately, can add up to 4),  GTX version comes with 2 cupholders and seat protectors and has upgraded fabric, IIHS “best bet” in booster mode but booster mode is short-lived due to relatively high minimum weight combined with no adjustments for height, folds for travel and has straps that can attach for carrying

Eddie Bauer Comfort 65 5-40#RF, 22-65# FF, no-rethread harness, 3 position recline, removable padding, rotating armrests, similar to the 3in1/AOE without booster mode

Evenflo SureRide/Titan 65 5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, 19” top slots, tall shell, EPS/EPP foam, removable cupholder, should fit small babies well, Sure Safe version has click on LATCH connectors

Evenflo Triumph  5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, infinite slide harness, 17″ top harness position, harness not removable, should fit average newborns ok, harness tension adjusts with knobs (newer version has knobs for tightening but lever for releasing), various levels of infant padding, Sure Safe versions have click on LATCH connectors, new versions have buckle pockets to keep straps out of way for loading and unloading, Platinum versions have OutLast temperature regulating fabric, ProComfort Versions have Gel Matrix

Graco Milestone/4Ever 4-40# RF, 20-65# FF, 30-100# HBB, 40-120# backless (4Ever not Milestone), 17.5″ or so harness height, infant padding, no-rethread harness height adjustment with headwings, EPS foam, multiple recline positions, click on LATCH connectors, easy read level indicator, cupholders, 4Ever has built in harness storage for conversion to BPB mode, 4Ever is steel reinforced, should make good BPBs

Graco MySize /Size4Me /Head Wise /Fit4Me/Contender 4-40# RF, 20-65# FF, 17.5” harness height, infant padding, no-rethread harness height adjustment with headwings, EPS foam, 3 position recline, 2 position crotch strap, built-in cupholder, Head Wise has Safety Surround side impact protection, click on LATCH connectors, easy read level indicator, Fit4Me and Contender are “lower level” seats, Contender has smaller headwings, regular LATCH connectors, and different recline mechanism

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70/Pria 70 with Tiny Fit 4 (with tiny fit) or 9 (without tiny fit) -40# RF, 22-70# FF, 18” harness height, Tiny Fit insert (like a seat within the seat) and infant padding make for excellent fit for very small babies (required 4-18#, optional 18-22#), no-rethread harness once Tiny Fit removed, 2 chest clips (1 normal, 1 small), 3 crotch strap positions, Air Protect SIP in Tiny fit and headwings, 3 recline positions (1 RF only, 1 RF and 22-40# FF, 1 40-70# FF), click-on LATCH connectors, squishy cupholder (not hard – won’t hurt if bumped against), on the wider and heavier side, Tiny Fit requires rethreading of harness and makes the seat a little more complicated to use, harness may be difficult to adjust w/ Tiny Fit in place, available in leather version without tiny fit

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 14-40# RF, 22-85# FF, no-rethread harness, multiple crotch strap positions, Air Protect and Flex Tech technologies, click on LATCH, easy to remove machine washable cover, deep RF recline adjustment, cupholder, should have 18″+ top harness height

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible5-45# RF, 22-70# FF, 17” harness height, EPS foam, no-rethread harness and headwings, only lower 7 harness positions allowed for RF use, steel backplate, contoured adjustable base, premium LATCH connectors, infant padding, (Canadian version has ARB, at some point in future, version w/ ARB may be available)

Recaro Performance Ride 5-40# (older versions only go to 35#) RF, 20-70# FF, 18” top slots, EPS foam, no rethread harness, lock-offs for FF but none for RF, base is bulkier than Britax bases, tends to feel very high up and be difficult to load children over high sides, especially narrow in shoulder area, premium LATCH connectors, air circulation/ventilation built into shell, one hand recline adjustment, automotive foam lined head wings, safety stripe system on harness (visually cues whether harness is straight or twisted), Performance series has upgraded fabric and foam, Twist-resistant HERO technology, chest clip holders (to hold harness out for loading/unloading), and cupholder

Safety 1st Advance 70 Air+ 5-40# RF, 22-70# FF, air protect headwings and g-cell energy absorbing features, steel reinforced frame, no-rethread harness, 4 position recline

Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65 5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, makes horrible booster (positions the belt very unsafely and doesn’t grow with the child) so consider it a convertible only, 17” harness height, EPS/EPP foam, can be difficult to install, no rethread harness height adjustment, dual stage recline

Safety 1st Complete Air65/70 5-40# RF, 22-65/70# FF, air protect head wings, no-rethread harness, premium LATCH connectors on some versions, 17″ top slots, LX and SE versions have nicer recline mechanism, look for newer versions with dual level lines

Safety 1st Elite 80 Air + 3 in 1 5-40# RF, 22-80# FF, unproven as booster, so still would only consider as convertible only at this point, air protect headwings and g-cell energy absorbing features, steel reinforced frame, no-rethread harness, 4 position recline, integrated cupholders (basically the Advance 70 Air+ with a booster function that hasn’t been shown to have good belt fit yet)

Safety 1st Guide 65/EasyFit/Eddie Bauer XRS 65 5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, 17” harness height, adjustable head support, body supports, dual stage recline, multiple position crotch buckle

Other Convertibles

Combi Coccoro 3-33# RF (older versions started at 5#), 20-40# FF, 15” top slots, EPS foam, RF tethering, compact (good for 3 across as well as front to back), very lightweight, compatible w/ the Coccoro Flash stroller frame, lock offs for FF and RF, allows European belt routing and “infant seat” style routing for RF, infant insert for smaller babies (required for babies less than 25#), plastic puzzle buckle

Cosco Apt5-40# RF, 22-40# FF, slightly taller shell than Scenera but shorter top slots (so longer RF but shorter FF), dual stage recline, built-in cupholders

Cosco Scenera/SceneraRF40/Eddie Bauer Sport 5-35#/40# RF, 22-40# FF, 15” top slots, no EPS/EPP foam, almost always takes pool noodles/rolled towels for RF install , Eddie Bauer version comes with infant padding

50# FF Harness Eddie Bauer/Safety 1st Alpha Omega/Alpha Omega Elite/3 in 1/All in 1 5-35# RF, 22-50# FF, makes horrible booster (positions the belt very unsafely and doesn’t grow with the child) so consider it a convertible only, 17” harness height, EPS/EPP foam, can be difficult to install, no rethread harness height adjustment, newer versions are easier to install and have dual stage recline

Evenflo Symphony 65 E3/Snugli All In One 5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, 40-110# HBB (older versions 30-100# booster), infinite slide harness, top harness position about 16.5″, most versions have SureLATCH, becomes decent booster, adjustable head rest, EPP/EPS foam or E3 side impact protection (3 layers of foam), infant padding, should fit average newborns ok, Snugli version has Outlast temperature regulating fabric and upgraded padding, E3 version is IIHS “best bet” in booster mode, other versions are IIHS “good bet” in booster mode (won’t last as long as a combination seat or dedicated booster in booster mode), Platinum versions have OutLast temperature regulating fabric, ProComfort Versions have Gel Matrix

Evenflo Tribute 5-40# RF (older versions RF to 30/35#), 22-40# FF, 14.5” top slots, EPS/EPP foam, pretty short shell, easier to install than Scenera

Graco MyRide 65/MyRide 70 4 or 5-40# RF (check model for lower limit), 20-65/70# FF, 16.5″ harness height, small enough for average newborn, infant padding, built-in cupholders (makes seat wider and bulkier), deep recline for FF and RF, Safety Surround version has enhanced padding to fit small newborns (even preemies) as well as enhanced SIP, In Right LATCH (click on, pull loop to remove)

Graco Smart Seat 5-40# RF, 20-65# FF, 30-100# HBB, 17″ harness height, no-rethread harness, has infant padding but may not fit newborns well, multiple on-the-go recline settings for RF and FF, most upright setting for RF is still fairly reclined, relatively heavy and bulky, may be difficult to buckle in booster mode, one of the few non-infant seats that has a stay in car base, must be used w/ base (in harnessed modes), base has built-in lock-off, flip up arm rests, built-in cupholder, EPS foam, rated “check fit” by IIHS in booster mode

Orbit Toddler Seat 15-35# RF, 20-65# FF, 18” top slots, EPP foam, compatible w/ Orbit base (for RF only) and stroller frame and docks on from any angle, removable sunshade, braces for install either RF (w/o base) or FF, “green” fabrics and flame retardants, easy to remove cover, lock-offs for RF & FF, premium LATCH connectors, seat and base are pricey, new seats have QR code that will load instruction manual when scanned

Safety 1st Able5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, 16.5” harness slots, no-rethread harness, 3 position recline

Safety 1st Chart Air5-40# RF, 22-65# FF, 16.5” harness, no-rethread harness, Air Protect head wings

Safety 1st OnSide Air 5-40# RF, 22-40# FF, Air protect SIP, about the same size as the Scenera

 

Less Recommended Seats

Graco Classic Ride 50/Ready Ride short shell, short top slots, not very long lasting

Graco ComfortSport short shell, short top slots, not very long lasting

40# FF Harness Eddie Bauer/Safety 1st Alpha Omega/Alpha Omega Elite/3 in 1/All in 1 short usable top harness position, tends to be difficult to install, requires full recline, makes unsafe booster

Sit N Stroll (marketed under numerous brands) short shell, very short top slots, difficult to install

 

Moderate Budget Seats These seats are decent seats that can be commonly found for about $200 or less and are worth the extra $ due to length of use

Britax Roundabout 50 Classic

Britax Roundabout

Diono Radian R100

Eddie Bauer Comfort 65/XRS

Evenflo Symphony 65

Evenflo Triumph 65

Graco MyRide 65/70

Graco MySize/Size4Me/Headwise/Fit4Me/Contender

Safety 1st Advance Air+

Safety 1st Alpha Elite 65

Safety 1st Complete Air 65/70

Safety 1st Chart Air

 

Lower Budget Seats These seats are decent seats that can commonly be found for around $100 or less.

Cosco Apt

Cosco Scenera/40RF/Eddie Bauer Sport

50# FF Harness Eddie Bauer/Safety 1st Alpha Omega/Alpha Omega Elite/3 in 1/All in 1

Evenflo SureRide/Titan65

Evenflo Tribute

Safety 1st Able

Safety 1st All In One

Safety 1st Guide 65/EasyFit/Eddie Bauer XRS65

Safety 1st OnSide Air

 

Best Choices for Skipping the Infant Seat (assuming your baby is an average sized newborn)

Britax RA/Highway/MA/BV/Pavilion/Advocate (G4 as is or G2/G3 with extra foam infant insert, sold separately)

Britax MA/BV/Advocate with Click Tight

Combi Coccoro

Cosco Apt

Cosco Scenera/40RF

Evenflo SureRide/Titan65

Evenflo Symphony 65/Snugli All In One

Evenflo Tribute

Evenflo Triumph 65

Graco Milestone/4Ever

Graco MyRide 65/70 (especially with Safety Surround)

Graco MySize70/Size4Me70/Headwise/Fit4Me/Contender

Maxi Cosi Pria 70 with Tiny Fit

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio (with included infant insert)

Safety 1st Advance Air+

Safety 1st OnSide Air

 

Best Choices for 3 Across

Clek Fllo

Clek Foonf

Combi Coccoro

Cosco Scenera/40RF

Diono Radian R100/R120/RXT

Evenflo SureRide/Titan 65

Evenflo Tribute

Graco MySize70/Size4Me70/Headwise/Fit4Me/Contender

Orbit Toddler Seat

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Safety 1st Complete Air 65/70

Safety 1st OnSide Air

 

Best Choices for Front to Back Space (*TheUltimate RearFacing Convertible Carseat Space Comparison from Carseatblog.com!*)

Britax convertibles

Combi Coccoro

Evenflo Convertibles

Graco MyRide 65/70 (version with Safety Surround is same size)

Graco MySize70/Size4Me70/Headwise

Dorel convertibles w/ dual stage recline

 

Coming Soon or Too New to be Placed in the List Yet…

Cosco Scenera NEXT

Cosco Apt 50

Starting 2015 all Dorel seats will have a 2 year minimum for FF (meaning you must RF until 2 years in their seats)

5 thoughts on “Convertible Car Seats

  1. Pingback: Car Seat Questions Board FAQ | danianniesafety

    • The Graco Nautilus is not a convertible seat. It is a FF only seat. It is a great choice for a child who has outgrown a RF convertible, but I wouldn’t put a child under 2 in it.

  2. Pingback: Anyone have a Eddie Bauer XRS 65 carseat? - BabyandBump

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