Baby Safety Seat

3 Best Convertible Car Seats, According to Experts

baby safety seat

A new baby requires a laundry list of products to keep them healthy, happy and safe. All those things can add up, especially when your little one is growing out of their clothes, toys and essentials in the blink of an eye, so anywhere you can save on space and money is a win in our books. Luckily, when it comes to car seats, nabbing the right convertible car seat means your baby can use the same one from infancy to toddlerhood, and sometimes even longer, since it seamlessly transitions from rear-facing to forward-facing; some can even turn into booster seats!

Unlike infant car seats or booster seatsconvertible car seats tend to be more of a permanent fixture in a family vehicle. While in most cases they aren’t able to clip into a stroller and turn into a travel system or be toted around like a carrier as many infant car seats are, you only have to purchase it once, click it into your car and not worry about it for the next few years. Because this car seat will likely last for years and be your one and done, picking the right one for your family, lifestyle and car type is essential so you can get the most use out of it.

The parenting and product experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute have tested over two dozen convertible car seats in the past few years to find the best ones, evaluating safety, company customer service, ease of installation, angle and harness adjustments. We conduct our tests in vehicles of various sizes in every configuration detailed in the instruction manuals. These pics are based on Lab-tested picks, top-performing brands, category expertise and real-life consumer feedback.

Looking for a stroller to go with your new car seat? Check out our favorite jogging strollersdouble strollers or lightweight strollers. Need even more recs? Our pros also test all of the must-haves for babies, toddlers and children, from the best baby strollers to top-rated safety gates to hot new toys and everything in between.


SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1

baby safety seat

Even narrower than the original Graco SlimFit, this updated design of our expert-favorite car seat is an easy-to-install option at a comparatively modest price point. Not only can you maximize the backseat space with this ultra-slim (just 16.7″) all-in-one pick, but it grows with your little one from infancy to childhood. Use the rear-facing harness for baby, forward-facing for toddler and the highback booster for your older kid. The SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 is meant to take your child from birth all the way through big kid status with convenient features like a 10-position headrest, four-position recline and no-rethread harness.

Unlike other convertible car seats, this all-in-one model transforms from infant car seat all the way up to a booster, giving it a total weight range from five to 100 pounds. Plus, rotating cup holders make this already slim design even more compact, helping to save space in tight back seats. Our experts love how easy it is to install this seat thanks to a clever belting system and one-click LATCH system, and parent testers lauded the no-rethread harness system that made positional adjustments a cinch. No need to worry about squeezing three kiddos in most backseats since you can fit this carseat three across in any configuration (front- or rear-facing).


Boulevard ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar

baby safety seat

This pick from Britax has highly adjustable positioning with a seven-position recline, 14-position harness and two-position buckle with a no-rethread design, making it simple to maintain the perfect fit as your child grows. The padded anti-rebound bar helps stabilize the car seat while in a rear-facing configuration to make your little one as safe as possible. Plus, it’s available in a variety of colors and designs great for everyone’s style.

Our Lab pros love that the ClickTight Installation System makes it easy to know when the seat is tightened correctly so you don’t have to fiddle with the adjustments and can install in a matter of minutes. Although it’s on the heavier and bulkier side, which can make it a bit more difficult for smaller cars or those who want to switch the car seat between a few vehicles, we found this pick to be very durable.


Knox Convertible Car Seat

baby safety seat

This modern design boasts premium construction, with features including a multi-directional tether to reduce seat rotation, a no-rethread harness, eight-position headrest and four-position recline. In road tests, our pros found that even though installation requires a bit more attention to the instructions, it fits well in a range of vehicle sizes and the brand’s SmartSecure System offers a great visual to confirm a secure fit since the colors change from red to green when when the seat is correctly installed.

While it’s definitely on the heavier and bulkier side (it’s the second heaviest seat in this roundup), the multi-directional tether to reduce seat rotation and side impact pods that help crash absorption make it an exceptionally safe option. The removable cupholder that can be added to either side of the seat is also a great added touch. However, it’s worth noting that this seat is not suited for newborns, with a minimum weight of 14 pounds.

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