When you shop through links on our site, we may receive compensation. This educational content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

10 Best Convertible Car Seats of 2024

Updated
Convertible car seats that grow with your baby.

If you’ve spent any time looking for a convertible car seat, you already know they come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, and weights. As this is one of those big baby purchases, you want to ensure you choose the best option so you can get the most use of it.

We’ve trialed many different car seats in our years of parenting and have listened to input from countless parents. We’ll combine what we’ve learned in our research and personal experience to bring you this comprehensive guide to convertible car seats. We’ll explain what to look for and review the 10 best convertible car seats currently on the market.

The seats on our list are built to last and offer many comfort features, but above all, they are safe, as this is always our first priority when we’re recommending products for your little ones.

Read on to narrow down your selection and find a convertible car seat to protect your little one in your vehicle — wherever you may travel.

Our Top Picks

We independently research, assess and evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on the links we provide, we may receive compensation.
Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Chicco NextFit Zip
Best Overall
Chicco NextFit Zip
  • Encourages extended rear-facing
  • Lined with EPS foam
  • Detachable cup holder
Product Image of the Evenflo Revolve360 Extend
Grows With Your Child
Evenflo Revolve360 Extend
  • Easy to rotate from front-facing to rear-facing
  • Encourages extended rear-facing
  • One-and-done purchase
Product Image of the Britax Marathon ClickTight
Built for Safety & Convenience
Britax Marathon ClickTight
  • One-year warranty
  • Easy to install
  • V-shaped tether
Product Image of the Evenflo Symphony Elite
Easy to Install
Evenflo Symphony Elite
  • Expandable cup holders
  • Easy to clean
  • All-in-one seat
Product Image of the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
Best 4-in-1
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
  • Can last up to 10 years
  • Comfortable for long rides
  • 10 adjustable headrest positions
Product Image of the Britax Advocate ClickTight
Easiest to Adjust
Britax Advocate ClickTight
  • Easy to install
  • Harness is easily adjustable
  • Impact absorbing base
Product Image of the Safety 1st Grow & Go
One-Stop Shop
Safety 1st Grow & Go
  • Air protect technology
  • Lots of extra padding
  • Easily removable cover
Product Image of the Safety 1st Guide 65
Most Compact Seat
Safety 1st Guide 65
  • American-made
  • Air travel certified
  • Compact design
Product Image of the Cybex Sirona S
Most Unique Safety Feature
Cybex Sirona S
  • SensorSafe technology
  • Rotating seat
  • Linear side impact protection
Product Image of the Evenflo Sonus
Budget-Friendly Choice
Evenflo Sonus
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Air ventilation system
  • Budget-friendly

Review Methodology: At Mom Loves Best, we prioritize your child’s safety and comfort by providing thorough analysis and assessment of the best convertible car seats on the market. Our hands-on research, comparison, and evaluation process is based on key criteria such as safety features, ease of installation, and comfort. We measure and rank each product’s performance, drawing from our extensive experience and professional expertise. Our reviews offer first-hand supporting evidence, highlighting what sets each product apart from its competitors and detailing design choices that affect users. By considering the most important factors and decision-making elements, we ensure that our recommendations meet the highest standards for your family’s needs. Trust us to guide you in finding the perfect convertible car seat for your little one.



The Best Convertible Car Seats of 2024

Here are 10 excellent convertible car seats for you to consider.

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat

Best Overall Convertible Car Seat

This excellent convertible car seat is our top pick, as it has all the best features at an affordable price. This seat allows your child to sit rear-facing until 40 pounds and forward-facing until 65 pounds. It provides extra leg room in rear-facing mode and comes with added calf support in the forward-facing position.

It comes with a newborn positioner you can remove when your baby outgrows it. And you can remove the seat pad and wash it in the washing machine.

The seat is trademarked with DuoGuard and uses two layers of side-impact protection. It comes lined with EPS foam as well. It also uses trademarked belt-locking and tightening technology.

This one is convenient because it comes with a nine-position headrest and a non-rethreading harness. You also get a detachable, dishwasher-safe cup holder.

Lastly, the harness is equipped with a “SuperCinch” tightener. This LATCH-friendly tightener uses force-multiplying technology to get a tight fit in your vehicle without extra effort. It also has a “LockSure” belt system to ensure the seat belt stays in place if you install it via the belt path.

The whole thing can be uninstalled at the push of a button, which is handy if you’re regularly switching the seat between vehicles.

What We Like

Encourages Extended Rear-Facing

We’re all about extended rear-facing here, so this is one of the biggest reasons we love this car seat. It allows you to rear-face your child up to 40 pounds. This will keep them in the safest position for quite a long time.

Lined With EPS Foam

EPS foam has shock-absorbing qualities, which could make all the difference in an accident. This foam will absorb the bulk of the impact, protecting your child.

Detachable Cup Holder

We like that the cup holder on this seat is detachable. It’s also dishwasher-safe, which adds to the convenience factor.

What We Don't Like

On the Heavy Side at 25 Pounds

A heavier seat can be inconvenient if you need to uninstall and reinstall it frequently. It can also leave indentation marks on your vehicle seat, but those should fade over time.

Product Specs

Product weight 25.1 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 49 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 49 inches
Reclining Positions Nine
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders One

Our Ratings

Safety Features
5 / 5
Weight Range
5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4.5 / 5
Comfort
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this car seat has been fantastic, as it provides a comfortable and safe ride for my child. The spacious design accommodates my growing child, while the soft cushioning offers superior comfort. I appreciate the ease of installation, as well as the high-quality, non-toxic materials used in its construction. The adjustable reclining positions allow my child to enjoy the view outside, making car rides more enjoyable and peaceful.

Evenflo Revolve360 Extend Rotational Car Seat

Grows With Your Child

If you’re all about practicality, this might be the seat for you. This one is pretty much the ultimate one-stop-shop seat. It’s fully adjustable with 14 recline positions and will accommodate your child from 4 pounds to 120 pounds.

It’s also a good seat for extended rear-facing because it allows rear-facing until up to 50 pounds. The forward-facing option works until 65 pounds, and then you can transition to its belt-positioning booster mode.

The headrest and harness adjust together, so there’s no need for rethreading. You can remove the seat pad and cover for washing in the washing machine.

The best part about this seat is that it rotates on its base 360 degrees, making it a one-time install and allowing you to turn it to face you when buckling your child in and out o fit. After buckling, you can rotate the seat with your child in it to face forward or backward.

The in-seat reclining feature allows you to angle your child so their head is in the right position, which helps keep their airway open. The seat comes in several color combinations to suit your preference.

What We Like

360-degree Rotation

The seat revolves on its base, making it easy to safely get a wiggly child in and out.

Encourages Extended Rear-Facing

Many car seat manufacturers are designing their seats to encourage extended rear-facing. This is great since it’s been proven that rear-facing is the safest possible position for small children.

This seat allows rear-facing for your child up to 50 pounds as opposed to many others that only accommodate up to 40 pounds.

One-And-Done Purchase

This option is nice because it lasts the longest with your child. It’s like the ultimate one-stop shop purchase. You can use it with infants as small as 4 pounds or children up to age 10, weighing up to 120 pounds. This will potentially save you a good chunk of money in the long run, as you won’t need to purchase a separate infant or booster seat.

What We Don't Like

Twisty Straps

The straps on this seat become twisted easily, which can be annoying and cause your child to be less secure in the seat.

Heavy

This seat weighs more than many other seats, which is somewhat frustrating if you move it frequently between vehicles.

Product Specs

Product weight 30 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 50 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 48 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds / 120 pounds booster
Forward-facing height limit 57 inches
Reclining Positions 14
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders Two

Our Ratings

Safety Features
4.5 / 5
Weight Range
5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4 / 5
Comfort
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Personal Perspective

Best car seat for easy accessibility and comfort! I absolutely love how this car seat rotates, making it so much easier to put my little one in and out of the car, especially with a taller vehicle. However, I do wish there was a protective cover around the buckle between the legs, as it can pinch my baby's skin if I'm not careful.

Britax Marathon ClickTight Car Seat

Built for Safety and Convenience

If safety is your main priority, this Britax seat is one to consider, as the brand places enormous emphasis on the safety of its products.

The seat comes with a deep shell, and its base is made of “Safecell” technology to help reduce collision force. The frame consists of impact-stabilizing steel, with most of its support located at the base where the seat meets your car. This ensures your child sits safely and securely.

The harness has 14 adjustable positions; just push a button and pull up on the headrest to adjust. This is convenient because you don’t need to worry about rethreading the harness every time your child grows or if you need to use it occasionally for a friend’s baby.

It also has a patented V-shaped tether to help minimize movement in the event of an accident. You can use this seat rear-facing for little ones weighing up to 40 pounds and forward-facing from 20 to 65 pounds.

The “ClickTight” technology ensures a safe installation and makes it much easier. You simply open the seat, thread the belt through, and then snap it shut.

All Britax car seats are designed and created in the United States.

What We Like

One-Year Warranty

The company gives you a one-year warranty with this seat, so if you have any issues, you can send it back without having to jump through hoops.

Easy to Install

This option is convenient for parents because installation takes mere seconds. You can use the seat’s LATCH system or the convenient belt paths with your car’s seat belt.

V-Shaped Tether

The V-shaped tether on this seat is really brilliant because it further reduces how much the seat would move in an accident. The way it’s designed spreads the impact out between the two tethers and helps lock the seat in place.

What We Don't Like

Crotch Area May Feel Tight

Some people have complained that the crotch area is tight around their child’s legs. If your baby has thicker thighs, you may want to consider a different seat. There also isn’t much padding in the area, which may contribute to discomfort.

Product Specs

Product weight 27 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 49 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 49 inches
Reclining Positions Seven
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders None

Our Ratings

Safety Features
5 / 5
Weight Range
4 / 5
Ease of Installation
5 / 5
Comfort
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

My experience with this convertible car seat has been nothing short of amazing. The easy installation and added pocket for user manual storage are thoughtful touches, while the overall quality and durability have proven to be top-notch. It has served my growing family well, from the baby stage facing backward to forward-facing for older kids. The only minor drawback is the lack of a built-in cup holder, but a third-party attachment solved that issue.

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-in-One Car Seat

Easy to Install

This all-in-one seat will grow with your child up to 110 pounds and makes installation super easy with its “SureLATCH” system. It clicks and pushes into place when it’s properly installed.

With this seat, you can seat your baby in a rear-facing position until they hit 40 pounds and forward-facing until they weigh 65 pounds. After that, you can use the belt-positioning booster until your child hits the maximum weight limit.

It has an infinite slide harness to give you an accurate, secure fit with each ride. It’s also lined with energy-absorbing foam to help lessen the impact.

Besides meeting federal and Canadian safety standards, this seat was also side-impact tested, temperature tested, and certified for air travel. It comes in eight color options, so you’ll definitely find one that fits your car’s style and your own.

You can remove the seat pad and run it through the washing machine, while the rest can be wiped down with water and mild soap.

Because the cup holders are expandable, you don’t need to worry about water bottles or other drink containers not fitting.

What We Like

Expandable Cup Holders

This is a super convenient feature. Drink bottles come in a zillion shapes and sizes, so expandable cup holders make life much easier.

Easy to Clean

We also like this seat because it’s easy to clean. The cover can be removed and put through the washer and dryer. This is nice for anybody who doesn’t have the time to stand around and hand-wash their car seat cover.

All-in-One Seat

We love the simplicity of one-and-done shopping. The fact that this one is an all-in-one seat is optimal for those of us who thrive on practicality and stretching a dollar. While these may seem more expensive, they last much longer than regular car seats.

What We Don't Like

Harness Straps Have Torn After Extensive Use

Parents have reported that the straps on this seat have torn after a few years of use. This could be due to improper adjusting or lack of care, but it’s worth mentioning as it can become a safety issue.

Product Specs

Product weight 24 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 40 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds / 110 pounds booster
Forward-facing height limit 50 inches / 57 inches booster
Reclining Positions Three
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders Two

Our Ratings

Safety Features
4.5 / 5
Weight Range
5 / 5
Ease of Installation
5 / 5
Comfort
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

First-Hand Impression

Love the comfort and safety features of this car seat, but the recline was initially a concern due to my daughter's head falling forward when asleep. After experimenting with a pool noodle and towel for adjustments, we achieved the perfect recline, and she now enjoys her rides in the Evenflo Symphony Elite. The material is soft and plush, ensuring she stays comfortable, but be aware that the seat is quite large and may not fit all vehicles.

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Best 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

This super handy and durable car seat has four uses in one product.

1) Rear-facing car seat (for babies between four and 40 pounds).
2) Forward-facing car seat (for kids between 22 and 65 pounds).
3) High back booster seat (for kids between 30 and 100 pounds).
4) Backless booster (for kids between 40 and 120 pounds).

You can use this car seat from the day you bring your baby home from the hospital until they are 120 pounds!

It has two handy cup holders that your child can easily reach, and the adjustable headrest and harness make it a snap to custom-fit any child. The seatbelt includes padding to keep your little one comfortable and help prevent the seat belt from becoming twisted.

Similar Articles
Graco 4Ever vs Extend2Fit Car Seat ComparisonGraco 4Ever Vs Extend2Fit: Which Car Seat Wins the Race?

What We Like

Money Saving

Although this is quite a significant investment from the start, it will last at least 10 years or until your child outgrows it. It’s suitable for children from four to 120 pounds, so you can use this one seat instead of buying different types of car seats. This will save you tons of money in the long run.

Easy to Install

The latch attachment means this car seat is straightforward to install. All it takes is one click and one second. You’ll hear the audible clicking sound, so you know it’s secure. Graco has performed rigorous crash tests to ensure children are safe in this seat, no matter what kind of crash occurs.

It’s Comfortable

Even super fussy babies find this seat comfortable. It has six recline positions, 10 adjustable headrest positions, and an adjustable harness system. Parents love how comfortable their kids are in this seat, even for long car rides. In fact, many parents praise how easily their little one falls asleep in this car seat, which is bliss if you’re driving a long way.

What We Don't Like

Poor Tilt

One sore spot for some parents is that this car seat doesn’t have a good tilt, especially if your child can’t hold their own head up yet. Many babies’ heads tilt forward when they fell asleep. This is OK for older children, but this is a safety hazard for younger babies.

Product Specs

Product weight 22.8 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 57 Inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 57 Inches
Reclining Positions Six
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders Two

Our Ratings

Safety Features
4.5 / 5
Weight Range
5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4.5 / 5
Comfort
5 / 5
Total Rating
4.75 / 5

User Experience

Got the Graco 4Ever car seat, and it has proven to be a fantastic investment. This car seat grows with the child and has kept my little one safe during a car accident without a single scratch. The Graco 4Ever offers more height in the headrest and is more narrow, fitting better in the car. The material is water-resistant, and the foam is dense, providing ample support. It's a bit heavier than other options, but it's worth it for the safety and longevity of the seat.

Britax Advocate ClickTight Car Seat

Easiest to Adjust

This seat has three layers of side-impact protection. It also comes with an impact-absorbing base that uses compression to reduce the force in an accident.

It has “ClickTight” installation and the “Click & Safe Snug” harness, along with auto level indicators and multiple recline positions. These features will ensure the seat is installed securely.

It’s also equipped with “Safecell” protection, which uses three levels of protection for your child. These are the impact-absorbing base, a specially made V-shaped tether, and an impact-stabilizing steel frame. They work together to compress energy and absorb impact in a crash.

The car seat has 14 adjustable positions for the harness and headrest to grow with your child. These positions are easy to adjust as you simply push a button and pull to get the height you need.

You can use it rear-facing between 5 and 40 pounds and forward-facing between 20 and 65 pounds. Choose from a variety of colors to suit your preference.

What We Like

Easy to Install

This is one of the easiest seats to install. The ClickTight installation ensures a safe and secure fit for your child without making you jump through hoops.

Harness Adjusts Easily

Unlike most car seats, parents praise the harness adjustments on this seat. It’s easy to adjust and doesn’t get stuck or become difficult with use like other seats.

What We Don't Like

Fabric Wears Easily

The fabric on this car seat has been known to wear down after a few washes. This is definitely something to watch out for, as worn-down fabric can compromise the comfort and safety of your child’s car seat.

Product Specs

Product weight 30.6 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 49 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 49 inches
Reclining Positions Seven
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders None

Our Ratings

Safety Features
5 / 5
Weight Range
4.5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4.5 / 5
Comfort
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Personal Perspective

In my experience, this car seat is not only visually appealing but also provides a sense of security for my little one. The steel frame and easy installation process gave me peace of mind knowing my child is safe during car rides. The fabric is soft and durable, holding up well against spills and stains. However, I do wish it included built-in cup holders for added convenience.

Safety 1st Grow & Go Car Seat

One-Stop Shop

This all-in-one seat will accommodate your child up to 100 pounds. It takes up less space than most seats in rear-facing mode, so it’s convenient if you have a front-seat passenger who doesn’t want to feel cramped.

It also comes with “Air Protect” technology which gives added protection in the headrest in case of impact. The “QuickFit” harness adjusts both the harness and headrest at the same time. No rethreading is required.

The sides have harness holders as well to keep straps out of the way when getting your little one in and out of the seat. These come in handy and prevent your child from snagging their clothing on the buckles.

The seat cover is removable, machine washable, and dryer-safe. The cover snaps on and off, so it’s easier to remove and reattach.

This option is practical if you’re passionate about extended rear-facing. Unlike most seats that cap their rear-facing limit at 40 pounds, this one caps at 50 pounds. You can then forward-face until 65 pounds and use the booster until the maximum weight limit.

We love all the fun color choices with this car seat. Choose one that matches your style.

What We Like

“Air Protect” Technology

We’re all for extra safety features. This one has specific technology meant to keep your child’s noggin safer in an accident, which is a major win with us. Air Protect technology creates a slower and softer landing for your child to avoid hard impact.

Lots of Extra Padding

This seat’s extra padding will make your child more comfortable during car rides. As important as convenience is for us, comfort level is important too. After all, your child is the one sitting in the seat.

Easily Removable Cover

The cover of this seat snaps right off, so it’s super easy to remove and reinstall. Most seats have a cover you need to stretch over the seat like a sheet, but we like this one, as it’s so easy to clean.

What We Don't Like

Fabric Isn’t the Most Breathable

Parents have complained that the seat’s fabric isn’t breathable. The main portion of the fabric is also darker, so it absorbs sunlight more than a lighter color would. This can prove to be inconvenient for sweat-prone babies or if you live in a warmer climate.

Product Specs

Product weight 20 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 50 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 49 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds / 100 pounds booster
Forward-facing height limit 49 inches
Reclining Positions Three
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders Two

Our Ratings

Safety Features
4.5 / 5
Weight Range
5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4 / 5
Comfort
4 / 5
Total Rating
4.25 / 5

Community Feedback

These car seats have been a fantastic addition to our family's daily routine. As a parent of a 4-month-old who used to dislike car rides, I've noticed that she now looks more comfortable and even falls asleep easily in this new seat. It has a thick padding for the face and head, preventing her head from tilting forward, and the material is soft and easy to clean. The mirror on the headrest and the ability to see out the window keep her entertained during our errands. The removable cup holders are a convenient feature for sippy cups and snacks. However, be mindful of the car seat's fabric - it can get hot, so consider investing in a baby stroller fan if you don't have vents in your backseat.

Safety 1st Guide 65 Car Seat

Most Compact Convertible Seat

For those of you who have smaller cars with limited space, this seat is compact enough to fit three across in most vehicles. If you’re a parent of multiples, this is a godsend.

This highly affordable convertible car seat will accommodate a rear-facing child up to 40 pounds and can be used forward-facing from 22 to 65 pounds. To ensure safety, the five-point harness has five height positions and three buckle locations.

The harness has up-front adjustment for easy tightening, and the seat is made with EPP energy-absorbing foam. There’s a multi-adjustable head support and lumbar pillows for ultimate comfort, and it comes with anti-rebound bolsters.

On the downside, this seat lacks some of the extra bells and whistles that some of the other seats on this list come with. For example, you have to rethread the harness manually to adjust it, and the lower anchor connectors are standard hooks instead of the more convenient push-button connectors. These features don’t affect the seat’s safety, as long as you use them correctly, but many parents prefer the premium features on other seats.

What We Like

American-Made

This may not be a big deal to some people, but for those of you who like to support American-made products, this seat is an excellent option. The brand makes all of its products in the United States.

Air Travel Certified

If you’re a family of jet setters, this car seat is air travel certified. This is cool because you don’t need to worry about airport personnel giving you a hard time about the seat. It also doesn’t take up much room in the seating area.

Compact Design

Because this seat is compact, it’s optimal for smaller vehicles or parents of multiples. Plus, having the same seat design means they’ll fit more cohesively in your car.

What We Don't Like

The Harness Adjusts Manually

As your child grows, you’ll need to manually move the harness up in this car seat. Follow the instructions in your manual carefully to ensure you do this correctly.

Product Specs

Product weight 15 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 40 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 52 inches
Reclining Positions Three
Machine Washable No
Cup Holders One

Our Ratings

Safety Features
4 / 5
Weight Range
4 / 5
Ease of Installation
3.5 / 5
Comfort
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.75 / 5

First-Hand Impression

This car seat arrived without its original packaging, but it was in great condition with no signs of previous use. It was easy to assemble, especially if you've taken car seats apart before. The seat is soft and padded, making my daughter happy and comfortable, but the adjustable headrest seems a bit too forward in the upright position. It fits well in our vehicle and is lightweight and easy to adjust. While it's advertised as both rear and forward-facing, it seems better suited for forward-facing due to the seatbelt length in most cars.

Cybex Sirona S Convertible Car Seat

Most Unique Safety Feature

If innovation is your jam, consider this seat. It comes with a “SensorSafe” monitor inside the buckle of your child’s harness. This connects to your phone and will alert you if your child is left in the car.

Sadly, leaving children in cars is a genuine concern. The sensor also alerts you if the car is too hot or cold or if your child becomes unbuckled.

The seat will accommodate your child rear-facing up to 40 pounds and forward-facing up to 65 pounds. It also comes with an adjustable headrest with 12 different positions.

It has a 10-position recline, and you can easily adjust the seat with one hand. It rotates easily, so you can turn it to face you when helping your child in and out of the seat. It also has a one-hand pull system for easy LATCH removal.

The “Linear Side Impact Protection” absorbs up to 25% more impact than other seats. It also has an energy-absorbing shell to protect your child further.

Magnetic clip holders keep the straps out of the way when you’re getting your child in and out of the seat. The cup holder is removable as well.

We like the luxury look of the modern seat cover options. You can choose one to match your vehicle’s interior or your style preference.

What We Like

“SensorSafe” Technology

This seat’s SensorSafe technology is cool if you like innovation. No matter how unlikely you think you are to need it, mistakes can and do happen, so this gives some extra peace of mind.

Plus, anything that helps aid in child safety is OK in our book.

Full Seat Rotation

With the ability to “spin” the seat, you can adjust it to face you while getting your child in and out of the vehicle. This is especially useful if you have a wiggly child who doesn’t like being fastened into their seat, as it allows you to keep a more secure grip on your little one while fastening their belt.

Linear Side Impact Protection

Safety is the main priority of the manufacturer. This seat has both linear side-impact protection (LSP) and an anti-rebound feature, which absorbs shocks of up to 25% in a collision. Furthermore, the load leg absorbs energy and reduces crash forces on the child by up to 30% in a front-impact collision.

What We Don't Like

Tech May Malfunction

A number of parents have complained that the tech system goes haywire from time to time. This includes sending false alerts that may alarm you unnecessarily.

Product Specs

Product weight 30.4 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 49 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 65 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 49 inches
Reclining Positions Three
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders One

Our Ratings

Safety Features
5 / 5
Weight Range
4.5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4.5 / 5
Comfort
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat

Best Budget Convertible Car Seat

Our Ratings

Safety Features
4 / 5
Weight Range
3.5 / 5
Ease of Installation
3.5 / 5
Comfort
3.5 / 5
Total Rating
3.5 / 5

Community Feedback

Bought this car seat for my grandson, and I'm happy with its quality for the price. It takes up a lot of space when rear-facing, but it's very roomy and comfortable for him. My daughter also prefers this car seat over her own due to the straps and padding. The cup holders with elastic are a nice touch, but they may not be the most durable.

While this seat is inexpensive compared to most other car seats, it still comes with plenty of features to make it a top contender. It’s budget-friendly and compact.

The seat can fit three across in most vehicles, and its narrow and lightweight design is excellent for air travel — you don’t need to lug a heavy seat through check-in.

You can seat your child rear-facing until they reach 40 pounds and forward-facing until they hit 50 pounds.

To prevent sweat and overheating, this comes with air vents for better airflow. This convertible car seat has five shoulder strap positions and up-front harness adjustment for the best fit.

As far as convenience features go, this seat comes with two cup holders and an added pillow for more head support. Both cup holders are removable and dishwasher-safe.

We also appreciate the buckle pockets, which keep straps out of the way when getting our little ones in and out. This is also nice when the buckle gets hot on summer days, as it prevents the risk of burning your child.

What We Like

Compact, Lightweight Design

This 13-pound seat is excellent for smaller vehicles because of its compact design. Furthermore, we all know how cramped airplane seating is in general. Having a compact seat makes traveling less of a nuisance.

Air Ventilation System

This is the only seat we’ve found that has its own air ventilation system. This is handy for keeping your baby cool during the hot summer months or if you live somewhere that’s warm year-round.

Not only is this a convenience, but it’s also a safety plus. Having good ventilation will keep your baby from overheating in the car.

Budget-Friendly

Car seats are expensive! We like this one because it’s budget-friendly without compromising on safety. As expensive as raising a child can be, it’s nice to find big-ticket items like car seats for lower prices.

What We Don't Like

The seat is Tall

The only major downside to this seat is that it tends to be longer than others in rear-facing mode. This can prove inconvenient if the seat is directly behind you when you’re driving or if you have a front-seat passenger, as it may press against the back of the seat in front of it.

Product Specs

Product weight 13 pounds
Rear-facing weight limit 40 pounds
Rear-facing height limit 40 inches
Forward-facing weight limit 50 pounds
Forward-facing height limit 50 inches
Reclining Positions Two
Machine Washable Yes
Cup Holders Two

Our Ratings

Safety Features
5 / 5
Weight Range
4.5 / 5
Ease of Installation
4.5 / 5
Comfort
4.5 / 5
Total Rating
4.5 / 5

User Experience

My experience with this car seat has been a mixed bag. While I appreciate the rotating seat and comfortable design, installation was challenging and time-consuming. Despite watching YouTube videos for guidance, I struggled to achieve a secure fit, resulting in some wobbling. The temperature sensor and app seemed promising, but ultimately, I didn't find them very useful. However, my child enjoys short rides in the seat, and I'm looking forward to using it for the next few years.

Product Comparison Chart

Product Award Weight Rear-facing Weight Rear-facing Height Forward-facing Weight Forward-facing Height Reclining Positions Machine Washable Cup Holders
Chicco NextFit Best Overall 25.1 lbs 40 lbs 49″ 65 lbs 49″ 9 Yes 1
Evenflo EveryStage Grows With Baby 30 lbs 50 lbs 48″ 65 lbs 57″ 14 Yes 2
Britax Marathon Built For Safety 27 lbs 40 lbs 49″ 65 lbs 49″ 7 Yes 0
Evenflo Symphony Easy To Install 24 lbs 40 lbs 49″ 65 lbs 50″ 3 Yes 2
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Best 4-in-1 22.8 lbs 40 lbs 57″ 65 lbs 57″ 6 Yes 2
Britax Advocate Easiest To Adjust 30.6 lbs 40 lbs 49″ 65 lbs 49″ 7 Yes 0
Safety 1st Grow One-Stop Shop 20 lbs 50 lbs 49″ 65 lbs 49″ 3 Yes 2
Safety 1st Guide Most Compact 15 lbs 40 lbs 40″ 65 lbs 52″ 3 No 1
Cybex Sirona Unique Safety Feature 30.4 lbs 40 lbs 49″ 65 lbs 49″ 3 Yes 1
Evenflo Sonus Budget Pick 13 lbs 40 lbs 40″ 50 lbs 50″ 2 Yes 2

How to Choose a Convertible Car Seat

It doesn’t matter how amazing a brand says its car seat is; you need to consider the following key features before buying.

Height and Weight Limits

Be sure to check the size restrictions. Convertible seats will accommodate infants, but the maximum weight will vary. Because you can use them rear-facing and forward-facing, they should have two different weight caps.

We suggest seats that encourage extended rear-facing as it’s the safest position for your child. Seats typically allow rear-facing until roughly 40 pounds, but some go higher to around 50 pounds.

Once your child hits forward-facing time, you’ll find that most convertible seats will cap off at 65 pounds.

Don’t forget about the height limits, too. Many children will outgrow their seat by height before they outgrow it by weight. Your child’s growth curve should give you an estimate as to how quickly the height limits may be reached.
Headshot of Kristen Gardiner, CPST

Editor's Note:

Kristen Gardiner, CPST

Comfort Features

You should also look for any extra comfort features. These are going to give your child a more enjoyable car ride. If you don’t want a whining and screaming kid while you’re driving, comfort features are a must.

Here are some common features we like to watch for:

  • Memory foam or other body-shaping material.
  • Breathable fabric.
  • Harness pads.
  • Extendable headrest.
  • Extendable legroom.

Size and Weight of Seat

This is purely for your convenience. If you plan on regularly transporting the car seat between vehicles, you’ll want a seat that isn’t super bulky.

Not everyone has the means to purchase more than one car seat, so a more lightweight option would work.

You’ll also want to consider seat size if you have a smaller vehicle. If the seat is bulky, it may not fit correctly in your car. This can be frustrating because you’d have to return the seat and then go shopping all over again.

Added Amenities

Convenience features make car rides more enjoyable for your child and less stressful for you. For example, note whether the seat includes cup holders and how many it has.

We like seats with two cup holders because you can use one for snacks and the other for a drink. Another nice idea is harness holders. These keep the straps out of the way when getting your child in and out of the vehicle.

Holders will prevent buckles from getting caught in your child’s clothing as they get out. They’re also nice because you don’t have to worry about yanking the strap out from under your little one after they’re seated.

Added Safety Features

Safety should be a major priority when making your decisions. Car seats need to pass certain tests to be released on the market. But we especially appreciate manufacturers who go above and beyond the testing standards to make their car seats as safe as possible.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Multiple recline positions: All cars are different, and so are car seats. Convertible car seats with multiple recline positions will ensure a secure fit in your car. All car seats must be installed at a particular recline angle, and having multiple recline positions helps ensure you can achieve that angle. Always check the manual.
  • Larger headrests: All convertible seats come with lateral headrests. The larger the headrest, the more padding it will provide to your child’s head.
  • Infant inserts: If you’re doing a one-stop shop, ensure the convertible seat has proper infant inserts for a snug and safe ride for your newborn.
  • Impact protection features: All seats come with side-impact protection. Some manufacturers have more protection than others.
  • EPS foam: Expanded polystyrene foam is rigid and closed-celled. It’s known for its shock absorption qualities, which make it great for lining car seats.

Recent Recalls

Check out any recent recalls on the seat. Find out when and why the seat was recalled and how the company responded to the recall. Was it voluntary? How did they handle the issue?

How a company handles a crisis will tell you a lot about the brand. To find out if a seat has been recalled, contact the manufacturer for specific information.

Safety Benefits of Convertible Car Seats

Great Aunt Mabel may come at you with the “We didn’t have car seats in my day, and I survived” line, but this is misguided. Car seats are a requirement for traveling with toddlers, and for a good reason.

Statistics show that children who are properly buckled in age- and size-appropriate car seats are 80% less likely to sustain serious injuries in a crash (1).

A convertible car seat helps ensure your child stays in the correct stage as long as possible. Most convertible car seats have higher rear-facing height and weight limits than infant car seats. This means the immense safety benefits of riding rear-facing (which is up to five times safer than forward-facing) will be available for a longer period when compared to an infant car seat. And you don’t have to buy a second seat!
Headshot of Kristen Gardiner, CPST

Editor's Note:

Kristen Gardiner, CPST

The weight restrictions for infant car seats generally range from 4 pounds to 22-40 pounds, while nearly all convertible seats accommodate weights from 4 pounds to 40-50 pounds when rear-facing. When it comes to height, experts recommend switching to the next car seat stage when the child’s head reaches 1 inch below the top of the seat (2).

With convertible seats, there are usually special infant inserts that come with the seat to keep newborns safe and snug.

The extra padding and other body-forming material can also contribute to the safety of the seat.

Some brands even make their own additional head and neck support to keep your baby comfortable and safe.

Convertible Convenience

Besides the obvious benefit of safety, convertible car seats are pretty convenient. You can use them rear-facing or forward-facing, and they often last longer than all-in-one seats.

This means you can do a quick one-and-done shopping trip, potentially saving you money.

The only downside to convertible car seats is that they don’t come with that handy dandy carrier handle, so they need to stay inside the car.


Proper Seat Installation

While 96% of parents say their child’s seat is installed correctly, 72% to 84% percent of car seats aren’t being properly used (3). For a car seat to do its job, you must install it correctly.

But how can you tell if it is? Depending on which brand you buy, the directions may vary. You should always consult the owner’s manual to find the steps to a proper installation.

Here are some general guidelines to follow for both rear-facing and forward-facing convertible car seats (4).

  • Check installation options: Most car seats are equipped with LATCH but will also have a belt path, which is meant to be used with your vehicle’s seat belt. Use may use either your vehicle seat belt or LATCH to install, not both.
  • Car seats should always be placed in the back seat: The front seat puts your child at higher risk in a collision, especially if you have air bags (5).
  • If using the seat belt, ensure it isn’t twisted: It should be flat for a secure fit.
  • Buckle the belt and begin tightening: While removing any seat belt slack, ensure you firmly push down and in on the car seat.
  • Car seats shouldn’t move more than an inch side-to-side or front-to-back.
  • Make sure the seat is reclined correctly: This is especially important if your infant is rear-facing. Young babies need to be reclined in order to be in the safest position; your car seat manual should have guidelines for this.

What Is LATCH Technology?

LATCH stands for “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children” (6). The system was developed to help make safe car seat installation easier for parents. This technology should be found on all current car seat models as well as vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2002.

It works by using a built-in strap on the child’s car seat with hooks on the end. These hooks correspond to anchors provided on the vehicle’s back seat. There should be two hooks located on the lower part of the child’s car seat, as well as a top tether.

The two hooks will latch to anchors you can find where the seat cushion meets the seat back of your vehicle. The top tether will then be hooked to the anchor that can be found on the floor, behind the headrest, or on the rear shelf of your car.

The top tether is only necessary for the forward-facing position. And you don’t need to use the belt paths if you’re using the LATCH system. If you don’t use LATCH, you should still use the top tether with your car’s seat belt.

[/b when forward-facinguying-info-section]
Feedback: Was This Article Helpful?
Thank You For Your Feedback!
Thank You For Your Feedback!
What Did You Like?
What Went Wrong?
Headshot of Kristen Gardiner, CPST

Reviewed by

Kristen Gardiner, CPST

Kristen Gardiner, CPST is a writer, wife, and mother to three boys. Kristen became certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician by Safe Kids Worldwide in 2015 and loves to volunteer and help educate parents about car seat safety. She has a passion for all things related to child safety.