It is no brainer that the lightest convertible car seat is necessary for today’s generation of parents. This is because they tend to spend a lot of time moving around in our cars and not willing to leave the kids in the house.
The good thing about convertible car seats is that they can still become very relevant even as the child grows older from the time they are infants to when they start going to school.
A rear-facing convertible car seat is ideal for infants, which can be changed to look forward as they age. Furthermore, the same car seat can be used as a seat booster for older children who have started schooling.
Several parents prefer buying infant car seats due to their lightweight nature, which helps them in taking them on or off the car at any point.
Convertible car seats are generally bulkier than infant seats making such parents prefer buying the infant seats first before getting convertible car seats later on. However, there are a few lightweight convertible car seats that you can take a look at.
Benefits of Convertible Car Seats
They are versatile
Most convertible car seats can be used from the time the baby is born up to the time they no longer need a car seat for safety and convenience.
Saves on budget
Although such seats cost generally higher than normal infant car seats, they save you money in the long run as you will not have to keep on changing and buying newer car seats as your child grows.
Can be passed down
Convertible car seats have a long life-span. They can last up to 10 years or even more. This means that you can use the same convertible car seat for different children, for a couple of years.
They have higher weight limits
According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics), convertible car seats have a higher rear-facing weight limit when compared to infant seats.
How We Picked and Tested?
We asked hundreds of real baby owners about the type of convertible car seats they like and would prefer their babies sitting on them. We further asked them to state their reasons for choosing those particular car seats without forgetting to mention what should be improved.
With this information, we added our own research by sampling out the best convertible car seats in the market, adding to the list provided to us by the many parents.
Out of this, we were able to have our team of experts give each seat an unbiased rating. After getting all the ratings in terms of the features highlighted above, we picked out the 10 best convertible car seats and reviewed them in more detail, just for you.
Why Trust Our Review?
We are globally known for providing unbiased reviews of different products. For all the products we have reviewed, we have our own experts who have hands-on experience with the said items.
For this review, our team of experts not only relied on their own expertise and knowledge but also involved the opinions of real parents with real babies.
Top 10 Best Lightest Convertible Car Seat Reviews
1. Safety 1st Guide 65
This convertible car seat from Safety 1st helps to keep your child safe and comfortable from infanthood to childhood. This car seat is one of the lightest infant car seats in the market making it easier for you to remove or install it at any given moment without feeling the heaviness. Moreover, it contains more safety features than any other car seat.
Its compact design makes it easy to install in any car model without any hassle. Having been on the market for quite some time, you can go through the many customer testimonials on how good this seat is at protecting and keeping your loved one comfortable.
The seat is FAA compliant as it also offers side-impact protection, meeting all federal crash safety requirements.
- Rear-facing car seat mode ensures the comfort of babies up until they are 40 pounds in weight.
- The front-facing car seat mode when the baby is ready. The 5-point harness ensures they stay in place for a long time. The front-facing mode can accommodate a baby up to 65 pounds in weight.
- The adjustable headrest can be customized to accommodate all children
- Removable pillows are present and help to always keep the child comfortable
- This seat also comes with a removable cup holder which you can use to store your child’s drinks while on the road.
- FAA compliant and meets all federal regulations on crash safety
- The compact design makes it ideal for fitting inside any type of car
- It is quite light for a convertible car seat
- The seat does not recline which makes it lack this important safety feature
- The cushions are not machine washable
- Their customer care system is not quite responsive, you may have to wait for hours before someone gets in contact with you
2. Graco SnugRide 35 Infant
Ever since the SnugRide 35 joined the Graco family in 2005, there have been a number of adjustments made to it. Since then, the maximum weight limit has been reduced from 5 to 4 in order to fit in perfectly well with different car brands.
Furthermore, the seat has a longer expiry date which was extended from 6 years to 7, in a bid to fit in AAP guidelines for extended rear-riding models. While the seat costs among the most expensive in the Graco family, it is quite affordable when you compare it to other similar convertible car seats.
- This is a lightweight infant car seat allowing you to carry it almost anywhere.
- The crotch strap has two positions to harness the buckles. This makes it able to accommodate children of many sizes.
- This is also one of the best infant car seat stroller combos as the click connect system provides a secure attachment to many strollers making killing two birds with one stone possible.
- The adjustable recline foot allows it to be fitted in all types of cars, adding to the safety of the child. The seat can be reclined in 6 different positions.
- This convertible car seat has been rigorously crashing tested and meets all the set standards by the government.
- No-rethread harness
- Infant insert for smaller infants
- Push button to lower anchor connectors
- Installation is very easy
- Fairly affordable
- Fits in most small vehicles
- Adjustable recline capability
- Allows extended rear-facing
- It has a large canopy
- The cover is machine-washable
- FAA approved
- Infant insert does not support all sizes of babies
- This carrier is a bit heavier than what is specified in the ads
- The ‘one-click’ base attach is quite unreliable
- The LATCH system may be hard to work with
- Fabric used is not breathable
- The canopy cannot be used with the handle altogether
- The harness will require rethreading when adjusting the height
3. Chicco KeyFit 30
If you are in the market searching for an easy to install infant convertible car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 30 is your best shot. The car seat has passed various crash tests with outstanding results making it not only convenient to be used in your car but also ensures the safety of your kid.
One of the main problems this car seat sought to address is the problem many parents face when properly and securely installing a car seat. Not only has this product met the federal crash-safety requirements but also has some extra safety features on top.
- The spring-loaded leveling helps in putting the car seat into a decent position
- The product has a 5-point harness
- An EPS foam is fitted in order to absorb impact in case of an accident
- Latch connections are very easy to use
- The bubble level which is on the base ensures a proper angle when installing
- Leaving the handle when it is up can be left inside the car
- Compatible with multiple strollers
- Easy to install
- Comfortable padding
- Easy to wash
- Longevity as it fits babies of up to 30 pounds
- Quite heavier than competitors
4. Diono Radian 3R All-in-One
This ultra-modern car seat for infants is one of the safest convertible car seats in the market. It fits in almost all family-size vehicles making it very convenient. The fact that it is also FAA approved makes it a darling for many parents.
While allowing for a 3-across installation at the back of the vehicle and the ability to omit the base which can be seen in many convertible seats, this is arguably one of the best convertible infant seats in the market.
- Extended rear-facing which supports kids of between 5 to 40 pounds
- Forward-facing with a 5-point harness supports up to 65 pounds of weight
- It can convert to a booster which is able to withstand children of up to 100 lbs.
- The dynamic head and side-impact protection.
- This is made better through the reinforced memory foam and aluminum side-impact walls which are lined with energy-absorbing EPS foam.
- The Super LATCH with an audible-click and a visual-locking indicator connector system, makes it easy to install.
- 5 shoulder and 3 buckle positions
- Expandable leg rests
- Non-slip rubber base to ensure secure installation
- EPS foam for added security
- Narrow base to easily fit a 3-across
- Folds up
- Allows up to 100 lbs.
- Added security features such as side impact protection
- The crotch strap may be too tight for bigger kids
5. Graco SlimFit 3-in-1
One of the main issues experienced by most parents is finding a car seat that can comfortably fit inside the back seat while still leaving plenty of space at the back. Sometimes, babies might be required to sit side-by-side hence a ‘slim fit’ car seat is very ideal.
Having listened to the reviews and comments from numerous parents, Graco came with the SlimFit 3-in-1 convertible car seat which apart from being convenient, also comes with packed safety and comfort features.
- Rear-facing supports up to 5-40 lbs.
- Forward-facing with harness supports anywhere between 22-65 lbs.
- High-back booster which supports up to 100 lbs.
- A no-rethread harness with a 10-position headrest
- Adjustable base with 4 recline positions
- Steel reinforced frame
- Shock-absorbing EPS foam
- Dual cup holders can be rotated away to save space
- Ten-year expiration date
- The 5 point harness is rated up to 65 lbs.
- Really easy to install
- Easy to adjust as no re-thread harness is required.
- This seat has plenty of room.
- Variety of seat settings.
- Side Impact crash protection.
- The cover is a bit hard to remove when washing is required
6. Cosco Apt 50
This budget-friendly convertible car seat has been around for quite some time. It has been able to fix one of the issues it has while starting out as it did not have a rear-facing option.
With improved functionalities, advanced safety features, and a more comfortable design, this car seat is definitely worth your money.
- The seat pad can be easily removed for easy washing
- Has two built-in cup holders
- It has an extended rear-facing capability with a more extended forward-facing harness wearing capability.
- The car seat weighs only 11 pounds making it very light
- Has side impact protection to keep your baby safe in the event of a car crash
- Can be used from infancy to when a child grows older
- Quite affordable
- FAA approved
- Comfortable for babies of all sizes
- Enough padding to keep your baby comfortable
- Without the LATCH system, it can be a bit difficult to install
- Tightening the safety straps can be difficult and frustrating at times
7. Disney Baby Apt 50
This is one of the most stylish convertible car seats in the market today. This car seat comes with a beautiful design and advanced safety features.
- The one-click latch makes it easy to install the seat
- Side impact protection on all sides makes it quite safe for your kid
- The secure 5-point harness provides a convenient adjustment
- Comes with vibrant colors and a Disney-style silhouette head-rest.
- Machine-washable and dryer-friendly
- Protection on all sides
- 6 harness heights and the 3 buckle locations make it ideal for children who are growing up
- The materials are not very durable
8. Maxi-Cosi Pria 70
This is a convertible car seat is quite comfortable thanks to the extra padding which also acts as a source of security to your child. The side-impact protection and energy-absorbing foam are some of the safety features used in the manufacture of this product.
- Air-protect superior side impact protection
- Easy to adjust the headrest
- Very easy to clean
- A 5-point harness is adjustable from the front
- There are 3 different recline positions for comfort and convenience
- Only supports weights from 9 pounds making it not suitable for newborns
9. Graco Extend2Fit
This product is an affordable convertible car seat that has some of the best results in crash tests and allows your baby in the rear-facing position for longer.
While the standard rear-facing age limit is around 2 years, the Graco Extend2Fit has a weight limit of 50 pounds which makes it easier for kids to ride rear-facing way past their second birthday.
- 50-pound rear-facing weight limit
- 4-position leg extension
- 10-position headrest
- Buckle pockets
- 6-position recline
- No-rethread harness
- Two removable cup holders
- 10-year expiration
- Adjustable leg extension for 5 inches of extra legroom
- Easy LATCH install with push-on connectors
- Got great results in real-life crash scenarios
- Machine-washable cover
- 6 recline positions and 10 headrest positions
- The cover is a bit difficult removing and replacing for cleaning
- Harness may be difficult to tighten
- The chest clip is a bit clunky
10. Graco SnugRide SnugLock Extend2Fit 35
This seat perfectly grows with your baby. The 4-position extension panel allows for more legroom allowing your baby to ride rear-facing for extended periods of time.
The InRight LATCH allows a very easy installation process and an easy to read level indicator helps to know how to exactly install. With tons of safety features and comfort-focused makes, this is a must-buy for all parents.
- A 4-position extension panel provides 3.5″ of extra legroom
- Involves a simple 3-Step installation using a vehicle seat belt or LATCH
- The Anti-Rebound Bar reduces car seat rotation in case of an impact
- There are two new styles of recline level indicator
- FAA approved
- Hassle free 3-step installation
- Has an anti-rebound bar
- The headrest is not removable making it uncomfortable when the baby gets older
Factor to Consider When Buying a Convertible Car Seat
All car seats have to conform to certain government regulations before they are approved to be used. Apart from ensuring the safety of your child, there are other extra features that you must check out first before settling down on a particular convertible car seat.
These are the extra safety features that have surpassed the guidelines set by the government. Some seats come with extra shock-absorbing capabilities and padding.
Some high-end convertible car seats have safety indicators that will ensure the maximum safety of the child. They notify you whether or not the car seat has been successfully and well-buckled.
Ease of installation
By using the latch system or regular car safety belts, a convertible car seat should comfortably get installed in the car.
Apart from choosing a stylish fabric that blends in well with your car, you should also look for a durable material that can take you years. Moreover, the good fabric should be easy to clean in case the child dirties it.
Compatibility with your car
Before purchasing any car seat, consider its size and whether it will comfortably fit in it without having to cover more space than necessary. Convertible car seats come in different types and sizes.
Lightweight infant car seats are always the best models as you can easily move around with them without having to struggle a lot. However much the car seat is good, it will not remain inside the car for long. At times, you may need to utilize that space for other things.
Finally, you should never again set out to purchase poor quality convertible car seats for your baby. Your baby is an important blessing and should be guarded well with comfort added to their car trips.
Use our buyers’ guide to help you in picking the right car seat for you. Furthermore, the lightest convertible car seat should not cost you an arm and a leg, pick one item from our list of very affordable convertible car seats for infants.