Convertible car seats (0-18 months+)

Comparison Table

Make and model Product Information and Characteristics Features
Graco Nautilus Elite
Maxi Cosi Pria 70
Babies form 9 to 70 lbs
9lbs to 40lbs RF
22 to 70lbs FF
Integrated cup holder
3-position recline Item weight: 18.4 lbs
"Self-wicking" fabric deodorizes and draws liquid
away from baby's skin to keep them
dry and comfortable
Machine washable, dryer safe deodorizing fabric
Comfortable padded seat
Easy adjustment
Evenflo Tribute LX
Babies from 5 to 40 lbs :
5lbs to 35lbs RF
20 to 40lbs FF
Removable cup holder
1 position recline
Available in 4 colors
Item weight : 9.1 lbs
Extremely affordable
Ultra lightweight ideal for travelling or
changing between cars
front of seat harness adjustment
4 shoulder level harness heights and
2 buckle positions
Machine washable seat pad and extra head pillow
Graco Extend2Fit
Babies from 5 to 65 lbs :
RF 5 - 50lbs
Forward facingF 22 - 65lbs
6 positions recline
Available in 5 colors
Item weight : 23.5 lbs
One-hand harness and headrest height adjustment
(without re-threading the straps)
5 inches extra legroom - extendable base allows
more room to grow and
stay in the safe rear-facing position for longer,
up to 50lbs or 45 inches tall
Buckle moves completely out of the way to get
baby in/out with no fuss
Britax Marathon Click Tight
Babies from 5 to 65 lbs :
RF 5 - 40lbs
FF 20 - 65lbs
7 recline positions
available in 17 colors and patterns
Item weight : 28.5 lbs
easy ClickTight installation
seat height adjusstment with the push of a button
easy and quick adjust harness has 12 positons to
grow along with your child
Chicco NextFit iX Zip
Babies from 5 to 65 lbs :
RF 5 - 40 lbs
FF 22 - 65 lbs
item weight 25 lbs
9 recline positions
9 headrest heights
Dual bubble level indicators
SuperCinch LATCH tightener
LockSure seat belt tightener
Zip-off seat pad for easy washing
machine washable fabric
removable infant support
easy pull harness tightener
harness strap flex system holds straps out of the way
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
Babies from 5 to 100 lbs :
RF 5 - 40 lbs
FF 22 - 65 lbs
Belt-positioning booster 40 - 100 lbs
Item weight 18.25 lbs
3 position recline
2 cup holders
9 colors and patterns
Quick Fit one-step harness and headrest adjustment
Harness holders to easily get baby in and out
7 inches more leg room for parents
Easy to remove seat pad is machine washable and dryer safe

RF: Rear-facing
FF: Forward facing

Note: Every seat here has passed the necessary safety tests. All car seats these days have thorough side impact protection, but some better than others, I have only pointed out additional safety features which make each seat stand out from the others.

What is a convertible car seat?

A convertible car seat is a car seat which can be used from birth as a rear facing car seat, then later as a forward facing car seat up to around 18 months, although there are many seats which exist nowadays which can be used way beyond that age, into childhood. Convertible car seats are great because yo don’t have to buy a different seat when your newborn outgrows their infant car seat. They have a few varying features, such as cup holders, adjustable harness straps and buckle, varying degrees of padding and reclining positons. Most seats must be recline out of the car and then installed, but one yo find the best position for your baby you won’t need to change the position often (unless using for multiple babies.)

What parents think

The pros and cons of each seat according to unbiased parents who have tried and tested them

Graco Nautilus Elite Harnessed booster seat
+

 

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Convertible Car Seat

+ Very simple installation
+ Removable seat cover and harness pads without uninstalling the seat or re-threading the harness straps.
+ One-hand harness and headrest adjustment
+ Seat covers are easy to remove
+/- Very well padded so comfortable but child gets too hot in warmer climates
– Buckle is hard to click
– Straps can be hard to adjust

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
+ Affordable
+ Extremely lightweight (less than 10 lbs!)
+ Easy to change between two cars
+ Safe car seat which does it’s job of protecting baby, just with less frills and fancy features
+ Easy to adjust straps and crotch buckle
+ Narrow enough to take on flights
– Only one recline position
– Flimsy cup holder is unpractical
– Must re-thread straps when adjusting
– Comes with a basic head support but not a full infant insert so wouldn’t be good for a tiny infant
– No comfort padding on the straps and a few sharp plastic edges, you get what you pay for.

Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat,
+ Can stay rear facing for a long time (up to 50lbs)
+ Lots of legroom
+ Padded and comfortable, even for bigger babies
+ Several recline positions
– Difficult to get the harness tight enough
– Button to loosen harness is somewhat hidden and hard to access
– Hard to remove seat cover for washing

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
+ Auto-level indicators for saf einstallation
+ Easy to use with a seat belt
+ Very sturdy when correctly installed
+ Several recline positions
– Extremely heavy
– Click-tight system is hard to get the hang of
– Child can reach the buckle release button

Note: There is a lot of confusion among parents regarding the tightness of the buckle at their baby’s crotch Britax have tried to be clear that when the seat is forward facing you must use the buckle in the outer position, therefore it should not be too tight. In rear-facing positon there are several options to find the most comfortable fit for your baby.

Chicco NextFit iX Zip
+ High quality and durable materials
+ Very sturdy
+ Comfortable
+ Easy to clean with very easy seat cover removable
+ Simple care instructions
+ 9 recline positions is more than most car seats
– Very heavy and bulky so not recommend for parents changing between two cars
– No integrated cup holder (can be bought separately and fixed to the side but is hard for child to reach)

To see the slightly more simple version of this seat, click here: Chicco NextFit.

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
+ Long use; from infant up to 100 lb with booster seat
+ Takes up very little space when rear-facing so parents have more leg room
+ Easy to put the straps aside
+ Light weight
+ Soft material
– Fewer headrest heights than similar products
– Only 3 recline positions
– Difficult to get a tight fit (instructions aren’t helpful, most parents needed help from someone else or a video guide)
– Both installation and harness adjustment are difficult