Best Convertible Car Seats for Compact Cars

Best Convertible Car Seats for Compact Cars? [Top 3 Picks for 2018!]

So, you’ve finally entered the wonderful era of parenthood. Spouse, dogs, cats, white picket fence; the whole nine yards. And of course, children. Most people in your shoes would acquiesce into living the minivan life.

But you readers, have gone against the grain, and gone the route of the sedan. And for that, I applaud you! These things are called family sedans after all, so why not use them?

However, make no mistake about it. There is a good reason most parents choose minivans as their vehicles of choice when they decide to expand their families. The biggest reason, being exactly that; minivans are big. You’ve got a lot of room to work with. You can’t fit your daughter’s entire soccer team into your Honda Civic. Unless of course, said soccer team also moonlight as clowns.

When you’ve got a family sedan, it is important that you select a car seat best suited for family cars. Car seats can generally be separated into several classes, but when you’ve got a family sedan, convertible car seats are your best option. But what are the best convertible car seats for compact cars?

Why Convertible Car Seats?

Convertible car seats can vary, with some only being most valuable for your child’s toddler years, whilst others can be used all the way up until they no longer need a car seat. And they’re durable to point, so they can very likely be used for babies 1, 2, and 3 making them a huge money saver.

They also make up for your compact car’s lack of flexibility. Too big? You can make it smaller. Too small? You can make it bigger. New car? Just make a few adjustments, and your child will feel right at home. Most of them are also easy to install, which is a huge plus. I am sure that we have all had times where we are running behind schedule and needing to leave in a hurry. During such times, you can’t spend 10-15 minutes fiddling with the straps of your kid’s car seat. You cut corners either, because if your child isn’t fully secure, then their safety is at risk. Ease of installation is arguably the second most important factor when purchasing a car seat, after of course how safe your child is in it.

Have I sold you on convertible car seats yet? I sure hope so! We’ve got a great selection of them to go over today.

Now keep in mind, that none of these car seats have mechanical arms on the side or anything of that sort, so if your child drops his or her favorite toy onto the floor, you’ll still need to get it yourself.

These also won’t answer your 7-year old’s incessant questioning as to why they still need to use a car seat. So, they don’t offer peace and quiet, but they do offer peace of mind. Which is far more important.

Although peace and quiet are quite nice as well.

Anyway, here are our top three picks for best convertible car seats that will keep them safe, and comfortable.

Graco 4ever All-in-One Review

 

Best Convertible Car Seats for Compact Cars

£££

Features:

  • Rear-facing baby car seat for babies between 4-40 pounds
  • Front-facing toddler car seat for toddler between 20-65 pounds
  • Back-belt positioning and backless-belt positioning Booster seat modes for kids 30-100 pounds and 40-120 pounds respectively
  • InRIGHT Latch system
  • 6 recline positions
  • 5-point harness
  • Double cup holders

Pros:

  • Can be from infancy to 10 years old
  • 2X Car Seat Standard for peak crash force by NCAP
  • Steel-reinforced frame for added protection and durability
  • Easy installation
  • Machine Washable (Not Dryable) seat cushion

Cons:

  • May be too big for some cars
  • Not comfortable for sleeping children; Poor headrest with little support
  • May have an annoying rattling noise

Review

Graco has been a household name in the industry, so you can only expect great things from them. The 4ever All-in-One has been an old reliable for years and years, and for good reason. It didn’t end up as an Amazon top pick by luck.

A tried and true design that has been improved upon for decades, the 4ever All-in-One has four stages. Each tailored for a specific time in your child’s life from infancy to 10 years of age. Although as stated in the intro you really ought to use an infant-specific bucket style car seat for the first year, if you have the 4ever All-in-One, it’s an all-purpose car seat that still works well for infants.

Graco’s 1-second LATCH system, makes installation easy and quick, which is always a plus. It also gives of great feedback, as you will hear a very audible click when the latch is in place. The 4Ever All-in-One sports six recline positions making it easy to keep your child comfortable, and secure. It also has two cups holders which is a nice plus as well.

As far as durability goes, this passes with flying colors. It packs double the crash force of the Car Seat Standard and has the FAA seal of approval for cloud trekking (That’s air travel by the way). No matter where you go, this car seat will perform at a top level.

The 4ever All-in-One is not without its’ faults. The most notable, being its poor headrest area. Despite having 10 headrest positions, it still falls flat. If your child falls asleep, his or her head is likely to slump forward every single time which is not comfortable as their heads may slump at awkward angles. This is also the case for infants which is extremely disconcerting.

There is also the possibility of a rather loud rattling noise that will get very annoying, very quickly. As of now, it is unknown if this is a product defect or limited to just bad apples in the bunch but is a common enough complaint to be noteworthy.

It’s on the bigger size when it comes to car seats, so depending on your vehicle of choice, it might be too big. Standard sedans will be fine, but if you’re riding in one of those cars that looks like one of the Hulk’s boxing gloves, you may be out of luck.

For everyone else though, the 4ever All-in-One is to Graco what the Cohibas are to the Cuban cigars. An outstanding car seat that has earned all the praise it gets.

Graco 4ever All-in-One on Graco’s Official Website: http://www.gracobaby.com/en-US/Car-Seats/4ever-4in1-convertible-car-seat-103502

Score – 4.75/5

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Review

Best Convertible Car Seats for Compact Cars

£££

Features:

  • ClickTight Installation System. Simple and safe installation.
  • SafeCell Impact Protection
  • Rear-facing baby car seat for babies between 5-40 pounds
  • Front-facing toddler car seat for toddler between 20-65 pounds
  • 14-Position harness
  • Double-layered protection
  • Removeable headrest

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to install
  • Double layer of support and padding; excellent protection
  • Top of the line crash test ratings

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • No cup holders
  • Buckle may be too tight around crotch area

Review

Britax’s Boulevard car seat is arguably superior to than Marathon model for one reason; the Boulevard offers up significantly more protection for your child. A solid steel frame, and a double layer of support and padding makes this a very durable car seat. Britax’s SafeCell technology is the best currently on the market for side impact protection.

It is also one of, if not the easiest convertible car seat to install, thanks to its’ ClickTight Installation System. No manual is needed for installing this one, so if your kids are spending the day with the grandparents, your folks will have zero trouble getting them settled in their vehicles. There is an audible click for when they’re strapped in, which is a nice touch for assurance.

The Boulevard ClickTight can be used at all ages and has 14 different harness positions and 2 buckle positions for comfort. Some parents have found that the buckle in the crotch area can be too tight, however, this is entirely dependent on your child’s size. This may or may not become an issue for you.

The most notable flaw is how heavy this thing is, so this probably isn’t an ideal car seat for those frequently swapping it in different vehicles. There are also no cup holders at all which is a letdown, but not too bad I suppose.

All in all, the Boulevard ClickTight is one of the easiest car seats to install and offers up some of, if not the best protection for your child in the event of a crash. Those are two pros that are very hard to beat.

Britax Boulevard ClickTight on Britax’s Official Website: https://us.britax.com/boulevard-clicktight-convertible-car-seats/

Score – 4.5/5

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat Review

Best Convertible Car Seats for Compact Cars

£

Features:

  • Rear-facing baby car seat for babies between 5-40 pounds
  • Front-facing toddler car seat for toddler between 22-65 pounds
  • Side Impact Protection
  • 5-point harness
  • Removeable cup holder
  • Adjustable headrest

Pros:

  • Cheap in price but not in quality
  • Lightweight
  • Fits three across

Cons:

  • May be hard to install and adjust. If this is the case for you, find a new car seat
  • Rear-facing not the most comfortable for babies/toddlers

Review

Don’t let the price tag fool you; With the Guide 65, you get a lot of bang for your buck. The Guide 65 is one of the most-used car seats by renowned brand Safety 1st, and for good reason.

It can be used all the way up until the point where your children bid adieu to a car seat altogether. It comes in several different colors if you’re into the color coordination your vehicle thing and comes with a few nice bells and whistles such as a nice, adjustable headrest, and a cup holder you can add on to it.

It’s very lightweight, so if parental life has kept you busy and out of the gym on arm day, you don’t need to worry about struggling to lug this thing around. It’s got a lot of flexibility when it comes to adjusting it, and if you have multiple kids, these can fit three across with no trouble.

You’ll notice that there aren’t many cons listed for the Guide 65, and that’s because there’s not much to complain about. However, quality of quantity here, and there is one possible flaw with this car seat that you may experience, and it’s a big one: The Guide 65 can be very hard to install and adjust for some parents.

Many parents have complained that even installing the Guide 65, is a chore in and of itself. So, if you’re in a hurry, you’re probably going to be running late because you’re fiddling with this.

Others have noted that tightening this car seat can be rather difficult which is quite problematic. There also appears to be significant sliding issues, if you haven’t gotten the Guide 65 installation process down to a t.

If you experience any of these issues, then the Guide 65, is not for you. Not everyone has issues in this department, and many have no trouble at all with installation and adjusting. If you can’t count yourself among these parents, then find a new car seat. When it comes to your child’s safety, oversight is a luxury you cannot afford.

The Guide 65 is also not recommended for babies, but as stated earlier, parents should always use an infant-specific bucket style car seat for the first year anyway.

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat on Safety 1st’s Official Website: https://www.safety1st.com/car-seats/guide-65-sport-convertible-car-seat-glam-cc086glmw.html

Score – 4/5

Summary

The Safety 1st Guide 65 is the cheapest, costing less than a third of what the other two car seats cost. So, for those looking to be the most cost-effective, the Guide 65 is the one for you.

It would serve well as a backup car seat in case your primary one gets busted. Or it can be a spare car seat that you can leave with the grandparents. Keep in mind those fickle installation issues though.

The Britax Boulevard ClickTight, is arguably the easiest convertible car seat on the market to install, and that alone might be enough to win folks over. In addition to being very easy to install, it also offers up excellent protection thanks to Britax’s SafeCell Impact Protection.

It is heavy, however, so keep that in mind if you haven’t had much time to hit the gym since entering parenthood. This is not the car seat you want to be lugging around for an extended period.

Also, depending on your child, the complete lack of a cup holder may be an issue. If your child is one who is constantly drinking on the road, you might get an earful from them for not having a place to put their trusty sippy cup.

And last, is the Graco 4ever All-in-One. As the name suggests, it does it all and will serve your child well up until they’re ready to sit in the car like big kids.

Easy installation, approved for air travel, top of the line safety ratings, and some nice bells and whistles like double cup holders. It may be the most expensive of our three picks, but it’s worth every penny.

Just be wary about the subpar headrest area if your kid is one who falls asleep often while in the car. Which is every child. You’ll probably feel better getting a supplement to make up for the inadequacies of the All-in-One’s headrest.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. 3 stellar options for convertible car seats for those with compact cars. Each one offers up an advantage or two over the others. You can’t really go wrong with any of them, now all you have to do is make your choice and see what’s best for you. I hope this guide helps you in keeping your children safe and comfortable. Keep living the mini-van free life!

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