General

Tested: The Best Convertible Car Seats

Tested: The Best Convertible Car Seats

Height and Weight Limits

Each convertible car seat has height and weight limits for children in all configurations: rear-facing, forward-facing and, if applicable, booster. Good housekeeping recommends that you ensure that your car seat is set according to your child’s current height and weight and that you maintain each configuration until your child reaches the upper height or weight limit of the seat.

Installation Efforts

Installing a car seat correctly is crucial for safety purposes, but it can take a lot of force to properly secure a seat. Many seats are compatible with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), an easy-to-use system of attachment points in your vehicle to which the car seat is attached. If your vehicle is not LATCH compatible, you will likely install your car seat with your vehicle’s seat belt. The GHI proposes to professional if you need help.

Vehicle size

The people at Good housekeeping have seen many returned car seats simply because they do not fit on some back seats. They recommend that you measure the available space in the back seat of your vehicle before deciding which car seat to buy. Also, be aware of the retailer’s return policy before purchase, in case the size doesn’t fit.

Easy to clean

Convertible car seats are meant to last for many years, so finding one that’s easy to clean can save a lot of hassle. The GHI recommends looking for models with removable, machine-washable seat cushions and covers.

Seat adjustment

Since a convertible car seat can see your child from newborn to large, look for one that can “grow” with them with multi-position headrests and recline, Good housekeeping say. With a harness that doesn’t require re-stringing, you can easily make seat adjustments without having to reconfigure the seat belt.

Expiration date

Over time, the materials in a car seat can compress or wear out, so all convertible car seats have an expiration date. In addition, newer testing standards are introduced over time to ensure better safety. If you plan to use the same seat for several years or for several children, pay attention to the recommended use. The GHI is clear on this point: Never use an expired car seat or one that has been in an accident. If you’re ever in doubt about a car seat or its function, construction, or safety, the GHI says to assume the worst and replace it.