Top 6 Convertible Car Seats of 2013

When shopping for the best car seat for your baby, the vast number of types and models out there can be a little bit overwhelming!  Which one is the best value for the money?  What company is the safest?  Which seat is going to be the most durable?  How long will the seat be able to be used?  These are all questions that parents ask themselves throughout the car seat shopping process.  Today I’m sharing the top seats available this year and 10 tips to help you along the way during the shopping process.

Top convertible car seats and 10 tips for choosing a seat

My younger sister had a little boy last summer, and got a traditional baby carrier with a handle like I had when my kids were small. While great for transporting a tiny sleeping babe from place to place, they really aren’t very practical a few months later when your baby’s legs are hanging out the end!  She ended up having to start looking for a bigger seat by Christmas time.  In the process of helping her look for seats, I realized just how many there were to choose from now.  My “baby” is five, I haven’t bought a seat in a while!  One of the most popular styles by far with all of the seats I came across was the convertible car seat.  Convertible car seats can be used both rear and forward facing, for infants and older children.  Some of the most popular models can accommodate children up to 70 pounds, which means you can literally use the seat for years!  Check out my list below for the most popular models of 2013:

britax marathon 1. Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat

This model is so popular that it’s actually on Amazon’s

top seller list 5 times, once for each color it comes in!

 

 

britax roundabout 2. Britax Roundabout 55 Convertible Car Seat

This model is considerably less than the Marathon,

but only goes up to 55 lbs. Still a great choice!

 

 

britax boulevard 3. Britax Boulevard 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat Seat

The next step up from a the Marathon model, this seat

offers even more safety with True Side Impact Protection.

 

 

diono radian 4. Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat, Shadow

A lesser known model, this seat goes up to 120 pounds,

folds flat for storage, and has a 10 year life span!

 

 

britax advocate 5. Britax Advocate 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat Seat

Britax’s premium seat is equipped with a Click & Safe

Snug Harness Indicator and Side Impact Cushion Technology.

 

 

evenflo tribute 6. Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat

An economy seat without all the frills, can hold children

up to 39.7 lbs. You’ll need another booster seat after that.

 

Don’t forget to check out my other list of popular rear facing convertible car seats that offer higher height and weight limits and my super-ultra-favorite-must-have car seat accessories!

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a convertible car seat:

10.  Weight limit – Choosing a seat that goes up to at least 70 pounds means you won’t have to replace it for several years, if you even need to replace it at all.  On average, most children are around 10 years old when they hit the 70 lb mark, so they’ll probably be too tall for the seat before they become too heavy.  The CDC recommends children use a booster seat of some sort until they reach age 9 or grow to 4’9″ tall, whichever comes first.  If necessary, there are seats that do go up much higher, like the Diono Radian RXT which has a 120 pound weight limit.

9.  Rear facing vs. forward facing – According to a 2008 article in the professional journal Pediatrics, children under the age of two are a whopping 75% less likely to be killed or suffer severe injuries in a crash if they are in a rear facing seat. It is actually five times safer for children ages 1-2 to be in the rear facing position.  Check the limits for the seat you are looking to purchase, and make sure it can accommodate your child up to age 2.

8.  Ease of use - Unless you are a one-car household, or you purchase two seats, you’re probably going to be moving your child’s seat from one car to another on a frequent basis.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a great page with ease of use ratings for pretty much every seat out there.   It’s not just about how easy it is to install, it’s about how easy it is to install properly and safely.

7.  Reviews - This one is obvious, but sometimes we get distracted by fancy words and superficial features and forget to see what other people that have actually owned that particular seat have to say.  Just because something sounds like a great feature doesn’t mean it always works out that way.

6.  Comfort - This may not be a safety issue, but getting a seat with good padding for a snoozing little one is something you should consider.  When they doze off and there is no where to rest their head, they just end up with their chin on their chest and their little head bobbing all around as they try to sleep.  You wouldn’t want to try to sleep like that, would you?

5.  How easy it is to clean - While this isn’t a safety feature either, after you deal with diaper explosions, upset tummies and messy toddler snacks, you need to know you can easily clean the cover of your seat.  Make sure the seat you choose has a cover and straps that are easy to remove (and reassemble) for those times when you need to get it clean.  Because let’s face it, car seat funk is gross!

4.  Strap adjustment - Though you may not have to adjust the straps on your seat that often, it can be a real pain if the adjustment process is difficult or confusing.  No one wants to have to disassemble the whole seat just to move the strap up a few inches!  If it’s a chore to adjust the straps and you don’t do it when you should because of that, your child could be less safe due to ill-fitting straps.

3.  Price - Obviously this is a big factor for many families.  Make a list of the features you cannot do without, and then compare the prices for the seats that fit those standards.  You may find that everything you need is available in a lower priced seat, especially if you aren’t dead set on having a car seat with all the newest bells and whistles.

2.  How well it fits in your car – If you have a smaller car, you want to be sure the seat you are considering will fit properly in the back seat space you have to work with.  If the seat is too wide, the buckle may end up being underneath it when you try to install it.  This is an even more important factor to consider if you are placing multiple car seats in one car.

1.  Expiration date - Many people don’t realize that car seats have an expiration date due to the deterioration of seat materials over time.  This is a very important thing to check because while some seats may be good for up to 9 years from the date of manufacture, others are only good for a few years.  You don’t want to buy a seat only to realize later you’ll need to replace it sooner than you thought.

In case you didn’t notice from the best seller list above, Britax is one of the most popular convertible seat manufacturers in the marketplace this year, and with good reason.  Their seats are some of the safest, most durable, and most versatile available.  Britax has actually been the leader in mobile safety for 70 years.

One of their most popular models, the Britax Boulevard 70 G-3 Car Seat, offers features like HUGS Chest Pads with SafeCell Technology, a tangle-free, five-point harness, and an anti-slip, contoured base.  They also offer features that are for your convenience like their quick-adjust, no-rethread harness that lets you adjust the belt without having to take out the straps (because we ALL know how much of a pain that is!).  While their seats may cost more up front than some of the other brands out there, Britax’s reputation precedes them, and everyone I know with one of their seats swears by them.

What’s your favorite car seat model? What feature is most important to you?  Have you ever heard of Britax before?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. jamie stanley says:

    I love it! So cute for my daughter!

  2. I like that it is convertible. We already have one for my older child and need to get another one for my baby who is about to outgrow his infant carrier!

  3. Jeanette says:

    I like that it will hold a child up to 70 lbs. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. julie murphy says:

    that it is tangle free

  5. Mommyofone Shanna says:

    THE WEIGHT LIMIT ! SWEET

  6. Megan Bower says:

    I like the adjustable straps

  7. Safety Safety Safety for my grandson is number one.

    Thank you…Single Dad Danny

    motoxmanager@hotmail.com

  8. Love the side impact cushion technology!

  9. melissa teears says:

    That it is convertible so I can save money

  10. katherine d says:

    i love the Quick-Adjust, No-Rethread Harness!!! So much easier

  11. Snug Harness Indicator and Side Impact Cushion Technology.

  12. Danielle B says:

    I like that it goes up to 70 pounds so you don’t have to buy multiple car seats!

  13. Colleen Boudreau says:

    I like that it goes up to 70 pounds!

  14. The weight limit being 70lbs is awesome this would be so perfect for my son Thor thanks for the chance to win eaglesforjack@gmail.com

  15. Leanna Borland says:

    I love that harness is a tangle-free and five-point harness

  16. Snug Harness Indicator and Side Impact Cushion Technology

  17. jamie stanley says:

    So cute!

  18. Katherine Cano says:

    I love the weight limits on there so you can keep it for a long time and so its nice and sturdy seems like a really good seat!

  19. Diane Cooper says:

    I like that you can use it for years and that it is very safe.

  20. Kathleen D. says:

    I like the the Quick-Adjust, No-Rethread Harness!

  21. Michelle B says:

    I love that it’s safe and also super cute!!

  22. Amy Boysel says:

    I love that quick adjust feature!

  23. Rachel Andrews says:

    ohh i love Britax Advocate 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat! Could use it for my son!

  24. Morgan Clark says:

    Super cute!

  25. Kendra Ahmed says:

    I like the higher weight and also the adjustable harness that does not have to be re-threaded to be adjusted.

  26. Penny Raatz says:

    It is one of the best car seats I’ve seen…and it’s too cute!!

  27. Cynthia Sternberg says:

    Love Britax!

  28. I like all of the safety features!

  29. I love that it is so easy to adjust however I really love all the safety features!

  30. Love the color, and the soft padded head rests

  31. The quick adjust is right up my busy on the go alley!

  32. I love the quick adjust

  33. Andrea c says:

    This would be great for my upcoming little one!

  34. Amanda Starr says:

    Love that you can use it for many years :)

  35. How it grows with your child.

  36. The Britax car seat is awesome it lasts for many years and converts when you need it to. One stop shop. Superb product.

  37. Chrystal says:

    The brand name is the best!

  38. I like the EZ-Buckle System.

  39. Maria B says:

    I like that you can use it as the child grows

  40. Kathleen B says:

    I love how it grows with our baby and will last many years.

  41. Lindsay Cyr says:

    I absolutely love the fact that it has a No-Rethread Harness, that is the biggest pain in my children’t current car seats.

  42. Lolli S says:

    I like the EZ buckle system!

  43. Stephanie Markovitch says:

    I really like that it’s a free car seat, a good one is super expensive.

  44. francine says:

    it grows with your baby.

  45. shae johnson says:

    Besides the cute pattern, I love the ease of the harness belt

  46. Nicole W says:

    LOVE the pattern! :) I also love the EZ Buckle system! Thanks for the amazing giveaway :)

  47. Safety

  48. sarah stickney says:

    all the extra safety features

  49. Victoria Carlson says:

    Love the buckle system!

  50. Christine Mayfield says:

    I like that for the price I am getting an amazing carseat.

  51. I like that it provides so much security

  52. Would be helpful if you said what countries this giveaway is open to

  53. It’s super cute and I like the fact it looks easy to adjust!

  54. I love the EZ buckle system

  55. Lauren @ Hobo Mama says:

    I love that it rear faces up to 40 pounds!

  56. I have always loved how Britax goes above and beyond the standard safety expectations set forth by the government. My oldest has one, and our budget just couldn’t swing one for our youngest…it would be so awesome to win one!

  57. Meagan Raymer says:

    I like the side impact protection!

  58. I like how simple it is to adjust the straps!

  59. Jessica L. says:

    I’ve only ever used Britax. I got a boulevard two years ago for my first child, a next gen boulevard for her grandmother’s car, a B-safe for my second child and look forward to using a boulevard G-3 as she grows out of the infant seat. I love that even though Britax has been ahead of mos other brans in safety, they keep innovating to make their seats easier and more comfortable to use.

  60. Yvette iskandar says:

    We love britax. It’s one of the best and safest brand we trust for our lo

  61. Shelly Jones says:

    I love all the safety features!

  62. Casey Bradley says:

    I love Britax!! Their customer service is amazing!! We will never buy another brand!! They are the best!

  63. Jessica V says:

    Love that I don’t have to re-thread the straps!

  64. I love the high weight limit!!

  65. i love the safecell

  66. Leya Ghai says:

    I love the style and the safety features!

  67. NICE AND SAFE!!!

  68. I like how this car seat can be used rear facing for a long time.

  69. I like the side protection!

  70. Cassie Hunter-Seda says:

    Britax is the only brand I trust! We have been Britax loyal for 10 years and have only loved their products more and more over the years. I have to say what we love the most is the technology and safety that goes into every seat.

  71. So many safety features. The EZ buckle system is pretty nice too.

  72. I like pretty much everything. All the safety features, the high weight limit (meaning it will be used for a while) and the EZ buckle system is a nice bonus.

  73. I love that it goes up to 70 pounds, and is SO EASY to install!!

  74. Kristi Renout says:

    I like the ez buckle system.

  75. I love how easy it is to install!

  76. Leanne Hill says:

    i like the Click and Safe Snug Harness Indicator feature

  77. I love Britax!

  78. I like that it goes up to 70 lbs.

  79. Jennifer Nixon says:

    I totally love that it holds up to 70 pounds! That means it’ll work with my toddler for a while.It is quite pricey to have to transition from seat to seat to seat :P
    Thanks for a chance to win!

  80. I love that it would fit my almost 4 yr old toddler. She had a Britax, but grew too tall for it (it only had 3 different shoulder slots).

  81. Hi – It’s actually more than five times safer for a child up to *four* to be rear facing. The NHTSA recommendations for safety have changed a lot since your babe needed one. The Britax are not recommended by carseat techs unless your babe is a pipsqueak – in the bottom 25% or 30% for height. Just because it is most commonly purchased does not make it a wise purchase. Many kids out grow the Britax (all have the same shell) and parents end up buying a longer rear facing car seat. Car Seat for the Littles and the Car Seat Lady are great pages for educating yourself before you buy one.

    • Thanks for the comment Carrie! The seats listed are the current best sellers for this year, but I do want people to do their own research of course, which is why I also included the list of tips. I think I’ll follow this up with a more specific list showing the seats that have the highest weight and height limits for rear facing seats!

Trackbacks

  1. Britax Boulevard 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat Giveaway - Giveaway Promote says:

    [...] Ending on: 03/14/2013 Open to: United States Enter this Giveaway at The Bizy Mommy [...]

  2. […] help figuring out what car seat would be best for your family? Check out my lists of some of the best convertible car seats on the market as well as seats that offer higher height and weight limits for bigger […]

  3. […] help figuring out what car seat would be best for your family? Check out my lists of some of the best convertible car seats on the market as well as seats that offer higher height and weight limits for bigger […]

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