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Expert reviews on convertible car seats for small cars


Buying guide


When it’s time to remeasure and get a convertible car seat for your child, you will surely have a big challenge to contend with. Convertible car seats are unlike infant car seats since there are more choices available and the features vary widely across brands and models. This can be even more challenging when price point and compatibility with a small car make are considered. Now what are the best convertible car seats for small cars?


A car seat that offers compatibility with a small car model

Space is tight in a small vehicle. This means the back seat is basically cramped, so fitting three car seats in a row will be quite tricky. You will want the convertible car seat to have a narrow frame. Some models come with a 15- or 16-inch frame across. As a rule of thumb, a car seat for a small car should be 17 inches or narrower across. A tall shell in car seats is bound to eat up plenty of front-to-back space, so do make sure the passenger in the front of the car seat will still enjoy adequate legroom.


A model that provides sufficient height and weight limits

While the lower capacity of infant car seats enable them to handle at least a 22-pound weight limit along with a 29-inch height limit, convertible car seats are designed with greater capacity to accommodate the growing child’s dimensions. You will want the forward-facing car seat to handle at least 40 pounds weight and 40 inches height.


A car seat that offers problem-free installation and use

Easy installation is facilitated by a LATCH system. LATCH refers to Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, a modernized car attachment system that streamlines installation of the unit by having rigid or push-button connectors to enable effortless installation compared to the earlier hook-style LATCH attachment systems.

Adjustable harness heights on a five-point harness system come with a number of slots to accommodate a growing child’s needs. Preferably, the system should provide no-rethread functionality or upfront harness adjustment for easy use. An adjustable recline helps in proper angle installation while eliminating the need for pool noodles or rolled towels as bolsters.

There are plenty of convertible car seat models for sale on the market, and this can make your decision-making process more complicated than it should be. We recommend going through the information provided in the above buying guide to help you enjoy a smoother shopping journey. To help you even more, we have featured the best products below.



Top convertible car seats for small cars in 2018



Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 CC133DCV


1-maxi-cosi-pria-70Frequently top rated among the best rear facing convertible car seats for small cars, the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 CC133DCV offers a weight capacity of 9 to 40 pounds in the rear-facing configuration and 22 to 70 pounds in the forward-facing position.

This model is made with quality self-wicking fabrics plus premium padding to keep baby comfortable and dry, while enabling easy removal and cleaning via basic snaps plus machine washability and a dryer-safe design. It features exclusive Air Protect that provides superior side impact protection to shield your baby against injury or harm during side intrusions.

The included stay-in-car adjustable base allows easy detachment and installation. The harness has a no-rethreading design for problem-free adjustment. The harness and headrest are easy to adjust with one hand. The seat has three recline positions to ensure your child’s riding comfort.

The integrated cup holder handles your baby’s sippy cup for mess-free beverage enjoyment for your child during travel. The patented Tiny Fit system ensures a more customized fit for small babies from 4 to 22 pounds.

Buy from for ($212.49)




Safety 1st Guide 65 CC078CMI


2-safety-1st-guide-65Certainly among the best convertible car seats for small cars in 2018, the Safety 1st Guide 65 CC078CMI offers a secure, perfect fit for small cars. It helps keep your child safe and comfortable in both the forward and rear-facing positions for longer.

For the rear-facing configuration, it accommodates from 5 to 40 pounds or 19 to 40 inches, while in the forward-facing position, it handles from 22 to 65 pounds or 34 to 52 inches. Its superbly compact design is perfect for installation in small cars.

Its five harness heights enable easy adjustments to accommodate your child’s growing dimensions, along with the three buckle positions that also ensure a secure, correct fit every time. Providing a great fit in a small car and more room in a large vehicle, this model keeps your child protected for an extended time to ensure cost-efficiency in both the forward- and rear-facing modes.

The side impact protection feature ensures that your child is shielded from side intrusion by providing a strong shell to cushion energy forces during collisions.

Buy from for ($73.38)




Graco SmartSeat All-in-One


3-graco-smartseatA consistent top rater in the best convertible car seat reviews 2018, the Graco SmartSeat All-in-One allows your child to travel in the rear-facing mode from 5 to 40 pounds and in the forward-facing mode when they get to be between 20 to 65 pounds. Moreover, the car seat can be used as a great belt-positioning booster from 30 to 100 pounds.

This LATCH-equipped model comes with a stay-in car base with convenient belt lock to enable easy one-time installation. he steel-reinforced frame ensures a robust build and strength for years of use, together with the state-of-the-art car seat base.

To help ensure that this convertible car seat is properly installed, it comes with indicators on both the stay-in car base and seat. Clutter from the harness straps is effectively avoided thanks to the integrated harness storage compartment that holds them when not in use in the belt positioning booster mode.

Boasting compliance to US Standard FMVSS 213, this model offers resilience against peak Crash Force approximately twice that of the established Car Seat Standard.

Click to see the price on Amazon!




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