Expert reviews on convertible car seats for travel
A convertible car seat transforms from a rear-facing to a forward-facing configuration to make it grow with your child. With this type of car seat, your child has a safe piece of equipment to use from birth in the rear-facing position till they are able to face forward in the front-facing configuration. Now what distinguishes the best convertible car seats for travel in 2017 from cheap, inferior models?
Takes baby’s safety seriously
As a parent, you will understandably want the convertible car seat to be completely robust in terms of safety. That being said, a convertible car seat is unlike an infant car seat that can be easily taken in and out of your vehicle. All car seats sold on the market today have undergone testing and earned approval for current safety standards set by monitoring agencies such as the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association (JPMA). With the constant improvement of safety technology on a frequent basis, it is best to veer away from hand-me-down car seats.
You will want the seat to have a five-point harness comprising two waist straps, two shoulder straps and a single strap that goes between the legs. Side impact protection consists of added air pads or foam cradling the baby’s head, along with special energy-absorbing foam to protect the child’s chest and head during side intrusions. Some top dollar units come with an anti-rebound bar at the base of the seat. This component serves to restrict violent forward movement in the event of a crash.
Enables easy use
Look for models in the best convertible car seats reviews with easily adjustable straps to accommodate children’s expanding size as they grow. Preferably, the straps should not require rethreading. In many convertible car seats today, the back of the seat has adjustable handles, or a pull cord can be found between the child’s legs to eliminate the need for rethreading.
You should check the unit’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) 5-star rating system. Basically, the more stars the product carries, the easier it is to use. Installation of the car seat and securing the young passenger into it should be easy. The instruction manual should offer clarity and reliable guide content. Adjusting the height of the harness and straps from the front should be easy. Some models even offer single-hand adjustability via quick-release buckles.
Ensures easy installation and maintenance plus baby’s comfort.
Look for models with compatibility with the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system. The LATCH system enables direct attachment of the car seat to the frame of the vehicle so the car’s seat belt isn’t needed to secure the equipment. All units also feature lower anchor connectors and a top tether strap. However, in the rear-facing position, the top tether strap may not even be used, but the instruction manual should provide information on this. You will want a machine washable cover that is easy to detach for effortless cleanup. You want a well-padded seat with a lot of head support to ensure a great ride for baby.
There is a wide array of convertible car seats on the market today and this can cause some confusion for the consumer, especially the first time buyer. We hope the above buying guide helps you in your shopping journey. We have also showcased the best products below for even more help.
Top convertible car seats for travel in 2017
Evenflo Tribute LX Neptune 38111711
From a globally recognized best convertible car seat brand comes the Evenflo Tribute LX Neptune 38111711. This product offers seating for rear-facing infants from 5 to 30 pounds and for forward-facing children from 22 to 40 pounds.
Engineered to meet or exceed all Federal Safety Standards that apply to this type of baby gear, it has been tested for structural integrity using Evenflo’s Side Impact Test Standard. The five-point harness system is supplemented with four shoulder strap positions that enable the convertible car seat to easily accommodate growing children for a longer time while also ensuring up-front adjustment.
For added safety, this model is equipped with an energy absorbing foam liner that also provides extreme comfort. Lightweight and compact, this car seat enables hassle-free installation in smaller vehicles and also provides easy transfer from one car to another. It also enables problem-free use during air travel.
The seat pads are removable and washable for effortless cleaning. The removable cup holder conveniently accommodates your child’s sippy cup.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Evenflo Tribute Sport Maxwell 38111408
Definitely one of the best convertible car seats to travel with, the Evenflo Tribute Sport Maxwell 38111408 comes with a compact size to ensure reliable vehicle fit. To enable problem-free access, this convertible car seat comes with upfront harness adjustment.
This car seat provides a secure fit via the five-point harness system, which holds your child in place at the most essential parts of the body to restrict the forward movement of the young passenger during a collision.
This model has undergone side impact testing and has been proven to meet or exceed all applicable federal safety standards as well as the manufacturer’s side impact test standard.
This model is also engineered with structural integrity to ensure strength to handle energy levels at approximately twice the level of the federal crash test standard. It is suitable for infants from 5 to 30 pounds in the rear-facing position and for kids from 22 to 40 pounds in the forward-facing position.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($56.07)
Evenflo SureRide DLX Paxton 37121429
Looking for the best convertible car seat for international travel? The Evenflo SureRide DLX Paxton 37121429 comes with a lightweight, compact frame that enables perfect vehicle fit, effortless transfer from one car to another, and simple carrying through airports and for air travel.
The six shoulder strap positions ensure a secure fit all the time to hold your child in place and prevent violet forward movement in the event of a crash. To ensure a cozy ride, this model comes with a removable body pillow.
To ensure exceptional comfort, this model is equipped with a comfort touch pad. The removable cup holder offers convenience by holding your child’s beverage cup so the receptacle is kept from spilling its contents. Simple harness adjustment is facilitated by the upfront adjustment system.
To provide adequate structural integrity, this convertible car seat has been able to meet or exceed every applicable Federal Safety Standards along with Evenflo’s Side Impact Test Standard. The soft plush head and body pillows ensure the child’s comfort.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)