However, some parents say it's a back-breaking task to carry around a bigger baby in an infant car seat, and others say their babies seem uncomfortable in infant car seats as they put on pounds. In those cases, it may make sense for parents to get rid of the infant car seat and start using a rear-facing convertible car seat sooner rather than later. Lower-weight capacity infant car seats are widely available for under $100, while those with higher weight capacities can top $200, depending on extra features.
Infant car seats are designed for use outside of the car, too. Unlike convertible car seats, which stay put in the car, infant car seats are lightweight and portable. Parents can detach the seat from a base they leave in their vehicle and carry it using the attached handle -- convenient for allowing a sleeping baby to continue napping. Infant car seats also have canopies to protect babies from strong sunlight, and many are compatible with strollers or stroller frames -- simply attach the car seat with a strap or special click-in adapter, and you're ready to roll. We recommend in a separate report.
Today's convertible car seats have higher weight limits than ever. Many convertible car seats can accommodate children up to 40 pounds or more rear-facing and 65 or 70 pounds forward-facing. In theory, this means a convertible car seat should accommodate an average child rear-facing until age 4 and forward-facing until 9 or 10. In practice, that's rare: Most children will outgrow a convertible car seat by height before weight. Height limits vary widely among seats, and there are often additional requirements specified by a seat's manufacturer. Common rules include that rear-facing children have at least an inch of seat shell above their head and that forward-facing children's shoulders be lower than the top slot used for the harness strap. In general, seats with taller shells will have the longest life span, but they'll hog more front-to-back room in a car. In addition, seats that accommodate bigger children are among the most expensive convertibles -- but the investment may pay off if you don't need to buy another seat before your child can use a , which we cover in a separate report. Expect to pay up to $100 for a basic convertible car seat. If you want extra bells and whistles or higher height and weight limits, you may pay closer to $200 or even $300.
Compact convertible car seats exist, but there are trade-offs. For parents used to infant car seats, the sheer bulk of convertibles can be a shock -- especially when they end up hogging half the backseat. Compact convertible car seats are designed with more narrow frames, which is especially useful if you need to fit two or three car seats in one row. But beware: A seat billed as compact may still take up plenty of room front-to-back when installed rear-facing. Some compact seats may have lower height and weight limits, meaning they won't last as long. They also may feel confining for bigger kids.
Shelby, North Carolina
I would recommend this item to a friend.
We all love this seat!
July 28, 2016
I did a ton of research on the perfect, convertible car seat, and knew I wanted to go with something similar to our Chicco Keyfit 30. Well, what better car seat than one made by the same company?! My husband and I both love how easy this car seat is to install and how quickly we can get our daughter in and out. Plus, you can't beat this price! Such a steal!