Are you looking for a car seat that carries your child throughout the car seat stages? A convertible car seat will be the best option. Do you want to know what is a convertible car seat?
A convertible car seat has two-seated positions to serve as a next step car seat for your child. Besides having 2-in-1 options, it has all the features that other car seats (infant, all-in-one, and booster car seats) have.
It will be a money-saver option for you among other car seats as it will serve your child till the age of 6+ years.
What is a Convertible Car Seat?
A convertible car seat means that it has two-in-one features i.e. rear-facing for infants and forward-facing for toddlers. Are you interested to know more about its characteristics?
Characteristics of a Convertible Car Seat
Baby car seats are made to provide protection and safety to the child while riding in a car as they could not do it by themselves.
Therefore, car seats that offer satisfactory infant-friendly features are worth buying and a convertible car seat is (obviously) one of them.
The following features of a convertible car seat are guaranteed by all the brands:
What is a Convertible Car Seat Side Impact Protection? An Additional Safety Feature:
Side impact protection is a safety feature in convertible car seats comprised of:
- Adjustable headrest (with multiple padding)
It absorbs side plus rear crashes, and forces of a frontal collision and prevents head trauma by distributing the forces of the crash away from the child’s head.
The impact feature of each brand may vary a little but the purpose will definitely be the protection of your child’s head, face, and neck.
2. 2-in-1 Feature – Rear-Facing and Forward-Facing:
The convertible car seat’s distinctive feature is its rear-facing and forward-facing options.
You will buy it once for your newborn and use it until they have grown to the age to use an adult car seat belt.
It is a better option than an infant car seat because your child will outgrow an infant car seat faster than a convertible one.
3. Recline-able Headrest – It Grows with your child!
What is a convertible car seat recline-able headrest? It is multi-positional headrest is the best feature that truly offers comfort to infants.
It has a quick-fit system to adjust the headrest height to match the height of your child.
Note: get to know more about car seat height requirements in our article “Infant car seat height limit”.
- Loosen the harness-straps
- Pulling out the harness straps evenly
- Squeeze the button on the one-hand height adjustment handle
- Lift the headrest as much as you need
Convertible Car Seat Vs All In One Car Seat
|Convertible car seat||All in one car seat|
|Convertible i.e. having rear and forward-facing features||All-in-one i.e. rear and forward-facing + booster car seat features|
|For infants and toddlers||For infants toddlers and school-aged children|
|Can be used from birth to 6+ years of age||Can be used from birth to 8+ years of age|
|Convertible cars seat is not portable and detachable||The all-in-one car seat is portable and detachable|
|Cannot be used in place of a booster car seat||Can be used in place of a booster car seat|
|You have to replace it when your child grows older than 6 years||The harness system is removable to use the car seat with a vehicle seat belt|
Infant Car Seat Vs Convertible Car Seat
|Infant Car Seat||Convertible Car Seat|
|Rear-facing only or rear-facing convertible||Rear and forward-facing|
|Can be used for babies of age 0-2 years||Can be used for children of age 0-6+ years|
|It is detachable and portable||It is not detachable and portable|
|Multi-positional reclining headrest||Multi-positional reclining headrest|
|Fewer harness slots to be used for infants only||Well-designed, bigger harness slots to be equally and securely used for infants as well as toddlers|
Booster Vs Convertible Car Seat
|Booster cars eat||Convertible cars eat|
|Forward-facing only||Have both rear and forward-facing features|
|Do not use a harness system instead, use the vehicle seat belt||Has a very well-designed harness system that suits the infants but toddlers and school-aged children equally|
|Can accommodate the children of age between 8-12 years old||Can accommodate the children of age between 0-6+ years old|
|The booster car seat may be with or without back seat/support||Convertible car seats are installed permanently and do not have detachable bases|
Tips for Buying Convertible Car Seats
After knowing what is a convertible car seat, it’s your turn to get some useful tips before buying it.
You will look for the following features in any convertible car seat that you want to purchase:
The Installation System:
The compatibility of your car with the baby car seat you are going to buy is important for easy installation.
The LATCH (Low Anchors and Tether for Children) of a vehicle are the devices to install car seats into it. Most of the car seats are compatible with the LATCH.
Make sure that your selected car seat is compatible with your vehicle’s LATCH system or not.
The Harness System:
The harness system of any car seat is the most important thing in it.
A 5-point harness system (2 shoulder straps, 2 waist straps, and 1 extra strap that is inserted to go through the legs and meet in the middle) is considered the most secured fasten system.
Make sure that your selected car seat has this system in it.
Note: Click here to know more about “Newborn car seat straps correct position”
Side Impact Protection:
Side impact protection feature is not a legal requirement; however, an additional and enhanced feature for the comfort and convenience of your child.
Baby car seats are made to provide comfort to both the child and the parents. If a car seat is not offering even the very basic thing, it will be useless for you.
- Make sure that the headrest is reclining
- The car seat internal space is enough to be comfortable for both infants and toddlers
- Car seat base design is very important; make sure that it is well-suited to your car
Life Span (Expiration Duration):
Always check the manufactory and expiry date of the car seat you are going to buy.
Generally, the car seats expire after 6-to-10 years of manufacture, such as the Britax car seat expiry. However, it may vary company-to-company.
That is why it is recommended to check the car seat expiry date before buying it.
The above-detailed article must have informed you about “what is a convertible car seat”. It is an economical choice for frequently traveling parents as it can accommodate your child for more than 6 years.
It provides comfort, protection, and some additional features like side impact protection. It is recommended to make sure that the convertible car seat that you are going to buy is compatible with your vehicle’s LATCH system or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
When were car seats invented?
Mrs. Jean Helen Ames gave the idea of an infant car seat. The ideology behind was the best safety solution for infants while riding in vehicles. The first car seat invented was a booster seat designed by the Bunny Bear Company.
Do convertible car seats have bases?
No. Besides having a lot of infant-friendly features, the convertible car seats do not have bases. That’s why these car seats are not detachable and portable.
What are convertible car seats?
The car seats that offer both rear-and forward-facing options for infants and toddlers respectively are known as convertible car seats.
The detachable car seats are safe or not?
Detachable car seats are safe until or unless these are well-matched with your child’s age, weight, and height. Convertible car seats are not detachable and portable.
Where Eddie Bauer Convertible Car seat Expiration Date Is Mentioned?
The expiry date on Eddie Bauer Convertible Car seats is mentioned on the back side or underneath the car seat on a white label. Its convertible car seat expires in 6 years and all-in-one expires in 10 years.
Related: What to Do With Old Car Seats
What is the all in 1 convertible car seat?
An all in 1 convertible car seat has both rear and forward-facing and booster car seat features to carry your child for more than 10 years. So instead of buying 3 different car seats, you should go for it.