Convertible car seats are usually called as all-in-one or 3-in-one seats. When buying car seats for your infant, you have two options – infant car seat or convertible car seat. Infant car seats can carry children only in weight limit 35 or 40 pounds. The convertible car seats can convert from rear facing to front facing and take higher weight limit of 80 pounds and height of 57 inches. These seats in booster mode can take weight of up to 120 pounds. Parents opine that their infants feel the convertible seats to be appealing though they are recommended to use only infant seats.
Considerations on buying a convertible seat
All the new models car seats meet the safety standards of government. Still there are concerns like period of use, extra features, etc. As the children outgrow, you will have to move in for convertible car seats. Buying used models is not a good idea as you are less likely to know the damage they have suffered due to accidents. You can refer maxi cosi pria 85 vs 70 review to know more about current models.
Convertible car seats are generally heavy and bulky when compared to infant seats. They cannot be easily detached from the car and carried to different places like infant car seats. Still there are some models which can be used right from the birth of the child till they outgrow. Though the convertible car seats can have the child both in rear facing and front facing mode, it is recommended to place them only in rear facing mode till two years of age irrespective of height.
Features to look for when buyingWhat is a convertible car seat?
Safety: The seat has to be in line with the federal regulations of the state. The seat should fit in the car and also hold your child at ease. The seats should have safety pads for preventing side impact on collision and safety straps running through.
5 point harness: The 5 point harness protects your baby’s shoulders, hip region and legs during crashes. The harness adjustment has to be smooth while switching from back facing to front facing mode. Easy harness adjustments are necessary when the child grows. Seats with harness adjustments that can be done using one hand by altering the belt position and quick release buckles are convenient to use.
LATCH: LATCH anchor connectors facilitate easy installation of seats directly into the vehicle’s frame without using the seat belts. The convertible seats generally have the tethers fixed at the top and anchor connectors at the bottom. Usage of tether straps is ideal for front facing mode not for rear facing mode. So, it is better to check the manual for details on using tether straps and LATCH weight limit.
Easy cleaning: Kids seats do become dirty very fast. Buyers have to check if the car seats can be cleaned without removing the pads. It is an added advantage if the seat can be cleaned without the need of dismantling the seat or rethreading the harness.