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Convertible car seats: Which one is right for you?

Christina Holt is a blogger and freelance writer who lives in Southern California with her husband and three boys. Christina uses her love of design, adventures in parenting and teaching background as inspiration for her writing on numer...

The convertible car seat showdown

Shopping for convertible car seats can be overwhelming because of the choices available to parents. It's possible to find the best car seat for your child, your budget and your car. Check out some of the most popular convertible car seats to see which one is right for you.

The convertible car seat showdown

Britax Advocate 70 CS

The convertible car seat showdownBritax continues to be a leader in customer service and customer satisfaction with their Next Generation car seats.

  • Height limit: 49 inches
  • Rear-facing weight range: 5 – 40 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 20 – 70 pounds
  • Price: $380


  • The most notable feature on the Advocate 70 CS is the Britax Side Impact Cushion Technology. The sides of the Advocate 70 CS are equipped with energy-absorbing cushions, which help to reduce the impact in the event of a side-impact collision.
  • The CS on the Advocate 70 CS is short for Click and Safe -- a harness indicator that clicks when the 5-point harness straps are tightened to the proper position.
  • Like most of the Britax Next Generation convertible car seats, the Advocate 70 CS has a quick-adjust no-rethread harness, which allows parents to easily adjust the height of the 5-point harness straps.

Britax Roundabout 55

  • The convertible car seat showdownHeight limit: 46 inches
  • Rear-facing weight range: 5 – 40 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 20 – 55 pounds
  • Price: $200


  • With similar safety features, the Roundabout 55 gives parents the option of a trusted Britax seat with a lower price point.
  • The deep sidewalls of the Roundabout 55 increase the side-impact protection for a child's head and body.
  • The 5-point harness adjusts at the back of the seat and has three shoulder height positions and two buckle positions.
  • Due to the smaller size, the Britax Roundabout 55 fits well in smaller and larger cars.

Clek Foonf

The convertible car seat showdownClek prides itself on safety with its innovative engineering, extensive research and top-of-the-line materials.

  • Rear-facing height limit: 43 inches
  • Forward-facing height limit: 49 inches
  • Rear-facing weight range: 6 months and over and 15 – 45 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 20 – 65 pounds
  • Price: $450


  • The Clek Foonf has a lightweight yet strong magnesium frame.
  • The built-in easy to install ridged LATCH system is for use with forward-facing installation only.
  • For rear-facing installation, the Foonf has flexible LATCH connectors and a snap-in anti-rebound bar.
  • The Foonf's narrow size doesn't compromise the space inside the seat but allows parents to fit the Foonf three across or in a combination with other car seats.
  • The Clek Foonf is for babies 6 months and older.

New baby gear for 2012 >>

Orbit Baby G2 Toddler Seat

The convertible car seat showdownOrbit Baby proudly makes innovative car seats -- and strollers -- free from toxic chemicals.

  • Height limit: 53 inches
  • Rear-facing weight range: 15 – 35 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 25 – 65 pounds
  • Price: $380


  • The Orbit Baby G2 toddler car seat is made from materials free of Brominated Flame Retardants.
  • The back saving feature for parents on the seat base allow for an easy entry and exit of your child by rotating the entire seat (with use of the car seat base, sold separately) to nearly any angle.
  • The G2 Toddler Seat can be docked on the Orbit Baby G2 stroller making it the first convertible car seat that can double as a travel system -- ideal for travel.
  • The G2 Toddler car seat can be installed without the optional car seat base with the use of the included braces.

Recaro ProRide

The convertible car seat showdownKnown for its safe, comfortable automotive and race car seating, Recaro also makes a line of convertible car seats and booster seats for children.

  • Rear-facing height limit: 37.5 inches
  • Forward-facing height limit: 50 inches
  • Rear-facing weight range: 5 – 35 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 20 – 70 pounds
  • Price: $280


  • The Recaro ProRide offers the QuickPull front-adjust harness, which easily adjusts the 5-point harness without having to re-thread the entire harness system.
  • The EasyAdjust system on the ProRide allows the PUR padded head restraint to be adjusted with a simple turn of a knob.
  • The Side Impact Protection on the Recaro ProRide is designed to protect a child's body in five specific zones: head, neck, face, torso and pelvis.
  • The CoolMesh insert provides airflow and ventilation for comfort.

Diono Radian RXT

The convertible car seat showdownSince changing its name from Sunshine Kids to Diono, the company has focused on reinventing its next generation car seats. The Diono Radian RXT could be the only car seat you'll need from birth.

  • Rear-facing height limit: 44 inches
  • Forward-facing height limit: 57 inches
  • Rear-facing weight range: 5 – 45 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 20 – 80 pounds
  • Price: $340


  • The LATCH system on the Radian RXT can be used with children up to 80 pounds.
  • The Radian RXT becomes a booster seat for children up to 120 pounds.
  • The Radian RXT has a low profile, which allows children to easily see out side windows and gives parents the option to install three Radian RXT's in a mid-sized vehicle -- across the back seat.
  • The expandable sides, longer seat bottom, 12 different height positions and 10-year life span means that the Radian RXT can grow with your child from birth.
  • The Radian RXT folds flat for travel and easy storage but is one of the heavier car seats due to the steel support system.

How to fit multiple carseats in a back seat >>

Safety 1st Complete Air 65 SE

The convertible car seat showdownWith revolutionary side impact protection, the Safety 1st Complete Air 65 SE convertible car seat offers convenience along with added safety at a lower price point for parents.

  • Rear-facing height limit: 19 – 40 inches
  • Forward-facing height limit: 34 – 52 inches
    Rear-facing weight range:
    5 – 40 pounds
  • Forward-facing weight range: 22 – 65 pounds
  • Price: $240


  • The Safety 1st Complete Air 65 SE car seat comes with an AirProtect Side Impact Technology system that releases a precise amount of air in the event of a side-impact collision.
  • The QuickFit harness adjusts the 5-point harness height from the front, eliminating the need to re-thread the harness.
  • The Complete Air 65 SE has an easy to clean, washable seat cover.

More on car seats

Infant car seats: Which one is right for you?
New California booster seat laws in effect Jan. 1
New American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for car seat and booster seat safety

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