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Which convertible car seat is best?

Convertible car seats are wonderful ways to accommodate your child’s growth without buying a new seat at every new stage of life. You can set these convertible car seats either backward-facing or forward-facing, so they can safely seat older toddlers as well as younger toddlers and infants. The DIONO radian 3QXT Convertible Car Seat is a versatile convertible car seat that will accommodate your child’s growth while protecting them.

What to know before you buy a convertible car seat

Learn about the benefits of convertible car seats

Convertible car seats offer multiple years of service, from when your child is born to about 4 years old. Babies outgrow rear-facing infant car seats within about 6 months up to a year, but your child will grow with the convertible car seat. These seats also convert from rear-facing car seats to front-facing car seats. Infants and young toddlers need rear-facing seats, while older toddlers need front-facing car seats.

Understand how to install the car seat properly

You can install the convertible car seat by pushing the front seat forward as much as possible to make room for the seat, then using your entire body weight to press the car seat into position and make sure it has a tight fit.

Get professional help installing the car seat if needed

You can seek professional help from a technician if you have trouble installing the convertible car seat on your own.

What to look for in a quality convertible car seat

Ease of use

Some convertible car seats are easier to install and remove than others. You should consider the seat’s weight and bulk, the harness reliability and the amount of space the seat takes up in different car models.


The convertible car seat should be as safe as possible, meaning it should exceed the minimum safety standards that the U.S. government mandates.

Expiration date

All car seats come with a printed expiration date, usually about six years from the date it left the factory. You should never buy a convertible car seat that doesn’t come with a visible expiration date. Car seats eventually expire since the materials wear down over time.

How much you can expect to spend on a convertible car seat

Convertible car seats vary in price from under $100 to more than $800. The more basic and budget-friendly convertible car seats are all about safety and functionality, while high-end convertible car seats come with more bells and whistles.

Convertible car seat FAQ

Are pre-installed car seats safe for newborn babies?

A. Most pre-installed and integrated car seats meet all of the necessary safety standards for a child car seat. They work just as well for older toddlers as separate car seats. That said, they are not meant for young toddlers and infants who need to be in backward-facing car seats until they are at least 2 years old.

How can you tell if a used convertible car seat has been recalled?

A. You shouldn’t buy a used car seat unless you are fully aware of the previous ownership and history of the car seat. And without the instructions, you might not be able to install the car seat properly. 

There’s also no way for the company that made the convertible car seat to notify you of the recall since they only notify registered owners. Some product safety organizations might have a master recalled product list, but it’s usually up to the customer to arrange a replacement or repair. If you don’t have proof of original purchase, you’re better off getting rid of the recalled car seat and buying a safer model.

Why should your child face backward while riding in the car?

A. Backwards-facing or rear-facing car seats are meant to protect infants and young toddlers’ fragile muscular and skeletal structures under 2 years old. When a toddler or infant faces forward during a car crash, their head snaps forward, which causes their softer spinal and neck bones to separate, which is an injury that’s even worse than whiplash.

On the other hand, a rear-facing car seat is meant to cushion your infant or young toddler’s head and prevent those injuries. Safety is the number one concern when you are transporting a fragile young child in your car.

What’s the best convertible car seat to buy?

Top convertible car seat

DIONO radian 3QXT Convertible Car Seat

DIONO Radian 3QXT Convertible Car Seat

What you need to know: This versatile, well-made and protective convertible car seat from DIONO will accommodate your child’s growth.

What you’ll love: This DIONO convertible car seat accommodates children from four to 120 pounds in weight and is simple to install. The convertible car seat comes with a headrest with 12 different positions.

What you should consider: There are some shipping delays with this convertible car seat.

Where to buy: Sold by Buy Buy Baby

Top convertible car seat for the money

GRACO Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

GRACO Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

What you need to know: This convertible car seat from GRACO provides amazing performance and safety at a budget-friendly price.

What you’ll love: This inexpensive GRACO convertible car seat features a harness and headrest that simultaneously adjust. You can use this convertible car seat both backward-facing and front-facing.

What you should consider: This convertible car seat can be slightly hard to install.

Where to buy: Sold by Buy Buy Baby

Worth checking out

BRITAX Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

BRITAX Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

What you need to know: This outstanding convertible car seat from BRITAX earns excellent marks for its laser-focused dependability, safety features and moderate price.

What you’ll love: This BRITAX convertible car seat offers three layers of side impact protection for extra security. The convertible car seat is simple to install and well-engineered to compress in case of a car crash to keep your child safe.

What you should consider: This convertible car seat doesn’t come with a built-in cup holder.

Where to buy: Sold by Buy Buy Baby

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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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