Ask the Mamas: What’s Your Favorite Convertible Car Seat?

Each week we will ask our mamas a question from our readers that pertains to babies, toddlers, or parenting. Make sure to check back each Tuesday to see their responses!

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Mama Say What?! reader Diana D. asks: “What is your favorite convertible car seat?”

We have three convertible car seats from Recaro (Signo & Como). The models we have have since been replaced by the current models, so they aren’t available anymore. Either way, we love these seats so much! They are some of the biggest ones out there, so my tall, almost-four-year-old still has a ways to go before we need to switch him to a booster. The covers are easily removed and washed, and we have no issues with the straps twisting or showing any signs of wear. We would buy Recaro seats again in a heartbeat. I actually wish I had the opportunity to buy one of the current models since they convert to a booster seat now. Either way, we will likely be buying Recaro booster seats in a year or so.

Plus my husband likes that our son rides in seats made by the same company that makes seats for race cars. ~Alex T.

Recaro Signo and Como

We have several convertible car seats, five to be exact. I would have to say we love our Graco MySize 70 the best. Honestly the price can’t be beat for such a safe highly-rated car seat from consumer reports. I love the design and the easy to clean fabric. Let’s face it, this is a big deal with snacks and everything that gets into the car with two babies. I also love the cup holders, they are fantastic for holding cups, sunglasses, a small toy, etc.

The only downside for me are that the sides come up really high for the side-impact protection which makes it hard for me to get my little man out without bonking his head on the top of the car, and the buckles can be hard to snap in when the seat is new. Overall, I would definitely recommend it! It really is a fantastic car seat for an unbeatable price. ~Corey P.

Graco MySize 70

Like Corey P. we also have a Graco convertible car seat and we love it. I purchased the Graco MyRide 65 after doing quite a bit of research online and with other mama friends. We had a Graco infant car seat and were very pleased with it, so we knew we couldn’t go wrong with another Graco. B has always been on the bigger side (since birth!) so we were looking for something that would last longer than 40 lbs, as many other seats have that weight as a limit. We settled on the MyRide 65 and started using it when he was nine months old. It has a cup holder on each side, a five-point adjustable harness, and came in a gender neutral green pattern. I bought it off amazon for around $150. It was something we could afford compared to some other pricier brands.

B was rear facing until about 27 months. My one huge complaint is that it was virtually impossible to adjust the shoulder straps and harness when the car seat was rear-facing because the latch to adjust was flush again the back of the car. Now that he’s forward-facing, it’s much easier. I know B will be using this seat until he’s ready for a booster. ~Mary Ellen M.

We have The First Years True Fit Premier Convertible Car Seat. I bought it off of Amazon when it was on sale for about $180. Since this is the first convertible seat that we’ve owned, I don’t have anything else to compare it to, however we really like it!

The first time it was installed, it took awhile since we wanted to make sure everything was done correctly. Now that it has been moved between vehicles a few times, it’s a breeze to take in and out. It seems to be comfortable enough since DD falls asleep so easily when she’s in it. My one complaint would be that the seat cover itself takes a bit of work to get off and clean. Luckily, there hasn’t been any major mess that requires it to be totally removed. I would definitely buy this seat again in a heartbeat! ~Kathy S.

The First Years True Fit Convertible

We won the First Years True Fit Convertible Carseat in a contest and I’m so glad we did. Of course we don’t know any different because this is the only one we have ever used, but we will definitely be using it for all of our kids. It worked great rear-facing (with and without the headrest) and Ty loves sitting in it forward facing now. It has great padding on both sides for when he falls asleep in it (which is basically every long car ride!). The material comes off pretty easily when you want to wash it, too. I have no complaints about it at all! ~Heidi C.

The First Years True Fit Recline

We have The First Years True Fit Recline (I believe they renamed it to Premiere. We got ours in 2010). I love it. When I was researching car seats I really wanted a Britax, but couldn’t justify the price at the time. My friend was also looking for a convertible and stumbled across this one. We both found different reviews that stated these were comparable to Britax and that some people preferred them over the Britax. The selling point for me was a review on Babies ‘R Us where someone had been in an accident with their child in one. The car had been flipped over in the accident and the baby was not injured. This car seat did its job, plus some.

I love that we don’t have to take anything off or apart to raise the straps. We started using it when N was four months old. He was too heavy for me to carry in the infant car seat and I wanted something that was wide enough for my then chunky baby, but that would last a long time and accommodate a tall child. It’s easy to clean, easy to take in and out of the car too. N loves his seat. He slept well in it when he was younger, but doesn’t really sleep in the car anymore. The only con that I can think of (which was also a pro when purchasing) is that it is a little wide. If we were to get another convertible, we would more than likely get this. ~Cari H.

I have a Britax Marathon and it is pretty great. I love that Britax sells replacement covers that are easy to wash. It’s a huge car seat and doesn’t fit well if you have to use three car seats in the back seat. We also have the Combi Cocorro seat. It’s a very small seat and doesn’t take up a lot of room, which is a feature I love. I hate it’s harness though. You have to clip the straps together in two areas before you can clip it into the bottom. It’s annoying. The fabric gets dirty very easily and the cover isn’t easy to get off. ~Bonnie N.

Cybex Juno

We have a Cybex Juno. Unfortunately, it’s not sold in the U.S. at the moment but I’ll tell you about it anyway. It’s different in that it has no harness at all. Just a ‘safety cushion’. Honestly, it scared the hell out of me at first to put my kid in it… but truth be told- it’s the #1 safety rated car seat in Europe. That means it is literally the safest. For us, safety ratings were super important in picking out a car seat. ~Cassie W.

Okay – we have the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite. It’s okay. It was a good price (about 90 bucks) and it looks pretty comfortable. It also works rear facing and forward facing which was important to us. However…it’s enormous. It’s a pain in the butt to install rear-facing properly. My biggest complaint is the cover. It is nearly impossible to take off and clean… total nightmare. For this reason alone we won’t buy another one. A few months ago Nolan vomited all over it when he was sick. It took me multiple hours to figure out how to get the cover off. The manual was no help, and neither was Google. So stupid. ~Kate D.

My favourite car seat isn’t necessarily a specific one, but a brand. I love and believe in Britax car seats. I believe that they make some of the safest seats around. The model we settled on was the Britax boulevard 65 CS. It cost us around $300 before taxes. I was able to use it from birth and we still use it today. We love this seat because of its higher weight and height limits for rear facing. My daughter is almost 27 months, is roughly 35″ tall, and weighs about 33 pounds and we are still able to keep her rear facing safely. We have a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe. The seat is installed in the centre seat, and can transfer over to a passenger side if necessary. However, if my husband is driving he keeps his seat slid pretty far back, and we wouldn’t be able to install it behind him without the car seat touching the seat back. ~Jessica S.

Britax Boulevard 65 CS

We have a Britax Boulevard CS 70 and love it. My kids are tall for their age and this seat is recommended for taller children. I also like that it is rear-facing up to 40 lbs and has a tether to minimize rebound in a crash. We used a Graco Snug Ride 32 infant seat for the first 12 months with each kid. Then we moved each one into the Britax. My daughter rear-faced in it from 12 to 36 months, and then we moved her into a Britax Frontier 85 SICT so our son could move out of the Graco Snug Ride 32 and into the Boulevard at 12 months. We plan to keep him rear-facing until at least 36 months as well and then turn the Boulevard forward-facing until he gets too tall for it. We’ll either get another Frontier or move him into the one we have and get a different booster for our daughter (who will likely be six or seven by that time). Our second car has Cosco seats for both… a Scenera RF 40 for him and a Highback Booster Seat for her. We rarely use these seats, but have them as “back up” for travel and those rare occasions where we’re driving them in our sedan rather than our SUV. The price point is very affordable on the Cosco seats but the safety ratings are just as high as the Britax seats. And both sets allow extended rear-facing in the convertible seat and a five-point harness in the booster seats which were my primary criteria in making the purchases of either brand. ~Lori W.

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