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Best Convertible Car Seats

Best Convertible Car Seats
  •    News
  •    April 30, 2017
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  •    5 images

Best Convertible Car Seats

As your child outgrows his infant car seat, a convertible seat is the next step. This versatile seat can be installed in both rear- and forward-facing configurations, and will likely be the one your child sits in for the longest period of time. A convertible seat is a must in order to keep your child rear-facing until the recommended age of 2 years old. Most kids will outgrow an infant or rear-facing-only seat long before that age. Based on our recent tests, Consumer Reports recommends you transition your child to a rear-facing convertible seat by age 1 because of a key potential safety benefit. We found that in more than half of the infant seats we tested, the 12-month-old child dummy had head contact against the simulated front seatback, which could result in injury. By contrast, in nearly all of the rear-facing convertible seats, the 12-month-old dummy avoided head contact. (Learn more about how we test car seats.) We tested the convertible child seats to our revised crash test protocol (first implemented with infant seats), and the result is a new lineup of the best performing convertible seats. These models have the highest overall scores, representing balanced performance in all three test areas: fit-to-vehicle, ease-of-use, and crash performance.
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Best Convertible Car Seats

FAQ Q. I recently moved to a new state. How can I find out the laws and regulations concerning child car seats? A. Almost all laws concerning child car seat usage are written at the state level, so you would most likely find the information you seek by searching the official state website and using the keywords “car seat laws” or “child car seats”. Q. I bought a used convertible car seat at a thrift store. The expiration date is still good, and it looks undamaged. How can I tell if it has been recalled? A. Jonas strongly discourages the purchase of a used car seat unless the buyer is fully aware of its history and previous ownership. “There are many items that you can and should buy pre-owned,” Jonas says, “but a car seat is not one of them. Without the instructions, you might install the seat improperly.” Furthermore, Jonas says, “There’s no way for the company to notify you of a recall.” That’s because many companies only issue recall information directly to registered owners. Some product safety organizations may have a master list of recalled products, but it is often up to the buyer to arrange for a repair or replacement. Without proof of an original purchase, you’d likely be better off disposing of the recalled model and buying a safer seat. Q. Why should my child face backwards while riding in a car? I would like to see his face once in awhile. A. Rear-facing car seats are designed to protect the fragile skeletal and muscular structure of their occupants. When an infant or toddler faces forward during a crash, the head snaps forward, causing softer neck and spinal bones to separate. This is an injury worse than whiplash. A rear-facing car seat is designed to cushion the head and prevent those whiplash-like injuries. Parents may want to have face-to-face time with their children, but safety should be a larger concern when transporting a fragile young passenger in a vehicle. Q. We’re considering purchasing a new van with an integrated child seat. Is this kind of pre-installed car seat safe for a newborn? A. In terms of meeting safety standards for a child car seat, most integrated car seats pass the test. They are just as safe for older toddlers as a separate car seat. However, they are not designed for infants and young toddlers who need to be in a rear-facing car seat until at least the age of two.
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Best Convertible Car Seats

Q. I recently moved to a new state. How can I find out the laws and regulations concerning child car seats? A. Almost all laws concerning child car seat usage are written at the state level, so you would most likely find the information you seek by searching the official state website and using the keywords “car seat laws” or “child car seats”. Q. I bought a used convertible car seat at a thrift store. The expiration date is still good, and it looks undamaged. How can I tell if it has been recalled? A. Jonas strongly discourages the purchase of a used car seat unless the buyer is fully aware of its history and previous ownership. “There are many items that you can and should buy pre-owned,” Jonas says, “but a car seat is not one of them. Without the instructions, you might install the seat improperly.” Furthermore, Jonas says, “There’s no way for the company to notify you of a recall.” That’s because many companies only issue recall information directly to registered owners. Some product safety organizations may have a master list of recalled products, but it is often up to the buyer to arrange for a repair or replacement. Without proof of an original purchase, you’d likely be better off disposing of the recalled model and buying a safer seat. Q. Why should my child face backwards while riding in a car? I would like to see his face once in awhile. A. Rear-facing car seats are designed to protect the fragile skeletal and muscular structure of their occupants. When an infant or toddler faces forward during a crash, the head snaps forward, causing softer neck and spinal bones to separate. This is an injury worse than whiplash. A rear-facing car seat is designed to cushion the head and prevent those whiplash-like injuries. Parents may want to have face-to-face time with their children, but safety should be a larger concern when transporting a fragile young passenger in a vehicle. Q. We’re considering purchasing a new van with an integrated child seat. Is this kind of pre-installed car seat safe for a newborn? A. In terms of meeting safety standards for a child car seat, most integrated car seats pass the test. They are just as safe for older toddlers as a separate car seat. However, they are not designed for infants and young toddlers who need to be in a rear-facing car seat until at least the age of two.
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Best Convertible Car Seats

We tested convertible car seats at our BestReviews headquarters in order to get a hands-on feel for how these devices work. Through our testing sessions, conversations with Jonas, and additional product research, we comprised a shortlist of the five best convertible car seats on the market today. You can read about these seats in our product matrix, above. Rest assured that we do not accept free product samples from manufacturers. Rather, we use our own funds to purchase the same “off-the-shelf” products that you do. And when we wrap up testing, we donate these products to charities and other non-profit organizations that can use them. Please read on to learn more about our top convertible car seat recommendations.
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Best Convertible Car Seats

The American Academy of Pediatrics now advises parents to keep toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age two, or until they exceed the height and weight limit for the car seat, which may be well past the second birthday. The reason for the new guidelines? Rear-facing is five times safer than facing forward.Most convertible car seats let kids stay rear-facing up to 35 pounds, which will take many kids through the age-2 guideline (check the back of the seat for the specific weight and height limits of your model), but if you want to rear-face longer, you’ll need to choose the right seat. We’ve rounded up car seats with extended rear-facing capability up to 40-45 pounds.But, the upper weight limit isn’t the only factor to consider. Seated height (where the child’s bottom sits to the top of the car seat) is also important, because kids should have at least one inch of room between the top of their head and the top of the car seat when rear-facing. And because some kids will shoot past the height limit long before they surpass the weight limit, we’ve also included a few suggestions for car seats that offer more room to grow in seated height, although they have a rear-facing weight limit of 35 pounds.
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Best Convertible Car Seats

Some car seats are designed to be used with a stroller, while others are not. Often times, parents have to choose between seats that are convertible and seats than can be easily removed and used with a stroller. If you are traveling a lot and frequently use a stroller, then it is probably most convenient for you to get a car seat that is easily removable and used with a stroller attachment. If most of your travel takes place in your car, you might find a convertible car seat that stays in the car is a better option for you. Your lifestyle will oftentimes be the deciding factor for these decisions. Thankfully, with so many options to choose from today, you will be able to find a seat that will work best for you and your child.

Best Convertible Car Seats

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