Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars: October 2022 updated

When it comes to choosing the best convertible car seat for small cars for your child, it’s all about fit, safety, and comfort. Convertible car seats are typically used once your child outgrows an infant seat.

Most child car seats can convert from rear-facing to forward and, in some instances, to a booster seat later on. This car seat will be your child’s primary seat and will grow with them. 

Because the seat will remain with your child for a long time, it needs to be easy to install if you need to switch cars or clean it. In addition, check how long your child can use the seat in any of the various positions as they grow. In the US, all car seats must comply with federal safety standards, but you may want to consider other options, such as an anti-rebound bar.

In this blog post, we’re going to discuss the best convertible car seats for small cars. These seats are better because they offer more versatility and are less bulky. For instance, consider a rear-facing infant carrier for long trips. This seat can be used in the front seat of your car when you need it most, making it convenient and easy to use.

Listed below are the pros and cons of the best convertible car seats to determine if they’re worth the investment or if they’re better for certain situations like small cars or traveling.

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Best convertible car seats for small cars: our top picks

First, consider the size of the car seat for your car. Some car seats are too large for some small cars and won’t adjust to fit.

Next, consider your budget. Some convertible car seats are more expensive than other options, but they may be worth it if they’re safer and more comfortable.

Finally, consider whether you want a convertible car seat that can be converted into a toddler seat or infant seat. A toddler-friendly convertible may be best for you, or you may want an infant-sized convertible if you’re not planning on having another child soon.

1. Graco Extend2Fitbest convertible car seat for compact cars

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Graco dominates the car seat market for a good reason. This model has more than, 60000 reviews on Amazon, making it the most popular car seat.

Their proven quality and functional design are what has propelled them to the top of corporate ladders.

The Graco Extend2Fit is the best convertible car seat for compact cars because it has high tight adjustability dimensions. And a functional design that allows your child to ride rear-facing longer while giving you more legroom in the front.

Because tested on both compacts and midsize, your small car is most likely to fit it as well.

Approximately the car seat measures 22.1 inches deep, 19.2 inches wide, and 25.2 inches tall. It can be mounted rearwards (RF 4-50 pounds, FF 22-65 pounds) or forwards (RF 22-65 pounds).

Moreover, this exquisite car seat comes with a four-position extension panel that allows your child to ride in the rear-facing position for five inches longer.

Moreover, with six recline positions and ten headrest positions, your child is sure to be comfortable at all times. Last but not least, the seat has one-second In-right latches, a harness compartment, and a no-rethread harness. The seat is therefore easy to install and use. 

ProtectPlus engineering makes sure that your child will be perfectly safe in side-on, rear-on, and frontal crashes, as well as rollovers. In addition to complying with Federal Safety Standards, the seat must be approved for use in aircraft.

  • Can extend up the rear-facing position to 50 pounds
  • An adjustable leg extension that adds 5 inches to legroom
  • Ball-level for precise incline
  • Provides legroom even when rear-facing
  • Push-on connectors for easy installation
  • When getting a child in and out of a car seat, buckle pockets prevent buckles from getting in the way
  • Performing well in real-life crash scenarios
  • Cleaning the cover is difficult
  • Rear-facing seat belt installation can be difficult
  • Tightening the harness may be difficult
  • it may be too large for newborns and preemies
  • Cannot use the leg extension or harness cover if the child is forward-facing

Final words

This product is designed to provide both an infant seat and a convertible car seat in one, convenient for those who travel with children in a small car.

2. Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 infant car seats for small cars

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As the best convertible car seat available, the Graco 4Ever is the only seat you’ll need for your child. As a rear-facing harness, this 4-in-1 seat supports your child through every stage of their growth. 

As long as the head is at least 1 inch below the handle, the Grace 4Ever harness can bear children up to 40 pounds when used as a rear-facing harness. Your child’s height should be between 22 and 27 inches when you switch it to a forward-facing harness.

After the child outgrows this stage, they can upgrade to a high-back booster seat, supporting kids up to a hundred pounds and 52 inches tall. In addition, you can use it to boost children up to 120 pounds and 57 inches tall without aback. 

A steel-reinforced frame, a ten-position headrest, a five-point harness, a six-position recline, and integrated cup holders round out the features of this versatile car seat. Easy installation is made possible by the LATCH system. 

Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat
  • The product has a life expectancy of up to 10 years
  • The straps are easy to use
  • Easy to install
  • Heavy
  • Infant inserts and shoulder pads are easily lost

Final words

A car seat with a long lifespan, such as the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1, is one of the most popular on the market. Since our oldest child was born, we used the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1. He stayed in the same seat as he grew, so we didn’t have to buy new gear or equipment.

3. Britax Marathon ClickTight Verve Smallest front to back convertible car seat

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The Britax Marathon car seat keeps your kids safe and comfortable on long (and short) rides. You can use this model as a rear-facing car seat or forward-facing model. It has various features that keep your kids comfortable at all times.

There are 14 easy-adjust harness positions, seven recline positions, and two buckle positions to give your child a comfortable fit as they grow. Additionally, the seat is lined with plush foam padding, and many customers report that their children regularly fall asleep while using it. 

In summary, I think this is an incredibly safe and easy-to-install seat. It’s hard to find an equal balance between pros and cons. I would get the Boulevard if you can afford it since it is just as good as this seat but better, so I recommend it. Still, this is a great seat.

Britax Marathon ClickTight Verve
  • ClickTight system makes installation easy
  • comes with multiple harness settings
  • It has a steel frame with two layers of side impact protection
  • Suitable for children up to 65 pounds
  • It does not convert easily to a booster seat
  • Hand-washing is required

Final words

Despite its high price, the Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat offers more safety features than any other convertible car seat on the market. It’s better to spend the extra money to ensure your child’s safety while driving if you can afford it. It is simple to clean, install, and adjust to ensure your little one rides in maximum comfort and safety.

4. Tribute 5 2-in-1, Saturn Gray Best affordable convertible car seat

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You’ll find success with the Evenflo Tribute LX, which can be used as both a rear-facing and a forward-facing car seat. The structural integrity of this budget-friendly car seat is tested twice as rigorously as the federal standard.

This seat has adjustable shoulder straps and a front harness with four positions. As your child grows, you can remove the head pillow, as well as the integrated body cushion.

Its width also makes it a great option. It was the safest seat I could find. Our family has a small car, so we have to fit three babies, four adults, and a service dog into two Subarus. When everyone comes to visit, these seats are wide to fit everyone in comfortably. Nobody can move, not even the dog.

Tribute 5 2 in 1 Saturn Gray
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Simple installation
  • FAA compliant
  • Compact seat
  • It doesn’t have much padding
  • it can only hold 40 pounds

Final words

Evenflo Tribute LX Car Seat is a wonderful choice if you’re on a tight budget or occasionally need a secondary car seat. The car seat is not a reliable everyday car seat, however. Spending a little more on a higher-end convertible car seat will provide additional safety features and longevity.

5. Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One car seat for small cars

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You have no need to worry about changing your car seat when you get the Safety 1st Grow and Go Car Seat. It has three versatile functions, so it can serve your family well for years to come.

The three positions are easily accessible with the push of a button. The Safety 1st Grow and Go easy to install, too. Remove the car seat from its original base, attach the seat and bottom, and then insert the car seat into the vehicle. You can even adjust the seat height in the car. This car seat also features a five-point safety harness and a five-position recline mechanism that makes it easy for parents to get their child in and out of the seat. The seat has a removable/washable cover protecting your child from scratches and dirt.

Your new toddler will love the seat’s built-in toys and entertainment center and their very own padded travel organizer.

Once your child reaches these stages, they might need a booster seat for kids 40 to 100 pounds.

This 3-in-1 seat is built to provide optimal comfort and safety for your little passenger. It has three reclining positions and a QuickFit harness that lets you adjust the harness and headrest in one easy step.

The new seats also come with a removable, machine-washable seat pad and include two convenient cup holders for beverages, snacks, and sippy cups. The place can easily be removed when it gets dirty, washed, and replaced in seconds.

Safety 1st Grow and Go All in One.
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable pads
  • Compact seat
  • Installation can be difficult
  • Unbuckle is difficult
  • Not much cushioning

Final words

The first-ever Grow & Go! All in One car seat is the Everest Pink Safety 1st. It’s one of the safest car seats available on the market today. It comes with a unique 2-position recline option, and the unique headrest feature will help keep your child safe.

6. Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Compact convertible car seat for small cars

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The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat has been tested and certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This convertible car seat offers a lightweight design that’s easy to handle and move around the house and from vehicle to vehicle. 

The seat also has a unique seat belt lock that keeps the car seat securely locked in place while your child is riding in it. The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat fits compact vehicles like SUVs and minivans. 

It offers four recline positions and can be used as a forward-facing booster seat or a rear-facing infant car seat. The seat adjusts from 18 to 40 inches, and the cup holders can be stored in the back of the seat when not required.

This convertible car seat also has integrated harness storage, the InRight LATCH system, and a removable tray. The Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat is designed to fit compact vehicles.

Graco SlimFit 3 in 1
  • Good for small cars
  • No rethreading required
  • Easy to install
  • Straps are challenging to put
  • Straps do not come off to clean
  • Not all cups will fit inside the cup holder

Final words

This convertible car seat is ideal for small cars; it provides a versatile solution for transporting your baby in style. This convertible car seat features a 5 point harness system, making it easier and more convenient to use.

7. Diono Radian 3R, 3-in-1 Slim convertible car seat for small cars

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The Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat was designed with your kids’ safety in mind. It provides superior support for children who are transitioning from rear-facing to forward-facing.

It can be used as either a front- or back-facing harness. In addition, you can also buy custom-tailored harnesses to make sure the one you buy fits right for your individual needs.

 The Diono Radian 3RXT is an excellent choice as a booster seat for children up to 50 pounds. It’s easily installed in all compact-sized vehicles due to its slim look, offers five shoulder positions, and has three buckle positions. It’s also equipped with a 12-position headrest, memory foam seat and extendable leg rests.

Diono Radian 3R 3 in 1
  • Slim and narrow
  • 12-position headrest
  • Memory foam seat
  • Hard to install
  • Heavy

Final words

For smaller cars, this convertible car seat is perfect. This seat has a unique and elegant design. The car seat is durable and very comfortable to sit in.

8. GRACO SnugFit 35 DLX Infant Best quality convertible car seat

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Graco snug fit is another option for your small car. It is compact and very lightweight. The car seat is light – at just 10 pounds, it’s much easier to carry your baby. 

The fabric in this car seat isn’t anything to get excited about, but the material is comfortable.

  While the fabric does not breathe, it’s a good option for most kids, and the fact that it’s a very durable and safe option makes it a great choice.

The Car Seat is an easy-to-use, versatile, and affordable car seat that provides safe and secure transport for infants from birth to 35 pounds or 32 inches. This car seat can fit from 4 pounds to 35 pounds or 32 inches tall.

The easy-click connectors allow you to use this car seat with any Graco stroller that uses a one-step secure connection.

It’s an easy process you will love. A wide range of seats are available, and each has its characteristics to ensure that it is right for you.

  • Lightweight
  • Great for preemies
  • Easy to wash insert
  • Buckle pocket
  • 5 Position recline
  • No-rethread
  • 1 Minute installation
  • Adjustable headrest
  • The canopy is pushed to the side, and it swings out of the way so that the child can sit down.
  • The head support is substantial instead of plush.
  • The seat fabric isn’t breathable

Final words

This car seat is specially designed for your child, easy to install and remove, and compatible with all small cars. In addition, it features the GRACO SnugFit Technology, which protects the baby from harmful sides of the car seat, making sure the baby is safe and secure in any situation.

9. Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

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Maxi Cosi pria is another pick for small cars. It is so compatible and comfortable for your baby. In addition to being rear-facing, you can also use this device forward-facing. A child who weighs at least 4 lbs is recommended to use this device.

As long as the child weighs 65 pounds, the seat can use the forward-facing car. G-Cell’s side-impact protection system helps this car seat provide excellent side-impact protection, while an easy-to-adjust harness allows it to fit comfortably.

There are no safety concerns with this car seat. Multiple colors are available, and the cover can be removed and washed if necessary. Cleaning up is also a breeze since they can throw the cloth in the dryer.

  • Latch system easy to use
  • It offers multiple recline positions
  • Comfortable for long trips
  • Easy to adjust in small cars
  • Not comfortable for taller children

Final words

With this car seat, you can adjust the headrest and harness to ensure your little one fits appropriately. Moreover, the padded seat provides a comfortable ride. The cushioned headrest allows for naps and relaxation. This car seat is also comfortable material and does not collect sweat or humidity.

10. Safety 1st Guide 65 convertible car seat

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Another suitable choice for small cars. With a footprint of just 20.2 x 18.5 inches, it’s the top choice for budget shoppers who value every inch of space behind the back seat. The design is minimal, practical, and minimalist.

Those who aren’t first-time parents can probably remember the zillion-in-one products you used for just two or three purposes.There are no unnecessary gizmos in the Guide 65 – it’s just a simple three-point harness with up-front adjustment and forward- and rear-facing modes.

The product is US-made, made of high-quality fabrics, and is small enough to fit three across in most cars.When I mentioned Graco, I said “love,” and I said “like” about safety 1-st. The reason is that, while it checks all the boxes and is priced affordably, it is not exciting.

As someone who has reviewed baby gear for as long as I have, car seats can be exciting. However, I digress; what I like most about this car seat is the incredible price. It’s simple, doesn’t cost more than a month of Netflix, and it’s very affordable. I’ve never seen such value.

ist guide 6v5
  • Stain-free
  • Smell free
  • Very soft and comfortable (see an image of cushion compression)
  • Installation is easy
  • Due to its compact but full-coverage design, it can be mounted on any (safe) vehicle
  • Stylish and diverse color scheme
  • It offers excellent value! Great value for the money!
  • Cannot properly install
  • Unable to get a tight fit
  • The Latch system needs improvement

Final words

it is one of the best convertible car seats on the market. It is incredibly safe, easy to use, and has the safest harness system. It is one of the protected seats on the market, so I love recommending it for small cars.

11.Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat 

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It is a suitable choice for almost any family. Chicco NextFit Zip features an innovative SuperCinch tightener. This tightener multiplies force when pulling on the LATCH straps, making it ideal for people who have struggled with tightening the LATCH straps in other car seats.

 This seat is designed for children between 5 and 65 pounds; the Chicco NextFit Zip car seat features a 49-inch height range. Its innovative cinching system and advanced safety technology are easy to install. Can change the harness, headrest, and buckle positions without rethreading. You can remove the seat cushion, and machine washed for easy cleaning. Thus, this convertible car seat combines the most popular and convenient features with safety and quality.  

chiccoo keyfit
  • Install quickly and securely with more minor pulling
  • multiple adjustment options for fit and comfort
  • A Washable and removable cup holder
  • Easily remove and replace the zip-off seat cushion, which can be machine washed
  • FAA Approved
  • With a weight of 25 pounds, it is a bit heavy

Final words

This car seat is straightforward to install, but it also has a unique way of adjusting the headrest position so that it is at a comfortable height. It also has an auto-detect system to ensure that your baby is correctly secured in the car seat.

12. BRITAX Boulevard Anti-Rebound Bar Convertible Car Seat for small cars

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  A convertible seat with a high overall score, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight is an excellent choice. Studies indicate correct installation is critical for preventing injuries in real-world crashes, so this seat is potentially safer than those challenging to install.

 The headrest harness height can also be adjusted easily, and there is thick padding for a comfortable ride. Parents on a budget may want to look elsewhere since this seat has one of the highest price tags in this review. 

 As for crash testing, the Boulevard did better than the competition, so parents may want to consider that. The installation process is straightforward, and the comfort of the design could be the deciding factor for making this the seat of choice.  

britax rebound
  • Very comfortable
  • Easy to install
  • No scratches. No bruises. No sweating
  • Ten years of life span
  • The bottom pad is not removable
  • Not safe
  • The headrest breaks and becomes a choking hazard.

Final words

Your child’s car seat must have anti-rebound capabilities. Can convert the Britax Boulevard Anti-Rebound Bar ClickTight Convertible Car Seat into a child safety seat that will keep your child protected and secure as they travel in their car. This convertible car seat protects against frontal and side impacts. It also protects your child from rear effects.

How we tested when choosing a convertible car seat for small cars

After reviewing different child car seat options, I ordered a review sample for each one. With that, I requested samples from most of the companies I reviewed and even got some examples directly from the manufacturer. I tested the headrests for safety before installing them on my car. 

When assessing a car seat, I considered the following things listed below.

Ease of use: it’s essential to consider the ease of installation and removal. When there is a detachable base, how easy is it to detach it from the vehicle and click it back in?

Comfort: How do my kids like the seat? Comfort is a combination of the seat material, the fabric, and the cushions. Comfort also includes how comfortable the seat feels for your kids.

Is it cushioned or hard? How will the material feel to touch and handle?

 Convenience: Will this seat make my life easier? Are its features valuable and easy to use?

 Price: How will the seat fit me once I get home? Is it worth the money?

How to choose the Best Car Seat for a Small Car

When it comes to choosing the best convertible car seat for a small car, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, make sure the seat fits your car properly. Most convertible seats fit between the driver and passenger seats, but some may require an adapter (available at most hardware stores). Be sure to check the dimensions of the seat before making your purchase.

Additionally, make sure the car seat is able to convert from a rear-facing position to a forward-facing position. Some seats only convert from a rear-facing position to a forward-facing position if they are installed in an infant-only car seat base, which is not always convenient.

Finally, consider safety features when deciding on the best convertible car seat for your small car. Many convertible seats come with Safety 1st technologies such as crash protection and side impact protection.

Rear-facing vs. front-facing

The rule of thumb for choosing a rear-facing car seat is to use it as long as possible, generally up until the age of three to five years old. If your child is older than five, it may be time to transition to a forward-facing seat.

In an accident, the forces that act on a child in a forward-facing seat are more than seven times higher than those measured in rear-facing seats. That means that, over a long period, the risk of injury in a forward-facing seat is much greater.

Durability vs. longevity

“Expert” reviews are often written by people who are not professionals but rather individuals with opinions on a particular topic.

 They’re not the same thing.

Durability and longevity describe two different qualities of a seat. Longevity is a matter of quality; durability is a matter of endurance. For a proper car seat, durability matters more than longevity.

If a product meets federal safety standards, it’s more likely to hold up for longer than if it isn’t. The material used for the rigid parts of your chair is PP, a non-toxic plastic that is more resistant to cracking than regular plastic.

That’s so true for all the good ones.

More of a factor for convertible seats for small cars

While government officials can pass laws on the durability of car seats, they don’t care for longevity issues. However, the baby gear market has seen a rise in demand for longer-lasting products. And that’s good news for moms like me who want to buy the safest convertible car seats for their babies.

Convertible car seats are best because you can use them year after year, and they don’t require any additional accessories. They’re also great for travel since they can be taken on an airplane and stored in a checked bag. And most importantly, they’re easy to clean.

 Installation and setup

Once you’re on the top of the charts, you can’t afford to waste time or money.

For two reasons:

  1. The LATCH system is a design that can hold infants securely and safely.
  1. You’ll only do it once, but it’s not worth it.

What is a convertible car seat?

A convertible car seat is a car seat that can be converted from a rear-facing to a forward-facing position. This is great for infants who are growing and developing, as well as older children who have outgrown their rear-facing car seats but still need protection in the event of a crash. There are also many convertible car seats that can be converted between these two positions as your child grows.

Choosing the right convertible car seat for your small car is important. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing one:

-Your child’s weight and height. Most convertible car seats will adjust to fit a range of weights and heights, so it’s important to get one that will fit your child well.

-Your child’s age and size. Not all convertible car seats are available in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes for infants; you’ll need to check the specifications of the particular model you’re looking at. For older children, most convertible car seats will convert between these positions as they grow. However, there are some older models that only convert between these positions while seated in the vehicle; make sure to read the specs carefully before making your purchase.

What is the safest car seat for small cars?

Graco Extend2Fit is the safest convertible car seat for small cars. The (NHTSA) is responsible for ensuring the security of passenger vehicles that are sold to consumers. There is no rating system for child safety seats. If you use one, be sure to check its ratings to ensure it is safe. That is, provided you follow their instructions correctly.

A properly installed car seat is essential, as it ensures that your child will be safe in the event of an accident. In addition, the US Academy of Pediatrics estimates that only half of all car seats are correctly installed. Read the installation instructions carefully to find out your car seat is installed correctly. Before you head out the door, take a few minutes and double-check your seatbelts, the car’s mirrors, and all the other things that make sure you are driving safely.

Cass Herring, an instructor at Child Passenger Safety Training Institute, has witnessed all kinds of car seat installation errors from poor installers and parents alike. The common mistakes made by parents are forgetting to use the seatbelt and lowering the seat belt anchor. Another mistake is to use the wrong type of anchorage for forward-facing car seats. Other common mistakes are to use a seat belt that’s too loose, too high, or too low.

It is what it means to have a safety expert look at your child’s seat. If anything goes wrong with a car seat, you could have severe injuries to your child.

Why Convertible Car Seats are Important

If you live in a small car, you know that convertible car seats are a lifesaver. Not only do they fit better in smaller cars, but they also offer more protection than regular car seats. Here’s what you need to know about convertible car seats for small cars:

-If your vehicle has a height limit of 50 inches, then a convertible car seat is not an option. Convertible car seats that are less than 20 pounds can only be used in vehicles with a lower height limit.

-If your vehicle has a weight limit of 6600 pounds or less, then any convertible car seat will work. However, if your child exceeds the weight limit by more than 1000 pounds, then a booster seat is required.

-Only convertibles that have an LATCH system can be used in vehicles with lower seating positions. LATCH is a system that connects the seat to the vehicle’s safety belt system.

Frequently asked questions

What is the smallest car seat you can buy?

Parents typically suggest the smallest infant car seat to be a Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat.

Can a car seat fit in a small car?

When you’re planning to bring a family of three, a minivan might not be the best option. If time is at a premium, you should look into car seats that have an extra inch or two of width for an infant or convertible car seat.

How do I choose a convertible car seat?

If your baby seems to be growing fast and needs something more than just an infant seat, consider getting a convertible car seat. This type of seat will grow with your child, and as they get older and taller, you’ll be able to use it for other kids in the family.

Is a convertible car seat safe for a newborn?

Convertible car seats are safe for infants of any size and weight. The best advice for choosing one is to consider whether you need it. The safest option is to choose a model that’s sized for your child.

Final thoughts

The best convertible car seat for small cars can provide your child with lots of safety and comfort, making long journeys a lot more pleasant. However, not all convertible car seats are created equal, so it is important to read the reviews and compare features before making a purchase. In the end, you want to find a car seat that will fit well in your vehicle, accommodate your child’s growing body size, and provide optimal safety.

I believe all of these car seats are high-quality, safe, and comfortable and are worthy of your money. The one that was best for me, though, was Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat. It has a comfortable harness, is very easy to install, and includes both rear-facing and forward-facing modes, adjustable features, reinforced safety, and the FAA-approval.