Convertible Car Seat Reviews

Convertible car seats are probably one of the most versitile models you will purchase. Reviews and recall information can assist you with your decision.

Car seats are essential for child safety when traveling in your car or on a plane. Children up to age 8 or 80 pounds should be secured in some type of car seat. Infant seats are for newborns up to 20 lbs. A convertible car seat will suit babies and toddlers up to 30-40 lbs. depending on the model and booster seats should be used for older toddlers and children age 8 or up to 80 lbs. Choosing the proper car seat for your child can be confusing. A wide variety of brands and models can make the selection process more difficult. Before you buy a car seat you should consult with your doctor or pediatrician and check for recent recalls and problems with certain brands. The consumer safety commission is one place you can get recall information.

Convertible car seats tend to be the most versatile and are probably the car seat your child will be in the longest. Most convertible seat models can be used in rear-facing and front-facing positions. There are a variety of features available on these types of car seats.

Some of the safety features that are essential for optimum safety are:

· 5-point harness""to ensure proper harnessing

· Tether strap""extra safety precaution for securing the seat tightly in your vehicle

· Latch-equip""to secure in newer vehicles or those that have a latch safety

· Snap together chest clip""makes it harder for toddlers to accidentally unbuckle

The convertible car seat with the highest reviews is the Britax Roundabout. This car seat is the most expensive but it includes all of the safety features listed above and more. Reviewers say it is clearly the best. It can be used in the rear-facing position for babies up to 33 lbs., thus eliminating the problem of infants outgrowing the seat early. It holds babies up to 40 lbs. Britax car seats are among the few that have been approved in the U.S for tether use in both the rear and forward facing position. It comes LATCH-compatible, which allows you to clip the seat in place without using your car's seat belts.

The Evenflow Triumph 5 convertible car seat includes all of the safety features like the Britax but this particular seat does not get the praise that the Britax seat gets. It is LATCH-equip and rates just as well for safety but reviewers rate it less convenient. The Triumph 5 is less expensive making it more economical but reviewers say it is larger than the Britax and won't fit properly in smaller cars. Experts say the front-positioning harness make it harder to access the child in the rear facing position and the tether strap is only approved to use in the front-facing position. It doesn't contain a lot of frills, but it is a safe choice for your child.

The Graco ComfortSport is another safe choice. It comes without the frills of the more expensive choices, but has a clean record for safety. This LATCH-compatible model has a washable cover and level indicator. Some recommend the ComfortSport for air travel because of its slim width and lightweight. There are eleven version of the ComfortSport including pricier versions with cup holders and other options.

The Cosco Alpha Omega convertible car seat (the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1) has been one of the best-selling because it can be used as a rear-facing infant seat, a front- facing seat, and a booster seat up to eighty pounds, supposedly eliminating the need to buy separate seats as your child grows. Contrary to manufacturer claims, reviewers say the Alpha Omega/Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 has many cumbersome, and possibly dangerous, traits. Parents report annoying twisting belts and tiresome installation, but more importantly, expert testers do not recommend the Alpha Omega as a booster seat because belt guide can catch the seat belt so it doesn't tighten completely. Also, some experts say the highest harness position is too low; meaning that a child could outgrow this seat height-wise before reaching the weight limit, which somewhat discredits the Alpha Omega's advertised lifespan.

Consumer reviews can be a great resource for parents who are in the market for a new car seat. Be sure to check safety ratings and recall information as well. For first time parents you may want to get recommendations from friends and family as well as ask for assistance from store associates. Keeping your child safe should be first priority and select the proper car seat is a vital step to protecting your child against injury.

© High Speed Ventures 2010