Keeping your child safe during your vehicular commutes seems like a rather straightforward deal; you install a nice and cozy car seat, and your child stays safe, and the authorities are happy too. However, you can’t just set your growing child in one infant seat forever; as soon as your baby hits the 35-pound mark, you’re going to have to move them into a convertible seat that can support their weight. In this review, we’ll help you find the best all in one car seat 2017 has to offer; we’ve got some all in one car seat reviews that we believe that every new parent should see. But before we can get started with our top picks, let’s first rewind and talk a little about what a convertible/all in one car seat is and why you need one of these in particular.
What is a Convertible/All in One Car Seat?
There are two main kinds of car seats that you can buy for your young one: the infant seat and the convertible seat. The infant seat is a rear facing seat that you can buckle to your car’s seat belts. These seats can safely harness a child up till 35 pounds of weight, after which, they can no longer be useful. The convertible seat, as its name implies, can function as a rear facing seat for infants under 35 pounds and then be transitioned into forward facing seats that can host children between 40-80 lbs. All in one seats are a particular type of convertible seats that can be transitioned for the second time to become a booster seat that can seat a child up till 120 pounds, making it a one shot solution to your child safety concerns.
Getting your hands on the best all in one convertible car seat can save you a lot of money and trouble (Just what are you going to do with seats that your child no longer needs?). However, some experts beg to differ and claim that infant seats are the safest option for very young babies; many parents also get overwhelmed by the trouble they have to go through to install convertible seats and retreat to easier alternatives. In this roundup, we’re only going to talk about the top rated all in one car seats available out there, so you have nothing to worry about on that front. Now, without further ado, here’s a list of our top picks.
Our Recommended List of The Best All in One Car Seats of 2017
The Graco SmartSeat is just about the safest convertible car seat that you can hope to find; it’s loaded with state of the art features such as its EPS energy absorbing foam seat, steel reinforced frame, five different reclining options and a 5 point harness to ensure maximum safety.
Not only is this seat super safe, but it also features machine washable cushions for easy cleaning (which you’ll be thankful for because no matter what the age, kids are messy) and it’s pretty good to look at too. No need to worry about having a big seat ruining the feel of your beloved car’s interior!
This seat is thoroughly designed to keep your growing child safe from the time when they’re suckling infants up till they weigh over a hundred pounds and no longer need a car seat. The Graco SmartSeat is crash tested to not only meet the safety standards of the NCAP but is engineered to exceed these standards. Overall, we’re pleased with this car seat and don’t see any downside to choosing this seat to be your child’s traveling companion throughout. The Graco Smart Seat offers you safety, convenience and peace of mind, which is why we believe that it’s a great seat with great value for money. However, this is just the first of the four seats we’ll be looking at on this page so let’s not get too excited about this seat just yet.
Evenflo Symphony DLX
The Evenflo Symphony DLX is a leader in convertible car seat ratings on a number of sites where you can read reviews for car seats, and we’re no exception to that rule. This seat is designed to accommodate infants up to 30 lbs in its rear facing mode, toddlers up to 40 pounds in front facing and children up till 110 lbs in its booster mode.
If you own one of these, then you’re not going to want to change it unless it serves its purpose in the event of a car crash. Evenflo has maintained its position as a pioneer in safety, which is why most would tell you just to go for it over Britax (not us, though, we’re here to tell you your options). The Symphony DLX provides maximum shoulder space and is thoroughly cushioned for comfort and safety (much more than a hard and plasticy Britax). The seat itself is aesthetically pleasing to look at, and we believe that it’d blend right in with the interior of most cars, whether they’re SUVs, sports cars or small economy models.
The seat is easy to install, but since it’s a convertible seat, it’s still a pain to remove again and again, but that’s because it’s not designed to be moved from car to car; if you have two cars, you’re going to have to buy another seat. Based on what we’ve seen and what we’ve been told by thankful parents whose children got out of car crashes unscathed thanks to this seat, the Evenflo Symphony DLX is a solid choice in car seats.
Safety 1st All in One
After spending a few minutes fidgeting around with this seat, we decided that the two features of the Safety 1st convertible seat that stood out to us the most were its ease of installation and its style.
The Safety 1st features a Quick Harness system that not only allows you to easily install the seat but also makes it easier to adjust the headrest height without having to mess around with too many straps and threads. The cup holder is removable, which is always a useful feature, given that you probably don’t need one for a rear facing infant.
Again, the reason why most people would buy this seat over other alternatives is its style; you don’t have to worry about stuffing the backseat of your car with an ugly and bulky seat when you can buy this all in one seat by Safety 1st which might even improve the interior of your vehicle. We’ve spoken enough about the way this seat looks but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t safe; this seat will do its job just fine, but some users have told us that their kids complain about feeling uncomfortable in the seat sometimes. The seat itself doesn’t feel uncomfortable but then again, if not adjusted to fit the car properly; the seat may feel uncomfortable. You can probably fix this by making sure that it reclines in a way that suits your vehicle best.
Diono Radian RXT
The Diono Radian is a bit more expensive than the seats we’ve discussed up till now, but we can hardly say that it isn’t worth the extra bucks. Seats from the Radian line up by Diono are the only all in one models that are built on an all-steel frame, making them super safe and durable.
The seat itself consists of infant body support cushions that will keep young rear facing passengers cradled comfortably. The RXT uses memory foam for added comfort, which your child will enjoy through all three stages. We’re pleased with how easy it is to adjust the headrest and recline on the seat and how there’s an infant body support system that you can tuck away under the seat when no longer needed, pretty neat. This seat is designed to take up as little space as possible, and because of that, it is the best convertible car seat for small cars on our list and also the best seat for fitting three across in midsized vehicles. The Radian RXT comes in two colors, a bright red color, and a shadow black color, which is good news for those of us who are concerned about how a seat can ruin the aesthetic of their car’s interiors. To conclude, the Diono Radian RXT may be a little pricier than the rest of the seats we’ve talked about, but it is worth buying; the feature that separates it from the rest is its steel construction. The sides are reinforced with aluminum and lined with EPS foam to maximize protection from the sides, which is where rear passengers risk injury the most.
And with that, our list of the best all in one car seats of 2017 comes to a close. There are only so many car seats available in the market, and since all manufacturers have a legal obligation to fulfill, they’re all made to meet federal standards for child passenger safety, so no car seat available in the market is inherently dangerous. The best seats are determined by their level of comfort and ease of use, which is how we picked out these four seats for you.
That said, you may or may not end up buying one of the seats we’ve talked about here, there are just so many options. There might be a very underrated car seat out there which suits your needs best; just because it’s not popular doesn’t mean that is bad, you know. Just remember that you’re looking for a seat that is both comfortable for your child and convenient for you as a parent and car owner. Look for something that is easy to clean in the long run, not prone to tearing, and if you’re concerned about the interior aesthetic of your car, you’re going to want something that looks good too. The kind of vehicle you drive will also determine which seat suits you best; most seats aren’t designed to fit three children across in mid-sized vehicles and not every seat sits well in small cars, so be wary of what you’re buying, always ask the clerk!