Best 3 in 1 Car Seats and Convertible Car Seats: Reviews and Buyers Guide

best 3 in 1 car seat

I am sure you will agree with me when I say that having to pick out a new child safety seat whenever your baby outgrows their current one every few months or years sucks.

It gets really frustrating having to trawl through a whole bunch of child safety seats before you are finished with the safety seat business.

In this post, we'll talk about a better solution and list the best 3 in 1 car seats, as well as the best convertible car seats.

These car seats are great because they grow with your child.

"An average of 46% of child seats are misused where misuse refers to incorrectly installation of the child seat that would make the child safety restraint ineffective in a crash - NHTSA"

If you go with the best 3 in one car seat otherwise referred to as a 3 stage child seat you can avoid all the hassle.

With a these safety seats you can still follow American Academy of Pediatricians guidelines on car seat safety while using only one child seat. 

best 3 in 1 car seat

3 in 1 car seat used for multiple stages of your child's growth

Best 3 in 1 Car Seat: Safety 1st Grow and Go

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

Out of the top 3 in 1 carseats the Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 child Seat all in one is the best child safety seat with its long years of use, adjustable headrest and harness, side impact protection and ease of installation.

In this article, I will point out the best 3 in 1 child safety seats to ensure that your child rides in comfort from birth until they are ready for seat belts.

3 In 1 Car Seats Comparison Table

Rating

Image

Product

Our Rating

Weight

Price

1

Graco SlimFit All-in-One

Graco SlimFit

All-in-One

19.7 Pounds

2

Safety 1st  Grow and Go

Safety 1st 

Grow and Go

18.7 Pounds

3

Safety 1st Continuum

Safety 1st Continuum

18.7 Pounds

4

Graco 4Ever All-in-one

Graco 4Ever

All-in-one

27.8 Pounds

5

Evenflo Tribute LX

Evenflo Tribute

LX

9.1 Pounds

Best 3 in 1 Car Seats and Reviews

1. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3 in 1 Car Seat

Safety 1st Grow and Go all in one Car Seat

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Seat

belt 3 in 1 car seat

belt positioning seat

The Safety 1st 3 in 1 car seat is a top quality top multi mode car seat from Safety 1st, a top child safety seat manufacturers known for excellent safety standards

As is evident from the name the car seat grows with your child as it can accommodate the kid in the rear facing, forward facing and booster seat mode.

The safety 1st all-in- one safety seat is the best all in one car seat with higher than average structural integrity scores in test conducted by Federal authorities

  • The Safety 1st not only provides extended use but also convenience for you and the child. There is no other safety seat that provides up to seven inches of legroom when installed in the backseat and comfortable three position recline for the kid as they grow
  • The safety seat provides the easiest installation as unlike with other car seats that you have to fumble around to find harnesses in the back of the seat, the safety 1st has convenient harness holders 
  • Given that you will be using the child seat for a long time it is bound to get messy, and hence you will be pleased to learn that the car seat comes with an easy to remove machine washable pad
  • You get to enjoy the convenience of having the child's drinks easily accessible on this seat as it comes with two cup holders for the sippy cup or water bottle
  • Safety and Comfort for child and mother
  • Cup holder for convenience 
  • Easy installation
  • Rear, forward facing and booster mode
  • Machine washable pad
  • Installation can be tough for the first timer

2. Graco Slimfit All In One Car Seat

Graco SlimFit All-in-One Car Seat

Graco SlimFit All-in-One

10% Space Saving design

10% Space Saving design

Given that you most likely will be using a three in one car seat for a long time, you may have to install more than one car seat in the car or just have a child seat that does not have too big of a footprint to be an inconvenience

The Graco SlimFit All-in-One Car Seat is the most popular of the new breed of multi stage child safety seats specifically made by Graco to combat this very issue. As its name implies it is made very slim to make for a small footprint

Similar to other car seats in the revolutionary trend of multi mode safety seats, you can use this seat in all three modes until the kid is 12 years old and transitions to seat belts.

It is also the best 3 in 1 convertible seat that is reasonably priced considering that you will probably use it for over a decade.

  • The Graco slimfit child seat provides ultimate safety as it has been tested under vigorous standards and provides a snug installation for the child through a five point harness system
  • Enjoy easy installation as the Graco provides easy installation through the use of LATCH system connectors so that you never have to worry about how safe the installation is
  • The seat is comfortable for the kid which are a combination of an adjustable headrest and several position harnesses
  • The Slimfit is quite the narrow seat but you can make it even slimmer by rotating away your cupholders which will give you so much space that you fit up to three seats in the back seat of the car
  • Graco is a convenient car seat not only for you with its machine washable seat pad, but it is also a very easy car seat to use and you will be surprised that your toddler can buckle themselves in very easily
  • Slimmest 3 1 car seat
  • Can be used in three modes 
  • Excellent safety and comfort
  • Great convenience for child and mother
  • Easy installation
  • Lacks lockoff seat belt installations
  • Basic LATCH

3. Graco Tranzitions - Best 3-in-1 Harness Booster

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster
Harness and headrest

The previous 3 and 1 car seats are car seats that could be used from infancy up to the time your child no longer needs the child seat and shifts to seat belts. However, you may be past the infancy stage with your child hence the need for a more advanced stage seat.

While many top seats are good as 3in1 car seats, the Graco Tranzitions stand out as a specialized harness booster seat that you can use from toddlerhood until the child graduates to seat belts. 

The 3 in 1 toddler car seat protects your toddler from 22-65 pounds as a harness booster, 30-100 pounds as a high back booster and 40-100 pounds as  backless booster. 

  • What I really love about this seat apart from the three modes of seating is that it comes with no rethread harness making it an easy install which comes in handy for the toddler that wants to buckle themselves in
  • It does not stop there as this is the seat for the active or busy parent as it is is the most portable and lightweight 3 in 1 booster car seat you could get for your toddler or teen
  • If safety is a concern, you will be pleased to know that the seat is engineered to the highest standards that include rigorous side impact protection through the 5 point harnesses
  • For your convenience the car seat is made of plastic and metal parts which make it easy to clean. It also comes with cup holders for the child's drinks and comfort is provided through harness covers, and body support
  • Three modes of seating
  • No rethread harness
  • Lightweight portable car seat
  • Easy to clean parts
  • High safety ratings
  • Tends to rattle with no passenger in it
  • Sits crooked in bucket backseats

4. Graco 4ever All-in-One Best 3 in 1 Baby Safety Seat

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1

Rear-facing baby car seat

Rear-facing baby seat

Otherwise known as an all in one or 4 in 1 car seat the Graco 4Ever is the Swiss knife of car seats that does everything that you would ever want from a car seat.

You can use the Graco 4Ever for up to ten years in four modes that is; as a rear facing infant safety seat, forward facing as a harness booster, high back belt positioning booster, and finally as a backless belt positioning booster.

With nearly 2000 positive and glowing reviews from parents, the Graco combines extended use, ease of use and installation, high safety ratings, convenience and great looks that you will absolutely love

  • Get to experience some of the easiest of car seat installations that even your five year old toddler will buckle themselves in and out of this 3 in 1 convertible car seat with no problems whatsoever given that it employs a LATCH system
  • Worry no more about the safety and comfort of the child with the Graco 4ever which comes with the best safety ratings from crash tests not to mention that it is a very comfortable seat in all the four modes of use
  • For your convenience you can remove the machine washable pad of the car seat when it gets dirty(inevitable with the extended use) not to mention the integrated harness storage compartments
  •  Great car seat for tall and big children as your kid will never outgrow this seat unless they are heading for the seat belt as teens. This seat has the highest weight and height limits to ensure the safety of the child throughout its use. 
  • Extended decade long use
  • Easy to install in any car
  • Comfortable and safe
  • Machine washable pad
  • High height and weight limits
  • Graveyard for pacifiers
  • A little bit on the heavier side

5. Evenflo Tribute LX - Best Affordable 3 in One Child Safety Seat

Evenflo Tribute LX Car Seat

Evenflo Tribute LX

Rear-facing Recline

Rear-facing Recline

If you are going to have a car seat for a long time, you want a safety seat that is both safe yet is not very heavy that you will get tired of it before you or your child are done with it

There are many car seats that promise a combination of these features but none comes as close to achieving this great mix as the Evenflo Tribute LX

The Evenflo Tribute LX is a top rated 3 in 1 safety seat with the highest structural integrity ratings from the Federal Government testing bodies and at only 9 pounds is the safest and best lightweight child seat you could buy

Moreover, it also comes at the most affordable prices, yet provides all the conveniences, bells and whistles such as cup holders and LATCH system installation that you would expect from a premium car seat

  • An easy car seat to install that provides you with two modes of installation, self tightening sureLATCH or seat belts just in case you are not very comfortable with one method or just prefer one over the other.
  • The Evenflo Tribute LX comes at an affordable price compared to the other 3 in 1 car seats and hence your kid can ride in comfort and safety without you having to break the bank for it
  • Have a clean car seat even it is old or several years old with the Evenflo's machine washable cover which you can always clean whenever it gets dirty
  • Excellent side impact protection for your child is provided by this very highly rated car seat which is achieved by the innovative E3 foam that is exclusive to the Evenflo range of car seats
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Side impact protection
  • Easy installation with sureLATCH
  • Affordable price
  • The colors are pretty basic

6. Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Graco 4Ever All in one

Graco 4Ever All in one

High Back Belt Positioning Seat


High Back Belt Positioning Seat

The Graco 4ever is the most preferred convertible seat by parents for a reason. Coming in a modest price, lasting for some of the longest times and offering superior comfort for the child what's not to love

The Graco 4-in-1 car seat can take children right from when they are born and last up to ten years when they are ready to transition to seat belts or harness boosters

The all in one seat provides utmost safety with its proprietary safety features, that provide for easy installation, child safety through multiple recline positions and parent convenience. 

  • If you hate rethreading harnesses you are in luck as the Graco 4 ever comes with an easy to adjust no rethread harness making it so simple to use and completely safe for the child throughout its use
  • The child seat provides all the comforts for your child with plush inserts for the newborn, and six position recline to provide a stylish and safe ride
  • If you are a stickler for safety you will be pleased to learn that the Graco all in one is made with steel frame that exceeds federal safety standards
  • The seat is the easiest to install with its In Right Latch attachment ensuring safety through an audible click that will inform you when the seat is installed securely
  • Comes with a range of parental convenience features including machine washable cover and integrated harness storage compartment when you will not be using the seat

To add to all its great features it is also an FAA approved car seat making it great for travel.

  • No rethread harnesses
  • Easy to install with In Right LATCH
  • Machine washable cover
  • Steel frame and high safety standards
  • Rattles when the child is not in it

7. Britax Marathon - Best Convertible Car Seat for Tall Babies

Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
Side Impact Protection

Made by Britax a company that promises to make juvenile products that go beyond the legal standards of ease of use and safety standards, the Britax Marathon Clicktight can be used as both a rear and forward facing car seat and is a great seat for babies 2+ years old in both traveling modes

To add to a range of safety and convenience features both for the parent and the child, the Britax is the most trusted brand in the market having been made in the USA with American components and standards

But what makes it the best convertible car seat for tall babies is that it comes with seven recline positions and 14 harness positions so that your child can always find a comfortable fit and position at any age

  • The Clicktight installation system offers utmost safety for your child as it provides one motion installation fro a rock solid and worry free drive with your child
  • The safecell impact protection system comes with staged release switches, impact absorbing tether, base and the steel frame, the britax offers some of the sturdiest construction
  • You child gets get maximum fit and comfort with the seat as it has a 14 position harness which makes it adjustable as the child grows
  • The Britax marathon is made to deal with the most devastating side impact collisions as it comes with a foam lined shell that offers great protection from debris
  • You can be safe knowing you have installed the seat safely as the seat has a level indicator and seven recline position for utmost safety and comfort of the child
  • 14 position adjustable harness
  • Easy installation with Clicktight
  • Innovative safety features
  • Sturdy construction
  • Built like a tank, it is quite heavy

8. Chicco NextFit - Best Lightweight Convertible Car Seat

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

Edit your caption text here

Rear and Forward Facing

The Chicco Nextfit convertible car seat is part of the Chicco top rated car seats that include the number one rated Chicco Keyfit infant car seats. Similar to its namesake, it blows it out of the water when it comes to safety, practical design, portability and ease of use and installation

The lightweight safety seat is made for infants from as low as five pounds with an inserts up to toddlers of up to 79 pounds. As such your child could ride in the safer rear facing mode and then transition to the forward facing mode as an older toddler

It is a great car seat that will be a good fit for your car and most importantly for your child given how easy it is to install and the fact that your child will ride comfortably in the seat from infancy to the time they are preschoolers

Given its small size it can fit in most of the best travel system strollers

  • You will enjoy the easy and secure installation of the Chicco as it does come with several secure positions, bubble indicator levels, and LATCH tightener to get the best and most secure fit
  • Use one car seat from infancy to toddler by using the infant insert which provides extra support and padding. As the child grows just adjust the harnesses and headrests to fit the growing child
  • Easily convert the car seat from rear to forward facing through using the integrated slide path that automatically re positions the LATCH
  • Both rear and forward facing
  • Secure and easy installation with LATCH
  • Easily adjusts to fit the growing child
  • Lightweight portable and comfortable
  • Seat pad is not removable

Factors to Consider When Buying a 3 in 1 Child Seat

With so many choices of all in one car seats, selecting the best one for your kid may not be an easy task. The good thing is that once you select the seat you may be set for quite a long time.

The following are some of the most important considerations when buying these types of child seats:

  • Weight, Size, and Fit: before you buy that car seat you need to make sure that it is the right size, fit, and weight for your child and vehicle. Given that rear facing is recommended by experts as the safest position, you need to go for an a child safety seat that can accommodate the child at 20 pounds or more so that they can remain in the rear facing mode for as long as possible.
  • Restraint System: Harness systems will generally bet more versatile and safer for your child as compared to the T-bat or older shield restraints. You could also go for five-point harnesses which connect at the kid's shoulders and hips and between the legs as opposed to the three point harnesses that do not have hip connections.
  • Check Weight and Size Limits for the Model: Once the child shifts to rear facing they will be safe in a harness if they weight between 18 and 36 kilograms. However, once they weigh more than 80kg you need to shift to a booster or the vehicle safety belt. It is always advisable to find one with a higher weight limit of at least 18 kilograms to ensure the child rides in a harness for as long as possible,
  • Given that you are going to be using the seat for a long time, it may be tempting to go a good looking car seat. However, while an attractive seat is desirable, it is also very important to go for a safety seat that is functional and attractive - one that is safe, fits in your small car, and provides comfort for your kid.
best 3 in 1 car seat

Why You Need A Three In One Safety Seat

  • While the three in one car seat will always be more expensive than your regular child seat, over the long term, they may make more economical sense. Instead of buying three seats, you can just use one until the child is old enough for seat belts
  • The best 3-1 car seats come with significantly higher weight and height limits in both the front facing and rear facing positions. This means the child will stay in the recommended rear facing mode for longer keeping them safer.
  • Instead of buying and familiarizing yourself and the child with a new seat every few months or years, this type of safety seat allows you and the child to enjoy a seat you are familiar with from birth until they are 12 years old.

How To Install An All In One Baby Car Seat

Maintenance and Use of All in One Car Seats

Regardless of which safety seat you decide to go for, to ensure that your kid is safe and comfortable, you have to use it correctly.

Read the recommendations and tips offered by safety agencies and most important those of the child safety seat manufacturer.

According to Safecar.gov, rear facing mode is the safest position for your kid to ride in.

Once the kid attains the maximum height and weight for the given model you can turn the seat around to forward facing by making use of the harness's maximum wight limit, then when they outgrow that switch to seat belt or booster mode.

Switch the child to booster mode when they are approximately 144.76 centimeters or 4 foot 9.

Child safet seats that come with LATCH connectors are your best bet. These seats are easier to install thus reducing installation errors and keeping your child safe.

Always ensure that the harness on your rear facing 3 in 1 child safety seat is below or at the baby's shoulder level, it is snug and not in any way twisted.

You can tell that the harness is too loose if you can pinch it away from the child after buckling them in.

If you are using the car seat for travel, ensure that you go for the best all in one car seat that is FAA approved. This means one that is narrower than 16 inches so that it can fit on the plane seat.

Given that you will be using the combination car seat for a long time, in some instances for over 10 years, you need to find a child safety seat that is machine washable, or has resistant colors that will not stain easily

Related Links

What is a Convertible Car Seat?

It is a car seat that can be used in both the forward facing and rear facing mode. Depending on the child seat you buy children ranging from birth to two years may travel in a car seat.

On the other hand, a 3-in-1/combination car seat is a seat which can be converted from the rear facing to forward facing and lastly into a booster seat for children above two years of age.

At What Age Should I Switch to Convertible Car Seats?

Newborn weighing in at less than five pounds and up to two years can be carried in a bucket seat. While there are different weight recommendations for different seats, it is best to keep your child in a bucket seat until they are two years old regardless of weight or height.

Conclusion

3 in 1 car seats and convertible car seats are definitely much better to use, as they can grow with your child. A one-time purchase can go a long way.

The only downside to these long lasting car seats is that you have to clean them very regularly. Kids can be very messy, and you don't want the car seat to end up as a haven for bacteria and germs!

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