Best Combination(includes Booster) Car Seat Reviewed: The Ultimate Guide

best combination car seat

If you are like many other new parents, one of the most confusing questions you'll come across when shopping for your baby is what is a combination car seat?

  • How does it differ from other types of child safety seats?
  • What's special about a combination car seat? Is there money saved in the long run? Or is it particularly safer?
  • How do you find the best combination car seat?

The best definition of a combination car seat is that of a front facing  car seat multi group that comes with a 5 point internal harness.

This car seat can later be converted and used as booster seat for older children meaning that they can be used for an extended period, saving you money in the long run.

Best Combination Car Seat: Britax G1.1 

Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight

Out of the combination seats on my list, the Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight is the best child safety seat with its small size, adjustable headrest, side impact protection and 5 point harness, easy and safe recline, and ease of installation.

The Britax G1.1 will last you a long time - all the way from when you child is a older infant up to an older toddler(provided you can keep it functioning and clean for that long!)

Five point harness car seat

Five Point Harness

five point harness combination seat

Toddler in Five Point Harness Seat

Most car seat guides mistakenly refer to combination car seats as booster seats or convertible seats. However, while they have some features of both, the combination seat cannot be used in the rear facing mode.

This is an important distinction to make - combination seats will always be FRONT facing, even when they're used with infants.

"Unlike your normal booster seat, the combination car seat comes with a harness that you will use on children that are below a recommended weight & later used in booster mode."

Given that you can only use the safety seat as a forward facing car seat only, these seats are best for big kids or older toddlers.

Children under the age of two need to ride in light weight infant car seats or rear facing child seats.

If you feel that your child is not old enough for a combination car seat or that you prefer something more portable check you can go for infant seats. 

However you need to make sure that you go for the best lightest infant car seats which will offer both of these advantages

The advice of having the child in the rear facing mode for as long as possible still applies when it comes to combination seats, so only go with combination car seats if you're looking for something for a slightly older infant.

Comparison of the Best Combination Car Seats

Rating

Image

Product

Our Rating

Weight

Price

1

Graco Nautilus 65

Graco

Nautilus 65

20.5 Pounds

2

Graco Atlas 65

Graco 

Atlas 65

16.6 Pounds

3

Evenflo Maestro Booster

Evenflo Maestro Thunder

22 Pounds

4

Britax G1.1 Frontier

Britax G1.1

Frontier Clicktight

24.9 Pounds

5

Cosco Finale DX

Cosco

Finale DX

11.5 Pounds

How to Buy Combination Car Seats

Cheap combination child seats will typically come with a harness weight of approximately 40 pounds.

weight limits

Nonetheless, since it is always advisable to have your child ride in a 5 point harness for as long as possible, you should go for a combination seat with a harness weight of 80 pounds or greater.

This is additional safety, security, and can also fit a taller or bigger child. Not all children grow with the same weight and height curve, so some kids may be quite big compared to others their age.

When you are looking to buy a combination seat, try to find one with high weight limits, high harness strap slots and a reasonably tall shell.

(We've listed our favorites down below in case you don't wish to go scouring the web!)

"The harness offers enhanced safety since in the instance of a crash, it spreads the impact of the crash over a greater proportion of the kid's body than a shoulder seat belt or a lap belt would."

The high harness and tall shell will ensure that the child will use the seat for an extended period given that they will have the harness traps above their shoulders and the ears below the top of the shell for longer, which is the recommended way for a child to ride in the forward facing car seat.

I always advise that you go for a foam lined safety seat as these usually offer the best side impact protection. Check that the liner is comfortable and sturdy enough for maximum safety of your child.

Harness Features to Look Out For

Given that you will have to move the harness straps in tandem with the age of your child and how they fit in the safety seat, it is important to check that the harness height of your combination car seat is appropriate.

Most modern models allow you to adjust the harness without needing to uninstall the child safety seat given that they are not designed with a no re thread harness. 

An ideal child safety seat is one that will not require you to adjust the height of the harness through un-latching or unbuckling.

You also need to find a combination child seat with wide and thick harness straps which will be safer as the are not easily twisted hence ensuring maximum safety of the child in the event of a crash.

You should also be advised to smooth out the straps whenever you use it to ensure that it is not twisted.

The wide straps are there for a reason: they distribute the force of the restraint on the body so it is not felt quite as much. Thinner(such as twisted) straps can dig into your child's skin and be very painful.

Important features of combination car seats

It is important to go for seats with wide shoulder belt guides as these allow the shoulder belt to slide freely ​thus minimizing any dangerous slack in the installation and use of the seat belt. 

Shoulder Belt Guide Booster seat

Shoulder Belt Guide

lower anchors and tethers

LATCH System

LATCH

LATCH is a feature that you want on your seat in booster mode as it allows you to use lower anchors that ensure a tighter installation.

With a tighter installation, the child seat will not move around so much during a crash, thus enhancing the toddler's safety.

If your combination car seat does not support LATCH in booster mode, always make sure you re-buckle each time the seat is used.

Harness Weights to Take Into Consideration

Most of the combination child seats reviewed here can be used with harnesses until your child is between 40 and 50 pounds(18 to 23 kg).

After that you can change the combination car seat into the best booster seats by getting rid of the harness straps and shifting to belt positioning mode where you will use the vehicle seat belts until the child is between 80 and 100 pounds(36 to 46 kg). 

Often times the maximum harnessed weight does not apply to the maximum weight listed for the seat and hence you need to check for maximum weight for internal harnesses and maximum weight from the car safety seat manual.

Combination Car Seat Demo and Use

Reviews of our 5 favorite Combination Car Seats

1) Britax G1.1 Frontier Combination Child Seat

Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight Combination
Impact absorbing tether

The best front facing car seat, the Britax is the top brand when it comes to safety technology and hence by buying the Britax Frontier Clicktight you can be confident you are buying a top product.

Its clicktight installation systems and the safecell impact protection  make it the best car seats that have won an award from the NHTSA for exceptional safety standards.

  • The Britax g4.1 clicktight is the best combination car seat by a mile as it combines a harness that has the highest weight and height limits to ensure your child rides in utmost safety for the longest time possible
  • You will find this one of the easiest car seats to install even if you are a first time parent as it comes with the Clicktight installation system which many parents have asserted to be the easiest installer rivaling even LATCH. 
  • Your child gets to ride in comfort even as they grow given that this is an adjustable car seat that comes with a 9 position adjust harness making it a breeze to adjust the height of the harnesses as the child grows up
  • Given that it has earned a name as  combination car seat catering for children of all ages, the Britax Clicktight is a versatile safety seat that will take your child from as little as 25 pounds right up to 90 pounds
  • To protect the child from crashes the Britax is built with an energy absorbent tether, energy absorbing shell and a foam lined headrest which is the most robust protection from side impacts you could expect of any top class combination seat
  • High and weight limits
  • Easy to install with Clicktight
  • Adjusts and grows with the child
  • check
    Excellent safety standards
  • Harness adjusters are set too far back
Britax combination car seat

2) Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat

Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster

Graco Nautilus 65 Harness Seat

Graco nautilus seat

The Graco nautilus harness seat is a top of the range 3 in one safety seat from the most trusted child safety seat manufacturing company.

Graco’s top-rated Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 combination harness booster will take your child from the time they are toddlers until their early teen years when the seat turns into a backless booster seat and until the child transitions to seat belts. 

It will keep the child safe at all stages of growth from harness car seat to backless booster.

With parent- and child-approved comfort and safety features, the Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 is the 5 point harness booster seat for over 40 lbs and an all-around family favorite!

The Graco seat comes with steel reinforced frame and energy absorbent foam for maximum safety and comfort for your child. The child car seat has also been engineered and rigorously tested and exceeded Federal Crash Safety Standards by up to two times.

  • The Graco Nautilus is tan extended rear facing car seat that you will use for a long time period as the wide weight limits allow use as a harness booster from 65 pounds and as a backless and high back booster up to 100 pounds
  • Installation and positioning of the toddler booster seat is snug and smooth given that you have access to open loop belt guides that make it easy even if you are installing the safety seat for the first time
  • The child will be as safe as they could be as the Graco Nautilus is a car seat that combines installation and in seat safety systems through the Simply Safe Adjust harness system
  • The best 3-in-1 harness booster is not only about the child's convenience as the Nautilus also provides you with some great convenience as it has a machine washable cover that you can easily remove to clean when the car seat gets dirty
  • Extended use car safety seat
  • Safe and comfortable seat
  • Easy installation
  • check
    Machine washable pad
  • LATCH connectors are basic hook style

3) Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Booster Harness Car Seat

Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat

Graco Atlas 65 2-in-1 Harness Seat

Simply Safe & Simply Easy

Simply Safe & Simply Easy

If you are done with the harness booster, bucket seat and convertible then you should definitely check out the Graco Atlas 2-in-1 which Graco declares that the Atlas 2-in-1 harness seat is the last seat you will ever need.

The Graco will accommodate your baby from 22 pounds and go all the way to act a high back belt positioning booster between 30 and 100 pounds making it also a great alternative for an all in one car seat if that is what you are looking for

With great safety features and testing that has exceeded most of federal safety standards, this is the best harness booster seat for your toddler and older children

  • The child car booster seat provides an easy ride for the child as it comes with a ten position headrest, 3 position incline, and the Simply safe adjust system which is the best safety system as can be evidenced by the safety reputation that Graco has built over the years
  • If you are like me who hates installing the car seat, then you will love the Graco Atlas that comes with a belt lockoff which makes seat belt installation of the safety seat a breeze
  • Never worry about spills as the car seat comes with integrated cup holders and also machine washable fabrics which makes it very easy to clean in case they get dirty. In addition to your cupholders, the kid can also bring their toys in the storage
  • Given how easy it is to use, the Graco is an excellent combination seat for that toddler that wants to buckle themselves in.
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Easy safe ride for the kid
  • Easy for the toddler to buckle themselves in
  • check
    Machine washable pad
  • Only has a 3 position recline

4) Evenflo Maestro Thunder

Evenflo Maestro combination Car Seat

Evenflo Maestro Booster Seat

Belt-Positiong Booster

Belt-Positiong Booster

The Evenflo is made by Evenflo a company that asserts that its products are designed to provide your infant toddler with comfort and safety. This is achieved through a range of innovative products and product testing that far exceeds federal standards

In this regard the Evenflo Maestro Booster is the top combination seats that has met the most rigorous safety standards in manufacture and testing so that you can be certain that your child is riding in utmost safety

It has exceeded Federal Crash Safety standards and has a Best Bet accreditation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The evenflo maestro best exemplifies the company's commitment to produce an ultimate car seat that offers ease of use comfort and safety, and this has been evident in the thousands of parent reviews who think the seat is an excellent combination booster car seat

  • The Evenflo is a small car seat that will not take up too much space in the backseat of your car making it an excellent choice if you have quite the large family or are tired of car seats that cramp up your legs as they force you to move the driver seat forward
  • This is one car seat that you can use for an extended period of time given that it comes with multiple harness buckle and multiple crotch positions making it easy to adjust the car seat to fit the growing child
  • You do not have to worry about hard to install car seats as the Evenflo makes it easy to install the seat with an auto adjusting belt path making it a breeze to position the shoulder belt which also enhances the safety of the installation
  • You will love this car seat if you frequently change your child safety seats from car to car given that it provides ease of installation through LATCH and it is the best lightweight combination car seat you could buy. 
  • Manufactured to rigorous safety standards
  • Provides safety and comfort
  • Small and portable car seat
  • check
    Easy to install with LATCH
  • Terrible colors

5) Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Combination Seat

Fit 3 Across in Most Vehicles

Fit 3 Across in Most Vehicles

The Cosco Finale DX is made by Cosco Kids a company that affirms that its mission is to provide baby products for smarter living. In this regard they provide cool but practical products that we have grown to love over the years

The Cosco Finale DX is Cosco Kids latest iteration of the ultimate combination seat that you can use in both the harnessed seat and belt positioning mode. This means you can use the car seat for toddlers from 30 pounds in the harness booster seat mode and up to 100 pounds as a belt positioning booster. 

As a company committed to smarter living the best thing about the Cosco Finale DX is that, it has a very small footprint which makes it a great car seat for three car seats in the back seat of your car 

  • Enjoy your time out with your kids as the Cosco Finale comes with dishwasher safe integrated cup holders for your infant and toddlers who may need to drink while you are out and about
  • It is an excellent car seat if you are a frequent traveler given that at only 11.5 pounds, it is lightweight and portable making it easy to carry across the airport or to move from car to car
  • Even as it is made for smarter living, it is not only about the cool as this safety seat is comfortable and safe, providing high end deluxe fabrics which makes this child seat great for long journeys with your child
  • If you are one for carpooling then there is no better car seat than the Cosco Finale DX, given that its small footprint means it can take three car seats in the back with no problem.
  • Besides the cool, the Cosco Finale DX is a safe car seat for your kids given that it has won some of the best awards for safety including a Best Bet Rating from the IIHS
  • Made for smarter living
  • Lightweight portable car seat
  • Fits three seats in the back
  • check
    Premium fabrics
  • Flimsy padding

Best Combination Car Seat: Britax Frontier Clicktight

Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight

Out of the Combination car seats on the list the Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight is the best child safety seat with its small size, adjustable headrest, side impact protection and 5 point harness, easy and safe recline and ease of installation.

New Child Booster Seat Laws for the UK

The expected child booster seat laws came into force on the 27th of February, earlier than the expected date of first March. These new laws make it illegal for lighter and smaller children to travel in booster seats.

The new UK car seat laws are aimed at addressing pediatric and regulatory concerns that some parents were using booster seats for children that are too small or too young. 

In the new regulations, backless booster seats have to be manufactured such that they can be used for children who weigh at least 22 kg or are 125 cm tall or more. ​With the changes in the law which have come before their expected date many parents are concerned or confused of what to make of them. 

​So here is the gist of what you need to know about the new laws:

​The Law

  • Children must be kept in a booster seat until they are 125 cm tall or 12 years old depending on which is attained first. 
  • You must keep height based seats in the safer rear facing position until the child is at least 15 months old
  • You must keep the weight based car seat in the rear facing mode until the child is at leas 13 kgs - you are allowed to install the seat either in the forward or backward facing mode after this.
  • You must ensure that the child has a seat that comes with a diagonal seat belt unless the seat comes with ISOFIX anchor points, five point harness or is made for lap belts. This rear facing car seat law applies to all including the best rear facing car seat.
  • You must disable the front airbag if you are using a booster seat in the front seat - Read here why It is always advisable that the child rides in the backseat at all times until they are at least 12 years.
  • If you are traveling in a coach, minibus or taxi, the child may travel without a booster seat
  • If you are going on a necessary, urgent or short distance trip, you can use the adult seat belt with a child that is three years or older.
  • You are liable to a fine of up to £100 if you are found traveling with a child without having them in a booster seat appropriate for their weight, height and age. 

The New Regulations

  • According to the new regulations manufacturers now have to adhere to set standards in the designing  of booster seats and will no longer be allowed to manufacturer new design of car seats for children weighing less than 22 kg or shorter than 125 cm.

Implications of the Child Booster Seat Laws

You can still use your backless booster seat without any fear of getting fined under the new laws

Manufacturers are affected more given that government regulators have asserted that the new rules do not make backless booster car seats illegal or unsafe, and hence you can continue using existing models of booster cushions and seats.

The rules are only applicable for products that are still in the shop - these products need to have labels that indicate that the backless boosters will be used for children heavier than 22 kg and taller than 125 cm​

If you are in any other country other than the UK you can check out the safest backless booster seats.

How to Ensure Your Child is Safe

  • Only buy seats that come with an orange label that usually has the code R129 and a capital E on it. If your car seat has such a label you can be confident that it is in compliance with the new safety regulations.
  • If you go for a weight based car seat, you need to remember that the seats are designed for different weights depending on the manufacturer. Check that the car seat has a label with the code ECE R44 and a capital E which means it is an EU approved car seat that you can use in the UK.
  • Always check the car seat manual and ask if it is of the appropriate size and weight for your child
  • Follow the vehicle and car seat manufacturer manual to ensure that the seat is installed correctly and safely. If you can have a certified car seat technician fit the seat or check that it is installed correctly. You can find car seat safety technicians to help with installation at events such as these.
  • Do not buy second hand seats or any seat that is damaged in any way or has been in an accident as its structural integrity is likely compromised. 
  • Check that the car seat model you are looking to buy can be used with your given car model.

It won't affect children who weigh less than 15kg

Currently children weighing as little as 15kg, around three years old, can travel in the backless seats and if you choose to continue with the seat you have then you will NOT be fined, or face any legal action.

child booster seat laws

Girl in a Graco Backlesss Booster

​Children Less than 15 kg

​If your child is 3 years old or younger and weighs less than 15 kg they can still travel in a backless booster seat with no legal implications for you.

Nonetheless, you need to know that the purpose of these new regulations is to make sure that children are as safe as possible during your journeys. As such, if you can use another type of car seat such as a high back booster, a combination or a top quality convertible car seat, it is always advisable to do so.​

Statement from the Department of Transport

​According to a statement released by the department of transport:

New booster cushions without a backrest will only be able to be approved as ‘Group 3’ products, i.e. for children over 125cm or 22kg. Currently, it is possible for these booster cushions to be approved for smaller children. It will only affect new products, not those already on the market. Parents can continue using existing booster seats for children under the minimum height without facing any penalty."

Department of Transport Spokesman 

Booster Cushions are not So Safe

Booster cushions are made to be used as belt positioning devices meaning that in essence they just lift the child up so that the vehicle's regular seat belts fit correctly. They are deficient as compared to the features offered by other types of car seats.

They do not come with side impact protection since they lack side and back wings making them insufficient in the instance of a collision. ​

Expert Opinion

The experts at Good Egg Safety reckon that 34% of 8-11 year olds in the United Kingdom travel without booster seats on journeys on which they would need one. ​

backless booster seat law

Child in a Backless Booster

Kat FurlongSafety Manager

A high-back booster is far more preferable to a booster cushion, to provide children with adequate head, neck and torso protection from side impacts, which booster cushions do not offer. 

We implore parents to buy these instead and ensure they are the right seat for their child and car

Best Rated Forward Facing Car Seat 2019: The Ultimate Guide

Given that rear facing is safer than forward facing, why would you ever want to turn your kid forward facing? 

"Well there comes a time when the child is too tall or too big to fit in the car seat in the safer mode thus necessitating the shift to a front facing child seat."

However, you have to remember that a rear facing convertible car seat is up to 5 times safer than forward facing and hence as much as possible try to keep the child in this mode until they have exceeded the height and weight limits of their seats.

best Forward facing car seat

Baby Riding in Forward Facing Seat

According to recommendations from the AAP, you need to keep your child in rear facing for up to a minimum of two years before switching to forward facing.

You can then switch to a safety with a harness until the child is about four years old. 

While there are no forward facing car seat laws per se, booster seat laws should apply if you plan to switch the child to forward facing. 

Best Forward Facing Seat: Evenflo Big Kid AMP

Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat

Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Seat

The Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat is the best forward facing child safety seat that comes with superior safety, quick fit harness, ease of installation, adjustable heights and can be used as a backless and high back booster seat.

Types of Child Safety Seats You Can Use in Forward Facing

  • Convertible Car Seat - Include 3 in 1/all in one child seats and can be turned to forward facing when the child exceeds height and weight limits
  • Combination Car Seats with Harness - These are seats that you use with a harness if your child weighs in at between 40 and 90 pounds or without the harness as a booster at between 80 and 120 pounds.
  • Forward Facing Only Car Seats - These can be used forward facing with a 5 point harness and can never be used facing the back or as a booster. They are safe for children between 40 and 80 pounds.

Compare the Top 5 Best Front Facing Car Seat of 2018

Rating

Image

Product

Our Rating

Weight

Price

1

Evenflo Big Kid High Back

Evenflo Big Kid High Back

8.6 Pounds

2

Graco Nautilus 65

Graco

Nautilus 65

5.46 Pounds

3

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat

Cosco

Finale DX

11.5 Pounds

4

Safety 1st Grow and Go

Safety 1st Grow and Go

18.7 Pounds

5

Britax USA Marathon ClickTight

Britax Marathon Clicktight

28.4 Pounds

Reasons to Switch to a Forward Facing Child Seat

Contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to purchase a forward facing car seat if you have a safety seat with higher height and weight limits that your child has yet to exceed.

As long as your child is within the height and weight limits of their convertible car seats, you can continue to use it until they are ready for a harnessed seat typically when they are approximately 5 to 7 years of age. 

However the following are some reasons to upgrade to a forward facing seat:

  • You want to hand down the safety seat to a younger child, while the older child is now ready for forward facing. Most forward facing car seats weight and height limits will allow the kid to use it from between the ages of 7 up to 12 when they would be ready for adult eat belts.
  • Many Pre-K kids will usually start rejecting to ride in rear facing and will ask for a booster. A front facing child seat is more upright than the convertible, yet still has the 5 point harness booster seat for over 40 lbs and hence by transitioning your child to these seats you can appease the kid while still keeping them safe.
  • Forward facing combination car seats are typically very tall and will usually last until the child no longer needs to use a safety seat. As such by using these seats, you can keep the child harnessed for longer than you would in a normal child seat.

Using the above criteria, we narrowed our original list of 10 down to 5 top forward facing convertible car seats:

Installation Tips for Forward Facing Child Seats

As usual you need to read and thoroughly understand the seat manual before you install and use the forward facing safety seat. You need to find a child seat that installs securely in your vehicle and has the most snug fit for your kid. 

To Switch a 3-in-1 or Convertible to Forward Facing

  • Shift the shoulder straps to the harness guides that are above or at your child's shoulders. Check your car seat manual since some child safety seats are designed such that the top harness slots have to be employed when using the seat in forward facing. 
  • Using the instruction in your seat owners manual adjust the recline angle so that it fits the age and model of the vehicle you are using.
  • If installing using vehicle seat belt ensure that the belt is locked and tightened snugly and that it passes through the forward facing belt path.
  • If you are using LATCH, ensure that the toddler weighs no more than 65 pounds. If the kid weighs more than 65, use seat belts as the LATCH is not strong enough to hold the weight of a child heavier than 65 in the instance of a crash. 
  • As much as you can use the top tether to anchor the car seat more securely on the vehicle. The tether offers more safety as it prevents the seat from moving too far forward or from side to side in a crash. 

Video on How to Install a Forward Facing Car Seat

Best Forward Facing Car Seat 2018 Reviews

Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat

Evenflo Big Kid AMP

One Hand Adjustable Height

One Hand Adjustable Height

A forward facing car seat is a good seat particularly if you are have finished with the infancy stage of child rearing and now have nowhere to go but forward facing.

A forward facing car seat is always a good investment though finding a top quality one is always a challenge given that many safety seat manufacturers pay too much attention to rear facing at the expense of forward facing.

But with the Evenflo Big Kid Amp, you get to have the best front facing car seat that will not only provide safety, but also comfort to your child and convenience for you
.

  • Comfortable for those long drives while also a very safe car seat, making it excellent for a growing child. All of this is achieved an energy absorbent liner, adjustable height and back positions.
  • The Evenflo Amp booster seat is best known for being the best lightweight forward facing car seat. However it gets even better when the child is older as you can remove the back and convert it into the best backless booster seat to make it even lighter
  • You can have the child in the forward facing mode for longer given how the manufacturer makes sure your child is comfortable all through through the six adjustable positions for the different stages of child growth
  • The kid especially the infants and toddlers will have easy access to drinks as the car seat comes with integrated cup holders for the water and sippy cup. This also ensures that you will not have a messy car.
  • Even if the drinks and food does get onto the car seat, you dont have to worry as you can always remove the car seat pad which is machine washable so that you can get all that grime and dirt out
  • The Evenflo toddler car seat also provides the best comfort and safety for your kid with its comfortable and energy absorbent liner that will also come in very handy in the instance of a crash 
  • Comfort and Safety
  • Lightweight child seat
  • Machine washable seat pad
  • check
    Extended use
  • Large footprint
Evenflo Big Kid Amp
Safety 1st Grow and Go forward facing

Safety 1st Grow and Go

Safety 1st Go and Grow

Looking for a forward facing car seat that is built to grow, then there is nothing better than the Safety 1st Grow and Go car seat. A built to grow car seat is a car seat that is adjustable according to the height and weight of the child, making the seat last for an extended period.

The Safety 1st Grow and Go is a rear and forward facing car seat that prides itself as a seat that you can use with your child right from infancy at about 5 pounds until they are toddlers topping out at about 100 pounds

You can use it in rear facing from 5 pounds to 40 pounds and in forward facing as a harnessed seat from 22 pounds to 65 pounds. You can then remove the harness and transition to belt positioning booster that you can use for up to until the child is 100 pounds.

  • The Safety 1st Grow and Go is a great car seat not only for you but also for your toddler given its easy installation which makes taking it in and out of the car easy. It is also very easy for the toddler to buckle and unbuckle themselves into
  • As a built to grow car seat the Safety 1st makes it oo so easy to adjust it for the growing child as it comes with a quick one step adjustment harness that you can do with no fuss when the child outgrows their current heights or weights
  • The best car seat for small backseat, the safety first grow and go which has a small profile as compared to other forward facing child safety seats, it provides up to 7 inches more of space when installed in front facing mode
  • Dont you just hate dirty seats, they can make your car look really old and ugly. Well never have to worry about grimy seats even if you have sloppy toddlers. The safety seat comes with a machine washable pad that you can always remove for a scrub down when they get dirty
  • And on that subject of getting the car seats messy, you can reduce those incidences as the car seat comes with integrated cup holders to prevent any spills of water and drink the kid may need.
  • Built to grow with your kid
  • Easy to use and install
  • Great for a small car
  • check
    Machine washable seats
  • A little bit on the heavier side
Cosco Finale DX 2 in 1

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1

2 in 1 Booster Seat

2 in 1 Seat

Is it just me or is it that most forward facing car seats tend to be heavy and quite bulky. Manufacturers tend to think that since the child is older you necessarily need a bigger car seat which can be quite cumbersome in some situations

Not so with the Cosco Finale forward facing seat which is a lightweight and slim car seat that can fit in most small cars. With a weight of only 11 pounds it a great car seat to move from car to car.

Made for toddlers up to 100 pounds, The Cosco Finale is a great 2 in 1 child safety seat that you can use for the 5 point safety harness mode and then transition to belt positioning booster

  • The kid enjoys a safe and comfortable ride as the Cosco toddler car seat comes with luxurious fabric. Even better, given that the seat is made for toddlers, it comes with a machine washable pad which you can remove and clean to have your seats spic and span again. 
  • The small and portable car seat will fit in the back seat of most medium size and small cars making it excellent for you if you have more than two children or have a big family
  • You can even get more space with the Finale safety seat as unlike other seats, the cup holders can be removed so that you can have more space in the car
  • Rest assured that your kid is riding in utmost safety as the car seat has a Best Bet rating from the IIHS. Moreover it is made according to the best manufacturing standards and materials in the United States
  • Lightweight and slim car seat
  • Luxurious machine washable pad
  • Excellent Safety standards
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    Small and portable
  • Flimsy padding
Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster car seat

Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster

Graco forward facing seat

The Graco company is best known for making excellent car seats that combine safety and comfort and hence the Graco Nautilus 3 in one child safety seat is the best forward facing seat if you are looking for a seat with such qualities.  

The Graco safety seat  provides highest standards of safety with a 5 point secure harness, and given that it is a 3-in-1 seat it can fit children in rear facing from 27 to 49 inches and from 22 to 65 pounds.

You can then use it in the forward facing position as a belt positioning booster when the kid is between 30 and 100 pounds then convert it into one of the best backless booster seat from 40 to 100 pounds and 40 to 57 inches. 

  • The Graco Nautilus 65 provides extended period of use given that its high height and weight limits mean that you can use this child car seat from when the child at 20 pounds right up to when they start using it as a booster seat at 120 pounds
  • You will love the easy installation through the simply safe adjust harness system which not only makes installation a breeze but also makes it easy to adjust the car seat for proper fit to the child when they outgrow their current settings 
  • For the child the seat offers excellent comfort and safety through accessories that include a five position headrest, storage compartment for their toys, and 5 position headrest
  • For you the seat offers several conveniences that include buckle covers so that your toddler will not unbuckle themselves and an easy to remove machine washable pad for when the seat inevitably becomes dirty
  • Safe and comfortable
  • Extended use; high height and weight limits
  • Machine washable pad
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    Easily adjustable as the child grows
  • Hard to get a hang of for first time parent
Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
Easy and Safe Installation

Easy and Safe Installation

Have you ever spent an hour trying to get a child car seat installed, called your husband to push a knee onto it and still could not get it installed the way you wanted. Well, I have and I can tell you it is not a pleasant experience.

In the quest for making car seats that have a snug and secure install many manufacturers usually make one that while it fits right when installed correctly is simply too hard to install the way it is supposed to be .

If you have ever been in such a situation, the solution is the Britax USA Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat made by Britax the foremost manufacturers of child car seats known for exceptional safety standards

The Clicktight comes with a range of safety and convenience features that will aid in the installation and securing of the child seat to ensure that your child is safe and comfortable.

In recognizance of its superior standards of safety the seat won an NHTSA award in 2015 so you can be certain that your kid will ride safely in this forward facing beauty.

  • The kid will enjoy the best of safety standards as the Britax has proven to the most robust crash safety seat, surviving the most severe of crashes and keeping the child safe through the energy absorbent shell, steel frame, impact absorbing tether and stage release switches
  • The best toddler car seat 2018 provides you and the kid with easy installation offered by the Clicktight innovative technology by Britax. With easily accessible lower LATCH anchors, many parents find the Britax the easiest of all car seats to install
  • No need to buy several car seats with this safety seat as it comes with the highest number of adjustable harness positions at nine. Nine positions means that you can adjust the harness as the child grows to give them optimum comfort and fit
  • The seat is a great fit in most car as it can work in flat back seats and even in bucket seats of models that include popular models such as the Honda Odyssey, VW Passat and Audi among many others
  • Easy installation with clicktight
  • Excellent safety ratings
  • Great fit for most cars on the market
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    Integrated harnesses for no rethreading
  • Heavy as it is built like a tank

Best Forward Facing Seat: Evenflo Big Kid AMP

Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat

Evenflo Big Kid AMP

The Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Seat is the best forward facing car seat that comes with superior safety, quick fit harness, ease of installation, adjustable heights and can be used as a backless and high back booster.

Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat Saturn Review

evenflo tribute lx

One of the safest car seats under $100

The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat is one of the most affordable car seats you could buy for your kid costing only [amazon_link asins=’B006PB2B6O’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’becocasehq-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’d12040d3-c905-11e6-8251-4b598892f2b2′]. Coming with superior side impact protection that has been tested by federal standards will give you peace of mind.

The Tribute LX convertible car seat is made for safety and has the most robust structural integrity of up to double the federal recommended standards. It ease of installation makes it one of the best seats for almost anyone as the harnesses and buckle releases are easy to adjust.

100% made of polyester, it is one of the most durable of car seats. The polyester is also environmentally friendly in addition to having a good grip thus you can rest assured the child will be safely anchored in it.

Features of the Evenflo Tribute LX

  • Compact in size and hence is a great fit for parents with small car or travel as it is a TSA Approved car seat
  • Adjustment of the harness is easy since it upfront and easily accessible ensuring ease of installation.
  • One of the best convertible car seats in its range that offer four shoulder strap positions. These will come in handy for growing children as you will not have top purchase another car seat for longer.
  • Its 5-point harness offers the best secure and safe fit for children ranging from infants to toddlers up to to years.
  • Made 100% of polyester the cover is machine washable and hence the car seat will be looking as good as new even after several years of use.
  • Its energy absorbent foam liner will offer added comfort and safety for your child during travel.
  • It has been engineered, designed, molded, assembled and tested in the United States according to federal crash safety standards.

Pros

The fact that the evenflo tribute LX comes with a 5-point http://premier-pharmacy.com harness makes this one of the top convertible carseats for a growing child. Some convertible car seats claim to have adjustable settings but when it comes to adjusting them the safety of the car seat is suspect since the harness and straps become loose. It compact nature means that you could fit up to two seats in the backseat of your small car without any problems. One of the smaller car seats it is is also one of the most suitable for travel.

best convertible carseats

More Pros

  • The durability of the Evenflo LX Tribute is one of its best features. Since it is made of robust materials designed to offer the best protection, the side effect is that this seat lasts much longer than many seats out there.
  • The ease of installation through LATCH system and the 5-point harness which offers upfront adjustment make this seat one of the easiest seats to install in any car.
  • As a small car seat, it can easily fit two in the backseat which means you can have two children safely riding with you in comfort.
  • The cover made for polyester makes for easy cleaning ensuring that the car seat looks as good as new for a long time.
  • Its integrated body cushion that can be removed when children grow older, offers better comfort for your child especially on long journeys.
  • Comes at a fair price particularly when compared to other flashy models that do not offer the same robust side impact protection as the Tribute does.
  • Its structural integrity due to its energy absorbing foam and robust frame will give you peace of mind as it exceeds the federal crash test standards by up to double.
  • The energy absorbing frame prevents your child from shocks in the instance of a crash.
  • At 9.1 pounds it is a lightweight convertible car seat which almost anyone will have no problem installing as compared to models such as the Britax.
  • In the rear-facing position it can carry children weighing 5-35 pounds while in the forward-facing position it can carry children weighing 20-40 pounds.

Cons

The main complaints about the Evenflo Tribute is that it has very little padding at the bottom and that the LATCH system does not work as smoothly as expected. One reviewer complained that since the car seat does not have an automatic level indicator, it is very easy to have your child in an unnatural angle. The clips on the LATCH can also be a pain to uninstall as they are made of sharp metal which may cut you.

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNd6ZmnylWw[/responsive_video]

Final verdict

Some of the flaws of the Evenflo Tribute can be rectified by reading the instruction manual. While many reviewers have asserted that its LATCH system does not work as smoothly as expected, this is mostly with regard to the uninstalling the convertible car seat.  

The car seat does have a 5-point harness and shoulder straps which are clearly made out on the seat. Careful reading of the Evenflo Tribute instructions on installation will ensure proper installation and uninstalling.

Nevertheless, since the car comes with a warranty of a year, you could always return it if you believe it is faulty. Its robust safety ratings more than make up for the less than comfortable features that some reviewers have complained about.

Evenflo Tribute LX Installation Video[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg6t6oM3acU[/responsive_video]

The Evenflo Tribute is clearly one of the safest and most affordable convertible car seats you can buy. The relatively low price in relation to the safety it offers should be considered in making your decision on what convertible car seat to buy.

Tips for Flying Safely With Children

flying with Children

Family on Travel

As a parent that travels a lot, I have found that if you are travelling with a toddler or very young kid, the more prepared you are, the more you and the kid will be comfortable.

With a little bit of preparation you can plan and prepare your trips including things such as what to look for when choosing a good travel car seat (usually FAA Approved) navigating through the airport, and safe travel while inside the plane.

Check out the best FAA Approved car seats here.

Selecting a Good Car Seat

There are many good car seats on the market, but if you are a regular traveler, you need to find one that is made for flying. 

 Most car seats including convertible car seats, infant car seats, combination and all in one car seats can be used on an aircraft.

You need to buy a car seat or child restraint that has a sticker with the words "this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft"

However you need to know that belt positioning booster seats are not approved for flying. Since these car seats require shoulder and lap belts to function at maximum effectiveness, they will not be safe on the aircraft, which only comes with lap belts.

Planning Your Trip: Recommended Seating and Traveling

Children 40 pounds and below

It is recommended that any child weighing in at 40 pounds or less travel in a child safety restraint system or a harnessed child safety seat.

Even as it is not against regulations for your child that is aged 2 or below to ride on your lap in-flight, your kid will be safer if you buy them a child safety seat to enhance their safety during landing, takeoff and periods of turbulence.

Children over 40 pounds

If the child is over 40 pounds, they can be safe and secure in their own seat as long as they use the aircraft lap belt correctly.

However, if you brought the car seat along to use on the car when you get off the plane at your destination, it will always be safer to install the car seat on the airplane instead of using the lap belts.

Most boosters seats will be great for use in airplane travel.

Preparing for Your Trip: Buying Your Tickets

Choosing a flight

Given that having a child in their own seat can add some considerable cost to your travel budget, it would be better to go for a flight that is in the off peak hours. I always recommend that you call the airline ahead of time and ask for a flight that is likely not to be full.

It is also important to confirm the flight regulations and guidelines that the airline may have for parents traveling with children. Airlines will have different regulations including seating positions allowed, documentation for kids below a certain age, and minimum age for travel. Ensure that you are not in violation of any airline or FAA guidelines before booking your ticket.

Seating positions

A window seat is always the best seat for your kid. Installing the car seat on the window seat kills two birds with one stone as the seat will not be in the way of other passengers that may need to exit or enter the row and the baby will not be disturbed during the flight.

Preparing for the flight

Your Baby

During the flight, you can reduce any stress and meltdowns by following the following recommendations:

  1. When deciding on what your child will wear during the flight go for accessories, shoes and clothes that do not have any metallic components that may trigger airport security alarms causing unnecessary delays.
  2. If you can review the regulations of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) on the security screening processes they require for children of different ages.
  3. Ensure that you have talked to the child about the screening procedures before your reach the airport. For instance, you can reduce the child anxiety and fear by telling them that they may have to be separated from their favorite toys such as baby dolls and teddy bears for a few minutes while undergoing a security check.
  4. Make sure that you bring along anything that the child may need on the flight such as books to keep them occupied, toys, favorite snacks and changing materials for a stress free flight.
  5. If you are travelling with an infant, toddler or even an older kid make sure you dress them in comfortable and easy to change outfits. If you are nursing, you need to ditch the adorable overalls and find something that offer easy nursing access. Trust me, you can find some elegant tops, tees, & dresses that will ensure you look just as great.
  6. Bring along the child's favorite activity to keep them busy during the flight. If your child loves some cartoons you can bring along some on your iPad or food is their thing, bringing along a lot of snacks could save you from a lot of frustration.

Check out the baby travel packing list here

Luggage

It is very important to check out the TSA and FAA websites for information such as what type of luggage is classified as carry on. If you are traveling with items such as baby food, breast milk or changing clothes you need to know which ones are allowed on board and also ensure that your essential items are in the carry on luggage before hand.

During the Trip: The Airport

Toting a car seat, luggage and a child through an airport can be quite a cumbersome if not outright unpleasant experience. However you can make this better through some accessories that will make transporting car seat easier.

  • Car Seat Travel Cart: Combination to booster and convertible car seats are easy to transport in the airport using a travel car as they can be anchored to the cart using their LATCH connectors. You can have it even easier and more convenient by securing the child on the safety seat and rolling them across the airport while they are on the cart. A good thing with car seat travel carts is that most of them can be folded for easy storage in the overhead compartment.
  • Car Seat Travel Bag: If you need more protection to the car seat than the travel cart offers, then you could go for the car seat travel bag. Some travel bags have wheel while others can be easily carried like a backpack which makes the transportation of seats very convenient.

During the Trip: On the plane

Installing the car seat on the Plane

Install the car seat on window seat using the lap belts on the aircraft seat. For children below the age of two, install the car seat in rear facing mode and forward facing mode for toddlers and older children. If the aircraft does not have enough space to install the seat in the rear facing mode, you should maybe book bulkhead seats which tend to be roomier.

Ear pressure

Changes in altitude during take off and landing may be uncomfortable for toddlers and infants. Have the child on a pacifier or give them food and drink during these periods as it helps make reduce altitude pressures.

Make Sure to Relax

You can never plan for a baby that screams for an entire six hour flight and so for peace of mind, do not stress about things like that. If your kid happens to be in the mood for screaming their lungs out, it is no big deal, just apologize to your aisle mates, and buy them a $5 dollar cocktail if you wish. You will likely never see them again.