Space saver convertible car seat

Space saver convertible car seat DEFAULT

If you have a small car, you need to be more careful when selecting a car seat. Whether you are looking for an infant seat, a convertible seat, or an all-in-one, you need to pay close attention to the car seat’s dimensions and ease of use to ensure you limit the amount of hassle you will have getting it into and out of your car. Read on to see why I chose these seats and to get some tips on picking out the right seat for you!

Best Compact Infant Car Seat:

  Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars:

  Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Car Seat

Best Compact Booster Seat:

  Evenflo Big Kid Booster Seat

Best Compact Infant Car Seats

Chicco KeyFit 30

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion




Although they are made to be lightweight and compact, bucket-style seats can still end up taking up a lot of backseat space. My top overall pick for a compact car seat for small cars is the Chicco KeyFit 30 because it is compact, but still comes complete with some great safety features.

  • Car seat type: Rear-facing only infant seat
  • Seat Dimensions:  27.5″L x 24″H x 17″W
  • Car seat weight: 9.6 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits:  4-30 pounds, and up to 30 inches in height. Your child’s head must be at least 1 inch below the top of the headrest.
  • Forward-facing limits: Rear-facing ONLY
  • Reviews:
    • – 4.6 out of 5 stars, 119 reviews
    • Babies R Us – 4.7 out of 5 stars, 230 reviews

The Chicco KeyFit 30 is my top pick for an infant bucket-style car seat for small cars. This car seat is packed with safety features, such as energy-absorbing materials. It also includes features to make it extremely easy to install. It has a bubble level to ensure you install it at the right angle for your newborn (this angle will differ based on how your vehicle’s seat is angled).

The Chicco KeyFit 30 also has SuperCinch, which is a tool that helps you to tighten the LATCH straps when installing the car seat. Without installation technology like SuperCinch, it can take a lot of strength and effort to correctly tighten the car seat straps. I honestly didn’t believe it until I tried for the first time. And if you’re working in a tight area of a small car, it is even more difficult without this helpful feature!

On top of all of these features, the KeyFit 30 comes in at just 17 inches wide and is only 9.6 pounds in weight.

Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc

Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc Infant Car Seat, Carbon




On a budget? The Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc is a great alternative to the Chicco KeyFit 30.

  • Car seat type: Rear-facing only infant seat
  • Seat Dimensions: 16.2″L x 26″H x 14.7″W
  • Car seat weight: 17 lbs
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-30 pounds, and up to 30 inches in height.
  • Forward-facing limits: Rear-facing ONLY
  • Reviews:
    • – 4.5 out of 5 stars, 107 reviews
    • – 4.1 out of 5 stars, 321 reviews

If you’re looking for a cheaper bucket-style infant seat for a small car, I highly recommend the Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc. It is actually more compact than the Chicco KeyFit, and it might be the most narrow rear-facing car seat on the market. I didn’t choose it as my top pick because it doesn’t come equipped with all of the features that the KeyFit does. Because it is only slightly more compact, I believe the additional features on the KeyFit outweigh the compactness of the Flex Loc.

That being said, it is a great option if you are looking for a cheaper low profile car seat. After all, you will only get about one year of use out of your infant bucket seat before you have to move your child into a convertible seat.

The Baby Trend Flex Loc made our list of best infant car seats because it’s safe and it fits perfectly in small cars. Plus, we just can’t get over that handy infant car seat cover, aka the boot! You’ve gotta read the article to see what I’m talking about.

Clek Liing Infant Car Seat

Clek Liing Infant Car Seat, Chrome

For an infant car seat that is only 16.9 inches wide, the Clek Liing Infant Car Seat is a high-quality and modern seat that comes with a higher price. The base is designed with a Rigid-LATCH and belt-tensioning system for a secure fit. It designed for children weighing 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32″ in height. This narrow car seat also conveniently attaches to most strollers with an attachment. 

  • Car seat type: Infant car seat
  • Seat Dimensions:  27.75″L x 16.9″W x 27″H 
  • Car seat weight: 27 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-35 pounds and up to 32″ in height
  • Forward-facing limits: N/A

Chicco Fit2 Air Infant & Toddler Car Seat

Chicco Fit2 Air Infant & Toddler Car Seat - Marina, Grey/Blue




The Chicco Fit2 Air Infant & Toddler Car Seat comes in at just 17 inches wide, making it another one of the best narrow car seats on the market. This narrow car seat gives you the option to easily keep your child rear-facing up to 2 years of age with the 2-stage feature (infant, 0-12m; toddler, 9-24m). It is designed to support children weighing 4 to 35 pounds. It is a higher-priced car seat, but given it lasts up to 2 years of age, you’ll get your money’s worth.

  • Car seat type: Infant & toddler car seat
  • Seat Dimensions:  28″L x 17″W x 16″H
  • Car seat weight: 20.5 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-35 pounds 
  • Reviews:
    • Kohl’s – 5 out of 5 stars, 18 reviews
    • buybuyBABY – 5 out of 5 stars, 18 reviews

Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars

Graco SlimFit 3-in-One Convertible Car Seat

Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Car Seat -Slim & Comfy Design Saves Space in Your Back Seat, Darcie, One Size




We can’t talk baby products without offering a Graco model. The Graco SlimFit Convertible car seat is Graco’s option for small spaces. The product dimensions say this car seat is 19.9 inches wide, which isn’t very narrow. However, this seat is designed with dual integrated cup holders that rotate away, making the seat 10% slimmer.

  • Car seat type: Convertible car seat
  • Seat Dimensions:  21.5″L x 19.9″W x 25.5″H
  • Car seat weight: 19.47 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-40 pounds
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-65 pounds
  • Reviews:
    • – 4.8 out of 5 stars, 682 reviews
    • – 5 out of 5 stars, 377 reviews

Diono Radian 3R Convertible Car Seat

Diono Radian 3R, 3-in-1 Convertible Rear & Forward Facing Convertible Car Seat, High-Back Booster, 10 Years 1 Car Seat, Slim Design - Fits 3 Across, Black Jet




Compared to other infant seats or convertible seats, the Diono Radian 3R seems like such simple car seat. But when you consider it should be the only car seat you need to buy for your child, you will actually end up saving money down the line with the reasonable price of this car seat.

  • Car seat type: All-in-1
  • Seat Dimensions: 16″L x 17″W x 28.25″H
  • Car seat weight: 26.1 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-50 pounds and until your child’s head exceeds 1.5″ below the top of the headrest.
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-65 pounds, and up to 57″ in height in convertible mode
  • Booster limits: 40-120 pounds, and up to 57″ tall.
  • Reviews:
    • – 4.7 out of 5 stars, 85 reviews
    • Albee Baby – 4.9 out of 5 stars, 42 reviews

Both the depth and width of the car seat make for a very low-profile car seat and will take up minimal space in your car. This is one of the least expensive recommendations here, which is surprising since it should be the only car seat you ever need! It takes you from the rear-facing infant stage, through the convertible stage, and lastly the booster seat stage. Children should remain in a booster seat until the actual vehicle seat belt fits them properly.

We recommend the new latch version of the 3R car seat. It has SuperLatch installation, which makes connecting the car seat to the latch anchors in your vehicle a breeze. Taking it out is also easier since you simply press a button to release the connector.

This model also has other great features, like an easy remove and machine washable cover, the ability to fold the bottom of the seat up for hassle-free travel, and expandable sides to offer more room as your child enters the booster mode and needs extra space.

The Diono Radian 3R comes loaded with safety features, such as a steel frame and a rear-facing top tether, which helps keep the smaller car seat from moving in the event of an accident.

The Radian 3R is a great compact all-in-one option. Again, you won’t have the option to easily carry a newborn around in it or attach it to a travel system, but it should save you money in the long run. This makes it one of the top options for a twin car seat.

Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat

Combi Coccoro Streamlined Lightweight Convertible Car Seat| 3 Across in Most Vehicles| Ideal for Compacts | Quick Install | 50% Lighter Than Other Leading Brands| Tru-Safe Impact Protection| Licorice

The Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat comes from a Japanese company that designs products for the smaller cars of that country. That being said, the US version of this safe seat is very compact and will fit nicely in virtually any vehicle.

  • Car seat type: Convertible car seat
  • Seat Dimensions:  22″L x 15.5″W x 23″H
  • Car seat weight: 14.3 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 3-33 pounds 
  • Forward-facing limits: 20-40 pounds

This brand is lesser-known, but it gets great reviews. At just 15.5 inches wide, it is ideal for fitting three across in a small car. Whether forward or rear-facing, it doesn’t need a lot of back seat space and it won’t force you to scoot the front seats all the way forward.

The features of this car seat will keep you and baby comfortable and happy. The ample seat padding is removable and washable. The Tru Safe side impact protection provides excellent support and shielding of baby’s head, neck, and spine. The harness is padded and adjustable. The push-button latch anchors and top tether help you to get the car seat installed properly every time. If not using a latch, it has built-in vehicle belt lock-offs to keep the installation safe. 

Unlike some of the all-in-one models mentioned above, this car seat is designed for use in the toddler years. At that point, you’ll no longer be able to use this seat and you’ll have to invest in a booster seat. Also, due to the truly compact size, it’s not a great car seat for babies in the bigger percentiles, since it’s on the smaller side.

This is a fantastic car seat for preemies because it can be used at just 3 tiny pounds! The smaller size and the cozy padding also mean that it will support a smaller baby well. 

RELATED: Best Car Seat for Preemies

Diono Radian 3QXT 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Diono Radian 3QXT 4-in-1 Rear and Forward Facing Convertible Car Seat, Safe Plus Engineering, 4 Stage Infant Protection, 10 Years 1 Car Seat, Slim Design - Fits 3 Across, Jet Black




The Diono Radian 3QXT 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat features a removable infant insert, safe plus engineering (high-density plastic and steel reinforcement), and it converts to a booster seat once your child is ready. At 17-inches wide, it provides much more room than the average convertible car seat. It is designed to seat children weighing 4 to 50 pounds in the rear-facing position and up to 120 pounds in the front-facing or booster position. The 3QXT comes with a hefty price but it does come with some great features.

  • Car seat type: Convertible car seat
  • Seat Dimensions (with base):  16″L x 17″W x 28.5″H
  • Car seat weight: 25.8 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 4-50 pounds
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-65 pounds
  • Booster seat: 40-120 pounds
  • Reviews:
    • Kohl’s – 4 out of 5 stars, 12 reviews

Best Compact Booster Seat

Evenflo Big Kid High Back Booster Seat

Big Kid LX High Back Booster, Denver

The Evenflo Big Kid Booster Seat is only 16 inches wide making it one of the best narrow booster seats. The seatback is removable to transition to a backless booster seat. This is also a budget-friendly option with great customer ratings.

  • Car seat type: Booster seat
  • Seat Dimensions:  28″L x 15″W x 16″H
  • Car seat weight: 7.1 pounds
  • Booster seat limits: 40-110 pounds 
  • Reviews:
    • – 4.5 out of 5 stars, 1.1K reviews

RELATED: Best Booster Seats: Our Top Harnessed, High Back, and Backless Booster Car Seats Picks


Car Seat Comparison Table

The Best Car Seats for Small CarsDimensionsWeight
Diono Radian 3QXT Convertible Car Seat17″ Wide, 16″ Deep, 28.5″ High25.8 lbs
Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 Convertible Car Seat19.9″ Wide, 21.5″ Deep, 25.5″ High19.47 lbs
Baby Trend EX Flex-Loc Convertible Car Seat14.7″ Wide, 16.2″ Deep, 26″ High17 lbs
Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat17″ Wide, 27.5″ Deep, 24″ High17.5 lbs
Diono Radian 3R Convertible Car Seat17″ Wide, 16″ Deep, 28.3″ High26 lbs

Small Car Seats Compared

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.

Infant Bucket Seat vs Convertible Seat vs All-in-One

One of the main decisions to make when looking for a car seat for a newborn is whether you want to get an infant bucket seat, a convertible seat, or an “all-in-one” seat.

How do they differ?

  • Infant bucket seat: Rear-facing only. Typically comes with a base that you install in your car. You can then easily click the infant car seat into and out of the car seat base. Typically will only last until your child’s first birthday or so. See our list of the best infant car seats.
  • Convertible seat: Rear-facing and forward-facing. Generally heavier than infant bucket-style seats. Some are not suitable for newborns, but the best convertible car seats do have lower weight limits so they can be used for newborns all the way through their toddler years.
  • All-in-one: This usually refers to a seat that will cover all of your child’s car seat needs – from infant until the point that they can seat in a vehicle seat without a child car seat. Typically all-in-ones have some sort of infant insert for the first stage, then it turns into a convertible seat for when they are older, then eventually will turn into a booster seat once they reach the point where they no longer need a 5 point harness.

How do I decide?

If you do opt to start with a convertible or all-in-one seat, the only real downside is that you won’t be able to easily transport your newborn in their car seat. Having a car seat that can be easily removed and transported means you won’t have to remove your newborn from their actual car seat for every errand or appointment. Simply being able to carry them in their seat or attach the seat to a stroller makes going out and about those first few months very easy. This is why many parents start out with an infant bucket-style seat.

However, by purchasing a convertible seat or an all-in-one for your newborn, you will end up saving money down the line. Most infant bucket seats will only last you the first year or so, and then you would be buying a convertible or all-in-one seat to replace it. It really depends on how much you value the convenience of the bucket seat, and how much you see yourself using this convenience as well.

Important Narrow Car Seat Features

Car Seat Width

The smaller the width of the car seat, the more space it will give you for other passengers in the back seat. This is especially important if you are going to have more than one car seat in the back seat.

See our exhaustive list of narrow car seats by type here.

Front-to-Back Space

If the car seat takes up a lot of front-to-back space, you may leave the front passenger with little foot room. If you have a car that will let you install in the middle seat, you may not have to worry about this as much, since the middle seat will give you a little extra front-to-back space.

One major thing that can affect the amount of front-to-back space that an infant seat will take up is what position the handle has to be in when installed in the car. Some car seats require you to have the carrying handle in the “travel” position when in the car. This will add an extra inch or so to the amount of space it takes up.

Also keep in mind, because the angle of seats is different in different cars, you can’t strictly look at car seat depth to depend on how much front-to-back space it will take up.

Image of Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion


If you’re installing a car seat in a small car, it’s extra important to have a car seat that is easy to install. Car seats can get super frustrating to install correctly, and when you’re working in a tight space, it’s even worse, and you’re more likely to make mistakes. Always be sure to have your car seat installation inspected! It’s quick and easy to do, and it will give you some peace of mind knowing your car seat is installed correctly.

Installation is so important to car seat safety. Read our Car Seat Safety Guidelines article for all the safety facts.

Ease of Removal

This really refers more to bucket-style seats. If you have a small car, you want to be able to easily click the car seat in and out of the car seat base. Some bases are more difficult to work with, but overall you shouldn’t run into too many issues here.

FAQs – Car Seats for Small Cars

What is a 3-in-1 car seat?

A ‘3 in 1′ car seat is a seat that will accommodate your youngster through three different stages of development. This prevents parents from having to buy a new seat every time baby graduates out of another seat.

There are two kinds: one goes from rear-facing infant to forward-facing toddler to high-back booster, the other from forward-facing toddler to high-back booster to backless booster. 

An all-in-one or 4-in-1 car seat has the rear-facing, forward-facing, high back booster, and backless booster all rolled into one car seat! They’re often more expensive but work from birth until your kid’s age hits the double digits.

Which car seats can fit 3 across?

Any of the car seats on this list can fit three across in most back seats. In general, you’ll want a car seat that is about 19 inches wide or narrower. Getting 3 of the same car seat across is hard, but doing a combination of 3 different types of car seats (e.g. infant seat and convertible seat and booster seat) is usually easier because they have their bulk in different spots, so they’ll fit together a bit like puzzle pieces.

A good general rule of thumb is to put the most vulnerable passenger in the middle. That means that the booster seat, which offers the least protection in an accident, should go in the middle. Then fit the other car seats around it.

If that doesn’t work, try other 3 car seat tricks, like turning one of the car seats forward or backward (as long as baby is old enough!) or switching up the order to get them to fit. 

Which car seats are good for small cars?

Experienced Mommy recommends (in order of width):

  • Baby Trend EX Flex-Loc Convertible Car Seat – 14.7”
  • Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat – 16”
  • Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat – 16”
  • Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat – 17”
  • Graco Milestone Convertible Car Seat – 17.5”

What convertible car seat is best for small cars?

Experienced Mommy recommends the Diono Radian 3RXT, or if you need something a little less pricey, the Graco Milestone All-in-One.

No side. The middle of the back seat is the safest place. If you must choose one side, there is some disagreement about whether passenger or driver side is best. Since all cars are different, though, check your owner’s manual for any instructions about where and how to install your child’s car seat(s).

Is a latch safer than a seatbelt?

Latch and seatbelt offer nearly the same level of safety, assuming that the seatbelt is being used correctly. After your child reaches 40 pounds, however, the LATCH lower anchors can often no longer be used and you must switch to the seatbelt. Always be sure to check your owner’s manual for any instructions about where and how to install the car seat(s).

My Recommendation

As you can see, a lot depends on what type of car seat you are looking for (infant, convertible, all-in-one). I’m a big advocate for starting out with a bucket-style seat just because of the ease of use of them, but you will save money if you decide to start out with a convertible or all-in-one from the get-go.

If you decide to start with an infant bucket seat, I highly recommend the Chicco KeyFit 30 because of its safety features and compactness. A more budget-friendly option, again, is the Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc, which is actually smaller than the KeyFit, but doesn’t have as many features.

My overall top pick for best convertible seat for a small car is the Graco Milestone All in One. And lastly, if you do decide to go with the budget-friendly option of starting out with an all-in-one, I highly recommend the Diono Radian 3R for small cars.

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  3. How to Fit Car Seats Three Across,

Pamela Halstead

I am a stay at home mother to one son. With a background in safety and health, I am very safety-conscious, especially when it comes to products for my child!


Who Else Wants to Know the Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars?

Welcome to the best convertible car seat for small cars awards show!

I’ve spent the last month testing car seats by talking to moms, checking recalls, investigating reviews and driving around my kids to see their scowls; meanwhile, my husband was enjoying some quiet at home. The check is due, honey…


We are responsible for the safety of our kids. And I know all too well that you can easily spend 3 weeks searching for the perfect car seat. So I’ve borrowed my sister’s Prius and took my three kids everywhere to find out the best convertible seats for small cars.

My goal is to save you time and make the best choice possible.

After all the miles, bickering and tantrums, I’m ranking these 6 car seats by safety, comfort, ease of install, washability, looks and, of course, value.

These are the best of the best, so you have a safe and comfy seat by your side no matter which one you choose.

Let’s see those seats already!

In A Hurry? Here Is Our Top 3 Car Seat For Small Cars

What Will I Learn?

#1 Diono Radian 3RXT – Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars

We have a WINNER!

No matter your child’s age, this Diono seat will keep your little one safe and comfortable on the road. Plus, it’s the only car seat you will ever need because it will protect your child from 5 pounds up to 120 pounds.

It seems that this car seat has it all. Besides being comfortable enough that even my eldest has dozed off, it’s one of the narrowest convertible car seats you can go with.

The width is just 17” so if you have a big family like me, you can do 3 across easily. No wonder it’s top on my list because it’s the narrowest convertible car seat on the market.

Maybe you have a little one that’s working towards independence. The Diono Radian 3RXT car seat will be a great help because they can easily crawl in and out of the seat. Talk about hitting the milestones early.

One of the last features I have to mention is that it allows extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds or 4 years. This is the safest way for kids to ride.

This is why it’s top on my list:

  • Super Compact: It fits in a tiny Prius without forcing the passenger in front to kiss the dashboard
  • Brain-dead Simple Install: You don’t have to kneel into it or threaten to set the car on fire just to make it wiggle proof
  • Best in its Class: It’s all worth the price seeing your child being safe and comfortable and almost dosing off

Also, there are a few drawbacks that I’ve discovered:

This car seat is heavy for all the right reasons, weighing in 30 pounds means that you won’t be moving it between cars with grace.

It seems like a bit of a downgrade from earlier models. The fabric has a cheap feeling plus the padding seems to be thinner as well. I hope this wasn’t done for cost savings.

All in all, this Diono Radian is a real space saver you can use for up to 10 years, and if you want something flashy, go with the red color; it’s beautiful.

Since this car seat is so popular, you need to take action now because the stocks were low the last time I’ve checked. Grab one while there are still seats to choose from.

If you want something a bit cheaper, then check out #3 on my list


  • It’s the perfect fit for small cars and parents who want to do 3 across with ease
  • The safest car seat money can buy it has all the bells and whistles to keep your little one safe
  • It’s so comfortable that kids fall asleep all the time without the dreaded head flops


  • It’s heavy for all the right reasons and you won’t be tempted to swap between cars
  • The padding seems to be lighter than the previous model

   Check Latest Price   

#2 Maxi-Cosi Magellan – Best Car Seat For Small Cars

Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Best Car Seat For Small CarsIt’s our job to protect our kids while on the road. This is where the Maxi Cosi Magellan comes into play. It’s not only one of the safest car seats on the market, but it’s super comfortable as well.

If you like to see your little one snug, you can’t go wrong with this car seat. No matter if you’re living in a hot climate, your child won’t overheat, thanks to the breathable fabric.

I have to call out the strap pads because they are doing an excellent job keeping the head upright. That’s right, no more floppy heads.

Even though it seems pricey, it’s not because this will be the only car seat you will ever need. You see, it caters to newborns up to young adults. This is an all-in-one seat, so it’s the perfect option if you want to save money in the long run.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Top 5 in Safety: Both NTSB and the insurance industry voted this car seat as one of the safest car seats
  • The only seat you will ever need: You will save a ton of money by not buying 4 seats. You only get this one and let your child grow.
  • Priceless Seat: Snug and safe while being all smiles, it’s worth it

These are a few drawbacks you have to know about:

My biggest gripe with this car seat is that the harness twists. This is normally not a problem if your little one is calm and relaxed. If they are in full rage mode, it’s a good idea to get a magnetic chest clip.

People say that the cup holder is tiny. The best cure for this is to go with it to the shop and find the right size baby cup.

All in all, my little one loved this car seat the most and looked the most relaxed, and yes, she did eventually fall asleep.

This Maxi-Cosi Magellan deserves the award of the Best Car Seat For Small Cars. So no wonder it’s flying off the shelves, so you need to move fast if you want it before they run out.


  • It’s among the top5 safest car seats you can choose for your child
  • It’s one of the roomiest car seats you can get there’s space for the driver as well
  • It keeps infants and up to 10-year-old kids safe


  • It’s heavy bulky and no way you can do three-way across
  • The cup holders are tiny you will need the right bottle

   Check Latest Price   

#3 Graco Extend2fit Convertible Car Seat – Best Toddler Car Seat For Small Cars

Graco Extend2Fit Best Toddler Car Seat For Small Cars

Are you looking for an affordable car seat that will fit your car? Then this Graco Extend2Fit is a perfect choice. It has checked all my criteria.

First of all, it has all the safety features that you will ever need. From more than enough padding to a strong frame, it has it all. Taking this into account, it’s lightweight. I can easily carry my baby in one hand while holding this Graco car seat in the other one.

My #1 reason for picking this car seat is the extended rear-facing mode. Moms, check this out! You can keep your little one in rear-facing to 50 pounds. This is the safest way for them to ride. Plus, there’s so much legroom.

This seat is super comfy, and thanks to the breathable fabric, my little one didn’t overheat, not even on the hottest days. A great perk that you get with this seat is the two cup holders perfect for holding the drink and toys in the second one.

You can adjust the straps in 2 seconds flat. There’s no rethreading whatsoever.

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Safe and comfy: It has all the safety features plus extended rear-facing up to 4 years while the breathable fabric won’t let your little one overheat.
  • Super Simple Install: You won’t be cursing the high heavens with this seat plus, if you get stuck, there are a ton of Youtube videos because it’s so popular
  • No Rethread Harness: Thanks to the easy-adjust system, you don’t have to disassemble the whole seat to adjust the straps

These are a few drawbacks you have to know about:

The bad news is that you won’t be able to do 3 across; however, it’s a good car seat for a small car because it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Also, this car seat won’t win any beauty awards. The straps are visible in the back, especially in rear-facing mode. It’s a small price to pay for such an affordable seat.

All in all, the Graco Extend2Fit car seat is unique in its category and deserves the Best Compact Toddler Car Seat award. It’s a big money saver while offering rear-facing up to 4 years old.

It’s one of the most popular car seats on the market, so don’t be surprised about frequent shortages. Buy it right now or risk waiting.


  • It’s one of the easiest to install can be done in less than 5 minutes
  • There’s no manual rethreading of the straps ever
  • The fabric is easy to wash even after a vomiting incident


  • The release button is hidden, and if you have big hands it’s hard to reach
  • You need to watch videos to put the fabric back into place

   Check Latest Price   

#4 Chicco Myfit Harness + Booster Car Seat – Best Small Convertible Car Seat

Chicco MyFit Best Small Convertible Car Seat“He’s not breathing! Quickly get to the hospital!”

These are some scary sentences that you don’t want to hear as a parent. Yet this used to be common with a friend of mine. Their son had breathing difficulties. Every time something blocked his breathing, he ended up in the hospital.

Recently this happened because they went with the wrong car seat. As you have probably noticed that after a certain stage, there is not enough head support. This was the issue. The boy has fallen asleep, and his head flopped. They ended up in the ER.

They have rotated through many car seats until they found the Chicco Myfit booster seat. It has the necessary head support so the little boy can sleep without worries. The parents are much safer drivers since they can watch the road and not their son through the rear view window.

Chicco Myfit booster seat won the Best Small Convertible Car Seat award. Is this a mistake? No, it’s not. On the contrary, it’s one of the best convertibles to use if you have a small car. It has a narrow profile, so you will be able to do 3 across. The width is just 18 inches wide, so this car seat is ideal for small cars.

Besides being narrow, it’s a looker. Kids will love it because it has that big kid feeling. After a while, they want to get rid of anything that says, baby.

The rigid frame is reinforced with steel. And there are two layers of side impact protection.

It’s a safe car seat with a narrow profile, and it’s a good looking one at that. No wonder it won the best small convertible car seat award.


  • It’s a heavy-duty car seat that won’t move no matter what
  • Your child will sleep easily without the dreaded head slump
  • It’s well-cushioned, and it won’t overheat


  • It has a narrow profile so thinner kids will be the most comfortable
  • Padding behind the belt not removable for washing

   Check Latest Price   

#5 Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat – Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small Car

Clek Foonf Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small Car

This incident happened with some friends of mine. They had their little one sitting in the back. They were cruising along.

All of a sudden, there was an impact. The windshield shattered. The father slammed the brake, not knowing what happened. He kept the car under control. They have rapidly decelerated. Their little one was looking around to see what has happened.

Then they notice that a tire crashed against them. It came from another vehicle.

Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat won the Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small Car award. The pictures of this car seat are deceiving. It might be a bit taller than the other car seats, but it’s the narrowest of them all. The width is jutted 16.9” (less than 17 inches).  If you want a tall car seat check out the best car seat for tall babies post.

When you’re thinking about narrow car seats or looking for a car seat for a small car, then you have to look at Clek. They are known to make the narrowest car seats on the market.

These seats are built like a tank. They have all the safety features to keep your little one safe.

Best of all, with the Foonf, you will be able to do extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds. Even if you have a small car, you will be able to do extended rear-facing well beyond the 4th birthday.

Also, Clek is known to make the best eco-friendly products. They use merino wool in the fabric. Thus they don’t need toxic chemicals or harmful flame retardants. This car seat is ideal for little ones with sensitive skin.

As you have seen, the Clek Foonf has earned the title of #1 smallest rear facing car seat award.


  • It’s built like a tank and it’s elevated so kids can lookout
  • This car seat will allow you to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible
  • It has installation videos which will help you secure your car seat


  • The seat cover can’t be removed, so spot cleaning is the only option
  • Leveling is done through leveling lines which is difficult to get right

   Check Latest Price   

#6 Clek Liing Infant Car Seat – Best Infant Car Seat For Small Cars

Clek Liing Best Infant Car Seat For Small Cars

Clek Liing Infant Car Seat won the Best Infant Car Seat For Small Cars award. If you have a small car, you have to accommodate the car seats towards it. Yes, there’s such a thing as a narrow infant carrier. The Clek Liing is just 16.9” wide (less than 17 inches).

If you have a small car, you will benefit from it. It’s one of the easiest infant car seats to install because it has a rigid latch system. In a matter of seconds, you are up and running. To provide the best protection possible, it has a load leg. This absorbs impact energy, so your little one is safe from harm.

The biggest selling point for the Liing is that it’s free from all harmful chemicals. The fabric is made out of merino wool, so no flame retardants are needed. If your little one has sensitive skin, then this car seat is the best fit.

It’s the highest-rated infant carrier on Consumer Reports. And this isn’t just a regular infant car seat. It can be mounted on a stroller, thus forming a travel system.

It has a narrow profile, so three across is doable. If you have a small car, then this is the slimmest infant car seat to go with.

For all these reasons above, I rate it as the #1 smallest infant car seat.


  • It’s one of the safest infant carriers you can buy
  • The fabric is chemical-free so ideal for sensitive skin babies
  • The load leg is a lifesaver it reduces the rebound energy by 40%


  • It’s the most expensive infant seat that you can buy
  • The infant cushion has rubber safety labels that get hot and sticky

   Check Latest Price   

Buyer’s Guide for car seats

Convertible car seats are the next upgrade after infant carriers. After this, there’s more to upgrade to. This is why I’ve decided to share with you a buyer’s guide. Maybe in the future, you will be able to put it to good use.

Before we could get to that, though, there are a few things you have to know.

First of all, the car seat has to be placed in the safest spot in the car. This spot is in the middle of the car. The truth is that not everybody can use that. So here’s the second-best and safest option, which is right behind the driver.

The second most important thing is the right to install. Nowadays, so many people run around with poorly installed car seat that it’s scary. Make sure that you have mounted the car seat right. Remember the rule of thumb. The wiggle room should be less than an inch.

Let’s get the buyer’s guide started.

Car Seat Safety

This is top of the list when it comes to checking out convertible car seats. All car seats offer front and rear impact protection. Recently many of them started offering side impact protection. Typically there are 1-3 layers. A handful of car seats have rollover protection.

My best advice in this category is to get the most that you can afford.

Car Seat Size Limits

Convertible car seats can be mounted both front and rear-facing. And to get the best bang for your buck to go for seats that offer the longest use. If you don’t have to upgrade, you’re saving money.

Also, it’s a good idea if they offer extended rear-facing. As you know, this has the most protection for your child. It’s highly advised to keep your little one in the rear-facing mode up to two years of age. In some countries, this limit is set to four.

How to install a car seat?

Gone are the days of the simple infant carrier installs. Convertibles are more complex, and you will need some practice to get used to them.

Most brands have made some good effort in making the mounting as simple as possible. Although some lagers are notoriously difficult to get them done right.


The fabric is very important when you’re checking out a new convertible car seat. Since kids will always have spills and accidents, you will have to clean up after them. This is why you need to know how easy it is to remove the cover and if it’s friendly to the washing machine.

This would be the end of my buyer’s guide.

Conclusions for the Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars

We’re nearing the end game. I’ve done my best to put these car seats in categories for easy searching.

We have reached the end of this best award ceremony. I hope you have learned a lot from it.

By now you should know which car seat is the best fit for you. Just recently, I’ve checked the stocks on these car seats. They were running low, so get them as soon as possible.

I would love to hear more about your experiences and tips. You can share them below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the smallest convertible car seat?

The smallest convertible car seat is the Clek Foonf which is just 16.9 inches wide.

What is the smallest child car seat?

The smallest child car seat is the Clek Foonf which is just 16.9 inches wide. The Clek Foonf car seat is ideal for your little one because it has passed all safety tests and is one of the safest car seat for small cars.

Are infant car seats smaller than convertible?

Infant car seats are generally smaller than convertible car seats. Infant car seats are generally used for smaller babies. Convertible car seats are usually used after the baby is an infant, thus they are bigger.

What is the most compact baby car seat?

The most compact baby car seat is the Diono Radian 3RXT which is 17 inches wide. It comes with all the latest safety features you would expect from a top quality baby car seat . The Diono Radian 3RXT is a popular convertible car seat due to its compact size.

What is the safest convertible car seat 2021?

The safes convertible car seat is the Diono Radian 3RXT which is 17 inches wide. The Diono Radian 3RXT is a popular convertible car seat due to its compact size and all the latest safety features.

Are convertible car seats smaller than infant car seats?

Convertible car seats are bigger to accommodate older, taller children. If you have a newborn, your best option would be an infant car seat.

What is the best compact convertible car seat?

The best compact convertible car seat is the Diono Radian 3RXT which is 16.9 inches wide. This compact convertible car seat will have your child riding comfortably since it has a steel frame and side impact protection. It fits nicely in compact cars.

What car seats will fit 3 across?

Those car seats will fit 3 across which have a narrow profile. Here are a few examples: all Clek products, Diono Radian 3RXT and Graco Tranzitions.

Which car seat is the best for a 3 year old?

The best car seat for a 3 year old is the Britax One4life.

Which convertible car seats didn’t make it on the list of convertible car seats for small cars?

Here are the car seats that didn’t make the cut: Graco 4ever booster seat, maxi cosi pria 85 convertible seat, Cosco scenera next backless booster, nuna rava booster seat, clek foonf, evenflo symphony elite compact car seat, britax marathon forward facing toddler car seat. Many of these seats were mentioned in by best car seats post also in the best convertible car seat article. There are many convertible car seats mentioned by the american academy of pediatrics. As you know that American academy of pediatrics is the lead authority in this field when you’re looking for the right car seat. Because it’s hard to differentiate these infant car seats  side by side

What are the weight limits for the best car seats for small cars?

The weight limits are as they follow for these car seats. For the best convertible car seats the weight limit in rear facing mode is 40 pounds or 45 pounds. For forward-facing mode the weight limit is 65 pounds. For an infant car seat they typical rear facing weight limit is 40 pounds. For forward facing convertible car seat it’s 65 pounds. The 40 pounds weight limit is quite generous. For forward facing high back booster seat (highback booster) or belt positioning booster seat the weight limit is 120 pounds.

Can these best car seats fit three across in a compact car?

This depends on the compact car. The slimmest car seat for forward-facing mode is 16.9 inches wide. There’s nothing lower than that.

What kind of safety features should you check out with these best seats for small cars or compact car?

Either of them is a good choice since they all have high safety standards. There are two important features that a forward facing car seat should have the steel frame and side impact protection. The seat also features forward facing and rear facing mode. The 5 point harness is  the safest option on the market today. And slowly the 5 point harness is becoming the industry standard. For a rear facing, forward facing convertible car seat the energy absorbing foam is an absolute must. As you know during the crash there’s a lot of impact energy and this is what the energy absorbing foam helps mitigate. It’s also a great idea to keep your child rear facing as long as possible or at least until 2 years old. No matter what happens the energy absorbing foam will do its job with the infant car seat. The rear facing position is the safest one for an infant to be in. Car seats like the chicco nextfit zip convertible car seat, clek foonf toddler car seat, nuna rava convertible car seat, graco 4ever 4 in 1 have high government safety standards. Some infant car seat comes with a load leg. The load leg absorbs impact energy just like the EPS foam. I have a special article which talks about the best convertible car seats. Another feature you should check is proper head support with micro adjustments. The #1 thing parents want from a forward facing, rear facing car seat is crash protection.

How do you install these best seats in a small car?

Keep in mind that these seats should be installed on the back seat. Make sure you read the manual to super easy install. It’s easy to install all you have to do is either use the seat belt or the latch system. The seat belt usually takes more time. Make sure it’s installed on the back seat. Make sure you check out the manual and use the leveling system first (with the chicco nextfit toddler car seat, graco 4ever 4 in 1 rear facing car seat, nuna rava). The easy installation comes with the field. Next thing is to check the bubble levels and remove the seat angle from the seat pad. It is known the latch connectors are the go to for ease of use. This installation system is brain-dead simple. The anchors and tethers are really simple to use. Also the anchors and tethers offer great protection with toddler car seats. With the latch system you connect to the lower anchors and you’re done. Speak of ease of use. The shoulder belt can be used with older kids in forward facing mode.

What other features should you check out with these best seats for smaller cars?

A cup holder is nice and if there would be two it’s better. One cup holder usually is sufficient. Multiple recline positions. And leg room for the child and legroom for the front row. The convertible car seat and the toddler car seat is known for its ease of use. Other features to check out with a rear facing, forward facing convertible car seat a comfy seat cushion. Since there are multiple car seat types you have to make the right decision from the get go. The leveling system makes ease of use possible. Additional leg rest gives extra comfort. Now you want a machine washable seat cover in case of a diaper blowout. Multiple recline positions offer great comfort with the infinite slide harness straps. The cup holder is a great bonus to have. The Harness holders will keep your little one safe in infant rear facing mode. The harness system works with any facing seat. For toddler car seats (toddler car seat) the weight range is typically 40 pounds to 65 pounds.

How long can you use these infant inserts with a toddler car seat?

The infant insert in the toddler car seat can be used up to 11 pounds. This is the typical limit for all infant insert options.

Which are the best forward facing compact car seat options on the market?

The best forward facing compact car seat options are as follows: diono radian compact car seats (booster seats), Clek Foonf convertible seats (front seat), Graco Extend2fit small car seats (for compact cars), Chicco Myfit belt positioning booster (booster seats). You should check out the additional features such as: plush padding, chest clip, two cup holders, eps energy absorbing foam, three buckle locations, top tether buckle locations, steel alloy frame, machine washable cover, six recline positions, extra leg space, adjustable headrest, side impact protection, latch straps,  no rethread harness, folds flat, compatible with air travel. The all in one car seat is the best choice for those who want to save money in a compact vehicle. These car seats are perfect for a smaller car, multiple children, for those who want convertible car seat grows with the child, for those who want a high quality car seat or for those who looking for affordable car seats.

How important is car seat safety?

It is very important for car seat manufacturers or they won’t be able to sell certain car seat models. Now infant seats (infant seat) have the highest car seat safety scores even for a compact car. They are not only safe but provide a comfortable ride for tall kids, elementary school and beyond. When it comes to comfort and safety these are a must have for a new seat: proper fit, adjustable features, eps energy absorbing foam, machine washable covers, steel alloy frame, adjustable headrest, seven reclining positions especially convertible seats, latch system, folds flat, air travel friendly.

How can you put three car seats across in small vehicles?

There are specially designed three seats across that accommodate children both in forward facing mode and rear facing infant option. So yes you can do multiple car seats or even three in a row in the back seat. The baby comfortable (child comfortable) level depends on child’s growth. For the best you will need an all in 1 car seat (all in one car seat). All these are child safe and keep the child’s head protected.

What’s the best way to accommodate children in forward facing mode, booster mode (backless booster)?

Well first you have to check the weight limitations in the comparison table for that particular model. It’s also a good idea to keep your little one stay rear facing mode as long as possible. The easy to install feature is a must have in one vehicle. Some seats are perfect for compact vehicles while other seats  are for larger vehicles. While car seats for small car have booster mode they still accommodate children quite well if the seat correctly is installed. All in 1 car seat (all in one car seat) is the best choice for those who want to save money. A great perk to have is the machine washable covers.

What is the best car seat for compact cars?

The best compact car seat for is the Maxi-Cosi Magellan car seat.

How can you install a convertible car seat in small cars?

It’s pretty easy to install a convertible car seat in small cars. It’s important to remember that you need to keep the child rear facing for as long as possible. The best way is to use LATCH system and even extend the latch straps longer if needed.

Do I need an all in one car seat for my small car?

Yes, an all in one car seat will be a good choice for small cars. A vehicle seat is also a good idea if you have multiple children who need different car seats.

What is the smallest convertible car seat?

The smallest convertible car seat is the Clek Foonf.

Is it easy to install a convertible car seat in small cars?

It’s pretty easy to install a convertible car seat in small cars.

Where can I buy the best infant car seats for small cars?

You can buy the best infant car seats for small cars on Amazon.

What is the best choice for tall kids?

Tall kids need a car seat that fits their height. Buying a new car seat can be confusing. There are many models of car seats with different safety features and also budget friendly option for each model. Larger vehicles such as SUVs and minivans do offer more room for larger kids. 5 point harness seats are great for tall kids. Small car owners who have tall children might benefit from convertible car seats that recline and provide more room. A forward facing seat or a rear facing seat might be a great idea depending on the child safety and budget.

Last Updated on October 19, 2021

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Best compact car seats

  • Type of seat: convertible, rear- and front-facing
  • Dimensions: 16 by 19 by 25 inches
  • Assembled weight: 27.2 pounds
  • Weight and height specifications: rear-facing, 5 to 50 pounds and 49 inches max; forward-facing, 22 to 65 pounds and 49 inches max

It's more than twice the price of other great car seats, so why would we recommend it? Simply put, the Rava is a luxury not every parent can afford, but those who can won't be sorry they shelled out for it. The Rava's fabrics, unlike almost every other car seat on the market, are free from flame retardant chemicals, and they feel just great: run your hands over the seat, and you'll probably want to keep stroking it. The ultra-comfortable seat pad lifts up, and underneath you'll find one of the Rava's other marquee features: the True Tension panel, which functions much like the Britax ClickTight system. Lift it up, thread the seatbelt through, tighten slightly, buckle and lock the seatbelt, close the True Tension compartment, and then marvel that you got the seat in so securely with the greatest of ease.

Like the Extend2Fit, the Rava also has a slide-out panel that gives kids a place to put their legs and feet forward- or rear-facing. Parents hate to watch their kids scrunching up against the back seat when rear-facing, or dangling their legs when forward-facing, so this is a favorite feature. There are a total of 10 safe recline angles, ideal for adjusting to fit into most spaces and providing a choice to riders: recline and relax, or sit upright and see all. The Rava installs compactly rear- or front-facing, and the weight and height limits are expansive. This is a gold-star seat that’s worth it.

Best Convertible Car Seats 2021

Graco strikes again

With so many fantastic models, this brand is simply unavoidable. I had to include another one of theirs, but this time a three-in-one car seat version.

Three-in-one convertibles are very rare among compact car seats mainly because they are usually bulkier, as they accommodate kids up to 4-7 years.

The seat is 16.25 inches deep, 25.5 inches high, and 19.75 inches wide when it comes to dimensions. It includes three modes: the infant car seat, forward facing, and belt positioning booster.

Rear facing accommodates kids from five to 40 pounds, front facing from twenty-two to 65 pounds, and the booster from 50 pounds to 100pounds.

This Graco SlimFit 3 in 1 car seat exceeds the FMVSS 213 US Safety Standard and features side impact protection with a five-point harness system. It also includes ProtectPlus engineering for crash protection and extreme temperature conditions.

As for the installment, It is a piece of cake with the In-right latch system, one-second attachment, and four-position reclines.

Plus, the unique rotating cup holders move inwards to save more space and make the entire seat slimmer.

You don't have to worry about skin irritations and allergies since this seat incorporates high-quality materials, plush cushions, and EPS foam. When the seat is no longer clean, you can take the pads off and wash them in the washing machine, simple as that!

This seat is excellent for small cars; the customer's claim they were able to fit three across their compact vehicle with ease. In this case, make sure the other seats are compact as well.

It is better to opt for at least one infant car seat as they are smaller, and once your kid outgrows it, use the convertible your other kid used to drive in.

However, as cool as it is, there is one downside of this car seat: it is not approved for airplane use.


  • Slimfit car seat
  • Safe
  • Machine washable
  • Side impact protection
  • Easy to install
  • Three-in-one
  • Five-point harness

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Seat car space convertible saver

The 9 Best Convertible Car Seats of 2021

Final Verdict

For a convertible seat that will last for years to come while not breaking the bank, the Graco 4Ever All-in-One (view on Amazon) is the perfect pick.

If you are willing to splurge on a higher-end car seat, the Nuna Rava (view on Nordstrom) allows you to keep your little one rear-facing for longer for a safer ride.

What to Look for in a Convertible Car Seat

Additional Safety Features

While all car seats sold in the United States are required to meet federal standards, there are additional safety features that can be helpful when buying a seat.

Strap Design

While every car seat includes a five-point harness, Alisa Baer, MD Pediatrician & Co-Founder of The Car Seat Lady, LLC, notes that parents should be mindful of strap design. She advises parents to, “Look for straps that don’t twist, and pull smoothly” because properly buckling your child into their seat for every ride is just as important as installing the seat correctly.

Additionally, if you plan to install the seat using a seatbelt, she recommends looking for one that has a built-in locking device because “[it] will typically make it easier to get the car seat tight and will typically prevent the tilting that can happen when using the seatbelt’s own locking mechanism". 

“It’s important to remember that all car seats [sold in the US] meet the same federal standards and are safe when used correctly,” explains the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. That being said, choosing the right one for your family, whether it’s because of a different design in order to fit your child or vehicle properly or one with additional safety features, is also very important. 

Anti-Rebound Bar

Another feature to look for is an anti-rebound bar, which Dr. Baer explains, “is designed to prevent the rear-facing car seat from moving towards the back of the vehicle in a crash, preventing the child’s head from hitting the back of their own vehicle seat. 

Australian-Style Rear-Facing Tether or Load Leg

Finally, similarly to the True Rigid LATCH system, a few select car seats in the US have the capability to add an Australian-style rear-facing tether or a load leg to rear-facing seats to limit motion in a crash. These additional safety features “prevent the car seat from moving towards the front of the car or reclining any more during a crash,” she explains, “by preventing this motion, the car seat is able to absorb more of the crash forces into its shell and reduce the forces on the child’s head and neck by about half.” 

Ease of Installation

“When it comes to all car seats, the most important safety consideration is to make sure the seat is installed and used correctly,” the UNC Highway Research Center, “Every car seat is different so it is important to read the owner’s manual to make sure you are aware of any requirements specific to your seat.” While every car seat model will have its own unique installation process, the vast majority of US car seats connect to the car using either the seatbelt or LATCH system, and many offer both options.

Seatbelt Installation

Car seats with the seatbelt installation option will have a belt path that the seatbelt will route through to secure the seat to the vehicle. In order to do this properly, the car’s seatbelt needs to be in the locked position (which typically activates when you’re in an accident) at all times to ensure the car seat does not move more than one inch from its position. Most seatbelts have a manual lock option specifically for car seat installation, but some car seats also feature built-in locking devices for extra security.

LATCH System

Both the car seat and your vehicle have to have their respective components in order to use the LATCH system. Any vehicle made in the year 2000 or later will have tether anchors. One set can be found in the backseat tucked between where the seat and backrest meet (some are easy to find, others take a bit of digging). You will always find two anchors on both the passenger and driver side seats, and vehicles with only one row of seats in the back also have anchors for middle-seat installation.

Additionally, there will be at least one more anchor which can usually be found on the back of the vehicle seat in SUVs and minivans or in the shelf below the back windshield of a sedan. Some vehicles are also equipped with anchors on the ceiling and/or the car floor behind the back seat. You can find out exactly where the anchors in your vehicle are located by looking in the owner's manual. 

Both forward-facing and rear-facing car seats will come equipped with two lower anchor connectors that are attached to a belt (made of material similar to a seatbelt) and clip on to the lower seat anchors. Once you clip them in securely, you will tighten the belt as much as you can to ensure the car seat does not move around. Whether your car seat is convertible or not, once it is forward-facing, there is a third tether hook on a strap that fastens to the anchor found behind or above the seat (look at your car’s owner manual to locate it). After you’ve placed the hook, you’ll tighten the strap so that the backrest of the car seat does not move. 


There is also a lesser-known installation category, according to Dr. Baer is called the Rigid LATCH. It is the strongest and most secure installation, but unfortunately, it’s only found in four different car seat models in the US. There are two types of Rigid LATCH, True Rigid and Semi-Rigid, and you can learn more about them here. 

Remember, the only way a car seat will keep your child safe is when it’s properly installed. “If anything is unclear, don’t hesitate to reach out to a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in your community or call the manufacturer’s customer service line,” the UNC Highway Safety Research Center tells Verywell Family, “Many manufacturers have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians in their customer service department specifically to help parents with questions".

Seating Positions


If you purchase a convertible seat that is back facing only, you can expect it to last until your child is at least two years old (the earliest the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests turning children around) or later depending on their size. The University of North Carolina (UNC) Highway Research Center tells Verywell Family, “Kids should ride rear-facing as long as possible [because they] protect the head neck, and spine.

It is recommended that kids stay rear-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed by their seat.” According to Alisa Baer, MD Pediatrician & Co-Founder of The Car Seat Lady, LLC, kids can reach three or four years old before they reach one of the limits for their car seat. Additionally, she notes, “A child’s feet touching the back of the vehicle seat is not an indication that they are too big for rear-facing.”


Once you turn your child around, they will transition to a forward-facing seat with a five-point harness (which many convertible seats include). A representative from the NHTSA tells Verywell Family, “parents should keep their kids in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until [the child] reaches the top height or weight limit by the car seat’s manufacturer.”

This can happen when the child is anywhere from four to seven years old, depending on the car seat model, but you may want to look for a seat with limits on the higher end because meeting a height or weight requirement doesn’t necessarily mean your child is ready to use a highback booster. 

The absolute earliest Dr. Baer recommends transitioning a child out of a forward-facing seat is five years old, assuming they also weigh at least 40 pounds and are mature enough to use a seatbelt. The maturity milestone is typically what pushes this transition back. According to the UNC Highway Research Center, “Many kids can’t handle this responsibility until they are six years old or older.” They further explain, “Booster seats…[require] the child to be mature enough to stay in the correct position at all times so that the seat belt can do its job. If they can’t sit properly at all times (even when sleeping) then they are not ready to use a booster seat.”

Booster Seat

Once a child is in a highback booster seat, that may be the last configuration they need before transitioning out of a car seat completely. However, there are some instances where a child has maxed out their height and/or weight limit for the highback booster but they still aren’t quite ready to go without a boost, and this is when a backless booster seat comes into play.

According to Dr. Baer, kids should pass every part of the 5-Step Test before going booster-free, so if they’ve maxed out the height and/or weight limit of their highback booster, but haven’t passed this test yet then a backless booster is appropriate. At this point, you can expect your child to remain in the booster until they are between 10 and 12 years old. 

For more information, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the NHTSA offer guidance on when to transition your child’s seat position. 


When should I switch from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat?

Once your baby has exceeded the height or weight limitations of an infant car seat, it is time to transition to a convertible car seat. Since convertible car seats typically can accommodate newborns, you can choose to skip the infant car seat and opt for a convertible option from the start.

When should a convertible car seat be forward-facing?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you keep your child in a rear-facing position for as long as possible. For most children, that is until the age of 4.

A general rule of thumb is once your child has reached the height or weight limitations set by the manufacturer in rear-facing, you can safely move them to the forward-facing option.  

When should my child move from a convertible car seat to a booster?

Once they have outgrown the forward facing height or weight restrictions (ideally are 5 years old) and fit the measurements for the booster seat, you can transition them safely. It is best to keep the child in the car seat for as long as possible as there is a maturity aspect to the booster seat where they need to be able to sit properly with no slouching or leaning over. 

Why Trust Verywell Family? 

Deanna McCormack is a content director and freelance writer who specializes in parenthood and lifestyle products and reviews. She is a mom to two kids under the age of 3 and owns three convertible car seats. She loves the Nuna RAVA (view at Nordstrom) and travels with her Cosco Scenera NEXT (view at Walmart). 

Baby Jogger City View Convertible Car Seat Product Review

15 Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars Reviews In 2021

Top 15 Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars in 2021

Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars – Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Car in 2021 Reviews (Popular Search Terms:Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars, Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Car, Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars, Best Car Seats for Small Car, Convertible Car seat small car best, car seats for small cars) Now that you have become a parent and you are in all the jargon, you know that convertible seats are usually the second step in the seats in which your baby grows. What if you have a small car? Small cars are great! They are often more affordable than larger vehicles, have better fuel consumption and are better for the environment. Unfortunately, owning a small car makes finding a car seat more difficult.

Many car seats are large and bulky, especially convertible seats. When you place the car seat in the back seat of your small car, you will quickly discover that the car seems even smaller than you originally thought. Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars

Although your options are more limited, it may actually work in your favor. You can eliminate one of the largest car seats from the baby registry and focus your time choosing between the best convertible car seats for small cars.

Top 10 Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars

Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars have some benefits, including:

  • Versatility – Some models can evolve with your child from the time he leaves the hospital as a newborn until he no longer needs a child safety seat.
  • Save money – While a convertible can cost more than a baby seat or booster seat, it usually costs a lot less than buying multiple seats as your child grows.
  • Can be passed on – Convertibles generally have a long lifespan, sometimes 10 years or more before they expire. So you can invest in a convertible, and then easily use it for the younger siblings, play buddies, or the kids you babysit.
  • Higher weight limits – Convertible seats generally have a higher rear-facing weight limit than infant seats. Higher weight limits make it easier to cope with the rear (ERF), which the AAP strongly recommends.

We ask the difficult questions about Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars:

  • Which car seats offer the safest driving experience?
  • What are the most comfortable (for baby and for parents)?
  • What are the most user-friendly in terms of installation and daily use?
  • Which have the highest weight and height limits to allow rearward extension?
  • What are the best value for money?

Parenting is difficult. You shouldn’t have to worry if your child is safe and comfortable in the car. New parents often spend countless hours buying the perfect car seat, but are very disappointed when it doesn’t meet their expectations.

With just the right safety seat, however, it’s easier to enjoy every car ride with your baby, from a small grocery run to a long drive. One of the most important investments you will make for your baby is a car seat. But would you believe that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a large seat? [supsystic-price-table id=20]

1. Graco Extend2Fit 3 in 1 Car Seat

Luxurious and classy seats, Graco Extend2Fit 3 in 1 Car Seat is TOP selling on Amazon not only because of their design but also belt design, excellent combination of 3 in 1 features.

The Graco Extend2Fit 3 in 1 is also designed for rear-facing babies, front-facing toddlers and slightly older children. The weights of rear and front facing toddlers are between 30 and 100 pounds. The 5-point harness specifically protects children and helps parents have confidence in their child’s safety.

In addition to being durable, these car seats will evolve with your child adding to their longevity. How long they last for your toddler’s years of life – or, for the Graco Extend2Fit 3 in 1, a little longer – is important. They can even last until the end of your next child in a car seat.

To further meet the needs of growing children, they have also added a 10-position headrest. A 6-position recline is possible on both car seats, so it can be positioned to sit for tall children or at recline for infants. There are also two cup holders to keep your child’s drink on each model.

  • The harness system adjusts the height of the harness and headrest to help you easily protect your baby without being entangled.
  • Easy installation of LATCH with push connectors
  • Lock the bag to keep the lock away, do not obstruct or entangle children in and out
  • Machine washable cover (drying only)
  • Some reviews have found it difficult to remove and replace the casing when washing.
  • Not suitable for babies too small, under 7-8 pounds

This is still an affordable product, 3 in 1 helps you reduce costs incurred during each development period of your baby. With strict standards of safety, then Graco Extend2Fit 3 in 1 Car Seat you will be assured of ruggedness, durability, and high impact pressure.

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2. Britax Boulevard ClickTight

It is one of the most user-friendly models for installation because the seat is split in two. You simply remove the front section, fasten the seat belt on the rear section and put the front section back in place.

Although many other products are difficult to fix, you are guided by Britax’s Click & Safe function. When you hear it “click” you will know it is in place.

It is a little heavier than many other models, but it is actually smaller. Imagine how comfortable you can make your child by customizing the straps with the 14 different positions of the harness.

Then it impresses with its protective measures as it provides several layers of padding to help prevent injury and shock. It’s called SafeCell Impact Protection and integrates:

A metal frame A base capable of absorbing energy Staged clearance points that effectively limit forward movement in the event of an accident

  • Easy installation and high weight capacity
  • Practical size to save space in small cars
  • No head support for newborns
  • Heavy to carry

With criteria, safety of the baby is the number one priority, so Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat is manufactured with many strict standards to bring safety and great comfort for the baby. Will not regret the cost you spend, because every parent wants the baby to be safe.

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3. Graco 4Ever 4 in 1 – TrueShield Side Impact Technology

The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat with TrueShield Side Impact technology is designed to be your unique car seat from the day you bring your baby home from hospital to elementary school. You will pay a little more up front, but the investment is a small price to pay knowing that your precious cargo is safe and sound for years.

Let’s go to the 4-in-1 design. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat begins as a rear-facing infant seat (4 lb to 22 lb) which switches to a forward-facing 5-point harness seat (22 lb to 65 lb) , then a high seat belt positioning booster seat (40 lb to 100 lb), and finally a seat belt booster seat without backrest (40 lb to 120 lb). Six-position recline, 10-position adjustable headrest, and Simply Safe harness system (which allows the harness and headrest to be adjusted in one movement) ensure your child is fully growth remains comfortable at every stage.

When selecting a car seat, easy and precise installation is important, which is why the InRight LATCH system is such a feature. It offers a one second installation, with an audible click to let you know that the seat is correctly and safely.

Safety is of course paramount, so you can rest easy knowing that TrueShield Side Impact technology provides your little one with extra head-to-hip impact protection.

For added convenience, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat comes with two cup holders and a removable cover that can be thrown away for washing … because you know it will need to be washed.

Add it all up, and it’s easy to see why the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat tops our list of the best toddler car seats of this year.

  • The Simply Safe Adjust
  • Removable and washable seat cover
  • Graco-exclusive InRight LATCH
  • 4 in 1 design for kids from 4 lb to 120 lb
  • TrueShield technology
  • Short crotch loop can cause discomfort

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4. Britax USA Boulevard ClickTight Anti-Rebound Bar

In our opinion, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight Bounce Bar (ARB) Convertible Car Seat is one of the best convertible car seats available on the market today and may just be the right choice for you.

The elegant design, comfort, maintainability and value for money of the car seat. The ClickTight all-in-one car seat is extremely easy to install, clean and maintain, it’s a dream and it’s quite light compared to some of its competitors.

This car seat ensures the safety and security of your child in frontal, side, rear and tip-over collisions, and has been tested by internal ProtectPlus procedures, which comply with guidelines established by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard ( FMVSS).

With the 5-point harness, the Britax Boulevard ClickTight convertible rebound car seat is also FAA approved.

The Simply Safe Adjust harness system allows you to adjust the headrest and harness in one movement; ensure a good (secure) fit.

Keeping your child safe throughout the trip is the number one priority for all parents, and with the Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, these features help you reach your goal.

It may sound trivial, but hanging out car seats in and out of the car all day is hard work – that’s why you need a lightweight option that is versatile and as mobile as possible.

  • Head and neck protection
  • Easy installation
  • 2 Layer impact protection
  • Rear and forward facing capacity
  • Maximum weight 65lbs
  • Premium option

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5. Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max

If you are looking for a high-end, superior product line, it is not to be missed Maxi-Cosi Praia 85 Max, it is suitable for you and your baby on a long trip, enjoy an enjoyable vacation.

More an armchair than a car seat, the Pria 85 is an ultra-comfortable solution that will last well beyond your child’s baby days. This number “85” in the title? This is the weight this seat can support – most all convertible car seats (without the convertible / booster combinations). It also comes with a large padding, with AirProtect cushions around the head for additional protection against side impact.

Exceptional feature: Not only is the fabric padded, but it can also be detached from the frame without having to uninstall the car seat. Because it is washable and dryer, it is one of the easiest seats to clean.

  • Air Protect technology, which helps ensure your child’s safety, protection around his head and every position.
  • Removable, flexible, high-quality insert pad, machine washable easily without having to remove the seat from the car or perform complicated tasks.
  • Higher quality fabric, more breathable, help your baby always comfortable and do not feel uncomfortable hot
  • Losing leg room for front passengers in rear mode
  • The belt may be difficult to fasten if you are new to it, and it is difficult to disassemble it for cleaning
  • Children have tended to grow taller faster than the weight limit, so they are quite detrimental to forward-facing

It can be said that this is a high-quality product branch, commensurate with the price, combining many utilities to help ensure the safety of the baby and convenience for parents.

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6. Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Matrix

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When you think about buying a convertible car seat, you choose something that will last a long time and grow with your growing children through different stages. The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat has been designed with all the updated features to meet all of your growing child’s needs. The seat is perfect for children from 4 to 120 pounds.

To provide optimal impact protection, the seat is padded with EPS energy absorbing foam. In addition, the seat is carefully tested to meet all US child safety standards. The user manual (when purchased must be delivered with the seat) will make your installation easy and hassle free. Its padded material makes the seat very comfortable to satisfy your children. Very easy for your child to get in and out of. Easy to clean because it is machine washable.

  • It has a steel frame which makes it the safest car seat for newborns.
  • Energy absorbing pads make it even more comfortable for babies.
  • The 5-point harness for booster seat is perfectly designed and adjustable.
  • The padding gives your child the height required to sit and rest comfortably.
  • The straps sometimes twist.

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7. Britax One4Life ClickTight

The Britax One4Life All-in-One Car Seat is exactly as it sounds: a car seat to last your child during his years of using the car seat. This convertible car seat grows with your child from 5 to 120 pounds until he no longer needs a protective seat while driving in the car. This practical convertible seat becomes three seats.

First, the chair is a rear-facing infant car seat. Use it to bring your new baby home from the hospital until he reaches 50 pounds. Once your child has outgrown the car seat, the chair switches to a 5-point harness seat facing forward. Finally, your older child can use the chair as a high-back belt positioning booster seat until they reach 120 pounds.

To adapt to a rapidly growing child, the Britax One4Life has a 15-position headrest and harness with quick adjustment, as well as a 9-position recline with quick push. These combined features allow your child to be safe and comfortable, regardless of their size or weight. Even though this Britax car seat has many features and accessories, it is still designed for the comfort of your little one.

The seat has built-in cooling channels and a ventilated mesh to improve air circulation and keep your child cool and comfortable. Dishwasher-safe cup holders keep drinks and snacks close at hand, and a removable pillow is extra comfort for driving.

  • Users love the softness and comfort of the padding
  • Installation is quick and easy
  • Easy to clean
  • The base is solid and flat, so leaves no imprint in the seats of your car
  • Baby insert keeps baby’s head from sagging on the sides during the ride
  • Easy to convert between children of different ages and sizes
  • The seat is very large and takes up a lot of space
  • May not be ideal for small cars or families who need multiple car seats.
  • Heavy and difficult to transport.

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8. Diono 2020 Radian 3QX Latch

The new Diono Raidan 3QX, the ultimate all-in-one 3 car seat from birth to booster. Includes 3 levels of full rear-facing protection and all the new Diono Safe + technology to provide the next generation in car seat safety.

From the first baby trip, the 3QX radian offers complete protection, with the Safe + high travel wedge for newborns, the Safe + 2-in-1 baby positioning liner and the Safe + Non-slip harness pads for more comfort and safety.

Designed as a result of the latest European research and technology in energy management in the event of a collision, the 3QX radian has 6 layers of protection against side impact. Interlocking EPS and EPP foam, plastic and high density steel reinforcement combine to create ultimate protection against side impact, without compromising transverse adjustment in most mid-size vehicles.

During their forward transition, the Safe + Easy Adjust 12-position headrest is contoured to improve the containment of the child’s head and offers a 22% increase in the occupancy range of the Radian series R.

All of these excellent features have been combined with Safe + engineering, with the 3QX subjected to the most rigorous combination of crash tests; including side impact and rollover test to ensure the safest seat possible.

Parents can also expect Diono to be famous for his travels, including convenient folding and FAA approval for use on an airplane. So no matter where you go, you can take Diono’s safety with you.

  • Multiple safety features including steel frame, side impact protection and energy absorbing foam
  • Wide range of premium plush stuffing options in fun colors
  • Machine washable cover
  • 12-position headrest
  • Installation options SuperLATCH or vehicle belt
  • Folds flat for easy transport and storage
  • This can be a difficult to install car seat
  • The suspenders are placed close to each other and can be uncomfortable for children with large shoulders or torsos.

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9. Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1

This seat is certainly expensive, but if you think you can get 10 years of use out of it, it starts to look like a very good deal. You can easily spend more than $ 300 to buy a baby carrier, a convertible car seat, and then a reclining car seat to continue facing backwards for older children. And don’t forget that you might want a high back or backless booster, but this seat does the job of all four.

As the name suggests, it is a 4-in-1 seat that can accommodate children from just 4 pounds, up to 120 pounds. It is designed to be rear-facing, for children weighing up to 50 pounds. To keep them comfortable, it has a 4-position extension panel (roughly, a fancy name for a footrest) that provides an additional 5 inches of leg space for the position facing the back.

A mom who owns this car seat tells us that she is “incredibly impressed” with the way her design is well thought out, and this has given her the peace of mind of knowing that her baby will be able to cope comfortably with the back for as long as possible.

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10. Graco Extend2Fit

The Graco E2F convertible car seat is a very economical but high quality car seat. The seat has a 4-position extension panel that provides additional 5-inch legroom. Thus, it allows your child to face the rear up to 2 years (weight up to 50 pounds), which makes him different from other convertible car seats on the market.

The Extend2Fit seat comes with 2 steps. a) Backward facing mode for (4-50 pounds) and b) Forward facing mode for (22-65) pounds. The Extend2Fit car seat has been tested to withstand impact and side impact to meet federal safety standard 213 for motor vehicles. The car seat is therefore safe and secure for your child. Plus, it’s so easy to get your child in and out. Its modern LATCH system makes it very easy to install.

In our opinion, this is the best budget car seat for your family, if you want to choose a quality product that guarantees good price.

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11. Chicco NextFit Zip

This model belongs to the NextFit family of Chicco, and it’s called NextFit Zip because you can unzip the entire seat cushion and wash it in the machine. Please note that you can only air dry the seat cushion afterwards.

In addition to the removable seat cushion, the seat itself is made up of a reinforced steel frame and EPS energy absorbing foam surrounded by a deep rigid shell. In addition to these safety features, NextFit Zip uses DuoGuard protection, so called because the seat has two layers of side impact protection.

And its convertibility? The NextFit Zip is capable of switching from a rear-facing harness seat to a forward-facing harness seat. Although it is not capable of turning into a booster, it is still a good model to consider, especially with its size and the weight limits of the child with each mode.

NextFit Zip measures 21 x 19 x 29.2 inches. As you can see in our comparison table, it is not the smallest model available. It also weighs 25.1 pounds, so carrying it from car to car is going to be heavy. Nevertheless, we are impressed by the fact that this car seat can fit well inside a small car like a 3-door hatchback given its weight.

For rear-facing mode, this unit can accommodate children weighing 5 to 40 pounds. Thanks to its forward-facing mode, your child can use it when he is between 22 and 65 pounds.

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12. Britax Allegiance 3 Stage

One thing is certain with regard to car seats … if you buy a Britax, you will get a high quality product. And the Allegiance convertible car seat is certainly no exception. On the one hand, this seat is equipped with the Britax SafeCell impact protection system, which includes side impact protection, a steel frame, a shock absorbing base and a V-shaped attachment reducing movement to the front. You simply cannot put a price on this type of security.

The Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat is designed to drop your little one from 5 pounds (rear facing) to 65 pounds (front facing), offering many comfort and convenience features to your passenger. The easy-to-adjust 10-point harness and headrest evolves with your child (no re-threading!), And the push-button LATCH connectors and integrated locks make installation easier than you think .

With tons of safety features and lots of convenience to get started, it’s easy to see why Britax is a leader in car seats, and the Allegiance convertible car seat is just another example of their commitment to the quality.

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13. Safety 1st Grow & Go 3-in-1

The Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is one of the best convertible car seats for small cars and the seat is designed to provide your child with a safer and more comfortable ride the first time they ride. This convertible car seat is perfect for growing babies and toddlers. Its weight range is as follows:

  • 5-40 pounds for the rearward facing position.
  • 22-65 pounds for the road facing position and
  • 40-100 pounds for booster mode (applicable only when your child can use the seat belt.)

The Grow and Go 3-in-1 convertible car seat is well designed to provide maximum comfort for parents. When the seat is placed in rear-facing mode, it requires less space. So parents have an additional 7 inches of legroom in the front seat.

This brand is suitable for each stage of child development, compact convertible car seat and minimizes future costs for parents.This product line is suitable for each stage of child development and minimizes future costs for parents.

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14. Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness

Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness has a protective system consisting of a sturdy steel frame, specially designed and advanced patented with V-shaped lanyards. These can quickly adjust 9 positions to suit each stage of development of your child. Along with the 2 locking positions you can move from the belt to the belt position booster by inserting the buckle and straps in the seat, helping to minimize seat rotation, impact absorbing base compression to reduce impact force, Release staging supports slowing and reducing motion when colliding.

The modern Frontier ClickTight Seat design, protects the head from serious collisions with a deep, porous shell.Many Recline positions, which help you easily adjust, change the baby’s seat angle, suitable for each car position.

The locking system is no longer a concern to make it easier for you to get your baby in and out of a seat.Easy Remove Cover helps clean trouble free.You can purchase additional accessories, compatible with SecureGuard Clip to keep the baby’s seat belt in the right position of the baby’s hip to minimize injury in the abdomen when the impact.Those are the outstanding and modern advantages that help to repel similar products in the market.

With the advantages and disadvantages as mentioned above, the Britax G1.1 Frontier is still a product worth choosing for parents.

It is rated as a reliable product with Britax G1.1 Frontier conversion harness to the booster seat, helping to keep the baby safe when there is a risk of collision. It may not be for everyone, but with its special design, it fits into every car seat on the market.

This is definitely an excellent investment for comfort, ease and durability, try this seat.

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15. Evenflo Symphony Elite

If you want a convertible car seat with several impressive details, then this is a seat that you should watch out for, because all its details make it a good option for all parents, regardless of their lifestyle.

The Evenflo Symphony Elite all-in-one car seat has several impressive features including an adjustable headrest in five positions, buckle pockets, side impact protection, triple recline positions and more.

Its weight varies in its rearward, forward and upward boosting modes while installation is fairly simple and easy and can be done in less than two minutes.

If you want to choose a product line that fits a child’s maturity, Evenflo Symphony Elite is considered a great product on your parenting journey.

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Safety tips on Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars

  • Before and after purchasing the best small car seats, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind.
  • The car seat must support the weight of your child.
  • The seat should have a design that keeps your baby comfortable.
  • Check the dimensions of the seat to make sure it will fit well in your car.
  • Be careful not to put weights above the recommended range for the car seat.
  • Carefully follow the installation process and make sure the seat is properly secured before placing your baby on it.
  • Drive with caution all the time, especially when traveling with your small babies.
  • Try installing the car seat in the center of the back seat of your car. It is the best position to offer maximum protection to your child against collisions.

We recommend installing rear-facing car seats for small babies, while the forward-facing position works best for older children. These should be convertible car seat small car best that you can rely on.


Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars?

1. Safety

Convertible car seats are a top choice. All car seats provide front and rear impact protection. Many of these seats now offer side impact protection. There are usually 1-3 layers. Only a few car seats offer rollover protection.

In this area, my best advice is to spend as much money as you can.

2. Size and weight

You should also consider the size of your car. After all, you are choosing a small car. Our top pick is the Diono Radian3RXT. It measures 16.14×16.93×28.35 inches and can be installed in three places. Convertible car seat with a small footprint make installation easier in small vehicles. You don’t need to bend in awkward positions within a restricted space.

You should also consider the weight of your seat. This is particularly important if the model will be being transferred from one vehicle to another. If you plan to take the seat along with you on your travels, weight is also important. Cosco Scenera Next is only 10 pounds in weight, making it ideal for travel and as an additional seat.

3. Durability

Convertible seats are popular because they can be used for as long as their child needs.

It is important that a seat is made from a durable material like the steel-integrated frame we mentioned earlier. A seat made of easy-to-clean fabric will last longer and keep it clean.

4. Fabric

When you are looking for a convertible car seat, the fabric is very important. You will need to clean up any spillages and accidents that your children may have. You need to be able to remove the cover easily and make sure it is compatible with the washer.

5. Installation is easy

In addition to size and weight, how easy it is for a car-to-car vehicle transfer is also important. It would be annoying to have the belt routed in a narrow way each time you move the seat. Even if the seat is not being transferred, it will be less frustrating if the car knows how to properly attach the seat.

You’ve noticed that all the seats have the latch system during our review. What is a latch? LATCH stands to Lower Anchors and Tethers For Children. This uses anchor straps from your seat that attach to the anchors on your vehicle seat.

The top pick, Diono Radian 3RXT makes a clicking sound when the latch straps have been correctly attached to the anchors. This is a great way to tell you that it has been attached correctly, we think.

6. Budget

There are many options for car seats. The best car seat for your car should be within your budget. There are many affordable car seats that can fit into small cars, and they are as safe as the more expensive ones.



1. What is a 3-in-1 car chair?

A “3 in 1” car seat will be able to accommodate your child through all three stages of his development. Parents don’t have to purchase a new car seat each time their baby moves out of a different seat.

There are two types: one goes from rear facing infant to forward-facing child to high back booster and the other from forward-facing child to high-back booster or backless booster.

A 4-in-1 or all-in-one car seat is a combination of the rear-facing, forward facing, high back booster and backless booster. These seats are more costly, but they can be used from birth up to the time your child turns two years old.

2. Can my car seat be placed in my car?

You should. However, the smaller your car is, the more difficult it will be to fit your child inside and out. When you have to squeeze three car seats in your car, space becomes more difficult. You will need to consider the length of your back seat as well as the anchor points, door armrests, and angle of the windows. Although some car seat manufacturers offer “narrow” seats, it can be difficult to find the right combination. You might be able to test the seats by taking your car along with you to the store.

3. Is there a better place to keep the car seat in my car than the one in the picture?

As most collisions are frontal impacts, the safest place to be in is the back seat. Next is the position behind the passenger. Third is behind the driver. Technically, the driver’s side is most frequently hit in side impacts. Children can be taken out of the car by using the footpath side rather than the road side.

4. What is the best time to stop using my car seat?

A seven-year-old child does not need a restraint if one is not available. If one is available, seven-year-olds must use it. For best practice recommendations, the five-step test is:

Can your child sit in the car seat with their bottom all of the way back?

Do their knees comfortably extend over the edge of the car seat?

If they are sitting properly, does the belt cross their shoulder instead of touching their neck?

Is the lap belt as low and as close as possible to the thighs?

Can they remain seated in this position for the entire trip? Before you consider using a restraint to hold your child, you must answer “YES” to all the above.



Buying the best car seats for small cars can be more difficult if you go out on the market without prior knowledge. However, with a little research on the car seat that you should buy, you can certainly invest your money in the right thing. In this article, we have listed some of the best convertible car seat small car that not only protect your babies, but also fit perfectly in your cars. We hope that after reading this article, you will be able to make a wise decision for your child’s seat. Happy parenting! Now choice is yours on how to pick the best convertible car seat small cars.

Read more:

Infant Car Seat Vs. Convertible Car Seat In 2021


Now discussing:

Convertible car seats sound like something straight out of the Jetson's, which was a futuristic cartoon where everybody was flying around space).  Does it become a stroller? (which actually does exist)

Now that you've become a parent and are in on all the jargon, you know that convertible seats are usually the second stage of seats that your baby grows into.  But what if you have a small car?  Small cars are great! They are often more affordable than larger vehicles, have better gas mileage, and are better for the environment. Unfortunately, owning a small car does make finding a car seat more challenging.

Many car seats are large and bulky, especially the convertible ones. When you place the car seat in the back seat of your small car, you will quickly discover the car seems even smaller than you originally thought.

Suppose you're looking to travel light in a city or on an airplane, then you also need a compact convertible car seat.   Fortunately, car seat manufacturers do not want parents to have to give up their small cars for minivans or risk their precious child’s safety.  While your options will be more limited, this may actually work in your favor. You can  eliminate any of the larger car seats from the baby registry and focus your time deciding between the best convertible car seats for small cars.

There are also a few gems in here that can be used from infant sizes on, which means you don't have to buy another seat later!

Key Criteria For Compact Convertible Car Seats

When shopping for a car seat for a small car, the first thing to look for should be safety. Typically you will not need to lose sleep over this, as long as you don't have a second hand seat.  Car seats must pass rigorous safety tests before they even hit the market. If you want to check a car seat’s safety ranking, visit Consumer Reports Car Seat Ratings.  You can also check for recalls of a particular model.

Next, size matters when shopping for car seats for small cars. As we mentioned previously, you should go ahead and eliminate the bulkier car seats from your list. Pay attention to the size of your vehicle and the car seat dimensions. For instance, if you own a mini, then you will be much more limited when it comes to finding a car seat with dimensions small enough to fit.

Additionally, check for ease of use. This means looking for how the car seat is installed, how the belts and closures function, as well as cleaning and care instructions. When it comes to the best car seats for small cars, you need to make sure that the car seat not only fits but that it also is easy to put in and remove from the vehicle.

Finally, consider your budget. Car seats vary in costs. You should look for the best car seat for your small car within your budget. Thankfully, there are affordable car seats that will fit in small cars and are just as safe as their more expensive counterparts.


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