What's a decently priced convertible car seat?

Sabreena - posted on 06/17/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My 3 month old is going to outgrow his car seat in the next month or two so we are looking for a convertible seat that's not too expensive, but still very safe and reliable. Any ideas?

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Antoinette - posted on 06/22/2009

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My Son outgrew his infant carrier at 4mos(22lbs). I bought the Britax Roundabout (199.00) he outgrew at 25months(too tall and over 40lbs) I felt even with his size he still needed a 5pt harness but couldn't afford the Britax model, So I researched and found the Alpha Omega ELITE good to 65lbs with the 5pt harness then to 100 with the belt positioner. My son is 5 1/2, I have had this seat for 3 yrs and it was well worth the modest $140 price!!! He uses the belt positioner now even though he is 56 lbs, he is to tall for the harness at 50 inches. This is a great seat! LATCH, Cup holder, deep sides for extra support in a side collision, plenty of room to grow! READ the fine print even though seats say good to 80 lbs the 5pt harness is usually only good to 40 then you go to the belt!!!

Sabrina - posted on 06/18/2009

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I have bought the Safety First Alpha Omega for all of my kids. I will be buying another one in a couple of months for my little one. Its a 3 in 1. and i have never had any problems. I dont know about the tether strap thing since i havent been able to use it my vehicles are not equipped with it. But it will go up to 52 inches and will hold 100lbs. it also has the belt positioning. they run between 150-200. depending on the pattern.

Kristin - posted on 06/18/2009

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We had both a Britax Marathon and an Evenflo Triumph (one for each car) for our first, and we bought two more Evenflo Triumph Advance for #2 (#1 is still using his car seats). We like the Evenflo SO much more than the Britax, and the cost savings doesn't hurt either.

Sarah - posted on 06/17/2009

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Quoting Sabreena:

I just saw a seat that was a convertible and then went to a booster seat made by Safety First for 199.00 at sears. It is good up to 80 lbs. Does anyone know if it's any good?


Again, I'd skip this seat.  Here's the problem...your child is likely to outgrow the "convertible" use of it before they are really ready for a belt positioning booster.   So to be safest, you'll really need another seat later.  At this size, if it says it converts to a booster or is a "3-in-1", I'd automatically rule out that seat.



If you're okay with a price point around $200, there are terrific options that are much better than that Safety First seat.  The Britax Roundabout50 is right around $200.  A First Year's True Fit will run you around $180.  An Evenflo Triumph Advance around $150 (depends on which model you choose).  Graco's MyRide65 is only around $160.  Heck, a Sunshine Kid's Radian runs around $218.  (And all those prices are before any discount codes you could use!)

Geneva - posted on 06/17/2009

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I don't know about that one, but my gut says if it goes as high as 80 lbs, I can't see how they can make it as safe as the others out there for rear-facing age infants. Even Britax, the gold standard for car safety, only makes convertible car seats that go to 65 lbs. Besides, I think booster seats are pretty cheap? so you don't necessarily need to get a seat that will go that high. I do know the less expensive britax's go for 200-230, & the evenflo triumph has a model for 130, with their more expensive model going for 180, & they are rated #2 for safety.

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Sabrina - posted on 06/19/2009

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Quoting Sabreena:

I just saw a seat that was a convertible and then went to a booster seat made by Safety First for 199.00 at sears. It is good up to 80 lbs. Does anyone know if it's any good?



not sure which one it is. i was looking online and could only find the alpha omega which is cheapier then 199.00. but like i said earlier it is good i have bought 5 and will buy my 6th one soon. 3 of my kids are still using theirs.

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I wish I could have afforded the Britax, but it was out of my price range becasue we needed to purchase 2 seats. We went with the Evenflo Triumph and LOVED it! Please know that all of the seats on the market have to meet the minimum standards for car safety. Even if your budget stinks at the moment and you can only afford something on the lower price end, it is still safe. The important thing is that you keep your child rear facing as long as possible, and if you are able to, get your car seat professional installed.

Sara - posted on 06/18/2009

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I spent $190 on a convertable car seat from Babies R Us that goes up to 100lbs. It is the best thing I ever invested in because it is a one time investment instead of continuously having to buy a new seat as she grows.

Sabreena - posted on 06/17/2009

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I just saw a seat that was a convertible and then went to a booster seat made by Safety First for 199.00 at sears. It is good up to 80 lbs. Does anyone know if it's any good?

Geneva - posted on 06/17/2009

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I also have the evenflo triumph. It is the only carseat out there that rivals britax & at less than half the price. you should note that it's only the triumph, & not the other evenflo models. It also has a higher weight limit (50 lbs) than a lot of other seats & can stay rear-facing up to 35 lbs. we've been using ours for 6-8 months now & don't have any complaints. (we also used a 20% coupon at b-rus). also check out carseatdata.org - they have info on whether certain seats fit in certain cars plus reviews.

Sarah - posted on 06/17/2009

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Oh, and just as another note about cost...it's quite possible to get good seats at a lower cost than straight up retail. I'm not sure if you're from the US, but Babies R Us often has coupons on gear like seats (for example, there's one out right now for 15% off car seats). Additionally, if you look online there are deals to be had. AlbeeBaby.com has good prices, usually has great DOMs, and generally free shipping. Diapers.com also has 15% off select car seats.

Rebecca - posted on 06/17/2009

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We have the Evenflo Triumph Advance for our son, and we LOVE it! http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.d...

Rear facing from 5-35 pounds
Forward facing from 20-50 pounds
Fits children from 19-50 inches tall

We absolutely love it and whenever we have another baby (after it outgrows the infant seat) we will buy one for that child too. Great seat, no complaints at all. We love that the shoulder straps are self adjustable and you don't have to take the whole thing apart to move the straps up. Our son loves it :-)

Jaime - posted on 06/17/2009

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im not sure what price range your looking at, but i bought a Triumph Advance (evenflo). It was about 120$ cdn and it is a rear facing, front facing, and a booster seat. It lasts until the child is 47 lbs.

Sarah - posted on 06/17/2009

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The same thing happened with my son, who is 6 months old now. We bought him a Graco ComfortSport convertible car seat from Babies R Us, for $89.99. We absolutely love it, it comes with a cup holder for when they get older, has LOADS of padding and is super easy to install and remove at anytime! Rear facing 5-30lbs & forward facing 20-40lbs. Hope this helps!! :)



http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?...

Sarah - posted on 06/17/2009

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What exactly is your budget? I know what seems reasonably priced to me, but that may not be the same for you. In the US, the seats I would recommend right now are as follows: Britax Marathon or Roundabout50, Sunshine Kids Radian, The First Years True Fit, Evenflo Triumph Advance, Graco MyRide65 or Cosco Scenera. The Britax seats and the Radian are the most expensive, but you also get certain benefits with those. Britax and Sunshine Kids seats are the only ones on the market that you can tether while RF. If you're looking at a situation where you'll need to put multiple seats across a car, you'll almost definitely need a Radian since it is the narrowest (it is also one of the tallest). The Scenera is the cheapest, but it will not last as long since it has a short shell and lower weight limits. The True Fit, Triumph Advance, and MyRide65 are relatively close in price. The True Fit has a tall shell (as does the Radian), so it'll last you the longest...almost definitely will go until you are ready for a harnessed booster seat. The MyRide65 is nice because it has the highest RF weight limit available in the US right now.


Those are the only seats I'd suggest looking at right now. Not that other seats are not safe, but just that there are downsides (twisty straps, hard to install, etc.) and generally are not priced any better than other seats. If you can, make sure that you are thinking not just about the price you pay now, but what it'll end up costing you in the future. For example, a Scenera will only run you around $65. However, you will still need to buy another seat which will definitely cost more in a year or so. If the cost is that big of a deal right now, then that's a fine way to go...just be aware that you are going to need that other seat later.

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