Best Convertible Car Seat
Chicco Fit4

An easy-to-install, all-in-one convertible seat.

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Best Infant Car Seat
Nuna Bugaboo Turtle Air

A premium infant car seat made of soft materials.

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Best Toddler Car Seat
Chicco MyFit

A quality-made car seat that is easy to install and adjust.

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Budget Toddler Car Seat
Evenflo Chase

A low-cost but very safe toddler car seat.

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Budget Infant Car Seat
Baby Trend EZ Ride

A value-priced car seat and stroller travel system.

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Any car seat sold in the United States must meet certain federal safety standards and is therefore considered safe to use. However, the best car seats are not only safe, but provide years of use, feel comfortable, and are easy to install and adjust.

After testing a number of top-rated car seats, our review team has found several child car seats that are worth a recommendation. In this review, we’ll suggest car seats for various ages and help you find the best car seat for your child’s age and size.

What Are The Ages And Stages Of Car Seats?

The right car seat for you depends on your child’s weight and height. NHTSA guidelines describe the type of car seat you need at each age. Any car seat you purchase will list the recommended height and weight limitations.

Infant Car Seats

These rear-facing car seats are designed for newborns, but be aware newborns will likely outgrow them after a year. An infant car seat typically has two parts: a base you leave installed in your vehicle and a detachable carrier that can often double as a carriage for a stroller. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children remain in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until they reach the maximum weight or height limit their seat allows.

Toddler Car Seats

Experts recommend your baby switches to a forward-facing car seat once reaching a certain size. Car seats for toddlers are typically suitable for children between ages two and seven. Many toddler car seats can be transformed into booster seats to accommodate older children.

Convertible Car Seats

You can use convertible car seats as rear-facing seats for infants and forward-facing seats for toddlers. Some convertible car seats are adjustable enough to accommodate children through their entire car seat period. Convertible car seats have the disadvantage of often being larger and heavier than infant or toddler car seats.

5 Best Car Seats

Graco Xtend 2fit

  1. Best Convertible Car Seat: Chicco Fit4
  2. Best Infant Car Seat: Nuna Bugaboo Turtle Air
  3. Best Toddler Car Seat: Chicco MyFit
  4. Best Budget Toddler Car Seat: Evenflo Chase
  5. Best Budget Infant Car Seat: Baby Trend EZ Ride

To find more options specific to your child’s age, check out our articles on the best infant car seats, the best convertible car seats, and the best toddler car seats.

Best Car Seat Side-By-Side Comparison

AwardMake/ModelSeat Type Seat Weight
Best Convertible Car SeatChicco Fit4Convertible25.0 pounds
Best Infant Car SeatBugaboo Turtle AirRear-facing8.6 pounds
Best Toddler Car SeatChicco MyFitConvertible25.0 pounds
Best Budget Toddler Car SeatEvenflo ChaseFront-facing11.0 pounds
Best Budget Infant Car SeatBaby Trend EZ RideRear-facing8.8 pounds

#1 Best Convertible Car Seat: Chicco Fit4

Pros Multiple configurations for children between 4 and 100 pounds Steel-reinforced frame and EPS foam lining Easy installation Easy to adjust
Cons Bulky Some reports of headrest deteriorating after a couple years

The Chicco Fit4 is a convertible car seat with four configurations, nine recline positions, and ten headrest positions. It can accommodate children from birth up to 100.0 pounds, transforming from rear-facing mode to a high-backed booster. We’ve rated the Fit4 higher than any other car seat because it is easy to install and uses soft, high-quality materials.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $285
  • Weight range: 4.0 to 100.0 pounds
  • Height range: Up to 57.0 inches
  • Car seat weight: 25.0 pounds

Our Experience

chicco fit4 installed in back seat of car

Among the car seats we tested, the Chicco Fit4 may be the simplest to install. The instruction guide is easy to follow, and you can access a more detailed user manual online (by scanning the QR code plastered to the frame).

This car seat is large. Most convertible car seats take up a lot of space and therefore may not be suited for small cars. We managed to install and use this car seat just fine in a small sedan, but if you’re sitting in the front seats and need a lot of legroom, the Fit4 may be too big.

Overall5 out of 5
Ease of Use5 out of 5
Adjustability5 out of 5
Quality of Materials5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.8 out of 5 based on over 1,800 ratings

Many positive reviews say the Fit4 is easy to install. Parents like the SuperCinch Latch tightener, which is easy to adjust and has a secure feel.

The most frequently mentioned downside to the Fit4 is its size. It can be difficult to maneuver, and drivers with small cars find it hard to get into their vehicle. While we installed the Fit4 in a sedan with no issues, this convertible car seat is much bulkier than infant and toddler car seats.

#2 Best Infant Car Seat: Bugaboo Turtle Air

Pros Soft merino-wool lining Lightweight Can be attached to compatible stroller
Cons Expensive Smart visor is bulky

One of the more expensive car seats, the Bugaboo Turtle Air earns its price tag. It is made from comfy ultra-soft Merino wool and uses a no-rethread five-position harness. This lightweight car seat weighs around 7.0 pounds and is compatible with the Bugaboo stroller travel system.

The rear-facing Turtle Air is designed for infants and newborns and can accommodate children between 4.0 and 32.0 pounds.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $480
  • Weight range: 4.0 to 32.0 pounds
  • Height range: 32.0 inches or less
  • Car seat weight (excluding base): 8.6 pounds

Our Experience

bugaboo turtle air installed in back seat of car, angled top down profile

The Turtle Air’s belts and buckles are simple to adjust, and the merino-wool lining is softer than any other car seat we tested.

We couldn’t get the anchor clips to attach to our vehicle because the straps didn’t reach far enough. However, it wasn’t difficult to install the car seat using the shoulder belt, which hooks neatly through the designed path.

Once the base is attached, the Turtle Air infant carrier is easily detached with a click of a button. Lower-quality infant car seats can be difficult to detach, but the Turtle Air slides out nicely and is less likely to disturb a sleeping infant.

Overall4.5 out of 5
Ease of Use4.5 out of 5
Adjustability4 out of 5
Quality of Materials5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on around 25 ratings

Few negative comments about the Turtle Air exist online. Most parents are surprised by the light weight and appreciate the high-quality materials. Nearly all reviewers mention this infant car seat being easy to use and install.

Some people say the canopy can get in the way when not in use, but we didn’t have any issues with it during our test installation.

#3 Best Toddler Car Seat: Chicco MyFit

Pros Easy to install Easy to adjust Removable padding is easy to clean High-quality straps and buckles
Cons Cupholders far from child

The Chicco MyFit is a convertible car seat that transitions from a five-point harness to a belt-positioning, high-back booster. It’s a good choice for parents who want a toddler vehicle seat that will also fit their child as they grow.

The MyFit has four recline positions and nine headrest positions, offering a lot of adjustability. The soft padding and removable inserts protect any child with comfort.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $165
  • Weight range: 25.0 to 100.0 pounds
  • Height range: Up to 57.0 inches
  • Car seat weight: 25.0 pounds
  • Machine-washable padding

Our Experience

chicco myfit installed in backseat of car, angled front view.

We found the MyFit very easy to install. It uses LATCH system connectors that are easy to tighten. The built-in level helps ensure proper installation, and the recline adjustment works fluidly. Explanatory stickers also help ensure proper installation by providing positioning guides.

Overall4.7 out of 5
Ease of Installation5 out of 5
Adjustability4 out of 5
Quality of Materials5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.9 out of 5 based on over 5,200 ratings

Positive reviews mention the plush padding and light weight of the MyFit. A few users report getting into an accident while using this seat and that their child was unharmed. Many positive reviews also say the seat is very comfortable. The head support prevents a child’s head from dropping forward.

One reviewer claims the mechanism to attach the MyFit using a seatbelt (instead of the lower anchor tethers) doesn’t work – at least not in the reviewer’s Honda Pilot. Another negative review complains that the cupholders are too low for some children to reach.

#4 Best Budget Toddler Car Seat: Evenflo Chase

Pros Inexpensive Durable construction Lightweight and easy to maneuver Easy-to-clean, removable padding
Cons Less comfortable than other models Fewer recline positions

The Evenflo Chase is a low-priced toddler car seat for children between 22.0 and 110.0 pounds. This well-reviewed seat is nicely padded for a car seat in this price range and is simple to install and adjust. It also has the greatest weight limit of any car seat we’ve tested.

While it lacks some of the adjustability of more expensive models, the Evenflo Chase sacrifices little when it comes to safety. Rigorously tested for side-impact protection, the product meets or exceeds federal car seat safety standards. This is a good car seat if you’re looking for a low-cost option.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $80
  • Weight range: 22.0 to 110.0 pounds
  • Height range: 28.0 to 57.0 inches
  • Car seat weight: 11.0 pounds
  • Machine-washable padding

Our Experience

evenflo chase installed in back seat of car, angled front view.

At only 11.0 pounds, the Evenflo Chase is the lightest car seat we tested. While the materials don’t best the Bugaboo Turtle Air’s seat pad, the padding and seat are high in quality compared to other car seats in this price range.

Though lightweight, the Evenflo Chase isn’t the easiest car seat to install. It has the metal clamp style of anchor clasp and doesn’t attach and detach as smoothly as high-end models.

Overall3.8 out of 5
Ease of Installation4 out of 5
Adjustability4 out of 5
Quality of Materials3.5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 10,800 ratings

Many positive reviews say the seat is an incredible bargain for the price. Especially for older toddlers, the seat is comfortable enough for short and mid-range trips. This car seat is also considered safe. More than one reviewer reported getting into an accident while using this car seat, and their kid was protected.

Negative reviews typically note the comfort of the Evenflo Chase. The seat doesn’t recline as far as others, causing sleeping children to sometimes lean forward. One reviewer doesn’t like that there are no shoulder pads, because the harness straps dig into his child’s arms.

#5 Best Budget Infant Car Seat: Baby Trend EZ Ride

Pros Includes compatible stroller Inexpensive Special configuration for underweight newborns
Cons Difficult to adjust straps Less comfortable lining materials

The Baby Trend EZ Ride is a rear-facing infant car seat that includes a stroller. While many infant car seats are compatible with strollers, you typically must purchase them separately, with the car seat and stroller together costing upward of $300. The EZ Ride is a safe car seat that includes a stroller for a low overall price.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $180
  • Weight range: 4.0 to 35.0 pounds
  • Height range: Up to 32.0 inches
  • Car seat weight (excluding base): 8.8 pounds

Our Experience

baby trend ez ride installed in backseat of car, angled top down view.

The EZ Ride is not especially difficult to install, but by the standards of the best car seats, it’s more difficult than average. The straps are hard to tighten, and the anchor clasps are tricky to remove.

Like most infant car seats, the EZ Ride carriage is detachable from the base and can connect to a stroller. While this car seat works, it’s still hard to detach from the base and may require some shaking. It’s unlikely you could detach the carrier without waking a sleeping baby.

The materials are soft and easy to clean, but the nylon padding seat cover is less comfortable than a wool lining or the soft lining of other high-budget car seats. But for the cost, this seat does the job.

Overall3.5 out of 5
Ease of Use3.5 out of 5
Adjustability3.5 out of 5
Quality of Materials3.5 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 11,900 ratings

Like with many of the best car seats, Amazon reviews claim the EZ Ride succeeds at its most important task: keeping your child safe. At least one person says this seat saved their daughter’s life when they had a wreck.

Most positive reviews praise the EZ Ride’s versatility and low cost. Reviews on ease of use are mixed. Some users believe the system works great. Other reviewers note, as we did, that the EZ Ride can be difficult to adjust and that it’s not easy to detach the seat from the base.

How Do You Install A Car Seat?

You can install most car seats using your vehicle’s anchor latches under the back seat. If your car doesn’t have anchor latches, you can install a car seat using the belt. Refer to the installation guide included with your specific car seat for installation instructions. Some car seats (for younger children) should be installed in a rear-facing position, while high-backed booster seats and toddler car seats should be installed facing forward.

Car Seat Safety

Every car seat sold in the United States is required to meet certain federal safety standards. Check your car seat for a label or notice that proves it complies with these standards. Each of our recommendations for the best car seats meet federal safety standards.

It’s not enough to only purchase a safe car seat, it must also be properly installed to ensure child safety. The NHTSA website has a locator to find the nearest car seat inspection site. If you’re unsure if you’ve installed your car seat properly, take it to an expert for inspection. In many cities, this is a free service.

Do Car Seats Expire?

Yes, a car seat can expire. Most car seats typically expire after six or 10 years. It’s unlikely a single car seat will fit a child for that long, but some all-in-one car seats do. Expiration dates are also something to consider when buying old or second-hand car seats (which we don’t recommend).

Car Seat Buyers Guide

After determining the type of car seat you need, you should keep a few considerations in mind when seeking the best car seat for your child and budget.


Even the top-rated car seat is only safe if installed properly. Make sure you fully understand every feature of the car seat you buy. Read the instruction booklet before installation.

After installing a car seat, you should have a child passenger safety technician inspect your installation. Find the nearest inspection location using the NHTSA locator.

Car Compatability

Convertible car seats are bigger than infant car seats. Keep this in mind if you have a sedan or sports car. Bucket seats can also affect the ability to install two car seats side by side. If you or your partner are tall, your legroom may be limited by a bulky rear-facing car seat in the back. Another consideration is your car’s upholstery material. A 30.0-pound car seat with a 40.0-pound toddler might mark up leather seats. If you have leather seats, you might want to invest in seat protectors.


Do you intend to leave your car seat attached, or will it often move between vehicles (or from car to airplane)? If you plan to lug around your car seat, it’s better to purchase one that’s lightweight and easy to install and detach.

Safety Tips

All car seats sold in the U.S. should meet federal safety standards. However, some car seats are recallable, and an improper installation can render a seat unsafe.

  • Register the car seat online: This should be one of the first steps of buying a car seat. A one-time registration will opt you into regular updates and notices from the manufacturer.
  • Check national standards: Every car seat for sale in the U.S. should meet or exceed state and federal safety codes and undergo a New Car Assessment Program crash test by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Parents can follow organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the American Academy of Pediatrics for regular reports about child passenger safety.
  • Review the expiration date: The best convertible car seats usually have an expiration date between six and ten years. You can find the date printed on your product or in the user manual. If you’ve misplaced the manual, call the manufacturer.
  • Have your installation inspected: Take your car seat to the nearest inspection station so a certified child passenger safety technician can make sure it is properly installed and adjusted.

Besides looking at safety standards and details from the manufacturer, you should assess what safety features are important to you as a parent. Do you want added padding or flame-retardant material included in the design? Or do you want the seat with the best crash test rating?

Car Seats: How We Tested

Our review team tested more than a dozen car seats. To select products for testing, we searched Amazon for top products by looking at customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices. We only chose car seats that comply with United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

During testing, we compared adjustability, material quality, and ease of use to determine our rankings. We also considered customer opinions as represented by reviews on retailers’ websites such as Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Ease Of Use

Even a car seat that meets federal guidelines is unsafe if installed incorrectly. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 46 percent of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly. When a car seat is simple to install and includes easy-to-follow directions, the chance of user error is lower.

A car seat’s anchor clips can make a big difference with ease of installation. While testing car seats, we encountered two types of anchor clips: a simple metal anchor and a LATCH anchor that buckles similarly to a seatbelt (both displayed below). The LATCH anchor is easier to attach and release. Seats with this type of anchor scored higher in the ease-of-use category.

Plain Metal Anchor

car seats hooks

LATCH Anchor

car seats hooks


Though small babies are typically of similar size, older children often come in various shapes, heights, and weights. You’ll need to adjust any car seat to fit your child and your car. Features such as a built-in level, adjustable headrest, and multiple harness positions are useful in this regard. Car seats with more harness positions and incline positions scored best in this category.

Quality Of Materials

Better materials mean a more comfortable ride for your child. It’s also helpful when a car seat has machine-washable fabrics for easy cleanup. Car seats with soft materials, extra padding, and quality stitchwork scored best in this category.

Car Seat Testing Process

To test the best car seats, our review team installed each product into a sedan. In addition to inspecting the materials of each seat in person, we noted the ease or difficulty of the installation process. We also tested each adjustment mechanism to ensure it worked smoothly.

You can attach most car seats using the car’s built-in infant seat anchors or using the seatbelt. For our testing, we installed each seat using the built-in lower anchors when possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. A team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Our Research

In 2022, our reviews team launched a study to gauge what shoppers valued most while searching for car seats. This is what consumers told us they look for before purchasing any size or style of car seat: 

  • Approximately 89 percent of respondents stated safety as their top priority
  • Over 46 percent of respondents said the car seat needed to be the appropriate size for their child
  • 42 percent of those surveyed mentioned functionality as a priority 
  • Over 38 percent of respondents listed easy installation

Our team also found that 73 percent of respondents say they rarely uninstall their car seat once it is in place. Roughly a quarter of those surveyed said the most they removed the car seat was a handful of times each month.

Best Car Seats: Bottom Line

The hard part about choosing the best car seat is the landscape is changing on several fronts. Not only is your child growing, increasing in height and size, but the design of new car seats is always changing. Manufacturers have to adapt to government regulations, improve functionality, and add safety features like energy-absorbing foam.

While some products flash the all-in-one convertible car seat, a lot of wear can happen over the years that may render the car seat unusable before your child outgrows it. There’s also always the threat of a recall that could invalidate your purchase. The best bet is to choose a car seat you feel best suits your child, meets your budget, and installs easily in your vehicle.

Best Car Seat: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.