Last Updated: May 19, 2017 / safest convertible car seat reviews

Best Convertible Car Seats

Over the first ten years of your child’s life you could end up purchasing three or four types of car seats. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could start with one car seat and it would fit your child properly from birth through boostering?

A car seat has always been the number one item that parents buy before the birth of their babies.  A convertible seat is one that can be installed rear-facing and be converted into front-facing.
We've tested dozens of car seats and found big differences between good and bad ones. A children’s car seat is one of the most important purchases you'll make to keep your baby safe, so it's crucial that you get the right one.
Keep reading for everything you need to know before shopping for a convertible car seat.
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Graco 4Ever
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best-convertible-car-seatsss
Britax Marathon
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best-convertible-car-seatss
Diono Radian
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convertible car seat reviews

Choosing a good one can be slightly overwhelming because there are tons of car seats on the market! Therefore I've narrowed them down to 3 and only reviewed car seats from well-known brands that have provided the safest greatest car seats for many years.
Some parents just look at the price tag and have the inclination to buy the cheapest one. That's a bad investment and a recipe for disaster. I know many people with many children. I suggest spending a little more money on a car seat so that it will last through the years, and you won't have to keep buying a car seat every time you have a baby.
I send thanks to all the car seat experts, paediatricians, and parents who contributed to this handy information guide. In this guide you will learn the basics and be able to check out our award-winning convertible car seat picks.  Read on to save time, money, and unnecessary stress!

best-high-chair What makes our guide different from other guides is that we continuously improve our knowledge, and provide the best possible choices available on the market. This page is up to date and I update it as things change.


WHAT IS A CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS

Children’s car seats are split into groups from infant seats to toddler booster seats with each group designed to provide the right protection as your child grows.
They got their name because they start off rear-facing and convert to forward-facing. It's important to remember that the American Academy of Paediatrics recommends that all children rear-face until they're two years old.
The convertible car seat can be used from birth to about 60 or 70 pounds. One thing that's really important to remember is that car seats are made of plastic, and over time start to get brittle. Check with the manufacturer how long the car seat should be used.
Accidents can happen anytime. It doesn't matter where you are, while in the car with babies, you have to take all the precautions you can before anything happens. It's also crucial to correctly install it in a car. Always read the manufacturer's guidelines and follow governmental directives.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVERTIBLE AND OTHER SEATS

Since the car seat is essential for your baby's safety, which type should you start with?
A convertible car seat is the next step after an infant car seat. Convertible car seats can be positioned either rear or forward-facing. They have a similar harness system to infant car seats with higher weight-height limits.
When your child meets the requirements for age, weight, and height, a convertible seat can be turned around and installed in a forward facing direction until a child is ready for a booster. We have selected the best car seats based on price, performance, quality and safety.
The main difference between infant and convertible car seats is that an infant car seat clicks into a base in your car. You can remove the car seat from the car with the baby in it, whereas a convertible car seat will stay in your car once you install it.

 

HOW WE TESTED AND RATED

All of the car seats we tested, and for sale in the United States, have passed federal safety standards for car seats. As a result, those car seats can be considered as providing an extra protection based on their crash test performance.
Why do we choose one convertible car seat over another? There are a number of reasons for this, which are discussed below.
Children's bodies are different from adults’ and far less force is needed to cause serious injury. That's why getting the right children’s car seat to fit their growing body as it changes is so important.
With their small size and undeveloped muscle and bone infants must have a special type of seat that faces the rear of a vehicle to help protect them in the event of a crash. For starters read the owner's manuals for both the vehicle and the safety seat to understand proper placement in the vehicle and proper placement of harnesses to hold the child in the safety seat according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Babies’ heads are about a third of their body weight and their neck muscles are weak. So if they're facing forward, there's risk of their head being pulled forward by the force of a crash causing severe neck and spine injuries.
Our tests have proven that a seat without side protection will leave your child's head, neck, and body at risk of hitting the side of the car causing serious injury in a crash.

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This footage looks dramatic, but this rear-facing convertible car seat is performing exactly as it was designed to - to protect a child in a frontal crash. The impact on children’s heads in crashes is a major cause of injury and death, which is why we went beyond even the government's standards to develop new crash test methods for children’s seats, which incorporate a simulated front seat back to more accurately evaluate crash protection in a real crash.
Based on customer reports of recent car seat testing we are now urging parents to move older babies from their rear-facing infant carriers to a rear-facing convertible seat sooner rather than later.
This crash test shows you how dangerous it is to hold children or not restrain them properly. We tested infant and rear-facing convertible seats using a 22-pound dummy representing a one-year-old child. In more than half of the infant seats the dummy's head hit the back of the front seat.

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That happened only once during testing of the convertible seats. Based on those results we a recommend that all children be moved to a rear-facing convertible seat by their first birthday even if they haven't yet outgrown their rear-facing infant seats. Although many children will have outgrown those seats by this time, a child is technically too tall for a rear-facing infant seat when s/he exceeds the tight limits or his/her head is less than one inch from the top of the carrier shell.

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Along with crash performance ratings we evaluated each seat for ease of use and installation. Safest convertible car seats that rate well in our tests have features that help you install the seat correctly and make necessary adjustments as your child grows. You can learn more about how to purchase the right car seat for your child in our car seat buying guide.
Before your baby is born you'll need a rear-facing car seat. Remember that you won't be able to leave the hospital without one. This type of seat provides the best protection for babies and toddlers.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING

A buying guide featuring some of the best car seats for babies that meet federal safety standards to provide the best protection for your child.


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All car seats have basic safety features that meet the minimum guidelines. When you start getting into premium convertible car seats, you'll see some revolutionary and innovative features. Some of them might feature steel bars or a complete steel frame.
best-convertible-car-seatAnother thing to look for is a five-point harness. Almost all car seats feature the 5-point harness which ensures that your child has not moved in an accident.
A lot of convertible car seats have additional safety features, such as head support and other things. Make sure that your child will not be moving in an accident.
best-convertible-car-seatAnother great safety feature on the convertible car seat is the tether. The tether is a strap at the back of a car seat which distributes any force from an accident from the car seat to the car. Not all car seats have a tether that can be used when the seat faces the rear.
best-convertible-car-seatThe next topic is comfort. When you first start using the convertible car seat for a newborn, your child will be in the flattest lying position. As the child grows, s/he will move into a more upright position. It's a matter of our busy lifestyles, but we really spend a lot of time in the car.
So you want the car seat to be nice and comfortable for your child. Look for a nice plush padding, a comfortable material easy for you to clean in case an accident happens.
best-convertible-car-seatLet's talk about convenience. As your child grows you’ll have to reposition the harness correctly on your child's body. Some of the premium car seats allow pulling up on the harness to easily reposition it. That is much easier than having to read through the harness.
I highly recommend that feature in a convertible car seat. Another premium feature is the click and save technology which makes an audible click every time you readjust the harness.
If you're planning on traveling, you might think that you'll never take the convertible car seat with you. Convertible car seats are fabulous to have on an airplane. Check with a car seat manufacturer if they're FAA approved. We evaluated ease of use, safety and lifestyle factors to help us pick the best car seats for your little one.

Here are our award winning safest convertible car seat picks and what they provide.
  BEST CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS IN 2017
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best-convertible-car-seatsGraco 4Ever All-In-One
best-convertible-car-seatsssBritax Marathon best-convertible-car-seatssDiono
Radian

convertible car seat reviews

Out of the 3 choices I'd recommend the Graco 4Ever when performance and reliability count. So I decided to give it a closer look. Here is our award-winning convertible car seat described.↓
CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT REVIEWS

1. GRACO 4EVER ALL IN ONE CAR SEAT

Here are my favorite features and all about the Graco Convertible Car Seat.
It takes your baby from newborn to 10 years of age.

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This is a car seat that grows with your child and is good for up to 10 years with respect to the adjustments that you can make as your child grows. It goes from a car seat with a child insert for newborns to a backless booster for children up to a hundred and twenty pounds.
Very big on the safety features, especially the side impact, Graco All in One is a car seat that I feel very confident to put my child in and know that he will be safe.
Graco convertible car seat has an infant insert that is very easy to clean. it's removable, so you can slide it out once your baby is bigger. It has a couple of cup holders, which are great for smoothies that your baby loves.

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Its very convenient handle allows you to adjust the height of the seat up and down very easily, of which  which I like the convenience.
What makes Graco convertible car seat different from other car seats on the market? It’s the best all in one car seat that fits well and correctly at every stage.
Overall I really like the Graco 4Ever Convertible Car Seat. I love that it has a reinforced steel frame which has a 10 years’ life. The reclining options are amazing for ensuring a comfortable ride for the child and also perfect fit in various sizes of vehicles.  And it's worth the price!
When you are buying a car seat, safety is the most important thing to take into consideration.This is a sturdy and easy car seat to use and a true life and money saver!

best-convertible-carseat

The 4Ever is FAA approved for airline use *with the harness*. It has a 10-year lifespan, and it must be replaced after any crash.
With comfort, meticulously tested safety features, ease of use and  versatility, it is no wonder why the Graco 4Ever has been such a huge hit with parents.
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PROS/CONS

Installs easily with LATCH or seat belt
Well-written instruction manual
Compact and sturdy
Quality materials
Comfortable, safe, easy to use and clean

It's a bit heavy

2. BRITAX MARATHON CLICKTHIGHT
I like the Britax Marathon car seat, made in the USA, and it has a ClickTight system that allows for quicker and secure installation.

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When you turn the little knob, the flap opens and you can put your seat belt right through it and secure it while it's closed. You can install it easily by using a seat belt.
The seat has a soft pliable memory foam. There is a cup holder that you can attach on either side. Kids love cup holders.
Wherever you read about car seats, Britax Marathon is one of the best rated for safety. This is exactly why I like this car seat. Another reason I love it is that it's really easy to install. Extremely convenient and highly recommended!
Got a small car?
The Britax Marathon is a car seat that can be installed in many small cars. Simply the best convertible car seat for small cars!

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It has side impact protection. The quality of the fabric makes it easy to clean. It’s really great for positioning your infant to the right height and for comfort as your baby gets bigger. One of the great features of Britax is the integrated steal frame which will absorb a lot of impact during a collision.
Britax marathon is suitable for children from birth to 65 pounds. It will rear face up to 40 pounds and you can face it forward one year and 20 pounds.
Parents want the safest car seat possible for their children, and Britax is a name you can trust. Their award-winning safety and designs are something parents have counted on for years.
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PROS/CONS

High rear facing height limits
No re-thread harness
Looks modern and stylish
Easily adjusts for height, strap length, and recline
Sturdy, comfortable, safe, and easy to install.

Short crotch buckle


3. DIONO RADIAN ALL-IN-ONE
Diono Radian is one of the best and safest convertible car seats on the market!
The first thing I noticed about this seat is the quality. It is extremely durable and sturdy. It features a latch system, energy-absorbing foam, and a steel frame. It very easily folds for transport or storage.
The Diono Radian car seat grows with your child from infant to 120 pounds and is usable as a forward-facing booster seat. One of the best rear facing convertible car seat on the market.

best convertible car seat

It's very stylish and the material is machine washable if dirt does not come off by spot cleaning with soap and water. It cleans very easily and most of the material is stain resistant.
Another thing I like is that it has adjustable height and harness. Its removable seat pad is looks amazing. The Diono Radian is one of the best rated car seats on the market.
The Diono Radian convertible car seat is great for travel, FAA certified for air travel, and NCAP crash tested, which is a crash test that is about twice the strength of the standard crash test, so it is very durable and safe. It’s the best baby car seat. According to our experts this was voted as the best baby car seat in 2016 in the US.

best convertible car seat 2017

It is excellent for toddlers and babies! It offers ease of use and comfort throughout the growth of your child.
So it's definitely a worthwhile investment that you will use for a very long time. The Diono Radian is a convertible car seat that will bring you peace of mind while you’re on the road.
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PROS/CONS

Feels very solid & sturdy but is still comfy
Push button lower anchor connectors
Best convertible car seat for small cars
Excellent instructions and user manual
 It folds for easy traveling and made for safety : steel bars

It's a bit bulky

 

CONCLUSION

I was certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician in 2015. I feel that it's my duty to warn people to read their car seat's manual and vehicle manual information about child safety seats cover to cover.
I recommend that you invest in the best option on the convertible market if you possibly can, because those extra additional safety features really can make a difference in an accident. Choose the best convertible seat for your baby with lots of safety features. Look for a convertible car seat with side impact protection.
You need to have a car seat from the day you take a newborn infant home from the hospital. A car seat is an essential part of car safety. Car seats save lives!
You will use this piece of baby gear for many years, so it's a decision you want to make carefully. Choose a sturdy one!
The Graco 4Ever  has ticked off all the boxes for what matters to me in a car seat. I want one that allows extended rear facing, has a straightforward installation, is comfortable for my child to sit in for a while, and has excellent features easy to use. Graco has a well established reputation for being a leader in car seat safety.
If you're looking for a car seat that fits your child from birth, is easy to install, and is safe, then look no further than the Graco 4Ever Convertible Car Seat. Click here to check to latest price on Amazon.


The Ultimate Convertible Car Seat Comparison Guide

Olivia Harper

Olivia Harper attended University Of Southern California for her undergraduate education, medical school, and residency training. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, interior decorating and gardening. ---- BestBabyNeeds was created out of passion to help moms and, moms-to-be find the information they need to make it easier for them to pick the right products for them and their baby. We care a great deal about you, that’s why we appreciate your feedback. It helps us serve you better.

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32 thoughts on “Best Convertible Car Seats 2017 | Reviews and Buying Guide of Top Rated Car Seats

  1. Best Car Seats 2017
    I cannot write enough good things about the Diono Radian, simply the best car seat on the market.
    I feel like the construction and quality are exceptional! Lots of space and easy to get child in and out of seat. Hooks into our vehicles easily. I’m surprised at the quality of this seat. An amazing car seat for a great price.

  2. Graco Convertible Car Seat Review
    My son was starting to fuss every time we went to strap him into his infant car seat! It was very difficult. We ended up using Graco 4Ever all in one car seat. Fits wonderfully in my small Toyota. The quality of the seat is very durable, and the color scheme is amazing. Definitely recommend this seat! It’s the best baby car seat.

  3. best car seat 2017.
    I researched convertible car seats for a long time prior to purchasing the Britax Marathon and it is everything we could have asked for. So far we love this car seat. It was so easy to install it rear facing.
    It is very well made and sturdy. The only thing to consider is that it is a very large.
    Will be buying a second for my other son.

  4. the best car seats 2017
    It’s been a few years since the GRACO 4Ever came out, but it remains one of the best convertible car seats on the market. It has plenty of space to sit comfortably. My son is extremely comfortable in this car seat. When your little one reaches the weight – height limits for his/her infant seat, move her/him to a rear facing convertible car seat.
    Definitely worth the money . don’t forget to check out the best convertible car seat ratings of this year and thank you for the convertible car seat comparison. It’s been very helpful.

  5. My son and I were recently in a minor car accident and needed to replace our existing car seat.
    After huge research on convertible car seats I choose this Graco 4Ever.
    I was immediately impressed by all the features it has. Simply the best rear facing convertible car seat.
    This is one of the best rated car seats as well as one of the easiest to install.
    I thought it was going to be big and bulky like some other all-in-ones, but to my surprise it’s not.
    Always have peace of mind with Graco products being safe, and I love that this one will last us for so long.
    Simply the Graco convertible car seat is the best all in one car seat on the market!

  6. We purchased the Britax Marathon, and this is car seat is amazing , its strong and wonderful.
    I have a 3 year old son, and he’s been using it since he was 5 months old.
    I reviewed tons of car seats before deciding on the Britax after seeing the safety test on it.
    top rated convertible car seat. This seat is worth every penny.

  7. I bought the Diono RXT car seat yesterday. The latch system works wonderfully and also the harness! Very pleased with my purchase. it’s made a good material, it looks awesome.
    it comes with straps with a awesome easy push button straps to hook to the bars.
    Completely love this seat and hoping to purchase another for my sister’s daughter.
    You better find convertible car seat sale on amazon.

  8. Diono RXT was my 2nd purchase of the carseat. We had a different brand that we used for our child’s baby sitter. I absolutely love this car seat! The adjustable head rest really allows for better visibility. My son loves his new car seat. Secure, easy to use straps, easy to adjust. Simply the best baby car seat.

  9. Here is my Graco 4Ever convertible car seat review:
    After research and recommendations for both the Diono, and the Graco convertible seat, I’m happy with my decision to get my daughter the Graco. Very easy to install and my daughter loves it. Definitely recommend this car seat as it’s the best graco convertible car seat!
    I bought another cheap convertible car seat to use when my son goes with other people. Simply the best all in one car seat on the market.

  10. We purchased the Britax marathon car seat in April of 2015, and it is still in perfect condition!
    The seat material is very comfy, and our daughter has enjoyed riding in this seat.
    the Clicktight feature is amazing. I love it. We are very happy with this product.

  11. britax convertible car seat review.
    Just purchased the Britax Marathon for my 9 month old son, and I love it!!
    I am so pleased that I won’t have to buy another seat for her ever again because I am expecting another baby this winter. Only negative is that it does take up a lot of room.
    Would definitely recommend as of now and it’s worth the price!

  12. best car seat 2017 = Graco 4ever
    Anywhere you read about convertible car seats, the Britax Clicktight is one of the best rated for safety.
    I have had the Graco 4Ever convertible car seat for 11 months now and I love it!
    It is so easy to install with the L.A.T.C.H. system. Overall, we are very pleased with the Graco car seat.

  13. I ordered the Britax marathon car seat for my son when he was about two years old. Very sturdy and durable.
    This car seat was more expensive than others, however I feel it was well worth the money. It was highly recommended for safety and as being less toxic than other car seats. Extremely happy with my purchase.

  14. We purchased the Britax Marathon Convertible car seat as we are expecting twins. [rear facing convertible car seat
    The first thing you notice about this seat is the quality. It is extremely durable and sturdy. The best convertible car seat for small cars. The seat feels solid and I love the recline adjustment – it looks so comfortable than the other car seats!
    The best rear facing convertible car seat can usually hold up to around 35lbs so Britax is great.
    All in all, I would HIGHLY recommend the Britax Marathon Car Seat!
    Britax is one of the best rated car seats available today.

  15. I bought the Diono Radian RXT seat. The quality of this convertible car seat is excellent. I especially love the fabric, its easy to clean, and it looks comfy. I was researching less expensive car seats but ended up spending the extra to buy this one. Overall we are beyond satisfied with quality, safety and installation. definitely recommend it.

  16. I spent a considerable amount of time researching convertible car seats and I decided the buy Britax Marathon.
    It’s very safe and this is exactly why I chose this car seat.
    Britax Marathon car seat is very easy to use, my kiddo is very comfortable and it is very easy to clean.
    Overall it works well.

  17. After a ton of research I settled on the Britax USA Marathon car seat for my son, and I couldn’t be happier!
    This car seat is high-quality and the multiple recline settings are great. super easy to install, very sturdy.
    Definitely worth the money!!! It’s the best baby car seat.

  18. I am a first time mom and I recently just bought the Diono Raidan rxt car seat.
    My daughter loves this car seat. We have been using it since birth.
    I bought it through online. It is perfect for a baby for all stage.

  19. I purchased the Britax car seat about a year ago.
    It’s heavy and sturdy yet there’s plenty of room for my 2 year old to grow into it as well. Excellent quality, looks comfy. It’s worth the extra money because you feel more confident.

  20. We got the Britax USA Marathon convertible car seat when my daughter was only about 6 months. She is now almost 3 and the seat is in great condition. This is really easy to install and looks pretty comfortable. I absolutely love this car seat.
    This cheap convertible car seat accommodates children from 5 to 40 pounds.

  21. We received two Britax Marathon car seats for our twins. We loved all the great features so far.
    I love that the car seat doesn’t expire for many years. This car seat is easy to install, easy to adjust the straps.
    I bought this car seat about a year ago and don’t regret it.

  22. We have been using the Graco all in one car seat for about 11 months now and it’s been great.
    We were looking for something that would last us for a while, and this seat is great! All those safety features makes the Graco 4Eever one of the safest convertible car seats on the market today. Would recommend to anyone. Don’t let the price scare you, it’s totally worth it to never have to buy another car seat again.

  23. Diono RXT Car Seat, gives you 10 years with one car seat. It’s comfortable for your child and convenient for you.
    So far the quality is amazing it really isn’t heavy for what I thought it would be. I absolutely love this seat.
    This convertible car seat is well-made yet very affordable, safe and it will grow with your child.

  24. I researched convertible car seats for several weeks before making this purchase and Britax Marathon was always top rated for safety and comfort features. This car seat fit perfectly the first time and easily installed. We got the black color and so far it has been great. I would recommend to anyone!! The best rear facing convertible car seat !

  25. I bought the Britax Marathon car seat for my 2 year old daughter and seeing her smile in the car seat shows me that we bought the right one for her. This car seat gives you 10 years of use!
    This car seat is awesome! We purchased a second one for our other vehicle after we had it for awhile.
    Overall, I’m happy with the Britax Marathon seat. It seems very sturdy and safe.

  26. I’ve had the Britax Marathon clicktight car seat for almost two years.
    I have owned 3 different car seats and this is by far the best seat of all of them.
    The height adjustment for the bottom of the seat is amazing.
    Needless to say I am very happy with my purchase.
    One of the best rated car seats on the market as well as one of the easiest to assamble.

  27. The best convertible car seat for small cars!
    I’ve used the Diono RXT Car Seat for 7 months and am overall I’m very pleased with it.
    The only thing I don’t like is that the harness can get stuck time to time.
    Just buying other one this time for my sister’s son. would highly recommend!

  28. I bought the Graco All-In-One car seat around Dec, 2016.
    This is the amazing seat for a one time car seat purchase.
    Installation of the Graco 4Ever is rather basic; you can use lower LATCH anchors
    It’s a great car seat for parents who want a seat that can take their baby from birth to booster age.
    All in all I would say it is VERY worth every penny we paid.

  29. I bought the Graco 4Ever convertible car seat for my second son. I was looking for something that would last longer than the typical car seats. I love that this car seat doesn’t compromise all of the space in my little car.
    I recommend this car seat to everyone, simply amazing!

  30. I love the Diono Radian car seat for my son. Its heavy but its very sturdy.
    These convertible car seats are expensive, but so worth it in my opinion. Especially when I compare how much I’ve spent on different car seats for my oldest child over the years.
    This has been a great purchase for us. It fits our large son well, is easy to adjust, and has great safety features.
    Has a lot of padding and protection for him. Simply one of the safest convertible car seats available on the market.

  31. Bought several car seats over the years and by far, Graco 4Ever is the best one I have ever purchased!
    We love this car seat, and had used it for a couple years..
    I feel like my daughter is secure and safe in the Graco 4Ever and would highly recommend this car seat.

  32. We bought the Graco 4Ever seat and like it.
    Installation was super easy, padding in this car seat feels very comfortable; fabric seems quite durable.
    My son loves this better than his last car seat. Great seat and affordable price! Overall the best all in one car seat.

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