It is no secret that safety is the most important factor when it comes to buying products for children. From baby cribs, to bottles, to baby food and even clothes, all products designed for our children today, revolve around the issue of safety. Baby product manufacturers spend millions of dollars every year based on this alone, and the product that goes through the most rigorous of tests is the car seat.
If you don't know what a convertible car seat is, it is essentially your regular infant seat but manufactured in a way so that parents can utilize it a bit longer, as their children grow up. If you have a newborn or infant, obviously you are required to have a rear facing car seat. As your infant grows into a toddler or child, you can just convert the seat to a front facing direction while using the same car seat. And in others, you can take it even further and convert the seat one more time into a booster seat.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when purchasing a new car seat:
Safety -Does it use the LATCH system? Does it have a 3-point harness or 5-point harness?
Design - Can you add accessories to it? What other safety features are included (i.e. side protection?)
Convenience -Is it easy to set up? Is it heavy? portable?
Comfort - Will you child be comfortable in it?
Cleaning - Is it easy to clean and maintain?
Budget - Who doesn't like to save money?
Two Examples And Features
There are many great convertible car seats being researched, developed and manufactured everyday. But like most products, very few stand the test of time, and even less get the support of the consumer.
The Graco Nautilus 3-in-1
This seat is well-known for its 3 available car modes that 'grow with your child' for longevity. It is designed for children from 20 pounds all the way up to 100 pounds. It contains energy absorbing foam and a reinforced steel frame for added safety and like most seats today, has LATCH system integration. It also has washable covers which most parents will love and built-in cup holders and storage.
Safety is where the Recaro ProRIDE shines. It has side impact protection, a head restraint and a vehicle belt lock off mechanism which prevents the car seat belt from slipping. It too has LATCH system compatibility and offers a 5 point harness.