The Best Convertible Car Seat for Tall Babies

If you’re going to be taking your baby along with you in the car, you better have an appropriate baby car seat ready for them. You can’t just buy any car seat, however, it’s important that your child is below the height and weight restrictions for the seat.

See the height restrictions and make sure their head will be at least 1″ below the top of the seat. In this review we have chosen the best convertible car seat for tall babies as our Star Pick. Also, take a look at the features of the other top models we listed, and decide which would be the best choice for your child.

STAR PICK
Diono Rainier Convertible Car Seat

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Famous for their amazing build quality, the Diono convertible baby car seats feature a full steel frame that guarantees safety during a crash, and this frame also adds to the overall stability of the seat during a ride. However, the reason we chose the Rainier as our top pick is not just because of the super sturdy construction, but also because of the fact this is one of the most comfortable baby car seats on the market. The head support is fully adjustable up to 12 different positions, letting you find the perfect setting for your baby no matter whether they are 2 months old, or 2 years old.

In rear facing mode, the seat supports between 5-50 lbs, and when your child is old enough for a forward facing seat, you can slide the Rainier out of the rail and put it into the forward facing mode that is equipped with a five-point ultra-safe harness(20-90 lbs). In case you wish to use this chair as a booster for your child until he or she is old enough to use the cars default seatbelt, you can use the Dianier in booster mode. This mode supports up to 120 lbs of weight, and the shell can extend as high as 57” in height.

STAR BUDGET PICK
Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Harness Booster Convertible Car Seat

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Let’s say you want a great baby seat for your little toddler, but don’t want to shell out a ton of money. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to compromise on your kiddo’s safety or comfort in order to obtain affordable pricing on the baby seat. In fact, the Nautilus 65 from Graco handily beats baby car seats that cost much more. The 3-in-1 harness booster keeps your child protected from the age of one month, all the way up to 8 years.

Until your child is ready to use a full size seatbelt, the Nautilius will form a protective cushion around their body, and the soft fabric feels great to the skin. Designed with the comfort of babies in mind, both the harness and headdress can be adjusted in one simultaneous motion. The booster seat can be operated in three modes – front facing harness booster (22 to 65 pounds), high back booster (30 to 100 pounds), and backless booster (40 to 100 pounds).

RUNNER-UP
Evenflo Symphony All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Symphony DLX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Paramount, Paramount
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The DLX AIO convertible car seat for babies is designed with one goal – to provide complete seating support for your child from the beginning, till he or she is finally ready to use a regular car seat and safety belt. Which is why, this AIO seat can take up to 110 lbs of load (it can actually take much more than that due to the steel chassis underneath), and includes 3 separate operating modes. There is a rear facing mode for the toddler’s first couple of years, a forward facing mode, and a booster mode.

While all this is pretty common in all AIO style convertible baby seats, the unique feature about this particular model is the Sure Latch connector system that lets you easily install and uninstall the entire convertible seat within 60 seconds flat. That is something other convertible seats cannot do, since they are a pain to remove as well as install in your vehicle. So the Symphony DLX is an interesting option if you plan on doing a lot of car switching or travelling, since it is both versatile as well as easy to setup and dismount.

Choosing the Best Convertible Car Seat for Tall Babies

Depending on your baby’s size, and weight you’ll have to choose from a wide range of car seats, each with its own unique pros and cons. For infants, who are less than a year old, you must either buy an infant car seat, or you can get a convertible car seat. For kids between 4-8 years old, you’ll be best off using convertible seats, although convertible seats are a great option for your newly born as well, provided you choose the correct convertible car seat. Let’s say you happen to have a really tall toddler, somewhere in the 90 percentile range. Then, you’ll need a convertible seat that has a 50” shell at minimum. Shells can go up to 57”, and convertible baby seats designed for taller and larger toddlers are capable of sustaining up to 80-100 pounds of weight.

Initially, during the first 1-2 years of your baby’s life, you’ll be putting him into the convertible seat in a backward position, i.e. your baby will lie in the seat as if they are sleeping in a cradle, with their feet pointing towards the actual car seat, and their head pointing towards the front of the car (backward facing position). Convertible car seats come with mounting platforms that are usually non-detachable from your car seat, meaning that you cannot remove the convertible seat from your car without disengaging the entire mounting assembly. But the advantage of convertible seats is that you can use them as both a forward facing and backward facing seat.

As your baby grows in size and weight, you can slide the seat out and remount it in a forward facing position, which resembles an actual car seat, except that your baby will be held to the shell through thickly padded safety harnesses. The amount of padding and the material used for the seat covers is extremely important. Insufficient padding means a bumpy, uncomfortable ride for the baby, and harsh fabric upholstery might hurt sensitive baby skin. Try to get soft PU leather or vinyl covers, and if there is fabric, make sure that it is not abrasive and is breathable enough for the baby to not feel suffocated or hot while resting on the seat.

Some convertible seats will also have a third operating mode, and these seats are known as the “All-In-Ones”. The third function in these AIO’s will be the booster seat. Booster mode removes the built-in harness and raises the seat base so that your child can use the default seatbelt provided in the car. In booster mode, the backrest is made taller, and the shell length must be at least 57”. If you’re going to get a convertible car seat for your baby, make sure that the seat is at least 50” tall at the back, and ensure the canopy is well padded. Double check all harnesses and make sure the stitching, straps, buckles, etc. are of top quality.

STAR PICK
Diono Rainier Convertible Car Seat

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Baby Car Seat Buying Guide

Are you searching for the best baby car seat buying guide? When it comes to the purchase of an infant car seat, one important factor to consider is the child’s safety. It means that having a baby car seat that’s appropriate for your child’s age and weight is essential. When searching for a baby car seat, bear in mind that a newborn can sit in two types of car seats: a convertible seat, which faces the car’s rear initially and can be later turned towards its front, or a rear-facing one. A convertible seat is ideal as it lasts through the child’s toddler-hood and is safe. However, you can’t take it in and out of your vehicle like an infant seat. The ability to move a sleeping baby in an infant car seat is priceless, even if the child fits the seat for only a year according to many parents. Fortunately, to enable you to select the best car seat for your baby, this guide gives you 8 factors to consider when buying one.

Installation
When searching for the best baby car seat, one factor to consider is how you install the car seat. The best way is by reading your car owner’s manual before going out to buy it. That enables you to know how the car seat will be installed and where exactly you will place it. A car seat can either be installed using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system (LATCH system) which all new vehicle models have or using the seat belt. If you use the LATCH, ensure that you know where the LATCH attachments are in your vehicle. The reason is that you may not find them in the rear facing position in the middle, which is the safest spot for your child.

STAR BUDGET PICK
Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Harness Booster Convertible Car Seat

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Baby’s Age, Height and Weight
Make sure that the car seat manual details the height and weight specifications for that type of model. For rear facing seats, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and newborns ride in these type of seats for as long as possible. One tip to know when your baby has outgrown the rear facing model is if their head is within 1 inch of the seat’s top. The reason is that height is an important consideration. For forward facing seats, make sure that your baby has reached the maximum weight or height capacity of the car seat and is at least 2-years old. One way to find out if your child has outgrown this seat is if the middle of their head or the top of their ears is above the seat’s top. Another way is if their shoulder level is above its top harness slot.

How Much Room Is In the Back Seat
Another factor that this baby car seat buying guide recommends you check is the space that you have in the back seat. The reason is that a model with a large base may not fit in a small vehicle. It means you should opt for one that has a narrower base. You should also consider the number of children that you have and how many will be using car seats. The best way is to take measurements of the backseat before shopping and use a measuring tape in the store. It will enable you to measure the base of the seat.

Ease of Installation
Consider purchasing car seats with clear instructions on how to install them. For instance, consider those that explain their installation in both a diagram and text. Keep the instruction booklet always in the seat and make use of the instructions as much as you can. For expectant mothers, consider getting the seat installed before its time to bring the baby from the hospital.

Belt Path
Another tip to use when buying a baby car seat is to make sure you can access it quickly. The seat belt should be secure and properly fastened. That’s because if you’re going to use the car’s seat belt to install the safety seat, you’ll use the safety seat’s belt path, which is what keeps the device secure.
Once the seat belt is in the proper place on the safety seat and also properly fastened; make sure that there’s less that 1 inch of side-to-side motion along the belt path. It means that if you hold the seat at the exact point where the seat belt enters the belt path, then you push the seat sideways; the seat shouldn’t move more than one inch.

Two-Piece Retainer Clips
Consider choosing a baby car seat with retainer clips as they are difficult to unfasten. They ensure that toddlers can’t unbuckle and climb out of their seat when you’re not watching, for example, when driving.

Accessible Harness Adjusters
This Baby Car Seat Buying Guide recommends that you look for models that have easy to access harness adjusters. Keep in mind that all safety seat harnesses adjust. However, what you should make sure is that they are simple to use and easy to reach.The reason is that an improper harness adjustment system makes the baby car seat less safe in the event sudden braking.

RUNNER-UP
Evenflo Symphony All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Symphony DLX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Paramount, Paramount
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Ease of Cleaning
When shopping for the best baby car seat, another tip to use is looking for those that can be cleaned easily. Those that are made of smooth fabric enable you to clean them more quickly when compared to those made of textured fabric, for example, corduroy. Remember that babies can be messy at times, which means that this is an important consideration, especially when you’re outdoors traveling.

Conclusion
Using the above Baby Car Seat Buying Guide, you should be able to buy a car seat that suits your child’s safety and comfort needs. Depending on your budget estimates, consider buying premium car seats that come with additional features. For example, an anti-rebound bar at the seat’s foot that minimizes movements as a result of crashes, a larger canopy, a little “boot” around the baby’s feet and a cushier fabric. Remember to read online reviews of the best car seat models for infants to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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