Our favourite convertible seats (and why we love them)

Most of the seats on this list — also known as convertibles — will get most kids to age 2 rear facing, and exceptions are noted as applicable. Many will get average to small kids well beyond that; tall and long torsoed children have far fewer options if your rear facing goals exceed age 2 as is the current recommendation. This article will (hopefully!) help you form realistic rear facing goals for your family, and guide your shopping with those ideas in mind.

Scroll down to see seats that are technically 3-in-1s or all-in-ones…but be aware that usability in all modes varies greatly.

If you are buying online consider purchasing from Amazon.ca; a small portion of the purchase cost is directed to our donation fund at no extra cost to you.

*Please note: Top harness slots listed are approximate, and how a child fits in a seat will vary not only on seated torso height (measurement from floor to top of shoulders when child is seated), but also proportions, shape of the seat, angle of the seat, and even the particular install. As usual, we recommend trying out a seat yourself to ensure it will work in your situation.

In no particular order…

Evenflo Sonus (full review coming soon!)

Features:

  • $120 at Babies R Us
  • rear faces 5-40lbs or 40″, forward faces 22-50lbs or 50″
  • expires 6 years from date of manufacture
  • the seat must be installed with the indicator line level to the ground at all times
  • child must be TWO years old to forward face
  • top harness heigh ~18.25″

Pros:

  • lightweight – less than 10lbs, medium-narrow
  • fits average newborns
  • harness pads will soon be available for purchase directly from Evenflo

Cons:

  • 50lb harness height may be too low for kids who need to be harnessed longer
  • compactness rear-facing seems to vary widely depending on the vehicle

 

Cosco Scenera NEXT (read a review here)

Features:

  • $99 at Walmart
  • rear faces 5-40lbs or 40″, forward faces 22-40lbs or 43″
  • expires 8 years from date of manufacture
  • child must be TWO years old to forward face

Pros:

  • extremely compact and can be very upright for older kids
  • lightweight – less than 8lbs
  • narrow
  • fits average newborns
  • harness pads available for purchase directly from Cosco

Cons:

  • essentially a rear-facing only seat as it is outgrown forward-facing before rear-facing

 

Graco Dimensions (read a review here) / Graco ContenderDimensions

Features:

  • ~$310 at Babies R Us (Dimensions), and ~$280 at Canadian Tire
  • rear faces to 35lbs or 43″ or until child’s head is within 1″ of red handle adjuster, forward faces to 65lbs or 49″
  • expires 7 years from date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~18.5″
  • Dimensions: two-piece infant insert, harness covers, premium UAS connectors; Contender: one piece insert, no harness covers, basic hook-style UAS connectors

Pros:

  • fits especially well in small spaces and compact cars
  • fits especially well in 3-across scenarios, as well as next to booster seats
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing

Cons:

  • some people don’t like how reclined it is when forward facing, but that depends very much on the vehicle, so we would suggest trying to install it that way as well if you look at this one
  • may be incompatible forward-facing in vehicles with fixed or forward-leaning head restraints, particularly at higher harness heights
  • harness is not removable

 

Evenflo SureRide/Titan 65 (read a review here)SureRide

Features:

  • ~$170 at Babies R Us, Sears, BestBuy online, Canadian Tire, Amazon.ca, or $130 at Walmart for Titan 65 (name exclusive to Walmart)
  • rear faces to 40lbs and 40″ tall, forward faces to 65lbs or 54″
  • the seat must be installed with the indicator line level to the ground at all times but internally the angle changes as the child grows, resulting in more reclined for babies and more upright for older toddlers/preschoolers
  • expires 6 years from the date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~19-19.25″

Pros:

  • Fits newborns, even small ones, exceptionally well
  • Fits in small spaces and compact cars
  • Lightweight and medium-narrow
  • Very high top harness slots will fit even very tall children until they’re ready for a booster
  • Harness covers available for purchase directly from Evenflo

Cons:

  • Rear-facing children at the top end of the height limits, especially those long in the torso, may find the harness is too low on the shoulders to be comfortable or to stay safely in place.
  • Forward-facing children at the top end of the height or weight limits may find there isn’t enough harness length to comfortably or easily buckle. Smaller forward-facing children may find the lowest harness height uncomfortably high.

 

Britax Marathon / Boulevard / Advocate G4.1 

Features:

  • ~$370-420 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca or specialty stores
  • may be referred to as ‘G4.1’ seats (the 4th generation of this style of seat)
  • rear face to 40lbs, forward face to 65lbs and 49″
  • fits rear-facing until child’s head is within 1″ of the top of the adjustable head rest (older “G4″ and previous models were to within 1” of the top of the shell only)
  • built-in lockoffs for seat belt installs
  • no-rethread harness
  • expires 7 years from date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~17″

Pros:

  • easy install
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing
  • fits especially well in small spaces and compact cars
  • fits newborns well

Cons:

  • less leg room while rear-facing than many seats listed here

 

 

Evenflo Triumph

Features:

  • ~$170 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, Canadian Tire
  • rear-faces 5-40lbs or 37″, forward-faces 22-65lbs or 50″
  • no-rethread harness
  • the seat must be installed with the indicator line level to the ground at all times but internally the angle changes as the child grows, resulting in more reclined for babies and more upright for older toddlers/preschoolers
  • expires 6 years from date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~16.5-17″

Pros:

  • fits newborns well with the included infant padding
  • high belt path makes it ideal for vehicles with long buckle stalks
  • lots of leg room for rear-facing kids

Cons:

  • harness is tightened with a knob on the side of the seat; this may be an issue on vehicle seats with very scooped/contoured seats if the knob sits in an awkward spot once installed
  • wide seat not ideal for tight seating scenarios
  • often needs a towel (not a noodle) under the front edge of the base to achieve the needed recline

 

Clek Foonf (read a review of the Foonf here; compare Foonf and Fllo here)

Features:

  • ~$450-550 depending on cover (Amazon.ca, Babies R Us, specialty retailers)
  • rear-faces 14-40lbs, forward-faces 22-65lbs
  • rear-facing height limit of 43″
  • built-in lock-offs for seat belt installations, flexible UAS for rear-facing installation, and rigid UAS for forward-facing installation
  • anti-rebound bar for rear-facing
  • expires 9 years from date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~17.5″

Pros:

  • very narrow seat makes it ideal for 3-across situations
  • very tall seat will get most kids to booster readiness
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear-facing
  • high belt path makes it ideal for vehicles with long buckle stalks
  • fits from birth when used with the Infant Thingy (available for purchase separately)

Cons:

  • heavy; not ideal for frequent in and out of vehicles or switching from rear- to forward-facing modes

 

fllo-tank

Clek Fllo (read a review of Fllo here; compare Foonf and Fllo here)

Features:

  • ~$370-450 depending on cover (Babies R Us, specialty retailers)
  • rear-faces 14-40lbs, forward-faces 22-65lbs
  • rear-facing height limit of 43″
  • built-in lock-offs for seat belt installations
  • anti-rebound bar for rear-facing
  • expires 9 years from date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~17″

Pros:

  • very narrow seat makes it ideal for 3-across situations
  • very tall seat will get most kids to booster readiness
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear-facing
  • high belt path makes it ideal for vehicles with long buckle stalks
  • fits from birth when used with the Infant Thingy (available for purchase separately)

Cons:

  • heavy; not ideal for frequent in and out of vehicles or switching from rear- to forward-facing modes

 

Evenflo Tribute

Features:tribute

  • ~$100 (Babies R Us, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Best Buy)
  • rear faces to 5-40lbs, forward faces 22-40lbs
  • rear-faces to 37″ standing height
  • expires 6 years from date of manufacture
  • top harness slot:* ~14.75″

Pros:

  • fits newborns well
  • relatively narrow seat, lightweight, great for traveling, for spares, or for every day use

Cons:

  • outgrown quickly forward-facing due to low top harness height and low weight limit, so a different harnessed seat for forward facing will likely be needed before a child is booster ready

Peg Perego Convertible

PegPeregoConvertible
Features:
  • ~$350-400 depending on fabric at Babies R Us, boutique stores
  • rear faces to 45lbs, forward faces to 65lbs
  • standing height limit of 47″ rear-facing but requires 1″ of adjustable head rest above the head when rear-facing (7th position is highest rear-facing head rest position)
  • built-in lock-offs for seat belt installations in the forward-facing mode
  • anti-rebound bar for rear-facing
  • no-rethread harness
  • top harness slot:* ~17″
  • expires 7 years from date of manufacture

Pros:

  • fits newborns well with the included infant padding
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing
  • fits well in small spaces and compact cars

Cons:

  • standing rear-facing height limit is misleading; while it is a reasonably tall-shelled seat it’s shorter than the Radian, and Foonf, and a bit taller than the MyRide.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Features:
  • ~$420 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, boutique retailers
  • rear faces 5-40lbs, forward faces 22-65lbs
  • standing height limit of 49″ rear-facing but requires 1″ of adjustable head rest above the head when rear-facing
  • built-in lock-off ClickTight panel for seat belt installations
  • anti-rebound bar for use when rear-facing
  • no-rethread harness
  • top harness slot:* ~16.95″
  • expires 10 years from date of manufacture

Pros:

  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing
  • fits especially well in small spaces and compact cars
  • exceptionally easy seat belt installation with the ClickTight panel
  • fits newborns

Cons:

  • short crotch buckle may be problematic with some children (larger kids, or those in cloth diapers)
  • ClickTight panel can seem difficult to close; with practice and knowing where to push it becomes easier
  • heavy (28.5lbs)
  • not as much legroom as some other seats offer for larger rear-facing children

 

Britax Boulevard / Advocate ClickTight
Features:
  • ~$450-530 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, boutique retailers
  • rear faces 5-40lbs, forward faces 22-65lbs
  • standing height limit of 49″ rear-facing but requires 1″ of adjustable head rest above the head when rear-facing
  • built-in lock-off ClickTight panel for seat belt installations
  • anti-rebound bar for use when rear-facing
  • no-rethread harness
  • top harness slot:* ~18.65″
  • expires 10 years from date of manufacture

Pros:

  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing
  • fits especially well in small spaces and compact cars
  • easy seat belt installation with the ClickTight panel
  • fits newborns

Cons:

  • short crotch buckle may be problematic with some children (larger kids, or those in cloth diapers)
  • ClickTight panel can seem difficult to close; with practice and knowing where to push it becomes easier
  • heavy (~30lbs)
  • not as much legroom as some other seats offer for larger rear-facing children

 

3-in-1s or All-in-Ones

A note about seats in this category: they get the most use as convertibles, and a usable booster feature is a bonus. Some seats do a booster mode better than others, but you aren’t likely to know if a seat will work for YOU as a booster until your child gets to booster size and age. If you are purchasing now for an infant, that’s a gamble — it’s 5 years away! If you truly want an all-in-one then choose one with a more reliably useful booster mode, but also make sure that it works for you as a rear-facing and then forward-facing seat in the meantime.

Graco 4Ever (read a review here)graco4ever

Features:

  • $449.00 at Babies R Us
  • rear face 4-40lbs and 18-43″
  • forward face 22-65lbs and 27-49″
  • booster 40-120lbs (different height and weight for backless vs high back modes)
  • ten year expiry date
  • top harness slot ~18″

Pros:

  • fits newborns well
  • huge range of reclines makes it quite compact at more upright angles
  • no-rethread harness
  • can use UAS in high back booster mode

Cons:

  • full recline angle needed to protect newborn airway isn’t emphasized
  • wider; not likely to be a good choice for three-across
  • may cause head slump rear facing when installed more upright

 

radianrxtblackscarletDiono Radian RXT, R120, R100 (compare Diono models here; Radian RXT pictured here in Black Scarlet; compare to Rainier in a review here)

Features:

  • ~$300-380 depending on which version, at specialty stores and Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, Sears
  • rear face to 40/45lbs, forward face to 65lbs (R100 to 40lbs, R120 & RXT to 45lbs) or 57″
  • standing height limit of 44″ while rear-facing plus requires 1.5″ of hard shell above the head
  • expires 8 years from date of manufacture in harness mode; 10 years in booster mode
  • top harness slot:* ~17.5″

Pros:

  • fits newborns well but must be able to install naturally at a ~45* recline for babies – nothing can be used to increase the recline
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing
  • narrow and low profile
  • ideal for 3 across situations

Cons:

  • converts to a booster, but don’t expect to be able to use the booster portion. You can’t until 50lbs, at which point most kids will be too tall for it. Pretend it’s not there and don’t factor that into your decision at all.
  • can be quirky to install rear facing depending on the car; there is a part you can get just for that seat called the angle adjuster which forces it to install more upright
  • heavy (~27lbs)

 

Diono Rainier (compare Diono models here; read a review of the Rainier here)rainierblackforest

Features:

  • ~$320-400 depending on which version, at specialty stores and Babies R Us
  • rear face to 45/50lbs, forward face to 65lbs (Olympia to 45lbs, Pacifica and Rainier to 50lbs
  • standing height limit of 44″ while rear-facing plus requires 1.5″ of hard shell above the head
  • expires 8 years from date of manufacture in harness mode; 12 years in booster mode
  • top harness slot:* ~17.5″

Pros:

  • fits newborns well but must be able to install naturally at a ~45* recline for babies – nothing can be used to increase the recline
  • range of recline angles permitted for younger/older children when rear facing
  • narrow and low profile

Cons:

  • converts to a booster, but don’t expect to be able to use the booster portion. You can’t until 50lbs, at which point most kids will be too tall for it. Pretend it’s not there and don’t factor that into your decision at all.
  • can be quirky to install rear facing depending on the car; there is a part you can get just for that seat called the angle adjuster which forces it to install more upright
  • heavy (~28lbs)