When car seat shopping for your registry, you probably focused on infant styles that are easy to tote around. And while they have their benefits, you may want to give All-in-One car seats a second look. They’ll take your baby from day one until the day she can ride without a car seat at all. Considering, in the first year, your baby will outgrow clothing, toys and gear at speeds you probably didn’t imagine, and by your baby’s first birthday, you’ve got to transition him from that infant car seat anyway, this grow-with-baby wonder could help your budget. Here are four options to check out.
Diono Radian rXT
Features You’ll Love: This birth to booster model is coveted by large families looking for narrow car seats to achieve a 3-across installation. At 17-inches, this is a great bet. The Diono Radian rXT also makes travel easy. The seat actually folds (yes, folds!) and you can wear it backpack-style or over your shoulder.
Safety Scores: Your child will be riding safely thanks to a full steel frame with aluminum reinforced sides and side impact protection. A special SuperLATCH system helps make installation easy so you can do it correctly.
How it Works: Newborns and infants sit comfortably with head and body support cushions from 5 lbs and can continue to ride rear facing up to 45 lbs. Next, kids ride forward facing up to 80 lbs with a 5-point harness. Finally, you can transform the car seat to a booster for 50-120 lb children.
Available at us.diono.com, $359.99.
Safety First UltraMax Air 360 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Features You’ll Love: Cleaning is super easy. This seat has a ClickClean pad – a couple of snaps and a push of a button removes the fabric cover so you can machine wash and dry it. Trust us – this will come in handy after on-the-go snacks, car sickness or blowouts. Car seats are tough to keep clean! Both you and your child will love the cushy deep seat. The structure cocoons your baby for added protection and makes him feel cozy and secure.
Safety Scores: Very few car seats have passed new European standards for Rollover, but this one has. Perhaps, the extensive crash test passing is due to what Safety First calls “6 layers of safety”. This includes an Air Protect cushioning system, side impact protection, a steel reinforced frame, a motion control headrest and more.
How it Works: Babies as little as 4 lbs can ride in this seat thanks to special inserts, and infants and toddlers can continue rear-facing until 50 lbs. Then, in the forward-facing position, riders are secured with a 5-point harness up to 65 lbs. Finally, you can turn the car seat into a belt-positioning booster for older kids up to 120 lbs.
Available at safety1st.com, $259.99.
Graco Extend2Fit 3-in-1 Car Seat
Features You’ll Love: If your baby is consistently in the upper percentile for height, this car seat may be your savior. You can extend it to three different positions to provide extra legroom when rear facing, keeping your child in this super-safe riding position longer.
Safety Scores: A steel reinforced frame adds strength and durability for this single seat, which will last for up to 10 years. The seat’s level indicator is easy-to-read, making installation easy with a one-second latch attachment.
How it Works: The littlest riders (4-50 lbs) sit rear-facing. Then, 22-65 lb kids can face forward. Finally, you can change the seat configuration to a belt positioning booster for 30-100 lb riders.
Available at toysrus.com, $249.99.
Evenflo Platinum SafeMax All-in-One Car Seat
Features You’ll Love: Keep your kids comfortable with a special temperature-regulating fabric that keeps the seat cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Removable cup holders mean you can fill them with snacks and wash in the kitchen sink.
Safety Scores: As previously mentioned, very few car seats are rollover tested at this point, but this is one of those that has passed a rollover test and Evenflo has deemed it “the first rollover-tested car seat.” The seat is also equipped with a special headrest designed to offer extra protection in crashes. The integrated steel frame also adds strength. Plus, a special service will connect you to a live video installation how-to with a certified car seat technician to make sure you get it right.
How it Works: Children 5-120 lbs can ride in the seat. First rear-facing, then forward-facing and finally as a booster.
Available at toysrus.com, $279.99.
Have you tried an all-in-one style car seat? Tell us what you think in the comments.