Best convertible car seat for small cars 2020 (Updated buyers guide)

If you have a small car put in mind, not all car seats will fit. Small cars only accommodate small car seats, so you need to be careful when choosing one. In such a situation, the best convertible car seat for small cars is an ideal choice for you.

One of the main factors to consider when purchasing a car seat is the size of your car.

Small car owners can support me on this many are times you buy a car seat and return it later because it doesn’t fit your vehicle. 

Most car seats in the market are 18 to 23 inches wide which is not easy to fit small cars especially when you are in fixing the car seat rear-facing which requires so much space.

In case you have multiple babies or twins you need a car seat that will comfortably fit more than one in a row and small car seat which is 17 inches and below is best choice.

Also, if you have a small car and want to install more than one seat at the back and leave space for the extra passenger a car seat with 17 inches and above would not allow that.

Since most car seats are wide to fit your small, they are companies that have recognized the challenge and has manufactured seat specifically for the small car.

convertible car seat for small cars

Comparison table 

 nameimageSeat Dimensions (HXWXDinches)Rear-facing limitsForward-facing limitsWhere to buy
1combi Coccoro28.5x16x16D3-33 lbs20-40lbsAmazon
2Eddie Bauer XRS 6521Hx18.63Wx23.75D5-40 lbs22-65lbsAmazon
3Safety 1st Guide 65 20Hx18Wx 23.5D5-40 pounds22-65 poundsAmazon
4Diono Radian RXT16Hx17Wx28.5D5-45 pounds20-65 poundsAmazon
5Clek Fllo 31.5Dx 20Hx 17.5W14-50 pounds22-65 poundsAmazon
6Cosco Scenera NEXT 17Wx 22Hx 23.5D5-40 lbs22-40 lbsAmazon

What is a convertible car seat?

It is a car seat that starts as a rear-facing and converts to forward-facing once your baby grows.

Some brands have added features turned to the booster and used when the child no longer needs a car seat.

Convertible car seat saves mom a lot of money because you do not need to buy the seat as your child grows.

What to consider when buying a car seat for small cars

To determine which car seat to buy for your small car there are a few things you need to consider so as not to purchase a seat that doesn’t fit your car. Such factors include:

  • Meets safety standard

When buying a car seat for your small car, most people tend to concentrate so much on size and forget the safety.

When comes to baby product safety comes first. Make sure the seat meets all standard safety requirements.

Read car seat safety standard requirements. 

  • Size of the car seat

Most car seats are 18-23 inches wide this size is best for big cars and may not fit well in small cars because they are huge, bulky, and heavy.

The size of the car seat is very crucial it goes hand in hand with the size of your vehicle.

 If you have a small car, you need a car seat that has a width of 15 inches to 18 inches wide.

The size fits well in your seat leaving enough space to accommodate more people or extra car seats.

  • Easy to install

Fixing and detaching the car seat can be a challenge especially if you have a small car.

Make sure before leaving the store you can fit the car seat without a struggle.

If you are buying online, you can go through other customer’s reviews or ask the customer care whether the product is convenient regarding installation.

Make sure the car is easy to install and remove out of the car.

  • Adjustable

The car seat that is adjustable in different angles/ positions offers comfort to the baby. It also allows changing positions easily from sitting position to lying position (when the baby is asleep).

  • Weight and height

All car seat has a weight and height limit.

Make sure you choose the seat that fits your baby’s weight and height.

For instance, rear-facing limits should be 4-30/50 pounds or up to 30 inches height while forward-facing 22+ pounds, 34+ inches in height.

The benefit of the convertible car seat

Convertible car seat grows with your child. You do not need to buy the car seat twice because they convert from rear-facing to forward-facing.

Other convertible car seats are 3-in-1 they can be used from day one until your child is grown enough to use the car seat belt. This type helps save a lot of money.

6 Best convertible car seat for small cars 

Convertible car seat for small cars reviews

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Best under $100

Best rear facing convertible car seat for small cars

  1. Combi Compact Convertible Car Seat Rear and Forward Facing for Baby and Toddler – Fits Three Across – Coccoro
compact car seat
  • Car seat type: Convertible Car Seat Rear and Forward Facing
  • Seat Dimensions: 28.5 Heightx 15.5Width x 16 deep inches
  • Car seat weight: 16 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 3-33 lbs
  • Forward-facing limits: 20-40lbs
  • Height limits: 19- 40 inches

The Coccoro Combi Compact Convertible Car Seat utilizes the right safe impact side impact protection. It offers a deep sidewall and a layer of energy-absorbing foam to distribute crash energy away from your baby’s and toddler’s head, neck, and spine.

In addition to safety, the seat s FAA certified

This seat was designed with a small space in mind. At 15.5 inches wide, the seat installs easily in tighter spaces and small cars allowing three across the installation.

The seat has a buckle with an indicator that provides a visual cue when the harness is securely buckled. It also features a tether connector strap for rear-facing tethering, stabilizing the seat during the collision.

It accommodates a baby and toddler weighing from 3-33 lbs rear-facing, 20-40lbs forward-facing for one year. The minimum height for the child is 19 inches, and the maximum height is 40 inches.

The seat offers a five-point harness, four harness height, front harness adjuster, built-in lock-offs, and premium push-button LATCH connectors for safety and convenience.

Easy remove and washable cover, harness pads, and an infant insert pillow keep children comfortable.

How To Install a Rear-facing Combi Coccoro with the Seat Belt.

2. Diono Radian RXT All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

small car seat
  • Car seat type: Convertible Car Seat Rear, Forward Facing, and booster.
  • Seat Dimensions: 16 Depthx 17 width x 28.5Height in
  • Car seat weight: 27.68lbs
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-45 pounds and up to 44 inches height
  • Forward-facing limits: 20-65 pounds and up to 57 inches height
  • Booster limits: 50-120 pounds up to 57 inches tall
  • Height limits: 19- 57 inches
  • Colors available: 7

A 3-in-1 car seat that can be used in three modes:

  • Rear-facing capacity seat children 5-45 pounds in a 5 point harness to protect your child longer (up to 44 inches tall)
  • Forward-facing capacity for children 20-65 pounds in a 5 point harness (up to 57 inches tall).
  • Booster seat for children 50-120 pounds in booster mode (up to 57 inches tall).

If you want to avoid those large seats, look no further as Diono Radian RXT has a sleek design that fits three across fit or leaves plenty of room for other passengers.

This seat is constructed with your child safety in mind, with features like steel alloy frame, aluminum reinforced sidewalls, energy absorbing EPS foam, and memory foam to put your mind at ease as your little one travels safely in style and comfort. Also, the reinforced adjustable head support provides additional side impact protection.

The seat has a unique SuperLATCH system makes installation quick and secure. An audible click and visual indicator let you know when the connectors are locked.

Also, the seat fold flat makes it possible to portable and easy storage.

3. Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat  

narrow car seat
  • Car seat type: Convertible Car Seat Rear and Forward Facing
  • Seat Dimensions: 24 Heightx 16.9Wide x 16depth inches
  • Car seat weight: 35.5 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 14-50 pounds and 25-43 inches height
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-65 pounds and 30-49 inches height from1-2 years
  • Height limits: 25-49 inches

At less than 17 inches wide the seat conveniently fits three across in most cars.

With patented Energy-Absorbing Crumple Technology (EACT) safety technology reduces the forces transmitted to a child in a collision using aluminum honeycomb deformable cores integrated into the seat base. Also, the seat Protects your child in a side-impact collision, its adjustable headrest, deep side wings, inner and outer energy-absorbing foam layers, and metal substructure.

In addition to your child safety, in rear-facing Clek Fllo seat Anti-Rebound bar improves stability by limiting rotation of the child seat, helping protect your child’s head from impact in the case of a collision. It also provides for a snug installation, nesting into the flat portion of the vehicle seat, and offers more legroom for the child.

It is tailored in GREENGUARD Select Certified Crypton Super Fabrics, which provide permanent protection against stains, moisture, and odor-causing bacteria; and are free of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants.

The seat can be used in two modes, rear-facing mode 25-43 in, 14-50 lbs, and forward-Facing Mode: 30-49 in, 22-65 lbs from1-2 years. It can also be used from birth with the infant-thingy insert which sold separately.

Other accessories available you can purchase separately for your Clek Fllo 2017 Convertible Car Seat

The seat has a 9-year expiration period, and after that, you can Recycle through Clek’s Car Seat Recycling Program.

It conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, certified for use on an aircraft (FAA approved) and NCAP tested

Best under $100

 Convertible car seat for small cars under $100

4. Eddie Bauer XRS 65 Convertible Car Seat

convertible car seat
  • Car seat type: Convertible Car Seat Rear and Forward Facing
  • Seat Dimensions: 21D x 18.63W x 23.75H in
  • Car seat weight: 14.37 lbs
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-40 lbs
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-65lbs
  • Height limits: 19- 52 inches
  • Colors available: 2

With two modes of use, this car seat grows with your child. You can use it rear-facing from 5-40 pounds or forward-facing from 22-65 pounds. The recommended height is 19-52 inches.

This convertible car seat includes side impact protection so that you can rest easy knowing that your baby is safer in the car.

The Eddie Bauer XRS 65 Convertible Car Seat includes an infant insert, 5-point harness with upfront adjustment making it easy to adjust and a snug fit as your child grows.

The compact design of this seat is excellent for both small and large cars. It takes less space making enough space for everyone in the vehicle or fits three seats across. It is also latch equipped and certified for airplane use.

5. Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

convertible car seat for small cars
  • Car seat type: Convertible Car Seat Rear and Forward Facing
  • Seat Dimensions: 20Hx 18W x 23.5 D in
  • Car seat weight: 14lbs
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-40 pounds and 19-40 inches height
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-65 pounds and 34-52 inches height
  • Height limits: 19- 52 inches
  • Colors available: 7

The Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat helps protect your child longer both rear and forward facing. It can be used rear facing from 5-40 pounds and 19-40 inches height while forward facing 22-65 pounds and 34-52 inches height.

Its compact design makes the seat perfect for small cars or leaves more room in your large vehicle. It fits three seats across.

This car seat offers side impact protection and premium fabric that keeps your child safe and comfortable on both rear and forward-facing.

The seat also features a removable cup holder, removable body pillow, washable fabric, 5-harness height, three buckle location, and adjustable headrest for growing child.

How to install Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

6. Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat 

convertible car seat for small cars
  • Car seat type: Convertible Car Seat Rear and Forward Facing
  • Seat Dimensions: 17 Wx 22 Dx 23.5 Hinches
  • Car seat weight: 7.65 pounds
  • Rear-facing limits: 5-40 lbs (19″ to 40″)
  • Forward-facing limits: 22-40 lbs (29″ to 43″)
  • Height limits: 19-43 inches
  • Colors available: 5

The Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat fits three across in the back seat of most vehicles.

It can be used in two modes rear-facing 5-40 lbs (19″ to 40″) and forward-facing 22-40 lbs (29″ to 43″) and at least two years old.

This seat features five harness heights with easy front adjustment, Side Impact Protection, and three buckle locations allow for the best fit for growing children.

The car seat pad is machine washable and dryer safe. It also has a removable cup holder which is dishwasher safe.

The seat safety, it is certified Certified for use on aircraft, TSA-friendly design for airport security, and Meets or exceeds Federal Safety Standards (NHTSA).

Where to place the car seat

Where to place the car seat depends on different types of the car seats. There are three different types of the car seat

Infant car seat

It is meant for children from birth to 15 months or babies weighing 5-50 pounds.

It is supposed to be placed rear-facing in the back seat.

The seat takes too much space so preferably need to be placed at the center seat.

At the center car seat, the driver or front-seat passenger will not have to push the seat forward leaving them with small leg space.

The seat comes in three types:

  • Rear-facing infant car seat
  • Rear-facing convertible car seat
  • 3-in-1 newborn car seat

Best infant car seat for small cars

Convertible car seat

The seat is meant for babies from 20lbs to 40lbs.

The seat can be fit on any seat facing forward except rear-facing convertible car seat meant for newborns or babies weighing from 5 pounds and above

 The rear-facing convertible car seat is positioned rearing facing preferred at the center seat.

Booster car seat 

The booster car seat can be placed on any car seat facing forward.

Why convertible car seat for small cars

Most parents are aware they are different types of car seat from an infant car seat and booster car seat, but why do we consider a convertible car seat for small cars and not other types.

Convertible car seats are the type that is recommended for your small car because most of them are less than 17 inches wide.

They convert from rear-facing to forward-facing saving you a lot of money you do not need to buy the seat as your baby grows.

Other types of convertible car seats are used up to school-aged/until the child needs a car seat no more/ use a car seat belt.

The best convertible car seat for small cars is the one that has width 17 inches and below.

17 inches and below can fit more than one seat in a row leaving you enough space for other passengers.

Also, 17 inches and below width can fit three seats in one row making it suitable if you have multiple babies.

Liked our review of the best convertible car seat for small cars feel free to share it or let us know in the comment section below.

convertible car seat for small car

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