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Best All-in-One Car Seats of 2024
March 18, 2024

Best All-in-One Car Seats of 2024

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Best All-in-One Car Seats of 2024

Stress around car seat safety is real. Making sure your baby or toddler is safe, comfortable and using the right seat for their age and size can feel like a full-time job, and most parents spend more time than they’d like researching all the best car seats(and all their various forms)—first the safest infant car seats, then an infant to toddler car seat and ultimately a booster. But what if there was a different way?

Meet the all-in-one car seat, a one-and-done solution to the multiple car seat conundrum. A car seat that’s designed to work from day one through the elementary school years, these seats can save you time and effort. “All-in-one car seats offer versatility and longevity, accommodating children throughout many years,” says Alli Cavasino, a Child Passenger Safety technician and co-founder and CEO of JoyLet, a baby and kids’ gear rental membership. But these types of seats are not for every family. And because they last for such a long time, purchasing one could be “your most significant car seat decision”—so it’s worthwhile to do a little homework.

As a mom of two for over a decade, I’ve personally used almost every type of child restraint system on the market. I’ve also reviewed and written about dozens of car seats in my role as Babylist’s gear editor. I drew from these experiences to compile this best-of list. I also spoke to car a Child Passenger Safety Technician, talked to Babylist parents about their favorite all-in-one car seat picks and consulted the latest safety recommendations from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Babylist’s Top Picks for the Best All-in-One Car Seats

Babylist’s Picks for the Best All-in-One Car Seats

Best All-in-One Car Seat Overall

What Our Experts Say

Highly rated, well priced, safe and easily adjustable, this three-in-one car seat stands out as a favorite among car seat experts and Babylist parents alike. Rebekah Kimminau, a Child Passenger Safety Technician and founder of The Baby Gear Consultant praises the seat for its easy installation, compact size and great fit in almost any type of vehicle. A true one-and-done seat, it works just as well for a four-pound newborn as it does for a 100-pound bigger kid and for every stage in between, easily transitioning from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one and ultimately to a high-back booster. The car seat experts we spoke to were also quick to point out one other feature they love: extended rear-facing. The Extend2Fit features a four-position extension panel that provides up to five inches of extra rear-facing legroom, allowing your little one to ride rear-facing longer—and children are safer riding in the rear-facing position.

What’s Worth Considering

This seat is on the wider side, so it’s not a good choice if you’re looking to save space in your back seat or go three across. It can also be bulky front-to-back when the extension panel is in use.

Graco’s 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 is another popular all-in-one convertible car seat to consider as you do your research. “It has been the only car seat we’ve needed from infant rear-facing to now backless booster with our nine-year-olds,” said Zahra, a Babylist mom. And every transition has been “easy and straightforward.”

What Babylist Parents Say

“I have been researching for months the perfect convertible seat with a high rear-facing weight limit. When I found this seat I fell in love! It’s so compact and fits perfectly in my 03 Ford Focus. I love the no-rethread feature! My daughter is 9 months old and hated her carrier… I put her in the Extend2Fit and she loved it! She fits so well in it and you can definitely tell she is comfortable. I recommend this seat to anyone who is looking for a long-lasting, high rear-facing weight, compact and reasonably pieced seat. Next baby, I’ll skip the carrier completely and purchase another Extend2Fit.” -Ashweee

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 20.61 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing: 4-50 lbs, 49”; forward-facing: 22-100 lbs, 57”

Easiest to Install All-in-One Car Seat

What Our Experts Say

Did you know that more than half of car seats are not installed correctly? A properly installed car seat equals a safe car seat—and that’s why Child Passenger Safety Technicians like Kimminau love this all-in-one car seat from Britax. It features the brand’s patented ClickTight technology, an installation system that uses your vehicle’s seat belt and an effort-free belt-tightening system to make it easy to get a proper, secure install every time—all at an fairly affordable price. “It’s just a great seat overall,” she says.

The seat converts from a rear-facing infant seat to a forward-facing five-point harness seat and then eventually to a high-back belt-positioning booster, taking you from birth well into the elementary school years. Other safety features include a steel frame, crumple zone and a V-shaped tether to help absorb energy during a crash. There are also two layers of side impact protection.

What’s Worth Considering

The One4Life is on the heavier side, even when compared to other (also heavy) all-in-one seats. The seat’s cover is safe to machine wash a dry, a nice plus.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Super easy to adjust for growth spurts. Very sturdy. Crash test ratings at higher speeds than other brands. And with the ClickTight system, I don’t have to get my husband to try to tighten down the seat belt to keep it in place. Once I snap the seat down with the click tight, I know it’s not moving an inch!” -Teri

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 30 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing: 5-50 lbs, 49”; forward-facing: 22-120 lbs, 63”

Best Affordable All-in-One Car Seat

What Our Experts Say

A valid parent complaint about all-in-one car seats is cost, as these types of seats tend to run higher than traditional convertibles. The Safety 1st Grow and Go is a solid budget-friendly option. The seat’s three-in-one adaptability goes from rear-facing for babies and growing toddlers to forward-facing for toddlers and kids, then ultimately to a high-back booster for big kids. Despite its lower price point, Babylist parents note thoughtful features and conveniences like a machine washable and dryer safe seat pad (which comes off without having to remove the seat’s harness, something we love), two cup holders, a three-position recline and a no-rethread harness. The seat also features side impact protection and two grow-with-baby removable “pillows” that help with a snug fit and a more comfortable ride.

What’s Worth Considering

Squirmy kids + loose harness straps can equal lots of car seat frustration. This seat has harness holders, one of our favorite car seat features of all time. There’s one on each side to hold the straps back, making the process of taking your little one in and out of the car a lot more pleasant for everyone.

The Graco TriRide 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is also worth a look if you’re shopping for a more affordable all-in-one seat. It has three modes (rear-facing, forward-facing and high-back booster), a steel-reinforced frame and a no-rethread harness. It’s also on the lighter side at about 17 pounds.

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 18.7 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs, 19-40”; forward-facing: 22-100 lbs, 29-52”

Best All-in-One Car Seat for Extended Rear-Facing

What Our Experts Say

There’s a body of evidence around why rear-facing for as long as your car seat allows it is the safer way for your child to ride. It’s why many parents, including me, choose Nuna’s Exec car seat. It has an adjustable leg rest that allows for longer rear-facing (and more comfortable forward-facing) for your child and a fifty-pound rear-facing limit. Other impressive safety features also helped me overcome the seat’s high price tag, including an all-steel frame, anti-rebound panel (to absorb energy in the event of a crash), side impact protection pods and reinforced belt path. Over the almost three years I’ve used the seat so far, I appreciate how quick and easy it is to get a secure installation and the above-average comfort features for my toddler. I also like that it’s on the slimmer side and that it’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified.

What’s Worth Considering

All of this amazingness doesn’t come cheap, as the EXEC has one of the highest price points any car seat on the market. “It’s an extremely expensive seat,” says Kimminau. “But it’s beautiful, easy to install, features an anti-rebound panel and a footrest for forward-facing kids.”

My biggest complaint revolves around the straps. They twist easily, which is frustrating. I also don’t love that the harness pads (shoulder, hip and crotch) are required for use in the rear-facing mode; my toddler loves nothing more than to unsnap them and throw them across the back seat.

What Babylist Parents Say

“After countless car seats (I have three kids), this is hands-down my favorite. The fabrics, the added safety features, the footrest and even the design and the way it looks in my van are incredible. To have a seat that can last through all stages is worth every cent.” -Dawn F

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 26.6 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing with seat belt: 5-50 lbs, 49” or less; rear-facing with lower anchor belt: 5-35 lbs, 49” or less; forward-facing: 25-120 lbs, 57”

Narrowest All-in-One Car Seat

What Our Experts Say

According to the CPSTs we spoke with (and many Babylist parents), a common problem among parents of multiple car seat-aged kids is fitting the seats across their car’s back seat. A slim seat solves for this issue, and the SlimFit3 is a favorite. It’s Graco’s slimmest car seat, so fitting three across in any configuration isn’t an issue. It’s also a good option for grandparents’ cars because it’s easy to install, uninstall and store. “You can pick your preference of where you want to keep it when the grandkids aren’t around,” Babylist mom Laura told us.

The three modes include forward- and rear-facing and a high-back booster mode and the seat is specifically designed with features that help you maximize space and make easy adjustments. Babylist parents and the CPSTs we spoke to also praised the RapidRemove cover; it comes off easily for washing (and in separate pieces) so you don’t have to uninstall the seat or remove the harness every time there’s a mess.

What’s Worth Considering

There’s a lower-priced version of this seat, the SlimFit All-in-One. Just note it’s a few inches wider than the LX model.

What Babylist Parents Say

“We have a preschooler and were blessed with twins last year. We were only able to upgrade one vehicle, so finding seating solutions to accommodate 3 kids in our other, smaller vehicle (a 2015 Honda Accord) was a challenge. The SlimFit3 rose above and beyond to meet this challenge! We were able to do a seat belt install on 2 SlimFit3 seats for our rear-facing twins and fit them alongside our older child’s forward-facing seat belt installed 2017 Graco 4Ever seat (which we have also loved!). We can even get the passenger seat all the way back with seats in rear-facing mode, which is a huge plus for my tall husband.” -Kvsand

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 19.2 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs, 49”; forward-facing: 22-10 lbs, 57”

Best Rotating All-in-One Car Seat

What Our Experts Say

Rotating car seats hit the scene a few years ago and have quickly become a parent favorite. I’ve owned one for just over a year and absolutely love it for how easy it makes getting my squirmy toddler in and out of his car seat daily. Evenflo’s line of revolving seats was praised by the car seat experts we spoke with due to their ease of installation and use, and the Revolve360 Extend is at the top of the list. (Kimminau calls it “one of my favorite seats ever.”) The seat works in three modes—rear-facing, forward-facing and high-back/belt-positioning booster—and should last until your child is about 120 pounds. The “extend” part in the seat’s name refers to its extended rear-facing limits (50 pounds), another big safety plus. It swivels 360 degrees and only needs to be installed once.

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re using a rotating car seat, always remember to double-check that the seat is fully rotated and in the locked position (either rear- or forward-facing). You can’t drive safely if it’s not locked into place.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Wow, I wish I had this seat when my youngest munchkin was a newborn. The swivel feature makes it so easy to load and unload my little boy and he looks forward to every time he gets to spin. I totally wasn’t expecting how easy it was to spin and how easy it is to unload my little guy when he is asleep as well. I wish a seat existed with this feature when my 2 older kids were babies.” -Cleveland Dad

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 29.6 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing: 5-50 lbs, 48”; forward-facing: 17-120 lbs, 57”

Best GREENGUARD Gold Certified All-in-One Car Seat

What Our Experts Say

Many Babylist parents prioritize baby gear with no added chemicals. The three-in-one OneFit ClearTex seat is GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which means both the item and its manufacturing process were tested and reviewed for over 10,000 chemicals and VOC emissions. It’s also “one of the most affordable options free of fire-retardant chemicals,” says Kimminau. But even if GREENGUARD Gold Certification isn’t on your list, there area a few other standout features to note. The OneFit is fairly slim, so it works well in smaller vehicles or if you need to fit more than one car seat across your back seat. There frame is reinforced with steel for added safety, and the seat pad is machine washable. There are also multiple recline options and height adjustments to help with the right fit, plus a removable insert just for newborns.

What’s Worth Considering

While many all-in-one car seats promise ten years of use, lots fall short because they don’t fit older elementary-aged kids well. This isn’t the case for the Chicco OneFit, as the car seat expert we spoke to noted that this seat works particularly well for bigger kiddos.

What Babylist Parents Say

“This car seat checked all the boxes for us - safety, quality, versatility and looks! We love that this is something that will grow with our daughter and we won’t need to be buying something new every year or two. And as with our other Chicco products, you can tell it’s a high quality, well made product.” -Ashley

Additional Specs
Seat Weight 25 lbs
Child Guidelines Rear-facing: 5-40 lbs, 43”; forward-facing: 25-100 lbs 57”

How We Chose Our Best All-in-One Car Seats

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey, which polled 6,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.
  • We spoke to Alli Cavasino, a Child Passenger Safety technician and co-founder and CEO of JoyLet, a baby and kids’ gear rental membership. and Rebekah Kimminau, CPST and founder of The Baby Gear Consultant.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including many car seats.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

What Is an All-in-One Car Seat?

An all-in-one car seat is a convertible car seat that’s designed to work from the newborn days all the way through the big kid years. Many all-in-one seats boast a lifespan of about 10 years, meaning that instead of purchasing three (or even four) different seats as your child grows, you’ll only need to purchase one.

All-in-one seats transform from rear-facing seats to forward-facing ones, then ultimately to booster seats. (Some convert to both high-back and then backless boosters, while other models end up only as high-back booster seats.)

Are All-in-One Car Seats Worth It?

Like all baby gear, there are pros and cons to all-in-one car seats. Because of their long lifespan, though, the stakes are even higher with all-in-ones; be sure to do your research before you decide if this type of seat right for you and which one fits your family best.

Pros of all-in-one car seats

  • Convenience. All-in-one car seats “eliminate the need to purchase multiple car seats as their child grows,” explains Cavasino. An all-in-one car seat removes the hassles of having to research, purchase and install a new car seat every few years.
  • Cost. Depending on which car seat models you choose, it’s often much more economical to purchase one more expensive all-in-one seat than it is to buy three or four separate seats over the course of 10 years. They’re a good choice for parents who “value cost effectiveness” and prefer a single seat that can adapt to their child’s changing needs, says Cavasino.
  • Environment. And speaking of three or four car seats, it’s much more eco-friendly to toss one car seat in a landfill than it is to throw away multiple seats over the course of your child’s early years.

Cons of all-in-one car seats

  • Size. All-in-one seats are cumbersome and heavy. Once they’re installed, you’re not going to want to deal with moving them around all that much. “They also tend to be bulkier, which can make them challenging to fit into smaller vehicles,” explains Cavasino.
  • Ease of use with younger babies. According to Cavasino, if you choose an all-in-one seat over an infant bucket seat, you lose some convience and portability. “You won’t be able to use your all-in-one car seat as a carrier or attach it to a stroller,” she explains. Instead, you’ll need to remove your baby every time plus bring a separate baby carrier or stroller along, which can be “inconvenient.”
  • Durability. This is one of the biggest complaints parents and car seat experts have about all-in-one car seats. “I find that many parents who buy all-in-one car seats do so for the convenience of only having to buy one seat. However, this doesn’t play out as anticipated for many families,” says Cavasino. Ten years is a long time to keep any piece of baby gear, especially one that’s likely to endure a lot of wear and tear and mess. There’s also changing safety technology to consider, especially over the course of a decade.

All-in-One Car Seat Safety

If you do decide to use an all-in-one car seat, there are a few safety considerations to keep in mind, according to Cavasino. The biggest mistake she sees parents make with all-in-ones is overlooking adjusting the seat to the appropriate mode for the child’s age and size, which can lead to “compromised safety.” Other common installation and use errors include:

  • Improper recline angles
  • Loose installation
  • Incorrect harness positioning
  • Incorrect use of lower anchors and/or seat belt
  • Tether (the top strap that anchors the top of a car seat to your vehicle) not being used when appropriate in forward-facing mode or being attached to the correct tether anchor

Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.