Best All-in-One Car Seat Review Guide

Best All-in-One Car Seat 2021 Review Guide

All-in-one car seats are designed to help you keep your baby safe while in transit from infancy until they no longer need a car seat. They are a one-off buy that saves you money and the hustle of choosing a new car seat at each of your baby’s milestones.

In this all-in-one car seat review, I share with you 7 of the best all-in-one car seat models, what they have to offer, and some tips on how to choose the right one for you.

First, however, here is a brief look at my top picks. 

All-in-One Car Seat: Yay or Nay?

We can all agree that buying an all-stages car seat is highly convenient. Still, do all-in-one car seats live up to their hype? Let us address some FAQs to help you decide.

Why Should I Get an All-in-One Car Seat?

As you compare car seat options, you have likely come across rear-facing infant seats, booster seats, and backless booster seats. Each of these is a single-application car seat that can only be used for a limited duration of your child’s growth stages.

An all-in-one car seat is a combination of all these car seats. It offers you great transitional value by serving you throughout your baby’s early years. 

What is the Difference Between an All-in-One and a Convertible Car Seat?

The difference between convertible car seat vs all-in-one car seat models is that you can use the latter for longer. 

A convertible car seat can only be used from infancy to the toddler stage. During infancy, you can install it in the rear-facing position and then convert it to front-facing when your baby grows into a toddler. Unlike the all-in-one, with a convertible car seat, you would have to buy a booster seat later on. 

A convertible car seat cannot be used as a high-back or backless booster seat. - Best All-in-One Car Seat Review Guide | Baby Journey
A convertible car seat cannot be used as a high-back or backless booster seat. Source: Pinterest

What Are the Pros and Cons of All-in-One Car Seats?

All-in-one car seats are great but like all things they have their fair share of great and not-so-great qualities. They include: 

Pros:

  • They offer great value for money as the cost of buying a quality lifetime car seat is often lower than buying 4 different car seats.
  • You only have to learn how to use the car seat once as opposed to mastering installation and other details each time you get a new car seat.
  • You would not have to worry about whether your child will like or adapt to a new car seat every one or so years.

Cons:

  • Usually heavier compared to other car seat types as they have many more components.
  • Not possible to pair the seat with a stroller which can make moving around with it a bit difficult.
  • The wide dimensions of most all-in-one car seats make it difficult to fit them in small vehicles or more than one car seat in one car.

A DETAILED Review of 7 Top-Rated All-in-One Car Seats

It is easy to say that these highly-rated four-in-one car seats are the best, but what do they have to offer? Besides, only the features can help you decide which of them is the best fit for you, right?

Enough said. Here is what you can expect from each of these car seats.

Best Overall
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat
Best Budget-Friendly
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-one Convertible Car Seat
Most Comfortable
Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat, Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Fairmont
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Blue Coral
Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat with 5 Modes and Magnetic Chest Clip, Nomad Grey
Product weight
22.8 lbs
18.70 lbs
26.45 lbs
Weight limit
4-120 lbs
5-100 lbs
5-120 lbs
Safety features
  • 5 point harness
  • Graco protect Plus
  • TrueShield Technology
  • 5 point harness
  • 5 point harness
  • Air Protect system
    Seat expiration date
    10 years
    10 years
    10 years
    Installation method
    LATCH & Seatbelt
    LATCH & Seatbelt
    LATCH & Seatbelt
    Best Overall
    Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat
    Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat, Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Fairmont
    Product weight
    22.8 lbs
    Weight limit
    4-120 lbs
    Safety features
    • 5 point harness
    • Graco protect Plus
    • TrueShield Technology
    Seat expiration date
    10 years
    Installation method
    LATCH & Seatbelt
    Best Budget-Friendly
    Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-one Convertible Car Seat
    Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Blue Coral
    Product weight
    18.70 lbs
    Weight limit
    5-100 lbs
    Safety features
    • 5 point harness
    Seat expiration date
    10 years
    Installation method
    LATCH & Seatbelt
    Most Comfortable
    Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
    Maxi-Cosi Magellan Max All-in-One Convertible Car Seat with 5 Modes and Magnetic Chest Clip, Nomad Grey
    Product weight
    26.45 lbs
    Weight limit
    5-120 lbs
    Safety features
    • 5 point harness
    • Air Protect system
      Seat expiration date
      10 years
      Installation method
      LATCH & Seatbelt

      #1 Best Overall: Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

      Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat, Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Fairmont

      The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat is an improved version of its predecessor, the Graco 4Ever car seat. It is designed to accommodate your child from birth to about the age of 10 within the following weight limits: 

      • Rear-facing – 4 to 40 lbs
      • Front-facing – 22 to 65 lbs
      • High-back booster mode – 40 to 100 lbs
      • Backless booster mode – 40 to 120 lbs

      The 4 lbs weight limit is ideal for preemies and the upper 40 lbs limit allows your baby to ride in the rear-facing position for longer. 

      The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 DLX is built with easy-to-use InRight LATCH technology. Once you insert the LATCH connectors, you will hear an audible click to let you know the connection is secure. When you advance to other configurations like the high-back booster you can begin to use seat belt installation. For this, Graco provides seat belt lock-offs to make installation quick and painless.

      Pros:

      • Seat is well-padded, can be adjusted in 6 positions for comfort
      • The no-rethread harness is easily adjustable to 10 positions alongside the headrest
      • 10 years of use 
      • More generous weight limits than most 4-in-1 car seats
      • Easy to remove cover can be machine-washed
      • Well-designed side-impact and crash protection features 

      Cons:

      • The fabric is not fully breathable and also wears rather easily
      • The LATCH system can only be used in the rear-facing position
      Sale
      Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat, Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Fairmont
      18,627 Reviews
      Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat, Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Fairmont
      • 4 in 1 car seat gives you 10 years of use: seamlessly transforms from rear facing harness car seat (4 40 pounds), to forward facing harness car seat (22 65 pounds), to high back belt positioning booster (40 100 pounds), to backless belt positioning booster (40 120 pounds)
      • Graco protect Plus engineered helps to protect Your little one in frontal, side, rear and rollover crashes
      • Simply safe adjust harness system adjusts the height of your harness and headrest to 10 positions in one motion to ensure that Your child is always properly secured.Do not use bleach

      #2 Best Budget-Friendly: Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-one Convertible Car Seat

      Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Blue Coral

      Most people shy away from buying all-in-one car seats because they are generally assumed to be rather pricey. The Safety 1st Grow and Go all-in-one convertible car seat discounts that claim. It is quite affordable and delivers multiple functionalities. It can be used in 3 modes:

      • Rear-facing – 5 to 40 lbs
      • Forward-facing – 22 to 65 lbs
      • Belt-positioning booster – 40 to 100 lbs 

      This all-in-one convertible car seat can be reclined in 3 positions while in both the rear and front-facing modes. The no-rethread QuickFit harness, crotch strap, and headrest are also all adjustable to accommodate your child better as they grow. Rear and front-facing installation can be done using the LATCH or the seat belt although the latter is recommended for booster mode.

      Pros:

      • It is affordable
      • Compact dimensions make it easy to fit into most cars
      • The seat is reclinable and comes with an adjustable headrest for utmost comfort
      • The cover is removable and machine-washable
      • It has 2 removable, dishwasher-safe cup holders
      • The no-rethread harness and crotch strap are easy to adjust for safety and comfort  

      Cons:

      • The maximum weight limits are quite low
      • The fabric does not wick off moisture and can get uncomfortable in hot weather 
      Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Blue Coral
      18,803 Reviews
      Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Blue Coral
      • Built to grow with your child, this safety 1st car seat supports infants from 5 pounds to toddlers of 40 pounds as a rear facing car seat, 22 to 65 pounds forward facing toddler car seat, and 40 to 100 pounds as a belt positioning booster
      • An adjustable 3 position recline makes it easy to get a good fit for the seat in your car, assembled product dimensions 24.00 inches x 19.00 inches x 23.75 inches
      • Harness holders keep the harness open, making it easier to get into and out of the seat; Front seat passengers can enjoy up to 7 inches more legroom with the rear facing infant seat's reduced footprint

      #3 Most Comfortable: Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat 

      Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Aegean Storm, One Size

      Car rides have been known to be soothing for most babies. However, the comfort of your child’s car seat can sometimes be the deciding factor on whether your child gets lulled to sleep or squeals throughout.

      The Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 convertible car seat is designed to keep your baby in comfortable bliss at all times. The neck and head support are phenomenal and you can adjust the headrest for up to 14 height positions. 

      This unique 5-in-1 car seat can be reclined in 7 positions and even has a 3-position torso height adjustment option to enhance side-impact protection and comfort as your tot grows. Installation is made easy by seat belt lock-offs, an out-of-the-way harness, and a magnetic chest clip. The weight and height limits are set at 5 to 120 pounds and 57″ respectively. 

      Pros:

      • A well-padded seat with superior comfort
      • Breathable seat cover that is machine-washable
      • The harness is user-friendly and has a safe magnetic chest clip
      • One-of-a-kind adjustable torso adjustment boosts comfort and safety
      • Converting from one mode to another is super easy
      • It is easy to place or unbuckle your baby in the seat thanks to out-of-the-way harness buckles

      Cons:

      • The harness can be difficult to adjust
      • The car seat fabric requires lots of care or else it may not serve you long
      Sale
      Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Aegean Storm, One Size
      660 Reviews
      Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Aegean Storm, One Size
      • Designed to be the only car seat you'll ever need for your child, the Maxi Cosi Magellan comfortably seats your child from birth to 10 years old and from 5 to 120 pounds
      • Air Protect Superior Side Impact Protection at every stage from birth to 10 years
      • Integrated belt lock offs designed for easy and secure installation; One click LATCH connectors install and release easily for an alternative installation

      #4 Best For Easy and Fast Installation: Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One Car Seat

      Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Canyons

      A car seat that is hard to install is time-consuming and inconvenient. It makes it even harder to get around with your baby.

      The Evenflo Everystage DLX all-in-one car seat will not only serve you for a whole decade but it will get you to enjoy each year of its service. It has an EasyClick LATCH installation that is truly simple to use and also keeps the car seat firmly secured. No more wobbly car seats for you and your baby. 

      You can use this car seat from infancy up until the booster stage. Its weight limits are 4 to 120 pounds. This is also arguably the best convertible car seat you can find if you would like your baby to ride rear-facing for longer. The rear-facing limit is 50 pounds which is one of the highest in the market. 

      Pros:

      • User-friendly EasyClick installation technology
      • A comfortable push-to-recline seat
      • Machine-washable seat pad
      • Unique in-seat recline positions are designed to keep your baby’s airway open for safety and comfort
      • Longer rear-facing riding
      • The headrest and no-rethread harness are easy to adjust 

      Cons:

      • At approximately 3 feet long in rear-facing mode, this car seat can be hard to fit in small vehicles
      • Uninstalling the car seat can be quite tasking
      Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Canyons
      674 Reviews
      Evenflo EveryStage DLX All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, Canyons
      • Infant + Convertible + Booster: Rear-Facing Harness, Forward-Facing Harness and Belt-Positioning Booster provides a safe and secure ride for 10 years of use
      • Grows with Child to 120lbs: The only seat you’ll ever need, this seat is tested in high back booster mode up to 120 lbs
      • Rear Facing Longer- to 50 lbs: Adjusts to multiple positions, allowing your toddler to stay rear-facing longer, beyond 2 years, without the need to extend the seat or cramp other passengers

      #5 Best Space-Saving: Baby Jogger City All-in-One Car Seat 

      Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One Car Seat, Mineral

      It is a terrible letdown when you find a car seat that ticks all the boxes for you but does not fit in your car. Fortunately, there are compact options you can safely bet on.

      The Baby Jogger City all-in-one car seat measures 19.9 by 18.7 by 30.63 in length, width, and height in inches. These dimensions are quite compact and are likely to fit even in small car models. It can be installed using the LATCH system in both front and rear-facing modes. Notably, the seat belt paths are color-coded which is something most all-in-one car seats seem to lack.

      This car seat converts from a rear-facing to a front-facing seat and finally a booster seat. The weight limits are 5 to 120 pounds. 

      Pros:

      • A compact design that fits into most cars
      • Well labeled seat belt paths
      • The headrest adjusts automatically alongside the no-rethread harness
      • The anti-rebound bar prevents the car seat from ricocheting into vehicle seats during a collision 
      • The harness straps are properly covered and would not scratch your baby’s neck
      • The sturdy steel frame of the shell is resilient against collision impact and is well-padded to further absorb impact

      Cons:

      • The size of the seating area can be a bit wide and not ideal for newborns
      • The seat recline positions are not adequate for comfortable baby naps
      Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One Car Seat, Mineral
      173 Reviews
      Baby Jogger City View Space Saving All-in-One Car Seat, Mineral
      • Narrow design saves space
      • All-in-one car seat offers 3 ways to ride for children 5-100 lbs.: rear-facing, forward-facing harness, and booster car seat
      • SecureStopTM Anti-Rebound Bar provides a 45% reduction in rearward movement of the car seat during a frontal collision using the FMVSS 213 crash pulse (anti-rebound bar should be used rear-facing only)

      #6 Best For Preemies- Chicco Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat

      Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat, Tempo

      Preemie babies are extremely fragile and require extra care. Due to their low birth weight, ordinary all-in-one baby car seats would be too big. They would, subsequently, not be as tightly strapped into the car seat as they ought to be.

      The Chicco Fit2 Infant and Toddler car seat has a snug sitting area and comes with a baby head and body positioner. This ensures that your baby’s body is well supported and that they are safely strapped in. As they grow or gain more weight, you can remove the positioner.

      This all-in-one infant car seat can only be used as a rear-facing infant seat and front-facing toddler seat. The recommended weights are 4 to 35 pounds and 15 to 35 pounds respectively. 

      The patented Chicco SuperCinch LATCH installation system helps you tighten the LATCH connectors with ease and the Right Bubble level indicators help you find a correct installation angle. The Chicco Fit2 features are quite diverse but the stress-free car seat installation takes the cup.

      Pros:

      • Easy to adjust the headrest and no-rethread harness into 7 different positions 
      • Compatible with Chicco strollers and other brands too when paired with adapters
      • The 2-stage base makes switching between car seat modes easy
      • Installation is a breeze
      • The seat cover is removable and machine-washable
      • Easily portable and FAA approved

      Cons:

      • You can only use this car seat until the early toddler stage
      • The handle is not ergonomic and can be uncomfortable
      Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat, Tempo
      324 Reviews
      Chicco Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat, Tempo
      • 2-Stage base converts from Infant Position to Toddler Position, making it easy to stay rear-facing for the first 2 years
      • Provides more upright, spacious seating with adjustability and extended leg room for toddlers 9-24 months - without taking up extra space in the vehicle
      • Easiest to install with Recline Sure levelling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened. Do not use any Soaps or Lubricants to clean buckle and LATCH hardware

      #7 Best Narrow Build: Diono Radian 3 RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

      Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

      When you have kids around the same age, you likely need to fit multiple car seats in your vehicle. The problem is, most all-in-one convertible car seat models are too wide and bulky for that kind of seating.

      The Diono Radian 3 RXT all-in-one convertible car seat is one of the few options that allow you to fit 3 car seats on one standard-size vehicle back seat. While its frame is made of sturdy impact-resistant steel, this car seat is only 16.93″ wide, 16.14″ long, and measures 28.35″ in height. 

      You can use the Diono Radian 3 RXT as a rear-facing, front-facing, and booster car seat. The weight limits are 5 to 120 lbs and your baby can ride rear-facing until they are over 45 pounds.

      Pros:

      • Allows for multiple side-by-side car seat installation
      • FAA-certified for air travel
      • SuperLATCH technology offers firm installation 
      • It has a strong impact-resistant frame enhanced with foam padding
      • The infant insert keeps smaller babies protected and comfortable
      • Ample and comfortable seating area despite the compact design 

      Cons:

      • The polyester and spandex fabric is of offers low breathability and can get uncomfortable
      • The installation process can be tricky to learn
      Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
      599 Reviews
      Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
      • JOY OF THE JOURNEY: From birth, keep your little one rear-facing longer to 40 lbs., and as they grow to 100 lbs. (10 years approx.) our long-range lifespan protects your child facing-forward.
      • THREES NOT A CROWD: For safety that fits 3 across the Radian 3RXT packs all our innovative safety features into a sleek and slim design that allows you to fit three across (in most mid-size vehicles). Now the whole family can travel, together.Care & Cleaning: Spot or Wipe Clean, Machine Wash
      • LOVINGLY ENGINEERED: The Radian 3RXT is built with automotive-strength steel, engineered into a dual spine, which manages and dissipates energy with an unyielding structure to protect your baby. Our audible click SuperLATCH system makes installation easy

      Tips on Choosing the Right All-in-One Car Seat For Your Needs

      Now that you know what your options are and what each of them has to offer, how do you make the right pick? In my experience, it is important to consider: 

      Safety. High safety ratings [1] and features like a strong frame, side-impact protection, and a properly fitting harness [2] keep your baby safe during collisions. This is the one thing you ought not to compromise on.

      Comfort Features. Comfort features keep your baby cozy and avoid fussiness. They include a well-covered harness, proper seat padding, a headrest, and a baby support pillow for infants. 

      Car Seat Type. How long would you like the car seat to serve you? The toddler stage or to the booster stage? Ensure to choose a seat that matches this requirement for you as not all all-in-one car seats are equal.

      Height and Weight Limits. The higher the limits the longer your child can fit in the seat. A higher rear-facing limit is also a plus.

      Riding in the rear-facing position is safer and recommended for as long as possible. - Best All-in-One Car Seat Review Guide | Baby Journey
      Riding in the rear-facing position is safer and recommended for as long as possible. Source: Pinterest

      Car Seat Weight and Size. If you would like more portability, aim for a lightweight all-in-one car seat. Whereas if you are concerned about space, aim for compact dimensions. 

      Ease of Cleaning. All-in-one car seats are meant for long-term use. An easy-to-clean car seat would make maintenance less cumbersome for you.

      Expiration Date. Ensure that the all-in-one car seat model you buy does not expire before your anticipated period of use. Expired seats offer compromised safety.

      Conclusion

      Admittedly, there is no one-size-fits-all car seat model. The type of car seat that fits your parenting needs could be a complete inconvenience for the next person. Add your baby’s needs to that and you begin to see how personal this choice is.

      Nevertheless, I recommend the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat as the best overall all-in-one car seat. Compared to the other options, it provides more wholesome dependable features including:

      • Long-term service through all your baby’s growth stages
      • Reliable safety and comfort features
      • Easy installation procedures
      • Easy maintenance requirements 

      You can learn more about it here.

      I would also love to hear about your favorite picks and how they have worked out for you if you have had a chance to try them.

      Best All-in-One Car Seat Review Guide | Baby Journey

      Last update on 2021-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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