Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars

Best Convertible Car Seats For Small Cars

It was a regular supply run with his son… the impact came from the side…


Accidents are scary because you don’t have control.

The only thing you can do at that point is to hope that all the safety equipment is working flawlessly.

Now you’re looking for a convertible car seat. Not only that, but you also want to find the perfect one that fits in a small car, that’s a hell of tasks to follow through.


I know that most car seats are made for SUVs, which have plenty of room to spare. But what about families who have smaller cars? Typically parents spend anywhere from a few weeks up to month searching for that perfect car seat.

This is why I’ve created the Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars article. I want you to save time. Also, your time is far more valuable to be spent on something else, then comparing features between two or a hundred car seats.

By reading this article to the end, you will find that car seat, which is the perfect fit for you. Now I’ve mentioned an accident above. I haven’t forgotten about it.

Stick with me for a bit, and I will share with you what happened. Also, you will find out which car seat was tested in real conditions. Not only that, but you will also discover how it has performed.

Let’s get this best article started.


#1 Diono Radian 3RXT – Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars

Diono Radian 3RXT Best Convertible Car Seat For Small CarsThis incident happened with some friends of ours. The father was on a regular supply run with his son. He was sitting quietly in the back. Everything was ordinary.

They have crossed an intersection where another car slammed into them. The crash was deafening. The metal screeched and bent under pressure. The windows shattered into a million shards. The front of their van was destroyed.

The father’s life was saved by the airbags. The little boy was unhurt in this ordeal. He was scared, but otherwise, there wasn’t a scratch on him.

Diono Radian 3RXT won the Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars award. I know the pictures don’t do justice for this radian. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the narrowest convertible car seats you could get.

The width of this seat is just 16.9” (less than  17 inches). This means that you will be able to do 3 across with ease. Or it will fit in smaller cars perfectly.

With the Diono, you will get an amazing value for the money. It’s not just a convertible car seat, but it’s an all in one. This means that it can be the first and last seat that you will ever have to buy. It caters to infants who are at least 5 pounds all the way up to 120 pounds. This car seat is a lifer.

It’s suited for small cars without compromising on safety. It has a steel frame and has side impact protection.

Last but not least, I want to mention that there are some cool colors to choose from. You can bring out your little one’s personality.

All this and more is available at an affordable price. So no wonder that the Diono Radian 3RXT won the Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars award.


Finally, a car seat where the baby isn’t slouching or sliding down

It’s lightweight and easy to move around

It’s soft and padded plus it comes with side impact protection


The gray fabric is not that stain friendly

You can’t remove the fabric; the only solution is spot cleaning.


#2 Maxi-Cosi Magellan – Best Car Seat For Small Cars

Maxi-Cosi Magellan 5-in-1 Best Car Seat For Small CarsThis incident happened with some friends of ours. It was the everyday Monday rush. They were heading to the daycare to drop their little one-off.

Everything turned to the worse when they crossed that intersection.

Another driver ran the red light and slammed into them. It was a horrible T-bone accident. Under pressure, the, metal doors bent into weird angles. The windows exploded into small sharp projectiles. The airbags deployed saving the life of the parents.

When things went quiet, their little boy started crying. He was so scared. Luckily he wasn’t hurt; he was just scared.

Maxi-Cosi Magellan won the Best Car Seat For Small Cars award. The pictures don’t do justice for this car seat. It’s a lot smaller and narrower as it looks. It’s one of the narrowest car seats for small cars. The width is just 19.6” wide.

Besides being small, it has everything that your child will ever need. It has a good safety rating and has been tested in a real crash. It’s a lifer. If you get it, then it will serve your child from 5 pounds all the way up to 120 pounds.

It’s super comfortable. Many parents told me that their kids tend to sleep longer after switching to this Maxi Cosi.

For all these reasons, the Maxi-Cosi Magellan won the Best Car Seat For Small Cars.


It was crash tested in real life and the baby safe and sound

It’s one of the roomiest car seats you can get there’s space for the driver as well

It keeps infants and up to 10-year-old kids safe


It’s heavy bulky and no way you can do three-way across

It has a steep learning curve


#3 Clek Liing Infant Car Seat – Best Infant Car Seat For Small Cars

Clek Liing Best Infant Car Seat For Small CarsClek Liing Infant Car Seat won the Best Infant Car Seat For Small Cars award. If you have a small car, you have to accommodate the car seats towards it. Yes, there’s such a thing as a narrow infant carrier. The Clek Liing is just 16.9” wide (less than 17 inches).

If you have a small car, you will benefit from it. It’s one of the easiest car seats to install because it has a rigid latch system. In a matter of seconds, you are up and running. To provide the best protection possible, it has a load leg. This absorbs impact energy, so your little one is safe from harm.

The biggest selling point for the Liing is that it’s free from all harmful chemicals. The fabric is made out of merino wool, so no flame retardants are needed. If your little one has sensitive skin, then this car seat is the best fit.

It’s the highest-rated infant carrier on Consumer Reports. And this isn’t just a regular infant car seat. It can be mounted on a stroller, thus forming a travel system.

It has a narrow profile, so three across is doable. If you have a small car, then this is the slimmest infant car seat to go with.

For all these reasons above, it has earned the Best Infant Car Seat For Small Cars award.


It’s one of the safest infant carriers you can buy

The fabric is chemical-free so ideal for sensitive skin babies

The load leg is a lifesaver it reduces the rebound energy by 40%


It’s the most expensive infant carrier that you can buy

The infant cushion has rubber safety labels that get hot and sticky


#4 Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat – Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small Car

Clek Foonf Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small CarThis incident happened with some friends of mine. They had their little one sitting in the back. They were cruising along.

All of a sudden, there was an impact. The windshield shattered. The father slammed the brake, not knowing what happened. He kept the car under control. They have rapidly decelerated. Their little one was looking around to see what has happened.

Then they notice that a tire crashed against them. It came from another vehicle.

Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat won the Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small Car award. The pictures of this car seat are deceiving. It might be a bit taller than the other car seats, but it’s the narrowest of them all. The width is jutted 16.9” (less than 17 inches).

When you’re thinking about narrow car seats or looking for a car seat for a small car, then you have to look at Clek. They are known to make the narrowest car seats on the market.

These seats are built like a tank. They have all the safety features to keep your little one safe.

Best of all, with the Foonf, you will be able to do extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds. Even if you have a small car, you will be able to do extended rear-facing well beyond the 4th birthday.

Also, Clek is known to make the best eco-friendly products. They use merino wool in the fabric. Thus they don’t need toxic chemicals or harmful flame retardants. This car seat is ideal for little ones with sensitive skin.

As you have seen, the Clek Foonf has deserved the Best Rear Facing Car Seat For Small Car award.


It’s built like and tank,s and it’s elevated so kids can lookout

This car seat will allow you to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible

It has installation videos which will help you secure your car seat


The seat cover can’t be removed, so spot cleaning is the only option

Leveling is done through leveling lines which is difficult to get it right


#5 Graco Extend2fit Convertible Car Seat – Best Toddler Car Seat For Small Cars

Graco Extend2Fit Best Toddler Car Seat For Small CarsThis incident happened with some friends of mine. They were getting home from the grandparents’ house. Their 11-month all were asleep in the back. Everything was the same old same old.

All of a sudden, a drunk driver slammed into them head-on. To make things worse, he was speeding.

The impact was loud and devastating. The airbags deployed saving the life of the parents. The frame has bent into an unnatural form. There was so much energy during the crash that their car did 180 and flew across two lanes. Finally, they came to a stop in the embankment.

It was an ugly crash. The parents were full of cuts and bruises. Meanwhile, their little one was crying. Luckily he wasn’t hurt. He was crying because he was scared.

Graco Extend2fit convertible seat won the Best Toddler Car Seat For Small Cars award.

In a small car, every inch counts. This car seat looks beefy, but it has a narrow profile. The width is just 19.2” wide.

For toddlers, this is the perfect car seat. It can be mounted both rear and forward facing. If you’re a fan of extended rear-facing, you will be able to do it up to 50 pounds. Also, it has an extendable footrest. This will provide extra comfort in extended rear-facing mode.

The Extend2Fit convertible seat caters to toddlers because it’s a convertible car seat. It can be used from 5 pounds all the way up to 65 pounds. Plus, its great value for the money.

No wonder that the Extend2fit convertible seat won the Best Toddler Car Seat For Small Cars award.


It’s one of the easiest to install can be done in less than 5 minutes

There’s no manual rethreading of the straps ever

The fabric is easy to wash even after a vomiting incident


The release button is hidden, and if you have big hands it’s hard to reach

You need to watch videos to put the fabric back into place


#6 Chicco Myfit Harness + Booster Car Seat – Best Small Convertible Car Seat

Chicco MyFit Best Small Convertible Car Seat“He’s not breathing! Quickly get to the hospital!”

These are some scary sentences that you don’t want to hear as a parent. Yet this used to be common with a friend of mine. Their son had breathing difficulties. Every time something blocked his breathing, he ended up in the hospital.

Recently this happened because they went with the wrong car seat. As you have probably noticed that after a certain stage, there is not enough head support. This was the issue. The boy has fallen asleep, and his head flopped. They ended up in the ER.

They have rotated through many car seats until they found the Chicco Myfit booster seat. It has the necessary head support so the little boy can sleep without worries. The parents are much safer drivers since they can watch the road and not their son through the rear view window.

Chicco Myfit booster seat won the Best Small Convertible Car Seat award. Is this a mistake? No, it’s not. On the contrary, it’s one of the best convertibles to use if you have a small car. It has a narrow profile, so you will be able to do 3 across. The width is just 18 inches wide, so this car seat is ideal for small cars.

Besides being narrow, it’s a looker. Kids will love it because it has that big kid feeling. After a while, they want to get rid of anything that says, baby.

The rigid frame is reinforced with steel. And there are two layers of side impact protection.

It’s a safe car seat with a narrow profile, and it’s a good looking one at that. No wonder it won the best small convertible car seat award.


It’s a heavy-duty car seat that won’t move no matter what

Your child will sleep easily without the dreaded head slump

It’s well-cushioned, and it won’t overheat


It has a narrow profile so thinner kids will be the most comfortable

Padding behind the belt not removable for washing


Buyer’s Guide

Convertible car seats are the next upgrade after infant carriers. After this, there’s more to upgrade to. This is why I’ve decided to share with you a buyer’s guide. Maybe in the future, you will be able to put it to good use.

Before we could get to that, though, there are a few things you have to know.

First of all, the car seat has to be placed in the safest spot in the car. This spot is in the middle of the car. The truth is that not everybody can use that. So here’s the second-best and safest option, which is right behind the driver.

The second most important thing is the right to install. Nowadays, so many people run around with poorly installed car seat that it’s scary. Make sure that you have mounted the car seat right. Remember the rule of thumb. The wiggle room should be less than an inch.

Let’s get the buyer’s guide started.



This is top of the list when it comes to checking out convertible car seats. All car seats offer front and rear impact protection. Recently many of them started offering side impact protection. Typically there are 1-3 layers. A handful of car seats have rollover protection.

My best advice in this category is to get the most that you can afford.


Size Limits

Convertible car seats can be mounted both front and rear-facing. And to get the best bang for your buck to go for seats that offer the longest use. If you don’t have to upgrade, you’re saving money.

Also, it’s a good idea if they offer extended rear-facing. As you know, this has the most protection for your child. It’s highly advised to keep your little one in the rear-facing mode up to two years of age. In some countries, this limit is set to four.



Gone are the days of the simple infant carrier installs. Convertibles are more complex, and you will need some practice to get used to them.

Most brands have made some good effort in making the mounting as simple as possible. Although some lagers are notoriously difficult to get them done right.



The fabric is very important when you’re checking out a new convertible car seat. Since kids will always have spills and accidents, you will have to clean up after them. This is why you need to know how easy it is to remove the cover and if it’s friendly to the washing machine.

This would be the end of my buyer’s guide.



We’re nearing the end game. I’ve done my best to put these car seats in categories for easy searching.

We have reached the end of the Best Convertible Car Seat For Small Cars article. I hope you have learned a lot from it.

By now you should know which car seat is the best fit for you. Just recently, I’ve checked the stocks on these car seats. They were running low, so get them as soon as possible.

I would love to hear more about your experiences and tips. You can share them below.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What is the smallest convertible car seat?

The smallest convertible car seat is the Clek Foonf which is just 16.9 inches wide.

What is the most compact convertible car seat?

The most compact convertible car seat is the Diono Radian 3RXT which is 16.9 inches wide.

What car seats will fit 3 across?

Those car seats will fit 3 across which have a narrow profile. Here are a few examples: all Clek car seats, Diono Radian 3RXT and Graco Tranzitions.

Which car seats didn’t make it on the list of convertible car seats for small cars?

Here are the car seats that didn’t make the cut: Graco 4ever booster seat, maxi cosi pria 85 convertible seat, Cosco scenera next backless booster, nuna rava booster seat, clek foonf toddler car seats. Many of these seats were mentioned in by best car seats post also in the best convertible car seat article. There are many convertible car seats mentioned by the american academy of pediatrics. As you know that american academy of pediatrics is lead authority in this field when you’re looking for the right car seat. Because it’s hard to differentiate these infant car seats  side by side

What are the weight limits for best car seats for small cars?

The weight limits are as they follow for these best car seats. For the best convertible car seats the weight limit in rear facing mode is 40 pounds or 45 pounds. For forward-facing mode the weight limit is 65 pounds. For an infant car seat they typical rear facing weight limit is 40 pounds. For forward facing convertible car seat it’s 65 pounds. The 40 pounds weight limit is quite generous. For forward facing high back booster seat (highback booster) or belt positioning booster seat the weight limit is 120 pounds.

Can these best car seats fit three across in a compact car?

This depends on the compact car. The slimmest car seat for forward-facing mode is 16.9 inches wide. There’s nothing lower than that.

What kind of safety features should you check out with these best seats for small cars or compact car?

Either of them is a good choice since they all have high safety standards. There are two important features that a forward facing car seat should have the steel frame and side impact protection. The seat also features forward facing and rear facing mode. The 5 point harness is  the safest option on the market today. And slowly the 5 point harness is becoming the industry standard. For a rear facing, forward facing convertible car seat the energy absorbing foam is an absolute must. As you know during the crash there’s a lot of impact energy and this is what the energy absorbing foam helps mitigate. It’s also a great idea to keep your child rear facing as long as possible or at least until 2 years old. No matter what happens the energy absorbing foam will do its job with the infant car seat. The rear facing position is the safest one for an infant to be in. Car seats like the chicco nextfit zip convertible car seat, clek foonf toddler car seats, nuna rava convertible car seat, graco 4ever 4 in 1 have high government safety standards. Some infant car seat comes with a load leg. The load leg absorbs impact energy just like the EPS foam. I have a special article which talks about the best convertible car seats. Another feature you should check is proper head support with micro adjustments. The #1 thing parents want from a forward facing, rear facing car seat is crash protection.

How do you install these best seats in a small car?

Keep in mind that these seats should be installed on the back seat. Make sure you read the manual to super easy install. It’s easy to install all you have to do is either use the seat belt or the latch system. The seat belt usually takes more time. Make sure it’s installed on the back seat. Make sure you check out the manual and use the leveling system first (with the chicco nextfit toddler car seat, graco 4ever 4 in 1 rear facing car seat, nuna rava toddler car seats). The easy installation comes with the field. Next thing is to check the bubble levels and remove the seat angle from the seat pad. It is known the latch connectors are the go to for ease of use. This installation system is brain-dead simple. The anchors and tethers are really simple to use. Also the anchors and tethers offer great protection with toddler car seats. With the latch system you connect to the lower anchors and you’re done. Speak of ease of use. The shoulder belt can be used with older kids in forward facing mode.

What other features should you check out with these best seats for smaller cars?

A cup holder is nice and if there would be two it’s better. One cup holder usually is sufficient. Multiple recline positions. And leg room for the child and legroom for the front row. The convertible car seat and the toddler car seat is known for its ease of use. Other features to check out with a rear facing, forward facing convertible car seat a comfy seat cushion. Since there are multiple car seat types you have to make the right decision from the get go. The leveling system makes ease of use possible. Additional leg rest gives extra comfort. Now you want a machine washable seat cover in case of a diaper blowout. Multiple recline positions offer great comfort with the infinite slide harness straps. The cup holder is a great bonus to have. The Harness holders will keep your little one safe in infant rear facing mode. The harness system works with any facing seat. For toddler car seats (toddler car seat) the weight range is typically 40 pounds to 65 pounds.

How long can you use these infant insert with a toddler car seat?

The infant insert in the toddler car seat can be used up to 11 pounds. This is the typical limit for all infant insert options.


Last Updated on July 29, 2020

About Danny Reid
About Danny Reid

Danny here, no matter in which market you’re in it’s flooded with products. Maybe you want a new stereo, amps, speakers or subs? This is why the blog exists to cut through the clutter.
My goal with the reviews is to inform you of the best possible to make the right decision.
Plus if you’re stuck with “the blue wire is connected to???” I have many hot tips to get you out of a jam.