Looking For A Narrow Convertible Car Seat in 2016?

Narrow Convertible Car SeatAre you looking for a narrow convertible car seat?

Perhaps you are trying to squeeze 3 across in the backseat of one of your vehicles?

Or maybe you want to get full size passengers on one or both sides of your child’s car seat.

Whatever the reason, finding a narrow convertible car seat is a frequently asked question which is why I have written this list.

How is this article organized?

When it comes to convertible car seats, there are three ranges of height and weight limits, which are roughly equivalent to how much you want to spend.

The cheapest seats on the market right now do not accommodate a child from age 0-7 according to the American Academy of Pediatrics current recommendations. This is why those cheapest car seats are not included in this list. This leaves two broad categories: Extended Rear-Facing and what I will call Standard Capacity.

Since rear-facing is 5 times safer than forward facing, it is recommended to rear-face your child until they are 3-4 years old. So if your budget can accommodate one of the extended rear-facing seats, these are your best bet if you need the narrowest seat. Otherwise the standard limit car seats are still highly recommended, especially if your child is on the smaller side.

So what are you calling a standard capacity seat?

Right now the majority of convertible car seats in the US have the following height and weight limits:

  • Rear-Facing Weight Limit: 4-5lbs up to 40lbs.
  • Forward-Facing Weight Limit: Up to 65lbs.
  • Forward-Facing Height Limit: Up to 49″.

The following is the list of the 5 narrowest convertible car seats with those capacities:

  • Diono Radian R100 – 17″ wide
  • Britax Boulevard ClickTight – 18″ wide
  • Safety 1st Grow and Go (Basic and Air) – 18″ wide
  • **Graco Size4Me – 18.5″ wide
  • **Graco Contender – 18.75″ wide

**Please note that the two Graco car seats are the only two which I have owned. Please read the Amazon.com descriptions and reviews prior to purchasing any of the seats mentioned in this post in order to ensure they will meet your individual situation.

Extended Rear-Facing

The five convertible car seats allow rear-facing 45-50lbs instead of the standard 40lbs of the car seats above. They are typically narrower but also more expensive than the car seats on the previous list.

  • Clek Fllo – 17″ wide
  • Clek Foonf – 17″ wide
  • Diono Radian R120 – 17″ wide
  • Diono Radian RXT – 17″ wide
  • Safety 1st Grow and Go EX Air – 18″ wide

Do you have a narrow convertible car seat?

As you can see from the measurements above, there is a 5-way tie for car seats that are 17″ wide. Some of these car seats sit low on the car’s seat and some sit up high. If you are looking for a 3 across situation, then you will need to look at how the other car seats you own puzzle together with these car seats.

Amanda is the founder of Survival With Kids. She became a mother in 2009 with the birth of her oldest son. She is currently the mother of 4 kids (two boys and two girls) and has owned her fair share of car seats.
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6 Comments

  1. ebufi

    Car seats are so important for the safety of our small children while they are riding in the car with us.You are giving us a detail description and measures of the narrow new models of car seats. My children used Graco too, they are strong, comfortable and reliable. Easy to carry and install. Thank you for the information, very useful.

    Reply
    1. Amanda Colby (Post author)

      Ebufi, thanks for stopping by. I am very satisfied with Graco brand car seats, but these other narrow seats have pretty good reviews.

      Reply
  2. DARCY

    This is a very informative article, and your titles are so catchy!
    I had no idea the weight was something to consider when picking out a car seat like this. Now I understand why my brother struggled so much with trying to find the right one for his first born.

    Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    1. Amanda Colby (Post author)

      Thanks, Darcy. It can be a struggle to find the right car seat when you have a small car.

      Reply
  3. Josephine Crawford

    Yes, I can see why some people would need narrow car seats for their special little ones. Space in a car can sometimes be a big issue and I do find some of the earlier car seats bulky, but not necessarily a bigger space for the children to relax and be comfortable. Is this an issue with these car seats?

    Reply
    1. Amanda Colby (Post author)

      The car seats listed here still provide a comfortable amount of space for the child despite being narrow. Particularly the 5 car seats listed in the extended rear-facing category. You are correct that there are some seats that don’t provide a lot of space for the child, but I didn’t include any on this list.

      Reply

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