The Best Convertible Car Seats in Australia [Sep 2020]

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We review the best convertible car seats from Britax, Maxi-Cosi, Mother's Choice, Infasecure, Safe-n-Sound and Babylove.

What are convertible car seats?

A convertible car seat is a seat that starts off rearward facing and ‘converts’ to forward facing once your baby reaches a certain shoulder height. 

Rearward facing has been shown to be safer than forward facing, and ‘Extended Rearward Facing’ convertible car seats (known as Type A4/B seats) allow infants to stay rearward facing until approx. 30 months of age, which is determined by the height marker on the seat.

Some convertible car seats allow forward facing until approx. 8 years of age (known as A4/G seats). These seats will let you keep your child harnessed for longer, but are only available from Infasecure.

The Best Convertible Car Seats in Australia

  1. Britax Graphene TEX
  2. Infasecure Attain Premium
  3. Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro
  4. Britax Brava
  5. Mother's Choice Accord AP
  6. Infasecure Grandeur Go
  7. Britax B-First
  8. Britax Millenia
  9. Safe-n-Sound Quick Fix
  10. Babylove EZY Switch EP

How to choose a convertible car seat

Buying the right car seat can be daunting – there are so many choices.

Here’s how to navigate through it to figure out what to look for.

Type of anchoring

With the exception of booster seats, child car seats need to be anchored to the car in one of two ways: using the seat belt or using ISOFIX if available. 

Anchoring with Seat Belt

All car seats and baby capsules can be anchored to the car using the rear lap-sash seat belts. Usually the seat belt needs to be threaded through a path that feeds behind and through the rear of the seat. Some car seats use an additional seat belt clamp to ensure the belt remains taut and in place.

New to the Australian market is a special type of seat anchor in the Britax called ‘Clicktight’, where you lift the seat pan and feed the seatbelt underneath, then ‘click’ the seat ‘tight’ downwards, which is much simpler than threading the seatbelt conventionally. This is currently only available in the Britax B-First convertible car seat – which we have reviewed here.

Anchoring with ISOFIX

Car seats with ISOFIX connectors can anchor via specific straps that attach to the ISOFIX latches attached to the car itself. Normally the ISOFIX latches are found in the gap between the car’s seat pan and back.

Instead of threading the seatbelt through the seat, you leave that alone and attach the connector at the end of the ISOFIX strap directly onto the ISOFIX latch with a satisfying click. Then you tighten the strap until the strap shows sufficient tension (usually by way of an indicator).

>> Want to know which car seats are ISOFIX enabled? Our Car Seat Selector will tell you.

Seat belt vs ISOFIX - which one is better?

Both seat belts and ISOFIX systems are safe if installed properly – there is no difference in safety but achieving a secure attachment may be more difficult one way or the other, depending on the seat. ISOFIX is a more intuitive system and arguably provides a firmer connection. Use one or the other but not both.

If you have tried to install it and have re-read the manual and watched YouTube and can’t get it right, then seek a professional car seat installer. The safest rated car seat won’t be at all safe if it is not anchored properly.

Size of the car seat

Car seats come in different shapes and sizes, but there are two main dimensions you would want to know about if you have a small car: width and depth.  

Seat width

The width of your car seat is important if you want to fit three seats across the back. In smaller cars, wider seats will start rubbing shoulders and it becomes impossible to install them safely. Look for car seats that are less than 45cm wide to ensure a good fit.

>> Here’s a list of all narrow car seats available today.

Seat depth

Car seats that are deep, especially in rearward facing mode, tend to push up against the front seat. If your car is small, the front seat may need to be pushed forwards. While this may just be an inconvenience for the passenger’s leg room, it’s downright dangerous for the driver. Look for car seats that are less than 55cm to find one which is not too deep.

>> Looking for a short rearward depth car seat? Try these.

The Best Convertible Car Seats

1. Britax Graphene TEX

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 44cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 52cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

The Britax Graphene TEX is one of the popular convertible car seats and it’s not hard to see why. It is the seat that does it all. Extended rearward facing, short depth and a great safety rating ticks all the boxes for new parents. The TEX version adds Nanotex easy to clean fabric in case your child has an ‘accident’ in the car – nice!

2. Infasecure Attain Premium

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 42-46cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 54cm
  • ISOFIX: No

The Infasecure Attain Premium is one of the best car seats from Infasecure. It’s also one of the narrowest car seats around which makes it perfect for squeezing 3 seats in the rear. 

It also features all of the latest safety protection including Secur-air head protection and Air Cocoon Technology torso protection, which contribute well to the 4.3 star safety rating. Topping it all off is the Active Bamboo fabric which will keep your tot nice and cool when it gets a bit steamy in the car.

Downside? No ISOFIX, which is a bit lacking in a $600+ car seat.

3. Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 45cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 54cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

Before the Maxi-Cosi Vita Pro, Maxi-Cosi had a justifiably poor reputation for low height markers, poor service, and bad design. The Vita Pro fixes all of that and then some. All the latest safety features and cooling fabrics puts it in the same league as the top of the line seats from Britax and Infasecure. 

Plus, the Vita Pro has a nifty little feature built into the headrest which helps your child avoid the dreaded head flop when they sleep. Just the perfect thing for long car rides!

4. Britax Brava

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 44cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 52cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

Like the Graphene but can’t afford it? The Britax Brava is the same seat on a budget. Lacking the fancy fabrics and torso side protection, it still has the same narrow width and short depth which makes it perfect for smaller cars. ISOFIX makes it easier to safely connect and reconnect, too!

5. Mother's Choice Accord AP

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 45cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 55cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

Part of the Dorel group which also have Maxi-Cosi and Safety 1st, Mother’s Choice have previously been known for producing car seats on the value end. 

But the Mother’s Choice Accord AP changes all of that. What they have come up with here is a quality seat with a lot of the safety features that you’d get in a premium seat. It also scores a near perfect 4.9 stars the CREP safety test (which is higher than the Britax seats).As an A4/B convertible car seat, it lets you keep your baby in rearward facing mode for longer which is preferred for safety.

6. Britax B-First TEX

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 47cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 72.8cm
  • ISOFIX: No (uses Clicktight anchoring)

Sick of threading seatbelts and don’t have ISOFIX? The Britax B-First is for you.

The B-First uses Britax’s Clicktight installation feature which is really simple. Clicktight lets you install the seat by lifting up the hinged seat pan, connecting your seat belt as normal, and closing the seat with a reassuring click.

In addition, it also has the latest SICT safety features and extended rearward facing until 30 months, and in TEX form, the latest Thermo 5 cooling fabric with easy wipe nanoTEX fabric.

But you do need a big car to install it: a whopping 72.8cm deep in rear facing mode. Sorry front passenger leg room.

7. Britax Millenia

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 47cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 60cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

The Britax Millenia is one of the most popular convertible car seats in Australia and for good reason – it is very safe. Its safety does come with a downside: it doesn’t recline that well and is often associated with ‘head flop’ – where your poor sleepy child’s head droops forward as they are lulled to sleep in your car. It is also a big seat, so you’ll need a large car if you want to fit a few in the back.

Britax Graphene vs Millenia

The Graphene and the Millenia are two of the most popular convertible car seats.

Which one should you choose?

FeatureBritax GrapheneBritax Millenia
Rear facing to:
30 months 🤷30 months 🤷
Width44cm ✔️47cm
Rear facing seat depth:52cm ✔️60cm
ISOFIXYes 🤷Yes 🤷
Safety rating4.1⭐4.6⭐✔️
Price$649$719
Choose if:You want the best compact seatYou want a seat with a high safety rating

8. Infasecure Grandeur Go

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 8 years (approx)
  • Width: 44cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 66cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

One of the 0-8 convertible car seats from Infasecure, the Grandeur Go is the one to choose if you want all of the safety features. Secur-air and Air Cocoon Technology help protect from side impact and the ‘Twist and Lift’ no rethread harness ensures proper fitment every time. It is also quite narrow at 44cm wide to be able to squeeze 3 in the back of most cars. But if you are using it as a rear facing seat, just be aware that it likes to stretch out itself too at 66cm deep, which is well encroaching on most passenger seats.

9. Safe-n-Sound Quick Fix

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 4 years (approx)
  • Width: 44cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 52cm
  • ISOFIX: Yes

The Safe-n-Sound Quick Fix is an affordable extended rear facing seat from Britax that packs an important feature: it is the same shell as the more expensive Britax Graphene. Sure, it may not be loaded with the cooling fabrics and SICT head protection but it is the same size and same fundamental seat as its more expensive sibling. It also comes with handy ISOFIX connectors that make it easy to attach to your car. 

If you are looking for one, you’ll need to head into Target to buy.

10. Babylove EZY Switch EP

Key features

  • Rear facing: Newborn – 30 months (approx)
  • Forward facing: 6 months – 8 years (approx)
  • Width: 44cm
  • Rear facing seat depth: 57cm
  • ISOFIX: No

If you are on a budget, the Babylove Ezy Switch EP is your best extended rearward facing option. Given your number one safety concern should be trying to ensure your child is in rearward facing mode, then this seat is the most affordable ERF seat available. 

It does have basic fabric and doesn’t have ISOFIX, but if safety is most important to you and you have limited money, this should be one you consider. 

It is a bit deep though so check it fits, especially if you have small car.

>>Still not sure what to get? Our interactive car seat selector might help you…

Looking for a convertible car seat? Or do you have one and have experiences to share? Comment below!

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