CONVERTIBLE
CAR SEAT
BUYING GUIDE
Find the right fit for your lifestyle and your family
2017
WELCOME TO OUR BUYING GUIDE!
We’re here to help.
At Magic Beans, we don’t want to sell you
just ANY convertible car seat: we want
you to find the perfect fit for your growing
family and your lifestyle.
This buying guide is just the first step on the
way to discovering a convertible car seat
you’ll truly love: after you read through this
guide: talk to us! Call us at 866-600-BEAN,
email guides@mbeans.com, or book a
FREE consultation by clicking here!
LET’S GET STARTED
While it may cost less, shopping for a
give you all the help that we can in
car seat can feel nearly as complex as
instructing you how to install it, but
shopping for a car! Our handpicked
remember: ultimately, this final step in
selection of car seats includes only
ensuring your child’s safety is up to you.
the best models from the best brands,
but quality is only the beginning –
Also, remember when buying a car
there are many factors to weigh when
seat that the average seat expires after
determining which seat is right for you
about 6 years (your manual will give
and for your child.
you the exact number for the model
you purchase), so keep an eye on how
The purpose of a car seat, of course, is
long you’ve had the seat and purchase
safety, and the “best” car seat is going
new ones appropriately.
to be the one that fits your child, fits
your vehicle, and that you can install
correctly every time. It’s our job to
help you find the right seat, and we’ll
MAGIC BEANS BUYING GUIDE · CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
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CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT BASICS
• “Convertible” means that it can be used rear-facing or forward-facing
• Suitable for use from birth (usually) until about age 6, depending on weight limit
• Uses a 5-point harness
• Stays installed in the car – no removable base
• Typically accommodates child up to about 65 pounds, or 49” tall
• Weight of product is variable, but seldom relevant since it stays installed at all times
• It’s safest to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible
You may also encounter combination car seats:
• A combination seat starts as a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat and converts to a belt-positioning
booster seat
• Has both a 5-point harness and seat belt pathways for booster mode
• Accommodates children between 2 and 8 years old
• Stays installed in the car, no base
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CAR SEAT BRANDS YOU SHOULD KNOW · PART 1
Nuna, based in the Netherlands, are famous for
This fabulous premium brand is made in Canada and boasts unique and beautiful design,
thinking outside of the box: each item improves on the
plus light but strong magnesium frames and easy-to-install rigid LATCH. The Clek Foonf
competition with ease-of-use and unique functionality.
and Fllo convertible car seats have an anti-rebound bar and a patented energy absorption
They’ve followed up the popular Leaf Floating Baby
system, and they’re surprisingly narrow – a great choice for three-across installation.
Lounger and the Pipa Infant Car Seat with the Rava
Convertible Car Seat, optimized for incredibly simple
seat-belt installation and extended rear-facing.
NUNA RAVA
MAGIC BEANS BUYING GUIDE · CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
CLEK FOONF
CLEK FLLO
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CAR SEAT BRANDS YOU SHOULD KNOW · PART 2
Designed in Britain, made in the USA, Britax car
This brand offers a variety of convertible seats, many of
This Italian-made brand is your source for elegant
seats are well-trusted and well-loved – everyone you
which transform into boosters, offering amazing value.
European style and plushy, luxurious comfort, along
know will recommend them, and with 65 years in the
Plus, the steel frames, high rear-facing weight limits,
with impressive safety features, including lots of Side
business, they definitely know what they’re doing.
and terrific ease of use make Diono seats a great buy.
Impact Protection. The Primo Viaggio SIP Convertible
Oh, and the Radian folds flat for travel!
Car Seat adds a nice high rear-facing weight limit, too.
BRITAX BOULEVARD
CLICKTIGHT ARB
MAGIC BEANS BUYING GUIDE · CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
DIONO RADIAN RXT
PEG PEREGO PRIMO VIAGGIO
SIP CONVERTIBLE
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ANATOMY OF A CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT · PART 1
for Children,” and
HEAD
SUPPORT WITH
SIDE IMPACT
PROTECTION
is typically used for
Provides additional
installation in the car
side-impact protection
1
LATCH
3
This stands for “Lower
3
Anchors and Tethers
3
for any rear-facing
2
2
TOP TETHER
and is not typically
car seats. LATCH or
This is part of the
removable. The bottom
seat belt installation
LATCH system, and
of the head support
is equally safe; the
your car will have a
should be right above
purpose of LATCH
metal hook point that
your child’s shoulders to
is simply to make
is symbolized by the
provide optimum head
installation easier for
symbol above. This is
protection.
parents and caregivers
used for any forward-
(again, recall that
facing child in a 5-point
correct installation is
harness to help prevent
key, so easy installation
forward movement in
IS a safety feature!).
the event of a collision.
1
Most cars made after
1
2001 are equipped
with LATCH points,
usually on the outboard
seats. They typically will
feature a LATCH logo.
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ANATOMY OF A CAR SEAT · PART 2
HARNESS
SLOTS
see how the straps will fit
and how much your child
RELEASE
BUTTON
While some seats have
can grow into it – every
This is a metal flap or
no-rethread harnesses,
kid is a bit different!
button that most car
4
8
others have adjustable
harness slots that need
4
4
seats are equipped with
5
RETAINER CLIP
This clip is present in all
tighten your child into
child grows, to ensure
American car seats and is
the car seat. Pushing
correct positioning.
sometimes referred to as
the button or lifting
It’s not just about
a chest clip. This should
the flap will allow you
comfort, it’s also about
be secured right at
to loosen the straps
the way the harness
armpit level on the child.
allowing your child to
your child’s body, so
6
7
to easily loosen and
to be changed as the
distributes force across
5
7
climb in and out easily.
6
RECLINE
To tighten, pull the
make sure you’ve got it
This is a feature in
strap that hangs out
right.
most convertible car
from the button/flap
seats. This recline is
until they are snug.
For rear-facing children,
usually intended only
the harness slot should
for safety rather than
fall at or below their
for a comfort recline.
INFANT
INSERT
shoulders. For forward-
The seat should be in
Most convertible car
facing children, the
the reclined position for
seats come with an
harness slot should be at
rear-facing installation,
infant insert so that the
or above their shoulders.
and the upright position
car seat can be used
It is always a good idea
for forward-facing
from birth and beyond.
to measure your child in
installation.
8
the car seat before you
make the purchase to
MAGIC BEANS BUYING GUIDE · CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
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ANATOMY OF A CAR SEAT · PART 3
AN
INTRODUCTION
TO BELT
TENSIONING
PLATES
LATCH
REGULATIONS
belt at some point, due
Britax’s Clicktight
install every time. Both
to recent regulations.
system (pictured) and
systems apply tension
In response to the
Nuna’s Simply Secure
to the vehicle’s seat belt
regulatory changes,
system with the True
without requiring you
In February 2014, there
of 69 pounds (child’s
several companies have
Tension™ door both
to use your strength to
was an amendment
weight + car seat’s
introduced innovations
utilize belt tensioning
manually create enough
made to Federal Motor
weight)
You will probably need
that simplify seat belt
plates to get a quick
tension for a secure
Vehicle Safety Standard
to install your convertible
installation.
and secure seat belt
installation. Most other
213 regarding LATCH.
Each manufacturer will
convertible car seats
This amendment
dictate the maximum
utilize lockoffs or the
implemented weight
combined weight (or
vehicle’s integrated seat
limits to the lower
the child’s max weight)
belt retractor to create
anchors (where LATCH
that their car seat can
tension, which works
is connected) that
use lower anchors up
well but can be slightly
did not exist before.
to, so it is important to
more difficult to get
It applies to car seats
reference the car seat
right every time.
manufactured after
manual.
car seat with a seat
1
· To use lower anchors
for forward-facing: Up
to a combined weight
2/27/14. The weight
1
Tensioning Plate
Tensioning Plate
belt path: forwardfacing install
limits are as follows:
2
3
MAGIC BEANS BUYING GUIDE · CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
for rear-facing: Up to a
Tensioning Plate
belt path: rear-
combined weight of 65
facing install
+ car seat’s weight)
3
2
· To use lower anchors
pounds (child’s weight
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CAR SEAT FAQ:
A FEW QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU NARROW IT DOWN
AT WHAT POINT DO I SWITCH FROM MY
INFANT CAR SEAT TO A CONVERTIBLE
CAR SEAT?
IS BRITAX STILL THE BEST BRAND FOR
CAR SEATS?
Every brand we sell is awesome in its own way! Britax
Your car seat manual will tell you exactly what the
is immensely popular for good reason, but there are
height and weight limits of your seat are.
plenty of up-and-coming brands with a variety of cool
Read more here.
new features. Read more here.
WHAT IS THE NARROWEST CONVERTIBLE
CAR SEAT?
WHAT IS THE SAFEST CAR SEAT?
The safest car seat is the one that fits your child, fits
We have two models we recommend if you need to
your vehicle, and that you can install correctly every
squeeze in three in a row. Read more here.
time. This varies by family! We can tell you for sure that
every car seat on the market undergoes rigorous safety
MY KID HATES BEING IN THE CAR SEAT.
WHAT DO I DO?
testing – they all do a superb job at protecting children
from injury. Learn more about car seat safety here.
No matter how your child feels about it, a car seat is
legally required, and absolutely necessary for safety.
Find some tips here.
MAGIC BEANS BUYING GUIDE · CONVERTIBLE CAR SEATS
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INSTALLATION & CAR SEAT LAWS
THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF
BUYING A CAR SEAT IS BEING EDUCATED
ON HOW TO INSTALL IT PROPERLY.
CAR SEAT LAWS:
• The American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP) recommends
All the safety features in the world don’t make a
that children ride rear-facing
difference if they aren’t used properly.
for at least the first two years,
and that children should
It’s a good idea to consult a Child Passenger Safety
ideally stay rear-facing for
Technician (CPST) and have them check your
as long as the weight and
installation – you can find one through many local
height limit of your seat
police or fire departments. Search your zip code at
allow. The specific laws may
http://www.seatcheck.org/ to find one near you. Or,
vary from state to state, so it’s
just ask the staff at your local Magic Beans, and we’ll
worth doing some research,
put you on the right track.
but if you follow the AAP
guideline you should be fine.
Not all car seats fit in all car models! We have plenty of
floor models, and we encourage customers to try them
out in their car before they purchase.
• Most states require kids to
ride in a car seat or booster
until they are 8 years old or
57” tall, whichever comes first.
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NEED SOME ADVICE CHOOSING A CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT?
WE’D LOVE TO HELP YOU.
Call us at 866-600-BEAN, email guides@mbeans.com, or book a FREE
car seat consultation by clicking here.
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At Magic Beans, our mission is to make life easier for parents (and more fun, too). We aren’t
just here to sell you things: we’re here to find solutions and tools to make every day go just a
little more smoothly for you. We get it, because we’re parents too!
Our selection of strollers, baby gear, and toys for all ages are all selected for quality,
convenience, and innovation, and they’re all available in two convenient spots: in our six
stores, and on our award-winning website, mbeans.com.
MA
BOSTON · BROOKLINE · CAMBRIDGE
NORWELL · WELLESLEY
CT
FAIRFIELD
mbeans.com · 617-264-2326 · mbeans.com/spillingthebeans
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@mbeans
@mbeansdotcom @MagicBeansVideos
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