Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions

We’ve come to that point.  Eudora is nine months old.  While there’s still plenty of time left for choosing a convertible car seat for her, it’s something that’s on my radar.  Right now, Eudora is using a Graco SnugRide 35.  There’s no way that she’ll outgrow it before she’s a year old.  However, it’s getting heavy and I don’t like to carry it, so I’m interested in us choosing a convertible car seat now rather than later.

With Norton, choosing a convertible car seat was easy.  I wanted him to have a Britax Advocate, and that’s what we’ve got.  The Britax Advocate is a great seat, and we got it on sale for $100 off.  I was also doing a lot more paid writing then, so money was really not an issue.  I wanted the best convertible car seat that I could get for him.

With Eudora, I find myself thinking more about what we should do.  I have three ideas for choosing a convertible car seat.

1.) Skip the Convertible Car Seat

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions (Motherhood Looms)  One thought I have is to skip out on choosing a convertible car seat altogether.  Instead of buying another convertible seat, just buy Norton a Britax Frontier XT.  The Britax Frontier XT is a front facing only model, which is not a big deal.  Norton is already forward facing in the Britax Advocate.  The Frontier XT can be used as a five point harness front facing car seat for up to 65 pounds and as a booster seat for up to 120.  If we did that, we’d just put Eudora in Norton’s Advocate.

Pros – The Frontier XT would be the last car seat we’d ever have to buy for Norton.  It lasts for nine years, which would put him at eleven when the seat expires.  I also don’t think that he’ll be able to ride in the Advocate until he reaches 65 pounds.  (Note: while the Britax Advocate is rated up to 70 pounds in the US, Canadian laws and standards are different.  Here, it’s the Britax Advocate CS 65.)  I expect him to hit the height limit long before he hits the weight limit.

Cons – How would Norton feel about Eudora ending up with his old seat?  Would he be jealous over it, or would he pitch a royal fit because it’s “his”?

2.) Stick with what we know

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions (Motherhood Looms)I already know that I love the Britax Advocate.  That seat is like a tank.  Granted, it weighs about a billion pounds (okay, really, it’s more like 22 pounds, but the point is, it’s no light and flimsy thing), so I’m not inclined to move it from car to car, but we’re a one car family anyway.  At the end of the day, I know that the Advocate is a great seat.

Pros – That seat has better lumbar support than the driver’s seat in my van.  In fits awesome to rear facing.  And it would be strictly Eudora’s, so we wouldn’t have to put up with Norton feeling slighted because Eudora is using his old seat.

Cons – It’s expensive.  Really expensive.  We’ll eventually have to move up to booster seats for both kids anyway.

3.) Go for different

Choosing a Convertible Car Seat – Decisions, Decisions (Motherhood Looms)Everyone I know that has the Diono Radian RXT (formerly known as the Sunshine Radian XT) loves it.  It would be the last car seat that I ever buy for Eudora, as it’s valid for nine years.

Pros – It’s a highly regarded seat by everyone except for Consumer Reports.  It’s reasonably priced for something that she’ll use until she’s outgrown a seat.  It has a weight range for up to 120 pounds.  It’s a narrower seat, but still quite safe.

Cons – I’ll still have to get Norton a booster seat eventually.  And I have to admit, I do feel exceptionally secure with putting my child in that huge, hulking behemoth of an Advocate.

Honestly?  I’m thinking now that I’ve talked myself into either the Radian or the Frontier… but I’m still not 100% for sure on which one will serve us best.  Which would you get?

Update: Ultimately, I did go with the Frontier, and I’m happy with that decision.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. I would do the Frontier route! that’s the same seat we are eyeing when we need to expand to two seats (the lovely daycare run)… let Norton pick his own fabric and that should keep him happy! As an afterthought, you could order a new cover for the Advocate to make the seat more Eudora 😉

  2. I would go with traditional, but the different looks really cool!

  3. I like the first one.. But they all look great.

  4. I would go with getting Norton the frontier. Seems like a great choice and I am sure he will be fine with passing on his old one.

  5. Cassandra Eastman says:

    Personally i’d go with the Frontier because of the click tight technology, I don’t own one myself (we have the Britax Advocate) but I saw it in the store and it seemed so easy to do! I’d love to get one for my 4 year old.

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