In our day to day lives there is nothing more heavy metal than our vehicles…literally. Parents know this and this is why so much time and research is spent trying to find the ideal car seat for the family. The sense of dread and responsibility can be a bit overwhelming. When you add into the equation the expense of a new child seat the outcome may seem bleak. If you have just started your journey then you should take some comfort in knowing that it is possible to get something safe while not breaking the budget. We were once in this situation and came out of it with a new convertible car seat that we could afford that we felt confident could protect our child fully. Exhale while we show you some of the better alternatives for parents with not a lot to spend.
Budget Options That Will Serve You Well
The first thing that you should do is to extinguish the guilt you may be carrying around with you because you are not able to splurge on a top of the line convertible car seat. The bottom line is that all child restraint seats sold in stores must pass minimum safety standards before they are able to be sold to the public. As long as you buy from a reputable outlet and get a name brand with a solid reputation you should be just fine. There is one caveat, you must also use the seat properly to get the maximum benefit. Installing your child seat correctly is just as important as buying a safe seat.
Graco MyRide 65
Graco is a name that you can trust as they are known for making more affordable child gear that parents love. The MyRide 65 is so named because it is designed for children from 5 to 65 lbs. You can use it for infants in the rear facing position and then when they are big enough you can switch them to the forward facing position. This model has all of the safety and protection features that parents desire but in a less expensive price range. This particular seat goes for around $100 which is pretty good considering everything that you get. Another great thing about this convertible seat is that it gets high praise from parents. Good ratings leads to better confidence when buying. If you can squeeze this within your budget then this Graco seat comes highly recommended.
Evenflo Tribute LX
This is probably one of the more popular budget options for parents out there. The one downside to this seat is that it has an upper weight limit of only 40 lbs. This means that at some point you will have to purchase another convertible child seat somewhere down the line. This is a good starter option if money is tight now but you think that you can afford something a little higher in a few years. It has an excellent reputation for safety and it does get decent reviews. For those who are in a pinch this model will run you between $55 and $75 typically.
Cosco MightyFit 65
Cosco is another quality brand that makes some standard but safe convertible car seats. As you can guess by the name that it can handle children up to 65 lbs. This is a nice bonus since this seat usually goes for $100 or just under. Safety tested and parent approved, this is another fine budget seat. It also has a somewhat small footprint that lets you fit 3 of these seats across the back of your vehicle if you have multiple children that you need to protect.
Evenflo Tribute Sport
This model is similar to the Tribute LX but it can be had for a little bit less, usually around or under $50. This too is also only rated for kids up to 40 lbs. so we only recommend this as a starter seat. One nice feature of this model is that it is rated for airplane travel and meets all FAA requirements which is great for parents who need to fly. Light weight, solid, and decent reviews from parents make this another excellent option.
Being A Parent Is Expensive Work
If you happened to stumble across a list of the top 10 convertible baby car seats of 2017 you might have experienced a little bit of sticker shock. The highest rated seats are often some of the more expensive options. While some may offer advanced safety features, it is mostly due to the quality of the materials used as well as their usability for parents. It is important to keep in mind that no matter what your budget may be you will be able to get something that is designed to protect your child in the event of an accident. Today’s child restraint seats, no matter how much they cost, must meet certain standards before they are deemed safe for the public.
You should not feel bad because you cannot afford a $300 seat. We had to get something that we could afford and in the end our child is very happy and safe and we don’t feel once ounce of guilt about it, nor should you. We now have something that we enjoy using every day to go to the grocery store and it has served our entire family well. It can be done on a budget.