Oh the 3 in 1 Car Seat – pure temptation. This is the newest entry to the car seat market. Most major companies have put out an all in one solution that takes you from infant to school-age child, all in one box. But beware; some “all in ones” do not have a rear-facing option and are not appropriate for infants.
In terms of affordability, this type of car seat typically edges out all of the others. For as little as $100, you potentially can grab an infant, convertible, and booster seat all in one. The problem is that while this type of seat can often handle children of all ages, it’s generally not the safest way to handle the children of any age. Other car seats are specialized. This seat tries to be everything to everyone, and while that’s affordable and convenient, it’s not always the safest.
That said, these are very popular seats among secondary caregivers. While Mom and Dad might want specialized car seats because they do 95% of the driving, an all in one can make sense for Grandparents. They may have multiple children and multiple grandchildren, and a universal solution for handling them can be easier than ensuring they carry Graco, Britax, and Chico seat bases around depending on which family is visiting.