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I have a 6 month old and we're using his newborn carseat which is a Graco SnugRide 30. We're looking at upgrading to a convertible carseat very soon. I'm concerned about the safety as well as the size. We have a 4 door sedan (Mazda3) and a 2 door Explorer Sport.
This is our first child--and I'm not very versed in the ins-and-outs of all the seats available. I figured I'd start here to see if anyone has similar sized vehicles and go from there.
Head to your local Babies R Us and play with the seats they have available. They'll let you take a seat out to your vehicle to do a test install. Seeing the seats in the store will give you a chance to play around with them and see what features you like or dislike. You can pull them down off of the shelf and put your child in them as well.
If you check out our stickied threads, there will be a list of suggested convertible car seats. I think it is in the "All you need to know" thread, and then click on rear facing. It isn't a complete list, but it is a good place to start.
How about the Evenflo Triumph Advance? It costs a lot less than similar Britax models, and it's said to be easy to install and adjust. And of course it's convertible, like you're looking for. We use a Britax, and love it, so if you want to spend a bit more, I'd recommend looking into their convertible car seat options too.