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Best Portbable Car Seats for 1-Year-Olds: Combi Coccoro

If you are in a hurry, Combi Coccoro is the best portable car seat you can get for your 1-year-old in 2020. This convertible car seat is 50% lighter than most brands making it perfect for traveling. We have reviewed it below.

Most one-year-olds are on the verge of transitioning from infant car seats to convertible seats. On this list, we have reviewed the best convertible car seats which we find easy to move around with based on their weight and ease of folding. We also chose convertible seats because they have a higher weight capacity, allowing toddlers to ride longer in the rear-facing mode for safety, as recommended by the NHTSA for children below three years.

How We Ranked Portable Car Seats for 1-year-olds in Our List

Below are the factors we considered to come up with the best portable car seat.

Weight of the seat: if you will always be on the move with your toddler, you want a seat that will not weigh you down as you take it from car to car and through airports. A lightweight car seat under 10 pounds is ideal.

Ease of use: traveling is hectic and stressful enough, you are better off with a seat which you can install and adjust easily. We prioritized seats that do not take long to set up, and especially those that come with user-friendly installation features that ensure correct installation. We also considered the fact that an improperly installed car seat is not safe.

Size of the seat: We prioritized car seats with a small width. This is an important consideration especially if you will be flying because even if a seat is approved for air travel does not mean it will fit in the airplane seat. Airplane seats vary between 16 to 22 inches in width. Consider a car seat with a narrow width below 17 inches for air travel. Also, a smaller seat will fit better even in small cars and you can fit more seats if need be.

Usability: A one-year-old has probably just months to transition out of an infant car seat; we preferred convertible seats which your toddler can use for several years.

Comfort: if you plan to take on long journeys you can look for comfort features like plush padding, and cup holders to keep snacks and drinks within reach.

FAA approval: if you will be flying, you must have a seat with FAA approval. You can check for a sticker on the side of the car seat which reads, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

8 Best Portable Car Seats for 1-Year-Olds:

Reviews of Portable Car Seats for 1-year-olds 

#1. Combi Coccoro

Combi Coccoro is our first go-to choice of a portable car seat for a one-year-old child. The seat is a convertible with a width of only 15.5 inches so it will easily fit in tighter spaces and smaller cars. It is aircraft certified and luckily it is also lightweight and has a compact design; qualities that really help when toting it around airports.

The convertible seat is made of premium quality materials and several reclining angles making it one of the most comfortable seats. The buckle color indicator helps to ensure the harness is securely buckled. Concerning safety, Combi Coccoro features what they call Tru-Safe Side Impact protection which is a layer of energy-absorbing foam that protects the child’s neck, head, and spine.

The seat is designed for kids up to 33 pounds on the rear-facing mode and between 20 to 40 pounds or 40 inches, forward-facing. On average toddlers get to 33 pounds when they are between 2.5 to 3 years and 40 pounds at between 3.5to 4.5 years. Understandably, this is one of the downsides of Combi Coccoro since your child will have just a few years of use before outgrowing it if you are buying at one year. 

Its price range is around $230 to $300, which is expensive.

Features 

  • Rear-facing weight capacity: 3 to 33 pounds, or up to 36 inches tall babies Forward-facing weight capacity: 20 to 40 pounds, 40 inches tall
  • 5 point harness
  • Tru-safe side impact protection
  • Buckle color indicator
  • Machine washable
  • FAA certified

Pros

  • High-quality materials
  • Nice looking
  • A narrow and compact design
  • Plush and comfortable
  • Approved for air travel
  • Easy to clean material

Cons 

  • It is expensive
  • Your child will outgrow it after a few years
  • Customers report it is difficult to install using a seat belt

#2. Cosco Scenera

Cosco Scenera is another great traveling car seat if you are looking for the lightest seat to lug around because it weighs just 7 pounds! Just like Coccoro, Scenera also has a slim design so; if you have a growing family you can easily fit three of these seats in the back seat of your car. Better still, Scenera allows you to have your kid in the rear-facing mode much longer until they are 40 pounds. The forward-facing weight capacity is the same as Coccoro; 22 to 40 pounds. Scenera is FAA certified for use on an airplane as well and comes at a fraction(less than$60) of the Coccoro seat.

For your child’s safety, it has side impact protection and a five-point harness which is can easily be adjusted from the front seat. With five harness heights and three buckle locations, it gives a comfortable fit for your growing child.

One thing we must share is that the top harness slot is just 13.5 inches high so taller kids (above 32 inches) tend to outgrow this seat fast in the forward-facing configuration (the straps should come from above their shoulders) although they still have more years to use in the rear-facing mode.

Features 

  • Rear-facing weight limits: 5 to 40 pounds and height up to 40 inches
  • Forward-facing: 22 to 40 pounds and height up 43 inches
  • 5 harness heights and 3 buckle locations
  • Machine washable and dryer safe

Pros

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean material

Cons

  • It has a flimsy padding
  • Customers report the straps are a bit hard to tighten

#3. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Our next recommendation is the Chicco KeyFit 30; the number one rated infant car seat in America. It is the seat to get if safety, comfort, and ease of use are the qualities you are focused on for your travel car seat of choice. Being an infant car seat, it can only be used in the rear-facing configuration with kids up to 30 pounds or height of up to 30 inches.

The car seat has the best user-friendly features which we like for a busy traveling family. It has a ReclineSure leveling foot and two RideRight bubble level-indicators to help ensure the correct installation angle every time. Also, it features a no-rethread harness system, where you easily adjust the five-point harness automatically with one-pull. For safety, the Chicco KeyFit has a carrier shell lined with EPS energy-absorbing foam.

Chicco might not serve your toddler for long but it offers the comfort, support, and safety that is necessary for every ride both in the car or airplane. It is also not heavy at 9 pounds and the pricing ($200 range) gives you great value especially if you plan on handing it down to a younger sibling.

Features

  • Rear-facing weight limit: 4 to 30 pounds and up 30 inches
  • SuperCinch Latch tightener
  • RideRight bubble level indicators
  • 5 point harness with one-pull tightener
  • EPS energy-absorbing foam
  • Machine washable

Pros

  • High safety ratings
  • Easy to install and adjust
  • Wide range of designs to choose from
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Your one year old will only use it for a limited time

#4. Uppababy 2017/2018 Mesa Infant Car Seat

If you are into a premium quality car seat, we recommend you to try the Uppababy Mesa 2017/2018 version. It is made from moisture-wicking woven wool, has great cushioning and great safety features. You can use it for babies and toddlers weighing from 4 to 35 pounds. However, as you can tell from the weight limit, your one-year-old toddler can only use the seat for a short time.

The Uppababy Mesa seat allows fast and accurate installation with tightness indicators and self-retracting latch connectors. It also has an excellent safety design to protect your child’s head and EPP foam for side impact protection. When it comes to adjusting the harness, you do not need to stress because it’s a no-rethread system involving just one press of a button.

The other thing we love is that the Uppababy Mesa is approved for air travel but it is a bit heavy at 9 pounds but luckily it connects effortlessly with Vista and Cruz strollers (without adapters) so either way, considering its user-friendly features, it will make traveling much easier with a one-year-old.

Features

  • Rear-facing size capacity: 4 to 35 pounds, and up to 32 inches
  • No-rethread harness
  • Tightness indicator and self-retracting Latch connectors
  • EPP foam side impact protection
  • Machine washable

Pros

  • High-quality construction
  • Great safety features
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to clean
  • Approved for air travel

Cons

  • It is expensive ($300 range)
  • The woolen material can cause overheating
  • The size capacity is limiting
  • Might not fit easily in small cars
  • It is a bit heavy

#5. Cosco Apt 50

If you are looking for a functional budget option like the Cosco Scenera we saw earlier, Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car seat is a perfect alternative. Cosco Apt 50 is lightweight at just 8 pounds (just one pound heavier than Scenera), making it one of the most suitable options to carry between cars and airports.

Although the models have similar looks, Apt 50 is wider on top by several inches than Scenera so it might not fit three across if you have a small car. But it has six harness heights which allow toddlers to ride in the rear-facing configuration comfortably and longer up to 40 pounds. 

The Apt 50 has side impact protection, cup holders, and is easy to clean. Generally speaking, you get all you need for journeys at very affordable pricing.

Features 

  • Rear-facing size capacity: 5 to 40 pounds,
  • Forward-facing size capacity: 22 to 50 pounds, 43 inches
  • Five-point harness adjustable from the front
  • Six harness height
  • Aircraft certified
  • Machine washable and dryer safe

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive
  • Higher size capacity in comparison

Cons

  • It keeps shifting during car rides
  • The padding is thin
  • It might not fit in some cars
  • Some parents complain that the belts are short
  • It is difficult to tighten

#6. Cosco Mighty Fit 65

This next seat is yet another one from the Cosco brand. The Cosco Mighty Fit 65 is a great travel car seat option for your one-year-old due to several reasons. First, the seat is designed with longevity in mind with a weight limit of 65 pounds (the highest so far). It is also just a little heavier than the other Cosco brands at 11 pounds. And you can fit three across the back of your car, not to mention it is certified for use in an airplane.

While the previous Cosco brands had a common complaint from customers of being bony, the Mighty Fit 65 is plush padded and comfortable for the long rides and flights. It will also keep your kid safe with side impact protection.

But the one issue we do not like about this seat is that on the rear-facing mode, it sits at an awkward angle making it unstable and uncomfortable. The company advises in the manual that you can use some pool noodle towel rolls under the front seat to sort this. While it might help a bit, many parents still feel the seat is unsafe.

Features

  • Rear size capacity: 5 to 40 pounds
  • Forward size capacity: 22 to 65 pounds
  • 5-point harness
  • Machine washable and dryer safe
  • Air travel certified

Pros

  • Great pricing
  • Comfortable with sufficient padding
  • Easy to install
  • Does not take much space
  • Generous weight limit
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Tricky to install in the rear-facing mode
  • Hard to tighten the latch straps

#7. Evenflo Sonus 65

Evenflo Sonus 65 is a beautiful seat that comes in a wide range of colorful designs and with qualities that surpass many on this list. It has a narrower bottom and wider headrest design. This compact design allows you to fit three seats across a medium-sized car. It also has a taller headrest and wide seat base to accommodate kids up to 65 pounds/50 inches. That means if you buy for your one-year-old they can use it for many years to come. The convertible seat is also light enough to carry around and you can use it on an airplane too.

We also find the Evenflo Sonus easier to install than the Cosco Mighty above in both front and rear configuration, thanks to the two-position recline wedge which helps to ensure correct installation every time. For a price below $100 and such great features, Evenflo Sonus will give you great value for your money.

Features

  • Rear-facing size capacity: 5 to 40 pounds, 19 to 40 inches
  • Front-facing size capacity: 22 to 65 pounds, 28-50 inches
  • 5 point harness
  • Machine washable

Pros

  • Affordably priced
  • Well-padded and comfortable
  • Narrow design
  • Highest weight limit

Cons

  • It is hard to tighten the latch straps
  • Might not fit in some cars

#8. Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller

Lastly on our list is the high-end Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller. This is the car seat to get if you want a convenient ready-to-go car seat. You can take Doona down the stairs, to the bus, train, streets airports-name it, without ever waking your napping child because you never have to take apart the car seat from the stroller. You simply convert the travel system from car seat to stroller and vice versa in seconds by a push of a button.

Doona seat is the heaviest on this list at 16.5 pounds, but we can easily look the other way considering that it rolls like a breeze. Also because it has a compact design, plush premium padding, and is airplane certified. And unmatched safety features with a handlebar that serves as an anti-rebound bar and three layers of side impact protection.

The only downside with Doona is that you can only use it in the rear-facing mode until your toddler hits 35 pounds or 32 inches. So your one year old will only enjoy the comfort for just a limited time.

Features:

  • Rear-facing size capacity: 4 to 35 pounds, up to 32 inches tall
  • Consists of an infant car seat integrated with a stroller
  • 5 point harness
  • FAA and TUV aircraft approved
  • Anti-rebound bar
  • Three-layer side impact protection

Pros

  • Sleek and stylish
  • Fully integrated travel system for convenience
  • Easy to push around and maneuver

Cons

  • It is pricey
  • It is heavy
  • Low size limit
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