My baby is in the 90th percentile for height. What convertible car seat will best fit my tall child?
Proper fitment is the most important part of selecting and using a car seat. All seats are rated with a maximum height limit. There is a very wide range among the seats on the market today – from 40 to 57 inches. If you have a tall baby, the seat you choose will make a big difference in how soon your child will outgrow it.
There are a couple features which determine the maximum height. First is the shell of the seat. The shell must fully protect the back of your child’s head, and so it must extend higher than the top of their head. Next, the shoulder straps must be able to adjust high enough that they can be made snug without pulling down on the top of the shoulders.
You’ll want to consider seats with a maximum height of no less than 50”, and ideally higher. There is one brand of convertible car seats which stands out above the rest for offering support for tall kids – Diono. Their Radian models have a maximum height of 57”, which is 3” higher than any other brand offers.
For tall but average weight children, the Diono Radian R100 is an affordable choice. It has a 57” maximum height, and supports up to 40 pounds rear facing and 65 pounds front facing.
For children whose height and weight are both in higher percentiles, I recommend the Diono Radian RXT. It also has a maximum 57” of height, but goes up to 45 pounds rear facing and 80 pounds front facing. These are the highest weight limits available on the market in 2013.
An alternative choice if you’re on a tight budget (around $100) is the Evenflo SureRide 65 DLX. It has a max height of 54” and supports 40 pounds rear facing, 65 pounds front facing. The quality of materials doesn’t quite match the Diono seats, and it’s a pretty wide seat, but the SureRide 65 will fit taller-than-average children.