Will I save money by buying an all-in-one car seat?

Will I save money by buying an all-in-one car seat?

Blame the Graco 4Ever: though all-in-one car seats have been on the market for years, the 4Ever was the all-in-one breakthrough. It won 2018’s Best Convertible Car Seat award in the 2018 Mom’s Picks, and it’s one of the most popular car seats out there.

Parents love the idea of buying one seat that takes their child safely from infancy through the booster seat years. But they also tend to think that buying just one seat will save money too. And that’s not necessarily true.

Graco 4Ever, $299.99
Graco Size4Me 65, $122.09
Graco Highback TurboBooster, $59.66

So you see that you actually pay more than $100 more for the 4Ever. It may be worth it to you — and the 4Ever is sometimes available on sale for as little as $220 — but know that you’re not automatically saving money by buying one seat.

The same is true of some other all-in-one seats — but not all.

The Evenflo SafeMax Platinum All-in-One pictured above goes for $279.99 (though it can frequently be found on sale for less). But if you wanted to go the non all-in-one route, the Evenflo SureRide DLX is a bargain fave for $89.99, and the Evenflo Amp is a popular highbacked booster for $32.99.

The total? $122.98, or $157.01 less than the SafeMax alone.

The Evenflo Amp
However, all-in-one seats aren’t always more expensive than buying a convertible and then a booster seat. Safety 1st’s Grow and Go is a well-reviewed bargain all-in-one seat that retails for $199, though we found it for $189.99, and it can be had for as little as $129 or even less on sale (here it is for $127.99, for instance.)

Safety 1st Grow-and-Go
Meanwhile, Safety 1st’s popular bargain seat the Guide 65 goes for $80.84, while the brand’s most popular booster, the Safety 1st Store ‘n Go is $58.06. The grand total? $138.90, or a little more than $10 more than the on-sale Grow and Go.

Comparison shopping is such a drag. But so is wasting money. Careful shoppers: good luck out there.

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