Best Toddler Car Seats: Comfortably and Safely Transport Your Kids
Keep your youngster comfortable and safe with one of these top car seats
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON November 21, 2019
All small children are required by law to use a car seat. These seats come with a variety of features, but all of them have the same objective: keeping your precious little ones safe on the road. This buyer’s guide looks at some of the best toddler car seats currently available.
- Best OverallChicco MyFit Harness and Booster Car SeatSummarySummaryThis seat can last for many years because it’s adjustable. It can work in harness mode for smaller kids and booster mode for older kids.ProsProsThis car seat has a four-position recline setting and nine-position headrest to ensure a snug fit. It also has dual cup holders.ConsConsThis car seat can be difficult to install. There are also concerns about its long-term durability.
- Best ValueGraco Slimfit 3 in 1 Car SeatSummarySummaryThis all-in-one car seat has a five-point harness system for extra safety and is subjected to rigorous crash tests to ensure optimal safety.ProsProsIt comes at a budget-friendly price. Most of the parts are easy to clean with mild soap, water, and a damp cloth. It also has lots of cushioning for extra comfort.ConsConsThis seat isn’t as slim as the name would have you believe. There have also been complaints that the seat is difficult to install and that it only works well when forward-facing.
- Honorable MentionBritax Grow with You Car SeatSummarySummaryThis two-in-one car seat will save you money in the long run because it can be adjusted as the child grows bigger. It has lots of cushioning and is very comfortable.ProsProsIt has comfort pads to prevent the child's skin from rubbing against the harness. It also has a steel frame and two layers of side-impact protection.ConsConsThis seat is very pricey. It is also large and heavy, it’s not ideal for those who often move seats between cars.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
- New cars have LATCH anchors for toddler car seats, making them very easy to install and remove. Installing certain toddler car seats on cars without these anchors can be complicated.
- Regardless of the type of seat you choose, it should always be a snug fit for optimum safety. Everything, including the straps and boosters, should be tightly secured at all times.
- It is safer for kids to sit in a car seat when traveling by plane, and this practice is recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration. Forward-facing seats are better for planes because they are lighter.
Q: What types of toddler car seats are available?
A: You can choose between convertible seats and forward-facing seats. Convertible seats normally face to the rear and have an infant insert, which is then removed when the child gets older. The seat can then be turned around to face forward and be used by a toddler. Forward-facing seats only face forward and are only suitable for children over age two.
Q: When should I make the transition from a rear-facing seat to a toddler seat?
A: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping your baby in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. Seat manufacturers normally rate their products to weight limits instead of age, with some going up to 55 pounds.
Q: Which is better: a convertible or forward-facing seat?
A: Convertible seats are generally heavier, but you can save money in the long run because the same seat can be used as the child grows. Front-facing seats can only be used for older children, but they are lighter and easier to install.
Our pick for the best car seats for toddlers goes to the Chicco MyFit Harness and Booster Car Seat. It is one of the most comfortable options and can also last for many years because it’s adjustable and durable.
For a more budget-friendly option, take a look at the Graco Slimfit 3 in 1 Car Seat.