Best Car Seat Buyer’s Guide: Best Car Seats for Toddlers

toddler safety car backseat - best car seats for toddlers

The day came way too fast; your little baby is now a toddler. Although the first car seat seemed so big when you first put your little one into it, your child has suddenly outgrown the infant car seat and will need a larger one to accommodate a growing body.

This guide will list the best car seats for toddlers so that you can choose the absolute best for your child.

How We Determined Our Ratings

We researched all the best car seats for toddlers, on this guide and rated them based on their safety, durability, convenience, design, comfort, versatility, and price.

Although we provided the average customer rating for each product, we also list a rating of our own based on how these products measure up to our rating system.

Best Car Seats for Toddlers: Overall Price Range

Car Seats range from about $80 to $700. On average, you can expect to pay $150 to $200 for a decent car seat. Most of the car seats on this guide fall within this range, but there are a few car seats we reviewed that are close to $400.

Top 10 Best Car Seats for Toddlers

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat, Matrix
  • Recline Sure 9-position leveling system provides the most recline options of any convertible seat for an accurate fit in...
  • Two Ride Right bubble levels indicate correct seat angle in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes
  • Exclusive Super Cinch LATCH Tightener uses force-multiplying technology to help achieve a tight and secure fit with a...

This Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat, one of the Best Car Seats for Toddlers, is made to grow with children until they are big enough to transition to a booster. The headrest and harness adjust at the same time, and there are nine recline positions.

The SuperCinch Latch Tightener makes it easy to secure the car seat, and there are two bubble levels to help you set the car seat at the right angle in both rear-facing and front-facing positions. Most of these features are labeled on the car seat for your convenience.

Pros

  • Very easy to adjust the harness and recline
  • Visual indicators to help you secure the car seat

Cons

  • You will need to buy a booster when your child is too big for this car seat
  • Expensive two-stage car seat

Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Sale
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Studio
  • 4-in-1 Graco car seat gives you 10 years of use from four to 120 pounds
  • Rear-facing baby car seat from 4 to 40 pounds
  • Forward-facing toddler car seat from 22 to 65 pounds

This Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, one of the best car seats for toddlers, will grow with toddlers all the way until they are old enough to sit in the back seat of a car without a booster.

There are four positions to this car seat: rear-facing, front-facing, supported booster, and backless booster.

This car seat can fit children up to 120 pounds and can adjust to best fit your toddler. There is an adjustable headrest and harness system that can adjust to 10 different heights and a six-position recline.

Pros

  • Four different car seat positions
  • Can fit children up to 120 pounds
  • Easy to adjust

Cons

  • This car seat uses the LATCH system which isn’t as safe for larger toddlers

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

Sale
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat, Circa
  • Easy installation: Patented ClickTight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: Quick-adjust 14-position harness with Click & Safe Snug Indicator gives a click sound when the...
  • Adjust accurately: Harness indicator gives an audible click when you've pulled to the proper tightness

The main benefits of this two-in-one car seat are that it is super convenient to adjust and extremely safe. The harness on this car seat has 14 different positions. The Click & Safe Snug Indicator clicks to let you know when the harness is tight enough.

This Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat also has two layers of side impact protection, a steel frame, and an impact absorbing base to ensure your little one stays safe no matter what happens.

Pros

  • Uses the safe, patented ClickSafe installation process
  • Makes an audible click when the harness is tight enough
  • Very safe, comfortable car seat
  • Easy to adjust the harness to your toddler’s needs

Cons

  • Expensive option
  • Does not transition into a booster

Evenflo Symphony DLX All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

Sale
Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat, 5-Point...
  • THE ULTIMATE ALL-IN-ONE CAR SEAT: The Evenflo Symphony Elite All-in-One Convertible Car Seat is a robust all-in-one car...
  • REAR - FORWARD - BOOSTER SEATING: In rear-facing mode, it can protect infants from 5 to 40 pounds, in forward-facing...
  • EXCLUSIVE LATCH TECHNOLOGY: The Evenflo Symphony Elite All-in-One Convertible Car Seat features an innovative SureLatch...

This car seat can fit rear-facing toddlers up to 40 pounds and front-facing toddlers up to 60 pounds.

You can adjust the harness to your child’s height by simply sliding it to where it needs to be, and it is so simple to adjust the recline positions that you can do it while your baby is sleeping.

You can feel certain your toddler will be safe since Evenflo is the industry leader in safety and Rollover Standards.

Pros

  • Affordable option for all-in-one
  • Easy to adjust the recline and harness positions
  • Very safe, comfortable car seat
  • Easy to adjust the harness to your toddler’s needs

Cons

  • Uses LATCH system

Nuna RAVA Convertible Car Seat

Image via nunababy.com

  • Advanced safety technology makes installation swift, secure and straightforward
  • Bubble-free | recline angle guides clearly confirm the perfect riding angle
  • Muscle-free | True tension™ doors ensure an ultra-secure fit without the struggle
  • The Nuna RAVA, one of the best car seats for toddlers, is a much more expensive option for a toddler car seat, but it is made to look and feel luxurious. Nuna adds a belt tensioning plate so that it is convenient for you to use its car seat belt installation technology.

    This car seat allows for extended rear-facing seating since it can fit children up to 50 pounds. It even offers extended leg room to help taller, older toddlers who are still in the rear-facing position feel comfortable.

    Pros

    • Installation system uses car’s seat belt
    • Offers a lot of leg room
    • Very comfortable, stylish car seat

    Cons

    • Extremely expensive option

    Diono Radian RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    Sale
    Diono Radian RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, For Children from...
    • SAFETY THAT FITS 3-ACROSS: The Diono Radian RXT packs our innovative safety features into a sleek design that allows you...
    • STYLISH AND SNUG FOR YOUR LITTLE ONE'S COMFORT: The Radian RXT features a 12-position adjustable headrest, infant body...
    • EXTENDED REAR-FACING CAPACITY FOR THE SAFEST RIDE: The Radian RXT offers an extended rear-facing capacity of 5-45 lbs,...

    Although toddlers will be taking up more space than they did when they were babies, this car seat continues to take up as little room as possible. You can even put three of these car seats side-by-side in larger cars.

    This Diono Radian RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat, one of the best car seats for toddlers, is designed to allow toddlers to remain rear-facing until they weigh 45 pounds. There are 12 headrest positions, so it is easy to adjust the car seat to your toddler’s height.

    The EPS foam and aluminum reinforced head support help protect your child in an accident.

    Pros

    • Very narrow car seat
    • Easy to adjust
    • Very safe design
    • Great for tall toddlers

    Cons

    • Very heavy car seat

    Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat

    Sale
    Clek Fllo Convertible Baby and Toddler Car Seat Rear and Forward...
    • MORE ROOM TO FIT 3 ACROSS: The Clek Fllo convertible car seat's compact design provides space that makes 3-across...
    • REAR AND FORWARD FACING FOR LONGER: The Fllo convertible car seat is designed to international best practices for...
    • HASSLE FREE GREEN AND CLEAN CAR SEAT: The Clek Fllo convertible car seat is tailored in GREENGUARD Select Certified...

    This Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat, one of the best car seats for toddlers, has a sleek appearance and is very thin so it works well in compact cars. Just like the Diono, you could potentially fit three of these car seats side-by-side.

    This car seat is not made with brominated or chlorinated flame retardants that are harsh on the environment and potentially irritable to your child’s skin. The seat comes with a rebound bar that keeps your child safe and creates more leg room.

    This car seat allows for an extended rear-facing position for children up to 50 pounds

    Pros

    • Eco-friendly option that is safe for your children
    • Easy to adjust
    • Rebound bar adds extra safety
    • Comfortable, safe car seat

    Cons

    • Very heavy car seat

    Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat

    Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Charcoal Sky
    • VERSATILE: The Sonus Convertible Car Seat helps protect rear facing infants from 5-40 pounds, and forward facing...
    • TESTED & TRUSTED: In addition to meeting or exceeding all applicable federal safety standards, this car seat also passes...
    • ALL-SEASON COMFORT: The Sonus features a revolutionary air flow ventilation system that provides a...

    If you want to buy a car seat for your toddler that is under $100, the Evenflo Sonus is a great choice for you at only $$. Toddlers can remain rear-facing until they reach 40 pounds. 

    Your child can only use this car seat for up to 50 pounds in the front-facing position. There are five different slots for adjusting the shoulder straps. However, you will have to rethread the straps.

    Pros

    • Very affordable option
    • Exceeds safety tests

    Cons

    • Very heavy car seat
    • Low weight limits

    Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat

    Sale
    Maxi,Cosi Maxi,Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat, Night Black,...
    • Extended weight range keeps children safely harnessed longer: 5-40 pounds rear facing and 22-85 pounds forward-facing
    • The only harnessed convertible car seat rated to 85 pounds (as of November 2016)
    • ClipQuik auto-magnetic chest clip gets you on your way quickly

    If you want to buy the best car seats for toddlers that is under $100, the Evenflo Sonus is a great choice for you at only $$. Toddlers can remain rear-facing until they reach 40 pounds. 

    Your child can only use this car seat for up to 50 pounds in the front-facing position. There are five different slots for adjusting the shoulder straps. However, you will have to rethread the straps.

    Pros

    • Very comfortable
    • Air Protect cushioning system adds extra protection
    • Adjustable leg room

    Cons

    • Expensive option
    • Cannot transition into a booster seat

    Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

    Sale
    Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat, Binx
    • Designed to help protect your rear-facing infant from 4-50 lb and your forward facing toddler from 22-65 lb
    • 4-position extension panel adjusts to provide 5" additional leg room allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing...
    • Up to 50 lb rear-facing allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer

    If your goal is to keep your toddler rear-facing for as long as possible, this Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is great.

    Although most convertible car seats have a maximum weight capacity of 40 pounds for the rear-facing position, this car seat can hold toddlers up to 50 pounds.

    There is also an extension panel with four different positions that provide up to five inches of additional legroom for rear-facing toddlers.

    Pros

    • Adjustable leg room
    • Affordable option
    • Adjustable leg room

    Cons

    • Uses LATCH system
    • Does not transition into a booster

    Comparison Table

    Model

    Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    20.5 x 19 x 26 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    25.1 pounds

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 65 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Weight

    22.75 pounds

    Positions

    Front-facing, rear-facing, booster, backless booster

    Weight Limit

    4 to 120 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    29.4 pounds

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 65 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Evenflo Symphony DLX All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Number of seat stages:

    2

    Price: 

    $350

    Car Seat Dimensions

    27 x 21 x 19.8 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    21 pounds

    Positions

    Front-facing, rear-facing, booster

    Weight Limit

    5 to 110 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Nuna RAVA Convertible Car Sear

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    25 x 19 x 16 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    27.2 pounds

    Price: 

     $300

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 65 pounds

    Purchase

    Nuna.eu

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Diono Radian RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    16 x 17 x 28.5 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    27.58 pounds

    Positions

    Front-facing, rear-facing, booster

    Weight Limit

    5 to 120 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Dimensions:

    Our Rating

    28 pounds

    Model

    Clek Fllo Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    22 x 16.9 x 26 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    25 pounds

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 65 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$

    Car Seat Weight:

    13 pounds

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 50 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model

    Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    18.5 x 20.75 x 29.63 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    23.75 pounds

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 85 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Model​

    Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

    Price

    $$$

    Car Seat Dimensions

    22.1 x 19.2 x 25.2 inches

    Car Seat Weight

    23.2 pounds

    Positions

    Front and rear-facing

    Weight Limit

    5 to 65 pounds

    Purchase

    Amazon.com

    Customer Rating

    Our Rating

    Best Car Seats for Toddlers: Product FAQs

    Why Should You Buy a Car Seat for Your Toddler?

    Just because your toddler has grown so much since being just a baby doesn’t mean your little one is ready to ride in a car without a car seat. Toddlers still have many years to go before they will be able to ditch the car seat for good.

    A car seat is essential for helping absorb the shock your children experience while you drive and to save their lives if they are in an accident.

    How Do You Choose a Car Seat for a Toddler?

    When choosing a car seat for your toddler, you will want a car seat that can at least be used in both front-facing and rear-facing positions.

    If you don’t want to have to buy a separate booster when your child outgrows the car seat, you should consider buying an all-in-one car seat.

    Where Can You Buy a Car Seat?

    You can buy a car seat from online vendors such as Amazon or most major retailers such as Walmart or Target.

    Best Car Seats for Toddlers: The Final Verdict

    Our recommendation for the best car seat for toddlers is the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. 

    This car seat comes at a good price and will grow with your children until they are old and big enough to move on from car seats or boosters completely.

    Featured Image via freepik.com

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