Once your infant outgrows his first car seat, it’s time to look for the best toddler car seat 2018.
If you are transitioning from a rear-facing infant car seat, you can consider looking into best convertible car seats, combination car seats, or an all-in-one car seat. We have compiled a list of the best toddler car seat.
Best Toddler Car Seat
The Graco 4ever 4-in-1 convertible car seat is one of the best all in one car seat, which means that it can be converted into several forms, such as rear-facing infant seat, forward-facing seat, and as a booster car seat.
It fits babies from 4 pounds all the way until 120 pounds, giving your child about 10 years of use! It can be installed rear-facing to fit babies from 4 to 40 pounds, forward-facing from 20 to 65 pounds, booster seats in high back belt-positioning from 30 to 100 pounds and backless belt-positioning mode from 40 to 120 pounds.
This Graco all-in-1 car seat features a steel frame, energy absorbing padding, and a great harness system. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System also adjusts the height of the harness and headrest in one motion. The 10-position headrest ensures that your child is comfortable and properly secured.
It has a premium LATCH system for an easy, 1-second LATCH attachment. The booster provides padding that your child needs as well as giving him/her the necessary height.
It includes plush inserts for newborns and has two cup holders, one on each side, which is convenient if you want to put a drink or snack nearby. Everything is machine washable.
This Graco convertible car seat meets all applicable US safety standards and has been side impact tested.
The Chicco NextFit is one of the top convertible car seats. This seat can be used rear-facing for children 5-40 lbs and forward-facing from 22-65 lbs. It can easily adjust to fit your child as he grows from infant to toddler.
Chicco NextFit features Super Cinch LATCH Tightener, which uses force-multiplying technology for a tight and secure fit with little effort. There are built in lock-offs for vehicle belt installation.
Its Recline Sure 9-position leveling system provides one of the most recline options a convertible seat can have. There are also height positions, so that your child can sit comfortably. When you adjust the headrest to a new height position, the 5-point harness automatically adjusts to accommodate your child’s shoulders.
The car seat has Two Ride Right bubble levels that show correct seat angle in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions.
This Chicco convertible car is one of the easiest convertible car seats to install correctly and safely in a wide range of cars. It comes with a removable infant insert, which has extra padding and gives newborns added support in rear-facing mode, starting from 5 lbs.
The Diono Radian RXT all-in-one car seat is one of the best narrow booster seats on the market. It fits your infants in extended rear-facing position from 5-45 lbs, forward-facing from 20-65 lbs in a 5-point harness, and booster up to 120 lbs.
What’s great about this car seat is that it is amongst the few that allows your child to sit rear-facing until 45 lbs. Every pound is precious and the longer you let your child sit rear-facing, the safer your child is. For more information, you can read more about child car seat safety. The Diono Rainier, a similar convertible car seat, allows your child to sit in the rear-facing position up to 50 lbs!
This Diono convertible car seat has a steel alloy frame and aluminum reinforced sides, making them one of the safest convertible car seat on the market. It features energy absorbing EPS foam, Safe Stop energy absorbing harness system, and adjustable reinforced head support. The adjustable head support has 12 height settings to ensure a right fit as your child grows.The car seat comes with infant support cushions for additional safety and comfort.
This all-in-one convertible car seat folds flat, making it one of the best car seats for travel. Its folding design makes storing and traveling with the seat easy. You just need to purchase the carry straps separately if you want to carry it on your back.
Its narrow car seat design makes it one of the best toddler car seat for small cars.
The Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat is a great, cheap toddler car seat. It fits rear-facing infants from 5-30 lbs and up to 37 inches tall. It fits forward-facing toddlers from 22-40 lbs and 28-40 inches tall.
Designed, engineered, tested, and assembled in the United States, the Evenflo Tribute LX is a lightweight and compact car seat. Its small size makes it perfect for transferring between multiple cars, or just carrying around during travel. In fact, it is one of the best toddler car seat for traveling.
The car seat is easy to install with its LATCH system. There are 4 shoulder strap positions on this car seat to accommodate growing children longer. There is also an easy to access upfront harness adjustment and buckle release, making it convenient for you to make simple harness adjustments. This also helps to get your child in and out faster. The car seat pad can be easily removed and is machine washable.
It is side impact tested and uses energy levels almost 2 times the Federal Crash Test Standard for multiple-shoulder harness positions. Energy absorbing foam liner is used to provide safety and comfort.
The Britax Clicktight booster car seat is a 2-in-1 booster seat and is one of the best toddler booster car seat. It fits children in the harnessed forward-facing position from 25-90 pounds and in the belt-positioning booster position from 40-120 pounds.
Made in the USA with global components, the Frontier is a top-selling booster seat with ClickTight Installation System for easy and safe installation every time. You just need to open the front of the car seat, buckle the seat belt across and click the seat shut. The seat won’t budget and that’s all you need to do for installation!
It features SafeCell Impact Protection, which is an integrated system of safety components available only with Britax car seats. These components include a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, and impact-absorbing tether with staged-release stitches that reduce forward movement in the event of a collision.
Its deep energy-absorbing shell and foam-lined headrest that keeps your child’s neck and head secure are 2 layers of protection to shield your child from side impacts.
As one of the safest car seats, the Britax Frontier car seat is perfect for growing toddlers. The harness adjusts to 9 different positions for a more customized fit.
The Clek Foonf is a luxury car seat, as indicated by its expensive price, and is one of the best convertible car seats for toddlers. This gorgeous seat fits children in the rear-facing position from 14-50 pounds and in the forward-facing position from 20 to 65 pounds.
The Foonf car seat features a steel anti-rebound and advanced side impact protection, making this one of the safest toddler seats you can buy. Its aluminum honeycomb technology absorbs the energy during a crash, reducing forces transmitted to the child. Its REACT (Rigid-LATCH Energy Absorbing Crumple Technology) safety system also provides the same rear-facing safety in a forward-facing seat.
The Clek Foonf has an adjustable headrest with deep side wings and dual layers of energy absorbing foam. Its premium GREENGUARD Select Certified Crypton Super Fabrics provide protection against stains, moisture and bacteria. If you are using this car seat for a newborn, you add the infant-thingy accessory.
This car seat measures about 17 inches wide and is one of the best narrow convertible car seats, so you can fit 3 across in many vehicles.
There is a newer car seat model called the Clek Fllo, which has the same weight and height limits as the Foonf, but it is more than 10 pounds lighter. The Fllo also comes with an anti-rebound bar and is 17 inches wide, making it one of the best car seats for small cars.
This Maxi-Cosi Convertible Car Seat is one of the top 10 toddler car seats. It fits children in the rear-facing position from 9-40 pounds and forward-facing from 22-70 pounds.
This 2-in-1 convertible car seat features three different recline positions for a more customized fit to your car and is easy to install with its LATCH connectors. This Maxi-Cosi car seat is known for its advanced safety with FlexTech and Air Protect Superior Side Impact Protection, which provides extra safety around your baby’s head.
It features premium self-wicking fabrics that deodorizes and keeps liquids away from the skin to keep your baby dry. The seat pad and harness covers are removable and machine washable. You do not have to rethread the harness when taking off the pad.
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 convertible car seat fits children in the rear-facing position from 5-40 pounds, forward-facing from 22-65 pounds, and belt-positioning booster from 40-100 pounds.
This convertible safety seat is narrow so it takes up less room in its rear-facing position, giving up to 7 inches more leg room for parents in the front seat. Not only is this seat comfortable for babies, but for parents as well.
This 3-in-1 car seat has a 3-position recline and features Quick Fit Harness, which lets you adjust the height of both the harness and headrest in one easy step.
In both rear-facing and forward-facing positions, there are harness holders that keep the harness in an open position so you can easily get your baby in and out of the seat.
This Safety 1st convertible car seat comes with 2 comfortable and removable pillows. It is one of the best toddler car seat for sleeping.
The Cosco Finale booster car seat is one of the best toddler car seat booster. It fits children from 30-65 pounds in the 5-point harnessed forward-facing position and from 40-100 pounds in the belt-positioning booster position.
The Finale DX booster car seat is a slim booster seat and it is one of the best booster for 3 across. This booster seat is also lightweight, which makes it easy for you to move it between cars.
The car seat pad is removable and is easy-to-clean. It is machine washable and dryer safe. There is a cup holder that detaches for use on either side of seat.
It is very affordable and is one of the best toddler car seats under $100.
This Combi convertible car seat fits children in the rear-facing position from 3-33 pounds and forward-facing from 20-40 pounds. There is a tether connector strap that allows for rear-face tethering. It is one of the best slim car seat that allows you to fit 3 seats across the rear seat of most vehicles.
The Combi Coccoro car seat features a 5-point harness with a color indicator to ensure the harness is buckled securely, 4 harness heights, front harness adjuster, built-in lock offs and premium push-button LATCH connectors.
The Combi Tru-Safe Side Impact Protection features deep side walls and a layer of energy absorbing foam to distribute energy away from your child in the event of a collision.
You can easily remove the car seat cover and harness pads to wash. It comes with a removable infant insert, perfect for newborns and smaller children.
It is also one of the best convertible car seats for taxis. You can easily install it with your child in the seat and it fits onto strollers, such as the Baby Trend Snap N Go EX carrier. It is one of the only convertible car seats that fit onto a stroller. This is a big advantage when you are traveling, because after a taxi ride, you would probably want to put your car seat on a stroller rather than walking around carrying it.
Convertible Car Seats
Some parents actually purchase a convertible car seat from the start and just use an infant insert. One of the best reasons to use this type of car seat is that it allows your baby to remain in the rear-facing position for longer. The American Academy recommends to leave babies under the age of two in the rear-facing position if permitted by the car seat’s height and weight limit.
Once your baby reaches the rear-facing height and weight limits, it is time to sit in a forward-facing position. Convertible car seats can be switched from the rear-facing position to forward-facing.