Driving around the city with a child on board is a whole other level of anxiety. For one thing, you never know when a disaster can strike. So, the question arises, what about the security and safety of a young child…!!!
As an adult, the regular seat belt cannot fit a small child.
And this is the reason, car seats for children came into place. These seats are designed just like a regular car seat. They resist impact, prevent sudden jolts and lashes, and keep your children safe.
But you wouldn’t want to trust just any product with your child’s safety. We’ve prepared this guide and review of the best car seat for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 year old to make your life easier.
Take a look at our product reviews, and don’t forget to check out the buying guide and our final verdict.
Best Overall: Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Seat
The Graco SlimFit resists intense clashes and collisions, with convertible seats. This is the best choice for young toddlers. It’s a 3-in-1 car seat that meets federal child-safety requirements. And the best part is; these seats are extremely heat resistant.
Its small and compact size makes it stand out among all others. It is specifically designed for toddlers, you can expect it to save a lot of space in the back seat. It also comes with two cup holders for easy access to water, milk, or juices.
Runner-up: Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat
The second great car seat for toddlers and infants is the Evenflo Tribute convertible seat. This is by far one of the most secure car seats for these little kids. It resists the fierce impact that’s as per the standard federal requirement. So you know your child is safe in most circumstances.
Another important feature is that it uses a polyester seat cover. Polyester is a great material that’s both soft and durable. It resists splashes of water and can be cleaned without putting in much effort. The only downside here is, the seat is not heat resistant because polyester gets very hot in extreme weather conditions.
Who Should Get This?
So you know which car seats are the best for toddlers. But why do you need a car seat in the first place? Is it a requirement? Or is it optional?
While yes, security is never a waste of money, some people need a car seat more than others. Here are the cases where you need a car seat for toddlers:
Frequently Traveling With Children – Toddlers need to stay secure inside the car as well. If you’re driving alone with a child, it is very difficult to focus, both on child and driving. Which is why you should get a car seat. These keep your children secure and prevent injuries in the case of an accident.
When You Have Growing Children – Children and toddlers grow at a faster rate than adults. So your seat should be able to adjust to their varying height and weight. A lot of seats come with adjustable straps and swappable seat positions.
When Traffic In Your Area Is High – Chances of a collision are lesser when traffic is low. If your locality is a bit stuffy (and a lot of reported accidents), it’s best to buy a car seat for your toddler.
Long Road Trips and Drives – When traveling on the highway, security is of utmost importance. All the major accidents take place on high-speed roads. So be sure about the safety and security of your children.
How We Picked The Best Car Seat For 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Year Old?
And now you’re aware of why you should buy a car seat. But you still probably don’t know what to look for in a typical car seat for kids. There are several key features to look out for. When we compiled this car seat review, this is the criteria we assessed:
Safety is the first thing you should evaluate. Now, this isn’t something you have adequate experience to comment on. But at the very least, you can look for certain certifications and requirements. Each seat will follow different standards. Some will be restricted to just your state or county, while others will follow federal-level requirements.
The manufacturers will most likely mention which standard the seat has been tailored to. You can try looking into the crash test results yourself. But generally, a certification is more than enough.
Weight and Height of the Child:
The next thing you should consider is the weight and height of your child. Each car seat will specify what heights and weights it can accommodate. This is important as you want your child to fit snugly in the seat.
The weight is important as the front harness pushes back certain body weight. There is some leniency to this, but don’t try to go beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation.
So be cautious about the height and weight of your child before you pick it.
After that, you’ll want to consider the comfort of your child. This includes the stiffness of the foam and the shape of the seat. You want a backrest that is shaped to contour the back. An upright backrest will create back and neck pain. The headrest promotes good posture with a great cushion.
As for the foam and cover, it shouldn’t be too hard, but it should be tough enough to resist impact. Many seats use a softer foam padding over the harder one. So the seat will retain its accident-resistance while providing max comfort.
Some seats tend to overheat. This will leave your child sweating, and might even be detrimental to a toddler’s health. Get car seats that have either a special cooling gel or use a more breathable fabric.
Cleanup and Maintenance:
Children make a lot of mess. And a messy car seat is neither comfortable nor good for the child’s health. Many car seats come with machine-washable covers and pads that you can clean without any hassle.
Sometimes you can clean the metal and plastic parts with a mild detergent that is also compatible with car seat cleaning solutions.
Material and Build:
Lastly, take a look at the materials used for the car seat. Usually, you can put your trust in the manufacturer to use the best material possible. But you can deduce a lot from the materials yourself too.
For instance, polyester is a great choice for water and stain-resistance, but it gets extremely hot. Cotton is exactly opposite to that. Nylon lies somewhat in the middle but it has lesser waterproofing than polyester and doesn’t fare well against the sun.
As for the foam, high-density EPS foam is the norm. This type of foam is well-known for its impact resistance and shock-absorbing properties.
Best Car Seat for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Year Old: Our Picks In 2020
Graco 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat – Best Car Seat for 1 Year Old
If you’re looking for a highly secure seat for a toddler, then try the Graco SlimFit Car Seat. This 3-in-1 seat has gone through many tests against intense crashes. It meets US Standard FMVSS 213 and is high impact resistant. The advanced 5-point harnessing system has already integrated high impact resistance into the seat.
What’s more…!! This chair can be reclined to up to 4 levels, maximizing the comfort for your child. Speaking of comfort, this seat is made up of EPS foam, which is extremely firm and durable. The sides feature plush supports that cushion your child’s body from all angles.
The Graco SlimFit has been proven to survive all types of crashes, even rollovers. Additionally, it’s engineered to withstand extreme vehicle temperatures. There is also a special latch system that makes getting into and out of the seat quick and simple.
- Plush supports at the sides.
- 4-level recline in both directions.
- Meets US Standard FMVSS 213.
- Tested for extreme temperatures.
- Easy to get in and out.
- Too heavy and not all that slim.
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat – Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old
For all-round crash protection, consider the Evenflo Tribute Convertible Car Seat. This seat snugly envelops your child in a plush embrace made of 100% polyester. The polyester construction makes for a durable seat cover that protects the product.
And what about your child? Well, the Evenflo has survived crashes that are twice the Federal Crash Test Standard and ensures the utmost safety of your child. Moreover, the headrest has been designed to sit an inch below the top of the seat.
The positioning of the harness and the degree of tightness makes it optimum for a 2-years old. However, your child may feel hot in the seat, as polyester isn’t hot weather friendly.
- Resistant to water and dust damage.
- Withstand twice the required impact force.
- Prevents sudden head jolts.
- Keeps the child comfortable and content.
- Best for children of 2 years of age.
- Children may feel hot at times.
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat– Best Car Seat for 3 Year Old
For the utmost versatility, try the Graco 4Ever DLX Car Seat which is a 4-in-1 convertible seat. You can transform it from a rear-facing seat to a front-facing seat. Along with that, you get two additional positions, namely a backless belt and a high-back belt. Both these ensure maximum security for your child.
This seat can be reclined in 6 different ways and features Graco’s signature In-Right Latch. So securing and opening the seat is as easy as ever. This seat has been tested to survive both front-back and side crashes. It’s been rigorously tested to exceed child safety requirements set by federal law.
If your child has a habit of soiling themselves, the seat comes with a machine-washable cover. You can remove the cover as well. And even the plastic and metal parts are easy to clean with a mild detergent.
- 4 different positions.
- Quick and simple latching.
- 6-level front and back recline.
- Removable seat covers
- Easy to maintain.
- Too upright. Promotes bad posture.
Evenflo Harness Booster Car Seat – Best Car Seat for 4 Year Old
The Evenflo Maestro is a 2-in-1 forward and rear-facing harness car seat that is best suitable for children as young as 4 years. This is a highly secure child-safety unit that harnesses your child in place. It features a central harness with front access, making adjustments quick and simple.
To make drinks and snacks readily accessible to the child, it has two cup holders on either side of the seat. So now you just have to focus on the road and not on the child to cater to his needs. There is also a guide that helps you fasten the belt in the correct position.
The Evenflo Maestro comes with a belt-positioning booster that is the immense fit for older children of school-age. You can remove and wash the seat covers separately in the washing machine.
- Helps to position the shoulder belt.
- Easy access front harness.
- Two cup holders for snacks and drinks.
- Transforms into a booster for older children.
- Easy to clean and wipe.
- The durability of the fabric is questionable.
KidsEmbrace Harness Booster Car Seat – Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old
If your child has a knack for the superhero universe, the KidsEmbrace car seat will be their all-time love. This is a 2-in-1 booster seat that uses 5 harness points and 3 harness positions. It’s designed to look like your child’s favorite superhero which makes the seat unique yet fascinating.
You can seamlessly transform the seat into a front-facing harness seat for younger children. Those children who weigh between 30 and 100 pounds, use the second set to convert it into a booster. The headrest has 3 adjustable heights. Two cup holders for holding snacks and drinks are additional features.
The KidsEmbrace exceeds the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. It resists impact from all directions. And it makes use of ESP foam, which is best known for its shock-absorbent properties. There’s even a buckle between the legs to keep your child from slipping.
- Highly secure for 5-year-olds.
- Includes two cup holders.
- Meets federal safety standards.
- Uses shock-absorbent foam.
- Prevents the child from slipping out.
- The design may cause discomfort.
Britax Convertible Car Seat – Best Car Seat for 6 Year Old
For 6 years old, the Britax Allegiance is the best car seat choice. It’s plush, comfy, and has been finished to be safe from accidents. The Britax uses specialized technology and harness positions to keep your child in place even during a heavy impact.
This is a 2-in-1 car seat. It can transform from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing one. The forward-facing seat is best for heavier kids that weigh as much as 65 pounds. The harness has 10 adjustable positions along with an adjustable headrest.
The front features two long straps in a V shape that prevent forward movement during a collision. The foam padding is designed to be collision-resistant. And the seat uses a steel frame, so it won’t collapse in case of an accident.
Adding to that, the Britax Allegiance also features a machine washable cover that can be easily removed and cleaned. So clumsy children dropping drinks on the seat won’t ever be a concern.
- 10 harness positions.
- Adjustable headrest.
- Impact reinstate bottom padding.
- The steel frame does not collapse.
- Keeps the child from falling forward.
- No cup holders.
- The seat isn’t tight enough for taller children.
The Conclusion for You – Best Car Seat for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Year Old
If you’re looking for the most suited and desirable car seat for your toddler, the Graco SlimFit is no doubt an ultimate choice. The 2-in-1 convertible car seat can be transformed from a front-facing seat to a back-facing one.
It’s the smallest and most compact seat on our list. Since it follows federal-level standards, you can be sure that your child is as secure as possible. You can adjust 5 harnessing points to ensure you get a snugger fit for your toddler.
For older children, the Evenflo Tribute is a close competitor. It features a high level of security which has been over-engineered twice secure as required. So you don’t compromise on anything when using it, but it may overheat from time to time.
So that’s it for the best car seat for kids review! Did you like our suggestions? Which car seat worked the best for you? Let us know all about it in the comments below!