10 Best Toddler Car Seats Reviews
10 Best Toddler Car Seats Reviews
We all know how excited and wiggly toddlers can be. These little ones easily slip in and out of any spot they don’t like. That is why it’s really important to get a good toddler car seat. In fact, you need the best.
But who has time to sift through tons of reviews? Definitely not you. Since we are in the business of simplifying lives, we did all the work for you. In this review, we gathered the best toddler car seats, ready for your picking.
We specifically selected toddler car seats that have high NHTSA ease of use ratings and consumer reports. These car seats have garnered thousands of positive reviews, and with good cause.
These baby car seats all meet or exceed federal safety standards. Some of them are convertible while others are combination seats. The combination seats in this review are all forward-facing and come with a booster mode that allows you to use them for a long time.
On the other hand, the convertible car seats come with the extra advantage of allowing you to keep your child in rear-facing mode for a long time before converting to forward-facing mode. This is advantageous because it has been proven that the rear-facing mode is safer than the front-facing one. This is why convertible car seats are so popular.
No matter which type of toddler car seat you choose, one thing is certain; these are the best toddler car seats available. Their tons of positive toddler car seat reviews are a testament to this fact.
What To Look For In A Toddler Car Seat
We know that you are in a rush to get things done, what with having a child and all, but when it comes to the best toddler car seat for your child, it pays to go through the basics first. Let’s sift through some of the details you may want to factor in before making a choice.
Do you want a rear-facing toddler car seat or a convertible?
This is key as your choice is practically between mobility and economy. While both are pretty comfortable for your child, the convertible toddler car seat is something which cannot be taken in and out of the car to your fancy. If you don’t mind facing the wrath of a child woken up to be moved out of the car, you’d do well to save a few bucks on the convertible.
However, if you are the kind who savor those priceless moments of your child’s slumber, the rear-facing toddler car seat would serve you perfectly!
Care to try out a travel system?
Most of you would already be aware of the concept of a travel system but for those of you who aren’t, here it is! Talking about what a toddler car seat and a stroller are will be like preaching to the choir; well, a travel system fuses the best of both worlds. Simply put, a travel system is what you get when you buy a combination of a toddler car seat and a stroller at a discounted rate.
The pros for this are many, especially if you are the kind of parents who just can’t get by without your share of traveling. For the parent on the go, a travel system makes the most sense. It cuts down on the expense while nullifying any compatibility issues you may have faced between your toddler car seat and the stroller if you had bought them separately.
Features you should look for
Truth be told, it really doesn’t matter just how much your budget is, as you could find a brand which offers all the features you’d ever want at a reasonable price. A toddler car seat of such standards poses a problem in that you could end up with something which really isn’t durable.
So, while going for the economic option, it would be prudent to check for certain features; a 5-point harness for security, side-impact protection to keep your baby safe and compatibility with the LATCH system are the basics you need to cover.
However, if you are not exactly working off of a budget, then a fusillade of premium features come into the fore. An anti-rebound bar, a larger canopy and a much comfier fabric among many more.
Finally, but definitely not the least important, you’d do well to check if the straps are easily adjustable as this saves you a lot of time and money; as the baby grows, you could end just adjust the straps to make your little one fit in the toddler car seat.
Does it meet the regulations?
Although the market is pretty much safe when it comes to this as everything on there have been tested and approved, it doesn’t hurt to be extra sure now, does it?! Check for the JPMA stamp on the box; if you find it, you are good to go. If not, cry wolf. At once!
Also, never accept a hand-me-down as the technology just keeps getting better. So, there is always something better in the market and at reasonable prices too! When it comes to your baby, we know what matters most and that is – safety. So, our job is to ensure that whatever you end up choosing, you couldn’t go wrong with our list of toddler car seats!
Best Toddler Car Seats At A Glance
Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat
This toddler car seat comes with an adjustable harness system that employs the use of a one-hand, no-rethread 5-point harness. It offers both simplicity and safety. To farther ensure safety, this Graco toddler car seat has been crash-tested to ensure it meets or exceeds all US safety standards.
It also comes with an adjustable headrest, removable body supports and a removable cup holder that make traveling so much more comfortable for your child. This Graco toddler car seat is also known for its efficient LATCH system that makes it easy to install.
- Can be easily switched from rear-facing to front-facing
- Comes with a cup holder
- Has an adjustable harness
- Has high safety ratings
- Is machine washable
Unfortunately, several parents have complained that the straps of this toddler car seat are difficult to adjust.
- Comes with only 2 modes
- Its straps and buckles can be difficult to adjust
- It doesn’t recline
All things considered, the Graco Contender 65 is a worthy investment.
Evenflo Tribute Sport Convertible Car Seat
This toddler car seat is compact and lightweight, making it easy to move from one car to another. When it comes to safety, it also doesn’t disappoint. It has been extensively crash tested to ensure it meets all federal safety standards.
This baby car seat comfortably carries children of up to 40 pounds and comes with 4 harness positions and 2 buckle positions. These features keep your child comfortable, safe and secure as they grow.
This toddler car seat also comes with a LATCH system that simplifies installation.
- It’s compact
- It’s light
- Comes with an adjustable harness
- Has 2 buckle positions
- It’s FAA approved and can be used on an airplane
- Comes with side impact protection and EPS
The major complaint about the Evenflo Tribute Sport is the fact that it doesn’t come with a cup holder, a feature that is helpful when traveling with a toddler.
- Has a low weight limit
- Has no cup holder
- Can’t be used with a stroller
This Evenflo toddler car seat offers good value for money. It is definitely one of the best cheap baby car seat in this price range.
Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
The ClickTight installation system of this Britax toddler car seat lets you install it just by the push of a button. This greatly simplifies the installation process. Another outstanding feature of this baby car seat is its SafeCell impact protection which includes side impact protection, a steel frame, an impact-absorbing base, a deep protective shell and an energy-absorbing headrest.
This toddler car seat can comfortably carry children of 25 to 90 pounds in its harness front-facing mode. It also has a booster mode that can support kids of 40 to 120 pounds. For a comfortable, secure toddler fit, this car seat comes with a 9-position harness and a 2-position buckle. It also comes with removable harness padding.
- Comes with a 9-point adjustable harness
- Has a 2-position buckle
- Has a high weight and height limit
- Comes with SafeCell impact protection
- Is easy to install
- Comes with a 2-position recline while in harness mode
Tightening the straps of this car seat has proven to be difficult for many parents.
- Is heavy
- Quite expensive
- The harness can be difficult to adjust
Although this Britax toddler car seat is a bit on the expensive side, it’s worth every penny.
Graco ComfortSport Convertible Car Seat
If you have a little girl, this is the car seat for you. This Graco toddler car seat has a pattern of pink flowers that make it very appealing to little girls. Apart from its pleasing aesthetics, this toddler car seat offers you hassle-free installation by use of a latch system with level indicators.
When it comes to the safety of your kid, this Graco toddler car seat doesn’t disappoint. It comes with EPS energy-absorbing foam that absorbs any impact energy. It also comes with an adjustable 5-point harness that keeps your toddler safe and secure.
To ensure the continual comfort of your child, this toddler car seat comes with a removable head pillow and cup holder. Additionally, its seat cushion is machine-washable.
- Its seat cover, cup holder, and head pillow are removable
- Machine-washable seat cover
- Comes with EPS energy-absorbing foam
- It’s cute and adorable
- Its LATCH system makes installation easy
Several parents have had issues with installing this Graco toddler car seat. Also, there are complaints about its harness.
- Has low weight and height limits
- The harness is difficult to adjust
- It’s difficult to convert from rear-facing mode to front-facing mode
Ultimately, the Graco ComfortSport is a good toddler girl car seat that you won’t regret buying.
Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat
This toddler car seat comes with Combi Tru-Safe Side Impact Protection that provides deep side walls and energy-absorbing foam. These features make sure that your baby is always safe. The Combi Coccoro supports kids of up to 40 pounds and comes with easy latch installation.
Another redeeming quality of this toddler convertible car seat is its machine-washable cushions that make cleaning easy. It also comes with an adjustable harness that keeps your kid safe and secure.
- It’s small
- Comes with side-impact protection
- Comes with energy-absorbing foam
- Machine-washable cushions
- Adjustable harness
The biggest challenge facing this toddler car seat is that its rear-facing mode only supports up to 33 pounds. This weight limit is much lower than that of most convertible car seats. This prevents extended rear-facing. Also, this toddler car seat doesn’t have a cup holder.
- Low weight and height limits
- No cup holder
- It can be a pain to buckle
Although the Combi Coccoro doesn’t come with as many fancy features as its competitors, it’s a pretty reliable toddler car seat.
Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat
This toddler car seat comes with harness booster (22-65 lbs.), high back booster (30-100 lbs.) and backless booster (40-100 lbs.) modes. This ensures that you can use it beyond your child’s toddler years.
What we love the most about this Graco toddler car seat are its vast safety features. This includes EPS energy-absorbing foam and a steel reinforced frame. Safety aside, this toddler car seat also caters for your kid’s comfort by the use of a 3-position recline, an integrated cup holder, contoured armrests and a storage compartment.
It also helps that the Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 harness booster has machine-washable harness covers, buckle covers and seat pad.
- Has 3 modes
- High weight and height limits
- 3-position recline for comfort
- Comes with a storage compartment for hiding child’s treasures
- Steel reinforced frame for safety
- Contoured armrest and cup holder for convenience
There have been several complaints that the buckles, clips, and straps of this Graco toddler car seat are difficult to operate.
- Difficult-to-use buckles and clips
- It has short straps
- Doesn’t come with the rear-facing mode
The Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 harness booster car seat is definitely one of the top toddler seats available right now.
Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Convertible Car Seat
It offers rear-facing mode for babies of 14 to 22 pounds and front-facing mode for babies of 22 to 85 pounds.
This infant to toddler car seat comfortably supports children of up to 85 pounds meaning that you will be able to use for a very long time. It comes with superior side impact protection that ensures the safety of your child.
Its soft premium fabrics and padding are not only comfortable but also easy to clean. They are conveniently machine-washable. This toddler car seat is by far the easiest one to clean in this review.
- Has high weight and height limits
- Comfortable soft fabrics and paddings
- Side impact protection
- Machine-washable fabrics
- It’s FAA approved for use in an airplane
The major challenge facing the Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max is its bulkiness and wide nature. It’s not ideal for someone with a small car.
- It’s heavy and bulky
- It’s wide
- The rear-facing mode weight limit could be higher
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max is undoubtedly the most comfortable toddler car seat in the market right now.
Disney APT Convertible Car Seat, Mouseketeer Minnie
This toddler car seat allows you to carry your toddler in either rear-facing or front-facing mode. No matter which mode you choose, the maximum weight limit is 40 pounds. It is, however, important to remember that it’s safest to keep your child in rear-facing mode for as long as possible.
Speaking of safety, the Disney APT comes with safety features such as side impact protection. It’s also LATCH- equipped for easy installation. When it comes to your child’s comfort, this toddler girl car seat ensures this by use of its 5-point harness, 3 buckle locations and 2 cup holders.
This Disney car seat also comes with a Deluxe Disney soft goods package.
- Offers both rear-facing and front-facing modes
- Features side impact protection
- LATCH equipped for easy installation
- Comes with an adjustable 5-point harness
- Has 2 cup holders
- Provides 3 buckle locations
Some parents feel that this toddler car seat is too wide and bulky. You can’t fit three of them in the back seat of small cars. Also, it has a lower weight limit than some of its competitors.
- It’s too wide
- Low weight limit
- Doesn’t have a lot of padding
This toddler girl car seat manages to be very cute yet functional too. It also doesn’t break the bank. This is the best option for parents on a budget.
The Evenflo Tribute LX lets you keep your child in either rear-facing or front-facing mode until they are 40 pounds.
If you have a small car, rejoice. This toddler car seat’s lightweight and slim design make it perfect for you. You will also be happy to know that the Evenflo Tribute LX meets or exceeds all federal safety standards.
Another reason you should buy it is its removable seat pads and cup holder that make cleaning a whole lot easier. Its adjustable harness and head pillow farther add to the comfort offered by this toddler car seat.
It’s also worth mentioning that it comes with a LATCH system that makes installation considerably easy.
- It’s cheap
- It’s slim
- It’s light
- Has high safety ratings
- Has adjustable harness
- Has removable seat pads
- Comes with a cup holder
Unfortunately, the edges of the plastic seat are sharp and can cause cuts. It’s also a shame that it doesn’t have harness pads.
- Sharp, hazardous edges of plastic seat
- Low weight and height limits
- It doesn’t come with harness pads
Ultimately, the Evenflo Tribute LX works swimmingly despite its low price tag.
Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat
In the front-facing mode, it supports 22 to 40 pounds while its booster mode supports 40 to 100 pounds.
This toddler car seat makes sure your child is safe and secure by the use of a Quick fit harness system. This includes an adjustable 5-point harness. To make your kid more comfortable, this toddler car seat comes with soft cushioning and a cup holder.
As its name suggests, this toddler car seat is big on safety. It comes with side impact protection and meets or exceeds federal safety standards. Another advantage is the presence of a LATCH installation system.
- Comes with soft cushioning
- Has a cup holder
- Adjustable 5-point harness
- Offers side-impact protection
- Equipped with LATCH system
This toddler car seat comes with several limitations. First of all, despite its LATCH system, it’s still difficult to install. Also, it doesn’t provide a good lap belt fit.
- It’s big and heavy
- Lacks proper lap belt fit
- Difficult to install
As much as this Safety 1st toddler car seat isn’t as fancy as some of its competitors, it’s a reliable choice.
The Bottom Line
This thought-out review has a suitable toddler car seat for everyone. Whether you are working on a budget, have a small car or are simply looking for a long lasting car seat, you won’t be disappointed.
These toddler car seats come with a bunch of safety and convenience features that you just can’t ignore. They have proven to be reliable, durable and comfortable. You just have to choose the one that best suits your needs.