If you are on the lookout for the best car seat for a 2-year-old, you have come to the right place. Car seats are essential to keep your child safe while on the go. Hence parents must pay importance to its features before buying one. A good car seat should have all the materials and features required to secure your child tightly. Check out our list below to find the ideal car seat for your child.
7 Best Car Seats For A 2-Year-Old
The Graco 4Ever DLX four-in-one car seatcan transition into four styles as your child grows. It can be converted from a rear-facing harness car seat to a forward-facing one. It can also change into a high-back belt-positioning booster and a backless belt-positioning booster to suit your child’s needs. This safety-tested car seat offers a six-position recline and a ten-position height adjustment for optimal comfort. It includes an integrated belt lock-off mechanism for convenient vehicle seat belt installation and is Graco ProtectPlus engineered for crash protection. Click here to check out a detailed review of this child-safe product.
- Load capacity of up to 120lb
- Features a fuss-free harness storage system
- Quick-release buckle
- Includes a rapid-remove cover
- Seat is machine-washable
- Strap may fray over time
- May not be easy to clean
"The option to use it in both forward and rear-facing modes has kept it in use for years. Its sturdy build and audible latch closure also keep me worry-free, even when my child is being fussy. It does tend to attract pet hair, but that's a minor trade-off for the kind of safety it brings to my child."
Cosco’s forward-facing seatcan transform into a belt-positioning booster to protect your child as they grow. Suitable for most cars, the seat is convenient, and the seat cover is easy to clean and machine-washable. Its cupholder is detachable and dishwasher-friendly. Here’s a review video to help you get a better understanding of the product.
- Lightweight and easy to move
- Suitable for four-to-eight-year-olds
- Load capacity of up to 100lb
- Includes reversible cup holders
- Exceeds Federal Safety Standards
- Padding may not be soft enough
- Straps may be shorter than expected
The forward-facing car seat transforms into a belt-positioning booster as your child grows older. With a five-point harness system and three harness positions, the mom-approved car seat gives your child optimal protection and comfort. Its three-position headrest with energy-absorbing EPS foam allows you to adjust the height to match your child’s needs. This safety-tested seat is certified by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS 213) and rated “Best Bet” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, making it one of the most reliable and safest car seats for 2-year-olds. Need more information? Watch this review video to make an informed decision about the product.
- Load capacity of up to 100lb
- Cup holder for storing snacks and toys
- Energy absorbing EPS foam
- Easy to install
- Adjustable headrest
- Available in different themes
- May not be easy to tighten the harness
- May have a peculiar smell
|Graco 4Ever DLX Four-In-One Car Seat
|Cosco Finale DX Two-In-One Booster Car Seat
|KidsEmbrace Two-In-One Harness Booster Car Seat
|Yes; Remove the cover in 60 sec without uninstalling the seat
|Forward-Facing Weight Range
|Belt-positioning weight range
|21 x 27 x 28in
|18.25 x 19 x 29.75in
|19.5 x 19 x 29.5in
Diono’s Radian 3R car seat for toddlers ages two can transform from a rear-facing car seat to a high-back booster, thus effectively growing with your child. This baby-friendly seathas a reinforced steel core and is made of automotive-grade high-density plastic and steel and is mechanically engineered to provide optimal protection to your child. Its aluminum-strengthened sidewalls and thick energy-absorption foam helps distribute crash forces to provide complete protection during a side collision.
- Features expandable side wings
- Offers five harness positions
- Can hold a maximum weight of 120lb
- Comes with machine-washable covers
- FAA-approved safety features
- May not suit rear-facing seats
- Some may find the seat to be heavy
As your child grows, Chicco’s car seat for toddlers age 2 transforms from a five-point harness seatto a belt-positioning booster. Featuring a steel-reinforced frame, the car seat is sturdy and long-lasting, qualifying all safety tests, and can protect your child from side impact, making it a trusted choice for parents. The deep ergo-boost padding and EPS energy-absorbing foam make the seat comfortable and reliable. The added latch connectors and the LockSure belt-tightening system ensure ease of installation and maneuverability. The cupholders are dishwasher-friendly and have a push-button removal feature.
- Four-position recline and nine-position headrest
- Two layers of protection with rigid shell
- Machine-washable fabrics
- 3D mesh for smooth airflow and good ventilation
- Comes with user-friendly touch points
- May not be easy to secure tightly
- Cup holders may not be highly durable
"I found this model pretty comfortable and sturdy. It fits well in my car, and keeps my child comfortable, smoothly reclining for naps. The installation process is easy, and I appreciate its 5-point harness and easily adjustable straps. It's been quite functional so far."
Cybex’s unique 360-degree rotating car seatenables a quick and easy transition from rear-facing to forward-facing positions with 12 different headrest settings. Its linear side-impact protection (LSP) system absorbs up to 25% more force in a collision, while the anti-rebound design decreases car seat rebound movement, making it an effective and safe car seat. The dual-level indicators ensure that your car seat is at the proper recline angle, while the load leg can minimize rotation by up to 30% in some accidents. Its sensor-safe technology comes with an app to indicate if the buckle comes undone, a temperature change occurs, or your child has been left behind.
- Can rotate 360 degrees
- Easy to switch positions
- Easylock bar for proper installation
- Compatible with SensorSafe app
- Available in four colors
- May be slightly wobbly
- Clips may not be highly effective
"The rotating feature of this car seat makes it easy for my little one to get in and out of it. Even though installation seems challenging, once set up, it stays secure. All in all, its safety and comfort factors have made it my favorite."
The infant car seatwith ClickTight technology can transform from a forward-facing harness to a booster seat efficiently. With three-layer side impact protection, the car seat for toddlers age 2 provides an optimal crash shield. According to reviewers’ experiences, its four-way stretch athleisure fabric provides a clean and modern look and is easy to clean. A trusted choice of many parents, the back panel features a high-strength steel frame for sturdy support, and the car seat has a five-point harness and two adjustable recline positions.
- Cover is machine-washable and flame-retardant
- Steel tensioner automatically tightens seat
- Unique V-shaped tether
- Soft and comfortable pads
- Instruction manual may not be easy to follow
- May not be easy to tighten the straps
"The seat’s unique shape was the first thing that appealed to me. It's also proven durable and features like the integrated cup holders keep my car from getting dirty. It is also simple to install, but cleanup can be labor-intensive. Despite this issue, I give it a thumbs-up for overall functionality."
How To Choose The Right Car Seats For A 2-Year-Old?
Consider the following factors to choose the right car seat for a two-year-old.
- Age, weight, and height: Consider your child’s age, weight, and height when choosing a suitable seat for them. While newborns and small children are better suited for rear-facing car seats, older and bigger children can comfortably use high-back or backless booster seats.
- Convenience: Choose a car seat with an easily retractable, machine-washable cover and dishwasher-friendly cup holders for easy cleaning and maintenance. In addition, opt for a car seat that offers ease of installation and fits securely in your vehicle.
- Safety feature: The safest car seat for 2-year-olds have five-point harness seat belts and a reinforced metal body for maximum protection from impact. Choose those with such features and keep your child safe.
- Durability: Ensure the car seat is made of durable materials like aluminum for long-lasting performance. It should be convertible, offering various seat positions to grow with your child.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of car seat should a two-year-old be in?
A toddler should ride in the rear-facing seat until they outgrow the height and weight of the car seat as per manufacturer instructions (1). However, if they outgrow the car seat earlier than predicted, they can switch to a convertible seat for rear-facing use only.
2. Should a two-year-old be in a car or booster seat?
A two-year-old should be in a car seat only. Booster seats are specially designed for children who have outgrown forward-facing seats and are older than eight years (1).
3. Can a two-year-old be forward-facing?
Yes, a two-year-old can ride forward-facing only if they outgrow the rear-facing seat. However, they should ride forward-facing with a harness (2).
4. How long does the two-hour car seat rule apply?
The rule says that infants or toddlers should not continuously sit for more than two hours in an infant seat in a span of 24 hours. Prolonged sitting may harm the baby’s sitting position and spine. Sometimes your little one may not get the desired amount of air to the lungs.
5. Can a two-year-old little one use a regular seatbelt?
No, a two-year-old should only use a car seat and harness. Your child should be eight years or older to use a regular seatbelt (3).
6. Does a car seat go behind the driver or passenger?
It is recommended to position the car seat on the rear seats where the car has a lap and shoulder belt. The seat behind the passengers is ideal as it is easier to access the child from the pavement side. However, you can install the car seat behind the driver on the rear seat, but you will have to access the child from the roadside (4).
7. How do I travel with a toddler in a car?
Always position the toddler’s travel car seat in the rear seat of the vehicle. Never position them in the front seat with an airbag. Try to install a removable sunshade to protect their skin and eyes.
Car seats ensure the safety of your child when you are busy driving. However, with a wide range of options available in the market, choosing the best car seat for 2-year-olds can be a challenging task. So, consider your child’s age, weight, and height before buying a car seat. For maximum safety, you can pick a car seat that offers all-over protection, such as the Graco 4Ever DLX Four-In-One Car Seat, or one with a five-point harness like the KidsEmbrace Two-In-One Harness Booster Car Seat. However, ensure the car seat is durable and sturdy enough to support your child.
Infographic: A Quick Buying Guide For Car Seats
Keeping your child safe while riding a car would be challenging, as a child may not sit in a place quietly. A car seat would help parents keep their children positioned in a car while protecting them from impacts. Check out the below infographics to learn more about the things to consider before buying a car seat.
- Car Seats: Information for Families
- Car Seat Recommendations for Children
- When Can a Child Switch to a Regular Seatbelt?
- Positioning Child Car Seats in Cars
- Car Seat Recommendations for Children
Why Trust MomJunction?
Our experienced baby product reviewer, Vibha Navarathna, has compiled this list of the best car seats for 2-year-olds to ensure they have a safe ride. These infant car seats have high-end safety features and are comfortable, easy to install, and portable. Vibha has handpicked each product after analyzing several user reviews and product listings. In addition, she has described each product in detail and added a how-to-choose section to help you make the right choice.