Congratulations! Your baby is turning two soon, which means a little angel is legally allowed to ride in the forward-facing position. Therefore, it is time to find the best car seats for 2-year-old among all convertible and all-in-one seats on the market.
You should consider car seats for 2-year-olds and up to make sure you are covered for several years. Additionally, choosing the car seat for toddlers can be demanding, because every kid has unique needs. For example, you might have a tall baby or a compact car, so you need to consider these factors.
Our favorite seat is Britax One4Life ClickTight All-In-One Seat. Keep reading to learn more about a car seat for two-year-old, but first, here’s a roundup of our top picks:
- Best overall – Britax One4Life ClickTight All-In-One Seat
- Best affordable – Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat
- Best for small cars – Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX
- Best for tall children – Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
- Best all-in-one – Diono Radian 3QXT 4-in-1 Car Seat
Best Car Seat for 2 Year old Overview
American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents should stick to car seats with rear orientation as long as the baby meets seat height and weight standards. But most toddlers overgrow the weight limits of infant car seats at two and must proceed to other seats.
Convertible car seats are practical because they have a wider weight range and enable riding in both positions – rear and forward for longer.
Once the baby overgrows the rear-facing standard of its convertible seat, the parents should use the seat in the forward-facing position.
The alternative is so-called all in one seat. These seats are safe for 2-year-old children because they have an extended weight limit, which covers the convertible seat range.
Commonly, these seats are suitable for children from 5 pounds to up to 100 or 120 pounds. When the child is ready for a booster seat, you can remove the 5-point harness and secure the child via a seat-belt. Before that, you use and install an all-in-one seat the same as a convertible.
Parents shouldn’t use a booster seat for 2-year-old kids. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, toddlers should ride in a five-point harness system until they overgrow the forward-facing limits. Most children reach it at the age of four or five, and they’re ready to switch to the belt-positioning car seat.
A booster seat is suitable for school-age kids. Always check the height and weight of car seat manufacturer recommendations and stick to them.
Using an inappropriate car seat is a high safety risk.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a baby car seat for 2 years old. Hopefully, the list of recommended features, buying tips, and reviews will help you pick wisely!
- Car seat type
All-in-one car seats and convertible car seats are two types of proper car seats for 2-year-old children. All-in-one car seats can be used rear or forward-facing and high-back booster seats. Therefore, they accommodate children in different growth stages and can be used for longer than convertible seats.
These seats are often called 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 seats. A 4-in-1 seat can be used as both backless booster and high back booster, in addition to the rear and forward-facing orientation. A 3-in-one seat cannot be used backless.
A convertible car seat works as a rear-facing seat and can be switched to a forward-facing position when the time comes. Therefore, you can pick both types for your 2-year-old car seat.
- Car size
If you own a small car, check the car seat size to see if it fits on your backseat. Some seats are narrower and thus, better two-year-old car seats for small cars.
- Height & Weight Limits
Most convertible car seats are suitable for children weighing over four or five pounds in a rear-facing position. The maximum weight limit is usually 65 pounds, but some seats have an extended weight limit.
When comparing two seats, see for how long the baby can ride in the rear-facing position. For example, some manufacturers state you switch to a forward-facing position when the baby weighs over 22 pounds. But some seats allow you to use it in the rear-facing position until the baby is over 40 pounds.
- Car seat weight
Car seats for 2-year-old toddlers are significantly heavier than infant seats. If you plan to move it from one car to the other or use it for trips, make sure that the seat is light, so you can handle it easier.
- Installation type
If you installed an infant car seat before, you know how to install a car seat for toddlers. Most of the seats support the LATCH method and seat belt installation method.
Most experts recommend using a LATCH method for rear-facing installment, and it is helpful if the seat has angle indicators for simpler installment. If you opt for the seat belt method, find the seat with belt locks to secure the seat sooner.
All good car seats for 2-year-old have basic safety features such as a reinforced shell frame, a 5-point harness that stays in the position, and a tight LATCH system. However, some seats have additional safety precautions, such as load legs and naturally inflammable materials.
Check the padding system and the fabric. The fabric needs to be breathable to prevent the baby from becoming hot and uncomfortable during rides. The padding should be soft, but supportive.
- Ease of Cleaning
Lastly, because you will use the seat for several years, simple maintenance is an important feature. Make sure that the cover is removable and machine-washing safe to simplify the cleaning routine.
After my research on car seat models for kids aged two, let’s analyze the top 10 car seats for toddlers and determine which one is for you. From comfort, safety features through size and maintenance – my reviews include all aspects of car seats.
#1 Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat
This Graco seat is quite easy to install and has an angle-level indicator to guide you through the process. The Graco Admiral 65 Convertible car seat can be used in rear-facing orientation until the baby has 40 pounds.
The maximum weight limit for forward-facing use is 65 pounds. Overall, the seat is easy to use, lightweight with only 16 pounds of weight, and a convenient no-rethread system. Despite lacking some plush padding, the seat is one of the best affordable seats for toddlers.
- 5-point harness system
- Easy to install
- You can adjust the headrest and harness simultaneously with one hand
- 8-headrest positions
- Padding is thin
- The seat doesn’t have shoulder pads
- Designed to help protect your rear facing child from 5 40 pounds and your forward facing child from 22 65 pounds
- Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the harness and headrest height together with one easy motion no re threading required
- Graco ProtectPlus Engineered: a combination of the most rigorous crash tests that helps to protect your child in frontal, side, rear & rollover crashes; additional testing based on the New Car Assessment Program and for extreme car interior temperatures
The Clek seat is pricier, but it has some features that justify the price. The Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat can be used in the rear-facing position for children up to 50 pounds. The seat features a sturdy shell reinforced with metal and multiple shock-absorbing foam layers.
The installation is quick and easy in both orientations. However, what I really like about this seat, apart from sturdy construction, is the fabric.
It is soft to touch and doesn’t have chemical added flame retardants. Moreover, as a busy parent, you will appreciate the stain-resistant properties of the fabric. The seat is good for nine years from the manufacturing date. However, if you are looking for a lightweight seat, you might want to keep looking.
- Breathable fabric easy to clean
- Strong construction
- FAA certified for use on aircrafts
- Anti-rebound bar
- Extended rear-facing use
- Heavy – 36 pounds
- High price tag
- Built Like a Tank: Each seat is built on a solid metal substructure with inner and outer energy-absorbing foam layers and an adjustable headrest for maximum side impact protection.
- Revolutionary Forward-Facing Safety: Inspired by automotive technology, Foonf incorporates aluminum honeycomb crumple technology to absorb energy in a collision and reduce forces on the child.
- Effortless Forward-Facing Installation: The Rigid-LATCH system makes proper forward-facing installation effortless, allowing you to remove and install your seat in seconds and with peace of mind.
The Tribute 5 model by Evenflo doesn’t offer fancy features, but it is a reliable car seat that has passed rigorous federal safety standards. It is inexpensive, and it holds up well for children of different sizes.
It comes with a convenient head pillow to make the baby more comfortable in the seat. Installing the Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat is simple, but adjusting the harness position might be time-consuming.
The seat has a total weight range of five to 40 pounds, which limits its use. However, the seat weighs less than ten pounds and is easy to use on trips.
- Machine-washable seat pad
- Adjustable head support
- Limited weight range
- Polyester fabric isn’t very breathable
- Side Impact Tested, Meets or Exceeds All Applicable Federal Safety Standards and Evenflo's Side Impact Test Standard
- Designed and Tested for Structural Integrity at Energy Levels Approximately 2x the Federal Crash Test Standard. Rear Facing Fit Tip is Top of Child Head is at Least 1 Inch Below the Top of the Child Restraint Seat Back
- Multiple Shoulder Harness Positions for Better Fit and Longer Use. Age at Least Two Years of Age
The Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat shines with its simple 5-point harness system and three buckles. You can buckle the baby in just several seconds. However, the seat is sized oddly, with its narrow base and tall shell. Therefore, it can fit in the backseat with other car seats, but only in larger cars. The seat is comfortable and accommodates babies from four to 65 pounds.
I also like the additional safety feature, which is rare in the seats of its price tag. The Guide 65 features an anti-rebound bolster for better protection during the crash.
Cleaning is a bit challenging because the seat is only safe for handwashing. Overall, your kid will probably like it because it is comfortable and customizable. For more Safety 1st convertible seats, you can also check our review on the Safety 1st Grow and Go.
- Removable cup holder
- Adjustable headrest
- Easy to buckle the baby
- The lumbar pillow supports the baby’s spine well
- The parts aren’t machine-washable
- The guide 65 is a perfect fit for smaller cars and helps protect your child longer in both rear and forward facing positions
- Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and 19inches-40inches
- Forward-facing 22-65 pounds and 34inches-52inches
If you own a compact or two-door car, the Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX is worth your attention. The seat is well designed to provide maximum comfort to the baby while taking less space on the back seat. The seat accommodates children from 5 to 65 pounds and supports both rear and forward-facing orientation.
It is also one of the car seats that are easiest to clean. Just remove the cover and wash it in the machine. The cover is also dryer-safe, which is great for moms who love to get ready at the last minute!
The seat also has an easy to adjust, 5-point harness system, five heights, and three locations for the buckle. Therefore, you can customize it maximally to make the baby as comfortable as possible.
- Fits all cars, even small and two-door
- Straightforward maintenance
- Improved side impact protection
- Meets all federal safety standards
- Tightening the straps might be hard
- With 2 modes of use, this extra comfortable LATCH equipped Cosco car seat accommodates infants from 5 pounds up to toddlers weighing 40 pounds in rear facing mode and kids up to 65 pounds in forward facing mode. Its compact design also makes it easier to manage through airport security checks
- The 5 point harness adjusts easily from the front of the seat and features 5 heights and 3 buckle locations
- Built in side impact protection keeps your little 1 extra secure; Designed to be just the right size, the seat takes up less space while rear facing so parents can have more leg room
This Diono seat is all-in-one type, and you can use it from the newborn stage up to the booster stage. Therefore, a slightly higher price tag is justified because you will use the seat for years.
Also, because of the high-quality construction and simple maintenance, the seat won’t show signs of wear and tear for a long time.
The weight range for rear-facing orientation is 4-50, and for forward-facing is 22-120 pounds.
It has additional safety features such as eight layers of side impact protection, an anti-rebound bar, and a side-impact pod. All of that and steel core make the seat extremely secure.
The Diono Radian 3QXT 4-in-1 Car Seat is stylish and available in bright colors, too.
- Extended use
- Additional safety features
- Allows to ride your toddler in rear-facing for longer
- Machine-washable cover
- THE NEXT GENERATION 4-IN-1 RADIAN CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT: Introducing 23 improvements in safety and new features from the award-winning 3QXT slimfit convertible car seat
- 4-in-1 NEWBORN PROTECTION FROM 4 lbs: The energy absorbing protection Safe+ newborn insert provides the secure travel position, adjustable harness and anti-slip harness pads complete with Safe+ steel anti-rebound bar to reduce rebound rotation by 50%. Security 3 different ways - rear-facing, forward-facing, and high back booster mode
- SAFE PLUS ENGINEERING: Radian 3QXT is subjected to a combination of the most rigorous crash tests to ensure we have the safest car seat possible. The radian 3QXT features high-density plastic and steel reinforcement to create the ultimate protection
The Combi Coccoro convertible car seat is compact, but it has thick sidewalls for better protection and comfort. It also fits compact cars, but it is more suitable for smaller babies. The seat can accommodate children from three to 40 pounds and is simple to maintain.
The cover is safe to wash in the machine, and there aren’t tight spaces for food leftovers to stick. The 5-point harness system is great, and it has a color-coded indicator to notify you if everything is tightened properly. It is useful for vigorous children who move around and play with the buckle.
Despite its compact size, the seat isn’t as lightweight as you would expect it to be.
- Thick sidewalls
- Removable infant insert
- Color-coded buckle indicator
- Easy to clean
- Limited weight range
- TRU-SAFE: Combi utilizes Tru-Safe Side Impact Protection in its Convertible Car Seat. This offers deep side walls and a layer of energy absorbing foam to distribute crash energy away from your baby and toddler’s neck, head and spine. The removable infant insert also provides proper positioning and comfort for smaller children.
- COMPACT, LIGHTWEIGHT AND THREE ACROSS: The Coccoro Convertible Car Seat was designed with small spaces in mind. At 15.5 inches in width, the Cocorro easily installs in tighter spaces and smaller cars. This creates an easier installation, allows for “Three Across Installation” and also easier portability. It is FAA certified, so convenient travel became easier with this convertible car seat! The Coccoro is one of the few travel car seats.
- COMFORTABLE AND EASE OF USE: The Coccoro Convertible Car Seat has a buckle with an indicator that provides a visual cue when the harness is securely buckled. The Coccoro also features a tether connector strap for Rear-Facing tethering.
The Britax One4Life ClickTight All-In-One Seat is suitable for people who want to buy a quality seat for their toddler and use it for several years. The seat is good for children from five to 120 pounds and has a height limit of 63 inches.
I like the three-step installation method and additional safety features. The frame is made from resilient steel, and the crumple zone absorbs shock, keeping the baby safe during a potential crash. Also, the V-shaped tether on the backside improves stability and prevents unwanted seat movement during the accident.
Overall, this great Britax seat is heavy-duty, comfortable, resilient, and both you and your kid will love it.
- Simple 3-step installation
- Prolonged use
- Breathable fabric
- Reinforced frame
- Additional safety features
- Heavy – 30 pounds
- 10 years of use: One4Life convertible to booster car seat grows with your child from 5 - 120 lbs and up to 63" Tall
- Install confidently: With ClickTight Installation, you'll know it's right in 3 easy steps: open, thread & buckle, click it closed
- One4Life: Coverts from a rear-facing infant Car seat, to a forward-facing 5-point harness, to a high-back belt-positioning booster
You can use this Pria seat in a rear and forward-facing position, and as a booster seat for children up to 100 pounds. Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat has a convenient design and offers soft pillows and headrest support. However, as you remove the infant insert, the seat isn’t that comfortable.
Cup holders on the seat sides can only hold smaller cups and bottles.
Cleaning the seat is simple, you can easily remove the cover and wash it in the machine.
Also, the fabric is soft to touch and gentle to your baby’s sensitive skin. Overall, the seat is safe but lacks some comfort features.
- Soft fabric
- Easy to clean
- Extended use
- Sturdy construction
- Simple installation
- Small cup holders
- Lacks padding
- 3 in 1 seating system: Rear facing, from 4-40 pounds; Forward facing to 65 pounds; And up to 100 pounds in booster mode
- Side impact protection with cell protects your child's head where it's needed most in a side impact crash
- In and out harness holders keep straps out of the way when buckling
The Extend2Fit model makes a ride with a tall baby a breeze, especially if you want to insist on a safer, rear-facing orientation. The seat accommodates babies in the rear-facing position from four to 50 pounds and offers additional legroom for the little ones.
The seat provides 5 inches more leg space because of an adjustable extension panel. So the seat can grow with the baby and make it comfortable and safe during rear-facing rides for longer.
The maximum weight limit in the forward-facing position is 35 pounds.
The Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat has a 10-position headrest, which is pretty impressive and allows the seat to grow with your child. Moreover, you can adjust the harness and headrest without the need to unbuckle the kid.
Also, the seat has harness storage compartments, so taking the baby in and out from the seat becomes simpler.
On the downside, the fabric could be softer. But, the seat is excellent in every other category.
- Extended legroom
- Easy to adjust the headrest
- Taking the baby out from the seat is simple
- Multiple headrests positions
- Two cup holders on the sides
- Fabric isn’t very breathable
- It might not fit all cars
- Convertible car seat grows with your child from rear-facing harness (4-50lbs) to forward-facing harness (22-65 pounds)
- Made of Steel reinforced | Product dimensions – 20.75” D x 19” W x 24.5” H | Product weight – 19.25 lbs.
- Up to 50 pounds rear facing, allowing your child to safely ride rear-facing longer
The Britax seat, Britax One4Life ClickTight All-In-One Car Seat is today’s winner in the search for the best car seat for toddlers older than 2. The simple installation method and the safety features separate the seat from similar models.
Because it is an all-in-one car seat, your baby will enjoy riding in it for years, and you don’t have to think about car seats for as long as the seat doesn’t expire. Check the Britax seat here and enjoy years of safe and comfortable rides!
What is your favorite pick from our Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old list? Think other car seats are better? Share with us your thoughts below!
Last update on 2021-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API