Best Car Seat For 3 Year Old
Should I still secure my child in a full car seat at the age of three?
That is the question when it comes to how you get your toddler from point A to point B in the car. If you’re considering just a standard (backless) booster seat, we’re here to tell you that there’s a safer and more reliable answer. It lies in Convertible Car Seats.
Call them what you will- convertibles or All-In-One Car Seats- they’re still the most trusted and reliable way of transporting toddler.
Made with growing tots in mind, these seats are designed to be used in either rear-or-front facing positions, ensuring your child is always as safe as can be while traveling in the car. Once your growing tot has passed the “infant” seat stage, convertibles are just about the only thing to consider next. Some of the best convertibles come with infant boosters, allowing you to totally skip the separate infant seat schlep.
Kids need to reach a required minimum weight and height before you even consider turning them into the forward-facing position in their seat, yet another great reason why we love convertible seats, they can do BOTH positions.
So by now you get it…the best car seat for a three-year-old is a Convertible. Now let’s take a look at some of the best and most reliable convertible car seats out there.
The Best Car Seats for 3 Year Olds Review
Britax - The Leader
Well known for their superior car seats, Britax comes in as one of the best car seat manufacturers out there. Their convertible car seats are definitely no exception to the rule. The Boulevard ClickTight and the Advocate ClickTight are the two you’ll have to decide between. They can both handle a weight of between 5 and 40 pounds in the rear facing position and a weight of between 20 and 65 pounds in the forward facing position.
The Advocate comes with the max side impact protection features, and both models have the super safe ClickTight installation systems. Other than that they both come with deep head wings with 14 height adjustable positions and super soft padding, anti-slip bases, 7 recline positions AND optional infant inserts as a bonus.
These seats are seriously heavy, though, and the LATCH weight limits might be a bit of an issue. There have also been reports stating that the Click & Safe feature on these seats (that allow for the perfect harness adjustment) just don’t work as well as they should and aren’t always very reliable.
Britax offers some of the most effective and efficient makes of car seats out there, with the Boulevard CT and the Advocate CT being two of the very best convertibles out there, if you can get used to the massive weight and the LATCH issue.
Graco - The Trusted Brand
Whether you’re a new parent or you’ve been in the game for a while, Graco is a name all parents know and trust, which is why their car seats have to have a spot in this roundup. The 4Ever All-in-One and the Milestone All-in-One are your two main considerations here. The 4Ever has a rear-facing weight limit of between 4 and 40 pounds, and the Milestone comes in with a 5-40 pound limit. For forward-facing, they both have 22-65 pound weight limits.
In addition, these seats also feature 5 point harnesses, the ability to convert onto booster seats up to the 100 pound limit, no re-thread harnesses with 10 position headrests, 2 buckle positions and bases with multiple recline positions. The big difference between the 4Ever and the Milestone comes in at the infant insert that the 4Ever comes with, so it’s suitable to use from birth onwards. The 4Ever also has 6 base recline positions, whereas the Milestone only has 4.
Here’s another thing…the 4Ever can be used either as a backless or highback booster, whereas the Milestone restricts you to just highback booster conversion. The Graco 4Ever and Milestone All-in-One seats don’t have lock off clips for seatbelt installations, and they also don’t have 2 LATCH attachment straps, which means you’ll have to manually move the strap to the belt path when you’re switching from rear-to-forward-facing positions.
The Graco 4Ever and Milestone All-in-One seats are both superb choices for extended rear facing (exactly what you need for a 3 year old). We love them because they’re tall, easy to install (if you get the hang of locking your car’s seatbelts for seatbelt installation purposes) and they’ll accommodate your child all the way through the car seat days.
Clek - The Splurge
The convertibles from Clek might be a little bit pricier, but they look so sleek that both you and your kids will fall in love with them. With weight limits of 14-50 pounds in rear-facing and 20-65 in forward facing, these seats will accommodate your three-year-old in the rear-facing position far longer than any of the other seats. They come with 5 sets of harness slots, 2 buckle positions and dual length cross straps for the buckling up needs.
The Foonf comes with the REACT Safety System and the lower LATCH connectors (for forward facing), whereas the Fllo has the EACT Safety Sytem. The Foonf does give your child a little more height in the rear facing position due to its unique design, but you’ll have to use the anti-rebound bar with this model. The Fllo has uses LATCH for rear and front facing positions, but using the anti-rebound bar is totally optional.
If you’re okay with learning the lingo of installing the Clek seats, their weight and the fact that you won’t be able to use them for infants and small babies without the Infant Thingy insert, the Foonf an Fllo are pretty solid options.
So they might be complicated to get the hang of, and you’re not going to pull them out of a box and just whip them into the car, but there is a silver lining here. Once you’ve got the hang of installing these beauties, you’ll have one of the most advanced convertible seats on the market fitted into your car. With unique high-tech safety features and one of the most impressive rear-facing weight and height limits, you really can’t go wrong with the Clek Foonf and the Clek Fllo. These seats also make the list for some of the best car seats for 4 year olds!