Best Car Seats for Toddlers

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At a Glance

PictureProduct NameWeightWeight \ Height RangeRating
PictureProduct NameWeightWeight \ Height RangeRating
91NL3dV8fxL._SL1500_RECARO Performance SPORT25lbs5 point harness: 20-65lbs 27-49in Booster: 30-120 pounds 37-59in4.7
61-rSno4UFL._SL1000_Graco Argos 65 3-in-125lbs5 point harness: 20-65lbs 27 to 52in Booster: 40-120lbs 40 to 57in4.4
51cIepR+iZL150x150.jpg" alt="41-KQSZuTVL" width="150" height="150" />Graco SmartSeat All-in-One39.8lbs5 point harness: 20 – 65 lbs Booster: 30-100lbs4.3
61VHXuLZkuL._SL1000_Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-124.65 point harness: 20-65lbs 27-52in Booster: 30-100lbs 38-57in4.1

 

In Depth look at each car seat

All of the car seats for toddlers included in this list adhere or completely overshadow the minimum safety standards imposed by the US government. I do not go into detail about the basic safety standards. I will highlight unique or car seat specific safety items that are above or beyond the standard.

RECARDO Performance Sport

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The Recaro performance sport is not the car seat I own, but after doing the research for this post and reading the glowing reviews of this product, I would buy this car seat in a heartbeat. Here’s why

  • Really Safe
    The Recaro has a Safety Stripe System is a racing-inspired white stripe that is clearly visible on the outside edge of the five-point harness. This stripe is designed as an easy alert to parents that a twist could occur, giving you a chance to straighten out the harness. Here is a closer picture showing the stripe clearly
    RECARO_Performance_SPORT_SafetyStripe_img2
  • Super Comfortable
    The Recaro ensures comfort by adding soft pads to the harness system and is equipped with memory foam for the main seat cushion. This is a very comfortable option.
  • HERO harness system
    HERO ensures the highest level of protection and comfort by positioning the shoulder pads to appropriately fit the child’s neck, head and shoulders while resisting harness twisting and ensuring proper chest clip positioning.

Graco Argos 65 3-in-1

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Graco appears on this list 3 times (out of 4!). It’s not by mistake – they make really good car seats for babies and toddlers. For the price this car seat will do a great job of keeping your child safe and comfortable. Here are some great features of this car seat

  • One Hand Headrest adjust (simply safe adjust)
    The importance of having the head and shoulder rests adjusted correctly can’t be overstated. This feature makes it easy to adjust this and ensure that your child is protected. Here is a picture of how this system works:
    bb355d62-eb95-48be-a4fa-6980f5ada053._V330610553_
  • Recline Feature
    When your child needs to nap, it’s nice to be able to lay them down. This car seat has 5 different recliner settings.
  • Heavy
    This is the heaviest of all the car seats for toddlers I’ve reviewed. This is important to note if you’re looking to switch between cars, or if you need to remove it often. It’s nearly 40lbs!

Graco SmartSeat All-in-One

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This Graco is the most expensive on the list – but this one has advantages over the others on this list.

  • Only need to buy one
    The SmartSeat is designed to carry your child from birth to at least childhood (up to 100lbs!). This means no need to buy a new car seat when your baby becomes too heavy or too tall, simply turn it around and use it as a car seat for your toddler.
  • Base!
    The SmartSeat comes with a base. If you want to only buy one car seat, but have multiple vehicles, this one is for you. The base installs separately from the car seat. The car seat is designed to easily clip in and out of any base and has locking indicators, so there is no question your child is secure. An extra base will cost you $76.94.
  • One Hand Headrest adjust (simply safe adjust)
    The importance of having the head and shoulder rests adjusted correctly can’t be overstated. This feature makes it easy to adjust this and ensure that your child is protected.

 

Graco Nautilus Elite 3-in-1

61VHXuLZkuL._SL1000_

  • Comfortable
    Wide padded armrests and excellent padding around the 5 point harness ensure comfort for your little one.
  • One Hand Headrest adjust (simply safe adjust)
    The importance of having the head and shoulder rests adjusted correctly can’t be overstated. This feature makes it easy to adjust the headrest and this and ensure that your child is protected.

Mark P

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