10 Best Car Seats for Kids in 2021
When you’ve got a baby on board, you want to make sure that every safety precaution you can manage is properly in place. That’s why investing in the right car seat for your family is so important. There are plenty of different kinds of car seats out there, and your needs may vary based on how often you’ll be switching the car seat between vehicles, how old your child is, and what additional features you’re looking for. Below, we’ve gathered a variety of options that we think will cover all your bases, so sit back and scroll through to see which car seat is your perfect fit.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 37 hrs of research
Three different functions
Five-point safety harness
Three-layer side impact protection
Easy to adjust
Reclines for child’s comfort
- Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One
- Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Kenzie
- Mouseketeer Minnie APT Convertible by Disney
- Jameson Chase LX Harnessed Booster by Evenflo
- Graco Atlas 65
- Sprocket Big Kid AMP Booster by Evenflo
- Evenflo Maestro Booster Thunder
- Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster
- Saturn Tribute LX Convertible by Evenflo
- Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
10 Best Car Seats Reviewed
1. Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One
Three different functions
Five-point safety harness
Three-layer side impact protection
Easy to adjust
Reclines for child’s comfort
Some users complained about the harness wearing thin within 2 years
It’s a great multi-purpose seat. We know it’s hard investing in larger items if you know you’ll wear through them quickly, but this seat truly is meant to grow with your child.Read more
Evenflo’s here to take care of every kind of car seat wish you might be fantasizing about. This All-in-One Symphony Elite works as a rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seat, meaning that your child can continue growing with their favorite car seat from five pounds to 110 pounds.
Ease of Use
It takes roughly one minute to install using the auto-retracting Sure-Latch connectors. The five-point harness slides into place and is adjustable for an accurate, comfortable fit on each and every ride. The side impact protection reduces crash forces up to 50% through three layers of protection. The seat also reclines to allow comfort for children regardless of if they’re bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, or ready for a little power nap.
The SureLatch system allows for easy adjustment to ensure you always get an appropriately snug fit. No wiggling or bobbing babies in these seats: they’ll be strapped in just right. Designed for top-notch safety, the five-point harness holds little ones in place but makes in-and-out priveleges easy for mom and dad. The seat can safely hold rear-facing children between 5 and 40 pounds, forward-facing children between 22 and 65 pounds, and children weighing between 40 and 110 pounds while in booster-seat mode.
2. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Kenzie
Reclines in six positions and headrest adjusts into 10 positions for maximum comfortability
Extension panel adjusts to provide up to 5 inches of extra legroom
Suitable for rear-facing from four to 50 pounds and front-facing from 22 to 65 pounds
Utilizes five-point harness and latch system for quick, secure travel
Chest straps can be difficult to tighten evenly and can cause gaps to form
The car seat can get very hot in warm weather and may cause your baby to sweat
New studies suggest that keeping your little one rear-facing is the best way to keep them safe in a crash and this car seat is designed to keep your child rear-facing in comfort for as long as possible.Read more
Comfort and adjustability are the top priority of this car seat and the number of adjustable sections proves this. The seat itself is capable of reclining into six different positions in order to best fit a wide variety of cars. The headrest has 10 available positions in which it can raise and lower to give your little one the best head and neck support. There is even a built-in extension panel that will grow through four different levels as your child’s legs grow, providing up to 5 inches of extra space. This seat has also been designed and evaluated to meet and exceed all US safety standards including side-impact testing.
Ease of Use
Keeping your children safe is the number one concern of well-known car seat and stroller maker, Graco. Their Extend2Fit car seat has been designed to provide comfortable and secure seating for your little one which will allow them to stay rear-facing, and therefore safer, well past the legal 2-year-old age limit. Each part of this car seat is quickly and easily customizable to ensure that your child is as comfortable as possible while also protecting them from front, rear, and side vehicle impact. The seat itself installs quickly and easily using your car’s built-in latch system and there is even a bubble level indicator to make sure that it is positioned just right.
This convertible car seat can support a wide range of weight, from four-pound preemies to 65-pound 6-year-olds, providing your child with guaranteed protection in the event of a crash for a large portion of their childhood. This is fantastic for your little one’s safety but even better for your pocketbook as there will be no need to buy a new car seat as your child grows.
3. Mouseketeer Minnie APT Convertible by Disney
Weighs roughly nine pounds
Features two cup holders
Made of comfortable and soft materials
Tested for safety
Features a five point harness
May be difficult to install
A few buyers had issues with buckles not releasing at all
We love the cute and comfy design of the APT. Its safety profile is also remarkable. These 2 points are enough reason for getting the APT especially if you have a little girl to think about.Read more
The APT is designed 2 ways, either forward facing or rear facing. For babies 5 to 40 lbs. in weight, they can use the APT in its rear-facing position. For toddlers weighing about 22 to 40 lbs., they can use the APT in its forward facing position. All materials used in the construction of the APT are made only of the highest quality for maximum comfort for your child. Its patented LATCH system also allows for ease of installation and optimum security. It also comes with 2 cup holders.
Ease of Use
Strap your little Disney fanatic in with ease. The five-point harness system on this darling Minnie Mouse seat allows for easy front-access when securing or releasing your child from their seat. Two built-in cup holders make long car trips a breeze: you can set your tike up with everything they’ll need between points A and B! And with the included one-year warranty, you can easily get in touch with the company if you have any issues with your product whatsoever. Life in the parental fast lane really can be that simple!
If you have a little girl, then you might want to get her Disney’s Mouseketeer Minnie model of the APT Convertible car seat. This is one of the lightest full kiddie car seat, not a booster, at only 9.3 lbs. It features a 5-point harness system complete with a front-adjusting mechanism. This allows the APT to be easily adjusted even by the child herself. The APT has also been rigorously tested for side impact protection and structural integrity so you won’t have to worry about the security and safety of your child.
4. Jameson Chase LX Harnessed Booster by Evenflo
Designed to maximize safety and comfort
Provides an easy installation
Features an extra padded head rest
Weighs eleven pounds
Features a five point harness
Some reviews have stated this product is cheaply made. May not have the same durability as other items on this list.
Seat tends to move around a bit more than desired
The LATCH system makes it really a breeze to install. Perhaps the best thing about the ChaseLX is its superb safety profile particularly its twice Federal level ratings. It’s also lightweight at 11 lbs. although not the lightest in our list.Read more
It has also passed rather convincingly a variety of federal crash tests including its side-impact and collision and structural integrity tests. This alone is proof that this booster from Evenflo deserves a spot in our top 10. Both armrests of the Chase LX feature cup or bottle holders at the tip. At the very least, you can focus on driving while your kid can naturally help himself or herself to his or her favorite drinks. The headrest as well as side walls of the car seat booster envelopes your kid in a very safe and secure half-shell.
Ease of Use
When Evenflo designed the Jameson version of its Chase LX car seat booster, they only had children’s maximum safety and comfort in mind. The Chase LX can be used 2 ways depending on the weight of the child sitting on it. If the child weighs around 22 to 40 lbs., then the Chase LX is used as a 5-point harnessed car seat booster. For older or heavier children weighing around 40 to 110 lbs., then the Chase LX converts to a belt-positioned booster. It also features Evenflo’s sophisticated and highly ingenious LATCH system to allow for ease of installation. There simply is no more waiting for the whole car seat booster to be installed before it can be used by kids.
This safety device is designed for optimal safety and comfort. It is easy to install and adjust. Thus, your convenience doesn't have to be compromised in order to ensure the best for your child. Features a five-point safety harness offering your little one with a fully functioning layer of protection. The headrest has extra cushioning to provide your child with an ideal level of comfort. It also adds more cushion for improved safety. The two different uses support twenty-two to forty pounds, and forty to one hundred and ten pounds.
5. Graco Atlas 65
Can hold children up to 100 lbs
Two different functions
Cloth padding is machine washable
Five point safety harness
Two cup holders
With the position of the headrest, it can be difficult/uncomfortable for some children to sleep in this seat
This seat is a great 2-in-1, so if you’re looking for something that can last a little longer than just a standard forward-facing car seat, try the Atlas!Read more
An integrated storage space keeps the harness straps handy but out of the way when they’re not being used (a huge bonus to those who are using the same seat for multiple children with different needs). Dual cup holders keep your little one's drinks and snacks close at hand. And the seat pad, harness, and buckle cover all are comfy, removable, and machine washable.
Ease of Use
This car seat is three-in-one and it can’t get much easier than that, can it? Utilize it as a five-point harnessed car seat, or a high-back belt-positioning booster (both rear- and forward-facing). It takes one motion to adjust the height of your child’s headrest and harness, and the Graco Tranzitions is designed to withstand extreme temperatures so you can leave it in the care throughout all kinds of seasons.
The Graco Atlas 65 is a 2-in-1 Booster Seat that converts from a five-point harness front-facing car seat to a highback booster. This means whether your child falls into the weight and age category to be in a harnessed seat (22-65 lbs), or whether they’re ready for a big boy/big girl booster seat (30-100 lbs), the Atlas can accommodate. It’s simple to adjust, with a harness system and headrest that can be recalibrated to your child’s needs with just one motion.
6. Sprocket Big Kid AMP Booster by Evenflo
Supports between thirty and one hundred and ten pounds
Features a removable backrest
Pad is removable and machine washable
The height can not be adjusted.
Needs more padding in back part
Six head positions make this the ideal booster seat your child can grow with. You can make adjustments with just one hand from a high-back seat to a low-back seat to suit your changing needs.Read more
If we didn’t know, we’d seriously think Evenflo’s Sprocket Big Kid AMP is a kiddie version of a high-end racing seat. At just 8.2 lbs. yet capable of seating children with weights between 30 and 110 lbs. the Sprocket Bik Kid AMP is one serious car booster seat. Here’s the best part – the high backrest can be easily removed so that it functions as a no-back car booster seat. This simply means that your kid’s back will be conveniently resting on your car’s backrest.
Ease of Use
Many of our top car seat choices act are multi-functional and this seat is no different, providing two seats for the price of one. Simply remove the back to transition this seat into a booster. Six different height adjustment positions allow you to accommodate growing children and with such ease, you can do it one-handed! The pad is removable and machine washable which is good news because with the two easy-reach cup-holders installed in this seat, your child will have plenty opportunity to make a mess.
The booster seat features a thick foam liner that has been designed to absorb impact and compression forces as well as other forms of energy. This can provide for an excellent level of comfort and safety for your child.The seat pad can be removed and machine washed so it will keep on looking clean. It also features 2 molded-in cup and bottle holders on the high grade solid plastic seat frame.
7. Evenflo Maestro Booster Thunder
Features a comfortable headrest
Accredited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Comes with cup holders with flexible bands
Made of high-quality materials
Flaps may be flimsy, not meant for longevity.
Plastic pieces that hold down the fabric in front come off easily
We love the idea that it’s considered the best bet for optimum child car safety by one of the nation’s leading organizations in highway safety. This alone is proof that the Maestro deserves a spot in our list.Read more
The headrest of the Maestro is beautifully contoured to assist the belt for your kid’s shoulder and neck to assume a perfect fit. The plush and soft materials can be easily removed to be cleaned in your washing machine. The Maestro also comes with a fully integrated cup or bottle holder complete with flexible bands to help secure bottles and cups.
Ease of Use
One of the heaviest booster car seats in our list, the Maestro car seat booster weighs 14.5 lbs. yet has an excellent design that actually looks like a high-end racing seat. When used as a 5-point harnessed forward facing car seat booster, it can accommodate children weighing 22 to 50 lbs. Its belt-positioning car seat booster mode allows it to sit kids weighing 40 to 110 lbs. This seat is well suitable for Latch systems so you can simply move the seat from vehicle to vehicle without much trouble getting it latched in the car. This is a major point of the issue addressed in this model as most parents must transfer the car seat to different family vehicles.
The Evenflo Maestro has been tested for both Side Impact and Structural Integrity. This seat surpasses the usual safety standards and is guaranteed to protect against twice the threshold of impact required by law. An auto-adjust belt path properly positions the seat belt against your child to ensure a snug fit that still remains comfortable for little ones. To fit your child in a car seat correctly, check to see that the tops of their ears fall below the top of the child restraint headrest.
8. Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster
Supports up to 110 pounds
Passes all safety standards
Features cup holders
Straps get twisted
Headrest makes napping awkward for little ones
Evenflo is a household name when it comes to safe baby products. Plenty of parents are looking for an all-in-one, but if you’ve already surpassed the need for a rear-facing seat, this is a great value option.Read more
Evenflo’s Chase is a combination forward-facing and booster seat for little ones who have outgrown the need for a rear-facing car seat. It can hold up to 110 pounds and is suitable for children over the age of two. It’s a lightweight combination seat, with a latching system that makes installation and transferring between vehicles a cinch.
Ease of Use
Transferring the car seat between multiple vehicles? The Evenflo Chase is lightwight and easy to install and extract. It’s equipped with two cupholders that hug close to the main structure of the seat, allowing you to fit multiple car seats in the back if you’re taking more than one kiddo out on the road. You can remove the seat pad and machine wash it when little ones inevitably get messy. We know you’ve already got your hands full trying to care for your child, so choose a carseat that makes that just a little bit less complicated.
It’s been both designed and tested to withstand side impact and shows structural integrity at energy levels roughly twice the Federal Crash Test standards. Integrated cup holders mean you can pack your little one's snacks and beverages right in arm’s reach, and the seat pad can be removed to machine wash in cold water and tumble dry on low heat. Your day is challenging enough; let Evenflo make it a little easier.
9. Saturn Tribute LX Convertible by Evenflo
Fully tested for safety
Features shock absorbing foam
Easy to install and clean
Features fully adjustable shoulder straps
Available in a variety of colors
Does not offer much padding
Item has tilting issues
The safety features of the Saturn Tribute is something to be joyous about. It’s ease of installation, maintenance, and adjustability also make strong points for considering this as one of the top car seats you can ever buy for your child.Read more
The seat pads are made of energy-absorbing foam liner to provide maximum comfort for both your baby and your toddler. The head pillow and the buckle and harness covers are made of soft and plush materials for added comfort, especially on unusually long rides. These can also be easily removed for machine washing. The metal and plastic parts of the Saturn Tribute can be easily cleaned with mild soap and water. The whole system can be easily installed using Evenflo’s patented Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system. It’s also lightweight at only 9 lbs. so you can bring it with you even to the airport or on any other travel.
Ease of Use
The Tribute LX Convertible car seat of Evenflo is a very comfortable car seat for kids. It can be used in two different ways to accommodate your growing young child. In rear-facing mode, the Saturn is excellent for providing absolute comfort for young children below 2 years of age or whose height ranges anywhere between 19 and 37 inches or 48 to 94 centimeters. By the time your baby has reached toddlerhood or a height of between 28 and 40 inches or 71 to 102 centimeters, you can then use the Saturn as a forward facing car seat. Combine this with a fully adjustable shoulder strap position of up to 4 different modes help ensure that the Saturn will be used by your growing kid. It also features a highly accessible harness adjustment as well as buckle release for ease of adjustment.
This item has been tested for side impacts, which would be important in the event of car crashes. Your child would have this extra protection, plus the foam liner that absorbs energy for cushioning. The Saturn Tribute have exceeded all federal safety testing including a very strict side-impact test. In fact, it boasts of a 100 percent increase in safety based on the standards of the Federal Crash Test.
10. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
Can be rear-facing, forward-facing, or belt-positioned
Can accommodate kids from 5 to 100 pounds
Has protection from side impacts
Three reclining positions ensure a good fit
Harness holders make in and out easy
Harness straps may be hard to tighten
Some claim the seat is hard to install
Most car seats do not come in a large variety of colors like this one from Safety 1st does. Parents have nine colors to choose from to best match their vehicle upholstery or just their favorite color.Read more
This easy-to-clean car seat can accommodate kids anywhere between five to one hundred pounds in the various stages of a baby’s and toddler’s life. It is a 3-in-1 model that quickly changes from a rear-facing seat for infants to a forward-facing chair for toddlers, and then to a car-belt positioned booster for older kids. This position is most like a regular seated position in a vehicle, but with the added height so kids can see out of the windows. This is a fabulous car seat for parents that want a trouble-free way to transport their children.
Ease of Use
The Safety 1st Go-and-Grow features harness holders that keep your harness open and easy to move your child in and out of throughout the day. With three reclining positions, it’s simple to fit the seat properly and comfortably in your car. The QuickFit Harness allows for easy adjustment and two integrated cup-holders allows you to set your little one up for success so you’re not having to constantly reach back to provide them with snacks or something to drink. And with the ability to transition between three different developmental stages, this carseat can stick with you and the family for a while to come.
Parents must look for the simplest yet effective car seat for their kids to keep them safe and secure on the road. Making sure the removal of the seat and the child is easy and trouble-free is a requirement too. This seat has impact protection on the sides and a seat pad to hold them snugly in place. With three reclining positions for placing and locking the seat in place in the vehicle, a great fit is almost guaranteed. Harness holders in the seat make getting the kid in and out quick and easy.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Comfort for your kid is almost as important as the safety level. Children that are not comfortable in their car seats will cry and complain until you make them comfortable. They must be satisfied while you are driving because you cannot always stop to make adjustments to suit them. The seats we feature here all have several options for comfort such as armrest padding, removable seat pads, extra padding on the sides and back, reclining positions, and cup holders for snacks and drinks. Comfortable children are happy children, and you want them very happy while you are driving.
Ease of Use
Car seats should be easy to install, remove, and change from vehicle to vehicle. Sometimes families can only afford one car seat but have two vehicles. This means plenty of changing the car seat for various trips that would be very aggravating if the seat was hard to remove and position. Even though all of the seats are held in place with the vehicle seat belt, they do not all attach or use it in the same manner.
Some have very easy installation, making it trouble-free and easy to handle. Others are a little harder to loop into place with the seat belt, but very much worth the effort when it comes to the increased safety. Almost all of the car seats, once installed, allow simply clicking the child from the harness or belt to remove them or put them in.
The most important feature of a car seat for your child is that it provides the safety level needed to keep your child free from harm in the event of an accident or collision. Child car seats are also important to keep kids in place even when impact does not occur, such as when you must slam on brakes to avoid an accident. Manufacturers have implemented plenty of safety gadgets on their car seats from safety latches to secure harnesses and straps. Most of them are created with a protective shell that covers the sides and back to give the best resistance upon side impacts. The best safety is achieved for your child by arming yourself with all of the information available on the vast number of car seats on the market.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 723 children aged below 12 years of age who died because of motor vehicle accidents and more than 128,000 injured. What is more troubling is that close to 618,000 children between the ages of 0 and 12 years old rode in cars, trucks, and vehicles without the safety provided by kiddie car seats, booster seats, or even standard seat belts. Of the 723 children who lost their lives in auto accidents, 35 percent were reported to have not been using seat belts nor in a child safety seat.
the use of dedicated, well-designed child safety seats have been proven by many government and private groups studies to reduce the risk of death by as much as 71 percent among young infants aged less than 1 year old and by as much as 54 percent among toddlers aged 1 to 4 years old. Among preschool and young school age children aged 4 to 8 years old, the risk of serious injury or even death has been shown to be significantly reduced by as much as 45 percent when the correct and proper child safety seats are used. For older children 8 to 12 years of age, the risk is reduced by as much as 50 percent. Studies also revealed that increasing the age requirement for the use of kiddie car seats to 8 years old can greatly reduce the risk of incapacitating injuries by as much as 17 percent.
Other Factors to Consider
Many of these car seats have wonderful adjusting positions for shoulder, neck, and head heights, various harness and buckle positions, and backrest modes. Most, if not all of the models, do allow alterations in the car seat to change with the growth of your child. They can be used as rear-facing seats for infants, forward-facing seats for toddlers, and belted booster chairs for older kids. These changes occur when the child reaches the age or weight limit for the various positions allowed. In the booster option, these seats can be used for years, allowing the child better vehicle-belt positioning and window viewing.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What is the age range for these safety devices?
These devices are suited for a wide range of children. Not all have the same range but on average they range from infant to toddler. There are some that can be adjusted and resized to be used as your child gets bigger. They can be adjusted to go from a car seat to a booster seat.
q: Are they sized to fit in all cars?
The majority of these seats are suited to fit most vehicles. There are a couple that are very large and are not suited for small vehicles with limited space.
q: Can they all be used as rear-facing?
Most of these safety devices are versatile enough to be adjusted and used as front-facing or rear-facing. There are a couple that are not capable of doing so, but they do provide a number of other benefits.
q: Can these seats be used for a boy or girl?
These safety devices come in a variety of color or gender-neutral designs giving you versatility in the child you plan to shop for. There is however one absolutely adorable option suited entirely for little girls in mind.
q: Do these seats offer good head support?
While it’s true that not all of these provide the same benefits, there are a number of seats that provide ample comfort and head support for those long bumpy road trips.
q: Can they be made to recline?
All these seats offer adjustable features to provide your child with the most comfort and safety. While they do not all include the option to recline the majority of the rear-facing seats do.