What is the best car seat for 4 year old?
Kids at the age of four years old almost outgrow the weight or height limit of the convertible car seats used rear-facing with height limit generally comes first.
At this time, you should transfer your car seat to the front facing. Both convertible and booster car seats are good to fit a 4 year old child in forward-facing mode.
Convertible car seats are usually suitable for kids between 22 and 65 lbs and the weight of most four year old kids is in this range. So convertible car seats undoubtedly offer the best and safest fit for a 4 year old.
If you have read the product description of booster seats, you’ll find that they require a minimum weight- commonly 40 lbs for use, or at least 4 years old, whichever comes first. That means the booster seat is suitable for 4 year old toddlers.
Actually, a convertible car seat is generally used in the 2nd stage and purchased before a booster, you can use it for your kids until they break the convertible car seat’s limitation to transfer to the next stage.
Cases to move the kids to a booster exist. For example, if you have several kids at different ages and want to use the convertible for the smaller or smallest one, a cheaper booster is worthy consideration anyway.
Chicco NextFit Zip
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Safety 1st Jive
Graco 4Ever DLX
Diono Radian 3R
These 5-point harness booster seats for four-year-old are great for smaller kids, even as little as 3 years old or 5 years old.
Take a closer look at our recommendations by viewing the car seats in the categories below.
Or, if you’d rather view the best car seat for five year old by its weight limit or height limit, your budget, or by bonus features (e.g. for fitting 3 across, portable for travel, etc), click on either of the below.
4-Year-Old Weight & Height
The average weight for a 4-year-old is 34 pounds for girls and 36 pounds for boys, according to the World Health Organization. How tall is the average 4-year-old? The average height for a 4-year-old is 39.5 inches for girls and 40.3 inches for boys.
This data shows that the kids generally break through the height limit first before the weight limit. But you can always use a convertible car seat that grows with your kids from extended rear-facing use to long forward-facing, like the Graco Extend2Fit, which is our favorite.
Convertible Car Seats for 4 Year Olds
Graco Extend2Fit - Overall Best Car Seat for 4 Year Old
The Graco Extend2Fit is a masterclass in longevity and protection, perfect for parents who want their kids to face back for a longer time. With a top weight of 50 pounds for rear facing and an extension panel for extra 5-inch length plus default 32-inch, the Extend2Fit is sure to ride 4 years old toddlers in both rear- or front-facing as your needs. It shines with Graco’s ProtectPlus technique to deliver reliable protection from front, side, rear, and roll over in case of crashes.
Why We Recommend It
If you’re looking for a great convertible car seat for 4-year-olds that can be also used rear-facing longer in their 2-year-age, the Graco Extend2Fit is the best choice you can consider. Its 50-lb weight limit and 5-inch extended length in the height position extend a longer time to use it for rear-facing.
But this does not mean it’s poorly performed in the forward-facing. As a convertible car seat, it’s still good for riding a kid up to 65 lb. with the forward-facing harness. 65-pound is the highest limitation of all convertible car seats that can not work as a booster.
As a traditional car seat brand, Graco has a few years of experience and designed its baby car seats with great safety. So does the Graco Extend2Fit.
To help protect your child from all side – frontal, side, rear, and rollover crashes, the car seat feature Graco® ProtectPlus Engineered™ technique that covers the most rigorous crash tests, including the side-impact tested for occupant retention with the built-in 5-point harness system, rear-impact tested based on the European Rear-Impact Crash Pulse, and tests called Graco’s RollSafe™ testing standard based on the European rollover testing procedure. These crash tests, along with their basic performance that meets or exceeds the child restraint criteria for a frontal crash test under the US FMVSS 213, ensure your kids’ safety whatever cases they meet in the car.
The reinforced steel frame and solid structure not only add points to its performance in the crash tests but also ensure the car seat to have a long lifespan – up to 10 years since the manufacturer date.
Bonus parts also include two cup holders that are good to keep your child’s snacks and drinks close at hand. It’s not inevitable that your child would dirt the seat pad with no intention if they eat and drink in the car seat.
Luckily, the seat pad is made of fabric that is machine washable. You can easily take the seat pad off the car seat and throw it into the washing machine for clean and comfortable rides in the next. Some parents think the taking-off procedure is hard, while some do not. For me, I stand in the line of giving it a 5-star rating. It’s not difficult to take off and put on the seat pad after several times.
Chicco NextFit Zip - Best Car Seat for 4 Year Old with Zip-off Design
Chicco NextFit Zip
This is an excellent safety seat if you’re looking for something that has more bite to satisfy parents who want to ride their kids facing back for a longer time. More than the 43-inch top height limit, it also offers a lot of premium features including a 9-position headrest and reclines, LockSure belt-locking system, DuoGuard EPS energy absorbing system, and the most important one – zip-off design. If you want value for money as well as solid protection and comfort, the Chicco NextFit Zip is a winner.
Chicco NextFit Zip is one of the best convertible car seats for 4-year-old toddlers. It provides two modes to accommodate your littles from small infants to big kids preschool. A 4-year-old child can theoretically sit in the car seat in the two modes – rear-facing or front-facing, as long as they don’t exceed the weight limit of 40 pounds and height limit of 43 inches when using the NextFit Zip in rear-facing mode.
Based on the average weight and height table reference for boys and girls at their 4 years age, they may not outgrow the Chicco NextFit Zip.
But rear-facing is not applicable for big kids who grow a bit faster than their peers. It’s time to change the NextFit Zip from rear-facing to front-facing if your child is ready – heavy and high enough.
The 9-position reclines and 9-position headrest adjustment ensure the Chicco NextFit Zip convertible car seat to accommodate well with your growing child. You can always find a perfect position for the safest protection and most comfortable fit when your child grows to 4 years old, no matter their weight and height.
It supports two methods for installation – LATCH and seat belt. To help the parents to install it correctly, the car seat comes with two features for additional accuracy – the SuperCinch LATCH tightener and LockSure seat belt-locking system. Both work well for a correct installation in all car types wherever you travel with the Chicco NextFit Zip.
The manufacturer designed the car seat with the safest protection into consideration, even though it’s the entry-level model from the company. It still features the protective DuoGuard that provides two layers of head and body protection with a deep rigid reinforced shell and EPS energy-absorbing foam. The high-strength steel frame adds points to its protection performance in the crash tests.
As an entry-level model, the NextFit Zip is not 100% perfect, but we still think it’s a good choice of the best car seat for a 4-year-old for its overall performance.
Britax Marathon ClickTight -Safest Car Seat for 4 Year Old
Britax Marathon ClickTight
Boasting a V-shaped tether and a high-strength steel frame for stable and reliable protection, a SafeCell technology for absorbing the crash energy, and the ClickTight for easy installation, it’s a great option for riding for 4 years old preschoolers facing forward. Even better, it has the reputation of a great brand behind it who are known for their innovation and thorough safety features.
Why We Recommend It
The Britax Marathon can accommodate a 4-year-old child in front facing. It’s suitable for kids between 5-65 lbs in weight and up to 49-inch in height, making the Marathon a good car seat for 4 years old toddlers.
The Marathon is a typical Britax car seat, coming with a few advanced features to keep your child safe and comfortable in the seat.
Let’s start with Britax’s exclusive functions like the SafeCell technology, V-Shaped tether, and high-strength steel frame. The SafeCell technique crumpled-body can efficiently absorb the crash energy while the V-shaped tether makes the car seat more stable, slow the movement, and twists in a crash. These two unique features help a lot reduce the risks in case of any crashes. A mom commented about the Marathon’s safest protection for her littles in a crash.
The steel frame provides the car seat a strong power for solid and stable protection, but it also results in a bulky body. But we can’t complain about it, as most convertible and booster seats on the market feature a bulky body.
The Marathon car seat is designed to grow with your child, thanks to its 14-position headrest and harness adjustment and 7-position reclines. That means, you can always find a perfect position to fit your child with the safest protection while getting the most comfort in the car seat.
The ClickTight feature enables the parents to install the car seat with ease. But you should always keep an eye on the tightness between the straps/harness and your child’s clothes. Putting your child too tight may cause an uncomfortable fit, you should leave at least one finger’s gap.
We mentioned this because many parents on Amazon complain about the Marathon’s tightness and can’t easily loosen for a better fit, especially for big kids. The company designed the Marathon to be used in front facing for children from 5-65 lbs, but if it’s not correctly installed and buckled, you’ll feel it too tight for big kids in the car seat with a 5-point harness.
Anyway, if you have any questions about the car seat, you should contact the company for support in time, or find another alternative.
Safety 1st Jive - Best Lightweight Car Seat for 4 Year Old
Safety 1st Jive
The Safety 1st Jive is an excellent budget safety seat that’s a great match for a 4-year-old preschooler because of the wide weight and height range (5-65 pounds and 19-49 inches). It’ll give the child good protection without having the parents break the bank. Multiple colors are available for boys and girls. Approved for aircraft use, along with a lightweight body, it’s very portable and friendly for families that prefer a traveling lifestyle.
Why We Recommend It
Safety 1st Jive is the fourth recommendation of the best convertible car seat for 4-year-olds. It’s designed to grow with your child from newborns until they exceed its highest weight limit of up to 65 pounds, generally for kids of 7-8 years old at average or big and tall kids at 6-7 years. So it absolutely fits your child when they’re 4 years old.
Safety 1st Jive allows your little one to stay rear-facing before they reach the 40-pound weight limit and at least 1-inch below the handle. After that, you should change it to forward-facing, removing the head and body pillows that provide extra support when they’re small. This gives your growing child more space to ride in front-facing.
Featuring a slim design, the Safety 1st Jive is ready to fly with your child on an aircraft. It’s approved for airplane use. But you should pay attention to its installation in the airplane to ensure your little one’s safety during the flight.
The slim design also makes it to well fit 3 across in the rear seat of most vehicles. If you ride a small car with narrow seats, you may install it for a try. Growing families with several toddlers can also give it a shot.
To cheer up your little one in the car seat, the Safety 1st Jive comes with 2 cup holders to carry the snacks and drinks, within their easy touch. The cup holders are removable for cleaning if they get dirty, which is inevitable for kids.
To save the parents’ energy and time, the Safety 1st Jive is made of machine washable and dryer-safe fabrics. You can easily take the seat pad off and throw it into the machine for cleaning.
Last but least, the Safety 1st Jive is a cheap option on our list, but you don’t need to worry about its safety rating. Safety 1st is also a great brand like Graco and Britax and earns an excellent reputation among the parents’ hearts.
Harness Booster Car Seats for 4 Year Olds
Chicco MyFit - Best Car Seat for 4 Year Old with Longer Harness Time
Chicco MyFit 2-in-1
Chicco MyFit is the best harnessed booster for 4 year olds to its higher harness height limit.
This allows the Chicco MyFit to extend the 5-point harness useful time, making it very appealing for parents like us who want to keep our little one in the harness for a longer time.
The Chicco MyFit features a 54-inch maximum height for 5-point forward-facing. That’s 5-inch more than other forward-facing 5-point harness height limits – it’s 49-inch.
Chicco MyFit 2-in-1 Harness to Booster offers a few other benefits.
It’s a narrow car seat for 4 year olds.
Featuring a 17-5 inch width, the Chicco MyFit is the third of the narrowest car seats for 4 year olds. It is a bit wider than Graco SlimFit3 LX (16.7-inch) and Diono Radian 3R ( 17-inch) but beats the majority of car seats on the list of best car seats for 4 year olds.
It’s a durable car seat for 4 year olds.
Made of steel-reinforced, the frame structure not only provides optimal protection but also ensures long durability. The Chicco MyFit is capable of an 8-year-long life.
It outperforms other harness-to-booster seats, like the Graco Tranzitions and Atlas and KidsEmbrace, but as well as Britax Grow with You ClickTight at this point.
It has two cup holders on both sides.
This is beneficial for 4 year old boys and girls, especially when you want to ride them for long road trips.
The cup holders are dishwasher safe. This is absolutely a bonus for parents. You won’t have much time to wash the cup holders and the seat pads.
It has two armrests on both sides.
Armrests are not commonly included in a car seat for 4 year olds. For example, premium models like Graco 4Ever DLX and Britax One4Life do not even have armrests.
Britax Grow with You ClickTight- Easy to Install Harness Booster for a 4 Year Old
Britax Grow with You CT
Britax Grow with You ClickTight has the position of best booster seats for 4 year olds because of its special technique – ClickTight. You can find it in the name.
Why do we emphasize this word? Because the ‘ClickTight’ is an exclusive technology developed by Britax for an easier installation.
As we know, properly installing a car seat for a 4 year old can be very challenging for parents. The easier installation, the more accuracy!
ClickTight enables a very simple way to install the car seat with a seat belt. It’s also the recommended way in the car seat manual to install this car seat for 4 year olds.
The difference between ClickTight and non-ClickTight has an obvious effect on the prices. As per this post written, the Grow with You ClickTight is priced at $329.99, while the non-ClickTight model, Grow with You is just priced at $299.99.
Another reason for including the Britax Grow with You ClickTigh is the higher height and weight limits.
When used in booster mode, it is able to ride big kids up to 120 pounds or up to 63 inches tall. This maximum weight and height combination outperforms 99% of car seats on the market, making it the best car seat for 4 year olds.
It’s a pity that the fabric used on Britax Grow With You ClickTight is not machine washable, only the Plus version is made of machine washable fabric.
Grow with YouEntry-level
5-point Harness: 25 - 65 lbs
Booster Capacity: 40 - 120 lbs
Height Limits: 63 in
Layers of Protection: 2
Machine Washable Fabric: No
Grow with You ClightTightPremium
5-point Harness: 25 - 65 lbs
Booster Capacity: 40 - 120 lbs
Height Limits: 63 in
Layers of Protection: 2
Machine Washable Fabric: No
Grow with You CT PlusPlus
5-point Harness: 25 - 65 lbs
Booster Capacity: 40 - 120 lbs
Height Limits: 63 in
Layers of Protection: 3
Machine Washable Fabric: Yes
Graco Tranzitions - Cheap Car Seat for 4 Year Olds
Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1
If you don’t have much budget for a car seat – it’s a necessary investment for your kid’s safety, the Graco Tranzitions might be the best car seat for 4 year olds. Priced a bit more than $100 on Amazon – price may change due to sale promotion, it’s the cheapest harnessed booster seat for a 4 year old.
However, the price does not compromise safety.
It meets or exceeds the child restraint criteria for a frontal crash test under the US FMVSS 213. It was ProtectPlus engineered to pass through the most rigorous crash tests and proves itself to protect your 4-year-old little one in frontal, side, rear, and rollover crashes.
The ProtectPlus is only found on premium models, like the Graco 4Ever DLX.
When used in forward-facing 5-point harness mode, the Graco Tranzitions offer the best protection. It features two layers of side impact protection.
It’s the only harness booster that supports switching to the backless mode of the best car seats for 4 year olds.
As your 4-year-old boy or girl grows, you can just remove the high back and turn it into a backless booster. The 100-pound weight limit and 57-inch height limit are good enough for your child to stay in the car seat until they are eight years old.
Like the other booster seats with a 5-point harness, the Graco Tranzitions also has two cup holders, with two armrests above. But the armrests are a bit smaller than that of Chicco MyFit, Britax Grow with Your ClickTight, and KidsEmbrace.
The seat pad is made of machine washable fabric – beating the Britax Grow with You ClickTight at this point.
The only drawback is the lifespan – only 7 years. Honestly, it’s not a short time, but just as long as the 8 years of Chicco MyFit and 9 years of Britax Grow with You ClickTight.
Graco Atlas - Most Portable Harness Booster for 4 Year Olds
Graco Atlas is the most portable harness to a booster seat for 4 year olds. It’s lightweight and slim design.
Car seats designed to go on two or three stages are typically bulky. But this does not happen to Graco Atlas.
Weighing 18 pounds, the Graco Atlas is the #2 of lightweight car seat for 4 year olds. It’s only beaten by the KidsEmbrace with 15 pounds. Coincidentally, the width is 18 inches, making Graco Atlas rank top of the narrow car seats for 4 year olds.
The combination of 18-inch narrow width and 18-pound car seat weight makes Atlas the most portable car seat for 4 year olds. You can effortlessly take or switch it from car to car for multi-vehicle households.
Graco Atlas is also a budget car seat for 4 year olds. It is in the same price range as the Tranzitions. But the latter is more cost-effective as you’ll get an extra backless booster.
Designed to grow with your child, the Atlas features a 10-position headrest adjustment. That’s the most among the best harnessed booster seats for 4 year olds, more than Tranzitions (8-position), Chicco MyFit and Britax Grow with You ClickTight (9-position), and KidsEmbrace (3-position).
It also has two cup holders on both sides, but no armrests. That’s the only negative point for this car seat for a 4 year old. There is no place for big kids to rest their hands.
As for the durability, the Graco Atlas continues to be used for 7 years if the fabric does not tear and the car seat does not meet any collisions.
KidsEmbrace - Best Spiderman Car Seat for 4 Year Old
A good choice for children who like Marvel heroes, the KidsEmbrace is an affordable harness to a booster seat. It delivers a reasonable top weight and height limits up to 100 pounds and 57-inches, making it an ideal option to grow with your kids. It’s a pity that this car seat will face front only for riding and traveling. But for its Marvel hero-themed exterior and good protection, it is still worth your consideration.
Why We Recommend It
KidsEmbrace is a very popular 2-in-1 harness booster seat for 4 year olds. All the car seats from KidsEmbrace come with the Marvel subject cover.
Who does not like a Spiderman car seat?
The car seat provides two modes to fit a 4 years old child: a 5-point harness convertible and a belt-positioning booster.
The KidsEmbrace is approved for forward-facing use in convertible mode.
Just like all the other car seats used in this mode, it supports accommodating a child between 22-65 pounds with a 5-point harness that allows for at least a 29-inch minimum height rating and at most 49-inch maximum height rating.
Most kids at their 4 years of age can fit well in this car seat with appropriate weight and height in the range.
Parents should stick with the forward-facing harness until your child outgrows the harness height or weight limits, whenever comes first.
Generally, the height limit is easier to reach. The KidsEmbrace is good enough to ride a 4-year-old child, no matter if they’re at an average weight/height or big kids that grow faster than their peers.
However, you should change it from a 5-point harness convertible model to the belt-positioning booster mode when your child exceeds the weight or height limits.
Kids are safer to ride in the right car seat for their age, weight, and height. It’s risky to put a small baby or toddler in a booster; vice versa, it’s also dangerous to put a big kid in an infant or convertible car seat.
The KidsEmbrace is suitable for kids between 40-100 lbs and 38”-57” in height in the belt-positioning booster mode, but no backless booster usage after that.
The manufacturer provides a one-year limited warranty for major parts, no extended warranty is available.
All-in-one Car Seats for a 4 Year Old Preschooler
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1
Graco 4Ever DLX is one of the best all-in-one car seats for 4 year olds.
A 4-year-old child is theoretically able to use a booster in the car. Most boosters boast that their minimum weight limit is at least 40 pounds, and the minimum age requirement is 4 years old.
When your child grows to 4 years of age, they’re ready to fit in a booster. This does not mean you’re required to switch to a booster at their fourth birthday.
Actually, it’s safer for the kids to stay in the five-point harness as long as possible before the kids grow out of their convertible car seat’s high weight limit of 65 pounds.
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 can work as a convertible child seat to keep your child safe from 2 years to 8 years. The 10-position headrest is designed to grow with your child and protect their head and neck in case of any crashes.
The harness is also good to avoid any big move or hit in the car seat for an emergency stop or crash. That’s why your child should sit in the five-point harness forward-facing until they outgrow the 65-lb.
Graco 4Ever DLX all-in-one can be used as a booster to accommodate your growing child, with an upper weight limit of 100 pounds for a highback booster and 120 pounds for a backless booster.
You need to store the harness and use the seat belt to install the car seat in booster mode.
Graco 4Ever DLX is an upgraded version over the 4Ever, with a few great improvements. Let’s see what’s the difference between the 4Ever DLX and 4Ever.
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 vs 4Ever 4-in-1
The 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 features the ProtectPlus Engineered that is used in many new Graco products to provide better safety protection by passing through more rigorous crash tests from all sides – frontal, side (for 5-point harness), rear, and rollover.
The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 is designed with more convenient harness storage compartments to store the harness when it’s not in use.
There is an integrated belt lock-off function in the upgraded Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat, ensuring an easier and more secure installation.
Both 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 and 4Ever 4-in-1 allow the removal of the seat pad for machine washing.
But the upgraded DLX version is much easier and needs less effort to take the seat pad and cover off and put it on, thanks to the new Rapid Remove trick – the seat cover is divided into several parts that are connected with the snaps for easy taking off and putting back.
Diono 2020 Radian 3R - Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old to Fit 3 Aross
Diono 2020 Radian 3R
Top weight limit, top height limit, and top longevity – the Diono Radian has it all. With a one-piece design, the Radian provides the same height limit for both rear- and forward-facing, up to 57.1 inches. The ability to go through 3 stages makes it an ideal option if you’re looking for a budget money saver. It’s the cheapest all-in-one car seat you can find on the market. Not to mention, it’s narrow width to fit 3 across for big families – who’s not like it?
Why We Recommend It:
The Diono Radian 3R is a good booster seat for a 4 year old after they outgrow the weight or height limit in the rear-facing mode.
It combines three modes into one – rear-facing harness, forward-facing harness, and highback booster, lacking the backless mode as the backrest is not detachable.
But this does not affect the Radian 3R’s performance to fit both newborns and teens. It highlights a 5-lb rear-facing lower weight limit for newborn babies, and up to 100-lb highest weight limit for preteens around 8 years old.
When your child is at 4 years of age, you may put them in the harness convertible mode or the booster mode if they reach the minimum 40-lb weight in a booster.
However, it’s recommended to stick with the forward-facing harness mode until your child outgrows the harness height or weight limits.
The longer your child stays in the current and appropriate stage, the better and safer he or she is.
The Radian 3R is made from automotive-grade high-strength steel to shield and protect your child in the car seat.
The mechanically engineered and reinforced steel core ensures it lasts for the promised 10 years lifespan.
It’s not surprising that the Radian 3R is designed for long-lasting usage. Almost all the 3-in-1, 4-in-1, or all-in-one car seats have a lifespan of 10 years.
After all, they’re developed to grow with your child from their birth until they’re big enough to use the car’s seat belt for security.
Last but not least, the Radian 3R is a great choice for big families with several children. It’s designed to fit 3 across, meaning that you can install three Radian 3R in the back seat at the same time.
You don’t need to worry about the compatibility of installing multiple car seats in the rear now, especially when you have a twin and another older or younger baby.
However, you must know that the Radian 3R is not 100% perfect.
It’s bulky, even featuring a clean and foldable design. Most multifunctional car seats are bulky and heavy. The attachable stand looks very cheap and less reliable than other car seats’ one-piece design.
Anyway, the Diono Radian 3R is worth its price in the overall performance and most importantly, it’s a good money saver.
Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Car Seat
The Maxi-Cosi Pria is one of the most comfortable and well-rounded car seats to grow with your child – both rear- and forward-facing with all three car seat stages until your child is ready to wear the vehicle’s seat belt. It has a great deal of padding – seems obviously thicker than others, along with the infant insert and two layers of side impact protection, you won’t want to skip this safety seat. It is, without a doubt, one of the best toddler car seats.
Why We Recommend It:
The Maxi-Cosi Pria provides two modes to ride a 4 year old child – a 5-point harness and booster, while the latter requires your kid to weigh at least 40 pounds.
That means if your child is less than 40 pounds in weight, you should not locate them in the booster.
This is quite in accordance with the experts who suggest that parents should stick with a forward-facing harness until their child grows to excel at the harness height or weight limits.
When using the convertible model, the Maxi-Cosi Pria supports kids weighing from 22 pounds to 65 pounds.
This weight range enables the car seat to accommodate children of 4 years old well, or even when they’re 5 or 6 years old before switching to the booster mode.
The Maxi-Cosi Pria is a bit pricey, the looked high-quality cushion attributed a lot for that, not the feature to ride a kid in three modes.
There are a lot of all-in-one car seats on the market sold at a cheaper price. But Pria is still worth your consideration if you have enough budget for the best car seat option for 4 years old.
It provides a 3-position recline, allowing the parents to correctly install the car seat on the right stage. The 5 headrest heights, along with a quick-fit shoulder harness, ensure your child has a most comfortable and appropriate fit in the car seat.
Thick stuffing looks better than safety? It’s not true but a good selling point that the company boasts of. The Maxi-Cosi Pria is designed with cell-side impact protection built into the headrest to cushion the impact.
The supreme soft-to-touch cushions and premium fabrics and padding throughout provide the best comfort for your child during the trips.
Parents don’t need to worry about the car seat getting dirty. The covers are easy to remove and machine washable and dryer safe.
It’s easy for the parents to keep the kids comfortable and cozy in the Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 car seat.
Graco SlimFit3 LX -Slimmest Car Seat for 4 Year Olds
Graco SlimFit3 LX
The SlimFit 3 is a well-rounded safety seat that brings protection and comfort to your child’s growth. It’s an all-in-one scooter that goes through the three stages until your kid is ready to use the vehicle seat belt, thanks to its 100-lb top weight limit and 57-inch top height limit. Featuring a slim design, it is able to do 3 across fit for big families with multiple children.
Why We Recommend It:
Graco SlimFit3 LX is one of the 3-in-1 booster car seats for 4 year olds. It is designed to grow with your child from a rear-facing harness (5-40 lb) to a forward-facing harness (22-65 lb) to a highback booster (40-100 lb).
To fit your 4-year-old child in the Graco SlimFit3 LX, you need to install it front-facing and use the 5-point harness to accommodate them for protection.
4 years old kids have generally outgrown their rear-facing car seats but did not reach the minimum requirements in a booster, which requires a child to be at least 40 pounds in weight or 43 inches in height or over 4 years old.
When being used in the five-point harness convertible mode, the Graco SlimFit3 LX is suitable for kids weighing between 22- 65 pounds. It’s obvious that the 4-year-old children can adapt well to the seat.
The 10 positions headrest allows you to choose an appropriate headrest and harness height to get the safest fit for your child when they grow to 4 years old.
It also features the Gracon’s classic No-Rethread Simple Safe Adjust Harness System and you can adjust the headrest and harness together in one motion to get a perfect position.
Graco SlimFit3 LX ranks as a top option in the best car seats for 4 years old for its slim design, just as its name indicates.
Thanks to its unique rotatable cup holders, it’s 10% slimmer than other Graco car seats. This saves a little space in the rear back seat, very precious for small cars and big families.
It’s one of the best car seats for 4 year old that fit 3 across, meaning you can install up to 3 car seats in the vehicle.
It’s also ProtectPlus Engineered to pass through the most rigorous tests frontal, side, rear, and rollover crashes, providing the safest protection to your littles in the car seat.
But it only allows 4-position reclines to adjust for your kids, less than the Extend2Fit and 4Ever DLX‘s 6-position reclines.
Best Car Seat for 4 Year Old by Weight Limit
|Weight Limit||Car Seat||Price||Height Limit|
|65 pounds||Graco Extend2Fit||$211.99||49 in.|
|65 pounds||Chicco NextFit Zip||$299.99||49 in.|
|65 pounds||Britax Marathon||$299.99||49 in.|
|65 pounds||Safety 1st Jive||$99.99||49 in.|
|100 pounds||Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1||$109.99||57 in.|
|100 pounds||KidsEmbrace 2-in-1||$149.99||57 in.|
|100 pounds||Chicco MyFit 2-in-1||$299.99||57 in.|
|100 pounds||Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-one||$299.99||57 in.|
|120 pounds||Britax Grow with You ClickTight||$329.99||63 in.|
|120 pounds||Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1||$309.99||57 in.|
|120 pounds||Diono Cambria 2 XL||$99.99||63 in.|
Best Car Seat for a 4 Year Old by Height Limit
|Height Limit||Car Seat||Price||Weight Limit|
|49 in.||Graco Extend2Fit||$211.99||65 pounds|
|49 in.||Chicco NextFit Zip||$299.99||65 pounds|
|49 in.||Britax Marathon||$299.99||65 pounds|
|49 in.||Safety 1st Jive||$99.99||65 pounds|
|57 in.||Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1||$109.99||100 pounds|
|57 in.||Chicco MyFit||$199.99||100 pounds|
|57 in.||KidsEmbrace 2-in-1||$149.99||100 pounds|
|57 in.||Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-one||$299.99||100 pounds|
|57 in.||Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1||$309.99||120 pounds|
|63 in.||Diono Cambria 2 XL||$99.99||120 pounds|
|63 in.||Britax Grow with You ClickTight||$329.99||120 pounds|
Best Car Seat for 4 Year Olds by Price
|Rank||Price||Car Seat||Weight Limit||Height Limit||Stage||1||$99.99||Safety 1st JIve||65 pounds||49 in.||2 stages|
|2||$109.99||Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1||100 pounds||57 in.||2 stages|
|3||$137.99||Graco Atlas 2-in-1||100 pounds||57 in.||2 stages|
|4||$149.99||KidsEmbrace 2-in-1||100 pounds||57 in.||2 stages||5||$199.99||Chicco MyFit 2-in-1||100 pounds||57 in.||2 stages|
|6||$211.99||Graco Extend2Fit||65 pounds||49 in.||2 stages|
|7||$263.99||Graco SlimFit3 LX||100 pounds||57 in.||3 stages|
|8||$299.99||Chicco NextFit Zip||65 pounds||49 in.||2 stages|
|9||$299.99||Britax Grow with You ClickTight||120 pounds||63 in.||2 stages|
|10||$299.99||Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-one||100 pounds||57 in.||3 stages|
|11||$309.99||Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1||120 pounds||57 in.||3 stages|
By Bonus Features
- Convertible Car Seat – Graco Extend2Fit
- Harnessed Booster Seat – Graco Tranzitions
- All-in-one Car Seat – Maxi Cosi Pria
- Convertible Car Seat – Safety 1st Jive (14.25 pounds)
- 5-point Harness Booster – KidsEmbrace (15 pounds)
- All-in-one car seat – Maxi Cosi Pria (17.8 pounds)
Three Across Fit
- Convertible car seat – Safety 1st Jive (16.25-inch width)
- 5-point Harness Booster – Chicco MyFit (17.5-inch width)
- All-in-one car seat – Graco SlimFit3 LX (16.7 inch)
- All-in-one car seat – Diono Radian 3R (17-inch)
5-Point Harness Car Seat up to 120 pounds
- Harness 2 Booster – Britax Grow with You ClickTight
- All-in-one car seat – Graco 4Ever DLX
Switch to Backless Booster
- All-in-one car seat – Graco 4Ever DLX
Laws on Car Seats for 4 Year Olds
Less than Six Years Old Rules
States that require children under six years old to use an appropriate restraint system. These states have had no clear rules for riding 7 years old. This possibly means that 7 years olds don’t need a car seat in these states.
However, it’s strongly recommended to use an appropriate car seat for your boy or girl at their 7 years of age. After all, most multi-stage car seats have a long lifespan of more than 7 years.
- Alabama – under six years old to use a size-appropriate restraint system
- Arkansas – younger than 6 years of age and less than 60 pounds should be secured in a proper child restraint system.
- Idaho – who is six (6) years of age or younger, child safety restraint
- Iowa – 6 through 17 years use a child restraint or seat belt
- Montana – under 6 years of age and weighs less than 60 pounds, a child safety restraint.
- Nevada – less than 6 years of age and who weighs 60 pounds or less a child restraint system.
4-7 Years Old Car Seat Laws
- Alaska – 4 through 7 years who are at least 57 inches or 65+ pounds; 7 through 15 who are shorter than 57 inches or weigh less than 65 pounds should use a booster seat.
- Arizona – each passenger who is at least five years of age, who is under eight years of age and who is not more than four feet nine inches tall to be restrained in a child restraint system.
- California – 7 years and younger who are less than 57 inches must be in an appropriate child passenger restraint system – 4 through 7 years in a booster seat.
- Colorado – 4 through 7 years in a booster seat
- Connecticut – 5-7 years or between 40-60 pounds in a forward or rear-facing child restraint or a booster seat secured with a lap and shoulder belt.
- Delaware – 7 years and younger and 65 pounds in weight or less child safety seat or booster seat
- Georgia – under eight years of age provide for the proper restraint of such child in a child passenger restraint system.
- Hawaii– 4 years through 7 years must be in a child restraint or booster seat.
- Illinois – under the age of 8 years, appropriate child restraint system.
- Indiana – under the age of 8 years, appropriate child restraint system.
- Kansas – for a child under the age of seven but at least four years of age, or who weighs less than 80 pounds but weighs at least 40 pounds, a child booster seat; or for a child seven years of age but under the age of 14 or who weighs more than 80 pounds, a safety belt
- Kentucky – under 8 years of age, between 40-57 inches in height in a booster.
- Louisiana – at least 4 years old can use a booster, this includes 7 year olds.
- Maine – The operator shall ensure that a child who weighs less than 80 pounds, who is less than 57 inches in height and who is less than 8 years of age is properly secured in a belt positioning seat or other child restraint system.
- Maryland – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system.
- Massachusetts – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system.
- Michigan – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system.
- Minnesota – Under 8 years old and less than 57″ in height, appropriate child restraint system.
- Mississippi – 7 years and older who either weigh 65 pounds or more or who are 57 inches or taller, seat belt.
- Missouri – 4 through 7 years who weigh at least 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds and who are 4’9″ or shorter, in a booster seat.
- Nebraska – 7 years and younger in a child safety seat.
- New Hampshire – less than 7 years of age, child restraint system.
- New Jersey – younger than 8 years and less than 57 inches, in a booster seat
- New Mexico – children seven years of age through twelve years of age shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device or by a seat belt.
- New York – all back seat passengers of such vehicle who are age four or older but under age eight, an appropriate child restraint system or in a lap safety belt
- North Carolina – 7 years and younger and less than 80 pounds, appropriate child restraint system.
- North Dakota – 7 years and younger and less than 57 inches, appropriate child restraint system.
- Ohio – 4 through 7 years who weigh 40 pounds or more and who are shorter than 57 inches in a child restraint or booster seat
- Oklahoma – 4 through 7 years, if not taller than 4 feet 9 inches, in a child restraint or booster seat
- Oregon – 7 or younger: more than 40 pounds but 4 feet and 9 inches or less must be in a booster seat
- Pennsylvania – 4 years or older but under 8 years in a booster seat.
- Rhode Island – under 8 years old and less than 57 inches and less than 80 pounds in an appropriate child restraint system; 7 years and younger who either weigh 80 pounds or more or who are at least 57 inches tall; 8 through 17 in seat belt.
- South Carolina – children 4 and older who outgrow forward-facing child restraint must be in belt positioning booster using lap/shoulder belts until child is at least 8 years or at least 57 inches.
- Tennessee– Children age four (4) through age eight (8), and measuring less than four feet nine inches (4’9″) in height, must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat system,
- Texas – A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than eight years of age, unless the child is taller than four feet, nine inches, and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system.”
- Utah – a child who is under the age of eight or who is less than 57 inches tall must be secured in a car seat or booster seat
- Vermont – a child eight through 17 years of age shall be restrained in a safety belt system or a child passenger restraining system.
- Virginia -all children under 8 to be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat,
- Washington -4 years or older, who is under four feet nine inches tall must be properly secured in a child booster seat. A child may continue to be properly secured in a child booster seat until the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belts fit properly, typically when the child is between the ages of eight and twelve years of age.
- West Virginia – all children under 8 to be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat.
- Wisconsin – Children must be in a booster seat until they reach age 8, more than 80 pounds in weight, or more than 4 ft. 9 in. tall.
- Wyoming – no person shall operate a passenger vehicle in this state unless each child who is a passenger in that vehicle and who has not reached his ninth birthday is properly secured in a child safety restraint system in a seat of the vehicle other than the front seat.
Car Seats Types for 4 Year Olds
4 year olds can ride in various types of car seats safely without compromising comfort. From the above list of best car seats for 4 year olds, you may have found several car seat types. In this part, you’ll learn more about the car seat types that are suitable for a 4 year old.
Convertible Car Seats
Convertible car seats with a 5-point harness should be the safest choice for 4 year olds.
If you have got a convertible car seat since your boy or girl’s birth, you should stick to the current staged car seat when he or she has not yet outgrown the weight or height limit permitted, even when they are 4 years old.
Commonly, the convertible car seats can be installed rear-facing and forward-facing, with different height and weight requirements. The upper weight limit is 65 pounds while the upper height limit is 49-inches.
That means, if your little boy or girl does not reach 65 pounds in weight or 49-inch in height, keep using the convertible car seats for 4 year olds.
3-in-1 or 4-in-1
Car seats of this type are also considered convertible car seats. They can be converted from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster. Some are capable of switching to backless boosters, and you’ll see 4-in-1 in their name, like the Graco 4Ever DLX.
So we make a list of these car seats for 4 year olds and call them all-in-one with the aim of going through three car seat stages – rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster.
The all-in-one car seats are typically a good money-saver. They can be used from your boy or girl’s birth till they’re ready to wear the vehicle seat belt. So they generally have a really long longevity – up to 10 years. That’s the longest lifespan of the best car seats for 4 year olds.
4 year olds are legally approved to ride in a booster seat by local laws in most of the 50 states.
When choosing a booster seat for a 4 year old, there are multiple choices available: booster with a 5-point harness, high-back and backless.
Theoretically, a 4 year old boy or girl is safe to ride in a booster. But they do have different safety ratings, due to their design and structure. Don’t worry. They all pass the crash tests and meet or exceed the child car seat safety standards.
Booster seat with 5 point harness > high back booster > backless booster
Five Point Harness to Boosters - Safest Booster for 4 Year Olds
They are the safest booster seats for 4 year olds, thanks to the five point harness. The 5-point harness secures your 4 year old boy or girl more tightly. This will highly reduce the risk of any crash events.
They are sometimes called combination car seats, combining the booster with a 5-point harness. They are able to last two car seat stages – forward-facing and booster.
That’s why you can see they are also appropriate for two year olds toddlers for riding front facing. You can use them next to the infant car seats.
High-back boosters are the second safest car seat for 4 year olds. They look like harnessed boosters. Both have head and neck support. Some high back boosters even side impact protection.
They also have the backrest that is very helpful if the 4 year old boy or girl falls asleep when traveling in the car or for long road trips.
The high back boosters have a guide to thread the shoulder belt, which is required for booster installation.
Backless boosters are the final option before your child is ready to get out of a safety seat. They help your 4-year-old boy or girl feel more grown-up. But they look less safer than high back boosters and harnessed boosters.
They only have the bottom seat element, giving the booster extra height so that it can be safely strapped in. They are commonly used to raise the small children up to reach the seat belt’s height buckle if the little boy or girl is less than 57 inches tall.
The backless boosters don’t offer any neck or head support, making it the least safest car seat for 4 year olds.
But they are still safe to ride a 4 year old kid, as long as you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install it.
Harness Booster vs High back Booster vs Backless Booster
|Booster Seats||Harness 2 Booster Seat||High-back Booster||Backless Booster|
|Stages||Two Stages||One Stage||One Stage|
|Weight Range||22-120 pounds||40-120 pounds||40-120 pounds|
|Height Range||28-63 inches||38-63 inches||38-63 inches|
When Do You Need a Booster Seat for 4 Year Olds?
While booster seats are officially approved to use for 4 year olds, age should not be the leading factor to decide when you can use it.
Actually, your child’s size (weight and height) is typically the deciding factor in choosing a booster seat for 4 year olds, because kids grow at different rates.
4 year old children may have various weights and heights. So it’s better to follow the height and weight rule to decide when to use a booster seat for 4 year olds. Just like I said in the part about convertible car seats for 4 year olds.
Before you use a booster seat for 4 year olds, make sure you know the answers for the below questions.
What are the age, height, and weight requirements for a booster seat?
According to the booster rules in most of the 50 states, a four year old boy or girl can ride in a booster seat when they:
Age: between 4 and 8 years old;
Height: less than 4 feet 9 inches (=57 in.) tall;
Weight: between 40 and 80 pounds.
That’s an overall conclusion of the age, height, and weight requirements for booster seats. It’s better to check the local car seat laws on riding with a 4 year old little passenger.
Will my boy or girl still be safe in a booster seat?
Yes. As long as you install the booster seats as per the manufacturer’s instructions, they’ll ensure your boy or girl’s safety. Booster seats are approved for 4 year olds by meeting the safety standards.
How to Choose the Best Car Seat for 4 Year Old
Features to consider while buying the safest car seat for 4-year-old
Safety is the first! That’s why we purchase car seats for our children. We want to ensure our boys or girls’ safety on road trips or air travels.
All the car seats sold in the US meet the minimum safety standards – they should pass the crash tests before the sale on the market.
However, different car seats may have different protection levels, based on the types, make, and additional safety features.
For example, car seats with a 5-point harness offer better protection, because they’re required to pass the crash tests from side impact. That’s the primary reason we recommend convertible car seats for 4 year olds.
Graco car seats, like the Extend2Fit and 4Ever DLX, have a great feature – ProtectPlus which the manufacturer boasts of it for protection from frontal, side, and rollover. Rollover accidents are indeed rare, but they contribute many fatalities to total.
The size of your child decides the size of car seats for 4 year olds.
The height and weight of your boy or girl should be always within the height and weight requirements of the booster seats.
All boosters have a 40-lb minimum weight limit. The maximum height and weight requirements vary based on types and makers.
Not only is the size of your child important, but the size of the car seat is also notable. You’ll want to make sure that the car seat actually fits in your car. If you have a compact vehicle or have to install two or more car seats, narrow car seats are preferable.
Easy to Install
You can install the car seats for 4 year olds using either the LATCH system or the seat belt system. The LATCH system is almost always easier to install thanks to the built-in anchors and tethers.
It’s best to choose a car seat that has both the LATCH system and the seatbelt system. The majority of car seats have both.
Proper installation is the basics to ensure protection. Choosing a car seat for a 4 year old with easy installation will not only save your time but also increase the chance to install the car seat properly.
A lot of parents love Britax car seats for their ClickTight technology. It allows an easier installation with a seat belt.
Car seats are needed for children under eight years old or less than 57 inches.
Choosing a car seat for 4 year olds that is durable to grow with the child will not only save money but also be friendly for your boys or girls. They will probably get used to it.
Changing to a new car seat for a 4 year old is not always a good idea unless you need to do that.
Easy to Clean
You won’t have much time to hand wash the seat pad. It’s a good idea to choose a car seat that is made of fabric that is machine washable.
Most car seats for 4 year olds are easy to clean with the washing machine. As far as I know, only the Britax Grow with You and the ClickTight version are not machine washable.
It should be a practical bonus if the car seat cover can be easily removed. There are handful of car seats, like the Graco 4Ever DLX, Chicco NextFit Zip and its premium models.
It won’t do you any good if you have a durable car seat if you don’t have a warranty to back it up. Unfortunately, when the car seat warranty is specified, most of the ones on the market will only be around 1-year, like the Graco Extend2Fit.
Diono provides an extended 3-year warranty for Radian 3R and its premium models in the same series.
Another 3-year example is an infant car seat – Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller.
Convertible seat or booster seat for 4 year olds
You know that you should get an infant seat for your newborn baby. However, once they outgrow it (normally around their first birthday), you’ll want to get the best seat for the next stage, or something that will last for multiple stages until your boy or girl does not need a car seat.
If you’re living in states that require 2 year olds to keep riding rear-facing, like New York, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, a convertible car seat with a higher rear-facing weight limit in its harness might be the safest choice.
The convertible car seat probably lasts through your child’s 4 years of age until they outgrow the forward-facing 5-point harness height or weight limit – 65 pounds or 49 inches.
If this is your case, keep using the convertible car seat.
If you found you’re in this situation:
- Your baby outgrows the infant car seats at 1 year old
- State laws do not require 1 year old to ride rear-facing
- You need to purchase a new car seat
In case all three conditions match, you can get a booster seat with a 5-point harness and use it when your little one grows to 4 year olds.
This is a very cost-effective way! We know baby essentials are a huge investment, more than the car seats.
How to install the car seats for four year olds
The installation varies depending on the car seat and car. Each car seat and car will be different, therefore it is extremely important for you to check with your car’s guidelines or secure car seat installation instructions.
Here are our tips:
First, you should read the car seat or booster seat user manual to know the steps;
Second, check the car’s instructions when you find something related to it in the car seat user manual.
Then you may want to know what is the safest position for placing a car seat.
Here are the common rules you can follow:
Place the booster or car seat in the right place. It is recommended (and enforced by law), that the back seat is the safest place for your kids.
If there are no other car seats in the center of the back seat, put the car seat or booster in that place. The rear middle is considered the safest spot in the vehicle since it’s not on the sides and doesn’t have airbags.
REMINDER: if you have a lap-only belt in the center of the back, NEVER place the booster seats in that spot. A lap-shoulder belt is required to install a booster seat for a 4 year old.
Use all safety parts of the car seat. To ensure safety, some car seats, like the Chicco MyFit, come with a tether strap that enforces an additional safety measure.
From the top of the seat, grab it and attach it to the vehicle. This will help keep your child’s head safe.
Tighten the straps up and adjust the angles. There is no use in going through all those safety precautions if you’re not going to use the seat properly. Make sure that everything is tightly secured and at the right angles.
Booster Seat Safety for 4 Year Olds
It’s best to keep a 4 year old child in a 5-point forward-facing car seat. But if you insist on using a booster seat when your little one is 4 years old and at least 40 pounds. You’d probably want to know how to ensure the booster seat is safe for 4 year olds.
Check below for safety tips to use a booster seat for 4 year olds.
The NHTSA strongly recommends children between 4 and seven years old use a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness until they reach the weight and height limits permitted by the seat.
As we talked about in the harnessed booster part, a 5-point harness increases protection in case of a crash.
What’s important to note here, is that as your child grows, the straps on the harness will need to be adjusted continuously.
If you want your 4 year old boy or girl to ride safely in a booster, make sure he or she reaches the minimum weight limit – 40 pounds.
Even if it’s legal that your child can use a booster seat when meeting either term- at least 4 years old, or at least 40 pounds. It’s safer to meet both terms.
Supposedly, your 4 year old boy or girl won’t exceed the maximum weight or height limit for a booster – up to 100 pounds or more, and up to 57 inches or more.
Vehicle’s Seat Belt
The seat belt is a very important feature to check out. Booster seats for 4 year olds SHOULD be installed with a lap-shoulder seat belt.
These are the booster seat laws in all 50 states. Never install a booster with a lap-only belt.
Talk to your pediatrician or check out what other parents are saying about the latch connection. These car seats will either be equipped with a push-on, hook-style, or rigid lower anchor.
Some booster seats may not support LATCH installation. If so, please use the vehicle’s seat belt.
If you’re going to be getting a forward-facing harness seat, you’ll need to see if the seat also includes a top tether strap. This feature will anchor the seat (and your child) to the vehicle seat, which will secure the seat optimally.
It will also protect your child against head injuries, which is important in the case of an accident.
Height on Backless Booster Seats
If you want to use a backless booster seat for 4 year olds, make sure your child’s ears do not go above the top of your car’s seat.
This will ensure proper head protection and prevent whiplash. If your child’s ears do go above your car’s seat, consider choosing a high-back booster seat.
The useful time is also an important feature to check out. Using an expired car seat is not safe. New booster seats might not have this issue.
This occasionally happens if you’re planning to use a well-maintained booster seat for your second 4 year old boy or girl.
Which is the Best Booster Car Seat for 4 Year Olds?
You need to consider a lot of things when choosing a booster seat for a 4 year old boy or girl.
As all booster seats ensure the minimum protection, the leading factors on which one is right for you and your family depend on personal preference.
Do you need something lightweight for travel and switching from car to car? Do you need narrow car seats if there are two or more children? Do you want a headrest if your child sleeps in the car or on long trips? What safety features are important to you? What’s your budget?
We make a list based on these specific needs to save your time doing the same research process as we did.
Graco SimFit3 LX – Narrowest to fit 3 across
Diono Radian 3R – Most portable for air travel
Graco 4Ever DLX – Best durable with backless mode
Graco Tranzitions – Best budget-friendly harness 2 booster
Chicco MyFit – Best for long 5-point harness riding
Britax Grow with You ClickTight – Highest booster weight and height limits
Maxi Cosi Pria – Most comfortable for boys and girls
FAQs on Best Car Seats for 4 Year Olds
What car seat should a 4 year old be in?
A four-year-old can sit in a convertible or booster. If you have purchased a convertible for use, just stick with it until your child outgrows the harness height or weight limits.
If you need to buy a new car seat for a 4 year old, the booster is a cheaper option. It’s better if you weigh over 40 pounds to ride in a booster seat.
Are booster seats safe for 4 year olds?
Yes, booster car seats are safe to ride for 4 years old children. The highback booster is better than the backless booster because the former gives your child additional head and back support.
But it’s better for them to sit in a convertible seat with a harness for fit and protection. Choosing a convertible or booster depends on your personal needs.
If you already bought a convertible car seat, just use it as normal. If you’re planning to purchase a new one for your 4-year-old little and use the convertible for a smaller toddler, a booster is good and safe anyway.
Does my 4 year old need a high back booster seat?
The answer is yes if you mean your 4 year old little need to ride in a car seat or not. It’s required to ride children under 8 years in a car seat. Booster car seats are designed for big and tall kids at least 40 pounds or 4 years old. So it’s the lowest requirement to put them in a booster.
High-back booster seats deliver better protection than backless models.
What age is booster car seats for?
In the US, booster car seats are designed for 4 year olds or kids who are at least 40 pounds in weight. But this does not mean you need to switch to a booster car seat at the kid’s fourth birthday.
Actually, it’s better to stick with a harness convertible until your little ones outgrow the harness height or weight limits, whichever height limit comes first.
Are backless booster seats legal in the UK?
Yes, backless booster seats are still legal in the UK. But laws also state that this type of car seat can be legally used for kids of different ages at different times.
The time node is 1 March 2017.
Backless booster seats made and bought before this date are still legal and approved for use by children weighing between 15 and 36kg (33-80 lbs).
So, if you own a backless booster seat bought before this date, you can still use it for a child within this weight range.
After that date, backless booster seats can now ONLY be used with children taller than 125cm and weighing more than 22kg (48.5 lbs).
Are backless booster seats legal?
Yes. Backless booster seats are legal for use. Every country has its own laws on the usage of this type of car seat.
Even different states in the US have different requirements. So it’s a good habit to check local laws before riding your child in a backless booster car seat.
Does a 4 year old need a 5 point harness?
It’s not required, but it’s strongly recommended to use a 5 point harness rather than a booster.
Most booster car seats -using a vehicle seat belt for protection, boasts of them to be suitable for 4 year old kids.
The 5 point harness offers a stronger grip to keep your child from moving too much in any crashes than the seat belt.
Is it safe to purchase a used car seat for 4 year olds?
You should NOT purchase a used car seat for your little one. You don’t know its history, i.e, whether it has been in a crash or not even if it’s in good condition.
Knowing its history won’t increase the car seat’s protection performance. It’s best to get a totally new car seat for 4 year olds.
But it’s not necessary if you’ll need to pass a used car seat from older children to 4 years old.
For example, one of your children grows to 4 years old while the older kid just outgrows that car seat and is ready to get out of it. You have been using the car seat and know every safety point about it. Then you may pass the car seat through to the 4 year olds.
What is the safest car seat for a 4 year old?
The safest car seat for a 4 year old should be the one with a 5-point harness. It’s better if it has bonus safety features.
Safest convertible car seat for a 4 year old is the Graco Extend2Fit. It comes with the company’s exclusive ProtectPlus technology, which is only used in premium models. The ProtectPlus technique enhances Extend2Fit’s performance in case of any collisions, allowing the car seat to offer protection from frontal, side, and rollover crashes.
The safest booster seat for a 4 year old is the Britax Grow with You ClickTight harness booster car seat. Its ClickTight feature offers an easier installation that increases the chance of proper installation.
It’s also the safest five-point car seat with up to 120 pounds booster weight limit.
What is the best car seat for a 4 year old?
The best car seat for a 4 year old is the Britax Grow with You ClickTight. It combines a forward-facing 5-point harness with a booster.
No matter what mode you choose, it will offer the best protection for a 4 year old.
What is the most comfortable car seat for a 4 year old?
The most comfortable car seat for a 4 year old is the Maxi Cosi Pria. It’s an all-in-one car seat. After rear-facing for infant mode, it can be used as a forward-facing toddler seat and then turned into a booster seat.
The Pria comes with plenty of padding for the greatest comfort, making it very suitable for long road trips.
What is the best booster car seat for a 4 year old?
Depending on your and your kid’s needs, there are various best booster car seats for a 4 year old.
Britax Grow with You ClickTight is the best booster car seat for a 4 year old. After you’ve clicked it in, the safest car seat doesn’t move at all.
Thanks to the five-point harness, your youngster will be as safe as a Nascar driver. If you want to look good while traveling, this is the ideal traveling companion.
Can I put my 4-year-old in a booster seat?
Yes, you can put your 4 year old in a booster seat if they meet the minimum weight requirements – 40 pounds. Although I would highly recommend keeping the 4-year-old in 5-point harness mode for up to 65 pounds.
What is the best choice if I have a younger child?
How long should a child be in a 5 point harness?
A child should be in a 5 point harness as long as possible. The 5 point harness car seats offer optimal protection. They perform better than a booster seat or the seat belt.
Most car seats with a 5-point harness have a 65-pound weight limit and 49-inch height limit. That means, your child can be in a 5-point harness until he or she reaches the limits.
If you’re parents like us who prefer longer harness protection, I strongly recommend the Chicco MyFit. It boasts of a 54-inch harness height limit.
What is the weight and height limit for car seats for 4 year olds?
The weight and height limits are all across the board and vary a lot based on modes, types, and makers.
4 year olds can ride in convertible, combination, all-in-one, and booster seats. The height and weight requirements are different.
For example, the weight limits for forward-facing mode average range between 22-65 pounds.
Some car seats have a different minimum weight limit. Britax Marathon ClickTight allows 20 pounds in a forward-facing 5-point harness. Chicco MyFit has a 25-pound minimum weight limit and a higher 54-inch height limit for harness mode.
To let you have an overall view of the weight and height limit for car seats for 4 year olds, here I summarize them:
Convertible car seats in forward-facing mode: minimum weight – 22 pounds (20 pounds for Britax Marathon / Advocate /Boulevard), no minimum height requirement; maximum weight / height – 65 pounds/ 49 inches.
Combination car seats in 5-point harness mode: minimum – 22 pounds (25 pounds for Chicco MyFit); maximum weight/height – 65 pounds/49 inches (54 inches for Chicco MyFit); when in booster mode: minimum weight/ height – 40 pounds / no requirement, maximum weight/height – 100 pounds /57 inches (120 pounds/63 inches for Britax Grow with You ClickTight.)
All-in-one car seats are quite the same as convertible and booster seats.
What kind of car safety standards should I expect for 4 year olds?
First, all car seats sold in the US market should meet or exceed the car seat safety standard – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.
The five-point harness car seats should pass through the side impact crash tests. They generally have one or more layers of side impact protection.
Some car seats may offer rollover protection, like the Graco Extend2Fit and Graco 4Ever DLX. Both feature the company’s ProtectPlus.
How to install these car seats for four year olds?
There are two methods to install car seats for four year olds with the LATCH or seat belt. The LATCH way sometimes is not workable for installing booster seats. The seat belt is best to install a booster.
But you SHOULD install the booster seats with a lap-shoulder belt. This is the common rule mentioned in the local laws.
It’s a good habit to read the manual first before starting to install a car seat.
What kind of features should I look at for car seats dedicated for 4 year olds?
As the child grows you will need more features. Like cup holders. Make sure that these cup holders are locked so they don’t turn into projectiles. Easy to adjust harness is always welcomed.
What is the best car seat for a 4 year old as a high back booster seat?
The best high-back booster seat for a 4 year old should be the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1. It’s one of the best rated car seats on Amazon.
It works as a 5-point forward-facing car seat for a 4 year old for optimal protection. As your boy or girl grows, you can switch it to a high back booster and finally a backless booster when they grow older.
The booster seat laws require a child younger than eight years old to stay in a booster – high back or backless. The Graco Tranzitions 100% satisfy this requirement. It features a 100-pound booster weight limit and a 57-inch booster height limit.
What would be a good alternative for the best car seat for a 4 year old?
The best alternative would be Chicco MyFit and Britax Grow with You ClickTight. Both are excellent combination car seats.
When you want to keep your child safe, the more protection the better. To keep your child safe on car travel use the safety harness system. For more comfort adjust the recline angle of the seat pad.
The harness straps can be hidden away when they are not in use.
Also to keep your child safe in booster seats adjust the harness for the best face forward. The seat cover is washable and the cup holder is easy to use.