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Quick List: Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old
After comparing and reviewing 30+ car seats in our database, we find the best of the top-rated car seat for 5 year old. They’re booster, portable for travel, comfortable, safe, and cheap.
1. Best slim car seat: Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim ($349.99 on Amazon) – 360-degree rotation, 50-lb weight limit for extended rear-facing, 16.75″ narrow width for 3 across.
2. Safest car seat: Graco Extend2Fit ($234.99 on Amazon)– 50-lb weight limit for extended rear-facing, extension panel.
3. Best portable car seat – Diono Radian 3R ($199.99 on Amazon) – extended rear-facing (50-lb weight limit), folding design, narrow width (17″), low profile.
4. Best 5-point harness car seat: Chicco MyFit ($199.99 on Amazon) – 54-inch harness height limit, narrow profile (17.5″).
5. Best lightweight seat- Graco Tranzitions ($139.99 on Amazon): 12.5 pounds in weight, 3 modes to grow with toddler, 17.5″ width.
What is the best car seat for 5 year old?
Convertible and booster seats are good options to accommodate kids at five years old. Most kids at this age exceed the minimum weight requirement of a booster – 40 lb.
But a high back booster is preferred to a backless booster which is suitable for preschoolers around 5 years old.
A 5-year-old preschooler generally rides forward-facing, so both the convertible and booster are worth your consideration.
If you have purchased a convertible car seat since your kid’s birth, then just continue to use it until they outgrow the 65-pound weight limit or 49-inch height limit.
However, if your boy or girl exceeds the limits at five years of age, you can purchase the best booster seat for 5 years old.
Booster seats are typically the cheapest.
To make it simple, we’ve picked 9 of the best car seats for 5 year olds and categorized them into three weight groups (35-40 pounds, 40-50 pounds):
Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old
Highest harness height
Highest weight/ height limit
Britax Grow with You ClickTight
Chicco NextFit Zip
Easy to install
Britax Marathon ClickTight
4 in 1
Graco 4Ever DLX
Diono Radian 3R
Safety 1st Jive
Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old by Bonus Features
- All-in-one car seat – Diono Radian 3R (foldable)
#1 Safest Car Seat for 5 Year Old
Why We Recommend It
Graco Extend2Fit is the best convertible car seat for 5 year old. Its 22-to-65-lb weight range covers all the kids at five years of age.
We rate it as the #1 of the best car seats for 5 year olds for another important factor – its extended usage in rear-facing mode when your child was an infant or a toddler. It ranks top among the few car seats that have a 50-lb rear-facing weight limit.
The Graco Extend2Fit comes with a 65-lb 5-point harness weight limit for forward-facing riding. This is far more than the average weight of 43-pounds for most 5-year-old children, making it the best car seat for 5 year old.
If you have purchased the Graco Extend2Fit and installed it forward-facing when your child was at their 3-year old or 4-year old, then you don’t need to install it again, just ride your child as usual.
The Graco Extend2Fit has a few appealing features that amaze parents who have five-year-old boys or girls.
As your child grows, the harness and headrest should be adjusted to an upper position to keep the harness straps at or just above the child’s shoulders and top of the child’s ears below the top of the headrest.
You can finish the adjustment in seconds, thanks to the car seat No-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust™ Harness System that allows the headrest and harness to pull up together in one motion.
Moreover, to make it easier for parents to get the 5 year old boy or girl in and out of the car seat, the Graco Extend2Fit features several fuss-free harness storage pockets that conveniently hold the harness out of the way.
Featuring two cup holders on both sides, the Graco Extend2Fit allows getting the snacks and drinks effortlessly.
The majority of best car seats for 5 year olds come with cup holders, but not all. Britax Marathon ClickTight is an exception! It does not have a cup holder.
Cup holders will result in an annoying problem – you may find the car seat, especially the seat pad, is very dirty after several trips.
After all, it’s the only place for the kids to eat, drink, sleep and play in the car.
Fortunately, the seat pad is machine washable and you can take it off for washing.
The harness can be cleaned with mild soap and damp cloth or wipes, while the buckle can be placed in a cup of warm water and gently agitated for cleaning.
You can always keep the car seat clean and comfortable by following the care and maintenance tips in the user manual or contacting customer support if you still have questions about the Graco Extend2Fit car seat.
#2 Safest Car Seat for 5 Year Olds
Chicco NextFit Zip
Why We Recommend It
Chicco NextFit Zip is the #2 best car seat for 5 year olds. It can ride a 5-year old child in front-facing with the 5-point harness. It’s recommended to keep your child in this stage as long as possible.
The car seat can last long for riding a child under 65 pounds in weight and 49 inches in height, perfectly fitting 5 years old kids, even big ones age 6 or 7.
The NextFit Zip is engineered with great protection. It features the company’s unique DuoGuard technique, which is a protective system including a deep rigid high strength shell, EPS energy-absorbing foam, and two layers of head and body protection. These premium features make it one of the safest car seats for 5 year olds.
The nine-position reclines and nine-position headrest not only allow you to find a comfortable fit position to accommodate your child but also add more protection to best fit your child’s growth.
Putting your child in the right position would enhance the headrest’s protection and reduce the side impact in crashes. Positions ranging from 5 to 8 are good for 5 year olds.
We know that easy and accurate installation is an important factor to keep your 5-year-old boy or girl safe in the car seat. The Chicco NextFit Zip does more than allow two basic convenient installing methods – LATCH and vehicle seat belt.
The SuperCinch force-multiplying tightener and LockSure belt-locking system provide remarkably simple leveling and tightening and help the parents to install the car seat with confidence without confusion. It absolutely ranks top on the best car seats for 5 year olds.
The NextFit Zip is an entry-level model in the NextFit series, if you want more additional features from the Chicco car seats for your 5-year-old child, compare and check below four options and pick up the best one.
#3 Easy-to-Install Car Seat for 5 Year Old
Britax Marathon ClickTight
$299.99 (*Price may change)
Why We Recommend It
The Britax Marathon is the #3 of best car seat for 5 year olds, using a 5-point harness to ride in front facing.
It’s a convertible car seat that rides in two modes – rear-facing and front-facing. But a 5-year-old child absolutely exceeds the rear-facing weight limit of 40 pounds.
When used front facing, the Marathon was designed with a weight limit of 65 pounds and height limit of 49 inches, fitting most kids at their five years age, even big kids with a faster growth rate.
The Marathon features the Britax company’s unique techniques like the SafeCell, V-shaped tether, and high-strength steel frame, making it the safest car seat for five year olds.
The SafeCell technology crumples to help absorb crash energy while the V-shaped tether provides more stability to hold the car seat, reducing the twists and movement from side to side or from front to back in case of any crashes.
The company boasts of its steel frame to help keep the car seat stabilized. Actually, it’s the basic requirement for most car seats, as reinforced steel frames increase the chance to pass through the federal safety standards for car seats in the crash tests.
But this does not mean the Marathon is not a good option. It even provides more headrest and reclines positions than the majority of models on the market, outperforming other best car seats for 5 year olds.
The Britax Marathon was designed with a 14-position quick-adjustable headrest and harness and 7-position reclines for better fitting your growing child.
It’s a pity that the Marathon has only one layer of side impact protection, less than other Britax car seats’ 2 layers or even 3 layers, even if it’s dozens of dollars cheaper. But you may have found the Marathon is still more expensive than most Graco car seats.
#2 Lightweight Travel Car Seat for 5 Year Old
Safety 1st Jive
Why We Recommend It
The Safety 1st Jive is the last on the list of best convertible car seats for a 5 year old. But this does not mean it’s the least important. It’s a lightweight car seat for 5 year olds.
It works well to fit your 5-year-old little one since their newborn babies, thanks to its long-lasting design to accommodate kids from 5-65 pounds. It can be installed in both rear-facing and front-facing.
However, a 5 years old child probably rides forward-facing in the Safety 1st Jive, with the 5-point harness for security and protection.
The included head and body pillows are removable and should be removed to provide your little one more space for a comfortable ride in the vehicle, and the airplane.
Yes, the Safety 1st Jive is approved for use on an aircraft and you can take it to fly with your 5 years old little one for protection.
Compared to those bulky models for airplane use, the Safety 1st Jive features a compact and slim design, which not only makes it easier to pass the airport security checks but also fits 3 across in the back seat of most vehicles.
This is a very appealing feature for parents with small cars or families with several growing children that need to ride in the car seats.
The Safety 1st Jive is a friendly car seat for 5 year old littles.
It has two cup holders that take your child’s snacks and drinks within their reach. Don’t worry about the mess. It’s detachable and dishwasher-safe, making the car seat also friendly for parents.
You can remove the cup holders to clean when a mess happens.
The machine washable and dryer-safe fabrics add points to its performance. Parents can easily take the seat pad off and wash it clean to keep their little ones comfortable in their own world.
Best Booster Car Seat for 5 Year Old
#1 Best Booster Car Seat for 5 Year Old - Highest Harness
Chicco MyFit - 17.5"
Chicco MyFit ranks top on the best five-point harness booster car seat for 5 year old for its higher harness height limit.
The manufacturer boasts of its 54-inch forward-facing harness maximum height.
That is 5 inches more than the 49-inch height limit of 99% forward-facing car seats with a 5-point harness. We’re good parents and want our little one to be protected with a 5-point harness for a longer time.
It exactly meets our needs! Chicco MyFit is the best car seat for 5 year olds from this point.
With a width of 17.5 inches, Chicco MyFit is a narrow car seat for 5 year olds. It’s slim enough to fit 3 across in most vehicles.
This 17.5-inch width outperforms most of the bulky combination car seats on the market, beating Britax Grow with You ClickTight (19-inch), KidsEmbrace (19-inch), Graco Tranzitions (19-inch), and even a narrow model – Graco Atlas (18-inch).
Weighing up to 25 pounds, Chicco MyFit is not a lightweight car seat for a 5 year old. This weight, along with its large size (even it’s slim), makes Chicco MyFit less portable for air travel. Even though it’s FAA approved for airplane use in 5-point harness mode.
It’s not as portable as the Diono Radian 3R if you plan to take the 5-year old boy or girl to fly with you a lot. The Radian 3R weighs a bit more at 25.9 pounds, but it features a foldable design. You can fold the bottom pad and easily carry it to the airport like a backpack.
It’s best to use the Chicco MyFit for road trips – long road travel is also okay. It’s slim and heavy, and has great safety features, along with two cup holders
#2 Booster Car Seat for 5 Year Old - Highest Weight/Height Limit
Britax Grow with You ClickTight
Among the best car seats for 5 year olds, the Britax Grow with You ClickTight is one of the two 5 point harness car seats up to 120 pounds for the booster weight limit.
This 120-pound maximum height beats other car seats that have a 100-pounds booster weight limit. More than that, the Britax Grow with You ClickTight also features the highest height limit – up to 63 inches, making it the best car seat for 5 year olds.
The ultra-performance on the highest height and weight requirements is probably the reason why Britax Grow With You ClickTight is more expensive than other harnessed boosters.
No other car seats for 5 year olds have this combination of 120–pound and 63-inch limits. Even not the Graco 4Ever DLX – that is the other of two 5 point harness car seats up to 120 pounds.
The ClickTight technique is another possible contributing factor to its high price. It allows parents to install the car seat with a seat belt for easier installation. This makes Britax Grow with You ClickTight one easy-to-install car seat for 5 year olds.
You’ll find all Britax car seats with the ClickTight are a bit more pricey than those models without the ClickTight feature. The normal version of Grow With You is priced at $229 while the ClickTight version is priced at $329 (*price may change due to the seller’s promotion).
There is an upgraded model – Grow with You ClickTight Plus, which is more expensive at $399. Compared to the Plus version, you’ll find the Grow with You ClickTight and normal version are made of non-machine washable fabrics.
That’s really a big drawback, especially among those high-priced car seats for 5 year olds.
Made of a reinforced steel frame, the Britax Grow with You ClickTight boasts of its protection performance, along with a few safety features.
The 9-position headrest is good for head and neck support, the 2-position reclines ensure a comfortable angle for 5 year olds. Two cup holders within easy reach are great for joy during the trips.
That’s very common for a car seat for a 5 year old.
The manufacturer boasts of a few additional safety features, like the V-shaped tether for a more stable installation, and the SafeCell crumples to absorb crash energy in case of any collision.
#3 Booster Car Seat for 5 Year Old
Graco Tranzitions - 12.5 pounds
Why We Recommend It
The Graco Tranzitions is a 3-in-1 harness booster seat for 5 year olds. It provides two modes to accommodate your 5 years old child. One is the 5-point harness and the other is the booster.
It’s a forward-facing only car seat to ride bid kids, not suitable for small toddlers under 22 pounds. This type of car seat generally works after the rear-facing only infant car seat for growing children, from 2 years to 10 years old.
When used in the forward-facing harness mode, the Tranzitions is suitable for children between 22-65 pounds, good enough to fit a 5 year old child at an average growth rate, or even big kids at a faster rate.
The height limit is up to 49-inch in the 5-point harness mode. Obviously, the height limit will come first around their 7 years of age, on average.
Thanks to its Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, the Graco Tranzitions allow the parents to adjust the harness and headrest in one motion for a perfect position. There are 8 height positions preset for choice to provide the safest and most comfortable fit.
The Tranzitions is an old model from the Graco company and lacks a few advanced features that are designed in the newer models like the Extend2Fit and 4Ever DLX 4-in-1. It provides few headrest positions and is GracoPlus Engineered for going through more testing standards.
It’s strongly recommended to stick with the 5-point harness for 5 year olds until your child outgrows the harness height or weight limits.
But if your child prefers to sit in a booster at 5 years old, the Graco Tranzitions allows a seamless transition from harness convertible to a booster. Choosing to use it as a high back or backless booster depends on your child’s weight and will.
The booster -highback or backless, requires a weight minimum of 40 pounds, which was increased from 30 pounds by the company – from this point, it’s better not to move your child to the next mode so soon.
Two cup holders seem to be a necessity to ride a child in the car seat. So it’s not surprising that you’ll see two removable cup holders on both sides. They’re useful to keep your child cheerful in the journey, with the drinks and snacks at easy reach.
#4 Safest Car Seat for 5 Year Old - 4 in 1
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat
Why We Recommend It
If you have purchased the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat since your child’s birth, you can still use it to accommodate when your child grows to 5 years old.
The company designed this all-in-one car seat to grow with your child. It has a wide weight range and is good to accommodate kids from newborns to teenagers: rear-facing (4-40 lbs), forward-facing convertible (22-65 lbs), and booster (highback of 100 lbs and backless of 120 lbs).
This makes it one of the best car seats for 5 year olds.
Both the convertible and booster modes are suitable for a 5-year-old kid. But sitting in the convertible seat with a 5-point harness is much safer than in the booster with only the seat belt for protection.
Parents also need to keep this in mind: check your child if they reach the minimum weight limit of a booster – 40 pounds. Even most kids their 5 years age are over this weight number.
Graco is a traditional brand with a few years of experience in developing great car seats to meet the kid’s and parents’ needs and also the market.
The 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 is a newer version of the 4Ever 4-in-1 car seat, with several excellent improvements in safety, installation, and convenience.
The upgraded 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 is ProtectPlus Engineered, meaning it passed more strict and rigorous crash tests than the common standards used in 4Ever 4-in-1.
At this point, 4Ever DLX is much safer than its previous sibling, which also featured Graco’s TrueShield for reducing the side-impact effect.
Accurate installation means a lot in protecting your child in the safety restraint system. The 4Ever DLX was designed with a built-in belt lock-off feature for easy and correct installation in the forward-facing mode.
Made of machine washable fabrics, the seat pad is effortless and saves parents time and energy to take it off.
The upgraded 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat features a Rapid Remove cover, even much easier for you to take it off for washing.
You don’t need to uninstall the car seat but just unbuckle the snaps that are used to connect the different parts of the seat pad.
#1 Best Travel Car Seat for 5 Year Old - Foldable
Diono Radian 3R - 17"
Why We Recommend It
The Diono Radian 3R is able to accommodate a 5 year olds child in two modes – 5-ponit harness forward-facing and a high-back booster. It’s an all-in-one car seat for 5 year olds.
Most kids in their 5-year-age weigh around 40 pounds, some big kids who grow faster than their peers may weigh heavier, while the Radian 3R allows a child over 40 pounds to sit in the car seat in the booster mode.
Booster mode is the second choice for riding a 5-year-old kid in the car. Parents should put the children in the harness as long as possible until they outgrow the harness height or weight limits.
The safety car seat experts in the Consumer Reports and AAP also advise the parents to change the convertible to a booster when their kids are ready for the third stage.
It’s designed to fit 3 across.
The Diono might be the first brand that tried to develop this slim-fit design in their car seats. This great feature hits the big pain point for big families with several children that need to use a car seat and the parents-owned compact cars with narrow back seats.
The Radian 3R is mechanically engineered and made from automotive-grade high-strength steel to enhance the protection during your child’s growth. The car seat has a long lifespan of 10 years, thanks to its reinforced steel core.
It provides a very long warranty.
You can get up to 36 months warranty for the car seat, as long as you’ll register it with Diono post-purchase. That’s triple the 12-month standard warranty for the Radian 3R and most other car seats.
You’ll definitely like this car seat if you want a great money saver to grow with your children and if you have several children and need to install several car seats.
Best Car Seat for 5 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 5 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 5 Year Olds by Price
|Rank||Price||Car Seat||Weight Limit||Height Limit||Stage|
|1||$99.99||Diono Cambria 2 XL||120 pounds||63 in.||1 stage||2||$99.99||Safety 1st JIve||65 pounds||49 in.||2 stages|
|3||$109.99||Graco Tranzitions 3-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||$299.99||Chicco NextFit Zip||65 pounds||49 in.||2 stages|
|8||$299.99||Britax Grow with You ClickTight||120 pounds||63 in.||2 stages|
|9||$299.99||Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-one||100 pounds||57 in.||3 stages|
|10||$309.99||Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1||120 pounds||57 in.||3 stages|
Law on Car Seats for 5 Year Olds
5-6 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.
5-7 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.
Types of Car Seats for 5 Year Olds
5 year olds can ride in various types of car seats safely. You may have found a lot of the best options listed above for their performance. Here, I want you to know why they rank top of best car seats for 5 year olds.
Convertible Car Seats for 5 Year Olds
If your boy or girl does not outgrow the weight or height limit of the used convertible car seat, you should stick to using it until they exceed the 65-pound or 49-inch height.
More than saving money, using the convertible forward-facing with the 5-point harness is better for your kid’s safety sake.
The five-point harness will have tighter protection than a booster. That’s why we also include a few booster seats with 5-point harnesses in the top recommendations.
3-in-1 or 4-in-1
This type of car seat can be converted from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster. They commonly belong to convertible car seats.
However, we list them alone because there are a lot of all-in-one car seats available to save money. They commonly have the longest lifespan up to 10 years.
5 year olds children are legally allowed to ride in a booster seat by local laws in all 50 states.
Booster seats help your 5-year-old feel more grown-up. When choosing a booster seat, you will have three choices: harnessed, high-back, and backless.
Backless boosters are less restraining and look more like an adult seat. But considering your boy or girl’s safety, a harnessed booster should be the best choice, following is the high back, and then is backless.
As far as I know, a lot of parents want to keep their 5 year old children in a 5-point harness for a longer time. I recommended Chicco MyFit. It features a 54-inch harnessed height limit.
Five Point Harness to Boosters
Boosters with 5-point harnesses are the safest booster for 5 year olds. They are very similar to high-back booster seats. Both have back and head supports.
They are commonly called combination car seats, combining a 5-point harness into the booster, with extended use for small toddlers as young as two years old.
Like the booster seats, they can be used front-facing only, lacking the rear-facing mode. The harnessed booster can be used next to the infant car seat, depending on your local laws at each stage.
High-back boosters are the second safest booster for 5 year olds. They provide extra support to the head and neck with a backrest around the kid’s body. This is very beneficial for children especially if they fall asleep when traveling in the car or on long road trips.
The high-back boosters have a guide to thread the shoulder belt, which is required for booster installation.
Some high-backs are available as 3-in-1 convertible car seats that can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster. Some high-backs have a removable back for switching to a backless. Some may have all the converts, like the Graco 4Ever DLX.
Backless boosters are the final option before your child is ready to get out of a safety seat.
They only have the bottom seat element, giving the booster extra height so that it can be safely strapped in. They ensure the small children who are less than 57 inches tall reach the seat belt’s height buckle.
The backless boosters don’t offer any neck or head support, making them the least safe of the three booster seat types.
But they are still safe to ride a 5 year old kid, as long as you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install them.
This type of booster has seat belt guides that position the seat belt over the correct place on the child’s body. They are compact and lightweight and typically less expensive. They are easy to transport for long and short trips. This is especially pleasing if you travel.
When Do You Need a Booster Seat for your 5-year-old?
Age is not always the deciding factor on when you need to use a booster seat, even 5-year-old kids are approved to use a booster in most states.
Kids grow at different rates. It’s better to follow the height and weight rule to decide when to use a booster seat for 5 year olds. Just like I said in the part about convertible car seats for 5 year olds.
Here are some questions to consider when you’re planning to use a booster seat for 5 year olds.
What are the age, height, and weight requirements for a booster seat?
According to the government regulations from all the 50 states, a 5 year old boy or girl can ride in a booster seat when they:
Age: between four and eight years old;
Height: less than 4 feet 9 inches (=57 in.) tall;
Weight: between 40 and 80 pounds.
It’s better to check the local car seat laws on a 5 year old child of the state you’re living or planning to travel.
Will they still be safe in a booster seat?
Yes. Booster seats are required to meet the safety standards as well. They’re legally approved for riding big kids older than 4 years old, including the 5 years of age.
Booster seats will last several years until your boy or girl is between 8 and 12 years old.
How to Choose the Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old?
Safety comes first! That’s the primary reason we purchase car seats for our children – To ensure their safety.
While all the car seats sold in the US should meet or exceed the safety standards, additional safety features and easy installation are a bonus.
For example, does it have side impact protection? If yes, how many layers? How easy is it to install?
Britax car seats with the ClickTight provide an easier proper installation.
Easy to Install
5 year old car seats are typically installed 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 Britax car seats earn parents’ trust through the company’s ClickTight technique. It allows an easier installation with a seat belt.
If you intend to use the car seat for quite some time more than the 5 year olds, choosing a car seat that is durable is the best. You may check the car seat’s lifespan on a label.
Easy to Clean
As for the car seat cover, choose a fabric that is durable and easily washable. It’s better if the car seat cover can be easily taken off for washing. Like the Chicco NextFit Zip and its premium models.
Booster Seat Safety for 5 Year Olds
When your little one approaches the top weight or height limit of their forward-facing car seats, you should switch to a booster seat. This probably happens around your boy or girl’s 5th birthday.
If this is your case, here are some safety tips to use a booster seat for 5 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.
Height on Backless Booster Seats
For the backless booster seat, be 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.
Vehicle’s Seat Belt
Your car should have a lap-shoulder belt system to properly install the booster seats for 5 year olds.
Never install a booster with a lap-only belt. Plus, your car’s seat belt should always make contact with your child’s chest and shoulders, coming across the top of their thighs and without touching the stomach area.
Which Booster Car Seat for 5 Year Olds to Choose?
You need to consider a lot of things when choosing a booster seat for your growing 5-year-old. After safety, the factors to decide which one is right for you and your boy or girl depends on personal preference and meeting the needs of your family.
Do you need something lightweight for travel and switching from car to car? Is the LATCH system important to you? 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.
Britax Grow with You ClickTight – Best 5-point harness car seat up to 120 pounds
Chicco MyFit – Best for long 5-point harness riding
Diono Radian 3R – Narrowest to fit 3 across
Diono Radian 3R – Most portable for air travel
Graco Tranzitions – Best budget-friendly
Maxi Cosi Pria – Most comfortable for boys and girls
FAQs on Best Car Seat for 5 Year Old
What seat should a 5 year old be in?
Both the convertible and booster car seats are suitable to ride a 5 year old, who weighs an average of 40.5 pounds for boys and 39.5 pounds for girls. Selecting what type of car seat depends on your personal needs.
If you have used a convertible car seat, keep using it before your 5 year old child approaches the weight or height limit, whichever comes first.
If you’re planning to get another new car seat for 5 year olds, booster seats are a good option. They’re cheaper and lighter in weight and more portable to switch installing in different vehicles.
Can my 5 year old be in a booster seat?
Yes. The booster seat is suitable for children at least 4 years old, so it’s reasonable to accommodate a 5 year old in a booster seat.
However, it’s recommended to stick with the harness convertible seat until your child exceeds the height or weight limits if you have owned a convertible seat when they were smaller.
Does a 5 year old need a car seat or booster?
Depending on your child’s size. If your little one weighs less than 65 pounds or is less than 49 inches tall, keep them in a child safety seat with a 5-point harness, even if they’re 5 years old.
If they outgrow the car seat at the age of five, purchasing a new booster seat is a good choice. Or you can switch the all-in-one car seat from harness mode to booster mode for 5 year olds.
Does a 5 year old have to be in a car seat?
Yes. In the US, 5 year old kids are required to ride in a car seat for safety reasons. Car seats with a 5-point harness are the best. If not, booster seats are good.
Can my 5 year old sit in the front seat?
It’s better not. Usually, the 5 year old child should sit in a car seat that is recommended to install in the back seat for safety considerations.
What age does a child not need a car seat?
A child does not need a car seat when they grow over the booster’s top height or weight limits generally between 12-13 years of age. At this time, they’re ready to use the vehicle seat belt like an adult.
Should a 5 year old have a 5-point harness?
If your little one is less than 65 pounds in weight or 49 inches in height at five years old, it’s best to use a car seat with a 5-point harness.
The 65-pound weight limit and 49-inch height limit are the most common rule for forward-facing car seats with a 5-point harness. If you want to extend the harness time, you should consider Chicco MyFit Harness Booster. It features a higher 54-inch harness height limit.
If your boy or girl exceeds 65 pounds or 49 inches, he or she does not need to stay in a car seat with a 5-point harness.
How long should a child be in a 5 point harness?
Your boy or girl should be in a 5-point harness car seat as long as possible until he or she reaches the weight or height limit. Most come with a 65-pound weight limit and 49-inch height limit for 5-point-harness.
The car seats with a 5-point harness gives more protection than booster seats without the harness.
Can a 5 year old use a backless booster seat?
Yes, kids at 5 years old are legally approved to use a backless booster seat. However, it’s highly recommended to keep your 5 year old in harness mode until they are 65 pounds or 49 inches tall.
More than that, the high-back boosters also offer more protection than backless models. But if your little boy or girl prefers a backless booster, make sure they are at least 4 years old or 40 pounds.
What are the height and weight limits for booster seats for 5 year olds?
The height and weight limits vary a bit depending on the make and models.
The average weight limits range from 40 to 100-120 pounds for the majority of booster seats, including high back and backless. The 40-pound is the minimum requirement for a child to ride in a booster. So if your little one reaches the age of five, he or she must weigh at least 40 pounds.
The upper height limit of the boosters can be 100-pound, 110-pound, and 120 pounds. Most come with a 100-pound booster weight limit; very few models have a 110-pound weight limit, like the Safe Traffic System Ride Safer Travel Vest; few models have a 120-pound weight limit, like the Graco 4Ever DLX and Britax One4Life.
The upper height limit for a booster ranges between 57 and 63 inches.
Most allow 57-inch because this is required in booster laws in most states. Few models extended the use of the booster stage by featuring a higher 63-inch height limit, like the Britax One4Life and Britax Grow with You Clicktight.
How do you clean the best booster car seat for 5 year olds?
Most booster seats for 5 year olds are made of fabrics that are machine washable. You only need to remove the car’s seat cover and have them washed in the machine.
The clean guidelines can be found in the car seat’s manual, so it’s a good idea to read them before cleaning.
Cup holders can be easily clean. Some are dishwasher safe, like the Britax Grow with You ClickTight.
How do you install a booster seat for a 5 year old?
Booster seats don’t support LATCH installation. So you need to install the booster seat for 5 year olds with the vehicle seat belt.
It’s easy to install. Make sure to follow the steps to install it in the manual first.
But you should pay attention to this tip: Booster seats must be installed with the lap-shoulder belt system.
Most of the 50 states have this requirement in their laws.
What forward-facing car seats are the best for a five year old?
What would be good combination car seats for a 5 year old?
The best combination car seat for 5 year olds should be the Britax Grow with You ClickTight. It’s a 2-in-1 harness booster with the highest weight and height limits – up to 120 pounds and 63-inches.
It also features Britax’s exclusive ClickTight technique for an easy installation. But it was a bit expensive.
If you want a cheaper alternative, the Graco Tranzitions should be a good choice. It’s the cheapest combination car seat. Plus, it is able to switch from high back to backless mode. It’s a 3-in-1 car seat.
If your boy or girl is a fan of Marvel, he or she may like the KidsEmbrace. How about riding with SpiderMan for protection?
What kind of safety standards does the forward facing booster seat for 5 year olds have?
All car seats sold in the US should pass the crash test standards, including the booster seats.
The most commonly seen one is the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213.
Some forward-facing high back boosters may feature side impact protection.
What about an inflatable booster seat for a 5 year old?
Well, the inflatable booster seat does its job to protect your 5 year old boy or girl. But it’s not that comfortable for long road trips or daily use.
They have been cleared by the federal aviation administration. It’s better using a backless booster for 5 year olds than an inflatable booster.
What kind of features should a 5-year-old booster seat have?
Safety is the first. So it is best for a booster seat to have head and neck support, shoulder protection, and a reinforced steel frame.
The booster seat should have the following features: head support, proper position and recline positions, steel frame, two integrated cup holders (two cup holders), shoulder protection, structural headrest, rigid latch, great crash test results, neck support, easy install, machine washable seat pad, other safety features, adjustable headrest, contoured seat design, affordable price and we shouldn’t forget the ability to install it forward facing even on the back seat.
What kind of car booster seat options are there for five year olds?
There are three kinds of car booster seat options for five years old kids. Booster with a 5-point harness, high back booster, and backless booster.
Regarding the safety performance, a harnessed booster is the best, a high back booster is following, the backless booster is for the upper age group.
What are the height and weight requirements for the five point harness, belt positioning booster seat?
The height and weight requirements vary between different brands and models. But there are common rules for the same type of car seats.
For example, car seats with a five point harness typically have a 65-pound upper weight limit and a 49-inch upper height limit. Few models have a higher harness height or weight limit, like the Chicco MyFit Harness Booster and Britax Grow With You ClickTight. The former comes with a 54-inch maximum height; the latter is a 5-point harness car seat up to 120 pounds.
Belt-positioning booster seats generally have weight requirements between 40 to 100 pounds and a maximum height requirement of up to 57 inches.
However, there are a few great booster seats for 5 year olds who grow a bit faster than their peers. They have higher height and weight limits, Diono Cambria 2 XL for instance. It has a 120-pound weight limit and a 63-inch height limit.
What’s the difference between a traditional car seat and a travel car seat?
Size and car seat weight might be the major difference between the two. But there is no obvious boundary.
As long as the car seat is lightweight or portable for travel, you can’t say it’s a travel car seat or a traditional car seat.
For example, the Diono Radian 3R is a 3-in-1 car seat for 5 year olds. It’s a bit heavy, weighing up to 25.9 pounds. But it’s also great for air travel and road trips.
It features a folding design and can be easily carried like a backpack.
What is the best car seat for a 3 year old?
Are there any five point harness high back booster car seats for 5 year olds?
Yes. There are a few five-point harness high-back booster car seats for 5 year olds. We have listed several models above.
They work well to meet the different needs of 5 year old boys and girls and their families.
Chicco MyFit is a five-point harness high back booster seat with a 54-inch harness height limit, which is very appealing for parents who want to extend the harness protection time.
Britax Grow with You ClickTight is a 5 point harness car seat up to 120 pounds for booster weight limit and up to 63 inches for booster height limit. It’s a great car seat for 5 year olds to grow older.
KidsEmbrace is a five-point harness high back booster car seat with Marvel heroes printed on the seat pad. If your boy or girl is a fan of Spider-Man or Cinderella, I’m certain they’re happy in their car seats.
Graco Tranzitions is the best budget-friendly 5-point harness high-back booster car seat for 5 year olds. Plus, it’s the only one that supports switching to backless mode.
What kind of car seat for a 5 year old is the right choice?
How do I know if my child is ready for the next stage car seat or a travel car seat?
First, you can check the apparent factors. Compare your child’s weight and height to the height and weight requirements of the current car seat.
If the 5 year old boy or girl does not outgrow their current seat, for example, 65-pounds maximum weight and 49-inch maximum height for 5-point harness forward facing car seats, they should not move to the next stage car seat, like a booster.
What is the top rated booster seat for 5 year old?
The Chicco Myfit is the top rated booster seat for a 5 year old. It features a 54-inch harness height limit, 5-inches more than the average harness height, allowing a 5 year old to stay in the harness protection for a longer time.
There are other great booster seats for 5 year olds. Britax Grow with You ClickTight is a 5 point harness car seat up to 120 pounds for booster weight limit.
What is the safest car seat for 5 year old?
Britax Grow with You ClickTight is considered the safest car seat for a 5 year old.
This car seat provides a 5-point harness for children which provides optimal safety, extra support to sit correctly and highly rated crash tests
What kind of car seat for a 5 year old?
A 5 year old should be in a forward facing 5 point harness car seat. A 5-point harness is approved to be more protective for 5 year old boys and girls. It is the safest and most effective way to secure your child’s safety.
What sort of car seat should a 5 year old be in?
The best car seat for a 5 year old would be a forward facing car seat with a five point harness.
What is the best car seat for a tall 5 year old?
The best car seat for a tall 5 year old is the Chicco MyFit. It features a 54-inch harness height limit. That’s 5-inches more than other car seats with a 5 point harness. This will prolong the use time of a 5-point harness for 5 year olds.
What is the best booster car seat for 5 year old?
The best booster car seat for a 5 year old is the Chicco MyFit. It provides all of the safety and comfort features your child requires in their booster seat.