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Quick List: Best Car Seat for a 2 Year Old Toddler
Choosing a car seat for 2-year-old toddlers is a biggie for most parents. Sometimes you want to keep him in a forward-facing car seat, but the best practice is to keep a 2-year-old kid in rear-facing for as long as possible. Here are the six top-rated car seats for 2 year old in both rear-facing and forward-facing.
1. Best rotating: Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim ($349.99 on Amazon) – 360 degrees rotation, 50-lb weight limit for extended rear-facing, 16.75″ narrow width for 3 across.
2. Best lightweight: Cosco Mighty 65 ($89.99 on Amazon) – 11 lb weight, friendly for travel.
3. Best for extended rear-facing: Graco Extend2Fit ($234.99 on Amazon)– 50-lb weight limit for extended rear-facing, extension panel.
4. Best foldable travel – Diono Radian 3R ($199.99 on Amazon) – folding design, narrow width (17″), low profile.
5. Best front facing: Graco 4Ever DLX ($324.99 on Amazon) – 120 pounds weight limit, 4 modes for use, easy-to-remove seat cover.
6. Best Slim: Graco SlimFit3 LX ($279.99 on Amazon): slimmest at 16.75-inch width, fit 3 across.
What is the best car seat for a 2 year old toddler?
According to the AAP and NHTSA’s suggestion, it’s better to keep your child rear-facing until he or she grows to 2 years old or outgrows the maximum height or weight of their car seats.
In some states, like California, New Jersey, Illinois, etc, the local laws require children younger than 2 years to ride rear-facing. That means a child car seat that allows installation rear-facing will fit your 2-year-old toddler.
If that’s your case, don’t worry. We have included three car seats with a 50-lb rear-facing weight limit that would be good to accommodate a 2-year-old toddler in rear-facing.
Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old Boy and Girl
Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim
Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX
Best for Extended RF
Graco SlimFit3 LX
Best 4 in 1
Graco 4Ever DLX
Diono Radian 3R
Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old Toddlers by Type
- 11 pounds: Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65
- folding design: Diono Radian 3R
4 in 1 car seat
- 4 modes: Graco 4Ever DLX
Best Convertible Car Seat for 2 Year Old
Best Rotating Car Seat for 2 Year Old
Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim
Since its release in 2023, Evenflo Revolve360 Slim takes the first position from Graco Extend2Fit to become my first and favorite car seat for 2 year old toddler. Let me explain.
360 Rotation for Convenience: Trust me, this convertible car seat with 360-degree rotation is a game-changer! It’s the easiest way when you’re putting your little one in or taking them out of the car – you just swivel the car seat toward the open and then push it back. No more awkward twists or strained backs – just effortless rotation for stress-free handling.
Easy-Peasy Everyday Use: Busy parents know the value of things that are quick and straightforward. Adjusting the harness, finding the right recline, and securing your child in place is a breeze with this seat. The 65-pound weight limit and 49-inch height limit make it good to grow with your kid around 5 years old.
Fits Like a Glove: If you’re driving a smaller car or need to fit multiple car seats, the “Slim” aspect of the Revolve360 is a savior. It slots right in without taking up unnecessary space, making sure everyone has a comfortable ride.
Safety First and Foremost: As a parent, safety is paramount. This car seat doesn’t compromise on that. It’s loaded with features like energy-absorbing foam and side-impact protection, so you can drive with peace of mind, knowing your child is snug and secure.
Grow with Confidence: Toddlers grow faster than we can believe. This car seat grows with them. With adjustable headrests and harness settings, you’re not constantly worrying about outgrowing the seat too soon. It’s like a friend that sticks around for the long haul.
Rear-Facing for Longer Security: The Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim is one of the best rear-facing car seats at 50 pound weight limit. That means you can use it to extend the rear-facing ride for your kid, even at their 2 year of age.
Best Lightweight Car Seat for 2 Year Old Boy
Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX -11 lbs
Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65 ranks on this list of best car seats for 2 year old toddlers for its lightweight and compact design.
Weighing 11 pounds, it’s one of our best lightweight convertible car seats. However, it’s not the lightest. Evenflo Tribute 5 is even more lightweight (9.29 lbs).
We want to have the Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65 instead of the Evenflo Tribute 5 for its relatively compact design, making it good for small cars.
You know how tricky it can be to fit everything in your car, especially when you’re carting around kiddos and all their gear. The Mighty Fit DX 65 is like the Tetris champion of car seats – it’s only 17 inches wide, 21.5 inches long, and 26.5 inches tall.
Taking less space means more comfortable for tall front passengers and drivers.
At $89.99, the Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65 car seat won’t break the bank, and you’re not compromising quality for the price. It’s got all the necessary safety features you’d want for your precious one, which is a relief for any parent. It’s a good option if you don’t want to pay extra cost for additional features like the higher weight limit for rear-facing for extendable use, or the rotational 90-, 180-, or 360-degree.
Most of my friends use this car seat for air travel. It’s lightweight and small in size and can be packed up in a travel bag so that you navigate through the airport without hassle. When you come back from trips, you can also use it as a backup car seat in the dad’s or grandparents’ vehicle for daily pickups.
I don’t recommend it as the major or first choice in moms’ cars. As you know, you get what you pay for. We have to admit that the Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65 is less comfortable than other premium high-priced models, like the Evenflo Revolve360 Slim or Graco Extend2Fit.
Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old with Extended Rear-Facing
*RF=Rear Facing; FF=Forward Facing
The Graco Extend2Fit is our first and best recommendation for parents who are looking for the right car seat for 2-year-old toddlers.
It is designed to accommodate your children in rear-facing as long as possible, thanks to its high weight limit of up to 50 lbs.
Furthermore, this car seat features a 4-position adjustable extension panel, which provides up to 5” additional legroom to your children and allows them to safely and comfortably ride rear-facing longer. After your toddler outgrows the 32-inch height limit, you can pull the panel for a perfect fit.
After your kids outgrow their car seats or they’re ready to ride forward-facing, the Graco Extend2Fit is still workable for children approaching 65 lbs, which happens around their 6-7 years age for most average kids.
Big kids may reach this limit in a shorter time, about 6 years old. That doesn’t matter at this age as your littles can fit a booster seat then.
Accurate installation is very important to keep your toddler safe in their car seats.
As an experienced brand in the child safety industry, Graco does well in providing detailed and helpful assistance.
The unique and patented push-button InRight LATCH ensures the parents install the car seat securely with ease.
There is also a 6-position recline indicator that helps to let you know whether you have installed the car seat correctly or not.
The Graco Extend2Fit is ProtectPlus Engineered. The manufacturer boasts of this combination of the most strict crash tests from the front, rear, side, and rollover. This means it is good enough to deliver the safest protection to your toddlers in frontal, side, rear, and rollover crashes.
Made of a steel-reinforced frame, Extend2Fit is built for long-lasting growth with your child. It’s able to ride a child for 10 years – the expiration date was calculated since its manufactured day, not the day you purchased it.
So the actual use duration is commonly less than 10 years. But it is good enough to carry your child from birth until they outgrow the size restrictions of their car seats.
Best all-in-one Car Seat for 2 Year Old
Best Foldable Car Seat for 2 Year Old
Diono Radian 3R
If you’re looking for the best car seat for a 2 year old to fit 3 across, the Diono Radian 3R is worth your consideration.
The company has advanced and skilled experiences in designing and developing car seats that can be installed in compact and small cars. The 3-Series (products with a 3 in the name) is specially designed to fit 3 across.
The wide compatibility to fit 3 across is one of its unique features. More than that, I’m sure that parents will be impressed at the Radian 3R’s long last usage.
It’s a 3-in-1 car seat that can ride your child from birth to teens through all three stages.
The Radian 3R supports a newborn in the rear-facing mode, with a weight range from 5 pounds to 50 pounds.
This 50-lb top weight limit enables your kids to stay in the rear-facing even longer than most infant car seats’ 35 lbs. 2-year-old toddlers can verily sit in the Radian 3R with a rear-facing harness.
It’s a great car seat to grow with your child. As they exceed the weight limit in rear-facing mode, you can easily switch the car seat to front-facing. In this mode, your child can stay until they’re 6-7 years old as if they want to.
When your child outgrows the harness weight limit of 65 pounds, you need to remove or store the harness and change the Radian 3R to the booster mode.
It can be used only as a high back booster, as the backrest is not detachable.
The Radan 3R features a very simple and clean design. There is only one whole piece of the car seat you can get in the package, with an extra cradle you can attach for rear-facing installation.
This also means that the Radian 3R does not have much support – like the headrest and support, making it less attractive than other all-in-one car seats.
But the company provides up to 36 months warranty – you need to register with Diono post-purchase to get this extended warranty while it’s 12 months in a common standard.
Best Front-Facing Car Seat
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1
If you want an all-in-one car seat to grow with your child from birth to booster, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 might be the best option.
It’s a great money saver. You don’t need to purchase several safety seats to ride your child in the car.
When fitting your child in rear-facing, it provides a maximum weight rating of 40 lbs, making it the best car seat for a 2-year-old toddler.
Even children 3 years old can still use it in the rear-facing mode until they outgrow their car seats. The 40-lb weight limit is quite good in accordance with the AAP and NHTSA’s suggestion and the local laws of some states – that the child should stay rear-facing until they’re two years old.
But the 40-lb is a bit lower than Extend2Fit’s 50-lb weight limit – another convertible car seat from the same company. We don’t mean that the higher the rear-facing weight limit, the better, but it’s really good for big kids who grow faster than their peers.
When your child outgrows the rear-facing weight or height limits, it’s time to change to the forward-facing harness.
The Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat is able to ride children up to 65 lbs, just like all the forward-facing convertible car seats do. This weight limit enables it to ride most kids around 5-7 years old at an average weight, but for big kids who outgrow the harness height or weight limit, you may need to switch to the booster mode for safe riding.
After your child won’t need the harness, just hide and store the harness in the storage compartments built-in the car seat, which is one of the three amazing new-added features in Graco 4Ever DLX. It works as a combination of a high back and backless belt-positioning booster, so you can change from high back to backless when your child won’t need the back and rest.
The 4Ever DLX comes with all the advanced features that Graco car seats have, but the company still upgraded its performance with three additional great functions.
The built-in harness storage compartment we mentioned above is one of them. The other two include the integrated belt lock-off and Rapid Remove cover.
The former feature allows you to install the car seat more securely and accurately, even the car seat comes with all the basic helpers for the correct installation – the Graco’s exclusive InRight LATCH system, the easy-to-read level indicator, and six easy-to-know recline.
The latter gives you the most convenience to remove the seat pad for washing. The cover is divided into several different parts and connected with buckles and you can easily unbuckle them for detaching and removal.
This is very more convenient than the Extend2Fit’s all-around cover, making it easy for parents to take it off and put it on.
Best Slim Car Seat for 2 Year Old
Graco SlimFit3 is designed to fit a child from 5 lbs to 100 lbs in three modes – rear facing harness, forward facing harness, and highback booster, making it a great option to grow with your child from newborns to 10 years old, making it one of the best 2 year old car seats.
When used in rear-facing mode, it is able to fit a baby between 5-40 pounds, suitable for 1-year-old littles and most 2-year-old toddlers. If your child does not exceed the maximum 40-lb weight rating, it’s better to accommodate them rear-facing as long as possible, because following the suggestions from AAP and NHTSA is a good choice for us parents.
It’s time to switch to five-point harness convertible mode as long as your child outgrows the height or weight limits, whenever comes first. Generally, your child may surpass the height limit of the Graco SlimFit 3 LX, as it’s required to be placed at most 1-inch below the headrest handle. So if your child is big enough to fit their car seat in front facing at the second birthday, just change and install the SlimFit3 LX in forward facing.
IMPORTANT NOTES: You should check your local laws before changing the car seat from rear-facing to front facing, as a few states require the 2-years-old child to ride rear-facing. If you live in a state asked for that, you need another car seat that supports a longer rear-facing, like the Graco Extend2Fit or the Diono Radian 3R.
Most Graco car seats feature a very similar design that looks heavy and bulky with two cup holders on each side. We admit that the holders are convenient to place your child’s drinks and snacks for not being hungry in the vehicle. The SlimFit3 LX also features two cup holders, but they are rotatable to reduce the space it’ll take.
The rotated cup holders make the seat 10% slimmer to save precious back seat space. This is very useful for small cars and big families who have several kids and need to install 3 safety restraint systems in the back seat. Or you can use the other fit-3-across version, which only measures 16.7 inches in width.
|Car Seats Comparison||SlimFit||SlimFit3 LX||4Ever DLX|
|Weight limit (lb)||RF:5-40 / FF: 22-65 / Booster:40-100||RF:5-40 / FF: 22-65 / Booster:40-100||RF:4-40 / FF: 22-65 / Booster:40-120|
|Height limit (in)||RF:49"* / FF: 49" / Booster:57"||RF:49"* / FF: 49" / Booster:57"||RF:49"* / FF: 49" / Booster:57"|
|Headrest Adjustable Positions||10||10||10|
|LATCH||InRight LATCH||InRight LATCH||InRight LATCH|
|Easy-to-Remove Seat Pad||-||✓||✓|
|Fits 3 Across||-||✓||-|
Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old Comparison
|Weight Limits||Height Limits||Car Seat for 2 Year Old||Price|
|65 pounds||49"||Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim||$349.99|
|65 pounds||49"||Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65||$89.99|
|65 pounds||49"||Graco Extend2Fit||$234.99|
|100 pounds||57"||Graco Tranzitions||$139.99|
|100 pounds||57"||Graco SlimFit3||$219.99|
|100 pounds||57"||Chicco MyFit||$199.99|
|120 pounds||57"||Graco 4Ever DLX||$329.99|
|120 pounds||57"||Diono Radian 3R||$199.99|
|120 pounds||63"||Britax Grow with You ClickTight||$339.99|
|Rank||Price||Car Seat for 2 Year Old||Weight/Height Limits|
|1||$89.99||Cosco Mighty Fit DX 65||65 lbs/ 49"|
|2||$139.99||Graco Tranzitions||100 lbs/ 57"|
|3||$199.99||Chicco MyFit||100 lbs/ 57"|
|4||$199.99||Diono Radian 3R||120 lbs/ 57"|
|5||$219.99||Graco SlimFit3||100 lbs/ 57"|
|6||$234.99||Graco Extend2Fit||65 lbs/ 49"|
|7||$329.99||Graco 4Ever DLX||120 pounds57"|
|8||$339.99||Britax Grow with You ClickTight||120 lbs/63"|
|9||$349.99||Evenflo Revolve 360 Slim||65 lbs/ 49"|
FAQs on Best Car Seat for a 2 Year Old
At what age should I change my baby car seat?
2 year old might be an appropriate age to change your baby car seat from rear facing to front facing. At this age, your littles might grow over their rear facing car seat. If not, you can still use that car seat rear facing. It’s safer to ride a small baby in the rear facing.
7-8 years old is okay to change your child’s car seat from harness convertible to booster. Parents should stick with the harness for protection until their child exceeds the harness height or weight limits.
What kind of car seat should a 15 month old be in?
That depends on the weight and length of your 15 month old. In most cases, a 15 month old toddler should be placed in a rear facing car seat, an infant, convertible, or all-in-one, especially if you live in the states that require a 2 year old child to stay in a rear facing car seat.
If the 15 month old is a big kid and outgrows their infant car seat in rear facing, a harness convertible or all-in-one car seat with a higher weight limit is a good option to ride your littles in rear facing for a longer time. Consider the GracoExtend2Fit, Diono Radian 3R, and Chicco NextFit Zip Max. They feature up to a 50-lb weight limit when used in rear-facing mode.
What is the best car seat for an 18 month old?
The fittest car seat is the best for your 18 month old, who might grow over their infant car seats for rear facing. If so, you have two options: one is to keep your child rear facing with another car seat that is able to be extended with a higher weight limit, like the Graco Extend2Fit and Diono Radian 3R. This is a very practical way especially if you live in the states, where a child under 2 year old should ride in rear facing. So check the local laws before riding your child on the road.
The other is to move your littles to a front-facing car seat – convertible, 3-in-1, or all-in-one, using the harness for security. Make sure your 18 month old littles meet the minimum requirements of a front facing car seat, generally 22 pounds in weight and 26-inches in height.
How long should a child be in a rear facing car seat?
It’s better for a baby to stay in a rear facing car seat as long as possible. A child rides safer in a rear facing car seat. A lot of experts suggest placing your child in the rear facing until they’re 2 years old. Some US states also include a requirement that 2 year old toddlers should ride in rear facing in the local laws.
So it’s common to put your child in a rear-facing car seat from birth to 2 year old.
What car seats should a 2 year old be in?
2 year old toddlers can sit in an infant, convertible, and 3-in-1/4-in-one or all-in-one car seat. If the 2 year old littles can fit in the infant, just keep them rear facing anyway. Or if they outgrow the infant car seats, switching to a convertible or all-in-one car seat is good. But If you live in the US states that require 2-year-old littles to ride rear facing, a convertible car seat with a higher weight limit is necessary. Graco Extend2Fit and Diono Radian 3R are good choices.
Can I turn my 2 year old forward facing?
For most cases, you can turn a 2 year old forward facing. But if you live in or travel to some states that require 2-year-old toddlers to stay in a rear facing car seat, it’s better to obey the local laws to accommodate your child in rear facing. Some convertible car seats provide a longer use in rear-facing, like the Graco Extend2Fit and Diono Radian 3R.
For small littles who don’t outgrow their rear-facing car seats on their second birthday, it’s a good idea to stick with the rear-facing harness. Then turn them forward-facing when they’re ready, maybe older than 2 year old.
At what age does a toddler need a car seat?
A child needs a car seat from birth to 12-13 years old. It’s required to ride a child in a car seat until they’re ready to use the vehicle seat belt like an adult.
Can I turn my 18 month old forward-facing? Or can my 18 month old sit forward facing?
It depends. First, if you live in or travel to the states or cities that require a child under 2 year old to ride rear-facing, you should always obey the local laws to put your 18 month old toddlers in rear-facing. Worry about big kids outgrowing their infant car seats? You may find a convertible car seat that features a higher weight limit, like the Graco Extend2Fit.
If the local laws do not require that and your littles grow over their rear-facing car seat at 18 months old, you can change to forward-facing.
What kind of car seat should a 2 year old be in?
2 year old toddlers usually ride in a convertible or all-in-one car seat. Based on the WHO’s data about the average weight and height of 2 year old boys and girls, it’s common that two-year-old toddlers outgrow their infant car seats, typically the height limit comes first.
If you live in or travel to a US state that requires the 2 year old toddler to stay in a rear facing car seat, or if you want to keep them in rear-facing for a longer time – child rides safer in rear facing, you can use the convertible car seat in rear facing mode, untile they grow over the height or weight limits of rear facing.
Can a 2 year old use a booster seat?
No. A 2 year old toddler can’t fit well in a booster that has a minimum weight requirement of at least 40 pounds or 4 years old. Children at this age weigh around 26.8 pounds for boys and 25.3 pounds for girls, not approaching the lowest limit of a booster at all.
If you have big and tall kids growing faster than their peers, the convertible car seat is a good option to transition before using a booster.
How long can a 2-year-old sit in a car seat?
Due to the continuous development of the kid’s body system, as well as their arm, back, and neck muscles, it’s recommended that the baby should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time.
That’s the longest time the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests, but you should always have in mind not to keep your child in a car seat for too long.
Can a 2 year old sit in the middle seat?
Yes. The middle seat in the back row is considered the safest position in the vehicle to accommodate a child.
Installing a car seat in the middle seating position is a bit different from either side installation. Some vehicles lack the lower anchors for this position. If so, you can install the car seat only with the vehicle seat belt, no LATCH installation is available then.
How much does a child have to weigh to face forward?
The lowest weight limit of forward-facing car seats is different. Convertible car seats require 22 pounds while most boosters require at least 40 pounds.
How long should a child be in a rear-facing car seat?
The child rides safer in rear-facing, so it’s recommended that toddlers sit rear-facing as long as possible.
The AAP recommends that kids sit rear-facing until at least age 2 and for longer if possible, while NHTSA recommends: “Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer.”
Some US states require in the local laws that 2 year old toddlers should ride rear facing.
Can a 2 year old be forward-facing?
Ideally, a 2-year-old can face forward in a convertible or all-in-one car seat, only if they approach the lowest weight AND height limit – 22 pounds for the majority of forward facing car seats (Booster only car seats not included).
But if you live in or travel to a US state or city that requires a 2 year old sitting rear facing, you should always follow the local laws. Otherwise, there will be a punishment if caught not obeying the rules.
It’s also advocated to put the small toddlers in rear facing as long as possible until they approach the size restrictions.
When can babies face forward in 2021?
Babies can face forward when he or she reaches the top height or weight limit of their rear-facing car seats, while they should also exceed the low height or weight limit of the upcoming front-facing car seats.
It’s safer for kids to ride rear facing. That’s why all the experts suggest keeping the littles rear facing as long as possible. You can choose a convertible car seat that extends the time of your child sitting in the rear facing.
Average Weight and Height for 2 Year Old Boys and Girls
The average weight for a 24-month-old is 26.5 pounds for girls and 27.5 pounds for boys, according to the World Health Organization. How tall is the average 2-year-old? The average height for a 24-month-old is 33.5 inches for girls and 34.2 inches for boys.
Some parents may ask this question: can I turn my 2-year-old forward-facing? That depends. If the local laws in your state don’t require 2 year old toddlers to ride facing the back, it’s okay to turn them forward-facing.
However, based on the safety expert’s advice and our experience, a convertible car seat with higher rear-facing weight and height limits is the best 2 year old car seat that allows riding rear-facing as long as possible.