Best Car Seat for A 7 Year Old Big Kid – Boosters with 5 Poing Harness

What car seat should a 7 year old be in?

Forward-facing child restraint systems should be the best car seat for 7 year old big kids. If you want a more specific answer, then convertible, booster, and all-in-one car seats are good options for 7 year olds. 

Some parents may wonder: do 7 year olds need a car seat? Yes of course.

The AAP and NHTSA advise that children younger than 8 years should ride in a car seat for protection in the vehicle.

This is also the common rule in most of all 50 US states. The government regulations require parents to keep their children in a car seat until they’re big enough to use the seat belt as adults. Most states’ laws make it clear – children should ride in a car seat until he or she is 8 years old or 57 inches tall.

So, not just 7 year olds, kids who are not appropriate to use a seat belt should ride in the car seats even if they are 8 years or older but less than 4 feet 9 inches in height.

The car seat is the best for a 7 year old kid for protection and safety to travel in the vehicles.

To make it simple, we’ve picked 9 of the best car seats for 7 year olds and categorized them into three weight groups (50-65 pounds, 65-80 pounds, 80-120 pounds):

50-65 Pounds

Best Car Seat for 7 Year Old Weighing from 50-65 Pounds

65-lb Maximum

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat
Graco Extend2Fit

$211.99

65-lb Maximum

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat
Chicco NextFit Zip

$299.99

65-90 Pounds

Best Car Seat for 7 Year Old Weighing from 65-90 Pounds

100-lb Maximum

Graco Tranzitions 2-in-1 Harness Booster
Graco Tranzitions

$109.99

100-lb Maximum

KidsEmbrace 2-in-1 Harness Booster
KidsEmbrace

$149.99

100-lb Maximum

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster
Graco TurboBooster

$24.99

100-lb Maximum

Maxi-Cosi Pria All-in-1 Car Seat
Maxi-Cosi Pria

$299.99

90-120 Pounds

Best Car Seat for 7 Year Old Weighing from 90-120 Pounds

120-lb Maximum

Diono Cambria 2 XL
Diono Cambria 2 XL

$99.99

120-lb Maximum

Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness 2 Booster
Britax Grow with You ClickTight

$309.99

120-lb Maximum

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat
Graco 4Ever DLX

$309.99

*Prices listed above are based on the listing price when this post was published. It may change due to Amazon promotion.

Take a closer look at our recommendations by viewing the best car seat for 7 year old in the categories below. 

Best Car Seats for 7 Year Olds

Convertible

Small 7 Year Olds

Harnessed Booster

Average 7 Year Old Boys & Girls

Booster

Big 7 Year Old Boys & Girls

All-in-one

Big 7 Year Old Boys & Girls

Or, if you’d rather view the best car seat for a 7 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.

By Weight Limit

See Our Top Picks Organized by Weight Limits from 65 to 120 lb

By Height Limit

Best Choices Organized by Height Limits from 49 to 63 inches

By Price

See Car Seats Organized by Price (Prices Start at $25)

By Bonus

See Car Seats by Bonus features (e.g. 3 across fit, etc)

Average 7 Year Olds Boys and Girls Weight & Height

Boys and Girls Kids Weight and Height by Age
Weight and Height for Ages

The average weight for a 7-year-old is 49.5 pounds for girls and 50.5 pounds for boys, according to the World Health Organization.

How tall are the average 7 year olds?

The average height for a 7-year-old is 47.7 inches for girls and 48 inches for boys.

From the weight and height point, boosters should be good enough to ride 7 year olds or 6 year olds. 

If you prefer If your child grows at or below the average rate, the convertible car used when they were smaller can still last for fitting them at seven years of age until they outgrow the car seat. Almost every convertible car seat is able to support a child weighing up to 65 pounds. 

Toddler boosters and all-in-one car seats are also good options for 7 years old. You can always pick the one that is most suitable for your family and child.

Best Convertible Car Seat for 7 Year Old

Graco Extend2Fit

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit

Award: Best for Longer Rear-facing

Durability, safety, and comfort combine seamlessly in the Graco Extend2Fit. ProtectoPlus Engineered and 10-position headrests, along with the SSA harness system, deliver a premium ride at an affordable price, making this a multi-functional car seat for 7 year old boys and girls.

Key Features
Weight Limit

4-50 lb. (RF) 22-65-lb. (FF)

Height Limit

Up to 32" (RF) 49" (FF)

Lifespan

10 years

Type

Convertible

Stage

1st, 2nd

Age Range

Newborn ~ 7 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It:

Graco Extend2Fit is one of the best car seats for a 7 year old. Thanks to its steel-reinforced frame, the car seat has a long lifespan of 10 years.

That means if you have purchased it since your baby’s birth, keep using it as the car seat for 7 year old as well, as long as they don’t exceed the upper weight limit of 65 lbs in the 5-point harness forward-facing mode.

The Graco Extend2Fit also works as an infant car seat to accommodate newborn babies, even preemies as light as 4 lbs. The supportive inserts are included in the package for small babies, helping save money to purchase additional accessories.

The 50-lb weight limit for rear-facing mode is a very appealing feature for parents. It means that your child can stay rear-facing longer in the Graco Extend2Fit, at least passing the 2-year-old age line that AAP and NHTSA suggest staying rear-facing, just like the next recommendations – Chicco NextFit Zip.

Graco Extend2Fit Reclines

The Graco Extend2Fit is really a good car seat designed to grow with your child, at least before they grow to 7 years old if they’re at average weight or height. 

It features a 10-position headrest adjustment, enabling the headrest to protect your child all the time in the growing days.

10 position adjustment generally means 5 levels of the upright from the bottom, and you can always find one position that is suitable for a boy or a girl’s height at 7 years of age.

The No-Rethread Simply Safe Adjust Harness System is a very wonderful feature to add points to the Graco Extend2Fit’s easy-to-use performance.

It allows the headrest and harness to adjust together in one motion and you don’t need to take the time to adjust the harness exactly for the right position, making it a great 7 year old car seat.

Graco Extend2Fit Two Cup Holders

Cup holders are very useful accessories if you’re planning to take your child on long-distance trips in a car. Your child can help themselves to easily get the snacks and drinks from the cup holders during driving. 

It should be much easier for big kids to fetch things from the cup holder, making it the best car seat for a 7 year old.

Worried about the kids spotting the car seat? Don’t need it. The seat pad is removable and machine washable. You can take it off for washing if it gets dirty. You don’t even need to wash it by hand.

Chicco NextFit Zip

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat

Chicco NextFit Zip

Want a car seat with an easy taking-off cover for fast machine washing? Look no further – the Chicco NextFit Zip is the one for you. This convertible car seat features a zip design, allowing you to remove the seat cover in seconds. Plus, the SuperCinch and Lock Belt system, the DuoGuard two layers of SIP, and more excellent functions combine into it to be the safest and best car seat for 7 year old.

Key Features
Weight Limit

5-40 lb. (RF) 22-65-lb. (FF)

Height Limit

Up to 43" (RF) Up to 49" (FF)

Lifespan

8 years

Type

Convertible

Stage

1st, 2nd

Age Range

Newborn ~ 7 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It:

It’s recommended to keep the littles in the current staged car seat as long as possible. This discipline works well for a boy or girl at 7 years old.

Parents should stick with the forward-facing harness until your 7-year-age child exceeds the harness height or weight limits.

If they don’t outgrow the height or weight limits of the Chicco NextFit Zip, you should still place your child in front-facing mode. 

Let’s say that, the Chicco NextFit Zip should be a great car seat for 7 year old if the boy or girl does not grow over 57-inches in height or 65-pound weight.

Chicco NextFit Zip Reclines

Compared to the booster seat, the convertible mode provides better protection with a 5-point harness, seem as the Graco Extend2Fit.

The NextFit Zip provides more than that, thanks to its unique designed features.

The combination of the exclusive SuperCinch force-multiplying tightener and LockSure belt-locking system makes it much easier to install the car seat correctly and securely with an appropriate tight fit.

This ensures both safe and comfortable rides, making it one of the best car seats for 7 year olds.

Its unique DuoGuard improves the car seat’s security level by providing two layers of head and torso protection with a deep rigid reinforced-steel-frame shell and EPS energy-absorbing foam.

From this point, it’s considered one of the safest car seats for 7 year old

You don’t need to worry about your child’s comfort in the NextFit Zip. It features a 9-position headrest and 9-point reclines, meaning you can always find a perfect fit for growing children, even 7 years old big kids. 

The NextFit Zip is the very basic entry-level model from the Chicco company, if you need more advanced features, you may find a premium one from the same NextFit series.

Harnessed Booster Car Seats for 7 Year Old Big Kids

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1

Graco Tranzitions 2-in-1 Harness Booster

Graco Tranzitions

Award: Best Harness to Booster

You might have guessed it from the name but this car seat is all about its 3 modes – forward-facing, high back booster, and backless booster. The 3-in-1 does not mean car seat stages but modes, meaning that you can easily switch it from high back to backless to save money. It’s a front-facing only car seat for 7 year old.

Key Features
Weight Limit

22-65-lb. (FF) / 40-100 lb. (Booster)

Height Limit

up to 49" (FF) / 43 to 57" (Booster)

Lifespan

7 years

Type

Combination

Stage

2nd, 3rd

Age Range

2 ~ 12 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It:

The Graco Tranzitions is a great car seat for 7 year old who should ride forward-facing, as it can be only used in front-facing for big kids.

It lacks the rear-facing mode for small toddlers. The manufacturer boasts of its design to grow with your child, combing harness and booster mode into one.

When used in harness mode, the Graco Tranzitions is able to fit a child between 22-65 pounds with an upper height limit of 49 inches.

Parents should stick with the forward-facing harness mode until their child outgrows the harness height or weight limits, as a 5-point harness provides better protection in the car seat in case of any crashes.

Graco Tranzitions Install in Vehicle

All the car seats sold in the US are required to pass through the basic crash tests with a 5-point harness. 

However, if your child exceeds the weight or height limits at 7 years old, you should move them to the booster mode.

The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 allows for an effortless switch from the harness mode to a high back booster or even backless booster, making it the best car seat for a 7 year old in this type.

The Tranzitions is a 3-in-1, with one more backless mode than other harnessed boosters with a 5-point harness. It seems to be a combination of KidsEmbrace and Diono Cambria 2 XL.

For instance, Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 = 5-point harness + highback booster + backless booster;

KidsEmbrace = 5-point harness + highback booster;

Diono Cambria 2 XL = highback + backless booster;

But Diono Cambria 2 XL has a  higher weight-height-limit – up to 120 pounds and 63 inches.

If you’re planning to use the Tranzitions as a booster seat for 7 year or 6 year olds, make sure the included body inserts and harness are removed and the car seat is installed using the seat belt following the user manual. 

Graco Tranzitions Cup Holders

If not, use the snack and drinks to attract them. The two cup holders – with each on one side – keep your child’s snacks and drinks in easy reach to cheer them up on the journey. Great 7 year old car seat!

They’re removable for cleaning. So does the seat pad, which is made of machine-washable fabric, saving parents’ time and energy.

KidsEmbrace 2-in-1

KidsEmbrace 2-in-1 Harness Booster

KidsEmbrace 2-in-1

The only Marvel-subjected car seat brand on the market. It features high weight and height limits to ride a child through two stages – forward-facing and booster. Manufactured by Safety 1st, the KidsEmbrace has the same level of safety and protection along with your child’s growth: a 5-point harness and a booster seat for 7 year old boys or girls.

Key Features
Weight Limit

22-65-lb. (FF) / 40-100 lb. (Booster)

Height Limit

29-49" (FF) / 38-57" (Booster)

Lifespan

7 years

Type

Combination

Stage

2nd, 3rd

Age Range

2 ~ 12 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It

KidsEmbrace provides two modes – a 5-point harness and a belt-positioning booster, to ride big kids at 7 years old.

If your kid grows at an average rate, they might not exceed the average weight- 50.5 pounds for boys and 49.5 pounds for girls, and the height – of 48 inches for boys and 47.7 inches for girls.

The KidsEmbrace is able to ride a child between 22-65 lbs and 29”-49” in height in 5-point harness mode. 

If your boy or girl does not exceed the 65-pound weight limit or 49-inch height limit at 7 years of age, he or she should stick with a forward-facing harness until they’re ready for a booster seat

It’s a common rule for all best car seats for 7 year olds with a 5-point harness, no matter whether it is convertible or booster. The manufacturer confirmed that the car seat provides side impact protection with a 5-point harness as they have tested that, but not tested in booster mode.

KidsEmbrace Car Seat in Vehicle

Big kids growing at a faster rate may need to use the belt-positioning booster at their 7 years old.

In this mode, the KidsEmbrace can ride a child between 40-100 lbs and 38”-57” in height, very similar to the Graco Tranzitions‘ weight and height range.

The KidsEmbrace car seat is very popular among the kids and parents, for its unique Marvel-hero-subjected seat pad, which is also one important reason we listed it here. Who does not like to stay with a Marvel hero (even if it’s virtual in a picture)? This is a great idea to increase your kid’s will in the car seat. 

The included two cup holders on both sides provide the most convenience for a 7-year-old child to get their snacks and drinks effortlessly. Parents sitting aside in the back seat can also enjoy the treats for a happy time with their child during the travels.

KidsEmbrace Two Cup Holders

Booster Car Seats for 7 Year Olds

Diono Cambria 2 XL

Diono Cambria 2 XL

Diono Cambria 2 XL

Award: Best Booster with Two Modes

The Diono Cambria 2 XL is the best booster seat for 7 year old or 6 year old at a very budget price. Featuring 2 booster modes – high back and backless, it promises an impressively comfortable ride and is best suited for big families that have to ride multiple children in the vehicle. Even better, this booster comes with a ton of premium features such as a lightweight and portable design and an 11-position headrest to grow with your child.

Key Features
Weight Limit

40-120 lb.

Height Limit

28 to 63"

Lifespan

8 years

Type

Booster

Stage

3rd

Age Range

4 ~ 12 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It

Diono Cambria 2 XL is the best booster seat for a 7 year old big kid after they outgrow their convertible car seats. It’s a 2-in-1 booster, including both the highback and backless modes.

If you haven’t bought a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 multi-functional car seat to ride your littles or you need to use them for smaller babies, you may purchase a booster as an alternative – they’re cheaper and lightweight.

Not like small toddlers that need to stay in a harness-protected car seat, a 7 years old child is safe to ride in a booster that fits kids weighing from 40-120 pounds approx. 4-12 years old.

If you still worry about the car seat’s security, starting from a highback booster is a good idea.

The Diono Cambria 2 XL is designed to feature detachable high back support. Featuring the highback, it works just like the KidsEmbrace in booster mode; Turning to backless, it’s much similar to Graco Tranzitions in backless mode.

Both modes have a higher weight and height limit – 120-lb over 100-lb and 63-inch over 57-inch. If you’re in pursuit of higher weight and height limits, Graco 4Ever DLX is also a good option. 

When working as a belt-positioning highback booster, it grows with your child with a unique become-to-large design.

The 11 headrest positions and 2 recline positions ensure the car seat adapts quickly to growing children.

Furthermore, there is a simple-to-use dial on the back that allows you to adjust the width of the seat up to 20-inch wide and add up to 6.5 inches in height to the headrest.

This smart design provides 69% increased space to keep your child comfortable in the car seat, with plenty of room for shoulders, hips, and legs.

This allows your child to stay in the high back booster as long as possible, reducing the chance that your child asks to switch to the backless mode soon.

It’s better to keep your child in the current stage and use the best-fit car seat for a longer time, just like that when your child is in the rear-facing car seat.

However, if your child is ready to use it as a backless booster seat at 7 years old, it’s okay if they meet the 40-pound minimum height requirement. After all, big kids won’t want to stay in a back-supported car seat when they see others not stay in a high-back booster.

The only accessory that remained from changing high back to backless booster is the cup holders on both sides. They’re good to carry your child’s snacks and drinks. After all, 7 years old kids still love to enjoy a happy time in the vehicle.

Best All-in-one Car Seats for 7 Year Olds

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1

Award: Best All-in-one Car Seat for 7 Year Old

A popular affordable option, the all-in-one Graco 4Ever DLX boasts its ability to handle 3 car seat stages, its longevity of up to 10 years, and its long last from birth to youth. Featuring high weight and height limits up to 120 pounds and 57 inches, this car seat is designed to grow with your child. It is, pound-for-pound, one of the best car seats for 7 year olds, or even 8 or 9 year olds.

Key Features
Weight Limit

4-40 lb. (RF) 22-65-lb. (FF) 40-100~120 lb. (Booster)

Height Limit

up to 49" (FF) 43-57" (Booster)

Lifespan

10 years

Type

All-in-one

Stage

1st, 2nd, 3rd

Age Range

Newborn ~ 12 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It

The Graco 4Ever DLX is one of the best all-in-one car seats for 7 year olds to ride front-facing, no matter what modes you want to use for them: convertible, high back booster, or backless booster.

Just as its name indicates, it combines 4 modes: the 40-pound weight limit is friendly for newborn babies and small toddlers. Next is the 5-point harness mode for 7 year olds in small size; Then are the highback and backless modes for 7 year olds big kids, or 8 year olds, 9 year olds, or even 10 year olds.

It combines all other car seats’ features:

If your boy or girl is not over 65-pound in weight or 49 inches in height, then you can use it as a 5-point harness car seat for 7 year old.

But if your kid grows faster than the peer and exceeds the limit at 7 years old, it’s better to switch to the booster mode.

The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 supports both the high back and backless booster, with a separate weight limit of 100 pounds and 120 pounds, making it the best car seat for 7 year old.

The 4Ever 4-in-1 comes with the common features that most Graco car seats have. The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System and 10-position headrests let parents adjust the harness and headrest at the same time in the same direction.

Graco 4Ever DLX Installation in Car

The InRight LATCH system and 6 reclines (some features 3 or 4) for easy and correct installation. ProtectPlus Engineered to pass through the strictest-level standards of crash test from frontal, side, rear, and rollover. And the 10 years of long-lasting lifespan, thanks to the steel-reinforced frame. 

It also has newly improved functions. The Rapid Remove cover consists of several departure parts, that can be removed in one minute for machine washing.

The best car seats for 7 year olds should be easy to be cleaned. Graco 4Ever DLX completely meets this rule! And it’s also very safe.

The integrated belt lock-off provides the parents the best convenience to install the car seat easily and correctly.

And the rubberized fuss-free harness storage compartments to store the harness and buckles to provide your children the best comfort when needed. 

As an all-in-one car seat, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 is a good money saver, but they’re not 100% perfect in doing every single task as a rear-facing, forward-facing convertible, and booster.

This does not mean it’s not safe but quite the opposite, they’re as safe as those specialized car seats. But it’s just large, bulky, and heavy, lacking the convenience of a detachable carrier. That’s the common question all the multifunctional car seats may have.

Maxi-Cosi Pria

Maxi-Cosi Pria All-in-1 Car Seat

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Car Seat

The Maxi-Cosi Pria combines style and protection to produce a car seat that is not only comfortable and reliable to ride your child but also practical. It is an all-rounder to grow with your child, from day 1 to 7 years old or even bigger when they’re ready to use the vehicle’s seat belt. If you’re looking for a premium option that combines plenty of padding and two layers of SIP,  the Maxi-Cosi is the winner car seat for 7 year old.

Key Features
Weight Limit

4-40 lb. (RF) 22-65-lb. (FF) 40-100 lb. (Booster)

Height Limit

19-40" (RF) 29-49" (FF) 43-52" (Booster)

Lifespan

10 years

Type

All-in-one

Stage

1st, 2nd, 3rd

Age Range

Newborn ~ 10 years old

The Good
The Bad
Why We Recommend It

Maxi-Cosi Pria is another great all-in-one car seat for a 7 year old boy or girl well in two modes – harness convertible and booster.

But you should pay close attention to your kid’s weight and height at their 7 years of age and make sure they don’t exceed the upper weight and height limits in both convertible and booster modes.

Children at 7 years old with average weight and height may not exceed the limits, but that might happen for big kids who grow a bit faster than their peers, especially the height limit that comes first in most cases. 

The Maxi-Cosi Pria fits children between 29-49 inches in the forward-facing mode and kids between 43-52 inches in booster mode.

Looking at the table of weight and height for children from 1 month to 12 years old, you’ll find that 7-year-old children are as high as 48-inch for boys and 47.7-inch for girls, on average. That’s very close to the forward-facing harness’s 49-inch height limit.

Big kids of 7-year-age may outgrow the forward-facing harness and you should switch to booster mode for them.

Maxi Cosi Pria Plenty of Padding

Safety is always important for your child to ride in a car seat.

The Maxi-Cosi Pria features a thicker headrest that provides side-impact protection. The headrest is adjustable at 5 levels of height and can always fit your growing child, no matter in the harness convertible or booster mode.

The Maxi-Cosi Pria also provides supreme comfort to your child to make them not tired of trips in the vehicle, thanks to the premium-fabric cushioned headrest and seat pad. It’s evitable that the cover gets dirty, especially if your child likes to drink and eat in the seat.

But parents don’t need to worry about it, because the cover is removable and machine washable. This is another way to keep the seat clean and your child comfortable. 

The Maxi-Cosi Pria is not a cheap model, but it still receives a lot of praise from parents’ appraise and is a good choice on Amazon. A wide weight range might be one reason – but most 3-in-1 car seats coming with a booster mode can do this.

The most influential factor might be high-end looks and premium fabrics. But if you have enough budget, you may give it a shot.

Best Car Seat for 7 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.
100 pounds Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 $109.99 57 in.
100 pounds KidsEmbrace 2-in-1 $149.99 57 in.
100 pounds Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-one $299.99 57 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 7 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
57 in. Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 $109.99 100 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

Best Car Seat for 7 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 $109.99 Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 100 pounds 57 in. 2 stages
3 $149.99 KidsEmbrace 2-in-1 100 pounds 57 in. 2 stages
4 $211.99 Graco Extend2Fit 65 pounds 49 in. 2 stages
5 $299.99 Chicco NextFit Zip 65 pounds 49 in. 2 stages
6 $299.99 Maxi Cosi Pria All-in-one 100 pounds 57 in. 3 stages
7 $309.99 Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 120 pounds 57 in. 3 stages

By Bonus Features

Cheapest:

Lightweight

Convertible Car Seat – 

Booster Seat – Diono Cambria 2 XL

Car Seats For 7 Year Olds Law

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.

7 Years Old / 8 Years Old/ 9 Years Old Rules

  • 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.
  • California7 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.
  • Delaware7 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.
  • Nebraska7 years and younger in a child safety seat.
  • New Hampshire – less than 7 years of age,  child restraint system. 
  • New Jerseyyounger 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 Carolina7 years and younger and less than 80 pounds, appropriate child restraint system.
  • North Dakota7 years and younger and less than 57 inches, appropriate child restraint system.
  • Ohio4 through 7 years who weigh 40 pounds or more and who are shorter than 57 inches in a child restraint or booster seat
  • Oklahoma4 through 7 years, if not taller than 4 feet 9 inches, in a child restraint or booster seat
  • Oregon7 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.

Buying Guide - 4 Tips on 7 Year Olds Car Seats

Three are some most important things you should consider when you’re planning to purchase a perfect car seat for a 7-year-old boy or girl. This buyer guide includes four useful tips for you to check out so that you will be able to eliminate car seats faster.

Over the past few years of raising up three kids, I’ve reviewed 20~30 car seats. So I’ve accumulated a lot of knowledge on choosing the right child restraint system. I want to share with you the top highlights so you can pick up a perfect child safety seat as fast and efficiently as I.

Safety

Safety is still the top priority for all parents and 7-year-old kids. You should not skimp out on this, instead, you will want to get the most protection you can get.

If you have read my post on crash tests of child safety seats, you’ll know that all car seats on the market are safe enough because they’ve passed the mandatory safety tests. These options we reviewed all meet or exceed the basic standards – Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. 

All car seats have front and rear impact protection. More and more car seats feature side impact protection, mostly between 1 and 3 layers with the 5-point harness, which is necessary for toddlers and preschoolers younger than 5 years old.

A few models may come with extra features like Graco having their exclusive ProtectPlus in their premium models with rollover protection.

Size Limits

This is second on my list. Car seats are expensive, and you might have to buy multiple ones, adding much to your budget list. But you can save money without compromising on safety by choosing a model that has great weight and height limits, Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 car seat for example. 

These car seats are lifers and have a long lifespan with great durability for 6 and 7-year-olds. So they are the last seats that you will ever have to buy. The longer a child can use the car seat, the more money you’re saving.

Install

The installation is the most problematic with car seats. Some require you to be a professional athlete to get it to wiggle proof. 

Every mom or dad can be a professional if they have installed at least 5 car seats in different brands because they meet different cases and have a solution to achieve a proper installation. It’s important to ensure your boy or girl’s safety.

Luckily I’ve picked those car seats which are easy to mount. If you have enough budget, expensive models from Britax will be great choices, like the Britax Grow with You ClickTight and Britax One4Life. They feature the company’s unique ClickTight technique.

Placement

Where you place the car seat is important to ensure your child’s safety. Not all spots are equal.

The safest place for your child is in the center of the back seat in the car. 

But…

If you have a lap-only seat belt in the center of the back row, you should NOT install the booster seat for 7 year olds in that position. While most 7 year olds may sit in a booster seat, parents should keep a close eye on this tip.

If this is your case – a lap-only belt in the rear middle, place the 7 year old car seats behind the driver or passenger, depending on which side is more convenient to you.

Fabric

Last but not least, I always look at the cover fabric.

Easy to clean should be essential. It’s better for a car seat to be made of machine washable fabric. Even with 6 and 7-year-olds, you will have accidents. And as a parent, you must clean up for them.

Being comfortable is a bonus and sometimes is the most important. Your little boy or girl can easily get sweaty in a car seat, especially in hot areas or weather. Car seats with fabric to keep the cooldown should be your preferred choice then, like Chicco NextFit Zip Air and MAX. They are commonly premium versions with a pricey tag.

FAQs about 7 Years Old Car Seats

Yes. A 7 year old should ride in the car seat, either a convertible or a booster, depending on the child’s weight and height. If they don’t grow over the harness height or weight limits, stick with the convertible for better protection anyway.

However, you need to switch to the booster mode or move them to a booster car seat when they’re approaching the convertible car seat’s size restrictions – weight or height limits whichever comes first.

No. 7-year-old children should travel by car seat. That is the law in most countries and US states. Even older children of 12-13 years old are required to sit in a car seat in some US states or cities.

Not necessary. Some states requires 8 year old kids to stay in a car seat because they’re not big enough to use the vehicle seat belt. The child restraint system safety laws in a few countries require a kid younger than 12 or 13 years to sit in a car seat – usually a backless booster, for travel.

No. A 7 year old child is not required in a 5 point harness. They’re big enough to fit a booster – high back or backless, which is suitable for kids at least 4 years old or weighing over 40 pounds.

But if your 7-year-old is still able to use a 5 point harness within the harness weight or height limits – generally 65 pounds and 49 inches, please stick with the harness for protection anyway.

Both convertible and booster are good for 7 year olds. If they’re within the harness height or weight limits of 65 pounds and 49 inches (in most cases), they should stick with a harness convertible.

However, if they grow over the top height or height limits, meaning they’re ready to move to a booster, you should change the all-in-one car seat to booster mode or purchase a new booster car seat.

A 7 year old is supposed to fit well in a backless booster, so it’s okay to get this cheaper model for them.

Yes. 7 year old children should travel with a car seat, convertible, or booster, depending on your child’s weight and height. 5-point harness convertible car seats generally come with a 65-lb weight limit and 49-inch height limit, make sure your child doesn’t exceed either limitation.

A 7 year old child approaching these size restrictions needs to move to a booster, both the highback and backless models are okay, but the former is considered safer.

Yes. Backless booster seat is designed for kids at least 4 year old or weighing over 40 pounds. Most 7 year old children can meet the lowest requirements of a backless booster.

Theoretically, a child aged 4 year old can stop using a 5 point harness, as most booster car seats are suitable for 4 year olds. However, it’s strongly recommended to accommodate your child in a 5 point harness convertible as long as possible until they outgrow the height or weight limits – commonly 65 pounds and 49 inches.

a 5-point harness offers better protection than a booster because the harness can help keep your child from moving too much in crashes.

A child has to weigh at least 40 pounds to be in a booster seat. This typically happens when a child is 3 or 4 year old. So most booster seats also indicate that they’re suitable for 4 year old children. Whatever requirement comes first.

But it’s highly advised to keep a 4 year old or 40-pound child in a convertible car seat with a 5-point harness for safety.