The Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old with Pros, Cons & Recommendations


Welcome to the Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old Awards!

After spending the last 5 weeks testing the best car seats for two-year-olds by putting my child’s butt in as many car seats as possible and driving him around doing chores to get some reactions out of him plus I’ve asked other moms, looked up reviews and checked recalls; meanwhile my husband was off playing golf and relaxing (you owe me a big one honey…), I’m finally ready to reveal which are the best seats for your two year old.


Finding the perfect car seat for your two years old comes down to 4 things, the size of your car, the safety features you want, how much cursing you can tolerate while installing and of course your budget. As soon as you know these it will be easy to pick one from the list below.

You see I’m a stay at home mom who was blessed with 3 perfect little angels (mostly when they are asleep) and it was time for us to get a new car seat for our 2 year old, so why not test out what’s the best on the market to help fellow parents out.

Now, I’m ranking the top 7 car seats for two year olds on safety features and ratings, comfort levels, installation (cursing or without it) and of course price.

You can rest assured that if you pick any car seat from below it’s a guaranteed winner. Only those who made the cut that is the best of the best

Let’s see those car seats already!



#1 Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat – Best Car Seat For 2 Year Old in 2023

We have a WINNER!

No more wasting money and space with all those car seats. This is the last car seat that you will ever need because it will serve your child until they can ride without one.

Britax is known for its focus on safety. They have added everything except the kitchen sink so your little one will be safe and sound no matter what.

What about comfort? Oh you will be in for a treat with this seat. It’s so plush and comfy that most kids fall asleep in a matter of minutes.

It will surprise you how little space it will take up. For example, I installed it in a Prius and there was still room leftover. It’s roomy and keeps kids cool even at 95 degrees.

This is why this car seat got top of my list:

  • Peace of Mind: Just look at this seat and you can tell that your 2 year old will be safe and sound no matter what happens; it has every safety feature to protect your darling
  • They Mean it for Life: This is not just marketing hype, I have no doubt that it will last 10 years because it’s sturdy and the material is quite resistant to daily wear and tear
  • That’s it? The installation is quick and painless thanks to the Clicktight system; it has never been easier to mount a car seat and best of all no more donations in the swear jar

A few drawbacks I’ve found:

My biggest gripe with this Britax car seat is that you have to adjust the tilt before installing. Well I’ve learned that the hard way. They need to fix this design flaw because it pisses so many people off.

For the Britax to have every possible safety feature it should have an anti-rebound bar. As a full disclaimer if it’s properly installed then it won’t flip forward.

If you want something cheaper, then check out #2 on my list.

All in all this Britax seat is an excellent choice for your 2-year-old. I know it’s a bit expensive and it’s all worth it. This can be the very last car seat that you will ever have to buy so it’s a great investment and it will save you money in the long run.

Now people have heard about the great safety ratings, and they are flocking to buy one so no wonder the stocks are low. You need to move quickly if you want one.

If you want something cheaper check out #2 on my list.

  • It’s easy to install, and it’s impossible to mess it up
  • Extremely durable it will last for ten years and serve several kids
  • Finally, a Britax car seat that allows machine washing the material
  • It’s pricey and if you plan to buy more than one you need a serious budget
  • It’s large and heavy anything for safety


#2 Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat – Best Car Seat For 2 Year Old 30 Lbs

If you’re looking for a car seat that will be a perfect match for your 2 year old who’s weighing around 30 pounds then this Graco car seat is your best choice.

Here’s why:

You can use this car seat in rear-facing mode until 40 pounds, and if you decide that your child is big enough, then you can do forward-facing from 22 pounds. This is why it’s the best choice for 30-pound kids.

This car seat will grow with your child and Graco made sure everything is as simple and easy as possible. There’s a no-rethread harness so you can adjust the necessary height in a matter of seconds.

Since all 2 year olds make a mess and there are those occasional accidents, the cover can be easily removed and washed separately without the need of disassembling the car seat.

You’re getting all this at a steal of a price.

This is why it’s a must-buy:

  • Safest Choice for 2 Year Olds: This car seat allows extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds plus it has all the protection that your child will ever need
  • 5 Stars for Comfort: It’s simply perfect, my 2 year old daughter just melts in the seat and falls asleep quite frequently plus its breathable fabric so she never gets hot
  • No Swear Installation: Finally a car seat that is quick and painless to install without frequent donations in the swear jar

Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

This car seat is big, and if you were hoping to do 3-across, you would need to choose another car seat because this ain’t it.

It’s not the car seat that will win a beauty contest because the straps are visible in the back, however once installed, nobody will notice it.

Since it’s an all in one car seat, you know that you’re making a smart choice. No more spending money on other seats which you will have to learn to install. Plus you can do extended rear-facing so it’s an ideal seat for a 2 year old.

Last time I checked there were only a few left in stock. You need to move quickly if you want one or risk waiting for weeks on end.

  • It’s easy to install might be the easiest of them all no rocket science diploma needed
  • No more rethreading the straps ever; it’s real time saver
  • The fabric removal is super-fast easy to clean and dry plus adding it back in
  • The straps tangle up too fast, and it’s a pain to undo them with a protesting child
  • The cup holders fall off way too easily.

#3 Chicco Fit4 4-In-1 Convertible Car Seat – Best Car Seat For 2 Year Old Boy

Boys and their toys. This obsession starts as early as 2 years old. Now this car seat will be perfect for them. The darker colors are a perfect match for your little guy plus it looks like a spaceship. That is how I got my son into the seat.

After that all he wanted was to ride in his space ship to far lands.

Chicco has thought of everything. Not only it’s one of the safest car seats but it’s super comfy as well. And they didn’t forget about their parents either. For example there’s a strap holder so you don’t have to fish it out under a squirming butt.

This car seat was designed for 10 years and through all 4 stages. It’s perfect. Almost forgot to mention that the design has eliminated floppy head syndrome.

This is why it’s a must-buy:

  • Best in Safety: This car seat has been designed with safety and versatility in mind; it has everything that a 2 year old would need in protection plus it offers many configurations for the years to come
  • The Last Car Seat You Will Ever Buy: This car seat is a lifer you only have to get rid of it after your child has reached the seat belt stage if there’s no smaller sibling needing it
  • This is the One! From safety to comfort it has it all plus it’s higher so your child will be able to see more and not fuss

Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

This is a huge car seat and it’s heavy too, this means that you won’t be able to do 3 across or swap it between vehicles.

The installation and proper adjustments aren’t that clear so make sure you read the manual first to save yourself a ton of frustration.

Boys will love this car seat so much because it’s not your typical baby seat. If you choose the right colors, they will never want to get out of the seat.

It’s a very popular car seat so no wonder that there are only a few left in stock and you need to move if you want to grab one before they run out.

  • This car seat is the first and the last one you will have to buy, a real money saver in the long run
  • Thanks to the QR codes on the side you get access to instant help through videos
  • Kids love it because it’s so comfortable
  • It takes up a lot of space the front might suffer
  • It’s not cheap you will need a budget


#4 Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat – Best Car Seat For Toddler

The toddler years are so exciting and your little one will show its first signs of independence. This is why it’s the best toddler seat because it’s easy for them to crawl in and out of the seat giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Now, it’s one of the safest car seats for toddlers and it allows extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds or around 4 years of age. We all know that rear-facing is the safest way to travel so you can do it longer than ever before.

Since toddlers make quite a mess and the occasional accidents happen with the Graco Extend2Fit you can easily remove the covers and throw it in the washing machine.

Since we’re talking about Graco, you know that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. It’s one of the most affordable car seat brands.

This is why it’s a must-buy:

Incredible Safety Ratings: Yes, it’s one of the highest-rated car seats on the market today thanks to all the great safety features which will protect your little one if the worst happens

La-Z-Boy for Cars: I’m not joking this car seat is way more comfortable than I have and I’m not driving a rust bucket, at least they are no complaints from the back row

Very Affordable: You can rely on Graco to deliver all the safety features and comfort without the heart-stopping price tag

Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

They sure managed to hide the release button very well the cover conveniently blocks it, way too much if you ask me and it’s hard to get to it with your fingers.

This is a wide seat so you won’t be able to do 3 across with this one, you need to pick a different seat.

As you have seen this car seat is a perfect fit for a toddler. It’s super comfy and comes with a leg rest just like a La-Z-Boy seat. Plus it’s super affordable not charging you an arm and a leg.

Last time I checked, it’s the top selling car seat so no wonder they have supply issues. So if I were you I would buy it immediately so you don’t have to wait weeks for the next shipment.

  • It’s one of the easiest to install can be done in less than 5 minutes
  • There’s no manual rethreading of the straps ever
  • The fabric is easy to wash even after a vomiting incident
  • The release button is hidden, and if you have big hands it’s hard to reach
  • You need to watch videos to put the fabric back into place


#5 Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat – Best Travel Car Seat For 2 Year Old

There are quite a few travel car seats on the market and on price this is the most affordable one. Now I have to say this upfront this is a minimalist seat so don’t get high expectations for it.

First of all there’s no tilting. However there’s more than enough head support for your little one so their head stays upright while they doze off. I haven’t seen slumped head with this Tribute car seat.

Maybe you want to travel by plane? No biggie this is a light car seat that you can easily carry and not just haul through the airport. Also is a great choice for rental cars because you know that you either pay a premium or you get a crappy car seat from the company.

The best way to describe it is by saying it’s sturdy, safe and inexpensive plus easy to wash.

This is why it’s a must-buy:

  • Sturdy: What I’ve seen it has passed all safety standards so it’s a good deal for the price, it will keep your child safe and I’ve heard that it has protected a child in a rollover accident
  • You can do 3-across: This car seat is narrow and fits anywhere so you will be able to do 3-across with it
  • Modest Budget: It’s ideal for a second seat or a travel seat for the plane or a rental, some would call it to throw away seat for the price

Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

Well you get what you pay for or the lack there of, from my experience the padding is thin and there’s not much cushion for a secondary seat it’s ok for a primary I would choose something else.

This is a stripped-down car seat and a bare bone version however it’s perfect for flying since it’s light and easy to carry.

All in all it’s an acceptable car seat. The price is ridiculously low, so it can be a throw-away car seat. It’s an excellent choice for travel because it’s light and you can easily carry it with an active 2-year-old with you.

Since this car seat is so cheap it’s selling like hotcakes. You need to move fast if you want to snag one before the last one runs out.

  • It’s sturdy and it will keep your child safe if the worst happens
  • It has a narrow profile so you will be able to do 3-across with ease
  • Great cheap option as a backup car seat, or even a throw away seat
  • They went cheap with the padding and the cushion is thin
  • It’s only suited for travel and short trips


#6 Graco SlimFit 3 In 1 Car Seat – Best Cheap Car Seat For 2 Year Old

I learned this from a reliable source who told me that all car seats are safe no matter the price tag. If they weren’t then they wouldn’t be on the market. The more expensive car seats might have a few fancy safety features and that’s it.

The big difference is the comfort. The cheaper you go the more bare bone the seat and the less comfortable they get. This is why I’ve picked the Graco SlimFit because it’s affordable without being cheap.

It has excellent safety ratings, plus it’s a narrow car seat which means you will be able to do 3 across with ease.

The cup holders are great because they are foldable and removable for easy cleaning. We all know how much junk can get in the cups of 2 year olds.

It’s super easy to install I personally did it under a minute while a grandma I know who’s 60 did it in under 10 minutes.

This is why it’s a must-buy:

  • Surprisingly Safe: This car seat will do a great job protecting your child, I have a friend who was in an accident and the child walked away without a scratch
  • Super Easy to Install: If a 60 year old grandma could do it there’s no excuse for the rest of us to get a tight fix
  • Super Affordable: Wow so many features at a steal of a price and Graco knows how to offer the essentials without useless luxury features

Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

The biggest discomfort from this car seat comes from the buckle which doesn’t have any padding whatsoever, and for some kids it will dig into their thighs.

It’s a somewhat silly design flaw that doesn’t allow access to the recline button in rear-facing mode. So it’s better to set the recline before you secure the seat.

As you have seen this car seat is cheap without being cheap. There are no cutting corners with Graco they offer amazing quality at an affordable price. No wonder it’s one of the most popular car seats on the market today.

Thanks to its popularity they are facing supply issues. Now if you move fast, you might just get the very last one until the stocks run out. Move now.

  • It’s safe and it’s highly rated so your child will be protected no matter what
  • Brain-dead simple installation and you won’t need to use any cursing of any kind
  • Graco lives up to its name and delivers great quality at a super affordable price
  • Graco forgot to add padding to the buckle…
  • The recline button is not that accessible in rear-facing mode


#7 Nuna Rava – Best Small Car Seat For 2 Year Old

This thing is a beauty. And there’s a lot going under the looks.

With the Nuna Rava you’re getting a convertible car seat that will serve your child from infancy all the way up to 65 pounds. The good news is that it allows extended rear-facing up to 50 pounds.

By far it’s one of the comfiest car seats I have ever tested. My son didn’t want to get out of it. To my surprise I didn’t need to dress the seat up into something interesting he just hopped in and wanted to stay in it forever.

What I love about Nuna products is that they care about the kids. I mean, there are no harmful chemicals in the covers (like flame retardants) so even sensitive skin kids will be able to sit in them.

It’s one of the safest car seats you can get for your 2-year-old. Plus it will fit even in the smallest car.

This is why it’s a must-buy:

  • Fits Anywhere: Thanks to its size you will be able to install it in the smallest car without causing discomfort to the front row
  • World Comfiest Car Seat: I’m envious of my daughter her seat is way more comfier than mine, the lining is super soft and there’s memory foam plus there’s more than enough cushion I want one of those for my size
  • Chemical Free: If your child has allergies or has skin sensitive this car seat is for you because there are no flame retardants used so it’s healthy and safe

Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

It’s a beauty and it will cost you, there’s no beating around the bush this car seat is expensive and you need a budget for it.

This car seat is heavy and bulky so I wouldn’t want to travel with it. You might want to check out #5 on the list or pick another car seat for travel.

As you have seen this Nuna Rava convertible car seat has a lot to offer. It’s great for parents who have a small car, plus it’s super skin-friendly because there are no chemicals on the cover.

Sadly the last time I checked this car seat was out of stock and I don’t know when the next shipment comes in.

  • Highly rated for safety it has everything ever needed to keep your child safe
  • Perfect for allergic or skin sensitive kids since it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals and fire retardants
  • Comfort is out of this world I’m quite envious because my seat isn’t that comfy
  • This car seat wasn’t meant for travelling because it’s big and heavy
  • It’s expensive consider a budget for it



Conclusions for the Best Car Seat for 2 Year Old

We have reached the end of this award ceremony. After all those miles of driving and tolerating a few cries I’ve done what I’ve promised.

I’ve picked only those car seats that are the safest and are comfy plus easy to install. You have already found your favorite so grab one while supply still last because people are in a buying frenzy.

Maybe you can help me out with a little something. Can you please share how this post helped you pick a car seat for your 2-year-old? It would mean the world to me.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What kind of car seat should a 2 year old be in?

A 2 year old should be in a rear facing convertible car seat. In many states, kids have to be rear-facing until the age of 1 or 2 however you can do it until age 4 because that’s the safest.

Can a 2 year old sit forward-facing?

The 2 year age is the threshold where you can upgrade to forward facing mode. Depending on the state law, you might need to do rear-facing until 2 years old however some states are more relaxed, and a 1 year old can sit in forward-facing.

Does a 2 year old need a 5 point harness?

Yes because the 5 point harness is the safest way to secure a 2 year old child. Many experts recommend using the 5 point harness as long as possible.

At what age do toddlers change car seats?

Typically toddlers change car seats from a carrier into a convertible according to their growth this can happen from 9 months all the way up to 2 years old.

Do 2 year olds need car seat on plane?

No, there’s no mandatory rule that requiers for a 2 year old to sit in a car seat on the plane. However it’s recommeded to have a car seat for smaller kids. For more information read my full article on air travel and car seats over here: Can you take a car seat on a plane?

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!