The Best Car Seat for 5-Year-Olds Pros, Cons & Recommendations


Welcome to the best car seat for 5 year olds award show!

So for the past 30 days I’ve been driving around my 5 year old to see which are the best car seats for him. Besides these countless miles, I’ve talked with moms, looked up reviews, checked recalls, and almost threw a few of them across the yard because they weren’t tight enough just to bring you the very best car seats for  5 year old on the market.


Finding the perfect car seat for your 5 year old comes down to three things, the space in your car, the safety features you want, and of course, your budget. As soon as you know these, it will be easy to find the perfect match.

You see, I have a 5 year old as well and two other rascals, so I have my fair share of experience (frustrations) with car seats. I know how much time it takes to find a good seat, so I’ve decided to help out by testing these seats out and saving you a ton of time.

I’m ranking the top 6 car seats for 5 year old on safety, comfort, installation, and of course, price.

Now, no matter which one you choose from my list below is a guaranteed winner. These are the best of the best, and you can’t go wrong with either of them.

Let’s see those seats already!


In a Hurry? Here Are the Top Car Seats for 5 Year Olds

For parents who want their child to sleep in as much comfort as possible and without head bobbing and compromised breathing

For parents who want the best in safety for their child while offering the best comfort for long road trips and being easy to install

For parents who are fed up with the whining and scowls and want a quiet without blowing next month’s rent

Researched Sources

Reviews Considered


Products Evaluated


best car seat for 5 year old


#1 Britax Grow With You – Best Car Seat for 5 Year Olds

Best-Car-Seat-for-5-Year-OldsWe have a WINNER!

The Britax Grow With You is one of the highest-rated car seats for 5-year-olds, so you can rest assured that you made the right choice.

Seriously, this car seat has it all. It comes with top-of-the-line safety features, which means your child will be protected no matter what happens.

And that’s not all! This car seat is also super comfy. Whether you’re doing short trips or road trips, your child will be comfortable and quiet while on the road.

For 5-year-olds, there’s one important thing: becoming an adult. They don’t want a baby seat anymore. This Britax is a perfect choice because it’s an all-in-one car seat, which means it can be the very last that you have to buy.

Here is why it’s top of my list:

  • It’s the Cadillac of Car Seats: No matter what you are looking for, this will be the perfect fit for your 5-year-old as it is top of the line in terms of safety and comfort
  • Road Trip Approved: I’ve used this car seat on long trips and there wasn’t even a squeak from the back. It’s so comfortable
  • Finally No Swearing or Cursing During Installs: Thanks to the Clicktight, the installation is a breeze, and the seat is nice and tight at all times

Here are a few drawbacks that you might want to check out:

There’s no denying that being a tank comes with a few negatives, such as its big size and heavy weight. Plus, you won’t be swapping between cars anytime soon, no matter how easy it is to install.

If it weren’t for some YouTube tutorials, many of us would be stuck with the installation as one made by the company is not the best.

All in all, this Britax Grow With You seat is the perfect car seat for a 5-year-old because it’s safe and comfy. And if you hadn’t heard about Britax before, you can rest assured that your child will be in the best protection possible.

Also, you need to move fast and buy this car seat or you might risk waiting for a long time until the next shipment arrives.

If you’re looking for something cheaper, check out #2 on my list.

  • The safest car seat after you have clicked it in it doesn’t wiggle a bit
  • Your little one will be safe like a Nascar driver thanks to the 5-point harness
  • This is the ultimate traveling companion if you want to style
  • Big and heavy you won’t be swapping between cars
  • This car seat needs better instructional videos


#2 Chicco MyFit – Best Booster Seat for 5 Year Old


I know how hard it is to put a 5-year-old in a car seat. It was much easier when they were younger. Now, everything has changed with this Chicco Myfit car seat. It looks like a big kid seat, so my little guy has no hang-ups.

Just to sweeten the deal, I said that it looks like a space shuttle seat. I didn’t have to convince him anymore.

This car seat has all the safety features you will ever need. Plus, to a certain point, you can use the 5-point harness so your child is protected no matter what.

The installation is super easy, and I’m proud that I haven’t cursed even once while swapping this seat between cars (some would think I’m a foul-mouth sailor when I’m installing other car seats).

Here’s why it’s a must-buy:

  • Ultimate Big Kids Seat: Nothing says coolness more than strapping into a spaceship seat — at least that’s how I sold it to my son
  • Extra Star for Comfort: My child has spent close to 11 hours in this seat on a road trip, and he was nice and comfy all the way
  • Goodbye to Head slumps! Chicco did an amazing job with this car seat because there are no bobbing heads or head slumps, so your child will not wake up with a sore neck or put breathing in jeopardy

Although, there are a few drawbacks that you might want to check out:

It’s a slim seat, and it’s perfect if you want to do 3 across. Now, the negative is that mostly thinner kids will fit in this seat.

If your child is known to get car sick, then brace yourself for some spot cleaning action because the padding behind the belt is not removable, and that’s the only way to clean it.

The Chicco MyFit car seat delivers on all fronts. It’s not just safe and comfy but kids will love it because it’s a step up from all the baby seats. They will be proud to strap themselves into this spaceship.

Also, you might want to hurry to buy it because the last time I checked, there were only a few in stock.

  • It’s a heavy-duty car seat that won’t move no matter what
  • Your child will sleep easily without the dreaded head slump
  • It’s well-cushioned, and it won’t overheat
  • It has a narrow profile so thinner kids will be the most comfortable
  • Padding behind the belt not removable for washing


#3 Graco Nautilus – Most Comfortable Car Seat

Most-Comfortable-Car-Seat-for-5-Year-OldThe Graco Nautilus is a 3 in 1 car seat. So no wonder it’s so comfortable. It has a sufficient recline position to choose from, so the kids are comfy, and there’s no head slump.

What I love about the Graco Nautilus is the attention to detail. They have outdone themselves in the safety department. What I’ve noticed was that as the kids get older, the less protection they get. Not with the Nautilus.

It comes with the ProtectPlus safety tech. This means that no matter the accident, your child will be safe. It has the typical protection from front and rear collisions, and it has side-impact and rollover protection as well. As you know, rollover accidents are rare, but they are the deadliest.

The car seat is meant to be used until your child reaches 100 pounds. If you removed the armrests that you will be able to use it until 120 pounds. That’s some great mileage for the money.

You don’t have to have a five-year-old to use this seat. You can start earlier. And if you like this, it could be the last car seat that you ever have to buy.

You might also be interested in: The safest car seat for 6 year old reviewed

The Graco Nautilus is safe and comfortable at the same time. It’s a good choice for a 5-year-old.

  • It’s super easy to install just listen to the “Click” sound
  • It’s top-rated on Consumer Reports
  • Padded side protection for older kids not many car seats offer this
  • The material stitched on by elastic that par won’t last
  • There’s no leveling guide, so you have to guess

Related: The Best Car Seat For 4 Year Old with Pros, Cons & Recommendations


#4 Evenflo Symphony Elite – Best Value For The Money Big Kid Car Seat

Best-Value-For-The-Money-Big-Kid-Car-SeatThe Evenflo Symphony Elite is the most affordable car seat for a 5-year-old without screaming cheap. Now many car seats on the market that are cheaper but you get what you pay for.

Evenflo did a great job with this car seat. Not only it’s great value for the money, but you get a lot of mileage out of it as well. The upper limit is set to 110 pounds. So this could be the last car seat that you will ever buy.

After rear-facing mode, the harness mode is the safest one for your child. With the Evenflo, you can do harness mode up to 65 pounds. It’s an all in one car seat so you can start using it earlier than the fifth birthday.

Kids love it because it’s so comfortable. It has sufficient padding without overheating during the summer months. Also, many car seats don’t offer the recline option. With the Evenflo Symphony, you have it, and there’s no head slump either.

You can trust Evenflo to protect your child because they are in the business for almost 100 years.

We know that 5-year-olds are as messy as any other child, so here’s some good news. The fabric can be easily removed, and machine washed. No matter the stain, it can be washed, and it will be good as new.

  • The latch system after you got used to it it’s amazing
  • All in one car seat that protects your little one from 4 to 120 pounds
  • Proudly made in the USA
  • Shallow and bad cup holders they fly around at their own will
  • It’s bulky, and you won’t be moving it around after the install


#5 Clek Oobr – Safest Car Seat for a 5 Year Old

Safest-Car-Seat-for-a-5-Year-OldClek Oobr won this award because they have removed all chemicals from the fabric. It was the first car seat that passed the government tests without the toxic flame retardants. The secret is that they use merino wool. It’s a natural fabric that has flame extinguishing properties.

5-year olds will fall in love with this car seat because it’s so different. Plus, they will be proud that they have an adult car seat. It’s super comfortable since it has four recline positions. Your child will be able to sleep without the dreaded head slump.

We are all busy parents, and even at five, we don’t get a break. This is why it’s so important to have a fast and easy install. Clek answered this call with the rigid latch system. Within 10 seconds, you can install this car seat.

Besides being easy to install, it’s one of the highest-rated car seats; you can buy for your five years old. It has a tough magnesium frame so your child will be protected no matter what.

It’s a well-built car seat that will serve you for the years to come. The upper limit is set to 100 pounds, so your child will be able to use it until the car seat is not necessary.

  • It’s the best looking and safest car seat on the market
  • Right side click then left side click, and it’s installed
  • Superior fabric without any trace of toxic chemicals
  • It’s a pricey car seat to buy
  • In certain cars, it might cover the belt buckle


#6 Graco Tranzitions Convertible Car Seat – Best Budget-Friendly Big Kid Car Seat

Best-Budget-Friendly-Big-Kid-Car-SeatI know that not everybody can afford all those luxury car seats. So here’s one that offers the best value for the money.

The Graco Tranzitions Convertible Car Seat is a super light car seat. It can be used as a secondary one, or it’s ideal for the grandparents. The installation is effortless, and you can’t get it wrong.

It’s great for travel since it’s light and you can swap between cars with ease. This car seat is a good fit for 5-year-olds since it’s a 3 in 1 solution. You can start using it at an earlier age because the lowest weight limit is 22 pounds. You can keep your child in harness mode up to 65 pounds. Plus, the upper limit is set at 100 pounds.

Not only you get something that’s affordable, but it can be used for many years to come. If you like to, you can transition to seat belt only mode earlier if this is the last car seat you want to buy.

It’s an affordable car seat, and they didn’t cut any corners. The safety protection is top-notch. And it has passed all the tests with flying colors. It’s comfortable, thanks to the recline option. Best of all, it has a narrow profile. So if you have a bigger family, you will be able to do 3 across with ease. This Graco Convertible Car Seat earned the spot on this list.

  • Finally, a super lightweight car seat that’s easy to transition in and out
  • It has a narrow profile so three car seat can be fitted in the back
  • The cushion gives extra comfort, so it’s good on long road trips
  • The armrest feels short you can only utilize them in backless booster mode
  • It’s not the prettiest car seat around it gives a cheap feeling


Buyer’s Guide

That was a long article. What can I say I love to over-deliver. As a parting gift, I want to give you a bonus. Now, this might not be the last car seat that you have looked for. Maybe another baby will be along the way, and you have to redo all this. I will share with you a quick and dirty buyer’s guide.

So next time when you’re doing this, you will be able to eliminate those car seats, which are not worth your time, thus leaving you all the time to inspect which are the right fit.

Before we get to that though let me share with you two very important advice that I’ve received.

The first advice is about where you place your car seat. I mean, not all spots are equal. The safest one for the child is in the middle of the row. I know, I know that’s not doable for everyone, so here’s the second safest one. It’s located right behind the driver.

The second one is related to the installation. Sad statistics are showing that 75% of car seats are poorly installed. Let me translate that. If the mounting is not perfect, then the protection won’t be complete. It would be a shame to spend all that money on a car seat and not getting it perfectly installed.

There’s help for you. You can go with two choices. One is reaching out to a licensed professional. Or you can ask Amazon to come and deliver it for you.

That would be my two important pieces of advice. Now let’s get to the buyer’s guide.


The top priority for parents is safety. These were the words of wisdom that I’ve got from a cop. The only bad car seat is an unused one. So if you have one, use it every time.

Now there’s a big difference between brands. Since all car seats are safe because they have to pass the government tests. There’s a little secret that’s not shared too frequently. Some brands barely pass these tests. Others, on the other hand, go beyond them. I know where I’m putting my money.

Get the most protection that you can afford. It’s typical for most brands to offer front and rear protection. While it’s a new thing that they offer side impact protection as well (SIP). And a handful of them has rollover protection. As you know, these are rare, but they are the deadliest.

Size Limits

This is second my list. You have to know how long you can use the car seat. Because the better the mileage, the more money you’re saving. Now, these car seats aren’t’ cheap, so a bit of money-saving hurts no one.

The key to saving money is to think long term. With the seats above they are mostly lifers. So they are the last car seats that you ever have to buy.

No wonder parents opt for all in one solution because it’s cheaper in the long run.


This is where the rubber meets the road. Many car seats fail this test because they are too darn hard to install.

You’re in luck with these car seats catering to 5-year-olds they are all easy to install. I had my fair share of difficult car seats, so I was very careful when I’ve chosen these.


We all know how 5-year-olds are. They will leave a mess, and occasionally, there will be accidents. So it’s good to know ahead of time how easy it is to clean them.

With all of the above, you can remove the cover and throw them in the washing machine. The only exception is the Clek, which only allows spot cleaning.

If you liked my buyer’s guide put it to good use.


Top Car Seats for 5 Year Olds Conclusions

We have reached the end of the best car seat for 5-year-olds article. I hope you learned a lot from it. By now you should know which car seat is the right fit for you.

Now it’s your turn. Take action as soon as possible because the last time I’ve checked stocks were running low with these car seats.

If you want to share your thought and ideas, you can do them below.


What car seat should a 5 year old be in?

A 5 year old should be in a 5-point-harness car seat since it’s safer. As you move up in categories this important features is changed to the seat belt. You can choose the highback booster car seat or the all in one car seat.

Should my 5 year old be in a car seat or booster?

If your 5 year old reaches the minimum age and height limit then they can have a booster seat if not then the car seat is a must. However I would always go with the safest option like having a car seat or a highback booster seat with a 5 point harness.

Can my 5 year old be in a booster seat?

A 5 year old can be in a booster seat if they reach the minimum height and weight requirements stated by the manufacturer. However I always recommend going with the safest option so a highback booster seat is much better in that sense.

Should a 5 year old have a 5-point harness?

The fact is that the 5-point harness is the safest option on the other hand the seat belt offers less protection. Now as your child grown with the higher category car seats the 5-point-harness is removed.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

What car seat should a 5 year old be in?

A 5 year old should be in a harness booster car seat or in an all in one car seat.

How long should a child be in a 5 point harness?

A child should be in a 5 point harness car seat as long as possible. The 5 point harness offers more protection than the seat belt. Until the child reaches 65 pounds they can ride in 5 point harness mode.

Can a 5 year old use a backless booster seat?

Yes, a 5 year old can use a backless booster seat. However, I would highly suggest keeping your 5 year old in harness mode until 65 pounds because that offers more protection than the seat belt.

What is the height and weight limit for these high-back booster seats and booster seats for 5 year old.

The height and weight limit for these high-back booster seats and booster seats is as follows. For the high-back booster seat the weight limit is around 90 to 100 pounds it’s safe for 4 years old but they have to weight at least 40 pounds. For backless booster seat the weight limit is 120 pounds so even a 12 years old can use it. The height limits for high-back booster car seat is 49 inches. The height limit for backless booster is between 59 and 62 inches. These would be the height and weight limits. You can do extended rear facing up to 40 pounds with a convertible seat. This is a specialty of convertible car seats. The typical rear facing best car seat for 5 year old has the maximum weight requirements of 40 pounds. The height limit typically is 57 inches tall in height positions.

How do you clean the best booster car seat for 5 year olds?

For backless boosters and high back booster in booster mode are machine washable. You need to remove the car’s seat cover. Make sure that the forward-facing harness fits because the child outgrows it in time. The cup holders should be cleaned regularly. As you know cup holders tend to gather many unwanted things.

For 5 years old how do you install a backless booster seat or a high-back booster seat?

To install the backless booster seat you can’t use the latch system. You can use instead the vehicle seat belt or the shoulder belt. It’s easy to install. Make sure you consult with the manual first. First you should start with the high-back booster seat. The high-back booster is almost the last mode that you will ever have to use. After the convertible stage this will be the next one after the child grows. This mode can be installed with the car’s seat belt and the latch system. The latch system will make it easy to install. The good news is that there’s enough room for the passenger seat. Make sure to check the shoulder belt fit for your little one or go with the latch connectors. This only available in forward facing highback booster or 5 point harness mode and not in backless booster mode.

What kind of forward-facing car seat does this forward-facing car seat have for a five year old?

For 5 year olds car seat safety features are important. They will need side impact protection. Depending on the case reinforced steel frame is good as well. When the child is ready and mature enough they can use the seat belts on their own. The safety seat is for mature enough kids.

What would be a good alternative for a combination car seat for a 5 year old?

The best alternative would be the chicco kidfit 2 in 1 big kid high back booster car seat. If you’re interested in the best booster seat I have a list as well. The chicco kidfit 2 in 1 is recommended by the american academy of pediatrics and won the best bet booster seat award as well. If your little one has outgrown the infant car seats (infant car seat) then you have to find the highback booster seat options or backless booster seat. Typically in elementary school you have to make the upgrade high back booster as the child grows. It’s also a good idea to stop using the rear facing if they are over 40 inches tall. Another good option would be evenflo maestro sport with the supercinch latch attachment (latch system) and shoulder belt guide. Or you can go with graco turbobooster portable booster seat and it’s one of the lightest car seat with machine washable seat pad and approved by child passenger safety technician and insurance institute for highway safety.

What kind of safety standards does the forward facing booster seat for 5 year olds have?

You can rest assured that they have been in a crash test. Otherwise, they won’t be sold. The foam padding is crucial from safety perspective. The 5 point harness straps can be hidden in the storage compartment. As  high back booster seat or a backless booster seat the seat pad (seat cushion) is comfortable.

Does a 5 year old need a car seat?

Yes in most cases a 5 year old needs a car seat. There are only one or two states where it’s not an absolute must. Check out your state’s car seat laws for more info.

What about an inflatable booster seat?

Well, the inflatable booster seat does it’s job but it’s not that comfortable on the long run. They are the easiest booster seats for air travel and have been cleared by the federal aviation administration. Plus the price tag isn’t that steep. Even so it’s a good booster seat alternative for a 5 year old.

What kind of features should a booster seat have?

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, easily 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?

These are the only car seat boosters you can choose from: belt positioning booster seat like evenflo car seats, backless booster seats, highback booster seat like maestro sport forward facing harness booster seat. These all ensure a safe ride 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  are defined by each brand separately. All you have to do is check the owner’s manual. The child passenger safety is the main reason why the insurance institute for highway safety exists. Most kids sit properly and comfortably in these highback booster seats.

What’s the difference between a traditional car seat and a travel car seat?

The main difference between the two is the size and weight. Plus the federal aviation administration has deemed it safe to travel with. And some travel booster seat chairs offer a carry bag because they can fit in it. The booster seat safety score is perfect for young children even if they fall asleep. Amongst the safety features comes the lap belt, and minimized head movement, plus the belt should be below the child’s ears with a forward facing five point harness booster seat. The best way to save money is to get it on a sale.

What is the best car seat for a 3 year old?

The best car seat for a 3 year old is the Britax One4life.

Which are the best car seats for 5 year olds?

The best car seat for 5 year old would be:

  1. Britax Grow With You – Safest booster seat for 5 year old
  2. Chicco MyFit – Best booster seat 5 year old
  3. Graco Nautilus – Best car booster seat for 5 year old
  4. Evenflo Symphony Elite – Best travel car seat for 5 year old
  5. Clek Oobr – Best Natural car seat for 5 yr old

Are there any five point harness highback booster car seats for 5 year olds?

Yes there are five point harness highback booster car seats for 5 year olds, there aren’t many but there are a few. Let it be a highback booster, combination seat or even a travel car seat the five point harness is still the safest securing mechanism.  The highback boosters provide optimal safety, extra support to sit correctly and highly rated crash tests.

What kind of car seat for a 5 year old is the right choice?

Ideally a 5 year old should be in a forward facing 5 point harness car seat. A good choice is either a convertible car seat (forward facing/rear facing), a combination car seat (booster seat/forward facing) or an all-in-one car seat. Sure the rigid latch will do it’s job but when we’re talking about the child restraint nothing comes close to the five point harness even on a rear passenger seat.

Which is the best booster seats for 5 year olds?

The best car booster seat for 5 years old is the Chicco Myfit

How do I know if my child is ready for the next stage car seat or a travel car seat?

For that you need to look at the current seat, child’s age and if the seat belt guide passes on the child’s shoulder. While other car seats provide features such as: head and neck support, integrated cup holders, adjustable armrests, removable cover and plenty of head supports with five point harness and variable head width. Typically teh combination seat and the booster seat features these perks with the five point harness especially for the combination seat.

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’s not only well-cushioned but it won’t overheat either. So yes a 5 year old needs a car seat.

What is the safest car seat for 5 year old?

The safest car seat for a 5 year old is the Britax Grow with You. This car seat provides a 5-point harness for children which provides optimal safety, extra support to sit correctly and highly rated crash tests.

Do 5 year olds need car seats?

Yes a 5 year old needs a car seat 100% of the time. You need to pick one that fits perfectly to their height and weight.

What kind of car seat for a 5 year old?

A 5 year old should be in a forward facing car seat. This is important as it is the safest and most effective way to secure your child’s safety.

What 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 tall 5 year old?

The best car seat for a tall 5 year old is the Chicco MyFit. The high back booster comes with a headrest and adjustable arm rests for maximum comfort and safety.

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.

When to switch to booster seat?

Typically the best time to switch to a booster seat is after the convertible has been outgrown or when your child has reached the minimum weight and height requirements for the booster seat.

Last Updated on October 25, 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!