Getting the best car seat for 4-year-olds might sound weird since they are already older and more independent. But for safety purposes, it’s a good idea to keep children in car seats even past four years of age.

As you drive, you can rest assured that your little one is strapped in and safe at the back. This also prevents distractions and makes it easy to control your child while driving. This guide will cover the best car seats for a four-year-old and how you can choose one that works for you.

1

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat: Best Overall

FEATURES

  • Choose the perfect headrest height from 10 positions to get the safest fit for your child as they grow
  • 6-position recline keeps your child comfy and helps for a better installation
  • Push-button InRight™ LATCH provides an easy, one-second attachment with an audible click to help ensure secure installation
  • Fuss-free harness storage pockets conveniently hold the harness out of the way for easy in and out

Full Description

Named as our best overall option, the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is an ideal choice for your four-year-old. It has a convertible design, allowing you to use the rear-facing or forward-facing harness, depending on how much your child weighs.

*yellow The highly durable car seat is made of reinforced steel sturdy enough to keep your child safe and in place. It also allows your child to ride the rear-facing longer without worrying about safety. There is also a 4-position adjustable extension panel fitted to the car seat, which gives it up to five inches more legroom.

The Graco Extend2Fit comes with an adjustable headrest and harness, which you can adjust with one motion. This ensures that your child is always secure. There are ten headrest positions and six recline positions for maximizing comfort.

If you decide to purchase this car seat, keep in mind that it’s tricky to tighten the latch. But once you get around that, it’s a safe and comfortable choice.
Pros:
  • Convertible design for forward and rear-facing.
  • Sturdy construction with reinforced steel.
  • Extendable panel for extra legroom.
  • Adjustable headrest and harness.
  • Multiple headrests and recline positions.
Cons:
  • Tricky to tighten the latch.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022

Graco Extend2Fit Best convertible design

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Best maintaining

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Best for small cars

Evenflo Gold Best installation system

Read Also:

Top 11 Car Seats for a Four-Year-Old

After extensive research, we compiled the top 11 car seats for four-year-old kids below.

2

Graco Transitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat: Best Versatile Option

If you’re looking for something flexible for your kid, the Graco Transitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat is ideal. It can transition from a forward-facing harness for smaller kids to a highback booster. You can also use it as a backless booster, and all positions are ideal for your four-year-old.

Aside from the multiple transitions, you also get a one-hand, eight-position adjustable headrest that grows as your child grows. The seat is lightweight and portable, carrying it from place to place. And, you can keep their snacks closer to them with the two cupholders.

Another flexible feature of the Graco Transitions is the no-rethread adjust harness system. The safe system allows you to adjust the headrest and harness in one motion. Plus, the open-loop belt system makes it easy for you to position your car’s seat belt.

Although your four-year-old will love this comfortable car seat, keep in mind that it’s difficult to install it in your car. Once you figure out how to safely install it and keep it in place, you can get the most from this seat.

Can easily position the car’s seat belt.

Pros:
  • Comes in three positions that will grow with your child.
  • Eight headrest positions with easy adjustment.
  • Lightweight and portable design.
  • Can easily position the car’s seat belt.
  • Dual cupholders for storing snacks and drinks.
Cons:
  • Difficult to install in your car.
3

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat: Best for Support

Next on our list is the Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat, which is an ideal four-year-old car seat for top-notch support. It is designed with an ErgoBoost double foam padding and contoured seat design, which gives your child support in all places.

The Chicco KidFit comes with ten positions to protect your kid’s head and shoulders while driving. With the latch attachment and one-pull tightener, the car seat stays in place securely and is always ready for your kid. It is easy to get them strapped in and carry them out.

You also get a dual cupholder system on both sides of the car seat, which fold away when you’re not using it. You can also remove it for washing and put it back. The seat pad and armrest covers are also removable and machine-washable, making them easy to maintain.

The Chicco KidFit car seat also looks excellent, but many customers have complained about how difficult it is to pull the seat belt out and buckle your kid in. If your four-year-old is independent, it might be difficult for them to buckle in by themselves.

Dual cupholder system that can be folded away.

Pros:
  • Padded and contoured seat design for full-body support.
  • Ten positions for supporting the head and shoulder.
  • Latch attachment and one-pull tightener for kid-ready design.
  • Dual cupholder system that can be folded away.
  • Easy to maintain.
Cons:
  • The seat belt is stiff and rigid to pull out.
4

Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat: Best Protective Design

The Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat does not only have an attractive design that your kid would love but a protective design. The side impact protection technology will protect your head’s child if you ever end up in a side-impact crash.

The Maxi-Cosi Pria comes with three positions: rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster mode, so it’s not only great for your four-year-old. The in and out harness holders will keep the car seat’s straps out of the way when you’re buckling your kid in, making it easy to use.

Installation is pretty easy with this convertible car seat, as it comes with a one-click latch system and an easy click-in. This solves the problem of many car seats, which are usually hard to install. Plus, the quick-fit shoulder harness will automatically raise the harness and headrest height.

Although it has a lot of advantages, keep in mind that the Maxi-Cosi Pria doesn’t cooperate when you want to tilt the seat. If your four-year-old is sleeping, it would be hard to tilt the seat, but you can get the hang of it after a while.

Pros:
  • Side impact protection technology for keeping your children safe.
  • Three positions for growing with your child.
  • Super easy to use and install.
  • Ideal for small cars.
Cons:
  • Hard to tilt the seat.
  • The straps are a bit too thin.
5

Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat: Best for Easy Cleaning

Cleaning your car seat is a hustle, and if you want to avoid that, you can go for the Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat. It comes with a removable and easy-to-clean booster pad on the car seat, which you can toss into the washing machine and dryer. The cupholder is also removable and dishwasher safe.

The combination booster car seat comes with a five-point safety harness that can be converted to a belt-positioning booster seat when your child grows. There are two modes to convert the car seat for small and large kids. It is an ideal choice for growing families and carpools.

The lightweight seat is easy to carry from car to car and can fit side to side at the back of any vehicle, even small cars. Plus, it meets federal, JPMA, and ASTM safety standards that assure you while you drive.

But as you use this car seat, be wary about its durability. It is made mainly of plastic, which is not a very durable design. Also, the fabric is very strong and can tear easily. Despite this, the car seat will keep your child safe in case of accidents.

Pros:
  • Removable and easy to clean poster pad and cupholder.
  • Convertible car and booster seat.
  • Ideal for any type of vehicle.
  • Lightweight design for portability.
  • Meets multiple safety standards.
Cons:
  • Not very durable with plastic construction.
6

Britax Highpoint 2-Stage Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat: Best for Big Kids

If your four-year-old is bigger than the average range, you can go for the Britax Highpoint 2-Stage Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat. With the plush foam padding and built-in armrests, your big kid can stay comfortable in this car seat. It can accommodate heights up to 63 inches and up to 120 pounds.

The high-back booster seat can also be converted into a backless booster, which will keep your child safe for a longer time. The backless mode is also very comfortable and ideal for bigger kids.

The Britax Highpoint is also pretty comfortable, made with bath leisure-inspired fabric that is comfortable and will also look great in your car. The car seat comes with three layers of side impact protection, including an energy-absorbing shell, external cushions, and a foam-lined headrest.

Keep in mind that this car seat comes with an uncomfortable design that requires breaking in for a few days. Your four-year-old might not find this pleasing, but it becomes better after a while.

Pros:
  • Comfortable padding and armrest for big kids.
  • It can be used as a high back booster and backless booster.
  • Made with high-quality fabric for comfort and design.
  • Three layers of side impact protection.
  • Attractive design for your car.
Cons:
  • Requires breaking in for the first few days.
7

Evenflo Gold Resolve360 Convertible Car Seat: Best for Convenience

The Evenflo Gold Resolve360 Convertible Car Seat is the ideal choice for your four-year-old when it comes to convenience and ease. The car seat offers 360 degrees of ease; after installing the car seat, there is a 360-degree safety installation system, and the Tether360 keeps it secure and safe.

Since it’s a rotating car seat, you can quickly get your child in and out of the car, regardless of the type of vehicle that you are using. It also comes with an on-the-go recline feature that makes it easy to adjust the car seat without bothering your child or reinstalling it.

You can also expect top-notch durability with the Evenflo Gold Resolve360, as it can be used for up to ten years. It also comes with three modes: rear-facing, forward-facing, and a booster.

The car seat has an awkward, butterfly-shaped belt that your child might find uncomfortable. It is also tricky to unclip since it is stiff.

Pros:
  • Rotating design for easy use.
  • Safety installation system to keep your kids safe.
  • On-the-go recline feature.
  • Highly durable and lasting up to three years.
  • Three modes.
Cons:
  • Difficult to unclip.
  • Awkward shaped belt.
8

Diono Cambria 2 XL: Best for Easy Installation 

Those worried about the problematic installation can go for the Diono Cambria 2 XL, as this is designed for effortless installation. It is fitted with latch connectors and front adjusters, securely connecting the booster seat to your car within a few seconds. Self-buckling is also pretty easy and will keep the seat in place, even when not occupied.

It’s a two-in-one car seat, doubling as a high back booster and backless belt-positioning booster seat. The seat is also fitted with two retractable cup holders. Versatility is pretty easy with the six-position headrest that provides full head support and reinforced side impact protection.

The Diono Cambria 2 XL is designed with a broad contoured seat base and extra length, which gives your kid more legroom and comfort. Plus, it meets all the necessary safety standards to keep your child safe.

On the downside, this car seat is not very comfortable, especially for long rides. It does not have thick padding, and you might have to add memory foam to make it more comfortable.

Pros:
  • Very easy to install.
  • Self-buckling is convenient and keeps the seat in place.
  • Doubles as a highback booster and backless booster.
  • Wide contoured seats for extra legroom.
  • Six-position headrest for head support.
Cons:
  • Not very comfortable for long rides.
9

Evenflo Maestro Sport Convertible Booster Car Seat: Best for Kids of All Ages

If you want a reliable car seat that your four-year-old can use until they become eight, the Evenflo Maestro Sport Convertible Booster Car Seat is ideal. It keeps your child safe as they grow, and it doubles as a forward-facing and back booster car seat.

The seat is fitted with an adjustable belt and harness, making it easy for you to find the correct position for your child. With the shoulder seat belt guide, you can ensure your child is comfortable during the ride.

Maintaining this car seat is also a piece of cake, with a wipeable design. The padding is removable and is machine-safe for ease. Plus, the car seat comes with two cupholders for keeping your drink within reach, and it meets all the federal safety standards.

The main disadvantage of this car seat is that it does not recline at all. If your kid sleeps off, it would be hard to keep them comfortable when you’re driving.

Pros:
  • Ideal for kids of all ages.
  • Convertible design for top comfort.
  • Adjustable belt and harness with shoulder belt guide.
  • Wipeable design and machine washable.
  • Meets all the safety standards.
Cons:
  • Does not recline.
10

Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat: Best Lightweight Car Seat

Having a lightweight car seat is the perfect choice for anyone with more than one car, and the Safety 1st Grand 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat meets the standards. The lightweight design makes it easy to move from car to car, and it can fit in different types of vehicles, making it ideal for growing families.

The Safety 1st Grand is designed to provide your child with exceptional ergonomic support, with full comfort in the headrest, shoulders, back, and seat. These are all the key pressure points. Since it is made with high-quality fabrics, it gives kids a comfortable ride and a plush feel.

Maintenance is pretty easy with the Safety 1st Grand car seat. You can easily clean the car seat by removing the pad and tossing it in the washer and dryer. The cupholders are also removable and dishwasher safe.

On the downside, the padding is pretty thin, making it uncomfortable for long hauls. You might have to add extra cushions to make them more comfortable.

Pros:
  • Lightweight design for moving from car to car.
  • Complete ergonomic support for comfort.
  • Made with high-quality fabrics and offers a plush feel.
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Comes with dishwasher-safe cupholders.
Cons:
  • Uncomfortable for long hauls.
11

Britax One4Life ClickTight All-in-One Car Seat: Seat Built for Comfort

Rounding up our list is the Britax One4Life ClickTight All-In-One Car Seat, built for comfort. It is designed with a cool flow mesh fabric, improving the airflow and keeping your child cool and comfortable, even if the weather is hot.

It is designed to grow with your four-year-old and can be converted to a booster if the need be. Depending on which one is more comfortable, it can also be used in a rear-facing, forward-facing, or highback design.

You can also expect easy installation in three steps, and you will hear a click that assures you that the seat is in place. You simply need to open, thread, buckle, and then close it. With the high-strength steel frame, the seat absorbs crash energy during accidents.

On the downside, the Britax One4Life is pretty expensive, so you should only choose it if you have the budget.

Pros:
  • Breathable fabric for comfort.
  • A convertible car seat that grows with your kid.
  • Easy to install.
  • High-strength steel frame for durability.
  • Absorbs crash energy during accidents.
Cons:
  • It was expensive.

What To Consider When Buying the Best Car Seat for 4-Year-Old

Before choosing a car seat for your four-year-old, you should keep a couple of factors. This allows you to keep your child safe.

Weight Limit

The first thing you should consider when thinking about what kind of car seat for a 4-year-old you should buy is the weight limit. By going for a large weight limit capacity, the car seat can be used by your child for a longer time.

Size

You also have to think about the size of the car seat, which is based on the height and weight of your child. When choosing car seats for 4-year-old, you should check the age limit suggested by the manufacturer. Luckily, all the seats on our list are suited for four-year-olds. You also have to make sure that the car seat fits your car.

Belt

It’s essential to choose a car seat with a comfortable and secure belt for your kid. The car seat 4-year-old should have a belt that makes your child feel secure without digging into their skin or causing discomfort.

Harness System

Most car seats for toddlers age 4 come with an adjustable harness system, which ensures that it is still usable as your child grows. The tether strap is also necessary to consider when choosing the car seat. It will anchor your child and the seat to the car and keep them secure.

Latch Connection

The best car seats for 4-year-olds always come with different latches, whether hook-style, rigid low anchor or push-on. You can check the specs to see the car seat’s type of latch connection.

Material

The material of the 4-year-old car seat will determine the comfort, machine washability, and damage to your car. You give your child more comfort, make things easier for you by washing, and prevent scuffs and damage to your vehicle.

Durability

Durability is another crucial factor you need to consider when choosing a car seat for a 4-year-old. A car seat is an investment, and you should make sure that it is a good one that will last you for a long time.

Side Protection

Finally, you should think about choosing a car seat with side protection. Although you might overlook this feature, it makes sure that your child is safe during an accident. It also protects your child whenever the car is moving around.

FAQ

What Car Seat Is Best for A 4-Year-Old?

This depends on your specific needs as a parent and your child, but the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat is a reliable option if you have trouble choosing.

What Car Seat Should A 4-Year-Old Be in?

Your four-year-old should be in a car seat that keeps them comfortable and safe and one that can grow with them. Ensure that it reaches all the needed factors to provide your child with a comfortable ride.

What Is the Safest Car Seat For a 4-Year-Old?

The safest car seats for a four-year-old are the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat and the Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. Although many other seats provide security, you can use either of these two if safety is your top concern.

Does A 4-Year-Old Need A 5-Point Harness?

The safest car seats for a four-year-old are the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat and the Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. Although many other seats provide security, you can use either of these two if safety is your top concern.

Is A Booster Seat Ok for A 4-Year-Old?

Yes, it is. A booster seat is suitable for four-year-olds, keeping them safe and reducing distractions while you drive.

When Should I Switch My 4-Year-Old Car Seat?

You should only change the car seat for your four-year-old if they have outgrown it or if it has gotten damaged. But if you think you need a change, it’s never a bad idea to switch the car seat.

What Is the Most Comfortable Car Seat For a 4-Year-Old?

The most comfortable car seat for four-year-olds on our list is the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat and Britax One4Life ClickTight All-In-One Car Seat, although other options on our list are also reliable.

How To Install These Car Seats for Four-Year-Old?

Every car and the car seat is different, so there are no general steps to install a car seat for a four-year-old. You should check the manual that comes with the car seat and check your car’s manual. Regardless of the steps, you should cross-check to ensure it is secure, lock all the seatbelts, put them in the right place, and tighten the straps.

Verdict

With the best car seat for your four-year-old, you can drive while resting, assured that your child is safe and won’t distract you. It also keeps them more comfortable. There’s no shame with your child using a car seat at age four, as many state laws even require this.

Ensure you consider a wide range of factors to choose the best car seat that works for you. And if you have trouble choosing, you can go for the Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat, which is the best overall on our list.

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Pavlo Prannyk
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