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9 Best Car Seats for 3 Year Olds (Safety & Comfort)

BEST overall


Chicco MyFit
Best Value

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster


Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Car Seat

Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Car Seat
Runner up

Mica Eco i-Size
Car Seat

Hidden gem

Britax Grow With You ClickTight Plus

Britax Grow With You ClickTight Plus Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
Best Car Seats for 3 Year Olds

In this article we will look at 9 of the best car seats for 3 year olds to help you choose the right option for your little one.

Although the two key things to consider when choosing a car seat are safety and comfort, there are so many other little considerations that make choosing the right seat more challenging.

Should you go for a convertible car seat? Is a forward-facing car seat better? Or will your 3 year old feel more comfortable in a rear-facing car seat?

What Makes Car Seats for 3-Year-Olds Good?

When it comes to safety, always look for federal approval among the seat’s listed safety features. A lack of approval suggests the seat hasn’t been tested well enough. This means you should look for another car seat.

Side impact protection is crucial because it guards your toddler against side-on crashes. A crumple zone at the rear of the seat is also great, though not necessarily a priority.

Look for a car seat that has a strong metal frame, ideally made using steel or aircraft-grade aluminum.

For comfort, consider the car seat’s materials and adjustability. Padding helps your little one feel great during long rides, while removable pads make it easier for you to clean.

Ideally, the seat should have multiple reclining positions, along with an adjustable headrest that can change as your toddler grows.

Beyond these critical features, consider the following when making your choice:

  • The ability to convert into different types of seats
  • Any useful extras, such as cup holders
  • The seat’s weight, especially if you intend to carry it around or travel often
  • Whether the seat’s weight and height limits are high enough for your 3 year old

The best car seats take all of these factors into account, leading to the creation of seats that protect and comfort the child and offer practicality for parents.

Here are the 9 Best Car Seats for 3 Year Olds

With so many options available, it may seem impossible to find the best car seat for your 3 year old. Here we review nine options that each offer something a little different.

Chicco MyFit

Chicco MyFit

With five straps, the Chicco MyFit is our pick for the safest car seat for 3 year olds. Its tough shell overlaid with triple foam padding keeps your little one comfortable and protected.

The Chicco car seat’s tough buckles and anchors ensure you achieve snug installation in minutes. You also get instructions – along with some handy stickers – that explain the installation process in simple terms. If you’re worried about keeping the seat level, the built-in bubble level tells you when you’ve fitted the seat correctly.


  • As a forward-facing harness seat, the Chicco car seat offers a great view of your toddler when driving
  • The adjustable headrest has nine positions
  • Premium LATCH attachments keep the seat stable
  • Four reclining positions for head and neck support
  • Includes two cup holders


  • Cup holders are difficult for smaller children to reach
  • Taller children may find it uncomfortable

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster

Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster

Though it’s not the cheapest car seat, the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster is inexpensive enough to make it great for parents shopping on a budget.

It’s lightweight, making it an excellent choice for a travel car seat that can move between vehicles.

However, the standout feature here is that this is a convertible seat. In addition to the primary seat, which works well for very young children, this seat extends to grow with your toddler.

You can convert this car seat from a highback booster seat into a backless booster seat. That means it sticks with you through most of your child’s youth.


  • Removable, easy-wash pads and car seat cover
  • Five headrest positions
  • Simple belt loop guides ensure using your vehicle’s seat belt easily
  • Includes a pair of cupholders


  • The harness sometimes gets twisted
  • Not the most straight forward car seat model to install

Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Car Seat

Diono Radian 3R All-in-One Car Seat

As convertible car seats go, Diono’s Radian 3R is a brilliant choice for several reasons.

When in the rear-facing position, it’s suitable for children up to four years old. As your little one grows, it becomes a comfortable forward-facing seat.

The Diono car seat’s solid steel core is one of several safety features to protect your little one during a ride.

EPS foam built into the seat’s side impact protection keeps your little one safe and snug.


  • Comf0rtable memory foam
  • Multiple safety features
  • The smart latch feature makes installation simple
  • Adjusts to a forward-facing seat when your child outgrows the rear-facing mode


  • Rear-facing mode is a tad bulky
  • No infant insert
  • It’s not the lightest vehicle seat

Mica Eco i-Size Car Seat

Mica Eco i-Size Car Seat

This car seat offers various recline positions for your child’s comfort, promoting a relaxed journey for both parent and child. With soft breathable fabrics, every ride will be stress-free and comfortable, whether your child is sitting upright or lying back.

The Mica Eco car seat was developed with the aim of offering ease, security, and environmental responsibility. Its 360° swivel enables effortless maneuvering of your children into and out of the car, minimizing the risk of back strain.

The seat also adheres to stringent safety standards, boasting G-CELL Side Impact Protection, and employs Eco Care fabrics made entirely from recycled materials, contributing to a more sustainable future.

The Mica Eco car seat is both safe and sustainable, meeting top i-Size safety standards. It offers a secure and responsible choice for parents seeking a 360 seat for their child. With G-CELL Side Impact Protection and enhanced 3D impact absorption from different directions, this eco-friendly seat provides maximum protection for your baby.


  • Made from 100% recycled fabrics
  • G-CELL side impact protection for impact absorption
  • Highest i-Size safety standards for unrivalled protection
  • Helpful 360° rotation which makes it easy to get your child in and out of the car


  • A little heavier than some other options
  • Isn’t compatible with travel systems

Britax Grow With You ClickTight Plus

Grow With You ClickTight Plus Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Durability is the key feature of the Grow With You, as Britax has constructed one of the best car seats for withstanding a car accident.

The solid steel frame ensures stability, while an adjustable headrest and comfy fabrics provide comfort.

This Britax car seat converts into a backless booster seat. Plus, it offers three layers of side impact protection.


  • Rear SafeCell technology acts as a crumple zone in accidents
  • Great combination car seat
  • Three layers of side impact protection


  • Challenging toddler car seat to install
  • Strap adjustment could be better

WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat

WAYB Pico Portable Car Seat

If you’re looking for a lightweight car seat that meets federal safety standards, WAYB’s Pico has everything you need.

Among the lightest of the car seats on this list at just 8 pounds, that comes at the cost of a high weight limit. The seat can carry toddlers between 30 and 45 inches tall who weigh between 22 and 50 pounds.

Still, what it lacks in versatility it makes up for with an aircraft-grade aluminum frame. Portability is enhanced with a helpful travel bag, making this the best travel car seat for on-the-go parents.


  • Low weight
  • Suitable for cars and airplanes
  • Compact folding with a handy travel bag
  • FAA-approved


  • Doesn’t convert into other types of car seats
  • More expensive than most car seats with a single mode

Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5

Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5

If you’re looking for something a little different, the Ride Safer Travel Vest delivers.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – this isn’t one of the traditional rear-facing car seats you may have used before. Instead, think of it more like a belt-positioning booster seat system.

The vest wraps around your three-year-old and locks into your car’s seat belt to secure your little one in a booster seat. The trade-off is the lack of impact protection offered by traditional rear or forward-facing car seats.

It has two belt modes, with shoulder and tether being useful options. Furthermore, the vest meets all federal safety standards for use in cars, though it’s not approved for use on planes. You’ll also need to choose the right belt for your child’s size, with small, medium, and large options available.


  • Weighs less than three pounds
  • Highly portable
  • Ideal for 3 year olds who feel uncomfortable in traditional car seats
  • Two belt modes
  • Quickly locks into your car’s seat belt
  • Great for use with booster seats


  • No FAA approval
  • The non-traditional look may spook some parents
  • Expensive, given you’re not getting a full car seat

Kidsembrace Cinderella Combination Booster Car Seat

Cinderella 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat

If your 3 year old is a little Disney princess in the making, Kidsembrace’s car seat is a great choice.

Emblazoned with an image of a prince, the colorful seat is sure to keep your toddler engaged during long car rides. But don’t make the mistake of thinking this seat is just a gimmick.

It’s convertible, allowing you to transform it into a booster seat as your toddler gets older. The two cupholders are cleverly built into the princess design. Plus, its combination of a five-point harness and side impact protection means it’ll keep your child safe as well as entertained.

There are some downsides, though, with the most significant being that this isn’t a rear-facing seat. While that’s not an issue for many parents, some may feel uncomfortable strapping a smaller three-year-old into a front-facing seat.


  • Beautiful design
  • Comes with two cupholders
  • The LATCH system makes installation simple
  • Convertible booster mode
  • One-year manufacturer’s warranty


  • Not ideal for larger children
  • No rear-facing mode

Graco 4Ever DLX All-in-One Car Seat

4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Car Seat

We particularly appreciate the versatility of the Graco 4-ever car seat. It can be utilized as a rear-facing seat during the early stages of infancy and later transformed into a forward-facing seat as the child grows older.

What’s more, it comes equipped with two cup holders, a feature we find invaluable. (We strongly recommend selecting a forward-facing seat with cup holders.) Furthermore, it offers six adjustable tilt positions, which is essential for ensuring that your baby is comfortable during extended journeys.

It is also remarkably easy to install, making it one of my preferred choices for the best convertible car seat. With this one purchase, you can use it as an infant seat, a toddler seat, and even as a booster seat for older children. Check it out here.

The Graco 4-ever car seat is a great investment for any family, as it is adaptable and will be the only car seat you will need to purchase. Its versatility is remarkable, and it can accommodate your child from infancy to when they’re ready for a booster seat.

One of its most valuable features is its two cup holders, which are an absolute necessity for longer trips. Additionally, the seat boasts six adjustable tilt positions to guarantee that your baby is always comfortable.

Installing the seat is also effortless, which is why it is one of my top picks for the best convertible car seat. You can find this fantastic car seat here and see for yourself why it’s an excellent option for parents seeking convenience and flexibility.


  • Proven crash safety record
  • Allows extended rear-facing
  • Easy installation


  • Headrest rattles
  • Bulky, especially in rear-facing mode
  • Fabric not very breathable

What to Consider When Choosing Car Seats for 3 year olds

This short buyer’s guide looks at the crucial elements to consider when
choosing a car seat.

Lifestyle Fit

A car seat needs to match your lifestyle. If you’re constantly traveling,
you need a seat that you can quickly move between cars. Ideally, the seat will
also have FAA approval, allowing you to use it on airplanes confidently. For
travelers, a combination of low weight and multiple safety features make the
best car seat.

Single-Mode or Convertible

Convertible car seats are more versatile, with many offering rear-facing,
front-facing, and booster modes. However, such versatility is often higher
priced than a single-mode car seat.

Ease of Installation

Installation difficulty matters for two reasons.

First, parents who need to move their three-year-old’s car seat between
vehicles don’t want to spend an eternity figuring out how to disconnect and
reconnect it.

You want something that has clear instructions and a simple mechanism.

Second, a problematic installation may leave you feeling less confident in
the seat’s ability to do its job. You may worry that you haven’t fitted it
properly, even if you have.

Weight and Size

Your childs weight and height is the most obvious aspect. Check the seat’s
weight limit to ensure your little one can fit comfortably. If you want the
seat to adapt with your child as they grow, look for multiple reclining options
and adjustable headrests.

You also need to consider if your car is big enough to accommodate the seat
safely. Some bulkier seats aren’t ideal fits for compact cars.

Your Car’s Age

Many modern car seats are compatible with the LATCH system, which enables
easy installation and keeps the seat secure. This system is built into most
cars made after 2002.

Get the Perfect Car Seat for Your Toddler

With these nine options, you have a good shortlist of rear-facing, front-facing, and booster seats. Many of these seats are also convertible, allowing you to find a car seat that adapts as your three-year-old gets older.

Always remember that comfort and safety are the keys. As long as you find a seat that fits the bill in these areas, everything else is a bonus.

Jessica Daniels

Hey there! I’m Jessica Daniels, the owner of Posh Tots and a proud mom of two.

Me and my team of experts (who also happen to be moms) test and review parenting products, and share our tips and tricks to help you make informed choices for your little ones.

Let’s navigate this crazy parenting journey together!

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