You will agree with me when I say that there is no better thing in the world than moving your baby to the next stage.
However, when it comes to the best toddler car seats for travel or just any other type of child safety seat, it is not only about moving them to the next stage.
“Your toddler should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height/weight limit allowed by your safety seat’s manufacturer.” or at least when they are two years old or have exceeded height/weight limits of their rear facing seats.
You need to take the following into account when moving the baby from rear facing to forward facing:
- Always check your child safety seat labels and carseat manual for model number, manufacturer date, installation instructions, weight and height limits and if it is FAA approved if you are going to be using it as a travel booster seat.
- Use the car seat to the maximum weight and height limit before moving them to the forward facing toddler seat.
- Rear facing car seat that you can read reviews about here will always be safer in high impact frontal offset and frontal crashes which are the highest probability accidents.
- According to the American Academy of Pediatrics you need to keep the child in the rear facing mode at least until they are age two or when they outgrow their carseats weight and height limits.
Best Toddler Car Seat for Travel: Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
Out of the Travel Toddler car seats reviewed, the Graco 4 Ever 4-in-1 is the best child safety seat that comes with up to four modes of use, superior protection comfort, safety, and long use
Top Rated Travel Car Seats for Toddlers 2018
Graco 4 Ever 4-in-1 Basin
Graco Affix Youth Booster
Evenflo Maestro Booster
Disney APT Mouseketeer
Safety 1st Grow and Go
Safety Considerations When Buying Toddler Seats
Forward Facing or Convertible Car Seat
The best Convertible car seats or all in one car seats are great for toddlers and your baby in general given that you can use them at different stages of your baby’s growth without needing to buy a new seat.
However you need to remember that you can only transition the child to a forward facing toddler seat once they have maxed out the weight or height capacity of their infant seat.
A child will usually be ready for the forward facing car seat when they are about two years old and about 40 pounds or more in weight.
While a toddler is not as delicate as an infant you still need to offer them adequate protection.
A good toddler car seatto travel with is one that comes with a 5-point harness which are a series of safety belts that clip between the legs, over the thighs and across the baby’s chest.
They ensure the baby is snugly secured in reducing the severity or probability of injury in the instance of a crash.
Most cars including light trucks, minivans and cars manufactured after 2002 come with tether anchors.
A tether is a a strap on top of the car seat that attaches the child safety seat to the anchor on the car to prevent the seat from moving around too much in the instance of a crash.
Ensure that you buy a toddler seat that comes with a top tether to enhance the safety of your kid.
A toddler is very active and hence to ensure they have a comfortable ride, you should purchase a toddler car seat that has plush and soft padding around the back and head.
If your toddler safety seat lacks the necessary padding use a rolled up blanket around the baby (never behind or under though) o provide much needed support.
Machine Washable Cover
The toddler stage of your child is one in which they are at their most messy and if your not careful with your choice of safety seat, you may end up with unsightly seats.
A good forward facing car seat for your baby needs to be one that has a removable and machine washable cover so that you can wash away the food and dirt stains whenever you feel like it.
How to Install the Toddler Child Seat
Best Toddler Car Seats for Travel Reviews 2018
1. Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Review
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
The Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat is the best all in one seat that can function as a toddler safety seat.
Moreover it is made by Graco a top brand in the child car seat making industry known for making some of the most safe and comfortable car seats in the market for a smooth ride
- The Graco 4Ever is a great child safety seat that comes with the longest periods of use of up to 10 years meaning you never have to buy another seat
- The seat provides your baby with the utmost in comfort and safety with LATCH installation and plush padding so that you can rest easy for those long rides with the child
- Easy to adjust harnesses and up to 10 height and headrest adjustable positions makes this the best car seat for the needs of the growing child.
- Seat comes with plush and soft padding and infant inserts making this not only a toddler seat but also a seat good for the infant
- The Graco has four modes of use so that you can use it right from infancy to toddler and belt positioning seat and when the child no longer needs the seat.
- The cutouts in the seat which will become your seat belt paths in belt positioning mode tend to be huge and hence you may lose baby things such as pacifiers and the like
- It is quite a bulky seat given its safety features such as steel frame and the like. As such this is not the greatest fit for someone with a small car.
2. Disney APT Convertible Car Seat Review
Disney APT Convertible
5 Point Harness
The Disney APT Convertible Car Seat works as an infant safety seat from 5 pounds before it turns into a rear facing toddler seat for the child between 22 and 40 pounds making it a great child seat for your preemie as well as the the toddler.
With its small footprint, great style, side impact protection, adjustable height, and harness positions, this is the safest and most comfortable of seats you should buy for your child.
- The toddler seat makes it easier for the child to remain in rear facing for as long as possible thus keeping them safer for longer.
- Let your child ride in style and comfort as it comes with prime fabric and the extra cozy headrest for the child
- The three buckle locations and five harness heights of the Disney APT make it suitable for the growing child as you can always adjust for optimum comfort and safety
- The seat comes equipped with LATCH for easy installation and has excellent side impact protection to protect the child from debris in the instance of a crash
- While it is an adorable car seat you get what you get as its cheap price means it comes with flimsy padding and a cheap buckle
3. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Review
Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1
The Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat will offer protection and comfort to your child right from infancy to when they are toddler until they are ready to start using seat belts.
Engineered to meet or exceed federal crash safety standards you can use this safety seat in the recommended rear facing from when the child is 5 pounds turn it forward facing at 22 pounds and then use it as a belt positioning child seat until 100 pounds.
It does not only come with classy looks abut also provides great comfort and safety for your child at all stages of growth.
- Comes with an extended 5 point Quickfit harness meaning you can keep the child in the safer harnessed mode for longer
- Has integrated cup holders, storage compartments, seat pad and 3-position incline making it the most comfortable toddler car seats
- It makes your life easier as a mum as it comes with an easy to remove machine washable cover and and does not require rethreading of harness straps making it very easy to install
- You never have to worry about cramped legs as the seat is made for extra leg room and will fit in most small and midsize cars with plenty of room left between the seats
- The simply safe harness adjust system and the 5 position headrest make it easy to adjust the height of the headrest and harness in one easy motion
- Even as it is a great child seat for tiny vehicles, it is quite bulky for plane travel at 18 pounds and so you may have to find an alternative when traveling with your child
- Installation can be quite the hassle especially for new parents but it should work out fine once you get to use the car seat a few times
4. Evenflo Maestro Thunder Car Seat Review
Comes with 5-Point Harness
The Evenflo Maestro Car Seat is the easiest seats to install with upfront harness adjustment which will save you a lot of trouble when handling an overactive toddler
It also comes wit superior safety technologies including excellent side impact protection and advanced energy absorption that will protect your kid in the instance of a crash
You do not have to worry about child safety as the seat has met and exceeded most federal safety standards of structural integrity
- The Evenflo is the safest car seats you can buy with the highest ratings in federal testing among toddler seats
- The Evenflo Maestro comes with auto adjust belt path and simple to adjust harnesses that makes installation for the parent and getting in and out of the seat for the child a breeze
- The seat is lightweight and comes equipped with LATCH making it easy to install and uninstall hence making it a convenient seat for the urban parent who frequently moves child safety seats from vehicles to vehicle
- Integrated cup holders take up very little space and do not go past the seat thus reducing the child safety seat’s footprint and leaving space for more seats or passengers
- the 2 in 1 combination seat allows for extended use in the harnessed mode and belt positioning mode making it a great seat for your toddler
- While it is an easy car seat to install and uninstall out the car, the manufacturer did not do a good job with the plastic and hence you have to be careful not to scratch your hands when doing it
- Even though the Evenflo comes with plush material that will not overheat in hot weather, the cup holders are poor quality and you may have to buy new ones/
- You can only keep the child in harnessed mode for up to 50 pounds and so if you have a heavy baby you may have to upgrade sooner than you thought
5. Graco Affix Youth Booster with Latch System Review
Graco Affix Youth Booster
This Graco Affix car seat keeps your toddler riding in the high back mode from between 30-100 pound and can convert to the backless mode from between 40-100 pounds which is well within the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
It is also a stylish seat with a lot of extra features for your kids comfort in addition to a wide range of safety features such as adjustable headrests, open loop guides, and energy absorbent foam and shell.
- The headrest is easily adjustable ensuring that your kid remains comfortable throughout even as they are growing
- Comes with integrated cup holders and compartments for storage where the child can store all their toys and games
- With the most snug installations, your toddler will conveniently buckle themselves in this car seat without any problems.
- The unique front LATCH system makes the installation of this seat so easy yet so secure.
- Open loop belt guides ensure that you install the child safety seat correctly keeping the child safe.
- You cannot carry the seat while holding the back as it will fall of
- The base of the Graco affix is too large and hence this is not a good child seat if you have a small car or need to have more people sit in the backseat
Best Toddler Car Seat for Travel: Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1
Out of the Toddler car seats for travel reviewed, the Graco 4 Ever 4-in-1 is the best child safety seat that comes with up to four modes of use, superior protection comfort, safety, and long use