It seems like only yesterday you were carrying your baby home from the hospital, and right now, you are browsing the internet, searching for the best car seat for 2 year old?
Time sure does fly!
Your tot is growing so fast, and he/she will need the proper equipment for all those family travels.
If you are already swamped with booking and packing and just can't find the time to skim through Amazon, don't worry.
I made a helpful list of the most popular rear-facing and forward-facing car seats for your two-year-old to enjoy.
In this guide, you find 10 convertible seats and a few tips on making a flawless purchase.
Table of Contents
- Best Regular Car Seat for 2 Year Old: Top 3 Packs of 2022!
- Best Travel-friendly Car Seat for 2 Year Old: My Top 7 Favorites!
- #1. Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible 2-in-1 - Best Performance
- #2. WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat with Premium Carrying Bag - Ultimate Travel Buddy
- #3. Cosco Onlook 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Budget-Friendly Pick
- #4. Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat - Best Carpooling Pick
- #5. Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat - Best Featherlight Companion
- #6. Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Best Content
- #7. Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat - Best For Bigger Kids
- You Bought the Best Car Seat for a 2 Year Old: Now What?
- What are the stages for car seats?
- What is next after an infant car seat?
- What kind of car seat should a 2 year old be in?
- Can a 2-year-old be in an infant car seat?
- Can my 2-year-old sit forward-facing?
- Is a booster seat safe for a 2 year old?
- How long can a 2-year-old be in a car seat?
- Can a 2-year-old sit in a car seat on an airplane?
- What is the safest car seat for a 2 year old?
- Is a foldable car seat safe for two-year-olds?
- At what age do you stop using a five-point harness?
- Which car seat is best for toddlers?
- How do you travel with a two-year-old?
- How old does a child need to use an Evenflo car seat in forward-facing mode?
- Final Words
Hey, have you ever thought about what car seat your 2-year-old should use? Do you know that there are some similar yet different features among these units? Will you use them for travel or regular, everyday use and running errands?
If you haven't, it's high time you considered these as well.
First of all, you need to know that most car seats for 2-year-olds are convertible seats.
Therefore, if you have toddlers, you can manage them to fit their needs, size, and weight, and find the best body posture and support, to be safer and more secure on the road.
Also, your toddlers must be stable and fixed inside the back seat of your vehicle, regardless of the car seat mode, so the seats offer maximum protection and stability.
So, all seats are oriented towards their strength and safety, and your kids won't suffer while inside them.
However, there are some differences between these car seats. That's why you will find the two most common groups:
1. regular car seats for everyday use
2. travel-friendly car seats
But, what are the differences?
Well, if you want a travel-friendly car seat, you will have to check their weight.
This is crucial since numerous regular car seats weigh more than 20 pounds - 25, 27, or even 30 pounds. Therefore, it will be almost impossible to move it around quickly and carry it whenever you travel somewhere.
Imagine you're at the airport with a bulky car seat. Not gonna happen.
So, your ideal, travel-friendly option should weigh around 10 pounds (12 pounds maximum), so when you place your baby inside, it should be lightweight for you to move it around and carry it on the plane and airport.
I'm not saying that regular seats are not good, but they're not as portable and practical as the travel-friendly ones.
In addition, the traveling models might be even foldable and more flexible than the regular ones. So, they can easily adjust to your needs, and you can straightforwardly maneuver them. Thus, they will more easily fulfill your conditions and offer more practical usage.
But, when we're speaking of car accidents, regardless of their types, it's always better to have a heavier & bulkier car seat (don't ask how I know).
The regular car seats are more robust; therefore, moving them in a collision will be more challenging. So, they will provide more stability and security to your kiddo. So, my final answer is a regular seat for everyday use.
Finally, both options will provide you with the necessary safety and security features in terms of 5-point harness systems, side-impact protection, and reinforced frames. But, since the regular seats are bulkier, you will find a slight advantage in these conditions.
Both types will also last for a few more years until your kids are ready for the new level of car seats. But, the travel-friendly options are always a better choice for all on-the-go families. So, it's up to you to select the best solution.
And, how to pick the best one? Find below.
Best Regular Car Seat for 2 Year Old: Top 3 Packs of 2022!
The best regular car seat will wow you since it offers ten years of lifespan, which is excellent for more robust use, and one car seat for a lifetime. Thus, you will find its 4-in-1 design very valuable for an extended period.
In addition, the seat is helpful since you can place all children inside:
So, you can choose the proper manner and adjust it to your kids' needs.
As the car seat has Graco ProtectPlus engineered construction and frame, it protects your kids in rear, frontal, rollover, side, and other impacts and crashes. They will remain stable, intact, and untouchable in the seat.
Your kid will have maximum comfort since the simply safe adjusted harness maneuvers ten different positions, both for harness and headrest. So, you can find the best body position for your little one, and the seat will work for them and follow their growth.
But, the six different reclining positions will also offer more comfort and softness for your kid so that they won't be pressured or limited inside the seat.
You don't have to bother about the installation process.
The car seat offers both solutions - with the LATCH attachments or regular seat belt lock-offs for effortless vehicle seat belt installation. Both models will provide maximum stability and security for your baby, and it won't move around while on the road.
Finally, the cleaning and maintenance will be effortless, as the car seat has a detachable and removable cover, machine washable, and dryer safe for freshness and more robust use.
And, the plastic and metal parts can be cleaned with mild soap and water.
- Easy to install and use
- Minor design flaws
Why should you opt for the Evenflo all-in-one car seat?
Firstly, the convertible car seat has a universal use. So, you can use it as a rear-facing harness, forward-facing harness, and a belt-positioning booster car seat.
Hence, you will find a prolonged lifespan of ten years, and you don't have to obtain different seats for different life stages.
Moreover, the car contains a slim-fit design, which is an excellent option when you want to save more space inside the car interior.
Namely, the Rock-Solid installation system is flexible enough, so it ratchets to achieve three times smaller and tighter installation. So, it will save space in the back seat, and you can even use it for three across.
Thanks to the custom-cradled fit, the car seat angles comfortably, so it helps in minimizing head slump, keeping the airway open for maximum ventilation, comfort, relaxed and cooling effect. So, kids will be calm, ventilated, and cozy for an extended period.
However, the seat takes care of your child's safety, and they have increased the upper limit up to 50 pounds and allow infants and toddlers to remain in the rear-facing position for an extended time. And, I like it very much.
It will be effortless for you to clean and maintain it properly.
For example, the seat has a detachable and removable car seat cover, so you can wash it in the washing machine with pads and remove it for quick cleaning. The same goes with the cup holders - they're dishwasher safe and straight word to maintain.
Regarding safety features, the brand adds Evenflo tests to regular FMVSS tests and regulations. So, it guarantees the maximum protection and safety standards for your child.
Besides, you have a 5-point harness for more safety and stability in addition to the durable frame.
Finally, the last regular car seat will astonish you due to its system and technology. So, you will find three using modes, suitable for all children:
Thus, the seat provides a longer lifespan and offers you more prolonged and robust use.
In addition, the all-in-one car seat contains the ultimate side-impact protection.
As you might observe, the unit includes the grow-and-go side-impact protection, keeping your baby safe and stable in all crashes - side, rear, front, or rollover, and keeps them intact and secure for a more extended period.
Thanks to the harness holders that keep it in an open position, you can easily take the children in and out of the car seat without the need to install or reinstall it all the time.
And, since the harness has a quick-fit system, you can adjust it together with the headrest in a single motion to fit your growing kid's needs and keep them in the proper body posture for an extended period.
Also, the car seat will provide you with an effortless and quick cleaning and maintenance process since it has a detachable and removable car seat cover and seat pads with snaps, suitable for cleaning in a washing machine.
Of course, your kiddo will have the ultimate comfort and softness wherever you go, regardless of the distance.
In addition, the multiple reclining options will allow your kid to lean back and enjoy a more comfy ride, even when you place them in a forward-facing manner.
And, due to the parent-friendly design, the car seat will considerably adjust to their needs, making it effortless to place the kid in and out of the seat, keeping straps untangled and on the sides.
- Installation issues
Best Travel-friendly Car Seat for 2 Year Old: My Top 7 Favorites!
Evenflo Tribute presents quite the bargain when you take a look at other models of car seats on the market. Besides the fantastic price, this is my go-to car seat when traveling.
Here is why you should consider it:
If you are a parent traveling with toddlers, this car seat is a God's sent.
Firstly, with 9 pounds, the car seat is lightweight and a perfect travel companion. I have witnessed numerous situations at the airport when parents struggle carrying their 20-pound car seat while I have no trouble whatsoever.
The benefits don't stop there.
We all know that youngsters can get messy sometimes. And by sometimes, I mean always! Accidents are bound to happen when you have a toddler by your side, so this is why you must get a car seat that is easy to clean up and machine washer friendly.
Not only is the car seat parent-approved but child-approved as well.
Your child will not complain about their seating arrangement for those long car trips due to the generous padding. But, just as you would pay attention to comfort, you should keep safety first.
The convertible car seat is tested for safety and passed all of the requirements.
All parents like myself know the value of security and its role in car seats. This one is Evenflo side-impact tested as well as Federal crash tested.
I cannot recommend this enough for a parent's first car seat buy. With all the safety features and the travel-friendly benefits, you will also get extended use out of this one.
The convertible car seat contains multiple shoulder harness positions designed to fit a two-year-old and up.
- Safety and crash tested
- Rear-facing use for infants
- Easy to clean
- The harness has no padding
Traveling adventures require the best equipment, and what can be better than the ultimate travel car seat designed for two-year-olds and up?
If you are a big fan of compact, foldable design car seats that offer maximum safety but take little to no space in your luggage, you are going to love the WAYB Pico car seat.
Despite the compact and foldable design, WAYB Pico travel toddler car seat meets all the necessary safety requirements and regulations.
The forward-facing car seat can have a minimum weight limit of 22 pounds, which means it's perfectly safe for two-year-olds who have reached this weight.
Although it is recommended you secure toddlers in the rear-facing high back car seat for as long as possible, the WAYB car seat is the right choice for traveling occasions.
One of the conveniences it offers is a light weight of only 8 pounds!
It also offers a 5-point harness, which is necessary by the FAA requirements for children under 40 pounds who need to be in a rear-facing mode.
You can install this revolutionary forward-facing car seat with a LATCH system or a seat belt and top tether. Nonetheless, I recommend you go with the LATCH system installations since this is one of the easier ones to handle.
When you are on a traveling expedition, you are bound to encounter a taxi or two.
The WAYB Pico is genuinely magnificent here because you won't always have the benefits of top tether in public transportations. Instead of holding a lap baby throughout the ride, this car seat is the safest option for traveling parents.
So, is this the most acceptable option for a two years old kid? Probably not for everyday transport.
But, if you are traveling for and need a lightweight and compact car seat option, you can give WAYB ago!
- Foldable design
- FAA approved
- Easy to install with seat belt
- Only forward-facing setting
Coming up, number three on the list carries the budget-friendly title. Although I have included several inexpensive items between these rear-facing and forward-facing seats, this is the least expensive pick out of them all.
But, don't let the low price be the only admiring feature.
The Cosco Apt 50 convertible car seat meets all the NHTSA safety and ease-of-use ratings.
Parents can install this car seat either rear-facing car seat with a weight limit of 5 to 40 pounds, and forward-facing supporting toddlers from 22 to 50 pounds.
If you decide it is the right time to secure your two-years-old child in a forward-facing mode, know that it includes a 5 point adjustable harness that follows their growth.
In addition to this, the Cosco Apt 50 car seat also offers three different buckle locations. Meaning, the convertible car seat will be in your service for a couple of years.
The three different buckle positions will make sure your baby never experiences discomfort while traveling.
The built-in feature is every parent's favorite during long travel routes. It is ideal for sneaking in a few snacks and holding the kid's bottle by their side.
Cosco Apt 50 is a real hit when it comes to airplane travels.
With the 11 pound lightweight, the convertible car seat follows the FAA approval while the manual demonstrates the straightforward airplane seat installation. Since we mentioned installation, check out this helpful video.
Compared to the other seats on the market, this one will secure your baby at least until the age of four. Meaning, you get two more years of usage while on a tight budget.
Sounds like a deal if you ask me.
- Airplane travel friendly
- Five-point harness
- Side impact protection
- The seat is ‘too wide’ for some
For carpooling, I suggest you go for this Safety 1st Guide 65 convertible car seat. The narrow design makes it a perfect candidate for installing more than two car seats in the back.
Like the Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, this one can as well support babies from 5 to 65 pounds. In the rear-facing installation, the weight limit is from 5 to 40 pounds, while the forward-facing mode supports between 22 and 65 pounds of weight.
The Safety 1st toddler car seat may not have any spectacular functions or recline setting, but this is one of my favorite seats for a few reasons:
For this kind of price, the car seat is an excellent choice for all those unexpected trips when you need a lightweight car seat. You can easily take it with you on an airplane or buy it as a backup car seat for carpooling.
Some of the more expensive models may have a few features then and there that will make a better choice for everyday rides. But, when it comes to traveling systems, you want to make sure you pack lightly.
The convertible toddler car seat has a cupholder on the side, an adjustable headrest, and a removable infant padding you can easily take out as soon as your baby gets bigger.
The slender width allows you to install more car seats in the back, which makes it an excellent choice for growing households who need to install more than one car seat in the back.
The Safety 1st Toddler car seat is FAA approved, so you can bring it on an airplane ride and have a sound mind at all times.
- Removable infant padding
- Great for carpooling
- Can be tricky to install
- No recline function
The trustworthy Graco introduces a line of high-quality car seats and boosters with a fantastic price range.
If you are curious about a car seat with outstanding quality, features, and a somewhat budget-friendly content, here is why you should consider the Graco Admiral 65 car seat.
Since you are looking for car seats specifically for a two-year-old child, it's necessary to know the car seat's weight requirements if you have your eye one. This one is designed to support babies from 5-40 pounds in rear-facing car mode and 22-65 pounds in forward-facing car seat mode.
You can flip the car seat around once your toddler reaches 22 pounds, but it's best to keep them secure in the rear-facing mode for as long as they fit the measurements.
Another thing to pay heads up to is the weight of the car seat.
You do not want any extra weight while traveling, but it's good to know that Graco has a solid design, which gives it a featherweight feel but still keeps your baby snug and protected.
For parent's sound mind, this high back car seat has been carefully tested through the
Graco Testing Standard. Therefore, the seat checks the side impact protection, rear impact, and rollover safety.
When it comes to installation, the LATCH system truly is a lifesaver! The toddler car seat is easy to install with a latch, while the level indicator recommends the car seat's perfect adjustment angle.
As your little one grows, the adjustable harness is designed to keep them snug at least until the age of five.
The car seat does not have much of the fancy features such as a plush padding or several cup holders; however, it is a safe and convenient car seating option for your little one.
- Safety tested
- Easy to install
- No shoulder padding
Next off, the Safety 1st convertible car seat is an exceptional model for all parents, as the unit has two modes of use: rear-facing harness for 5-40 pounds kids and forward-facing harness for 22-65 pounds kids.
So, you can use it longer, and your kids will remain secure and safe longer in the same unit.
Furthermore, the car seat is ideal for your kids since it comes with removable head and body pillows. They are removable for extra body and head support and stability.
So, as they grow, you can detach and remove them for additional comfort during the ride the plush padding offers. Therefore, they won't feel pressured, limited or restrained.
Regarding safety benefits, the convertible car seat has a 5-point harness safety system with three buckle locations to fit your growing kiddo and offer more comfort.
So, you will find an easy up-front adjustment, with three buckle locations, suitable for more stability and convenience while inside the seat.
With two removable cup holders, dishwasher safe, the car seat includes a super easy cleaning process, so it will be effortless to maintain when your kids make a mess.
The exact process is with the car seat content. It's machine washable and dry safe, saving your energy and time for effortless maintenance and cleaning process.
And, since this is a travel-friendly car seat, you will use it for all travel types.
The Safety 1st convertible car seat is FAA approved, so numerous airlines also support it for use on airplanes. The compact and portable design will also make it effortless to manage through airport security checks and other controlling points.
Finally, the car seat fits three across in most motor vehicles and saves your space in the back seat.
- Safety features
- Easy to clean and use
- Not for bigger kids
With Evenflo, you can never make the wrong choice.
If convenience and budget-friendly price is what you are looking for your two-year-old's safe transport, then you have come to the right place.
Let's get a glimpse at what this toddler car seat offers.
The Evenflo car seat offers both rear-facing and forward-facing car seat installations. However, there are a few features we should discuss:
Even though the Evenflo Sonus car seat offers car infant seats support, the lack of an infant pillow and only one rear-facing recline option makes us question the seat's comfort for smaller babies. But, for a two-year-old, you should have no such worries.
The high back car seat offers suitable installations for three across, making it the right choice for parents who find themselves in carpool situations more than they would like. Well, I hope you won't dread them anymore.
Like all Evenflo car seats, it passes all the necessary safety requirements and side-impact tests, as well as structural integrity at twice the federal crash standards. Not only this, but the toddler car seat has also been tested for rollover accidents.
The Sonus model has removable cup holders thrown in the dishwasher as soon as the messy part of the trip takes place.
If you plan a plane ride to the favorite destination, know that the Evenflo Sonus is FAA approved and safe for highway rides.
One of the best benefits of the Evenflo toddler car seat offers all-season comfort.
With the integrated airflow, the car seat delivers in temperature control and keeps the little one comfy in any travel location. The feature can help if you travel to a tropical destination where climate change is unreliable.
- Airflow ventilation
- Easy to install
- One recline angle in a rear-facing installation
You Bought the Best Car Seat for a 2 Year Old: Now What?
I hope that I have made a choice easier and helped you pick out your favorite model of convertible car seats. Let's discuss what you should do next.
I had my fair share of tricky-to-install convertible car seats, and that is why I recommend you take your time with your newly purchased car seat.
Let me tell you; there will be many unexpected features if you ignore product detail.
You don't want to make the same slip-up as me and splurge on a fancy, rear-facing car seat just to learn that the model is too bulky for my car!
Remember always to check this kind of info on the product page below and make sure you are buying the right type of convertible car seats.
1. Check The Harness
The next thing is checking the harness if they are padded, great! If not, this can lead up to skin irritation due to the fabric rubbing.
Nonetheless, you should check if the harness is a snug fit on the child, especially in the rear-facing position.
Also, check if they are a good fit in all the crucial areas.
2. Do Outfits Matter?
When traveling, I always dress my kid lightly. This allows them to move their legs freely in both the rear-facing and forward-facing car seat mode but with limited movement.
Remember, you want them secure, not uncomfortable!
3. Help! My Kid is Slouching in the Car Seat
A common problem is buying car seats that are slightly bigger for your child's weight requirements.
Although it says that it is meant for two-year-olds, not all of them will have a snug fit. In this case, fill the space with a blanket for added support and comfort.
Never tuck any fabric beneath the child and car seat space! Only do so between the shoulders if they are still slouching over or behind the crotch strap.
What are the stages for car seats?
According to the AAP and the NHTSA, there are four stages of the car seats:
- rear-facing car seats
- forward-facing car seats
- booster car seats
- seat belt systems.
The first stage includes rear-facing only and rear-facing convertible seats, adequate for infants and newborns up to two years of age.
They should remain rear-facing as long as possible for maximum safety standards.
The second stage refers to the toddlers and preschoolers with the forward-facing harness and convertible seats.
They should use the forward-facing seats once they overgrow all weight and height limits of the infant car seats recommended by the manufacturer.
They usually remain forward-facing until they are 65 pounds.
The third stage is for kids up to 100 or 120 pounds and includes school kids. They should be eight to twelve years old, less than four feet nine inches in height.
Finally, the fourth stage is four feet nine inches tall for all kids once they overgrow the booster car seats. Again, they must be at least twelve.
And all kids younger than thirteen must be in the vehicle’s back seat.
What is next after an infant car seat?
The next stage is either the extended rear-facing position - keeping your little ones up to 50 pounds, as the AAP and the NHTSA experts state, or the forward-facing position.
The forward-facing car seats are ideal for all children who overgrow the maximum weight and height limits of the rear-facing infant car seats.
If they are not ready for forward-facing car seats, please, do not place them inside the seats!
They should be between 22 and 65 pounds to use the forward-facing seats properly.
What kind of car seat should a 2 year old be in?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, parents should secure a 2-year-old in a rear-facing car seat for long as they fulfill its criteria.
Once they exceed the recommended weight and height, they can be secure in a forward-facing seat.
I would choose convertible car seats as the best type of car seats for two-year-olds.
You get the use of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats mode all at an affordable price and prolonged use.
Can a 2-year-old be in an infant car seat?
Yes, they should remain in the infant seats as long as possible, as the AAP states.
Only when they outgrow the maximum weight and size limit can they use the forward-facing harness. Otherwise, please keep them in the infant seats for safety!
Can my 2-year-old sit forward-facing?
Well, technically, they can, but only if they meet the car seat weight and size.
However, if their constitution does not meet or fit the car seat's requirements, you cannot place them inside.
So they should remain in the infant car seats as long as possible.
Is a booster seat safe for a 2 year old?
Absolutely NO! A booster seat is not safe for two years old to ride in. Their fragile little bodies cannot withstand crashes if they are secured in a booster seat that is not fit for their age.
They should be secured in either rear-facing convertible car seats, preferably via 5 point harness.
Children are usually fit for a booster seat at the age of five or seven, but this is all individual.
How long can a 2-year-old be in a car seat?
According to AAP and NHTSA, all kids must be appropriately restrained in the child passenger safety systems.
Therefore, your two-year-old toddler should either be in an infant or forward-facing seat. And, they should remain inside the seats as long as possible until they reach the upper limit and switch to another car seat level.
The process is longer or shorter, depending on the kid's growth and development.
Can a 2-year-old sit in a car seat on an airplane?
Yes, they can, but only if your car seat is FAA approved.
If the seat has a label stating that it can be used on a plane, then you can use the seat for all travel types. Otherwise, it's not possible to travel with your kid by aircraft.
What is the safest car seat for a 2 year old?
As with the previous question, the safest one is the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat.
It is due to the best overall safety, stability, and security features, so it will best keep your little one intact and untouchable while in the car seat.
Is a foldable car seat safe for two-year-olds?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best car seats for infants and toddlers are the rear-facing car seats.
And if you have an extended rear-facing position, you should keep them inside as long as possible for maximum safety standards.
No other car seats are suitable for two-year-old kids and toddlers in general.
At what age do you stop using a five-point harness?
Usually, kids stop using the five-point harness system once they are old and developed enough to stop doing so.
They should be between five and nine years old to develop and stop using five-point harnesses entirely.
But, ensure your kids meet all safety standards and requirements before placing them into boosters.
On average, more than 65 pounds of kiddos are ready for belt-positioning boosters.
Which car seat is best for toddlers?
Well, the best one and the most secure will be the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat since it shows the best stability benefits and offers the ultimate side-impact protection for your little ones.
How do you travel with a two-year-old?
First and foremost, you need a suitable car seat. The airlines accept various FAA-approved rear-facing and forward-facing car seats with verified labels.
In addition, you can bring the following units and accessories for maximum convenience:
- baby carrier for a travel stroller
- backpack diaper bags
- light, compact and smaller baby gear
- multi-purpose travel toys
- specific food for comfortable trips.
How old does a child need to use an Evenflo car seat in forward-facing mode?
Generally, kids should use forward-facing seats between 22 and 65 pounds, more than two or even three years old.
But, as the Evenflo manufacturer states, kids can use the Evenflo SafeMax All-in-One car seat in the forward-facing mode when they are at least one year old, weighing between 22 and 65 pounds.
And that's a wrap.
Based on my experience and thoughts shared by many parents, you can never go wrong with choosing the best car seat for 2 year old.
They are a favorite of mine, especially for travel! Plus, your kid gets to enjoy a car seat for a long time by experiencing both rear-facing and forward-facing mode.
As you can see, there are numerous car seats for your 2-year-old kids. What choice you will make depends on your needs.
So, if you're an on-the-go parent, I suggest some travel-friendly models. But, if you're an on-the-ground parent, you might better use some regular seats.
So, my advice is to either select the Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat or the Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible 2-in-1 Car Seat as the two best representatives of their groups. Both will provide maximum safety features and performance for your kids.
So, don't miss them!