The Best Car Seat for 2-year-old? (the Ultimate Tips You Must Know in 2021)

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 8 convertible seats and a few tips on making a flawless purchase.

Top 3 Recommendations
Editor's Choices
Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat, 2-in-1, Saturn Gray, 18.5x22x25.5 Inch (Pack of 1)*
Customer's Rating
Best Featured
Best Overall Pick
WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat with Carrying Bag - Lightweight, Portable, Foldable - Perfect for...*
Customer's Rating
Best Featured
Ultimate Travel Buddy
Best Selling
Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat (Black Arrows)*
Customer's Rating
Best Featured
Budget-friendly Pick

Best Travel Car Seat for 2 Year Old Money Can Buy: My Top 8 Favorites

Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat, 2-in-1 - Best Pick

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
  • Budget-friendly
  • Easy to clean 
  • The harness has no padding

WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat and Travel Bag Bundle - Ultimate Travel Buddy

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
  • Pricy

Cosco Apt 50 Convertible Car Seat - Budget-Friendly Pick

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.

  • Budget-friendly
  • Airplane travel friendly
  • Five-point harness
  • Lightweight
  • Side impact protection
  • The seat is ‘too wide’ for some

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat - Best Carpooling Pick

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.

  • Affordable
  • Removable infant padding
  • Great for carpooling
  • Can be tricky to install
  • No recline function

Graco Admiral 65 Convertible Car Seat - Best Featherlight Companion

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

Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat - Suitable For Smaller Cars

Another pick from Cosco is the Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible car seat. Just like the previous Cosco seat we reviewed, this one is as well easy on the budget.

Parents can use this convertible toddler car seat as soon as they take the baby for its first car ride. Hence, you can use it from infancy since it supports between 5 to 40 pounds in rear-facing mode, all up to toddler age when the kid reaches 65 pounds in a forward-facing way.

The Mighty Fit 65 DX convertible car seat also contains a harness with five harness positions and three buckle ones. Keeping up with the child's growth has never been easier.

The Cosco toddler car seat does not shine when it comes to fancy accessories. However, it does offer a few additional features worth the notice. Since rear-facing car seat installation can be a bit tricky, they suggest using an angle adjuster such as a pool noodle to achieve the perfect angle.

Knowing that this is a narrow toddler car seat, it would be a perfect fit to rent a smaller vehicle. Not only this, but it's a lifesaver knowing you can secure three across of these car seats in the back.

But, I must admit that it does come with some cons.

The narrow design means that the harness is too close to each other, which can be quite uncomfortable for the little one. In this case, I propose using an affordable pair of harness pads and preventing any irritating rubbing.

It may not be your favorite for everyday rides, but for all those unexpected plane rides, it's a must-have. And, since the Cosco convertible car seat is pretty inexpensive, a few extra accessories won't hurt your budget.

  • Affordable
  • Suitable for small vehicles 
  • Lightweight
  • Narrow design
  • Rear-facing installation requires a few accessories

Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat - Best 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
  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • One recline angle in a rear-facing installation 

Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat - Easy To Keep Clean

Does traveling with children stress you out sometimes? Is your kid in the mood swings phase yet? I suggest you make traveling a bit more comfortable with the Safety 1st car seats.

We will concentrate on two of them in the review, both affordable and unique in safety and quality.

Let's see why the Jive 2-in-1 convertible car seat could be your best pick.

For starters, the convertible car seat can be used from infancy, and secure babies from 5 pounds in the rear-facing car seat, all the way up to toddler age when they reach the 65-pound weight limit on the forward-facing car seat mode.

To keep up with the baby's growth, the 5 points adjustable harness has an easy up-front adjustment system designed for prolonged service.

What I appreciate the most out of this convertible car seat is its compact size. The narrow car seat provides a snug fit to a two-year-old, but it also allows for three across installations in the back of the vehicle.

For extra support, the car seat is equipped with a removable head and body pillow. As your two-year-old grows, he/she gets to enjoy this car seat and the plush padding as well. The cushions are comfortable to remove and allow for some extra space for the bigger ones.

Long travel routes mean extra snacks! Not just for us adults, but the little ones in the back too. This is where the two removable cup holders come in rescue. They are convenient and easy to clean whenever things get messy in the back seat.

As busy parents, constant clean-ups can be a nag. I would always go for the car seat, which is safe, comfortable and offers machine-washable fabric.

  • Affordable
  • Cup holders
  • Great for smaller cars
  • Machine-washable fabric
  • Rear-facing installation is tricky

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!

best car seat for 2 and half year old

3. Help! My Kid is Slouching in the Car Seat

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 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.

best car seat for 2 year old 2020

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.

What is the safest car seat for a 2 year old?

The safest car seats for a two-year-old is the one that meets all the necessary safety requirements and is FAA approved (if you plan on taking it on an airplane).

Additional features that make car seats safe are the rear and side-impact protection, adjustable and padded headrest, suitable weight limit, and 5 point harness. My personal favorite is the Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat.

Which car seat is best for toddlers?

I would have to hit another five stars to the Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat. Scroll up to read the full review and determine why this is the best car seat for toddlers. 

Final Words

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.

For an absolute budget-deal and excellent travel system, I would opt for Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat.

It's time to see for yourself why this car seat receives constant praise.

Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat, 2-in-1, Saturn Gray, 18.5x22x25.5 Inch (Pack of 1)*
  • Side Impact Tested, Meets or Exceeds All Applicable Federal Safety Standards and Evenflo's Side Impact Test Standard
  • Designed and Tested for Structural Integrity at Energy Levels Approximately 2x the Federal Crash Test Standard. Rear Facing Fit Tip is Top of Child Head is at Least 1 Inch Below the Top of the Child...
  • Multiple Shoulder Harness Positions for Better Fit and Longer Use. Age at Least Two Years of Age
  • Upfront Harness Adjustment and Buckle Release Allows Easy and Convenient Adjusting
  • Integrated Body Cushion Gives Added Comfort to Baby and an Easily Removable Head Pillow for Older Children

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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