ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Car Seat for 3 Year Old

Updated on August 17, 2014

What is the Best Car Seat for a 3 Year Old

I am currently looking for the best car seat for a 3 year old (my son) and this articles shares my research. 

Ideally, the best car seat for a 3 year old would have the following features:

Comfortable with head support so that my 3 year old is able to sleep on long journeys.

A car seat that will adapt as my son grows bigger so that I don't have to replace it in the next few years. 

Suitable for daily use (ideally easy to clean, wipe down etc). 

Easy to transport between different cars so that I can use it in other people's vehicles when needed. 

Read on for my research on the best car seat for a 3 year old. 

The Safest Type of Car Seat for 3 Year Olds

Once a child has exceeded 35 pounds, they have exceeded the weight limit for most rear facing car seats so for most 3 year olds its sensible to purchase a forward facing car seat. There are several different types of forward facing car seat to choose from.

Harnessed booster seat - these are high back booster seats with a 5 point harness. As long as your child is within the correct weight limits it is safest to keep your 3 year old in a harnessed booster seat for as long as possible. They are the safest because the straps restrain your child at both the shoulders and hips, distributing the force of a collision to the strongest parts of his body in a crash.

Highback booster seat - once your child has outgrown the 5 point harness, they can move onto a highback booster which uses the car seat belt to keep the seat and child in position.

Backless booster seat - a backless booster seat can be used once it raises a child up to an adult position so the seat belt goes over the child's pelvic region (high on his thighs or low on his hips), not his tummy.

A combination car seat - there are car seats that transform from a harnessed booster, to a highback booster to a backless booster. So, they can adjust with your child as your child grown taller and heavier. They may be more expensive initially but they offer safety to your child in their younger years and probably work out more economically in the long run then buying different seats.

Graco 3 in 1 Car Seat

This is a great car seat that will last from toddlers until they are about 8 years old.

It covers the weight range between 20 and 100 pounds and converts from a harnessed booster seat to highback and backless booster.

The extended 5-point harness is for children from 20 to 65 pounds.

It then converts to a high back belt positioning booster for child 30 pounds to 100 pounds.

It also converts to backless booster for child 40 pounds to 100 pounds.

It has lots of other great features too. For comfort it features a three- osition recline and a height adjustable headrest you can easily move with one hand to accommodate your child's needs.

There's also a padded armrests, a cup holder and and storage pockets for snacks and small toys.

The cover and seat pad is machine washable which is a must with young children.

Evenflo Convertible Car Seat

This seat has a maximum weight recommendation of 100 pounds.

It has a 5 point harness which you can use with the child until they are 40 pounds.

The booster part of the seat is 40-110 lbs and 43-57 inches tall.

It lacks some of the features of the Graco above and the 5 point harness can't be used for as long but it is lot less expensive.

Britax Harnessed Booster Seat

You can use the 5 point harness on this seat until the child is 70 pounds. It also converts to a vehicle belt-positioning booster seat that can be used up to 110 pounds.

It features lots of extra features for conveninence and comfort including fixed armrests, an easy transition from harness to booster mode, comfort foam, and an easy to remove cover. There's also a front adjust recline, integrated cup holders and storage, multiple buckle positions.

Top tips when buying a car seat for a 3 year old

When choosing your car seat you will need to go by the weight and age of your child. In the USA, laws vary between the states. Some states require a child to be 3 year and 30 pounds before using a booster seat. Other states require a child to be 4 years and 40 pounds before using a booster seat, so if you're in the US you need to check.

Children who weigh 40 lb or less are best protected in a seat with a full harness.


Extra safety factors when fitting your car seat

The rear vehicle seat is the safest place for children of any age to ride. If you place your seat in the front passenger seat make sure that they are positioned as far back as possible from the front airbag on the passenger side.

The saftest position is the middle of the backseat if possible (may not be possible - if you have more than one child for example). This is because in the middle they will be best protected from side collisions.

When using a harness, the shoulder straps should be adjusted so that they are at or above the child's shoulders and the harness should fit snugly. You should be able to get only two fingers between the straps and your child's chest.

Comments on Best Car Seat for 3 Year Olds

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Moon Daisy profile image

      Moon Daisy 

      8 years ago from London

      A very useful hub. It came at just the right time, as my daughter (who's 4) will soon be growing out of the seat she's got at the moment.

      You've given me some idea of what's around and what I should be looking out for, thanks! :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)