Best car seat for 3 year olds

best car seat for 3 year oldsWhen looking for a car seat for your child, take extreme precaution and make sure that you choose the best and the safest seat for your child as this will guarantee his or her comfort and  safety during trips that you will be making. If you are wondering how to go about this, don’t worry. We got your back. This article will highlight some of the best car seats for 3 year olds. All these seats stand up to all important tests such as parental comfort, government crash ratings, ease of use, and baby comfort.

ItemGraco Contender R 65Graco MilestoneAll In OneEvenflo SureRide DLXEvenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat
Item Weight15.2 pounds20 pounds14.5 pounds13 pounds
Child Weight5-65 pounds5-100 pounds5-65 pounds5-50 pounds
Product Dimension22x18.5x23.5 inches21x17.5x21 inches29x20x20 inches20x19.2x28 inches
Cup holderYesYesNoNo
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1.Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat, Glacier

The Graco Contender 65 has been on the market for quite a while now and many parents consider it as the best car seat for 3 year olds. Courtesy of its great features, the Graco Contender can comfortably support a child from birth to grade school. It starts as a rear-facing seat that supports a child in the very first year of life. Afterward, when your child is about 3 years old, you can switch the seat to a front-facing position so as to secure your child until he/she weighs about 65 pounds.

The Graco Contender seat features a no-thread strap harness adjustment and a cup holder. Unfortunately, like any other convertible car seat, you will have to purchase a separate travel system if you would like a stroller for your infant. Additionally, the Contender 65 has some problems with the buckles and straps. They are hard to buckle up and undo.  

Nevertheless, the seat meets all federal safety requirements. It includes side-impact protection, LATCH connectors, and an energy-absorbing foam.

All the aforementioned features make The Graco Contender 65 is one of the best car seat for 3 year olds.

  • Easy-to-use harness
  • 8-position headrest with no re-thread harness
  • 2 crotch strap positions
  • FAA-approved
  • 7 year lifespan
  • Color-coded recline flip-foot for reclining car seat
  • Lightweight


  • Its buckles are difficult to tighten or unlatch.
  • The strap release is easily accessible to most toddlers

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Other Good Car Seats for 3 Year Olds

When is it a good time to switch to a convertible car seat ?

  1. Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Gotham

The second best car seat for 3 year olds is the Graco Milestone All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. Like the name suggests, this car seat is three seats in one: forward-facing infant car seat, rear-facing, and a belt-positioning booster. With the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, you will be able to adjust the harness and headrest together, for a tight-fit.

The 4-position recline makes sure that your child feels comfortable with every ride. On the other hand, the InRight LATCH system makes the installation process an easy one with a one-second attachment. The seat is safe seat engineered and side-impact tested, offering you peace of mind while driving. With all these features, Graco Milestone is a great choice when shopping for a car seat for your 3 year old.

Despite these features, some parents don’t seem satisfied with what Graco Milestone has to offer. Some feel that the straps loosen quite easily over time. In addition, they do not like the limited access to the recline button when rear facing. However, these problems are quite minor and the Milestone is a smart buy for any parent out there.

  • incredible stages
  • Machine washable padding
  • Safe design
  • It reclines
  • It has a drink holder


  • Straps gets loose easily
  • One needs to strap and latch it in for security reasons.

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  1. Evenflo SureRide DLX Convertible Car Seat, Paxton

Looking for a good car seat but don’t want to bust your budget for it? Well, the Evenflo SureRide, seems like your best option here. For a very affordable price, you will get one of the best car seats for your three-year-old child. The seat provides parents with a superior e3 Side Impact Protection that helps to keep their child safe. It also comes with other features that help to make installation as easy as possible. The Evenflo SureRide DLX seat can accommodate children ranging from 5-65 lbs. It also offers the most innovation and value you will find on the market.

The 2 crotch buckle positions and 6 shoulder strap positions on this Evenflo SureRide allow the seat to accommodate growing children longer. The easy to access upfront harness buckle and adjustment, allow it to be convenient for simple harnessing. In addition, this seat is designed, tested, assembled, and molded in the United States. The Evenflo SureRide combines comfort, safety, and ease of use for the ultimate value in child restraints. These features make it one of the best car seat for 3 year olds.

  • Inexpensive
  • 6 harness slot positions
  • 2 crotch strap positions
  • Easy-to-use harness
  • FAA approved
  • Lightweight
  • Easy installation with seat belt or LATCH


  • Overwhelming to move lower LATCH connectors between FF and RF belt paths
  • A bit hard to install
  • Not enough seat padding – uncomfortable
  • Does not come with strap pads

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4. Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat, Charcoal Sky

The Evenflo Sonus helps to keep your child growing safe and comfortable. With a forward-facing weight amount of a maximum 50 pounds and a rear-facing weight amount of up to 40 pounds, the Evenflo Sonus ensures that your child stays harnessed for longer. The seat comes with a built-in ventilation to offer added comfort to your child throughout all seasons. Evenflo Sonus offers an exemplary extended use option at a very affordable price.
The Evenflo Sonus Convertible Car Seat also Features:

  • An Easy access harness tension system
  • 5 shoulder strap positions that ensure proper fit at all times
  • Machine-washable pad
  • A detachable pillow for more support and comfort
  • Two cup holders
  • Versatile as it can fit a variety of uses
  • Comfortable


  • A bit hard to install
  • It is not tight enough in some cars

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Convertible car seats are meant to offer safety to your child, and the aforementioned ones are able to do this perfectly. However, the Graco Contender 65 seems to outdo all of them. It has an easy-to-use harness, 2 crotch strap positions, 8-position headrest with no thread harness, it is very comfortable, FAA-approved, and lightweight.