When a child crosses the age of three, parents have to make some changes to their lifestyles. This includes not only their diet but their habits too, another important thing that needs a change in a car seat. From rear or front fashioned to booster seats, the transition is not easy.
So, you need to carefully pick a seat that will make the process easy. This article consists of many car seats, out of which only one will be crowned the title of the best car seat for 4 year old. You will be impressed with all of these seats, as they are all mostly from reputable brands.
1. Graco Tranzitions 3-In-1 Harness Booster Seat
Easily taking the first spot, with over 25000 content buyers, is this Tranzitions 3-In-1 Harness Booster Seat by the Brand Graco.
The company has been earning the number one spot on every single one of my articles, in which I am to find the top car seat for a specific age group. Well, history is repeating itself once again. Let’s see what it has to offer.
Unlike many other Graco seats, this one has been priced very competitively. Available in five different color options, you can choose the one to your liking or your kid’s if he or she has a preference.
The car seat has a 3-in-1 design, which is an uncommon one. It can be used in the forward-facing mode for kids that are between 22 and 65 pounds. As for children between 40 and 100 pounds, the seat can be used as a high back booster or a backless one, whichever suits the child’s comfort level.
If you want to know the difference between the two, I will be detailing that in the FAQ present at the end of this article.
As this article focuses on 4 year old kids, we will be solely focusing on the booster seat. It is light, portable, and is perfect for busy and active parents. If you are one of those that doesn’t get a breather all day long, then a light car seat is better than a bulky and heavy one.
The 8-position headrest grows with your child. It can be adjusted using one hand only, making it convenient to use. The eight different positions ensure that your child will have the comfort he needs while traveling.
- 3-in-1 design
- Competitively priced
- Light and portable
- 8-position headrest
- Installation issues
Although it is unlikely that you receive a unit with installation issues, the company should still sort it out to make that likelihood completely zero.
2. Graco Turbobooster Backless Booster Car Seat
If you are looking to get a completely backless booster seat, I have got just the thing for you. This Backless Booster Car Seat is yet another one from the brand Graco.
The fact that the company was able to earn two top spots on this list is more than enough to tell you about the quality of its products. With a very competitive price, this booster car seat is a bargain. Let’s see if it offers enough features.
This booster car seat has been designed for kids between the ages of 4 and 10 or between the weight range of 40 and 100 pounds.
According to the brand, this specific product is highly rated by leading magazines and publications. A similar response has been seen from the 14000 happy buyers who recommend it to others.
Let’s talk security. The manufacturer states that this booster seat has been tested rigorously to meet U.S safety standards. If you live in the States, then you must know how strict the regulations here are.
So, you don’t have to worry about anything in that regard. The Graco Protect Plus tests ensure that the seat will protect the child from collisions from all sides.
The car seat does not compromise on the comfort of the product, either. It is comfortable, stylish and is a car seat that your child will want to ride in. This is something you don’t hear every day. Even if the child is being transitioned from a high back seat, there is very little chance that he or she will cause any issues.
- For children between the ages of 4 and 10
- Meets or exceeds all safety standards
- Graco Protect Plus ensured
- Extremely comfortable
- Low-quality fabric
The manufacturer should look into this matter and resolve it as soon as possible because products like a car seat should withstand constant usage. Other than that, you will be more than content with your purchase.
3. KidsEmbrace High-Back Booster Car Seat
If you are looking for a car seat with a theme, you will love this High-Back Booster Car Seat. KidsEmbrace is a brand that takes a different approach to car seats. They use superhero themes, like spiderman, in this scenario.
And, you may have guessed it, children love spiderman. With over 1700 positive ratings, let’s see what buyers find attractive about this product.
This high back booster car seat grows with your child, just like the first one. Although the naming suggests that it can be used only one way, this car seat can be used in a backless mode.
So, if the kid reaches the age limit for the high back mode, then he or she can shift to the backless one, and you don’t have to buy a brand new seat.
The booster seat has a seat belt position clip that allows you to easily adjust the seat belt. For the backless mode, there is a clip guide so you can position the belt properly. You may be wondering about the product’s safety features.
This car seat exceeds the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, and it also has a BEST BET BOOSTER rating from the IIHS. For those who don’t know, IIHS stands for Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
For your and the child’s convenience, the company has also put in a cup holder, which can be used to hold snacks or beverages. So, you can keep your child entertained and not hungry at any time during your ride.
- High back and backless mode
- Belt clip for easy seatbelt positioning
- Exceeds all safety standards
- Included cup holder
- Installation issues
- Top not connected to the bottom
It looks like KidsEmbrace has to redo the design of this car seat. Although kids love the spiderman design, there is no reason that they should compromise on the safety aspects of the product.
4. Cosco Finale DX 2-In-1 Combination Booster Car Seat
Coming in fourth place is yet another product from a highly regarded brand. The company’s name is Cosco, and I have checked out its products before. They make high-quality car seats that are loved by thousands of people. And this one is no different. With over 1600 happy buyers, it is a popular choice among consumers.
With a very reasonable price, the Finale DX 2-In-1 Booster Car Seat is definitely on the cheaper side. Let’s make sure that the brand has not cut too many corners to achieve this price tag. Although it is a 2-in-1 seat, we will only be focusing on the booster mode because it can be used for 4 year olds.
Before we get into more details of this product, I must tell you that the IIHS has labeled this car seat as a Best Bet one. This means that it has excellent security features.
It has been designed for kids that are anywhere between the 40 and 100-pound range. It is usable for all kids that are between the age of 4 and 10. So, you will be stuck with it for a long time.
The car seat has been designed as a three-across one for most vehicles. This means that you can see three of those together easily. The lightweight design of this car seat allows it to be transported easily, without any issues.
For added convenience, the brand has also added removable cup holders, which are also machine washable. So, you can clean up the holder easily and quickly.
- 2-in-1 design
- Usable for 4 to 10 year old kids
- Three across design
- Removable, machine washable cup holders
- Low-quality plastic
- Less padding
I guess this is where the brand chose to cut corners. Although it does pass all safety tests, the manufacturer should have used more padding to ensure that the child will remain comfortable during journeys.
5. Evenflo Big Kid High Back Booster Car Seat
If you are looking for a car seat that does not have a flat design and looks elegant, well, I have got just the thing for you. Arriving in fifth place is this High Back Booster Car Seat from the Brand Evenflo.
With more than five thousand happy buyers, it is one of the more popular options out there. Let us see if it is good in real-life scenarios.
The booster car seat can be easily used in either of the two positions, high back or backless. So, you won’t have to change car seats when your kid grows out of one mode.
The car seat has a 6 position height adjustment feature. This is a pretty rare feature in booster seats. The adjustable height allows the seat to adjust to your kid’s liking as he or she grows up.
The included belt clip allows you to put on the seat belt properly around your youngster’s shoulder. Although most parents won’t have any issues with the seat belt, the clip is a nice touch that eliminates any and all chances of wrongly putting on the belt.
Adding to this convenience factor, the manufacturer has added two cup holders that are perfect for when kids get snacky. This is great for long journeys.
The car seat has an easy-to-clean design too. The seat pad is removable, wipeable, and even machine washable. So, if the kid spills something on it, you won’t have to worry about using a stained seat pad. This is a feature that will be appreciated by parents whose kids are rebellious by nature.
- High back or backless modes
- 6-position height adjustment
- Included belt clip
- Removable and washable seat pad
- Children may not find it comfortable
Well, the comfort level depends on each child. Out of 5000 people, there was a very small percentage of buyers that complained about this issue. You will most probably be more than satisfied with the car seat.
6. Safety 1st Grand Booster Car Seat
We have almost reached the end of this article, and still, there is a great deal of competition. This Product, from the Brand Safety 1st, is an example of a high-quality car seat. Although it does not have that many ratings when compared to other listings, it is still more than a decent car seat.
With unique color choices, ranging from a black sparrow, Capri teal, and sunrise coral, you can choose the one you like, as all look and feel elegant. Let’s see if its safety offerings are just as good and versatile.
This car seat can be used in a forward-facing fashion or as a booster seat. If your kid is in the 30 and 65-pound range, then you can use the seat in the front-facing mode. If he or she is between 40 and 120 pounds, then you can also use it as a booster car seat.
Just like the Cosco Finale, this car seat has been designed to fit three across in almost all vehicles. What this means is that you can fit three identical ones, or three different car seats, with the same properties.
For example, you can get the Finale and two of these, and they will most probably fit perfectly in your vehicle. This also tells you that the car seat is extremely compact.
It is easy to transport, thanks to its lightweight. The brand has also used a high-quality fabric, which helps make the car seat more comfortable for the kid.
- Three unique color choices
- It can be fit in a three-across fashion
- Lightweight and compact
- Not enough padding
- Not be tight enough
Apart from these two buyers, most were content with their purchase. Although Safety 1st is a reliable brand, I did not expect such a product from it.
7. Diono Cambria 2-In-1 Booster Seat
Finally, arriving in the seventh and final place is this 2-in-1 Booster Seat by the Brand Diono Cambria. Most of you may not have heard of the brand’s name, and that’s alright. It has stayed under the radar for most of its existence.
It also has only 84 ratings, which is proof of the fact that the company does not like to advertise itself. But that definitely does not mean that the seat is bad. It is decent, and you will surely appreciate its feature set.
The best thing about this booster seat is that that the covers are removable. They can be easily machine washed and dried, making sure they will stay clean at all times. You won’t have to worry if your kid left a big stain on it after spilling his milk.
The brand has used some fancy terms in its product listing. It states that the contoured seat has been ergonomically designed to ensure there will be no slipping. The comfort level of the seat is also top-notch.
The brand has also made this car seat lightweight and compact. This allows it to be easily carried and transferred between vehicles.
The car seat can easily be converted to a backless booster one. The seat base also has a wide contoured design, which makes sure that your kid will have maximum comfort. The manufacturer has also added two retractable cup holders, which makes it extra convenient to own.
- 2-in-1 design
- Removable and washable covers
- Two retractable cup holders
- Less padding used
Diono Cambria must look into this complaint and act accordingly to ensure that there will be no compromise on children’s comfort.
Are High Back And Backless Seats The Same Thing?
They do fall under the same category, and apart from one major thing, they are basically the same. Both types of seats come under the booster seat category. Booster seats don’t use five-point harnesses. (BTW, what is a 5 Point Harness?).
Instead, they make use of a vehicle’s built-in seat belt to secure a child. A high back seat has support for the child’s back and the head, while a backless one is basically a base on which the child sits on.
High Back Booster Seats And Backless, Which One Is Safer?
Yes, they are. A high back booster seat is great at correctly positioning the seat belt around the child’s chest and shoulders. Plus, it provides cushioning for the kid’s back and head, making it more comfortable than a backless one.
Regardless of the mode, a booster seat can reduce the chance of a major injury by forty-five percent. So, there is no need to transition the kid out of a booster seat until he or she has reached the age and weight limit.
Does A 4 Year Old Need A 5-Point Harness?
Another excellent question. Even the NHTSA recommends that a child be placed in a seat with a five-point harness for as long as the seat recommends. The weight and height limit will be mentioned in the car seat’s guide. If the kid is in those ranges, then there is no need to shift to a booster seat.
Backless Booster Seats Should Be Anchored Or Not?
Yes, they should be. Although most cars already support them, you must make sure that your vehicle is compatible with a backless booster seat. Or else there is no point in a car seat if it does not even fit. The guide to fitting a booster seat is always given in the product’s manual.
You can take any single one of these seven car seats, and you will be genuinely impressed with what they have to offer. With excellent security features and overall design, you can be sure that your child will remain safe, secure, and comfortable.
Out of all these brands, Graco is the one that stood out the most. The award of the best car seat for 4 year old also goes to the Tranzitions 3-In-1 Harness Booster Seat from the same brand. It not only had the most ratings but had a higher positive to negative buyer ratio.
Lastly, there is an FAQ in this article, which will hopefully alleviate all or at least some of your issues.