Are you looking for the right car seat for a 5-year-old?
You’re in the right place! Children aged 5 are supposed to be placed in a forward-facing car seat.
This precaution ensures the safety of their legs and arms and allows them to participate in conversions in the car.
There are many car seats available for children aged 5 and up. It can get confusing, especially for a first-time buyer, to find the right one.
A car seat is a significant investment, and the decision should not be taken lightly.
Additionally, car seats are vital for the safety of children in the car.
So which is the best car seat for 5-year-olds?
Our top selection from extensive research is the Graco 4Ever DLX.
We love that it is affordable, fully functional, and useful until your child weighs 120 lbs (54 kg).
It is a front-facing car seat with helpful features and without distracting bells and whistles.
Keep reading for more details of our overall best pick, plus our ten more car seat recommendations for 5-year-olds.
Best Car Seats for 5 Years Olds
1. Graco 4Ever DLX
This front-facing car seat is equipped with dual cup holders and has ten adjustable headrest positions.
Graco has phenomenal car seats for children of all ages.
For 5-year-olds, the Graco 4Ever DLX stood out. It’s a four-in-one car seat that can hold a child weighing up to 120 pounds.
Graco also equipped the 4Ever with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, allowing easy adjustment of the safety harness and headrest.
The car seat itself is not heavy, and one person can quickly move it in and out of the vehicle.
If you’re looking for a functional and practical car seat that will grow with your child, the Graco 4Ever DLX will not disappoint.
With four modes of use, you will get the biggest bang for your buck.
You can use this car seat in rear-facing mode, meaning you can pass it down to new parents or those with children younger than two.
You can also use it as a high back booster and backless booster.
As a forward-facing car seat for a 5-year-old, the Graco 4Ever DLX can hold up to 65 lbs (30 kg). Installation is quick and easy with the Simple Safe Adjust Harness and the 1-second InRight LATCH system.
Graco takes child safety seriously and has crash-tested and side-impact-tested the 4Ever DLX to ensure it exceeds all car seat safety standards.
Numerous customers on Amazon have backed this up by giving this car seat a 4.8-star rating for safety.
The EPS energy-absorbing foam and steel reinforced frame of the Graco 4Ever DLX car seat fortify the safety and durability of the seat.
If this isn’t enough to convince you, this car seat has been insured by Graco ProtectPlus engineering to give you extra peace of mind.
- Simple and fast installation
- Grows with your child
- It doesn’t comfortably fit every car and requires some work to install properly
2. Chicco MyFit Booster Seat
You can use this car seat for years to come, even at an affordable price point. It has a five-point harness for toddlers or smaller children and a belt for bigger kids.
Our second pick is also our most affordable option.
Chicco also makes excellent car seats for all ages, and their MyFit Harness Plus booster car seat is no different.
Maximum user weight is 100lbs (46kgs), and the top fabric is zippable and machine washable for easy installation and cleaning.
Equipped with Superior DuoGuard, EPS energy-absorbing foam, and a deep rigid shell, this car seat ensures maximum head and torso protection for a 5-year-old.
The premium latch connectors make it easy to install.
The high back booster comfortably accommodates a growing child, ensuring you don’t need to replace this car seat for a while. It comes with two dishwasher-safe cup holders.
- Machine-washable fabric
- High-back booster and adjustable harness
- Some parents note that the seat is not very comfortable for toddlers
- The headrest is not very durable
3. Evenflo Gold Revolve360
With the rotating car seat, you can get your toddler in and out as quickly as possible.
If you’re looking to splurge on a durable, trusted, and sturdy car seat, the Evenflo Gold Revolve360 is worth the money.
This car seat can rotate 360 degrees, making it great for children of all ages. The front-facing car seat can hold a child of up to 65 lbs (30 kg), and the booster up to 120 lbs (54 kg).
The Gold Revolve is equipped with a Bead Level Indicator that makes it easy to level.
Evenflo has taken the car seat through rigorous safety screenings to ensure it meets safety standards.
This car seat can comfortably fit all vehicle types so that you can use it in multiple vehicles without a problem.
The Installation System with LockStrong and Tether360 ensures that the seat stays locked and secure.
- Easy to install revolving design
- The seat is covered with soft, non-irritating fabric
- Secure hold
- Straps are not removable for cleaning
4. Britax Grow With You
This harness is easy to buckle and ensures every 5-year-old stays safely buckled in the seat.
The Britax Grow With You car seat comes with the trademarked ClickTight harness.
The seat can carry up to 120 lbs (54kgs) which means it will grow with your child.
This car seat is all about comfort. It is covered with flow mesh fabric to keep your child cool and comfy, even in the summer.
The top fabric is soft athleisure that stretches easily.
Another comfort feature is the soft comfort pads around the neck, and these keep your child’s head from rubbing on the harness strap.
The Grow With You has a simplistic design focusing on the safety harness and installation. It’s perfect for those looking for a no-nonsense car seat that will grow with their 5-year-old.
- Comfortable neck pads to avoid neck chafing
- Cooling mesh fabric for comfort on hot summer days
- Easy to buckle harness
- The cover is not machine-washable
5. Graco TurboBooster
The backless booster seat is fully crash-tested to ensure maximum safety for your child. It has hideaway cup holders you can use to hold sippy cups and other drinks.
Graco gives us yet another quality car seat for 5-year-olds. The TurboBooster Backless Booster car seat can safely carry children between 40 and 100 pounds (18 - 45 kgs).
It has a stylish but simple design that makes it easily foldable.
The armrests are padded and height adjustable to ensure maximum comfort when using the car seat.
The TurboBooster’s seat cushion is removable and machine-washable.
- Vigorously tested to ensure maximum safety
- Backless booster and car seat in one
- Doesn’t have standards latches
- Not very durable
6. Diono Monterey 2XT
You don’t need to worry that the walls will squeeze your child or that the headrest will not hold their head up.
If you are looking for an expandable, high-back booster seat, Diono Monterey offers you the 2XT.
This car seat has 11 adjustable headrest positions and expandable side walls.
This means that the car seat will literally grow as your child grows.
The 2XT Latch is also equipped with deep aluminum reinforced sides for extra side-impact protection.
It’s only 14.3 lbs (6.5 kg), so you can easily carry it to and fro the car.
The latch connectors and front adjusters secure the car seat to your car in seconds, offering a quick and easy installation process.
The seat has a removable seat cover that you can toss in the washing machine.
The fabric used is also wipeable, making it easy to clean.
- Adjustable headrest, side walls, and seat to better fit your child
- Retractable cup holders
- Light and easy to maneuver
- The shoulder belt sometimes sags and needs constant readjustment
7. Graco Tanzitions Booster Seat
The headrest has eight adjustable positions, and the open-loop belt guides will enable you to position your car’s seat belt properly.
The Graco Tranzitions is a genuinely transitional car seat. You can use it when your child is 5 years old up to 10/12 years.
The maximum weight it can hold is 100 lbs (45 kg) as a backless booster seat. The forward-facing seat can hold up to 65 lbs (30 kg) comfortably.
This means you can use this car seat until your child is in middle school.
The Graco Simply Safe Adjust Harness System is also installed in the Tranzitions, allowing swift and easy adjustments.
- Functional and versatile
- Allows plenty of leg room for taller children
- Sturdy and stable
- It doesn’t install easily in all vehicles
8. Chicco KidFit Zip Plus
The KidFit Zip Plus has premium Latch connectors and a SuperCinch one-pull tightener. They help stabilize the seat and hold it securely to your vehicle seat.
Chicco brings us another fantastic car seat for a 5-year-old. The KidFit Zip Plus has a rigid shell, two layers of DuoGuard, and EPS energy-absorbing foam to offer triple impact protection.
It has ten adjustable headrest positions that elongate the full car seat for a better fit.
The Latch offers a one-hand quick release to ensure you can quickly get the car seat out.
The car seat cushions are zip-off to allow you to take them off and toss them in the machine. The Chicco KidFit has a contoured ErgoBoost Plus seat made with triple-foam padding for ultimate comfort.
Additional features include the removable CupFolders, which are dishwasher safe, and a storage console.
- Has a bonus storage console
- Latch connectors for easy installation
- The car seat fabric is flimsy
- Cannot adjust the angle between the car seat and backrest
9. Graco Nautilus 65 LX
The Nautilus also has five reclining positions and is recommended for children shorter than 57 inches (145 cm).
The final Graco entry into our list is the Nautilus 65 LX. While this 3-in-1 harness booster didn’t fully wow us like the other three, it still has some great features.
This car seat can transition well with your child from toddler to youth and hold a maximum weight of 120 lbs (54 kg).
It is also equipped with Graco’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness System for maximum safety.
The body is removable to ensure your child is comfy as they grow, and the harness is easy to buckle and unbuckle.
- Easy to use
- Extra padding comes off easily
10. Baby Trend Hybrid
It provides amazing value for money as you can use it for a long time.
The Baby Trend Hybrid booster car seat is uniquely designed and gives a sporty feel, perfect for parents who enjoy a great look.
It is equipped with a five-point internal harness for maximum safety.
The booster seat is both high-back and backless, as you can adjust it to suit your needs.
The headrest is also adjustable to ensure maximum comfort for your child.
- Comfortbale soft inserts
- 5-point adjustable harness
- 2 cup holders
- Not easy to install
- Uncomfortable for bigger toddlers
11. Disney Baby Finale DX
This car seat is lightweight, allowing one parent to move it comfortably in and out of the car. It fits easily into different vehicles.
Our final entry to the list of best car seats for 5-year-olds is by Disney Baby.
The Finale DX booster car seat has a 5-point safety harness which transforms into a belt for the booster.
It can hold up to 100 lbs (45kgs) and offers optimum back and neck support.
The seat is covered with a removable seat pad that is machine washable and dryer safe.
This makes for easy and efficient cleanup, and you don’t have to worry about a smelly car seat.
The Disney Baby line offers many great car seats, but this one stood out because it can fit comfortably in different types of vehicles.
It also transforms easily from a forward-facing car seat to a booster and has little embellishments that could distract from the safety features.
It is well-rated and is tested to ensure it exceeds all safety guidelines for car seats.
The Finale 2-in-1 car seat includes a few additional functional features like a detachable and dishwasher-safe cup holder.
Lightweight and easy to move
Easy to clean with machine-washable fabrics
Fits comfortably in multiple vehicles
Hard to latch and can shift around
What To Avoid
As you review our recommendations to figure out which car seat would be best for your 5-year-old, there are a few things you need to remember.
Here are common mistakes to avoid when purchasing a car seat for 5-year-olds:
Rear-Facing Car Seats
Avoid rear-facing car seats for 5-year-olds. This is because they are already quite tall, and their legs will get squashed if they have to face the vehicle seat.
Also, they are at an excitable and sociable stage of life, which means they want to be involved in conversations.
Additionally, most rear-facing car seats have a low weight limit which means that many 5-year-olds cannot safely use one.
The NHTSA advises that booster seats and forward-facing car seats are best for 5-year-old children.
Getting a Used Car Seat
A used car seat can be a great money-saver, but it may cost you a lot more. It is important to do a lot of research before getting a used car seat.
Ensure that it is not more than six years old or expired (yes, car seats expire). Also, check for damaged or missing parts and ensure it has never been in a car crash.
Ideally, purchasing a new car seat from a reputable manufacturer is the safest option. It also gives you a warranty and a chance to pursue legal action should the car seat fail.
Cheaply Made Car Seats
We aren’t suggesting you buy the most expensive car seat on the market. We are merely saying to do your research into the manufacturer’s history.
When compiling this list, we did our best to recommend car seats from reputable manufacturers, but things can slip past us.
Ask fellow parents, read other blogs, and check the manufacturer’s website.
If you have found a car seat you love, don’t try to look for a knock-off or off-brand version. Usually, these car seats do not undergo rigorous testing or quality assurance.
Some manufacturers simply reupholster old car seats and sell them as new.
Check that you are buying from a verified and reliable company or reseller.
If you’re worried your car seat is fake, check for the manufacturing ID and send an email to the manufacturer to ensure it is real.
Car Seat for 5-Year-Old Law
In the USA, the law states that children of age 5 must be secured by either a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device, integrated child seat, or booster seat.
Some states have additional laws, but the general safety consensus is that 5-year-old children must have some form of a car seat.
It is common for most police departments to require a booster seat for children aged 5 to 8 unless they are taller than 4 feet and 9 inches.
While traveling from state to state in the USA, you may be fined or charged if you do not have one.
Medical professionals note that car accidents are the leading cause of death and injury for children in the US. They implore parents to always use a car seat, even with 5-year-olds.
So, What’s the Best Car Seat for 5-Year-Olds?
Through our research and after reading thousands of reviews, the Graco 4Ever DLX stands out among the best car seats for 5-year-olds.
However, all the car seats that made our list are top recommendations and will not disappoint.
Depending on your budget and vehicle, pick the one you like best to ensure a safe ride for your 5-year-old.