A car seat for your kid is like a throne for the king; safe, stable and secure. And it is even better if that seat is comfortable and looks cool, right? This article will help you with that; it will help you find the best car seat for your 4-year old for an optimal price (of course.)
Here you’ll find two things: a list of 12 best car seats for 4 year olds, all of which were carefully selected and objectively described, and a buyer’s guide, a section that explains critical stuff concerning car seats for 4-year olds (size, design, security, comfort, and so forth.) Proceed if you are interested!
Best Car Seat for 4 Year Olds Comparison Table
|Britax Pioneer (NEW)
|Graco Atlas 65
(with backless mode)
|Evenflo Big Kid
Britax Pinnacle ClickTight (NEW) – Most Secure Toddler-To-Big-Kid Car Seat
The Britax Pinnacle seat is massive, comfortable and easy to install. It features the so-called click-tight technology, allowing you to connect this seat in your car with ease. You can buy it in gray, kate, and mosaic color (kate being the most expensive one.)
This seat is perfect for toddlers and older kids because it contains features of both harness and belt-positioning booster seat. The seat is exceptionally adjustable, featuring a total of nine positions in harness mode. It features a comfortable headrest and armrest for maximum comfort and convenience.
As we already said, this is a 2-in-1 seat. Its harness mode is fit for kids that are between 25 and 90 pounds. The booster mode, on the other hand, is even more stable and can carry kids that weigh 40-120 pounds. If you don’t know the difference between booster and harness modes, read our buyer’s guide (On Types And Modes).
The only problem this seat has is its steep price. Also, you should know that this seat is quite massive and heavy, meaning that it is difficult to move around (and that it might not be an ideal fit for tiny cars.
Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat – Best All-Around Car Seat For 4-Year-Old
The Graco 4Ever car seat is a 4-in-1 car seat, featuring rear-facing, forward facing and booster car seat (for babies and older kids.) You can use this seat in both back and backless modes (belt-position). This seat is fit for kids between 4 and 120 lbs, and you can buy it in 11 colors.
The seat is exceptionally easy to adjust and features ten adjusting positions (regarding headrest). This is an ideal seat for growing kids because you can tune the seat with ease as your child is growing. If your child is still a tiny cute infant, you can use the built-in inserts to secure their position.
The seat is well-padded, comfortable and convenient, and also features two cup holders. Cup holders are close and at-hand and can be used even if your child is in a booster seat. And most importantly, this seat is very safe. It has been tested on both front and side impacts, and it meets the US standard FMVSS 213.
As with our previous product, price, weight, and size are the only issues with this seat. But, if you can afford it, and if this seat fits your vehicle, then you won’t experience any problems with this seat even. If you are looking for the best car seat for 4 year olds, then go for the Graco 4Ever.
Britax Pioneer (NEW) – Best Booster With Removable Harness For 4-Year-Old
The Britax Pioneer is a harness to booster car seat, available in eight different colors. You can use it in harness mode for kids that are over two years old, or in belt-positioning mode (booster) for older kids.
Like most others, this seat features a steel frame that binds all other materials and keeps the seat in shape. Its base is energy-absorbing, and it features elastic tether that protects your child from forwarding movement and impacts.
This is a booster car seat, but it also comes with the removable harness. The harness is soft, comfortable and you can adjust it conveniently, as your child grows. And when your kid grows old, you can remove the harness and use it as a booster.
While the Britax Pioneer is less expensive than the Pinnacle ClickTight (the first product we reviewed) it lacks some features that we’ve seen in ClickTight. The Pioneer doesn’t have EZ-buckle system and has one less layer of side foam protection. And perhaps most importantly, it is complicated to install with lap or shoulder belt.
Now, you could use a latch, but according to manual, you shouldn’t use a latch if your kid weighs than 45 lbs. However, if you have an older-type vehicle with a lap belt only, then you’ll have no problems with installing this seat.
KidsEmbrace Car Seat – The Coolest Car Seat For 4-Year Old
The Spiderman booster (made by KidsEmbrace) is by far the coolest item on our list. The seat is simple (booster only), easy to install and most importantly, safe for your 4-year-old.
This seat is ergonomically designed, featuring a well-padded and contoured seat for extra comfort. It also features two cup holders (one on each side), appearing as if a Marvel superhero is holding the cups! Speaking of superheroes, we should state that you can choose between Spiderman, Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther.
Note that you can use harness only for kids that weigh no more than 65 pounds. We have to commend the seat’s belt system; it adjusts as your kids grow old, and features instruction manual embedded in the armrest (for extra convenience.)
The biggest issue we see with this seat is its sides. If you have an SUV or something along those lines, then you can use this seat. But if you have a compact vehicle, you might experience some troubles with fitting this seat. It is also not as comfortable as other seats, but your kid will probably disregard the comfort in exchange for coolness.
Safety 1st Convertible Car Seat – Most Comfortable Car Seat For 4-Year-Old
The Safety 1st seat is a 3-in-1 seat, featuring both rear facing (for babies), front facing (for toddlers) and belt positioning mode (for older kids.) You can use this seat for kids between 5 and 100 pounds, and you can obtain it in nine colors.
This seating is exceptionally safe, featuring side implants for added protection. It also has built-in harness holders on both sides that allow you to sit your child with convenience and ease. It also has two wide cup holders that can be used in booster and forward facing modes.
This seat is very compact and light compared to most products on our list, so be sure to use it if you own a compact vehicle. Comfort is one of the strongest suits of this seat, and will undoubtedly provide a safe and comfortable riding experience for your child.
And honestly, we were quite surprised by the price of this seat, which was, in our opinion, more than fair. This seat is a bit difficult to install, especially if you are trying to use the latch system. If you are looking for a secure and comfortable car seat for your 4-year-old, then definitely try the Safety 1st car seat.
Graco Atlas 65 Booster – Most Cost-Effective Car Seat For 4-Year-Old
You can obtain the Graco Atlas 65 in two colors, and use it with or without the detachable harness. It is easy to adjust, allowing you to tune both the harness and the headrest with just one motion.
This seat has been tested for side impacts and features a steel frame that will provide you with years of service. The 5-point harness provides safety for your little ones, while the booster adds stability and comfort during riding. If you are buying this for your 4-year old, you should use it as a belt-positioning booster.
The belt features open loop design, allowing your child to buckle themselves and learn about car safety from a young age. The headrest features 10-point adjustment system, ensuring that kids of all age and height can use the seat.
The seat has two cup holders, which your child can use to store snacks and a bottle of their favorite drink. And when your child overgrows the harness system, they can easily use the car’s belt system to continue their journey through childhood safe and worry-free.
The seat is quite massive, but not heavy. And while the latch is simple and easy to use, it does feel somewhat cheap. Also, this seat does lack the padding of some other more expensive and high-end seats on our list. But that aside, you should still go for it if you are looking for the most cost-effective item on our list.
Chicco KidFit Booster – Best Booster-Only Car Seat For 4-Year-Old
The KidFit Booster is inexpensive, comfortable and easy to adjust. You can buy it in four different color combinations, and it is fit for kids between 30 and 110 lbs. This feat has no harness, and you can only use it for older kids four years or older.
This seat features something called DuoZone technology that protects your child from head and body side impacts. It has ten adjustable positions, meaning that you can adjust it as your child keeps growing. The seat is easy to adjust and is very versatile when it comes to hight and latch adjusting.
The seat is very comfortable thanks to the ErgoBoost high-end padding. It also features mild contoured design style, thus ensuring that your child is protected and comfortable on all sides. Both the padding and armrest covers are machine-washable.
The only issue we have with this seat is that its belt adjusting system can be tricky to use. The belt is thick and sturdy, but it is also much more difficult to pull, especially for a kid. That aside, you should definitely go for Chico if you need booster only for your 4-year-old.
Evenflo Maestro Car Seat – Most Cost-Effective Car Seat For 4-Year-Old
Evenflo is by far the most cost-effective item on our list. You can buy it in three colors, and you can buy it with or without a matching mat. It is fit for kids between 22 and 100 pounds and can be used in harness or booster modes.
It has a quality and easy to use latch system, allowing you to install it and use in multiple vehicles with ease. It is very lightweight and compact, perfect if you are seeking the inexpensive seat for a smaller car. The seat has passed all the required testing for side impacts.
It also has built-in cup holders that can be used for storing snacks and drinks. The armrest sturdy but soft on the top, allowing your kid to rest its hands and enjoy the ride. While it is safe and compact, the Evenflo Maestro car seat does lack comfort. It is padded, but not as padded as some other more expensive units on our list.
We do, however, like the fact that the harness adjusts on the front with a simple pulling mechanism. You also have two crotch positions and four shoulder point for adjusting, ensuring that your child stays “fixed” even as it grows. If you are looking for a balance between price, comfort, and safety, we suggest that you go for this seat.
Evenflo Chase Booster – Best Car Seat For 4-Year-Olds On Short Distances
The Evenflo Chase car seat is lightweight, compact and easy to install. You can use its built-in harness mode for kids between 22-40 pounds, or move on to the belt-positioning mode for kids between 40-110 pounds. This product is available in five colors.
Similar to our previous product (the Evenflo Maestro), this car seat also features easy-to-use latch system. If you need a seat for multiple vehicles, then go for either Maestro or Chase (Evenflo.) This one also has the 4-point harness technology, allowing kids of all ages to use it.
This isn’t a high-end seat, and it does lack some bells and whistles of other, more expensive units. The biggest issue we had with it was the lack of shoulder padding, which comes in handy when your child falls asleep (the head would then lay on the shoulder pads.) But despite the lack of padding, the seat is well contoured and isn’t uncomfortable (it’s just less comfortable in comparison to others.)
If you need an inexpensive but safe seat for your 4-year-old, try this unit. We recommend that you use the Evenflo Chase Booster on short-distance trips and rides. Why? Well, it is because of the lack of cushions and padding can be too discomforting for your child.
Cosco Finale DX Booster – Best Seat For Families With Multiple Kids
The Cosco Finale booster is inexpensive and lightweight, perfect for parents that need a car-to-car seat for their 4-year-old. It was built for long-term use and is fit for kids that are 30-100 lbs.
This is the perfect seat for growing family because you can fit 3 of these seats in an average-sized car. The fabric is machine-washable, saving you the trouble of hand washing. You can use it in two modes; the 5-point harness system, as well as the belt-positioning seat.
This seat is very narrow and light, which is why we also recommend it for smaller vehicles. The seat has no recline, but then again, a 4-year-old probably won’t even need this feature. The Cosco Finale DX booster isn’t fancy as some other units on our list, but it does a great job of protecting your child for a minimal price.
You will notice that this seat does feel a bit cheaper than some other high-end units, and you shouldn’t expect the same level of sturdiness or comfort. All in all, if you need an economy seat, this might be the best deal for you.
Graco Turbobooster – Best Easy-To-Transport Seat For 4-Year-Old
You can obtain the Graco Turbobooster in three colors and use it if your child is between 30 and 100 lbs. It features a unique design, with its cup holder built into the base (rather than in the armchairs.)
The seat back and the base are connected, allowing you to transport the seat easily. You can also remove the seat back should you use it as a backless booster when your child grows older. Its headrest is exceptionally valuable and comfortable, offering excellent protection against side impacts.
Its buckle system is sturdy and child-friendly and allows your kid to buckle itself effortlessly. And despite its low price, the Graco Turbobooster is durable and shows little to no signs of wear even after extended and extensive use. The padding isn’t perfect (could use thicker padding,) but it’ll do the trick for this price.
The biggest issue we have with this vehicle is the fact that it doesn’t feature any attachment system. While this feature is excellent for people that need a seat for several vehicles, the seat will move around if no one is sitting in it! You can, of course, remove or store the seat when you don’t need it, but this can be quite inconvenient for some people.
Evenflo Big Kid Booster – Best Budget Car Seat For 4-Year Old
The Evenflo Big Kid booster is the least expensive unit on our list. It is fit for kids between 30 and 110 pounds, and you can buy it in seven different color combinations.
As the name suggests, the Evenflo Big Kid is perfect for bigger kids, and it is quite tall. If you own a low vehicle, make sure that you can fit this seat in your car (more on that in our buyer’s guide.) This seat is fit for kids that are four years or older. It has been tested for side impacts, and it does meet all the US regulations regarding car safety.
It features energy-absorbing foams on both sides to mitigate the damage of potential impacts. It has decent padding around head and body but lacks padding around the shoulder area. Note that we are talking about stuffing concerning comfort, not concerning security; when it comes to safety, this seat won’t fail you.
This seat doesn’t have cup holders, which might be problematic for some parents. We loved the one-hand adjusting system, and pretty unique design (all things considered.) If you are looking for the least expensive but the high-safety seat for your 4-year old, buy it without hesitation!
Best Car Seat for 4 Year Olds Buyer’s Guide
Now that you’ve taken a look at our list, it is time we discuss theory. Don’t worry; we won’t bore you with number and statistics! Instead, we’ll talk with reason and simplicity in mind, ensuring that you hear only the things you absolutely need to understand! Specifically, we will go through the factors that will help you choose the best car seat for your 4-year-old.
Minding The Size
If you read our product reviews, you’ve noticed that we didn’t include seat dimensions. Why? It is because it would take too much of your time to go through all the numbers and dimensions. So, we decided to write a subheading that deals with this problem specifically, and the solution is; if you are searching for the best car seat for a 4-year-old, first check the size.
Height and width are also important. After all, you won’t be able to use the car seat if it doesn’t fit your vehicle or blocks your rearview mirror. Width is less critical but might be crucial if you need to install several seats in your car.
You can approach this problem this way: just measure your car’s backseat dimensions, and then try to buy a seat that is within those dimensions. Please, do not disregard the seat’s dimensions, and don’t try to force a seat into a vehicle if it doesn’t fit!
Minding The Weight (And Weight Limits)
Each seat on our list weighs between 8 and 27 pounds. And as you can see, there is a big difference between 8 and 27 pounds! For some people, weight won’t be a problem. If you plan on installing the seat for 4-year-old in your car and use it over a long period, then you shouldn’t care about the weight that much.
But, if you need to switch vehicles and transport the seat from one car to another continually, then weight might be an issue for you. After all, there is a huge difference between moving around a 10-pound and 25-pound seat on a day to day basis!
Furthermore, each seat has its minimum and maximum weight capacity. Now, in our comparison table, you can see the min and max values, but that’s not the whole story. Some seats can be used in several modes, like the Graco 4Ever Convertible Car Seat.
Of course, not all seats have four modes like the Graco. And of course, if you are buying a seat for a 4-year-old only, then you won’t even use rear-facing or forward facing modes. Heck, you won’t even need the harness, but it is good to know these things, especially if you have or plan to have more kids!
On Types And Modes
All the seats on our list are boosters, which means that, if you have a 4-year-old, you can use any of these seats. Some can also be used as a rear or front facing car seats (like the previously mentioned Greco 4Ever.)
You can also use some in backless mode; the back support detaches from the base, and your child only sits on a base. Instead of relying on the seat’s back support, it will use the vehicle’s seat for back support. The idea behind it is that your child is safely positioned to an optimal height for the vehicles belt system.
Alas, most seats feature a harness system, but not all kids can use it. It mostly depends on their weight and height, which is often the result of their genetic predispositions and early development. To confirm whether or not your 4-year-old can use the built-in harness system, check the height and weight limitations.
Other Things To Consider
Once you figure out the ideal size, weight and weight limitations for your car seat, then move on to determining other factors:
Yes, your child’s safety should be your number 1 priority. The good news is that we’ve already selected the safest seats for you! Some seats on our list have slightly more security (side implants), but the difference isn’t substantial. And don’t think that the price reflects the seat’s protection; price mostly reflects multi-purpose usability, comfort, and other bells and whistles.
Comfort is important; there’s no denying it. Some products on our list are less comfortable than others, but all are fit for short-distance trips.
Installation And Buckling
Some seats are more convenient to install than others. If you need a seat for your 4-year-old that attaches and detaches with ease, go for those that have a one-click built-in connect system. Then again, if you plan to keep the seat in place for an extended period, you shouldn’t care about installation.
Sure, you might experience some inconveniencies the first time you install it, but your troubles will be over from that point on. Straps, harness and seatbelt tuning are a story of their own. Obviously, it is always better to go for the products that feature smooth buckling systems, and the ones that work well with your car’s seatbelts.
Children grow rapidly, which is why you need a seatbelt that can keep up with their growth. Try to find a product that keeps the same level of security even as your child grows ( that the seatbelt system works as it should, that the height of the seat is adjustable, that the built-in harness points are sufficient, and so forth).
Another thing to think about is the headrest/armrest adjustability. Most seats feature adjustable headrests so that they can protect your child’s head and neck as they grow.
This article showed us that selecting a car seat for your 4-year-old is not a joke! There are so many things you need to consider, but don’t let that discourage you. If anything, make sure that you determine the critical points (size, weight, and weight capacity). Other things are important too (especially safety), so be sure to include them in your selection process.
Also, consider the things we didn’t discuss in our buyer’s guide (like the color options, cup holders, etc.) if these things are important to you. And seeing that this topic is quite extensive, think about the factors that are critical to you but haven’t been included in our article. If you do that, there’s no doubt that you’ll find the best car seat for 4-year-old!