If you’re looking for the safest car seat for your growing child, we’ve got you covered! Here we’ve found the seven best car seats for 7 year olds so you can determine the best option for your child and vehicle situation.
You blinked and now your child is 7-years-old! Where did the time go?!
Your child probably no longer fits in their clothes, their shoes, or their infant car seat. It’s more than likely that their rear-facing car seat is becoming more and more uncomfortable as they continue to grow, and their legs may not be able to sit in a safe position if they continue to sit in a rear-facing position. That means you may need to look into a booster, all-in-one, or convertible car seat so that your child can sit in a forward-facing position.
Not sure what type of car seat to look for?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should use a belt-positioning booster seat once their height and weight are above the forward-facing car seat limit allowed by the manufacturer.
They should continue to use a booster seat until they have reached 4 ft 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age to ensure their safety and that the vehicle’s seat belt fits properly (lap belt and shoulder belt).
It’s also important to check your state and/or city car seat requirements. Otherwise, keep reading to see our top car seat picks for 7-year-olds!
We’ve highlighted the best features of each seat to help you take a handful of good options and find the right car seat that best fits your needs. Make sure you check the height limit and weight limit before purchasing a car seat or a booster car seat to make sure it’s a good fit for your child’s specific size.
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The Best Car Seats for 7 Year Olds
- Dimensions: 18.75 x 17 x 27 inches
- Weight Range: 25-100 pounds
- Why We Love It: The Chicco MyFit is one of our favorite options for comfort, safety, and ease. It converts from a 5-point harness to a belt-positioning booster seat and has 4 reclining positions and 9 headrest positions for improved child comfort. Plus, it’s built with several safety features. The DuoGuard and reinforced steel frame protects your older child’s head and torso for peace of mind while driving and the LockSure Belt system allows for easy installation using your car’s seat belt. I also love that this car seat has dishwasher-safe dual cup holders that are easily removable (with the push of a button!) and zip-off washable backrests and seat cushions for easy cleaning!
- Dimensions: 19 x 17.4 x 26.5 inches
- Weight Range: Forward-facing mode with harness 22-65 pounds; high-back booster (40-100 pounds); backless booster (40-100 pounds)
- Why We Love It: Graco is a brand well-known for their affordable prices with good quality. They have excellent infant car seats but I’m in love with this 3-in-1 harness booster seat. It’s designed for your growing children as it can be transitioned between a harness booster, a high back booster seat, or a backless booster seat meaning you’ll definitely get your money's worth before your older children won’t need this seat anymore. The headrest can be adjusted to 8 different height positions. Plus, the removable cup holders and machine-washable seat pad, body insert, and harness covers makes this the perfect car seat of every mom’s dreams.
- Dimensions: 26.5 x 17.75 x 25 inches
- Weight Range: Harness mode 25-65 pounds; booster mode 40-120 pounds
- Why We Love It: The Britax Grow with You is one of the best options for young children and your big kids – it transitions easily from a forward-facing harness to a belt-positioning booster car seat and has a five-point harness that adjusts to 9 different positions (along with the head rest) to ensure safety and a comfortable ride. I love the comfort pads that ensure the harness straps don’t rub against your child’s neck and the two layers of side impact protection that protects your child’s head, neck, and torso. But the safety features make this combination seat the best choice. The Britax Grow with You has a V-shared tether to help slow and reduce movement during a crash and SafeCell technology that helps absorb crash energy.
Dimensions: 16 x 17 x 28.25 inches
Weight Range: 5-120 pounds
Why We Love It: Diono car seats are some of the best, and this convertible car seat will give you a better fit in less space. The Diono Radian 3R car seat has all of the features I look for in a good car seat, from safety, to extended life of rear facing capabilities, as well as the high back booster seat. What I loved most about this model though, was how its slim build was specifically made to be able to fit 3 across in most vehicles without compromising the comfort of the children or the driver. Because of this, the Diono Radian 3R is one of the most popular narrow car seats available (and for good reason). We just have to call this one a Nest Top Pick!
Related: Best Car Seat Options for Small Cars
- Dimensions: 11 x 4.5 x 11 inches
- Weight Range: 40-100 pounds
- Why We Love It: Looking for a travel car seat? Stop right here! This forward-facing booster seat is inflatable so it can easily fit into your luggage or purse when deflated. An award-winning car seat, it is great for grandparents, taxis, travel, or carpooling and comes with a belt positioning clip making this seat even more convenient, yet it continues to ensure your child’s safety. This seat is your best bet if you need an inexpensive car seat that can be used for a variety of purposes.
- Dimensions: 16 x 19.5 x 27.5 inches
- Weight Range: High back booster mode 40-120 pounds; backless mode 48-120 pounds
- Why We Love It: The Britax Highpoint screams safety standards. It has three layers of side impact protection (that is also perfect padding for naps too!), a SecureGuard Clip to properly position the vehicle seat belt, color-coded belt guides so you know where to place the seat belt, and a quick-push latch system to lock the seat in place. I love that safety doesn’t mean reduced comfort for this seat – there are built in armrests, a 10-position adjustable headrest, dishwasher-safe dual cup holders, and cool flower ventilated mesh fabric/foam padding. Plus, the removable cover can be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning.
- Dimensions: 18 x 20 x 28 inches
- Weight Range: Forward-facing harness 22-65 pounds; high back booster mode 40-100 lbs; backless booster mode 49-120 pounds
- Why We Love It: Like we mentioned before, Graco has some of the more durable and safest car seats. The Graco Nautilus 65 Lx is no exception. It has a 3-position recline and an adjustable headrest and harness that moves in one motion. The harness storage keeps the buckle easily accessible so you can get your big kid in and out with no fuss and, this seat has a machine-washable, removable body support that helps keep your child comfy.
Hopefully, one of these car seats sparks your interest so you can take one step closer to purchasing the best seat for your big kid!
Just a couple more tips:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for children between 1 and 13 years of age which is why it’s important to search for a seat that meets safety requirements and ensure the seat is correctly installed. Check out their tips for proper installation.
It’s also important to check that your car seat meets Federal standards for safety regulations. Here is what you should look for:
- This statement: “This restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. This restraint is certified for use in all motor vehicles and aircraft.” – with the exception of booster seats. Booster seats cannot be used on planes since they do not have shoulder belts.
- Instructions for use on the seat itself and in the provided manual
- The manufacturer or distributor’s name and their contact information
- Date of manufacture on the label so that you can check for any recalls that may apply to your purchased seat
MEET THE AUTHOR
As a mom of 4 kids (and the oldest of 4 kids herself), Amanda has over 30 years of parenting experience. A former special education teacher, Amanda has a Master’s degree in Special Education and a second M. Ed. in Educational Leadership.
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, and long walks through Target.