Best Compact Toddler Car Seats

If you have a smaller vehicle, you may want to consider a compact car seat. While it’s true that at times, the size of the car does not matter because most cars can accommodate any size car seat, having a little extra room available is definitely welcomed.

Of course, it’s always best to consider safety above everything else, but there are some compact car seats that provide you more room AND keep your child safe. Here, we would like to review four different compact toddler car seats so that you can understand a bit more about this type of car seat, and make an informed decision for yourself.

The Four Best Compact Toddler Car Seats

The first car seat we’d like to review for you is the NextFit compact car seat by Chicco. This is a great seat because you can start out with it as a baby seat, in the rear-facing mode, and then when your child grows, you can turn the seat around to front-facing. It accommodates children from five pounds up to 40 pounds facing the back of the car, and then from 22 pounds to 65 pounds as it faces forward. These are generally the standard limits in most car seats.

Designed with Comfort in Mind

This particular was designed to keep the child comfortable as well. When it’s an infant bucket car seat, the child fits snug and safe. As your child grows, this seat adjusts with a six-position headrest and nine-position recline options.

Super Cinch LATCH

For a secure fit, this car seat comes with something called the “super cinch” system. Basically, this is a feature that allows you to easily install your car seat into the LATCH system using the car’s seatbelts, which makes it much more secure than your standard installation. This is an added sense of security to ensure your child’s safety.

Benefits of Smaller Car Seats

The NextFit car seat is a smaller car seat but still very safe. There are benefits to using a smaller seat, as they are more lightweight, and this is especially helpful if you travel with your child in different vehicles. Also, if you have other children or passengers in your car, using a compact car seat allows you to comfortably accommodate other people and especially a second car seat.

The only downside to this seat, of course, is its size, but if you’re not in the market for a smaller car seat, you would not be considering this seat. All in all, this is a safe, affordable and comfortable car seat, and we highly suggest you consider this product.


First Runner-Up: Britax Click Tight Car Seat

Our first runner-up is a compact car seat made by Britax. This is another great car seat that comes equipped with some great safety features. Remember, because the car seats are smaller in size, we need to be certain that they are still just as safe as the larger seats.

Well-Known Brand

One of the best features of this car seat is the fact that Britax is a very well-known brand and makes some of the safest car seats in the entire world. This particular model can be used in two different modes and can accommodate a child from five to 40 pounds in the rear-facing mode, and 20 pounds to 65 pounds in the forward-facing option.

Two Different Safety Features

Just with all other Britax child car seats, this model comes with the ClickTight installation system and SafeCell protection. The ClickTight system is a certain technology that helps to ease the installation of the car seat and help keep it snug and secure. The SafeCell feature uses a steel frame that provides extra stability in the event of a car crash with extreme force. Energy-absorbing foam adorns the headrest for added head protection.

Second Runner-Up: Maxi-Cosi Pria Convertible Car Seat

Our next seat is another seat that can be used for both infants and toddlers. The seat can fit babies from four to 40 pounds when in the rear-facing mode, and as you turn it around to front-facing, can accommodate children from 22 to 70 pounds. But, this is a smaller car seat, strong enough to keep your child safe, and small enough to provide you with some extra space in your smaller car.

Advanced Protection

One of the reasons we like this seat so much is that it comes with added side-impact protection. This seat can utilize the effect of instant air release and help reduce the forces of impact in the event of a crash. The added protection feature manages the energy of the crash, helping to neutralize it as safely as it can. This seat comes with a OneClick LATCH installation system which, as with the other seats, allows you to quickly install the seat and adds an extra layer of protection. The downside of this particular seat is its cost, so this is not a seat for someone on a tight budget.

Third Runner-up: Diono Radian Convertible Car Seat

Our last review today is for the Diono Radian car seat. This is a great choice because it’s a narrow car seat, and can easily fit the car seat and two additional people in most of your standard mid-size cars. You also have the option of folding the seat and carrying it on your back, making it easier for those that will travel with a car seat. This car seat also takes you from the infant stages all the way through the booster stage.

This car seat fits kids from five to 120 pounds and heights of up to 57 inches. The downside to this particular seat is that the seat is tall and may require some adjusting of the front seat, so it does not do well in cars whose front seat passengers require a bit more legroom.


While all of the above-mentioned car seats are safe, secure and small, we’re still recommending that you utilize the features of the NextFit car seat. The size of this car seat, combined with the added safety features and the overall cost make this the ideal choice for just about every parent.