Height and Weight Limits

Posted in: Forward-Facing Seats

ffheadscaledffshouldersscaledHeight Limits:

The top of the child’s ears must be at or below the top of the car seat AND the child’s shoulders must be at or below the top shoulder strap slot.

ffweightscaledWeight Limits:

This varies by seat, so check the owner’s manual to your car seat.
Many convertible car seats have a maximum weight limit of 40 pounds. Some go higher, to 50 or 65 or even 90 pounds.

If you have a combination seat, please read the fine print carefully! While the seat might accommodate kids from 20-100 pounds, the fine print may tell you that the 5-point harness is good from 20-40 pounds and the booster from 40-100 (for example – other seats might have different starting and ending weights).

30 Responses to “Height and Weight Limits”

  1. Danielle says:

    Where exactly should the chest buckle be placed?

    • The top of the chest clip should be at the top of the child’s arm pits… but the MOST important part is to make sure the straps are properly snug on the child (the chest clip is a secondary concern).

  2. Joanna says:

    Many boosters come with a five point harness that says it is suitable for up to 18kg… which is the same as many forward facing carseats. My son is not mature enough to not wear a five point harness but is over the suggested weight limit. Is it safe to use the five point harness on the booster once he is too heavy?

  3. Brigette says:

    Hi! So… My daughter who is 6, 69lbs and 50″, has a graco nautilus 3 in 1, she has been using the five point harness, but upon further review of the specifications is says “recommended” up to 65lbs? Am I to take that as she is too large for the five point harness (ack!!!!)? Thank you in advance for your advice.

    • The maximum weight for a child to use the 5 point harness in the Nautilus is 65 pounds… so yes she must switch to using that seat in the booster mode (I’d choose the high back over the backless mode).

      • Brigette says:

        Thanks so much… Do you know of any other five point seats that have a higher weight limit? Or do you think the high back with the seat belt is as safe? PS I think yall should do digital classes! Live your info and refer anyone asking questions to yall!

  4. Ranee says:

    Ok, so I’m having trouble figuring this out. We are tall in my family. My 3 year old is 50 lbs and 43 inches tall. Is there a booster that has a harness that he can still use? I hated turning him around but his seat won’t let him rear face and now I can’t seem to find a booster (with harness) that he can use (because of hiS weight and height). I know he can use a booster with seatbelt bUT the harness seems safer for his age! Any thoughts?

    • The car seat on the market that has the highest capacity for a child in a 5 point harness is the Britax Frontier/Pinnacle – which has the tallest shoulder strap height AND highest weight limit. There are many seats that claim to accommodate to 65 pounds and higher – but almost none of them have shoulder strap slots that are anywhere near tall enough to accommodate these kids.

  5. Colette says:

    I’m looking for a 5-point forward facing seat for my 5 year old, 47 inches, 45 lbs. We have the radian XTSL (discontinued) but his shoulders are above the highest harness opening. I want to keep him in a 5-point restraint as long as possible.

    I am looking at the Britax Pinnacle, but it is so wide! We have 2 kids and I might want to have 3 across (or occasionally fit an adult between them in our Ford Fusion) and 2 Britax carseats will be huge.

    Can you think of any narrow, tall 5-point carseats? Does the Diono Rainier have a taller harness than the Radian XTSL? It looks like it from the pictures, but I can’t find an official comparison.

    Thank you!

    • The only seats that are significantly taller are the Britax Frontier/Pinnacle (not the Pioneer) – so if your goal is a 5 point harness for a lot longer, these would be the only seats worth the investment as others that may be a smidge taller won’t last that long.

  6. Amanda says:

    My 27 month old is extremely tall and heavy. He weighs 47 lbs and at last check was 40″ tall. He is currently using the recaro proride five point harness seat. The height limit is 49 inches, but I am worried that he will be too tall for it by the time he is 3. Is 3 a safe age to begin using a high back booster with 5 point harness, and given his height and weight would you be able to recommend one for us to look in to?

    • He can use any seat with a 5 point harness so long as he is within the height and weight range. It doesn’t matter what other things the seat may do (like later turn into a high back booster) – it only matters what mode you are using it in – and he needs you to use the 5 point harness car seat mode. The best seat for him is a Britax Frontier as it has a very high height AND weight capacity – the highest of any seat on the market. Install it with the seat belt AND tether (always use the tether on every forward-facing car seat) – just like his ProRide needs to be installed with the seat belt + tether.

  7. Luisa says:

    My son is using Peg Perego 4/35 car seat which has a weight and height limit of 35lbs and 32″ height. My son is 33″ height and 28 lbs, should I change his car seat since he is already exceeding the max.height of the car seat but not the max. weight?

    He is 17 months old. So he still should be rear-facing.

    Any recommendations?

  8. Jessica DePriest says:

    My 6 (almost 7) year old daughter has special needs. She is at the limit of current 5pt harness, but not ready for a booster with just the seatbelt. She will need one for a while longer, but most 5pt harnesses don’t go much higher. I looked at special needs car seats and harnesses, but I don’t have $800-$1400 to spend on a car seat. What are the largest capacity 5pt harness car seats?

  9. Susie says:

    My son is approaching three but has already exceeded the height and weight limit for his group 1 seat. Are there any seats that have a 5 point harness for weights over 18kg? Thanks

  10. Tiffany Hulsebosch says:

    My daughter just turned 5 last month and is 50 pounds, 48 inches tall. She is currently in a Clek foonf but her harness straps are just below her shoulders. Should I move her to the Clek Oobr booster or get a harnessed booster like the Britax Frontier? Which is safer and better seat? Thanks

    • If she can sit maturely in a booster, then a booster is a good option for her. If she needs a harness, you’ll want the Britax Frontier as it has the highest harness capacity. If a booster, look into the Maxi Cosi RodiFix, Diono Monterey XT, Nuna Aace.

  11. Cecilia says:

    Hello. I was redirected to your page while reading someone’s blog/write up. I’m a very confused and tired mom right now. I’ve been looking and checking for options of car seat for my toddler girl but can’t seem to know which is appropriate. As she is small in size/stature. She’s 3yr +, weighs 22.2lbs. Pls I’ll really appreciate your help. Thank you in advance.

    • The child needs a car seat with a 5 point harness – and ideally would be rear-facing in a convertible car seat and only turn forward-facing in a few years from now when she is older and bigger.

  12. Nichole says:

    Hello. My daughter is 3 1/2 and still rear facing in a convertible. She is 35lbs and I think about 40”. My question…I’m looking to get another seat for my parents’ car. I want to keep her rear facing as long as possible but at her age, I’m not sure buying a convertible seat is the best option. If I do buy a convertible, will I most likely have to buy her a booster when she gets older? I’m worried that she will outgrow the height capacity (once she is turned forward). Thanks!

  13. NP says:

    Hello! My daughter is petite- 5YO and just 34 lbs. I have her in a 5 pt harness, wondering if we can go to high back booster but w/ seatbelt?

  14. Lan says:

    Hello I have a Radian 100. Although the seat weight limit is 100 lbs and my child weights only 51lbs , the bottom straps are very tight and pinch his crotch. Would it be safer to have him in a backless booster seat or keep him in the Radian with ONLY the top harness buckled? Thanks!

    • I’m glad you asked. The 100 pounds does not apply to the use of the seat with the 5 point harness – the 100 pounds on the R100 is for the use as a booster seat (with the shoulder/lap belt across him). The top harness buckle (the plastic chest clip) is not a restraint and is designed to open in a crash if there is too much force on it. The silver buckle tongues that go between his legs are what keep the harness buckled in a crash – and MUST be used for any child in the 5 point harness. I don’t know how old your child is, but see here to see if he is ready for a booster (your Radian is not the most ideal as a booster) – – note that we recommend using a high back booster whenever possible, and using a backless booster only for the times when a high back wasn’t feasible.

      If he still needs a 5 point harness, the Britax Frontier fits the bigger kids well.

  15. Idaly says:

    I have a 6y/o who is 45lbs and 45” tall. I have a Peg Perego Viaggio 5/70 it’s height limit is 49” but the straps are bellow my son’s shoulder so I am assuming his torso might be too high for the seat already. I do want to keep him in a 5 point harness at least for another 2 years so which will it be my best choice: Diono or Britax!?
    Thanks for the help

    • The Peg Perego and Diono are outgrown at similar heights – but the Britax Frontier will last longer in the harness mode than any other seat on the market. Make sure to install the frontier with the seat belt AND tether strap.