Best Car Seats for Pickup Trucks: An Ultimate Review

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Last Updated: 17 August 2021

Pickup trucks are becoming more and more popular with each passing day due to their usability and versatility. And while there are plenty of good things about pickup trucks, there’s one big problem a lot of families with little kids face - the lack of space for baby car seats.

Thus, a lot of parents decided to get a car seat for pickup truck, but oftentimes have trouble finding the correct fit for the restrictive space of the vehicle. And this could not only be a waste of money but will also be very uncomfortable for your little one. So it’s essential to find the best car seat for pickup truck and understand how to do it and what to pay attention to.

Hence, we’ve decided to give you a hand and share with you everything we know on what makes the best car seat for pickup truck, and what aspects you need to pay attention to.

Top 10 Best Car Seats for Pickup Trucks: Comparison Table

Easy Installation
Britax Boulevard
Chicco KeyFit 30
Safety 1st Guide 65
Graco Nautilus 65 LX
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 2 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Circa
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, Chambers
Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Featuring TrueShield Side Impact Technology
Price not available
$199.99
$89.99
$171.92
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3,496 Reviews
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Easy Installation
Britax Boulevard
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 2 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Circa
Price not available
3,496 Reviews
Chicco KeyFit 30
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Orion
$199.99
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Safety 1st Guide 65
Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat, Chambers
$89.99
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Graco Nautilus 65 LX
Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Harness Booster Car Seat, Featuring TrueShield Side Impact Technology
$171.92
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Safety 1st Grow and Go
B013YCX22I
Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT
Chicco NextFit Zip
Evenflo Gold Revolve360
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Harvest Moon
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 1 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Verve
Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat - Carbon
Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Swivel Car Seat Rotating Car Seat for All Ages Swivel Baby Car Seat Mode Changing 4120Lb Car Seat and Booster Car Seat, Onyx
$159.99
Price not available
$238.20
$299.99
$379.99
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3,496 Reviews
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Safety 1st Grow and Go
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat, Harvest Moon
$159.99
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B013YCX22I
Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat | 1 Layer Impact Protection - Rear & Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Verve
Price not available
3,496 Reviews
Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT
Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT All-in-One Convertible Car Seat
$238.20
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Chicco NextFit Zip
Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat - Carbon
$299.99
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Evenflo Gold Revolve360
Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Swivel Car Seat Rotating Car Seat for All Ages Swivel Baby Car Seat Mode Changing 4120Lb Car Seat and Booster Car Seat, Onyx
$379.99
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Best Overall: Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat Review

Advanced Safety Features: Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Review

Britax Boulevard
3,496 Reviews
Britax Boulevard
  • Easy installation: Patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: Quick adjust 14 position harness with click and safe, snug indicator gives a click sound when the harness is tight
  • Adjust accurately: Harness indicator gives an audible click when you’ve pulled to the proper tightness. Shoulder Width:16 inch
  • Surrounded in safety: 2 layers of side impact protection, steel frame and impact absorbing base
  • Fits: Rear facing 5 to 40 pounds and forward facing 20 to 65 pounds; dimensions: 23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches (LxWxH)

Designed for Travel: Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat Review

Chicco KeyFit 30
  • Easiest to install with Recline Sure levelling foot, Ride Right bubble levels, and Super Cinch LATCH tightened
  • Designed for travel system use with compatible Chicco strollers (sold separately)
  • Removable new-born head and body supports
  • 5-point harness with easy-pull tightened

Can Be Used in Small Cars: Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat Review

Sale
Safety 1st Guide 65
  • The guide 65 is a perfect fit for smaller cars and helps protect your child longer in both rear and forward facing positions
  • Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and 19inches-40inches
  • Forward-facing 22-65 pounds and 34inches-52inches
  • Compact design for small cars
  • 5 harness heights and 3 buckle locations for proper fit

Great for Big Kids: Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Harness Booster Car Seat Review

Sale
Graco Nautilus 65 LX
  • Integrated harness storage compartment holds unused harness straps while in the belt positioning booster mode
  • One-hand, 5-position adjustable headrest is easy to use and adapts for your growing child.Do not use bleach
  • Keeps your child in a booster up to 120 pounds for longevity of use, in keeping with American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations
  • Fuss Free harness storage holds the buckle out of the way, so it’s easy to get baby in and out. Harness straps may be spot cleaned
  • Body support helps keep your child comfy.5-Point Harness Mode Height:27-49 inches

Machine Washable & Dryer Safe: Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One Car Seat Review

Sale
Safety 1st Grow and Go
  • Built to grow: The 3 in 1 car seat built to grow for extended use through 3 stages: Rear facing 5 to 40 pounds, forward facing 22 to 65 pounds, and belt positioning booster 40 to 100 pounds
  • Side impact protection: The grow and go’s side impact protection helps keep your child safe
  • Easy in, easy out: Harness holders keep the harness in an open position so it is easy to get your child in and out of the seat. Rear facing height is 19 to 40 inches. Forward facing height is 29 to 52 inches
  • Quickfit harness: With the quickfit harness you can easily adjust both the harness and headrest in one simple step
  • Wash and dry: Machine washable and dryer safe seat pad features snaps that make it simple to take off of the seat; No fuss for truly easy cleaning

Editor’s Choice: Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat Review

Britax Marathon
3,496 Reviews
Britax Marathon
  • Easy installation: Patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: 14 position harness, 2 position buckle for a comfortable fit as your child grows
  • Relax and recline: 7 recline positions ensure comfort and the best vehicle installation angle
  • Surrounded in safety: A layer of side impact protection, steel frame and impact absorbing base
  • Fits: Rear facing 5 to 40 pounds and forward facing 20 to 65 pounds; dimensions: 23 x 18.5 x 23.5 inches (LxWxH); shoulder width 16 inch

Durable: Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat Review

Sale
Diono 2019 Radian 3RXT
  • JOY OF THE JOURNEY: From birth, keep your little one rear-facing longer to 40 lbs., and as they grow to 100 lbs. (10 years approx.) our long-range lifespan protects your child facing-forward.
  • THREES NOT A CROWD: For safety that fits 3 across the Radian 3RXT packs all our innovative safety features into a sleek and slim design that allows you to fit three across (in most mid-size vehicles). Now the whole family can travel, together.Care & Cleaning: Spot or Wipe Clean, Machine Wash
  • LOVINGLY ENGINEERED: The Radian 3RXT is built with automotive-strength steel, engineered into a dual spine, which manages and dissipates energy with an unyielding structure to protect your baby. Our audible click SuperLATCH system makes installation easy
  • BUSINESS CLASS COMFORT: Inspired by the best in European style, our Radian 3RXT has bright soft fabric covers, and a memory foam seat bottom. Lined with energy absorbing foam, comfort and safety go hand in hand
  • MADE OF SEATTLE: We are from Seattle, a city where being different is the norm and so is the Radian 3RXT. It folds flat, so you can travel the world and is FAA approved for use on an aircraft, so you can take safety with you wherever you go.

For Different Ages: Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat Review

Chicco NextFit Zip
  • Zip-off padding is soft and machine washable for comfort and convenience
  • Remarkably easy installation with a 9-position ReclineSure leveling system, SuperCinch LATCH tightened and lock sure seat belt tightening system
  • Superior Duo Guard protection with a deep rigid shell and EPS energy-absorbing foam, plus a steel-reinforced frame.To clean harness, sponge clean using warm water and mild soap; Air dry
  • Accommodates growing children with a removable newborn positioner, no-rethread harness, 9-position headrest, and easy transition from rear-facing to forward-facing
  • Includes dishwasher-safe, space-saving Cup Folder. Material - polyester

Swivel Feature: Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational All-in-1 Convertible Car Seat Review

Evenflo Gold Revolve360
  • BOLD MOVES: Innovative rotating car seat makes it easier than ever to get your child in and out of the car—no matter what kind of vehicle you have
  • 360 DEGREES OF EASE: Install the Revolve360 once and you’re done—the Sure360 Safety Installation System with LockStrong and Tether360 keeps it safe, secure and simple
  • GROW WITH GOLD: Offers 10 years of use and 3 modes—Rear Facing (4 – 40 lb), Forward Facing (22 – 65 lb), and Booster (40 – 120 lb)
  • ON-THE-GO RECLINE: Easily adjust your child’s seat for maximum comfort, without having to reinstall the seat or bother your baby
  • ON-THE-GO RECLINE: Easily adjust your child’s seat for maximum comfort, without having to reinstall the seat or bother your baby

What Type of Car Seat is Best for a Pickup Truck?

The AAP recommends parents let their children ride rear-facing car seats as long as possible. They are considered safer for infants and toddlers. And once the child reaches the height and weight where he cannot ride a rear-facing seat anymore (which is usually 3-5 years old) only then should they ride on a forward-facing infant car seat.

Therefore, if you have a small baby, a rear-facing seat is the best and if your child has reached the weight and height limit, get a forward-facing seat.

The best way to go is to get convertible car seats -as these are more convenient and can be used for a longer time.

Car Seats in Trucks: What Does the Law Say?

The back car seats in trucks are the safest according to the stipulated law but if your truck does not have a back seat or the seat itself is incompatible, you may use the front seat. There are many The general rule states that your child’s seat should not be installed in front of an airbag as it can harm your kid more than protect in case of an accident.

Different states have different laws for baby car seats. Let us go through some of the states and laws prevailing in them.

State
Laws
Indiana
  • Mandatory for children up to 8 years to use a child seat.
  • Children under 3 years must use a rear-facing seat.
  • The airbag must be turned off
Arizona
  • Mandatory for children up to 8 years to use a child seat.
  • It is recommended for children under 3 years to use a rear-facing seat, but they may ide in a front-facing seat as long as it’s safe.
Texas
  • Children up to 8 years old must use a car seat
  • Children up to 17 years old must have a secured seat belt on.
Oklahoma
  • Children up to 2 years old must use a rear-facing car seat.
  • A forward-facing car seat can be used by children under 4 years of age.
  • Children less than 4.9 feet tall must use a booster seat.
  • Children taller than 4.9 feet just use the seat belt system
Utah
  • Children under 8 years old should use a car seat according to their height and weight.
  • Children over 4.9 feet can use the seat belt system.

There are a couple of options you can avail to place your car seat in pickup truck. Technically, the best place to install secured car seats in trucks would be the back. However, keep in mind that some trucks do not support back seat installation.

In that case, your only option is to place it in front. With maximum safety, that should also work fine, but ideally, the back seat is more reliable. Also, make sure that the airbag is away from your baby’s seat.

Can Children in Car Seats Ride in the Front Seat of a Pickup Truck?

Like we always mention in our car seat for pick-up truck reviews, if your car does not allow installation in the rear seat, you may use the front seat with safety. Just remember to do it properly: tighten the latch and keep the airbag away.

How to Choose the Best Car Seat for Trucks

Five Point Harness

The best car seats for trucks come in five-point harnesses. These secure your baby’s hip, shoulder, and legs, ensuring maximum safety and comfort.

Side Impact Protectio

When car seats and trucks go hand in hand, side-impact protection is of utmost importance. It reduces the risk of your child getting injured to a minimum by minimizing the effect an accident may have.

Latch System

Infant car seats in pickup trucks require a good latch system to ensure that the seat is held properly. With this system, you don’t need to use belts for installation or securing the seat if you have the latch system.

Easy Adjustment

The belts on the seat must be flexible and comfortable. It should be like a breeze to install and settle your baby in the seat. Height adjustment belts are also essential to ensure that your child can use the seat for the longest time. And if needed, you can also get a convertible car seat for tall babies.

Easy Cleaning

Kids can be clumsy and may spill drinks on the road. And you don’t wanna spend a whole day washing your car seat. Hence, it’s better to go for a material that is easy to wash, such as polyester and nylon.

Children in Pickup Tracks: Key Don'ts

Never transport children in the bed of a pickup truck

The right placement of baby car seats in trucks is very important. And you must never transport your little ones in the bed of a pickup truck, as it can inflict more injury to your child in case of an accident.

Never let children ride in the side-facing seats of pickup trucks

Children must never be allowed to ride in the side-facing seats. It is dangerous, and they can fall and hit themselves even if there are no external accidents.

Avoid Airbags

Whether you get the best car seat for extended cab truck or Toyota pickup seats, you need to keep the airbags away from the kiddo. Because they can hit or even injure your child.

How Do I Install a Car Seat in My Pickup Truck?

While making our car seat for pickup truck review, we realized that installing a car seat is pretty easy.

All you need to do is to use the latch system to install the seat in your truck. Follow the manual guide to make sure that you understand the steps well. Then, wait for the click to ensure that you have attached the seat securely.

Final Words

And that’s all we wanted to share on the baby seats in trucks! Overall, this is a very essential and useful item to ensure that your little one stays safe and comfortable! After all, it is not for no reason that US law mandates it for parents to install a baby car seat. And when you plan or already have a pickup truck, it’s very important to choose a proper seat to protect your munchkin. So, we sincerely hope that now you know a bit more about what to pay attention to and how to choose only the best car seat for pickup truck 2021!

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