Color-coded belt guides will tell you how to fasten seat belts properly (when used as a booster). Two recline positions make it possible to optimally adjust the seat for a sitting or semi-lying position.
It's rather bulky.
This seat boasts many technological innovations that minimize the risk of injuries in case of an accident. With the SafeCell™ impact protection system, reinforced steel frame, and V-shaped tether, it's surely one of the safest models on the market.
Seat for baby / Booster
Forward-facing harnessed: 25 - 65 lbs
Belt-positioning booster: 40 - 120 lbs
Forward-facing harnessed: 34 - 49 inches
Belt-positioning booster: 44 - 63 inches
2 - 12 years
SafeCell impact protection includes an absorbing base, Tether/ harness thread, Side impact protection, Tough stabilizing steel frame, 5-point harness with 9 height positions, 2-position buckle, Latch support
The ClickTight installation system, Quick-adjust no-rethread harness, Armrests, Headrest, 2 recline positions, Easy-removable seat cover, CoolFlow™ mesh fabric, Integrated cup holders and snack storage, Memory foam
The Chicco seat has a unique set of cup holders. The rubbery fully-enclosed cup holders neatly fold in when not in use. Hence, no drips and spills are guaranteed.
A bit more expensive than competitors.
This car seat impresses with its usability, safety features, and stylish design. It's an excellent choice for parents who want the best of the best for their kids. The generous 8-year lifespan may even allow you to pass the seat to a younger kid.
Seat for baby / Booster
High-back mode: 30-100 lbs
Backless mode: 40-110 lbs
4 - 10 years
Crash-tested, DuoZone head and shoulder protection, EPS impact-absorbing foam, Vehicle belt guides, LATCH connectors with SuperCinch one-pull tightener, Side-impact tested
Armrests, adjustable height, 2-position backrest, ErgoBoost™ padding, 2 cup folders (dishwasher safe), Removable seat pad (washable)
The seat can be easily mounted in a car within less than 5 minutes. It has a hideaway storage compartment for toys and snacks your child may want to keep at hand during trips.
Designed for children aged between 2-10 years old, this car booster seat complies with all safety standards and ensures comfort and safety during trips. It's a bit more affordable compared to models offered by famous brands.
Seat for baby / Booster
High-back mode: 30-100 lbs
Backless mode: 40-110 lbs
High-back mode: 38-57 inches
Backless mode: 40-57 inches
Seat pad, body support, and harness covers are made of durable and environmentally-friendly polyester. Not only are they highly resistant to abrasion and tear, they also can be put in a washing machine.
The seat can be a bit tricky to install.
The Graco Transitions 3-in-1 is a fairly lightweight seat that has a slim profile. For this reason, it'll be perfect for small vehicles or families with multiple kids. You'll be able to install a couple of them in the back of your car.
Seat for baby / Booster
Forward-facing harnessed: 22 - 65 lbs
Belt-positioning booster: 40 - 100 lbs
Forward-facing harnessed: 26.5 - 49 inches
Belt-positioning booster: 38 - 57 inches
2 - 10 years
Rigorously crash-tested, Safe Adjust™ Harness System, Open-loop belt guides, Side-impact tested
Padded armrests, 2 cup holders, Fully adjustable headrest (8-position), Removable seat cushion (washable)
Four harness positions and Up-front harness adjustment system allow you to achieve an optimal fit. Owing to the "smart" headrest design, the belt adjusts automatically to your child’s height.
The head support is lacking in comfort.
Despite the relatively low price tag, the Evenflo Chase booster seat is on par with more expensive counterparts in terms of ergonomics or safety. It's compatible with almost any car type including minivans.
Seat for baby / Booster
Forward-facing harnessed: 22 - 40 pounds
Belt-positioning booster: 40 - 110 pounds
Forward-facing harnessed: 28 - 50 inches
Belt-positioning booster: 43.3 - 57 inches
2 - 10 years
Rigorously crash-tested, Side-impact tested, Evenflo temperature tested
Armrests, 2 cup holders, Adjustable height, Removable plush head pillow, Removable seat pad (washable)
Britax Grow with You
The Grow with You seat is Britax's updated booster car seat that has been greatly improved to be more solid and reliable, so you can be sure that your child will be secured and safe on the road. Let's take a look at what has been changed.
First off, the seat comes with advanced safety features: it has SafeCells design in the base to create a sort of a crumple zone that will absorb crash energy, thus, directing it away from your child. Second, it boasts the industrial-standard steel frame and double layers of side impact protection which ensure excellent stabilization and offer an energy-absorbing shell at the head, neck, chest, and torso areas. What's more, the V-shaped tether with staged-release stitcher reduces forward movement in case of an accident. All this helps make your journeys safer and more enjoyable.
Obviously, such a bombproof design added heft to the chair, however, we don't consider it a disadvantage. Whereas cheaper and lighter car seats tend to budge and move slightly to the sides, this one stays in place no matter what. The car seat is also very solidly-constructed and can grow with your kid up to a maximum of 120 lbs, which makes it a long-lasting investment.
Not dissimilar to other booster car seats that incorporate the Britax ClickTight feature, this one is a breeze to install. The clicking system works flawlessly and tightens this unit without effort, and once in place, the booster feels like it's part of the seat.
Speaking of kids' comfort, the unit is generously covered with memory foam, which makes even long trips less tiring for little ones. The arm straps for children remain in place and do not tend to get tangled or twisted, while the holes on the latch keep them from flipping. Overall, they feel very smooth and cushy thanks to the padded sections that go over children's shoulders and between the legs.
The material that wraps the seat is very durable and the color choice is quite nice. Our only complaint is that it's not machine washable. That being said, if you regularly wipe the seat down you'll be able to keep it clean for a long time as its cover can be wiped clean with little effort.
Designed with safety in mind, the Britax Grow with You is surely one of the better options for driving in dangerous areas. Admittedly, it’s not the most compact and lightweight seat out there, but its reliability is beyond praise.
|Last updated price||$309.99|
From the Leader
Chicco needs no presentation. This Italian company is well-known all across the globe for the best-in-class products it sells. Safety and comfort are the main focus of the brand, and this booster seat is a bright example. Everything here screams high quality and it's thought-out to every fine detail.
To begin with, the seat ensures a significant amount of protection thanks to the proprietary DuoZone Side-impact Protection. The DuoZone head and side zones feature extremely thick EPS foam that safely curves around the kid’s head and upper torso. Hence, the seat will keep your little one ultimately safe. And the DuoFoam padding guarantees that your passenger is always comfortable during the ride.
For a secure fit, the premium LATCH connectors along with a SuperCinch one-pull tightener stabilize the seat and ensure that your child is snug in the seat. Plus, the system keeps the seat secured when unoccupied.
Last but not least, the Chicco KidFit is also highly adjustable – it offers 10 different positions to grow with your kid. The one-hand latch makes the seat very easy to adjust - all you have to do is use the handle on the back of the booster. Excellent for anyone that uses a car booster seat for the first time.
Attention to Details
Being an Italian company near Milan, Chicco doesn’t ignore fashion. Therefore, the KeyFit car seat is offered in stylish Atmosphere, Aurora, Monaco, and Wimbledon designs.
Like all Chicco products, the seat is featured with some nice extras that can make car rides more comfy and fun. For example, the Chicco has a unique set of cup holders. The rubbery fully-enclosed cup holders neatly fold in when not in use. Probably, the major benefit to the fully enclosed design is that if the cup drips, the liquid stays in the cup holder leaving your car interior clean. Additionally, your kids can safely use these cup holders for holding their snacks without fear of them spilling all around.
To round things up, this car seat impresses with its usability, safety features, and stylish design. It's an excellent choice for parents who want the best of the best for their kids.
|Last updated price||$99.99|
Graco Affix Youth
If you're not hunting for big names and need an affordable seat with the optimal safety level, you may like the Graco AFFIX Highback Booster. It costs less than $50 and accommodates children from 30 to 100 lbs comfortably.
In the highback mode, you can use this seat for children of 38-57 inches in height and 30-100 lbs in weight, making it a suitable option for kids aged 2 to 10 years old. Then, when your little one is ready, you can convert the seat into a backless mode that is suitable for 40-100 lbs children who are from 40 to 57 inches tall.
Despite an affordable price tag, this car booster has many features to improve safety and comfort. They include special absorbing foam that neutralizes kinetic energy, shoulder belts to secure your child in the seat and an adjustable back to provide a comfortable fit for your little one. Plus, the seat was strictly crash-tested - it meets the USA standard FMVSS 213 and is proven to be a very safe product. So, it'll let you have greater peace of mind when traveling with your child.
Kids of all ages will feel comfortable sitting in the AFFIX. The full-coverage back support provides an optimal spine position for your little one, while the headrest with multiple layers of cushion maximizes comfort during long trips. The headrest is fully adjustable so that your kids can always customize it as they wish.
Also, the seat offers a little bit of recline, which is a nice option if you are able to change the angle of the back seat in your vehicle. What we also liked is that the seat comes with an integrated cup holder for drinks, snacks, and bottles. In addition to that, the seat has a hidden storage compartment perfect for toys and gadgets. All these nice features are especially appreciated by older children who already have a few favorite small games they usually take with them.
The seat itself is lined with a soft, elastic material that is easy to wipe clean with a soft sponge. However, if you need to tackle particularly tough messes, you can remove the cover and throw it into a washing machine. All this makes the Graco Affix a strong competitor on the market. It's affordable, secure, comfy, and has some extras your kids will definitely appreciate.
|Last updated price||$67.65|
Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1
Grows with Your Baby
The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 convertible car seat is a decent choice for those who're searching for a model that can grow with kids from toddlerhood. What's remarkable about this model, as the name suggests, is that it can be converted into three modes, so you can use it for kids from 22-65 lbs up to 100 lbs.
The seat incorporates the Graco's Simply Safe Adjust system, which allows repositioning the headrest along with the harness to 8 height levels so you can provide a comfortable fit for your child. For added convenience, it also features removable cup holders and dual armrests, which while being found very comfy aren't too thick and make it easy to put your child in the chair and take out of it. What also adds to the convenience is that the whole seat profile is rather slim. This makes it an ideal option for smaller cars as well as big families who need to fit more than one seat in the back of their cars. Actually, it's only 19-inch wide, which makes it a bit more compact than most other models on the market. Yet, not less comfortable.
Light But Secure
It shouldn't come as a surprise that a slim seat like this weighs a little less than standard models. What also reduces its weight is the addition of blow-molded plastic rather than standard EPS or EPP foam lining. Also, it doesn't have a hefty steel-reinforced frame.
Since the Graco Transitions is missing these safety upgrades, it may seem that the seat isn't as secure as most other models. However, in reality, it's quite safe and absorbs energy very well - it's been rigorously crash tested and meets and exceeds all US safety standards. For the best performance, you'll just need to make sure it's tightly installed and all the parts are firmly attached.
Depending on the design of your vehicle, the seat may be a breeze or a challenge to install. That is to say, in vehicles with the shoulder belt anchored behind the seat back, the installation will take a couple of minutes. Though if the belt in your car is attached to the side of the seatback, this model will require a longer and trickier installation. So, keep this aspect in mind when making your choice.
All things considered, the Graco Transitions is a fairly lightweight yet safe seat that will be perfect for families with multiple kids. It's one of the narrowest combo seats on the market, so you'll be able to fit a couple of them in your car.
|Last updated price||$99.99|
Affordable Yet Ultra-Safe
For those who need a budget-friendly model that will be able to keep your child in a 5-point harness mode for as long as possible, you may be really interested in the Chase Harnessed Booster by Evenflo. There aren't a lot of good-quality high booster seats with harnesses under $100, but this one is exactly like that.
Not to nibble around the edges, this seat offers a five-point harness for 22-40 lbs kids and after they reach 40 lbs, it converts to a regular booster with a 110-lb weight limit, meaning it can last for many years as your child grows. The seat has a "smart" headrest design where the belt adjusts automatically to your child’s height.
More Things to Consider
What also makes the Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster an attractive choice for most parents is how easy it’s to install. The seat comes with ample guidance on installation and requires very little assembly. Actually, you simply need to add optional cup holders and you’re good to go. The booster is designed for both latch and tether systems, so it fits most car types with no problems.
Understanding that safety is certainly primary but comfort is something to consider as well, the manufacturer has also done its best to make this booster car seat comfortable for your little ones. It’s designed with ComfortTech technology, which means it has three separate foam layers to alleviate pressure points as your kid grows. It’s also featured with a removable pillow for added comfort. However, some parents still claim that head support is lacking in quality and children are able to feel the hard plastic through the padding.
|Last updated price||$64.88|
What Is a Booster Car Seat?
One of the main responsibilities of all parents is keeping their children safe when riding in a vehicle. And a child safety seat is designed specifically to give ultimate protection to kids in case of some accidents and vehicle collisions. However, with so many different seats on the market, it may be overwhelming to find a perfect seat for your needs. For this review, we have selected the best car seats that can be used by toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children.
A car booster seat is a special safety seat designed to protect toddlers and older kids from injuries during transportation. Car booster seats are made from durable materials to ensure long service life and have padding thick enough to prevent impact in case a collision happens. On top of that, car booster seats make it more comfortable for kids to travel by car, which is especially important if you often drive long distances. They are ergonomically built to provide optimal body alignment, have a reliable harness system to give security during trips, and are often equipped with special holders so that your child can have a drink or a meal while you travel.
However, if a booster seat doesn't cater to your needs, you may want to check out our review of the best convertible car seats or infant seats. Also, we recommend you to consider one of the best diaper bags that will come in handy during trips.
What Features to Compare
To help you with making the right decision, we offer you to look through the key aspects important when selecting a child safety seat.
There are two types of booster car seats available: high-back seats and backless boosters. Backless booster seats are usually easier to move and mount in a car, however, they are not a suitable option for smaller kids still needing support and a headrest. Consider backless models only if you're 100% sure that your child will not have a problem with sitting in it. For the smallest ones, we recommend high-back car seats. They will not only keep your kid perfectly supported but also will work if your child still needs to have a nap during the day. Besides, most of them have better harness system, making them a more secure option as well.
Pay attention to the safety features as well. These include all those details making the use of a seat safe, allowing protection of children from injuries or even death during collisions. So, look into the safety system implemented in the seat and make sure to find out if the seat has a good harness, how many belts it has, how good the attaching mechanisms are, and whether it's possible to adjust the headrest and armrests. Padding is also important. It should be thick enough to minimize the impact if it takes place and it should cover the whole seat.
Last but not least, make sure that a seat you choose is easy to install in a car and remove when needed. Check out its weight and dimensions. It will also be a good idea to check the fabrics so you know how long the seat is likely to serve you and if it will be easy or even possible to wash it after using it for some time. Other extras worth checking out are cup holders, storage compartments, pockets, and so on and so forth. While not essential, these little things can prove very useful on the road, adding to the convenience of use a lot.
Did you know?
Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for children from 4 to 10 years old. And booster seats can not only save life but also reduce the risk of injuries up to 45% compared to seat belts alone. Sadly, only seven in ten parents know that children can ride without a booster seat no earlier than they are 4’9” tall and between 80 and 100 pounds. Surprisingly, the survey revealed that even more parents transit their children from booster seats to car belts before they are big enough. 9 out of 10!
When to Move Your Kid to a Booster Seat?
Though many kids fit within the manufacturer's height and weight guidelines, most children under 3 years aren’t ready to ride in a booster seat. And the best recommendation is to keep your little one in a harnessed car seat unless he or she reaches 40 pounds and 4 years, but preferably, even longer.
What to Do Before Purchase?
Before buying a booster car seat, we highly recommend you to scope out your car. Read your vehicle's manual to understand which type of installation will suit you. Car seats can be attached either using the seat belt or the specific latch system. Another tip is to measure your back seat to know exactly how much room is there for a booster seat. For example, a booster seat with a quite large base might not fit in a small car. Also, consider how many children will be sitting in car seats.
Shop for a New Seat
Car seats are not those products that can be bought second-hand because you don’t know the accident history of a used seat. Plus, the safety technology improves so frequently, so it’s better to buy a new, updated model. Safety of your child should come first.
How to check that your child is secured properly?
To make sure your little one is properly secured in a booster seat, follow these tips:
- The harness straps must be placed through the slots at/below your kid's shoulders. They should lie flat against your kid's body.
- You can make sure that the harness is snug enough if you can't pinch extra material at the shoulders.
- The chest clip must be placed strictly at your kid's armpit level.