As your child grows older, they will outgrow their car seats. Unfortunately, it is still not safe to allow them to ride in an adult car seat without proper safety precautions. An adult car seat and seat belt are not made for children thus they cannot accommodate a small child. Originally, the booster seat was invented to simply give the child a better view out of the car window or to allow the parents to easily spot them in the back seat. It wasn’t until the 90’s that booster seats started to be developed with safety in mind instead of convenience.
A study done in 2009 found that children ages 4-8 using a booster seat saw a 45% decrease in injury when compared to children of similar ages that only used a vehicle seat belt. With this information, it is no wonder that the booster seat requirements state that children should remain in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits them. In order for an adult seat belt to fit a child properly, the child must be able to bend their knees at the edge of the seat, the lap belt should sit across the thighs or lower hip and the shoulder belt should fit against the shoulder and chest. A child is typically not big enough to ride without a booster until they are between 8 and 12 years old. If a child is too small for an adult seat belt, then a booster seat should always be used.
|Name||Image||Weight (lbs)||Weight Capacity (lbs)||My Rating|
|Aidia 2 in 1 Toddler Adjustable High Back Booster||8 lbs||High back Booster/Backless Booster||4.5|
|Britax Pioneer Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat||21 lbs||Forward Facing Harness/High Back Booster||5|
|Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat||9 lbs||High Back Booster/Backless Booster||4.7|
|Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat||2.2 lbs||Backless Booster||4.4|
|Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat||11.22 lbs||High Back Booster/Backless Booster||5|
What is a Booster Seat?
- 1 What is a Booster Seat?
- 2 Different Types of Booster Seats
- 3 Things to Consider When Choosing Booster Car Seats
- 4 Top Booster Car Seat Reviews
- 4.1 Aidia 2 in 1 Toddler Adjustable High Back Booster
- 4.2 Britax Pioneer Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
- 4.3 Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat
- 4.4 Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat
- 4.5 Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat
- 5 Conclusion
A booster seat is a car seat that is used by children who are too big for a five point harness but too small to only use an adult seat belt. A booster seat is meant to raise the child up off the seat which allows the lap belt to fit firmly across their hips and the seat also allows the shoulder belt to remain across their chest and over their shoulder. Without a booster seat, a small child would likely have the lap belt across their stomach and the shoulder belt may even lay across their face. This position is very unsafe for the child, thus booster seat laws were implemented for all children who are too small to ride with an adult seat belt.
Different Types of Booster Seats
When purchasing a booster seat, you will come across two styles: a backless booster seat and a high back booster seat. A backless booster seat does not have a back. Instead, your child’s back rests against the vehicle’s seat. A high back booster seat has a framed back and your child’s back rests against the booster seat.
You may be wondering which are the best booster seats between the two styles. Some recent studies and footage have shown that high back booster seats provide more safety than backless boosters. This is because high back booster seats provide a headrest which can protect a child’s head in the event of an accident. High back booster seats also come equipped with seat belt positioners which hold the seat belt safely across the child’s chest. However, high back booster seats are bulkier when compared to backless models. Backless models allow for easier storage and travel. Whether you choose a high back booster or a backless booster, always be sure that you are using it properly because the safest booster seat is always the one that you use properly and consistently.
Things to Consider When Choosing Booster Car Seats
One thing to consider when choosing this product is the width of your back seat. Booster seats are made for bigger kids so they can sometimes be wider than car seats that are made for babies and toddlers. This may pose a problem should you have multiple car seats in your vehicle. It is a good idea to measure your vehicle’s seat for reference when shopping for a booster seat.
Another thing to consider when choosing this product is which features you want. High back boosters automatically come with seat belt positioning guides and some backless boosters come with clips to hold the seat belt in a proper position. Many booster seats come with one or two cup holders which are perfect for a bottle of water or a cup of snacks. Sometimes the cup holders are integrated into the frame of the seat while other booster seats have cup holders that stick out past the seat which will increase the space needed for the seat.
Some parents consider using a used booster seat which may lead you wondering how long are booster seats good for? Well, like all car seats, booster seats expire as the plastic grows weak with age and use. Also, if a booster seat has been in a car accident, it should always be replaced regardless of the severity of the accident. While using a used booster seat may sound appealing, it is better to purchase a new booster seat as it is typically the best booster car seat for your child. Shopping for this item can feel overwhelming with all the options and booster seat guidelines that need to be followed. Let’s work together and see if we can find the best high back booster seat and the best backless booster seat:
Top Booster Car Seat Reviews
Aidia 2 in 1 Toddler Adjustable High Back Booster
This 2-in-1 seat converts from a high back booster seat to a backless booster seat. With a cushioned adjustable headrest and padding throughout, this seat offers a safe yet comfortable ride for your child. A thick plastic shell offers protection of your precious cargo and the seat meets or exceeds all federal safety regulations.
Backless Booster: 30-110 pounds
High Back Booster: 30-110 pounds
- Weighing just 8 pounds, this seat is easy to transfer between vehicles and easily transportable should you be traveling
- This seat comes with a convenient cup holder, perfect for your child’s drink.
- This seat meets or exceeds all federal safety standards.
- Seven adjustable headrest positions offer your child premium comfort.
- Designed to be comfortable and stylish, this seat will have even the oldest child happy to ride in it.
- The weight limit for this seat is 110 which is ten pounds more than most other seats.
- The cup holder of this seat is removable however it is not built into the shape of the seat as it sticks out beyond the seat so you may not be able to use it if space is limited.
Britax Pioneer Combination Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
As a 5 point harness booster seat, this Britax booster seat caters to both toddlers and older children. This convertible booster seat works as a toddler booster seat with five point harness from 25-70 pounds as well as a high back booster seat from 40-110 pounds. The broad weight range means that your child can remain in the safest position possible for longer. With a large weight range, this seat could easily be the best convertible booster seat.
Forward Facing Harness: 25-70 pounds
High Back Booster: 40-110 pounds
- With a broad weight range, your child can remain in the harness for longer before transitioning to using this seat as a booster seat.
- The weight limit for booster use is 110 pounds while many other seats only go up to 100 which means your child can remain in this booster for longer than other available seats.
- When transitioning to booster mode, the harness easily tucks into the interior of the seat preventing you from having to unthread the straps.
- The seat comes with two strong layers of side energy absorption.
- An easy-adjust 9-position headrest grows with your child.
- With a steep price tag, this seat may not be realistic for those on a budget.
- Weighing 21 pounds, this seat may not be as easy to transfer between vehicles or take along while traveling.
Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat
This Graco highback turbobooster car seat is suitable for children weighing 30-100 pounds. Side impact tested and available in multiple prints and colors, this Graco booster seat is safe as well as stylish. Two cup holders hide away when not in use and foam padding throughout the seat offers a comfortable ride for your child. With the weight range starting at 30 pounds as opposed to 40 pounds for most other seats, this seat would be an ideal toddler booster seat. This seat is also available as a backless booster seat which has the same height and weight range as the high back booster model of this seat.
High Back Booster: 30-100 pounds
Backless Booster: 40-100 pounds
- This seat converts from a high back booster seat to a backless booster seat giving you the option of making the seat more compact and transportable.
- Side impact tested and given the “Best Bet Booster” designation by the Insurance Institution for Highway Safety, this seat could be the best high back booster seat.
- This booster seat features a multi-layer foam headrest and back support which provides comfort to your child while in the car.
- With an affordable price, this seat may be ideal for families on a budget.
- Seat belt guides in the high back booster mode safely position the seat belts when your child is buckled in.
- This seat goes up to 100 pounds while other available seats can go up to as much as 110 pounds.
- This seat does not come equipped with the LATCH system.
Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat
This affordable lightweight backless booster seat may be the right seat for your family. Cushioning surrounds the seat which gives a comfortable ride for your child. Suitable for children 40-100 pounds, this booster can provide your child with a safe car ride until they are big enough to sit in an adult seat. This lightweight seat is easy to transfer between vehicles and can be taken along on a trip or easily stored.
Backless Booster: 40-100 pounds
- Weighing just 2.2 pounds, this seat can be easily transferred between vehicles or taken along on out of town trips.
- The arm rests angle outward which will allow children with wide hips to sit comfortably while other seats with firm, narrow armrests may be too small for them.
- A completely cushioned seat provides comfort to your child on long car rides.
- The design of the seat will not leave marks on your vehicle seats as other seats do.
- The cover of this seat is not easily removed which makes cleaning the seat difficult.
- This basic seat does not come with extra features, such as cup holders.
Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat
This 2-in-1 booster seat converts from a high back booster seat to a backless booster seat. With an adjustable headrest and padding throughout, this seat will provide a comfortable ride for your child. The seat comes with a pull out cup holder that tucks away neatly when not in use. The seat meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and has even been tested for rollovers and side impacts.
High Back Booster: 40-110 pounds
Backless Booster: 40-110 pounds
- This 2-in-1 seat gives the option of high back booster or backless booster.
- The soft and padded design will give your child a comfortable car ride.
- Stow away cup and snack holder hides away when not in use.
- This seat passes Evenflo’s Side Impact and Rollover tests as well as meets or exceeds all federal safety standards.
- Includes Evenflo’s latest side impact protection, LyfGuard, which offers layers of energy absorbing material.
- Bold colors and a modern design make this seat fashionable and stylish.
- This seat goes up to 110 pounds which is a higher weight limit than many other available seats.
- The seat’s design is very narrow so larger children may not be able to use this seat.
- This seat caters to children over 40 pounds, however, there are other booster seats that can accommodate smaller children that weigh less than 40 pounds.
As your child grows from a baby to a big kid, they will require a new car seat. Even though they are no longer a baby, they still need safety restraints in a vehicle. The seat belts and seat of a car are made to fit adults, so young children still need to ride in a booster seat. There are some great booster seats out there that can hold children and protect them in a car accident. Purchasing a booster seat can feel overwhelming however with the right information, you can find a seat that is right for your child.