Best Booster Seats For 4 Year Olds
The seats and seat belts of a vehicle are designed for the average adult. This can pose a problem as children are much smaller than adults. This can make the seats and seat belts inadequate. Car seats are designed to place the child in the safest position while riding in a car. Because children grow and change rather quickly, there are different style car seats that cater to different ages. As a child moves to a new style of car seat, the design becomes less restrictive as the child is bigger and better able to safely sit in a vehicle seat. Booster seats are the last car seats that are used for older children who have outgrown the five-point-harness but are still too small to sit in a vehicle seat unassisted.
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. Knowing this information, it is no wonder that it is a law for children to remain in a booster seat until they are large enough to ride in a vehicle seat without assistance. A booster seat can be the difference between life and death. A four-year-old is usually too large to fit in a five-point-harness and are ready to transition to a booster seat. Some car seats, like all in one car seats, provide a booster seat stage however not all car seats transition to a booster seat so you may find yourself in the market for a booster seat for your four-year-old.
|Name||Image||Weight (lbs)||Suitability||My Rating|
|Aidia 2 in 1 Toddler Adjustable High Back Booster||8 lbs||High back Booster: 30-110/ Backless Booster 30-110||5|
|Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat||2.2 lbs||Backless Booster: 40-100 pounds||4.5|
|Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat||11.22 lbs||Backless Booster:40-110 lbs/ High Back Booster: 40-110 lbs||4.7|
|Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat||9 lbs||High Back Booster: 30-100/ Backless Booster: 40-100||5|
What Is A Booster Seat?
- 1 What Is A Booster Seat?
- 2 Different Types of Booster Seats
- 3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Booster Seat
- 4 Top Booster Car Seat Reviews
- 4.1 Aidia 2 in 1 Toddler Adjustable High Back Booster
- 4.2 Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat
- 4.3 Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat
- 4.4 Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat
- 5 Conclusion
A booster seat is a small seat that is placed on the vehicle seat. The child sits on the seat which raises them up higher. This allows the vehicle seat belt to lay safely across their thighs and the shoulder belt to rest on their shoulder. Without a booster seat, a child would sit with the vehicle seat belt resting against their stomach and the shoulder belt across their face. This position is uncomfortable so the child may move the shoulder belt behind them which makes this position very unsafe. A booster seat allows the seat belt to fit properly and comfortably which gives safety to the child while they ride in a car.
Different Types of Booster Seats
There are two different types of booster seats. The first style is a backless booster seat. This style allows the child to be elevated in the seat with their back rests against the vehicle seat. A backless booster seat is very easy to transport as they are compact and lightweight. They can be easily transferred between vehicles or carried around while traveling. The next style of booster seat is a high back booster seat. This style of booster seat has a back so the child sits entirely within the car seat with their back against the booster seat. One bonus to this style is that they come with belt positioning clips or slots which ensures that the shoulder belt is in the proper place. This style of booster seat as a larger design so they are a bit more difficult to transfer between vehicles and they are bulky so carrying them around may be uncomfortable.
Some recent studies and footage have shown that high back booster seats provide more safety than backless boosters. This is thought to be because high back booster seats provide a headrest which protects their neck and head. High back booster seats also include belt positioners which keep the seat belt securely across the child’s chest. Both styles of booster seats are safer than riding without one however it is a possibility that high back booster seats provide more protection than backless booster seats.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Booster Seat
The first thing to consider when choosing a booster seat is the weight of your child. The average weight of a four-year-old is 40 pounds and 40 inches tall. Weigh your child on a scale. Most booster seats allow use beginning at 25 or 30 pounds so the weight of your child should be enough to use a booster seat, however, it’s still important to check anyway. Also consider if you will be traveling or transferring the seat between vehicles. If so, you may want to get a backless booster seat as they are easier to transport because they are less bulky.
Another thing to consider is the weight limit of the booster seat. Some booster seats only go up to 80 pounds while others may go up to 120. It is ideal to have your child in a booster seat for as long as possible so a higher weight limit will allow them to remain safely in a booster seat.
Finally, consider the options that come with booster seats. Do you want armrests? Would you like the cup holder to hide away when not in use? These questions can help you determine the type of booster seat to look for. Looking for a booster seat can feel overwhelming with all the available options so it’s a good idea to research different types to narrow down your choices. Let’s look at some available booster seats to try to narrow down your choices as you search for a booster seat for a four-year-old.
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 pounds 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.
Cosco Topside Booster Car Seat
This lightweight booster seat is ideal if you will be traveling a lot or transferring the seat between vehicles. With padding throughout, this seat is sure to give your four-year-old a comfortable cushioned ride. This simple seat can hold your child for the remainder of their booster seat years.
Backless Booster: 40-100 pounds
- Weighing just 2.2 pounds, this seat is perfect for the family on the go.
- Cushioned throughout, this seat offers padding on both the seat and the armrests.
- The weight limit of this seat is 100 pounds which is higher than over available seats.
- The armrests are angled outward so a child with wide hips can still use this seat while other seats with plastic armrests may be too narrow for your child.
- This narrow seat can easily fit three in a row so your four-year-old triplets can all safely sit in the back seat.
- The simple design of this seat would make an ideal backup seat should you take along your child’s friend or carpool to the soccer game.
- The weight capacity of 40-100 may not be suitable for a smaller four-year-old that weighs less than average.
- The height range of 43”-57” may make this seat not appropriate for a shorter than average four-year-old.
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. The highback option gives your child a padded headrest as well as padded protection for the side of their head which would protect them in a car accident. This seat comes with two nifty cup holders and snack holders that can be closed when not in use or pulled out when needed.
Backless Booster: 40-110 pounds
High Back Booster: 40-110 pounds
- The headrest of this seat not only offers comfort but safety.
- With 9 available headrest positions, this seat grows with your child.
- Two armrests provide comfort for long car rides.
- With a weight limit of 110 pounds, this seat will allow your child to remain in a booster seat for far longer than other available seats.
- The sleek and modern design will match any modern car or minivan.
- At only 16 inches wide, this narrow seat will pair well with other car seats in a row.
- The weight capacity of 40-110 it may not be suitable for a smaller four-year-old that weighs less than average.
- At 11.22 pounds, this seat is heavier than other available booster seats.
Graco Highback Turbobooster Car Seat
This booster seat converts from a high back booster seat to a backless booster seat. This comfortable, stylish and safe booster seat was given the coveted ‘Best Bet Booster’ designation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. With padded height adjustable armrests, this booster seat is sure to give your child comfort on long car rides.
Backless Booster: 30-100 pounds
High Back Booster: 40-100 pounds
- The adjustable headrest of this seat not only offers comfort but safety as well.
- With a low weight range of 30-100 pounds, this seat would be ideal for the smaller four-year-old who may be too small for other booster seats.
- Likewise, the low height range of 38”-52” tall means that a shorter than average four-year-old could use this seat.
- This seat offers stowaway dual cup holders, perfect for a snack or drink.
- While in high back booster mode, this seat offers open loop belt positioners which ensures that the seat belt fits securely against your child’s chest.
- The seat is covered in energy absorbing foam which will protect your child in the event of a car accident.
- The cup holders are not integrated into the design of the seat which means if there is limited space, they cannot be used.
An average four-year-old is barely big enough to fit into a booster seat. If your child is smaller than average, it is important to pay attention to the weight capacity of the seat as they may be too small. Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the weight limit as some seats have low weight limits which limit their use while other seats offer a high weight limit which means your bigger kid can remain in the booster for longer which is ideal. Finding a booster seat for your four-year-old can feel overwhelming. However, with research and comparisons, you can easily find the best booster seat for your four-year-old.
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