You’ve already bought and used the top safety rated car seats for infants. You’ve had the best lightweight convertible car seat and stroller combos. Now it’s time for the best booster seats.
They grow so fast, don’t they? It’s amazing to think that just a few months ago, they needed to be strapped into that 5-point harness system. Now they’re using the big kids’ seat belt! But not so fast because they still need a boost, and it needs to be a quality boost with a quality booster seat. After all, the safety of your child is still your primary concern.
But which one of the top rated booster seats should you purchase for your little one? Well, I’ve got the lowdown for you. Below, you’ll find an entire list of comprehensive booster seat reviews as well as invaluable information on how to choose the best booster carseat. Let’s get started!
Our Recommended Best Booster Seats
What is a Booster Seat?
In terms of seating children in cars, car booster seats for toddlers and children are the next step after forward-facing car seats. Because children are naturally shorter and smaller than adults, they need a boost in order to use a car’s regular seatbelt. There are two general types of booster seats.
Finding the best toddler booster seat for your child can be a challenge. There are many factors to consider in the search for the best combination car seat.
At the very least, most parents look for a 5-point booster seat as a booster seat with 5-point harness will always offer the most protection. The choice between a high back booster with a harness or without a harness and the low back or backless booster will also need to be made. To know which are the best child booster seats, most parents read child booster seat reviews and guides like this one.
Types of Booster Seats
When I am asked what is the best booster car seat or the best kids car seat, it’s easy to spout off a few of the best toddler seats models.
But instead, I tell parents to consider their needs first and to learn about the types of booster seats. There are three main types of the best bet booster seats, and you’ll need to understand these before you can make your final decision on the best booster seat for your child.
No-back Booster Seat
No back booster seats use a lap and shoulder safety belt. They do not have a back or headrest, but they do have armrests.
No back booster reviews will tell you that no back seats are the top rated booster seat type, and for some kids, they are. But let’s look at the other types as well.
High-back Booster Seat
Some of the top rated high back booster seats are high back seats. The best high back booster seat will have support up the back of the seat and a headrest. These must be used with the car’s seat belts. The best high back booster seats protect against whiplash in the event of a crash, and high back booster reviews will also tell you that kids who love to nap in the car love high back seats more than others.
Forward-Facing Seat with Harness or Combination Seat
Finally, there are forward-facing top booster seats with harnesses. These may also be known as combination seats. I like these seats as the top booster convertible car seats for older children who are still quite small.
They are the best car seat booster for kids who may be unruly in the car as well because they can be used with a tighter and more secure harness or the car’s seatbelt.
How to Choose the Best Booster Seat: Advice and Tips
What is the best booster seat for your child? What is the safest booster seat? What are the cheapest booster seats? What is the best booster seat with latch system? Which is the top low back boost seat? What is the best booster seat with harness? What are the best high back booster seats? What is the best car seat for 6 year old kids? What is the bet car booster seat for 4 year old kids?
I could go on and on!
Instead, here are the top advice and tips that you need to know for choosing the best booster seat.
Start with safety in mind.
Above all else, you want to look for the best-rated booster car seat in terms of safety. Comfort, ease of use and cleanliness are all important factors, but your main concern should be safety.
Look at the weight and height limits.
Good booster seats will have the weight and height limits in plain sight on the booster seat. You shouldn’t put a child in a booster seat until they are too big for a car seat, and they shouldn’t move to a regular car seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. This usually happens when your child is between 8 and 12 years old.
Aim for an easy to use belt guide or harness system.
As stated, there are two main types of booster seats when it comes to straps and harnesses for protecting your child while driving. Most low back, high back and backless booster seats do not use their own harness system. Instead, they utilize the car safety seat belt that is strapped over the child while they’re in their booster seat. But there are some combination seats that can be purchased that have harness systems included in them.
If you choose to purchase a combination booster seat that has a harness system, make sure that you find one that has added belt positioning and easy to adjust belt guides. Otherwise, every time that you put your child in their seat, it will be a struggle to adjust the harness and crotch straps. You want to make this process as easy as possible for yourself and your child.
Try to get a seat with adjustable crotch straps and harness slots.
Combination booster seats that are meant for younger children have harness straps and crotch straps attached to them. Instead of using the car safety belts that comes with your car, combination booster seats use these harnesses, and they can be difficult to attach if there are not easy to use slots and crotch straps.
There should be at least two slots for the crotch straps. It’s best if there are three slots. And these should never be underneath your child while they are in their seat.
Important Booster Seat Tips to Know
Finally, there are a few other things that you should know about booster seats before you make your final purchase.
First, make sure that your child is big enough for a booster seat in the first place. As stated above, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that your child that does not sit in a booster seat until they can no longer sit properly in a regular car seat. In other words, let them stay in their regular car seat for as long as possible.
Second, keep in mind that if you will be frequently transferring your booster seat between various cars, you should opt for a more compact, easy to tote booster seat. Large booster seats can be heavy, bulky and difficult to take in and out of the car.
In addition, if you have a smaller, more compact car, you should also steer clear of larger booster seats that will take up all of the room in your backseat.
Make sure that you test out the booster seat before you make your final purchase to make sure that this does not happen.
Third, make sure that your booster seat is adequately comfortable, and this is especially true if you plan on taking long trips. Cup holders and extra storage in booster seats will also come in handy if you plan on keeping your child strapped into a booster seat for an extended period of time.
Fourth, cleanliness should be a factor when it comes to making your final purchase of a booster seat. Keeping booster seats clean can be easy if the fabric is stain resistant and if you can count on your child to be rather clean while in their seat.
On the other hand, if you can’t trust your child to keep their seat clean, don’t choose a light color, and look for booster seats that have easy to clean fabrics. These fabrics should be able to be removed with a simple zip so that you can throw it in the washing machine as well.
Next, keep in mind expiration dates when it comes to your booster seat. Many parents are unaware of the fact that booster seats do you have expiration dates on them. These dates are there because federal car safety regulations may change over time. Booster seat manufacturers want to make sure that parents have the most up-to-date safety seats possible. In addition, many of the materials that are used in booster seats are only guaranteed for a specific amount of time.
Finally, keep in mind that some cars have differently styled seats in the back row. If you have low back seats or contoured seats, you need to try out the booster seat that you are considering before you make your final purchase so that you can know that the booster will be able to grip the car seats properly. Also, make sure that you purchase a high back booster seat if you do not have high back car seats or if you did not have headrests on your car seats.
When Your Child is Ready for the Real Seat: 5-Questions
Once your child has been in their booster seat for long enough, it will be time to move on to the regular car seat. There, they will use a seat belt like adults. But when will your child be ready for this?
In order to know when it’s time, use the test below. Make sure that you can answer “yes” to all of the following questions:
- Do your child’s knees hit the edge of the seat and bend over at the appropriate angle?
- Is your child able to sit with their back completely against the seat?
- Does the top strap of the safety belt hit your child between their arm and neck at the shoulder?
- Does the safety belt sit as low as possible on their abdomen and near the tops of their thighs?
- Will your child be able to sit in their seat for the duration of your trip?
Best High Back Booster Seats Reviews
Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat
The Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat is the best high back booster that I’ve reviewed, so it naturally sits at number one. It is a high back booster seat with a number of amazing features.
The Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat is not only one of the best toddler booster seats overall, it’s also the best booster seat for 6 year old children, one of the best booster seats for 5 year old kids and one of the best booster seats for 4 year olds. Its easy adjustments make it great for literally all ages. I even love it as the best booster car seat for 3 year old kids!
Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System
The Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System is one of top booster seats that can be used as both a backless and high back seat. It features many safety and comfort features.
As one of the best-rated booster seats, the Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System has many desirable features. It is super safe with Side Impact testing that exceeds federal standards and features a super convenient front adjustment that makes adjusting the seat for your child’s comfort a breeze.
Britax Frontier G1.1 ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
The Britax Frontier G1.1 ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat is one of top booster seats from Britax. This company offers the utmost in safety with every one of their products, and the Frontier is no exception. It features Safe Cell impact protection on all sides, comfort padding that absorbs shocks and a comfortable headrest.
This is the top rated booster seat by Britax. As the best Britax booster car seat, it has all the bells and whistles, including the Click Tight installation and impact protecting padding.
Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat Thunder
The Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat Thunder is another one of the best-rated booster seats. Evenflo does it again with a comfortable, safe and stylish seat that your kids will love. This affordable model has a 5-point harness, or use the seat with your car’s safety belt.
This seat offers top quality safety, longevity and comfort. It’s easy to buckle in your child without tangles, and there are many options for adjusting for comfort. I also love how affordable this booster seat is. It’s a great price for parents who are on a budget.
Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster
The Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3-in-1 Harness Booster is a top rated booster car seat by Graco. Unlike some of the other booster seats on this list, the Graco Nautilus is a 3 in 1 harness booster, which means that it can use a harness system instead of the safety belt system in your car, and the seat can also be used as a rear-facing infant seat and a forward-facing toddler seat.
The Graco Nautilus is one of my favorite 3-in-1 booster seat systems. It adjusts easily and never presents problems. Overall, it’s definitely one of the top rated car booster seats on the market.
Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat
The Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat is the first backless booster seat this list. As such, it is certainly the best-rated booster car seat for parents who are looking for a backless option. It is top rated in both safety and comfort.
If you’re looking for a backless booster seat, this model is the highest rated booster seat that you’ll be able to find. Crash tested and engineered to exceed federal safety standards, you can feel confident with your child in this seat.
Cosco Top Side Booster
The Cosco Top Side Booster is another great backless booster. Unlike some of the other models, this backless booster does not feature cup holders, which I don’t like, but it is a sleek design and has arm rests for some additional comfort.
In terms of style, it is the opinion of many toddler booster seat reviews that this is the best-rated booster seat. It certainly has a nondescript, sleek design, and it comes in 6 unique, understated colors that you can match to your child’s preferences or to your car’s design.
Clek Ozzi Backless Booster Seat
The Clek Ozzi Backless Booster Seat is one of the top rated booster seats in terms of portability. It’s super easy to pop into the car or take out when you need to. Seating in this seat is super secure to make sure that your child is comfortable and protected at all times while driving.
This is a sleek and stylish booster seat that your child will love. The fabric and padding are comfortable and stain resistant, and the high arm rests will be useful for stability in the car.
Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat
For a more stylish look with no fabric on the seat, try the Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat. In terms of fashion statements, this is one of the top rated child booster seats for many parents. Available in 4 cute colors, these seats do not have any fabric and instead feature polyester that is the easiest to clean of all your options.
Kids love the love of this best-rated booster car seat, and parents will love how protective and stable it is in the car. In terms of cleaning, this is also one of top booster seats out there, so if spills are always happening, this may be your best bet in terms of a backless booster.
Disney Store and Go Backless Booster Car Seat
The Disney Store and Go Backless Booster Car Seat is one of the top rated car booster seats for Disney lovers. It’s a super backless booster seat for kids who like to travel in style as well. Featuring lots of storage and a cup holder, there’s plenty to be excited about with this seat.
In terms of storage and style, this is the top booster seat. It tends to trend toward girls who love Minnie Mouse and Disney in general, but it’s a great backless booster option for any child!
Summary and Making Your Final Decision
Once your child has outgrown their best car seat, booster seats for toddlers and older children are necessary. But finding the right booster seat for your child can surely be a challenge.
You want the best in terms of safety, but you also need to find a comfortable seat, and you need to be able to choose between high back booster seats and no back booster seats. There are so many choices to make, and the prospect can be daunting.
In order to choose the best booster car seat, it’s important to remember that every parent and every child has different needs when it comes to finding the best-rated booster seat. You shouldn’t only read booster seats reviews blindly and choose the model with the highest ratings. This might not be what’s right for you.
Instead, think about safety standards. Consider what type of car you have and how high your seats are. Imagine how comfortable the various models would be. Think about how difficult it might be to clean various types of fabric. Consider what your style sense is and what your child’s style sense is.
Age, height and weight also have a lot to do with how you choose your booster seat. For example, some parents may be looking for the best booster seats for 5 year olds while other parents may be looking for 6 year olds.
By doing all of this and reading booster car seats reviews, you’ll definitely choose the top rated booster seat for you and your child. I hope that this guide is able to help as well.
Once you find the one that you like, buy it right away so that you can start using it! Good luck shopping!