Top 5 Best Booster Seats | 2018 Reviews
There are plenty of emotional challenges a parent has to clear when their adorable little baby starts growing up, but there are lots of real-world issues as well: toilet training, pre-school, “big girl beds” – and replacing the child-restraint system in the car with a booster seat.
Most state laws are very specific about the type of car seats that children must sit in. In general, a child has to be in a booster seat (in the car’s back seat, of course) until they reach age 8, are taller than 4’9”, or weigh more than 80 pounds. So when you choose a booster seat, it makes sense to buy a good one; it is going to have to last for a long time.
Booster seats fall into one of two categories: small, less-expensive backless seats which are easy to move from car to car, and more permanent (and more costly) highback seats which provide maximum support and comfort. You may not have much of a choice if you have a small back seat and several children have to fit into it; you may also have a stubborn child who doesn’t want to sit in a “baby seat” anymore and insists on a backless model. Fortunately, even today’s high-quality backless seats are perfectly safe for kids once they’ve reached the age of 5 or so.
The obvious criteria for selecting a booster seat involve the child’s safety. Any good highback model will have easy-to-use yet secure buckling systems and will attach firmly to the car, and any seat at all will pass federal crash standards. Comfort is also important (especially if you have a “complainer” in your family) – as is price. Some of the options on our list of top 5 best booster seats may seem to be awfully expensive at first glance, but when you remember that you’ll be using the seat for at least four or five years (and quite possibly many more, depending on how many kids are in the family), a top-quality booster seat is really a smart investment.
Before going on our top 5 list, you may also want to check our comprehensive Best Booster Seat Buying Guide here.
Here are the reviews.
Quick Comparison Table
Britax Frontier Clicktight Harness to Booster
Recaro Performance Sport Harness to Booster
Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat
Chicco KidFit Booster Car Seat
Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat
5-point front harness, belt-positioning booster
5-point front harness, belt-positioning booster
Highback without harness, backless booster
FAQ (By Our Ardent Readers)
- What is a booster seat? Booster seat is for your child to be seated safely in the car during travel. It is a natural progression from a child car seat when they are 5 and above.
- Why are booster seats important? Booster seat not only keeps the child in a comfortable position but also increase its safety. Hence for all children aged 5-10, it is very important to use booster seats for your journeys.
- What are the different types of booster seats? There are traditionally two types of booster seats. One that has a back and neck support and the other is a backless one. Both have been tested for all the safety criteria and is perfect for the child over 5 years.
- What is age and weight limit for using the booster seat? The booster seat is best suited for children aged 5 and above, though some of the models claims that it can safely used after 4 years. The booster seat with back support may still be used but the backless ones where the child's weight is the only thing that holds it to the car must be left at least until the child is 5 or even 6. The weight limit is approximately 40 pounds for most models. Kindly read through the instructions before buying the product.
- How tall must a child be to grow out of booster seat? The child must atleast be 4'9'' tall to be able to come out of booster seat.
- Does the backless booster seat need to be anchored? No it cant be. The weight of the child is what keeps it on the seat. The child is harnessed by the car seat belt. So make sure your child weighs atleast 45-50 pounds before using it.
- What are baby booster seats? These are booster seats used to put the child on a dining chair instead of a highchair when the child is old enough to sit on its own. This should not be confused with the Car booster seat and should never be used in a car.
- Are booster seats as comfortable as a child car seat? Yes certainly they are. Most of them have padding to make it a bit cozy and also comes with a cup and a bottle holder to tuck in their drink.
- Are backless booster seat safe? Yes they are. They have passed all the safety criteria before being brought to the market. Our recommendation would be to use the backless booster seat after the child is 5 year old or weighs at least 45-50 pounds.
- What is a convertible car booster seat? It is a normal baby car seat which can then be converted into a booster seat when the child is ready for it. The back support comes off and the lower seating takes the shape of a booster seat. Remember that the child must be at least 5year old or weigh at least 45 pounds before converting it into a booster seat.
- Are the booster seat with back support expensive? Yes they are in comparison with the backless ones. But considering that you would use it for a very long time depending on how many children you have, we would still consider it a wise investment inspite of its heavy price tag.
- Can the booster seats be easily moved from one car to the other? Only the backless seats can be moved easily whereas the high back booster seat still needs proper installation.
- Where can i buy cheap booster seats? If you are looking for cheaper option but also are keeping in mind child's safety, then go for backless booster seat. All models in high back ones are definitely on the higher price range.
- How long can i use the booster seat for? As long as it lasts. They don't have a expiry date at all. They are very durable and last for years. If you have more children than the booster seat is put to use even more.
- Is it safe to buy a used car seat? Not really as it may not meet the health and safety norms. Since there are several models in all price ranges you could definitely choose that suits your budget without compromising on the child's safety.
- Do booster seats recline? Not at all. your child must be at least 4 or 5 year old to use the booster seat.
- Can i use the booster seat in the front car seat? Don't think so. The laws of every state emphasise on putting the child on the back seat only. Please understand your state laws before taking your child out for a drive.
- Can booster seats go in the middle? Don't think so, especially if you have a small/mid segment car. You could possibly put 2 booster seats at the back or may be squeeze another in the middle if you have a big car.
- When can i stop using the booster seat? When your child is 10 year old or weighs 80 pounds.
- Where can i buy the booster seats? You could buy it in store or from trusted online retailers like Amazon. Don't forget to read through our in-depth reviews before nailing down your choice.