If you have ever announced to your children that you are going on a camping trip or on a road trip to an unknown land (they always fall for it, don’t they?) and were met with moans and groans and protests, this blog post is for you. Why? Because one of the most likely reasons they do not want to be stuck in the car for too long is that they are not comfortable. But there is an easy fix to that problem – the best booster car seat you can find in the market today.
But before we get into the nitty gritty of each seat, let’s discuss a very important question:
When should I put my child in a booster seat?
Well, your child needs to be in a car seat every time they are in the car, from the moment they are born. But when do you need a booster seat? There are different types of car seats for different ages. For a newborn, for example, you need a rear-facing harness seat. When they grow a little older, you can switch to a front-facing harness seat.
A booster seat comes into the picture when your child has outgrown the forward-facing harness seat or mode. It is then that you need a high back booster seat which secures your child using the seat belt of the vehicle as opposed to the harness system of the seat itself.
This usually happens when your little one has reached a weight of around 40lb or the maximum specified limit of the infant seat or mode you are currently using. It isn’t a great idea to try and determine this by age because every child has a unique height and weight at different stages of their life.
What you need to do is to check the maximum weight or height limit of the harness seat and when your little one (or not so little one anymore) reaches it, it is time for an upgrade.
But a high back booster seat is not the only kind of booster seat that exists. Which bring us to our next most important topic of discussion.
What are the types of booster seats?
The first one we just discussed with you – the high back booster seat. But what happens when your child outgrows that too? That is when you can turn to a backless booster seat. But what are the main differences between these 2 types of booster seats? Let’s take a look:
The high back booster seat has a back while the backless booster seat does not have one (pretty obvious by the names but we had to put it out there).
The high back booster seat provides back and neck support to the little one while the backless booster seat does no such thing – it just enhances their height so that they are better positioned to make use of the vehicle seat belt.
But do you know what the best part is?
You don’t need to buy separate seats. Most high back booster seats give you the option of removing the back when your child is grown up and using it as a backless booster seat.
Heck, many seats start off with a front-facing harness mode and you can later convert into the booster mode. This ensures that you can make a one-time investment that lasts you years.
Booster Seat Guidelines for Purchase:
When you are buying a booster car seat, you need to pay special attention to a number of things. We won’t get into the details because your requirements may differ greatly from every parent around you. However, think of this as a checklist of the most important things in buying the safest booster car seat that also meets your needs in the best way possible.
- Tested and proven safe for your child.
- Provides side impact protection.
- Easy to install and securely fits into place.
- Suitable for ongoing use.
- Meets your requirement without surpassing your budget.
- Pays attention to the comfort of the baby.
- Ideal dimensions and weight for the perfect fit.
- Easy to keep clean.
- And so on.
Now that you have got the basics down and have likely exhausted yourself by going through countless booster seat reviews that have gotten you nowhere in your decision to actually buy a top-rated booster seat, you are finally in the right place.
Fret not because, in this blog post, we will share with you some of the best top rated booster seats that are available in the market today and which one you should go for based on your needs.
Let’s get right into it!
12 Best Booster Car Seat in 2021 – Quick Comparison:
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12 Best Booster Car Seat in 2021 – Detail Reviews:
1. Britax Frontier ClickTight – 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat:
The safety of your little one always comes first. And the SafeCell Impact Protection safety system ensures just that. With an impact-absorbing base that plays a role in reducing the impact of a potential collision, the impact-stabilising steel frame provides support, and a patented V-shaped tether prevents seat rotation as much as possible while also minimizing any chances of the seat moving forward in case of an impact.
It features 2 layers of side protection including an energy-absorbing shell, as well as a quick-adjust head protection system that protects your little one from taking a blow to the head during a potential collision.
The seat also features a smart buckle system that doesn’t get in the way when you’re putting your little one in it.
The 9-position harness system of the seat, as well as the 2-position buckle, allows you to find and use the combination that your little one is the most comfortable in. You can also adjust it according to what is safest as your child grows.
The cup holders that come with the seat are the perfect home for drinks, juices, snacks, and even toys, ensuring the rest of the car remains clean.
It is easy to lock the lower anchors into place and when you want to release them, all it takes is the push of a button.
You can transition from the harness to the car seat booster mode with ease as the seat has space to store the buckles and straps.
The vehicle seat belt can be installed easily with the help of belt paths that are easy to access and colour-coded for your convenience.
When the seat gets dirty, you can simply remove the cover and give it a wash without a problem.
Armrests add to the comfort element of the seat and make sure your child can relax in it.
You can purchase a SecureGuard Clip separately, using which you can make sure that the seat belt of the vehicle remains rightly positioned over the child’s hip in Booster Mode and doesn’t cause injury.
Sporting some of the greatest features that can be found in a car seat, this one is definitely worth a try, although be sure to try and tighten the straps before you buy the seat to see if you can manage with ease. That said, it is the best high back booster seat that also doubles as a harness seat for when your little one is younger.
2. Chicco MyFit LE Harness – Best Convertible Booster Seat:
In the harness mode, there is a 5-point harness booster seat for over 40 lbs – this ensures that your child remains safely in place, especially during a collision. Once the little one has been buckled in place, you can secure them in place with a single pull.
Once your little one grows older or when you want to use the seat for an older child, you can use it as a booster seat which is suitable for any child weighing up to 100lb. The vehicle seat belt can then be used to keep them safe and secure – shoulder and lap belt guides make it easy for you to position the seat belt such that your kid remains comfortable while also being safe.
The extended headrest has 9 positions which give your little one ample room to grow while also making sure that they remain comfortable. These positions can be adjusted in both the harness and the booster modes.
On top of that, the seat features Ergo Boost double foam padding, as well as a contoured design, for ultimate support and comfort.
The LockSure Belt System makes installation and set-up easy with the vehicle seat belt.
When it comes to installation with Latch, a SuperCinch Tightener makes the job a whole lot easier and secures the seat in place with a single pull.
The 4-position ReclineSure system adds to the element of comfort – you can adjust it to the position your little one enjoys the most.
2 layers of protection are offered on the sides with DuoGuard. A hard structure and shock-absorbing foam keep the body and head of your little one protected.
The fabric part of the seat can be removed and washed with ease, whether you decide to do it by hand or in the washing machine. The plastic elements can be cleaned using a damp cloth or sponge and mild soap.
Armrests add to the comfort element offered by the seat.
A cup holder provides the little one with the perfect place to store their bottle, snacks, or other belongings with ease.
Providing ultimate comfort and safety to your little one when you are on the go with them is the reason you buy a car seat – and this one achieves just that. With its amazing features, all of which we just discussed, it is one of the best convertible booster seats.
3. Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 – Best Toddler Booster Seat:
What sets this kids booster seat apart is that it has 10 height adjustment options at the waist instead of at the neck. What does this do? It ensures that your child has the ultimate head and shoulder protection that they need when they switch to the booster seat and start to use the vehicle seat belt.
And while we’re talking about the DuoZone side-impact protection, let’s look at it in more detail. The sides are made of a rigid structure and EPS energy-absorbing foam which make sure that your little one is kept safe, no matter what the intensity of a potential impact.
The SuperCinch LATCH Tightener ensures that you can secure the seat in the car and make sure that it will not go anywhere, during impact or otherwise. All you have to do is secure it in place with a one-pull motion.
Just like the previous Chicco seat we discussed, this one also has a padded foam seat that is contoured, ensuring that your child feels absolutely no discomfort at all as they go on a ride with you.
The backrest of the booster seat has 2 positions to which it can be adjusted. This, again, makes sure that your little one is comfortable at all times. They can tilt the seat back when they are tired and want to rest their eyes for a bit, for example, and then sit back up when they are fresh.
When your kids get older, they do not need the back support that a booster seat provides. This seat acknowledges that and provides a backless option for your kids when they grow older.
There are 2 cup holders where your little one can store their drinks but that’s not all. They can be removed when needed and washed in the dishwasher to clean them. The holders can also be folded away when they are not in use so that they don’t get in the way or take up space unnecessarily.
The seat cover, arm rest covers, and all other fabric surfaces can be removed and washed in the washing machine, meaning you never have to worry about cleanliness.
The vehicle belt guides make it easy to pair the seat with the belt of the vehicle.
This is pretty much the best toddler booster seat you can go for that also converts into a backless booster seat for your little one when they are not so little anymore. With its top-notch features ensuring the safety and comfort of your child, it is definitely worth a shot.
4. Graco Tranzitions – Best 3-in-1 High Back Booster Car Seat:
This is a 3-in-1 booster seat, something that is evident from its name. It starts off with a harness mode in which you can keep your young child secure, after which it turns into a high back booster seat, and eventually into a backless seat.
The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System of the seat gives 8 options to which you can adjust the harness and the headrest, putting the comfort of your little one above all else. The process also requires no rethreading which wastes a lot of time.
It comes with two cup holders because your little one can never have enough space for all the drinks they’re going to need during a car ride, even if it is just a 10-minute long drive. The holders can also be removed and washed when the need arises.
The seat pad is removable and can be washed by hand or in the washing machine (although we know which one you are going to use because that is exactly the one we use)! This means that the seat remains neat and clean at all times.
The buckle, on the other hand, can be cleaned with a damp cloth as it is not possible to remove that.
A 5-point harness system has your child covered from all angles when it comes to their safety during a car ride.
The top-notch side impact protection offered by this product lets your mind be at ease.
The seat comes with a body insert that ensures comfort at all costs. This, paired with the perfectly padded seat ensures your baby remains happy.
Open-loop belt guides mean that your little one will have no trouble when it comes to fastening their seat belt – the belt will just be ‘guided’ along the right path.
The two small armrests add to the comfort your little one experiences when they are in the seat.
This is the best travel car seat that offers 3 modes and grows with your child from a harness mode to a booster seat and eventually to a backless booster seat. It offers safety and customised comfort so that those long, tiring drives to go visit Grandma become fun and relaxing.
5. Evenflo Chase – Best Lightweight & Affordable Booster Seat:
This booster seat is very lightweight. How does that help you as a parent? Well, that is simple – it makes it easy to move around. We are sure that your child doesn’t just use your car – he or she may often ride in a grandparent’s or a friend’s car too but that doesn’t mean you can compromise on safety. So you have to move the seat from your car to theirs. And you can do that with ease because of its small weight.
This 2-in-1 seat grows with your child. When they are young, you can use it as a harness booster seat, after which you can convert it into a belt-positioning booster seat for your older child.
When used in the harness booster seat mode, you can make sure your little one remains firmly secure in the seat because of the 5-point harness system that does not budge and that can be controlled from the front of the seat. This ensures utmost safety without causing any discomfort to the child. There are also 4 different shoulder harness positions, each higher than the next so that it doesn’t dig into your little one’s shoulder as they grow older. There are also 2 crotch strap positions.
Belt-positioning paths mean there are no obstacles between the child in the seat and the seat belt of the vehicle. Your little one is covered and secure.
The seat has been tested and meets all side impact safety standards, meaning your child is literally covered from all angles.
The LATCH system including the tether allows you to easily install and uninstall the seat from your car.
A head pillow adds to the level of comfort your child feels.
The seat pad and the pillow can be removed and washed in the washing machine so they become as good as new with minimal effort from your end.
Available in a number of colours, you can choose one that appeals to you and your baby – although we know as well as you do who has more of a say in the matter.
2 cup holders are the perfect place for so much more than just your child’s drinks – they ensure the mess remains confined to the seat.
While there are some issues with the seat, as there are with anything, it offers a lot of features for a very reasonable price. With its lightweight structure that does not compromise on the safety and comfort of your little one, it is the best car booster seat you can find at this price.
6. Graco Affix Youth Booster – Best Budget Booster Seat:
One of the most important things when it comes to a car seat is a safe and secure installation. But you don’t have to worry about that with this booster car seat. You can set it up in your car with the one-hand front-adjust Latch system that ensures that once you have installed it properly, there were be no separating the booster seat and seat of the vehicle.
This seat makes it easy for your little one to fasten the seat belt themselves without any trouble. This gives you ease as that is one less thing for you to do.
The headrest has multiple layers so that your child remains comfortable at all times. As a parent, you will know all too well that if the little one isn’t comfortable, they won’t be happy. And if they aren’t happy, there is no way they will be able to enjoy the journey, let alone let you get through it in one piece.
The back support provided by the seat is one-of-a-kind and makes sure that your little one does not face any pain or discomfort. Trips in the car can get long and sitting in the same position isn’t easy so this is a must.
The headrest is adjustable, which means that it grows with your little one and can be set according to their preferences but more importantly, their height. It also plays a massive role when it comes to the safety of the child.
Cup holders are the norm – you will find them in every car seat and this is no different. But do you want to know what is different? This seat has a storage compartment for your little one so that they can keep their belongings close-by.
Extremely lightweight, this seat is easy to move between cars.
The seat padding can be washed in the machine whereas you can clean the other parts using a little mild soap mixed in water.
This seat has a lot of top-notch features that are available at a low price. From its small weight, easy-to-handle Latch installation system, safety features, and much more, it is the best booster seat, or at least one of the top ones, in this price range.
7. Evenflo Maestro – Best Baby Booster Seat:
There are two modes in which you can use this baby booster seat. The first one is the forward-facing harness mode. This allows your little one to be in a front-facing position while being secure due to the harness system of the seat. This mode can be used until your child weighs 50lb. It can then be converted into the belt-positioning booster seat which can be used for the older child. They still sit in the seat the same way but they use the seat belt of the vehicle instead of the harness system.
There is a shoulder belt guide that makes sure that the belt remains in place once buckled and doesn’t slide down because then it would be useless.
The Up-Front Harness Adjust system lets you have easy access to the harness. You, thus, do not have to leave your seat in the front of the car to make sure your little one is safe and the harness is securely in place.
There are multiple harness positions so that you can find that perfect fit according to your child’s physique and can also adjust it as they grow.
Having undergone side-impact and dynamic rollover tests among many others, this product is guaranteed to keep your child safe.
There are 2 cup holders in this seat, like many others, and they ensure that your little one has their drinks, snacks, and other valuables close to them at all times. This guarantees a happy journey.
The seat pad can be removed and tossed in the washing machine when it gets dirty. The remaining surfaces of the seat can be wiped clean.
With its dual functionality whereby it acts as a front-facing harness seat that can be converted to a booster seat as your child grows older, this seat grows with your child. With this and other amazing features, it is one of the best booster seat you can find on a budget.
8. Clek Oobr – Safest Booster Seat for Kids:
The seat features a rigid Latch system which is a must if you want the seat to stay in place and not move around in the slightest in the car (this would be dangerous for your child, as well uncomfortable). The system also provides increased stability during a collision.
The back of this seat reclines up to 12 degrees, which is perfect for when your little one wants to take a nap. All you have to do is to slide the seat forward (while it has been secured using the Latch system), and then recline the seat as far back as your little one wants or needs for them to be comfortable.
The headrest connects to the frame using steel rods, providing a sturdiness that is an absolute must when it comes to keeping the little one’s head supported. It also provides an utmost level of protection during a collision because of its metal structure and energy-absorbing foam.
The headrest is also adjustable so your baby’s nap goes much better than they could’ve imagined. On top of that, it also has padded sides, as we mentioned above, against which the little one can rest their head as they sleep.
2 armrests, 1 on either side, further add to the comfort element and allow your little one to be at ease at all times.
When your child grows older, you can remove the back of the seat and use it as a backless travel booster seat that makes your little one feel like a grownup while also keeping them safe and secure under all circumstances.
What sets this seat apart is that it is recyclable through Clek’s Car Seat Recycling Program so when you buy this seat, you know that you are doing something good for the environment and that is always a plus.
It conforms to all safety standards and ensures the utmost protection of your child.
Although it is a little on the expensive side, that probably says something about the quality and craftsmanship of the chair. This is the best booster seat for kids who travel with you and is guaranteed to keep them safe and happy at all costs.
9. Graco Highback Turbo Booster – Best Car Seat Booster Combo:
This seat has two modes. The first one is the high back belt-positioning booster that allows your child to fit snugly into the seat and be secured into place by the seat belt of the vehicle, not the seat. The second mode in the backless belt-positioning booster. To convert the seat from the previous to the latter mode, all you have to do is remove the back of the seat. This is perfect for your child to use as they get older. All in all, it is a great car seat booster combo.
One thing that sets this car seat apart is that the height of the armrests is adjustable. You can change the setting as your little one gets older or even if they just sometimes prefer to have a different height to rest their arms on.
The headrest is also adjustable, meaning your child doesn’t have to suffer as they grow older – they can always find the setting that works for them as they grow taller.
The headrest has multiple layers, ensuring that it is as comfortable as it gets for your little one.
The child booster seat has gone through numerous safety tests to make sure that when you are buying it, you are not putting the safety of your little one on the line unknowingly. It meets or exceeds the relevant safety standards and is perfect for your child.
In particular, it has been side-impact tested for occupant retention in case of a collision and has passed the test. This makes it one of the safest booster seat – in the market today.
The hideaway cup holder is an added plus when it comes to this seat and the kids love it. And isn’t that enough reason to go for it? After all, it is the little one who has to spend the next couple of years in the seat, not you.
The seat pad is machine-washable which ensures that you never have to worry about cleanliness again.
No product is perfect – what you need is to find the balance between the features you need and the ones that are offered against the given price. And if you consider the features of this product with regards to the cost, it really does come out to be the best car booster seat on a budget.
10. Graco Atlas 65 – 2 in 1 – Forward-Facing to Booster Car Seat:
With this product, we have an example of a car seat you can buy for ongoing use without having to worry about your little one outgrowing it. You can buy it when your baby is a small child and needs a harness system to keep them fully protected. That is when the harness booster mode comes into play. When the child grows older, however, you do not need to switch to another seat – you can simply convert it into a high back booster and you will be good to go.
The Simply Safe Adjust Harness System sported by this car seat is one of a kind – it lets you easily adjust the harness and headrest to 10 unique height positions. What this does is that it ensures you find the perfect setting for your child at any given age so that they are comfortable without any compromise on their safety. The best part is that no rethreading is required.
A harness storage compartment ensures that you do not need to remove it completely when you transition to the booster seat mode – you can simply just hide it away so that it doesn’t cause discomfort to your little one. One of the best things about this is that you can always use the seat for a younger child whenever you need by simply getting the harness out again.
The seat has open-loop belt guides which ensure that the seat remains where it should be and keeps your little one safe.
Dual cup holders make sure that your little one has no trouble storing their drinks, snacks or other belongings close to them at all times. This ensures their peace of mind, as well as yours.
A buckle cover and harness covers make sure that the seat remains as clean as possible for the longest amount of time.
The seat pad, when dirty, can be removed and tossed in the washing machine. This ensures that cleanliness is the last thing you need to worry about.
This is the best booster seat for people who want to buy a seat for their small child and get long-term use out of it. Transitioning from a harness seat to a high back booster and then a backless booster seat, it is safe, comfortable, and perfect for ongoing use – the ideal forward-facing to booster convertible seat.
11. Evenflo Big Kid AMP – High Back Booster Car Seat:
This booster has a 2-in-1 functionality that is perfect for your child as they grow into a big kid. It starts off as a seat belt-positioning high back booster that is suitable for your child who is 4 years of age or older. Later, when your baby grows up, you can remove the back of the seat and turn it into a no-back booster that is just used to enhance the height of your child so that the vehicle seat belt can fit their frame well and keep them well protected.
The seat sports ComfortTouch padding in the seat, as well as in the headrest. This plays a massive role in making sure that your little one is relaxed and comfortable during the entire ride.
The dual cup holders allow your little one to keep the essentials for any road trip (even if it is 15 minutes long) close by. Yes, you got it right – we are talking about the snacks and drinks that your baby just cannot do without.
The one-hand full-body adjustment option allows you to adjust the seat to 6 different heights so that your little one fits perfectly – there is no wiggle room if you want the little love of your life to be safe. The best part is that you can adjust it with just one hand with ease.
The seat pad can be removed and washed, one of the most important things for a parent because you have to ensure that your little one is in an environment that isn’t unclean.
Because this booster seat is lightweight, it is quite easy for you to move it from one car to another without too much of a hassle.
It has been tested and proven safe for your child during a potential collision.
Energy-absorbing foam has been used in the designing of the chair to ensure utmost protection.
The 2 armrests provide an added level of comfort for your little one.
Belt guides are present to help you position the vehicle seat belt just right.
While there are complaints that this car seat is flimsy and could’ve been made better, you have to consider the fact that it is available at a very low price. With its amazing features at such a low price, it is the best booster seat in the range.
12. Graco Nautilus 65 LX – 3-in-1 Booster Seat:
This is a 3-in-1 travel system that will not disappoint. First of all, you can start off by using this in the harness mode for your little child. They will be completely protected as they will be kept in place using a top-notch harness system. The second mode is the belt-positioning booster mode in which the seat remains the same as before but instead of the harness system, your child now uses the seat belt of the vehicle. The last mode is for when your little one has outgrown both the former modes and now only requires a backless booster to enhance their height for the vehicle seat belt to be effective.
It features a Simply Safe Adjust Harness System that helps you adjust the harness and headrest and make sure that the little one is as comfortable as can be. There is no need for rethreading.
The padded body insert ensures that your little one always remains comfortable. The body support is removable and can be taken out when it is no longer needed.
The seat contains a cup holder where your baby can keep their drinks or snacks. There is also an additional storage compartment where they can keep their secret belongings they want no one else to see.
The seat features a 3-position recline which makes sure that your child is always comfortable as they can adjust their position during the longer car journey.
In a similar way, the headrest can also be adjusted to 5 different heights, ensuring the utmost ease and comfort of your little one.
The seat allows top-notch impact management because of the use of energy-absorbing foam in the seat.
The seat cushion is machine-washable, something that ensures you can keep it clean at all times – completely free from crumbs, stains, or any other kind of a mess.
It has armrests for the comfort of your baby.
When it comes to car seats that offer ongoing use from a very young age, this is one of the top products you can go for. The slightly higher price is justified by its exceptional features and its 3-in-1 functionality, making it one of the best booster seats in the market today. That brings us to the end of our list.
Before we can take you to our top pick, let’s first discuss some questions parents usually have when it comes to booster seats.
Best Booster Car Seat Buyers Guide:
When do you need a booster seat?
If you are asking yourself when to switch to a booster seat, the answer is when your child is 4 years of age or older or greater than around 40lb in weight. However, it is better to go by the weight and height requirements as set out by the manufacturer as opposed to age as every child grows differently.
Can I put my 3-year-old in a booster seat?
Again, this may be possible as each child grows differently but be sure to meet the weight and height requirements of the particular seat you buy.
Are booster seats legal?
Booster seats are definitely legal if you use the correct one for the utmost safety and protection of your little one and meets all the requirements according to the law.
What is the law for booster seats in my state?
The laws differ based on the state. For a detailed guide, click here.
What is the right seat for my 4-year-old?
They would most likely be a booster, whether a backless booster seat or a seat belt-positioning one.
How do I choose a seat for my child with special needs?
If you have a kiddo with special needs, there are many things you need to keep into consideration, such as whether they can sit upright, their height and weight, and much more. It is best for you to consult with a certified healthcare professional before you make your choice.
How do I know if I’ve installed my child’s booster seat correctly?
Follow the instructions to the word and you should be good to go. The most important thing is that the seat should be securely in place and shouldn’t budge. If you still want to be on the safe side, consult with a certified technician.
What are the booster seats to avoid?
These are the seats you should steer clear of.
When can we eliminate the booster seat?
Booster seats are usually good for your kids up till the age of 10, after which you can say goodbye to yours.
Now, let’s jump right into which seat we think is the best!
Top Pick – Best Booster Car Seat:
While it is one of the most expensive car seats out there, we choose the Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat! Why? Because this is the seat that offers the maximum amount of protection to your little one. And when it comes to the safety of your little one, we’re sure money is no object. Read more about it (it is the first seat in the list) and give it a shot!
That said, you can always choose the one that meets your requirements and budget in the best way. Best of luck!