Best Booster Car Seat

Booster Car Seat Buying Guide

There’s no doubt that buying a booster car seat isn’t like buying a toaster. When a child’s safety is at stake, features are paramount, even more so than the price. Yet making that delicate balance between safety features and price can be difficult as there are a plethora of models available on the market. Indeed, shopping by price alone can be fraught with perils as one may be ignorant of what features should be considered when making a buying decision. Each booster car seat brings its own set of features to the table, so knowing what to look for is an extremely important consideration. In this article we’ll look at some of the features you need to look for when buying a booster seat, and we’ll examine some of the models available in order to determine which one is the best booster car seat.

Important Features:

When buying a booster car seat, there are a set of important factors to take into consideration. Specifically:

– Ease of installation. The booster should be easy to install without complicated moorings.

– Sturdy construction.

– Good range of weight considerations.

– Cup holder. Having a cup holder will help to occupy the child.

– Easy to clean. Pads should be removable for machine washing.

– Armrests for comfort.

Price:

Models are available in two styles: convertible, meaning they are designed as car seats and boosters, or boosters only. A decent convertible unit will run at least $200 while backless, booster-only configurations will run significantly less, likely under $50.

Booster Car Seat Reviews

Britax Frontier Booster Car Seat Review

Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat

Britax Frontier

Type of Product

Booster Car Seat

Manufacturer:

Britax

Experts Rating:

Specifications

  • Min Allowable Weight: 25 lbs
  • Max Allowable Weight: 120 lbs
  • Seat Height: 23 inches
  • # of Height Adjustments : 9

The Good

  • ClickTight Systems makes installation a breeze
  • Booster mode allows up to 120lbs
  • Excellent Side Impact Protection
  • Rated for 9 years of use

The Bad

  • Harness adjuster can be difficult
  • Heavy
  • High price
  • Our Report

Britax’s Frontier booster car seat is a dependable and safe convertible booster car seat. Its range of features makes for a solid seat that will protect your child in the event of a collision. It’s designed to hold your child from 25lbs up to 120lbs.

Performance:

The Britax Frontier makes takes ease of installation to a new level with its ClickTight system. The seat gives the option of opting for ClickTight over the traditional LATCH system and indeed offers several advantages for doing so. ClickTight is a system for harnessing the unit using the existing seat belt, featuring a compartment to easily guide the belt through the seat with its color-coded channels. Using ClickTight not only makes installation easier as opposed to using the LATCH system, but increases the overall weight limit; LATCH boosters are rated for up to 90lbs, but with ClickTight the booster can be used up to 120lbs. The tethering is secure, as ClickTight revolves around using an existing safety belt. Side-impact protection is covered with what Britax calls True Side Impact Protection, featuring a layer of energy-absorbing foam that purports to deflect the worst from side-impact collisions. Integrated steel bars complete the picture, providing for extra durability. The adjustable 5-point harness is designed to grow with your child, offering a 20.5″ harness, one of the largest in the field. A head restraint is included as part of the side-impact protection system, ensuring that the head stays aligned with the rest of the body during a crash. And lateral movement is a thing of the past with SafeCell, which compresses in the event of a collision and lowers the center of gravity, preventing movement. The fabric can be easily removed for washing, and the seat includes a cupholder as well as armrests in booster mode. However, there are some drawbacks; the harness adjuster can be tricky to use with small fingers, and the unit is fairly heavy. All in all, though, it’s an excellent and sturdy booster car seat that will safely see your child through their early years.

Special Features:

The Frontier comes equipped with a host of special features, including:

– ClickTight installation system
– SafeCell technology incorporated in the base
– Integrated steel bars
–Color Coded belt guides

Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat Review

Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat

Evenflo Amp Performance Child Booster Seat

Type of Product

Booster Car Seat

Manufacturer:

Evenflo

Experts Rating:

Specifications

  • Min Allowable Weight: 40 lbs
  • Max Allowable Weight: 100 lbs
  • Seat Height: 15 inches
  • # of Height Adjustments : N/A

The Good

  • Easy to Install
  • Multiple colors available
  • Dual cup holders
  • Great price

The Bad

  • There have been reports of difficulty to fasten belt
  • Our Report

Evenflo’s Amp Performance booster car seat is a backless configuration designed to make your child want to sit in a booster. With a range of colors and features, it’s designed for school-age children with the utmost safety in mind.

Performance:

The Evenflo Amp Performance backless booster car seat is squarely aimed at older, school-age children, eschewing the all-in-one variance to appeal only to children at the end-stage of requiring a seat. It’s sturdy and incredibly easy to install, with simple to use guided channels for inserting the safety belt. Once installed it’ll sit securely in place, flush against the seat, which will retard movement detrimental to side-impact safety. It carries an IIHS “best bet” safety rating, making it one of the safest boosters on the market. The seat comes in a variety of colors to appeal to older children, and optional graphics are available for the seat. It’ll securely hold a child between 40lbs and 100lbs, giving it a good weight range. The Amp Performance also features dual cup holders so both right- and left-handed children can drink comfortably and securely, and the armrests are the perfect height for older children. It’s easy to clean with removable pads, and comfortable. The only issues reported are that some children have difficulty buckling their seat belts with this product, although it is likely something they can get used to.

Special Features:

The Evenflo Amp Performance comes equipped with a host of special features, including:

– Tall armrests to increase comfort of older childen
– An IIHS "Best Bet" safety rating

Graco Backless Turbo Booster Car Seat Review

Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat

Graco Backless Turbo Booster Car Seat

Type of Product

Booster Car Seat

Manufacturer:

Graco

Experts Rating:

Specifications

  • Min Allowable Weight: 30 lbs
  • Max Allowable Weight: 100 lbs
  • Seat Height: 15.5 inches
  • # of Height Adjustments : N/A

The Good

  • Great price
  • Retractable cup holders help keep it clean
  • Optional LATCH system support
  • Good weight range

The Bad

  • Armrest require screws for installation
  • Some Consumers have complained about unit coming apart
  • Our Report

Graco’s Backless Turbo Booster is a good value pick for a backless car booster seat. It’s very popular with parents who choose to go for a simple yet safety-minded booster.

Performance:

There’s a reason why the sturdy Graco Backless Turbo Booster seat is so popular. The adjustable armrests are designed to grow with your child, and the dual retractable cup holders will fold away when not in use, an underrated feature that most higher-priced units seem to lack. The padding is extra thick and comfortable. Installation is a snap with its large grooves to channel the seatbelt through, and the secure base will ensure protection in the event of a side-impact collision. It’s rated for a child’s weight varying from 30lbs up to 100lbs, giving it a slightly lower range than the Britax but higher than the Evenflo. In any case, it will fit most children requiring boosters, and will fit into most vehicles with ease. This is one of the few backless boosters that supports the LATCH system, although the jury is still out on whether or not a LATCH connection is necessary for a backless. However, if you don’t want to use the LATCH system, the tether is securely stored in a compartment. On a negative note, more assembly is required for this unit than most, as the armrests require screws to be installed into the base. As well, it has the propensity to come apart when moving it between vehicles, requiring you to put it back together.

Special Features:

The Frontier comes equipped with a host of special features, including:

– Adjustable armrests
– Extra-comfortable seat pad
– LATCH support

The Final Verdict:

Britax Frontier Booster Car Seat

While the eternal decision faced by parents hinges on purchasing a convertible car/booster seat or a booster-only seat, the Britax Frontier has everything you’d want in a car seat. Exceptional protection in full-backed configuration as well as backless booster, the Britax delivers on the key factors of safety and comfort. True, it’s pricier than a backless booster seat, but it would be a wise purchase choice to make while your child is still too young for a booster. All in all, it marries exceptional safety with ease of use and makes for an excellent purchasing decision. If the price of the Britax Frontier seems a bit too much both the Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat and the Evenfo Amp Performance are enough to satisfy most parent's needs.