For the first several years of their life, your child will need a protective seat for riding in the car. When they are infants, they’ll need a child safety seat. Then, the final stage before they are ready to sit normally is a booster car seat. Suitable for kids between the ages of 4 and 12, your child should use a booster seat while riding in the car until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches. In addition to keeping your little one safe, booster seats also come will all sorts of additional convenience and comfort features. To help you find the perfect booster seat for you and your family, we compiled a list of the 10 best booster car seats for 2020.
- Features to Consider in Good Booster Car Seats
- Backless Booster Car Seat vs. High Back Booster Seats
- Top 10 Best Booster Car Seats 2020
- 1. Best Overall Booster Car Seat: Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat
- 2. Best Premium Booster Car Seat: Chicco KidFit Belt-Positioning Booster
- 3. Best Budget Booster Seat: Graco TurboBooster Car Seat, Backless
- 4. Best Car Seat/Booster Seat Combo: Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat
- 5. Best High-Back Booster Seat: Graco Turbobooster Child Seat
- 6. Best Booster Car Seat For Big Kids: Evenflo Big Kid AMP, Sprocket
- 7. Best Booster Car Seat For Spider-Man Fans: KidsEmbrace Marvel Spider-Man Booster Car Seat
- 8. Best Harnessed Booster Car Seat: Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster, Jameson
- 9. Best Basic Booster Car Seat: Clek Ozzi Booster Car Seat
- 10. Best Compact Booster Seat: mifold Car Booster Seat, Grab-and-Go
- Guide to Buying the Best Booster Car Seat
- Final Words
Features to Consider in Good Booster Car Seats
A booster seat is for the period of time where your child is too big for a front-facing car seat, but still too short for the seat belt to be properly positioned while sitting directly on the seat. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations on car seats, children should move to a booster seat once they reach the maximum weight for their existing car seats. This usually happens around a child’s 4th birthday.
There are plenty of excellent choices on the market for a good car booster seat. Here are the factors we considered when deciding which booster seats are worth buying.
We understand the safety of your child is non-negotiable. That’s why we’ll highlight the safety features of each seat we review. While they all have different features and options, every seat on our list offers your child top-notch protection.
Ease of use is a big concern when selecting a booster seat. The belt adjustment system should make it easy to loosen and tighten the belts on the seat quickly and easily. Also, families with multiple vehicles may want to consider straps and adjustment harnesses that are designed to be moved from one car to another.
Keeping your child comfortable throughout your travels will also make them calm. Comfort features like thick padding and energy-absorbing foam liners keep your child feeling snug and cozy in their seat. Adjustable armrests and backrests also add more comfort.
For parents shopping for booster seats, there are many options that suit a wide range of budgets. Some parents are willing to spend extra for additional comfort and convenience features. It is important to set aside a budget for what you want to buy for your child. This makes your decisions easier and faster to make. You will need to choose a booster car seat that provides the best service to your child but still falls within your set budget.
Backless Booster Car Seat vs. High Back Booster Seats
You will have two choices:
- High-backs: These booster seats feature a bottom and back just like a vehicle’s seat. Most high back booster seats come with a padded headrest and some even allow the backrest to be adjusted to fit the height of your child.
- Backless boosters: These booster seats are less expensive than high-backs. Their main function is to elevate your child’s body so that their seat belt can be secured appropriately across their body.
Top 10 Best Booster Car Seats 2020
1. Best Overall Booster Car Seat: Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat
Weight Limit: 40-100 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 15.5” (L) x 16.5” (W) x 26.75” (H)
The Affix Youth Booster Seat has a unique, easy to set up front-adjust fastener that ensures easy installation. You can easily remove the back portion, meaning you can use it as your child grows, ensuring years of use. Your child will love that it stays securely in place making it easy for them to buckle themselves. The cup holders and storage sections on the booster seat are convenient for your child as it holds their drinks while on the road.
The headrest has several layers and it can be raised or dropped to keep your growing child safe and comfortable. We like that with Affix Youth Booster, you can easily remove the back portion to make the seat fit your growing child so you do not need to worry about changing the booster seat. When it comes to your child’s convenience while on the road, the seat has a compartment to safely keep what they value and a cup holder for their drinks.
The headrest has several layers and it can be raised or dropped to keep your growing child safe and comfortable. We like that with the Affix Youth Booster Seat, you can easily remove the back portion to make the seat fit as you need, so you do not need to worry about changing to a different booster seat. For convenience while on the road, the seat has a compartment to safely keep toys and a cup holder for their drinks.
The headrest has many layers that will offer your child a comfortable ride. The high back booster car seat is designed to be fully flexible to always achieve the proper fit, keeping your child secure on all of your journeys together.
The open-loop belt guides ensure your vehicle’s seat belt is always positioned in the approved manner. It is further engineered and tested to meet or exceed US protection measures making this the safest and best booster car seat for your entire family.
- Great price
- The cloth seat cushion can be easily removed and can be washed with a machine
- Easy to set up
- It has a storage section on the side
- The fastener anchor straps are slightly short
Weight Limit: High back booster: 30-100 lbs, backless booster: 40-110 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 28” (L) x 19” (W) x 8.5” (H)
The Chicco Kidfit is a stylish and functional booster car seat suitable for 4 year-olds and above. The Duo Zone for head and shoulder side-impact will offer protection for your kid. The seat also has a detachable backrest for older kids. It features superior fasteners that will keep the seat in place, making it easy to get in and out.
Most parents shopping for booster seats worry about their child outgrowing their new seat in a few months. The Chicco Kidfit Booster Car Seat can adjust for heights between 38-57 inches and weighs between 30-110 pounds so you won’t have to worry about your kid outgrowing their booster seat anytime soon.
We like that the backrest can be detached from the seat to make it suitable for older children. When it comes to your child’s comfort, Chicco Kidfit has an ErgoBoost double foam padding and contoured seat that provides comfort and support to your kid, and a backrest that has 2 positions, which is convenient since it adjusts to offer you the comfort you desire.
Made from plastic, fabric, and foam and weighing 10.2 pounds, the seat, cushions, and arm support covers are machine washable, making the fabric easy for you to clean. The changeable backrest is designed to be used as a high-back booster for weights between 30-100 pounds and a no-back booster suitable for weights between 40-110 pounds, ensuring you can use the booster seat as your child matures. It also features 2 cup holders that hold your child’s drink while on the road and can be removed for cleaning.
Chicco Kidfit is adjustable, ensuring it will grow with your child. The dual-mode ensures it can be used as a high back booster until the back portion is outgrown and after which you can continue to use the bottom portion without the back portion until your child transitions to using the adult seatbelt. Coupled with its sturdiness and comfortability, this is a superb premium option for your little one.
- Easy to set up
- Detachable cup holders that are easy to wash
- Height can be adjusted
- Seatbelt holders
- Machine washable cover
- Shorter than other high back boosters on the market
3. Best Budget Booster Seat: Graco TurboBooster Car Seat, Backless
Weight Limit: 40-100 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 15” (L) x 16” (W) x 8.5” (H)
The Graco TurboBooster is extra comfortable thanks to its armrests. They are well-padded and their height can be adjusted to perfectly fit your child. The dual cup holders that can close when not in use will hold your child’s toys and snacks, keeping them engaged and happy throughout the ride. It has been engineered and verified to meet US protection standards so you can transport your child in this booster car seat without having to worry about their safety in case an accident occurs.
Graco TurboBooster is built to keep your child safe in the car. It has a belt-positioning backless seat that allows your child to sit in a position that the car seat belt will fit appropriately, offering them protection in case of an accident.
The armrests are designed to be adjustable to your child’s height, ensuring additional comfort throughout the journey. The seat cushions are machine washable, making cleaning a dirty booster seat a breeze.
Graco TurboBooster has been carefully tested to meet U.S. protection standards making it a trusted option to help your kid enjoy a comfortable and safe car ride even if they are not yet big enough to use the car seat. Considering its relatively low price, it’s great value for money.
- Has twin cup holders that also closes and can be pushed in when not in use
- Easy to clean covers
- Adjustable armrests for more comfort
- Has a strap to prevent the seat belt from digging into your kid’s neck
- Easy to assemble and install in your car
- Lacks some features compared to more expensive models
4. Best Car Seat/Booster Seat Combo: Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat
Weight Limit: Car seat: 22-65 lbs, highback booster: 30-100 lbs, backless booster: 40-100 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 33.4” (L) x 19.8” (W) x 10” (H)
The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat provides a safe and comfortable ride for babies from the time they are one year old, and it will grow with them until they are ready to sit in the car without a booster seat. This seat also had some of the most impressive safety credentials of any seat that we looked at. The headrest adjusts to eight different heights quickly. There are also two easy-to-use cup holders to keep your child’s drink nearby without spilling.
The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat was side-impact tested and exceeded the standards of the New Car Assessment Program’s peak crash force test by twice the acceptable standard. This booster car seat is easy to install and that it quickly adjusts using only one hand. We were also impressed by how easily the harness buckles and unbuckles.
Being one of the safest booster car seats we reviewed also makes this model one of the bulkiest. This seat takes up a lot of room in the back seat. This also means it provides a roomy and comfortable ride.
Because this booster car seat can also be used as a forward-facing car seat for kids as young as one year old, it’s one of the more expensive options we reviewed, but it’s a great value if you buy it when your little one is still young.
A great choice for safety-conscious parents, the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat will give you peace of mind whenever your kid is along for the ride.
- Excellent results on side-impact crash testing
- Transitions from a forward-facing car seat into a booster seat.
- Easy to install
- Bulkier than other booster seat options
5. Best High-Back Booster Seat: Graco Turbobooster Child Seat
Weight Limit: 40-100 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 15” (L) x 16.5” (W) x 26.5” (H)
You won’t need to worry about your child outgrowing their car seat as the Graco TurboBooster easily converts from a high-back booster seat to a no-back booster seat to keep up with your child’s height. It fits a child of at least 4 years up to 10 years, who weighs between 30 and 100 pounds, to a maximum height of 57 inches. It provides years of use thanks to the seat’s ability to convert to a no-back booster seat when your child is ready to transition. When it comes to buckling up, Graco TurboBooster has gone through rigorous safety testing and engineering giving you confidence in your child’s safety.
Graco TurboBooster seats have been engineered and crash verified to ensure they are safe. We all love comfort while on the road and so will your child with the padded armrests that they can adjust without your help to suit them. When it comes to safety, the shock-absorbent foam will keep your child safe in case of an impact while the open-loop belt guides will aid you in correctly positioning your car’s seat belt and securing your kid effectively.
This comes in a design featuring neutrals of black, pale and charcoal gray colors that stand out and keep looking good even after several times through the wash. The multi-layer has been designed to be fully adjustable to keep your child’s car rides comfortably as they grow. Your child will love the cup holders that will hold their drinks while on the road and can be easily slipped away when they don’t need them.
Selling at approximately $45.99 with a 1-year warranty when writing this article, coupled with amazing safety features and a style that both you and your child will love ensures Graco TurboBooster gives you value for your money.
Graco TurboBooster is a great option for parents who are committed to their child’s safety. It has undergone rigorous safety tests and is definitely one of the safest booster seats on the market.
- Easy to use
- Armrests and head support are easy to adjust
- Cup holders
- More expensive than other models we reviewed
6. Best Booster Car Seat For Big Kids: Evenflo Big Kid AMP, Sprocket
Weight Limit: 40-110 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 16.5” (L) x 19” (W) x 33” (H)
The Evenflo AMP provides safety and comfort with shock-absorbing foam liner and seats that can be adjusted up to 6 different heights using just one hand. The cup holders allow your kid to travel with their drink that keeps them engaged throughout the ride. It fits children weighing between 30 and 110 pounds and who are between 38 to 57 inches in height, thanks to the seat that can easily change from a high-back booster to a no-back booster.
With Evenflo AMP booster seats, you do not need to buy a new seat as your child grows taller but instead you can easily adjust the seat’s height for their comfort and safety. The energy-absorbing foam liner will protect your child in case of an impact, keeping them safe always.
Your child will like that it is designed with cup holders on both sides since they can easily access their drinks. You will appreciate that your car booster seat will always be clean thanks to the seat pads that can be easily cleaned using a machine.
Thanks to the limited amount of additional features, the Evenflo AMP is one of the most affordable booster seats we reviewed.
Evenflo AMP provides safety and coziness to your growing child. The padded liners and 6 position height-adjustable seats make this one of the best, reasonably priced booster car seats for travel.
- Cup holders on either side of the seat
- The seat can be adjusted to 6 different positions easily
- Shock-absorbent seat liners
- Detachable back
- Lacks convenience features found in pricier booster seats
7. Best Booster Car Seat For Spider-Man Fans: KidsEmbrace Marvel Spider-Man Booster Car Seat
Weight Limit: Forward-facing: 22-65 lbs, Booster: 30-100 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 19.5” (L) x 19” (W) x 32.5” (H)
Not only will kids who love superheroes love going for a ride with Spidey, but there are also lots of safety features in this seat designed to keep them safe. When configured as a car seat, there is a 5-point harness to strap your little superhero firmly into place. When used as a booster seat, the harness converts to a three-point harness that helps position the vehicle’s shoulder belt.
Your little ones will ride comfortably in this seat thanks to the ample padding and EPS foam headrest. This seat has also received a rating of “Best Bet” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The seat is easy to install either with the vehicle’s seat belt or a LATCH push-in connector.
While this design will be a big hit with kids that love Spider-Man, it won’t be for every kid. There are also other Marvel superhero designs available including Captain America, Black Panther, Iron Man, and The Incredible Hulk. You can choose from these when you go to purchase.
While having a large likeness of Spider-Man in the back seat might be too much for some parents, the KidsEmbrace Marvel Spider-Man 2-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat is a great way to help kids who love the character to feel safe while riding in the car.
- A great choice for kids who love Spider-Man
- Excellent safety ratings including a “Best Bet” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Transitions from a full-size car seat into a booster seat
- Having a big Spider-Man sitting in your backseat isn’t for everybody.
8. Best Harnessed Booster Car Seat: Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster, Jameson
Weight Limit: Car seat: 22-40 lbs, Booster: 40-110 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 18” (L) x 18.5” (W) x 29.5” (H)
The Evenflo Chase is best for your growing child thanks to the 4 harness positions and comprehensive use that enables the seat to transform to how you use your car seat belt from a 5-point harness. Its belt-positioning comes with a guide ensuring an accurate and safe fit. When it comes to safety, Evenflo Chase has been tested to meet or exceed all applicable federal safety standards.
The Evenflo Chase is designed with a harness to offer safety and comfort for your growing child. We appreciate the 5-point harness that will keep your child of up to 40 pounds and 50 inches securely seated. The 4 shoulder harnesses and 2 crotch belt positions adjust to fit your child’s needs as they continue to grow.
It is designed and tested to combine safety and luxury for your child. Its lightweight design is equipped with a fastener and a tether that makes it easy to move the seat and install in multiple vehicles. The cup holders are convenient for your child as they can reach out for their drinks easily.
The Evenflo Chase is best for children between 22-110 pounds. Its ability to convert from a harness booster seat to a belt-positioning seat with 4 shoulder harness positions makes this an unbeatable seat as it will stay with your family for many years and even be passed on to your future kids.
- Detachable parts that are easy to wash
- The fasteners and tighteners are easy to use
- 5-point harness
- Can be used on an airplane with the 5-point harness
- Slightly higher priced compared to similar options
- Non-adjustable headrest
9. Best Basic Booster Car Seat: Clek Ozzi Booster Car Seat
Weight Limit: 40-120 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 13.25” (L) x 12.75” (W) x 5” (H)
When it comes to transporting car seats from one vehicle to another, Clek Ozzi reduces the hassle because it is so lightweight. It has fasteners that attach securely, in seconds, to your vehicle’s lower anchor, providing additional stability to your booster seat in case of a collision. Additional features that both you and your kid will love include padded armrests for comfort, a drink holder and handles that will give you an easy time when carrying the seat from one vehicle to another.
We like the Clek rigid fasteners that are located between the fold of the seat rear and seat cushion that will keep your child’s seat sturdy in case of a collision and anchors in its place securely within just 10 seconds. Its quick-release method ensures easy and quick removal just as its installation.
Clek Ozzi seat covers are sleekly designed to blend with your car’s interior. When it comes to cleaning, the seat covers are easily detachable for washing. The comfort seat prevents your child’s bum from being numb, ensuring the seat offers a stylish, comfy and clean ride.
The Clek Ozzi portable seat is designed to keep your little one safe. Its portability and secure seating makes this perfect for on-the-go families.
- Removable seat covers that are easy to clean
- Cup holders
- The belt fits perfectly in different sitting positions
- Comfy for sitting on the front porch
- A bit more expensive compared to comparable booster seats
10. Best Compact Booster Seat: mifold Car Booster Seat, Grab-and-Go
Weight Limit: 40-100 lbs
Seat Dimensions: 1” (L) x 13” (W) x 7” (H)
Mifold Grab-and-Go brags of its ability to fold up to fit into the smallest spaces so that you won’t have to worry about where to carry it. When it comes to safety, it has been tested to meet federal safety measures. It is perfect for small cars. You can also fit three of these in a row.
Ride with peace of mind with a car booster that has been regularly tested to give you an assurance of your child’s safety throughout your travel. It can be further adjusted to securely restrain children of all sizes thanks to the adjustable lap belt guides. These are also quick to adjust, allowing swift, stress-free and accurate adjustment for children of all sizes. The belt can be easily set up with just one hand.
Its design is solid, easy to transport and safe. The Mifold Grab-and-Go is designed 10 times smaller than regular booster car seats and weighs around 1.75 pounds. It means it can always be carried along without filling up the car. Its design is engineered to protect children from 4 years old and above with a unique fabric that prevents sliding, does not heat up on hot days, and is easy to clean. It’s hard outer case mean it can handle being dropped too.
Mifold Grab-and-Go is special because it is the most innovative, solid, and easy to transport child car safety seat on this list. It is commonly meant for use in place of old-fashioned boosters.
- Great for carpooling and family visits
- Extremely portable
- Easy to use
- Great for on-the-go
- Can comfortably seat 3 kids in the same backseat
- The sitting position might be too low for some kids
- Setting it up is quite a task but it becomes easier once you get it
Guide to Buying the Best Booster Car Seat
You need to answer a few questions before beginning your journey to get your kid a booster car seat. Some of the questions include:
- What do you need the booster car seat for?
- What stage of development is your child?
- What is the size of your car and the car seat?
- How often will you be using the booster car seat?
- What’s your budget?
- What else comes with the seat?
Booster Seat Safety
Sadly, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children between 4 and 12 years. A statistic made more heartbreaking when you learn that a large portion of these deaths would be preventable if the child were riding in a properly installed safety seat.
When a child is too big for a rear-facing child safety car seat, they will still be too short for a seat belt to be properly positioned across the chest, making the seat belt into a safety hazard instead of protecting your child. Children should not ride in a car without an approved booster seat until they:
- Weigh at least 80 lbs.
- Are 8 years of age
- Can sit with their back straight against the vehicle’s set back with their knees bent over the edge of the seat
Installing Your Booster Seat
Read the instructions included with your booster seat before installing it in the back seat of your car. Many newer booster seats offer the LATCH install system, allowing the seat to be securely installed in a single step.
Booster Car Seats for Travel
Traveling with your child? A booster car seat for travel should have great safety features because you might end up driving on rough terrain, and you want to make sure that your little one will be secure through it all.
Again, it should be super-comfortable. Some of the features that make a booster car seat comfortable include having the ideal height, a comfortable backrest, adjustable headrest, comfortable harnesses, and it should be well padded.
Know Your Kid
Booster car seats have varying features to fit different weights and heights. Knowing your child’s weight and height will not only give you an easy time choosing a booster car seat for them but will also ensure you choose a seat that will keep them safe and secure while transporting them.
Again, know when your kid has outgrown their booster car seat and find a better replacement. But, you can avoid this by getting one that will serve them for several years, such as the Graco Tranzitions until their bodies are big enough to fit in a car seat comfortably without the need for a booster seat.
And, booster car seats can also provide protection for older kids as well.
Some booster seats are extremely portable and will fit perfectly in your bag while others are heavy and not ideal for carrying. For traveling families on the go, booster seats such as the mifold Grab-and-Go is most ideal thanks to their ability to fold up and can fit almost anywhere.
Are you working with a limited budget? Spending a lot on a booster car seat does not guarantee you quality. We have put together a list of 10 best booster car seat above that can guide you on what to choose at what price.
Size of Your Car
Choose a booster seat that will best fit your car seat for the maximum comfort of your child. Some will be best for small cars as they are small enough to fit three-in-a-row at the back of the car while some will not adjust to fit most vehicles. Thus, make sure to confirm that the booster car seat you are about to order is the best for your car. Measure your backseat and check the dimensions of the seat in our review so you can be comfortable.
Always get as much value as you can with the price you pay for your booster car seat. Features such as cup holders and padded headrests will give your kid comfort throughout the travel.
Easy to Clean
We all appreciate an easy time while cleaning. Consider easy to clean booster car seats with probably hand washable or machine washable material to make your cleaning easy and fast.
Whether you are getting a booster car seat for the first time or you have done it before, having a variety of choices to select from with interesting different features can make your selection difficult. One thing to put in mind always is the purpose of the car seat to enable you to choose the best booster seat that will fit your needs.
Again, if you have two or three kids that need booster car seats, ensure that the type you choose is ideal for your car and that they will use them for a long time because you don’t want to keep repurchasing them.