Which high-back booster seat is best?
Watching your child grow and hit new milestones is always exciting. If your toddler is getting too big for their car seat, it’s time for yet another change — transitioning to a high-back booster seat. If you’re looking for a high-back booster seat that can grow with your child and transition to a backless booster, the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat is an ideal choice.
What to know before you buy a high-back booster seat
Recommended age limits
Birth to 2 years old
When your child is first born until about 2 years old, they need to be in a rear-facing car seat.
2 years old up to 65 pounds
When your child is at least 2 years old, they can transition to a forward-facing car seat. However, rear-facing is safer for children as long as they haven’t outgrown their seat, so there’s no need to transition your child if they aren’t ready.
At least 40 pounds and 35 inches tall
Children at least 40 pounds and 35 inches tall can use a belt-positioning high-back booster seat or backless booster seat.
Types of booster seats
- Harness high-back booster seats are usually the same thing as a forward-facing car seat. They have a lower weight limit than the required 40 pounds to use a belt-positioning booster seat. However, even if some children hit the required height and weight limits of a booster seat, they are safer in a harness booster seat if they cannot sit correctly in a belt-positioning booster seat.
- Belt-positioning high-back booster seats don’t have a harness, but instead, use a clip to hold the seatbelt in the correct position.
- Backless booster seats are only recommended once your child is tall enough that the seat belt correctly lies on their chest and shoulder without cutting into their neck.
What to look for in a quality high-back booster seat
Height and weight limit
The most important things to look at when buying a new booster seat are the height and weight limits. You’ll want to check that your child is big enough to use the booster seat while also ensuring they won’t outgrow it in the next six months or a year.
Easy installation and portability
If you’re going to be installing the booster seat once and never moving it again, easy installation and portability might not be a big concern. However, for those who need to switch booster seats between vehicles or bring them on an airplane, it’s essential to ensure the seat is straightforward to install and light enough to move around.
Kids always seem to get something all over themselves and everything around them. Whether it’s markers, food or even getting sick, a machine-washable cover will make it easier to clean up any mess.
How much you can expect to spend on a high-back booster seat
High-back booster seats cost $30–$200. The cost of high-back booster seats is primarily based on the brand and amount of features.
High-back booster seat FAQ
Should you buy a used car seat if it’s in good condition and not yet expired?
A. Because there is no way to tell if a used seat has been in a car accident, experts recommend not buying used car seats.
Where is the best seat in the car to place a booster seat?
A. Booster seats should never be placed in the front seats. The center seat in the back of a vehicle is considered the safest place for a car seat or booster seat. However, not all center seats are equipped for booster seats and some cars with bucket seats don’t have a center seat. For that reason, experts recommend putting your booster seat wherever it can be correctly installed.
What is LATCH?
A. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It is a system designed to allow users to correctly install child safety seats in cars without having to use seat belts.
What’s the best high-back booster seat to buy?
Top high-back booster seat
Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat
What you need to know: As a 3-in-1, this booster seat can grow with children. It’s suitable for kids from 22 pounds up to 100 pounds.
What you’ll love: Since this booster seat has a harness, parents can feel more confident about moving their child to a booster seat. It’s also the last seat children will need since it converts to a backless booster seat.
What you should consider: Depending on the vehicle, this booster seat can be difficult to install using the LATCH system.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and buybuyBaby
Top high-back booster seat for the money
Evenflo Big Kid AMP High-Back Booster Seat
What you need to know: This affordable high-back booster installs easily, making it a great option for those who switch vehicles often.
What you’ll love: In addition to having a six position height adjustment as a high-back booster, this seat also converts to a backless booster seat. It has two cup holders and is also machine washable.
What you should consider: This high-back booster seat might be uncomfortable on long car trips.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Seat
What you need to know: From 40-100 pounds, this booster seat converts from a high-back to a backless booster seat to accommodate growing children.
What you’ll love: With premium LATCH connectors, this booster seat is simple to install. The two cup holders hide away to save space when needed and are removable and dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: If children are on the high end of growth charts, this seat may be uncomfortable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and buybuyBaby
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Breanna Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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