Booster car seats usually tend to get the least amount of attention. Many parents are tired of shopping for car seats–after buying infant and convertible car seats. However, it is very important to make sure you pick the best booster car seat for your child.
In this detailed buyer’s guide, we reviewed the safest booster car seats, most budget-friendly options and harnessed boosters. We choose those booster seats based on safety ratings, user ratings and pricing.
Best Booster Car Seats
1. HiFold Fit-and-Fold Booster – Best Booster Seat for Travel
This booster seat is lightweight and easy to carry. It even comes with its own carrying strap, making it easy to move from car to car or carry on-the-go.
Not only is this seat portable, but it is also insanely adjustable. Pair these features with optimal safety qualities, and this HiFold booster checks all the boxes on your list.
The most important quality in a travel booster seat is its portability. In seconds, the HiFold booster goes from a highback booster to a small, compact size for travel.
Users love that his seat folds so small, it can be popped into a duffle bag or suitcase for easy travelling. The advanced MultiFold system makes folding quick, easy and convenient. Its compact size, lightweight, and carrying strap make this seat perfect for travel, carpooling, or moving from car to car.
The most unique quality about the HiFold Booster is its ability to adjust in an almost unlimited amount of ways.
The unique MultiFit system provides you with four separate adjustable areas. You can adjust the width of the seat, the width of the body, the width of the head, and the height of the seat. This system offers 243 individual adjustment settings for the most customized fit for your growing child.
While a foldable, light weight booster sounds appealing, can it really be all that safe? The answer is yes. The HiFold Fit-and-Fold booster meets or exceeds all NHTSA safety standards for booster seats.
This seat meets or exceeds these standards by having 6 advanced impact-protection zones and a four-layer design. These layers are EVA foam with a Polypropylene shell. While this seat is the picture of safety, many users dislike that this booster does not have a step to attach to the car.
Because of this, the seat can slide around a lot with movement from the car. The vehicle belt is what holds your child in place.
What We Liked
- Folds into compact, easy-to-carry size
- Four different areas of adjustability
- 6 advanced impact-protection zones
- Comfortable for children of many shapes and sizes
What We Didn’t Like
- Moves around with car movement
- Users say better for travel than everyday use
2. Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster – Best Booster Seat with Harness
The Evenflo Chase is a popular choice among families looking for a harnessed booster seat. In addition to a five-point harness, the Evenflo Chase has multiple other safety features that make it a solid choice.
Cup holders and easy cleaning make this seat convenient for busy families on-the-go. This booster seat also uses the LATCH system in harness mode to make installation a snap. To top it all off, the price tag on this seat is super affordable.
The Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster is a 2-in-1 combination seat that fits children starting at 22 pounds, up until 110 pounds. This weight range adequately accommodates multiple years of your child’s life.
Use the harnessed, highback booster from 22-40 pounds to keep your child safe and secure. Then, for children from 40-110 pounds, convert to the belt-positioning seat using your vehicle’s existing seat belt.
The 5-point harness on the Evenflo chase is safe and secure, but users dislike that the straps do not have padding on them. When children are towards the upper height range, the straps can dig into their shoulders.
In harness mode, the Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster uses your vehicle’s LATCH system for quick and simple installation.
Once your child is ready, this seat will transition to a belt-positioning booster. To install, simply follow the clearly-marked belt guides and adjust the seat so that your child is properly positioned.Both seat modes are easy to install, so there is no struggling or confusion involved.
Even though this car seat is light weight and easy to maneuver, it is sturdy and safe as well. The Evenflo Chase is designed to withstand two times the amount of energy by the Federal Crash Test Standard. This seat also exceeds rigorous side-impact testing standards as well.
Because of these high standards of testing, the Evenflo Chase is rated a “best bet” booster by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While this seat is rated highly by the IIHS, families want more padding around the head for support while sleeping.
- Exceeds safety standards
- Easy to install in both modes
- 5-point harness with multiple adjustment options
- Easy-to-reach cup holder
- Straps get twisted easily
- Not comfortable for long trips
3. Chicco GoFit Backless Booster – Best Backless Booster Car Seat
The purpose of a backless booster seat is to lift your child high enough for your vehicle’s seat belt to properly keep them safe in the event of a crash. The Chicco GoFit Backless Booster does this safely and easily. This seat is comfortable enough for long car rides, yet it sturdy and durable to resist heavy wear and tear.
Fold-away cup holders add convenience to this seat that many backless boosters do not have. Multiple families have posted testimony about how this seat kept their child safe in a crash.
The Chicco GoFit Backless Booster boasts an Ergo Boost seat that is perfectly contoured to properly support your child. It has a wide base. It is made with double foam padding so that their ride is safe, as well as comfortable. Also, the foam insert can be removed and hand washed when dirty.
This seat, while highly rated for its safety, does not physically attach to your vehicle. Users dislike this fact, stating that the seat can slide during turns.
This seat is designed with both parents and children in mind. When riding in this booster, your child has two, fold-away cup holders at their disposal. There are also padded armrests for added comfort.
These convenient features have a positive side for parents as well. The fold-away cup holders are easily removable and dishwasher-safe. Seat and armrest covers are removable and machine washable. The rest of the seat can be wiped down with a damp cloth to get rid of spills or dirt.
There is also a built-in carrying handle that makes it super easy to move this booster from car to car.
- Light weight and portable
- Machine washable fabrics
- Easy-to-follow lap belt guides for installation
- Does not connect to LATCH anchors
- Not adjustable for different heights
4. Maxi-Cosi Rodifix Booster – Best Booster for Small Cars
The Maxi-Cosi Rodifix Booster Car Seat is easily the best booster seat for use in small cars. This seat is full inches smaller than comparable models, leaving ample room in your backseat. This leaves room for groceries, toys, or other car seats.
If you have multiple children, you can fit three of this seat in the backseat of most vehicles. Families are amazed at how slim, yet comfortable and plush this seat is. Although this seat is great for small cars, it does not lack in safety or comfort. The Rodifix booster is sturdy with ample cushioning. LATCH connectors provide easy installment and keep the seat in place.
This seat was also designed so that older kids are able to safely buckle themselves in. If you have multiple children, this saves time having to buckle everyone in. And an added bonus: buckling themselves in makes your kids feel big and special!
The installation on the Maxi-Cosi Rodifix is quite simple. Rigid LATCH connectors on the back of the seat make sure it stays securely in place, no matter what.
Once the seat is properly attached to the vehicle, you are ready to use the seat belt. Follow the clearly marked belt guides to properly thread the seat belt through the booster. Lock the belt guides in place, and you are ready to go! Once it is properly installed, older children are able to buckle themselves in safely.
There is no questioning that kids are comfortable in this booster seat. Extra padding in the adjustable headrest and sidewings keep your kids comfortable, no matter their size.
And this isn’t just any padding. It is premium padding, making your child feel like they’re riding in luxury. Customers rave about how soft the cushioning in the Maxi-Cosi Rodifix Booster is.
Another comfort feature that is unique to this booster is the reclining feature. The Rodifix booster has a front access recline. This allows the seat to not only fit better in the vehicle, but enhances the fit and comfort of your child.
- LATCH connectors and seat belt guides
- Able to fit three across a back seat
- “Big kids” are able to buckle themselves in
- Premium padding for added safety and comfort
- Does not convert into other booster modes
5. Cosco Finale 2-in-1 Booster – Best High Back Booster
The Cosco Finale 2-in-1 Booster Seat is our choice for the best high back booster for a multitude of reasons. This booster can be used in two modes: highback booster with harness, and belt positioning booster.
This versatility allows you to use this seat for a longer period of time with your child.The Cosco Finale is perfect for busy families that are always on-the-go. It is lightweight and portable, yet safe and comfortable for your child. It can be moved from car to car with ease, so it can be transferred during carpooling, or to a babysitter’s car.
On top of all this, the Cosco Finale is safe for your child. It meets or exceeds all federal, ASTM, and JPMA safety standards. While it passes all the safety standards, multiple users mention that the seat feels a little too cheap for a safety seat.
The Cosco Finale is a 2-in-1 Booster Seat, allowing for extended use for your child. The forward-facing harness mode accommodates children from 30 to 65 pounds. As a belt positioning booster, children from 40 to 100 pounds are safe as well.
In forward-facing mode, a 5-point harness can be adjusted to perfectly fit your child to keep them safe. Once they graduate from harness mode, the Cosco Finale perfectly positions the vehicle belt on your child.
Customer reviews frequently rave about how light and portable this seat is for a high back booster.
Easy to Clean
With this booster seat, you will never be scrubbing out dirt or stains by hand. The seat cover and pad are easy to remove for cleaning. Simply machine wash and dry for quick, no-hassle cleaning.
Great For Large Families
As previously mentioned, this booster is lightweight and easy to transport from car to car for busy families. For large families, three of these Cosco Finale seats fit side by side in your back seat. In addition to transportability, one removable cup holder is included with the seat.
This cup holder can be attached on either side of the seat for your child’s convenience. It is also dishwasher safe, so there is no need to constantly wipe crumbs or scrub dried juice from the bottom.
- Two different modes, suitable for children from 30-100 lbs.
- Meets or exceeds federal, ASTM, and JPMA safety standards
- Can be machine washed and dried
- Easy to transport
- Not adjustable
- Not a lot of padding
- Feels cheaply made
6. Graco Nautilus 65 LX 3 in 1 Booster – Best 3-in-1 Booster Seat
The appeal of a 3-in-1 booster is that it grows with your child from toddler to youth. The Graco Nautilus does just that.
This seat was chosen as best 3-in-1 Booster Seat because of its high safety ratings, extra side-impact protection, and ability to transform seamlessly into three different child seats. Customers love how comfortable their kids are in this seat. They also rave about how sturdy and durable it is as well.
This car seat begins as a harnessed booster for children from 22 to 65 pounds. Then, it converts to a highback booster for children from 40 to 100 pounds. Lastly, this car seat transforms into a backless booster seat for children weighing 40 to 120 pounds.
The above measurements are perfectly aligned with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics. These three different modes allow one car seat to keep your child safe for years. In reviews, families mention their struggles with installation of the Graco Nautilus.
Mostly, users detail difficulties with the LATCH system on this seat. However, once it is installed correctly, this booster is extremely safe.
Simply Safe Adjust Harness
The Graco Nautilus is equipped with a Simply Safe Adjust harness. This harness makes putting your child into and out of the car seat simple and easy.
The Simply Safe Adjust harness gets its name by allowing you to adjust both the harness and headrest together as your child grows. Once your child outgrows the harness, it can be stored quickly and easily in highback booster mode.
Top Safety Ratings
As far as safety goes, the Graco Nautilus is one of the top-rated car seats. This seat features TrueShield advanced side impact protection to protect your precious cargo. This extra protection strengthens the barrier between your child and any type of collision energy.
- Harnessed booster, highback booster, and backless booster all in one seat
- Simply Safe Adjust harness
- TrueShield advanced side impact protection
- Cup holder and storage compartment
- Multiple components machine washable
- Can only use with LATCH system up to 45 pounds
- Difficult installation of LATCH system
- Straps difficult to adjust
7.Graco TurboBooster LX High Back Booster – Best Graco Booster Seat
Graco is one of the most well-recognized and established brands when it comes to baby gear. While they have multiple different styles and types of booster seats, the best on their list is the TurboBooster LX High Back Booster.
This Graco high back booster is a 2-in-1 seat that converts from high back booster, to a backless booster as your child grows. This seat is designed so that, once properly installed, your “big kid” can buckle themselves in.
For safety, the Graco TurboBooster is equipped with a LATCH system that keeps the seat securely in place. Plus, special engineering protects your child from all sides in the event of a collision. Users also like that assembling this seat is a snap, and requires no tools at all.
The Graco TurboBooster LX High Back Booster is a 2-in-1 convertible booster seat. With this booster, you can safely transport your child from 40 to 100 pounds, and up until 57 inches of height.
To introduce your growing child to a booster seat, the TurboBooster begins as a high back, belt positioning booster. High back mode ensures your vehicle’s safety belt is properly positioned on your child. As they get older, the seat transitions to a backless booster seat. This seat raises your child up enough so that the seat belt fits perfectly on their body.
The Graco TurboBooster is equipped with a LATCH system to connect the seat safely to your car. It can be easily adjusted from the front, and with only one hand, making your life easier.
Once the booster’s LATCH system is correctly installed, the vehicle’s safety belt will then secure your child to the seat.
This seat is also designed with ProtectPlus engineering. This helps to protect your child in the event of an accident. This system is created and tested to withstand frontal, side, rear, and rollover crashes.
While this safety system keeps your child enveloped in protection, users complain that the seat cushioning is lacking. Their children don’t like to ride in this booster for long car rides.
- 2-in-1 highback to backless booster
- Older children can buckle themselves in
- ProtectPlus technology for added safety
- Cup holder and storage for child
- Not comfortable for long trips
- Somewhat difficult to install
8.Peg Perego Viaggio – Best Booster Seat with LATCH
The Peg Perego Viaggio is a high back booster that is equipped with LATCH connectors. These rigid connectors attach to your vehicle and keep the booster in place during a crash. In addition to LATCH connectors, this booster has advanced protection from EPS cushioning.
This provides increased protection from a crash in any direction. And this cushioning is not only safe, but comfortable too. Families that have this booster love how sleek and fashionable the Peg Perego Viaggio is. They think it is so nice that it actually adds to the esthetic of your car.
With premium fabrics and detailed stitching, this Italian made booster is a purposeful and elegant addition to your vehicle.
Easy to Use
The Viaggio booster seat is easily adjustable in multiple places. The head panel of the booster has six different positions that can be adjusted while your child is in the seat. This allows for the perfect fit each ride.
The easy access recline handle, located at the front of the seat, makes it easy to recline to make your child comfortable. While the previous features make this seat easy-to-use, users complain that the arm rest material does not remove for washing. This area is subject to a lot of dirt. Being able to remove would make taking care of this booster easier.
Added Safety Features
Added safety features make the Viaggio booster seat a safe option for your family. Total Side Impact Protection protects your child from both sides in the event of an accident. The headrest and seat cushion are made of EPS for increased protection and extra comfort as well.
LATCH connectors anchor the Viaggio booster seat to your vehicle to keep it steady and secure.
- Well-made and fashionable
- Easy to adjust for the perfect fit
- LATCH connectors to attach seat to vehicle
- EPS cushion for side impact protection
- Arm rest fabric does not remove for washing
- Somewhat large and bulky
When it comes to shopping for a booster seat, it’s hard to know what to look for without really doing your research. Luckily, we’ve done the research for you! Use our buyer’s guide below to decide what features are right for you and your family.
If you have a busy family, having a booster that can move and travel well is a must. This means, the seat needs to be something you can easily carry and maneuver. A booster seat that is too heavy will be a struggle to move constantly, causing you a headache each and every time.
Similarly, a booster seat that is large and bulky will have the same issues. If you plan to install your booster in one car and leave it there until your child grows out of it, then the size of the seat may not matter as much to you.
While you may be comparing safety features and convertible modes of potential booster seats, you should also be looking at the material they are made of. The material that covers your booster seat will be in direct contact with your child’s skin every time they ride.
Look for fabrics that are durable, yet breathable. Car seats and booster get hot very quickly. Breathable fabric helps to keep your child cool. Also, make sure there are no chemicals used on the fabric of your car seat. Some manufacturers treat their fabrics with things like flame retardants. These are very strong chemicals that may do more harm than good.
Price is always something to consider when purchasing a new and important product for your family. When it comes to buying something so important for your family, it is first wise to choose a budget. Decide what price range is comfortable for you and your family, and stick to it.
Booster seats come in a wide range of prices, so even if your budget is on the smaller side, you will still be able to find something safe and suitable for your family. With this being said, more expensive does not always mean better quality. Just because something is expensive does not mean that it offers more protection for your child. Make sure to compare features of all car seats to know what you are paying for.
Obviously, safety is a must when it comes to booster seats. When comparing make sure to check for a few things. First, your seat should have a record of meeting and/or exceeding federal safety standards. All car and booster seats are subject to rigorous safety testing and given a rating. These ratings are public knowledge and can be found online. Ensure that the seat you choose meets or exceeds all standards that are tested.
Next, make sure the seat offers clear instructions for installation. You can purchase the safest booster seat in the world for your family, but if you don’t install it correctly, it won’t matter. A helpful thing to look for is if the company offers instructional videos that detail the steps of installation.