Best Booster Seats 2019

So your child is big enough now that they don’t need a toddler car seat. You child has grown up. Now you need to buy for him a booster seat. Buying the right booster seat is very important as your child may be in the seat for the next decade. Generally, a child from the age of 4 to the ae of 14 uses a booster seat. This makes it important to choose the right booster seat for your child. If you are in a hurry and want to buy the Best Booster Seat then go for the Diono Monterey XT. An investment in a booster seat is not much, especially since it can last you for over a decade. If you maintain the booster seat well, you can even use it for more than one child when the child outgrows it. All the booster seats that we have reviewed are of excellent quality and adhere to the highest levels of safety. In addition to that we have tried to make sure that we select seats which are comfortable and your growing child will be accommodated in it. We have also taken into consideration the possibility of long drives where you may need the booster seat for your child. You can also read below our reviews on the most appropriate booster seat for each category. Want to make sure that your kid gets the perfect boost? Let’s get started.

BubbleBum Backless Booster Review - Best Backless Booster Seat

BubbleBum Backless Booster review 2019

Why only meet standards, when you can exceed them? That’s exactly what the BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster does!The material used is quite similar to the lifebelt material. The Federal Motor Safety Standard for USA (FMSS213) has set a safety standard for all boosters and BubbleBum exceeds the safety standards. Well, it’s not just that, this Backless Booster is also an award-winning booster and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)rated it,the “Best Bet” for 8 years back-to-back.

Like used with all other boosters, it uses the 3 point seat belt the adults use. The use of a seat belt is approved and is according to the ECE regulation 15.

So undoubtedly, it could be considered as the best booster in the market when compared to other boosters. Surely enough, as it promises to keep your child safe as well as comfortable with its Foam Technology. BubbleBum usesmemory foam for the seat and a sturdy webbing harness, both of which help to reduce impact & create stability.

What makes it even better is the convenience that it offers! The booster can be deflated when not in use & stored in a tote bag or glove box. You can also fit it in your backpack & carry the booster around anywhere. To use it again, you just have to blow air through your mouth for around 15 to 20 seconds & the booster is all set to be used again. It’s that easy!

The BubbleBum backless booster is priced at a cheaper price than the competitors.  

Pros:

  • It’s convenient to carry anywhere. You can just fold it and carry it in a bag
  • When you want to use the booster, you can just inflate it and deflate when unoccupied.

Cons:

  • The leg room is quite less for big kids as compared to other boosters.

Diono Monterey XT Booster Review - Best Overall Booster Seat

Diono Monterey XT

Diono Monterey XT Booster is an innovative forward-facing car seat booster. It’s a 2-in-1 convertible that can easily transform into a high back or backless booster. It is made of 100% polyester with premium lush material. This booster is made with safety as a key priority for your growing children.

As your child is growing taller, the booster grows with your child to keep them safe. It’s made to last longer so that you never have to change to another booster. Your kids can use the booster until they are 63 inches taller and/or weigh 120 lbs.  It is engineered to provide dynamic head protection as well as shoulder protection. The headrest has up to 11 adjustable positions to adjust the height according to the height of the growing children. For the shoulder, it has an adjustment dial that can be increased to a maximum width of 20 inches.

For additional and enhanced protection of head and shoulder, the sidewalls are made of deep aluminum which is lined with EPS foam that is energy absorbing. This reinforced energy-absorbing padding gives protection for side impacts.

Latch connectors are integrated with front adjusters to safely hold the kid in one place. It has a spacious contoured base to support legs. One of the exciting features for kids is the retractable cup holders for snacks and drinks.

With removable fabric cover, it is easy to clean and wash in a washing machine. It can be stored, or you can travel with it as it can easily be folded flat.

The high back can be used until your child is comfortable and happy using them. When children grow older, some may feel embarrassed to use a booster. You can then convert the high back booster into a backless booster. Grown-up kids will be more comfortable in a backless booster.

Pros:

  • Diono has ensured safety as a key priority. They have side impact protection with aluminum walls lined with EPS padding
  • The Latch that is integrated with front adjuster ensures the kids stay without moving around

Cons:

  • It has such a wide base that it is difficult to lock the seat belt into the belt guide.

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Review - Best 2 in 1 Booster Seat

chicco booster seat

ChiccoKidFit is a booster for growing children. It is designed and engineered with safety and comfort as the key factor. It is built with DuoZone feature to protect the head as well as the shoulder from side-impacts. As children grow in size and height, you don’t have to worry about buying a new booster. The ChiccoKidFit has 10 adjustable positions to accommodate and comfortably fit their head and shoulder. The height of the backrest is adjusted from the waist. Hence, it provides equal protection to the head as well as the shoulder.

The Latch attachment by SuperCinch along with the one-pull tightener keeps the booster in place. This allows the kids to easily get in and out of the booster without any difficulty. It also secures the booster when it is not used. This ensures the booster stays in place and doesn’t become projectile in a crash.

The seat design is contoured with double foam by ErgoBoost to provide equal support and comfort for the kids. The backrest has 2 adjustable positions. Your kids can comfortably adjust the booster backrest according to the position of the vehicle seat.

There are 2 cup holders for kids to place their juice or water while they enjoy the journey. When they are not using the cup holder, it can be folded away, and you can save some space.

It is easy to maintain hygiene and clean this booster. The armrest covers, seat pad, and the cupholders can be removed for washing. The armrest covers and seat pad are washable in the washing machine. The cup holder is dishwasher safe.

It is easy to convert from a high back booster to a backless booster. When your kids grow older, they would prefer a backless booster. The ChiccokidFit is perfect to continue to use as they grow older.

Pros:

  • It has combined protection for the head as well as the shoulder from side-impacts.
  • The Latch connector and the one-pull tightener keeps the seat in place allowing the kids to enter and exit the booster easily and quickly.

Cons:

  • Other boosters in the market have higher backrest than the ChiccoKidFit.

Graco TurboBooster LX High Back Car Seat - Best Budget Booster Seat

graco highback turbobooster

GracoTurboBooster is designed for the big kids who love to enjoy their drive with comfort and style while being safe and secure. This booster is designed with the Latch system to comfortably accommodate kids weighing up to 100 lbs and with the height limit up to 57 inches tall.

The Latch system is designed with a front-adjust that can be secured to the booster with one-hand. Your child can buckle and unbuckle themselves without anybody’s help. The booster seat has both shoulder and lap belt to safely secure the child in place. The Latch system is also designed with the purpose that it will secure the booster in place when it is not used.

The booster has a cup holder that is integrated with the seat. Kids can enjoy a drink or snack while on the go. It also has a hideaway compartment to store toys, snacks or their favorite things. The compartment is in arm’s reach to conveniently remove things whenever required.

It is easy to wash this booster to clean any debris or food particles dropped during the journey. The seat cushion is machine washable. The metal parts and the plastic parts can be washed with soap and water. Always use mild soap for washing.

The high back is ideal for kids weighing around 30 lbs. The backrest can be adjusted as they grow taller in height. Even if they fall asleep the headrest holds their head in place. It doesn’t allow the head to fall sideways.

When your kids grow older, you can convert the high backrest to a backless mode. You can adjust the backrest or convert to a backless booster according to your child’s convenience and comfort. 

Pros:

  • Kids can easily buckle the seat belt by themselves without help
  • The Latch system securely holds the seat in place when unoccupied and also connects with the front adjustment to securely keep the child in place

Cons:

  • The hide-away compartment is difficult to open, even though it is located at a convenient distance to open at any time

 

Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat - Most Comfortable Booster Seat

Evenflo Booster Car Seat

Who wouldn’t want a booster that is rated as the “Best Bet”? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has rated Evenflo as the “Best Bet”. Manufactured, designed and tested in the USA, it is engineered in such a way that safety and comfort are made the key priority for children.

The Evenflo Big Kid AMP booster is a 2-in-1 booster to quickly and smoothly transition from a high back to backless mode. It has a one-hand adjustment to comfortably adjust the height of the backrest. To accommodate according to the height of growing children, it has a headrest with 6 adjustable positions. The seat belt is placed just below where the child’s ears are.

Kids will love the padding which is lined with an energy-absorbing liner. It will ensure they are comfortable and safe throughout the journey. The booster is equipped with integrated 2 elastic cupholders for a quick munch or a drink while they enjoy a drive from school or a long drive.

You can convert the high back booster into a backless booster. As kids grow, they would love to experiment with the booster. Some may enjoy the high back booster while some may be more comfortable with the backless booster. According to your child’s convenience, you can transform the backrest into high backrest into the backless mode. Both modes will give them safety and comfort without any compromise.

The seat pads can be removed and it is easy to wash in a washing machine. Ensure that you use the delicate option.

Pros:

  • Premium foam to protect the head as well as the shoulders from side impacts
  • The headrest has 6 positions to adjust as children grow taller in size

Cons:

  • If the booster is not buckled properly it will not stay in place, which could be dangerous

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many excellent booster seats on the market. Depending on your need, you can choose the booster seat that is most appropriate for your child. The overall best booster seat that we have reviewed is the Diono Monterey XT. It has all the features that you need in a booster seat.  If you are looking for a budget booster seat then you can go for the Graco Highback Turbobooster. If you want a backless booster seat then go for the BubbleBum Backless Booster. Another excellent booster car seat which is safe and comfortable is the Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat. Finally, Chicco Booster Seat is the easiest to use booster seat. 

 

 

Best Booster Seats 1

Best Booster Seats - Ultimate Guide 2019

Your child’s safety is the most important and hence a car seat that is really very good is important than any other thing you would buy for your child. Right from the minute you leave the hospital to take  your infant home in a vehicle till she or he is grown enough to adjust inthe seat belt used by adults which is practically around theage group of 10 and above. The incorrect installation of child seats is very scary. This happens almost 46 % of times.  During an accident a child seated on a badly or incorrectly installed seat will be more prone to being hurt from the crash.

There is a safety standard set for all the car seats for a 30 Mile Per Hour crash test.  For over 30 years the seats have been tested by CR and today as per current scenario reference vehicle environments, we are much ahead with a 35 Mile Per Hour Crash standard.The easy use of it is also tested in terms of the instructions being simple to understand and follow and manage and use the straps and buckles correctly. Also we check if the car seats will fit fine in all the 5 different types of vehicles that have complex interiors.  The seats that do better on testing, will be installed correctly and thus keep your child secure during a crash. 

A good car seat that is the most expensive doesn’t guarantee to be the safest.  There are many middle range models that work better and well than expensive ones.  The price doesn’t determine whether it will be perfect for your car.  Hence planning beforehand is of utmost importance .  Our guide will help you to find out which seat would be best suitable for your child in your car and when you would need to upgrade your baby to the adult seat. 

Right Model Selection

You will have to upgrade your child from the baby seat to the adult seat once he or she grows.  We will explain to you in depth the various types of car seats available. By this you will know to identify which seat meets your requirements perfectly .  

 

Car Seat for Infants

The first seat for first time parents is the infant car seat. Its installation is rear-facing and also there is carrier that is detachable or removable which is connected to the car’s installed base.  

Newborns or infants are given the maximum comfort by this car seat which children weighing 4 – 40 lbs. can also use. This however depends on the model too.  More than the increase in body weight,  children tend to grow taller fasterlimiting  the long use of these seats. When a child’s crown of the head is not more than one inch from above this set’s carrier cover, or if the child crosses the seat heightlimits, then the seat is small for the tall child.

 

Convertible Seat

Once the infant grows the next seat to be used is the convertible seat.  The purchase of this seat should be around when your child completes one year of age. The installation of this can be both ways, forward-facing or rear-facing.

The harness system, similar to an infant car seat’s, has a higher rear-facing. Kids will be able to ride in a rear-facing seat longer because the harnesses is designed to have a a much higher weight limit.   This is recommended to be safest by the American Acadamey of Pediatrics and by the CR. 

For children below the age group of 1 and weighing below 20 lbs. the installation has to be rear-facing.They can be installed rear-facing for kids weighing till 40 – 50 lbs. This however in dependable on the type of the seat being used.   Though few manufacturers provide forward-facing once the child crosses the age of 1, CR advices to have rear-facing seats till the child completes 2.  In few states ( CA, CT  NJ, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC) kids below the age of 2 have to ride in a rear-facing seat.  The seat can be installed forward-facing once the child grows up until he or she is ready for the next level of seat known as the booster seat.  

Though many seats can take the weight of children weighing around 65 lbs. and the lowest weight limit permits smaller infants and newborns, the seat does not provide therequired fit for infants nor is it convenient like carriers that are detachable. 

 

Booster Seat

Once your child crosses the height or weight limit prescribed for using the forward-facing car seat harness, you need to have a booster to use the seat belt of your own car.

The child is raised up inside the car to help the belt of the seat fit accurately, right from the sternum to the middle of the child’s collarbone and down around the upper part of the thighs.  These are available in two styles, the backless and the high-back. 

High-back types are more recommended than the backless ones which are easy to carry and install. This is because the belt is well positioned on the shoulder while providing a good protection from any side-impact, and children find it comfortable to rest their heads on.

There are booster laws in most states which state that children of the age group of 9 and above and weighing 80 lbs. or more should be using a booster. 

 

All-in-One Car Seats

 

These seats are reasonable and save your money, however they do not perform a single task well because of their multi-task feature.

Children weighing 4-50 lbs. and are seated rear-facing and kids seated forward-facing who weighbetween 20-65 lbs. and also children between 30-120 lbs. in the booster mode can be accommodated by this seat.

This type of car seat is usually heavy and large, may not be best in term of fit for  smaller vehicles or babies, and is not convenient like the detachable carrier.  It could be an optional seat in case one needed a backup or could be used as the caregiver seat who doesn’t transport the child very often.

 

Things You Ought To Be Aware Of Before Purchasing The Car Seat

  • Knowledge of your child : You need to keep tracking your child’s weight and height. Also the child’s age along with this, can help find out the seat size comfortable and determine the time when you need to upgrade your child to the seat of the next level. Please note that apart from the child’s height, weight and age, their health issues and behavioral issues affect the car seat selection choice.
  • Know the stores: Few sellers will let youinstall a seat in the car and try it before you purchase it. This helps you learn that the belt placement and the cushion angle  can make the child seat and the car incompatible.   It is also important to find a store accepting returns. Walmart and Target have less variety of products in their retail stores compared to the products available on their online store. Retailers that sell online like Amazon, Diapers.com, Albee Baby and Buy Buy Baby, provide a wider choice of car seat models and brands.  Free shipping is offered by most of the retailers. Buy the car seat for your child online only once you check them personally in real.  Boutiques and specialty stores offer higher-end models.   
  • Know about your car: Go through the section that talks about child-safety in the vehicle owner’s manual. You will learn here important features like Latch, belts and seats.

Make Your Child Safe In 5 Ways

NHTSA and field studies show that the misuse of the seat belt, booster seat and car seat are between 74 – 90 %.  This is mainly because the child seats are installed incorrectly. This is how it needs to be done actually:

 

Right seat:  The seat’s weight and height limits mentioned in the above timeline need to be checked.  Another important factor is the age of your child which throws light on his or her skeletal development.  

 

Seat tight: The seat on installation shouldn’t movemore than one inch sidewards or forward or backward. This is tricky so please do not be demotivated.  

 

Harness height: For rear-facing seat installation, the straps of the harness are below or at your infant’s shoulders. The harness straps for a seat that is forward-facing should be above or at the toy’s shoulders. And the clip for the chest should be at the level of the armpit. 

 

Harness tight: No fabric should be pinched on your child’s shoulder straps once he or she is properly secured. 

 

Final check: Tether tight and recline right.  Make sure to check the angle of reclining for the seats that are rear-facing in order to protect your child’s head from falling forward and hamper his or her breathing.

 

Seats that have been installed forward-facing with either seat belt or LATCH, can normally tighten and attach the top part of the tether to avoid the forward movement that could lead to a head injury.

 

Methods  For Choosing A Booster Seat That Is Safe

 

A child uses the booster as the last seat before advancing towards the traditional seat with belts in your car.  You must know when to move your child from a booster to a seat with traditional seat belts.

The Car-seat team of CR assists families in making informed decisions reference booster-seats by evaluating and rating 51 models of boosters. This includes the 3 types of boosters: high back-to-backless of which the back can be removed,only high-back, and the backless.

The child is raised up to help the belt fit properly by these seats.  The belt should be placed in such a way that it rests midway in between the shoulder and the neck, down around the sternum, while the belt part on the lap fits low around your child’s upper areas of their thigh should sit low across the child’s upper thighs.

Since the technology for the safety standards and the car-seat are forever evolving, parents should remember the following things: 

Be aware of age and higher weights minimums. The weight minimum for many boosters are minimum 30 pounds for the  highback booster and minimum 40 pounds in terms of the backless ones.  The minimum age limit is three years for many.  The check of these 2 criteria makes sure that your child gets to use the booster exactly when his or her skeletal system is perfectly strong.  CR also recommends that your child should not be upgraded to a booster till she or he has attained the weight and height limits required for using the car seat that is currently forward-facing and uses the 5-point-harness system.   This information one can find in the manual of the owner or on top of the car seat. 

The belt fits better on the shoulder, and then in between the neck and shoulder area, down around the sternum, because of a High Back Booster. 

Seat belts will be well positioned by good boosters which rely on the vehicle’s belt for the seat that helps restraining your child. High back boosters are recommended for daily use by CR as the shoulder belt is positioned very comfortably on the child, gives protection from side-impacts apart from helping the resting child to place the back of their  heads on a comfortable place.  

Wait and do not hurry to move your back off from the high back booster.  When travelling or carpooling, backless boosters come in handy as spare boosters.  When the car seat has a seat back which is low or has no head restraints, a high back booster will be best to provide the necessary head support.   

Lap-belt thatfits low around the upper area of the thighs.

Every state has different booster laws and it is imperative to know the one is pertaining to your state.  Be sure to check the booster requirements  for the state you reside in or would be travelling to.  However you need to also note that these statelaws are not alwaysfocused on best practices. 

They may either focus on weight instead of height and age which is crucial to determine the fit of the belt.  The (AAP)  American Academy of Pediatrics and the CR insist that children use boosters till they grow tall to 4 ft. and 9 inches and are between the age group of 8 – 22 years.

Compact boosters are tempting and you need to avoid this temptation. Bubblebum seats , Mifold, and Safety 1st Incognito seem convenient sort of because they are light weight and portable. However these are not user friendly as the lap belt needs to be re-threaded after every use.  

One can use the Incognito only for older kids who weigh above 60 pounds.  Mifold makes kids slouch as it does not have the cushion for the knees that can help bend comfortably.  These boosters are recommended by CR only while travelling or as an optional spare booster as they are better to have than not having a booster at all. Frankly speaking there are many lightweight, traditional backless boosters which are easy to use and do a great job. 

While flying one need not use boosters as these are not certified by the FAA to be used on planes. This is because the aircraft seats have no shoulder belt but only the lap belt.  

But on reaching your flight destination and taking a car for your further journey , you will require a booster to protect your child. Hence CR suggests to check-in the booster as your luggage or find if the car-rental people rent one on arrival. 

How to Not Make The Most Frequent Mistakes While Installing A Car-Seat

1stStep: Car-Seat-to-Vehicle Installation

When installing the car seat in your vehicle, make sure to slide left and right in order to check what needs to be done and what does not need to be done during theinstallation process. 

Car-Seat Installation

Don’t: The installation shouldn’t  be loose by having above an inch or more of sideward and when there is pressure put on  the belt area.

Do: Whether the LATCH anchors are used by you or the seat belt of your car, during installation there should be not more than one inch of backward and forward and sideways movement when the belt path faces pressure. To be able to lock the belt properly, pleaserefer to the vehicle owner’s manual if you are doing the seat installation using the seat belt of the vehicle.

Rear-Facing Seats Reclining Angle

Don’t:  The recline angle of car seats that are rear-facing should not be set incorrectly.  

Do: Check and understandthe manufacturer’s instructions in order to set the recline for the car seat that is rear-facing.  A highly upright may make the child’s head fall forward and thus obstruct her or his breathing.  If the seat is reclined too much, the child will not be protected during a crash.

 

Seat Orientation and Belt Path

Don’t:  The belt path that is used for rear-facing seats should not be forward-facing.

 

Do: Check seat labels and the manual for the car-seat to make sure the proper belts path is being used.  Mixing the paths could make the seat unresponsive during an accident. This will happen because the seats are not secure as a result of the path confusion.  

Forward-Facing Installations Top Tether

Don’t: Fail to only use the top tether for forward-facing installation.

Do:  In all forward-facing installations,  attach always the top tether irrespective of the seat being installed with the seat belts or lower anchors.  This top tether to a large extent reduces the seat’s forward movement, thus reducing the child’s injury, mainly the head injury.  The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s research on car-seat-misuse state that to a certain extent, the use of top tether may reduce other misuse effects, like loose installation or loose harnessing.  These are user friendly and at the same time enhance safety.

To secure your baby in the car seat, you must slide left and right to check what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided.

 

Harness Tightening

Don’t: Leave let the loose harness which will allow lot of movement.  

Do: Let the harness snug properly so any webbing cannot be pinched between your fingers  when placed on your baby’s shoulder.  Your child may move out of the car seat protection if the harness is loose and thus get injured during an accident. 

 

Rear-Facing Harness Height

Don’t:  The harness height should not be incorrectly positioned for rear-facing seats.

Do:  Position the harness a little at or below the child’s shoulder for seats that are rear-facing. The Seat will be able to provide maximum protection to your child during a crash if the harness is positioned  correctly.  

 

Forward-Facing Harness Height

Don’t:  The harness height should not be wrongly places for a forward-facing seat. 

Do: The harness position should be placed to fit a little below or at the shoulders for forward-facing seats. If the harness is correctly positioned, the seat is more likely to protect your child during a crash. 

 

Chest Clip Position

Don’t:  The chest clip should not be positioned too low or too high.  

Do:  The chest clips should be placed at the armpit level which helps positioning  the harness correctly before any crash.   

 

Covers and Cushions

Don’t: Non-approved cushions and covers should not be used. 

Do: Car-seat manufacturer approved cushions and coversonly should be used for that particular seat as these have been tested for crash to help the seat to qualify as per the compliance standards.  It is not approved to give additional padding to you child by placing anything between your child and the seat or between the straps of theharness and your child. 

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