Best High Back Booster Seats: The Safest Option for Growing Kids
Keep your child safe and snug with these high-back booster seats
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PUBLISHED ON November 7, 2019
If your child has outgrown a harnessed child seat, it's time for an upgrade with a high back booster seat. It's the next step before he or she becomes old and tall enough to only use a car seat belt. With a high booster seat, your child will be safe and comfortable during the ride. His or her back and neck will have the needed support, and the extra padded sides will protect against impacts. To help you choose the best one, we have listed the three top high back booster seats on the market.
- Best OverallGraco AFFIX High Back Booster SeatSummarySummaryThis high back booster seat easily adjusts to your child's needs. It's comfortable, secure, and stable in the vehicle. It meets U.S. safety regulations and is for children 3-10 years old.ProsProsIncludes energy-absorbing foam for ultimate protection. The Latch System ensures more stability. Easy to set up. It has adjustable parts for more comfort and a better fit for the vehicle. Includes detachable back support, machine washable cover, and a cup holder. Available in four colors.ConsConsThe Latch straps might loosen a bit after some time. The headrest slips when in the uppermost position. Armrests are not adjustable.
- Best ValueEvenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car SeatSummarySummaryEvenflo Big Kid is for children at least 4 years of age. It’s safe and comfortable. It allows for a lot of adjustments and transforms into a backless booster seat. Being compact and lightweight, it's perfect for those who often switch vehicles.ProsProsRemovable back support. Easy to set up with six height adjustments for more comfort. Compact and lightweight. The energy-absorbing foam ensures safety and coziness. It has two cup holders and a machine-washable pad. Easy to spot clean. Available in seven designs.ConsConsThe seat might feel unstable due to the lightweight design. It doesn't have a Latch system, so it relies on the seat belt. The lower back area lacks some padding.
- Honorable MentionGraco Highback Turbobooster SeatSummarySummaryThe Turbobooster is for kids weighing 30-100 pounds. It's a lighter version of a high booster seat that is very portable and easy to adjust. With a lot of extra and adjustable features, it grows with a child and makes a great long-term investment.ProsProsHas energy-absorbing foam for safety and comfort. Detachable back support. Easy to carry and transport between vehicles. Adjustable headrest and armrests enhance the overall comfort. An open-loop belt guide helps with placing the seat belt correctly. Has hide-away cup holders. Is machine washable.ConsConsWithout the Latch system, it uses only the seat belt. The high back might rattle when the seat is empty. The seatbelt might sometimes slip out of the guides.
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- When choosing a high back booster seat, look for side-impact protection. Both seat sides should have energy-absorbing foam cushions for ultimate protection. The extra padding should be located on the headrest and torso area as well.
- Look for the adjustable harness and headrest if you want your child to feel cozy in the seat. You should be able to adjust the parts according to your child's body. Also, look for extra features, such as armrests and cup holders, as they also enhance comfort.
- Pick a seat that is easy to wash. Look for the ones that have removable covers for easy cleaning or material that you can wash with soap and water.
- Pick a seat that matches your child's age, weight, and height. A seat with an adjustable harness and removable backrest is always an excellent choice. It allows you to adjust the parts as your child grows older, so you can use it for longer.
Q: What is a high-back booster seat?
A: It's a seat designed for children that have outgrown a traditional harnessed seat yet are still not big enough to ride without extra protection. A high-back booster seat is one of the last steps before a child starts sitting in the vehicle with only a seat belt. It provides extra head and neck support and improves safety on the road.
Q: What is the difference between a high-back booster seat and a backless one?
A: A high-back booster seat is built for children who still need extra protection during rides. It features head and neck protection as well as additional padding on the sides. A backless seat has only a cushion that boosts the child's height. It's used when your child is old enough to ride only with a seat belt, yet is not tall enough to reach it.
Q: When is it safe to put a child in a booster seat?
A: Different states have different laws and regulations, so check to make sure. Most of them agree upon a 40-pound weight limit and an age of 4 years. A child should also be tall enough to have shoulders that are higher than the straps of the seat.
Our top pick is Graco AFFIX High Back Booster Seat. It’s an adjustable booster that feels super safe and comfortable.
For a budget-friendly alternative, take a look at the Evenflo Big Kid Booster Seat. It’s a lightweight seat with a lot of extra features to keep your child protected and comfortable.