31 answers

Booster Seat Reviews

I am looking for booster seat reviews like from consumer reports. We are needing to make our purchase next month. I thought we had a longer time but my son went through a major growth spurt. Thanks!

Isn't there a booster with a back and a 5 pt harness that can be removed and then use the cars seat belt when old enough? The carseat we have now is one of the convertible ones and the highest wt is 40# So does that mean I have to buy another carseat and then a booster down the road? My son is 3

What can I do next?

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I don't have a link to consumer reports, but my son went from his convertible seat to a booster seat with a five-point harness when he was two. The height and weight limits on his convertible seat overlapped quite a bit with his booster seat, which was good, because baby brother needed the convertible seat a little before the older one grew completely out of his convertible seat (he changed at age 2--he's on the tall side).
When he got tall enough (about three months ago, two months shy of his 4th birthday) that his shoulders were level with to top straps of the booster seat's five-point harness, I took the harness out completely and we've been buckling him in with the shoulder seat belt. It has seat-belt paths that keep the shoulder strap from hitting him too hight. So now, it's just a high-backed booster (like the $20 ones at WalMart).
Baby brother is getting close to being too big for the convertible seat, so I'll have to buy the 4 year old a new, plain high-backed booster, and put the harness back in the other one. It's nice to have the car seats be so flexible!

There is a book called Toddler Bargains that is amazing. It tells you about all sorts of products and rates them for you.They also have one called baby bargains which really helped me when I had my first. It rates car seats, cribs, bottles, diapers, formula, etc.

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Hi S. - going through the same thing with my kids now. Here is a link on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The title of the article is "Parents- Not sure which car seat to choose? 2008 Car Seat Ease of Use Ratings"

best of luck in your search!

The link to the article is listed below. You can copy/paste it into your browser if the link doesn't show up here:

http://www.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/template.MAXIMIZE/...

I'm not sure how to steer you to the article but I can recommend a seat. We purchased a Safeguard Go booster seat. It has a back and a 5 point harness. The booster seat is latch compatible so it secures to the seat and has a top tether strap. It also folds up into a bag for travel. It was recommended as one of two seats with a 5 point harness able to hold a child over 40 pounds in an accident. (The only other seat was the Britax Marathon.) It's not cheap but we LOVE it! Check out their website. We purchased it from Amazon.

Most of the forward facing car seats say you can remove the harness and then use as a booster. But we found that it just didn't work w/our kids. We have thin children and the seatbelt didn't set against them until the bottom of their ribs - meaning it wouldn't pull against the sternum in a crash and that's where it's supposed to put the pressure. so, we ended up buying multiple seats....an infant seat, a convertible, a forward facing, and then a booster. At least we've been able to pass them down to the 2nd kid! Just be aware of the issue with the seatbelts when you buy a forward facing seat and the good news is, the older they get, they cheaper the seats get! The boosters we bought last summer for my oldest were only $35-40 and the seatbelt sits nice and flat against him from shoulder to the end of his ribs. The other thing to look at on forward facing seats is how tall they'll take your child - we have a 4 1/2 year old who is only 31 pounds but almost 42-inches - there's only a couple of models that you can continue to use the harness on as they get taller than this but I don't want to take her out of the 5-point harness until she weighs more.

There is a book called Toddler Bargains that is amazing. It tells you about all sorts of products and rates them for you.They also have one called baby bargains which really helped me when I had my first. It rates car seats, cribs, bottles, diapers, formula, etc.

I just bought 2 of the Safety 1st Alpha Omega car seats. Here is the link where they are CHEAP online: http://www.albeebaby.com/cosco-omega-elite-mrr.html
I have a 15 month old and a 3 1/2 year old and these seats are PERFECT. They go from 5 lbs to 100 lbs! Rear facing to forward facing, from a 5 point harness to a regular seatbelt adjustable! Also you can recline the seats in the forward facing position to give your toddler a nap without his head hanging forward funny! Good luck!

I don't have a link to consumer reports, but my son went from his convertible seat to a booster seat with a five-point harness when he was two. The height and weight limits on his convertible seat overlapped quite a bit with his booster seat, which was good, because baby brother needed the convertible seat a little before the older one grew completely out of his convertible seat (he changed at age 2--he's on the tall side).
When he got tall enough (about three months ago, two months shy of his 4th birthday) that his shoulders were level with to top straps of the booster seat's five-point harness, I took the harness out completely and we've been buckling him in with the shoulder seat belt. It has seat-belt paths that keep the shoulder strap from hitting him too hight. So now, it's just a high-backed booster (like the $20 ones at WalMart).
Baby brother is getting close to being too big for the convertible seat, so I'll have to buy the 4 year old a new, plain high-backed booster, and put the harness back in the other one. It's nice to have the car seats be so flexible!

We had a five-point car seat and it turned into a regular booster that used the car's seat belt. I think it was from Graco. I'm not sure. It went up to sixty or more pounds. My kids were small and my oldest road in it until he was almost 8. It worked really well. It was also fairly cheap. Good Luck!!!

I love the britax. My son who is 3 is using the regent. He can stay in this till he is 80 lbs! He can stay in a 5 point harness till he is 80 lbs! We just got another one for my 1 year old the roundabout, he can stay in it till he is 65 lbs!
We tried to put my 3 year old in our older daughter's booster but he climbed out of the seat belt the first time we tried to drive somewhere. So there we are driving down the road with my son walking around the cargo area of our SUV....not exactly what I had in mind when I strapped him into the booster seat. I am all for the 5 pint harness, plus the britax is very somfortable and easy to clean.
one word of caution however, they are big seats. If you have to get three kids in a sedan, you will definately not be able to ust the regent, the roundabout is the samy footprint as other seats.
www.britaxusa.com
search for them on amazon, I just bot my roundabout at $50 off with no shipping!

I agree with Jenny that if possible, keep your child in a 5-point harness toddler seat. And Britax makes the best car seats, but they are pricey and some are large and don't fit well in smaller cars, especially if you need to fit an infant car seat on the same seat bench. The Regent is an excellent choice for a forward facing seat that still uses the 5-point harness. http://www.britaxusa.com/products/Default.aspx And they also make traditional booster seats.

I love the Compass brand, it folds in half and grows with your child, my kids love it as well (5 and 3). The only place I've found it is online, however, just search for Compass Booster Seat. Good luck, there's a bunch out there. Do your research and you'll find one that fits your groove.

We have the Evenflo toddler to youth booster. It has a slim profile in our truck, a five point harness and can be used later with a regular shoulder belt. It is the seat provided by the child seat checks. The only disadvantage I can see is that our children are very tall and thin so my daughter will outgrow the height limit before she weighs enough to use it with a seatbelt. My son uses the Graco booster with the back and he will be able to use it until it expires and we'll have to get another one just like our 12 year old who just stopped using the base of his. You must be 40 pounds first though.

Hi! We use the SafeGuardGo seat...It is a LATCH booster with a five point harness for 30 pounds up to 60 pounds. After your child outgrows the harness, the booster seat becomes backless and is still in the LATCH when using your seat belt! It is the only booster we found that used LATCH up to 80 pounds! it was well worth the money. We bought ours online. I heard about it through an ad in the Family Fun magazine. Good luck!

We really like our Graco. I don't remember the model name, but it's really popular. It's available either with the back or without. It has cup holders that work for sippy cups. The think we like the best is that it reclines for sleeping in the car on long trips. Our son seems to really like it, and all his cousins the same age have the same seat and they all like it. It does come with different covers if you want something that really says "boy".

I have been looking into car seats lately for my son. I really like the Graco Nautilus car seat. It is a 3-in-1 car seat that starts out as a convertible type car seat with at 5 point harness, then as your child grows you can turn it into a high back booster to use with the seat belt, and finally a regular booster. It holds up to 100 lbs. They say it is the last carseat you will ever have to buy. I have read some reviews online about it and it has a 5 star rating. You can purchase it at Wal-Mart. Hope that helps. Good Luck!

You can get a Britax Regent. It's a 5 point harness and goes up to 80 lbs! We just bought one for our 2 year old.

Hi S.,
My husband and I own an online mall and we have lots of baby and toddler supplies. They usually have customer reviews and ratings on most of my partner stores. If you'd like to take a look go to thewest.wwdb.biz
any questions contact me at ____@____.com
K. Whitford

Cosco Summit High back booster seat. I have one and love it! It's a 3 in 1 seat..would highly recommend it but I also have large vehicles and it is a bigger seat. K.

Boosters aren't as safe as the 5 point harness. While in a booster, children can move the belt so it isn't positioned properly, and in some cases this has caused a death in an accident. I would stick with a 5 point harness if you can--he is still young enough that he won't argue about it. My daughter is almost 4 and weighs 33 lbs. She has a Britax Marathon, which is good up to 65 lbs. I plan on leaving her in it until she won't fit anymore! She is used to that type of seat, so she likes it. They sell them at Target...they aren't cheap, but they are the safest. Britax also makes a nice booster that has a head support, so if you are set on getting a booster, I would go that route--at least your son will get a little added protection.
The Consumer Reports online rated the Cosco Eddie Bauer High Backed booster the highest. It said that it costs $100.
Good luck with your decision.

I have a Recaro Young Sport, it is in my opinion the BEST carseat ever! It is rated from 18 to 80 pounds. It has the five point harness and then converts to a booster when you are ready. My son is so comfortable he hardly ever gets upset about having to be in his seat (he just turned two and is really little about 22.5 pounds.) However, I know that this seat will get us all the way through, it is very well made. It is a little spendy, check around. I got the best deal at Baby Universe. Good luck in finding what you are looking for!

There is a car seat with the Eddie Bauer label on it that is up to either 80 or 100 lbs. It starts out as a 5 point harness and converts by pulling all the straps out and removing the base. We bought our first one at Toys r Us and then we found a second one at Big Lots for almost half the price. I hope this helps.

We have two Apex 65 booster car seats (made by Safety 1st), one for our 5 year old and one for our 3 year old. We absolutely love this seat. My favorite thing about it is that the 5-pt harness goes to 65 pounds, rather than just 40. It is proven that children are much safer in a 5-pt harness than in a traditional booster seat. When you do decide to take them from 5-pt harness to a normal booster, this one converts into that and works as a booster until 100 lbs. There are several other seats that go past the 40 lb mark for 5-pt harness as well, Britax makes one and so does Sunshine Kids.
You can look at the one I have by going to www.safety1st.com, then click on travel, then car seats, then booster seats.

Good luck....We have to buy a booster seat in june and we are lost as well.

I have recently been looking into the following: SafeGuard Go Hybrid Booster ( http://www.safeguardseat.com/go/index.htm ) I think I am in love with it! Other than the ticket price! Good luck!

S.,
Graco has a car seat/booster. It isn't the 5 point system but the back puts the seatbelt in the correct position over the shoulder and not the neck and it has an adjustment to raise the back and therefore the seatbelt as he grows. The back is easily removed once it is not needed and you have just the booster seat which also has drink holders built in. For the 5 point system I used britax (not sure about the spelling). I had one seat that went from 20-40 pounds and then another very large seat that was for 40-80 pounds. The seat itself is strapped in with 2 different systems so it really doesn't budge and then the child has the 5 point system over them. I loved this seat because we did a lot of cross country travel, several days at a time on the road and my son was able to sleep without his head falling forward and it was well cushioned, I could also put him in the center of the back seat so he could see out the front better and we were able to hand each other things more easily. He liked the seat even when his friends tried to tease him about it looking like a baby seat he said it really looked like a race car drivers seat. It is bulky but considered the safest on the market.
S.

Hi, S.!

As a child safety seat technician, I'd recommend first and foremost that you locate a technician in your area. There is a list of technicians in the Ogden area at listed on the website www.utahsafekids.org/CPSTechnicians.html. You should be able to find someone who can personally answer your questions and help you find a booster seat that best suits your child. You can then take into consideration all of the truly helpful advice from other moms regarding which seats they prefer, safety ratings, etc.

Congratulations as well on the coming baby!! When you go to visit with the technician, I would HIGHLY recommend that you also take along your infant seat for an inspection. There are always changes and recalls in the child safety seat industry, and I can tell that you want your children to be as safe as they possibly can!

Good luck and safe traveling!

I recently purchased a Graco Nautilus for my 4 y.o. who is 40 inches tall and weighs 35 pounds. We LOVE it! It can be used with a 5 point harness up to 65 pounds, as a high back booster and as a no-back booster. This carseat is easy to install, easy to use and will last your child until he is ready to be in a seatbelt alone. I purchased it at Walmart.com but a couple of other retailers are now carrying it as well. It is around $150. You can look at car-seat.org for customer reviews and advice from Child Safety Advocates. They speak very highly of this seat as well.

I thought we were past booster seats, but just found out we needed one too with new laws coming in our area. My son is nearly nine so it won't be for long but he is not yet the 57 inches or 80 pounds that will be required to have boosters. I just bought one on Friday that my son just loves! And we all know that if they don't love it, it is a fight at best to get them to use it. He is delighted to get in it each time and I am confident that he is comfortable, happy and safer than he had been. It is a bit high end, but comfort was the issue, we had a road trip this weekend and the old style was just miserable for my slightly skinny 8 year old. This seat is mesh, much more comfortable for him, not hard plastic with a thin cover but has some bounce to it, also has great air flow so he doesn't get overheated. He sits so tall now he can see everything and is much happier on extended drives. The back seems so safe, holds his head if there were a side impact, but can be removed or reclined to better fit more seat types. I highly recommend it. Name is Graco Air Booster Safe Seat. I have seen on-line for $99.95 or Wal-Mart for $89.95.

I also have done extensive research from all the consumer reports agencies and the parents magazines and they rate the Cosco Summit high back (and the Elite) as the most preferred one. I am having to buy 4 of those for my girls. let me know what you decide on

Target has a great selection of booster seats for all sizes/weights, some very convertible with 5 point harnesses. I can't remember if they have removable backs or not, but at least the plain booster seats (without backs at all) are very inexpensive ($25) if you want to get a higher-end booster with harness (which converts to one for regular seatbelt use) for now. It will still last for years. We moved our older daughter, who is four, to a seatbelt-restrained booster for kids 30 lbs and up when our youngest got too big for her infant seat and needed to go to a standard car seat (which our older one had been using). The back comes off of her booster when she gets bigger, and we were very pleased with the price (about $40-50). Check out Target!

Definetly... There are many booster/five point harness chairs out there... look for a safekids locally... They are great, I actually got mine through the fire department here in Idaho because they work with the safekids program. They made sure my care seats were adjusted properly and latch in properly...

I highly recommend the Graco Nautilus. It is very affordable and SO easy to get the harness tight. Our 3 year old loves his!!

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