Best Budget Car Seat-booster Combo for Grandma's House?

Updated on May 11, 2011
E.T. asks from Albuquerque, NM
7 answers

We visit my mom twice a year, and would like to buy car seats to leave at her house. At home my kids sit in Graco Nautilus seats - the ones that convert from a regular carseat to a high back booster to a plain booster. I'd like to get something like that, but wonder if there are any decent options that cost less than the Nautilus?

My kids weigh about 34 pounds and are 42 inches tall. They just turned four. And we'll only need these seats for about two weeks a year, so my main criteria are safety, price, and ability to use them as both car seats now and boosters later.


What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

Just go and pick out something you like and can afford.

All car seats must meet the same criterion in the US.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Check the seats made by Cosco. Just purchased one to put in my husbands car. We almost always take my car with the two seats, but
occasionally he takes one child and I take the other. Cosco meets all
the federal regulations. It just does not have the extra padding for comfort.
However, serves the purpose for the short trips my husband does.



answers from Cumberland on

It always costs less to buy the very best.



answers from Kansas City on

As a Mother of 3 and a wife of a car seat tech,I would recommend the Graco turbo booster.We personally use these for our kids and my Husband recommends them to many people.At four years old and over 30lbs they can sit in a high back booster and and this booster is easily adjustable for when they grow.It will also come apart to just the lap part when they get older.They run between $40-50 and you can usually find them at Target or Babies R Us.



answers from Chicago on

I just bought my 3.5 year old an evenflo seat from (Generation 65?) It has a harness for kids up to 65 pounds, then can be used with a seatbelt up to 100 lbs. It was about $85.



answers from San Francisco on

The Evenflo Maestro would be a good budget seat - retails for around $80, harnesses to 50 lbs., as a booster it doesn't adjust as tall as the Nautilus and doesn't convert to a backless, but at half the price of a Nautilus you could get TurboBoosters after they outgrow the Maestros and have some change to spare. Most other lower priced combination seats have very low top harness slot settings and/or 40 lb. harnessed weight limits, and many of them do a poor job of positioning the seat belt as a booster seat (check this link for a CPST's reviews of various combo seats as boosters:
Another option would be the RideSafer Travel vest - these are a bit more expensive than the Maestro but the advantages are that they're light enough and compact enough to pack in your luggage (so you could use them as back up seats for carpool, playdates, etc. at home), don't expire like conventional car seats, fit in very narrow spaces (I have one that fits between two high back boosters in my 1997 Honda Civic), can be used with a lap belt and top tether anchor (regular boosters cannot be used with just a lap belt), are considered to be like a "wearable 5-pt harness" by many certified child passenger safety techs. A little more cumbersome to buckle than a belt positioning booster but less work than installing a 5 point harness seat.
link here

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions