Car Booster Seat Recomendation

Updated on May 04, 2011
K.M. asks from Seaford, NY
12 answers

My DS is about to grow out of his current Britax car seat. He will be 4 in June and is almost at the 40 pound limit. Can anyone recommend a particular booster seat? Thanks!

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answers from Detroit on

Britax frontier 85! My daughter is 5.5 yrs old and not even close to growing out of this seat... she loves it as well. I would highly recommend this seat!

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answers from Provo on

Britax Frontier 85!!!!!!!!! I just got it for my son, and I LOVE IT! He will be in that thing forever!!! If I weighed 120lbs, I could still fit in it.
Plus it will keep your son in a harness for much longer, which as we all know is the safest. I got mine off ebay for about $200 and it was brand new in the box. I got it from babycatalog. But there were a lot of other ones too.

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answers from San Francisco on

Is your DS using a Roundabout with 40 lb. harnessed weight limit? If so, please check that the harness slots are at or above his shoulders, because many kids outgrow this seat by height before they're close to the 40 lb. weight limit.
At 4YO, your best bet would be a forward facing "combination" seat that has a removable 5 point harness, so when your child outgrows the harness by height or weight, you can remove the harness and use it as a booster. The following are recommended combination seats from the carseatblog :

Britax Frontier 85
Features: 5-point harness from 2 years AND 25-85 lbs.; bpb to 120 lbs.; front harness adjuster; no-rethread harness height adjuster; 3 buckle positions; 2-piece chest clip; integrated cup holders; arm rests; smooth harness adjuster
Drawbacks: must remove screw in head restraint before using it as a bpb
Our comments: Britax has improved just about everything in this seat over its older sibling, the regular Frontier, including the covers! Kudos to Britax for being leaders in the industry and putting an age limit and reasonable lower weight limit on the seat to keep babes in arms from going straight from an infant seat to this forward-facing seat. Darren reviewed it here and listed all the differences between the new FR85 and the older version.
Evenflo Maestro
Features: 5-point harness from 20-50 lbs.; bpb to 100 lbs.; EPS foam; 2-piece chest clip; front harness adjuster; 2 crotch strap positions; cup holders; arm rests
Drawbacks: harness appears narrow at child’s neck; seatback is short, non-adjustable headrest
Our comments: It’s a great seat for the money! Kecia reviewed it in her Combo Seat as a Booster series. The Maestro was recalled, so make sure yours has the repair if it was involved in the recall batch.
Graco Nautilus
Features: 5-point harness from 20-65 lbs.; bpb to 100 lbs.; converts to a backless booster (40-100 lbs.); 3-position recline; cup holder built into right armrest; storage areas in each armrest; EPS foam
Drawbacks: As a booster - belt fit can be hit or miss.
Our comments: The Nautilus has 2 lifespans. When used with the harness or as a highback booster, the lifespan is 6 years. When used as a backless booster, the lifespan is 9 years. Overall, a well-made seat that is easy to install and easy to use correctly. The Elite version has adjustable headwings and lockoffs.

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answers from New York on

we have the britax frontier 85 , my son will be in there till hes 20 hes so thin lol....hes 8, his feet can touch the floor, its so funny, he sits back there like a king...,

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answers from St. Cloud on

4 years old and 40# is really not big enough for just a booster....

I HIGHLY recommend the Britax85. We have 3 of them. LOVE THEM! Worth every penny! We got ours at for about $220 with free shipping. This seat keeps them in a 5-point harness up to 85# and THEN can be used as a booster!

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answers from New York on

My daughter has the Britax booster (I'm sorry I can't remember the name). It is great and provides good side wings for head support. My sister-in-law also swears by the Ricaro - again good side wing protection! I actually looked into this one but it was completely sold out when I was looking! Good luck!



answers from New York on

I would strongly recommend leaving him in a harnessing seat. 4 and 40 lbs is the bare minimum (just like 1 and 20 lbs is the bare minimum for forward facing, even though it's recommended to rear face until your child reaches the weight/height limits for rear facing, and the child is 75% less likely to die if rear facing). I just say that to point out that what is the legal minimum is NOT the necessarily safest choice for your child.

The Graco Nautilus would be a good choice. It harnesses until 65 lbs and then can be used as a high back booster and a backless booster until 100 lbs (your child should be in the booster until at least 49"; the AAP recommends using a booster until 8-12 years, depending on the size of the child). You could use it like a convertible car seat for now and then as a booster later on.



answers from Cincinnati on

My 5 yr old is in the Graco Turbo backless booster seat- he is mature enough to be trusted to stay put and not try to unbuckle himself, so it works great. My 4 year old (53 lbs) is still in the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 with the harness because I can't trust him to sit in just a booster without unbuckling himself while I am driving. Its awesome! My 2.5 year old is also in the Nautilus. Its great- I believe it goes to 100 lbs and it is a 5 pt harness, back-in booster, and backless booster (convertible). I have recently seen it for around $160 on amazon, but I paid $175 for each of mine. It gets similar safety ratings to Britax seats and it is much less expensive. I have had both of mine for about two years and I highly recommend them!



answers from Boston on

My 4 yr old is in a graco nautilus and still harnessed. He still has plenty of room left in it.



answers from Chicago on

I just ordered a seat that has great reviews on, for my 3.5 year old. It's an Evenflo booster that has a harness for kids up to 65 lbs. and it's only $80 (most others like this are around $200). I chose this seat because I want to keep her in a harness longer, this seat looks comfy, it got great reviews, and the price is right!



answers from Seattle on

We have the britax frontier, which harnesses to 85 lbs then uses the seatbelt to 120-ish. I didn't know there was a britax with a 40lb limit, we have the marathon which goes to 65lbs, if he's too small for the frontier, you can check the minimum requirements on their website. Good deals are always at or new in box on eBay.

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