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Best High Back Booster Seats for Kids 2015

Updated on May 5, 2015

I have been in a few accidents with my kids in the car.

My kids were a little older and I had them in booster seats.

I really was happy they were in a booster seat because it was much safer than having them in the chair without a booster.

The booster made it so that the seat belt didn't damage their skin or injure them in some other way.

Booster car seats are always so exciting for young children.

They feel less like babies and more like big people, especially when the shoulder strap of your car's seat belt can be used.

When we switched over to a booster, I remember my daughter exclaiming over and over again, "Mommy I have a belt just like yours!"

Two Ways to Use a Booster Seat

You should be aware that booster seats at a certain weight limit are still installed in your car with the seat belt while your child is strapped in with the five point harness.

Once they reach the appropriate weight limits, you can remove the harness and use your car's safety belt to secure them into the seat.

Booster car seats come with adjustments for the shoulder belt so it is always at the right position even as your child grows.

The first thing you should be aware of is that if your child weighs less than 35 pounds, they should still be in a rear facing safety seat.

Children between the ages of one and four that weigh between 20 and 40 pounds can be in a forward facing high back booster, or harness that is installed in the back seat of your car.

Children between the ages of four and eight can be in a high back or no back belt positioning booster.

Which is the safest booster seat?

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Backless or High Back Booster Seat?

High back boosters are better at positioning because of the shoulder belt guides.

This kind of seat is also good to use if your car doesn't have a headrest on the back seat.

Backless boosters are cheaper, but find one that comes with a clip that will help you keep the shoulder belt in the right spot on your child.

Backless boosters also have better lap belt placement, though it is possible to find both types of boosters that secure your child well.

I suggest taking your child to local stores to find one that gives you the best fit. You should also measure the back seat of your car to ensure that a booster seat will fit correctly.

Many stores will let you take a floor model out to your car with a staff member to make sure that it will fit before you actually purchase.

To get the best deal for your money, I recommend buying the car seat that you want on the Internet. There are often better deals than those you can find in stores. To test the fit, have your child sit in the seat and make sure the lap belt goes across their upper thighs.

It should never be across their tummies. If you get into an auto collision, internal injuries are more likely in that case. The shoulder belt should fit across the middle of the shoulder but not too close to the neck.

Essential Features to Find in Booster Seats

I suggest researching safety ratings and features for every booster seat you are considering.

Look for one that has an easy to use harness, or a belt guide. Positioning the harness and belts will ensure a better fit if they are user friendly.

It makes your life much more convenient if you find a booster car seat that has a crotch buckle that stays positioned forward.

This keeps you from having to dig underneath your child's bottom to try to find it to get them buckled in.

Something else to ensure for more convenience are adjustable harness slots and crotch straps.

The more options you get for crotch straps, the longer you can use the car seat as your child grows. More and more manufacturers are making car seats that do not require rethreading of the harness at the shoulders.

What You Need in a Booster?

If you travel a lot, carpool, or switch out car seats frequently throughout the week, you will want to consider buying one that is lightweight and easier to carry.

I have even seen some booster seats that fold up and turn into a backpack for those that travel.

Consider finding one with adequate cushioning especially if you are on the road a lot.

Although booster seats typically do not feature any reclining options, those that come with head wings give your child a place to rest their head as they sleep.

Because children are notorious for making messes, buy a booster car seat that has an easily removable and washable cover.

If you have a vehicle that offers LATCH connections, I suggest finding a booster car seat that is compatible. However, you should be aware that new Federal regulations that will be in effect in the year 2014 will limit LATCH use to a combined 65 pounds for both the child's weight, and the car seat.

Belt positioning boosters with LATCH will not be affected by these new regulations because the LATCH system is only used to restrain the seat instead of the child.

Best Booster Seats for Kids 2015

1. Evenflo Big Kid Amp Booster Car Seat

For an affordable and basic design, this Evenflo Amp High Back Booster Car Seat comes with some nice padding. I love that it comes with six different positions so your child can use it no matter how big they grow. It also converts to a no back booster. Be aware that this is only a belt positioning seat and gives you no harness.

5 stars for Evenflo Amp High Back Booster Car Seat

2. Graco Highback TurboBooster Car Seat

A bit higher on price point is this Graco Highback TurboBooster Car Seat. It also converts to a backless booster. It has a weight range of 30-100 pounds so you can use it for a long time. The headrest is adjustable for more versatility as well. This is not a seat that offers you a harness system at all; it is merely a belt positioning seat.

3. Britax Parkway

Children up to 90 pounds can use this Britax Frontier 90 Booster Car Seat with the harness, and up to 120 pounds without. Unlike many others, this offers a front adjust recline for more comfort. I love that it also keeps the harness buckle in a forward position for easier installation of your child into it.

4. Britax Pioneer

I’ve always been a fan of the quality of Britax and this Britax Frontier 90 Booster Car Seat has been our favorite for years. Like the other Britax car seats, this one will hold a child up to 90 pounds with the harness and 120 pounds as a belt positioning booster.

My favorite feature on this Britax Pinnacle 90 Booster Car Seat is the wide wings on the sides. Not only does this help a child be more comfortable when asleep in the seat, it offers more side impact protection than any others I’ve found.

© 2014 Brandon Hart

Do you have booster seats for you kids?

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