There will come a time when your child will outgrow his toddler car seat, and you’ll have to upgrade to a booster seat.

Whenever you’re traveling by car, a booster seat helps ensure your child is safe until he’s big enough to ride in your vehicle using the regular seat belt, without any extra support.

Learn about the types of booster seats on the market and what features to look out for, and then dive into our list of booster seats that were voted the best by over 3,000 Pampers Parents.

Why Your Child Needs a Booster Seat

Your child will need to transition to a booster seat once he’s outgrown his infant or toddler car seat. All 50 states require that children ride in some type of car safety seat.

When the switch to a booster seat will happen depends on what kind of car seat your little one is currently using. For example, if you’ve got a convertible car seat, you may simply be able to reconfigure it until it’s set up as a booster seat. On the other hand, if you have a car seat that’s designed for the toddler stage only, you will need to buy an entirely new booster car seat once your toddler’s reached the weight and height limit of your existing toddler car seat.

A booster seat helps ensure your child is safely seated in your vehicle, with the seat belt over his chest and hips. Without the extra height provided by a booster seat, the seat belt would extend across a young child's neck and belly, which isn't safe.

This helps protect your child from serious injury in a car accident, which is why using a booster seat is so important.

Types of Booster Seats

Here are the pros and cons of different types of booster seats:

  • Backless booster seats are easy to install and very portable when you’re traveling. We have the Graco TurboBooster and Graco Affix backless booster seats on our list. The chief downside with backless boosters is that they’re suitable only for older children, usually starting at around 4 years of age, so a backless booster may not be right for you yet if your child is younger than this.

  • High-back booster seats are just like they sound, a high-backed car seat that can adjust to your child’s height as he grows. This type is recommended by experts for the following three reasons:

  1. The shoulder part of the seat belt is in a good position.

  2. The seat may provide some side-impact protection in case of a car accident.

  3. This style may be more comfortable for your child because it has a headrest.

  • Combination seats work for a younger child in the forward-facing position with a harness, or for an older child as a seat belt booster seat once the harness is removed. We call these modes the harnessed car seat (which uses a 5-point harness to secure your baby) and the belt-positioning or belted booster (which uses your own vehicle’s seat belt). Combination booster seats cannot be used with an infant. Each brand and model has its own height and weight ranges for the various configurations, so you’ll need to check these guidelines before buying the product.

  • Convertible car seats can be used from infanthood until your child is about 12 years of age. These types of car seats convert from a rear-facing car seat for your newborn, to a forward-facing harnessed car seat for your small child, and finally to a booster seat for your older child. We have one of these on our list: the Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat.

9 Best Booster Seats

Based on the votes of more than 3,000 Pampers Parents, here are the best booster seats on the market right now:

1. Graco TurboBooster High Back Booster Seat

Why pick this one? Pampers Parents chose the Graco TurboBooster as the number one booster seat for its features and affordability.

You’ll appreciate how easily the Graco TurboBooster can be fitted for your growing child. The head support and armrests are adjustable, and it offers a backless mode for when your child is ready to start sitting with his back leaning against the car seat with just a little boost.

Keep in mind that some Pamper Parents noted the headrest could be more supportive in case your child falls asleep.

Highlights: This booster seat is easy to carry as one unit, such as when you need to move it from car to car or take it with you on a plane, for example. This model includes features such as hideaway cup holders.

Graco TurboBooster High-Back Booster Seat
Item size 16.7 x 9.1 x 25.4 inches
Item weight 9.66 pounds
Child age 4 to 10 years old
Child height 38 to 57 inches [high-back mode], 43 to 57 inches [backless mode]
Child weight 30 to 100 pounds [high-back mode], 40 to 100 pounds [backless mode]

Price*: about $49.28 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: It’s easy to transport and switch between cars, and your child will love the cup holders.

  • Cons: The fabric cover tends to slip off easily.

2. Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System

Why pick this one? The Graco Affix features a LATCH system, so the booster seat is securely attached to your vehicle’s back seat. The adjustment strap at the front of the booster seat allows you to easily tighten the booster to the vehicle seat.

The height of the booster seat is fully adjustable as your child grows, and the seat's cushioning provides extra comfort for your child.

On this list, you’ll also find the backless version of this booster seat.

Many Pampers Parents wished this booster seat were available in more colors and designs.

Highlights: Your child will love the fact that the seat features a cup holder and a hidden compartment for storing small games and toys.

Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System
Item size 15.5 x 16.5 x 26.8 inches
Item weight 9.8 pounds
Child height 38 to 57 inches [high-back mode], 40 to 57 inches [backless mode]
Child weight 30 to 100 pounds [high-back mode], 40 to 100 pounds [backless mode]

Price*: about $52.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: You’ll appreciate the extra safety of the LATCH system.

  • Cons: It would be a nice feature if the seat could recline for when your child falls asleep.

3. Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat

Why pick this one? The sporty Chicco KidFit comes in cool colors with contrasting piping. It’s also extra secure since it uses a LATCH system to attach to your car’s back seat. Use the SuperCinch strap, which you pull from the front of the unit to secure it nice and tightly.

This booster seat features 10 height adjustments to suit your growing child.

The seat also has two levels of recline, and can work in backless mode for when your child is older and bigger.

Be mindful that some Pampers Parents found that the connection between the seat and the high back was a little flimsy. This might make it harder to move the seat from car to car or to carry onto an airplane.

Highlights: The seat pad and armrest covers are removable for machine washing. The cup holders can fold away when not in use and can be removed for cleaning, too.

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat
Item size 28 x 19 x 8.5 inches
Item weight 10.2 pounds
Child age 4 years old and above
Child height 38 to 57 inches
Child weight 30 to 100 pounds [high-back mode], 40 to 110 pounds [backless mode]

Price*: about $99.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: You’ll love the quality, adjustability, and ease of installation.

  • Cons: It can be difficult to transport as one piece.

4. Britax Pinnacle ClickTight G1.1 Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Why pick this one? This car seat from Britax transitions from a harnessed car seat to a belt-positioning booster seat. It has a variety of fabric options to suit your tastes. Why not select the design that looks best in your car, or ask your little one to pick her favorite?

To fit your child as she grows, the harness features nine positions, and the headrest is also adjustable.

In the harnessed configuration, the car seat can be used in front-facing mode. Once your child reaches the height and weight limit of this mode, she can graduate to the booster mode.

The ClickTight technology makes installation as simple as buckling a regular seat belt.

Unlike many of the booster seats on this list, this one’s fabric is not removable for cleaning, which some Pampers Parents understandably think is a downside.

Highlights: The seat itself features cooling ventilated mesh fabric to help your child feel more comfortable.

Britax Pinnacle ClickTight G1.1 Harness-2-Booster Car Seat
Item size 21 x 22.5 x 28 inches
Item weight 26.5 pounds
Child age 2 years old and above
Child height 30 to 58 inches [harnessed car seat mode], 45 to 62 inches [belt-positioning mode]
Child weight 25 to 90 pounds [harnessed car seat mode], 40 to 120 pounds [belt-positioning mode]

Price*: about $239.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: You’ll love the fact that the fabric is breathable mesh to help prevent your child overheating.

  • Cons: It’s quite heavy and doesn’t have a recline function.

5. Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat

Why pick this one? The Diono Radian Convertible Car Seat is the only car seat on this list that can be used from your child’s infancy to adolescence. It can be used in rear-facing and forward-facing modes, and when your baby is ready to transition up, it can convert to booster mode.

It uses an audible SuperLATCH system to connect to your vehicle. You might find that the sound helps reassure you that the seat has been properly secured.

For your infant, the car seat includes a nesting insert to keep your baby comfy and secure. Remove the insert as your baby outgrows it. This is the neat feature that makes it possible to use the car seat from when your baby is a newborn and for several years beyond.

The sporty, aviator-like car seat has a 12-position headrest, 5 shoulder positions, and 3 buckle positions, all of which help this car seat grow with your child. The premium plush-knit cover is removable for machine washing.

Many Pampers Parents were disappointed that this car seat didn't come with cup holders, given its price.

Highlights: The car seat folds flat for easy storage.

Diono Radian 3RXT Convertible Car Seat
Item size 16.1 x 16.9 x 28.4 inches
Item weight 28.1 pounds
Child height Up to 44 inches [rear-facing mode], up to 57 inches [forward-facing mode and booster mode]
Child weight 5 to 45 pounds [rear-facing mode], 20 to 65 pounds [forward-facing mode], 5 to 120 pounds [booster mode]

Price*: about $254.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: Since it’s an all-in-one car seat, you won’t have to buy new car seats as your child grows.

  • Cons: The car seat is quite expensive and heavy.

6. Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat

Why pick this one? If you’re looking for a stylish booster seat, with its contrasting colors and piping the Evenflo Maestro might be what you have in mind.

This booster seat functions as both a forward-facing harnessed car seat and a belt-positioning booster seat. The manufacturer recommends you use its 5-point harness until your child reaches 50 pounds. Then you can use this product in the booster mode, securing it with your vehicle’s seat belt.

This Evenflo booster seat also features a shoulder belt guide to help you correctly position your child’s seat belt.

Most Pampers Parents loved all the features of this car seat, but many commented on its bulky size as being their number one drawback. The seat does not have a backless mode, which might be a deal breaker for you.

Highlights: Two cup holders provide some extra storage space.

Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat
Item size 17 x 19 x 27.5 inches
Item weight 9.6 pounds
Child age 1 year old and above [harnessed booster mode], 4 years old and above [seat belt booster mode]
Child height 28 to 50 inches [harnessed booster mode], 43.3 to 57 inches [seat belt booster mode]
Child weight 22 to 50 pounds [harnessed booster mode], 40 to 110 pounds [seat belt booster mode]

Price*: about $79.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: It’s safe and comfortable for your child, and it’s also affordable.

  • Cons: The headrest is not adjustable, the seat doesn’t recline, and there is no backless booster mode.

7. Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster

Why pick this one? The Evenflo Chase can be used as both a harnessed car seat and a belt-positioning booster seat depending on the size and age of your child. It’s equipped with a LATCH system, which makes it easy to install and switch between vehicles.

In harness mode, the 5-point harness can adjust to four different positions in order to suit your child’s height and build. In belt-positioning mode, there is a guide to let you know where to position your vehicle’s seat belt so that it sits correctly.

This model has a variety of fabric options, including a floral print and a dinosaur print. You might like to let your child help choose the one that appeals to him.

Pampers Parents praised this car seat for being affordable, having great safety features, and a sporty design.

Highlights: The car seat features a removable head pillow and a removable, machine-washable seat pad. It also comes with two cup holders.

Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster
Item size 18 x 18.5 x 29.5 inches
Item weight 9.14 pounds
Child age 2 years old and above [harnessed booster mode], 4 years old and above [seat belt booster mode]
Child height 28 to 50 inches [harnessed booster mode], 43.3 to 57 inches [seat belt booster mode]
Child weight 22 to 40 pounds [harnessed booster mode], 40 to 110 pounds [seat belt booster mode]

Price*: about $64.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: It’s safe, affordable, and lightweight.

  • Cons: The car seat is a little too bulky and the cup holders are too small.

8. Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat

Why pick this one? This particular booster seat by Graco is backless, unlike the high back model, the Graco TurboBooster High-Back Booster Seat.

It’s designed for older children who are ready to transition out of a harness booster, but not yet big enough to sit in the back seat without a bit of a lift.

The hideaway cup holders are a convenient feature; however, some Pampers Parents found them too small, and not very useful in the long run.

Highlights: The booster seat features comfy armrests and an easy-to-clean cushion that can be removed for machine washing. The plastic parts can also be cleaned easily with soapy water.

Graco Backless TurboBooster Car Seat
Item size 15 x 16 x 8.5 inches
Item weight 5.1 pounds
Child age 4 to 10 years old
Child height 43 to 57 inches
Child weight 40 to 100 pounds

Price*: about $24.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: It’s affordable, lightweight, and convenient to switch from car to car.

  • Cons: It doesn’t use a LATCH system, and there’s no way to completely secure it to your car’s back seat.

9. Graco Affix Backless Booster Seat

Why pick this one? As the name suggests, this backless booster seat from Graco doesn’t have a high back like many of the other booster seats on our list. This means it has a more limited time use for your child. But if you’re simply looking for a booster seat, this one could be the way to go!

It features a one-handed adjustable LATCH system similar to the Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat. This ensures the booster seat remains in place on your car’s back seat.

The seat features a cup holder and a hideaway compartment to keep some of your child’s small toys and games.

Some downsides that Pampers Parents noted: the booster seat has only one cup holder, the fabric options are very limited, and the armrests are too low.

Highlights: The fabric cover is removable for machine-washing. All the metal and plastic parts can be cleaned with soapy water.

Graco Affix Backless Booster Seat
Item size 15.5 x 16.5 x 8.64 inches
Item weight 6.4 pounds
Child age 3 to 10 years old
Child height Up to 57 inches
Child weight 40 to 100 pounds

Price*: about $26.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:

  • Pros: It’s lightweight and easy to switch from car to car.

  • Cons: It could use more padding.

What to Consider When Buying a Booster Seat

These are some factors to keep in mind when shopping for a booster seat:

  • It meets safety standards. The booster seat you choose should meet the safety standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.. You should also check that it hasn’t been recalled and that it hasn’t expired. Car seats have a lifespan of about six years, and the expiration date can usually be found somewhere on the seat itself. It’s best to buy new, but if you decide to accept a used model, make sure it hasn’t been in any accidents, that it hasn’t expired, and that you can get hold of the manufacturer’s instruction manual. If you have any doubts about its safety, don’t use it.

  • It’s comfortable for your little one. Most booster seats offer plenty of padding, but some are more comfortable than others. If you can, test out some booster seats in store.

  • It’s easy to clean. Some booster seats offer removable seat pads or covers that can be easily laundered. Some have designs that make it easier to wipe down the plastic or metal parts.

  • It’s easy to install. Some booster seats can be installed using your vehicle’s existing seat belts, whereas others use a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. The LATCH system works by latching onto your car’s back seat at the anchors in between the cushions and the anchors on the shelf behind the seat. Choose a booster seat that is easy for you to install. You may need to try a store model to check this.

  • It comes with extra features. Many booster seats include cup holders, and other accessory holders for your little one’s toys or games. These can come in handy for your child, especially since he’ll be strapped into the seat and won’t be able to reach very far. You might also find features like arm rests and adjustable headrests to be important.

When Your Child Can Stop Using a Booster Seat

Eventually your child will outgrow her booster seat. Although this may be several years down the road, here are some signs to look out for:

  • She’s big enough to use your car’s seat belt, typically when she reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches and is between 8 and 12 years old.

  • She can sit with her back against the seat.

  • Her knees bend over the seat’s edge without her having to slouch.

  • The lap portion of the seat belt sits low on top of her thighs.

  • The shoulder portion of the seat belt sits across the middle of her chest.

  • Your child can stay in this position throughout the entire car ride.

If you’re ever unsure whether your child is ready to move up to a booster seat, check with her healthcare provider for guidance.

Choosing the best booster seat for your growing child is easier with a little help from the thousands of Pampers Parents who’ve voted and shared their views. Once you’ve purchased a booster seat that will keep your child comfortable during those short and long car journeys, check out even more Pampers Parents reviews of essential gear for babies, children, and parents.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results

We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.

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