Which backless booster seat is best?

When your child gets too big for their forward-facing car seat or high-back booster seat, it’s time to transition to a backless booster seat. Unfortunately, knowing when to move your child to the next step safely can be confusing.

With a plethora of options on the market, you should have no trouble choosing the best backless booster seat for your family. However, the Diono Solana 2 Backless Booster Seat has a high weight limit and uses the LATCH system, making it a top choice that will keep kids safe for years. 

What to know before you buy a backless booster seat

What is the difference between a backless and a high-back booster seat?

There are many types of booster seats to accommodate different stages of a child’s growth. As the name implies, a high back booster seat has a back that a child sits against. The main benefit of a high back booster seat is that it also includes a belt-positioning clip to ensure the seat belt hits your child at the correct spot. However, a backless booster seat essentially just boosts your child up a few inches. 

When can I move my child to a backless booster seat?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, your child can safely move to a backless booster seat. 

  • Is your child at least 4 years old?
  • Is your child at least 35 inches tall?
  • Is your child at least 40 pounds?
  • When your child is sitting in a backless booster seat, does the seat belt hit across their shoulder and chest and not their face or neck?
  • Is your child able to keep their back flat against the vehicle seat and their knees bent naturally over the edge of the booster seat?
  • Is your child mature enough to sit safely in a backless booster seat without slouching, getting out of the seat belt or leaning to the side? 

What to look for in a quality backless booster seat

Ease of use

Compared to other car seats or booster seats, a high-back booster seat is one of the most straightforward child seats to use. However, a few features can make a backless booster seat even more convenient to own. For example, removable cup holders and car seat pads are convenient, making it easy to wash down the booster seat. Also, be sure to check if your backless booster seat comes with a machine-washable cover. 

LATCH

Backless booster seats are not required to be anchored or latched to the vehicle seat, unlike all previous infant and convertible car seats. However, if a booster isn’t secured to the vehicle’s seat, there is a possibility that it could slide around. If you prefer to have your backless booster seat anchored down, the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children — or “LATCH” — system makes installation and removal easy. 

Size

Size might not be a big issue if you just have one backless booster seat. But, if you have a small vehicle or need to fit three booster seats side by side, you’ll want to ensure you choose a backless booster seat that isn’t bulky.

How much you can expect to spend on a backless booster seat

Backless booster seats are much smaller and don’t have as many features as other types of car seats or high-back booster seats. This makes them a less expensive option. So, you can expect to spend between $15-$65 on a backless booster seat.

Backless booster seat FAQ

Can I use a secondhand backless booster seat?

A. Unless you know and trust the person handing down the booster seat, it’s best not to use a secondhand car seat since you can’t be sure that it wasn’t mishandled or in a car crash. 

Can I use a backless booster seat in the front seat?

A. No. Just like other car seats and high-back booster seats, backless booster seats should only be used in the back seat. Plus, it’s not recommended that any child rides in the front seat until they are about 13 years old.

What’s the best backless booster seat to buy?

Top backless booster seat

Diono Solana 2 Backless Booster Seat

Diono Solana 2 Backless Booster Seat

What you need to know: With a high weight limit of up to 120 pounds, this backless booster seat will keep kids safe for years. 

What you’ll love: This backless booster seat uses LATCH connectors and front adjusters to correctly and quickly tighten the booster and keep kids safe. The fabric cover is also machine washable for easy cleaning.

What you should consider: For a backless booster seat only, this model is on the expensive side.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Diono

Top backless booster seat for the money

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat

What you need to know: Big kids who are ready to transition out of a high-back booster seat will be comfortable in this backless booster seat, while parents will appreciate the affordable price.

What you’ll love: From height-adjustable armrests to hideaway cup holders, this backless booster seat has a ton of extras to make kids comfortable. The machine washable cover is also quick to clean.

What you should consider: Since this booster seat doesn’t have LATCH connectors, it can slide around a bit.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster Seat

Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster Seat

What you need to know: Chicco’s quick-release LATCH system makes installing and removing this backless booster seat safe and quick.

What you’ll love: The contoured ErgoBoost seat features double foam padding so kids can be comfortable during long car rides. This backless booster seat also comes with a handle for convenient carrying.

What you should consider: This backless booster seat is a little more expensive than most, and it’s slightly bulky.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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