Our selection of baby and kids’ car seats offers features including easy-to-adjust safety harnesses, adjustable recline, and durable frames to keep your child safe when travelling—no matter how long or short the ride. If your child weighs 40 pounds or more but is too small to comfortably bend her knees over the front of the booster seat, can’t achieve proper vehicle belt fit in booster mode, or maintain proper belt fit for an entire car ride, replace your seat with a different, forward-facing harnessed car seat. While booster seats absolutely offer better protection to children than a standard vehicle seatbelt alone, a harnessed car seat provides a much higher level of protection in a crash. Up-to-date pricing and reviews for convertible booster car seats on the market can be found at the convertible car seat adviser website.
Parents often look forward to transitioning from one stage or milestone to the next,” the American Academy of Pediatrics wrote in an August 2018 press release on car seat safety, emphasizing that car seats are one area where delaying transitions is the better thing to be celebrated: Each transition—from rear-facing to forward-facing, from forward-facing to booster seat, and from booster seat to seat belt alone—reduces the protection to the child.” There are also 3-in-1 car seats that can first be used as a rear-facing baby car seat, then as a forward-facing seat, then finally as a booster seat when the child reaches the recommended height and weight. A child safety seat, sometimes called a infant safety seat, child restraint system, child seat, baby seat, car seat , or a booster seat, is a seat designed specifically to protect children from injury or death during vehicle collisions Most commonly these seats are purchased and installed by car owners, but car manufacturers may integrate them directly into their vehicle’s design and generally are required to provide anchors and ensure seat belt compatibility.
• Backless booster seat age requirements: From the time kids surpass the weight or height limits allowed by their car seat to about 8 to 12 years of age (depending on the child’s size). The payoff for your time and effort is that you get one of the most advanced convertible carseats on the market, with unique, high-tech safety features and exceptional rear-facing weight and height limits. Children should remain in their current car seat stage, whether it’s a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat, until they reach its weight and height limits.
According to some CPSTs, backless booster seats can safely be used as long as you can get a good belt fit, the top of your child’s ears reach the top of the vehicle seat back, and your child is mature enough to sit up straight in the booster seat. Booster seats are for children who have outgrown their forward-facing harnessed convertible car seat. If your child weighs 40 pounds or more (the minimum weight allowable for booster use in these seats), you can use the seat in booster mode if he can bend his knees comfortably over the front of the booster seat and can achieve a proper vehicle belt fit.
Toddler-booster seats are typically used for kids who have outgrown the height or weight limits of their rear-facing seat until they are big enough to use the vehicle belts alone. High-back booster seats come with adjustable harnesses to fit comfortably across your child’s shoulders and the straps are connected to keep your kid safe using a push button latch system similar to most standard car seat belts. Experts agree children should stay rear-facing until at least age 2. The recommendations from both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and NHTSA are that baby stays rear-facing as long as is allowed by the seat, and at the very least until they are 2 years old Children can move to a booster as young as four years old, but despite the convenience of a booster, BabyGearLab aggress with the experts that children stay in their 5-point harness car seats as long as the manufacturer’s recommendations allow.
You’ll likely use one until your child outgrows the need for a car seat, although some parents (especially those with multiple children) might explore booster seats for those final years as they use the convertible car seat for the next child or look for more space in the car to fit three children across (there are several models of convertible car seats that excel at fitting 3-to-a-row). Also worth noting: Booster seat crash testing is important, but unlike with convertible or infant car seats, which provide extra protection with a five-point harness, a child riding in a booster depends on the car’s seat belt for protection. (Infant, convertible, and forward-facing five-point harness seats require a child to weigh under 40 pounds to use the LATCH restraint, otherwise the car seat should be secured using a seat belt).
All infant, convertible, and forward-facing five-point harness car seats manufactured after Sept 1, 2002 , include the LATCH option; but for booster seats, LATCH is optional, and the usual weight limit of 40 pounds does not apply. At just 19 inches (48 cm) in width, Safety 1st’s Grow and Go convertible car seat is a slim car seat which allows children to ride rear-facing, forward-facing, or using the seat as a high-back booster. It all depends on your child’s height and weight, the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations, and whether the child booster seat fits your vehicle.
In general it’s best hold off on using a booster seat and keep your child in a forward-facing, convertible car seat for as long as possible – as long as the child is still within the car seat’s height and weight limits and fits correctly. They are useful for when a vehicle has lap-only seat belts in the rear, for children with certain special needs, or for children whose weight has exceeded that allowed by car safety seats. Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for her convertible seat should use a forward- facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by her car safety seat manufacturer.
Another type of convertible seat known as a 3-in-1 or all-in-one car seat can change from rear-facing to forward-facing, then into a booster seat for children up to 100 pounds. Depending on the height of your child and where the vehicle’s shoulder belt hits your child’s shoulder, you will need to use the belt-positioning booster (with the highback on it), or for taller kids (over about 45″ tall) you can use the backless boosters because the vehicle’s seat belt will hit the child’s shoulder in the appropriate way. The combination booster car seat is a bit different, as it includes the 5-point harness for smaller children and then transitions to a belt-positioning booster (using the vehicle’s safety belts).
It functions as both a harnessed forward-facing seat for kids 25 – 90 pounds and up to 58 inches in height and as a booster for children 40 to 120 pounds and up to 62 inches in height. Once children exceed the height or weight requirement for forward-facing car seats, they can use a booster seat. When ready and after your child gets too big for the weight or height limits of the forward-facing car seat, put your child in a booster seat used with the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt.
Children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their car seat should move to a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness and top tether. Convertible car seats can be used rear-facing and then switched to forward-facing when your child reaches the appropriate height and weight. Parents love the convertible feature that allows you to transform this car seat from a rear-facing seat for babies to a backless booster for big kids.
• Backless booster seat weight requirements: From the time kids hit the weight max on their car seat to the time the adult seat belt fits them without the aid of a booster. Safety belts are designed with adults in mind, not kids, but when a booster seat is doing its job, the vehicle belt will fit a child correctly. The Maestro can be used as a harnessed booster for children 28 to 50 inches tall and up to 50 pounds and as a belt-positioning seat when kids are 44 to 57 inches tall and up to 110 pounds.
Pros: Converts to backless, does not require vehicle head support, high armrests are easy to route seat belt under, lightweight, narrow, price, shoulder belt guide to help with seat belt fit when used backless, and wide seating area is comfortable for bigger kids. All of that feedback led to our picks: an ultra-easy-to-install infant seat, a similarly easy-to-use convertible for older toddlers and preschoolers, a harness-to-booster that can keep kids safe before they’re completely ready for a booster, and a versatile booster that might be the last car seat your child needs. Just once more for emphasis: If your child has not exceeded their convertible car seat’s forward-facing height and weight limits, you should not start using a booster seat.
Older children need booster seats to help an adult safety belt fit correctly. Vivien Williams: Injury Prevention Coordinator, Kim Lombard, says the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay in rear-facing car seats until they reach the maximum height and weight limits for each car seat. Convertible car seats can be used rear- or forward-facing and typically have higher rear-facing height and weight limits than do infant-only car seats.
Our range of convertible booster seats has features and benefits that will make your life easier when traveling with your baby, as well as providing the safety and comfort that they need. It features four shoulder harness positions that provide a perfect fit for your child and, as your baby grows, you can use it both as a rear-facing and forward-facing seat. With these seats if your child is using the 5 point harness then they are riding in a car seat – and if your child is sitting on the child restraint and using the vehicle’s seat belt across them, then they are riding in a booster.
Convertible car seats can be used in forward-facing or in rear-facing positions, depending on the weight of your child. Comfortably seats rear-facing children from 2.3-22.7 kg (5-50 lbs), forward-facing children from 10 – 29.5 kg (22 – 65 lbs) and up to 144 cm (57″) in a 5-point harness, then converts to a booster for children between 23 and 54 kg (50 – 120 lbs) Booster seats are designed to raise children to a height where they can safely wear the vehicle’s built-in seat belt.
Because of the five-point harness featured by our top booster car seat, the Britax – Grow With You , the weight and height range are increased so that children can use this seat at an earlier age. As we wrote in our guides to infant and convertible car seats , the stringent rules surrounding car seat use are merited NHTSA estimates (PDF) that the lives of nearly 9,000 children under the age of 5 were saved by the use of car seats or safety belts between 1975 and 2008. When your child outgrows the requirements of a rear-facing car seat, he should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, until he reaches the height and weight limit.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping children in a rear-facing seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer” (). This seat provides exceptional safety with a secure fit, has one of the highest seat capacities, due to its five-point safety harness fitting children up to 120 pounds in booster mode. Larger children may use the airplane seat belt or continue to use their car safety seat on the airplane as long as it is labeled for use on aircraft and the child has not exceeded the seat’s weight or height limit.
Lap belts work fine with rear-facing-only, convertible, and forward-facing seats that have a harness but can never be used with a booster seat. Do not use a built-in seat until your child has reached the highest weight or height allowed for your rear-facing convertible car safety seat. Car safety seats may be installed with either the vehicle’s seat belt or its LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) system.
Once your child outgrows the forward-facing limits of your convertible car seat (many seats can accommodate 65 pounds or more), it’s time to switch to a booster seat. BRITAX belt-positioning booster seats raise the child so that the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts fit correctly on your child’s hips and shoulder. Without the booster car seat, the child’s lap and shoulders will be too low and the seat belt will not fit properly, posing a substantial safety risk.
While designing a car or the narrowest booster seat on the market, both manufacturers take all factors into consideration such as the number of car seats that would be required by a user, as well as the safety and security of the children who are travelling in the vehicle. The Diono Radian is a narrowest convertible car seat in 2020, and it can be used as narrowest harness booster car seat for children weighs up to 120 pounds. Harnessed boosters are also best for young children who can’t sit still and have a tendency to move the seat belt down under their arm or who tend to unbuckle the vehicle belt while in the car.
Your child needs a booster seat when he or she has reached the maximum height and/or weight for a forward-facing, harnessed car seat. Knowing your child’s weight and height will not only give you an easy time choosing a booster car seat for them but will also ensure you choose a seat that will keep them safe and secure while transporting them. Booster car seats have varying features to fit different weight and height.
Convertible car seats provide longevity and safety by transitioning from rear-facing harness to forward-facing harness. (Plus it’s less of a financial burden to spread each of these purchases over several years than than just a few.) Your child’s car and booster seats will have height and weight requirements included in their user manual and you will want to adhere to these. A backless booster is for children even older, but not quite tall enough to fit in the car as recommended for the seat belt. Be sure to visit the convertible car seat adviser for the best convertible booster car seats on the market to buy.
The Evenflo Maestro Booster Car Seat can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing to provide extended use for little multiple harness positions to choose from and easy, one-handed front adjustments, you’re sure to get a snug fit every ride. All kids who have outgrown the rear-facing height or weight limit for their car seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a full harness for as long as possible. There are several types of booster seats (Harnessed booster seats, Belt positioning booster seats, and no back booster seats) each one’s usage depends on the weight and height of the child.