Kids grow fast, and during those early years, it seems like you’re constantly having to buy new accessories and equipment. One of those pieces of equipment that can creep up on you is a booster seat, which you’ll need to purchase when your child outgrows their car seat.
Safety is a priority, and you’ll want a product you can trust. Britax is a brand known for making quality products, and they have a line of booster seats that can fit your needs. The best booster seat for you will be determined by the age, height and weight of your child. However, an all-around top pick is the Britax Grow with You ClickTight Plus Harness-2 Booster.
Every child is different, but you want to keep your child in a traditional, forward-facing car seat with a harness until they surpass the height and weight limit. That’s when they should graduate to a booster seat.
Laws vary per state, but some require a child to be seated in a booster seat until 8 years old. Also, keep in mind that most car seat belts won’t properly fit passengers any shorter than 4 foot 9 inches, so a booster seat is necessary until your child meets the height requirements.
You always want to put your booster seat in the back. In some states, it’s illegal for a child to sit in a booster seat in the front. If the center rear seat has a three-point seat belt, that is the safest place in the car for a booster seat. However, if it only has a lap belt, it’s best to opt for either the left or right rear seat.
Kids make a mess, and that includes when they’re in the car. Luckily, you can at least keep the booster seat clean because most Britax models come with a detachable cover that is machine washable.
A Britax booster seat is on a mid- to high-level price point for booster seats. Depending on the features, benefits and size of the booster seat, it can cost you between $75-$350.
A. Yes! But safety standards change, and booster seats have an expiration date of about 6 years. You should always check the sticker on the side of the booster seat to verify the exact date it expires. If you are under the 6-year mark, the seat has never been in an accident and it is in good shape, it is safe to pass down to your other children.
A. Maybe. A used booster seat should only be purchased if you are very familiar with the previous owners and absolutely positive the seat was not involved in any accidents. If you cannot verify that information, we do not recommend you purchase a used booster seat. It’s not worth the risk.
What you need to know: This top-of-the-line booster seat is loaded with safety features, including a five-point harness and additional cushions that help protect your child’s neck, head and torso.
What you’ll love: This booster easily transitions from toddler to big kid with the ability to sit in both front-facing harness mode and belt-positioning mode. The ClickTight attachment systems can give you confidence that your child is buckled in correctly. It has just three simple steps: open, thread and buckle and close.
What you should consider: Some users have noted that the straps can be difficult to tighten.
Where to buy: Buy Buy Baby
What you need to know: This budget-friendly model offers comfort and safety for children 40-120 pounds.
What you’ll love: This dual-use booster seat can convert from high-back to backless, depending on your child’s size. This easy-to-remove fabric cover is machine washable for easy laundering, while the cupholders are dishwasher safe.
What you should consider: Customers have noted that the headrest is not as durable and stable as other models.
What you need to know: This mid-range booster seat is loaded with top-notch comfort features for children of all sizes.
What you’ll love: You’ll love that your child is completely safe with the three layers of side impact protection from the foam-lined headrest, impact-absorbing shell and external cushioning. This model easily converts from a high-back position to a backless booster, depending on your little one’s age and size.
What you should consider: This booster seat is not compatible with cars with a protruding headrest. Verify the booster seat correctly fits in any car that the seat will be used before purchasing.
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Ryan Dempsey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.