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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

46 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
522 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best backseat car organizers

Last Updated March 2020

Keeping your car neat and tidy can be a challenge whether you have pint-sized passengers or not. Most of us spend a good chunk of each day behind the wheel and, of course, every trip calls for its own unique set of stuff: coffee cups and folders for work, snacks and toys for car rides with the kids, and everything but the kitchen sink for family road trips.

If car clutter is driving you to distraction, a backseat car organizer can help you get back on track. With compartments that hold everything from toys and tablets to drinks and snacks, backseat car organizers effectively kick chaos to the curb while keeping passenger items within easy reach.

If you need help choosing a backseat car organizer, our shopping guide will point you in the right direction. Read on for all the information you need to find the best style, size, and feature set for your needs.

By providing quick and easy access to must-have accessories like toys, wet wipes, tissues, or snacks, backseat car organizers can take some stress out of traveling with children.

Key considerations

Hanging vs. freestanding

Backseat car organizers come in two basic styles: hanging and freestanding. We've outlined both to help you find the best fit for your vehicle.

Hanging backseat car organizers come with straps which are secured to a front seat. The top strap loops over the headrest, and the bottom wraps around the backrest. Because hanging backseat car organizers don't take up any additional backseat real estate, they tend to be the go-to choice for family vehicles.

Freestanding car organizers are helpful if legroom is tight or you have room to spare on the backseat. These box-style car organizers sit directly on the backseat (or the front seat, if you prefer) and are usually secured with a seatbelt. While freestanding car organizers do take up a bit of seat space, they also tend to hold a good deal.

Size and fit

Size varies from model to model. To determine if an organizer would be a good fit for your vehicle, take a look at the measurements (including strap length), and compare these to your car seat dimensions. If you're still unsure, try reaching out to the manufacturer — most are more than happy to assist. It's also worth noting that not all hanging backseat car organizers are designed to cover the entire backrest. Certain models are purposely made shorter so as not to interfere with legroom.

Compartments and pockets

To make sure everything will fit, consider the number of items you need your backseat car organizer to hold, as well as their size. While some models boast a number of compartments in varying sizes, others might only offer a handful of larger pockets.

Strength and durability

If your car doesn't see much backseat traffic and you intend to use your organizer for lightweight items such as documents, magazines, tissues, and the like, you probably won't need the most rugged option. However, it's definitely worth looking for something extra strong and sturdy if you have children or other regular passengers, or if you need to stow breakables like tablets or portable DVD players. Wide straps, thick fabric, and reinforced stitching are all good indicators of a durable product.

EXPERT TIP

If you like the idea of a pick-up-and-go backseat car organizer that can easily be carried indoors, a freestanding model with built-in handles is a safe bet.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Tablet window

Some backseat car organizers come with a clear window to accommodate tablets. These are usually situated near the top of the organizer for viewing ease, and some even have cutouts for chargers and headphone jacks. If you can’t stand the thought of hearing so one more “Are we there yet?”, “I’m bored!”, or “How much longer?!”, this is one feature you definitely won’t want to miss.

Cup and bottle holders

Staying hydrated is important, but not all cars come with backseat cup holders, and those that do aren’t always made to be easily accessible for kids in car seats. Many backseat car organizers come with smaller mesh pockets that double as cup holders. A select few even boast insulated compartments to help keep drinks chilled or warm. 

Trays

A handful of backseat car organizers feature drop-down trays. These can be ideal for on-the-go meals or snacks and will also act as a flat drawing or playing surface for kids.

Kick mats

Car rides with kids can be unpredictable, but if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s the drumming of little feet against your front seats. While it won't do much to stop the kicking itself, a backseat car organizer with an integrated kick mat can offer protection from scuff marks, scrapes, and dirt.

CAUTION

Car clutter isn't just unsightly — it's also a safety hazard. Having loose items rolling around in your car is a major distraction and sudden braking could even send some objects flying.

Accessories

Car trash can: High Road TrashStand Weighted Car Trash Can
Between empty bottles, packets, soda cans, receipts, and flyers, trash can pile up pretty quickly. With a car trash can like the High Road TrashStand, you can put a lid on litter — and thanks to a weighted bottom, you won't have to worry about this one falling over, either.

Car headrest hooks: Lebogner Car Seat Headrest Hooks
If you need somewhere to hang clothes or bags, a sturdy set of car headrest hooks like this six-pack of Lebogner Car Seat Headrest Hooks is just the ticket. This particular set can even be adjusted to hold water bottles.

Travel tray: DMOOSE Kids' Travel Tray
Going for a long drive with a toddler in tow? A kids' travel tray like the DMOOSE Kids' Travel Tray will allow little ones to eat, draw, and play in comfort.

Backseat car organizer prices

Inexpensive: Backseat car organizers priced under $10 are likely to be smaller with only a handful of pockets. These choices may not be as durable as their pricier counterparts.

Mid-range: Many backseat car organizers within the $10 to $20 price bracket deliver a good balance of quality and value. Most options come with plenty of pockets to help you stay organized and ample features to keep passengers happy.

Expensive: Heavy-duty backseat car organizers with larger dimensions, extra pockets, and standout features like folding trays or insulated cup holders can set you back anywhere from $20 to $30.

EXPERT TIP

In addition to taming clutter, a backseat car organizer can help minimize passenger requests, allowing drivers to focus on the road.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

These tips can help you get the most out of your backseat car organizer.

  • Don't overload the pockets. Filling your organizer's pockets with heavy items will put unnecessary strain on the seams and could cause the entire unit to sag.
  • Consider legroom. It can be tempting to cram as much as you can into your backseat car organizer, especially if you're embarking on a lengthy trip. But before you do, take a moment to consider passenger comfort. Remember: more items equal added bulk and less legroom.
  • Check the compartments periodically. Kids are known to stash things in the most unlikely places. To keep your car from becoming a moving science project, go through your backseat car organizer pockets at least once a week to check for concealed edibles, half-eaten snacks, and the like.

Other products we considered

For busy parents, just the idea of emptying each pocket after a car ride can be exhausting. The Tidy Ridey Backseat Organizer solves the problem of carting individual items back and forth with a simple folding design and handy carrying straps.

Don't have an inch of legroom to spare? The versatile JACO HangPro Car Organizer offers all the space you need for essentials in an ultra-compact package and works as both a front and backseat car organizer.

If a tablet window is important to you, keep in mind that compartment sizes vary. Check the dimensions before buying to see if your tablet would fit.

FAQ

Q. Are children in car seats able to reach items in a backseat car organizer?
A.
This really depends on how much space there is between the backseat and the front seat. Most kids won't have any trouble reaching an organizer in an average-size car, but in larger vehicles with lots of legroom, it might not be as easy.


Q. Can I still operate my touchscreen through a tablet window?
A.
In most cases, yes. The vast majority of backseat car organizer windows are designed for full touchscreen functionality rather than just viewing.


Q. How should I clean my backseat car organizer?
A.
We recommend spot cleaning your backseat car organizer with a damp cloth and soapy water. Dried mud and other stubborn dirt can usually be scrubbed off with a toothbrush. If you have a serious mess on your hands and think a wash might be necessary, refer to the manufacturer's care instructions for water temperature and drying guidelines before taking action.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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