Best High Back Booster Seats Reviewed in 2018

Whether you’re at a red light or green light, on the highway or headed home through peaceful neighborhood streets, you’re going to be thinking about the baby on board. Baby’s first car rides are exciting for the family, but they can be stressful too, if you don’t have the full confidence that you’ve invested in the safest and most functional resources for your family. Most children won’t be able to sit without the assistance of a car seat until they are around four feet nine inches, usually between the ages of eight and twelve. High Back Booster Seats provide the support most kids need when they’re along for the ride. The following products are among the highest rated and most frequently used on the market.

10 Best High Back Booster Seats

1. Evenflo AMP Blue Angles

1. Evenflo AMP Blue Angles
Evenflo is known for being highly affordable but their boosters also surpass safety ratings. This seat is padded, nicely designed, and simple.
Expand to see more
The awesome thing about this booster seat, in particular, is the fact that it has up to six adjustable positions. Each of these positions allows the seat to actually grow with your child which will save you money, time, and stress. Each one is specifically designed to work for your child as they grow, functioning in the best way possible throughout each stage of your toddler’s life until they eventually don’t need a booster seat anymore. Adjusting it also couldn’t be easier; with the “one-hand” adjustable height feature, that’s all you need to pull the back of the booster up or push it down. Taking it apart is relatively simple as well and will save you the hassle of struggling with a booster seat that’s overly complicated and doesn’t do half of what this one does.

Benefits
It’s the small features, such as two individual cup holders, that make this seat shine against the rest. There’s room for juice and a snack which, in turn, will make your baby happy as well as comfortable and prevent you from constantly turning around in your seat.

What We Like About It
Getting a seat belt locked can occasionally be a struggle for toddlers who are still new to buckling themselves in. On the side of this seat, you’ll find specially marked blue guides that will direct them to the seat belt lock and show them exactly where they need to go with it -- Helpful and safe!
Pros

Six different positions

Versatile enough to be used throughout toddlerhood

Easily transitioned from one position to the next

Features cup holders and safety belt directions

Sleek look

Cons

The plastic backing is sometimes uncomfortable

2. Evenflo Naperville

2. Evenflo Naperville
The EvenFlo Naperville is meant to grow with your family. It’s two seats in one, useful as a high backed and no-back booster seat with an easy transition between the two. Six different height adjustments can be altered one-handed to accommodate busy parents and growing children.
Expand to see more
The EvenFlo Naperville is meant to grow with your family. It’s two seats in one, useful as a high backed and no-back booster seat with an easy transition between the two. Six different height adjustments can be altered one-handed to accommodate busy parents and growing children. The seat is side-impact tested and meets all federal safety standards, guaranteed to maintain its integrity in impacts up to two times the federal crash standard. Foam liner helps to soften impact by absorbing energy, and boosts children’s comfort. The seat pads are machine washable in cold water, and simple to remove, so the seat can stay clean and comfortable for years to come.

Benefits

High back booster seats keep children strapped safely in place while providing the necessary support for growing little bodies.

What We Like About It

It exceeds most safety standards, is easy to adjust, and it’s a cinch to clean. As far as an effective and functional seat for daily use, this might just be old reliable. It’s an NHSA best pick for a reason.
Pros

Withstands twice the recommended impact of safety standards

NHSA best pick

Cushions are thick and comfortable

Easy to adjust

Can be used without the back when the child is old enough

Cons

You’ll need to make sure the seatbelt is on securely and in the proper position, or the seat will slide around some

3. Cosco Five-Point Harness

3. Cosco Five-Point Harness
The Cosco Highback Booster sits well with your child from 22 to 80 pounds. Use the five-point harness system to keep younger children safely buckled up, and switch over to the belt-positioning booster when the time is right.
Expand to see more
The Cosco Highback Booster sits well with your child from 22 to 80 pounds. Use the five-point harness system to keep younger children safely buckled up, and switch over to the belt-positioning booster when the time is right. Simply remove the harness to adjust and repurpose your Cosco seat. When threading the seatbelt in through the booster, the seat provides two guides to help parents establish where the proper latch and fit is. The seat pads can all be removed for hassle-free washer-dryer access, and even the cup holder comes detached and can be run through the dishwasher to keep everything good and tidy.

Benefits

The Cosco Highback seat can also be utilized with the included five-point harness, making it functional throughout multiple stages of child development and growth.

What We Like About It

It’s your go-to for travel. It’s light and can be taken on the plane with you, preventing you from having to rent nasty mystery car seats from the car rental agencies on the other side.
Pros

Detachable five-point harness included

Seating pads can be removed and machine washed

Includes a dishwasher safe removable cup holder

Holds from 22 to 80 pounds safely

Guides to help thread the seat belt in booster mode

Cons

No protection against rubbing against the neck and sensitive young skin

4. Graco Turbobooster Lava

4. Graco Turbobooster Lava
For all the features combined with the simplistic nature that Graco is known for, the Turbobooster is definitely one for you. It sounds futuristic but, in reality, it's just a really excellent choice for a modern booster seat.
Expand to see more
Judging by the name, you might be thinking that this car seat is something akin to a rocket ship that’s ready to blast off. The term “turbobooster” simple just means that it’s exceptional as far as functionality goes and is “turbo” in the sense that it’s the highest quality, has the highest safety ratings, and also the highest level of functionality. This seat is designed for kids ages four to ten which means you’ll get a solid seven years of usage out of this booster. It’s adjustable and can be turned into a backless seat when your child is ready, but it also has added back support during the interim where your child needs it. Like many other Graco boosters, the headrest on this seat is also adjustable but it’s also been thoroughly tested for safety. It has received some of the highest marks possible in its class, making it number one as far as child-safe transportation goes. This seat also has a sleek and stylish design that doesn’t even give it the feel of a booster; this is one seat your child will absolutely love using.

Benefits
If you look closely, you’ll notice that this booster also features additionally padded armrests. As your child grows, these armrests can become a huge comfort to them rather than having hard, uncomfortable places to rest their elbows for a while.

What We Like About It
We love that the headrest on this booster is such a focal point. It’s not uncommon to worry about your child’s head while resting in a booster seat and, because of that. Graco has designed this to be double-padded as well as adjustable so it can prevent any potential injury or discomfort.
Pros

Top-rated in safety

Adjustable and padded headrest

Padded armrests

Can be easily converted to a backless booster

Sleek design and look

Cons

Kids might end up sitting too far forward in some car models

5. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1

5. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1
This is a great deal for a car seat that offers so much more than just a booster. It's at a great, affordable price for features and quality that you simply can't find elsewhere.
Expand to see more
If you’re looking for versatility and something that will be a forever-type of product, the Graco Nautilus should definitely be at the top of your list. This booster can handle kids weighing anywhere from 22 to 120 pounds, depending on how tall they are and what growth stage they’re at. This seat functions in three stages; the first as a forward-facing seat with a safety harness, the second as a high-back booster using the car’s seat belt, and the third as a backless booster for when your child outgrows their seat. As you can see, this will definitely save you money but it will also save you the time you’d normally spend looking for a car seat, high-back booster, and booster base as well. Graco has really thought of everything when it comes to this versatile seat, and they even thought to add storage space to it so when your child does outgrow their harness stage, it can be easily stored within the seat.

Benefits
This booster is fully customizable, from the height requirements all the way to the safety harness. This makes it great for any child at any age.

What We Like About It
There’s a special feature about this seat that we haven’t discussed yet, and that’s its ability to recline. It can be set in three different positions, meaning your child will always be comfortable and ready to go along for the ride.
Pros

Fully adjustable

Customizable seat positions

Great for kids up to 120 pounds

Features three different settings

Will grow with your child

Cons

It is somewhat pricey

6. Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1

6. Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1
This seat is sleek and chic and barely resembles a traditional car seat. For parents who don't want to be reminded of how much space or how clunky traditional car seats can be, look no further.
Expand to see more
If you’re looking for the basics in all that modern booster seat technology has to offer you, then the Evenflo Spectrum has you covered. This futuristic-looking booster offers comfort, safety, a chic design, and additional (hidden) storage in the form of a pull-out drawer. It’s comfortable with padding all around including on the headrest and is designed to be safe for kids up to 110 pounds. Speaking of padding, this Evenflo seat uses an advanced technology called LyfGuard, which makes use of several layers of padding to protect your child in the event of a high-impact situation. It also features two cup holders as well as two trays that are incredibly useful on long trips and, when not in use, they can be stored so as to not take away from the space in the car. This car seat was designed to look modern and classy, and we’d say Evenflo is totally nailing it with this one.

Benefits
The advanced safety features combined with the modern comfort of this booster make it one of our favorites on this list. It not only looks cool, but it’ll put your mind at ease and make your child feel comfortable on long car rides.

What We Like About It
The hidden storage and removed cup holders and trays really make this seat something to be marveled at. It’s minimal at best while still allowing you versatility and a high level of functionality.
Pros

Super modern design

Features storage

Comes with additional drink holders as well as food trays

Advanced technology safety features

Can comfortably fit kids up to 110 pounds

Cons

It’s not very sturdy when kids lean forward or to the sides

7. Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1

7. Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1
It's simple, yet compact and understated. Padding is the name of the game and Graco has your child covered in every way possible for comfort.
Expand to see more
While this car seat might look basic from its exterior, it offers some great features that really can’t be beaten. For the price, you’re really getting three separate seats -- A harness car seat, a high-back booster, and a backless booster seat as well. Each stage of the car seat allows your child to grow with it, all while providing comfort as well as safety. This seat is superbly padded which means it’s great for road trips and long drives, and will quickly turn into something your child will love sitting in. It’s a great basic car seat for anyone who isn’t looking to spend a lot of money or run around buying many different seats for each stage of their child’s growth. When it’s coming from Graco, you know this seat has safety features out the wazoo as well!

Benefits
This seat offers versatility in the form of eight different height options for your child. As they grow, they’ll need a booster that adjusts to them, not the other way around.

What We Like About It
This seat is basic without being too boring or lacking and significant features that make it so useful. It still has the addition of cup holders, versatile height ranges, as well as three separate age-appropriate options that make it a solid choice for a first booster.
Pros

Three stages of seating

Eight adjustable height ranges

Includes a cup holder

Will grow with your child

Minimalistic design

Cons

The seat itself is very lightweight

8. Clek Oobr

8. Clek Oobr
This Canadian brand has a claim to fame as far as their safety and design goes. This booster is simply one of a kind and offers everything you're looking for in spades -- And at a price.
Expand to see more
Now, this is a company you’ve probably never heard of before. Clek is a Canadian-based manufacturer and the car seat they produce is top of the line which, of course, is why it made our list. It is substantially more expensive than other boosters out there but once you hear all the features of this car seat, you’ll understand why. Let’s start with safety. The Oobr features a back latch that fits the booster securely to the back of any car seat, ensuring that it stays in place during every turn. It also provides stability in the event of an accident which is the first step to keeping your child safe and preventing them from being jolted about. Also, while latched, your child has the option of up to 12 degrees of reclining comfort. This means they’ll be super comfortable during long car rides and prevents that “stiff” feeling from sitting in the car for too long. In addition to its comfort features, the headrest on this car seat is also a thing of beauty -- It’s heavily padded so that your child can lean from one side to the other without getting uncomfortable. On the interior design of this booster, you’ll find nothing but heavy supports and strong structure. Everything has been designed and built to last while providing the highest levels of safety possible for your little one.

Benefits
This is Canadian technology at its finest and the Oobr is definitely a car seat that any parent would be happy using for their child. They haven’t left out a single thing and even while this booster is backless, it’s still providing comfort and support.

What We Like About It
The Oobr is fairly minimal in design which is great for parents who don’t like the idea of having a booster take up half the back seat. It’s not super large and isn’t flashy, which means it just kind of settles into the background of any type of car.
Pros

Fully padded headrest

Adjustable recline

Stellar quality in design

Extremely safe

Features a secure back latch

Cons

Might be outside of some budgets

9. Chicco KidFit 2-in-1

9. Chicco KidFit 2-in-1
For maximum adjustment potential, Chicco is the brand that many parents consider to be highly versatile. It allows you tons of customization for kids who might not always be comfortable sitting in a booster seat.
Expand to see more
This booster is versatile in literally every single way possible. Not only does it have a back latch that can be attached to the back seat of the car, but it can also be adjusted from the front as well. The back is also adjustable and reclining, and the front can be slid back and forth as well. The seat itself features cool black and orange colors which just adds to the sleek race car look of this seat. With side-impact cushioning, this seat is one step ahead in safety and will ensure that your child is safe whenever they’re buckled in. Nearly every arm pad and armrest is removable and able to be washed separately which also gives this booster a ton of points as far as hygiene goes as well!

Benefits
The ErgoBoost technology that Chicco uses combines comfort with support in order to provide your child with a comfortable and safe seat in the car. This modern technology is what makes this car seat one of a kind.

What We Like About It
This is definitely a space-saving booster seat. With foldable cup holders as well as removable arm pads, this seat won’t take up much more room than the seat it’s attached to and won’t look bold and out of place in a tiny car.
Pros

Ergonomic design

Three different color options

Can be adjusted in several different ways

Features a back latch

Comfortable and adds significant back and arm support

Cons

You might have a hard time latching it to the seat in some car models

10. Diono Cambria

10. Diono Cambria
With double-wall protection, the Diono Cambria is “Safety Synergized” as the company likes to call it. It will fit children between 40 and 120 pounds and 38 to 63 inches in height.
Expand to see more
With double-wall protection, the Diono Cambria is “Safety Synergized” as the company likes to call it. It will fit children between 40 and 120 pounds and 38 to 63 inches in height. Adjusting for various heights is easy and can be accomplished one-handed for all you multi-taskers out there. The 2-in-1 seat can be used as a highback or backless booster for your little one, and is ergonomically contoured to be both safe and cozy. Two reclining positions allow tots to doze or get lost in a daze. A latch system offers secure installation in this spacious design, and it packs flat when not in use for easy commutes. A one year warranty protects it from any manufacturing defects, and an energy absorbing EPE foam protects against side-impact collisions. Two retractable cup holders can be used for the usual juice box, water bottle, milk carton, or snack. Get your little one as close as they can be to the lap of luxury when it comes to a roomy, comfortable car seat.

Benefits

This seat is double-walled and padded with EPE foam to protect children in case of collision. It has a little extra room to it, so older and taller kids will probably gravitate towards this model if asked about a favorite.

What We Like About It

Wider and taller than many of its contemporaries, the Diono Cambria is for the older, taller children in your circle of loved ones. It won’t squish lanky limbs, so everyone can ride in comfort and style.
Pros

Wider design gives more space to growing bodies

Holds kids between 40 and 120 pounds

Double-walled

EPE foam protects against side impacts

One year warranty

Cons

Difficult to install in the car

Clunky to carry around for long periods of time

Criteria Used in the Evaluation of the Best High Back Booster Seats

Obviously, having a good car seat is important both for the safety and comfort of your child while in the car. Most places have laws against children being without them under a certain age, so not only are you following the rules by having one, but you’re also drastically increasing your child’s safety while in a moving vehicle. Now that it’s been established that every parent needs one, it’s time to figure out the next step: How do you choose one? That’s where we come in. In order to find the best car seats, we had to first ask ourselves what features were important and what we should be looking for in the design, specifications, and safety features. First and foremost, safety was our number one. We refused to add anything to this list that wasn’t certified tested safe, therefore we ended up with a solid base for our research. After looking for safety features such as padding, impact control, and energy absorption, we moved onto the design of these car seats. We’ve provided designs for every parent’s tastes, from modern and futuristic to traditional and space-saving. In addition, we looked for certain specifications — These included additional features like cup holders, removable trays, the ability to recline, how versatile they were, etc. This all landed us with a fairly top-notch Top Ten list.

How Do You Know When Your Child Is Ready?

Deciding when your child can start using a booster seat might seem nerve-wracking and daunting because you don’t want anything to happen to them. There are age restrictions on most of these booster seats, and many are not intended for use in toddlers under the age of four. The best way to know whether or not your child is ready for their booster seat is to go by the weight specified on the instructions that come with each one. These seats have been tested and rated according to various weights and that really should be your determining factor. In addition, your child should be complete, 100% comfortable in their booster seat. If their legs don’t sit comfortably, if their arms begin bothering them, and if their neck becomes stiff, chances are they’re either not quite ready or that they’re in the wrong type of booster seat for them. It can be a bit of trial and error initially, but the key is to have your child as comfortable as possible before you ever put your car into “drive”. Additionally, boosters should always be placed in the backseat. Kids who still need a booster should never be allowed to sit in the front seat and boosters are not designed for that, which is why many come with back latches — These must be attached to the back seat in order to stabilize the seat without depending on your car’s safety belt.

When Do You Know If You Should Upgrade?

You should always keep your child in each booster seat setting as long as possible before moving on to the next position. When your child is noticeably growing and beginning to get a bit uncomfortable, that might be your sign to remove the backing on their booster. This can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing for them, so always remember to take it slow. Have them sit in the car several times or perhaps drive around the block or to a close store before committing to long car rides. The more comfortable they are in their seat, the more relaxed they’ll be, which means the safer they’ll be. A car seat is there solely for protection, not to scare your child and make them uncomfortable whenever they need to sit in the car!

Can My Child Stop Using Their Booster Now?

According to safety recommendations, all children should be in a properly fitted booster seat until they’re at least eight years old. In fact, many weight requirements will go up to at least 100 pounds, which is pretty simultaneous with that age. If your child grows faster, always check their height and weight in order to make a decision. They’ll be able to tell you as well; if they feel uncomfortable or squished in any way in their booster seat, then it might be time to reevaluate if they’re ready to sit without it. A booster seat will always protect your child in the event of an accident by keeping the stable, secure in one place, and providing adequate padding that will prevent potential injuries. While it’s a scary thing to think about, your child’s car seat is very necessary and serves as the number one form of protection while in the car. If your child begins to outgrow his or her seat, a booster might actually be doing more harm than good, though — Always be sure to read the directions and follow the latest safety protocol before making a definite decision.

How Are Booster Seats Tested?

Boosters are tested in much the same way that cars or any other modes of transportation are. They’re tested like seat belts; in the event of an accident or crash, situations will be re-enacted to see how well each seat holds up. Based on these results, safety warnings or ratings can be doled out in order to both approve or disapprove of a specific booster seat. It’s true that some are safer than others and you do have other features to consider, such as what type of car you drive. Overall, these seats are tested in every way possible to ensure that your child is safe from the moment they’re buckled in until the moment they’re safely out of the car.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the fabric on this seat be washed or cleaned?

A: There are several boosters on this list that offer the option for removable padding, yes. We’ve specified in each summary whether these seats have that feature, but most of them can be easily spot-cleaned as well.

Q: How are these different from any other booster seats?

A: All the products we’ve listed here have been thoroughly researched and came back with stellar safety ratings. Some even have features that aren’t commonly seen in other seats, which is why we’ve chosen to add them to our list. They all offer something in the way of making your life easier, adding increased safety, and having that little something extra that you’re not likely to find elsewhere.

Q: Will these work in any type of vehicle?

A: Some boosters work better than others. One of the trickiest things when it comes to picking one out is figuring out how it will fit in your car, and this is something that, unfortunately, you just have to take a chance on. If any boosters have given parents issues as far as a proper fit goes, we’ve been sure to list it — Other than that, you should be fine with any of these options.

Q: What if I only need the booster and not the actual car seat option?

A: Never fear! We’ve included plenty of options for whatever you’re looking for. While several of these booster seats do have the initial option to be used as a fully-functioning car seat, many are just booster seats and most are available for an extremely reasonable price for the features that you get.

Q: How durable are these?

A: Each of these seats is built to handle the weight limit that’s specified. They’ve also been thoroughly tested in order to meet certain safety standards, which makes them strong, well-built, and long-lasting.

Q: Why do I need a booster with a high back?

A: High-back booster is somewhat of the in-between when your child is going from the car seat to a booster seat. The added back offers much-needed support as well as the option to be firmly secured in the seat. It will also help them to get a feel for the car seat belt before actually seating in a booster and using only that to be buckled in.

Sources

  1. Admin, Booster Seat Safety, Kid Safety Tips,
  2. Admin, Booster Seats, Parenting Safety tips,
  3. Admin, When is my child ready for a booster seat?, Informative Parenting Article ,