Booster seats come in three types; combination seats, high back car seats, and backless boosters. Your child will usually need a different type of booster seat depending on their age or weight. If the child is old enough not to sleep or slump over when riding in the car, then a booster seat may be a very good option to consider.
Boosters are just transition seats hence the question, how long does a child need a booster seat?
Booster seats may be used by a child between the ages of 4 and 11. A child can sit in a harnessed booster seat when they are about 4 years old and they weigh in at about 40 pounds and have exceeded the weight and height limits of their convertible car seats.
Backless Booster Seats
Backless booster seats are more or less specialized cushions that lift your child off the seat of the car allowing for a better seat belt fit. Most boosters seats will have a seat belt path that will guide you on how to install them on the vehicle car seat.
It is always advisable to read the manufacturer instructions and your vehicle owners manual when installing your backless booster seat to ensure the safety of your child. Nonetheless, most backless boosters will either have you install the seat belt through either rings or metal tubes on either side of the seat.
Why Backless Booster Seats
Parents and kids alike love the backless booster car seat because of the following reasons:
- They are compact, lightweight and typically cost less than a high back or combination booster seat
- They not only save you money but also space given that they are small and hence may be suitable for small cars or big families or just anyone that needs a lot of space.
- Older children prefer them given that they are not so babyish as compared to other car seats.
Our Favorite Best Rated Backless Booster Seats
|Car Seat Brand||Price||Safety Rating||Weight (lbs)||Warranty|
|Graco Backless Turbobooster||$23.79||4.5 stars||5.46||One Year|
|Evenflo Amp Performance||$22.39||4.4 stars||5.9||90 days|
|Cosco Top Side Booster||$19.99||4.2 stars||2.2||Not Indicated|
|Clek Ozzi Licorice||$79.20||4.1 stars||6.0||One year|
|Bubblebum Inflatable||$22.68||4.0 stars||1.2||One Year|
When is the Child Ready for a Backless Booster Seat
You should never be in a rush to move a child to a booster car seat before they have attained the age, weight and height requirements of a booster seat. You need to keep in mind that every time you move a child to a different type of car seat, the level of protection reduces. As such, you need to have the child in the given car seat stage for as long as you can to ensure that they are safe.
Your kid will be ready to use a booster seat when they weigh approximately 40 to 65 pounds which means they would have outgrown the height or weight limit of their forward facing harnesses. Your car seat owner's manual will typically have instructions on the weight and height limits of your given car seat, and you should keep the kid in their harnessed seat for as long as the manual recommends.
Above 65 pounds, your child, while too heavy and tall for a harnessed forward facing car seat, is still too small and not ready for adult safety belts. Given that most car seat safety belts are made for the average 165 pound adult, a child will typically need to use belt positioning booster seats until they are between 8 and 12 years old or at least 4'9" in height to prevent any injury in the instance of a crash.
Important Car Booster Seat Rules
When can a Child Use a Booster Seat
- A child that is too small for the vehicle belt system
- A child that when sitting on the vehicle seat cannot bend their knees when their back is on the back of the vehicle seat.
- A child that is under 4'9" and weighs between 40-80 pounds, is aged between 4 and 8 and is at the least 35 inches in height.
- A child that is over the height limitations of your forward facing convertible car seat or no longer fits in its harness.
Your car seat needs to be as high as the child's ears for it to be safe to use a backless booster seat. The reason for this is that the bottom of the skull is usually at the same height as the top of the ears. As such, if the seat is too low the child could suffer from whiplash in case of a crash. If the seat is too low you should use a high back booster which will provide protection from whiplash thus preventing serious injury to the child in the instance of a crash.
Use and Installation of a Backless Booster Car Seat
- Ensure that you have read the child seat safety instructions before you install the booster seat in your car.
- Ensure that you use a lap belt with your belt positioning booster.
- You may use a backless belt positioning booster if the car has a head restraint.
Using the Booster Seat
- As with all safety car seats, the best position for children below the age of 12 is the back seat.
- Carefully read the vehicle owners manual and your car seat manufacturers manual on how to install the backless booster seat.Every vehicle and booster seat is unique hence the need to follow all instructions to the latter
- Place the seat in the back seat of the car and ensure it is as flat as it can be on the car's seat.
- Place the child on the safety seat.
- Pull the seat belt through the belt positioning rings or loops, over the child's thighs and buckle the seat belt.
- Adjust the lap belt to ensure a snug fit across the child's upper thighs (never have the lap belt on the stomach).
- Check that the seat is buckled in snugly as often as you can.
- The child can stop using the booster car seat typically when they are between the ages of 8 to 10 or when they are at least 4 foot 9.
Video Installation of a Backless Booster Seat
Best Backless Booster Seat Reviews
The Graco booster car seat is one of the very best and is in fact a very popular budget car seat.
If you are one for utmost comfort and safety of your child there is none better than the Graco Turbobooster.
I have found this car seat to be very convenient as the child can easily get in and out the car seat without much trouble.
- One of the safest car seats that has been crash tested and passed rigorous FMVSS 213 US standards
- Stylish and comfortable seat that will have your child ride in style
- Wide height, age, and weight range accommodating children between the ages of 4 and 10, between 40 and 57 inches tall and between 40 and 100 lbs
- Has integrated cup holders to prevent your young child from making a mess inside the car.
- Does not come with LATCH connectors which can make the first install a bit daunting
- Could be kinda narrow particularly for a big child
One of the best car seats for parents who intend to use it in conjunction with other large car seats as it does not take much space.
The car seat has been tested according to federal crash safety standards and hence you can be confident that your child is perfectly safe riding this seat.
It also comes at a great price as compared to the other car seats with similar features.
- A small and lightweight car seat which makes it very convenient if you happen to transfer seats from car to car
- Comes with padded armrests for better child comfort particularly on those long rides.
- Similar to the Graco it comes with two elastic cup holders to fit almost any size cup.
- Has a five point harness system which makes for easy installation as you would not need strap rethreading.
- One of the safest car seats you could buy as it scored 2x above the federal safety standard
- The seat may prove too narrow and thus uncomfortable for big babies
The cosco booster seat is a comfortable backless booster with plush padding that your child will enjoy riding in.
A comfortable backless booster with plush padding that your child will enjoy riding in.
Its unique design and lightweight nature means that you do not have to worry about the seat leaving an ugly imprint on your vehicle's backseat.
It also comes at a great price if you are looking for a budget backless booster
- Its lightweight design makes it very portable which means you can use it for carpooling or for carsharing services such as Uber
- The plush pad is removable and machine washable so that you don have to put up with an ugly car seat.
- Its 100 pound weight limit means that you can use this seat for an extended period of time
- It does not require LATCH which makes it very easy to install even if the caregiver is inexperienced with booster seats.
- Being very small you can install it alongside larger convertible seats for optimum safety of infants and older children.
- Might not be a good fit for bigger children given that it is so small
- For a parent used to LATCH, this may cause some indignation as it only uses the lapbelt
One of the more expensive boosters seat but it is so totally worth the price
Comes with quite the personality, style, and comfort to boot.
One of the very few backless boosters that comes with LATCH to give parents used to the comfort of LATCH peace of mind.
- Has an additional layer of padding just like a regular car seat to ensure a comfortable ride for the child.
- Rigid LATCH system ensures the snug and secure installation of the car seat for utmost safety.
- Light and portable at less than 6 pounds making ti convenient to move from car to car.
- Made to look like the usual car seat thus ensuring the aesthetics of your car are not too much disturbed
- The sleek cover is removable and machine washable to ensure you do not have to endure dirty or stinky car seats.
- Quite pricey as compared to other booster seats on the market though it is of a higher quality.
- Comes with a huge non removable safety label on the front that may embarrass some children that may not want to be seen still riding in a car seat
Not the ordinary backless booster seat, but the Bubblebum inflatable booster seat is one of the bestselling car seats on Amazon for children between the ages of 4 and 11.
Its lightweight frame, sleek design and portability make it a favorite for parents with a small car or simply anyone needing more space and convenience.
The fact that it comes at an affordable price also does not hurt
- the bubblebum booster seat is very easy to use, simply blow air into it, then buckle it in and you are ready to go
- Unlike other boosters seats, it comes wiith a shoulder belt positioning clip for even greater safety for your child
- Comes with a bag to store it in, it is lightweight and very portable making it very convenient for travel
- Very narrow allowing you a lot of legroom or space to set up car seats for your other kids
- Can easily fit three in the backseat even if you have a small car.
- Does not offer much leg support and hence may not be very comfortable over long journeys
- Threading the small seat belt guides can be quite a task, if you doing it for the first time.
Of all the backless booster car seats I have reviewed, the Graco Backless Turbobooster booster gets my vote for best backless booster seat. Not only is it small enough to fit in small cars, but it is also lightweight and portable for convenience, it also has quite a good safety rating.
It is also easy to install and can be carried around given that it is a relatively lightweight car seat and is also makes it one of the best boosters seats you could buy
Given its features, its price is quite affordable and I would recommend that you go for the Graco Turbobooster for your child..