Our favourite booster seats (and why we love them)

A note about boosters: In order for a child to be properly protected by the adult seat belt, they must be a minimum of 40 lbs AND developmentally mature enough to remain seated properly at ALL times, even when sleeping. Some kids are ready at 5, many by 6, and almost all by 7. If your child has outgrown their harnessed seat by height or weight but is not yet developmentally ready for a booster, look at a higher weight harnessed seat with tall top harness slots.

When transitioning to a booster, we prefer to see children in high back boosters; it gives many a better sense of security, provides head support while sleeping, often provides better shoulder belt fit, and in vehicles without head support, is required for adequate head and neck support. Booster seats require a lap/shoulder belt and can never be used with a lap-only belt.

High-back boosters have head support and belt guides to position the shoulder belt.  Backless boosters, do not have head support and a child must have in-vehicle head support up to at least the tops of the ears. Approximate torso height is indicated by highest shoulder belt guide measurement but note that kids fit into seats quite differently and looking at a measurement should only be a starting point.

Not sure if your child is ready This article might help you decide, or for a quicker read maybe this one.

If you are buying online consider purchasing from Amazon.ca; a small portion of the purchase cost is directed to our donation fund at no extra cost to you.

Booster Seats (in no particular order)

Evenflo Spectrum (read our review here)Spectrum Seascape

  • $99 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, Best Buy, Walmart
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-110 lbs weight range, 44″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 22″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • well-padded and comfortable
  • expires 6 years from date of manufacture

 

Chicco KidFit Booster (read a review here)

  • ~$160 at Toys R Us, Walmart
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-110 lbs weight range, 38″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 19.5″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode; back of the booster must sit flush against the vehicle seat without interference from the vehicle head rest 
  • latchable with premium push-on UAS connectors; must be buckled up in high back mode when not in use even if connected to the vehicle with UAS
  • expires 8 years from date of manufacture

 

Graco Turbo BoosterTurbobooster

  • ~$85 at Toys R Us, Canadian Tire, Walmart, Amazon.ca
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-100 lbs weight range, 43″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 19.75″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • expires 10 years from date of manufacture

 

 

Britax Skyline & Highpoint boosters

  • $150 (Skyline) and $200 (Highpoint) at Amazon.ca, Babies R Us, specialty retailers
  • high back booster only (does not become a backless booster)
  • 40-120 lbs weight range, 38″-63″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 22.5″
  • Highpoint has SecureGuard clip at crotch for lap belt to route through, in addition to external impact cushions
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • latchable with premium push-on UAS connectors
  • expires 10 years from date of manufacture

 

Clek Oobr BoosterOobr

  • ~$300-$380 depending on the cover option, at specialty retailers, Babies R Us, Amazon.ca
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-100 lbs weight range, 40″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 21″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • latchable with premium push-on rigid UAS connectors
  • expires 9 years from date of manufacture

 

Harmony Dreamtime Elite

  • ~$55 at Walmart
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-110 lbs weight range, 34″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 19.5″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacture

 

 

Evenflo Big Kid AMPEvenflo AMP 

  • ~$70-80 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, Canadian Tire
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-110 lbs weight range, 38″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement: 19.5″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • one of the few boosters that works consistently well in the 3rd row of current generation Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler Town & Country/Mazda 5; shoulder belts anchored forward of the chest still slide freely through this belt guide where they do not in most other high back boosters
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacture

 

Graco TurboBooster LX High Back Booster (formerly known as the Affix High Back Booster) (read our review here)Graco TurboBooster LX

  • ~$150 (high back) at Amazon.ca, Toys R Us, Walmart, Canadian Tire
  • can be used as a high back or backless booster
  • 40-100 lbs weight range, 43″-57″ height range
  • approximate top shoulder guide measurement of high back version:19.5″
  • does not need vehicle seat back/head restraint support behind it in high back mode
  • latchable with basic hook-style UAS connectors
  • expires 10 years after the date of manufacture

 

 

 

Harmonybooster

Harmony Youth Booster Seat (read our ode to it here)

  • ~$20 at Walmart
  • backless booster only
  • 40-100 lbs weight range, 40″-57″ height range
  • narrow seat making it a good choice for 3-across or tight seating arrangements
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacture

 

 

Evenflo AMP Backless BoosterEvenflo AMP Backless

  • ~$40 at Babies R Us, Amazon.ca, Canadian Tire
  • backless booster only
  • 40-110 lbs weight range, 40″-57″ height range
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacture

 

 

 

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Graco Turbobooster Backless Booster

  • ~$45 Amazon.ca, Toys R Us, Walmart, Canadian Tire
  • backless booster only
  • 40-100 lbs weight range, 43″-57″ height range
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • expires 10 years after the date of manufacture

 

 

 

 

 

Clek Ozzi or Olli Boosters

  • ~$70-130 at specialty retailers (Ozzi available at Canadian Tire), Amazon.ca
  • backless booster only
  • 40-120 lbs weight range, 40″-57″ height range
  • latchable with rigid UAS
  • Olli has quick release strap at front of seat to disengage UAS
  • expires 9 years after the date of manufacture

 

Graco TurboBooster LX Backless Youth Booster (formerly known as the Affix Backless Booster) (read our review here)Graco TurboBooster LX Backless

  • ~$70 Amazon.ca, Toys R Us, Walmart, Canadian Tire
  • backless booster only
  • 40-100 lbs weight range, 43″-57″ height range
  • latchable with basic hook-style UAS connectors
  • expires 10 years after the date of manufacture

 

 

IMG_7031Diono Backless Boosters (with cupholders may be called “Hip” and without may be called “Jet”; both formerly branded with Little Tikes logo)

  • ~$30 Amazon.caCanadian Tire (Jet – shown in red) or Babies R Us  (Hip – shown in grey), possibly available elsewhere at specialty stores
  • backless booster only
  • 40-110 lbs weight range, 38″-60″ height range
  • is not latchable – buckle up empty boosters
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacture