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, s/he must be a minimum of 40lbs 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.  No-back, or backless boosters, do not have head support and a child must have in-vehicle head support up to at least the tops of their ears.

Not sure if your child is ready? This article might help you decide.

Booster Seats (in no particular order)

Graco Turbo BoosterItem:1813574         | Pattern:Castle

  • ~$75 (different levels of comfort padding) but often on sale for less (can be found at Toys R Us, Walmart, Great Canadian Superstore, Amazon.ca)
  • consistently good lap belt fit and shoulder belt fit; a favourite for fitting slim children
  • the back can be removed and it can be used as a no back booster (~$35 as a stand-alone seat)
  • fairly slim which can be good for 3 across situations
  • lightweight booster but can NOT be latched-in so always advised to buckle up the booster when not in use
  • not the highest high back booster but it should last many kids to 7 as a high back booster with a easy lever for adjusting seat belt guide height
  • need to assemble the armrests which are mandatory and you must ABSOLUTELY install the screws into the armrests before using this booster
  • does not need reinforcement of headrest so a good choice for vehicles that do not have head support for the child
  • expiry varies depending on date of manufacture; newer models are good for ten years
  • 40-100lbs

Diono/Sunshine Kids Monterey Booster

  • ~$170 (Amazon.ca, Sears, specialty retailers)
  • one of the tallest adjustable boosters available in Canada
  • requires in-vehicle head support up to at least the top of the child’s ears (not suitable for vehicles with low seat-backs or forward-leaning head rests)
  • good lap belt and shoulder fit with ample leg support
  • high back portion can be removed and used as a no back booster
  • heavy booster but it can be latched into vehicle so it does not become a projectile in a crash
  • comfortable padding and premium material covers available
  • height easily adjustable as are the side wings around the shoulder area allowing comfort with broad shoulders
  • expires 10 years after the date of manufacturer
  • 40-120lbs

Britax Parkway SG/SGL BoosterParkway SG - Confetti

  • ~$139 for the SG version and ~$169 for the SGL version – Available at baby boutiques and possibly Babies R Us, Amazon.ca
  • one of the tallest adjustable boosters available in Canada
  • good lap belt fit and shoulder belt fit although it may not fit well with smaller booster riders
  • high back portion can be removed and used as a no back booster
  • narrow and sometimes can be beneficial in 3 across situations
  • comes with a Slide Guard(SG) clip that attaches to the lap belt which may prevent the child “submarining” under the seat belt
  • SGL version can be latched onto the UAS of a car, SG version can not so needs to be buckled in when not in use
  • height easily adjustable and has generous leg support
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacturer
  • 40-120lbs

Clek Oobr BoosterOobr Booster Seat - dragonfly

  • ~$325-$350 depending on the cover option, at specialty retailers, Babies R Us, Amazon.ca
  • tall adjustable booster
  • good lap and shoulder belt fit but shallower seat may be uncomfortable for children with longer legs.
  • can be latched in using rigid latch
  • recline feature for car sleepers (this feature can only be used if the seat is latched into the vehicle)
  • high back can be removed and the seat used as a no back booster
  • fairly heavy booster seat
  • expires 9 years after the date of manufacture
  • 40-100lbs

Harmony Youth Booster Seat (previously called Harmony Lite Rider)

  • ~$18 at Walmart
  • backless booster
  • good lap belt fit on most kids
  • narrow seat making it a good choice for 3-across or tight seating arrangements
  • lightweight booster but can NOT be latched-in so always advised to buckle up the booster when not in use
  • expires 6 years after the date of manufacture
  • 40-100lbs

 

Apramo Child Booster Seat Apramocrop copy

  • ~$25 at Canadian Tire
  • backless booster
  • good lap belt fit on most kids
  • narrow seat making it a good choice for 3-across or tight seating arrangements
  • lightweight booster but can NOT be latched-in so always advised to buckle up the booster when not in use
  • expires 10 years after the date of manufacture
  • 40-100lbs

 

 

Clek Ozzi or Olli Boosters

  • ~$70-130 at specialty retailers (Ozzi available at Canadian Tire), Amazon.ca
  • backless booster
  • good lap belt fit on most kids
  • rigid UAS for installation in vehicle (no need to rebuckle seat when it’s empty)
  • expired 9 years after the date of manufacture
  • 40-120lbs

Affix

 

Graco Affix (read a review of the AFFIX here)

  • ~$50 (backless) at Babies R Us, Sears, Canadian Tire, $120 (high back) at Sears
  • backless booster/high back now available
  • good lap belt fit on most kids
  • flexible UAS for installation in vehicle (no need to re-buckle seat when it’s empty)
  • expires ten years after the date of manufacture
  • 40-100lbs

 

Graco Turbo Booster with Safety SurroundItem:1857052         | Pattern:

  • ~$110 can be found at Target
  • consistently good lap belt fit and shoulder belt fit; a favourite for fitting slim children
  • the back can be removed and it can be used as a no back booster
  • lightweight booster but can not be latched-in so always advised to buckle up the booster when not in use
  • not the highest high back booster but it should last many kids to 7 as a high back booster with a easy lever for adjusting seat belt guide height
  • need to assemble the armrests which are mandatory and you must install the screws into the armrests before using this booster
  • does not need reinforcement of headrest so a good choice for vehicles that do not have head support for the child
  • expires ten years after the date of manufacture
  • 40-100lbs