Before you start reading the whole article, could you please thinking about your car, then have a look and spend few time answering these following questions:
- Have you been noticing about your children’s seat when driving for long hours?
- Can your children sit still comfortably during the whole trip?
- Otherwise, does the seat belt stay in the right place when the child moves around?
- Does the lap belt stay near the child’s thighs and is it as low on the abdomen as possible?
- Does the seat belt cross your child’s shoulder correctly? (evenly between the neck and the arm)
- Do your child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
If most of the answers you gave are “No”, this article is specially for you. Congratulation!
During the toddler age, your child seems to grow bigger and bigger than the car seat. That is the right time when you start considering the usage of high-back booster seats.
According to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s research, booster seats help reduce the children’s risk of injury, when there comes an accident, by 59%. (Source: Ask Patty). A booster seat is required as the child grows up enough to use the adult’s seat, usually when he or she reaches typically the height of 1m45 (about 4 feet 9 inches) and between the age of 8 and 12. In practical, parents should use a high back booster seat when their child’s ears come up past the vehicle’s seat. It should be noticed that the top of the ears is at the same height as the skull, which needs protection in a car crash. In the case of shoulder belts anchors are positioned too close or far from the child’s shoulder, high back booster seats appear to be a good solution.
The convenience of best high back booster seat
There are several types of booster seats, namely the backless, high back (including the belt positioning booster) and the combination, which vary in the position of the child and size of the seat. In fact, high back booster is likely to be more preferred thanks to its fit-to-child evaluations with convenient design. Specifically, it provides:
- Head support: it is highly recommended to have head support when your vehicle does not have any headrests in the car seat, or in case your headrest is not tall enough comparing to the child’s head.
- Head protection from the sides: it is well situated for a sleeping child to rest their head. This model contains the head during an impact, combining with foam designed to absorb energy in collision.
- Adjustable headrest: accommodate children when they start getting taller.
- Removable back: this function allows your seat to be used in backless mode, which is very helpful for travel or storage.
Criteria for choosing the right high back booster seats
Let’s review the top 5 criteria to choose a proper seat for your children: the positions of your kid, shoulder belt, lap belt, the child’s knees and the ability to sit comfortably in a short errand or a long trip, even sleeping.
- The position of your child: High back booster seat will lift your child up, thus the seat belt fits properly over the lap and the shoulder.
- The shoulder belt: be sure it across the middle of the shoulder.
- The lab belt: it should lie flat on the top of the thighs and not reach the abdomen.
- The child’s knees: They should bend comfortably on the edge of the seat, without causing any pain to the thighs or the area under the knees.
- Last but not least, the position of the child should be kept rightly over a long trip. High back booster seat is good at keeping a sleeping child placed properly in the safety belt.
Notices when using a high back booster seat
- Make sure to check the minimum weight requirement before using high back booster seat.
- Make sure the seat belt contacts conveniently your child’s shoulders and head.
- Make sure the lap belt is low and flats on the your child’s thighs.
- Make sure to choose one with shoulder belt guides that allow the shoulder belt to slide freely. Some guides limit the movement of a seat belt. For instance, when the child lean forward, the shoulder belt pulls forward, but the shoulder belt stays loose when the child leans backward as it does not go back.
Striking high back booster seat models
#1. Graco Affix Youth Booster Seat with Latch System, Atomic
Graco Affix is a favorite of parents’ car seat expert. As best than I can tell, Grace manufactured an reliable product, and made it even better with the addition of LATCH. But why latch function? Although children are recommended to buckle their booster seat before leaving the car, they seems to forget this cumbersome task. Using LATCH keeps the booster effortlessly in the right place all the time. Moreover, LATCH system is available for your children from 30 – 100 pounds and within the height between 38 and 57 inches. Then, it can be converted to the backless mode for children 40 – 100 pounds and from 40 – 57 inches tall. It is as wonderful as having 2 booster seats in one.
- Latch function: the latch connectors are easily to use. You just press the tab on the front of the seat, pull the connectors back, click them on and pull the straps in the front. However, latch use is optional. If you do not have an intention to use it, just keep them in their cubby storage.
- Headrest protection: one of the parts of the safety seat is the headrest and its protection to your child. It is designed to be adjustable, then user can always achieve a proper fit to their children when they growing up.
- Open-loop belt guides: help you correctly position your vehicle’s seat belt.
- Additional storage: The seat is attached with an integrated cup holder on the one side, and with a hide-away storage compartment. These 2 little storages are to keep child’s food, snack and beverage, or some other favorite things, like games or toys, within arm’s reach. This model fits many kind of vehicles with varying seat and a unique size of your kid.
Warning and drawbacks:
- The cup holder and storage are fixed. The, it is impossible to move or switch them.
- Because of the design of some specific vehicles, the traps for the latch system seems to be too short to attach. However, the vehicle’s seatbelt still holds the child in the right place.
#2. Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat, Matrix
Graco is one of the world’s best-known name in the world. Therefore, this Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 is a pefect choice when you are looking for a reliable high back booster seat. Graco Nautilus can freely transform into 3 models based on the users’ need. Firstly, it is an extended seat for children 20 to 65 pounds, secondly it works as a high-back booster for children between 30 and 100 pounds, and finally you can use it as a no-back booster for children 40 to 100 pounds.
- Ease of use: based on the combined functions of the booster, including the clarity of instruction, flexibility of clips and buckles, the latch connections and the free transform into 3 modes.
- Latch system: it securely and properly installs each seat.
- Steel reinforced frame: this is added for durability, which has 3 positions reclined for proper installation.
- Harnessed crash protection: limit injury and movement of a child in a crash.
- Fully adjustable headrest: when it comes to the best fit in your car’s seat, the headrest must be in the right position. The Graco Nautilus features a one-hand height adjustable headrest that can fit your growing children for a long time.
- Additional features: tall armrests, cubbies, extra thick EPS foam in headrest, 10-year lifespan.
Warning and drawbacks:
- Once your child grows out of the smallest setting on the 5 point harness, follow the instructions to remove the body support.
- The cover may have lots of elastics.
#3. Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car Seat, Sprocket
The Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster promises to get your child excited and comfortable. The requirement for child’s weight is between 30 and 110 pounds.
- Removable back for transition to no-back booster: It is convenience for reinstall or storage.
- One-hand height adjustment with 6 height adjustments: make sure the seat has proper headrest as your child grows.
- Integrated cup holders: available for beverage and snake storage
- Machine-washable seat pad: making sure the seat is in the mint condition.
- Energy absorbing foam: provide added safety and comfort.
- Convenience: it is lightweight for lifting and the cover is easy to remove for cleaning.
Warning and drawbacks:
- Be careful when using the storage cup holders because collision can break them.
- The seat seems to be narrow in some cases.
#4. Graco Highback TurboBooster Car Seat, Spitfire
The Graco High Back TurboBooster child car seat is the booster children is specially designed for big kid, with 30 pounds to even 100 pounds, from the height of 38 to 52 inches and for kids age between 3 and 10. As parents, it is a good choice to protect your children.
This model also features a multi-layer head rest that comforts your child’s sitting position, in combination with full coverage back support as your child grows. This toddler car seat has adjustable head support and armrests, energy absorbing foam and loop belt guides that positions the proper seat belt, and the kid can buckle themselves. The integrated cup holders and storage are designed for small games and toys, which bigger kids really appreciate. Moreover, high back booster seat can easily be converted to a backless model, giving you years of use.
Warnings and drawbacks:
- Always keep an eyes on your child as they are likely to climb out or unbuckle themselves.
- The arm handles are unmovable, neither horizontal nor vertical.
- Not many color style, mostly designed in dark.