Generally, most booster seats start at the age of four and have a minimum weight limit of 40 pounds. A backless car seat is compact, and the children use backseat head support and seat belt for installment.
When your child overgrows a convertible car seat, many parents aren’t sure which booster seat is for them. If you opt for a backless option, this guide is for you. I will help you choose the best backless booster seat, considering the seat features and your preferences.
Before I move on to my reviews of top rated backless booster seats, let’s have a short overview of the best options. The Graco Turbo Booster LX Backless Booster is my choice, but you might enjoy some of the following booster seats:
- Best Overall – Graco Turbo Booster LX Backless Booster
- Best for Older Kids – Diono Solana 2:
- Best for Small Car: Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Car Seat
- Best Narrow – Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster
- Best Budget – Cosco Topside Backless Booster
- Best Foldable – Graco Turbo Booster TakeAlong Backless Booster
- Best for Travel – Clek Olli
- Most Comfortable – Evenflo Big Kid Sport No Back Booster
- Best for Tall Child – Peg Perego Viaggio Shuttle
If you’ve been wondering when to use a backless booster seat, there are several things to analyze.
First of all, there are weight and age requirements for every seat and the state requirements. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that children need to be moved to a booster seat when they outgrow the forward-facing seat with a harness height and weight limits.
But, you need to check the booster seat minimum requirements for weight and height. I recommend you to read the manual thoroughly because every seat is different.
Most of the booster car seats are suitable for the age of four, but it doesn’t mean that your child meets the size terms. Usually, the minimum weight requirement is 40 pounds.
There is an additional thing to consider when it comes to backless boosters. You need to check your backseat in the vehicle. Because there is no back on the seat, your vehicle backrest will play an important role if you choose a backless seat.
If the head support is low and doesn’t go over your child’s ears, you are better off with a high back booster. On the other hand, if your backseat provides enough head support, a backless seat can be a comfortable choice.
Moreover, your child is ready for a backless booster if the seat belt goes across the hips and upper thighs and not the abdomen.
You can be sure that the backless seat will fit your child and won’t compromise safety if the child meets the seat weight and height requirements. However, if possible, you can test the backless seat in your car with your child.
You can find more information about the proper use of backless boosters here.
Let’s have a closer look at the most important features and properties of the seat. Hopefully, my guide will help you pick the best backless booster seat!
Check the potential recall of the seat you are interested in before you analyze other features. You can find the complete list of the recalled seats at the NHTSA website.
Still, remember to check the seat expiration date if you plan to buy a used seat.
Ultimately, find out the IIHS rating for the seat. It will tell you the test results in five categories related to suitable fit, lap belt fit and shoulder bet fit. There are four labels – Best Bet, Good bet, Not recommended, and Check fit. Find the current ratings on the boosters seat here.
The best installation type is the one that keeps the seat secured. Nowadays, you can find the booster you can secure with a lower anchor and tether and with a seat belt. Generally, the latch system in booster seats ensures that a seat stays put without the child.
It is important because, during a potential crash, the unsecured booster can act as a projectile and hit the person sitting on the front seat in the head.
Don’t be confused, the latch system has weight limits, but in booster seats, it supports only the seat, while the seat belt supports the child. Therefore, if you buy a booster without a latch, don’t forget to remove it from the car when the child isn’t in it.
Find the seat with sufficient padding that can make rides comfortable for your child. Also, find the appropriate shape of the seat that fits your child the most. If you opt for a seat with armrests, make sure they are padded and that you can remove them whenever you need extra space on the backseat.
Make sure that the backless model fits your car in terms of a suitable backrest. Find out the seat dimensions and compare them with the backseat of your vehicle. For example, when you notice the IIHI label Best Bet on the seat, it means that the seat fits most vehicles.
Convenience of use
Booster with removable cup holders is great for maintaining cleanliness in your car. A removable, machine-washable seat cover is always a plus because it simplifies the seat maintenance process.
I also recommend the seats with a seat belt guide, because they help you position the belts correctly, which improves comfort and safety.
Furthermore, if you pick the lighter seat, you can switch it from cars easier and use it for family trips.
Check my in-depth reviews of the best backless models of booster seats on the market.
The Diono Solana 2 booster seat is suitable for children up to 120 pounds, bigger and older children. Therefore, you can expect your child to use it for longer. The seat has comfortable padding and a convenient contoured shape for ultimate comfort.
It is also easy to clean due to its removable and machine-washable cover. Further, the seat has two retractable cup holders if you need more space in the backseat of your car.
I especially like that it is a backless booster seat with LATCH system, so the seat stays in place even when it’s empty.
- Large and comfortable
- Easy to secure with Latch system
- Provides extra space for legs
- Quick cleaning
- IIHS Best Bet label
- You cannot remove the cup holders, only retract them
- Hard to buckle in smaller vehicles
- XL BOOSTER WITH ROOM TO GROW- Keep your child safe and comfortable with the backless booster seat mode now up to 120 lb / 54 kg. Wide booster with ergonomically contoured seat prevents slipping and has extra length for better leg support
- LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE- This lightweight design makes this backless booster in any mode easy to transfer between vehicles.Shell and Components: Spot clean
- TWO RETRACTABLE CUP HOLDERS- Space saving cup holders keep drinks and snacks within easy reach
The Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Car Seat is fit for children from 40 to 100 pounds. It is a compact and lightweight car seat, which makes it great for smaller cars.
I like the armrests and height adjustments option. So, you can customize it for better comfort during long rides.
This Graco backless booster seat is affordable and has hideaway cup holders. You can easily wipe it clean or remove the cover and put it in the washing machine.
- It comes with an adjustable seat belt-positioning clip
- Easy to install
- Moderate padding
- Armrests are not padded enough
- Without a latch system, you should remove it from the car when you aren’t driving your kid
- Helps safely transport your big kid from 40-100 lbs.
- Rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed U.S. safety standards
- Designed with the style and comfort features that kids love
The Clek Olli is a great choice for families who travel often. It comes with a strap for carrying it around and has a convenient feature that prevents numb-bump during long rides.
Overall, the seat is comfortable and durable, but it comes with a significantly higher price tag than some other models on my list. But, if you want to invest in a booster seat that is easy to install, stays secured with a LATCH system, and provides great comfort for long trips, make sure to consider the Clek Olli.
- It has stain-resistant fabric
- The seat comes with a 1-year warranty
- It has a rigid latch system
- Removable cup holder
- Comfortable for travel or long trips
- A bit heavier
- Too wide if you have more booster seats for other children
- Rigid Latch for Additional Safety: Designed with a rigid Latch system that locks the booster seat into place using your vehicles LATCH anchorage system providing additional stability in a collision.
- No Numb-bum: Numb-bum is what happens when you sit on hard surfaces for long periods of time — even your legs fall asleep! The Olli is built with an extra layer of padding to feel like the seat in your car.
- Accessories Included: Strap-thingy carrying strap for a no-hands carrying convenience, and Drink-thingy cup holder that is removable and dishwasher-safe.
If your kiddo is tall for its age, you might want to consider this Peg Perego Viaggio Shuttle booster seat. This backless booster has a maximum height limit of 63 inches, which is higher than most of the seats with a limit of 57 inches. Besides, it can hold children up to 120 pounds.
The LATCH system keeps the seat in place even when the child isn’t in it, which is quite convenient. You can also install the seat safely without a latch.
Overall, the seat is well-built and breathable due to microfiber fabric.
- Extended height and weight limitations
- Includes carrying handle
- You can install it in vehicles without anchors, too
- It is challenging to uninstall if you have connected it with a latch system
- The seat can be too wide for smaller vehicles
- Made In Italy. Holds up to 120 lbs with a maximum height of 63 inches
- Has an integrated Rigid latch which makes it easy to place in car and keeps booster secure when child is not present
- The integrated rigid latch can slide back into the booster, allowing it to easily be used in vehicles without latch
The Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster has LATCH connectors. Another version, Chicco GoFit backless booster is suitable only for seat-belt installments. I recommend the model with a latch system.
Further, the seat has a contoured shape and provides sufficient support despite its narrow base. It is one of the narrowest backless booster seats on the market. The seat is 17-inch wide and weighs a little above 2 pounds.
Moreover, the padding is breathable and soft, and the child won’t get too hot during summer days.
The Chicco GoFit Plus has a convenient carrying handle and a lap belt guide with a shoulder belt clip. Therefore, you can customize the belt position to make the seat comfortable and secured.
- The padding insert is removable
- Contoured shape fits most kids
- Convenient size suits most vehicles
- Removable cover
- The armrests are bulky
- Not the best choice for larger kids
- Ergo Boost contoured seat with double foam padding provides support in all the right places
- Removable, machine-washable seat pad and armrest covers; No battery used
- 2 fold-away cup holders are removable and dishwasher-safe. Cleaning plastics-sponge clean using warm water and mild soap-towel dry
This car seat by Graco has a sturdy, yet comfortable construction. It comes with a carrying bag and can be folded for improved portability due to Fast Action Fold features.
Furthermore, the seat doesn’t have a latch system, but it has optimal weight and is stable enough to and safe. Therefore, when you aren’t driving your child, fold it and place it under the seat or in the trunk.
The Graco Turbo Booster TakeAlong Backless Booster suits children from 40 to 100 pounds, with a maximum height of 57 inches.
- Simple storage
- Sturdy construction
- Cup holder swivel for space-saving
- Includes integrated seat belt guides
- No latch system
- Weights over 7 pounds
- Backless booster car seat folds 50% smaller via the Fast Action Fold
- Helps safely transport your big kid from 40-100 lbs.
- Space-saving cup holders swivel in and out
The Evenflo Big Kid Sport No Back Booster is easy to switch from one vehicle to another because it features a simple installment system. The seat is 9 inches wide and well-padded, and I like that it has a belt clip.
It is great because you can adjust the seat belt in the proper position for improved safety. Also, the seat is easy to clean, because the fabric is removable and machine washable. If the kid makes a smaller mess, you simply wipe it clean.
Overall, it is one of the most comfortable backless booster seats for all children from the Evenflo company, apart from its highback variants like the Evenflo Maestro booster.
- The seat fits both smaller and larger kids, due to a 22-100 pounds weight range
- Belt clip included
- Easy to clean
- Quick switching between vehicles
- Comfortable padding
- Bulky armrests
- The cup holders aren’t removable
- Safety For Older Kids: Giving them the extra boost they need for proper vehicle belt fit
- Dual, Integrated Cup Holders: 2 Cup holders are built into the seat, keeping drinks and snacks close and allowing the driver to stay focused on the road
- Correct Positioning: The included belt clip facilitates correct vehicle belt positioning around your child's shoulder
The Cosco no back booster is a budget-friendly option for children between 40 and 100 pounds. It features a simple design and fits most cars.
The Cosco Topside Backless Booster has a convenient plush padding, that ensures your child is comfortable during long and bumpy rides on different terrains.
But, the fabric is suitable only for hand-washing.
Next, the seat is lightweight, compact, and easy to install using the seat-belt method. Also, it has a convenient backside, and it won’t damage your car seats.
The Cosco booster comes with a 1-year warranty.
- The seat fits different vehicles
- One of the most affordable seats on the market
- Plush cover
- Comfortable padding
- The cover is suitable for hand-washing
- No latch system
- This Cosco backless booster securely fits in your car and gives your child the extra height they need to keep seatbelts properly positioned
- Made for growing kids, the seat holds kids weighing between 40 to 100 pounds and 43 to 57 inches in height
- Lightweight, compact design makes the seat easy to move whenever you need to change vehicles
The Graco is a market leader when it comes to children’s gear, and this Turbo Booster seat meets the standards in all categories. It is safe, has a latch system, comfortable, easy to clean, and has a sturdy construction.
The Graco Turbo Booster LX Backless Booster is suitable for children from 40 to 100 pounds. The height limit is 57 inches.
Besides, the seat has hideaway cup holders for the child’s convenience and space-saving.
I like the armrests and the sufficient padding. Moreover, you can adjust the height of the armrests to match your child’s preferences.
Additionally, the seat has a simple buckling system, that allows your child to be more independent and buckle himself easily. This model is our best backless booster seat pick in the list!
- Hideaway cup holders
- Premium cushions are machine-washable
- Adjustable armrests
- Has a latch system
- Allows self-buckling for children
- The belt positioner is bulky and made from hard plastic
- Helps safely transport your big kid from 40-100 lbs. and up to 57 inches tall
- One-hand front-adjust Latch system secures booster to vehicle seat
- Secure connection keeps booster seat properly in place while seat is unoccupied
I recommend Hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat as an additional car seat for the second car or grandparents. It is inflatable, so when you are not using it, it won’t take much space, and it comes in a convenient carrying bag.
Still, the seat is comfortable and affordable and fits children weighing between 40 and 110 pounds. It doesn’t have additional features such as cup holders or armrests. Nevertheless, it improves the safety of your child in all vehicles.
You can use it for travels, but you have to check if it meets state safety standards related to booster seats.
- Compact and easy to use, store and take with you on a trips
- The seat has positioning clips for belts
- IIHS label – Best Bet
- Quick installment
- A bit slippery on the backseat
- If you use it often, it starts to deflate soon
- PORTABLE AND PACKABLE | Car seats no longer have to be heavy, bulky and impractical. The hiccapop UberBoost portable car seat inflates with only a few breaths (takes less than 20 seconds), and installs easily and quickly. Deflates and rolls up tightly in its own travel bag for compact fit in suitcases, carry-ons, large purse or backpack.
- CERTIFIED SAFE FOR YOUR MOST PRECIOUS CARGO | Your child deserves a comfortable and safe car seat for those quick journeys in rental cars, taxis, Uber rides, on school trips or in car pools. Meets or exceeds all federal standards for car seat safety (FMVSS213 Federal Motor Safety Standard for USA).
- STURDY, STABLE, SECURE | Non-skid base is designed to sit firm and steady on leather, vinyl or cloth seats. Provides soothing stability while riding and limits movement in case of an accident. Gentle on your upholstery.
Backless or not, booster seats are a source of confusion among parents! Let’s answer FAQs related to backless booster seats, and feel free to add more questions in the comments section below!
Is a backless booster necessary?
Backless booster seats are convenient for a variety of vehicles and provide a better fit for taller children. Generally, it isn’t a matter of safety when choosing between a high-back and backless seat. It is more related to comfort.
Backless booster car seats are as safe as high-back models, but they are lighter, more affordable, and generally, better fit for older children.
These seats comply with federal and state standards related to children’s safety in vehicles. Besides, the child can use a backless booster seat for longer.
Are backless booster seats safe?
Backless boosters are safe if your child complies with weight and height seat requirements and if you install the seat properly.
Many people vouch for high back seats, but backless booster seats have their advantages in terms of comfort, prolonged use, and price tag, and won’t compromise your child’s safety in any way.
Are backless booster seats legal?
Backless booster seats are legal in the US, safe and suitable for children of a certain age, height, and weight. But, the seats need to comply with federal and state laws and requirements.
What is the difference between a high back booster and a backless booster?
Backless boosters don’t have head support and use a built-in headrest on the backseat of the vehicle.
On the other hand, high-back boosters have that support.
However, the majority of older children prefer backless models. Still, you need to ensure that the vehicle backrest provides enough support to use the backless model safely.
There are also 2in1 models with removable back.
However, make sure to avoid these common mistakes when putting your child in a backless booster seat:
How to install a backless booster seat?
Some backless booster seats come with a lower latch system to securely position the seat on the backseat of your car. Seats without a latch system are held in position by the child’s weight and seat belts. Before you start the installation, read the manufacturer’s instructions and lay the seat flat on the backseat.
If you are using the method without a latch system, let your children sit in the seat and buckle the seat belt ensuring that the belt goes over the upper tights and hip and not over the abdomen. The other belt needs to go over the chest. Use a belt clip to ensure that the belt stays put.
Use lower anchors to connect the booster to the backrest. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Check the video to see how to connect the booster seat with the latch system here.
Alternatively, check out our easy guide on car seat installation for a quick info!
What is the most narrow booster seat?
If you need a narrow booster to put two or three boosters on the back seat, you can choose the Graco Affix backless booster. It is 16.5 inches wide and includes a latch system.
The second option, if you have a smaller vehicle, is also by Graco. The folding model Turbo Go by Graco is 15.2 inches wide and lightweight.
My favorite choice for a backless booster seat is the Graco Turbo Booster LX Backless Booster. It’s easy to install and clean, fits my car, and the comfort of the seat is worth price.
Overall, the seat provides excellent value for the money, and you can rely on it to keep your child safe during rides and last until your child overgrows it.
Do give the Graco Turbo Booster seat a consideration if you’re shopping for the best backless booster seat!
What do you think about my best backless booster seat review list? Would you change the order in any way or add some booster seats? Let us know in the comments!
Last update on 2021-05-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API