Which Graco booster seat is best?

If your child is too big for a car seat but too small to sit unaided, a booster seat is an ideal way to keep your child safe during this transition period. However, while walking through aisles of baby gear, trying to decide on the best booster seat can be confusing. Luckily, Graco has a variety of options to suit every age and size.

For those looking for a versatile booster seat that grows with your child, the Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat is a top choice.

What to know before you buy a Graco booster seat

Here are a few things to consider before purchasing a Graco booster seat.

Types of booster seats

There are several types of booster seats to accommodate growing children.

  • Harness booster seat: Similar to a forward-facing car seat, a harness booster seat uses a five-point harness to keep children correctly positioned in their seats. However, as opposed to a forward-facing car seat, harness booster seats are generally lighter and transition to a high-back booster seat. If you’re not quite ready to move to a high-back booster that only uses a seatbelt to keep your child restrained, a harness booster seat is an excellent option.
  • High-back booster seat: A high-back booster seat is needed when a child has outgrown a traditional car seat but is still not big enough to use a seat belt unaided. One safety feature of a high-back booster is a belt-positioning clip, which positions the seat belt correctly on a child.
  • Backless booster seat: A backless booster seat is essentially a way to boost your child up so they can use the seat belt correctly. A child should only move from a high-back booster to a backless booster when the seat belt lays at the correct position without a belt-positioning clip and when they can remain upright without slouching or leaning over to play with a sibling or friend.

When does my child need a booster seat?

Different states have specific guidelines for when a child can move to a booster, so it’s best to check your state’s policies and the booster seat’s requirements. However, a child should only move to a booster seat when they have outgrown their forward-facing car seat, which can accommodate kids up to 65 pounds, depending on the model. In general, children shouldn’t move to a booster seat until they are at least 5 years old, 35 inches tall and 40 pounds. It’s important to remember that there is no rush to move a child to a booster seat. 

What to look for in a quality Graco booster seat

Here are a few features to look for in a Graco booster seat.

Machine-washable

Kids are known to spill juice, snacks and even throw up in the car. Having a booster seat with a machine-washable cover will make cleaning up a dirty booster seat much easier.

Cup holders

If you choose a booster seat with a cup holder, be sure to check if it’s stationary or can hide away when not in use. Booster seats with stationary cup holders tend to take up more space than others.

Size

While booster seats are smaller than car seats, it’s still wise to check that the size will fit in your vehicle, especially if you need to have more than one booster seat side by side.

How much you can expect to spend on a Graco booster seat

Depending on the type of booster seat and features, a Graco booster seat can cost between $25-$250.

Graco booster seat FAQ

Can I use a booster seat in the front seat of the car?

A. While you can use a booster seat in the front seat of a car, it’s not the safest option. It’s recommended that children stay in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old and 4 feet 9 inches in height. 

Is a secondhand booster seat safe to use?

A. If you cannot be sure a booster seat wasn’t in an accident, it might not be safe to use. However, if the booster seat is being handed down from a trusted source and the seat is not expired, it’s perfectly safe to use a secondhand booster seat.

What are the best Graco booster seats to buy?

Top Graco booster seat

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat

What you need to know: With three modes of use, this car seat will grow with any child up to 100 pounds.

What you’ll love: This car seat can be used rear-facing, forward-facing with a harness and as a high-back booster. It’s also designed to be slimmer than other car seats to save space in your back seat.

What you should consider: Since it’s designed to be stationary, it’s not ideal for newborns, who will probably be most comfortable in an infant carrier.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Graco booster seat for money

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster Seat

What you need to know: This affordable booster seat is suitable for big kids by raising them up to the proper height needed to safely use a seat belt.

What you’ll love: Aside from the affordable price, this booster seat is lightweight and easy to transfer from one car to another. Plus, the armrests are height-adjustable and the cup holders hide away when not in use.

What you should consider: Since this booster seat is only rated for older kids, you’re likely to need a different car seat or booster seat before moving to this option.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Graco TurboBooster LX Highback Booster Seat

Graco TurboBooster LX Highback Booster Seat

What you need to know: Parents who are unsure about moving to a backless booster will appreciate this safe, high-back booster seat.

What you’ll love: In addition to a high-back booster seat, this option also converts to a backless booster seat. It also features a one-hand, front-adjust LATCH system to secure the booster to your car seat.

What you should consider: The padding is not very thick and might not make the best booster seat for long road trips.

Where to buy: Sold by BuyBuyBaby and Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.