Getting a Boost | Navigating the Land of Booster Car Seats

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As I wrote about on a previous post, the state of AZ has a new booster car seat law that happened to affect my {now} 7-year-old daughter. That left me with the task of finding a new booster for her. If you didn’t know this already…I’m a huge…HUGE research junkie. I love researching. And so does my husband. This is a good and bad thing but for the sake of this article, it’s a good thing. It allows me to share with you a succinct summary of all the different types of booster car seats available…because there are a lot of them.

Graco Nautilus

1. Harness to Booster Combo: Fancy name. What it means is that the car seat can transform from a 5-point harness (like an infant seat or convertible seat) to a booster that uses the car’s seat belt. Examples of this would be the Britax Frontier, Recaro Prosport, and Graco Nautilus. The Graco Nautilus will even go a step further and convert to a backless booster.

2. A Booster: Despite the name, this car seat actually has a booster with an attached back support. Most (if not all) of these boosters will convert to a backless booster. The idea behind the back support is for children who are shorter in height to where their head does not reach the headrest in the seat of the car.  Examples of this kind of booster would be the Britax Parkway Booster, Recaro Vivo High Back Booster,  Diono Monterey Booster,  Graco Turbo Booster, and the Evenflo AMP High Back booster.

Diono Monterey

3. A Backless Booster: This is the booster that I always think of when someone says a “booster seat”.  Simple and easy to use – it simply lifts the child up about 8 inches allowing the car’s seat belt to properly fit. Some examples of this would be the Diono SantaFe BoosterGraco Backless Turbo Booster, and the Evenflo AMP No Back Booster.

It’s safe to say that it can be an overwhelming consumer choice when deciding which booster is best for your child. If you weren’t able to get your hands on many of the free boosters that were handed out last week, you can pick one up at your nearest Target or Walmart for as little as $25.

For our 7-year-old, we went with the Diono SantaFe Booster for only one reason – it installs via LATCH which was rare to find in a backless booster {this is the bad side of being research junkie – knowing way too many statistics}. I should also note that we also have the Recaro ProSport (Harness to Booster combo for my soon-to-be 3-year-old) and the Diono Monterey (Booster for my little Kindergardener). Let’s just say I’ve spent some  many hours…researching…

What Booster or Car Seat does your child use? Did you research before purchasing? Are you happy with your pick?

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