Weight: up to 100 lbs.; 22 to 65 lbs. with harness, belt-positioning booster for 30 to 100 lbs. Backless 40-100 lbs.
IIHS rating: Good bet in high back mode, best bet as backless booster.
NHTSA ease of use rating: Harness mode: Three out of five stars. Booster mode: Four out of five stars.
Pros: Side impact protection on headrest that has six positions. Harnessed works to 65 lbs. Machine washable seat pad and harness covers. Insert cushion for smaller kids. Two cup holders. LATCH connectors.
Cons: 2014 recall of previous version of this seat. Twisty straps. Chest buckle can slide down. Some complain buckle is hard to use. Can’t adjust the crotch strap
Comments: The headline here is the six position headrest support with side impact protection, as well as the affordable $90 price. The Baby Trend Hybrid 3-in-1 has three uses: as a harnessed booster to 65 lbs., then as a belt-positioning booster to 100 lbs. And as a backless booster, again to 100 lbs.
Fans of this seat say it is a good value, since many harnessed boosters sell for over $100. FYI: Even though this seat starts at 22 lbs., it would be best to wait until your child is at least two before using it. That’s because it is best (and safest) to have your child rear-facing until age two and this seat is only forward-facing.
Critics of this seat say it can be difficult to install. That may be because the belt path is rather narrow, which makes it tough to get a tight fit. While the six position headrest is a key feature, adjusting the headrest back up can be challenge (it requires some force). And there is only one position for the crotch belt—that makes it harder to fit bigger kids.
Other criticisms of this seat focused on the straps (which are thin and can twist easily), as well as the chest buckle that some found hard to use.
That’s the same issue that prompted a 2014 recall of a previous version of this seat (the Fastback). A sticky harness buckle promoted the recall of 16,000 seats.
Bottom line: we’re not big fans of Baby Trend and while this seat is priced well, there are better choices out there for ease of use. Rating: C-