Last Updated: Nov 24, 2021 @ 1:25 pm.

What's the best booster car seat for kids weighing 40 lbs. and up? To find out, we surveyed our parent readers to find which seats worked best in the real world. Which is easiest to get in and out of? Most comfy? Here are the winners.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


Best High Back Booster

Built-in cup holder and storage tray
Our kid testers love this seat—easy to use and assemble. Very comfy. Best feature: LATCH system keeps it secure in vehicle when seat is unoccupied.

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Best High Back Booster Car Seat: Graco Affix

When it comes to booster car seats for kids that weight 40 lbs. or up, you have two basic choices: high back or no back boosters.

As the name implies, high back boosters (also called belt-positioning boosters) are designed for younger kids (who are still under 40 lbs.). They correctly position the safety belt across a child’s shoulder and torso. High back seats also provide some additional side impact protection.

No back boosters are best for older kids that just need a boost up. We’ll discuss those seats later in this article.

For the best high back booster seat, we pick Graco’s Affix seat. This excellent seat hits all the right notes: comfortable, easy to use and easy on the wallet. Graco’s track record in this category is also excellent—we like their overall safety and engineering.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• LATCH to keep the seat secure to the vehicle. One major issue for booster seats: when unoccupied, they can fly about the vehicle in a crash. The Graco Affix has a LATCH system that keeps the seat secure when your child isn’t in the vehicle.

• Comfy cushions.

• Easy to use.

• Affordable.

• Integrated cup holder.

• Slide out storage tray.

• Side impact protection.

• Converts to backless booster for extra use.

What Needs Work

• Your child has to be mature enough to sit in the seat. Unlike car seats with five-point harnesses, this seat is easy for kids to unbuckle by themselves. That is true for all high back boosters, of course. If your child can’t be trusted to stay in their seat, a five-point harness solution might be a better bet.

Best Backless Booster Seat

Easy on the wallet
For older kiddos that just need a boost, this seat is an excellent choice. Easy to use and lightweight—that makes it great for carpools. Favorite feature: cup holders that fold away!

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Best Backless Booster Seat: Graco TurboBooster Backless

As we mentioned earlier, backless booster seats are designed for older kids who just need a small boost so the vehicle seat belt fits correctly. 

We tried out a dozen backless booster seats and asked our readers for their favorites before deciding the Graco TurboBooster is the best bet for most folks. 

The TurboBooster comes in two versions: high back and backless. The latter is what we are referring to here—this seat is well designed and very easy to use. And yes, there are two cup holders. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Good brand track record.

• Affordable.

• Easy to use.

• Lightweight: great for carpools.

• Cup holders that fold away!

What Needs Work

• No LATCH system. That means you should store the seat in a trunk when not occupied by a child. If not, the seat could fly about the cabin in the case of an accident.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Great for grandparents
Nothing fancy, but perfect for that second car or baby sitter. Converts to backless booster for extended use. Also nice: cup holders!
$48.38

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Best Budget-Friendly: Evenflo Big Kid High Back

After writing and reviewing car seats for the past 25 years, we know there is more than just parents that need a good booster seat—other caregivers (grandparents, baby sitters) also need to follow the best practices when it comes to child passenger safety.

Since some of these folks may be on a budget, we would recommend Evenflo’s Big Kid High Back booster as the best choice for these caregivers. This seat hits all the right notes for safety . . . yet the price is easy on the wallet.

What We Liked

• Converts from high back to backless for extended use.

• Recessed cup holders for snacks.

• Machine washable pad.

• Lightweight.

• Easy to assemble.

• Easy to use.

What Needs Work

• No LATCH system to attach seat to vehicle when unoccupied.

• Not as much padding as other seats we researched.

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Best For Long Road Trips

Comfy plus cup holders!
This seat boasts several upgrades, including push-on LATCH connectors and enhanced side impact protection. Easy to assemble.
$99.99

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Best For Long Road Trips: Britax Skyline

If you’ve got a long road trip planned and need an upgraded booster seat that is super comfy, we’d recommend the Britax Skyline.

Yes, this is the same Britax brand that has many top-rated convertible seats. And even though the Skyline costs a bit more than other booster seats, we think it is worth the investment.

The big headline here is the added side impact protection and overall seat engineering. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• LATCH system to keep seat in place in vehicle when unoccupied.

• Converts to backless booster for extended use.

• Push-on LATCH connectors.

• Plush padding more comfy for longer trips.

• Cup holders!

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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