Booster Car Seat review: Graco TurboBooster Graco TurboBooster booster seatBooster type: High back and backless booster

Weight: 30 to 100 lbs. as high back booster (backless, 40 to 100 lbs).

Price: $50 to $90. Backless version is $25.

IIHS rating:
High back mode: Best Bet.
Backless mode: Best Bet.

NHTSA ease of use rating: Three out of five stars (regular model).
Backless: Three out of five stars
Version with Safety Surround: Three out of five stars.

Pros: Top choice in booster market—both affordable and well designed.

Cons: No five-point harness; little side impact protection.

Comments Booster Car Seat review: The Graco TurboBooster is our top pick as a great, affordable belt-positioning booster seat (no harness). As a reminder, your child must be mature enough to sit in a belt-positioning booster—even though these seats start at 30 lbs., we suggest waiting until your child is at least four years of age. Keep a toddler in a harnessed seat until they outgrow it by weight or height.

The TurboBooster features padded armrests that are height adjustable, EPS foam, hide-away cup holders and a one-hand adjustment for the headrest. The seat pad removes for cleaning; the TurboBooster converts into a backless booster for older kids.

As usual, Graco makes this seat in more than a dozen colors and styles. Hence, you’ll find a basic version for $45 at Walmart and upgraded models for $90 in specialty stores. What’s the difference? Just the fabric pad. More money, nicer fabric.

Booster Car Seat review: Graco TurboBooster Graco Highback TurboBooster featuring Safety Surround - Harrington review

Graco Highback TurboBooster featuring Safety Surround

So what are the drawbacks to the Graco TurboBooster? Well, unlike other, similar seats this booster lacks a five-point harness. Hence this seat is for older toddlers who’ve outgrown a harnessed seat. And the TurboBooster requires quite a bit of assembly with various screws (that’s the reason this seat only earned three out of five stars in the government’s ease of use rating).

One flaw for the TurboBooster, the lack of side impact protection, was recently addressed: Graco has added “Safety Surround” side impact protection to one version of the TurboBooster (dubbed the Highback TurboBooster with Safety Surround, $70).  See our review of the Graco My Ride 65 for details on Safety Surround.

Graco makes three other versions of the TurboBooster including the TrueShield ($50 to $90) with advanced side impact protection and a weight limit up to 110 lbs. and the Latch System ($63 to $83) with a one-hand latch system to keep it from moving around in the car when your child isn’t using it.

And yes, Graco has a version of the TurboBooster with LATCH, which keeps the seat tether to the car when unoccupied.

The third and newest version is the TurboBooster TakeAlong, a folding booster for carpoolers. Due out in January, 2018, this seat runs $99 (or $49 for backless; both include a carry bag). Check out our video below for the cool fold and carry feature:

Wow! Watch this preview video: Graco TurboBooster Takealong booster car seat: $99 for highback; $49 backless. Jan 2018. Tag your carpooling friends! #abckids17

Posted by Baby Bargains on Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Reader feedback on the TurboBooster is quite positive; even the 1800+ reviews on Amazon are 90% positive (four and five stars). The few dissenters wish the TurboBooster was better designed for napping toddlers.

The backless version of the TurboBooster has similarly positive reviews with a caveat: the seat doesn’t have much padding, so folks with long commutes or upcoming long-distance trips may want to pass.

Bottom line: this is a good option for older toddlers who no longer need a seat with a five-point harness. If you can spare the extra cash, go for the version with the Safety Surround padding (see picture, bottom). Rating: A Booster Car Seat review: Graco TurboBooster