Booster seats are a moment of pride for many parents and it is seen as a moment where you can really celebrate that your child has grown up.
But when that moment comes, what do you buy?
(+) High Back Booster Pros
High back boosters have quite a few pros over backless boosters. For example, it has the ability to hold the shoulder belt in place. It will help you to ensure that your child is protected if you are in an accident, keeping the neck safely placed. The deep wings on the side of the high-back booster can keep the back of the head safe in case of an accident as well. These wings will make the seat more comfortable as well for children who are always on the road.
Finally, some high-back boosters have better LATCH connections, which can be helpful if you are in a side impact accident.
If you are looking for comfort and safety, a high-back booster might be the way to go.
(-) High Back Booster Cons
Of course, there are some things to consider with a high-back booster as well. Usually a high-back will cost more than a backless booster seat. It will also be heavier, which could limit mobility if you are switching between cars.
If you have a car that has cloth seats, a high-back booster is more likely to leave imprints on your seats than any other type of car seat. While this can be prevented with a seat guard, it is definitely something to think about for people who have more expensive cars.
If you are going to be switch cars quite often, a high-back booster might not be the best option for you.
(+) Backless Booster Pros
One of the biggest pros of a backless booster seat comes for parents who have children that are skinny, but extremely tall. A backless booster tends to give you a few more inches to play with in terms of head space. Many are also designed so that your child can sit all the way back, which can help in terms of leg room and staying comfortable.
Backless booster seats are also lighter, which means they are great for families that change cars all the time or those who have to move around the seats depending on how the children are getting along.
Finally, backless booster seats are cheaper than high-back boosters. You can sometimes get them for under $20 if you look carefully. If you are the type of family that moves around quite a bit and you need something cheap that can withstand a beating, a backless booster might be your choice.
(-) Backless Booster Cons
Unfortunately, there are some cons with backless booster seats as well. They won’t be as comfortable for children who have to sit in the care for long periods of time. The base isn’t as padded and the seat shifts away from the back of the seat, creating a gap that can be uncomfortable.
Of course, there is a lack of padding around the head as well, which can be dangerous if there is an accident. This is especially true if you have car seats that are low slung.
If you have a child that is on the smaller side or you are extremely worried about safety, picking a backless booster seat might not give you what you are looking for.
At the end of the day, you have to make the choice for your family. There is no right or wrong answer here. However, you should always go on the side of caution and pick what you think will be safer. “Safe” means different things to different people. If your child is uncomfortable, your irritation could make everyone in the car unsafe.
Since backless booster seats are still produced and pass safety standards, they are still a valid choice for many families. The most important thing is that the seats are installed properly, you use a seat belt, and your child is ready to graduate to a booster seat.