Types of Booster Seats

Posted in: Booster Seats

Are there different types of boosters? Which type of booster is right for my child? Which type is right for my vehicle?

There are three different types of booster seats: Backless boosters, High-Backed boosters, and Combination seats. Read on for a description of each. Also note the Booster Warnings section at the bottom of this page for general information. Of course you should always read both your booster seat instruction manual and your vehicle owner’s manual before installing or using a booster.

Backless Boosters

These are specialized cushions children sit on. The booster raises the child up off the vehicle seat, leading to a better seat belt fit. Backless boosters all have seat belt guides which keep the seat belt over the correct place on the child’s body. Sometimes armrests serve as the seat belt guides, other seats use metal tubes or rings. In this photo, you can see the seat belt runs through two red rings on either side of the booster.

Note: The vehicle seat MUST come up to your child’s ears in order to use a backless booster. This is because the top of the ears is the same height as the bottom of the skull, which needs protection in a crash. If the seat back does not come up to the top of the ears/bottom of the skull, the child is more likely to suffer whiplash injuries in a crash. If your child’s ears come up past the vehicle seat, he should use a high-back booster, where the high back of the booster itself will prevent whiplash.

High Back Boosters (BPB/Combo)

rodifix-blackThere are two types of High Back boosters: Belt Positioning Boosters (BPB) and Combination Seats.

Belt Positioning Boosters (BPB): Like a backless booster but also has a back and head support which goes up past the child’s ears. Normally used as a high-back booster, many of these models also allow you to remove the back, turning the seat into a backless booster – this option is very helpful for travel and for storage.

Combination: Functions either as a car seat with a 5-point harness for children up to at least 40 pounds OR a belt positioning booster for kids over 40 pounds (you simply remove the harness and use the vehicle’s safety belt to secure the child). The back is usually not removable on these models.

Booster Warnings

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