No matter your child’s age, their safety is always your top priority. This is especially the case when they are in the car with you. From the moment they are a newborn to a young child, ensuring you take the right precautions in your vehicle is always of the utmost importance. This is why choosing a proper booster seat is so crucial once they reach the legal weight of 40lbs. So, what exactly should you be looking for? Luckily, we’ve done the research to make up our list of the top five recommended booster seats for 2024.
First, how does a booster seat work?
Contrary to popular belief, a booster isn’t necessarily what protects your child in the event of an accident. Instead, it positions your child so that the seat belt properly fits your child, preventing them from further injury. When your child is too small for an adult seat but too large for a car seat, a seat belt will only go across their abdomen, preventing it from doing its job. With a booster seat, your child is positioned so that the seat belt fits across the strong bones of the hips and pelvis. When they’re sitting in their seat, the lap belt should fit low and snug across your child’s hips, and not resting on their belly. Additionally, the shoulder portion of the belt should be positioned over the chest and collarbone, ensuring it does not touch the neck.
What makes a booster seat safe to use?
Similar to a car seat, there are a few things you’ll want to be on the lookout for when shopping for a booster seat:
First and foremost, you will need to look for the National Safety Mark Label. This indication states that the seat you are looking at properly complies with the regulations and standards created by the Government of Canada. These National Safety Mark Labels are given out by the Ministry of Transportation to different manufacturers within Canada. If your booster seat does not have this, it is not of legal use and thus, you should refrain from using it.
However, the National Safety Mark isn’t the only sign of a completely safe booster seat. It is important to make sure it also complies with the following:
- It has not passed its expiry date
- It has all of the necessary safety components, with none missing
- The booster seat has not been involved in previous collisions
- All components are working correctly
- It isn’t damaged
- It comes with instructions on how it can be properly installed
In order to avoid injury or possible oversights, we highly recommend purchasing a new booster seat rather than borrowing or buying a used one. We understand that sometimes booster seats can be quite expensive. However, it is never worth taking a risk when it comes to your child’s safety!
So, what are the best booster seats for 2024?
Picking the best booster seat for your child can be a daunting and confusing task. This is made even more difficult with so many different booster seats on the market. In order to make this process easier, we have compiled a list of the best car seats for 2023 and 2024. Each of these has its own pros and cons and ranges from different price points, so there is an option for everyone.
1. clek Oobr Booster Seat
Known for its sleek and minimal designs, the clek Oobr booster seat will fit wonderfully in any car, especially with its range of colours. Its safety features are simply unmatched and it has been rated a “best bet” by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety for over 10+ years in a row. This booster seat is constantly revolutionizing booster seating with safety features including a reinforced headrest, copolymer frame, and integrated connectors for enhanced seat stability. Bonus: it is beautifully made right here in Canada! Price: $439.99.
2. Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat
If you’re trying to minimize the amount of purchases and gear you have, then the Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 Harness Booster Seat is going to be your best bet. Though it may be a 3-in-1, there are no cutting corners when it comes to safety features. Its narrow and lightweight size makes it ideal for transitions. It acts as a harness booster, a highback booster, and eventually, a backless booster, making it your one-stop-shop purchase as it grows with your child! Price: $259.99.
3. Nuna AACE Booster Car Seat
When it comes to features, this booster seat from Nuna is far from lacking. This sleek booster seat has so many unique safety features that we don’t even know where to start. First and foremost, the leg extension panel features three different lengths, giving your child’s growing legs space, no matter their age. It also features a shoulder system that expands. So, as the headrest moves up, the shoulder area will expand along with it. This makes sure your child stays comfortable for as long as they use the seat. Furthermore, it has eight different recline positions. Though pricey, the AACE booster seat is worth it for any family that can work it into their budget. Price: $250.00.
4. Graco TurboBooster 2.0
When it comes to all things children, Graco is a brand that everyone can trust. This TurboBooster booster seat comes in as no exception. The perfect high-back booster seat, it is engineered for added comfortability, as well as extra safety features. Furthermore, it comes with machine-washable cushions, so you’re always able to give it a wash when your little one spills. Price: $199.99.
5. Chicco KidFit ClearTex Plus
This attractive high-back booster seat offers a terrific blend of safety features, as well as convenience. It’s no wonder it was listed as the New York Times pick for the Best Booster Seat of 2023! The Chicco KidFit ClearTex Plus comes in at a low weight, making it easy to switch between cars. On top of this, it comes with two collapsible cup holders and Chicco’s innovative LATCH System. This stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This system allows you to install the car seat by attaching a pair of metal hooks or clips to a set of anchors that are built into your car. This offers extreme stability and safety!
When can my child graduate to a seat belt only?
Figuring out when your child can graduate to just a seatbelt can be difficult for many parents to decipher. Generally speaking, a booster seat can be removed from your child when the seat belt fits properly on their body without the help of their seat. This means the belt is on their lap and the shoulder belt is between their neck and shoulders. Studies show that half of all 10-year-olds still need a booster seat to ride safely. This means that it is important to focus more on your child’s height and weight rather than their age when figuring out if you should remove the seat.
We hope this can be of some help when choosing the perfect booster seat for your child! Remember, car seat safety is nothing without some good insurance to fall back on. Are you in the market for new car insurance? If so, request a quote or contact us today!