Booster seats are special car seats meant to help your kids stay safe riding in cars. When your toddler outgrows an infant car seat, it is time to transition into a booster seat – also referred to any many countries as a Stage 3 Car Seat.
Why does my child need a booster seat? The simple answer is, it is the best protection you can get for your child while traveling in a car. Booster seats raise the child, so the vehicle seat belt fits the body correctly with the shoulder, and lap belts are positioned to provide optimum protection while minimizing potential harm.
And yes, backless boosters can be just as protective as those with backs for older children (based on their size, not their age).
But what about when you have limited space in your back seat? Or multiple children in car seats to try and fit across one row? Car seats are undoubtedly bulky, but booster seats allow you to narrow down and maximize space for your family as they grow – without scrimping on too many bells and whistles.
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TL;DR – The best narrow booster seat on the market today is the Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 – Booster Seat
Keep reading to see why, what to look for in a narrow booster, and all our favorite narrow booster seats compared.
What To Look For In A Great Narrow Booster
The most important thing you will need to consider when choosing a narrow booster seat is your child’s weight, height, and how well the booster seat will fit in your car. If you are planning to make the big switch from an infant car seat to a booster seat, here is what you should consider:
Size is the first and foremost factor you should consider when choosing the right narrow highback booster; The size of your car, the seat and your child.
- Before buying a narrow highback booster, you should determine the overall size of your car’s back seat. Think about not just the width of the bench car seat but how far door handles protrude and how easy it is to fit a hand between seats to fasten the seat belt.
- Consider how many other car seats or boosters you need to fit across the row.
- You’ll then need to check your child’s size. Most high-back boosters will be adjustable until your child reaches around 57″ tall and can then transition to a normal seat belt with no booster.
- Being Narrow can mean compromising some comfort features for larger children as you give up some width and depth.
When it’s the right time for you to make the big move for your young one to move to booster seats, you must ensure they meet all federal safety standards. This will ensure that when the seats are installed and used correctly, they will keep your kids safe.
To ensure safety, first, you will need to consider the size of your car’s backseat and the number of boosters you are trying to fit. You might need the narrowest highback booster to install all the seats safely.
Will you be moving your booster seat between vehicles or needing to pack it in a suitcase when you fly? Regular travelers may want a booster that can compactly hold for ease of transportation, or at least have a carry handle.
When purchasing a booster seat for your kiddos, one factor that you can not overlook is its durability. Your child’s slimmest car seat does not need to be replaced annually or so when purchasing; be keen on checking the device’s durability.
When considering the longevity of the best narrow car seat, you might want to check the warranty, product, and guarantees.
Ease of Operation
What good will be your narrow high back booster if it’s not easy for you to use? Ease of operation will allow you to change your kid’s booster seat to how it fits.
But how do you find a booster seat that is easy to use? That is not something that you should be worried about. The booster seat models feature the most straightforward ease of operation and can be done in less than a second.
You should also take into account how easy it will be for your little one to climb in and out of their booster seat. They should also be able to reach the seat belt to click it in and out as appropriately needed.
When considering moving to booster seats, you can not overlook your kiddo’s height, weight, and preparedness to transition from a five-point, front-facing seat to a booster seat.
You may want to check out the NHTSA recommendations on when to move to a booster seat.
It’s all about your little ones; they should be mature enough to sit correctly in a booster seat and be of the right physical size.
A good compromise can be a convertible booster that starts as a 5-point harness and then convert to a seat belt booster if your child is still at the lower end of the age and size scale.
For children over four years of age, consider a booster that can convert to a backless booster as they grow.
When you finally decide to move your little one from their car seat to the booster seat, you should consider all four types of booster seats there are. These types include:
- A backless booster seat
- A booster seat with a high back
- An all-in-one car seat
- A combination seat
Our recommendations below take a look at various different narrow booster seat combinations that will grow with your child’s needs.
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7 Best Narrow Booster Seats
With the many different types of narrow booster seats on the market and varying guidelines, choosing the perfect design for your child’s booster seat can be a minefield.
If your child is now old enough to make the big move from their five-point harness car seat to a booster seat, they are also old enough to have an opinion on the style and comfortability choices.
From our experience crossing the country with all our tots at various ages and stages, and in many different vehicles, here is our selection of the best and narrowest booster seats.
1. Most Versatile Travel Booster: Peg Perego Viaggio Flex 120 – Booster Seat
From the Peg Perego brand, this booster seat is not only narrow but also boasts a moisture-wicking plush seat that is very comfortable for your little one. This is an excellent option for a travel seat with super high weight and height limits.
If price is not an issue (It sits at a higher price range than some lower-end models), then the Peg Perego booster seat is worth it in style, quality, and, most essential, comfort. It has many useful features that traveling families will love.
- 4D total adjusts technology, meaning the seat can be adjusted in four different directions. The directions are also all independent from one another.
- It can be secured to your vehicle using rigid lower anchor connectors. When not in use, the rigid latch can tuck into the seat.
- Can be folded in half when not in use.
- Your kids can keep using this booster until they are around 10-12 years old before they become too tall.
- An aluminum-reinforced backrest will provide your little one with extra safety and protection against whiplash in case of a collision.
- Available in several color combination options.
2. Best High Back-to-Backless Booster: Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Seat
The Chicco Kid fit is a great narrow booster seat option with wings and cup holders. If your backseat situation demands a narrow booster seat at the base and through the armrest area, then look no further!
Its cupholders are collapsible ( i.e., can be tucked in), measuring under 17 inches wide at its base. This feature makes the Chicco Kid fit one of the narrowest high-back boosters on the market while still affording some of those quality extras that make your child comfortable on the road.
- 2-in-1 booster, meaning that it can easily convert to a backless booster.
- It can support your kids from as low as 40 pounds and up to 110 pounds or 35-57 inches tall.
- Duo zone: combines head and shoulder protection. It will also accommodate your growing child comfortably thanks to its ten different positions and removable layers.
- The latch system can hold the seat in the vehicle when it’s unoccupied. The latches adjustment is also up-front, making it very convenient and easy to swap quickly between cars.
- The seat uses a lightweight energy-absorbing foam and omits a steel-reinforced frame.
- Collapsible cupholders help you make a bit more room for tighter situations.
3. Best Narrow Convertible Car Seat: Chicco MyFit Zip Air Booster
If you are looking for a narrow backseat that offers maximum versatility, it has to be the Chicco MyFit Zip Air Booster. Why, you ask? It is a 2-in-1 booster that combines a harness booster with a belt-positioning booster.
What this ensures is that it is built to grow. With the Chicco Myfit, your child will use it as a five-point harness for toddlers, and when it’s time to transition, you easily convert it into a belt-positioning booster for bigger kids; cool!
It is a little heavier and less portable than the Chicco KidFit but will mean you can start them in a booster from an earlier age.
- At 17 inches wide, it is a leader in the narrow car seat and booster market.
- As a harness, you can install using the included non-rigid latch straps or opt to use the vehicle’s seat belt. Its latch can comfortably be used for up to 40 pounds.
- Once your child is ready to transition from the five-point harness, they can use it from 40-100 pounds or 38-57 inches tall.
- Safety includes side impact protection, a steel-reinforced frame, and EPS energy-absorbing foam that does not overheat.
- It also has head and torso protection thanks to its superior DuoGuard, which has a deep rigid shell.
- It is convenient for your kid with two cup holders, a 4-stage adjustable recline, a no re-thread harness, and armrests.
- The 3D AirMesh cover is breathable and machine washable.
4. Best Narrow Convertible Booster Seat: Graco Affix Highback Booster Seat with Latch System
When looking for the best booster seat that will carry your little one until they can sit on their own, the Graco Affix Highback booster should be your first option. This is because it can convert from a highback booster to a backless booster.
To ensure that it can grow with your kid, its headrest is fully adjustable, and its seat also comes equipped with a cup holder and a snack holder. Do not overlook it due to its simple design, as it will keep your child safely buckled in until they can sit comfortably without any booster.
- Convertible from a highback to a backless booster.
- It is safe for use by kids between 40-100 pounds or 38-57 inches tall.
- One-hand front-adjust latch system that secures the booster to the vehicle seat.
- A multilayered headrest provides your child with the comfort they need.
- For effective impact management, it has EPS energy-absorbing foam.
- It has a hideaway storage compartment that will enable your kid to store their favorite things.
- Machine washable covers.
Note that, unlike some convertible models, this ultra-light booster from Graco does not have a recline feature.
5. Best Backless Narrow Booster: Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster
If you are looking for something with a simple design that will still accommodate your growing child, consider the Graco TurboBooster backless booster. With a simple design that makes it easy to move from one vehicle to another: it also features adjustable padded armrests that allow your kid to sit comfortably despite their height.
It is an easy-to-transport booster with two cup holders and a removable cover that is machine washable. This backless booster safely buckles your kid using a seatbelt with hideaway cup holders.
- This backless booster is designed for children between 40-100 pounds or 43-57 inches tall
- It has a front-adjust latch system.
- Storage-wise, it has two cupholders that help keep your kid’s content safe while on the road and a small hidden storage compartment.
- It also has a cover that you can remove and machine wash.
- Small armrests help keep your child comfortable, particularly important if they’re in the middle seat.
6. Best Value Narrow Booster Seat: Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster
While the Evenflo Chase Harnessed booster is not the narrowest booster seat for the middle seat, it is still a superb booster seat option worth of a mention if you want one forward-facing seat that will last your child for many years.
It’s a two-in-one combination booster seat that converts from a 5-point -harness to a belt-positioning booster; therefore, it will comfortably grow with your kid.
A lightweight, budget-friendly booster seat with two crotch buckle positions, the Evenflo Chase will give your little ones more sitting space as they grow.
- Extended use: this booster seat converts from a 5-point harness to a standard vehicle seat belt as your child grows.
- It can comfortably carry kids between 22-110 pounds or 28-50″ tall.
- 4 different shoulder height positions that will grow with your child
- Integrated cup holders that do not exceed the chair’s width.
- Removable head pillow and machine washable pads.
- The seat has been designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately 2X the federal crash test standard.
7. Best 3-in-1 Harness to Backless Booster: Graco Tranzitions 3 in-1 Harness Booster Seat
Want a great all-rounder to really last your child for many years? The Graco Tranzitions 3-in-1 harness will offer you one of the narrowest backless boosters on the market. This factor makes it an excellent option for narrow centers or squeezing next to another narrow infant car seat where other boosters would not fit.
With no re-thread, it has a safe adjust harness that allows the headrest and harness to adjust together in one motion. It will also ensure that your child’s drinks and snacks are close at hand as it has two easy-to-clean cup holders.
- It is lightweight and convenient for busy parents.
- Weight: its weight recommendation is between 22-100 pounds
- It has an 8-position adjustable headrest
- Easy to remove machine-washable covers.
If you’re worried about your child’s head flopping once they move away from a high back booster, we recommend you check out next our guide to the best toddler neck pillows, these will help with head wobble and provide extra comfort on those long trips.
We hope this guide has helped you select the narrowest booster seat that will work with your child’s size while keeping them safe and snug on your next family road trip.
© Family Road Trip