Booster Seat Without Busting the Budget

Sitting Pretty in the CarCosco Booster 1

  • What: Cosco Highback Booster Seat
  • When: Age and weight limits 22-80 lbs
  • Why: Affordable, high crash test ratings, lightweight
  • Where: Amazon, Target

Looking for a lighter booster seat for traveling? If you don’t want to switch to a backless booster, but can’t stand to lug the large bulky highback booster around with you anymore, take a look at Cosco’s Highback Booster Car Seat.

We originally invested in one for grandma’s car for visits because we hesitated to shell out another several hundred dollars for a seat we used only a couple weeks a year. Cosco’s booster received the highest crash protection rankings from Consumer Reports, but cost only a fraction of our other car seats. As an added bonus, we walked into Target and bought one on the spot.

We liked it so much we bought a second one for grandma’s car as soon as our second child hit the required weight limit of 22 pounds. Our oldest has since outgrown the harness, which has a weight limit of 40 pounds, but uses it as a booster with the car’s built-in seat belt. He will likely outgrow the height restriction of 52 inches long before he weighs too much.

You can use the highback booster seat with the harness from 22-40 lbs and 34 to 43 inches. Without the removable harness using a car seat belt instead), it goes from 40 to 80 pounds and 43 to 52 inches. It also includes LATCH connectors, though they hook on and aren’t the easiest ones to install. (They don’t have click releases like our other seats, so once you get it installed tightly, it can be difficult to get the LATCH connectors to unhook.) The seat belt option has two slots to adjust the car’s shoulder belt to the right height. It also comes with a detachable cup holder you can put on either side or take off completely.

Cosco Booster 2

Our Cosco Highback Booster Seat without the harness sitting in our foyer waiting for its next ride

The harness belt is one piece in a loop, so it can get tricky if it gets twisted and the tangle slides underneath or behind the seat. I probably wouldn’t use this seat for everyday because of that.

We loved them so much we bought a third one for our own house, and use to it to bring home friends. We can easily throw it in and out of the car or leave it at school to make sure they have a safe ride home. I’ve even walked it half a mile or so while pushing a stroller with no problem. Because it has a narrower base than many other highback booster options, it can be a good fit for three car seats across one back seat bench in some cars.

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