Booster Seat Vs. Car Seat

Car Seat, Comparison

booster seat vs car seat
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Booster Seat Vs. Car Seat: Is there any REAL difference between the booster seat and the car seat? Let’s find out.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned professional, it is really important for you to understand the difference between a booster seat and a car seat so that you can make an informed buying decision.

A child wears a five-point harness as its restraint whenever he sits in a car seat.

On the other hand, if the same child sits in a booster seat then he uses a vehicle seat belt across him as his restraints something very similar to what an adult does.

However, the good thing is that many car seats with harnesses can be easily turned into a booster.

At the same time, you also need to understand that before you move your child to a booster seat, he meets the below-mentioned three criteria.

  • At least five years old
  • At least forty pounds
  • Should be able to sit without leaning over or playing with the seat belts

Frankly speaking, if you’ll do some research you’ll find that quite a few convertible seats and combination seats are available on the market that allows you to use harness straps up until your child is 40 pounds or above.

The good thing about these car seats is that they allow you to keep your children in a car seat with a harness for longer.

Types of Car Seats at a Glance

Age GroupSeat Type Guidelines
Infants and toddlersAll infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat and follow the highest weight or height mentioned in the instruction manual by their respective manufacturerAll infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat and follow the highest weight or height mentioned in the instruction manual by their respective manufacturer
Toddlers and preschoolers1. Forward-facing convertible
2. Forward-facing with harness
Children who have surpassed the rear-facing weight or height limit for their car seats should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible
School-aged children1. Booster1. Rear-facing only
2. Rear facing convertible
Older children1. Seat beltsWhen the kids have become old enough for the vehicle seat belt to fit them correctly then they should use lap and shoulder seat belts for the best possible protection

Should I Switch To A Booster Seat?

Well, it DEPENDS.

Let’s figure out when you should switch to a booster seat.

As per my knowledge and experience about booster seats, I can affirm that booster seats are for those older kids who have outgrown their forward-facing seats.

Let’s understand it with an example.

 As per our core team evaluation, the USP of Cosco Mighty Fit 65 DX Convertible Car Seat is the kind of comfort that it can come with, if comfort is your top priority then go with this product. 

What we’ve seen in recent years is that most kids have outgrown their five-point harness in height when their shoulder reaches the top slot and NOT THE WEIGHT.

As per the CDC recommendation, a child should ride in a forward-facing car seat until the age of five or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat.

And, of course, post that they should be buckled into a belt-positioning booster seat in the back seat.

 Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees, stating that parents should keep their kids in the forward-facing seat with harnesses and tether until they reach the top height or the weight limit allowed by the manufacturer. 

Not only that but also NHTSA suggests an age range of four to seven years as a good time when kids might be ready to move to a booster seat.

Many of you wouldn’t be aware of the fact that there are many belt-positioning booster seats available on the market that come with a minimum weight limit of 30 to 33 pounds.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that the children stay in a car safety seat with harnesses as long as possible before transitioning to a booster seat.

Have you ever thought about why a manufacturer sells booster seats without harness straps with a weight limit below 40 lbs if you should use a harness strap before this weight?

Any guesses?

The simple answer is that they can as there is no law making the minimum weight for boosters at least 40 pounds.

I’ve seen kids complaining about being in a car seat and wanting to be in a big kid booster.

Have you ever faced such situations as a parent?

 If I’ve, to sum up, all I want to say is that your kid is safest in a car seat’s five-point harness until they meet all the criteria including age, height, weight, and maturity recommendations for riding a booster. 

Remember, safety is a non-negotiable parameter.

Wrapping Up Booster Seat vs. Car Seat

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic superlative piece of information.

And, in case, you liked our efforts then please feel free to share this piece of information with like-minded people and the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

Cutting a long story short, the gist of the discussion is that as a parent you shouldn’t be in a hurry to move your kids to a booster seat even though he is asking you again and again.

It’s always good to be safe than sorry.

I always suggest my clients keep their kids in the forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as they can.

Make sure that you’re shifting your kids to the booster only if they are either at least 5 years old or at least 40 pounds and are able to sit in a booster properly for the entire ride.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on height and weight limits, installation, and expiration.

In case, you’ve any doubts or queries related to Booster Seat vs. Car Seat, then feel free to reach out to us via the contact form of

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