Boosters

6 Best Car Seats For 5 Year Olds & Up | 2021 Models

best car seat for 5 year oldWhen your child turns 5, it’s a great time for them to transition into a bigger car seat or booster. Each child is different, so some may not be ready for that transition while others are tall for their age and need to move onto a larger seat. It’s important to pay attention to their height and weight because each car seat has its own specific guidelines. 

The best car seat for a 5-year-old is the Evenflo Maestro Sport because it’s suitable for children from 22-110lbs and 28-57” for forward-facing and highback booster uses. It’s very affordable and easy to install in most vehicles. It’s lightweight enough to be transported from vehicle to vehicle. 

Buying a combination car seat for your 5 year old can save you money in the long run. There’s no need to buy additional car seats for each stage your child goes through. Let’s review the top car seats for 5-year-old children. 

Best Car Seat For 5 Year Olds

NameWeight LimitHeight LimitMode
Britax Pinnacle ClightTight Harness-2-Booster25-120 lbs.62"Highback Booster
Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2 Booster25-120 lbs.62"Highback Booster
Chicco KidFit 2-In-1 Belt Positioning Booster30-100 lbs.57"Highback Booster
Graco Turbobooster Highback Booster40-100 lbs.57"Highback Booster
Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster40-100 lbs.57"Both Highback/Backless Booster
Clek Oobr High Back Booster33-100 lbs.57"Both Highback/Backless Booster

1.Britax Pinnacle ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Most Secure Toddler to Older Children Booster

The Britax Pinnacle ClickTight booster seat is all about safety. This booster seat is ideal for both toddlers and older children. Its a combination of a forward-facing harness seat and a booster seat and it comes with the highest height and weight limits of any of the other booster seats currently on the market.

Britax has developed a technology called ClickTight, which makes installation a breeze. You can use either the LATCH system or the seatbelt system. The LATCH can be used in both the harness mode and the booster mode.

The Pinnacle has 3-layers of patented Side Impact Cushion Technology (SICT) which are energy-absorbing cushions that will not only protect the child in the seat but those who are sitting next to the seat as well. This technology works by ejecting air through its vents, thus absorbing energy when they are compressed in the case of a collision. 

Additionally, it has large wings that protect your child’s head and can avert any possible flying debris that may occur in a crash. Its frame is made of steel and plastic, and it has a wide base that can absorb immense impacts. The tether is v-shaped and helps prevent seat rotation and reduces forward movement of the seat in a collision. Read our detailed review.

Britax Pinnacle is Called a “Cadillac” of Car Seats

This booster seat has three recline positions to keep your little one comfortable and safe. There are two built-in cupholders, a no re-thread nine position harness and comes in three color patterns. The material is machine washable, and the plastic and steel frame are easy to wipe down. 

The Britax Pinnacle has received several awards and certifications such as Best Booster Seat from IIHS, a Five-star rating from NHTSA, Recommended 2016 by the CarSeatBlog.org.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Machine Washable Material
  • LATCH and Seatbelt System Can be Used
  • Lots of Energy Absorbing Padding for Comfort and Safety
  • SICT for Extra Protection
  • 9-Position, no Re-Thread Harness
  • Steel-Reinforced Frame

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Heavy and Bulky
  • Does not Convert to Backless
  • LATCH Limit is only 38 Pounds
Britax Grow with You ClickTight Plus Harness-2-Booster Car Seat |...
  • Trusted quality, upgraded design: Looking for pinnacle? Grow with you ClickTight plus is our newest...
  • Install confidently: With ClickTight, you know it’s right in just 3 easy steps. Open, thread &...
  • 2 in 1 booster seat: Easily transitions from forward facing harness mode to belt positioning booster...

Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster – 2 Layer Impact Protection

The Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness booster seat, similar to the Britax Pinnacle, is also an outstanding seat and like all Britax, is now made in the United States. They have consistently provided stylish and innovative travel products for kids with their primary focus on safety.

This booster serves as both a forward-facing, 5-point-harness for children 25 pounds to 90 pounds, and as a booster seat for kids 40 pounds to 120 pounds. Perfect for the child transitioning from a rear-facing position. The 9-position, quick-adjust harness, and 9-position headrest grow with your little one. 

Both the Pinnacle and the Frontier have the quick-adjust harnesses, and both have 9-position points, but the Frontier has a two-position buckle that allows you to position your little one safely and comfortably with minimal effort. 

Click Tight System

It’s easy to install due to its patented ClickTight technology: a quick buckle and you are off.

This booster is constructed with a steel frame and has two layers of side impact protection. Additionally, the Britax Frontier has a forward movement reducing V-shaped tether and an impact-absorbing base. Like the Pinnacle, the Frontier has side impact protection layers, but only two layers, whereas the Pinnace has three.

The seat cover is easily removed and can be washed or spot cleaned. It also has two integrated cup holders that are easy to clean. The Britax Frontier has won several awards for safety, ease of use, and more from notable safety groups such as the IIHS and NHTSA.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Easy to Clean
  • 9-Position, 5-Point-Harness
  • Award-Winning
  • More Affordable than the Pinnacle
  • Durable
  • Impact Absorbing
  • Not as Wide as the Pinnacle
  • 9 Position Headrest
  • Cupholders 

Cons

  • Heavy
  • A bit more Expensive
  • Not a Backless Booster
Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat, Spark...
  • TRUSTED QUALITY, UPDGRADED DESIGN: Looking for Frontier? Grow with you ClickTight is our newest...
  • PREMIUM, SOFT TOUCH FABRIC: 4-way stretch athleisure fabric combines style and function for a modern...
  • 2 in 1 BOOSTER SEAT: Easily transitions from forward facing harness mode to belt positioning booster...

Last update on 2021-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

READ
Evenflo Chase LX Review [Booster Car Seat]

3.Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning BoosterBest 2-in-1 Booster Seat

The Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning booster is an efficient and stylish booster perfect for 5-year-olds and above. Safety and comfort are Chicco’s chief focus, and because they are an Italian company based near Milan, they don’t ignore fashion trends. It comes in four colors and is not as expensive as some.

It can convert to a backless booster seat, and it has head and shoulder protection and ten height positions. The ErgoBoost double padding with a contoured seat offers it more comfort and support.

It is one of the easiest to install and easy for children to buckle on their own. It has a SuperCinch tightener to use with the LATCH system. The manufacturer recommends using both the LATCH system and the seatbelt system for extra safety. Both the armrest and seat pad covers can be removed and are machine washable. There are two removable, flexible, and collapsible cup holders that are dishwasher safe. 

Chicco KidFit Safety Rating

The Chicco KidFit was rated the KidFit as a Best Bet choice in 2015 by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). It passed all the fit tests of the Hybrid III 6-year-old child crash dummy. It also does not have any product recalls on the NHTSA and ranked higher on crash test results than most of the other boosters. 

Pros

  • Easy Installation and Easy for Kids to Buckle
  • Adjustable Height Backs 
  • LATCH System
  • Lightweight 
  • Converts to a Backless Booster
  • Machine Washable Seat Pad and Arm Rests
  • Cupholders are Collapsible and Dishwasher Safe
  • Best Buy in 2015 – IIHS

Cons

  • LATCH System does not Work well in Some Cars
  • A Bit More Expensive 
  • Wide, Taking up More Room 
Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat -...
  • DuoZone combined head and shoulder protection with 10 positions for growing children
  • SuperCinch LATCH attachment and one-pull tightener helps keep KidFit in place and kid-ready for easy...
  • ErgoBoost double foam padding and contoured seat design provide support in all the right places....

Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4.Graco Turbobooster Highback BoosterMost Affordable

The Graco Turbobooster Highback Booster has 2-in-1 functionality which allows you to effortlessly convert it from a highback to a backless booster when your little one is ready, thus providing you with years of use. It is only 16 inches wide, making it easy to have 3-across. 

The seat covers are machine washable. The parts are made of metal and plastic that can be easily cleaned with soap and water. It comes with three color options and provides extra comfort due to the well-padded and easily adjustable armrests. Additionally, it has two hide-away cupholders that can close when not in use. 

The Turbobooster Extensive Testing

The Graco Turbobooster has been engineered to meet the United States protection standards. The new Car Assessment Program Peak Crash Force came in at approximately 2X Car Seat Standards. It was tested for structural integrity by applying 44g NCAP crash pulse to the seat, which is about two times the US FMVSS 213 crash pulse requirements. It does not have the LATCH system.

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to Clean
  • Adjustable Armrests
  • Converts to Backless Mode
  • Cupholders
  • Not Wide

Cons

  • No LATCH System
  • Doesn’t Fit Well with Bucket Seats
  • Cupholders a Bit Shallow for Taller Drinks
Graco TurboBooster Highback Booster Seat, Alma
  • Helps safely transport your big kid from 4-10 years old, from 40-100 lb* and up to 57 inches tall...
  • 2-in-1 seat easily converts from a highback booster to backless booster for years of use
  • Full coverage back support even as your child grows

Last update on 2021-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

READ
Britax Frontier Clicktight Review [2-in-1 Seat]

5.Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster Car SeatBest Bang for the Buck

Evenflo has long been associated with quality children’s products, and the Evenflo Big Kid AMP Booster does not disappoint. It is loved by many parents and one of the top-rated for the price point. 

This one also is a 2-in-one convertible seat that has a removable back for a simple transition to a backless booster. Hard to find at this price point. Additionally, it has six headrest height positions so it can grow along with your child. 

It is light, weighing in at less than ten pounds, making it perfect for those who have to switch vehicles often or travel. It’s also easy to assemble and install. It’s available in seven different colors and patterns combinations, and the seating pad is easy to detach and throw into your washing machine. The parts of the seat are easy to clean with a damp cloth. It also has two elastic cup holders, perfect for drinks and snacks. 

The Evenflo Big Kid AMP has side-impact tested and has had several federal crash tests ensuring it meets and surpasses all safety requirements. It has an energy-absorbing foam line made out of good quality foam, and there is a seatbelt adjuster which will help to obtain the safest fit for your little one.

Pros

  • One of the Least expensive 2-in-1
  • Easy to Install
  • Lightweight
  • Machine Washable
  • Cupholders
  • 6 Headrest Height Positions
  • Shock-Absorbent Seat Liners
  • Detachable Back

Cons

  • No Padding when the Seat is Raised for Taller Kids
Evenflo Big Kid Amp High Back 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster,...
  • 2 Seats In 1 Removable back for easy transition to a no back booster
  • One hand, 6 position height adjustment to accommodate growing children longer. Seat belt booster...
  • The child should be at least 4 years of age

Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6.Clek Oobr High Back Booster with Recline and Rigid Latch – Top-Notch Design and Safety Features

When Clek set out to design a car seat, they really put a lot of thought into what parents are looking for. Just by looking at it, you can the Clek Oobr High Back Booster Car Seat is different from its competitors. 

It easily converts to a backless booster and is available in various colors and patterns. Clek has created their own safety system to protect your child from the front, rear, and side. This system includes a structural headrest, a rigid latch, energy-absorbing foam, a magnesium back frame, and belt guides.

The fabrics are stain-resistant and spill-resistant, with the exception of the luxury automotive fabric used on the Oobr Drift. They resist moisture and odor-causing bacteria and contain no flame-retardant chemicals. When it comes to cleaning, you can remove the cover on the seat cushion and wash it by hand. The fabric on the high back, side wings, and headrest cannot be removed but can be easily spot cleaned.

Oobr Booster Easy Installation

The Oobr is easy to install thanks to its quick-release method and can be installed using either the LATCH or seat belt system. However, the rigid latch only works when the LATCH system is in place.  Clek also offers add-on accessories such as a drink-thingy cup holder, a mat-thingy, and a Weelee travel bag. 

Pros

  • Easy to Install
  • Durable 
  • Rigid-Latch System
  • Easy to Clean Removable Seat Cushion and Cover
  • Suitable for Cars without Head Restraints
  • Great Test Results
  • High Quality
  • Smaller and Compact – Ideal for Smaller Vehicles

Cons

  • Pricier than Most
  • Heavy
  • May be too Wide for Some Cars
  • Armrest Makes it Difficult to Remove the Child
  • Recline Feature Can Only be Used with the Rigid-LATCH System
  • Accessories Have to be Purchased Separately
Clek Oobr High Back Booster Car Seat with Rigid Latch, Drift
  • Designed with a rigid Latch system that locks the booster seat into place using your vehicles LATCH...
  • Built Like a Real Vehicle Seat: Built on a complete metal substructure with energy-absorbing foam...
  • Reclines: Comfort is a must when it comes to long journeys. Oobr is designed with a recline system...

Last update on 2021-02-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Types of 5 Year Old Car Seats

Booster seats help your 5-year-old feel more grown-up. They are less restraining and look more like an adult seat. When choosing a booster seat, you will have two choices: high-back and backless.

High-back

High-back booster seats are comparable to a car seat. They are small with a back and a bottom and are placed on your rear passenger seat. They have back and head supports. These provide extra support to the head and neck, making them especially beneficial for children who still fall asleep when traveling in the car or for long road trips.

The high-back has a guide to thread the shoulder belt, and on some, the backrest can be adjusted for height. Most high-backs come with padded headrests. Some high-backs are available as a 3-in-1 combination that can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster seat. Some high-backs have a removable back – converting it to a backless. 

Backless 

Backless booster seats are the final stage before your child is ready to go without a safety seat. They only have the seat element, giving the booster extra height so that it can be safely strapped in.  They don’t offer any neck or head support.

This type of booster has seatbelt guides that position the seatbelt over the correct place on the child’s body. They are compact and light-weight and typically less expensive. They are easy to transport for long and short trips. This is especially pleasing if you travel. 

When Do You Need a Booster Seat for your 5-year-old?

You shouldn’t necessarily go by age when thinking about switching over to a booster seat. Kids grow at different rates. It basically boils down to the height and weight of your little one. If your little one exceeds or is close to exceeding the height and weight limits of their current seat, it is definitely time to consider moving up to a booster seat. Here are some questions to consider:

What is the right age, height, and weight for a booster seat?

The child should be between four and eight years old and at least 35-inches tall. They should weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and be less than 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Are they Riding Comfortably?

Your child should be riding comfortably in his/her seat without having to slump over or pull their knees up. 

Will they still safe in a booster seat?

Yes. Like child car seats, booster seats have to meet the specified requirements established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA). If you fall into either of the first two questions, it’s time to look into choosing a car booster seat for your child. 

The great thing about investing in a booster seat is it will last until your little one is between 8 and 12 years old, depending on their rate of growth. This is usually up to 4 feet 9 inches tall and 120 pounds. 

Buyer’s Guide

Is it Easy to Install?

best car seat for 5 year oldCar seats are typically installed using either the LATCH system or the seatbelt system. The LATCH system is almost always easier to install thanks to the built-in anchors and tethers. Choosing a car seat that has both the LATCH system and the seatbelt system is best for those who move the seat from car to car or travel.

How Safe is it?

Safety comes first! That’s the primary reason we purchase car seats for our children. To ensure their safety. When choosing a seat for your five-year-old, consider how easy it is to install. Does it have side impact protection?  Is it easy to hook and unhook? 

Does it have various installation systems in case you are traveling or moving from car to car? How well did it do in crash tests? Does it have other safety features?

Is it Durable? 

If you intend to keep your car seat for quite some time, durability is a must. Look for booster seats that have a heavy-duty frame.

Is it Easy to Clean?

For the booster seat cover, choose a fabric that is durable, easily washable, and waterproof. Most seat covers are easily wiped down or machine washable. Almost all are water-resistant. 

Booster Seat Safety for Young Children

When your little one reaches the age of five, they are probably getting too big for their original child car seat. Depending on the make and the model, most forward-facing car seats accommodate children who weigh between 40 and 65 pounds with a height up to 44 to 49 inches. Be sure to refer to the owner’s manual to verify weight and height limits. Other safety considerations:

5-Point Safety Harness

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends children between the ages of four and seven use a forward-facing child car seat with a 5-point safety harness until they reach the weight and height limit permitted by the seat. 

It increases safety in the occurrence of an automobile collision. The 5-point safety harness is actually a mandate in NASCAR race car competitions.

LATCH System

LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It consists of built-in hooks and straps on the booster seat that anchor to the hardware inside your car. The LATCH system can be used in place of seatbelts. In most cases, LATCH is not used or needed for booster seats.

Height on Backless Booster Seats

For the backless booster seat, be sure your child’s ears do not go above the top of your car’s seat. This will ensure proper head protection and prevent whiplash. If your child’s ears do go above your car’s seat, consider choosing a high-back booster seat.

Vehicle’s Seatbelt

Your car’s seatbelt should always make contact with your child’s chest and shoulders, coming across the top of their thighs and without touching the stomach area. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Britax frontier and pinnacle?

Pinnacle is a wider seat with added external cushions. Furthermore, it has 3 layers of protection as the frontier only has two.

READ
Detailed Graco Milestone Car Seat Review [vs. Other Models]

What is the difference between the Britax frontier and pioneer?

Britax Pioneer booster does not have Click Tight Installation System. It also doesn’t have either HUGS Pads or EZ buckle. On the contrary, the frontier has all these features.

What is the difference between Chicco kidfit 2 in 1 and Britax?

Chicco kidfit 2 in 1 weighs significantly less then Britax booster car seats. Furthermore, Chicco 2 in 1 converts to a backless booster as none of Britax combination car seats do.

What is the difference between Graco affix and turbobooster?

It is much easier to adjust Graco affix booster for your growing kids then the turbobooster. The affix already comes with lower anchor connectors, which makes it secure even when the child is not in the booster as turbobooster doesn’t. Moreover, it is much easier to move Graco affix booster from one car to another and installation is a breeze.

What is the difference between Evenflo big kid booster and Graco turbobooster?

Graco turbobooster is much better for taller children, and it has more padding then Evenflo big kid booster. The turbobooster is considered a safer option then Evenflo big kid amp. However, if you need a very light spare booster, then Evenflo should be your choice. It all depends on your personal preferences.

Which Booster Car Seat for 5 Year Old to Choose?

There is a lot to take into consideration when choosing a booster seat for your growing 5-year-old. After safety, deciding what’s right for you and your little one boils down to personal preference and meeting the needs of your family. 

Do you need something lightweight for travel and switching from car to car? Is the LATCH system important to you? Do you need armrests? Do you want a headrest if your child sleeps in the car or on long trips? What safety features are important to you?

These are the things you want to take into consideration while choosing the best booster for you and your growing 5-year-old. Which car seat for 5 year old did you like? Let us know in the comments sections below!

Welcome to my car seat blog! As a mom of 3, I put together with other hard-working moms a highly informative one-stop car seat resource, full with many reviews and buyer guides. I hope you find it invaluable. Thank you for trusting me & my team! - Keren

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