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For some families, it’s best to go with a convertible all-in-one car seat that will take them far. In other cases, they might end up with an infant and then a toddler car seat and eventually need to find the best narrow booster car seat to fit their particular cars. Some booster car seats, whether they’re belt-positioning or high back, can be a bit wide when installed in the back seats of some cars.
Therefore, while they might be meant to make things easier on you as your child grows, some booster car seats can be bulky and even heavy. This is why a lot of parents tend to go for narrow booster car seats instead if only to take up less space in the back seat and allow for two or even three to fit comfortably and safely across the back row.
There are plenty of options out there from a variety of different brands, and whether you’re looking for a more full-service high back booster or belt-positioning option, there’s a narrow booster car seat for you.
1. Graco SlimFit Convertible Car Seat
The Graco SlimFit Convertible Car Seat might not only be a booster seat but its slim design and eventual use as a belt-positioning booster car seat. Until then, your little one can get plenty of use out of it and then transition to the slimly designed booster when they’re ready.
It has rotating cup holders to save space in your back seat, and as a whole car seat, it weighs less than 20 pounds. As a booster, it likely weighs far less, which can make transporting the booster from one car to the next a breeze. Your child might eventually have to transition to something else when they grow out of the booster seat option, but until then, they can get literal years of use out of this seat right from birth.
- Child Size Range: The seat as a whole is designed for children from 5-100 pounds.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Target.
- The Best Part: You can potentially fit three of these across the backseat of your car.
- The Not So Great: Using the Latch system to install the seat can be a pain.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Graco SlimFit Convertible Car Seat.
The Graco® SlimFit® 3-in-1 Car Seat grows with your child, from rear-facing harness (5-40 lb) to forward-facing harness (22-65 lb) to highback booster (40-100 lb). It saves space in your back seat, while giving your child plenty of room to grow.
2. Evenflo Big Kid Sport High Back Booster Car Seat
The beauty of the Evenflo Big Kid Sport High Back Booster Car Seat is that it starts out as a high back booster seat and eventually transitions to a backless belt-positioning booster car seat. The elevated seat actually has six different height settings to accommodate your growing child best, and the design turns in slightly at either side toward the front.
This allows for a narrower fit in most back seats, especially when compared to other similar booster car seats. It also has two cup holders. They just out only slightly on either side of the seat on both armrests. Unfortunately, they can’t be removed. However, they don’t take up too much additional space on the sides of the booster car seat.
- Child Size Range: The booster seat is for children from 40-110 pounds.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Walmart.
- The Best Part: The fabric on the booster seat can be easily wiped clean.
- The Not So Great: The back section of the high-back booster can feel a little unsteady at times.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There was a 2012 recall on the Evenflo Big Kid Sport High Back Booster Car Seat.
3. Britax Skyline Belt-Positioning Booster Seat
The Britax Skyline Belt-Positioning Booster Seat is sleek and slim in its design everywhere it matters the most. Although it doesn’t eventually convert to a backless booster, it is the perfect booster to help your child transition from a standard car seat to a backless booster eventually.
It’s designed for that in-between time when they’ve grown out of their full car seat, but they aren’t old enough or big enough for the final booster car seat they’ll need. And this one, in particular, is designed to be slim enough to fit in the backseat of a lot of different kinds of cars.
It has two separate cup holders that can be removed when not in use and even attached to the top of the booster seat to keep them out of the way without losing them.
- Child Size Range: The booster car seat is designed for children from 40-120 pounds.
- Where To Buy: The padding might be a little too thin for comfortably seat little ones.
- The Best Part: As a booster seat that isn’t backless, the Britax Skyline can be used for even longer than other similar options.
- The Not So Great: You can find it on Amazon or in-store at Target and Buy Buy Baby.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Britax Skyline Belt-Positioning Booster Seat.
4. Dream On Me Coupe Booster Car Seat
The Dream On Me Coupe Booster Car Seat has a V-shaped design that not only makes for easier installation and fit, but more comfort for your little one. The belt path design makes it so there’s less danger of your little one sliding under the seatbelt in the event of a crash and it comes with a shoulder belt guide to keep the seat belt in place.
It also has a full wrap micro suede cushion that can be taken off completely for machine washing when it gets dirty or soiled. If you have one or two car seats already installed in your back seat, then you’ll also be able to install the Dream On Me Couple Booster Car Seat between them. It might not have as much cushion as some other comparable booster car seats, but it’s lightweight and slim enough to fit in most cars with ease.
- Child Size Range: The booster car seat is for little ones from 30-100 pounds.
- Where To Buy: You can primarily find it on Amazon at this time.
- The Best Part: It’s easily one of the more affordable booster car seat options out there.
- The Not So Great: The armrests might not be big or sturdy enough for older children.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Dream On Me Coupe Booster Car Seat.
5. Chicco GoFit Belt-Positioning Backless Booster
The Chicco GoFit Belt-Positioning Backless Booster is another option from one of the top car seat brands out there. It has a comfortable contoured seat with added padding and cushioned armrests for your little one on those long car rides. But to make it extra slim in your car’s backseat, the booster car seat has two cup holders that fold in to keep them out of the way when not in use.
They’re also dishwasher safe, so they can be removed completely if needed. The booster itself is just five pounds, making it on the most lightweight booster car seats out there and when on its side, you can use the built-in carrying handle to move it from one car to another with ease.
- Child Size Range: It’s made for children from 40-110 pounds.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Buy Buy Baby and Target.
- The Best Part: It’s easy to travel on the booster car seat thanks to its convenient carrying handle.
- The Not So Great: Some parents might not love that there are no Latch connectors.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Chicco GoFit Belt-Positioning Backless Booster.
6. Clek Ozzi Backless Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat
Most booster car seats are secured into place with the seatbelt alone, but the Clek Ozzi Backless Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat sets itself apart from the rest with its ability to be latched securely into place. While some parents might prefer to work without the Latch system because of how difficult it can sometimes be to secure it, the installation also makes for a much safer ride for your little one.
And there’s no reason why that safety can’t extend from a standard car seat to this particular booster. It’s designed without cup holders, so there isn’t anything jutting out on either side of the booster, and it weighs less than six pounds overall. So when you need to take it on the go or on family trips, it’s lightweight enough to be able to do just that.
- Child Size Range: The booster is made for little ones from 40-120 pounds.
- Where To Buy: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon.
- The Best Part: It’s designed to look like it’s part of your car, so older children won’t feel like they’re “too big” to be sitting in it.
- The Not So Great: Some parents might not like that there aren’t any cup holders.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Clek Ozzi Backless Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat.
7. Evenflo AMP Performance Booster Car Seat
The Evenflo AMP Performance Booster Car Seat has been designed with all of the comforts and conveniences of other booster car seats but has remained as narrow as possible while still fitting your growing child. It has cupholders built-in to the sides to keep them out of the way when not in use and even while your little one has a cup or snack in them.
The booster seat also has armrests for added comfort and a seat cover that can be cleaned by hand or in the washer. Overall, it’s easy to use and easy to clean and is one of the more long-lasting backless booster car seats out there. And it’s been tested to meet or exceed all federal safety standards, just like any other Evenflo car seat or booster.
- Child Size Range: It’s made for children from 40-110 pounds.
- Where To Buy: You can buy it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon.
- The Best Part: The cup holders can fit nearly any sized cups or water bottles thanks to the elastic band that holds them in place.
- The Not So Great: It might not have enough padding for children to enjoy sitting in it for long periods of time.
- Has This Item Been Recalled?: There are no recent or current recalls on the Evenflo AMP Performance Booster Car Seat.
Answer: In general, your child is safer in a 5-point harness, so you don’t have to rush putting your child in a booster seat. Children need to ride in a booster seat until they can pass the 5-step test, usually between 10 and 12 years old.
Answer: A study published in Pediatrics, shows that it’s approximately 43% for safer for newborns (up to 3 years old) to sit in the center rear seat rather than sitting on the side in the back. If the middle rear seat has a three-point seat belt, this is the safest place.
Answer: The most common issue parents have when installing their seats is that they don’t fit comfortably in the vehicle. It should not move back and forth or side to side. Other mistakes include loose harnesses or ones that are twisted, chest clips that are not on the same level of your child’s armpit and using forward-facing car seats too soon.
As long as your little one is properly belted in and the car seat is the proper size for them and installed correctly, that’s all that matters. It’s probably ideal to find a booster car seat that will last your little one the longest. In some cases, that might be a high-back booster that eventually transitions to a backless booster seat. Either way, going with a narrow booster car seat can make it easier to take it out of the car each time and fit in almost any sized car.
Since there are so many to choose from, there’s really no excuse why you’d have to go with a bulkier or heavier option. So save yourself some stress and save your child some discomfort and go with one of the narrow booster car seat options.