As your child gets older, a backless booster seat is the final step in the car seat realm. Not only do backless booster car seats keep your child safe, but they also help your child feel like a big kid. A backless booster helps to ensure the shoulder strap on the car seat doesn’t rest on their neck but hit correctly on their shoulder. Also, they offer a path for the lap belt to rest on their lap rather than their stomach correctly.
The Graco Backless TurboBooster is the cheaper version of the Graco TurboBooster. Graco offers this model in a high back and backless booster. If you purchase the high back booster, it does transform to a backless, but if you don’t need the high back portion, go with the cheaper backless model.
It’s one of the most affordable and trustworthy booster seats on the market. So, let’s take a look at what parents and kids think.
Key Features of the Graco Backless TurboBooster
- Age Range of 40-10 years
- One year limited warranty
- Plenty of padding for comfort
- Two hideaway cup holders
- Adjustable height armrests for comfort
- Removable fabric
- Ten-year expiration
Height and Weight Limits of the Backless TurboBooster
- Minimum Weight – 40 pounds
- Maximum Weight – 100 pounds
- Height Limit – 57 inches
Measurements of the Backless TurboBooster
- Weight of the Seat: 4.5 pounds
- Inside Seat Depth:15 inches
- Widest Point: 18 inches
- External Width at Buckle: 16.25 inches
When comparing the popular Graco Affix to the Graco Backless TurboBooster, a difference is the weight. The TurboBooster is more than a pound lighter. The Affix weighs close to 6 pounds, making the TurboBooster a full pound lighter. If traveling is a concern, opting for the booster seat that is more lightweight is a wise choice.
Pros and Cons of the Graco Backless TurboBooster
- Easy to install
- Hideaway cup holders
- 40-100 pounds
- Machine washable
- No LATCH system
- Not steady on the vehicle seat
How Do I Know My Child is Ready for a Backless Car Seat?
The function of a backless booster is to “boost” your child’s height to ensure the seat belt fits your child correctly. Some have no installation mechanisms, while some boosters use a LATCH system. High back booster seats have a harness system, and a high back booster is needed if your car doesn’t have headrests in the backseat.
So, how do you know if your child is ready for a backless booster? Here are some criteria.
- Your child has outgrown the manufacturer’s recommended size on his current car seat.
- Is your child 4-8 years of age and at least 35 inches tall?
- Is your child 40-80 pounds and under 4 feet, 9 inches tall?
- Can your child sit with his back straight against the vehicle’s seat with his knees bent completely over the edge?
- Without the backless booster, would the vehicle seat belt fit correctly, as it would an adult?
- Do you have headrests higher than your child’s ears?
Parents Love The Backless TurboBooster
The TurboBooster comes in a high back and a backless variety, and parents rate the backless variety as a great pick. Several factors contribute to the top rating, so let’s take a look at what parents and kids love the most.
All of Graco car seats are made to be safe and meet car seat standards set for the United States. The Backless TurboBooster meets and exceeds all of the safety standards in the United States. Graco used EPS foam, which helps to absorb energy from a car accident.
The Backless TurboBooster was given the “Best Bet Booster” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. So, that makes parents feel great about their choice to purchase this booster.
Ease of Buckling
Now that your child is older and has more independence, you want a booster seat that’s easy to buckle on their own. The TurboBooster is excellent for independent, older kids who want to use the car’s seat belt. It has bright red, easy to use seat belt guiding loops. The color makes it easy to see and use for kids. Graco makes it easy for your kids to learn how to buckle up by themselves.
The only issue is that the armrests can get in the way a bit when buckling. However, unlike the Affix, you can adjust the height of the armrests, but you don’t want to have to do that several times a day.
It’s a Great Value
The TurboBooster is an excellent value for parents. It’s inexpensive, costing less than $40, making it a hard to beat deal. Graco ensured this booster passes all of the car seat laws and requirements. The American Academy of Pediatrics endorses the TurboBooster, so you can feel confident that it’s a fantastic seat without having to pay a premium.
Older kids need cup holders. That’s a must-have item on your list. Unlike other booster seats, the TurboBooster offers two hideaway cup holders that slide back into the seat when you don’t need them. Hiding the cup holders make the booster seat slimmer.
Kids are messy, and parents appreciate the easy to remove the seat and arm cover rests. They’re machine washable, so you can toss the covers into the washer and call it a day.
What Parents Don’t Like
No car seat is perfect, so what do parents not like about the Graco Backless TurboBooster? Here are two things to consider.
Lack of a LATCH System
The biggest disappointment in the backless TurboBooster is the lack of a LATCH system for the seat. It seems less stable because it isn’t able to be anchored to the seat. Parents prefer the LATCH because it makes the seat steadier in the vehicle. It may tip or move when your child is trying to buckle up or get comfortable in the car.
Padding is a Problem
Another complaint that parents have is the lack of padding. Graco added padding, but it feels like it’s considerably less than other booster seats on the market. The padding is removable, but there isn’t a lot of the filling in general. If you’re on a long car ride, your child might find this car seat to be uncomfortable.
Some parents have said that they’ve placed more foam under the car seat for comfort, but you do need to talk to a car seat technician to ensure this is a safe choice for your child.
You can also read our in-depth analysis of Graco My Ride 65 Review.
The Final Thoughts
Overall, the Graco Backless TurboBooster is a fantastic choice for kids who are ready to move out of the high back booster. Parents don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for this booster, and it comes with features that everyone loves like the folding cup holders and a lightweight frame. It’s a top-rated booster seat for good reasons.
If you want the LATCH system, the TurboBooster won’t be the right choice for you. Instead, look at the Affix because it offers the LATCH system. Despite the lack of the LATCH system and the lack of extra foam padding, parents overall recommend the Backless TurboBooster.