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Backless or Highback Booster — Is There a Difference in Safety? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Backless vs Highback BoosterI saw something alarming this morning that I couldn’t help but share with all of you. Britax has a new campaign right now they are referring to as “Bin the Booster.” Now, the name might sound a little strange and that’s because Britax is a British brand and the campaign is taking place in Europe. Still, it’s an important message for anyone who has a child riding in a booster seat.

Is your child riding in a backless or highback booster seat? While both are generally rated for the same ages/size, the video below clearly shows the added safety that a highback booster seat brings your child. It’s really short, so please, take the time to watch it:

I understand that car seats take up a lot of room in the vehicle, so some parents are eager to clear them out to save space (trust me – I have 3 in car seats). I also know that some children, especially those with friends or siblings who have already moved into the next step of car seats, might want to do so to be like their friend or sibling. Please consider that keeping your child in a highback booster as long as possible could mean a big difference in the event of a crash.  You might be a fabulous driver, but others are the road might not be. You never know when a crash might happen, so it’s extremely important to always have your child riding as safely as possible.

Car seat safety is very important in our house. My 1 and 3 year old children are both still rear facing (quite comfortably I’ll add) in a 5-point harnessed car seat. My 5 year old is now forward facing in a 5 point harness, and will continue to ride in her 5-point harness seat for quite a few more years, until she has outgrown it. It’s just safer — crash test after crash test proves it.

If you would like some additional info about car seat safety, check out these great resources:


Wednesday 22nd of July 2020

I wish our parents knew about booster seats back then. I was born around 1995-1999.


Sunday 16th of August 2015

Holy cow! I'm all for keeping my little ones as safe as possible, but they are so big. I read about some people who can keep their kids rearfacing at 3 and 4 years old, but I have a girl who just turned 4 yesterday and is almost too big for her frontfacing Safety First Advance Air 70. She is 44 pounds, 43 inches tall and I struggle to get the buckle closed. I'll be putting her in a highback booster soon, because I can't really run out and and spend another $200-500 for a carseat and hope she fits it (and that it fits in my van). I also hope I don't run into any more of the "Oh, you put a price tag on your daughter's life, that's sad..." The good news is, I can move my 9 month old into the Air 70, rearfacing. :)


Sunday 23rd of August 2015

Dawne - Your car seat goes up to 70lbs and 52". Are you sure she has outgrown it?


Friday 14th of August 2015

Just the answers i was looking for~! Car seats were drving me mad! glad i have an answer to this eternal question now! thanks thriftyniftymommy!

Ebonie H.W.

Friday 14th of August 2015

Wow - that video just about shook me. My 6.5-year-old is in a highback booster, and I wasn't quite sure when I should remove that back. Looks like I'll be keeping it on as long as it is safe to do so for him (which will be quite awhile!). Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information!


Sunday 23rd of August 2015

You're welcome. It really shook me too. My daughter is still in her 5 point harness, but I definitely will plan to move her to a highback now, when the time comes for a booster.

kyshia Denise James

Friday 14th of August 2015

My 8 year old daughter is in a britax parkway high back booster and will be for a while. She just reached 50 lbs and I wish I would have left her in a 5 point harness longer. My 3 and 1 year old are refacing :)


Sunday 16th of August 2015

I think a lot of parents move their first born up early than with later kids. We were raised in an age where we were using the adult seat belts without a booster seat WAY to early, so it seems like keeping our kids rearfacing and then forward facing in a 5-point harness for as long as recommended is a long time now. I think I was out of a booster seat and just using the adult seat belt by the time I was 5.........and looking back I remember using the adult seatbelt incorrectly for YEARS.

I switched my firstborn to forward facing at 2 years old. Yes, that's acceptable these days, but I ended up turning her back around rearfacing a few months later as I learned more. She's 5 now and forward facing but will be in a 5 point harness as long as her seat allows. My son who turned 3 in May is still rearfacing and will be for as long as possible. Watching the crashes online is really eye-opening. It's not as convenient and certainly takes more time to get everyone buckled in, plus it takes up more room in the minivan, but it's worth it for their safety. You just never know what might happen when you're out on the road.