These are my currently recommended best safety booster seats for travel. For forward-facing use only, for children who meet their height, weight, and age requirements for use. Note: Safety boosters are not FAA-approved for use in aircraft.
Why Shelly recommends it:
Options and extras. You may start using the Turbo as a high-back booster for a child 38″ tall and 30 lbs., then convert it to a backless booster when appropriate and desired (like during travel). If you have a lot of long drives in your future, your child may especially appreciate the GracoPedic memory foam included in certain styles of this seat (not in Ionic or other styles unless specified).
Other options included with these deluxe styles: kid’s travel pillow and deluxe washable seat pad (Fairfax also has extra-padded arm rests). The retractable cup holders on each side and adjustable arm rests are also nice features. And the one-hand adjustable head rest offers side impact protection (and snooze support) with EPS foam. Not for use in aircraft.
Use it for your child with the back rest from 30 lbs. to 100 lbs., or without the back from 40 lbs. to 100 lbs. Children must be 38″ to 57″ tall. Weighs 8.4 lbs. Find it online at: Amazon.com
Bubble Bum Backless Inflatable Safety Booster Seat
Why Shelly recommends it:
When your child is ready for a backless booster. This lightweight option flattens to fit in the side pocket of your suitcase or carry-on. Or roll it up to fit in its own carrying sack (or your child’s backpack on carpool day). When we flew with our youngest child’s car seat, we put two deflated Bubble Bum’s for our older children in the same car seat carrying case. Voila! Easily checked through for our flight a great convenience considering how much safety gear we were bringing for 3 kids!
At only 13″ wide, three fit across the back seat with ease. Or welcome it into your combination of car seats and boosters. It’s also ideal for large families or those doing “kiddie carpools.” Note: the seat belt must be re-threaded through the red clip on the buckle side of the safety belt each use. Depending on your car seat configuration or child’s ability, you may need to help with this.
An optional shoulder positioning strap with clip ensures a safe positioning of the shoulder safety belt. One other nice feature: The Bubble Bum is one of the few booster seats on the market subjected and certified to both European AND U.S. safety standards. For children at least 4 years old and weighing 40 lbs. to 80 lbs. Inflated measures 13″ L x 13″ W x 4.5″H, deflates and rolls to 12″ L x 6″ D. Find it online at: Amazon.com
A Footnote on the Safeguard GoHybrid Booster
Sadly, the Go Hybrid was discontinued. We recommend the Radian RXT folding car seat as an alternative – details in Best Convertible Car Seats for Travel – or, for older children, the boosters above.