Seeking Car Seat Advice

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Oh car seats.  We started with the infant carrier, and got a taste of the super-cool rear-facing Graco® Snug Ride® Click Connect™ 40, which rocked my socks.  But, alas, children continue to grow, and we need to explore more options.  *sigh*


So now, I need some car seat advice:
My daughter is 4 1/2, and weighs 35 lbs. I’m looking to get a car seat that can become a backless booster down the line, and see TONS of options. This will be for my husband’s car, and sometimes for my mom’s car, so we want something that’s easy to pull in and out of the car, and possibly to store in hubs’ trunk.  However, I see two basic types that will fit for us right now: a five-point harness model (that can be used with a regular seat belt later on), or “lighter” models that only utilize a car’s seat belt.

Car Seat Options 1

The “lighter” models, of course cost less.  But the models that offer the 5-point harness would make it possible for my toddler son to also use the seat, once he’s forward facing in a few months.

Car Seat Advice

Which have you used with a preschooler?  Which do you prefer?  Which are absolutely worth every penny?  What isn’t worth the fabric and plastic it’s made from?  And WHY!  More importantly, is it worth spending MORE money to get the extra features?

Thanks for any and all advice.  🙂  I’ll let y’all know what we end up doing.

Keep on saving!  :o)

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**


  1. I would use the one with the 5-pt harness as long as you can! We recently had to move our almost 5 year old out because she is too tall for the should straps to be positioned correctly. Otherwise, she would have stayed in it.

    Now, she’s in a backed booster as is our almost 7 year old and they will both stay in those for a while.

    • Barbara says:

      Thank you Krystyn! I’m certain having your two oldest in the backless boosters bodes well for your van space, especially with #4 on the way!

      I really like the portability of the backless booster, but am not sure if it’ll offer the best protection. BUT this will not be here main car seat, but still…

  2. We have a Grace Highback Turbo Booster. Picked it because of good reviews. We like it. Only took the back off about a week ago, my girlie is tall. With a 20% off coupon at Babies-R-Us, it is $40. No 5-pt harness, though. So I guess that part is a decision you need to make first.

    • Barbara says:

      Thanks Julie. I think your daughter is about a year older than mine, so that gives me a good point of reference. I don’t make tall children, so I don’t anticipate her being too tall too soon for anything. 😉 I’ve got a 20% off Q, and also a $10/$40 at BRU, plus some Shopkick gc to apply towards the cost.

  3. I meant Graco, of course. iPad autocorrect strikes again.

  4. Sarah Richardson says:

    The belief among CPSTs is that most children aren’t ready to do a booster seat until sometime between 5 and 6, so Carol should definitely stay in a combination seat that has the harness option. The Graco Nautilus is a very good choice, the WalMart-only Harmony Defender is a little less at only $99. The Defender allows for no seat overhang though so you would need to keep an eye on that. I think Evenflo makes a seat that is a decent highback booster too that is on the lower price end as well.Knowing Carol is on the smaller side I can assure you she is years away from using a backless booster. Backless boosters are really cheap, like $14 cheap, so don’t get hung up on a booster that has the backless option. Definitely do some reading about keeping kids rearfacing until as close to 4 as you can since bones don’t really begin to ossify until closer to that point. If you have more in depth questions about seat fit and install there is a GREAT Facebook page called Car Seats for the Littles you should join.

  5. Lindsey Hollifield says:

    Have you tried contacting “car seats the littles” On Facebook? It’s a group of certified carseat techs who specialize in helping you find the right seat for your child, vehicle, budget, and Other preferences.

  6. We have the britax frontier for chloe and love it. I prefer the safest option for the longest amount of time. I still have carter rear facing.

    • Barbara says:

      That’s essentially what I’m looking to do, Jill. My son (21 mo) will remain rear facing for the time-being. I’m really just looking for a second, back-up car seat for my husband’s car – and if it’s portable, to boot, then that just sweetens the deal — but safety is our top priority, of course!

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