Stop what you're doing right now.
Before you book your flight or buy a bus ticket, I highly advise you to read this article and find the best car seat/booster seats for your six-year-old.
As a traveler, I try to plan out my globe-trotting down every detail possible. But, let's face it.
If you want to find a new car seat or your kid is now mature enough for a booster car seat, you have come to the right place.
I have reviewed 11 of the most popular models of both car seats and booster seats for cars designed to keep your six-year-old safe and comfortable.
With a few tips and tricks I collected over the years, your travels are about to take a turn for the best!
Table of Contents
- Best Travel Car Seats for 6 Year Old Money Can Buy: My Top 11 Favorites
- #1. Graco Tranzitions 3 In 1 Harness Booster Seat - Most Flexible and Comfortable
- #2. Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster Seat - Best Car Booster Seat For Six-Year-Old
- #3. BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat - Best Inflatable Booster Car Seat
- #4. Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat - Best Safety Features
- #5. Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat - Best Quality
- #6. hiccapop UberBoost Inflatable Booster Car Seat - Compact and Versatile
- #7. Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat - Convenient Belt-Positioning Use
- #8. hifold fit-and-fold Highback Booster Car Seat - Best Adjustment System
- #9. Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5 - Innovative Booster Alternative
- #10. mifold Original grab-and-go Car Booster Seat - Best Foldable Booster Car Seat
- #11. Clek Oobr High Back Booster Car Seat - Best Materials and Content
- What Exactly Should You Know About Car Seats for 6-year-olds?
- What car seat should 6-year-olds be in?
- Can a 6-year-old ride in a booster seat?
- Does a six-year-old need a car seat in Australia?
- Does a six-year-old need a car seat in the UK?
- Should my 6-year-old be in a 5 point harness?
- Do seven-year-olds need a car seat?
- What is the safest booster seat for a 6-year-old?
- Can a 6-year-old sit without a booster seat?
- Can a six-year-old sit in front of a car?
- When can my child ride without a booster seat?
- When can a child stop using a booster seat in Australia?
- Final Words
Best Travel Car Seats for 6 Year Old Money Can Buy: My Top 11 Favorites
Why should you opt for the Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 booster car seat?
Well, the Graco booster is specific as it offers an extended lifespan.
Thus, the booster seat covers and supports your children from their toddler years to their youth, and you don't have to buy different car seats for their various life stages.
In addition, the booster seat will support your kids in the following modes:
However, to meet and exceed the industry standards, safety regulations and provide more security, the brand has increased the weight minimum from 30 to 40 pounds. So, your kiddo can be safer and more stable in the car seat.
Of course, the safety standards are supported with the 5-point harness system.
The harness is fantastic since it's a non-rethreading model, allowing you to adjust both the headrest and harness with one simple motion. And, the headrest has eight different positions, with flexible growth options for your child.
The seat is portable, lightweight, and compact for all busy and active parents. So, you can effortlessly move it around more vehicles and use it for car travel.
The seat will be versatile and flexible for your demands, and you can effortlessly move it around.
Thanks to the open-loop seat belt guides, you can quickly install the booster seat with the vehicle seat belt system.
The setup process is effortless, and all you have to do is follow the guides and attach all parts together. Then, when you hear the click sound, the installation process is complete.
For more convenience, your kiddo will see two removable cup holders for their favorite snacks and drinks. So, they can keep them at hand and easily reach when they need them.
If the effortless installation is your cup of tea, look no further than the Chicco GoFit Plus booster seat.
This booster car seat is designed to secure children aged four and up and have a weight limit between 40 to 110 pounds.
Okay, let's talk about the review's real star, and that is the quick installation.
Chicco backless booster offers push-on Latch connectors and a one-hand tightening strap that offers installation in seconds.
When you offer snacks to a 6-year-old, the chances of them getting messy are pretty high. For that reason, I believe many of you will value the machine washable cover as well as the dishwasher-friendly cup holders.
As for the adjustment, the shoulder belt clip makes the backless booster's belt-positioning as seamless as possible.
Little ones will be comfy in the back seat due to the ErgoBoost seat, which offers padding in all the right places.
The GoFit Plus backless booster contains a LATCH system that helps keep the seat in place while the child gets comfy.
For carpool occasions or family vacays, the backless booster seat contains a carry handle on the side. Since the seat is lightweight, your kiddo can carry it by itself.
Some parents have reported that belt-positioning was a feature they had trouble with. But, no worries. With a bit of utilization, you can tackle the issue quickly, that is if you come across it.
What's probably the most significant benefit is that children can buckle themselves in when you are not around.
The seat is praised for easy installation, and it gives parents a sound mind when situations like this roll around.
The BubbleBum inflatable backless booster seat is an incredible invention, specially designed for parents-on-the go.
Compared to a traditional booster, the tiny dimensions make it a lightweight travel companion anywhere you go.
But, is it safe for your six-year-old? Time to reveal the big deal behind the BubbleBum.
For starters, this backless booster has very high safety standards. And guess what? It passes all of them!
It exceeds both American and European safety regulations and even checks for puncture crash tests.
The foamy insides help elevate the kids a few inches up to meet the anchored seat belt guides.
What I genuinely appreciate about it is how convenient it is for travel occasions. You simply deflate it and roll it up. Then, before your Uber or rent-a-car arrives, inflate it, and you have a backless booster ready-to-go.
PRO TIP: wrap the shoulder belt around the deflated booster and secure it with the red clip to make sure you have a neatly packed BubbleBum companion.
No-fuss installation is what I'm all about. Once you inflate it, secure the child via seatbelt as you would usually cross the lap belt near the hips.
One more benefit of the backless booster seat is that it's incredibly narrow. You can install three backless boosters in the back and have a secure carpooling session every time.
BubbleBum backless booster seat can be a great choice if you are traveling to faraway destinations. You never know what car you can end up with, and you can always have a proper seat belt fit with this inflatable booster seat.
Also, you won't even break the bank! The backless seat is exceptionally affordable for all of you who are traveling on a budget.
Your six-year-old kiddo will love this booster seat!
As you will see, the Britax booster is unique, as it provides soft and comfortable fabric and pleasant touch skin for your kid.
Namely, the four-way stretch Athleisure fabric combines functions and style for a modern look that is effortless to maintain and clean.
Thanks to its two-in-one design, the car seat easily converts to the belt-positioning mode from the forward-facing harness manner and supports your kid's growth from toddler to their youth.
The booster is also perfect due to its ClickTight installation system. You can complete the process in three effortless steps: open, thread and buckle, and close it.
Once you complete the setup process correctly, your car seat will be stable and secure for a more extended period, and the seat cannot move around, causing severe injuries.
And, as previously mentioned, the kids will be cozy, soft, and relaxed in the booster due to the materials. You'll find, the booster includes soft and comfortable pads, keeping your child's neck from rubbing against the harness strap.
So, the seat won't create extra pressure or discomfort. It will serve better for an extended time.
However, kids will also have top safety features with dual-layer side-impact protection. The layers surround your kid's torso, neck, and head, making them more stable and secure on the road.
In addition, the SafeCell Technology crumples, helping with absorbing crash energy, and keeps your little ones safe and sound, secure and intact in the crash. Even if the base or frame cracks, children will be untouched.
But, the V-shaped tether will also help reduce and slow movement, impacts, forces, and pressure during a car crash. And, the highly strong, reinforced steel frame will add more strength to the seat structure and keep it stable.
Chicco receives all of my praise when it comes to car seats, especially boosters.
If you don't want to roam around too much and look for a reliable companion, I would always recommend Chicco. Here is why you should consider this high back booster.
Firstly, let's discuss the safety benefits of the booster.
With the DuoZone side and head impact protection, the KidFit protects your 6-year-old with every bit of strength while he/she enjoys back seat rides.
As a busy parent myself, I am always looking for ways to install the booster effortlessly. The SuperCinch latch is one of the features that makes me appreciate this booster so much.
Let me tell you, as much as I value safety.
I want my kid to be comfortable at the same time. I heard no complaints whatsoever from the back seat. As our travels tend to last up to a few hours, the Chicco Kid Fit makes sure my child is comfy and secure.
So, we covered safety, comfort, and now it's time to talk about the real joy of the booster seat.
My personal favorite is easy maintenance. Since kids can get messy (especially snack time), it's essential to have a car seat that is easy to clean off.
I had my share of time trying to take the dried granola bar out of the cupholder. But this is not the scenario with this booster. The cup holders are removable along with the pad, which is machine-washer friendly.
Considering you will probably use this car seat for about eight years or so, about $100 price tag is a good deal if you ask me.
You will love the hiccapop inflatable booster car seat, thanks to its specific design.
The booster car seat is compact, lightweight, and portable, as it inflates within twenty seconds and sets up quickly and effortlessly.
When it deflates, you can roll it up and place it inside its travel bag for a compact fit in suitcases, backpacks, large purses, or carry-ons.
Moreover, you will see that the booster car seat is safe and comfortable wherever you place it due to its versatile design. So, you can put it in Uber, taxi, rental cars, carpooling, school trips, etc.
So, naturally, the booster car seat meets and exceeds all FMVSS and regulations for the USA. It only adds more safety features and benefits for your kid.
Once you install the booster car seat, it will be secure, stable, and sturdy while your kid uses it.
Thus, the non-skid base includes stability and safety while on the leather, cloth, and vinyl seats. So, it will be gentle on your upholstery.
And, it will limit movements in the case of an accident and provide soothing stability while riding.
Being a practical and compact booster car seat, the hiccapop has a narrow yet roomy design, allowing you to fit three across.
So, it's perfect for larger families, busy soccer moms, on-the-go families, and active parents, or carpoolers. So, it's highly versatile.
Due to comfort and security, your little ones will have an extra soft and cozy feeling, particularly convenient for more miniature bottoms, and the kids will love the super-cushiony design.
In addition, thanks to positioning clips, your child will have a proper seat belt fit across the lap instead of their stomach and across the shoulder instead of the neck (which is dangerous).
The Evenflo Maestro Sport high back booster is an excellent choice for parents who enjoy traveling, but it might not be a favorite for some. Stick around to find out!
Let's discuss how you can use this high back booster.
The first option is to use it as a harness booster seat, the conventional forward-facing car seat. The great benefit of this is that you can purchase the car seat for your two years old and use it for a long time after that.
Moreover, the forward-facing car seat has a 5 point harness for a child's safe and snug use. With four different positioning shoulder belts and two belt buckle sports, your young one grows with the car seat.
The second use of the seat is the belt-positioning booster seat. You can use this one once the child no longer needs a 5 point harness and can be secured via seat belt (usually, this would be around four years).
My favorite feature of the booster mode is the auto-adjust belt path. This can be of great help when you need to adjust the shoulder belt height.
This booster exceeds many safety requirements, such as side impact protection, temperature safety, and many more, which you can check on the Evenflo site.
And, since its FAA approved, feel free to take it on an airplane for your next holiday.
Now, there are a few parents who might not enjoy this seat for everyday rides. Unstrapping the seat with a LATCH system can be a real horror on the impatient ones. Also, your kid is not in for great comfort since the padding is on the thinner side.
I would recommend this one for short-term travel use and not so much for everyday apply.
Another innovative highback booster seat is presented by hifold with the fit and fold technology.
Do you wonder just how compact the booster seat is? It can easily fit under your airplane seat. Yep, you read that right.
However, just like other boosters, this is not FAA approved, so you cannot use it on an airplane. But, as soon as you land and call for an Uber, the hifold has your back.
The real benefit is that you can legally use this high back booster car seat in the US, EU, and Canada for real traveler adventurers. It is designed to support kids from 33 to 100 pounds, so your six-year-old will fit with no problem whatsoever.
The manufacturer offers 243 multi adjustment technology, which is pretty handy if you plan on using the booster for a couple of more years. I advise you to practice the adjustment before your trip. You don't want the 243 combinations messing with your head in a stressful travel situation.
You might hear your kid complain about the cup holders because they aren't any in the booster. This could potentially be a hindrance for some since we know our little ones value their storage space. But for around $10 bucks, you can purchase one and call it a day.
Unlike the mifold backless booster, this one has slightly better padding. Although it's not entirely comfortable for some, it still holds an advantage over mifold for sure.
A genuinely appreciative benefit of the booster seat is the carry strap. You can neatly fold it and create easy portability, whether you are waiting for a taxi or just moving it from car to car.
Now here is an exciting twist to the traditional car seat. If you thought that foldable cars seats are revolutionary, wait till you hear about the Ride Safer Travel Vest.
This is a booster seat alternative that offers optimal protection for kids between three and six years old. Rather than giving the child "a boost," Ride Safer brings the seat belt closer, much like the mifold booster seat I reviewed.
Once you get into the car and the child puts on the vest, you can secure him/her as you usually would with a seat belt. Simply thread the seat belt through the seat belt guides and secure it over the lap and shoulders.
This booster seat alternative exceeds all Federal safety requirements; however, I would recommend you be the judge whether your kid is ready for this kind of restraint system or not.
For added safety, you can also use the top tether to limit head movement in case of an accident. Not only this, but the top rope has proved to be quite helpful in preventing the restless young passengers from moving around in their seats.
I find this the perfect choice for all those city rides when you can't be bothered with packing an entire car seat with you. It's light to put in your bag while you wait for the taxi to arrive.
You will find great value in this restraint system for 6-year-olds who are mature enough for their age. Just roll it up into your backpack and make sure you are always prepared to secure your little one in the back seat.
When it comes to compact booster seats, I'm giving mifold an upper hand due to its lightweight and travel-friendly features.
If you are intent on seeing what so revolutionary about mifold, pay attention to the following details.
It was head-scratching for me to grasp the safety of a portable booster seat that is compact but just as safe as traditional, bulkier versions. However, once you get behind the logistics of the mifold, it makes perfect sense!
mifold ensures optimal seat belt fit, but here's the catch. Instead of lifting the child a few inches up, the mifold backless booster adjusts the car's seat belt by pulling it down. Sounds interesting, right?
However, you do need to inspect your shoulder belt guides since some parents have commented that it was challenging to assemble the straps correctly, and they simply gave up.
I recommend you to give it some time and practice; you will eventually grow to love it.
Here is a sound installation video on how to properly install the mifold.
Parents who have wiggly children in the pack seat will especially appreciate the mifold booster seat. It does a great job of securing children from 4 to 8 years old without limiting their movement too much.
The supportive DenseFoam will make sure your child is relaxed and the seat does not slip.
However, the comfort part is questionable. Since the booster seat is not as packed as traditional seats, there might be slight discomfort.
The booster seat will be of excellent service if you travel abroad.
Most countries do not have advanced car seat laws or will find it difficult to rent a car seat. Now, this is where the mifold comes into rescue.
Finally, the Clek Oobr booster will win your heart since the car seat has a highly potent and robust frame and construction.
As you will see, the booster seat includes a complete metal sub-structure, the solid and reliable AS system technology, with a specific reclining benefit. And, you can convert it to the backless booster when you need it.
A booster seat is an excellent option as it offers maximum safety features.
It includes an energy-absorbing foam layer that absorbs external pressure, impacts and forces, strength, and energy in a side-impact car collision. Therefore, the protection results in less impact transferred directly to your child.
With the steel rods and magnesium frame, the headrest will reduce the movements and twisting, supporting the head and improving stability in car accidents.
Also, the magnesium frame has a strong alloy, containing the torso during the side-impact collisions, and offers more strength and protection against vehicle intrusion.
Thanks to the LATCH system, the Clek Oobr will lock into its place, providing additional stability when your kiddo is inside the seat. But, when the seat is empty, the LATCH connectors ensure it won't become a projectile.
Regarding the seat belt, you don't have to worry.
The belt guides ensure the proper belt fits on your kid's shoulders and hips, as they're attached to the adjustable headrest. In addition, the belt will cover their lap instead of their stomach.
The reclining seat back will keep your kiddo comfy and safe when falling asleep.
So, slide the car seat forward using the LATCH system, and the seat has twelve degrees of recline for sleeping comfort. But if you use the seat unanchored, the recline mode will not be possible.
Finally, the seat will be comfy and bacteria, odor, and stain-free due to the materials.
What Exactly Should You Know About Car Seats for 6-year-olds?
Did you do your pre hand research before you went on picking a trendy model of car seats?
Here are additional tips you should know:
Firstly, the NHTSA recommends kids from four years and up to be in forward-facing car seats. Based on this, once your child turns six years old, he/she can either be in a forward-facing car seat or, better yet, a booster seat.
Remember that you always need to check the weight and height requirements to determine whether your child is ready for this kind of restraint system.
Once you know this, you are ready for step two: choosing a travel-friendly model.
1. Are you sure you chose the right car seat?
You set your mind on either booster seats for car or forward-facing car seats, but there are a few tricks you need to know if you want your travel experience to go as smoothly as possible.
If you followed my list of best car seats for six-year-olds (which I highly recommend you do), then you would notice that I carefully selected models specifically designed for traveling parents.
These models are lightweight (each less than 15 lbs), age group appropriate, and easy to use.
If this is your first time vacating with kids, know that the chances of stress-free rides are low, but not impossible.
Here is what you must do before your vacay:
a. Practice, practice, practice!
Install the car seat/ boosters seats a few times before your trip.
Traveling with children is stressful enough, and you do not need the additional pressure when you try to install the car seat into Uber.
If the car seat/ booster seats you picked out do not have cup holders, let me tell you that you will hear many complaints from the back seat.
b. Purchase additional cup holders!
You may think this is an irrelevant feature, but kids have a blast with them!
Not only does it give them their own storage space, but you can also put them in charge of keeping the cupholders clean.
Let's face it, you are going to be the one doing the cleaning part most of the time, but it does not hurt to introduce a bit of work ethic into your travels.
2. Long travels? Is sleeping in the car seat dangerous?
Kids are bound to fall asleep when your trip lasts for several hours. But, are you aware that this is not the safest scenario?
When little ones are in their forward-facing seats, they are usually restrained via a 5-point harness. It's less likely they wiggle out of their position and put their lives in danger.
However, the situation is entirely different with booster seats.
Your big kid can slump over their belt and be exposed to many risks since backless boosters car seats do not offer side impact protection. I cannot even count how many times we had to pull over and position the child correctly.
So, what is your best bet?
One solution is to automatically lock the seat belt if your kid is in a booster car seat. The belt should stay locked and limit movement.
However, I would not recommend you do this often, only during long trips when you fear your kid might slump and risk wiggling out of the harness.
NOTE: some booster car seat manufacturers do not recommend this since it can increase the Submarine effect's risk, so you should check the manual before giving it a try.
My other recommendation is to purchase the Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5 I reviewed above. If you need to use a backless booster seat, the RideSafer vest will offer them better torso protection than the regular car seat belt guides.
You can find more information on safety regulations and standards, both for rode travels and aircraft on:
What car seat should 6-year-olds be in?
The NHTSA recommends that 6-year-old be in either a forward-facing car seat or booster seats. This all depends on how mature your little one is for their age.
Most of them are ready to ride in a backless booster car seat, but if this is not the case, you should secure them in a 5 point harness seat instead.
Can a 6-year-old ride in a booster seat?
A 6-year-old can ride in booster seats as long as he/she meets the height and weight requirements.
Depending on their maturity, they can either ride in a backless booster car seat or a high back booster seat.
Always check if your kiddo meets the requirements for the booster car seat you picked out.
Does a six-year-old need a car seat in Australia?
Yes, your six years old kids need car seats in Australia.
In fact, according to multiple safety experts, all kids up to seven years old must be properly restrained in the proper rear-facing, forward-facing convertible, and booster car seat.
In addition, the car seats must be approved and safety tested. The seats also must fit your kids' proper ages and development, weight and height, and stages.
It would be best if you also found the proper labels on the frame. These labels contain all AS/NZS 1754 safety standards & must be correct for all user types.
Does a six-year-old need a car seat in the UK?
Yes, they do need a proper child restraint system. However, they can use the rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster car seat based on their weight and height limits.
Once they overgrow the maximum weight and height limits for the given car seat, it's time for another seat.
So, you will place your child in the forward-facing convertible or booster car seat when they are six years old.
Should my 6-year-old be in a 5 point harness?
Yes, they should, if their weight and size permit it.
However, if your child is not ready for a booster, since they do not reach the maximum limit, and have enough room in a 5-point harness, then they should use it for an extended time.
But, if they overcome it, it's time for a new car seat, according to the NHTSA.
Do seven-year-olds need a car seat?
Yes, depending on their weight and height, they must be in a proper car seat - a forward-facing convertible or a booster car seat.
Do not rush to place your little ones in the next-level car seats if they are not ready for such seats.
Once they overgrow all booster seat recommendations and are twelve years old, they can use the seat belt system.
What is the safest booster seat for a 6-year-old?
The safest booster car seat for a 6-year-old is the one that fits their weight and height requirements and has passed all the necessary safety regulations.
So, it would be the Britax Grow with You ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat, providing maximum safety features due to the side-impact protection and robust construction.
Can a 6-year-old sit without a booster seat?
No, they can't. All kids must be adequately restrained in a safety system until they're twelve.
Once they're twelve, they still have to use a seat belt instead of a car seat, but they must be in the back, restrained with a seat belt.
Can a six-year-old sit in front of a car?
No, they mustn't sit in the front!
The safest place for the car seat is the central position in the back seat, but if not possible, you can place them behind the driver or passenger.
The AAP, NHTSA, and cdc strongly recommend you keep your children in the vehicle's back seat until they are thirteen years old.
When can my child ride without a booster seat?
Your child can ride without a booster car seat when they reach the maximum weight and height limits recommended for the booster seats.
Usually, they must be four feet nine inches tall to stop using the booster car seat and switch to the seat belt system.
They should be twelve years old to use the seat belt system instead of boosters.
Remember that they should still remain in the vehicle's back seat, regardless of the seat belt system usage.
When can a child stop using a booster seat in Australia?
The same rule applies as in the previous question. In addition, your children must be of proper weight and height to be able to stop using booster car seats.
Usually, the Australian authorities recommend your kids should use the booster seats until they are at least 145 cm tall and quickly pass the five-step safety tests to ensure they are ready for the ride without boosters.
And on average, children in Australia cannot reach the necessary 145 cm until they are eleven years old.
I wouldn't add anything new to the summary since you have learned numerous exciting facts regarding the best car seats for your 6-year-old kiddos.
So, it's time for you to pick your best option.
If you still can't decide, I can suggest the Graco Tranzitions 3 In 1 Harness Booster Seat as the most flexible and comfortable, most secure, and durable car seat. Besides, it easily converts to a wanted mode.
So, what else do you look for?
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- Grows with your child from forward-facing harness (22-65 pounds) to highback booster (40-100 pounds) to backless booster (40-100 pounds) to continue to meet industry standards, we have increased the...
- No-rethread simply safe adjust harness system allows the headrest and harness to adjust together in one motion.Do not use bleach
- Lightweight, portable seat is ideal for busy, active parents
- One-hand, 8-position adjustable headrest grows with your child