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. Traveling with kids is a whole other scenario. You don't need any diapers or a stroller with a six-year-old, but what about other accessories?
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 eight 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 8 Favorites
- #1. Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat - Best Car Seat Pick
- #2. Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster Seat - Best Car Booster Seat For Six-Year-Old
- #3. Mifold grab-and-go Car Booster Seat Compact and Portable Booster for Travel - Best Foldable Booster Car Seat
- #4. BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat - Best Inflatable Booster Car Seat
- #5. Evenflo Maestro Sport Harness Booster Car Seat - Convenient Belt-Positioning Use
- #6. Hifold fit-and-fold Highback Booster Car Seat - Best Adjustment System
- #7. Ride Safer Travel Vest Gen 5 - Innovative Booster Alternative
- #8. Graco TurboBooster TakeAlong Highback Booster Seat - Best High Back Booster Car Seat
- What Exactly Should You Know About Car Seats for 6-year-olds?
- Final Words
Best Travel Car Seats for 6 Year Old Money Can Buy: My Top 8 Favorites
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Graco turbo booster seat is one of my favorites for long service and comfy rides. It can be installed as a backless booster seat or a high back booster seat by supporting kids between 40 pounds and 100 pounds.
Like many Graco seats, the set up should not represent a problem. The transition from a backless booster seat to a high back booster seat happens within minutes, and many parents raved about the assembly benefits.
To keep the booster seat in more extended service use, the Graco seat offers six different height positions that help you adjust the seat as your child grows.
Another great benefit for growing families is the compact size of the booster seat. The forward-facing seat allows you to easily install three across in the back of the vehicle with no problem.
What would please the little ones the most is placing the cup holders on the side. For all those carpooling sessions or rides to the airport and back, the high backed booster seat is extremely lightweight and easy to carry.
I love the fact that you can pack it up real quick and be ready to take the kid to grandparents for a weekend.
It comes with a carry bag where you can safely pack the booster seat when you are in a hurry. It can get a bit bulky when you fold it in the high back position, but it's still more manageable than other high back booster seats.
What can be a slight problem for some is the light padding. It may not offer the world's most comfortable rides, but it still has an advantage over, let's say, Hifold fit-and-fold Highback Booster Seat.
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:
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.
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.
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.
My recommendations for a high back booster is the Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Seat, while the best backless praise goes out to the Chicco GoFit Plus Backless Booster Seat.
I hope that you benefit from this article as I shared some useful tips on traveling with the best car seat for 6 year old. Although choosing car seat/ booster seats is a unique opportunity, it's also a lot stressful for new parents.
All in all, I recommend you go with the Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat and protect your child safely and adequately throughout bumpy rides.
- DuoZone combined head and shoulder protection with 10 positions for growing children
- SuperCinch LATCH attachment and one-pull tightener helps keep KidFit in place and kid-ready for easy in/out
- ErgoBoost double foam padding and contoured seat design provide support in all the right places. Single Recline Seat Adjustment
- 2 space-saving cup holders fold away when not in use and are removable for easy cleaning
- Removable, machine-washable seat pad and armrest covers
Remember, when planned out carefully, traveling with kids will be one of the most cherished memories you have.