Families with three or more children struggle to fit more than two booster seats in their vehicle, especially if they prefer a smaller car. Most car seats and booster seats are too wide, so you’re limited when it comes to narrow booster seats. Luckily, there are some products on the market that will fit the bill for a narrow booster seat.
|Evenflo Big Kid Booster Seat||16 inches||40 to 120 pounds|
|Peg Perego Viaggio HBB 120||16 inches||40 to 120 pounds|
|Safety 1st Boost Air||16 inches||30 to 100 pounds|
|Clek Oobr High Back Booster Car Seat||15.5 inches||33 to 100 pounds|
|Chicco KidFIt Booster Car Seat||17 inches||30 to 100 pounds|
Is My Child Ready for a Booster Seat?
Before you get the narrow booster seat, you have to make sure your child is ready for this type of seat. Kids are safer in a 5-point harness, so don’t rush to put your child in a booster seat. Children need to ride in a booster seat until they can pass the 5-step test, usually between 10 and 12 years old.
If your child meets all of these guidelines, your child is ready for a booster seat.
- The vehicle has a shoulder and a lap belt because boosters require a shoulder belt.
- The child is at least 4 years old.
- He weighs at least 40 pounds.
- Your child can sit properly the entire time without leaning forward, slouching, sitting on their knees, playing with their belt, etc.
Picking The Best Narrow Booster Seats
When you’re picking a new booster seat, you have two models to consider:
- High-Back Booster
A high-back booster is a transition between a harnessed car seat and a booster seat with a seat belt. This style works for children 4 to 6 years old. It helps the child get used to using a seat belt, and they typically have seat belt paths that help ensure the belt is placed correctly on your child. If your child is exceeding the height and weight requirements of their current forward-facing car seat, a high-back booster is a good choice.
- Backless Booster
The backless booster is a simple booster seat that just has the bottom portion without a back or a seat belt path. This booster style usually has armrests and a drink holder or two. Backless boosters are better for kids between 6 and 9 years old who are large enough to not require a seat belt path and are mature enough to sit straight upwards.
Once you have the right model, you have a few features to consider, such as:
Since you’re looking for a narrow booster seat, the width is going to be a factor. For this list, all of the boosters are 17-inches at the base or narrower. If you go much wider, it’ll be too hard to buckle the car seats in place when there are three child.
Price is always a concern! Some of these booster seats are less than $50 and some are above $200, so there is a choice for everyone no matter what you can afford. Remember that price doesn’t mean that your child isn’t as safe as a child in a more expensive seat. All car seats must meet the same safety regulations. The price will change based on the quality of the fabric, plushness, and extra features that other seats may or may not offer.
The purpose of a booster seat is to keep your child safe, so no other feature matters if it can’t keep your child safe. High-back boosters should have a stabilizer like a steel frame that helps to absorb the energy during an impact.
A backless booster needs to have a way to allow the vehicle’s seat belt to secure the child to the seat. You might want a seat that has a clip that attaches to the vehicle’s seat belt to keep it properly positioned on your child’s seat.
Kids are messy; that’s just the truth. If you allow your kids to eat in the car, you’re going to have crumbs and stains. Even if your child doesn’t eat in the car, accidents happen, so it’s best to pick a seat that is easily washed.Spot-wash only can be a pain. Many parents prefer to have car seats that let you remove the booster seat cover and toss it in the washing machine.
5 Options for Narrow Booster Seats
The Evenflo Big Kid is only 16 inches wide, making it a great choice for narrow vehicles. Evenflo makes affordable choices, so if you’re on a strict budget, you will love the Evenflo Big Kid. The seat back is removable, so it can transition from a high-back booster to a backless booster seat.
Don’t worry that the price means it’s not top quality; it is. It works for kids up to 120 pounds and offers six position height adjustments. You can adjust the height with one hand. Evenflo included a belt clip that corrects the seat belt positioning on your child’s shoulder. Your child needs to be at least 40 inches tall before using this booster seat.
Evenflo added two cup holders that are built into the seat. Your child can keep drinks and snacks close during long car rides. Parents love that the removable seat pad is wipeable and machine-washable. Since it’s so lightweight, weighing less than 10 pounds, you can move it between vehicles, so it’s great for families who are on the go often or need to pick up kids from school.
|Easy to put in the car|
|Three of these seats easily fit across a vehicle seat.|
|Cup holders are nice.|
|A flimsy feeling of a seat|
|Doesn’t have the LATCH seat|
The Peg Perego is narrow, measuring only 16 inches wide, but it has a moisture-wicking seat that parents and children love. It is priced higher because Peg Perego tends to be a “luxury” brand of car seats. Parents love the quality, style, and comfort.
The Viaggio comes with total side-impact protection that keeps your child safe during an accident. Peg Perego uses expanded poly styrene in the headrest and seat cushions for additional protection and comfort. Peg Perego offers LATCH connectors for extra stability to keep the seat in place. This booster seat meets the most stringent tests in the world.
This booster seat works for kids 40 to 120 pounds and features a six position head panel that can be adjusted while your child is in the seat. You can get the right fit for your child. Then, there is a recline handle at the front of the booster seat, so you can recline the seat for long car rides.
|Comfortable, soft fabric|
|Uses the LATCH system|
|High weight and height limits|
|Adjustable height and recline.|
|Easy to install and uninstall|
|The material doesn’t remove for washing.|
|Cup Holders are a bit flimsy.|
|Too wide at cup holders|
Safety 1st is another great choice that won’t break the bank yet offers everything that you could want in a narrow booster seat. The Boost Air measures 16.5 inches wide when you the cupholders are tucked into the base. It makes a good choice if you need to put three across in the back of your car. Like a few of the other choices, it has a removable back that lets this high-back booster transition into a backless booster seat.
The Safety 1st works for children weighing between 30-100 pounds, and it offers the patented Air Protect advanced cushioning system. The impact protection addresses technology that helps to reduce any injuries during side-impact crashes. The superior protection keeps your child’s head in place when the booster is in the backed mode.
Safety 1st added a slide-out cup holder that’s great for a drink or a simple snack. Parents love all of the other features that Boost Air has, such as the three-position adjustable headrest and integrated armrests. You can make adjustments without rethreading the seat belt.
|Easy to install|
|Great side impact protection|
|Convenient cup holders|
|Adjustable headrest and integrated armrests.|
|No LATCH system|
Clek sells some of the best car seats on the market, and their Clek Oobr booster car seat is a good pick for a narrow booster seat. At first glance, you might think that it might be wider, but the booster only measures 15.5 inches wide at its base. The base is what matters the most when trying to fit multiple booster seats across your vehicle’s seat.
At the armrests, it does stick out a bit, around 18 inches wide, but the narrow base gives you plenty of space to put your hand between the car seats to buckle the seat belts. If you’re putting three forward-facing car seats together, the armrests might make this a bit too wide, but it works great if you have any rear-facing seats.
Parents love the sleek, modern, yet simple, style. The Oobr uses the LATCH system for keeping the seat in place, and it will convert from a high-back booster to a backless booster seat. The high-ba1ck booster works for kids 33-100 pounds and up to 57-inches tall, and the backless booster is for kids 40-100 pounds and up to 57-inches tall.
For safety, Clek uses a reinforced frame, energy-absorbing foam, and a headrest with side impact protection. It also has an adjustable recline that’s easy to use, and the fabric is GreenGuard Certified, which means Clek didn’t use any toxic chemicals.
Of course, there are a few negatives to consider. The headrest leaves a gap when you lift it up, exposing just metal bars. It’s also quite expensive, about the price of a combination car seat, but it is a narrow booster seat that works great for years.
|Only 15.5 inches wide|
|Modern, sleek design|
|Uses the LATCH system|
|Adjustable reclining seat|
|GreenGuard Certified fabric|
|The headrest has a gap exposing metal bars|
If you need a booster seat that is narrow at the base and throughout the armrest area, the Chicco KidFit measures around 17-inches wide at the base. The shoulders spread out to around 19-inches wide at the maximum width. This seat should work for situations that put the booster seat next to a rear-facing car seat or a backless booster seat.
Chicco added all of the features that parents could want in a booster car seat. It has an up-front LATCH adjustment that’s easy to use. You can use it for kids 30-100 pounds. Unlike other boosters, the KidFi offers 10 different height positions, so you can find the right fit for your child. Plus, the headrest is easy to adjust, and it adjusts the height of the entire back which is good for seat belt position.
Parents love the plush and nice fabric, and the seat can recline in a variety of vehicles. To help reduce the width of the booster seat, Chicco added collapsible cup holders, which make the seat even narrow than other choices. You can convert the KidFit from a high-back booster to a backless booster seat.
One thing to note is that the belt-positioners don’t do the best job at holding the seat belt in place. It can pop out of the track.
|Easy to install|
|10 height positions|
|Plush, comfortable seat|
|Belt positioners tend to pop out of track|
|Cup holders seem to be flimsy|
|Doesn’t have any tether anchors|
Picking a Narrow Booster Seat
Whether you need a narrow booster seat because you have multiple kids or carpool with other kids, there are models available for you! All 5 of these options will switch from a high-back booster to a backless booster, which lets you get the most use out of the seat. These seats can work from 4 years old up until your child no longer needs a seat. That’s several years of use, so you’ll get your money’s worth.
Do you have a favorite narrow booster seat? We would love to know how you fit three car seats across in your vehicle.