Graco Turbobooster Review: Here’s Why We Like This Car Seat

by Nicole Justus |

Having a great car seat for your little one is extremely important. Not only is it a safety concern, but it can also make driving your child around more of an enjoyable experience than a fight. If you are in the market for a booster seat for your 4 to 10 year old, I highly recommend the Graco Turbobooster for many reasons including it’s safety, durability, and price. Just note that they do sell a model of the Turbobooster without the LATCH component, which I do not recommend. The LATCH ensures that the car seat can be latched into the seat in your vehicle to provide more stability and a safer ride. If the Turbobooster that you are looking at does not have that component, I would not recommend it.

I can remember when my oldest moved into a booster seat. She was never one of those kids that enjoyed riding in the car, so I bought her this hideous pink seat with flowers all over it. But do you know what happened? She actually enjoyed riding in the car after that because it was her “big girl seat”. There was no more bribing that was needed, or tricks about where we were going just to get her to get in without a fight. It was a beautiful time. (And then she turned 6 and started arguing with me about EVERYTHING.)

Car seat recommendations change all the time, and they vary by state. Be sure that you check with your state laws about what they recommend for your child to ensure that you don’t get a ticket. When my daughter was little, you only kept them rear facing for a year. Now that has changed to 2 years, and I know in some states it is against the law to have them forward facing before 2, unless they have hit the weight limit on their seat. (Not in my state but in the one that borders it.)

With all of those changes though, there are still some things that it is important for a car seat to have:

  • Comfort. You want your little one to enjoy the ride, especially on long rides.
  • Appearance. Let me bring up the tacky pink flowery car seat again. You want a seat that looks nice, while also making your kiddo feel special.
  • Ability to transfer. Changing car seats from one vehicle to another can be a pain in the rear end. You want a seat that can be moved easily without frustration.
  • Safety. Of course you want a car seat that is safe for your child and that will protect them in the event of an accident.
  • Price. If you haven’t read one of my articles before, you may not know that I am a budget savvy mom. I don’t see spending a lot of money on something when you can get a deal.
  • Durability. Just like kid’s clothing, many things that we purchase for our children may only be used for a short time before you need to buy a bigger version. Find a car seat that will last to save you money as well as the hassle of having to adapt to a new seat for you and your child.

The Nitty Gritty Details about the Graco Turbobooster

Comfort

This car seat is pretty comfortable for your little one. It contains a cup holder, so make sure you always have a cup with something in it or your child will let you know you forgot it. (That was sarcasm.) Also, it has a pretty cool hideaway storage compartment for your kid’s stuff. I don’t know about you, but my daughter LOVED to bring all of her crap (I mean toys) into the car. It drove me crazy. I wish we had a place to let her bring only a few items and keep in her secret space. That way I could have limited what she could bring to what would fit in that compartment.

The Turbobooster also has a headrest that is fully adjustable to meet the needs of your child. Since the proportions of kids are different, it is great to have this option to make sure that your child’s head and neck are supported, especially if they tend to fall asleep in the car. There is nothing worse than watching your child’s head flop around in the backseat.

Unfortunately, this booster seat does not have as much padding as others. This can lead to some discomfort after long car rides on your child’s bottom. If you are like my kids though, we don’t get to go very far before someone needs to make a pit stop and walk around. (My husband says it’s my fault. I’d like to see his bladder control after 3 kids though.)

Appearance

The Graco Turbobooster is a pretty awesome looking car seat. It doesn’t have obnoxious designs, and it is pretty sleek looking. Most of the colors are neutral, but they still do give you options for your child to feel like it is “theirs”. I am a huge fan of the way these look, but I can’t really pinpoint exactly why.

Ability to Transfer

If you only have one car seat that you share with your spouse or other people that take your kids, then you know how much of a hassle it can be moving a car seat around. You have to almost be a Strongman gymnast to get things latched in easily and tight enough for it to be safe and pas the “shake test”. (You know, when you shake the car seat to make sure that it stays still.)

The Graco Turbobooster is lightweight, at right around 10 pounds, which makes it easy to transport across a driveway or parking lot with just one hand. It is easy to install too, and can attach to the latches that your vehicle most likely has in the seats already. (The ones that you attach your infant bases to.) It also has a front hand latch adjustment that you can do with one hand. This secures the car seat into the vehicle.

Another great feature with this seat is that it is narrow. If you have multiple children in car seats, then you understand that fitting them all in one backseat can be impossible and someone usually ends up crying. (Probably you, but that’s okay.) This seat is only 16.75 inches wide, so it can easily squeeze between two bulky ones.

Our Best Booster Seats article covers a Graco TurboBooster review of the most easily transported TurboBooster model: the TakeAlong. Check it out!

Safety

The safety of a car seat is probably the most important factor. Their job is to protect your child. Like I mentioned before, make sure you buy the Graco Turbobooster with the LATCH system. Not only does this secure the seat into the vehicle, but it holds it steady for your child when they insist on buckling themselves up. (Gotta love independence!) It also will decrease the impact of the seat belt on them if there was a crash because the seat would not move forward since it is secured to the vehicle.

That LATCH system also provides safety for other kids in the car. I have a friend that was in an accident a few months ago. The booster seat was unoccupied at the time and was not latched to the vehicle. Upon impact, the booster seat flew forward and came back, striking her 11 year old in the chest. He was okay, but he had a pretty bad bruise on his chest, and some pretty bad nightmares after that. If the chair had been latched in, then there would have been no injury to the 11 year old.

The peak crash force for the Graco Turbobooster is two times the standard for car seats, and it meets all standards. The high back booster is side-impact tested as well. Ultimately, this seat is very safe and has the tests to back it up.

Price

I love the price of this car seat, especially because you can use it for years. Compared to other booster seats, it comes in about mid-range. (You never want to by the most expensive, or the cheapest.) Plus, you can always get car seats on sale!

Durability

The Graco Turbobooster can be used on children from ages 4 to 10 years old. It hold kids from 30 to 100 pounds. Kids 30 pounds and up can use it as a highback belt positioning booster, while kids 40 pounds and over can use it as a backless booster. Please check with your state rules about the weight regulations on a car seat.

I know what you are thinking. Who wants to keep the same car seat for 6 years? Well, the seat cushion is machine washable, which is awesome. I HATE handwashing parts of the car seat, especially when they smell like vomit or old milk.

Overall recommendation

The Graco Turbobooster really is a great value and a good choice for a booster car seat. I would recommend buying it, as long as it has the LATCH system. (I am not sure why they even sell them without that. It just seems so dangerous to me!) I hope that this car seat leads to lots of happy road trips in the future!

Nicole Justus
I am a working mom with 2 kiddos and number 3 on the way. I believe that all parents are superheroes and that laughter makes life easier.

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