Something that I’ve always struggled with as a parent is trusting backless booster seats. After transitioning from a car seat, that flimsy car seat belt doesn’t have the same security as a harness.
The UPPAbaby Alta Booster Seat has a back and can be used up to 10 years because of its wide design. This means better side impact protection and seat belt guides to be sure your child’s chest and lap belt are in the same place every time.
Let’s take a closer look in this UPPAbaby Alta Booster Seat review.
UPPAbaby ALTA Booster Features
Height and Weight Recommendations
The UPPAbaby Alta can be used starting around 5-6, preferably once your child grows out of their forward-facing seat. They can begin sitting at it 38 and 40 pounds and continue sitting in it up to 57 and 100 pounds.
Having an upper limit of 57 is important because this is the only booster seat your child will ever need until they are ready to transition to sitting without a seat in the car. Car seat belts are designed to work with children and adults who are 4’9 (or 57) and taller.
This also has a seven-position adjustable headrest that grows with your child. As you adjust the headrest, you are also adjusting the neck/chest portion of the seat belt. Once you have adjusted this the first time, this also makes it easier for your child to buckle themselves in securely.
Something to note is that this does not become a backless booster like many other booster seat models on the market. With its high weight and height range and the wide design of the back of the seat, kids up to age 10 can sit in it comfortably.
Positioning the Seat Belt
The biggest factor in my love for this seat is the safety features. When buckling, there is a SECUREfit belt routing path and a lap belt positioner.
The SECUREfit belt routing path ensures your child puts their seat belt on the right way every time. The positioners are found on either side of the lap and hidden under the headrest. This lets the seat belt sit across your child’s chest and hips. Proper seat belt positioning prevents injuries to the neck and abdomen if you are in a car accident.
The lap belt positioner is a unique feature that you do not see on a lot of booster seats. It is positioned to go between your child’s legs and clip onto the seat belt. This stops them from sliding out from under the seat belt during an accident.
Protection in an Accident
The seat backing is made of EPP and memory foam. Not only is this comfortable to lay against if your child falls asleep in the car, but it also is shock absorbent to absorb some of the energy that exists after an accident.
Smart SIP pods found on the side of the car seat also absorb impact in an accident. These work similar to the way a crumple-zone in a car does to take on the force of the impact and keep your most precious cargo safe.
The Rigid LATCH System
Finally, the rigid LATCH system comes out of the back of the seat. You connect this to the LATCH system of your vehicle and it serves two purposes. First, the system stops the booster from becoming a projectile when your child is not seated and the seatbelt is undone. Second, it helps position the seat properly. This is especially helpful for wiggly children.
The LATCH system is also easy to use because it has push-button access and indicators to reassure you that it has been properly installed. The push-button unlocks so it is easy to remove the booster from the car when needed. Once the rigid LATCH system is in place, there is also a green indicator that should be visible to let you know it has been installed properly.
This booster seat also comes with an optional cupholder. It can be positioned on either side of the seat. It is a little flimsy but it’s a nice added feature. The option to remove it is also a plus if you have multiple kids sitting in the backseat since the cupholder makes the seat wider.
The UPPAbaby Alta also comes with a three-year warranty after product registration for manufacturer defects. Three years is longer than you see with a lot of other baby gear. It covers manufacturer defects as long as the booster seat is used properly.
Finally, for parents looking for something with a stylish design, this a good choice. It has a sleek appearance overall and comes in four color options including Lucca (Teal), Sasha (Gray Melange with Pink Accents), Morgan (Gray), and Jake (Black).
- Backed booster all the way up to 57 and 100 pounds
- Seven-position headrest is comfortable and adjusts to grow with your child
- Has a lap belt positioner to stop sliding
- Positions belt properly across the hips and chest
- Easy for kids to buckle themselves in
- Crumple zone for impact safe
- Side impact protection
- Rigid LATCH system keeps the booster in place
- Three-year warranty after product registration
- Cup holder can be positioned on either side
- Comes in four color options
- Cup holder is a little flimsy
Booster Seat FAQs
What is the difference between a forward-facing car seat and a booster seat?
Many forward-facing car seats are designed to work with a restraint attached to the seat. The seat belt of the car may be used to help secure the whole seat in place but there is a separate harness. Usually, a 3-point or 5-point safety harness is used. The safety harness is also usually adjustable so that it grows with your child.
A booster seat works with the seat belt in your vehicle to protect your child. By lifting them up to the seat belt, it makes it possible for the belt to be positioned how it needs to be for safety. Most backed boosters do this using a belt guide of some kind that the seat belt is fed through.
Many booster seats are also easier to fasten because of the way they are designed. While you’ll still want to double-check your child’s seat belt every time, they are a great way to let your child exercise their independence by buckling and unbuckling as they get in and out of the vehicle.
What’s the difference between a rigid LATCH system and a traditional LATCH system?
Traditional LATCH systems work with a hook or a push on system. They are a lot more flexible than a rigid LATCH system and are fairly common for use with car seats. Flexible systems might also be called an anchor system.
When using the flexible LATCH connector, there are two steps. First, you connect to the LATCH system of your vehicle. Then, you tighten so the car seat or booster does not wiggle.
Rigid LATCH systems like the one used in the UPPAbaby Alta Booster Seat hold the seat steady from side-to-side movement and from back-and-forth movements. They are ideal in boosters for kids because they can be fidgety, especially on long car rides. By keeping the seat in place, you can be sure the lap and shoulder belt stay where they’re going to protect your child instead of causing injury.
Both types have the advantage of securing the seat when your child is not strapped in the car. This is especially important if you stop quickly or get into an accident because the LATCH system will stop the booster seat from flying forward.
When can my child sit in the car without a booster seat?
Most state laws require children to sit in a booster seat until they are eight years of age or older. By age 8, however, even tall kids usually don’t reach the recommended height of 4’9 for sitting without a booster seat.
In addition the seat belt fitting properly, it’s also important that your child understands they must sit properly to remain safe in the car. They need to have their knees bent at the edge of the seat of the vehicle with their feet touching the floor. The lap belt should fit them by sitting across the tops of your child’s thighs and the shoulder belt should sit across the middle of the shoulder and their chest. When they are sitting in this position, their bottom should be scooted all the way back on the seat. Once your child can do all these things, they can sit safely without a booster in the car.
When can I transition from a forward-facing car seat to a booster?
Even when you purchase your child a backed booster seat, it’s important they are big enough to use it safely. Wait to make the switch until they have outgrown the height and weight requirements for their forward-facing car seat.
Once you make the switch to a booster, be sure that it helps position the seat belt properly across the bony part of your child’s shoulder. The lap belt should sit across the tops of their thighs.
The UPPAbaby Alta Booster Seat is a great choice for parents (like me) who want peace of mind when their kids are in the backseat. Even when your little one is growing, it’s important to keep their developing bones and organs safe. As it can be used from 40-100 pounds, it’s the only booster seat you’ll ever need and its features will make it both safe and comfortable for your little one.