Experts note that backless boosters don't offer the side-impact protection that most high-back chairs do, but they can be a good choice for travel, occasional use or in car pools where several car seats may need to fit across the back seat.
Backless boosters are generally easier to use and more portable than high backs, and parents say the Evenflo Amp No-Back Booster (*Est. $25) fulfills both criteria. The Amp is top-rated for ease of use and proper seat-belt placement, and reviewers like the vibrant, wipeable fabrics and expandable cup holders. A few reviewers note that the seat base is somewhat wide, which can be a problem in narrow or contoured seats.
The Graco Backless TurboBooster (*Est. $25) offers similar features to the Amp and a similar price tag, too. The seat also boasts top ratings for belt placement and ease of use. Parents like the retractable cup holders but are not quite as enthusiastic about the fabric, which some say feels rough. Others say the seat seems too hard.
Though backless boosters are already among the most travel-friendly child safety seats, the BubbleBum (*Est. $40) takes portability one step further. Parents inflate the seat for use, then deflate it and roll it into a carrying pouch when they're on the go. The BubbleBum has a small base that can fit in cramped vehicles or alongside other car seats, but reviewers say that also means it doesn't offer a lot of thigh support -- a particular concern on longer trips. Some parents also report that it's hard for their kids to use the seat-belt guides independently.
For price, quality, appearance and ease of use, it's hard to beat the Evenflo Amp for a stylish, affordable backless booster.