The Evenflo Amp Belt-Positioning Booster is a basic backless booster that reviewers say is very easy to install and use. Kids like it for its big-person features, like cup holders and bright, fun fabrics. While the seat is more portable than a high-back booster, experts note that high backs offer more safety features. Additionally, the wide base may not fit well in narrow or contoured vehicle seats.
A best bet for belt fit. The Evenflo Amp Belt-Positioning Booster uses a vehicle's existing seat belts to secure a child. The seat receives solid marks in independent testing, but experts note that it doesn't offer the side-impact protection or more precise belt placement of a high-back booster. An included seat-belt clip helps ensure proper belt placement, though. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the Amp a "best bet" for proper belt fit in almost any car. The Amp can become a projectile in a crash, so it should be belted to the seat even when it's unoccupied. It expires six years from its date of manufacture.
Easy to use, but has a wide base. Reviewers say it's hard to go wrong using the Evenflo Amp Belt-Positioning Booster. While most say they didn't need to use the belt clip for proper seat-belt placement, those who did said it was easy to secure. The seat receives a perfect score in ease-of-use ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which says labels and instructions are easy to understand. The belt clip is simple to use but requires two hands, testers note.
Cup holders are expandable. The Evenflo Amp Belt-Positioning Booster comes with two cup holders and padded armrests. The cup holders have elastic bands that can stretch to accommodate larger drinks. While most reviewers appreciate this, a few say they feel flimsy. The seat pad is machine washable, but reviewers say it's easy to wipe away most messes. One expert notes that the seat is wide, so it may not fit well in cars with narrow or very contoured seats. At 4 pounds, the seat is a good candidate for travel, reviewers say. Evenflo offers more than 20 bright colors and patterns. The seat is recommended for children from 40 to 110 pounds who are 40 to 57 inches tall.
The Evenflo Amp is one of CarSeatBlog.com's best backless boosters. Editors praise the "cool, kid-pleasing colors" and low price. They also like the cup holders and high armrests "for easy buckling." However, they say the seat is wide, so it may not fit well in certain cars with narrow or contoured seats.
Review: Recommended Carseats, Editors of CarSeatBlog.com, September 2013
2. Baby Bargains
"Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common brands. The authors review popular car seats based on expert testing and parents' reviews, as well as information from manufacturers and retailers. Their website offers up-to-date information and forums for parents to discuss baby products.
Review: Car Seats: Booster Seats, Denise and Alan Fields, 10th Edition, 2013
The Evenflo Amp gets 4.6 out of 5 stars in more than 90 reviews. Reviewers like the seat's easy-to-clean fabric, color choices, portability and cup holders. Most say it's easy to use. A few say the booster doesn't sit flush against vehicle seats with more curvature.
Review: Evenflo Amp Performance No Back Booster Car Seat, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2014
Editors test 13 combination and 33 belt-positioning booster seats, including high-back and backless models. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and they include highs and lows for each seat. However, there are a couple of discontinued models listed, and it's unclear when the tests were performed.
Review: Booster Seat Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluates booster seats on how well they make a seat belt fit an average 6-year-old. The backless Evenflo Amp is rated a "best bet."
Review: Booster Evaluations for 2013, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Not dated
The Evenflo Amp receives 5 stars overall for ease of use, as well as for labels, instructions and securing the child. The only minor criticism is that it takes two hands to use the belt positioner.
Review: Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Not Dated
The Evenflo Amp earns a spot in this best-booster roundup for its simplicity, portability, cup holders, ease of use and value. The review does not note any cons.
Review: Best Booster Seats: Top 10 Rated Booster Seats 2014, Valerie Baldowski, Not dated
The Evenflo Amp is one of Bestcovery.com's picks for best backless booster seat. The reviewer says it's easy to clean, available in "super cute" colors, easy to use and affordable. She also likes the high weight limit but does not note any cons.
Review: Best Booster Seat, Jamie C., April 15, 2014