Parents who are looking for a basic backless booster will want to check out the Evenflo Amp No-Back. Reviewers say the seat offers good belt placement, convenient cup holders and plenty of colorful kid appeal. 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 No-Back is a belt-positioning backless booster that uses a vehicle's existing seat belts. The seat receives solid marks in independent testing, but expert reviewers 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. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names the Amp a best bet for proper belt fit in almost any car. The Amp No-Back can become a projectile in a crash, so it should be belted to the seat even when it's unoccupied.
Easy to use, but has a wide base. Reviewers say it's hard to go wrong using the Evenflo Amp No-Back. 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 5 stars out of 5 in ease-of-use ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which says the belt clip is simple to use but requires two hands.
Cup holders are expandable. The Evenflo Amp No-Back 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, and parents say it's easy to find a seat with lasting kid appeal. The seat is recommended for children from 40 to 110 pounds who are 40 to 57 inches tall.
Short warranty from manufacturer. Evenflo has a limited 90-day warranty on the Amp No-Back. The company receives mixed reviews for customer service. The Amp car seat expires six years from its date of manufacture.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Evenflo Amp No-Back is one of CarSeatBlog.com's picks for best backless booster seat. Editors praise the "cool, kid-pleasing colors" and low price. They also like the dual 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 very contoured seats.
Review: Recommended Carseats, Editors of CarSeatBlog.com, September 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent The IIHS evaluates booster seats on how well they make a seat belt fit an average 6 year old. The Evenflo Amp No-Back is rated a best bet, meaning the lap belt was flat or nearly flat on the thighs, and the shoulder belt was correctly positioned at or very near the mid-shoulder.
Review: Booster Evaluations for 2012, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety , Not dated
Review Credibility: Excellent NHTSA rates car seats on a 5-star scale for ease of use, label content and clarity, instruction content and clarity, ease of installation and ease of securing a child. The Evenflo Amp No-Back receives 5 stars overall, and 5 in every category but installation, where it receives 4. On-seat labels could use illustrations, and the warning that the back seat is best for kids should be more prominent, NHTSA says.
Review: Child Safety Seat Ease of Use Ratings, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Not dated
4. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent "Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby 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, additional reviews, recall information and forums for parents to discuss baby products.
Review: Car Seats: Picking the Right Child Safety Seat, Denise and Alan Fields, Tenth Edition, 2013
Review Credibility: Excellent Editors of ConsumerReports.org test 13 combination and 33 belt-positioning booster seats, including high-back and backless models. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and they include editors' highs and lows for each seat -- helpful for parents who want a quick summary of 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
Review Credibility: Very Good Parents' booster-seat roundup features 10 seats drawn from the IIHS best bets. A short review praises the Evenflo Amp No-Back for its removable, washable pad, comfortable armrests and secure belt clips. It does not note any cons or compare seats.
Review: Best Booster Seats, Erin Smith, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good Editors at 10Rate.com pick the Evenflo Amp No-Back as one of the best overall boosters and give it a rating of 9.5 out of 10. They like seat's solid safety record, ease of use and easy portability. They also like the elastic cup holders for holding larger containers. However, the labels could use illustrations, and the seat is not a good pick for kids who can slip out of shoulder belts, they say.
Review: Best Booster Seats, Editors of 10Rate.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good The Evenflo Big Kid Amp is one of Bestcovery.com's picks for best booster seat overall. Natasha Puryear gives the seat a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, saying it's ready to use from the get-go. She also likes the removable, washable seat pad and belt clips. However, the seat is not as customizable as others, and the cup holders may stretch out, she says.
Review: Best Booster Seat, Natasha Puryear, Jan. 3, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Evenflo Amp No-Back receives 4.7 out of 5 stars in more than 130 reviews on Amazon.com. Reviewers say the seat feels sturdy, is easy to travel with and easy to wipe clean. They also like the bright colors, expandable cup holders and easy installation. A couple of reviewers say the seat slides, and some note that it's not a good seat for smaller or younger kids. Others say the cup holders feel flimsy.
Review: Evenflo Big Kid Amp No Back Booster Car Seat, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013