Graco TurboBooster LX Review

The original Graco TurboBooster has been a CSFTL favorite for quite some time. It’s lightweight, fits smaller children well, and is almost foolproof to use properly. When Graco showed us a sneak peek at the updated TurboBooster LX during the ABC Kids show last fall, we had a hard time imagining how they could possibly improve such a solid seat until all was revealed.

Now that we’ve had a chance to spend some quality time with the updated seat, I can say with certainty that they have! The Graco TurboBooster LX is a fresh new look at an old favorite.  It’s like the now-retired Affix married the previous TurboBooster and had a very nice-looking, well-featured baby.

Graco TurboBooster LX

Graco TurboBooster LX

CSFTL Quick Stats

Features

  • Cupholder and media storage compartment
  • TrueShield Technology

Measurements

  • Weight, high back mode: 8.4 lbs
  • Weight, backless mode: 3.8 lbs
  • Width, backless mode, back of seat: 15,″ measured across the armrests: 18″
  • Width at widest point, high-back mode: 21.75″

Assembly

Graco TurboBooster LX assembly

Graco TurboBooster LX assembly

The TurboBooster LX arrives in three pieces.  The headrest ships separately from the middle portion of the seat.  Once assembled, the headrest must remain attached for use in high back mode.

Graco TurboBooster LX assembly button

Graco TurboBooster LX assembly button

I was able to assemble it without too much trouble — the biggest trick was pushing the little button on the side of the headrest to ease it down into the back portion of the seat.

Graco TurboBooster LX assembly

Graco TurboBooster LX assembly

Once the headrest is attached, slide the seat pad into the seat pad on the middle portion of the backrest.  To attach the now-assembled high back portion of the booster, lay both pieces on their backs and insert the hooks from the bottom of the back portion into the holes on the backless portion of the seat.  The hooks will click into place when they’re aligned.  Fold the back of the seat to an upright position and the TurboBooster LX is ready to go!

Installation

The TurboBooster LX can be installed with or without the lower anchors.  Lower anchors are a new feature for the TurboBooster. The seat and the child are still held in place by the vehicle seat belt — on a booster, the lower anchors only keep the booster in place if it’s empty during a crash.  If this booster isn’t installed with the lower anchors, buckle the vehicle seat belt when the seat is empty.

Fit to Child: High Back Mode

6 Years Old

Graco TurboBooster LX 6 years old, 50 lbs, 45 inches tall

Graco TurboBooster LX 6 years old, 50 lbs, 45 inches tall

This model has reached an age where she requires an incentive for modelling car seats.  She received 5 M&Ms and an episode of Doc McStuffins in exchange for spending some time with the TurboBooster LX.  She’s 6 years old, 50 lbs, and 45 inches tall.

At this point, her primary mode of transportation is a harnessed car seat so every time we review a booster, it’s a little more booster training for her.  She’s getting more skilled at buckling herself in properly but this slow process speaks to the difference in when children might be ready to make the move from a harnessed car seat to a booster seat.

She climbed into the TurboBooster LX without any trouble and was able to buckle herself in properly.  She reports that the armrests are too short for her tastes — she’s got a fondness for car seats with higher sides around the thighs so I’m not surprised at this.  That aside, the booster fit her well.  The lap belt fit across the tops of her thighs and the shoulder belt lays across the midpoint of her shoulder. In addition, the deep headwings and supportive sidewings were great reminders to stay in place.

9 Years Old

Graco TurboBooster LX: 9 years old, 63 lbs, 51 inches tall

Graco TurboBooster LX: 9 years old, 63 lbs, 51 inches tall

This model is 9.5 years old, 63 lbs, and 51 inches tall.  Most of the time she rides in a backless booster but she was kind enough to test out this booster in high back mode for us.  She’s at the top range of the height for the seat and found it uncomfortable with the back portion attached.

Fit to Child: Backless Mode

6 Years Old

Graco TurboBooster LX backless mode: 6 years old, 50 lbs, 45 inches tall

Graco TurboBooster LX backless mode: 6 years old, 50 lbs, 45 inches tall

There’s no way this particular model is ready for the responsibility of sitting properly in a backless booster but because some of her peers are, we wanted to show how well this booster fit her.  She’s still 6 years old, 50 lbs, and 45 inches tall. The shoulder belt fits across the strongest portion of her shoulder; the lap belt fits across the tops of her thighs.  This makes for good belt fit overall, even if she’s not mature enough to ride this way.

9 Years Old

Graco TurboBooster LX: 9 years old, 63 lbs, 51 inches tall

Graco TurboBooster LX: 9 years old, 63 lbs, 51 inches tall

Here we see our older model once again.  She finds the TurboBooster LX a lot more comfortable in backless mode.  She reports that the seat is “fine,” that the cover “isn’t particularly plush, but it’s nice.”  This model has been helping to review seats for some time — her preference is always for the most plush, padded option possible.  So while the TurboBooster LX fits her well, she’d prefer a more padded option.

TrueShield Technology

Graco TurboBooster LX TrueShield

Graco TurboBooster LX TrueShield

Graco has added some side bolsters to the seat.  They’re designed to absorb side impact in the event of a crash.  We applaud any feature that adds additional means of absorbing crash forces, but these bolsters have one limitation: they do make for a wider footprint so the TurboBooster LX is not a good choice for three across situations.

It is, however, a nice option for most other situations.

Media Storage

Graco TurboBooster LX Media Storage

Graco TurboBooster LX Media Storage

In addition to the cupholder, this seat includes a media storage compartment.  Our older model reports that this compartment is “really cool, Mom!” and she even took this photo herself.

Screws

Unlike the previous version of the seat, the TurboBooster LX does not, we repeat, does NOT require screws in the armrest.  This innovation alone makes this incarnation of the seat a victory.

Back to Base Connection

Late in 2015, the original TurboBooster started shipping with an improved back to base connection that stops the seat from flopping around when it’s being moved.  The TurboBooster LX has that same level of connectedness.  I could move it between cars with one hand!  This makes the seat a great option for carpooling situations that don’t require three seats across.

Important Information: Where to Find

FAA Approval

Graco TurboBooster LX FAA label

Graco TurboBooster LX FAA label

Airplane seats have lap belts only, so the TurboBooster LX and all booster seats are not approved for use on airplanes. The FAA label specifically prohibits using it on airplanes. The sticker is located on the bottom of the base of the seat.

Date of Manufacture

Graco TurboBooster LX date of manufacture label

Graco TurboBooster LX date of manufacture label

The date of manufacture sticker is located on the bottom of the seat.  This seat has a 10 year expiration.

Manual Storage

Graco TurboBooster LX Manual Storage

Graco TurboBooster LX Manual Storage

There’s a storage compartment on the bottom of the seat for the manual.  Place yours there after reading it.

 

Pros:

  • Easy to adjust
  • Lightweight
  • Has lower anchors

Cons:

  • Width/size make it a less viable option for 3-across situations than some other boosters

 

Overall Thoughts

From the moment we met this updated booster, we suspected a few things that have proven true: the TurboBooster LX is a bit too wide for three across situations, it fits a wide range of children well and it’s easy to use.  Because the seat is so lightweight, we’d also suggest that it’s a nice option for children who ride in carpool situations.  It’s a very nice update to an old friend!

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