The UPPAbaby Alta is an impressive high-backed booster. This option is high-quality and ultra-comfy with a wide shoulder and headrest that moves up and down for height preference. The Alta has better crash test analysis results than much of the competition and it earned one of the best HIC scores in the review. With a lower than average price it is hard to beat this impressive booster. It is somewhat heavy if you plan to use your booster on travel or for carpooling, and it can't go backless to lower the weight. However, we believe this is a minor problem affecting few users and overall it is one of the best seats around for most families.Editor's Note: We updated this review on December 21, 2021. It now includes new details on metric testing and the sub-tests run in highly weighted metrics.
UPPAbaby Alta Review
Pros: Reasonable price, better crash test analysis, super comfy, high-quality
Cons: Heavier, can't go backless
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|Pros||Reasonable price, better crash test analysis, super comfy, high-quality||Better crash test results, price, lighter||Easiest to use, better crash test results, price||Lightweight and portable, budget-friendly||Portable, nicer quality, lower price|
|Cons||Heavier, can't go backless||Less padding, quality||Average quality, widest seat bottom||Harder to use, lower quality||Lowest crash test results, hard to use, uncomfortable|
|Bottom Line||This high-quality booster is super comfortable, with better crash test analysis and a reasonable price||Budget-friendly choice with better crash test results||Nicely priced, easy to use option with better crash test results||Acceptable performance for a travel friendly, inexpensive choice||Super easy to travel with but it has the lowest crash test results|
|Rating Categories||UPPAbaby Alta||Diono Monterey XT||Chicco KidFit||BubbleBum||mifold|
|Crash Test (35%)|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Specs||UPPAbaby Alta||Diono Monterey XT||Chicco KidFit||BubbleBum||mifold|
|Crash Test HIC Score||390||556||557||603||733|
|Crash Test Chest G Clip||53||42||46||45||48|
|Modes||High Back Booster||High Back Booster,
|High Back Booster,
|Backless Booster||Backless Booster|
|High Back Booster Weight Range||40 - 100 lbs||40 - 120 lbs||30 - 100 lbs||n/a||n/a|
|High Back Booster Height Range||38" - 57"||38" - 63"||38" - 57"||n/a||n/a|
|Weight||16.1 lbs||14.2 lbs||10.4 lbs||1 lbs||1.5 lbs|
|Backless Booster Weight Range||n/a||40 - 120 lbs||40 - 110 lbs||40 - 100 lbs||40 - 100 lbs|
|Backless Booster Height Range||n/a||38" - 63"||38" - 57"||40" - 57"||40" - 57"|
|5 pt Harness Weight Range||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|5 pt Harness Height Range||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Can you use LATCH in booster mode?||Yes||Yes||Yes||n/a||n/a|
|Seat Lifespan||10 yrs||6 yrs||8 yrs||Not Listed||7 yrs|
Our Analysis and Test Results
America-born UPPAbaby has over a decade of combined juvenile-products experience. They are inspired by ordinary family life to develop and design products that are easy to use and safe. The company's goal is to improve functionality without losing usability or style. UPPAbaby's product lineup includes an infant car seat, booster, and various strollers.
The Alta has better than average crash test analysis scores with one of the best HIC scores in the group.
The Alta HIC (head sensor) test result was 390, where the maximum allowed is 1000, and a lower number is better. A comparison of the best results and the Alta is shown above. The chart below is a comparison of all the HIC results in the group.
Its chest sensor result was less impressive with a 53, where the maximum allowed is 60. But combined, the results create a better overall picture than much of the competition. All seats that pass the federal minimum guidelines are considered safe. Still, the Alta earned better than average results overall, potentially indicating an additional margin of protection compared to the competition. Below is a comparison chart of the chest sensor results for each seat in this review.
Ease of Use
The Alta is better than the average seat when it comes to ease of use. It has a simple design with features that work as designed.
This booster has a rigid LATCH system (above left) that connects quickly and without the need for tightening. The LATCH keeps the booster in place and prevents it from moving when not in use. The bottom has a recline adjustment (above right) that is a little harder to use, but it does make the booster marginally more comfortable.
The shoulder belt retainer is easy to use and only needs to be done once, so even if little ones aren't sure what to do, it shouldn't have to be done often. This booster also includes a retainer for the lap belt that sort of mimics a crotch strap, and it is straightforward, but we were able to help a child from the front seat of the car.
The Alta's headrest is adjustable (above left), but unlike other headrests in this review, the back/shoulder portion also moves to ensure more comfort as little ones grow taller. Much like a vehicle headrest. The height of the headrest dictates the height of the shoulder strap retainer, so you'll need to adjust it over time when your child grows taller. The cover of the Alta is removable and machine washable. While it is a hang to dry, we love the idea of a fresh, clean set after accidental vomiting.
Weight and Size
The Alta isn't the lightest option in the group, but it is one of the narrower selections. The Evenflo Spectrum is also light and can go backless for an easy-to-transport option.
The UPPAbaby weighs 19.6 lbs, making it heavy to carry on travel or carpool with friends. And, unlike some of the competition, the back is not removable, so it is the smallest and lightest it will ever be. However, with a width of 18.4 inches, it is a relatively narrow, high-backed booster. This size makes it a potential contender for multiple safety seats across a vehicle backseat.
The Alta is one of the more comfortable seats in the group. The seat pad is wider with side support, and the entire back moves up and down for more comfort as your little one grows.
Little testers liked the padding and easily fell asleep with the support of the sides. The padding is firm but still gives under pressure for comfort that is supportive for longer trips. Our testers felt this seat was one of the best for overall comfort with well-placed armrests and shoulder belt placement.
The Alta is a high-quality booster with better materials than much of the competition.
The UPPAbaby has a smooth shell, side-impact features, and soft fabric. The fabric fits the body well and looks smooth without wrinkles or random threads. The padding is firm but supportive, and the headrest moves along with the wider spaced shoulder area in a way that shows attention to detail. We like the easier to use rigid LATCH system ad the addition of a cup holder.
Should You Buy the Alta?
Like many things UPPAbaby, we love the Alta. It is a high-quality, comfortable booster we think parents and kids will love. We like the unique belt holder in the crotch area and the side panels for sleeping upright. It comes complete with a better crash-test score and is easy to use at a reasonable price. It is definitely a booster we'd recommend to a friend.
What Other Booster Seat Should You Consider?
While the Alta is one of our favorites, we think some alternatives could better meet some families' needs or goals. If your budget is tight and the Alta is outside of it, we think the Evenflo Spectrum is an excellent option with a lot to offer. It is easier to use and more comfortable than the Alta in our tests, and the crash test score is only slightly lower, with a price tag half that of the Alta. If finding the absolute best in crash testing is your top priority, we love the Clek Oobr and use it with our children.
— Wendy Schmitz and the BabyGearLab Review Team
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More