Booster seats are designed to do just what they’re named for: They boost your kid up so that the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt is properly positioned across the body, which helps keep them secure in a crash. Today’s Parent Approved editors and parent testers put a wide range of high-back booster seats to the test, and the Nuna Aace earned high praise. Not only is it durable and sturdy, this booster is designed to grow with your kid: the headrest features 10-position height adjustment, side supports expand outward and the seat features three depths for leg comfort.
All of the car seats we test, including the Nuna Aace booster seat, have been crash tested by the manufacturer and approved for use in Canada by Transport Canada and Health Canada. In light of the thorough testing that car seats must go through to get approved for use, we focused our assessment of each booster on the quality of materials, child comfort, ease of installation and value.
EASE OF INSTALLATION WITH BACK
The Nuna Aace booster is really easy to assemble, taking under a minute to put together in our lab. It was also easy to install, though one mom noted that it was tricky for her because the high back interfered with her car’s headrest, which she couldn’t remove. (Vehicle and booster seat incompatibility is a common issue, so we always recommend you try before you buy.) While you can use the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt to hold both the booster seat and your child in place, the Nuna Aace features rigid UAS (Universal Anchorage System) connectors that clip to your vehicle’s UAS anchors. The seat is designed to keep your child secure with either installation, but the certified car seat technician we work with takes the view that it’s a good idea to use the UAS if you can. If you’re installing the Aace with the UAS (Universal Anchorage System) connectors, a gap is allowed between the booster seat and the car’s seat, but the top of the booster seat’s back must touch the vehicle seat back. The car seat backrest can also recline to make the seat a better fit for your car, but it’s worth noting that the recline is only safe for use if you’re installing with the UAS.
In terms of attaching the UAS connectors, our editors found them sturdy and easy to handle, and they also have helpful red and green indicators showing whether they’re attached properly. Both editors and testers had an easy time threading the vehicle seat belt through the booster seat guides, and found it was easy to tighten the seat belt across a child. The UAS connectors were also easy to detach, and our editors like that the latches rotate 180 degrees, sliding into the seat base for simple storage.
Latching to the anchors and threading the seat belt through the shoulder belt was easy. The seat isn’t bulky, which made installation easier as well.” —Karnit, mom of two
EASE OF INSTALLATION WITHOUT BACK
The back of the Nuna Aace is easy to remove, which earned praise from both our parent testers and Today’s Parent Approved editors. All you have to do is push the back down and it lifts right off. Our editors found installing this booster is even easier than without the backrest attached because the UAS connector clips are more visible and you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues between the booster’s backrest and the vehicle’s seat back. That said, when you’re using the booster in the no-back mode, you may need to install and use the shoulder belt positioning clip to ensure the vehicle’s seatbelt sits properly against your child’s shoulder—which is critical for their safety.
ADJUSTABILITY AND COMFORT
One of the best things about the Nuna Aace is that it’s highly adjustable and customizable for your kid. The headrest is height adjustable, with 10 positions that extend the back of the seat by up to 16.5 centimetres (6.5 inches). Plus, as you adjust the headrest, the side wings—which cushion your child’s shoulders and arms—tilt outward, too, making it more roomy for growing kids. The booster also has three seat depths to provide leg support and comfort. What makes these features really user-friendly is you can adjust them even when the Nuna Aace is installed. In fact, our editors found it easy to adjust the headrest height with a child seated in the booster.
Our parent testers agreed the Nuna Aace was comfortable for their kids. The fabric covers are breathable and feature nice padding, which one parent noted would be ideal for a long road trip. Though one mom noted that the armrests are a little low for her child, she said her daughter got used to it quickly. This booster also has a clip-on cup holder that can be attached to either side of the seat, so your kid can have a drink handy.
It’s safe, which parents love, and super comfy, which kids love.” —Amanda, mom of two
SIZE AND WEIGHT
At 16.3 pounds, the Nuna Aace is one of the heavier booster seats available in Canada, but still manageable for most people, even if you’re moving it between vehicles pretty regularly. Although it can be as narrow as 30.4 centimetres (at its widest point), the Aace expands to about 57 cm when the side wings are fully expanded and side-impact protection pods are open (which should be done whenever a child is riding in the seat). If you have a larger vehicle, the width isn’t likely to be an issue; but if you have a smaller vehicle, like one of our testers does, the width could make it a bit tricky for some kids (or even their parents) to reach the vehicle’s seatbelt buckle.
FRAME AND FABRIC
Booster seats are typically used for a good number of years, and they need to stand up to everyday use. The Nuna Aace’s back and seat fit together well and stayed together when picked up (surprisingly not so for all of the booster seats we tested), and, as a whole, the booster seat felt very sturdy throughout our testing.
Durable, easy-to-clean fabric covers are also a must for a booster seat—because drink spills, muddy pants and food smears are bound to happen. While it took some effort for editors to wrestle the covers off the shell, once that’s done, the Nuna Aace fabrics are machine-washable—a big plus as some booster seats are spot-clean only. As for durability, after scraping a fingernail and a key across the cover to see if either would create a pull or snag, the Nuna Aace’s fabric cover looked completely untouched.
The Nuna Aace is a high-quality, durable and secure booster seat. Our parent testers unanimously gave this booster very good and good ratings for both quality and value, and overall, they found it easy to use. Parents liked that this seat is soft, comfy, sturdy and highly adjustable to get the fit just right for growing kids. Editors noted the whole cover is machine-washable, and that the seat is padded enough for long commutes and trips. You can quickly change this booster to backless, too, which is a bonus.