Topic: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I'm a little overwhelmed by the number of booster seats that make the "best bets" list.  Is a 5-point harness safer than the seat belt in the car?  Justin is almost 5, a little small for his age, and about 35 pounds if that makes a difference.  Is there an online list of the safest booster seats?  Any thoughts about what you like or dislike about your current booster seat?

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

A 5 point harness is much safer than a booster seat, especially for small kids. If he still fits in his seat, is there a reason you're wanting to move him so soon? I'm not trying to judge, just asking because this has been on my mind a lot as we've been planning a move to boosters for their other mom's car. At 5.5 years old, they are still in 5-point harnesses in my car, though they ride occasionally in another one in boosters, so I've had an opportunity to check them out and I was surprised at how uncomfortable I feel about moving a step down in safety right now from a 5-point to a booster. My kids are between 44 and 53 pounds, and I am only happy with the booster fit for the heaviest one. They also need to be mature enough not to lean forward or twist around at all while riding. There is no way I would have been comfortable moving them at 35 pounds, and we had perfectly good 5-point harness seats so it wasn't a consideration. With his age/size, if you have to buy a new seat, I think it would be best to buy one that has a 5-point harness but can be converted later to a booster.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

My advice is essentially the same as Mel's - don't.  He's simply too young and too small for a booster. A five point harness is SO much safer and with his size you've got years before he'll have to move out of one. Kate is almost 5.5, 36 pounds and I estimate our current seat could get us until she is 8 in a 5 point harness. My sister is just now booster training my 7 year old niece and she too is just astonished at how much she still just doesn't get that she can't move the belt, bend down to get stuff etc. they have to have the mental capacity and maturity to sit correctly 100% of the time, as if they were still harnessed. 7 is a bare minimum for me on that.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I will also echo everything already said about 5 point vs seat belt.  We are hoping to make it to 8 in a 5 point harness and 10 in a booster. My 6 year 3 month old is 43 lbs and about 46" tall.  She has the maturity and understanding to sit still and all that part of it but I think she is too small.  She has never asked about going into a seat belt because we have ALWAYS stressed the importance of safety in the car and they FREAK OUT if they think we are about to drive the car and someone isn't strapped in.  SO we have both the Diono Radian R100 and the Britax Pioneer.  Both convert to a booster and both are reasonably priced, especially for how long they will last you and if you are not picky on color, etc you can get great sales.

July 4, 2015
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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Much safer! Z is almost 6 & 43 pounds and still happily uses his Radian.

Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Justin has a Britax Boulevard seat, and he seems like he's on the verge of being too tall for it.  His head is cresting the top of the chair at its highest height.  There are several 5-point harness booster seats that accommodate larger kids that might be more his size.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

As long as the straps are coming from above his shoulders and his ears are contained within the shell he still has room. But a 5 point harness that turns into a booster is a great solution for the next few years. I got A the Britax 90 for moms car and we've been happy with it.

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8 (edited by friendamy 2014-03-08 13:50:25)

Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I agree with the others - and also, if he's 35 pounds he doesn't meet the weight requirements for boosters.

my son JUST moved to a high back booster and he's 6y8m, 53lbs and 49" tall. He outgrew the harness height on his Graco Nautilus, so I removed the straps and he's using the booster part
of it now.

I really like nautilus, it'll take us till he's done with boosters altogether (another maybe 4 years? I don't know!)

the 5pt harness is definitely safer.

Amy (39)
DS (7) - d#470
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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

My oldest granddaughter is still in a 5 point harness and she will be 9 in 3 months. I plan on keeping her in it as long as she can safely be in it.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Another vote for staying in the 5-point even if transitioning to booster.  Question: how tall is he?  Shiloh also has the Blvd so I'm asking for comparative purposes!

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Kari and Zen - you both might want to do some measurements on your kids.  I am a little worried that either Justin really has ages left in this seat or Shiloh has already outgrown it.  Can you tell us their standing height as well as their seated height?  They might just be really close in size but I just was a little surprised by the very different ages and assessment of your kids in the same seat smile

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12 (edited by Zen 2014-03-10 13:20:10)

Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Not sure about sitting height.  Standing height is 43 inches.  Maybe 43.5.  And her weight is about 41-42 pounds.  I started thinking that it might be time for a new seat when Coryandamanda got one for Lexi.  But then there was the thing with the ears so we were good for a while longer.  I think.  Unless we're not!

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o242/bsiegall/Shiloh/Carseat-1.jpg

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13 (edited by mel 2014-03-10 14:50:26)

Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Isn't the Britax head rest adjustable? It looks like the shell is sticking up behind the head rest...or am I seeing something else?

In other news, I just did a seat belt install of a car seat for possibly the LAST TIME EVER! WOOHOO!

All of my seats are on the top straps now, so unless there is a major catastrophe then next time the seat comes out, it's going back in as a booster.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Always measure from bum to shoulders for car seat fitting.

I haven't read all responses, but Kari, please keep him in a 5pt harness.  Not sure about your local laws, but here in Canada, they MUST be in a 5pt harness til at least 40 pounds.  Moving them early and being caught can lead to a criminal negligence and child endangerment charge.  most are in 5pt harness till at least 6 years old, or should be!

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Zen - are the straps coming from below her shoulders?  If so then yes she has outgrown this seat and it is time (past time) for a new one.

Mel - how is that going to work?  How will they be able to buckle the seat belt with 3 across? I'm panicking about this but I have probably the narrowest possible car with 3 across!

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16 (edited by mel 2014-03-10 16:24:48)

Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Ugh, Shanny, don't ask. :-/ I have no idea. You probably read about the lesser of the evils on my facebook page. My options are keeping them in the Radians even though their shoulders are slightly above the top straps (Diono says this is fine; physics and my car seat tech friends do not) or using boosters with seat belt extenders. The second car just has one Nautilus in it and they have a half inch to go before they outgrow the harness in that one. I keep hoping I'll find a booster that has a narrow base so they can use the belts. I haven't had the time or money (or energy, because 3 across is a PITA) to remove the Radians and try different boosters, but I'm hoping I can find some narrow enough to work.

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17 (edited by Zen 2014-03-11 07:00:19)

Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I moved the headrest up (and the straps moved with it).  Will take another picture for expert re-assessment later smile

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I need to measure Justin and he's in bed right now.  I did check out the car seat.  I have the top raised as high as it will go.  The straps look like they are just above his shoulders, but that's because they come through the car seat cover at a lower spot than they actually are threaded through the car seat, if that makes sense.  Since the top is adjustable, the cover on it is as well.  It looks like I've got another inch and a half to two inches of growth before I have to get concerned with the straps, which means he can likely grow about another 4-5".  I do want to keep him in a 5-point harness, but it seems like so many of the seats are using the seat belt instead.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

if he has 1.5-2 inches on the harness height, he should be good for at least another year. it took my son about 18 months between harness heights on the nautilus. (I mean between moving it, and having to move it up again).  my son outgrew his convertible (RF to FF) seat, the true fit, when he was I think 3.5-4. we moved to the nautilus seat at 3.5ish, in my car.

I feel like convertible seats don't usually have high enough harness slots to take a child all the way to booster. I'm sure there are some out there, but from what I've seen not many do. personally, for Justin, if you're getting close or having to guess on whether he's too tall for the convertible, I'd move on to a dedicated FF seat that converts to a booster. like the nautilus or frontier.

Amy (39)
DS (7) - d#470
Boy, n.: a noise with dirt on it.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I moved the head-rest up ... please let me know what you think:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o242/bsiegall/Shiloh/a.jpg

With height and weight limits of 49" and 65 lbs, I really thought this seat would see us through a few more years.  But if not, so be it.  In considering a booster seat, I plan to stay with Britax but there are 3 options:

Pioneer, up to 70 lbs in harness, 110 with seat belt, $184
Frontier, up to 90 lbs in harness, 120 with seat belt, $264
Pinnacle, up to 90 lbs in harness, 120 with seat belt, $296

Given these options, do I really need the 90 lb upper limit on the harness?  I ask because there is a point that like it or not, kids age out of boosters.  My son will be 13 in 4 months.  He is 5' tall and 73 pounds.  No way would that kid consent to a harnessed seat!  I know what you're thinking -- it's the parent's responsibility to keep the child safe.  But even so, you have to draw the line somewhere.  Shiloh is still little enough that she has no choice smile  So ... does she need a new seat and if yes, with one?

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Go with the Frontier. It's top harness slots are 2 inches higher than those of the Pinnacle. Since most kids outgrow seats by height, the Frontier will last much longer.

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

We have a Pioneer.  I would guesstimate that my kids would make it to age 8 harnessed, which is our goal.  They could probably make it to college weightwise for any of them LOL  But we might let them out of the booster before then wink

July 4, 2015
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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I have the frontier 90 and love it. I went with that one for the extra harness height :-)

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

I'm in 7th heaven now.  I found the Frontier on sale for $159 through Amazon!  It's going to take 3-5 weeks to get here but I can wait smile

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Zen, you should have messaged me about the sale on FB!  I saw your post earlier today (Saturday) and scooted on over to amazon, but the sale is over.  You got a fantastic deal!   smile

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Re: Buying first booster seat - advice?

Have to recant.  I just got a message saying they cancelled my order sad

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