The Secure Deluxe Comfort Booster (aka the Harmony Olympian) is a new backless BPB from Harmony Juvenile Products. It’s rated for children from 30-110 lbs and from 34-57″. Needless to say, those weight and height minimums are way too low for a backless booster. I know some 1-year-old children who would meet those minimums (and that’s a scary thought), so let me be very clear about this – this is a seat for BIG kids. Big kids have ipods, read chapter books and ride bikes without training wheels. Big kids weigh more than 40 lbs and rarely or never sleep in the car. These are the kids for whom a backless booster could be appropriate. And for these kids – I think this is a really nice booster seat.
At first I thought that this new seat might be a repackaged Combi Dakota but it’s definitely not. It is, however, actually a little bit bigger than the Dakota which was a pleasant surprise.
Below are a bunch of pictures of the Secure Comfort Deluxe booster and many are comparing it side-by-side to the Combi Dakota. You’ll also get to see the new deck that my DH is building on our house! Hopefully, these pics will give everyone a good idea of what this seat is like. In a few days, I’ll post some more pictures of kids buckled up in this seat to give everyone an idea of belt fit but I can almost guarantee that belt fit is going to be good based on the design.
My only gripes so far have nothing to do with the seat itself. As I mentioned previously, I have a problem with the fact that this seat is rated from 30 lbs and 34″ tall. We know that kids under 40 lbs are best protected in a CR with a 5-point harness. We also know that highback boosters can offer more protection than backless boosters in side-impact crashes and better support for sleeping children. Which brings me to my next gripe. This has to be the first backless booster to claim that it provides SI protection! I almost laughed out loud when I saw that advertised on the box! I understand that they’re trying to make the point that this design can help to contain the child’s hips and legs in a SI crash. However, containing the hips and legs isn’t really a priority in a SI crash – containing the upper body and protecting the head, is. I know “Side Impact Protection” are the big buzz words for child restraint marketing lately but if a consumer really wants a seat that will provide SI protection for their child – they shouldn’t be looking at backless boosters. I guess we’re just going to have to deal with this sort of crazy advertising until NHTSA adopts a standard for SI testing and protection.
Those gripes aside, this seems like a really nice backless booster for bigger, older kids. I picked up this one at my local TRU a few days ago for $19.99 and I’ve heard that it should be available at Walmart in a few weeks. The cushy padding is built into the cover and the fabric is soft and plush with a little mesh accent fabric on the sides. It appears to be very comfortable but I’ll let you know what my kids say about it when they try it.
What I like best about this booster is how wide and deep it is. Older kids have longer legs and many booster seats just aren’t deep enough from back to front to provide good support for their thighs. Also, this seat could be a really good choice for those kids close to, or slightly over, 100 lbs who still need a booster to pass the 5-Step Test but have trouble fitting in many of the booster models that are currently available. Finally, for $20, it’s a seat that almost everyone can afford. Even in these tough economic times.